Tuesday, July 31, 2007


We do these welcome lunches here at work. New employees join the firm and we - reps from HR, IT, Recruiting & Marketing - take them to lunch the first day to get 'em acclimated.

It's nice. But it's not OUTSTANDING!

Let me explain. Yesterday, we went to the Grand Lux Cafe at Michigan and Ohio -- it's got that contrived elegance of an upscale-ish chain, but the food is good.

"I'll have a Diet Coke," I say to the actor/waiter, who is bouncing at the end of our table.

"OUTSTANDING!" he replies.

Outstanding? Diet Coke? Is outstanding?

No. No. No.

Outstanding is a naked oily massage administered by that dude who plays Sawyer from Lost.

Outstanding is NOT Diet Coke.

What's your definition of outstanding?
I am listening to: Smashing Pumpkins - 1979
I am reading: Between books still
And I am: Outstanding!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Summer reading

It kicked-off with Three Cups of Tea – non-fiction about Greg Mortenson, a man who oughtta be a shoe-in for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Then it was A Thousand Splendid Suns, fiction by Khaled Hosseini. I half-expected to be disappointed by this one only because his first book (The Kite Runner) was knock-your-socks-off fabulous. But ATSS was equally fabulous, just different.

If you’re going to read any of these books, start with Kite Runner, then read Three Cups of Tea followed by A Thousand Splendid Suns. These stories will make you see the Middle East – especially Afghanistan and Pakistan – as they are, not as the guns-in-the-air-screaming-Death-to-America media portray them.
Yesterday morning I finished reading Crashing Through by Robert Kurson.

I swear, Kurson is such an amazingly talented storyteller that he could write a book titled “Watching Paint Dry” and it would keep you up ‘til 2 a.m. wondering what happens next.

I learned about him via a former co-worker who let me read a publisher’s copy of Kurson's first book, Shadow Divers. It’s about a German sub discovered off the coast of New Jersey in the early 90’s and the courageous and compassionate divers who make it their mission to properly identify it, and all the doomed souls on board.

If you’re going to read Kurson, start with Shadow Divers.

Crashing Through is an entirely different sort of adventure story, but equally engaging.

It’s the true story of Mike May, a man who was blinded at three years old. He goes on adventures that those among us with 20/20 vision wouldn’t dare to do. He holds the speed record for blind downhill skiing. He’s an inventor and an entrepreneur. And a husband and father.

In his early 40’s, he meets a doctor who tells him there’s a new procedure that might help him see again.

I won’t tell you what happens, but here’s a quote from May that pretty much captures his experience: “Some of the best things seemed to happen when you didn’t know for sure where you’d end up.”
This book does an incredible job of explaining the miracle of how we see – not just with our eyes, but with our minds – in ways that make things like stairs and faces much easier to navigate and understand.

And it got me thinking (as all the best books do) about two things:

1) How we perceive others by how they look rather than who they are.
2) What I’d miss if I couldn’t see.
Because May is blind, he doesn’t make assumptions about people based on appearance.

This might be twisted, but I can’t help but think what a blessing that would be.

To be able to focus on the really important things about people, rather than the superficial. To make no assumptions about that person based on how they look – only on the things they say and do.

Crashing Through helped me have an even greater appreciation for the bazillion shades of green in one maple tree. And the sagey-light leaves of the willow at the far left of the tree line beyond our backyard.

I’d miss all the subtle things – like candlelight and moonlight. The way that kind of light flickers and shadows and makes everyone look like they love you This Much.

I’d miss the reflections of people in the glass of revolving doors. And the clean lines of the portico at the Opera House.

I’d miss seeing the way the tip of Gromit’s tail wags across the floor when he’s sitting down and smiling.

I’d miss my Mom’s green eyes.

What would you miss?
I am reading: In between books for today
I am listening to: Morning office noises
And I am: Seeing things more clearly

Friday, July 27, 2007

Today's column, derailed by chocolate rain

It begins innocently enough.

I send a link to Jay Mariotti's column in today's Sun-Times.

A minor discussion on sports-related evil and idiocy ensues.

Then I send another link, The Onion's take on the same topic.

Then - bink! - a link is sent in return.

Warning: If you'd like your brain and your day completely derailed, click on this link.

If you want to remain sane and productive, DO NOT CLICK ON CHOCOLATE RAIN.


I've watched it five times so far. I've done no work. I'm pensive and obsessed.

And Gromit just got up and went in the other room.
I am reading: Crashing Through by Robert Kurson

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Abercrombie zombies

“I need a favor, Hed,” says Susie, my good friend and college roommate from Michigan. “Would you go into Abercrombie and Fitch with me?”

It’s Monday and we’re shop-shop-shopping on the final full day of what’s become one of my all-time favorite traditions: Susie’s Annual Summer Visit.

“Have you been in there before?” I ask with a hint of trepidation.

“Yes, that’s why I need you to go with me,” she says.
Susie’s kids, God bless ‘em, remain blissfully unaware of the High Pressure Fashion Juggernaut that could soon have them begging to buy worn and torn crap clothing that costs a small fortune.

Suze doesn’t necessarily want to encourage this passion for crap fashion, but knows she can get the worn and torn stuff for cheap in July, when apparently everything goes on sale.

She knows these things. That’s why she’s a smart shopper.

We’re halfway across the parking lot and the sun is shining and I’m having Friday afternoon college happy hour flashbacks due to the thump thump thump of the club music and the veritable wall of men’s cologne pushing its way towards us.

We half expect to be carded on the way in. We’re silly that way.

Any trace of feeling barely legal vanishes as soon as we step into the Land of the Abercrombie Zombies.

POOF! We are instantly old and unfashionable.

An impossibly small, ragamuffin of a girl approaches and mumbles something.

“HEH?” shouts Susie, over the music that is shaking the shaggy shirts from the hangers.

“ARE YOU FINDING EVERYTHING OKAY?” small person shouts back.


We’ve been in the store less than two minutes and I’m overcome with a violent, nose-runny/head-throbby allergic reaction to this foreign environment.

I resist the urge to wipe my nose on one of the tissue-thin t-shirts stacked on the table next to me even though it seems oh so appropriate.

My misery is exacerbated by the piteous, what-are-you-doing-here looks from this team of tiny identical teenagers.

Suddenly I see a beer-bellied middle-agester trailing after a small girl who is obviously his daughter.

We exchange "I feel your pain" glances before his little zombie wanna-be drags him over to a rack of sweatpants so small they're for Barbies or Bratz or whatever unrealistically imaged doll they're marketing to young girls these days.
Ragamuffin? Yes, ragamuffin. It's what my Mom called my brother and me when we were dirty/messy after building forts and climbing trees and riding bikes all day.

It just popped into my head in the store and kinda freaked me out.

“WAITASECOND,” thinks me. “What if this place REALLY turned me into an old person?"

I move closer to the exit and and breathe deeply, fighting the urge to run out the door screaming "RAGAMUFFIN! DAVENPORT! POCKETBOOK!"
All the while we're there, I'm wondering how the hell they get all this stuff to look so old and threadbare.

Here’s my theory.

The thinky and generous brains at Abercrombie and Fitch ship their fresh, new duds over to Africa to be worn by poor, orphaned children for a few years. Once the garments are sufficiently worn out, A&F replaces them with a fresh batch of clothes while the worn ones are shipped back to the United States to be purchased by silly Americans willing to pay top dollar for stuff that orphans won’t wear anymore.

The thing is, my favorite sweatshirt is frayed around the collar. The cuffs are torn and sometimes when I put it on, my wrist goes through the hole rather than the sleeve.

I’ve had it for 15 years.

And the whole point to having something worn and torn is to have lived in it and loved it for a very long time, not to only appear to have a lotta great memories when all you have is more money than brains.
I am listening to: Hootie & The Blowfish – Only Wanna Be With You
I am reading: Crashing Through by Robert Kurson
And I am: Old

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

This is friendship

She knows that potato chips and cupcakes and wine make a perfectly acceptable dinner when you’re on vacation.

She’s been making you belly-ache laugh for nearly 20 years.

She never judges you. Never. In fact, most of the time, she says exactly what you’re thinking and it’s one more thing you laugh about.

When Aerosmith's Rag Doll comes on the radio, she sings Yes I'm poopin' instead of Yes I'm movin' with you during the chorus.

She takes her marriage and her kids and her job seriously and it shows.

She assures you that 40 isn’t too old to start a family and that you’d make excellent parents because ‘Just look how you fuss over that dog.’

She’s the one who can make 1 a.m. feel like only 10 p.m. when you’re drunk and dancing in your backyard.

She says ‘You don’t have to live like this’ over post-shopping Long Island iced teas a year ago, inspiring you to call your doctor and ask for a breast reduction.

And she tears up right along with you a year later in the fitting room at Ann Taylor when you’re wearing a halter-top for the first time in your life. And it looks good.

Then she belly laughs with you because you both just got emotional over an outfit.

This is friendship.
I am listening to: U2 – City of Blinding Lights
I am not reading: The new Harry Potter
And I am: So blessed

Friday, July 20, 2007

People like us

Someone new falls into step with me as I hop off the 4:44 express in Aurora on Wednesday.

“Are you the lady I saw reading ‘Three Cups of Tea’ on the train a few weeks ago?” says a friendly-faced, blondish fellow. “I owe you a thank you.”

And that’s when it happens: The sweet rush of being swept up in the universe as it expands, enfolding you into something new yet instantly familiar.

“Yep,” says me, smiling. “How’d you like it?”

He explains that The Kite Runner by Khaled Hossieni got him interested in stories about the Middle East. Since then, he’d read quite a few books like it but had been craving more. When he saw me reading Three Cups – with the young girls in white hijabs on the cover – he found what he’d been looking for and bought it right away.

Until he mentioned Kite Runner I hadn’t really thought of the two books together and the small miracles they’ve wrought by humanizing and personalizing what goes on ‘over there’.

“Three Cups opened up a completely different perspective for me,” I say. “Was it the same for you?”

“Yes, but because I didn’t grow up here in the United States I’ve always had a slightly different perspective on what happens in the Middle East,” he explains. “I tend to get my news from different sources.”

Turns out he was born in Scotland. Turns out he grew up two miles from where Jim and I were married back in 1998. Turns out he works in the information technology business, too.

We’re walking and talking all the way to the parking lot and time goes by likethis. We exchange names and business cards and promises to re-connect over more books like Three Cups.

I tell him I just started Hosseini’s much-anticipated new book. He tells me he just finished it and it’s great.

“Over there, they’re just people like us, you know,” he says. “Greg Mortenson gets that.”

“Yep. Just working and living and loving their families,” I say.

Yep. People like us.
I am listening to: Roll To Me by Del Amitri
I am reading: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
And I am: Joyful

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Medium Coke

“I would get a tattoo,” says my good friend Kyra. “Only if I could change it to match outfits or seasons like I do with jewelry.”

We’d been drinking fruity frothy drinks served by Jim the Pool Boy and talking about things we’ve done or never would do while intoxicated.

That’s when we figured out how we’re all gonna get rich and retire early and have fruity froth drinks served by a pool boy every day instead of just special occasions like visits from childhood friends.

Semi-permanent tattoos.

Not temporary, like the kind you get at county fairs. And not permanent, like the ones you get when you’re very drunk.

Semi-permanent. They last three to six months, tops.

If you like it, you go back to your favorite tattoo artist and he re-inks you.

If you don’t like it, it fades and then you get a new one to match your outfit or the season or your mood. Or not.
This concept of in-between has always intrigued me.

It started while commuting to Schaumburg every day behind a particularly bad type of driver: People whose foot can only be on the gas pedal or the brake.

If they’re not speeding up, they’re slowing down.

No in between for these folks. No coasting.

Folks who don’t even consider that third option.

For us folks who understand the third option, those rare occasions when your foot can hover between the gas and the brake feel … so good.

Sometimes it’s best to do nothing for a few minutes.

To not choose this or that. Here or there. On or off.

It could be a Zen thing. Or not.
On the days when it’s not too hot, we leave the door open between the house and the screened porch.

And that’s usually where we find Gromit. He wanders out there by himself and camps in the cushions of the big ol’ comfy wicker couch.

It’s my favorite place, too.

Because it’s not quite inside. But it’s not quite outside, either.

It’s the porch. And it’s perfect.
Dimmer switches.

Love ‘em. One of the all-time greatest inventions.

Another excellent invention: Self-serve fountain drinks.

You go to Panda Express or Jimmy John’s or (ick) Subway and they let you pour your own soda.

So I make Medium Coke.

It’s half regular Coke and half Diet.

Medium Coke. For those of us who believe it doesn’t have to be all or nothing when it comes to everything.

Got any in-between ideas to share? Or not?
I am listening to: Dave Matthews – The Space Between
I am reading: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
And I am: Coasting

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Man Camp

"I watch two shows: Dr. Phil . . . and NASCAR."

That was Monday afternoon at home with the hurty back thing.

I don’t know about you, but hearing that odd combo certainly caught my attention.

So I cracked a fresh Diet Pepsi, adjusted the ice pack on my ass, and twirled up the volume to learn all about Dr. Phil and his crazy minions at Man Camp.

Have you heard of this?

Dr. Phil’s Man Camp is a darling little two-story home on a quiet street somewhere in the U.S.

It's a place where guests on his show go to grow and learn and heal.

All while entertaining millions of loyal viewers!

And God bless him, that bald, drawling host just LOVES telling everyone: "To move on, you have to move in."
Of course Man Camp is not at all what I imagined.

To me, Man Camp is Jim’s annual trip to Las Vegas with his fraternity brothers.

They gamble. They smoke cigars. They eat steak. They fart.

They spend money on hot naked chicks who would love love love to have deep, meaningful relationships with them for five minutes or at least until the money runs out.

And when my little Man Camper returns he's happy and exhausted and just a little more appreciative of what he’s got at home.

Now THAT’S Man Camp.
In the summer of 1984, I spent six weeks as a Counselor in Training at Camp Daggett on Walloon Lake in northern Michigan.

Archery. Canoeing. Hiking. Camping. Swimming. Sailing.

Camp is weaving lanyards. It’s singing about Noah and his arky arky before lunch in the mess hall. It’s eating s’mores while wearing matching shirts.

Dr. Phil's Man Camp isn’t like this. Nope.

Man Camp is all cussing and crying and screaming and shit.

Plus, no matching shirts.
The current inhabitants of Man Camp are all in the midst of troubled marriages and have come to Dr. Phil to be healed.

On national television.

Dr. Phil’s first project: The wives of these sad, sorry men get to mess up Man Camp.

And boy o boy, they really mess it up.

They throw cereal all over the floor and then walk on it. They pull all the dishes out of the cupboards and pour mustard and ketchup all over everything, including the counter tops. You don't even wanna know what they do to the toilets.

Dr. Phil’s bright idea is that these men have got to LEARN how to treat their WIVES better. They’re gonna FINALLY understand what these WOMEN have to DEAL with EVERY day.

The thing is – and I’m sure Dr. Phil knows it – if these guys haven’t learned by now how to be nice to their wives and pick up their poo-poo undies occasionally, spending a week in some stranger’s messy house AIN’T gonna HELP.
One brilliantly angry dude asks this great question before stomping out of the house:

"How is cleaning up this f*cked up house gonna help my marriage?" Can someone please tell me how this will help me get back together with my wife?"

I sat poised on my ice pack waiting for Dr. Phil to explain.

He didn’t. He couldn’t. Because he knew it wasn’t going to help.

I'm gonna send him an e-mail to suggest lanyards. Strippers. And matching shirts.

I'm not sure if it'll work, but it'll make for some great entertainment.
I am listening to: Evanescence - Call Me When You're Sober
I am reading: Oracle E-Business practice overview draft
And I am: Upright

Monday, July 16, 2007

Flipping the mattress

“It looks like you need a new butt,” says Jim.

Thatisntverynice,” I say, mildly muffled 'cause I'm face down in the mattress.

“Well, this one has a crack in it.”

It would’ve been hilarious if it didn’t suck so much.
Feeling ambitious on Saturday, I decide – in addition to changing all the bedding – this time I’ll flip the mattress, too.

Ironically, I thought that flipping it over would be good for my back.

Turns out it wasn’t. Not at all.
Flipping the mattress? Is that a euphemism for some new suburban sex thing I’m gonna see on HBO Real Sex next month?

No. I wish.
So Jim is rubbing Tiger Balm into my lower back and cracking wise about my crack while I’m face down on the culprit.

And that’s pretty much where I’ve been since then.
I am listening to: The Devil Wears Prada
I am reading: What I did on my summer vacation by Neil SteinbergBLEH!
And I am: Stupid & sore

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Irish Cleansing System

Yesterday morning in the shower I made a mental note: Replace scrawny old wafer of soap with robust fresh bar of soap.

The thing about making mental notes in the shower is that you have to think about them before you’re in the shower again.

Admittedly it wasn’t a mental note so much as a fleeting thought that washed down the drain with what remained of the scrawny wafer soap thingy.

So in the shower this morning, thoroughly soaked and sans soap, I search through the bottles on Jim’s side of the shower for something with which to scrub.

“A-HA!” I think. “This looks promising.”

A lovely green bottle. Irish Spring. Aloe.

And then lower, the incomprehensible:

8-hour scent system.

Not only is it a system, but it is an 8-hour scent system.

It’s a small bottle.

Curious, I flip the top and look inside, expecting to see a team of tiny little red-haired leprechauns with tiny little scrub-brushes standing at the ready to make sure all my really smelly parts get clean.

For 8 hours only, though.

It’s a union shop.
The following, compliments of the Encarta® World English Dictionary © 1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc:

sys·tem n
1. a combination of related elements organized into a complex whole
2. a scheme of ideas or principles, for example, for classification or for forms of government or religion
3. a method or set of procedures for achieving something
4. a physical network of roads, railways, and other routes for travel, transport, or communication
5. a set of organs or structures in the body that have a common function
6. the human or animal body as a unit
7. an assembly of mechanical or electronic components that function together as a unit
8. an assembly of computer hardware, software, and peripherals functioning together
9. the use or result of careful planning and organization of elements
10. a group of celestial bodies or other gravitationally linked objects
Nowhere. No. Where.

Nowhere does smart Encarta mention “a green, manly-yes-but-I-like-it-too liquid with which to scrub yer ass.”

I suppose if I dumped the entire bottle over my head and then stuffed it up my ass it could fit the first description.

Wait. Complex whole. Not hole.

Eh, forget it. I’m going back to Dial.
I am listening to: Everlast – What It’s Like
I am reading: The Onion
And I am: Squeakin’ clean

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I’m a wicked whore

"People who claim they're evil are usually no worse than the rest of us. It's the people who claim they're good, or any better than the rest of us, that you have to be wary of."

That line is pretty much the best you’ll find in Gregory Maguire’s otherwise drab and disappointing book ‘Wicked’.

It came to mind earlier this week upon learning that David Vitter, a Republican Senator from Louisiana, publicly admitted to ‘a very serious sin’. This revelation came within 24 hours of the news that the D.C. madam had (finally!) released her client list.

Vitter is known for promoting ‘family-values platforms such as marriage protection and abstinence-only programs’ according to news site The Raw Story.

Why is it always the people most interested in controlling the sex lives of others who turn out to be freaky fuck monkeys?
Not that I view visiting prostitutes as deviant.

Sad and seedy, yes. Deviant? No.

It’s a business. And it should’ve been legalized a long time ago.

But of course, someone like Vitter would’ve voted against it.
Now that Deborah Jean Palfrey has released her client list, I’m like Jerry Lewis all fresh and frisky on Telethon Friday with a Freaky Fuck Monkey tote board built in the back of brain.

So far it looks like this:

Republicans – 2 (Tobias & Vitter so far)
Democrats - 0

Before this current scandal is over I’ll be the tie-loose, jacket-off, pit-stain, sweaty-head, Scotch-swillin’, ready to tear down the fucking tote board and retire to Boca Jerry.
Just for giggles, Google ‘Republican sex scandals’.

Then Google ‘Democratic sex scandals’.

Even acknowledging that the Internet is less than reliable, it’s fascinating.

An alarming number of the Republican sex scandals involve pedophilia. Serious, serious crimes against children.

The Democratic sex scandals involve relatively benign sexual harassment charges, prostitutes and of course, the vo-di-o-dome in the White House.

Here’s another quote I like:

"Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't."

Margaret Thatcher said that. I love it because it captures the irony of people who are compelled to make proclamations about themselves.

Do you know anyone like this?

Someone who likes telling you how honest they are. How much integrity they have. How much money they give to charity.

Freaky fuck monkeys, the lot of ‘em.

Trust me. I’m a wicked whore.
I am listening to: The Tudors Final Episode
I am reading: Real Simple magazine
And I am: Yep. Wicked. Whore.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Small perfect moments

Last night

Hey There Delilah by The Plain White T’s on the headphones.
Raindrops on the train window.
Wet streets. Headlights. Green green green trees.
And the picture outside constantly changing against the backdrop of a stormy, sweepy sky.
Summer 2003

It’s hot. It’s night.

We – family, friends, neighbors – worked all day moving us into the New House. We’re exhausted but happy.

An unbelievably bright light sparks low and northeast on a dark horizon. It shoots across the entire sky arcing high then flaming out way south.

It lasts forever – long long long for a falling star.

A slow smiling wink from God.
Years ago

We’d been walking a long time. In the woods – my favorite thing ever.

A bank of pine trees along the trail. A bed of sun-warm pine needles.

We lay down under those pine trees talking about everything and nothing. We could’ve stayed forever. Now I wish we did.
To me, it’s never the Big Planned Moments that are most memorable.

It’s the small perfect unplanned moments.

Got one?
I am listening to: The Plain White T’s
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Perfectly content

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Painting the turd

Occasionally it is apparent when I've 'phoned it in' as far as HedyBlog is concerned.

Take yesterday's entry. It was pretty much a rehash of earlier content with a few extra thoughts added in last minute on the train.

Usually when that happens it is because I'm really busy painting the turd.

Dilbert is a genius. He took what I do and turned it into a simple, easy to understand and even easier to visualize phrase.

I'm in marketing. I spray paint turds for a living.

Beautiful, isn't it?
You mean you help sell crap?

Not quite.

I'm extremely fortunate to work for one of those rare high tech firms that isn't actually peddling poop.

But a lot of what these techy business types give me to describe what they do needs to be transformed from its crap-like state into something that is meaningful/compelling for our clients and prospects.

That's where I come in.
For example, in two weeks we're hosting a luncheon event about XML Publisher. Do you know what XML Publisher is? Because I sure don't.

Well, at least I didn't know until I had to write the invitation for the event.

The techy business type who is actually doing the presentation provided me with four bullet points describing his content:
  • Create an XML from scratch
  • Modify an existing XMLP object
  • Show how to comparably modify Crystal versus XMLP
  • Examples of XMLP using the 4 different datasources PS_Query, Rowset PeopleCode, XML File and XMLDoc Object
Yep. Would you come to an event to hear about this?

Of course not.
God bless the Interweb.

20 minutes on research (the Oracle site was pretty helpful) and the four seemingly worthless bullet points became this:

XML Publisher: Easier Than You Think!

XML Publisher is a robust, template-based reporting solution that allows you to transform application data into easy to create and share documents
using familiar desktop tools like Microsoft Word/Excel and Adobe Acrobat.

But how do you get started? Is there a lot of coding involved? Will XML Publisher replace your current reports? Is it better?

Please join us for an interactive and informative luncheon to learn how XML Publisher is changing the way people create and use reports in a PeopleSoft environment.

Attend this complimentary luncheon and you will:
  • Learn how to create an XML report from scratch, including:
    • Financial reports
    • Purchase orders, sales orders and contracts
    • Pay stubs
    • Government & tax forms
  • Learn how to modify an existing XMLP object
  • Show how to comparably modify Crystal versus XMLP
  • See examples of XMLP using four different data sources: PS_Query, Rowset PeopleCode, XML File and XMLDoc Object
  • Learn how to write to an Adobe Acrobat compatible file (for government forms)
  • Hear XML tips and tricks, and more.

But Hedy, I still don't want to come to that event.

Right. Neither do I.

But trust me, there are techy business types who will gobble up this stuff like flies on a turd.

A lovely, lucid, spray-painted turd.
I am listening to: Hedy's NewMix
I am reading: Writing Home by Alan Bennett
And I am: Painting another turd

Monday, July 09, 2007

Troubled over the bridge

We didn’t get much in the way of commentary regarding that 'Fuck White People' graffito last week.

Is it because we’re all white here and saying what we really think is dangerous? What do we really think?

Here’s what some of you said in Fourth of July conversations about it last week:

“It pisses me off – why do they have to wreck nice things?”
“Some obviously disturbed teenager.”
“It’s scary.”
Let’s turn it around.

What if it some poor, misguided white kid had written Fuck [insert racial epithet of your choice here]?

Aside from the fact that the media would be involved – 'Racial slur discovered on bike trail in Batavia, film at 11' – how would we react?

Because you know the folks most offended by the racial epithet of your choice wouldn’t be so quiet about it.

So why are we so quiet when it comes to white racism? Should we be? Does white racism even exist?

Or are we quiet because we know that on some level the FWP graffiti artist is probably right to feel that way?
I am troubled.

Mostly because the idea that some idiot had wrecked the bridge never occurred to me.

There was a time when it would have. When the fact that someone would destroy the pristine clean of a walk in the woods would’ve had me writing letters and organizing a clean up team.

But upon seeing the “Fuck White People” graffito, my brain quickly skipped over outrage and went straight for figuring out the motivation for doing something like that.

Is it possible to feel like you’ve gained and lost something all at once?

Because that’s where I’m at with the bridge.
I am listening to: The Strokes – You Only Live Once
I am reading: Writing Home by Alan Bennett
And I am: Troubled

Thursday, July 05, 2007

A good vacation, defined

You don't know what day it is.
You have no idea what time it is.
You're clueless about what's going on in the world.

And better still, you don't care.
I am listening to: The Eels - Mr. E's Beautiful Blues
I am reading: Revolutionary Road - a classic!
And I am: Sunny

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

So let it be written

"I am working with a guy in Israel," says Jim this morning. "His name is Moses."

In my best Ann Baxter-as-Nefretiri voice: "Ohhhhh, MOSES!"
FYI: I'm on vacation this week with friends visiting and visiting friends.

Posts will be sporadic throughout the week with bursts of margarita-induced sunshine.

Have a Safe & Happy Fourth of July, dear friends.
I am listening to: Plain White T's - All We Needed
I am reading: Revolutionary Road
And I am: GREAT!

Monday, July 02, 2007


With Jim in Vegas for a long weekend, Gromit and I went for walkies.

Lots and lotsa walkies.

I know what you’re thinking.

Not another goddamn dog story, Hedy! We get it. Gromit is the smartest, cutest dog on the planet. We also get that you have what borders on an inappropriate relationship him. You need to stop.

Okay, but this story is related to walkies. Hang in there.
So Gromit (the smartest, cutest dog on the planet) and I are walking over one of the many bridges on the walkie trail, when I see this:

Interesting. Fuck White People.

First thought: YES! Fuck us! Because we’re white and we need it!

Then, it was: Hey, wait a minute…maybe this particular graffiti artist doesn’t necessarily like white people and wants us to get fucked in an entirely different, not-so-pleasant way.

But wait. That color is a rather cheery shade of red -- it doesn't exactly scream "I'm an angry, hateful graffiti artist."

Then I thought: Maybe this person is a white supremacist.

He or she wants to promote the fucking of white people so that we can increase our numbers and take over the planet. Or something.

Regardless, a bridge in the middle of the woods is an odd place to make your statement, don’t you agree?
I am listening to: Ted Nugent - Stranglehold
I am reading: Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
And I am: White people