Monday, December 29, 2008

i suppose i've been taunting you long enough

with the promise of a real post that is. one with meat, although i hope the photos were a decent stopgap. and wow, i just noticed how long since there was meat, and it was mid-november. sorry, folks!

the short version is that work has been verra busy and i love the holidays but not my ovaries.

1. work? dull but busy.
2. holidays? because of #1 and other things like ARTIC BLAST 2008 i did very little decorating and our tree was out in the snow a little longer than it should've been. and i baked sugar cookies! which are also not decorated. mom made the frosting finally, last night, so i anticipate sprinklage this evening.

also worth a highlight is my earlier christmas present, a new camera and yes it is pink and no i would not have picked that color on purpose since i am not smitten with my X chromosomes. more on that later. however, it was the last one, a discounted floor model, which is probably why it is now broken. worked fine for a month and then on christmas day, wouldn't boot up. as soon as i find all the packaging, back to the store...

btw, for the most part, i loved our 14-inch snowpocalypse because a) i love snow and b) it made less people drive but c) i'm glad it's all melted now, thanks.

ok so on to #3: the reproductive whirlygigs.

i have never been a big fan of the reproductive whirlygigs. it's good i never planned to be a baby factory, since there's a history of defective whirlygigs on both sides of my family. now that i think about it, it's surprising we've reproduced as much as we have. :-D

but i digress. oldtimers may recall i have this bit of fun which - for the most part - has not troubled me too much the last few years thanks to modern prescriptives. in the last year, though, it felt like one of those gigs was whirling too much, so i went to the doctor. turns out one of those recurrent cysts decided to get a little wacky and so - presumably sometime next month - that cyst and corresponding ovary is going buh-bye.

at first i hestitated. i was annoyed at the thought - and expense - of surgery for something that was not that big of a deal. then the cyst decided to pitch a fit (primadonna) and so fine, i got the surgery ball rolling.

but apparently that was not good enough, because starting christmas eve, i got a nasty, impromptu period. thanks to my aforementioned support of the pharmaceutical industry, nasty, impromptu periods have not happened in over 3 years.

friday afternoon, i called the (on call) doctor. long story short, "it happens" but follow up with your regular doctor next week. over the weekend it got worse, and i started to worry, so sunday we went to the ER. long story short, "it happens" but follow up with your regular doctor this week.

turns out my regular guy is out til next week. meantime things are a little better, and hopefully all these symptoms will die a quick death soon, but this whole 'sometimes whirlygigs go bananas' explanation is really damn annoying. if any of you have experience with this, please feel free to share.

i will say this -- i'm really looking forward to the surgery now, if only to put a stop to this monkey business. three cheers to being sansa-monkey!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

i brrrrrrrrrrring you tidings of joy

and pictures. because guess what? it's been snowing.

you can see all the pictures here and yes some of the pictures are not of snow. i think my cat is cute. so sue me.

will i write something more illuminative in the near future? a looming 5 day weekend holds promise.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

got me?

i know, a little lame. i might write more later but meantime...

I Am Milk

Your holiday personality is innocent.
The holidays make you feel like a kid all over again.
You love every part of the holidays, and you anticipate Christmas morning.
You enjoy getting presents as much as you did when you were young!

personally i think this is pretty spot on.
also, this morning i am feeling VERY amused by the ringtones around here. in the last two minutes i've heard a christmas carol and the super mario brothers theme. that last one wants me at home with some peppermint cocoa kicking some mushroom ass.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

hey there!

yes i know my blogging efforts are pathetic.
i may blog more tomorrow - i may actually have time.
then again, we're going bowling.
meantime, happy holidays. :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

i wish i could pull off orange

because i would so get this:

if this amuses you in any way, shape or form, go check out the main site. they have tons of awesome shirts, and if it were spring (no long sleeves, boo) i would so be droppin some cash there right now.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

may the 4s be with you

tomorrow is the 4-year anniversary of this blog.
this is also my 444th post.
which means that i am 4ced to make bad puns involving the number 4.
(but i promise, that's the last one 4 now)

looking back at post numero uno, it's interesting that my first commenter is someone who no longer comments here. we're still friends, though not as close as we used to be, and some of that has to do with the Great Drama of 2006. that drama ultimately led to me calling RIP on this blog but then, of course, i lied and came back. along the way i've gotten many other readers, some i have no idea where from, so thanks for riding the waves with me :)

2006 was a pretty bipolar year but for better or worse, min and i continued on, mostly for the better. i chalk a lot of that up to some Really Good Therapy from a wonderful lesbian therapist in SF. also i chalk it up to honesty about Really Difficult Things. as readers both old and new know, i still try to keep up the honesty thing here, most recently regarding my parental escapades.

on that note, my dad has gone silent in terms of communicating with me. not surprisingly, he is being a shit to my mom. i am struggling with knowing how - or if - i should interact with him. i would like to have a 'good' relationship with him, but on the other hand, his lack of talking to me -- despite my earlier reaching out to him -- makes me wonder if i should just leave him alone. then, i think about him being alone -- which he is -- and that feels wrong.

i'm so glad that i'm an adult going through this, because as a kid i think their breakup would've killed me. now it's just mildly distressing. but, any of you who've had to go thru this process, i welcome your input.

work is weird -- slow at the moment, but i know that's temporary because my cubemate is quitting. we're on the same team, which means my workload is going to go up about 25%. which means no writing, not that i was doing much anyway.

the one bright spot on my horizon is the holidays. i lovelovelove november and december because of all the food and decorations and merriment and otherwise festive activities there always seem to be a billion of. i love that it gets cold(ish), that sometimes there is snow but mostly just fog and rain, but the cold is delicious because i run so damn hot. also supposedly my sister is visiting from phoenix and i'm looking forward to taking some time off, tooling about on the cheap. on that note, i am also happy that gas is nearing $2.

i know this is a rambly recap but i guess that's where i am - Ramblation, OR. for some unearthly reason i have a good feeling about 2009. i'm aware that i've been biding my time, and apparently some part of me thinks things will change in the next few months, for the better. i hope my subconscious is right. :-o

meantime, whether you're a habitual lurker, or a habitual commenter, thanks for coming round. here's to continued piquing of interests.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Friday, November 07, 2008

happy belated anniversary

yesterday was our 1-year anniversary of moving from california to oregon. am i still happy with that decision? see my obama post as metaphorical preview of coming paragraphs.

my job may be a little busier than i'd like -- although obviously i have enough time to write this today! - but at least i have a job. if i'd stayed in california, as a mediocre developer, i'm sure i would have been laid off. instead i'm on a team where my skillz pass for superior. go mediocrity! and, go occasional time for writing at mostly-mellow workplace.

and though i need to work on making more friends, at least we have a pretty friendly crew here. my writing group is pretty cool too, and speaking of words, hope to hit wordstock this weekend. if nothing else, this town is a fan of words. as you might imagine, that warms my heart a wee bit.

one of the main reasons we moved up was to be closer to my parents. now my mom is a lot closer than i'd anticipated - and that is going fine, thank you - but obviously with heartwrenching results. in the fallout from that, my dad has written me and min off as being untrustworthy and, i'm sure, a host of unflattering things he won't say to our face but directs to my sister and mother via email. classy. also classy is his attempt to woo other women while still trying to get my mom back. quite the prize, he is.

otherwise life is mostly the same, i'd guess, as it would've been in california...except that almost every day i go outside, i am stunned at all the beauty around me. not that i didn't ever note beauty in the sparkling smogopolis of san jose, but in addition to the air, there's just all the green, orange, blue, and (yes) rainbow of colors that perpetually surround us.

so yeah. color me happy to be home again.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

well, a short p.s.

wtf, people.

but, you go girls.

alls i haves to say is

i am happier than this kid:

if i spoke another language i'd probably say:

and if i was gonna swear it'd be:

and since picture sez a 1000 words:
that is all.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

hello from your ultimate fantasy object

You Are a Vampire

You are charming, sensual, and even a bit manipulative.
You can't help but get people to do what you want.
You have sharp senses and a strong predatory instinct.
You go after what you want, without mercy.

While you have the heart of a killer, many people are drawn to you.
You are elegant, timeless, and mysterious. You are the ultimate fantasy object.

happy halloweenie, and for the record i love you werewolves, too.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

proof of boredom: 2 posts in the same week

i was really bored this morning. oh, i had work, but not enough of it, because i am a work-eating machine. so before i went to lunch, on facebook i set my status to:

Heather hopes, upon return to her desk, to be greeted by either work or inspiration.

and inspiration was what i got. i have work friends on facebook, and apparently one of them decided my hope should take the form of a post-it.

fine by me. it's staying in front of my keyboard so that i remember to take a break - mental or otherwise - more often. and, what i really meant by inspiration was, inspiration to write.

i am in a serious funk when it comes to penning any fiction, and haven't written anything new in almost two months. before this was about work insanity but the last few days, every time i think about writing i hear 'work on your goals!' from the bosslady in my head, so i drudge through personal improvement training instead.

this is another form of procrastination and i know it. the truth is, nothing is moving me long enough to write. post-post-it, i even opened up a file called 'inspiration' and started pasting in tidbits from this awesome site i randomly found the other day. i had a whole page of it, and then i had to go somewhere - for a walk? yes, after more mind-numbing training - and when i came back, i just stared at them tidbits. yeah? so? interesting? but apparently not enough.

so. any of you writers or creative types -- has this happened to you, and what the hell did you do to break out of it? do i just need a vacation? yes, i have been stressed with family stuff, but i don't think that explains it all. i'm just really having a hard time getting started, hearing a story. and yes i just figured out i need to hear at least part of the story before i begin.

ok any of you with ideas, please hammer 'em into me.

Monday, October 20, 2008

all quiet on the western front

at least sort of. saturday was an incredible flurry of activity on the part of me, mom, and one aunt/uncle set, packing up her stuff. it was a bit tricky to keep mom focused at first, but between me and my uncle (a former army guy) we got done in about 2 hours, including time for mom to write dad a goodbye note.

meantime min kept dad busy, apparently having a very nice time. they really do get along wonderfully, so much that when she had to drop him off under a bit of a guise (reparking the car), she felt horrible for a while, wondering if he would think she was just 'being nice' in order to get him out of the house. i think he knows better, but we'll see.

min met the rest of us at the safeway down the street, and i got back into the car with her. as we drove away i started crying, thinking about how lonely and confused and angry he had to be in that moment. i had woke up that morning crying over the same thing. for all the stupid, hurtful things he has done, he is still my dad, i love him, and don't want him to be hurting.

but these things go in waves, the feelings. and so it was that a while after my early-am crying spell, min stopped me and said, you know i'm really angry at your dad right now. we have all this angst, are going to all this effort because he keeps fucking up.

at that moment i felt very calm and so i said, yeah, i felt that way about a month ago. :-p

my dad is supposed to get a phone sometime today. the only way he had to contact us in the meantime, should he choose, was email. it was quite possible he would do something rash after all this (it has happened before) and so we were very glad to see an email from my dad saturday evening.

of course it was rather pleading, full of very mixed messages...and sent to me. there have been two more messages since and i am determined to talk to my mom tonight, get him her new email address. at first she said she'd reply via my account but later i realized being their intermediary is not ok with me.

that's it for now - my extremely dreary workday is about over, and i am so outta here. i am just grateful this seems to be proceeding rather smoothly so far, and hope i have not just jinxed things.

Friday, October 17, 2008


tomorrow my mom is scheduled for departure from her salem abode, heading for parts portlandish, by which i mean our guest room. the date has been set for almost 2 weeks and her slow but consistent progress forward -- along with a fiendishly brilliant plan she emailed early this morning -- makes me think she will really leave my dad tomorrow.

am i ready? hell no. but i know she needs to do it.

is her room ready? let's say, 75% and i suppose the extra exercise has been good for me. it used to look like a storage unit exploded in there; now there are orchestrated, diminutive piles of chaos. that plus putting the bed together will keep me busy til midday tomorrow when we head southward.

oh, and the brilliant plan? send min and my dad to a bookstore or thrift store while, unbeknownst to him (but knownst to us), me, mom, and other relatives pack up her stuff. there will still be some kind of an aftermath, which i am not looking forward to at ALL, but meantime my dad and min will be in one of their favorite places.

here's hoping tomorrow doesn't suck ass.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

i have no excuse not to write

at least this morning, so here i am. so what's the haps the last few weeks? well, certainly not my mom moving in. she is now targeting next weekend. since she's given me a new date, i suppose this weekend i will actually work on the guest room...

what i really wanted to do this weekend was get out halloween decor. over the weekend we went to the roloff farms - home to the little people, big world show, if you watch that.

my punkin

min is a big fan and was ecstatic (i surprised her) to go there finally, despite having to hobble a bit. she'd wrenched her knee the week before. we got some nifty pumpkins which i will try to showcase sometime before halloweenie.

afterwards, we went to see a bad movie but followed it with yummy japanese. 8 or so hours after that, min got up from bed and uber-wrenched her knee. 10 or so hours after that, we came home from the ER, her with a big ol knee brace and orders to rest. has she been resting? using the brace? sort of. grr.

i know i'm being a bad blog hostess, what with these sporadic posts. however, if you want more frequent - if one line - updates, you should add me as a friend on facebook. i know you're all dying for up to the minute heather news, so consider this your best source.

and since i flubbed several words in the attempt to type that last paragraph, i have a question for y'all, especially those of you who might be older than me. in the last few months i've noticed that i'm starting to misspell words -- and instead of transposing letters (my longtime favorite) -- i'm spelling semi-phonetic-variations. for example, dying became dieing. news was originally knews. so....has this happened to any of you? this rampant misspelling affliction? i feel like my synapses are starting to break down.

Monday, September 22, 2008

an update on my odd little world

  • things are entirely too busy at work.
  • but i got a teeny soda can acknowledging my contributions!
  • a new person just joined our team, so maybe things will get a month, when they're trained
  • my mom finally came for Her Weekend of Processing
  • yes it was productive...and long.
  • yes she says she's leaving my dad. in fact, she says it will be next weekend
  • i'm not holding my breath
  • she's coming to stay with us...temporarily. she says she's excited about getting her own place
  • not holding my breath there either.
  • mom in the house will be good for min (for several reasons) but a big one is:
  • about a month ago, min stopped driving. she's having (more) forgetful+depth perception-type issues. so it'll be good to have another driver in the house, for a while
  • i am really proud of min for making that decision. my dad should've done that a long time ago.
  • and of course, i am proud of my mom, taking some of the steps she needs to feel good about herself
  • i will be even prouder if she actually does what she needs to by next weekend

    and most importantly:
  • there needs to be a ghirardelli store in portland

Monday, September 08, 2008


this weekend left me feeling very grateful. there have been no gold-showering rainbows, no happy pills for family tension, work or health issues, but that does not stop me from being blessed. for example:

my mom was supposed to come stay with us over the weekend. we were going to have some fun, sure, but also high on the list was helping her process, so to speak, her future. be a sounding board, troubleshoot ideas, etc. because she has not done that yet, not really.

but it's been weeks since this debacle started! you might say. and to you i say: very astute. but time moves very, very slowly when you are sick. which means, no, my mom did not come over this weekend. she called friday, rescheduling to saturday; called saturday rescheduling to sunday, and sunday to cancel completely. sunday brought 'needles pricking all [her] joints', along with a 102 degree fever. i wish i could say this was horribly out of line, but unfortunately, it's only a mild deviation.

which is why, almost immediately after talking with her, something pushed me onto the back deck. it was almost 80 degrees, sunny with a wonderful little breeze. i realized that, as an able-bodied person living in an absolutely gorgeous area, i had a moral imperative to take advantage of it.

and so i did. as a nice surprise, min came too. we traipsed around a wonderfully lush park, with semi-steep paths right down to the willamette river. once we got to the rocks and blue, pearl started chasing a larger dog into a good-sized pond and ran right into it...for about 2 seconds, and then backed up. she turned around to look at me. water?!?

she did this about 4 or 5 more times, which = big big fun for her AND for us, giggling away. after that, i walked over to the river and got my feet nice and freezing, drinking in the air and peaceful surroundings: quiet chatter, dogs barking, boats scooting by, water lapping at me, wind in my hair, sun keeping everything in check.

i would give a lot to make my mom better. we had a good day. :)

Friday, August 29, 2008

hey who else could go for some updates right now?

updates, not flapjacks. tho i'm sure 15 days of waiting has made you hungry...

really, there has been no major change since my last post, other than the change of no more rampant spending, since i killed that bank account. my mom, who has threatened (at least to me) to take more drastic personal action, has not. today she did send me the url of apartments nearby though, indicating she may really leave. do i understand her reluctance? the slow nature of change, especially due to illness? you bet. is it still a little/really annoying? you bet.

i suppose the only real change, such as it is, is the increasingly bipolar responses from my dad. one email will border on penitent, asking questions, telling me he loves me. the next he will be angry, accusatory, and generally full of misrepresentation and deflections.

actually the deflection is almost always there, and that is the part that is troubling me more, as this communication continues. it shows a lack of responsibility on his part: it's not my fault, you didn't tell me. it's not my fault, i'm sick. and the combination one: it's not my fault, i don't remember because i'm sick.

the problem is that the last part is true. he has pleeeenty of trouble remembering because of all the strokes he's had. totally legit. if he would be humble about it, ask for help, take feedback from others...well, things would be a lot happier. he has done this before, too. but so far, he doesn't seem able to settle there. i'll see glimpses and then he's back to being angry.

earlier week i was so at my limit about all this. work craziness was not helping. but as the week wound down, work mellowed a bit and i stopped getting email from my dad. apparently he hasn't been feeling well but i bet there's also a bit of "i'm not getting my way so i'll try ignoring this for a while".

which is fine by me, since i was 100% in burnout zone. but it also means i have no idea wtf is going to happen next. so, stay tuned...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

well i could swear

that i'd written about my dad's obsession with coins, but my search = null. i did finally find something about stamp obsession (i suggest you search in there, if you really want to know more) but suffice to say, some of that same bidness has returned. this time it's about coins -- ancient ones -- which, along with stamps and books, he's collected for years.

sounds pretty boring, doesn't it? i like history a smidge, so i do find discussions on these topics somewhat interesting, but what i really find tedious is spending GOBS of scrilla to the point that you risk losing your home. again.

in short, the last two weeks has involved way too many conversations with my mom about mysterious p@ypal charges. and i had written a whole post about it yesterday, but last night i got an email from my dad, and i realized that my reply to him would make for better reading. so here you go.
Hey Dad,

Thanks for emailing me. Before anything else, I want to let you know I love you, and I always will.

The other thing I have to say right away is that I find it ironic you preferred to talk via email--ironic because that's often easier for me as well, when discussing something that may be difficult. I know we'll talk soon on the phone or in person, but I agree this is a good place to start.

Thanks also for saying you want me to 'let it all out' and want some open, honest communication. Plenty of things have been running through my head the last couple weeks, but here's what I want to say for now.

1. I know you feel a sense of duty -- and indeed, some legal/financial responsibility -- to the eb@y auctions you either currently or expect to owe payments on. But you do not "need" to pay for these items. What you need to do is contact these sellers and tell them you are sorry, but you do not have the funds to pay for these items and must withdraw. There is a lot of info here but suffice to say, even under the 12 hour timeframe, eb@y still gives the option to withdraw at any time.

The bottom line is this: there is no more money. Unless you have a hidden bank account somewhere, your only option is to work with these sellers to withdraw from every remaining auction -- closed or open.

2. You said: "I thought I could handle closing this on my own but you must have thought otherwise."
I thought so too. But over the last several weeks, you have repeatedly changed your story about a) how many auctions were left and b) how much the total cost might be. I remember hearing totals of $40...$190...but the fact is that, over the last month, you have spent almost $669 on eb@y or coin-related websites, most of that in the last two weeks.

Since I have taken action to freeze your P@yPal account -- which is tied to my secondary bank account -- and began the process of closing that bank account, there *should* be no additional charges. As far as 'overages' -- there was a non-sufficient funds fee earlier this week due to all this, which would put the damage at $701. Hopefully that will be the final tally.

Incidentally, all but 1 of these charges are after your first apology, your first promise to me in the middle of last month, that you would not 'break my trust' by *further* spending inappropriately and draining my bank account. Since then, there have been 2 additional apologies...

3. I am a bit puzzled by your request that I will be kind to mom. I don't think I've ever given any indication of being unkind, and certainly actions by you would not make me be unkind to her. I would hope it wouldn't make me unkind to you either -- anger has a purpose, and I have every right to be angry, as does mom.

Since this is not the first time our family has had to deal with your impulse control problem, I think --honestly-- you're lucky that we're being this mellow. I could have easily called and yelled at you, demanded to have passwords to your accounts, tried to cajole some kind of commitment out of you...but really all that would result in is more drama. At this point, calm, loving but firm actions are the best option.

With that in mind, I hope that we all can be kind, honest and respectful with each other as things get sorted. You're my father, and as Amber said (essentially) earlier this week, I'll never escape the love, the relationship that I have with you. The only thing that may change is the shape of that relationship. I know Min loves you as well, and both of us are open to working toward that honest, respectful relationship--but it is a good faith act. We are assuming you will also be completely honest, and respectful, with everyone in our family. Historically speaking, those have not been strong points for you when it comes to anything financial. I suppose that leads me to the last point:

4. As soon as the dust settles from the current financial crisis, I am washing my hands of any role in the finances between you and mom. The main step toward that is cancelling the bank account. At one point you threw out the idea of me being a go-between, running potential purchases past me...I don't want that responsibility or stress. You know how much money you and mom get each month; it's up to you to responsibly decide how that money is allocated.

It's also up to you to abide by whatever decisions are made. From what I gather, this point in particular has been a big problem. I'm not privy to any prior arrangements made with mom, and I don't want to know, either. The key thing is that if you know you're having trouble abiding by those agreements, you need to say something. You need to get help right away, before you risk homelessness, as you did this month. God was clearly looking out for you by providing that stimulus check this month -- I couldn't have bailed you out. As it is, you will have an extremely difficult month ahead with what little cash is left.

At any rate, to prevent things like this from happening in the future, a better process, and possibly some kind of supplemental help for you, needs to be identified. I don't know why you are still having problems with this, but it seems like it would be a good idea to get that sorted. I don't mind talking about any of that with you -- save the financial stuff, which should stay between you and mom.

I think that is enough for now. I know we will talk soon, likely this weekend.
Love to both of you,
oh and for perspective on the $ dad only makes a little over $700/month. so, $701 is kind of a big deal.

ps. the bank account was mine, but the money was all theirs. no $ was stolen from me.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

the perfect gift

the other day, as i was doing research on my newest story, the internet brought me the perfect gift:

this is from my (onetime) hometown newspaper, the coquille valley sentinel. in case you're wondering, that's pronounced Ko-Keel (internets gave me that, too). other highlights from this page include "Family Goes North" and "Cookie Press Used" and a disney ad for the movie Castaways. good times!

and yes yes, i uploaded these but copyright to all the peoples said inside the master image above.

faith will play a huge role in the story. though i may not have given my religious past a lot of lip service, believe you me -- it is there in spades. as such, i've got a new picture for ya:

and as further proof, yesterday i put this song in my head, reminiscing about rocking out in the car. told you i used to roll for the big kahuna.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

3 weeks without a post

thanks to work and its unholy love of eye-numbing, scope-creeped css projects. so yeah, i'm alive, and i love you, but it'll probably be another week before i start being able to breathe. i had a whole day without the little monster (yesterday) but now it's back. thanks, yo.

i want to hear from you lurkers. what are you doing? why aren't i hearing about it on your blogs? if *i* can post at least once a month, so can you. consider yourself on notice!

in other news, all this work is distorting my passion for writing. any of you writers out there -- have you ever gotten wonderful feedback+praise on a piece, only to feel completely pessimistic about continuing work on said piece? that's exactly what happened to me saturday afternoon, a few hours after my writer's group. my 1st thought was, wtf? i haven't had time for many 2nd thoughts because i haven't had time to fictionalize much (see above). i am sure it's just some of that legendary neurotic writer business but still -- annoying.

finally, i want to thank longbottom for creating an iced german chocolate mocha. it is second only to the butterfingery mocha goodness in cambria and no, i don't yearn for that on a regular basis.

Monday, July 07, 2008

put ham on 5 and hold the...


You tend to be a very quiet, introverted person.
You're happy to sit back and let stronger personalities shine.
You value loyalty and harmony. You try to bring people together.

Your taste in food leans toward simple comfort foods. You love holiday meals as well as old school favorites like mac and cheese.
You get along with mustard and ketchup personalities. You have an unlikely alliance with hot sauce personalities.

yes it's been a very, very long time since i've posted a quiz, and in belated honor of one of our more picnic-happy holidays (you know, the red-white-and-blue one last friday), i thought this condiment quiz was appropriate. i saw some of the options ahead of time, and for some reason, i knew i would be mayo...

speaking of red, i showed my patriotism sunday by turning my left hand (and part of my stomach) extraordinarily rosy when i poured boiling water over them. for any non-american readers, no, this is not a traditional celebration. i was trying to make tea, and in a freak tupperware accident, well, you can guess the rest. i promptly got it under cold water (and several times), so actually it's just mildly sensitive/pink today. only my pinkie finger is crabby to type, but thankfully there's little cause for q and z.

p.s. anyone who gets the movie quote in this post: i love you to infinity

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

on being nice

yesterday i was in a meeting that traditionally begins by asking if anyone in the group has "opens" or open issues they need to discuss. naturally these opens are usually a problem of some sort.

p.s. i hate the term opens.

anyway, a coworker of mine says yes, she has one, and proceeds to praise me for the next 90 seconds or so. there was a huge, mind-numbing project that got split between 4 teammates and, long story short, i ended up doing approximately 80% of the project instead of my original 25%. i volunteered for that, because as i've mentioned before, my nemesis is boredom. and being me, i did that work very, very quickly. to be honest i don't really think much of that--that's just how i roll.

but because my friend a) made her declaration during a time normally tasked to problems and b) is very genuine AND effusive, this rubbed some of the 15-odd attendees the wrong way. over the next hour, several folks made snark. if person A mentioned that person B helped them with something, person C would go, 'hey, i want to hear more about how person B helped you. can you talk more about that?'

and so on. i also got called out 2 more times for various work-related proficiency by different people, and at the end of the meeting, when there are "closing opens", i was greeted with "yes, i would like to point out that heather has a really cool tshirt".

haha. after having to explain the shirt (...), i said, ok, no one gets to talk about me for a month.

because i knew that all this attention meant i was going to get teased, and not necessarily in a nice way. it's happened three times already, and each time there's this undercurrent of:

- who the hell are you anyway?
- you're so quiet--you *can't* be working as hard as *i* am
- why is nobody praising to me?

i don't mind recognition -- i am a leo, mind you -- but this left a bad taste in my mouth. and to be honest, i feel worse for my coworker. she has a sort of irrepressible but levelheaded enthusiasm that is refreshing in the workplace (perhaps i'll nickname her Sprite, or Long Island Iced Tea). she's also a little older and hopefully in this case, wise enough to withstand some mockery.

of course the saddest part is the people who felt they had to make fun of a very nice person. insecurity issues, anyone?

Friday, June 27, 2008

so much for progress

since my last post, work has been bananas, and not the tasty kind, either. i have had absolutely no time to write, until this morning when a couple of servers went down. they *just* went back up, so i expect to be grinding away the rest of the day and next week. yeehaw.

meantime, in case you didn't see this all over the bloody internet the last week, there is a fabulous fun little toy out there called wordle. you take any text you want (i saw bible samples just now) and play with the words in a pretty little word cloud. for writers, it's a great way to see what you're really focusing on--in case you didn't know--and possibly, suggestions for a thesaurus.

for me, it's a way to share the stories i've been writing, but not give away too much other than potential themes. in other words, it's a way to be lazy with my blog content. so here you go.


Friday, June 20, 2008

a few words on words

remember how i sort of mentioned i've started a new story? at that point, i'd written 292 words. i've been so busy, it's been hard to get out much else until yesterday, when things seemed to have slowed a bit. and between now and then i've written another 2397 words, putting me at 2689 words in around 6 hours.

that may not sound like a lot, but considering the snail's pace of my other book, this is lightning fast. it helps that i don't have to research much; i am borrowing history from several people i know, but mostly pilfering my own life to come up with a sordid bit of fiction. and yes i'm changing tons of details, protecting the not so innocent.

another oddity, for me, is stumbling into using first person instead of third (i did vs. heather did), and wow...first person is powerful, when you're talking about something painful. the emotional weight of one scene made me a little nauseous; i had to stop a couple times. i suppose that bodes well for it grabbing a reader's interest...

meantime i'm dredging up memories (mine and borrowed), and it's making me feel weird about the next time i see my parents. min says, maybe this is your way of dealing with some of your past. maybe it is. i can tell it's good to do so, but damn is it intense.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


craziness at work makes for a dull blog, and very little creative writing, which makes me a sad monkey. but in the interests of giving YOU fodder, here's a couple highlights from the last week:
is this for the story i'm over 16,000 words into? of course not.

Monday, June 02, 2008

just a little prick

as promised, here is where you can find my little ficlets for june. i have two bits published, 'History Lesson' and 'Southern Discomfort'.

incidentally, 'History Lesson' was inspired after seeing some old, creepy, and strangely beautiful photographs. check it out if you like, but warning, it involves photos of the deceased.

Friday, May 30, 2008

tip: mascara and jesus don't mix

unless you were tammy faye b@kker, who was so obviously *not* catholic. since i have to get to work, i'll let you work out the snark in your own head, courtesy of this lovely bit of papism.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

don't you tell me what's nessa! i tell YOU what's nessa!

that's the end of a line not fully quoted here, but my parents, sister and i have quoted that line probably a billion times, because this:
(other than this--what a dramatic sidebar!), was THE most-watched movie of my youth, hands down. and why am i telling you? because today is madeline kahn appreciation day and as far as i'm concerned, she is the queen of comedy, which means you all should take a moment to appreciate her genius.

and incidentally, thanks to youtube, apparently you can appreciate it from your computer. these kids, with the technology! i'm just tickled at all this newfangledness.

i could prattle on about how much this movie shaped my warped sense of humor and thus, my entire life. but you'll be bored, and i will too. just go enjoy the linkage i've already provided, and then you will also say:


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

if i knew what you were saying, i'm sure i'd be offended

today the internets led me here. i forget who spurred my clickage, but i know they got me with this:

which i suppose is a testament to the power of words. after laughing, i realized this is incredibly offensive. and no i don't mean, how dare the government have secrets. people in power hold onto secrets like it's viagra for the soul, and while i don't agree, i understand.

no, what is offensive is releasing documents in this condition, period. either comply with the law, and let your sordid words fly over the ether, or claim some sort of orwellian privilege and keep us in the dark. because pushing the literal dark into our faces, save out-of-context, juicy words like "water board", pretty much says you think we're idiots who can't handle the truth.

and maybe we are idiots. but snub idiots too long, and you get badly-themed shindigs. i'm just saying.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

since i have been asked

yes, i had a good 3-day anniversary weekend. highlights include:
  • free, albeit early, beethoven at a very pretty college here in the town of stumps.
  • a lovely walk and picnic here, and right where that first picture is, too.
  • to get that park, you have to go over this bridge and yes, that made me very, very happy.
  • silliness--tho not unusual, it is always good to highlight the zee silly.
  • writing. about new stories, even!
  • a guilt-free trip to the best bookstore ever, because we took in a crapload of books for trade. freeish money!
not too shabby, really, and today's nice and slow so i may actually get some fiction writing in. ta ta!

Friday, May 23, 2008

discussion tip #287

if you're trying to win an argument (that isn't really an argument, but you've decided it is, because you're irrationally angry with the other person) then don't say something stupid like this:
By the way, inadvertent isn't actually a word. It's a null or zero word. Look it up! There's direct and indirect thought, and content & context only.
i added the link, but as you can see, inadvertent is not only a Real Word, it has a couple of meanings. but perhaps i own that website and made it up, just because i can.

on the other hand, if you want others to think you are an asshole, in addition to being mildly dense, please consider this kind of attack as your primer.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


i'm sorry to shout but #66 with beef is just about the best thing EVAR and my leftover-lunching tastebuds forced me to post thusly.

that is all.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

since that vitriol's out of my system now..

here's some proof i've moved on.
  • how i generally go about making positive change. timely, eh? i love DLM. and yes, really, this is how i roll. i'm too polite to rant much elsewhere.
  • spaceballs, the animation! i can't wait! also good zombie and get smart info. also, i have always called a particularly cone-shaped toy of pearl's 'the cone of silence'. also, i love steve carrell.
  • i love these:

  • that is all.

friendliness is next to..

this morning i was talking with a casual friend, who needed to change when we were going to meet. it also could have impacted min, and so he said, 'is your friend going to be ok with that?'

since we were talking on the phone, and his end was having a love affair with static, it wasn't until a few seconds later that i realized he said friend...not min. not partner, girlfriend, sweet baboo...friend.

i've known this guy for a couple of months. i have talked about min, and referred to her as my partner, several times. he knows that we live together, have been together for quite some time. he and i haven't discussed the nature of the universe, what makes us laugh, and by no means are we BFF, but we've shared a fair bit of our worlds and have pretended to race cars.

so it is no mistake for him to call her my friend. he is doing it intentionally. from the aforementioned conversations, i know that he has a conservative religious background (and perhaps foreground), which as many of you know, is the perfect breeding ground for homophobia.

which means, in our politically correct times, that if you think being gay is tantamount to terrorism (albeit some sort of subversive sexual terrorism), but still have gay couples in your life, you will refer to them as being friends. maybe even "special little friends".

as you might guess, this is not the first time this has happened. i've gotten very, very used to it, from medical workers to coworkers to family members. but apparently, today is the first time it really pissed me off. maybe it's because i just moved from california in time to miss out on marriage equality. maybe it's because yesterday, when another friend discovered that my 12 year anniversary with min was just around the corner (25th), she practically squealed and hugged me. or maybe it's because i've gotten used to mildly liking this guy, but now i know he's bigoted, either by choice or ignorance.

or maybe i'm just PMSing. you know, girls do that, and that certainly is a good cop-out for anyone wanting to dismiss this rant. i know it's a rant, but so what? i pay my taxes. i work 5 days a week. i make sure my pets get their medicine. i vote. i read. i exercise. i work at my relationships. i help my parents. i deserve the same respect as anyone else. that means, unless you are:

- a complete stranger
- my extremely-old-and-last-surviving-grandparent

you should use the terms i designate, because that's what respectful communication is all about. if you happen to call The Woman You Live With your wife, then that's what i'll call her, too. if you call her your partner, mate, significant other, girlfriend -- that's what i'll call her. if you call her your sweet baboo, i will laugh, but if you're serious, then i will probably call her 'the baboo' and you will laugh. and i would expect you to do the same for me. anything else is being an asshole.

i mean, think about it. i say partner, you say figment of my imagination. you're denying my reality. you're taking my word and asking me to pretend it means something else. you're trying to make me in your image, and i'm sorry, but only god gets to do that. and don't tell me you're god's megaphone. god speaks to everyone, and i can hear just fine.*

*as n approaches infinity, some corrections may be applied

Friday, May 16, 2008

the phantom premise

apparently i can't write any more today. not the book, anyway, which is sad because i was really tooling along for an hour or so. i'm at 14,717 words now, i'm in the middle of a scene, with more good stuff around the corner, but apparently it's friday and i'm tapped out for now.

but i still want to do something mildly creative, so here i am. :)

incidentally, i have permanently adjusted to not really working. or to be precise, exchanging 1-4 hours per day of Actual Work in exchange for getting to write and/or fuck around. most days it's about 2 hours. since i'm getting paid to write, it will probably take a natural disaster to make me quit. so yes, i've decided this job is a true blessing.

in other news, you may have heard that oregon is one of the few states left with a primary. it's next tuesday and incidentally, ALL mail-in. this was a pleasant surprise; my last few years in cali i'd gone absentee, because i hate taking off time from work only to wait in a long line that does not involve roller coasters.

anyway, this is the first time min and i have voted for different folks. she has been a clinton supporter forever, and while there are things i admire about the moment, the things i *don't* like about her are winning out.

and why am i telling you all this? because i hate the idea of a wasted vote. we don't have to be of one mind, not at all. but knowing that we are going to cancel each other out, it offends my political sensibilities.

in another fit of random, hot damn is it damn hot. wunderground says NINETY-TWO right now and no that is not normal for here. probably going to hit 95 in the next hour, right when i'm driving home. for the record i do not like heat. if you've met me, you can guess why. hint: i have been accused of vitamin E deficiency.

i think i'm tapped out again. let's call it monitor-induced apathonia and leave it at that. have a good weekend!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


two more pieces at Pen Pricks next month! just found out. yay me!

will post a link june first, when they go up. :):)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

i'm a sign (post)

as you may recall, i mentioned the existence of some...unusual signs in my workplace. and by unusual, i mean for a corporate environment, at least every one i've worked in the last 15 years or so.

i have uploaded some of my favorites, but these two take the cake, in my opinion:

whenever i see this one i want to a) run with scissors and b) purchase my own stop sign, so i can smack people in the head. just like mr. bear.

stairs: the phantom menace.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

in lieu of more interesting content

i admonish you to stop and smell whatever's blooming nearby, just like my girl.
let's call that puppy bliss

Monday, May 05, 2008


NOT catsup. anyway, someone around here is eating something with ketchup, and golly geewillikers if that isn't driving me absolutely crazy with wanting a burger, or fries, or something that involves that godforsaken condiment being slathered all over it. thanks to the lack of circulation in these parts, the scent of ketchup has been hovering in the air for a good hour now, i'm sure of it, and something tells me i'm getting fast food for dinner come hell or high ketchup.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

foray for fifty-fivers

one of the writing lists i'm on introduced me to a site called Pen Pricks, which publishes 55-word fictionettes on a monthly basis. i have an entry called "Shopaholic" - bout 3/4 down the page. there's tons of great entries, and obviously these make for a quick read, which is nice for those with no attention span.

and if you feel adventurous, submit your own! 55 words aren't that hard to churn out. although, composing *exactly* 55 words in an interesting manner...well yes, that can be tricky.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

she blinded me with science

in lieu of pictures, since my book hasn't changed locales for a while, i give you a portion - roughly 25% - of today's science reading. unless you have a BS (and who doesn't love BS?), or an extreme love of protein, you'll probably need a Thinking Cap. don't say i didn't warn you.
for future reference, this is proof of my extreme geekitude.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

ok enough with the work, people

since i'm over the 10,000 word mark, i'm trying to keep writing and these oodles of work tickets are not helping. neither is packrat, now that liz has shown me the folly of my former ways. damn you, internets!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

choose your own fairy tale adventure

my version had King Charles the Superfluous. fun way to kill 5 minutes and (at least for me) walk down memory lane. i *adored* those books.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


it's been a slow day, work wise. i actually *did* have work this morning, and a bit at lunchtime, but since i'm a little speed demon, really i've only worked, hmm, an hour today. throw in some blogreading and facebook time, and you'll see i still had plenty of time to write. today's count so far -- and it's only 243pm, people -- is 1307. that puts me at 8974 words total, and while i am happy to be making such uninterrupted progress, at the same time...apparently i can't handle doing the same thing for hours on end. i am interrupting myself, this very post a perfect representation of my inability to focus.

oh and i KNOW i already wrote about this before, but hey, bloggers have to whine sometimes, don't they? so nyah. i wonder how long i can put up with this weird schedule.

while i'm here, in other news...

- if any of you hold Good Vibes (or PrayerTix), feel free to send some to min. she is having more stupid doctor trouble.
- my eyes love attracting pollen like a presidential candidate loves wooing superdelegates.
- i work with a very nice group of people, and yesterday i found out one of them reeeally enjoys my bill moyer podcast collection. and yes, carol, that's your fault.
- this place has a love of safety signs that cannot be denied or left unmocked. i suspect a post about them lurks in my future.

ok back to writing...time for a little molecular biology, woo!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

the power of boop

running an errand at lunch, a white sedan behind me had the name and picture of betty b00p airbrushed onto the hood. as you can see there, this is still odd, but at least it's tastefully small. the one i saw pretty much filled the entire hood of the car. not really what i expected to see when i adjusted my mirror.

so...what message or image would you airbrush onto your car, if you had the time, inclination and, let's say, free cash to do it? i'm thinking something along the lines of R0N PAUL 08. because i also saw him at lunch, in the form of a forlorn sign littering a corporate courtyard, and i think the ol codger could use a pick me up.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Saturday, April 12, 2008

spring at my house

looks thusly, according to my mediocre but still powerful cameraphone:

and in the strange but true department, yesterday on facebook i found a friend who came to our wedding, 11 years ago, because she's a friend of dharma! really this was a friend of min's, and they lost touch after we moved from montana 10 years ago, but still, that was really damn trippy. and cool.

hoping to see my parents today, and hoping my dad's leg is doing better. this infection of his isn't letting go. bleh. think good thoughts, think..

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

winter is cold for those with memories in my book

well, it is, despite the mixed weather seen here and on my desktop:

pretty, no? word count's up to 7667 as of this afternoon - woo!

Friday, April 04, 2008

the audacity of faith

me and my faith been gettin reacquainted lately, in a roundabout way. it's mostly through reading [1] [2] [3] [4], of course, but also through discussions with family and friends. for example today, as i was reading a magazine that a coworker gave me because of an article on the relationship between hope and fantasy stories, given because of an earlier discussion on science fiction, creativity and staving off boredom, the latter being a perennial topic of interest round these parts.

coworker euphemistically warned me that the mag was put out by a religious school. naturally this put me in an intrigued but defensive state. was i going to inadvertently read something homophobic? proselytizing? boring?

gilly on the boring count, and the actual article in question was rather tepid. but the featured article was on the author of this. indeed, the whole issue was centered around hope, such that i wished they'd gotten an interview with ob@ma, audaciously hopeful sort that he is. but suffice to say, this mingling of hope, faith and the particular intersection of western christianity with my own noggin has really got me thinking... what do i really believe? why? and why should it really matter?

because let me tell you, i am a hodgepodge of faiths. i'm my own spiritual melting pot. i'm sure i can attribute a lot of that to my parents, but not because forced a variety of sunday schools down my throat the first 11ish years of my life. no, it's because they encouraged me to think for myself. which means that, by the time i got to college, started living a little, taking religious classes, and learned that the bible is not really what i've always thought it is...

well, it put me into a crisis of faith that i've never quite recovered from. but over time i realized, it wasn't my faith in god that was shaken -- it was my faith in religion. and as any thinking person can tell you, religion is a construct of man. spirituality, my perception and relation to the divine as i perceive it -- that's really the only thing i can rely on.

and yes i am perfectly aware of how fluid that is, but it's *mine*, thus i can rely on it with absolute conviction. however, my amalgamated set of beliefs - and you'll note i'm not detailing them here - are starting to skew my view of religious statements to such a degree that i'm feeling a little startled.

for example, reading about a woman feeling confused after reading about gideon and moses, looking for god to give her a sign, trying to obey god's commands. my initial thoughts, in order:

1. ah, i remember being devoted and reading like that.
2. how silly! does she really think god wrote those commands?
3. this sounds a little pretentious.
4. wait, it's ok. she gets to god her way, and i get there through mine.

i suppose there's a term for this kind of uberfaith (other than uberfaith), and while it tends to create cognitive dissonance, ultimately i find it too stimulating, i believe, to proceed in any other way. that said, if any of you feel like sharing your own views on this obviously personal topic, i'd love to hear them.

then again, since i've already admitted to being an amalgam, this really shouldn't surprise you.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

sumatra es yourmatra

or so today's photojourney would like you to believe...

ps. zee latter locale vill be en zee buk.

Monday, March 31, 2008

ring, ring!

as i am about to embark on a bananaesque journey, of the gastronomical variety, at my desk, i thought i would share the well-timed yet random discovery of salient banana facts.

also, please note the bananaphone's startling omission with a combination of respect and derision.

Friday, March 28, 2008

jesus loves us, now let's go kick some ass

in case you wondered how people get ideas like that.

my heart go asplodes for you

it does! oh and also, i suppose these are also part of my continuing quest for novel-related imagery.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

a spot of color

since my novel is *so* not ready for sharing, i thought i would share what i could: pictures. the first half of my book takes place in the distant past, and as such, i'm finding pictures of specific locales exceeeeedingly helpful in writing. once i've found an image i feel both fits the particular geography *and* mood, i make it my wallpaper and start writing all over it.

and now, in what will likely be a continuing series, here's my first three location shots, in order:

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

and now, some minor word amusement

in the Incredibly Pleased With Myself Department: i used the word mahogany in a sentence today. a Serious sentence, mind you. but still, FlagSelfAmusementEnabled.

in the Thank God You Don't Spellcheck Department: i read a submission today with the phrase "terror fying". as in, "terror fying screams". because as everyone knows, only seriously scary screams are the result of unadulterated terror fying. also, terror fying is the #1 cause of giggling in my cube.

progress report

in lieu of a rambly post, here's a general rundown on the last month.

* ~35 degree days i've been able to go *comfortably* coatless: 5
* times i've had to scrape ice off the car: 3
* hours spent researching/plotting novel: ~30
* hours actually writing: ~8
* words to date: 3571
* number of holidays (familial, cultural): 4
* hours i've spent actually working on the job: 16 (includes 12 hours of meetings)
* so, hours of not working: 127
* books read: 6 (8 by april 1)
* average book rating: 3/5
* new coffeehouses located: 1
* times i have felt grateful (this week!): 5

Friday, March 21, 2008


i just worked for a whole hour STRAIGHT!

also, my dad is doing better. :)

that's it. hope you are having a Good Friday.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

short attention span thea-tair

sure, that was a show i used to enjoy, and (i'd forgotten this) introduced me to another gem, but really, it's just a name for *me*. i am SAST incarnate, at least at work. give me a chance to focus on anything - reading, writing, actual work (what little there is), and i guarantee you that in a 15 minute period, i will have bounced between at least 4-10 app windows because WHAT'S GOING ON OVER THERE? THERE?

i think i'm bored. i also know that, as much as i enjoy getting to futz around at work, it will never feel right.

this has been going on for weeks, but not helping is anxiety about my dad. if these antibiotics don't start working soon...blegh. on his behalf, i can't think about it, other than to say bleggggh, and please hammer don't hurt him.

and what are you doing?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

enough with the writing already

here's a more general update, in case you were bored. although i will say, since there's still no work to be done here, i started actual *writing* yesterday and i'm already wondering if i should start on a different section. =p

saturday was the 11th anniversary of when min and i got hitched up in missoula (approximately 2/3 of the way across the photo). there was a lot more snow that day, which made it all the more surreal when we immediately vacationed in heat-wave stricken southern california. was about 90 degrees all week, i think. a nice little blur, though.

anyway, as often seems to be the case as we get older, we didn't do much smooshy stuff on the actual day, but min felt better sunday. we had some Time To Ourselves in the morning, then took off for (brief) jaunts in two parks, one of which had a rabbit, which is one of our little mascots. we took a scenic route to the surprisingly steep second park, and upon changing elevation a mere 50 feet or so, realized, wouldn't it be great to ditch and just go get lunch?

so we went to marcos, which i have glorified here before, and had a very tasty lunch, followed by a drive down to salem. we visited with my parents for a few hours, discussing all nature of reality shows, religion, health, and science fiction. all in all, a pretty typical parental conversation. then some dinner, where they treated us (happy anniversary/st patrick's!) to way too much food at mcgrath's.

incidentally, those of you who believe in prayer/good vibery, feel free to send some to my dad. a week and a half ago, he was hospitalized for cellulitis [mild ick]. they gave him some SuperAntibiotics -- this is after two weeks at home on pedestrian antibiotics -- and sent him home a few days later. apparently, the infection was not really gone. his left leg is all angry again, fever, the whole nine yards, so my mom's taking him back to the ER today. their doctor tried a few additional things last week but said if that didn't work, he might lose his leg. i'm guessing this is because my dad has diabetes and this, among other things, but suffice to say, this is a bit of an uphill battle, so again, feel free to radiate the good energy towards the tiny hamlet of salem, oregon, particular nexus of my dad.

with that, i'm going out for lunch because i screwed up the one i brought with me. and in case you're wondering, no i don't have a french press yet, thanks!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

[citation not really needed]

if you're researching a novel that will have at least a cursory basis in fact, seeing lots of [citation needed] references within relevant wikipedia articles is really really cool. why?

because no one can call you a liar. there's no proof, man! no citation available! bwahaha!

i mean, what a shame that no one has documented these things! sad.

excuse me while i start creating some "facts".

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


outlining a book is a weird kind of tedium. it's exhilarating, actually, because your mind is going a million miles a minute thinking through the possibilities. but then when you stumble into a messy point of logic, or realize that you've already seen that plot point on tv/film a few times, it can be a little frustrating, coming up with That New or Mostly New Idea.

i wouldn't trade it for anything though. well, ok maybe for a couple things, but at any rate, it certainly beats working, which i'm still not doing yet. i hear that's coming next week. :-p

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


apparently i am all about the twists, when it comes to writing. you see the words 'strand' and 'shoulder', most immediately think of a person. their hair, their body, something like that. and i thought that, too, but then i waited a minute. i stared at the words. then i thought, what about being stranded on a highway shoulder? and from that (and the rest of the prompt) i wrote a fun little snippet yesterday. full of twists and dark humor, which are apparently my native tongues.

taking a moment, to see where my mind pushes me, seriously feels like the best ever. as another example, i just spent the last hour looking through writing prompts. because, you know, i'm here at work and bored shitless, so i'm harvesting writing prompts. i had a lot saved up in bloglines because, apparently, i have trouble writing on min's computer. and my computer is not hooked up yet. haven't found the power cord yet. oops.

anyway, because of this, i haven't been reading anything from my bloglines 'writing' folder. until today, since i'm writing at work, and so i found this.

oh, interesting, i thought. and then a moment later, a twist on that idea had me practically chomping at the bit to write a full blown story. people, i do not write full blown stories. i write snippets. i don't have the patience to write a book. at least, that's how i feel 99% of the time. it will be interesting to see how far this progresses but suffice to say:

this feeling rules.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Enabled, which yes, is weird. i’d rather, i don’t know, work. but in the meantime – yes, tres cool.

a night for the ladeez

work has me in limbo yet again, partly due to my new status, partly due to external issues thwarting regular progress for many folks. which leaves me in a space where i could either read (on the computer, since i forgot my book), or write. i'm tired of reading, apparently, so here's the first in a possibly lengthy series of random posts from yours truly.

last night had 2 great things: my mom, and good food. it is always so wonderful to see her; even when she's miserable, she's still silly and smiling. no wonder pearl loves her more than us. seriously -- she follows my mom to the bathroom.

after catching up for a little bit, we tried to pick a movie and although no one was crazy about it, settled on this, which was playing at the laurelhurst. first, though, was to eat, and being in the mood for japanese, a little research landed us at masa east.

this was seriously some of the best japanese food i've ever had in my life, and having lived in the bay area, i've had some damn good japanese. i had this udon-shitake-scallop soup that was incredibly dreamy. the decor was adorably hip, all of the food so incredibly divine, and the entrees were all around $10. we will absolutely be going back.

incidentally, if you're in the mood for chinese food, do not go to mandarin palace in sw portland off allen. that is the worst faux chinese i've had in decades, so thank god we didn't pay much for it (coupon).

anyway, our tummies delightfully sated, we headed up to the laurelhurst. i had been there several times in my youth, and surprisingly it still looked pretty good... for a secondrun theatre. standing in line to buy tickets, i notice the SOLD OUT sign for our movie. crap. only thing left is some old guys...well, it won some awards, we're here already, it's only been playing for 5 minutes, let's give it a whirl.

so we whirled on into our designated room, apparently after the Impetus For The Entire Film had transpired. luckily min caught the end of it (mom and i had been acquiring liquid sustenance) and filled us in, not that it really mattered, because this movie? a little weak. i will give plenty of kudos to the actual acting. all the major characters, and most of the minor ones, gave pretty solid performances. but the writing, even the art direction...too predictable. there was an occasionally interesting turn of phrase, but that's about it. and the ending, well it was just awkward and sad. realistic, i suppose, and i don't need to have a happy ending for my movies but... i don't know, it just felt like they didn't know how to bow out.

i believe i've mentioned there is a DQ 2 blocks from my house. i also believe i've mentioned regular attendance is compulsory. thus, we stopped for drive-thru dessert, which we enjoyed at home so that pearl could alternately dance all over us and beg, an activity with which we happily complied.

and then i cursed myself for the late-night sugar high, because it took me two hours to go to sleep. even so, as you can see, i'm coherent today. well, at least enough to pretend i am.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

a spot of ramble

it was another quiet week at work, with more spells where i actually got to read a book. even weirder, apparently such spells are not abnormal. once i get into a non-training schedule, it will be interesting to see if i can actually write at work. in the meantime, i'm getting paid to read and play scrabulous, plus do a little work, and that ain't shabby, folks.

it's been a mellow weekend too, haven't felt well, but my mom is coming up so we can grab a bite and possibly a movie. probably a 2nd run, still not a lot of scrilla, but it shouldn't be hard to top the last movie i saw, which was the worst book rendition i've ever seen. the book? great. the movie, holy kiwi.

have any of you been in a writing group? i'll be joining one shortly, one that's just starting, and so if you have any advice, give it up. i'm looking forward to some writing accountability -- i know it's the only way i'll write on a regular basis, despite *thinking* about writing every single day. so here's to some caffiene-punctuated progress, since we're meeting at the home of my favorite coffee dispenser, borders.

and what's up with the rest of you? some of you've been a little quiet lately. snowflake's the only one getting a pass, since she hurt her back, poor thing. but the rest of you - speak up!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

all in a week's work

[written friday morning]

well it's not even 10am and i'm bored. in fact, i've been bored since i got here 2 hours ago, during which i've had 1 hour of legal compliance training and 1 hour of random but worksafe web surfing to keep me busy. i have potentially hours to waste before my next task -- a test "sometime" today. which means this is a great time to write about my inaugural week here.

the first thing i noticed about being in this office is that it feels *really new*. as in, 'huh? i'm not at my old job?' and repeatedly catching myself from saying FormerCompanyName instead of NewCompanyName.

the second thing i noticed was the lack of free coffee. I AM NOT KIDDING. turns out there is barely passable machine-dispensed caffiene at the other end of this floor for 65 cents, and crappy coffee in the cafe for $1.20, which means i am looking into buying a french press, people. if you have suggestions, toss 'em over; i've never used one but i'm desperate. there *is* a st@rbucks a mile away but that's too pricey considering my intake quotient.

so. for work itself, naturally i've been bored off my ass. i forgot how brutally slow one's first few weeks can be what with setup and training and waiting for busy supervisors to set things up in a timely fashion. and i mean brutal because i have NADD.

i will say though, that monday also included the weekly staff meeting where i got to see how excellent our group's demographics are. young, old, mixed races, genders and (looks like) economic status. coming from several years of rather homogonized yuppified workplaces, well, this is refreshing.

there's been technical and style tests, sure, but also the amount of cheesy compliance training, wow. for example, ethics. i've always maintained that any reputable ethics course will include a calvin coolidge quote. anyone who says otherwise is probably a communist. another good axiom: how do you know the right thing to do? because it's the right thing to do.

it is this kind of logic that leads late night comedians to invent faux fights during a writer's strike.

the other thing to note, i'm sure, has a perfectly valid business reason behind, but is nonetheless disturbing. there are apparently two main types of employees here, and respectively, we have different badges to prove it. i happen to be part of the lower caste (LC) and as such, am forbidden from certain areas. this is in addition to any super-secret areas, mind you, from which plenty of folks are forbidden. no, i am talking about certain rows of the cubicle farm, with warnings that LCs can only enter with a proper escort. and rooms like the fitness center. seriously people - don't you want us ALL to be healthy?

my favorite one, though, was this morning. in looking to kill time, i was browsing the intranet, reading about new company features, etc, and oh look! company blog! that's a good way to amuse myself. but wait! access forbidden because you are an LC. that's right, even my computer knows i'm an LC.

which is pretty damn funny to me because i've read corporate blogs before and i can't believe these would be any full of anything other than the self-congratulatory hot air those blogs are prone to.

even though this leaves me with a lovely separate but mostly equal dichotomy, i am still very grateful to be here. everyone is very nice, and the work, when it finally arrives, looks to be manageable. bring on the scrilla, man.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

a query

peeples, how does it get to be 530 in the #*(&$#@ morning already every day? didn't i JUST go to sleep? i ask you.

a more informative post about my return to work will come soon. probably on the weekend, considering my track record for extracurricular activities thusfar. woo.

Friday, February 22, 2008

your bitter ray of sunshine

thanks to rpp and a lack of recent quizzes, i bring you heatherweather, which apparently is conducive to eclipses:

You Are Sunshine

Soothing and calm
You are often held up by others as the ideal
But too much of you, and they'll get burned

You are best known for: your warmth
Your dominant state: connecting

Monday, February 18, 2008

a bit of color is good for you

be it goodies a mile down the road, or pretties from my front yard:

seriously, if you live in the portland area, you have to check marco's cafe out. i just had the best lunch ever, and it was just a sandwich and coffee.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


  • why yes, valentine's day is the purrrfect time to take down your christmas tree!
  • on that note, this has been the most fragrant (in a good way), long-lasting tree i've ever had.
  • if you adore 80's and/or country music, you should seriously consider moving to portland. that or, if you prefer to HUNT for new music on the radio, portland is also a great option.
  • it is so friggin gorgeous, and i am so utterly happy to be here, that sometimes i can hardly breathe, and yes i felt that way before i got the job. although the incessant jobsearch did drag me down, that happiness was still there.

    that is all!
  • it me, trendsetter

    snowflake, identifier of trends and master of scrabulous, wins the prize for identifying an uptick in my direction on the very day that the circle became complete, which is to say:

    i got a job. =)

    and yes, that is a collective sigh of relief that you're now hearing.

    the good news:
  • i got a job!
  • a permanent one, even!
  • at a Big Company! normally i wouldn't care about that, but in our current economy, and certainly within this particular company, that equals more job security.
  • apparently they are very fond of potluck lunches. free food, always good news.
  • my new job title includes the word "author".

    the mediocre news:
  • the pay, especially compared to what i'm used to from californy, but still, a liveable salary for up here
  • the very specific hours (8-5). and i'm whining because i have been SPOILED for the last THREE YEARS, where i normally rolled into work around 1030am. i told you - spoiled.
  • despite being an "author", the only thing i should be writing is code. yes, code. however, it looks to have junior-level code requirements, so thank god for that. let's just say, there were no interview questions about javascript, and that made me a *very* happy camper.

    oh and this is interesting, apparently this place is soooo security conscious that i literally will not step on-site until all my hiring paperwork is complete. as proof, i had my in-person interview at st@rbucks. how can you argue with coffee ubiquity? so i didn't, and the four of us had a very nice, caffeinated chat.

    since apparently i am practicing for getting up early (i woke up around 330 today), i decided to, upon proper alertness, alert you all to the good mews. so there you have it, and now i'm off the hook to post for at least a week. ;-)
  • Tuesday, February 05, 2008

    just kidding

    about that other car. turned out, after going through the dealer's shop, that it needed major suspension work. enough to exceed the value of the car. oops.

    this is what happens when you get the 'so fresh it hasn't been inspected yet' vehicles.

    so, they kept their eye out for us. we came by another time, for another dud, but in the end, we ended up scoring this baby from another dealer entirely:


    well, imagine that with 4 doors instead of 2, but yes, that's our little cutie pie and we're totally in love with it so far. a 96 p0ntiac grand @m that just floats along the road.

    also, some progress in the medical dept for min, in terms of doctors and trust me that had been a disaster. we lucked into a new, wonderful fellow who's doing a fabulous job taking care of her. not hard to beat the idiots who'd been on board the last few weeks. :-p

    in other good news, i had a job interview monday. a single one instead of the many i'd been getting last month, but better than zero. think healthy employment thoughts, eh? i sure need 'em.

    Wednesday, January 30, 2008

    in case you wondered

    if you have a dairy queen a mere block from your house, you are required to visit it for a tasty morsel at least once a week.

    that is all.

    Sunday, January 27, 2008

    good thing i'm not addictive

    since i'm still not posting much. you can chalk that up to being more than a little stressed and busy trying to manage my current financial, automotive and employment status. surprise surprise.

    well, while i am still without a job, and feeling inordinately frustrated about how long that's taking (and the dwindling opportunities), i am happy to report unexpected progress in the other two categories. out of the blue, a week ago my mom's disability (ssi/ssdi) application got approved, hallelujah! this was out of the blue because, for example, they'd previously said she had to fill out additional paperwork (a few months ago) and my mom hadn't done it yet.

    thank god for goverment redundancies, because they approved it anyway, and she got her backpay just a few days ago. this led my parents to loan us some major scrilla -- enough to last us a couple months AND get a replacement car... to replace our saturn, yes, but also the car they'd already lent us...yes, THEIR only car, and no i didn't ask for any of that! we were having dinner with my mom and she said, 'i knew there was only one reason for this money to come now. it came for you.'

    i really don't like entertaining what we'd have had to do if this money had NOT come. so i won't. i will just say thank you, thank you so much, and try to keep being worth this kind of reward.

    i wanted to get a replacement car quickly for two reasons:

    1. my parents deserve their car back, especially since it takes us 45 minutes to get there if an errand needs a'runnin.
    2. i hate driving their car. it's old, and it complains every way it can, routinely offending some combination of visual, auditory and olfactory senses.

    being the penny pincher that i am, i had initially planned to spend only a thousand bucks on a new car. yes i know that means i'd get a crappy car. i don't care, i just need one to last a few months til i can get another one. well, long story short, we spent closer to 2, and this is what we got instead:

    it's a 95 0ldsmobile aurora and yes it comes with the sunny backsplash. after all, it does rain here. it's not in perfect condition -- it is old, and has more miles than i'd like -- but for the most part, and especially for its age, it does seem in rather shiny condition. it's being prepped for final departure from the dealer, who's giving it a tune-up and finessing other fiddly bits before turning it over to us next week. i have never heard of a dealer doing this on a used car, but it's made me very glad we went there instead of Joe's Used Car Lot, where the surprises would come a la carte, post-purchase.

    so. i'm tired, and barring the lack of job or (yay) medical issues in our household (which i am too annoyed to elaborate on), i'm happy. i'm happy and i feel incredibly grateful to be here, and to know that LBJ is surely keepin' an eye out for me and mine. and with that i'm going to bed to read. :)

    Tuesday, January 15, 2008

    enjoying the silence?

    i know, after a bout of touretting i've been silent for 10 days. you can chalk that up to:

    - a plethora of job interviews. a very good reason to be silent, no?
    - listing, selling, packaging and shipping a variety of books, cds and dvds, to earn some scrilla
    - a car accident

    no one is hurt except for the car, which is in the shop as we speak. this happened friday night whilst min was making her way to whole f00ds. she was at a 3-way stop and apparently one of these people felt it was taking too long to go, so the person behind them (90 degrees to m's right) zipped around and plowed into the right side of our car.

    thank god i stayed home, since that's right where i'd have been sitting.

    the best part is that due to some credit card snafus (which some of you may recall), it turned out our car insurance had lapsed. not that we knew that at the time, though that's just for the best since she'd have been ticketed for it. it's being remedied now but suffice to say, we'll have to pay to get the car fixed, instead of insurance paying. this is doing wonders for my budding ulcer, in case you were curious.

    i wasn't going to write about all this yet - maybe wait until tomorrow, which is currently unbooked - but the morning interview i had scheduled was cancelled on account of ice. which makes it the perfect time to blab to the internet.

    and how are you doing?

    Saturday, January 05, 2008

    for those who are about to withdraw, i salute you

    i landed on the couch, with my dinner, around 715pm tonight, and went in search of something to hold my attention while munching.

    normally political debate does not hold my attention. while i enjoy political discussion now and then (and political lampooning, always), it's usually boring as shit.

    but tonight's new hampshire debate was not. it was insightful, smart, ridiculous, fascinating, and all around entertaining, in more ways than one.

    and now, a 30-second summation of each candidate's performance.

    (Giganticus Elephantia Republicannis)

    McCain - Way to call Romney a liar, to his face. I call Celebrity Death Match!
    Thompson - Go back to acting, where you can only ramble due to a bad script. Please.
    Paul - Maybe you should try acting. Have Thompson get you a gig on L&O, and you can ramble together. I like you for a passionate prosecutor who throws the case due to sudden-onset Alzheimer's.
    Romney - Congratulations on your ability to deflect/not answer questions until you've been asked them 10 times! That takes skill, man.
    Huckabee - Good thing your name stands out. Not much else does.
    Giuliani - I know about terror and healthcare and zzzZZZZ

    (Melodromaticus Donkeyito Democratinum)

    Edwards - Congratulations on announcing the Edwards-Obama ticket!
    Obama - Congratulations on announcing the Obama-Edwards ticket!
    Richardson - Are you through yet? I can't tell when you've finished a thought.
    Clinton - Thanks for letting us see your feelings -- the good ones, and the not-so-flattering ones, too.

    thank god for the political process. four hours of entertainment, for free! well, after sponsorship by facebook, abc and someone else, but hey, if the corporations and celebrities don't bring me my candidates, then i don't know how i'm supposed to make an informed decision.

    yay for the free market!