Monday, June 30, 2008

Runaway train

There’s a man sitting across the way wearing a hat.

He’s a time traveler; situated among us casual commuters in our flip-flops, bare legs, jeans and polo shirts. A gray-haired anachronism sporting a semi-rumpled suit, tie and overcoat.

And the hat.

Similar to the hats my Grandpa Kammer wore. Unbelievably soft yet durable. Inside: a shiny pale rosy satin, featuring the faint scent of that semi-gloss pomade used liberally to avoid what we call hat-head.

He looks like a reporter. Or a private investigator. Or a ghost.

There’s another old man sitting below, twiddling his thumbs. Who does this anymore? Twiddling.

Then for a time we run parallel to a freight train – car after giant car loaded with mounds of coal. Coal. A regular, yet oddly old-fashioned occurrence on these early morning trips to the city.

And then I realize that we, the casual commuters, are the time travelers who’ve somehow caught a throwback train instead of the 7:07.
I am listening to: Runaway Train – Soul Asylum
I am reading: Neil Steinberg at the Chicago Sun-Times
And I am: Sleepy

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Outta gas

So I'm at the gas station last night getting ready to bend over and grab my ankles at $4.15 a gallon, and this happens:

That's right.

The hose that's supposed to be connected at the top of the pump just fell to the ground.


With what we're paying for gas here in Chicago, the damn thing should be made out of gold, detect when I'm thirsty, and serve Jack & Cokes out of crystal glassware (FREE, with every purchase over $100!)
I am listening to: The air conditioner in the office
I am reading: Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbott
And I am: Disgusted

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I passed

From Hedy, to Jim via e-mail on June 20:

Check this out – the results of my personality test. Apparently I’m an ‘ambivert’.

From Jim to Hedy via e-mail 20 minutes later:

“Your behavior may be offensive to those who are socially proper.”
Yep. A personality test.

It was part of the screening process at this new place.

I had to sit at a computer for 40 minutes sweating out whether “I prefer praise or presents.”
Read your report with an open mind, without prematurely judging its accuracy. Some statements may not be complimentary; however, it is essential that you not become defensive. Remember, the information presented in this report is based solely on the answers you gave to the questionnaire. We suggest that you read your report several times, and allow yourself to thoroughly analyze and integrate the information. It is imperative that you understand the relationship between each individual trait description and your overall behavior.

The purpose of this report is not to compliment or criticize you, but rather to bring into focus areas that may need attention.
Presents, of course. Definitely presents.

Praise is nice, but it doesn’t teach you anything.

That’s one of my favorite quotes. No idea who said it.

But I'm sure she liked presents, too.
The whole point is to answer honestly, rather than trying to make yourself look good. And they put these silly “control” questions in to keep you in line.

For example: “I am the queen of the universe.”

You really have to pay attention to the wording and punctuation in each question.

Had it said “I am the Queen of the Universe” then I would’ve said yes, of course.

Tricky, these brain invaders.
The accuracy of the test was immediately called into question when I came upon this silly statement:

You have little, if any, desire to be the center of attention, and dislike having an audience. You are very unlikely to say or do anything that would cause others to focus their attention on you.

This test clearly wasn’t on the beach in Longboat Key last year when, juiced up on tequila, I whipped off my bathing suit top to ‘let the girls have a swim’ in the ocean. In the middle of the afternoon.
You also do not go out of your way to gain the respect of others, or do things simply because you think society expects it. Consequently, you are very casual about social rules and tend to set your own standards of behavior. This can cause you to do some things which others may consider to be eccentric or anti-social.

Then again, maybe this test was on the beach in Longboat Key. Hmmmm.
Under the “flexibility” trait: You are rather slow to accept changes in your environment, and would prefer that most things stay as they are. In your career, home, and social life, you are content with the routine of patterned activities and rarely seek out new and different experiences.

Under the “boldness” trait (two sections down): As a rather adventurous person, you are receptive to trying new and different experiences. You rarely hesitate to venture into new and unfamiliar environments.

I could blame these inconsistencies on the test.

But I’m clearly whacked.

And just really happy they hired me in spite of my anti-social, hermit-like tendencies.
I am listening to: I'm Yours - Jason Mraz
I am reading: Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbott
And I am: Obviously conflicted

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

No rest for the wicked

"I've gotta go to a meeting at Playboy next week," I say to Jim.

"COOL...maybe you'll be discovered," he says. "The Girls of Technology."


"Right. Broads of Technology."
Yes, I'm back to work. It's a long story.

My time off was too short but I did meet some cool people and went on some cool adventures.

Speaking of cool adventures, I met Dave from Rather Than Working during my time in Atlanta. He was just as I imagined - the perfect Southern gentleman - treating me to a fabulous dinner and giving me the Grand Tour of Atlanta, which was cool because I wouldn't have seen even 1/10 of it otherwise. I am looking forward to returning the favor when (not if, Dave) he comes to Chicago.

But yeah, back to work. It's good.

What I mean is, if I could've imagined the perfect reason to return to corporate life, it would be this place. Nice people, a normal non-turdly boss, and plenty of opportunities to make a difference. There's no smoking, no screaming and no reason to believe I can't keep this job for the foreseeable future.

Here's my only regret: I would've liked to give a go to the freelance thing a little longer. It was refreshing and interesting and I want to thank my friends Mary, Alison, Cheryl and Dennis for making it unbelievably easy and wonderful.
So yes, Playboy.

Discovered, Hedy? Yes.

Number 8,321 why I love my poor, delusional husband.

Anyhoo, here's my primary concern: What does one wear to the Mecca of Masturbation?

Perhaps this? Or maybe this?

These outfits just scream 'professional', don't they?
"Well, it was nice meeting you Hedy," says Playboy dude. "Nice outfit. By the way, we're doing a feature for the September issue called the Chubby Girls of Technology, you in?"

"Are you kidding? Of course!"

Oh, to be considered with the likes of the current Miss July, whose ambitions include "To be a 'bad girl' on The Young and the Restless, a housewife or a weather girl."

Why not all three, honey? You're on a roll. At least that's what it looks like you're sitting on these days.
Mecca of Masturbation, Hedy? How about showing a little respect?


What does one wear to the Bethlehem of Beating Off?

Is that better? No? I didn't think so.

And in honor of George Carlin, the Seven Words You Can't Say on TV: Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker and Tits.

Rest in peace, you cranky, brilliant dude.
I am listening to: Tobor the Great
I am reading: Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbott
And I am: Bunny-riffic

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sexy garden

"Your clitoris is really blooming nicely," says Judy yesterday.

"You mean the chlamydia? Yeah, it's gorgeous, isn't it?" says me.

Explanation: Jim can't remember the name of the purple clematis out back, so he's been calling it 'chlamydia' for years.

Now all our friends and neighbors do it, too.
I am listening to: Meet the Press without Tim Russert (sad)
I am reading: Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbott
And I am: Looking forward to another great day

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The ‘b’ word

She mentioned it during dinner, thinking I’d be preoccupied with He’s famous grilled chicken burritos.

But I heard it.

The ‘b’ word.

B – A – T – H.

Confession: I have been a bit smelly lately.

She complains about it – “Gromit’s smelly!” – all the time.

As if I can’t hear. As if I can’t smell what’s going on here. As if I can help it.

She pretends to be Miss Compassionate Love Everyone Liberal but She can be downright insensitive sometimes.

And She says I’m the Best Dog Ever. Ha.
She’s still unemployed, so yesterday She took me to the Place Where I Get My Pooper Poked.

Sure enough, first thing they do? Poke me in the Pooper.

Then She’s all “Have a treat, Gromit!” as if that’s going to make up for being traumatized yet again by the chubby dude in the white coat who smells like cats and claims I could stand to lose 10 lbs. every time he pokes me in the pooper.

The least he could do is scratch the sack where my nuts used to be. The least.
“C’mon, Gromit,” She says.

I hightail it to the kitchen, pretending to search for leftovers in my bowl.

She’s on to me.

“C’mon, Gromit, let’s GO!” She says, proving yet again that She thinks I’m deaf.

Then She pulls the “C’mon, Grommie, let’s go, Grommie, c’mon, we’re going, let’s go, c’mon c’mon c’mon, LET’S GO” and She sounds SO EXCITED that I lose my mind for a moment and chase She upstairs.

Damn She. I quickly come to my senses and Sit.

She pulls on my collar. I lean back.

She pulls harder. I lean harder.

This is kinda fun.

She pushes my butt. I spin around and go through She’s legs and Sit again.

Finally She corners me, strips me naked, and throws me into the bathtub.


While I’d never admit it, the warm water feels pretty good, post-pooper poke.

I Shake-Shake-Shake several times, making sure She gets as soaking wet as me.

I let She dry me off (it’s the least She can do) and proceed to run around in Crazy Dog mode until my ears are finally dry.

Then She's all "Grommie, you SMELL so GOOD, you're a GOOD DOG and you SMELL so GOOD blah de freakin' blah."

Right. I know another 'b' word.
I am listening to: Jim’s girlfriend Ginger the weather girl on NBC5
I am reading: Nothing, I’m a DOG
And I am: Clean

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

Since I couldn't be with my father in Michigan, I spent the day hauling brush and pulling weeds.

He said "If you can't do it right, Hedy, don't do it."

I did it right, Da. Because of you.

All my love today and always.
I am listening to: Into the Wild (movie)
I am reading: Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbott
And I am: Grateful

Friday, June 13, 2008

Adding to Pos' Pet Peeve Series

Pet Peeve #56: Talking heads who stutter at the beginning of every sentence.

It's an unbelievably ridiculous trend I noticed about three months ago while listening to some self-important retard on NPR.

The following was captured tonight in less than 10 minutes of watching three separate broadcasters on MSNBC covering the sad news about Tim Russert:

Of of of the moment...

It it it is stunning...

And and and maybe deeper...

That that that's good journalism...

Or or or NAFTA or other agreements...

I I I could give him the state of...

He he he was able to do that...

And and and even if I didn’t have a personal friendship with him...

When when when anyone heard he was on the phone...

Attention Broadcast Journalists: STOP STUTTERING.

It's worse than saying "um" or "uh" repeatedly because it's obvious you know what you want to say, you're just trying to be trendy. This affected stuttering doesn't make you sound thoughtful and it doesn't make what you say more interesting, it just makes you sound irritating and stupid.

Spit it out. Or shut the fuck up and let someone else speak.
I am listening to: Dirty Laundry - Don Henley
I am reading: Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbott
And I am: Still sad

Tim Russert dead at 58

He was more excited than any of us about this year's presidential election. He was my Sunday morning ritual. A truly great American journalist.

And a truly great American, period.

Unbelievably sad.
I am listening to: News
I am reading: Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbott
And I am: Sad

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Look up 'oops' in the dictionary and you'll probably find this story:

Stalker's sex video sent to police

Here's a summary for you lazy, unemployed types like me:

A stalker filmed himself masturbating and sent it to his victim's mobile phone while she was at a police station making a complaint about him.

Reason #6,321 why I love technology.
Question: We're all mobile phone users. Am I the only one trying to get my mind around the logistics of beating off with a camera phone?

It just seems like the whole thing would end up rather jerky. Maybe that's the point.
I am listening to: Trends in Ethics Training at Georgia State University
I am reading: Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbott
And I am: Thrilled

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Greetings from the Land of Dave

I'm in Atlanta this week, home of Dave from Rather Than Working.

Atlanta? Yep.

It's a long story involving an official HedyBlog Job Search Update (cue ominous music: dun, dun, DUN!) that I'm not ready to write yet, but let's just say I'm here for a cool reason with cool people doing cool things.

Cool is great right now, because it's fucking hot here. To our friend, Dave, I suppose this is as clever as saying water is wet but it had to be said.

I've never been to Atlanta officially - drove through once on a trip with DewMama to Florida - but that's it. So I have that 'excited to be in a new place' feeling again.

Which is cool. More soon.
I am listening to: Air conditioner in my room
I am reading: Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbott (Fabulous non-fiction book about a famous brothel in Chicago)
And I am: Smiley

Friday, June 06, 2008

The classic backpedal - parts 1 & 2

"I thought you got a haircut," says Jim. "It looks the same."

. . .

"I mean, it's as cute as ever. Really."
"I had a dream last night we were doing it and you stuck it in my butt," says Heather.

. . .

"I mean, it was just a dream. Really."
I am listening to: Pipe - Shovelmouth
I am reading: The Best American Short Stories 2007 - Edited by Stephen King
And I am: Cute as ever, really

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crap

Spoiler alert on the new Indiana Jones movie; don't read this if you plan on seeing it soon.
I am now convinced that if Steven Spielberg could've figured out a way to include aliens in Schindler's List, he would've done it.

"But Mr. Schindler, you can't save anymore people, the list is full," says Ben Kingsley.

"DAMN YOU, tiny Hebrew list man! There's always more room on the MOTHER SHIP!"
The upside: Because I'm unemployed, we were able to catch the early bird special, so we're only out $10 for this ridiculous time waster of a movie.

I remember seeing the original Indiana Jones movie for the first time. It was fresh and funny and exciting and so different from all the other crap movies out back then.

This time around, everyone - including Shia LaBeouf and the silly aliens - looks tired and bored and ready to cry.

Which is kinda how I felt leaving the theater.
I am listening to: The Space Between - Dave Matthews
I am reading: Literally, The Best Language Book Ever by Paul Yeager
And I am: Disappointed

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Beware the wanglers

This unemployment thing has me trying all manner of marvelous new things.

Scrubbing our toilets with a toothbrush. Getting the mail.

And, since there's no particularly compelling reason to get out of bed in the morning, I've been staying up till all hours of the night playing Scrabulous. With Satan.

Have you heard of this? Scrabulous is the on-line, un-Hasbro sanctioned version of Scrabble.

You can play with others or by yourself. Or against the robot, who I'm convinced is Satan, the Dark Scrabulous Lord, lurking in Cyberspace and screwing with all of us lazy, unemployed idiots to amuse himself until the day his only son, Barack Obama, is finally elected president and he can rule the planet as foretold in Chapter 12, Verse 9 from the Book of Batshit Crazy Republicans.

Shaddap, settle down.

So I'm holding my own against the robot with 'ANGLER' for a double letter/double word score and I'm all SCREW YOU SATAN until the robot responds with the incomprehensible 'WANGLER' and suddenly I'm stuck with I I E Y I A Y, which, I'm pretty sure is the sound I made after being outsmarted by that fucking bastard robot a third time in less than 10 minutes.

Wangler, Hedy? I KNOW. Wangler.

According to Scrabble's extremely helpful on-line dictionary, a wangler is 'one who wangles'.


So I'm left guessing at wangler because, as an unemployed person, the motivational wind in my lazy little sails can be knocked out by the silliest things and the STRESS of looking up WANGLER in a REAL DICTIONARY is just TOO MUCH right now.
After my afternoon nap, I attempt to look up wangler using the Microsoft Word dictionary.

You right clicky on wangler, clicky one more time on Look Up and VOILA! The cursor actually JUMPED from wangler to another random word on the page and flat out REFUSED TO DEFINE WANGLER.

This could be a sign from [insert the random god of your choice here; I suggest Cialis, God of Pork] that I'm simply not meant to know the way of the wangler, but I persist and find solace at

wan·gle /ˈwæŋgəl/
1. to bring about, accomplish, or obtain by scheming or underhand methods: to wangle an invitation.
2. to falsify or manipulate for dishonest ends: to wangle business records.
3. to use contrivance, scheming, or underhand methods to obtain some goal or result.
4. to manipulate something for dishonest ends.
[And my personal favorite:]
5. an act or instance of wangling.
Confession: I know wangle. Or knew and even used 'wangle an invitation' at some point in my ever-darkening past. But wangler threw me. Who actually admits to being a wangler?
E O O O F A S.

That's what I draw on my first turn, on my fourth and final game of Spelling with Satan last night.

What the fuck am I supposed to do with E O O O F A S? It's late. I'm exhausted from wrestling with wangler, and I am thisclose to giving up. Then I remember there's this god-like feature on the Official Scrabble web site: The Scrabble Word Builder. Pop in your letters and it gives you available words.

It's cheating. But it's late. And there's no way I'm coming up with OS ('an orifice') or SOFA ('a long upholstered seat' - who knew?) on my own.

So, kiddies, to review: Beware the wanglers. Think of unemployment as one big ass shrapnel recovery expedition. And it's okay to cheat when you're playing with Satan.
I am listening to: Wordplay - Jason Mraz
I am reading: Literally, The Best Language Book Ever by Paul Yeager
And I am: Satan's Scrabulous Little Bitch

Monday, June 02, 2008

Because they're assho...oh nevermind

This was just too obvious to pass up: Preparation H Finds Place in Club Circuit.

Feel free to insert your favorite punchline here.
I am listening to: Almost Famous soundtrack
I am reading: Literally, The Best Language Book Ever by Paul Yeager
And I am: Not itching or burning, thank you very much

For the love of money

Ever get that feeling like your head is just going to explode all over the couch?

That's how it felt this morning after reading this asinine story from the New York Times: "It's Not So Easy Being Less Rich."

Yes, folks, in case you were concerned: "The economy is an issue even for people who don’t need the money.”

Their spouses could leave them when they discover that their net worth has collapsed to eight figures from nine. Friends and business associates could avoid them as they pass their lunchtime tables at Barney’s or the Four Seasons. And these snubs could trickle down to their children.

“They fear their kids won’t get invited to the right birthday parties,” said Michele Kleier, an Upper East Side-based real estate broker. “If they have to give up things that are invisible, they’re O.K. as long as they don’t have give up things visible to the outside world.”

Oh the humanity. Really.

I think this was the part when my head started feeling all kersplody:

Wives from Greenwich and Scarsdale are selling 2-carat to 35-carat single-stone diamond rings. One recent client explained that she was selling $2 million in diamonds she rarely wore, because her friends wouldn’t notice that they were gone. She said, ‘If I sold my Bentley or my important art, they would notice.'

Did you catch that people? This poor woman was forced to choose between selling her big bag of bling or her Bentley.

It's like Sophie's Choice. I could just cry.

Of course I know there's this other world of uber-wealthy fancy-pants folks out there relaxing in their Rolexes -- I grew up watching The Beverly Hillbillies so I've got a pretty good idea how they live.

But is right now really the right time to remind the rest of us how much the rich are suffering -- gainin' weight and goin' brunette -- because they can't afford their personal trainers and hair-doers?
I am listening to: For The Love of Money - The O'Jays
I am reading: E-mail invitation to a user conference
And I am: Busy