Saturday, October 24, 2009


Sure it was a rough week but I realized last night that my foul mood was getting in the way of seeing all the really good things this week.

And the number one good thing is this: We're celebrating Jim's Mom's 80th birthday today.

That's how bad the week was - I totally forgot about this other Major Event that we've been planning since June. Sixty people. Family and her neighbors and her friends and our neighbors and our friends. And an accordion player who specializes in Polka music.

It's today.

Today we're celebrating this woman who is a blessing to everyone. She's taken great care of herself - she certainly doesn't look like an octogenarian - and still manages to take care of all of us.

I am particularly grateful because she raised a son who is unbelievably kind and loving to me.

So there ya go. Good Things Saturday.

Happy birthday, Mom W. Many happy returns.
I am listening to: Plain White T's - All That We Needed
I am reading: High on Arrival by Mackenzie Phillips
And I am: Grateful

Friday, October 23, 2009

GTF - Fetal Position Edition

Rough week. I feel like curling up in the fetal position - and that's just from walking to the bus this morning in the always so fucking perfect sideways rain that signifies the lovely season of Fall here in Chicago.

Please Help: Da has another suspicious growth in his bladder. They removed it in the doctor's office on Monday and we'll have biopsy results in two weeks. Please send warm thoughts and prayers to my parents this week. They're holding up remarkably well but could always use the extra special support.


Here's my feeble, beaten-up-from-the-week attempt at GTF (it would've been WAY easier to bitch about how fucked up this week was, but here goes):

Jim made me laugh over my inability to say 'indemnification' in my big huge important webinar on Wednesday.
"I think that's actually pretty funny. How'd you say it, Jesse?"
It's 'Celebrate Your Mistakes' assignment week at Charm School, how fucking appropriate is that?
Jim came up with the idea that we should have an accordion player for his Mom's big 80th birthday bash this weekend.
Found one last night within a minute of Googling and he's PERFECT.
Laughing with Mom over It's a "Vanilla Shake on My Tits" day
Wore flip flops for the first time since early September Wednesday night
Finally found some time to finish book 4 of the Twilight series - it was good, mindless fiction. Certainly not on par with Harry Potter, but good.
Playing Scrabble with Jim the IT guy
Reuland's in Aurora is catering the party this weekend - they have the best roast beef sammiches on the planet
Birthday cake!
"We should have ice cream for the cake"
Loaded baked potato soup from Stockholm's in Geneva
I worked out three times this week, once at 4:30 in the morning.
Can you tell this isn't working for me? I'm really struggling.
Did I mention birthday cake?
I am listening to: The Killers - Read My Mind
I am reading: High on Arrival by Mackenzie Phillips
And I am: Morose

Friday, October 16, 2009

GTF - by popular demand!

Getting an email from my good friend Judy "Where's GTF??????? I look forward to that every week!"
My new Poppie Jones gloves/mittens from DSW – with the thumbs that flip off (in a good way)
Adventures with Aunt Joy last week
"I was more worried about Chicago"
Dark chocolate Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup miniatures
Riding into Chicago on the train with Jim yesterday
I have 360 people registered for my webcast next Wednesday – a new record
Understanding the idea of having the right topic at the right time
Having a dance floor in my basement
Understanding irritating people
My comfy, raggedy ol' Ugg boots
Work is going particularly well right now
Lunch with Susan on Monday
"I don't think I've got a code for robot."
Dinner at Ach-n-Lou's pizza in Aurora last night
Good, really deep dreams lately
Hearing the word 'broad' as in "She looks like an old Vegas broad" twice this week
Using the word 'tool' as a replacement for asshole, dickhead, etc.
Lunch with Jim the IT guy today
The chicken parm sammich at Portillo's
"And she shit the bed!"
I am listening to: Jewel - You Were Meant for Me
I am reading: Twilight - book 4
And I am: Pretty fucking happy right now

Friday, October 09, 2009

GTF: Dead-People-Don't-Have-Feelings/Eschew the Hoo Edition

Mom and me have this twisty little joke we tell - it's been going on for as long as I can remember.

When somebody dies, one of us asks "How did he die?"

And the other says "Like this" with an accompanying head tilt/eyes closed thing, feigning death.

It kills (yes, I said it) every time but I guess you really have to be there to appreciate it.

So earlier this week when I told Mom about The Turd offing himself, she said "So I have to ask - how did he die?"

And it cracked me up completely even though I didn't really feel like laughing.

Humor about death is healthy and absolutely necessary. I think it's why The Big Chill is one of my all-time favorite movies - friends are grieving over an unexpected loss and they deal with it in all kinds of delightfully screwball ways.

Anyhow - I've also been thinking about this whole concept of having respect for the dead. It's taboo to say negative things about dead people. You could probably tell I struggled with it a bit earlier this week.

After Nixon died you would've thought the man was a saint. No "I am not a crook" references, just all the reverence generally afforded an elder statesman. Michael Jackson, same thing. Not a word about the twisted relationships he had with young boys throughout his life. And then there's the recent MacKenzie Phillips thing. I was at the Oprah Winfrey show where she announced her ten-year long incestuous relationship with her father. And of course the confession sparked outrage over the fact that Papa John couldn't defend himself.

I sat there in the audience thinking, in the words of Stan from South Park, "Dude, this is pretty fucked up right here."
Hedy, do you and Mom do the jokey death 'like this' thing when EVERYONE dies?

No. This joke is reserved for people who were mere acquaintances and/or relatives we didn't know or like all that well.

Never for close friends/family.

I think I did it when my Aunt Ethel died and it didn't go over too well. Although I laughed like hell.
If someone is an asshole while they're alive (like The Turd) it oughtta be okay to call him an asshole after he's six feet under.

But HEDY, the asshole isn't around to defend himself. It's not respectful.

BULLSHIT. First of all, what difference does it make if I call someone an asshole, whether they're in the next room or dead? Either way, they're not around to defend themselves. In fact, it's probably worse insulting someone from the next room. At least in that case I'm insulting a real live person who may or may not care about being called an asshole. Dead people don't have feelings.

Second of all, who's bright idea was it that dead people ought to be afforded more respect than the living? If someone wasn't worthy of respect while they were living and breathing, why the fuck should they garner any respect once they're gone? Makes no sense.

But HEDY. You were all Mrs. Compassion earlier this week.

I know, fuck you and shaddap. Seriously. I have the ability to recognize when I'm on the squishy edge of bleeding heart liberal and thankfully I've managed to step out of the goo as this week has progressed.

Okay, I do understand the part about having respect for the people who have lost a loved one - absolutely I understand that. But here's the scoop:

Fact: My former boss was a selfish, insufferable prick. He made life miserable for a lot of people. He knew he was a prick. And he didn't care.

Fact: He was on medication periodically throughout his adult life and chose not to take it. The meds helped him be a 'normal' person but he wanted no part of it.

Fact: He killed himself in a way that he knew family members would find him.

Fact: I am judging the hell out of him right now and don't really give a fuck.
One of the single greatest things I've learned at charm school is that we are obligated to be the best version of ourselves - we owe it to the people around us.

We also owe it to the people we love to expect more out of them. I'm obligated to tell you if you're not making good decisions and I sure as hell hope you'd tell me the same. That's one of the finest definitions of genuine love I can imagine.

The Turd gave up trying to be a worthwhile human being a long time ago and decided if he was going to be miserable, then he might as well make everyone else around him miserable as well.

Bottom line, he needed to die. The world is a much better place without him in it.

There are three kinds of people: Those who make a difference and work hard to be good people. Those who don't really make a difference but don't hurt anyone else and just do their own thing. And then there are those who make it their mission to create havoc and pain wherever they go.

That last group - if they are conscious of their actions like my boss was - should die as quickly and as painfully as possible.
Okay, enough of that shit. Let's wrap up with Good Things Friday:

Waking up to multiple hoot-owls hooting Monday morning
And yes, they're hoot owls dammit; I'm quite certain there are some owls who eschew the hoo
Spelling owl 'wol' like in Winnie the Pooh
Monday morning - looking out at the misty trees in the backyard just starting to turn
Lunch with Ms. Moo on Monday
Text from Mrs. You Know Who: "Look at the moon!"
Aunt Joy is here for the weekend
Text from Jim, who was in Rome all week: "Exhausted. Six hours in the Vatican."
My response: "Six hours? Were you in confession?"
Shopping with Mrs. YKW on Sunday
Watching Benny & Joon Tuesday night - "You're out of your tree." "It's not my tree."
Email from my friend Wesley from the train: "What else would you do if that [magic] wand really worked?"
My response: "Laundry. Seriously. Just laundry."
Scarf weather
Breakfast for lunch at Yolk on Wells
Unexpectedly seeing someone I hadn't seen in a very long time and smiling about it all day long
I am listening to: Drops of Jupiter - Train
I am reading: I'm on hiatus from Twilight 4
And I am: Damn glad I'm not dead, like this

Monday, October 05, 2009

R.I.P. Turd

“Did you hear? Doug _______ committed suicide.”

That’s how I found out my former boss – known here as The Turd – killed himself last Friday. Via a Facebook email message from a former co-worker.

Apparently he hung himself in his living room. Rumor has it he was found by several family members, possibly one of his children. No one from his/my former company attended the funeral.
I don’t know how to feel about this yet.
When friends asked if I harbored any ill feelings towards him, I’d always say that karma would catch up with him. I told myself I didn’t necessarily need to see it happen. I just knew that his story wouldn’t end well.

But this. This is something different.

Something to ponder.
He was a man who blamed everyone else for his troubles. So it seems fitting that he’d kill himself and let his family find him – a final ‘fuck you’ from someone who truly did not get the human condition.

Part of me wants to know every detail. Did he use a ladder? A rope? What was he wearing? Did he leave a note?
His boundless anger showed in his face – it was always red, bordering on crimson. When he smiled, he looked just like the Grinch.

I wonder if he finally lost that look. If he appeared peaceful.
There are remembrances on his ‘death notice’ page. The trend of leaving condolences via a web site bugs the shit out of me for some reason – but I couldn’t keep myself from reading all of the posts.

He was 50. And there were 35 notes.

I don’t know if that’s high or low.

But I do know that the person they’re remembering is not the person we knew professionally. Some people actually loved him and will miss him.

The word incongruous keeps popping into my head.
Apparently his two business partners told him he was no longer welcome in the office earlier this year. He was unemployed, yet still owned part of the business. He did not receive a paycheck. He could not find work and became a stay at home dad to his four kids.
I just realized that rumor rhymes with tumor.
When people say ‘rumor has it’, it’s because no one else will claim it.
On the days when I was sitting in his office waiting to be yelled at, he’d often chat with his oldest son on the phone, the one who plays hockey.

He was stern and always ended the calls with “Work hard.”

These are words it's hard to find fault with – sound advice from any parent.

And yet if that was all his child heard – well who knows. I sure don’t.
I used to fantasize about running into him somewhere in the city. On my good days, I’d smile and nod but say nothing.

On my bad days I’d smile and ask him how life was treating him and if he'd found work and maybe call him a worthless douchebag or fuckwad or something equally charming/creative.

Am I sad because I won’t have that opportunity?
I remember being shocked when Doug admitted he was voting for Obama.

“It might not be best for me or my business, but it’s best for our country.”

It was the only thing I’d ever heard him say that was both reasonable and utterly selfless.
In my better moments, I’d recognize that he was deeply disturbed. That underneath all of that anger he carried a ton of hurt. That understanding why he acted that way was more important than how he treated others.

But I also vented about him here. A lot.

And maybe that’s why I’m struggling with how to feel right now.

I’m sad because I wasn’t more compassionate.

I don’t kid myself that I could’ve made a difference in his life – the thought is utterly ridiculous – but the truest test of our own morality, of the best version of ourselves is how we treat others when they’re hurting, when they are the worst version of themselves.
I am listening to: A Kiss to Build a Dream On - Louis Armstrong
I am reading: Twilight Book 4
And I am: Still figuring it out

Friday, October 02, 2009

Yep, thought so

"Hey I like that scarf," says Jim the IT guy at lunch today.

"Thanks. Do you think it makes me look like a whore?"

"Well, you always look like a whore..."
I am listening to: Quiet office sounds
I am reading: Twilight book 4
And I am: A scarf-wearin' whore


A spontaneous and FABULOUSLY FUN night out with our friends Steve & Judy Wednesday
Lotsa work-related compliments this week
Today we find out if Chicago gets the Olympics in 2016
I am wearing a pretty new brightly colored scarf today
A scarf that I didn’t have the courage to wear last week
Because I tend to be fashionably impaired
And think everyone is staring at me thinking “Look at that fashionably impaired whore with the ridiculous scarf”
But today I don’t care so much
An idiot called me a “kept woman” yesterday
The same fuckwad who implied I wouldn’t be any fun in Vegas
I am learning to ignore him
My back doesn’t hurt so much anymore
Jim made the BEST baked chicken EVER Monday night
Watching the Wizard of Oz Monday night
“You’re smiling like a little kid”
I shot myself in the eye with hairspray this morning and now it’s twitching like mad but I’m not letting it get to me
In fact I am relishing the fact that it probably makes me look like a fashionably impaired serial killer/whore
A good thunderstorm last night
Watching the Daily Show on my iPhone
Using the “Bump” application on my iPhone at trade shows
Doing the chicken dance at Oktoberfest in Plano last Saturday
Willy’s lederhosen
Seeing my friend Wesley on the train this morning
Jim’s winter pajamas: Van Halen sweatpants plus his short-sleeved soft flannel woobie
Dark chocolate Reese’s peanut butter cup miniatures
Chatting with Ed at the lost & found window in Union Station again
Neil Steinberg is back in the Sun-Times today
I am listening to: Loves Me Like a Rock – Paul Simon
I am reading: Twlight book 4
And I am: Twitching