wish i had a river

I want to preface this with saying that this post, like any other on here, isn't a ploy for sympathy or anything like that; it's just what I'm feeling right now as I sit down to write. I can be more candid here than in person because I can't see your face or hear your reaction. I try to be real here, because the impersonality of this blog is cathartic. So. Onward.
Christmas for the Hoosband is exciting, and it's the same with Birdy. They are both so excited to get the tree up and listen to music and read Christmas-y stories. Hoosband gets such a feeling of satisfaction choosing the perfect gift for each person. Birdy yells "Santa! SANTA!" when she sees anything in red and white that may or may not have a beard.

I am not that excited.

Christmas makes me sad. It has for a while.

I don't know why.

If I think about the Christmas story, it makes me heartsick. Joseph, taking Mary on a journey so late in her pregnancy. Mary, scared that the baby will come too soon or too far away from a safe resting place. The sorrow and dismay they must have felt when there was no room for them anywhere but for a small cave that housed animals. Joseph, who must have been terrified (even if he had to marry the girl he was betrothed to when it was found out she was in the family way from God himself--and who wouldn't believe THAT story?) when Mary started to go into labor in earnest next to a bored looking goat. Or Mary, who was 14 or so and was having her first baby away from everything familiar except for her new husband (and that donkey they borrowed to go to Bethlehem in the first place, but who can count a donkey as a sincere friend?).

It's just sad.

When I think of Christmas, I have a feeling of longing so acute it brings tears to my eyes many times, yet I can't tell you what I'm longing for. Family? Maybe, but I feel it even when we are spending Christmas with our parents in Washington. I just know it makes my throat ache and my eyes water. I'm a grinch sometimes because I have to be--I don't want to feel like this all the time--not because I want to dampen the spirits of others. I look forward to the time after the gifts, when we're spending time together Birdy is in her cute dress.

I just don't know what I'm sad about. I don't know why I don't get excited for Christmas morning, or giving people gifts, or singing songs. I just wish it was over.

Which is also sad.


stupid brain

Today, my brain tryed to kill me, but its kung fu was no match for my karate. And my Aleve. And my bed, and napping. But it really did try to come out of my head, in the form of a migraine.

Listen brain, I get it. I don't use you the way I used to, what with not reading the newspaper and reading escapism books instead of scholarly journals full of peer-reviewed articles coupled with my chronic dependence on calculators. I get it. I'm a total dummy now, and you find it insulting.

But, let's face it, it doesn't give you the right to incapacitate me for the ENTIRE DAY. Luckily, the Hoosband was able to take the day off and watch Birdy, and I was able to make a date with my bed for the ENITRE DAY. I had the most cracked out dreams for the first five hours of intermittent dozing, and all had to do with how I couldn't call in to the sick line and say I couldn't come in. Some times, I couldn't find my phone. Others, I would dial the number, but be unable to talk. Or, I couldn't remember the phone number. So when I really did come out of my semi-coma, it was nearly one in the afternoon and I couldn't figure out if I DID call in or not.

I didn't.

So then I did.

And then I checked in on Birdy and Hoosband, and then realized that the migraine wasn't gone and high-tailed it back to the bed.

And that was my day. And now, all I want is ice cream, and I can't ask the Hoosband to go and get it because he's already been so nice all day.



you too much tv

photo from http://www.dealerrefresh.com/

Birdy has taken to running around the house yelling "karate-YAH!" while air kicking.

I have no idea where she gets this.

I don't think I would do karate, and I'm reluctant to enroll her in classes where she could, in theory, learn to beat me up for putting her in time-out. It seems...worrying. Because, despite what Miyagi says, fighting is not fighting. No same same.

Plus, with her being taller than a lot of other kids her age, I don't need to give her any unfair advantages in toy, art supply, or lunch money disputes.

Perhaps, if things keep going this way, I'll have to turn into a single parent and move to China. Or send him to his auntie and uncle in Bel Air.


three wishes

I'm all out of good ideas, so I'm using one of the NaBloPoMo prompts: if you had three wishes, what would they be?

I'm going to guess that wishing for more wishes is out, as is bringing back people from the dead or making someone fall in love with you (our time will come, Daniel Craig); I think it boils down to the rules for wishing in Aladdin. So, here we go.

1. Health for my family. I would want the three of us to be healthy--especially Brandon. We're lucky so far, but if I could make his back better, I would.

2. Financial security. Enough said.

3. For all my friends who are trying to conceive to get pregnant and have tons of babies. Or, as many as they'd want.

My wishes are so grown up now, which is kind of sad in itself. I guess that's what happens when you turn awesome. Five years ago, they would be so different from the wishes I would have had 15 years ago. Remember we would have wanted candy? Or to be an adult so we could do what we wanted? Or a swingset?

What would your wishes be? 


adventure time

Today, Birdy and I went river rafting.

In our living room.

On the Xbox, the new sister-wife we welcomed into our family in an intimate ceremony involving our debit card and a rather crowded Microsoft Store.

Xbox is fitting in well, and has already helped facilitate family time today. She seems to be a real gem.

But the river rafting. Like I said, it was on the Xbox, and it's pretty simple. Like any river rafting experience, you're on a raft, and you have to get as many tokens as you can by leaning around the raft and jumping. Totally normal, done it a thousand times in real life. But doing it with a three year old is an etirely  new experience. Those are times that I realize just how competitive I am. She was irritating the bejeezus out of me because she didn't understand the leaning and shuffling side-to-side. The fact that she is three and never had done it before escaped me as all the little tokens kept going by, unclaimed by us. I did manage to get a hold of myself and calmed down so I wouldn't be such a nut about it.

It does seem pretty fun, and the Hoosband is enjoying his Christmabirthday present quite a bit. I just need to get that other kid off my raft so I can get those precious tokens.

Photo from http://www.thedomesticscientist.com/2008/09/08/home-is-where-the-controller-is/


the black pearl

There is a student here who looks EXACTLY like this photo. It's uncanny, really, and a little disconcerting, to be showing someone how to make coffee and BAM, there's Johnny. Or, checking menus or stocking cookies and BAM, Johnny. I see him nearly every night, and I'm still not used to it.

I'm serious: he has the facial hair, and the hats, and the glasses. I'm sure he has a French wife hidden somewhere on campus, and giant scissors under his bed, and is planning a lunch date with Tim Burton to discuss his latest project.

Photo courtesy of celebrityimage.info



Tonight I had the privilege of completing a company-wide mandatory three hour sexual harassment training. On the computer. And it was narrated, and you had to go at a set pace...no skipping ahead.

Within 30 seconds of the narration beginning, I imagined sitting down to this training and having my mom narrate it. It entertained me for literally three hours, imagining that it was my mom saying these things to me. One of the better parts was when they were talking about tone and inflection in compliments,as in "Nice haircut." Try and say that as skeezy as you can. Then imaging your mom saying it. That's the kind of humor you have to grasp at on your last work day of the week, you know?

The training was also full of photos of people looking vaguely accusatory. They seemed to be thinking "this is your fault, you and your sexist thoughts and having relations in the bank vault with me, your assistant (that really happened, it was a court case, and I learned all about it).

Did you know propositioning someone you work with is sexual harassment? I can't believe there would need to be clarification on that. I think propositioning ANYONE, ANYWHERE would be sexual harassment. That just seems like a no-brainer. In fact, so much of the information seemed like a no-brainer. The kinds of behavior that people think are acceptable, funny or whatever are mind-boggling.

However, I did decide to treat myself to chicken fingers and sweet potato fries for being such an awesome and responsible employee coupled with the fact that I'm about 100% positive I haven't sexually harassed someone in the workplace before.

I am also 100% sure that sweet potato fries are delicious.




I have some hard news to share: Birdy may be a vampire.

On the day this photo was taken, she insisted on sleeping with all the curtains shut tight so it looked very close to twilight in the house. And then, when she got up, she wanted a snack. Like anyone would do, I put her in her chair and opened the blinds.

You would have thought the sun was burning her alive the way she screamed that it was too bright. Please note the lighting in the photo--it was cloudy outside. She wouldn't calm down until I found her sunglasses; she proceeded to wear them for the next hour. In the semi-darkness.

Does this mean we have to move to Washington now?



If you are either a writer, someone who wants a challenge, a challenging writer, or whatever, you may have heard of NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. It's in November of each year, and the challenge is to write a novel in one month. I actually know someone who has done this, and it's pretty impressive. I'd like to do it one day (year), but that is on hold for a while.

Thus, since novel writing is too daunting, I'm doing something a little more manageable: NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month. They do it each month with a theme, but November is the general themed month where the object is to post every day. This, again, sounded manageable.

I've found, however, that getting into the groove of writing again is difficult. It doesn't matter that I can string words together and have them make sense; it's that writing something that I would actually want to read again every day is hard. If this was in a journal, that would be fine, because no one reads that but me and that sounds like a much better place for writing exercises to take place. When I'm doing it here, in front of people, it's different. Having people see you when you know you aren't your best is humbling, to say the least. And it's also funny to me that I'm self-conscious about this.

I suppose that is the goal of this exercise though, pushing me to be better at something every day that I wouldn't do otherwise. Perhaps next year will be the novel?


fashion nonsense

Isn't this photo precious? Birdy, holding her puppy away from the other puppy, wearing a poufy skirt and no shirt? News flash: it's endearing when you are a toddler. After that, we wear clothes. Who failed to communicate that to Birdy?

This photo was taken a year and a half ago. Fast forward to now, and the not wearing clothes thing is wearing a little thin. Birdy has always enjoyed being in her underwear, but now that she's three and a half (gulp), I'm kind of sick of it. I didn't get to go to pilates today because SOMEONE didn't want to wear a skirt over her leggings. Now, as some of you may know, I hate it when people wear leggings as if they are pants. They aren't pants. They are underwear. However, all of the women at the college where we live failed to get that memo, and I live daily with women in leggings acting as if they are pants. So this issue? With the leggings and no skirt? It's the hill I decided to die on today. And die I did.Posted by Picasa

I gave her the option of a dress or a skirt, but none were "comfy" enough. And pants were an automatic no, as all pants are not comfy, unless they are one of the two pairs of Children's Place yoga pants we inherited from the Mak Attack . So after a 2 time outs and much weeping and gnashing of teeth, Birdy decided to compromise and put on bicycle shorts over the leggings. She better get this out of her system now, because no one wants to be friends with the 12 year-old wearing leggings and bicycle shorts.

Though, that would save me from carpooling her friends around...



I want to share something with you, friends.

My name is Heather, and I hated gym class.

The cool feeling of buying the uniform we wore for P.E. in seventh grade (I'm a teenager! I have braces! I could be in a John Hughes movie!) quickly wore off when I realized after the second class that we wore different clothes in P.E. because we would sweat. And when you are a teenager, you smell like puberty. And for the sake of the adults who have to be at school with you, they make you wear different clothes when you are not sweating. However, being a teenager, you are inherently smelly. Especially if you are a boy.

But anyway, I hate sweating. A lot. That is why I liked swimming, because you knew you were working hard, but you didn't feel yourself sweating. Because it's a gross feeling. Just...gross.

So here's the thing they really try to teach you in gym class: you feel like an idiot when you work out. But so do most people. Thus, get over it and work out because it's good for you and no one really cares that you look like an idiot on the treadmill or whatever because WE ALL LOOK LIKE IDIOTS RUNNING IN PLACE.

I'm on strike from running for a while, until I'm convinced I'm not going to just fall down when my ankle decides to sprain itself for the third time this year. THE THIRD TIME. Ugh.

So it's swimming for me, because if you can fall down while swimming then you must be given some sort of award, right? And swimming is good, but realizing how good it is is rather difficult when the pool is outside and it's 45 degrees and dark. And also 7am. The benefit is that I'm not terrible compared to other people, but I am terrible compared to how good I used to be. I think that is the hardest part: coming to terms to how different things are now. I have a benchmark (several, really) of how I used to be able to swim, and having concrete information to compare myself to now is kind of a bummer.

In conclusion, being fat is lame on a variety of levels. Everything is harder, and nothing is easier until you've done a lot of changing. And sweating. Ugh.


it's always sunny on my couch

So...there's this show. Well, if we're splitting hairs here, there's two shows...Family Guy and It's Always Sunny in Philidelphia. They are awesome, and they are shows my mother hates.

I started watching Family Guy in college, and it's the cause of my reoccuring sprained ankle injuries. It's a long story, but it involves the Shapoopie song from Music Man and myself dancing enthusiasticly with Peter Griffin. Also, it really, really, really hurt. I love all of Family Guy, because it's terrible. It's horrible. And it's wonderful, and hilarious. There are things on that show that keep me chuckling for days, and I'm at the point where when watching, the Hoosband just looks at me, knowing I'm going to start laughing like an idiot.

And I really am an idiot, because I also like It's Always Sunny in Philidelphia.

It's also terrible, and horrible, and much more so than Family Guy. But it's hilarious. Much like Family Guy, they start out doing one thing, and something totally different happens. But with the gang, it's most likely illegal, immoral, involving drugs, or people in green body suits. That show is guilty humor to the max. If you haven't seen it, it centers around these 5 people; a brother (Dennis), sister (Dee), their dad (Frank), and two friends (Charlie and Mac). Dee is probably my favorite character, but the triangle between Dennis, Charlie and Mac is my favorite dynamic. They're always competing and ganging up on each other, and, of course, shenanigans ensue. My favorite episodes cover topics like rum hams, crack, YouTube videos, bar advertisements, and North Korea. The gang takes care of business, okay?

So I encourage you to watch an episode, but please don't judge me.

April, you shouldn't watch any of them, because you will throw up all over Mark, the computer, or the sofa. Or all three.


running to the hills

When I get interested in something, I really get interested. And the first thing I do, after Wikipedia-ing it to death, is go to the library and check out way too many books on the subject. Then, I proceed to think about it all the time and obsess about it in general. Recent topics have included Appalachia, Amsterdam and earthquake preparedness.

In the last month or so, I've been obsessing about survival. I mean, when the world ends and junk, we're going to have to go to the hills. And I'm totally going to be prepared. Justin, a friend down here who actually COULD survive in the hills if need be, assured me that when the time comes to go to the hills, I'll be ready. But I want to be the ready-est, if you know what I mean.

I remember reading My Side of the Mountain when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade and being amazed that a kid could just run away and live in the mountains. I re-read this book in college and found it still interesting, but it was a bit of wake-up call. I know no practical skills that would help me stay alive. I can write papers. I can find information. I can't tell you what plants to eat, or how to grow my own food. Or build a house. Or anything along those lines.

Living in an area that is prone to earthquakes coupled with my worrywart tendencies have created a perfect storm of paranoia surrounding disasters and survival. Christine, Justin's wife, is more than ready to join me in the paranoia, and we've compiled large earthquake kits and worked out a plan to get us together at the university if something should happen. Not that it will. Hopefully. Anyway.

Luckily, my best good friend Brianna humors me, and even checked out books on survival as well; in my mind, it was so that we could compare trapping tactics and sod-house building, but I really know it's because she thinks I'm ridiculous (which I fully admit I am). She also, to further demonstrate her awesome-ness, got me this for my birthday. We're going in the spring in the Santa Cruz mountains, and it's going to be a great story to tell people later on. Plus I'll learn how to make a fire! And find things to eat! And stuff! Junk!

So, when the time comes to go to the hills, you can come with me. Unless you become a zombie, and then I'm going to ask you to forget that I mentioned going to the hills and stay in the abandoned cities, if you please.


the sound of silence

I have a confession.

I don't really listen to music.

I'll listen to the radio, and there are artists I like, but I'm fairly indifferent to the whole thing. My Hoosband, on the other hand, loves music. I shudder to think about the number of albums he has. He loves going to concerts and watching documentaries on music or artists or whatever. He was even going to be a music teacher at one point in his life. My lack of appreciation of music is, I believe, quite a thorn in his side.

I know I'm in the minority. I see people walking around with their iPods or whatever in their ears at all times, and I'm constantly amazed by how much stimulation they can handle. How do they think? I barely think, and I don't listen to music.

Again, I do like music, I just don't listen to it much. It's like sweet potatoes; I like them, if other people are having them I will too, but I don't think I want to eat them every day, like cheese or anything. The music I do listen to (usually in the car or cleaning the house) falls into two categories: "how awesomely ridiculous is this song" or "how great are these lyrics?" The former deals with mostly pop songs, which are awesomely ridiculous in themselves for the most part. The latter has artists like James Taylor, and the Beatles, Johnny Cash and others; songs that meant something to the writer or the musician.

If I had the choice between music or books, it would be books all the time. Hands down. I even choose to listen to books on tape when I work out. I feel like that's on par with buying a sweet sound system for your car and then blasting NPR, with the bass turned up. Which, probably, is something I would do also.



I am, as my husband would assure you, a person of absolutes. Many of my statements begin with "can I just say how much I love ______?" The blank can be filled with anything from socks to money that grows on trees, but it always begins on with how much I either love or hate something. Hyperbole like this is common in my speech, but rarely so stridently defined in my actual thoughts. Now, if you had to pin me down on my favorite color, that would be easy. Favorite book? Psh, that depends on the day and the time. I don't want to commit myself to just one favorite, right? There are many favorites out there for many moods. Food is an excellent example.

I am a woman of simple tastes. Simply delicious tastes, really. There are many things that I think I could eat a lifetime of: cheese and saltines, cheese quesadillas, cheesecake, or brie en croute (fancy for cheese and dough). Cheese, my friends--good cheese especially--is why I don't think I could be a vegan. I'm pretty sure that I could give up all other animal products or by-products, but not cheese. Well, to be more specific, melted cheese. Or maybe just cheddar. Or melted cheddar? It's too hard.

For instance, let's say your next meal would be your last meal. What would that be? This is where it gets too hard, like cheddar versus melted cheddar. Becuase if I knew my next meal was my last meal, I'd have to consider some very important things. First, how do you know it's your last meal? How long after that meal would you be dying? 10 minutes? 10 hours? 10 days? How would that food sit on your nervous stomach? Would it make for some super funky nervous-burps? If, after the meal, would you be attempting a long trek though snowy wastelands? Would the eating of that food as your last meal then ruin that food? There are so many implications to such a simple problem. I don't know how people can decide something like that.

But seriously, can I just say how much I love nachos? Because I could eat that every meal every day for the rest of my life.



Writing is something I forget I love to do. In actuality, I should really sit down and make a list of things I persistently forget I like. This list would include, among other things, hot showers, eating whole apples, pilates, and talking to friends I haven't seen in forever on the phone. The latter always seems to be a chore until the other person picks up the phone. Looking at that short list, it becomes apparent that I forget I like things that are good for me, and writing definitely falls into that category.

When I go back and read old posts, or papers, or journals, I'm always amazed at how well it sounds. Not to brag or boast, but it continually surprises me that my jumbled mind can put together coherent and sometimes entertaining strings of words together. I forget that I can do that; there are days that it seems like the only thing I know how to do is make my daughter throw temper tantrums (I am stellar at that, and rarely forget it).

Like few things in my life, I don't feel like I need to work at it to make it decent. The only other things I can think of in my life like that are going to sleep within 5 minutes of laying down and swimming. Not the most helpful of lists, unless I find myself in a situation that requires me to swim somewhere, write something, and then fall asleep...perhaps a shipwreck? Though, if shipwrecked, my skill set would diminish quickly after the sleeping part of the program.

Upon re-reading, it seems I am also fairly adept at making lists. I should remember to write that down.