Thursday, February 25, 2010


Strawberry lemonade was actually pretty good.

I know you were dying of curiosity.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Of Yogurt, Toilets and Part Two...It's Wednesday.

When it comes to yogurt flavors, I tend to play it safe. Classics like peach, raspberry, strawberry and the occassional marionberry hold residence on the left side of my refrigerator, waiting with probiotic stoicism to serve their duty as my breakfast. But this week I noticed new flavors among the perennial favorites. Apple pie...watermelon...strawberry lemonade?? What the heck, yogurt? What are you trying to do to me?

And I thought, "Why not? Why shouldn't yogurt be watermelon flavored?" and I threw one of each into my basket. Adventurous!

But unwise. So far I've tried apple pie and watermelon, and let me just say--gross! Strawberry lemonade, I have high hopes for you...

Have you ever used a Japanese toilet? I've used a toilet in Japan, but I was never brave enough nor desperate enough to use the traditional hole-in-the-ground ones. I like to sit while I do my business. That's my prerogative as a chick.

I'm getting waaaaay off track here.

The Japanese, it seems, are very conscientious of their toilet-time comforts. I have never been so amazed nor confused by the sheer number of options while 'resting.' Need to make some noise? The toilet will project a distracting tune for your auditory privacy! (My thought is, nothing says 'I'm taking a giant crap!' like random music coming out of a public bathroom stall) Cold bum? Warm it up with the heated seat option. Can't live without a bidet? A motorized whoohaa-drenching arm swings out from under the seat and gives you a refreshing splash. Germophobe? A wall dispenser offers cleanser and paper towels to satisfy your sense of security. I can't remember the rest of the buttons and gadgets because I was too afraid I would break the commode with my American button-pushing. 

Again, waaaay off track! 

The point is, Japanese airline All Nippon Airways will cater to their female passengers by providing 'women only' restrooms at the back of the plane. 

"An airline official told Kyodo news agency that ANA decided to designate women-only lavatories based on a 2007 online survey in which 90 percent of the women polled said the idea was attractive."    

Japanese women are tired of dealing with men who leave the seat up!

Furthermore, ANA  has connected toilet etiquette with going green... "Toilet etiquette appears to be an important part of ANA's policy-- the airline had previously asked passengers to use the lavatories before they board flights so as to reduce the overall weight of the plane, which would ultimately be better for the environment as it would mean less fuel useage."  Look at me, siting my sources! Reuters, 2010.

A few of you may be wondering what happened to Part Two of my Diabolical Dentist escapades. I just got way too lazy to write out the rest of the day, and to be honest, I was too disoriented to remember a lot of what happened. Long story short, I love nitrous, drill noises literally make me lose my mind, and I needed a root canal. Yes, there were tears.

I say needed because last Friday I returned to the dentist for my root canal, and learned that I'm highly claustrophobic--especially when it comes to having my nose covered. More tears, shaking, hyperventilation, more nitrous...but now the toothache is gone! Well, mostly. Before the procedure I was told it should take an hour to an hour and a half, but when they brought me up out of my blissful, nitrous-induced oblivion (I take a lot of gas. It's lovely), it was 5:30 pm. Three and a half hours after I had settled into the chair! And I still have to return next month for a permanent filling and crown. Crap. But next time, I am determined to be a grown up about it. Determined!

As I lay there last Friday, half-stoned, very confused and barely caring, listening to the Beatles and ignoring the construction zone in my mouth, I thought, "I'm smart. I'm a grown up. I'm rational (usually). But these nice ladies wouldn't know it by my actions in their office." I hate the idea that they think of me as a skiddish little child. They treat me like a spooked horse. They speak in soothing tones and pat me kindly. I'm a grown up, but for some reason the dentist reverts me to a terrified, confused little girl.

I'm thinking about sending the dentist and her assitant a list of my accomplishments, my GPA and scholarships, my paid-off credit cards and other proof of my ability to be an adult. You know, just to prove that I'm not always a freaked out little scardey-cat of a useless person...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sunshine Didn't Bring the Words


I have a few readers; my mom, Dad A, a few friends, and a lurker from Torrence, CA. But I also have one of those blogs that causes your finger to instinctively click the Next Blog button around 7.3 seconds after stumbling upon it. (Is it because I start sentences with conjunctions? I know it's wrong, but they just spill out of my fingertips!)

I should know...I do it to boring blogs all day. Especially the ones where dog owners write diaries in the voice of their canine. That's just weird.

In truth, I want to be brilliant. I want to be magnetic. I want you to subscribe to me because you can't rest without knowing my deep thoughts for the day.

But I can't be any of these things when I have nothing to say.

Hopefully one of Paul's kids says something funny this weekend so I can have a story to tell my mom. And Erica.

Sigh...I give up.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

You Can Find Us On the Floor

My family and I moved into our house in 1999. It was the first house my parents had ever owned, and bigger than anything I had ever lived in. With six (more or less) bedrooms, a daylight basement, and seperate kitchen, dining room and living room areas, it was a mansion. It even had butt glass!

The whole house had been redecorated in the 70's, and while the living room had since been done again, the kitchen reflected the style of the times.
Much like this only yellower...
I think the cabinets were similar, too
In true 70's fashion, the decorator chose a refrigerator in Harvest Gold, and time added smears of age, grease and memories of food long since digested. It was the first to go. Next to the refrigerator and seperated only by a free-standing, aqua-topped waist-high cabinet sat the avacado-hued stove. It was quickly replaced as well. But my absolute favorite was the porcelain sink. It wasn't quite the pumpkin orange that you would expect, but rather a muted tangerine. I thought it was a beautiful color. I truly loved that sink and even though we held on to it for a few years, I was sad to see it go. (And by go, I mean my dad threw it on the sidewalk with a FREE sign, and it was gone within a few hours. We're classy like that.)

Something like this

The beauty of the kitchen was this: the vinyl flooring tied it all together. The best way to describe the flooring is not eloquent, but it is very accurate. It looked like someone ate a pot full of chicken noodle soup and yacked it up all over the kitchen floor. I kid you not. I don't know exactly what the pattern was, but it incorporated harvest gold, avacado green and pumpkin orange, as well as a dingy cream-colored background, in a jam-packed series of 4" x 4" squares. Shucks of wheat might have been involved, as well.

To accent the cacaphony of color, the flooring possessed a number of rips, tears and all-together bald spots that marked the comings and goings of furniture, appliances and probably high-heeled shoes. Burn marks glowered darkly between the torn bits, telling their own stories. Black circles marked dropped cigarettes (not ours, goodness!) and brown, crescent-shaped scars bore evidence to hot pans clumsily dropped. Needless to say, that kitchen floor was not the crowning grace of the house.

However, my mom did appreciate the fact that she had to sweep half as often. After all, who could see dirt and crumbs within that busy mess? It provided the perfect kitchen detritus camoflauge.

That floor was my favorite place in the entire house.

I think it started with me, actually. I would come home from my after-school job at McDonald's, hobble into the kitchen and collapse on the floor. The cool vinyl would suck the heat from my inflamed hips, knees and ankles, and the hard, flat surface allowed my muscles and joints to realign into their proper positions. It was bliss. My mom would gracefully step over my head as she navigated between freezer, stove and sink, sometimes working with one or more of my limbs between her feet. With the grace given only to mothers, she never did more than roll her eyes at me, even when I propped my feet up on the dishwasher.

Then one day, she joined me. We chit-chatted about who knows what for a while, and one after the other, my sisters plopped down on the floor as well. My dad, wondering why we were all laughing and talking so loudly, found his way into the kitchen, too, and before long he sat down with us.

We had family time that night on the kitchen floor. The flour joke was born on the kitchen floor. At age 18, I threw a fantastic, beat your fists and kick your feet temper tantrum on the kitchen floor. Our shallowest and most in-depth conversations take place on the kitchen floor.

That puke-colored floor has since been replaced with cafe-tinged white vinyl to match the modern appliances. Over time, the cabinets and countertops were replaced, the walls painted and crown molding installed. The kitchen looks great--bright and homey. But the kitchen floor just doesn't feel the same. Somehow it's not as hard, not as cool to the touch.

It's said that the kitchen is the heart of every home. I guess it takes a family as weird as mine to appreciate time spent on the kitchen floor.

My nephew, Cyan, and I spending time
together on the (new) kitchen floor.

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for my upbringing. My parents were not perfect, but they certainly did the best they could with what they had and I think I turned out okay.

There are many personal characteristics that they valued, and they did their best to instill those characteristics in me. I, in turn, work daily to keep those characteristics in my own life, and I hope that someday I can share them with my own family.
  • Be sensitive to the feelings and needs of others and truly care about how my actions affect those around me.
  • Have a sense of justice. Personal gain should not take precedence over equity.
  • Appreciate and take care of what I have, and know the value of working hard for what I have.
  • Be considerate.
  • Be self-aware.
  • Take pleasure in giving of myself.
  • Learn how to love wholly and unconditionally.
  • Use the excellent example of marriage provided by my parents while crafting my own relationship.
  • Appreciate the simple pleasure that can be found in time spent on the kitchen floor! (Confused? Read the next family is a little weird, too...) 
This list represents the characteristics that I strive to demonstrate. I'm not perfect and I screw up so often, but my parents gave me a strong foundation to build on. I know that I'm growing all the time, and I never want to stop. If you stop growing, you start dying. I'm too young for that!!

Thanks, Mom and Dad. I hope I can continue the pattern and raise my own children (and help raise my step children) the way you raised me. To be good people.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tuesday/Monday Meandering

There should be words here. But...I'm not sure what those words should be.

I'm blaming everything on the lack of sun.

Once summer is here, we'll do more stuff. Once summer is here, I'll feel better. Once summer is here, I'll have something to write about. Summer summer summer...

Yesterday Chloe and I were talking about weddings, and she was absolutely appalled that I didn't want flower girls in mine. "Why do I need flower girls, Chloe?" I asked.

"Because it's what you do at weddings!"

Well excuse me! I think she just wants to be a flower girl...but that's not on my radar quite yet...

Well, okay, theoretically it is, but for all practical purposes, it's not.

Lilli and Lauren spent pretty much the whole weekend taking pictures of themselves. They spent hours in the bathroom, gussying and painting and dying hair, hours in the woods posing in the rain, and hours on myspace, posting hundreds of pictures. I'm glad they have so much fun together, but I hope they will learn to look past the reflection in the mirror.

After the dying extravaganza, I did find a streak of dye on my favorite sweat pants. My fault...I left them on the bathroom floor. But I don't mind the streak, mainly because the dye coordinates with the pants. Nothing adds character to pants quite like a streak of dye on the hip or a splash of paint on the leg--frayed hems and worn knees. I love it. New jeans are not my thing.

Also, Paul, I want no comments about the blue spots on our bathroom curtains. The dye bottle splattered and I didn't know it...
One of my homework questions this week is to describe the characteristics of someone I just don't like. I'm trying to decide which one of you to write about...

Ok, ok, just kidding...

The challenge is to choose someone who has never wronged me; to not focus on a certain event but to pick out characteristics of the person's personality that just drive me crazy! This should be easy, because I'm very easily annoyed by people. I never let them know I'm irritated, but I am. At the same time, I'm having a hard time writing about it.

What characteristics make you dislike a person? Can you think of someone that you truly just don't like?

 Yesterday, Paul, Chloe, Nicholas and I were at Barnes & Noble, looking at...books. We were teasing each other, and I said, "Kids, your dad is a dork!"

Paul replied with, "Kids, a dork." Your Heather.


What am I to them? Their Heather? I'm not their stepmom quite yet, but I'm more than just a family friend. What do they think when they think of me? They reply in kind when I tell them I love them, they cuddle with me and show genuine affection, but they're cuddly kids anyway. What is really going on in their little heads?

These aren't troubled thoughts...just curiosities.

You've made it through my meanderings so far--congratulations on the quality of your attention span! Now, take a moment and look to the sidebar on the right. See that image of a pocket watch? It's a link. Click on it after you've finished reading this page.

A few weeks ago, I decided to do a photo a day project for the next 12 months. I thought it would be a good thing to focus on. It would make me pay attention to how time was passing and to remember a part of each day.

But, I'm having a hard time. Some days I just don't see anything. Some days I forget. This results in photos of the pepper and my glasses. Exciting, I know. I even messed up last Sunday! There's no post.

I could give up, but I don't want to. I need to stick to something.

So help me out! What should I capture with my crappy iPhone photographs? What do you want to see?

Go take a look, and either criticize me for my mundane stupidity, or think I'm brilliant. Whatever--at the end of the day it, just like this blog, is for me and only me.

Happy Tuesday/Monday everybody...

Friday, February 12, 2010

I Was Yours From the Beginning

I've always thought that if something was truly meant to be, if it was written in the stars or planned for you before your were planned yourself, it would happen, no matter what. I still believe this, actually.

My parents met in the galley at NASWI over dinner. (No, my mom wasn't that cheap of a date.) The galley was packed that evening, and my mom was waiting for a friend to join her. Her friend was late, and my dad needed a place to eat. And that marked their beginning. About 32 years after that first meeting, they still have dinner together every night. (Well, them and the TV, and a combination of daughters and a grandkid).

But what would have happened if my dad had eaten at McDonald's that night? What if my mom's friend had been punctual? Would my own history have been changed, or would they have been given a second chance?

Paul and I met over Myspace. (I know, I'd be cynical too, but here we are. It worked.) We often talk about all the little life details that had to line up for us to meet. Paul had to re-join the Guard. I had to meet Dana at volleyball practice in 1996. Dana had to join the Army and eventually the National Guard. Paul had to look at Dana's laptop at the precise moment that my face scrolled by on her Myspace friends list, and he had to have the ridiculous sense of humor that put these words into his mouth: "She's a hottie boombalottie with a naughty body!" (Yup, it was the pick up line that stole my heart.) There are a thousand little choices that brought us together and one different choice could have made our paths seperate.

But I know in my heart that we would be given another chance. How could we not?

Happy Valentine's Day weekend. I truly hope you're spending it with the one you love...your predestined, the one for you. I know I am.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Today, I am thankful for this stuff:

Mmmm...yakisoba. The perfect lunch on a cold, rainy day.
My bones are warm again! Also I am very, very full.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Six Across--Starts With an 'A'

My favorite parts of my work day make their grand appearance when my co-worker busts out her crossword puzzle book.

"Heather..." -said tenatively. "Who was Jacob's brother?"

"Esau. E-S-A-U."


And later... "French for water is--agua?"

"Eau. E-A-U." (I only know that because I lived in Eau Claire, WI, or Clear Water.)


"How's it spelled?"


"Dromedary..." I'm wracking my brain's on the tip of my tongue, and I feel dumb for not remembering.

"People who like too much drama?"

"No...camels!" Good timing, brain!

"It was Cain and Able, right?"

"Yup." Wow, this puzzle is biblical...

She gets a lot of them herself, but goodness does this game make me feel smart!

Okay, sometimes I Google....

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I'm In Mourning

Dear HP,

I miss you. I really do. At first, I thought I'd be okay without you...I thought that I could rise above my loneliness and be a better person. But my lap is empty. I don't feel your warmth comforting me in the evenings, and the gentle hum of your breath no longer serenades me.

It's been a week and a half since I saw you last--a week and a half since you left me. Paul's has sufficed in the meantime, teaching me the merits of ambidexterity and flexibility, but this morning I realized something was missing. You took something Paul's cannot provide.

Microsoft Office!

Oh laptop, why did you have to die?!?!?

The Curse of the Diabolical Dentist: Part 1

There's no reason for my fear. Really, there isn't. When the nice lady sat beside me, held my shaking hand and asked what sort of traumatic dental incident I had experienced as a child, I had nothing to tell her. Dr. Wezeman was a rock star. I survived shaved teeth and sealants, extractions and braces and a torture device they pleasantly called a 'rake' (I'll show you the scars on my tongue from that one sometime). But now, as an adult, I'm a shaking, blithering baby in the dentist's chair.

I was nervous on the drive to the dentist's office, but I was okay. I psyched myself up the whole way. I told myself that I'm a grown woman and I should act like one. I told myself it wouldn't hurt. I told myself I was being ridiculous. And as I gave the receptionist my name, I was okay. I had only sat down for a moment when the hygenist poked her head out from behind the glass door and called my name. I left the neutral-toned comfort of the waiting room, and I started to shake.

As I walked past alcove after alcove I caught glimpses of the tops of the other patients' heads, the blue bibs protecting their chests and the tubes and wires sprouting from their faces making them look like a product of Tim Burton's imagination. My heart was racing by the time I settled into my own chair at the back of the building.

The hygenist introduced herself and attached a blood pressure cuff to my wrist. The tattle-tale digital readout screamed 197/98. Not good. My pulse? Ninety-eight. Definitely not good.

"Are you okay?" she asked.

My lips refused to form coherent, intelligent words and all I could manage to shove out was, "I don't like it here."

"You'll be okay," she comforted. "This is the easy part. It doesn't hurt!" I don't remember her name, but the space next to it on her name tag read Pierce College. Not to be judgemental, but that didn't help.

She chatted about her kids and I don't know what all as she began to poke around in my mouth. I did my best to keep my foot from twitching and I buried my hands in my pockets. I squeezed my eyes shut as she prodded with her metal picks and hooks.

"There's a lot of build-up here," she remarked. "How long since your last cleaning?"

"Four years," I whispered.

"Hmm...I'm going to use the Cavitron. It will cut through the tartar faster."

CAVITRON??? But I didn't have the gumption to clamp my mouth down on her fingers. The instrument was pointed like a needle, but she assured me there was no blade, needle or any other pain-causing feature. The Cavitron would shoot high pressure jets of water onto my teeth. No biggie, right? It's just water.

Wrong. As the high pressure water dashed itself against the build up that caked my enamel, it wailed and screamed just as I would have had my mouth not been filled with water and little pink glove-covered hands. The noise forced its way through my resolved and tapped the irrational part of my psyche, drip, drip dripping like Chinese water torture.

A single tear dramatically coursed its way down my cheek and into my hair. 'It's ok,' I told myself. 'One tear. She won't notice.' That tear was followed by another and another, and before I knew it, my mouth was screwing up in a pre-break down grimace. The hygenist took her gloved hands out of my mouth and patted me, more than a little confused.

"Take your time," she said.

I tried to tell her I was okay, but the words wouldn't come out through the tears. 'This is ridiculous,' I thought. 'Why on Earth are you crying? Nothing hurt you. You're not dying. You're a grown up.'

But I didn't feel like one. I felt like a little kid again, half-stoned on valium and nitrous and clamping my mouth shut against the cold instruments that intruded on my space.

Finally I did calm down enough to lie back again. "Let's just use the manual instruments," the hygenist said. "They take longer, but that's okay. We'll take our time." The poor lady was afraid of me.

I did make it through the rest of the appointment. I did not vomit as I so wanted to when she sanded the faces off of my teeth with that horrid rubber polisher and gritty paste. I shut my ears to the whining noise and focused on the minty taste instead of the gravel textures and sensations. I made it through her guilt trip lecture on flossing, and I even survived the flossing itself, privately reveling in the fact that she could experience first hand the shredded dental tape and close-packed molars that keep me from even wanting to try.

As we walked out, I should have been relieved. I should have been skipping. But that was only part one. "See you in an hour!" the blonde receptionist chirped to my fleeing back.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I've been neglecting my thankfulness lately. In fact, I think it's been a month since I've posted one and I'm feeling a little guilty about that. And this graphic is just too cute not to use (terrible reason, I know).

It's been a hard month. The Christmas-let-down-back-to-real-life-depths-of-winter blues really got to me, and I'm trying with all my might to be positive as we jump into February. After all, February is a short month and dumps us into March which is only one month away from April, and at the end of April we maybe might start to see signs of spring! Hang in there, people, we're almost done!

Oh yeah....being thankful. I've got to do it!

1) I'm thankful that el nino (pretend there's a tilde over that second n...I was told how to get it there, but it just isn't working, so we're going to have to deal with the gringo-ness of my Spanish typing) has been taking it easy on Western Washington. California is drowning in their own rain-water stew, and the south side of the states have probably resorted to burning their grandmothers' antique furniture to generate a bit of warmth. Up north, Canada is panicking at their impending snowless winter Olympics doom, and, ya know, the polar ice caps are melting away. Meanwhile, Washington is sitting pretty with abnormally warm temperatures, even if there is still way too much rain.

2) I'm thankful for my new obsession--KOMO AM Radio 1000. I've forgotten what FM radio is like in the car, because I can't stop listening to the news! I don't especially like reading my news, and I'm never home at the designated TV news hours, so I catch up with current events on the way to and from work with my new friends on the radio. Also, I can listen to traffic "every ten minutes on the fours" to make sure Paul hasn't died in a fiery wreck on his way to or from work. (Ok, the real reason is just that the voices keep  me company. Much better company than morning radio show/music ever did. Is that weird?)

3) I'm thankful for my bullsh!tting skills (sorry Mom). I have the God-given talent of being able to write pages and pages and pages of homework reports without ever expressing a single coherent thought, and scoring A's for the made-upedness (yes, it's a word, trust me....). This ability has saved my life over the last five weeks, and hopefully the skills will last for the next five weeks.

4) Finally, I am thankful for this guy, who supports me in everything I do, try to do, want to do, talk about doing but never do, or simply don't do. He encourages me to stretch myself and grow, to try new things and  to develop my talents. He holds me when I'm tired and plays with my hair. He tickles me when I'm hyper and eggs me on. He makes dumb jokes that send me into gales of belly giggles. He considers my feelings and helps me out at home. He respects me and honors me, even when I don't deserve it. And above all, he loves me with a love that I didn't even know existed. And I love him.

(You didn't think I could get through a thankful post without gushing about Paul, did you? I am seriously thankful to have that guy in my life.)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dear Readers, All Four of You. Five, If You Count the Stalkers

Nothing. Is. Happening to me.

Therefore, I have nothing to write about. I could bore you with how many loads of laundry I did over the weekend. I could numb you with an explanation of the unexpected psychological effects I am experiencing as I work through my OLRM class. I could nauseate you with more declarations of love. After all, I'm in it. Love I mean. Waaay in love. Solomon and his lover had nothing on me.

But I wouldn't do that--to you or to myself.

So help me out, please. What would you like to hear? What do I write? What do I say?

I freaking hate winter.