(Christine Kane)

The midnight sky all stars and black
Like darkened glass and glitter
Suggests that I go back inside
And wait for warmer weather
So here it's New Year's Eve again
And everything keeps changing
I raise my glass and toast the Gods
In charge of rearranging

All of the world is designed to remind you
All of the light you could find is inside
Under all of the noise
What's it like to be overjoyed

In spite of day-time planners higher standards
Dreams defended
There's not a single thing that's turned out
Quite like I intended
And so you learn that holding on
Is nothing less than panic
When big things fall apart
Then hearts get that much more gigantic

All of the world is designed to remind you
All of the light you could find is inside
Under all of the noise
Are you scared to be overjoyed

It used to be a race to see
Just who'd get there the fastest
But this frozen night it's only right
To consecrate the madness

All of the world is designed to remind you
All of the light you could find is inside
Under all of the noise
Here's your chance to be overjoyed

photo essay

There's a photo essay in the Moscow Times looking back at 2004. This picture in particular, following the school siege in Beslan breaks my heart. There's also an article about how the town isn't celebrating New Year's (looks a lot like Christmas here, from the Soviet era, new year's trees, etc. Also Russian Orthodox Christmas is around January 13 or so). In the town of 40,000, six people lost their entire families (spouses and all of their children), "18 children lost both parents, and more than 100 children lost one parent."

stupidheaded AIM

is letting me use my old screen name again. No, it wasn't shut down for 2-4 days, it was cancelled and not recognized for over a MONTH...

BTW, if you have an explanation that involves anything along the lines of "user error," I'm not in the mood.


I'm sorry to say that Julynn's prize for the funniest Christmas present ever has been ousted from that position. Why? Well because, last night after going to Michael's and JoAnn trying to get more yarn for my sister's poncho I'm knitting (no dice, they don't carry the color I need here, I forgot to get enough of one dye lot, so will have to order it online and hope it's not TOO noticeable of a color difference), as well as the crafts needed to make the captain's apron and visor, Crazy Mara picked up a latch hook kit. Yes, to make her own Froggy rug. Then, after a dog-feeding break and an online IM conversation I made my way back to her house where we watched Jersey Girl. No, I wasn't expecting it to be good, but I expected it to be better than, say, our home movies from the mid-80's. Anyhow, she gave me a lovely little gift. I've been googling it trying to find an online image of it, but without an artist's name or title, just typing in keywords is not as fruitful as I would like. It's a pen and watercolor drawing about 4x6. At first glance it's kind of funny. Then the closer you look, it gets funnier still.

At first you notice it's a dance studio. There's a grand piano in the center of the frame. Being played by a white and black St. Bernard with a moustache. (For being a St. Bernard one would have hoped that his legs would reach the pedals a bit more easily, but there you go) Sitting on the edge of the piano is a tiny ballet director. Who is a frog that is either a woman or a dandy - it's a little ambiguous as to which. On the floor are 5 ballet students - also frogs - two males and three females. The students are all in second position, except for one of the girl frogs who is doing a lovely arabesque. As you look closer, however, you see the frog doing the arabesque is actually reaching toward an errant fly in the studio with her frogsnout (presumably her tongue is to follow). And the dandy director is holding up a sign that says "Lunch Break."

Should anyone be able to find an online copy of this, please, please let me know! In the meantime, my personal quest to find it shall also continue.

Cockamamie traditions

Typically, on Christmas, my family has scaled back over the years. For the past 5 years my sister has had a disabling neurological condition. My sister and my mom have been also known to contract nasty cases of bronchitis in the weeks before Christmas. My dad gets random, yet frequently severe medical conditions out of the clear blue. So, when I make my way to California a day or two before Christmas, any decorations in my parents' house are usually left up to me - the only one who is still upright in the days before Christmas.

However, this year, I got in to my parents' house around 10:30 pm on the 23rd to find them in the midst of a massive sewing project for their church that needed to be done by about noon the next day. It hadn't been designed yet, much less patterened, and it was with a tricky material. So my first two hours was helping design it, pattern it, then finally collapse into bed around 1:30 am (after having been up nonstop since 3:30 am California time to make it to work at 6:30 am on Thursday morning).

At 9:30 am Friday, Christmas eve morn (it was really 8:30 but the clock in the bedroom hadn't been reset to standard time), I awoke to realize I had a WRETCHED migraine, which got progressively worse through the day regardless of medication, homeopathic remedies, rest, etc., and culminated in my arrival in Urgent Care at 9 pm Christmas eve for a dose of Demerol and Visterol which knocked me on my can for the rest of the night, the rest of Christmas day, and half of Sunday the 26th.

So this year, the Christmas decorations that were up when I got home were the sum total of the Christmas decorations we had. (see photo above) There's no scale, but that bad boy is about 7" tall and has flashy lights all around it. There was also a creche set in the other room. Mind you I'm not really complaining about that - I'd just as soon spend time with my family than feel duty bound to decorate when we're all half unconscious, but this was a little piteous, even for us...

Multi-disciplinary approaches to Autism

I spent several years working with children diagnosed with Autism, and LOVED it. It's some of the hardest work I've ever done (Freddie, if you have the link to the Salon article, that'd be faboo), it's definitely not for everyone, and Autism (or Autism Spectrum Disorders - ASDs, such as Asperger's Syndrome, Rett's Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder - I know, don't get me started - etc. etc.) is a difficult disorder to explain, much less treat. I worked in several different fields, using quite a few different frameworks and applying different skill sets under these frameworks: music therapy, applied behavior analysis (ABA), Lovaas, cognitive development, Floortime, socio-emotional development, on and on and on.

Today there's an article in the NYT about Autism, and each time the mainstream media spotlights the disorder, I alternate between thrilled and discouraged. It is a difficult disorder to spotlight in that it's manifested ever so differently from person to person - it's a spectrum disorder and a syndrome so a person diagnosed with ASD and the different syndromes manifests a different set of skills and disabilities, with different levels of severity in those areas. No two children with ASD present exactly the same. When an article or news story appears, it brings levels of awareness abou a disorder that is grossly on the rise for reasons unknown, widely misunderstood (Rain Man, while a start, is one of the most high-functioning people with Autism I've ever seen - possibly second only to Temple Grandin, whom I met a few years ago and is remarkable in so many ways and a beacon of hope for so many parents) but also does not do enough research to present a story that may leave the reader or viewer more confused - sadly without them ever realizing their confusion. Often it presents ABA as the be-all, end-all of Autism intervention.

This article bemoans the lack of current, pure, scientific research of the effectiveness of ABA Autism because the parents often interfere with the would-be effectiveness of this research by accessing multi-disciplinary treatments. In an online article that covers 4 pages, today's article mentions numerous treatments and interventions and gives them cursory, derogatory explanations, or no explanation at all. Sensory Integration is not a wild, unknown, fringe-treatment, as portrayed in the article - there's years of research to back it up, not to mention testimonials from parents whose child never showed any interest in playing even near other children in the sandbox during recess because they couldn't tolerate the feeling of the sand (I, personally, totally understand that one - sand on my feet triggers a gag reflex). Gluten-Free, Casein-Free diets are helpful for some children, and also address sensory processing difficulties. Floortime, helps parents and children to interact with each other - a skill never previously addressed as developmentally necessary for the child or the parent. I've met families with children 7 years old, and the parents seem as emotionally distant as their children; they've never played with each other because the parents have never learned that their patience and persistence in reaching out to their children is as important for them as it is for their kiddo, and using Floortime models, these parents have interacted with their children for the first time.

I definitely understand why research is important in the treatment of any disorder. However, I also understand the need for parents to treat their children with as many interventions as possible - since Autism comes in as many colors as there are water droplets, no single treatment or combination of treatments is likely to work universally as the Cure for Autism. Many people illustrate the parents as accessing interventions as a way to manager their grief as going into overdrive. In many cases this is true - but if you look at the motivation, it's difficult to portray them as therapy-seeking maniacs who want their children to spend their whole lives in therapies. In most cases, these parents are doing whatever they can to give their children what every good parent wants to give: their child a happy, healthy life where they can live as independently as possbile to go on and do the same for their children further down the line.

Christmas traditions...

I got to California only 2 hours late (they forgot to find someone who was allowed to fly the plane, as opposed to the pilots who had been flying for so many consecutive hours that regulations would not allow them to fly 2 more hours to get to Ontario from Denver so we had to wait until they could recruit 2 pilots who thought they'd spend the night in Denver, but instead had to spend the night in Ontario, and this would be okay with them... can you tell I spent many of my formative years reading Sassy the parenthetical mama magazine of them all?)

I got home and, true to tradition, there were no Christmas decorations up. Well, almost none. My sister has had a disabling illness for the past 5 years, and everyone has been so busy for the last 10 that it has become my LEAST favorite Christmas tradition that I have to decorate the entirety of the house by myself, usually on Christmas Eve day whenever I stroll in off of a plane from wherever I happen to be living. So on the 23rd, since I got in around 10 pm, had been up since 3:30 California time, my family took pity and didn't push the decorate NOW issue. I went to bed and woke up on Christmas eve day.

With a blazing migraine (the likes of which haven't been seen since the ugly incident this March that kept me out of workfor a week, and made Dilaudid my friend. ) And I slammed the Mountain Dews, took the drugs, slept in the dark room (which isn't fun for a whole day, when you only have 4 to visit with friends and family), and eventually wound up going to Urgent Care.

Ah, Urgent Care, the next Heatherfeather's Family Tradition. Usually it's my sister with her inflamed cranial nerve who goes to Urgent Care on a major holiday (usually Thanksgiving or Christmas, but sometimes Easter). If it's not my sister, then it's my dad with a Slicing Onions Gone Horribly Wrong injury, pulmonary embolisms, etc. But this year, it was ME. We had planned to go to midnight mass for Christmas (which here is 11pm - mass, not Christmas) but didn't even get back until 11:30, so that plan was out the window. Not to mention the re-visiting of the Attack of the Killer Sidewalks after the Demerol and Visterol (sp?). So I went to bed. And this morning I still have a touch of migraine, so will go back to bed soon.

Merry Christmas from my house to yours!

Thanks to...

...Julynn for giving me the funniest Christmas present ever:

A big bottle of Benadryl.

How well she knows me...


There was something I was going to post about yesterday but decided not to since I had posted 3 times already... If only I remembered what it was... For what I'm posting today, I'll bullet point because there's not much order to be had...

  • With regard to old wives' tales for predicting the sex of your baby, the funniest and possibly the least likely is to pour Drano (okay, maybe it's a somewhat recent wives' tale_ in the toilet and pee (assuming you're the pregnant one). The Drano is supposed to turn pink for a girl or blue for a boy.
  • It's COLD here today. It was 12 degrees when I woke up and by 3 pm it should be down to around 7 degrees, and drop to -4 degrees tonight. Then tomorrow, it's supposed to be 37, then 40-something Saturday, and almost 60 on Sunday. It's supposed to be around 60 in California this weekend, too.
  • I'm nervous about leaving the pet with a pet sitter but glad that I have a way to spend Christmas with the fam.
  • I tried knitting in the round last night. I get it, I can do it, but if anyone has pointers re: decreasing the amount of slack between the sets on the dpns, I'd be a happy monkey!
  • Sweetmonkeys, I only have to work for 2 hours today!

Improvements can be made!

Following my previous post, I decided to peruse the Rockland (Maine) Police Blotter to see how my wordy writer was doing. And after two wordy days, there's a marked change in the length and descriptiveness of the summonses, complaints and arrests. But true to form there was one good post about a car egging. (evidently the eggee was not disliked enough to have their car deviled egged):

Dec. 15
On Prescott Street, a resident reported her car was covered in eggs sometime between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. No damage was done, and police have no suspects.

Dang, Russia!

Russian communists have declared Joseph Stalin a better leader than Vladimir Putin. Yes, Stalin was a brilliant military mind, but he did "purge" the Red Army pretty heavily. Yes, Putin's a little bit shady, but seriously, a centralized government (and certainly not democratic) is the only kind of government Russians have EVER known (life wasn't exactly picnicky under the Tsars or the Soviets).

However, Putin's statements on the Ukrainian elections are a bit suspect...

a post on (g)knitting(k)

I have a touch of the knitting ADD meets knitting bipolar disorder. I go for years without picking up needles, and go manic and all I do is knit. However the ADD kicks in when I never go much beyond stockinette and seed patterns. In theory I know how to knit in the round, tend to think that by and large dpns are better than circulars (although it DOES depend on the project), but I can't do short rows, cables frighten me, and have never been more adventurous than scarves (rectangles are good) with single colors.

So December 2003, I told my lovely Mary W. that I'd make her a scarf. A pink scarf to suit her pink obsession (sort of like me with orange, or more recently, kermit green). And I decided I'd do multiple colors in stripes, not rows. And since I was feeling uber-adventurous, I'd do random racing stripes instead of knitting the colors one into the next. I didn't get started until January of this year. And a HUGE portion of the project was dividing the 3 colors of yarn into 7 (yes, seven!) different working skeins. (My dad's engineering background came in handy when it came to putting them on nifty cardboard winders of his design that were finalized in about their 9th incarnation). And I started off rustily, as it had been about 3 years since I'd thought in that methodical knit-purl, cross over, blah blah blah, and it was uneven, I fidgeted around with a pattern that was quickly abandonded...however not abandoned quickly enough to make the frogging worth my effort... And I trudged. Slowly, slowly, slowly. I made some real progress when I first moved to Denver and didn't have a job. And suddenly, it was mid-December, I was going to California in 10 days, and 1 year later this scarf was about 5' long, which was FAR too short for it's 14" width. So I've knitted like a madwoman, and decided that it would NEVER be finished in enough time to bring back to CA. So I got inventive. And worked off of the slipknot function of the scarf that people seem to use (I personally prefer enormously long yet skinny scarves - about 8-9'L x 4"w so as to wrap like mad around my neck without being too bulky or making me claustrophobic). And I decided I'd knit a hole into the end of the scarf, so as to slip the other end through and lessen the need for length. And then I tapered it down at the end so that the 50-odd stitches narrowed to 3.

And it looks like crap. After a year of putting it off, I can't even in good conscience give it to miss Mary.

So, Mary, my darling, I've gotten a yarn selection I prefer, I'm going to buy some dpn's (about size 15, with the chunky yarn), make a tube scarf, and if I'm lucky make a matching hat. Because I suck, and I'm sorry. But I still love you!!!


...would have been Summer's 28th birthday.

Happy birthday Homer, I miss you.

Going back to Cali

Leaving Thursday evening. It's supposed to snow here today, tomorrow, and Thursday. The high temperature today, 30, tomorrow, 26, Thursday, 19 (when the low is forecast -3). I think I won't mind a 68 degree Christmas after all.

oh my heavens...

This story is terrible and takes place in my one-time sleepy, yet highly lovely French town of Pau where I passed a lovely and memorable summer... Seriously, if you're not in the mood for gore, just skip it.

I cannot for the life of me remember where the hospital in town is... I'm clear on centre-ville, the university, the shops, the BEST Indian restaurant ever, the castle, the place to get the good crêpes, the fun bars, the churches, the house where I briefly lived, the mall, the grocery, the parks, the place the Roma stayed in the summer... But no hospital comes to mind.

Russian politics and Romanian cats

Putin's ever fervent attempts to distance himself from the Yeltsin-era oligarchs continues... Take that, Khodorkovsky!

So in our very best impression of a Chinese Fire Drill over the phone, it took about 10 phone calls for Timmy to leave Denver for Philadelphia. See, Mara will be here over Christmas (what with her having gone to Detroit for an early Hanukkah over Thanksgiving), but very few others who know Timmy will not. Timmy has a charming little cat from Romania named Huzat (which is the evil Romanian wind that sneaks in through the cracks in the doors and gives you toothaches and colds and whatnot) that will not go to PA with him (the trip from Bucharest to Philly to Denver this summer having been a nightmare), and Mara will watch her. (I who am not wild about cats....previously Cy was my only feline chum...LOVE this cat...she's sweet, slightly evil, smart, tiny and loves the feathered pink bangle bracelet from Chuck E. Cheese more than catnip, cat toys, food, or Timmy himself). However, Ashley took Timmy to the airport early this morning as I was shuttling my aunt around Denver. Mara's in San Diego until tonight. How would Mara get the keys to Timmy's house to get in, play with, show pictures of Timmy, walk her on a leash, change the litterbox, and tell her that she is a loved kitty cat at least 5x a day so as to avoid moodiness (seriously, this is all in the instructions Timmy left)? Well at long last, I got a spare key to Timmy's car, in which he left his house keys, from which I would collect said keys and present them to Mara tonight when she gets off of the plane.

In Huzat news, however, I think she's lonely, because she's never been super cuddly with anyone except Timmy, and today she was LOVING me... Sweet cat with BAD taste in jewelry.

Brain dump

I had a strange breakfast: hash browns and 2 fuji apples.

I drove to Flatiron Crossings this morning to pick up gifts for my aunt and her roommate at Nordstrom from my family so as to avoid shipping charges. On Hwy 36, I was looking at the fields, admiring the goregeousness of the Rockies all purply and capped in snow, and swerved at the last second to narrowly avoid hitting a 3 legged coyote crossing the highway. I couldn't look in my rear view mirror for another 2 miles lest I see carnage...

I have to clean my house today so that I have a lovely home to come back to after Christmas - nothing's nicer than a clean house after you've been away... granted the large dog will have been staying here, so there will still be spare dogs that he shed in the corners, but I can organize my coffee table. Just not dying to douse the shower in bleach and scrub that out today.

Getting hair done tomorrow. yay! It's been a LONG time since I have... mid-October if I'm not mistaken.

Watching Zoolander... What good silly fun is that movie... "When all he had to do was turn left..."

Update: In more poor nutrition, following my apples and hash browns for breakfast, what else would I have for lunch? Corn Pops.

Cуббота по-русский

I had a bonus Russian class this morning - it was nice to have the opportunity to practice on someone who SPEAKS it instead of forcing it on my coworkers. The 3rd quarter starts on January 3. I asked the instructor to ride me really hard about my accent, which she says in addition to having an American accent, is all in all pretty good, but every now and then she hears something that's almost French in nature. So that all makes sense. I want to have a good accent - I know not everyone can hear many of the distinctions, but my ear for accents is really good, but my oral musculature doesn't know how to make the "ы" or the "щ" sounds. And we're not spending too much time on grammar (it's an adult ed class - most of the students are retired and taking it for fun), and I'm asking so many grammatically-focused questions... I'll see if I can do independent study with her for the spring quarter so that I can know more grammar than what we cover incidentally. (I stumbled upon instances when you would use the accusative case, but only with feminine subjects today, and wanted to know more, but she didn't go into it until after the class when it was only me there)

Я люблю мою семью!

Friday randomness (my boring version of Semaphoria's Friday link-o-rama)

Things I learned about horses from The Apprentice finale:

  • Horses are sissies.
  • They are also anti-capitalism.
  • They would have been frightened by corporate sponsor Wisk's logo being painted on the polo field, or seen it as an obstacle to the goal.

Things of note in The Moscow Times today:

The NY Times (free subscription):

From CNN:

Christmas time in Maine

I had a very brief stint living in rural Maine (South Thomaston, I give you a shout out!), and although there were many reasons I didn't stay, and most likely won't move back, Mid-Coast Maine holds a dear place in my heart. And every year around this time, the person who writes up the police blotters for the local news website gets the winter punchies, and starts to get either very creative or a little lazy. Not all of them are decidedly interesting until you start to appreciate their "show not tell" skills or overall verbosity. Examples:

Dec. 2
A U.S. Postal Service van struck a pedestrian on Maverick Street. The pedestrian, Michael G____ of Rockland, was struck on the sidewalk while riding a bicycle. The driver of the postal van, Thomas C____ of Owls Head, told police the glare of the sun obscured his view and he failed to see G____. G____ was uninjured, the van was not damaged and no charges were filed.

Dec. 3
A Rockport school bus slid into a ditch off Glen Street. A bucket loader from nearby Harbor Plaza helped pull it out and send it on its way.

Dec. 5
Donna D____, 61, of Waldoboro was driving south on Winslows Mills Road when she struck a sheep that had run onto the road. Her 1995 Dodge two-door sedan sustained $2,000 damage. D____ was not injured or cited. The police report did not say what happened to the sheep.

Dec. 6
Two people were arrested following a traffic stop near Main and Myrtle streets. Officer Jay Neubauer stopped a 2004 Chevy pickup for failing to stop at a red light, and the driver, 20-year-old Laramie W____ of New Harbor, was arrested for operating after suspension. An unmarked pill bottle containing cocaine and Oxycontin was found on a passenger in the truck, 19-year-old Bobbi P____ of Washington. Along with the driving after suspension, W____ was charged with trafficking and possession of scheduled drugs; P____ was charged with drug trafficking and drug possession.

Dec. 10
A 43-year-old man was reportedly "clocked upside the head" with a large red flashlight during an altercation on Main Street in Warren.

A report of a domestic argument on Second Street in St. George turned out to be a 48-year-old man who was intoxicated and stumbling around in his house.

Now, granted, none of these top the Rockland police blotter for last year (I'll post it later), but all in all, it makes for a more interesting read.

Update: I searched and searched the website and I can't find the police blotters archived anymore... But I found a story that reminded me of another story I read in the Bangor newspaper during moose rutting season a long time ago. There's increased destruction of personal property during this time, but the most extensive I heard about was a VW Jetta that had all of its windows broken, the body was destroyed and covered with hoofprints... the car was totaled, but worst of all, the inside of the car was "coated with unspecified moose fluid."

Bob and Stuff

James the Chick (aka fred) is just having one bob this time around. While I know that she and Jaimie would have loved several bobs at once to smithereens, one bob for the first time around seemed like plenty to them. He's goregeous and healthy, has two of everything he needs two of, one of everything he needs one of, and is cooking in her oven nicely! Yay for bob!!!! I'm so excited about bob, and I also love James to bits, and I'm super happy she's a bloggomaniac so that I can hear about what its' like to be pregnant even though she lives in OR and I live in CO.

I sat in a hallway at the Mariott in Cherry Creek today for 5 hours. There was a meeting in the meeting room beside the hallway and I had to stay there until 12, so I caught up on the skinny around the hospital.

Ummm... that's all I appear to have rattling around my head right now, though...

Universal Truths

Over Latkes and Hanukkah songs at Crazy Mara's on Saturday, we think we stumbled across the only universal truth:

Beer Goggles.

heidi's, plasma, and baby(ies)

I finally wandered into Heidi's Brooklyn Deli in Highlands Square and I was DYING for a salad. In the winter is when I have insatiable cravings for green yummy salads. So I got an Awesome Salad... which was just okay. Although in its favor, it had pieces of fresh mozzerella and delish avocado. But eh. It wasn't worth $10. Sad Heather.

I did another plasma donation in the blood donor room at work, and they gave me not one but 2 ornaments for my tree! (Bringing my grand total to 7!)

And, now comes the time for us to partieth heartily, for my Freddie May is with child! She thinks her due date is around June 10, but at her 14 week appointment she found out that her uterus is unusally large for 14 weeks, so she's having another appointment to see if she is tiny in proportion to her uterus, if she's actually 18 weeks along, or if [gasp] she's got more than one bun in her oven. But YAY! Baby Bob is bob bob bobbing along!

I'll be in California in 10 days. Weird.

One for two... And music notes - ha!

In a fit of extravagance, I saw ANOTHER movie in the theater last night - Birdget Jones 2. Evidently it was sequel weekend... Yeesh, though, that was BAD. There were some really funny moments, but all in all, nooooooooooooo. If you're a huge Bridget 1 fan (I enjoyed it - only saw it on DVD though), I guess I can't talk you out of it, but this is my attempt to tell you to wait for the DVD. Or just don't.

Music I'm digging lately:

  • Mannheim Steamroller Christmas stuff (their stuff that sounds normal and not annoyingly synthed within an inch of its life)
  • Paul Oakenfold (particularly "Ready, Steady, Go" and "Delirium")
  • Sarah McLachlan's "Song for a Winter's Night"
  • Barenaked Ladies Christmas stuff
  • Danielle Howle's Catalog and Live at McKissick Museum
  • various stuff associated with Alias, season 1
  • Bubba Sparks' "Deliverance" (thanks crazy mara!)

I'll give you $1M if you don't talk for the next month

So Crazy Mara and I saw Ocean's Twelve last night. I haven't seen a movie on opening night in a million years, and I forgot how crazy theatres can get when it's a high-budget, high-profile movie like that. But it was good! I left more entertained than when I entered, and I laughed over the throwaway and random parts that most people don't notice (i.e, "shut up or I'll eat your head.") Good thing I get a student discount, though, because I'm seriously hard up for money these days. I can't wait until I don't live check to check. But I digress. So the movie was good, it wasn't as inventive as the first as it had you scheming for most of the movie, but at least I schemed a little bit wrong, so I was surprised at the end. And I want to meet the person who choreographed the yoga/dance/laser beams thing - They're super cool (although it seemed a bit contrived from time to time) and I think that would have been a GREAT fun job to have.

Although it might not have been as entertaining as some of the things you see walking around Cherry Creek North at 9 pm on Friday night. Like the inflatable reindeer with the indecently placed holly berries. Or the sheep on wheels. Or the sad and tiny ice skating rink.


Does anyone else think this sounds surreal?

Don't get me wrong, it's no good in the hood, but LASERS?

Time burner... again

what time is it: 5:49 pm
Name as it appears on the birth certificate: Heather Lynn ........
Nicknames: heatherfeather, muffinhead, hato-pato
Piercings: 3 each ear (historically, 6 left ear, 4 right, had left nostril pierced 2 different times)
What is the most recent movie you've seen in a theater: (humiliatedly) Save the Last Dance
Place of birth: Denver, CO
Favorite food: stuff that doesn't make me break out in hives
Eye color: sometimes brown, sometimes brown
Ever been toilet papering? negatory

Love someone so much it made you cry? yup...but maybe not like you think
Been in a car accident? yes
{Disclaimer: I Heather Lynn loathe "favorite" questions...so I'm going to name more than one for many of these)
Favorite Day of the Week: varies... Thursday or Saturday
Favorite restaurants: Good Indian places, Chili's, that fabulous place in Rancho Cucamonga off of 4th and Haven... I forget the name
Favorite flower: daffodil and crocus
Favorite sport to watch: soccer and hockey
Favorite drink: coffee, good Reisling, Bass Ale, Coke, Water
Favorite ice cream: Vanilla, mint choc. chip, rocky road
Favorite fast food restaurant: Ambivalent. But I do NOT like BK.
Disney or Warner Brothers: Miramax
Color of your bedroom carpet? Hard wood floors
How many times did you fail your driver's test? 0
Before this one, from whom did you get your last email? Vicki Meade
Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Anthropologie

What do you do most often when you are bored? play guitar
Bedtime: early... 9 on weeknights, weekends varies between 10 pm and Sunday morning
Who will respond to this email the quickest: I would say me (and James said me)
Who is the person you sent this to that is least like to respond? dunno
Who are you most curious about their responses to this questionnaire: super
Favorite TV shows: Gilmore Girls, Alias, West Wing
Ford or Chevy: Subaru
What are you listening to right now? Brian Williams, NBC Nightly News
Favorite color: orange and kermit green
Lake, Ocean, or River: depends
How many tattoos? 0
Time you finished this email? 5:59 pm

So deep they squeak.

I've been stuck on Deep Thoughts lately. My friend Jake used to have a daily Deep Thoughts calendar and it made 1999 very...interesting. And now for some Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handey:

  • I think a good novel would be where a bunch of men on a ship are looking for a whale. They look and look, but you know what? They never find him. And you know why they never find him? It doesn't say. The book leaves it up to you, the reader, to decide. Then at the very end, there's a page that you can lick and it tastes like Kool-Aid.

  • Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don't know what your rights are, or who the person is you're talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

  • Whenever you read a good book, it's like the author is right there, in the room talking to you, which is why I don't like to read good books.

  • I hope some animal never bores a hole in my head and lays its eggs in my brain, because later you might think you're having a good idea but it's just eggs hatching.

  • As I walked through the woods, I looked up and saw a squirrel. I smiled and he smiled. At least I think it was a smile. My teeth were showing and my cheeks were pulled up. That's a smile, isn't it? (The squirrel was definitely smiling.)

  • If you ever fall off of the Empire State Building, go real limp, and maybe someone will think you are a dummy and try to catch you, because, hey, free dummy.

  • What is it about a beautiful sunny afternoon, with the birds singing and the wind rustling through the leaves, that makes you want to get drunk. And after you're real drunk, maybe go down to the public park and stagger around and ask people for money, and then lay down and go to sleep.

  • Children need encouragement. So if a kid gets an answer right, tell him it was a lucky guess. That way, he develops a good, lucky feeling.

Just when you think you know yourself...

I heard from someone I haven't heard from in about 7 or 8 months. I got an email, an updated blog address, and a life synopsis that was both too short and too long. But the thing that's killing me is that I suspect he's already read this and... Or if he hasn't read it and I give him the address... well, that I'll be self-conscious of the person that I have become and my metamorphoses over the last 5 years. That I'm not a good enough, existentialist enough, profound enough, or even interesting enough writer for his standards. Because as a writer, he is all of those things. Eloquent in ways I could never dream. I know I'm a good writer, I know I like who and what I've become, I know that I wouldn't travel backwards in time for love or money.

So why do I feel that I don't measure up? Why do I permit this person this power over me where there was none? Since I permitted it in the first place, I suppose the power's mine to revoke at will as well.

Permission revoked.

A good day begins with...

...Finally having your allergy medicine refilled.
...A 2 pump peppermint, 2 pump mocha.
...Knowing you look fun and cute in your skirt, tights, and new shoes (and shirt and sweater).
...Calling a friend "riff-raff" for their birthday (even though it's not until Saturday, but they'll be in San Diego).
...Knowing you'll work enough hours this month to pay January rent, your December pet sitter's bill, your phone bill, and (hopefully) your cable bill.
...Having a fun green purse.
...Giggling because of a football player named Leftwich.
...a long walk in the early morning sunlight...complete with sunglasses and gloves
...looking at pictures of your friends' babies.
...looking for wedding presents for a doctor at work from your boss, and finding one WITHOUT chocolate body frosting or edible massage oil so you don't get sued/fired for giving it to them.
...Having a brand new coffee travel mug that someone at work gave you.
...Being certain that you will leave work ON TIME today.
...Deciding to wait 22.5 more years before joining AARP.

iPod shuffle morning

"God's Country" by Ani DiFranco
"I Feel" by the Sundays
"Word Up" by Cameo
"Train In Vain" by The Clash
"Texas Waltz" by Gina Forsyth
"Blood Roses" by Tori Amos
"Suedehead" by Morrissey

Should I be amused or insulted?

I got a ton of junk mail yesterday. The usual Val-u-Paks, credit card offers, etc etc... But 2 things jumped out at me:

1. A full size envelope from Harvard Medical School. But upon closer examination I saw it was not really from Harvard but a women's health magazine with an article from Harvard in it. So into the dustbin it went!

2. A letter from AARP. For those of you who are NOT in the know, AARP is the American Association of Retired Persons. Yes, Retired Persons. Pretty much everyone is invited to join and get discounts once they turn 50. Yes, 50. And it was evidently a second letter asking why I haven't taken advantage of this fabulous offer. Now, I'm not necessarily thinking that I LOOK 50 (or in that neighborhood) but I am a little curious if someone who IS 50 may have stolen my identity? Or there's another Heather V. with my social security number floating about?

In shocking news, I have a headache... blug.

For 3 Strange Days...

It's been an interesting weekend. My motivation for social activities has been close to nil, which is likely related to how tired and headachey I've been. So I was going to go out Friday night, but they were going to watch the Parade of Lights downtown, and I've been in enough parades that I think they are the most boring things EVER. Saturday, I went to Crazy Mara's and wound up not going out because of the overwhelming urge to vomit and the migraine. Then last night, I swung by Mara's sports bar we had some free dinner (her boss rocks), then were going to go out and meet up with Timmy. But I didn't want to so I went home and decorated my Christmas Tree. It's nice - I actually have a few (precious few) decorations to put on my 4' tree. Including a string of garland, 4 ornaments, 12 tree bows and an angel for the top. The tree's pre-lit. I also have some scented thingies to put in a glass bowl to ake it look like I'm a grownup. Decorating the house is not so much my thing.

Today I have a fun but not fun appointment (more deets to follow later), I have to exchange some shoes for wide width (but they're quite possibly the cutest EVER). I also have my first holiday work party tonight at 5 - at the Cheesecake Factory.

I have to blow my hair dry today. I made a proper breakfast today. I've still got a headache but we'll see how it turns out later.

Anthropology meets psychology

I've always had an interest in language and culture and the way they affect thoughts and physical manifestations. I never had a chance to take more than a cognition and culture, and an intro to linguistics course in undergrad but they've stayed with me over the past 10 years. Involved in a conversation regarding SAD someone said that Americans should stop complaining about weather affecting them to the point where they medicate. (I got disgruntled with the tone of the post but his comment was a fair one so here's my response)

The idea that Americans are the only ones who do suffer, not only from SAD, but depression in general and then medicate themselves to make it better is a very Western idea. In Indonesia (I believe Java in particular), the symptoms that the DSM enumerates as Unipolar Depression are diagnosed in the rural regions as possession by evil spirits, and the people possessed are exorcised. In China (this is where it's a little more foggy so I may be wrong about this, it's been 10 years) I believe that the symptoms we know as depression are...an energy imbalance? So the people who are unbalanced as it were, are treated for that particular disorder with Eastern treatmens. Now in these 3 very different societies, the number of people who manifest these symptoms are proportionately pretty similar. The success rates of treatment for these people in these very different countries with these very different people are proportionately pretty similar. So when it comes down to it, yes, for whatever reason people get so sad from the weather they take anti-depressants, and it works. If I were Javanese, I'd run right to my shaman and ask for help, too. There should be no stigma with needing help to balance a mood.




headachey (day 3 in a row!).

I have a topic that I don't have the wherewithal to talk about tomorrow. In case I forget, it deals with mental illness as it relates to culture.

follow your instincts

When someone asks you if you want to go to a cowboy/hip-hop bar where females pay no cover and get free drinks, and you initially want to say no because you're tired, don't feel all that well, and have to get up early, say no. If you say yes, the night might end up with two of your friends fighting, one bleeding, and everyone cranky.

I'm just saying.


As in, less maudlin today.

Annoyed at people in CA and in CO, but all in all, I am well. Except for the migraine.

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erratically updated for food, yarn, or other nonspecified reasons