Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What is Santa doing?

Sure, I can be an angry old pagan at times.

But in my heart I'm just an old-fashioned Christmas girl.

Multi-colored lights. Stockings hung by the chimney with care. Cuddly-wuddly Christ all bundled up in the manger. Presents to pretty girls.

And angels. On top of Christmas trees, dammit.

So, to paraphrase my friend Oz from a few days ago: "What the HELL is Santa doing there at the top of the tree?"



















Sigh.

When Jim and I combined households 10+ years ago, the Christmas tree topper was a Major Marital Issue. Right behind Jif vs. Skippy peanut butter and Hellmann's versus Miracle Whip.

It went something like this:

"Santa goes on the top of the tree."

"Can't we try an angel?"

"Santa goes on the top of the tree."

"But he looks like he's drunk."

"Santa goes on the top of the tree."

"Jif! Hellmann's! Angels!"

"Skippy! Miracle Whip! Santa!"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Santa isn't drunk. Really.

It's not a beer stein in his hand. Really.

It's a lantern. And when the tree's plugged in, Santa swings the lantern.

Which makes it look like he's hammered and hollering "CHEERS, motherfuckers! It's Christmas!"

Really.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hedy, it looks like Santa's pole is slightly bent.

Yeah, Mrs. Claus can't get enough of that shit.

Wait. Right.

Yes, it is slightly bent. That is the result of the Year We Almost Turned Jewish. We bought a bad tree with a trunk that was soft and rotten. By the time Christmas came the damn thing was held up by string tied to hooks embedded in the walls and we were rednecks on the verge of converting to Judaism.

Anyhoo.

It's 4:30 a.m. on Christmas and I hear that all too familiar sound: WOOSH-CRASH! Tinkletinkletinkletinkle.

While Gromit the Brave Yule Dog cowers in the corner, I dash out to the living room to see if Drunk Santa survived the third and final tree crash of the season.

Every single spendy Christopher freakin' Radko ornament from Marshall Field's is smashed to Shards of Christmas Death Glass.

But Drunk Santa? Trapped under a branch. And still swingin'.

I want want wanted to step on his little alcoholic head before Jim came out to survey the scene, but a minor Christmas miracle occurred that morning. My snoring husband wouldn't wake up for a dump truck driving through a nitroglycerin plant, but Drunk Santa is in danger and lo and be-fucking-hold, Jim leaps outta bed to see what's the matter like that nightgown wearin' freak from the Night Before Christmas.

And if he hadn't Grinch-launched it out the front door minutes later, I was gonna keep pushing that rotten tree over until Santa's drunk ass finally cracked.

I guess there's always next year. Cheers.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Chris Rock: Kill the Messenger
I am reading: Not much, looking for a recommendation
And I am: On vacation 'til Friday.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Detroit: We Don’t Do That

“This doesn’t look good,” says Jim.

We’d been westbound on I-94 maybe 20 minutes when suddenly it was nothing but brake lights ahead.

This is not good any time, of course, but especially at 11 a.m. on a Sunday.

Something big was happening.

We slowed down and waited. After a bit, we started inching forward again and I could see that everyone was merging to the right – serious merging – all the way off the road merging.

Something big indeed.

At least two feet of water across all eight lanes – east and west bound. Idiots driving through the deepest parts. All of us bright (scared) folks waiting our turn to ride up the curb/embankment.

“I’m dialing 911,” I say. “It’s obvious this didn’t just happen but there’s no one here directing traffic. The road should be closed.”

9-1-1

Ring…ring…ring…ring…ring…

“Thank you for calling Detroit 9-1-1. All of our operators are busy right now. Please hold for the next available operator.”

I wait. For what seems like forever but was probably a minute at most. Good thing I wasn’t having a stroke or coronary or something really important.

“Detroit 9-1-1 how can I help you?”

“There’s deep standing water across all of I-94 just north of exit 220.”

“I’ll transfer you to the State police.”

CLICK.

Ring…ring…ring…ring…ring…

“State police are you reporting an accident?”

“No, there’s deep standing water across all of I-94 just north of exit 220.”

“We don’t do that. We’ll notify MDOT.”

We don’t do that?

WE DON’T DO THAT?

There’s a hazardous situation on a major state road and “We don’t do that”?

Gotta love Detroit.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: CNN on the office TV
I am reading: Nothing, still basking in the glow of Between the Bridge and the River by Craig Ferguson
And I am: Not surprised, sadly enough

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry & bright

Bright blessings to you this Christmas.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Ave Maria - Jewel
I am reading: Time to Reboot America - Thomas Friedman
And I am: Merry

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

He knows

Gromit knows all about presents.

As soon as a few wrapped gifts appeared under the tree, he was all over 'em, sniffing and pawing and barking.

Of course, Gromit -- Brilliant and Gifted Dog -- quickly ascertained there was nothing under the tree for him quite yet, and this was the face we got:















"Where the hell are MY presents?"
~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Craig Ferguson
I am reading: Nothing really
And I am: Sleepy

Monday, December 22, 2008

The worst Christmas commercial ever

It’s Christmas morning and a cheery little family is gathered around the tree opening presents. Suddenly, the young, fresh-faced son realizes something is amiss: Mommy doesn’t have a gift.

“Mommy, what did daddy get YOU for Christmas?”

Mommy gazes off into the twinkle lights, recalling the night before: She’s in bed with daddy, who hands her a gift bag from Lover’s Lane. She pulls out a silky blue teddy and looks longingly into his eyes…

“Daddy gave me the gift of LOVE,” she replies.

Yes, little Johnny. Daddy gave your whore of a mother a hot Yule log for Christmas.

Isn’t that merry and bright?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Back at school:

“What did you get for Christmas, little Johnny?” asks the teacher.

“I got a train set and a basketball,” says little Johnny.

“And what did your daddy get your mommy?”

“Mommy says it was the Gift of Love but I’m pretty sure it was The Harvey Wall Banger Deluxe with Triple Rotating Action, the way she was hollerin’ all night. I thought for sure she’d scare off Santa, but he came. So did daddy, from what I could tell.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Listen. I’m all for whatever keeps the eggnog flowing for you and Mrs. Santa this holiday season.

But kids? In an ad for a sex toy shop?

Excuse me while I go bleach my brain.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Keep Me in Your Heart – Jorge Calderon (Music from the Showtime series Californication)
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Never Googling ‘dildos’ ever again

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Darkest night

Merry Solstice, people.

It's the longest night of the year - a fabulous reminder to anyone in a really dark place (physically, mentally) that the sun always returns.

The world always get warmer and brighter.

It is one of the few things upon which we can depend.

Bright blessings to you and yours this dark night and always.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: The howling wind
I am reading: This profile of Philip Seymour Hoffman in the New York Times
And I am: Struggling with some personal demons

Friday, December 19, 2008

I could just cry

Seriously. And just a few days before Christmas.

This is quite possibly the best present I've ever received - and it's from someone I've never met, about people I had no idea existed.

Please read this article from ABC News about the new Christian evangelist movement.

Here's the money quote:

"What's happened is that many of us have gotten to the point where we don't want to call ourselves evangelicals anymore if it means anti-women, anti gay, anti-environment and pro-war," Campolo told ABCNews.com. "That's not who we are."

And the last line gives me more hope for this world than I've had in quite some time:

"It's absurd to our generation that the state of civil unions would be the moral issue of our time," he said. "The further you dive into the subculture, the less comfortable we are with the evangelical labels and the more comfortable we are aspiring to be a follower of Jesus."

I stopped calling myself a Christian in the early 90's because of all the evil, repugnant things that evangelicals do and say in Jesus' name.

I'm thrilled to know that a new generation of Christians truly gets what he was all about and am hopeful that his simple message of love and acceptance will grow because of their efforts.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Gromit snoring on the couch next to me
I am reading: This article again, because it's so goddamn good
And I am: A follower of Jesus

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The customer service disconnect

A lot of folks long for the days of human interaction.

When customer service meant something. When a warm, friendly, knowledgeable person helped solve your problem.

Fuck that.

I’ll take a mouse and a laptop over a phone and a live person any day of the week.

Especially yesterday.

Twice. TWICE in one day I had a better experience on a web site than dealing with people. What’s more, I learned there’s a serious disconnect between what corporate web sites say they can deliver and what their people actually do.
~~~~~~~~~~~
“Hi I’m hoping you can help me.”

It’s 8 a.m. and I’m the first customer at the Office Depot customer service desk.

“Can I give you the product ID number on these Pitney Bowes postage labels I’m looking for? Your web site says you have them in stock.”

“WELL,” she replies importantly. “If it has to do with SHIPPING, it’ll be RIGHT over HERE.”

I follow her over to the envelope-box-Styrofoam peanut department.

Now.

If I’m her, and a potential customer went to the trouble of offering up an actual Office Depot product ID number, I’m looking up that little sucker straight away just to be sure I know what the hell we’re after before leading her on a small Christmas parade through the goddamn store.

But that’s just me.

I went to the web site the night before to locate the labels that I need need needed to send out holiday gift boxes to our clients (the office manager was swamped and didn’t have time to order them last week).

The Office Depot web site was extremely helpful. I found the right postage labels within seconds on the site and clicked on “Check Local Store Availability” to find them at a location near me.

Beautiful, yes?

No. Back in the shipping supplies department at the Office Depot on Indian Trail in Aurora, Illinois, things are getting ugly: No postage labels.

“Well, IF we had ‘em, they’d be RIGHT HERE,” she insisted.

“Could we maybe look up the product ID number?” I ask hopefully. “I have it right here. Your web site says you have them in stock.”

“WAIT. They MIGHT be OVER HERE, too. LET’S CHECK.”

I look longingly at the PC on the customer service desk as we pass it yet again on our trek to the laser label department.

“They’d DEFINITELY be here IF we had ‘em,” she says again.

And my head goes kersplody all over the Avery 5422 multi-use labels.
~~~~~~~~~~~
Attention United States Post Office:

You have a problem.

Your web site’s writing checks that your people can’t cash (apologies to Viper).

Go to www.usps.com.

C’mon, do it. Right now.

Then click on the helpful tab towards the top center that says “Schedule Pick Up.”

See where it says 'Pick Up On Demand' service?

If you’re reading this before noon, you should be able to successfully schedule a parcel pick up for the low low price of $14.75.

The site provides a two-hour pick up window. You agree to have your packages ready by 1 p.m. You select a method of payment. And then (this is important) you receive a confirmation number.

Then, two hours later, you get a call from the local post office that goes something like this:

“Hello this is Mr. Williams calling from the post office regarding your pick up request. All of our trucks are full for the day so you’ll have to schedule another pick up for tomorrow. Please call me at 312-644-3929 if you have questions.”

Remember the postage labels? They’re for running through our company’s postage machine, which postmarks the label for the day the package is shipping. Once you slap that postage label on your package, it needs to go out that day or the post office won’t take it.

I waited to run my postage until I received my pick up confirmation number from the post office.

I’m silly fucked-up paranoid that way.
~~~~~~~~~~~
Where'd ya get the labels, Hed?

The office manager had ordered some from a web site the day before and like a small Christmas miracle, they arrived two days early.
~~~~~~~~~~~
I read somewhere that when you’re frustrated you should smile. It takes everything down a notch and leads to better customer service.

So I’m sitting at my desk smiling like Forrest Gump on a shrimp boat prior to picking up the phone.

“Hello Mr. Williams,” I say. “I’m calling about the On Demand pick up request I made earlier today.”

Here’s a summary:

“But your web site…”

“But I submitted my request at 10:30 a.m….”

“But I have a confirmation number…”

“But why would your web site provide a 2-hour window if picking it up was never an option…?”

“But I have post-marked packages that need to go out today…”

Mr. Wilson called me back four times – each time with another excuse for why he couldn’t pick up my packages that day.

He even read the web site to me:

“Mail pieces weighing more than 13 ounces bearing only postage stamps as postage, must be taken by the customer to an employee at the retail counter of a Post Office.”

“I used metered postage.”

“Oh.”

“Requests must be received by 2:00 a.m. on the day your pickup is scheduled.”

“No, that only applies to carrier pick ups. The On Demand pick up section doesn’t say that.”

“Oh.”

“Where are these packages? On the third floor?”

“Yes, the site requested the exact pick up location.”

“Well, you’re gonna have to bring them down to the first floor, you know we’re not UPS.”

That’s when my head went kersplody all over again.
~~~~~~~~~~~
Yes, that's Mr. Williams' actual phone number. Call it, if you like.

Tell him my packages made it out the door by 5 p.m. no thanks to him and his bullshit excuses.

Chris Baxter, Mail Carrier Extraordinaire, (and sadly the first capable, warm, friendly person I'd encountered all day), interrupted his residential delivery route to pick up my stuff.

He was almost enough to restore my faith in people. Almost.
~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Office voices
I am reading: How to submit a complain to the USPS
And I am: Sticking with my mouse

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Reason #1,771 why my Dad rocks

My cousin's four-year-old son Nicholas was 'acting up' at the family Christmas party on Sunday:

"Nicholas, you better be good or do you know what's going to happen?" asked Da.

"No, Uncle Rick."

"Santa Claus will come to your house and kill you."

Mom was horrified. Da later told Nicholas he was joking.

And Nick's father expressed gratitude for "saving me 20 grand in therapy."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: 30 Rock
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Still laughing

Monday, December 15, 2008

Top 10 holiday traditions

10) The Turkey Raffle at the North Aurora firehouse. This charity event - usually held the weekend before Thanksgiving - kicks off our holiday season. Everyone we know and love is there. This year I won pork chops and a ham.

9) Thanksgiving at our house. It's pretty much an open house that starts around 11 a.m. with bloody Marys and a bonfire and ends whenever it ends with friends and neighbors watching Christmas Vacation and Trains, Planes & Automobiles -- with Jim's famous turkey on the grill and my famous makes-you-fart stuffing in between.

8) The Christmas Walk in Geneva. Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Shopping. Santa. Friends. Although last year I stepped on a luminary and the whole bag went up in flames. And that was before the hot chocolate spiked with peppermint schnapps.

7) Walking along Michigan avenue, window shopping and laughing about the time I pooped in the bathroom at the Eddie Bauer store and Jim could smell it all the way out into the hallway. Then dinner at the Chophouse. Sometimes we walk up to Butch McGuire's on Division - a bar joyfully festooned with Christmas decorations. Spinning stuffed animals hang from the ceiling. Christmas lights everywhere. Our favorite is Santa sitting in the outhouse reading the Christmas issue of Playboy. Classic.

6) Heading into the city on a Sunday with Jim's mom to check out the windows at Marshall Field's (the best year was the Grinch, followed by Harry Potter), buying Frangos and then bopping over to the Christkindlmarket on Daley plaza. Then grabbing lunch at Miller's Pub. Of course Marshall Field's is now Macy's so it's really not the same at all.

5) Getting our Christmas tree at Swan's tree lot in Geneva. We've been doing this for at least five years, since the time we cheaped out and bought a $15 tree from Ace Hardware. The trunk was so rotten that it flopped over twice three times (Jim corrected me on this) (breaking dozens of ornaments) before Jim chucked it out the front door Christmas morning. This is also known as the Christmas We Almost Turned Jewish.

4) Setting up the Dickens Christmas village with Tina, the daughter of our close friends/neighbors. We sing along with the Grinch and Rudolph and Year Without a Santa Claus. I'm in charge of infrastructure - running electricity through the village and situating the buildings and roads. Tina is responsible for aesthetics - she adds the people, the vehicles, the trees and the snow. We've been doing this since she was five or six years old. She's 11.

3) Our annual Christmas dinner with Tina, her parents, and her two older brothers on the night before Christmas Eve. We switch who hosts it every year and make a huge feast and exchange gifts and watch Christmas shows. We've been doing this since we were married 10 years ago.

2) Driving to look at the lights in some of the ritzy-titzy neighborhoods on the west side of Aurora. We usually do this Christmas Eve after dinner/gifts with Jim's mom. She loves it.

1) Jim, making breakfast after we open our gifts Christmas morning. Then loading up the family truckster for Michigan - the drive is relaxing and quick - we listen to Christmas songs and Gromit sits on my lap the whole way there. We reach my parent's house and the holiday starts all over again with family, friends, gifts and dinner.
~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Tropic Thunder
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Blessed

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Charlie Browniest

"Are you happy?"

"Yes."

"This is what Christmas is all about."

"Getting drunk at our kitchen table?"

"Yes. Fuck presents."

"Fuck presents."

"Right. Fuck presents."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - Barenaked Ladies
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Drunk at Christmastime

Knowing when

Last night I was chatting with a woman who works for Playboy – we were talking about the big changes going on at that company (Christie’s recent resignation, a new web site, etc.) and I just couldn’t resist.

Hef’s gotta go. Seriously. It would do wonders for your brand.”

“Yes, he comes off as a creepy old dude,” another woman agreed.

“Does he have a son? Someone to represent a new generation?” I asked.

“They’re teenagers.”

Oh well.

Don’t get me wrong. Hugh Hefner is an icon. And Playboy is one of the world’s most recognized brands because of his vision. It’s more than a magazine, it’s a lifestyle – a lifestyle whose target audience (young urban men and women) is reading Maxim because they can’t-won’t-don’t relate to a scrawny ol’ perv wandering around in a bathrobe, regardless of how many blond bimbots are blowing him.

My point is, you can do amazing-super-pooper-duper-fabulous things with your life, but if you don’t know when to quit, it’s kinda pointless.

The auto industry is another great example. Da and me got into a mildly heated argument about it yesterday.

He says they deserve a government bail-out for helping make this country great by providing hard-working folks (who didn’t have a shot at college) a solidly middle class lifestyle and the opportunity to give their kids a better life.

“You benefited from the auto industry, Hedy, whether you realize it or not,” he said.

I do realize it. And he’s right. The auto industry did some great things.

But just like Hef in his silly silk robe, the auto companies have rested on the great things they did 50 years ago, assuming that consumers would continue to buy their over-priced-out-of-touch-gas-guzzling crap cars because of nostalgia and Bob Seger songs.

I know, I know. They’re not all crap. And the unions are what truly fucked the auto industry (and the fucking continues as they refused to take concessions yesterday that would have helped the rescue plan pass the Senate.)

Thomas Friedman said it best: “instead of focusing on making money by innovating around fuel efficiency, productivity and design, G.M. threw way too much energy into lobbying and maneuvering to protect its gas guzzlers."

You can kill a brand or a company or hell, an economy, by not knowing when to step down and let new minds improve on what you’ve built.

Here’s hoping that Hef steps aside before he dies. And here’s hoping the same for the leadership of the Big Three.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: The Playboy Holiday Party Mix
I am reading: Neil Steinberg in the Sun-Times
And I am: Happy

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Illinois: Sold to the Highest Bidder

I’m sure you’ve heard by now: Our criminally insane Democratic governor, Rod R. Blagojevich, was arrested yesterday.

You can find all the dirty details on all the major news sites.

Of course anyone living in Illinois more than 10 minutes knew he was a criminal long before modern-day hero Patrick Fitzgerald made the announcement yesterday. But we didn’t know that Blago is a Class-A nut-job as well.

He’s been under federal investigation for at least three years. He knew he was being watched.

Still, he was scheming to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by president-elect Barack Obama.

Insane. Criminally insane.

And yes, it’s shocking. But here’s what really bothers me.

Someone (or maybe multiple someones) were buying. Or at least thinking about buying.

And if multiple someones were aware of this deal, how come no one – not one person – stepped forward to cry foul?

Of course the snitches are coming out of the woodwork now that this whole thing is public.

Read the transcripts and you’ll find that Obama is mentioned a lot. There was some speculation on a three-way deal that would land an Obama pick in the Senate seat and Blago in a cushy cabinet job – with certain union groups benefiting in between.

However, Blago is caught on tape saying the Obama administration wouldn’t be helpful.

His exact words: “They’re not willing to give me anything except appreciation. Fuck them.”

How did he know that? Did he ask them and they refused? Or did he know that without contacting them?

Is it possible that someone in the nascent Obama administration knew that Blago was selling that Senate seat to the highest bidder?

If so, they either a) Knew but didn’t say anything, b) Knew but said something and were told it was being handled or c) Didn’t know.

I guess the odds are in favor of them doing the right thing. But it bugs me.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Christmas songs
I am reading: All the blah blah on Blago
And I am: Disturbed

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

To whom we belong

Please read this letter published at Daily Coyote.

Here's my favorite part:

"Whatever you’re doing, I thought it might be useful to know, because likely even you need reminding, from time to time, that you don’t just belong to yourself. Each one of the rest of us holds a small share, and we will all hold you accountable if you mistreat what’s ours."

Please take care of yourself today and always.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Rain falling on the deck
I am reading: News about our governor being arrested
And I am: Quiet

Monday, December 08, 2008

Yeah

"He couldn't have sex with his wife for a year." - co-worker #1

"When you're married it's called making love." - co-worker #2

"Have you ever been married?" - co-worker #1
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Voice mail
I am reading: CARE profile
And I am: An analyzer/regulator

Sunday, December 07, 2008

What Hank said

"Sixty-two years," says the priest at the pulpit, looking down at the sobbing widower in the first pew.

"Sixty-two years of marriage. Isn't that something? Henry and I were talking last night, and here's what he said about his life with Lorraine: 'I just wish we could do it all over again.'"

I just wish we could do it all over again.

Hank is 84. So was Lorraine, born just two days before her husband.

"I love older women," he'd say, smiling.

I just wish we could do it all over again.

Three sons and a daughter. A small crowd of grandchildren and great grand kids.

I just wish we could do it all over again.

His wife hadn't actually recognized him - or any family member - for at least a year due to advanced Alzheimer's.

I just wish we could do it all over again.

He cried at the funeral home. At the church. And in the chapel at the cemetery, where he left her.

I just wish we could do it all over again.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Quiet house
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Quiet

Friday, December 05, 2008

UWantSavings.com

Editorial note: There are no ads on HedyBlog, for a variety of good reasons. And I’ve offered up endorsements in the past, but today’s post is different. I’m writing about UWantSavings.com because a) I’ve tried it myself and b) I really think you could benefit from it. Full disclosure: two very good friends of mine were instrumental in launching this business. So that’s another great reason to check it out. A small favor: If you like what you see, please share the site with your friends and family members, too. Thanks and happy holidays.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Too much stuff.

What happens when Wal-Mart, Target, and other retail box stores slow down their buying? What happens when a manufacturer makes too many of a given product?

There's too much stuff. It sounds impossible, but it happens all the time.

There’s fabulous, brand-new stuff out there – that major retailers just don’t have room for –waiting to find a home.

That’s where UWantSavings.com comes in.

They find a variety of amazing overstock items and sell them at up to 80% off the retail price.

The site itself is based on a cool concept: UWantSavings offers a limited number of new items every day, things you’ll find in different areas of their online ‘house’. Cookware and utensils in the kitchen, tools in the garage, and one-of-a-kind items in the attic. There are also great deals on toys in the kids’ rooms and bath and body goods in the bathroom.

It’s a good idea to explore the UWantSavings house every day because you just never know what inexpensive and extremely useful item you might find.

How is this site different from Woot!, Hedy? UWantSavings is similar to Woot! in concept only. Like I said, they offer a limited number of items each day until they’re sold out.

But the prices you’ll find at UWantSavings are considerably lower than any other overstock discount site on the Internet. In fact, the folks at UWantSavings often provide helpful ‘shout-outs’ to other sites offering the same products as UWS – priced ridiculously higher.

How come I haven’t heard of UWantSavings yet? Because they’ve only been online for a month. But they’ve already got more than 300 happy customers, including me. Better still, UWantSavings is getting a lot of attention on deal aggregator sites like:

www.dodtracker.com
www.froomb.com
www.zerodaydeals.com
www.dealtouch.com
www.dealadaytracker.com
www.dealighted.com
www.dealspl.us
www.cheapstingybargains.com
www.dealcatcher.com
www.dealtaker.com
www.thedailydeals.com
www.deal-of-the-day-tracker.com
www.onedaydeal.com
www.mydailybargains.com
www.buxr.com

Plus, they're getting good traffic from these social shopping & networking sites:

www.slickdeals.net (forums)
www.windsorpeak.com
www.cafemom.com
www.fosterparents.com
Community.thenest.com
Community.thebump.com

UWantSavings also is getting great press in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Daily Herald, Internet Retailer, and Retailer Daily. Click to read the articles.

What did you get from UWantSavings.com, Hedy? I’ll be happy to tell you – after Christmas. All of my closest family members are receiving gifts from UWantSavings this year. Of course, we’ll spend the holidays teaching Gromit how to use his brand-new Panini maker, but it’ll be time well spent if we can only get him to stop drooling on everything he makes.

Happy shopping!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Office sounds
I am reading: Henry VIII – Margaret George
And I am: Shopping at UWantSavings.com

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The nut doesn't fall too far

12/3/2008 3:53:46 PM CST

Hello Mudder - How are you feeling? Any better? I'm sitting at my desk
eating NAKED pistachios! (I'm not naked, the nuts are) I think the
office manager got them from Costco - it's a bag of un-shelled
pistachios and they're wonderful - all the great taste, none of the effort.

Love you, miss you, xoxo,

Hedy

12/3/2008 5:27:17 PM CST

Hello Hedder - I like working for my nuts.

Love,
Mudder
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Coughing in the office
I am reading: Henry VIII by Margaret George
And I am: Nuts about naked pistachios

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

If a tree blows a stop sign

There are five stop signs in between my house and the health club.

I blew ‘em all this morning.

That’s right. 10 stops. Rolled right the-goddamn-through every single one of ‘em.

Hedy, Hedy, Hedy.

I know. I’m in serious trouble.

Everyone knows blowing stop signs is a gateway to committing bigger crimes. Pretty soon I’ll be stealing plastic lawn ornaments and running around naked with underwear on my head singing Delta Dawn.

Or something.

Here’s the deal: Stops signs – and traffic laws in general – are designed to keep people safe.

But if there are no people around at 4:30 in the morning, what’s the harm in not stopping?

What’s the harm, Hedy? What’s the HARM? We have laws for a reason. Whether you realize it or not, you breaking the law when no one is looking reveals a lot about your character.

Whoa. Whoa the fuck down, Tonto. When did a moving violation become an indictment on a person’s character? Seriously.

Again, traffic laws are to keep people safe. If I’m the only one on the road and I feel like driving 95 miles per hour, who the hell am I hurting?
~~~~~~~~~~
Using that logic, Hedy, would you steal if no one were looking?

Well. It depends.

If it’s a cookie or a swipe of frosting off a cake, you bet your ass I’m a thief. A joyful, chubby little thief.

However. Only under certain circumstances. Certainly never from a bakery or grocery store. But in my kitchen or the kitchen of a close friend or relative? Sure.

Plus, if the baked goods are sitting out – just waiting to be eaten – technically it’s not stealing. And isn’t there something deliciously sinful about sneaking a cookie when no one’s looking? They just taste better.

But what if you could steal a bunch of money and no one would ever know and you’d never get caught, would you do it?

C’mon. Of course not. Stealing is one of those crimes – like wearing stretch pants – that happens to be wrong all the time. Especially when no one is looking.

And I think you'll agree that taking what hasn’t been earned is one of the biggest problems facing American society today, right behind wearing stretch pants.
~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Delta Dawn – Helen Reddy
I am reading: Henry the Eighth by Margaret George
And I am: Breakin’ the law

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Another infernal event

Some chooch on NBC evening news just called our snow storm a 'Weather Event.'

Sigggghhhhhhhh.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: The chooch
I am reading: Henry the Eighth by Margaret George (Trying again)
And I am: Cozy on the couch

Thursday, November 27, 2008

On the other hand, thanks

Of course Da's clean bill of health tops the list this year.

It's odd, but the cancer was a blessing of sorts - it got him to stop smoking and start working out.

Getting the shit scared outta you will do that I suppose. Plus it made all of us hold on a little tighter to what's really important and that's a blessing, too.

Other things for which I am grateful, in no particular order:

My guys - Jim and Grommie, for making me laugh every day and for keeping me warm every night
My good friends - who know everything about me and love me anyway
My former friends - for teaching me to have a much greater appreciation for my current friends
My country - a place where the best candidate actually gets elected; not because he's a black man with a funny name, but in spite of it
My Mom - for still loving me in spite of my bleeding heart liberal whore tendencies
My new job, which is an unbelievable, crazy-ass blessing
Especially my boss - who's like my Zen master, my spiritual Sherpa and long lost twin brother
My iPhone - for making my life easier
That crazy black dude on TrueBlood
The #11 bus
Jerry Dog
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Commercials
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Grateful

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

NoThanksgiving

I guess it’s that time of year again. Time to be all grateful and shit.

But I don’t feel like it today.

So here’s the deal: Since we’ll all be engorged with gratitude tomorrow, let's designate this -- the Wednesday before Turkey Day -- an official holiday.

We'll call it NoThanksgiving.

I like it.

Whaddaya say? Feel like bitchin’? Today’s the day. Have at it.

Here are the things I’m ungrateful for at the onset of this oh-so-fucking festive time of year:

Two (count ‘em!) in-grown toenails. Gross.
This itchy brown sweater
Christmas music that started the day after Halloween
People driving too slow in the passing lane
Microsoft Windows XP and SharePoint
People who can’t get beyond their own fucked up childhood bullshit to do the right thing
Ear buds that are too big for my tiny ears
My tiny ears
My big ass
Poodles
People who are quick to believe the worst in others
Heartburn
Corporate jets for auto execs (shouldn’t they drive, like, everywhere?)
Gromit’s ass-breath the past week
The books on my desk that keep flopping over onto my wooden traveling Buddha
The non user-friendly clock in my car, still on standard time because I can’t fucking figure out how to switch it over
AT&T dropped calls and their inept/ridiculous customer service people
People who talk more than they listen
Laundry
Dry, cracked fingers
Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State
That one song on my iPod that I’ve deleted three times yet it won’t go away
People who text while driving or walking
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: An Evening with El Diablo - Chevelle
I am reading: eCommerce sell sheet
And I am: Ungrateful

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A CRAPTACULAR BLOG EVENT!

It happened three times in less than 10 minutes of prime time TV last night.

AN INCREDIBLE MOVIE EVENT!

A SPECIAL TWO-HOUR TV EVENT!

A SPECTACULAR SALES EVENT!

Have you noticed this?

Here’s the formula used by marketing morons to make everyday shit sound extra super special:

Poly-Syllabic Adjective + Benign Noun or Vowel + ‘Event’
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
One of my biggest grammar-related peeves is when people use extra words or syllables.

It’s not a movie event. It’s a movie.

It’s not a TV event. It’s a show.

And it’s not a SPECTACULAR PRE-OWNED SAVINGS EVENT.

It’s a USED CAR SALE, ya fatuous fuck-knob.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I know. Fatuous is a whole lotta syllables just to say silly but I liked the semi-alliterative sound, so shaddap.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What’s worse, once you notice this irritating trend you can’t keep from applying the formula to your own mundane tasks.

Seriously. This morning, I was all:

GOOD MORNING, FOLKS! Are you READY? Because it’s TIME for an ELECTRIFYING BOWEL-EVACUATING EVENT!

Soon to be followed by a MINTYLICIOUS DENTAL CLEANSING EVENT!

Up next: A SOAP-O-RIFFIC BUTT-SCRUBBING EVENT!

And where do these silly marketers get all of their energy?

I was totally exhausted and needed a good cry by the time I got to this morning’s INSPIRING SOCK-APPLYING EVENT.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: All That I Want – The Weepies
I am reading: The Playboy Philosophy
And I am: In the midst of a REMARKABLE RAIL-RELATED COMMUTER EVENT

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I love me some bus

I am the Queen of Public Transportation.

Hedy, I thought you were the Queen of Potato Chips. What happened?

Right. I’m trying to cut back.

I figure if Da can quit smoking cold turkey after the Big Cancer Scare of 2008, then I can lay off the Lays.

So yeah. Queen of Public Transportation.

A rather dubious distinction. But I am reveling in it.

Let me explain.

This new job involves getting from the far west suburbs to the River North neighborhood of Chicago by 8:30 every morning.

If you’re not familiar with Chicagoland, think of my daily commute as a less humorous version of Trains, Planes and Automobiles minus the planes and the jolly dead fat dude but with considerably more cussing.

It’s really not that bad. But it is long.

And the only reason I do it is because my new job is off-the-charts fabulous. Seriously.

You know that one warm oozy chocolate chip left on the cookie sheet that you swipe up realquick and lick off your finger?

That’s me. Sitting at my desk every day. A glob of yummy smiling goodness. It’s true.

Anyhoo.

Here’s my morning: Car to train station. Walk walk walk. Train. Walk walk walk. Public transportation. Walk walk walk. Office.

If I leave the house at 6:45, I’m in the office by 8:30. Yep. It’s nearly two hours. But again, the job totally rocks my cookie sheet so it’s worth it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lately I’ve been learning ways to cut down on the commute time.

Back roads to avoid lights. Shortcuts in and out of the station to avoid heavy people traffic.

And the bus. The glorious #11 Chicago Transit Authority bus.

I sure do love me some bus.

It’s way better than the El – which is our version of the subway, only some parts are on elevated track, thus the name. The El is cold. Inefficient. On good days it smells like stale farts. And strangers stare coldly at you like This is My Train MotherFucker and you don’t belong.

The bus is warm, comfy, and efficient. It smells like…bus. And my fellow commuters either smile at me or ignore me; either way it’s perfect.

Plus, I use the CTA Bus Tracker web site from my iPhone so I always know when my next rolling vessel of cozy comfort will arrive. It’s wonderful.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I don’t know why, but there’s something homey about being on a bus. I originally thought it might have something to do with elementary school – the only other time in my life I’ve required the use of public transportation – but I don’t think that’s it.

Here’s why.

My two most vivid bus-related memories from childhood involve: 1. Me calling Jeff Conklin a wiener and getting in Seriously Big His-Mom-Calls-My-Mom Trouble for it, and 2. Jumping off the back end of the bus during a safety drill without allowing Brian Cuker (gross!) to hold my hand and help me down and getting in Seriously Big Get-Back-On-the-Bus-and-Do It-Again Trouble for it.

See? Not so much on the early childhood bus memories.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Here's the coolest thing about public transportation: You can GO EVERYWHERE. CHEAP.

I bop down to the Loop for lunch and back to my office for just $2. A cab ride for the same trip is around $12.

Better still, Google maps features directions using public transportation with departure/arrival times and everything. So now whenever I have to go somewhere downtown, I always check to see if public transportation is an option before grabbing a cab.

I know. Public transportation. Someone once said I'm easily amused. It's totally true.

So to recap: Warm oozy goodness at work in spite of the commute. And lovin' the magical mystery bus.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Shake Your Groove Thing - Peaches & Herb
I am reading: Neil Steinberg on Dr. Seuss today
And I am: All warm and melty lately

Sick of it

Remember back in the 90's when every movie seemed to have a strip club scene?

Maybe it was considered edgy for its time. I dunno.

I sure miss those days.

Have you noticed? It appears farts and puke have replaced tits and ass in the entertainment world.

Seriously.

You can't change the channel without some idiot barfing on the floor or barking in his boxers.

Captain Kirk on Boston Legal farts in practically every episode now. Californication should be renamed 'The Fucking and Barfing Show.'

And, in quite possibly the lowest cinematic moment in history, Charlotte (the prissy, uptight broad) literally shits her pants in Sex & the City, the movie.

It's like Hollywood writers have given up.

"...and then Alan Shore does that patented horny Sex, Lies & Videotape schtick he's been doing since the 80's and then hmmm....what would Denny Crane say at this point?"

"Eh, fuck it. PFFFFFFFFFFTT!"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Of course there are a few notable puke and shit scenes that are genuinely humorous.

Monty Python's Mr. Creosote comes to mind. The famous pie-eating contest in Stand By Me is a classic. And the broken toilet scene in Dumb & Dumber is damn near perfect.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You know me. I'm not easily offended. It's hard to be uptight when your blog is the #2 Google hit for 'big boners'.

But I am sick and tired of gross bodily functions on TV.

Attention Hollywood: Please bring back tits and ass. Before I puke.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Stepped on My J'z - Nelly
I am reading: Copy for a campaign
And I am: Sick of it

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A pissy stream of consciousness

well i’m sure glad i figured out that heater thing it’s all about patience you knew it couldn’t be the car and it’s smart that it doesn’t start blowing until the air is warm smart smart smart your car is smarter than you hedy and you were so frustrated for so long jabbing at the dashboard ready to take the damn thing in to have it checked out well jim would do that but still i sure wish it would start blowing right now why am i doing this it’s cold cold cold 4:30 in the morning in 41 years you’ve never regretted a thing silly starting now with getting up to work out especially since nothing fits anymore and that heater thing is a lesson ya know a lesson about patience you really need to have more patience C’MON C’MON C’MON WHAT THE FUCK IT’S A STOP SIGN IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE YOU MORON NO ONE IS UP YET WHY ARE YOU STOPPING JUST GO JESUS GO GO GO okay what was i thinking about oh yeah patience you need more patience hedy more patience more patience MORE PATIENCE.
~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Anyone Else But You - Moldy Peaches
I am reading: Neil Steinberg in the Sun-Times
And I am: Obviously mental

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Another Susan-worthy snippet

Walking west on Superior just now behind a well-dressed man and woman:

"Half my family's Muslim, half my family's Pentecost. Someone says there's something wrong with being Muslim, I say 'Have you ever been to the mosque with me? Then how do you know?'"

"Whatever anyone wants to believe, that's fine with me."

Amen.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: If It Makes You Happy - Sheryl Crow
I am reading: Another f*cking PowerPoint presentation
And I am: Kinda sleepy

Monday, November 17, 2008

The anti-Christ conundrum

“I have to ask,” I say to Mom this morning. “Some fundamental Christians believe that Obama is the anti-Christ. Wouldn’t that be a good thing? Wouldn’t that mean the end-times are here and Christ is finally coming back?”

“I guess from a Christian perspective, we’d just rather he was president of some other country.”

She was joking of course. But she didn’t miss a beat and it was brilliant.

I’m still giggling about it here, a half hour later, on the train.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It’s a legitimate question.

If cuddly-wuddly Christ’s nemesis is here, then Christians the world over should be rejoicing.

It means that all of the true believers will be taken up to heaven with their Savior while the rest of us pagans Jews Muslims Buddhists atheists Democrats heathens suffer and die at the hands of the Dark and Prickly-Dickly Lord.

It’s gonna be quite a party.

BLASPHEMY!

I know, I know.

I don’t mean to make light of the end of the world as we know it. I’ll leave that to R.E.M.

Here’s the thing: If I’m the anti-Christ, I’m sure as hell not gonna make it hard on myself by trying to take over the world dressed as a half-black geeky dude with a funny sounding name.

If I’m the anti-Christ, I’m gonna try to blend in and be as normal as possible.

Like Joe Six-Pack.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Gives You Hell – The All-American Rejects
I am reading: Nothing, although The Glass Castle was very good
And I am: Cuddly-wuddly waiting

Sunday, November 16, 2008

McCain for Secretary of State

Screw Hillary. How about John McCain for Secretary of State?

If President-elect Obama truly wants to create a Team of Rivals à la Lincoln, McCain is the best choice.

Think about it. McCain's tough. He's got solid foreign policy experience. And he's well respected in this country and around the globe.

Plus, in one appointment, Obama could offer an olive branch to McCain and the 58 million people who voted for him. Just think of the new feeling of non-partisan cooperation and respect this would create between the two parties after this ugly-as-usual campaign.

It also puts McCain back in a key leadership role within the Republican party and neutralizes any high hopes of Palin and her ilk stealing the spotlight over the next four years.

Sure, McCain has supported much of the Bush foreign policy over the past eight years, but how much of that was him simply jockeying for position to be the Republican candidate for president? Now that the campaign's over, McCain can go back to being the well-respected moderate that he was and in the process make a real difference for the country he loves so much.

I like it. McCain for Secretary of State.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: The washing machine
I am reading: Nothing, sadly
And I am: Hoping

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Overheard

"Twat? I cunt hear you. Bare ass me again."

"Tits alright, I fingered it out."
~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: The Stooges
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Yep, hammered again.

The Schoolhouse

"Why don't you sit over here by me?"

"I didn't know you were over there."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: The Bartender Song - Rehab
I am reading: Nothing, really
And I am: Hammered again

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Update

The doctor's office called Da - didn't make him come in - for the news that the cancer did not penetrate the wall of his bladder and it's a very non-aggressive type of cancer, so easily treatable. He might have a series of chemo 'baths' for his bladder, but that would be the most of it. We'll know more on Monday.

Thanks again for all the kind words, thoughts and prayers; we sure appreciated it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Some damn UFO show on the History Channel
I am reading: How to Fix a Flat by Thomas L. Friedman
And I am: Relieved

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Dear Google

Dear Google,

No question about it - you guys (and gals, I'm assuming) are brilliant. And I love, love, love the special things you do with your logo commemorating holidays, milestones and whathaveyou.

But here's a very special request I'm hoping only you can help with: The Blog Breathalyzer.

The Blog Breathalyzer, Hedy?

Yes.

I woke up this morning knowing I'd posted two entries last night but HAD NO FUCKING CLUE what they were about. And yes, I just ended a sentence with a preposition. Deal with it. I'm hung over.

Anyhoo, Google guys/gals: Please invent this. A few puffs into the Blog Breathalyzer, and your computer automatically shuts down if you're intoxicated and ready to post inane, incoherent, weepy, and/or angry rants.

Bloggers the world over will thank you for it. Plus a handful of HedyBlog readers for sure.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Amy Winehouse - Rehab
I am reading: Fark
And I am: hopeful

Friday, November 07, 2008

CTO

Also, I am personally THRILLED that the Obama administration will have a Chief Technology Officer.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Superbad still
I am reading: Again, nothing
And I am: THRILLED

666

Apparently the Illinois pick three for Tuesday, November 4 was: 666.

And apparently, there's this.

So yeah.

Obama is the anti-Christ.

Don't you just love this totally random universe of ours?
~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: SuperBad
I am reading: Not a goddamn thing
And I am: Unintentionally Satanic

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

New spirit

“So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other. ”

- Barack Obama
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"I didn't vote for Obama, but I will pray for him."

I must've heard that 10 times during my morning commute.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You can't find a newspaper in the Loop this morning.

I grabbed the last Sun-Times off the rack at the Walgreens on the corner of Wacker and Jackson.

In the words of my favorite Scottish-American:

"It's a GREAT day for America!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: The office buzzing about Obama
I am reading: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
And I am: Feeling like America grew up last night

Monday, November 03, 2008

Last place

Where's the last place on the planet you'd like to be?

I'll go first.

With your Mom in the surgery waiting room at the hospital where you were born hearing the words 'malignant' and 'mass' and 'pathology report' and 'chemotherapy' while your Da is still in recovery.

That was Friday.

The surgeon was fairly certain he got it all and was surprisingly upbeat about the whole thing. Now we're waiting on the pathology results to figure out next steps.

Of course we know Da's answer to the 'last place' question.

He's an old-school tough guy who's done nothing but love his wife and kids and work his ass off his whole life. The last thing he wants is any of us fussing over him. But fuss we will for sure.

I'll be taking a break from this for a while. Nothing seems all that funny or interesting these days.

It's Monday night. And being here in Illinois -- acting like everything is normal -- is now officially the last place I'd like to be.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Gives You Hell - All-American Rejects
I am reading: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
And I am: Here, really wishing I was there

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The perfect set

My good friend Dave is the inspiration for today's post, which would have been decidedly LESS interesting had I proceeded with the original plan to write about the pseudo-inspirational crap you might find on a grande-sized Starbucks coffee cup.

Yep. Let's all take a moment to thank him right now. Say it with me:

THANK YOU, DAVE.

Anyhoo.

First off: I've never been in a strip club. Plenty of opportunities, never been. Those of you who know me well might find this surprising. But it's true.

Here's why: For some reason, I really like the idea of ending my days being able to say "I've never been to a strip club."

I fantasize I'm this shriveled up, out-of-her-freakin-mind old broad scooting around the nursing home wearing nothing but a housecoat and a gummy grin, goosing old guys and yelling: "I'VE NEVER BEEN TO A STRIP CLUB!"

Maybe.

Or maybe it's because I've done pretty much everything else and it feels kinda good saying that.

Maybe.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
According to Dave -- who I know for certain appreciates a good neighborhood bar over a strip club any day -- there is such a thing as The Perfect Set.

We're not talking fake tits here, either, although I'm sure Moe would happily weigh in on that topic.

No, we're talking about music.

Three songs. Up tempo, mid tempo and slow. The Perfect Strip Club Set.

Got it?

Here is Dave's perfect set:

She Loves My C@*k by Jackyl
Don't Want No Short Dick Man by CJ Gee
I Touch Myself by The Divinyls.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I wasn't entirely sure how to spell Divinyls so I popped over to my iTunes library to check it.

And I was shocked - SHOCKED - to learn it wasn't one of my songs.

It's an all time favorite, yet I'm not an owner.

I'm very disappointed in myself right now. Don't get me wrong, I still love myself.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Top strip scenes in movies off the top of my head and in no particular order:

The Full Monty - the final scene.

Yep. That's all I got. Sorry.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I decided to go all Googly on the subject -- search for 'top strip songs' -- and found this sad woman with the unintentionally ironic moniker 'knowitall':

strip clubs are ******* lame and gay grow up. what kind of man wants to sit around with 30 other guys and get a hard on. maybe they should all just jack each other off and admit they are all ugly and retarded thats why they cant get any real women.

Jesus tits. Lighten up, honey. Perhaps if you stepped away from the computer once in a while you'd actually have a shot at getting popped in the cooter. Then maybe you wouldn't be so angry and concerned about how other people have fun.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
After much thought, here's my perfect set:

Naughty Naughty - John Parr
Purple Haze - The Cure
Black Velvet - Alannah Myles

Runners up:

You Can Leave Your Hat On - Joe Cocker
So Hott - Kid Rock
Cream - Prince
D'Yer Mak'er - Led Zeppelin
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Confession: Since the first time I heard it back in the early 90's, I've always wanted to strip to Purple Haze by The Cure.

Take a listen. I think you'll agree it is a surprisingly strip-worthy song.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Here's me, texting Jim last night: "Quick: What's the best strip club song of all time?"

Jim: "Pour Some Sugar on Me"

Me: "I figured"

An hour later (keep in mind, he's been in Las Vegas, the Dancing Cooter Capital of the Planet, since Sunday).

Jim: "It's been so long since I went to one I don't know what's popular."

Me: "Right. It took you long enough to come up with that answer. I was waiting."

Jim: "My personal favorite is Lick It Up by Kiss."

Me: "There ya go."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So what's your perfect set? What makes the perfect stripper song?

Isn't 'popped in the cooter' fun to say?

Say it with me: POPPED IN THE COOTER.

Thank you, Dave.

Clapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclap.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening: Hedy's Perfect Set
I am reading: Still nothing
And I am: thinking about installing a brass pole in the basement

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dubious distinctions

Sitting in a meeting the other day, I heard this:

"He received the networker of the year award from. . ."

I'm bummed for not catching the bestower of said award, but at that point I had to tune out, my mind racing as it was.

Networker of the year? There's an award for people who make small talk with strangers while downing crappy crudites and piss-warm wine?

Who knew?

And how does one become networker of the year?

Is it based on the number of business cards collected? Name badges from inane seminars? Free plastic pens?

"That rat bastard Randy won networker of the year because I had to miss the Women's Business Associates Technology Specialists Hiring Information Executive Resources Networking Forum Hoo-Ha Roundtable Club last month. I should've just blown off mom's funeral. It's not like she woulda missed me."

I fucking hate those things. Mostly because I'm an introvert.

Well. I'm a high-functioning introvert, which means I can tolerate small talk as long as Jack Daniels is also in on the conversation.

The fact is, anyone who achieves Networker of the Year is most definitely NOT spending enough time in the office - oh, I dunno - actually DOING things that will make a DIFFERENCE.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Speaking of dubious distinctions, have you heard that Chicago is now the murder capital of the U.S.?

YAY, Chicago!

Clapclapclapclapclapclapclap...wait.

Yep.

#1 in murders, capped off by the recent Jennifer Hudson family tragedy which is just off-the-charts fucked up.

What's worse - and I knew I heard this correctly but had trouble finding the quotes - is this:

Serious crime is up but arrests are down in Chicago, and some police officers say they are working the streets less aggressively out of resentment toward their new chief and fear of being second-guessed by him.

Yes, this a fairly complicated issue. Chicago cops have been working without a contract for like, 100 years, or something. And apparently someone decided it was a good idea to hire an outsider to head up the Chicago Police Department. The nerve.

Here's what I just don't get. These guys are cops, right? With guns? Tough guys trained to handle difficult, tense, incredibly dangerous situations to protect the public?

Right.

So if they're being paid to do a job (by taxpayers, nonetheless), yet they're slacking off because they don't like their boss, how does that make them anything but whiny, slacking little bitches?

Just asking.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Confession: I have a somewhat dubious distinction myself.

We know, Hedy. You're joyfully post-coital.

No, that's not it.

I make the World's Greatest Grilled Cheese Sammich.

Seriously. If ass-hats like that networker of the year can get a plaque for yapping all day, I oughtta get something for the masterful way I melt cheese between two buttered slices of bread, yes?

At least I've got Gromit's vote locked up.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Are you on LinkedIn? It's like MySpace and Facebook for fancypants executive types.

The thing that kills me is the 'Answers' forum - where curious and/or helpful folks can ask and answer questions presumably related to professional matters.

This week's Top Expert is Dave Maskin, a self-dubbed 'trade show traffic builder', who has answered a whopping 386 questions.

Yep. 386 questions.

I'm guessing he's unemployed. Or he's a 'consultant' which is workspeak for unemployed.

Anyone with enough time to answer 386 questions in one week is a) Not getting laid and b) Desperately needing to get out of the house.

Perhaps he should go to a networking hoo-ha seminar event forum club.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: The Daily Show
I am reading: Nothing, too tired lately
And I am: All dubious and shit

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Joyfully something or other

"You're FAMOUS!"

That was my friend Jeff on IM yesterday morning.

"?"

"Sending post-coital songs to Neil..."

"What the hell are you talking about?"

"Post-coital. His words."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Let's backtrack.

On Sunday, my guy Neil Steinberg complained about the dearth of decent love songs over the past 15 years.

He asked readers: "Do they write good love songs anymore? And what might they be?"

Post-haste, I sent the following:

I'm Yours by Jason Mraz.

Cheers,

Heather S______
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It's a great song. Apparently Neil agreed. Sorta. In yesterday's column.

Heather S______ suggested 'I’m Yours' by Jason Mraz, a joyfully post-coital, reggae-syncopated song.

Joyfully post-coital? JOYFULLY? POST-COITAL?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Hey Mom, I'm in the Sun-Times today."

"Oh really?"

"Yes, just search for 'joyfully post-coital' and you'll find me."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It's better than making the news for something illegal. And it is semi-poetic, I suppose.

Actually, I believe 'joyfully post-coital' was the phrase under my high school yearbook picture in 1984.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Great. This is just great.

Thanks to Neil, I'm now the #2 Google hit for 'joyfully post-coital'.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jason Mraz's I'm Yours is joyful. Yes.

Post-coital? Hell, no.

It's romantic. It's about jumping into something with both feet and no regrets. It's about shedding your ego and starting fresh.

If you want post-coital, check out Smell Yo Dick by Riskay. It reeks of post-coital. And it's catchy. Certainly not one of the top 50 love songs from the past 15 years, but it has some seriously sticky staying power. So to speak.
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So any thoughts on great love songs from the past 15 (okay, maybe 20) years?

Here are some of my favorites:

Candy - Iggy Pop & Kate Pierson
To Make You Feel My Love - Garth Brooks
Rhythm of Your Shoes - O.A.R.
Skyway - The Replacements
I Don't Want to Miss a Thing - Aerosmith
Come Away With Me - Norah Jones
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I suppose the better question is: Do you and your favorite someone have a song?

We do. And it's not remotely post-coital.

Of course applying 'coital' to anything by Bob Dylan would be a bit of a stretch.
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I am listening to: You Belong to Me - Bob Dylan
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Joyfully post...oh, whatever

Friday, October 24, 2008

My favorite s-word

Here's someone accusing McCain of being a socialist eight years ago. She's a student from Moe's alma mater, no less (wait for it):



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Please note: I did not call John McCain a socialist.

Jon Stewart from The Daily Show did, using irony and humor.

The fact is, Obama and McCain aren't socialists.

They're both outstanding Americans - who have done far more with their lives than you or I could ever hope to - and who have very different ideas about how to best serve their country and its citizens.

If we could get beyond the outrageous accusations, we might just be able to figure out who is best qualified to lead the free world for the next four years.

Wouldn't that be lovely?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: Who Knew - Pink
I am reading: Neil at the Sun-Times
And I am: Still giggling over the whole sheep f*@cker thing

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sad dog

This is what a very sad dog looks like when his favorite person has been gone to Europe for two weeks.
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I am listening to: The furnace running
I am reading: Neil at the Sun-Times
And I am: Really wishing it was Friday

Welcome!

It’s been an interesting few days here at HedyBlog.

I’ve been called classless. Stupid. Immature.

And those are the really charming parts.

I’ve rejected more comments over the past three days than I have in the entire three year history of HedyBlog.

It’s nuts.

Aside from discovering a veritable ass-load of unhinged, angry people, here is perhaps the most interesting thing I’ve learned from all of this: There seems to be a popular misconception about why HedyBlog even exists.

Let me clarify.

I don’t write for you. Or you, either.

Let’s repeat that last part just in case you Lazy-ass Republicans didn’t catch it the first time:

I DON’T WRITE FOR YOU.

And although I am profoundly grateful for my regular readers and the great friends I’ve met through this silly hobby of mine, I don’t write for them either.

I write for me.

It doesn’t cost anything but time. It amuses me, keeps me writing and helps me figure things out.

Then why publish a blog, Hedy? Why make it public?

I started this blog because I don't like talking on the phone much and it was the easiest way to let my friends near and far know I'm still alive and cussing.

Obviously it's turned into more than 'what I did over the weekend' and, much to my unfettered delight, certain people have come to expect updates on a regular basis.

But still. I write for me. Not them. And not you.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I just realized the first post ever published here at HedyBlog is worth re-publishing today:

Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Welcome

"I never know what's going on with her."
"She doesn't call, she doesn't write."

Problem solved!

Welcome to Hedy's Blog.

Just to set expectations, here are a few:

1) I'll update this on a regular, yet random basis to keep you in the loop on what's going on in my world.
2) This blog is rated "R" so expect swearing (surprise!)
3) The opinions expressed here are entirely my own. If you don't agree, get your own blog.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Well now it all makes sense, Hedy. I'm surprised you have any friends at all if you don't call or write them very often.

Yeah, I was expecting that. More ugliness. Fabulous.

If your definition of friendship involves chatting with each other 20 times a day and cuddly-wuddly sleepovers every weekend, that's GREAT.

I don't understand it, but if it works for you, that's GREAT.

That said, you probably wouldn't understand my definition of friendship, either, so let's agree not to judge each other on that and move along.

Sound reasonable?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Here’s the upside to all the commentary carnage over the past few days: I’ve had a serious case of the giggles lately because it appears that all these ugly, angry comments have come from men.

Why?

My assumption is due to the other apparent misconception that I’m somehow very concerned with the number of people who visit my blog and the number of comments I receive.

"Let's see, 15 comments. Eight of them were from you, three from me. That leaves a big 4 from others. I guess the Great and Powerful Hedy is not quite as great as she thinks."

Typical male preoccupation with quantity and size.

Wait. I shouldn't generalize. It's not fair, is it?

Typical short-statured, small-penised male preoccupation with quantity and size. That's better.

Again. I write for me.

HedyBlog gets a respectable number of hits per day. If you’ve contributed a comment or two here, you know I don’t always respond. I comment on a handful of other blogs because I find them interesting and I have something useful to contribute, not because of some silly, obligatory, circle jerk quid pro quo.

Life is not a contest, folks. It doesn't matter how many hits or comments you receive, it's all about offending as many people as possible.

That was a joke.

Speaking of jokes, here's another thing I learned: Angry people are, by and large, rather humorless. And irony is challenging for them. I think it has to do with the whole tiny wiener thing. I think.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What about the Lazy-ass Republicans comment? Sorry folks, but that was not a generalization on all Republicans - some of my very favorite people fly with the right wing.

It was meant for Republicans who ask silly questions (How the hell do you know what Obama is? He hasn't done anything! Tell me what he has done while senator.) when the answers are right here. And here. And here.

And don't even get me started on someone who refers to a person as a 'what'.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Anyhoo.

If you choose to read this blog (and freedom to choose what you read is one of the very best things about living here in America, don’t you agree?) that’s great.

Thank you.

But if what I’m saying bugs you to the point where you’re firing off ugly, angry missives to someone you don’t even know, it’s time to step away from the computer and think about why you’re so angry.

Surely it can't be me. Or this silly, immature, classless blog.

Perhaps you need to get laid more often.

I know that’s why I’m angry lately. Well, that and the economy. But while both involve getting fucked, the one has nothing to do with the other. Really.

More jokey irony there, FYI. Feel free to beat me up over bein' classy with the really bad swears some more. But only if it makes you feel extra cuddly-wuddly good about yourself. And thanks, but I realize jokey isn't a word. Neither is tiny-wienered.

Also: I’m not publishing angry comments here anymore.

It’s not because I don’t like hearing other opinions, it’s because of the frightening and downright creepy nature of them.

If you’re going to make outlandish statements (He’s a socialist!) please give us all the benefit of your wisdom and provide a link or two backing it up. Otherwise, you’re wasting your time here and I’ll say it nicely this time: Please move along. Please find another place to vent. And for the sake of your loved ones, seek help for your anger management issues.

However. If you have a reasoned, interesting, thoughtful perspective on the topics covered here, your comment always will be published. Promise.

So. To summarize:

1) I don't write for you
2) I especially don't write for angry men with tiny wieners
3) If you happen to be angry and/or tiny-wienered, please stay away (a very good policy even beyond blogging, right ladies?)
4) Thank you. And welcome.

TA-DA!

Clapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclap!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: The Daily Show
I am reading: Truth, justice and normalcy by Leonard Pitts, Jr. in the Trib
And I am: Not writing for you, either.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Intellectual curiosity

intellectintlˌekt|
noun
the faculty of reasoning and understanding objectively, esp. with regard to abstract or academic matters : he was a man of action rather than of intellect.

curiositykyoŏrēˈäsitē|
noun ( pl. -ties)
a strong desire to know or learn something : filled with curiosity, she peered through the window.

Intellectual curiosity
A strong desire to learn more about a person, a thing or a way of life.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Have you heard this phrase? Intellectual curiosity.

It’s been tossed around a lot in the media lately with regard to a particular presidential candidate.

In fact, after Sunday’s Meet the Press, we can safely say it’s become the ‘gravitas’ of this decidedly crappy campaign season.

I looked it up because I didn’t want to assume I knew what it meant.

And that’s pretty much the definition of intellectual curiosity.
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Remember gravitas?

From Latin for ‘big heavy balls’, gravitas became a veritable media darling after Bush chose Cheney for VP.

My how things have changed.

I wonder if there’s a Latin word for Moose-lovin’ maverick.
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Intellectual curiosity.

It means never assuming you have all the answers. Never assuming that you know everything there is to know about a person, a thing or a way of life.

It means constantly striving to understand our world and why people do the occasionally bat-shit crazy things they do.

It also means seeking out diverse information sources and opinions, rather than relying on the sources that reinforce your view of the world. Taking an objective view of things before drawing conclusions.

I suppose there is a certain comfort in having everything figured out. You can categorize people: good/evil, right/wrong, conservative/liberal, democrat/socialist, greedy/generous.

We're all guilty of it occasionally. Because it simplifies things. Makes it easier to understand this highly complex world of ours.

But the people who have all the answers all the time – the people who have everything and everyone neatly packaged and labeled – scare the living hell out of me.

Because if you have it all figured out, you’ve stopped asking questions. You’ve given up trying to understand people.

And that’s where all the good stuff is.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: I Wish You Love – Rachael Yamagata
I am reading: Leondard Pitts Jr. in The Chicago Tribune
And I am: Quietly curious

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A fleeting memory, a banished wish

The Houston Chronicle endorsed Obama yesterday. The paper hasn't endorsed a Democrat since 1964.

But as of Friday, this sort of thing is becoming rather commonplace and is not the point of today's post.

Reading this from the Houston Chronicle's endorsement sparked a memory from the day McCain announced his pick for VP:

Perhaps the worst mistake McCain made in his campaign for the White House was the choice of the inexperienced and inflammatory Palin as his vice-presidential running mate. Had he selected a moderate, experienced Republican lawmaker such as Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison with a strong appeal to independents, the Chronicle's choice for an endorsement would have been far more difficult.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
IM'ing with a friend on August 29, 2008:

9:54:21 AM Jeff: McCain just pandered to women....
9:54:24 AM Jeff: you gonna fall for it?
9:55:34 AM Heather: lol
9:55:40 AM Heather: I don't really like him much
9:58:07 AM Jeff: yeah... but he picked a WOMAN to run as his VEEP... doesn't that mean you are required to vote for him & her?
9:58:46 AM Heather: oh jeez...didn't know that
9:58:54 AM Heather: who'd he pick? Kay Bailey Hutch?
9:59:11 AM Jeff: Governor Palin Alaska
9:59:23 AM Heather: ahhh interesting
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I would've liked to see what a truly qualified vice presidential candidate would've done for McCain's campaign -- be they Kay Bailey Hutchison, Liddy Dole, or Rudy Giuliani.

I would've really liked that race.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am listening to: The Bears beat up the Vikings
I am reading: This article regarding the income inequality gap from the WSJ
And I am: Wistful

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Grand Day Out

Sometimes I scratch the door to Go Out and Pee.

Often, especially following meals, it's to Go Out and Poop.

Occasionally, it's for what I refer to as the Grand Pottée: A Pee, followed by a Poop, capped off with yet another Pee.

She always feels compelled to offer instruction as I depart.

"Go Out and Poop," She says helpfully, as if I need guidance on this, the most basic of bodily functions.

But on bright and glorious days like today -- I, Gromit Dog -- scratch the door for something else: To Go Out and Sun Myself on the Deck.

She loves it when I do this. She told He it's a sign of my Superior Intellect.

Meh.

As if any celebretard doesn't appreciate the simple act of sunbathing.

Still.

She didn't quite understand the appeal, as She prefers the chaise lounge.

Until today.

Sprawled on the deck in my usual spot by the impatiens-filled pottery, basking in the glory of a decidedly perfect late-autumn day, suddenly She's next to me.

On the deck. On her back. Smiling. And sighing.

"Now I understand," She says. "The wood is wonderfully warm. It feels good."

She snaps a photo to commemorate the occasion.

Superior intellect, my fuzzy little ass.

But She'll get there eventually.
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I am listening to: Animal Planet
I am reading: Investigations of a Dog by Franz Kafka
And I am: One Smart Puppy