Thursday, February 26, 2009

Friday fun

Yep, it's good things Friday again.

But first, a story:

I was crying on the train last night. Because of this e-mail, from my boss:

Let's add it to the newsletter.

Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone with SprintSpeed

From: Kate
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2009 17:24:38 -0600
To: Rich
Subject: Confirming 3/24

Hi Rich,

I was able to move things around on Bob’s schedule to accommodate a meditation workshop at your office on March 24, 3 to 5 pm

Yep. My boss. Scheduled a meditation class for the office. And wants me to put it in the company newsletter.

Why were you crying, Hed?

It was a happy cry. An I-can't-fucking-believe-I-work-here happy cry.
Da came through the surgery like a champ and it was all good news again. Yay!
My sunglasses are fixed better than new and arrived yesterday.
Just in time for a long weekend in Longboat Key with my dear friend and college roommate Susie.
Pineapple Express is pretty funny.
Catholics with ashes on their heads walking through the Loop this week.
Jim made steak last night and it was perfect.
The 11 bus was waiting for me twice this week.
Try the dark chocolate almond Zone bars. They're fabulous.
Did I mention my boss scheduled a meditation class for our office?
It rained last night - a lovely, heavy, warm rain - and I didn't have an umbrella. I walked to my car with my head tilted back to the sky. It was awesome.
I worked out three times this week.
Yep a meditation class. In my office.
I am listening to: Killing the Blues - Plant/Krauss
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Joyful

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Better still

More on Rick Santelli:

"Yeah, your neighbor took out a mortgage he couldn't afford, but your other neighbor got the commission on it. Listen. If the guy next door is smoking in bed and his house catches fire, you're gonna help him put it out, right?" - Josh from the train
I am listening to: Gives You Hell - The All-American Rejects
I am reading: Newsletter stuff
And I am: Headachey

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Small moments

The Asian man kisses his wife as he hands over her laptop bag at the corner of Adams and Wacker.

A family of three prays before a meal at the Portillo’s on Ontario.

A beefy white man sits scribbling on a greeting card pressed against his steering wheel in the parking lot at Walgreens.
There’s a woman with dirty blond hair sitting ahead of me on the train. She’s looking for something to piss her off.

Someone farted earlier and she turned around and scowled at me. I didn’t do it. Honest.

Someone else’s phone is ringing for a second time and her neck is whipping back and down, searching for the culprit.

Oh, and now it’s ringing for a third time. She’s shaking her head and scowling. Again.
The thing is, I can be that blond angry woman a lot more than I'd care to admit.

We can choose to make our days about seeing everything that’s wrong or frustrating or ugly about our existence or we can see the small meaningful moments that make it all worthwhile.
A favor: Send a warm, comforty thought to Da today – he’s in for outpatient surgery to remove the bit of cancer that crept back into his bladder. He’s strong and doing all the right things (quit smoking cold turkey four months ago, working out a few times a week) so we’re sure he’ll be just fine. Thanks.
I am listening to: Killing the Blues from Raising Sand by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Staying positive

Monday, February 23, 2009

Post-Oscar talk

Overheard in the office just now:

"Was Nights in Rodanthe bad?"

"I wanted to shoot my head off."
I am listening to: Office chatter
I am reading: eCommerce campaign script
And I am: Laughing

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I am listening to: The Oscars
I am reading: Nothing right now
And I am: Sleepy

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Hey Rick

Hey elitist douchebag Rick Santelli:

Let me get this straight.

It's okay to bail out Wall Street.

It's not okay to bail out Main Street.
This helps:

"I'm not entirely sure where Mr. Santelli lives or in what house he lives," Gibbs said during the daily briefing. "But the American people are struggling every day to meet their mortgage, stay in their jobs, pay their bills to send their kids to school, and to hope that they don't get sick or somebody they care for gets sick that sends them into bankruptcy. I think we left a few months ago the adage that if it was good for a derivatives trader, then it was good for main street. I think the verdict is in on that." - Robert Gibbs, Obama's press secretary.
Here's the deal:

We're the folks who do the right thing. We pay our taxes. We pay our mortgages. We work hard.

We are happy to help out others who are struggling and can't make do on their own.

We've already bailed out the big banks. And they thanked us by using our money to hand out multi-million dollar rewards to employees during a year of jaw-dropping financial losses.

And now we, the people who always can be relied upon to do the right thing, are ready to throw a tea party over helping out a few of our neighbors?

C'mon, people. We're better than this.
I am listening to: The wind howling
I am reading: Attack of the Greed Zombies by Steinberg at the Sun-Times
And I am: Really tired of this crap

Friday, February 20, 2009

Celebrate something

Bitching sure feels good, doesn’t it?

Things are good, we bitch. Things are bad, we bitch.

And right now, things are pretty fucking awful, so it’s like someone gave the whole world a free pass to just bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch.

Here’s the deal.

Yes, things are bad. Heartbreaking and terrifying for millions. A certain amount of venting is not only healthy, it’ s necessary.

But at some point (like right the fuck now) the pissing and moaning needs to stop.

Because the more we bitch, the worse things seem. And when we’re in bitch mode, we tend to notice only the things that are bad.

So until things get better, HedyBlog is a Bitch-Free zone on Fridays.

We’re going to celebrate small wins here. The big ones, too. We’re going to focus on the positive as we head into the weekend. Feel free to join in.
Yes, I realize I was just bitching about bitching.

Okay, I admit it’s taking me a few minutes to come up with something good here.

George Bush is no longer president. That’s one good thing.
The sun is shining.
It’s Friday.
I worked out three times this week.
I smiled at the train conductor on the 7:22 even though I didn’t feel like it.
Gromit’s blood tests came back just fine yesterday.
Work is going exceptionally well and is a huge source of joy and satisfaction.
There’s a dude here in Niles, Illinois who is about to turn 100 and he’s still working. Money quote: "I just want to keep busy."
You can get pricey designer shit at Goodwill now.
[Hey I’m rolling now, this is getting easier!]
It’s never been more difficult to be corrupt in Illinois politics.
I've done my assignment for class this week and am finally fully engaged.
Jim sent in my favorite sunglasses to be fixed so I didn't have to.
Jim's going to a Bulls game with the boys tonight and I (finally!) have a night to myself.
The Oscars are on Sunday – always good for one or two priceless moments.
On our 'city date' last night, Jim and I found a parking space on the street less than a block from the restaurant. Bonus: With an hour left on the meter.
I shared a cab to the Loop with a woman I didn't know yesterday so instead of $8, it only cost $4.
The 11 bus was at the stop as I walked up this morning.

Gee whiz. Once I started thinking about all the good things that happened this week, it put me in a better mood.

And one I started looking for good things to happen, they did. Cool.
Are we gonna have to start calling you Hedy Happy Pants?

Nope. Just on Fridays. So start thinking about the good things – no matter how small – right now. Share one or two here if you like. And have a great weekend.
I am listening to: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life – Monty Python
I am reading: Neil Steinberg at the Sun-Times
And I am: Hedy Happy Pants

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thursday random

From the Only in America Department: Two firms offering farting iPhone applications are in a legal battle over the phrase 'pull my finger.'

"The founder of an upstate New York TV station aimed at countering Muslim stereotypes has been arrested on suspicion of killing his wife, who was beheaded, authorities said."
Have you noticed the people that are most worried about offending you are usually the easiest to offend?
Few people realize that The Shawshank Redemption is really a love story. So is Leaving Las Vegas. FYI.
Only in America, part two:

Did you know there's an iPhone application called iPeriod?

It's not for checking your grammar, either.

Yep. An application to remind you when Aunt Flo is comin' to town.

As if that I-could-happily-murder-you-for-bringing-low-fat-Oreos-into-my-home feeling isn't enough of a warning.
If I hear one more person blaming minorities for the sub-prime housing crisis, my head is gonna pop off like a cork.

It's like blaming the immigration issue on illegals.

Here's the bottom line: Someone, somewhere stood to make tons of money off of this or it simply wouldn't have happened.

And yes, our government was complicit in this crime by passing deregulation laws. But who was lobbying these lawmakers? Do you really think politicians are smart enough to come with this crap on their own?

There's plenty of blame to go around, but if you start with the fucking minorities, you're either stupid or willfully ignorant.

Read Liar's Poker by Michael Lewis if you'd like to learn how this whole thing started. I was surprised to learn it was published back in 1989.

If you want someone to blame, Google Lew Ranieri. Or just read this article from Time magazine.
I'm still pissed that Coldplay won the Best Rock Album Grammy over Kid Rock.

Un-fucking-believable. Coldplay isn't rock. Coldplay is boring.

Like listening to a test pattern.
My assignment this week is all about telling the truth. I had to write out a list of people I'm honest with. It's more of a continuum.

If you ask me where you are on this continuum, I will probably lie to you.
I'm also mildly pissed/disappointed in our guy Obama. Three cabinet appointees with tax troubles?

Aren't the Democrats the ones who will gladly pay taxes for bleeding-heart social programs? Aren't they the ones who happily share the wealth? Am I missing something?
It was another banner week in Illinois politics.

Read this and this if you'd like to know how Chicagoans feel about that fuckstick Roland Burris.

Oh, and Chicago Alderman Arenda Troutman was sentenced to four years in prison this week for "demanding campaign money and bribes in exchange for lending her support to developers' projects. She even went so far as to block a low-income housing development in an impoverished neighborhood because the developer wouldn't pay a bribe. Instead of helping rid the area of gang influence, she had a relationship with a gang leader and used gang soldiers to help her campaign." [Chicago Tribune]
And from the Dept. of Still No Cure for Cancer:

Brain scans revealed that when men are shown pictures of scantily clad women, the region of the brain associated with tool use lights up.
Words that Need to be Retired Please

Diva - There are few more cringe-inducing words than this one. It's supposed to mean a celebrated singer of rare, outstanding talent. Not Rihanna. Not Beyonce. Maybe Whitney before she went all heroin-y on us. And certainly not any girl under the age of 18 sporting a sparkly 'diva' t-shirt. Unless you're talking about Etta or Aretha, keep the diva in your pants.

Monetize - "I'm looking to monetize my blog." STFU and sit down, ya douchebag. Monetize is just another way of saying selling out.

Green - Okay. We get it. You care about the environment. Sure it's important. But the majority of so-called 'green' efforts should really be 'brown.' As in bullshit.

Twitter - The sooner this worthless, time-waster of an IT 'innovation' goes tits-up, the better. Did you know they just received $35 million in additional funding and they still don't have a real plan for generating revenue? Did we learn nothing from the bubble? And I don't give a flying fart if you're, well, giving a flying fart. Your followers don't care, either. If there's one person out there who's ever going to make a fucking dime off this, I'll eat my monetized green diva micro blog.
Here's a list of the things I've learned about myself since this new fear/comfort adventure began last month:

1) I ask people questions to avoid talking about myself. It's pretty sneaky.
2) I am more honest about my feelings and opinions here in this blog than I am in person.
3) We are obligated to be the best version of ourselves not for us, but for the people who love us.
4) I've always said 'I'm not a public speaker' but there's really no reason I can't get good at it.
5) My deepest desire is to write a classic story that gets published and/or produced.
6) I say I don't want much but the fact is when you're comfortable you stop thinking about having more.
7) I've placed a priority on truth throughout my life and it has hindered my ability to feel deeply. This makes me very bad at comforting people.
8) I have trouble asking for help.
9) My single greatest power lies in my ability to recognize and write the truth.
I am listening to: The Shawshank Redemption
I am reading: Niagaran Pebbles
And I am: Back

Monday, February 16, 2009


Chicago Transit Authority reminder: "Please keep your personal belongings with you at all times."

And what are we supposed to do with our public belongings? Hmmm?
I am listening to: Soft office sounds
I am reading: Nothing - I am in between books
And I am: Picky

Friday, February 13, 2009

Ethical dilemma #4,228

"Do you know Alex Dixon? Of course you do. I'd like some background on this guy."

That question came via work e-mail from my good friend Scotty at 9:45 last night.


Scotty works for a Great and Powerful Software Company. This Great and Powerful Software Company forms partnerships with IT consulting firms like the ones that have employed me over the past 20 years. How this Great & Powerful Software Company perceives its partners (and the people they employ) can have a huge impact on the amount of business they do together each year. We're talking millions of dollars in consulting contracts.

Feel free to say that in your best Dr. No/Austin Powers voice: Mee-lee-ons of Freakin' Dough-lars. Riggght.
Background on this guy:

The person he's asking about is a former co-worker of mine.

Next time you wipe your ass, think of Alex Dixon. Seriously. Do it. For me.

He's an ego-maniacal jerk who refuses to contribute to projects in any meaningful, helpful way, but will: a) scream like a spoiled child if it doesn't go well or b) happily take full credit for it if by some miracle it's a success.

He is without question one of the most ethically bereft (personally and professionally) people I've encountered in my entire life.
Alex Dixon, Hedy?

Yeah. Not real of course. I changed the name to protect the prick-hole.
"I'd like some background on this guy."

The fact that Scotty used 'this guy' tells me he probably already has a pretty good take on Alex.

Option 1: Decline to answer like those salmonella peanut-jobs from Georgia. "No, I'm sorry, I can't help you."

Option 2: Spill it. Tell him everything I know about this guy and let the computer chips fall where they may.

Option 3: Be honest yet professional. "I did not have a great relationship with Alex professionally but you might find him entirely competent and likable."

Option 4: Be dishonest yet professional. "He was a great guy. Go get 'em."

Okay. Option 3 is impossible - they're mutually exclusive. And just thinking about it makes me puke up in my mouth a little bit.

I can't decline to answer, either, because Scotty and me don't have that kind of relationship and besides, he'd eventually ply me with Jack & Cokes and drag it outta me anyway.

Option 4 is not possible because, while I'll happily lie to Scotty about how close I am to the pub we're meeting at in order to keep him from leaving ("I'm passing a ball field." "You silly, lying bitch. You're not even close."), I'd never, ever lie to him about some worthless piece of shit ex co-worker.

So I'm pondering option 2. Which could have a negative impact on the business of my former employer. And could have an impact on some likeable, competent folks who still work there.

So. What would you do? I think I've figured it out, but perhaps I've forgotten an option? Any legal ramifications to this issue, Dave? Please help.
I am listening to: Dr. No on the TV
I am reading: This great article by Thomas Friedman (I really love this idea)
And I am: Mildly perplexed

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Whack-jobs for Jesus

WARNING: If you are a current Christian and/or ex-masturbator, you WILL be offended by today's post. Please move along.

Jesus Christ doesn't give a flying fart if you jerk off.

Seriously. Folks.

Rome is burning.

And cuddly-wuddly Christ - if he's not (as I suspect) spinning like a freakin' top in his ever-loving grave - is too busy frying fatter fish to care about your infernal fapping.

But this delightful batch of whacked-out Christians - bless their sweaty little pre-occupied souls - happens to believe otherwise: Passion for Christ Ex Series T-shirts.

Yep. Ex-masturbator t-shirts. For Christ.

Get 'em while they're...whatever.
Hedy, Hedy, Hedy. You're going straight to hell for mentioning Christ and 'jerk off' in the same sentence.

Perhaps. Let me clarify.

Jesus Christ probably doesn't give a flying fart if you jerk off.

Here's the deal, kiddies.

There's a long list of things that are wrong with our world right now. Masturbation ain't one of 'em.

Beating off is free. It doesn't hurt anyone. It feels good. It's what's for breakfast. It's the other white meat. It's. . .wait. Anyhoo.

Masturbation could be the very thing that helps us make it through the current economic crisis.

"Hey Spike, did you see what the Dow did today?"

"No dude, I was choking my Cheney. Try it. It'll raise your stock a few points."
IMs from earlier today...


Jim C: "But is it really okay in the eyes of God?" What? My load?

Hedy: You shot your load in the eyes of God?

Jim C: I did

Hedy: Nice shootin' Tex

Jim C: He was wearing my 'Ex-Hypocrite' t-shirt
Read the comments on the ex-masturbator t-shirt site.

C'mon. Read 'em.

Here's my favorite, from iBuyStuff4Jesus:

"I was really afraid that there would be a shortage of things for me to buy in 2009 that show my love and appreciation for our lord Jesus Christ."

Did you get that folks? I was really afraid there would be a shortage of things for me to buy that show my love and appreciation for our lord Jesus Christ.

Because nothing says love and appreciation for Christ like a t-shirt about whacking off.
I am listening to: Nothing when I'm supposed to be listening to something
I am reading: Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo
And I am: Pro-whacking, pro-Christ

Sunday, February 08, 2009


Thanks Pos. This is cool.
I am listening to: Flight of the Conchords
I am reading: Nobody's Fool
And I am: Posting from my phone

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Easing back in...

Sure this is a cop-out but what the hell, it's already written:

1. I have eight scars, the longest of which measures more than eight inches.
2. Oprah Winfrey changed my life. Seriously.
3. I fantasize about living in Paris for a year.
4. I feel best when I’m wearing brown.
5. I love my dog Gromit more than 90% of my relatives. Of course that doesn’t include you, [insert your name here.]
6. Old cemeteries are among my most favorite places on Earth.
7. I worship the sun but am ruled by the moon.
8. Tidal waves are my biggest fear. Thank the gods I live in the Midwest.
9. The older I get, the less I like talking on the phone.
10. My life is fabulous because of three people: My parents, who gave me a great start. And my husband Jim, who gave me a happy ending.
11. If I could go back in time and visit my 18-year-old self, I would say: a) Go to a community college until you figure out what you really want to do; b) Stop screwing around so much and try holding hands once in a while; and c) Trust your gut. It’s always, always right.
12. Nelly Olson really pissed me off.
13. I would wear a baseball hat every day if possible.
14. The Twelve Dancing Princesses is my favorite fairy tale.
15. It’s difficult for me to swim in bodies of water where I can’t see the bottom.
16. I’ve already written my acceptance speech for the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. How fucked up is that?
17. I do not believe that men and women are equal. We couldn’t be more different and should be treated that way when it makes sense.
18. I eat spoonfuls of peanut butter straight from the jar on a daily basis.
19. My favorite joke: What did the Dalai Lama say to the hot dog vendor? Make me one with everything.
20. I prefer listening to talking and dancing to singing.
21. I worked in a liquor/convenience store (The Party Pantry) throughout high school and college. It was without question one of my all-time favorite jobs.
22. I’ve had some fairly meaningful conversations with trees.
23. I can count my regrets on one hand. And most of them are recent. No, I’m not telling what they are.
24. It would be great if Christians paid more attention to Jesus' life than his death.
25. I am trying to live my life with a more open heart.
I am listening to: The busy busy washing machine
I am reading: Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo (I like it even better than Empire Falls)
And I am: Home again home again jiggity jig

Monday, February 02, 2009

Sorry about the long title but blogger doesn't like my iPhone. I'm on vacation this week somewhere warm. Aloha dear friends, will catch up Saturday