Friday, August 28, 2009


The guy with the handlebar mustache reading the “Mormon Times” newspaper on the 7:22 this morning

Who knew the Mormons had so much news?

Imagining what Mormon news would be

Singing the “Good morning, good morning” song in a semi-operatic voice to Mom this morning

Jim got me one of those new ‘environmentally friendly’ (read: trendy) metal water bottles

Sunflowers growing next to a Porta-Potty along the railroad tracks

Purchased Snow Leopard last night

My literary umbrella

My jeans fit better

It’s been FOREVER since I’ve had a potato chip and I no longer miss them

Saying no to potato chips when they’re offered to me and not feeling anything like regret

Went to the Oprah show with a co-worker this week – trippy and interesting

144 people registered for my webinar next Wednesday

Two BINGOS in a row on Scrabble with Jim the IT guy this week – highest scoring game EVER

Catching up with Susan at her birthday lunch

The shed is being built today

A sassy haircut

The word ‘sassy’

Memories of our neighbor’s dog growing up – a red and white Spaniel of some sort named Sassy

Having no plans this weekend

Finally writing - and thinking about writing again

The fake palm trees in front of the Key Wester restaurant on Rt. 59

The two guys with Bibles across from me on the train now – why does this always surprise me?

The guy on the left – his Bible is very worn; the guy on the right, not so much

Pizza and movies with Tina while Jim was at the Bear’s game Saturday night

Stockholm’s with Jim last night – and the best baked potato soup on the planet

My $10, 90-minute massage at 5:30 tonight

Knowing the rule that if you’re the first person sitting in the seats upstairs on the train, that you get to put your arms towards the back of the seat

Bumping the guy next to me who obviously doesn’t know the fucking rule

Having him get a clue and move his arms to the forward, more uncomfortable position

The movie Gran Torino

Going to pick out invitations for my mother-in-law’s 80th birthday party tomorrow

The smell of popcorn in Union Station reminds me of going to the Kmart on Groesbeck in Mt. Clemens with Mom and Grandma

The saxophone guy outside Union Station playing ‘Careless Whisper’

This dingbat at the Lost & Found window in Union Station: “Hi. I lost a small black umbrella on the train yesterday….”

Ed at the ticket window in Union Station:

“Two hundred dollars…and 60 cents for a ten-ride and a monthly.”

“Ugh…all I have is $200,” says me.

“You can owe me,” he says. “Now you’re not going to lose any sleep over this are ya,? I only did it because of your peace necklace…I’m old enough to remember when that actually meant something.”

Using this to remember all the good things in my head: Popcorn saxophone umbrellas tickets shake a leg


I am listening to: A conference call with Magento

I am reading: Twilight book 1

And I am: Peaceful

Thursday, August 27, 2009


You can tell a lot about a person by the umbrella they use.

For example, there’s a smallish gray-haired woman standing outside the train below me right now and she’s holding an umbrella that looks like a giant sunflower. We could assume she has a relatively sunny disposition about life and/or she’s a gardener.

Of course there are folks who don’t pay attention to these things and perhaps that umbrella was a gift, in which case she could be a crazy bitch from hell who would happily stab you in the forehead with her cheerful yellow parasol.

You decide.
You see a lot of ginormous corporate golf umbrellas on rainy mornings in the Loop.

They’re pretty much portable patio-type umbrellas that could easily keep dry a family of four, two dogs, and one cranky aunt. They take up the entire sidewalk - these umbrellas from UBS and Northwestern University and Bank of America – typically protecting white-haired, unsmiling men who are completely oblivious to the wide swath they cut. This is how I see them in the office – powerful, yet profoundly unhappy guys, completely unaware of their impact on the world and only concerned with keeping themselves warm and dry.

Oh, here comes a guy right now under a giant Deutsche Bank umbrella. Deutsche Bank always makes me think Douche Bag for some reason.

Moving on, there are leopard print umbrellas and ladybug umbrellas and bright pink umbrellas - all cheerful anachronisms in this otherwise gloomy day. These small, fashionable parasol-type umbrellas are usually carried by small, fashionable women – both of which are completely fucking worthless in brutal Chicago weather.

There are the classic wood-handled umbrellas in various colors. People under these are more smiley than usual.

There was a woman carrying a red umbrella with a small plastic ketchup bottle on top right where the point would be on a regular umbrella – I’m assuming it was a promotional giveaway for Heinz or one of those other inferior brands but didn’t see the logo.

Of course, most people use small black umbrellas. They are anonymous, cheap, and temporary yet functional.
Met Susan for a birthday lunch today and she has a fantastic umbrella with fashionable French ladies on it. She says it reminds her of her time in Paris.

Very cool.
1 they huddled under the umbrella parasol, sunshade.
2 the groups worked under the umbrella of the Communist Party aegis, auspices, patronage, protection, guardianship, support, backing, agency, guidance, care, charge, responsibility, cover.

(Apple Thesaurus)
In French, umbrella is parapluie. It’s pronounced just like it looks. This makes me inexplicably happy.
para- 2 |ˈparə|
combining form
denoting something that protects or wards off : parachute | parasol.

(Apple Dictionary)
Parasol = protects + sun
Parapluie = protects + rain
Just saw a HUGE man carrying a small black umbrella covered with pink breast cancer ribbons.
In the 90's, when I lived in my all-time favorite apartment in Geneva, I’d babysit the kids across the street once in a while.

The mother was Susan. The father was Scott. They are probably divorced now, mostly because they didn’t seem all that happy ever and also because Scott hit on me one night when his wife was at class getting another degree that she probably wouldn’t use.


Their oldest daughter – Mariah, who was rather bratty due to lack of parental attention – called them rainbrellas.

This is another thing that makes me inexplicably happy.
What kind of umbrella do YOU use, Hedy?

It’s pretty much as you’d expect: A real, classic-sized umbrella. Not huge. Not tiny. Sturdy. Black. With a large silverish hook for a handle. Heavy canvas material. And literary quotes in soft gray text all over it.

To be or not to be. Call me Ishmael. Oz, the Great and Terrible. You get the picture.

If I were Oprah, it would be one of my very Favorite Things.

What does my umbrella say about me? I’m sturdy. Thinky. Perhaps a little pretentious at times but chubby-cute to compensate for it. And I like things that last.


It could say that I was caught in a veritable downpour last summer prior to lunch with a friend and popped into the only store – a Barnes & Noble – on the off chance they’d have an umbrella.

You decide.
I am listening to: KT Tunstall – Suddenly I See
I am reading: Twilight book 1
And I am: Soaked from the knees down

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

It's a legitimate question

Posted on Facebook yesterday morning:

"Heather is going to see OPRAH today! Thanks so much Kathleen...can't wait!"
Voicemail from Mom yesterday afternoon:

"Hello my little cupcake. i got a call from Aunt Sharon asking if you're going to be on the Oprah show today. I didn't know this. Let me know what day it's going to air. We were laughing - we didn't know if you were in the audience or a guest."
I am listening to: Valkyrie
I am reading: Twilight
And I am: Not a guest

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Get off my lawn: fantasy vs. reality

"If we'd known you were sending Poncho Villa over to do the work, we never would've hired you," says the husband.

“What?” asks Mike the Painter.

“Mexicans,” says the wife. “Everybody knows they steal.”

Mike stopped by yesterday afternoon to drop off color samples from when he painted our house two years ago – Jim, who is usually pretty tenacious about this stuff – never wrote them down and we’re painting the shed this weekend.

That’s when Mike told us about our fuck-nut neighbors two doors down, whose house his team painted earlier this summer.

“What did you say? How did you respond?” I asked.

“What could I say? The job was done. And you can’t argue with that kind of ignorance.”


You should know these neighbors already weren't well-liked for a variety of ‘get off my lawn’ type of run-ins over the years. But still, this recent bit of news came as a shock to both of us. It’s one thing to be an asshole. It’s another to be a racist asshole.


Later that night, we watched Gran Torino – a movie I did not expect to like because of every other Clint Eastwood movie I’ve seen.

But it was good. Very good.

“So why was it kinda funny when Clint Eastwood's character did it but not so funny when it’s our neighbors?”

That was me on the drive to the train this morning.

“Because that’s just how his character was,” says Jim. “He wasn’t really being negative to them, it’s how he was raised.”

“But he called them ‘slope’ and ‘zipperhead’,” I say. “That wasn’t very nice.”

“That’s from being in the war,” says Jim. “And he was old. It’s like my parents calling black people ‘coloreds’, they weren’t being racist, it’s just what they were called then. The bottom line is, our neighbors have no excuse. They’re not that old.”

Or maybe it’s because Clint Eastwood’s character in Gran Torino was infinitely more likable than our fuck-nut neighbors.


Editorial note: Jesus I’m rusty. Not writing every day has taken its toll and this is way more rough than it should be. Still, it’s something.


I am listening to: Office sounds

I am reading: Twilight

And I am: Thinking

Friday, August 21, 2009


According to Blogger I'm at 800 posts, so yay
A fantastic date last night including a loooong walk along Lake Michigan
Talking about trips to Rome to see where the Pope hangs his hat, Sydney to meet Bec finally and Bangkok to see Nelson
Loving the fact that Jim wants to go visit Nelson as much as I do
Having dreams in which I'm making better decisions
Saw an ear-nose-throat guy this week to hopefully help with these nasty sinus infections
“Take Your Cheese to Work” day sponsored by Mini Babybel - handing out little round cheeses at Union Station
The shed is coming one week from today
Arriving in the office this morning to discover I had multiple large bats in the cave - sexy!
Being kinda quiet/sad this week and being absolutely okay with it
The ability to search for songs on my iPhone
Watching classic movies with Jim: On the Waterfront and Cape Fear
Marlon Brando was a freak and Gregory Peck punches like a girl
The Twilight series of books – I’m in book 1 and it’s fabulous
The gracious co-worker who got me started on the Twilight series and loaned me the first three books
Jim is going to the Bears game tomorrow and I have a quiet night at home with Grommie, the Twilight books, and Facebook Scrabble
Living on a budget with no cab rides this week
It's payday - a concept I have not been terribly cognizant of since we got married and Jim took over our finances
Jason, the amazing massage therapist at my chiropractor’s office
Blue Cross/Blue Shield: $20 co-pay for a 90-minute massage (I’m going every week)
Working on my marketing plan/budget for 2010 – ahead of schedule
smcFanControl for my MacBook - puts me in control and cools it down nicely
The way we use words from previous Facebook Scrabble games to name new ones – right now I’m in the middle of ‘Mittens’ with Nelson and ‘Phat Dope’ with Jim the IT guy
A fun Saturday with Jim’s family, especially our two nephews Logan and Donovan
A nap on the porch with the little guy Donovan
Not needing to know all the answers so much anymore
I am listening to: If I Ever Feel Better - Phoenix
I am reading: Twilight, book 1
And I am: Kinda sad

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The signal

"There was a large woman in a small car next to me today. She had a ginormous, open box of Tampax sitting in her rear window."

"It's a signal," says Jim. "It says 'Watch out, I'm bleeding.'"
I am listening to: Body of Lies
I am reading: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
And I am: Still laughing

Friday, August 14, 2009


My Official Route 25 Parking Pass!
An unexpected evening with friends and the Kane County Cougars
Receiving the honor of the very first shot from a fresh bottle of Gentleman Jack
Sitting in my car finishing a glass of water because I’m not stressed about missing the train because of my Official Route 25 Parking Pass
My new toothbrush: The Colgate 360. It’s got this rough, rubbery surface on the back of the brush that massages the inside of my mouth and it feels surprisingly gooooood
They’re pouring concrete for the new shed today
Niko’s Lodge in Wasco – fabulous food and great service, plus fire pits out front and s’more supplies inside the door
Seeing three shooting stars through the sun roof on the way home from dinner
Jim, Grom and me, lying on lawn chairs in the backyard looking for more shooting stars
Arguing with Jim and then laughing together right after
Gomez – See the World
Sha la la la la la - sha la la la la la - sha la la la la la
The best sweet corn on the planet from that farm stand on Bliss Road
Writing a presentation abstract that got (tentatively) accepted for the Internet Retailer conference in Chicago next year
My friend Susan’s Soon-to-be-Famous Chocolate Polka Dot cookies sold out her first Saturday at the Batavia farmer’s market
Eating almost an entire bag of Susan’s Soon-to-be-Famous Chocolate Polka Dot cookies because I ‘don’t want them to melt’ - as if I need that excuse.
Wonderful, lovely pottery bought with Judy at the Art/Fart in Your Eye Festival
Did I mention my new Route 25 Parking Pass?
A message from an ex co-worker on Facebook that totally made my day
“You can’t fight crazy”
Finding my new haircut in this month’s Real Simple magazine
Feeling better finally
Coming to the realization that Cheez-Its are NOT crackers
Still, no chips or other salty crunchy snacks for what is it, 7 weeks now? That’s gotta count for something.
Blue Cross/Blue Shield: $16 for an adjustment and a 90-minute massage with the loveable sadist Jason at my chiropractor’s office
“You losing weight? I can see it in your face.”
Understanding how unbelievably blessed I am more and more every day
I am listening to: Gomez – See the World
I am reading: Content for the new web site
And I am: Blessed

Friday, August 07, 2009


Here goes:
11 years married and he still makes me laugh every day
This silly table planter to the left which I've managed to keep alive most of the summer
Busy, busy work week in spite of having the third sinus infection in as many months
Pouring concrete for a shed this Monday
No crunchy-salty-chippy snacks for six weeks now (we'll just ignore the pretzel incident from last week, shall we?)
New case for the iPhone
"Ryan update?"
A Bingo on FB Scrabble - "Mittens"
It finally feels sorta like summer outside
Realizing that I actually do need quite a bit of alone time in order to be creative and that the lesson which posed the opposite from charm school was, in fact, utter bullshit
Still being able to have a fun, interesting conversation with your husband after knowing him nearly 20 years
"They don't have the kind of super duper tampons I was looking for."
"There's a fresh bucket of shop rags in the garage."
The FAQs on Stephen King's web site make him sound like a total douchebag
Ken Follett knows how the hell to host a fan page, so suck it, Stephen King
The "And the Pursuit of Happiness" blog at the New York Times - LOVE IT
Taking pics of Jim & Grom with my 'good' camera

Okay, folks. The reality is I'm exhausted. I haven't slept more than 1 or 2 hours each night all week. I'm up right now again because of this fucking miserable sinus infection and all I want/need/crave is some fucking SLEEP. This is not a good thing. It's a What The Fuck thing.

Sitting on the porch watching the mosquitos bombard the screen above Jim's head
Oberweis chocolate ice cream in a bowl, nothing more, nothing less
Working from home in my 'office' upstairs instead of on the couch - Jim calls it my fort
Going to The Art in Your Eye Festival this Saturday with Judy - we call it the Fart in Your Eye Festival because of a poorly designed sign
Susan's delicious cookies at the Batavia Farmer's Market Saturday morning - go get 'em!
Filed/painted my nails tonight
Have an appointment with an ENT specialist in two weeks
Debating paranoid morons on Facebook
P's are definitely coming back this month - YAY!
I am listening to: Middle of the night house sounds
I am reading: Nothing interesting
And I am: Exhausted