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Showing posts from 2009

Storybook Endings

There's a sign above my bedroom door that says Happily Ever After. I bought it on the boardwalk in Ocean City, New Jersey a couple of years ago. It's perfectly viewable from the whole room and the last thing to read on my way out my door every morning. Just a little reminder that my Happily Ever After is out there.

In the sixth grade, I did a book report on Happily After All by Laura Stevenson. In the book, the characters explain that the phrase "happily after all" is more appropriate to the way things go in life. You never see what happens after the prince and princess ride off into the sunset (except in straight-to-DVD sequels). Since the plot is so fraught with difficulty, the real reason we celebrate at the end is not because they will live happily together forever, but because they are now living happily after all that they've been through.

I try to remember that whenever things are pushing down on me; that this isn't the end. In fact, I'm going…

Silence

One of the hardest things I've ever had to do is not speak to someone. That sounds strange maybe, but it is an incredibly difficult endeavor for someone who loves to keep in touch (as this blog should prove).

I've had to stop communication with people lots of times in the past, and it never gets any easier. The first time was arguably the most difficult - though not the most gut wrenching - because it was a friend with an eating disorder who I realized I couldn't help. It took me years to realize it, but until she was ready to help herself, not even my friendship could make her happy.

Of course there are people who just fall off your radar, but I'm talking about cold turkey not speaking to someone anymore. The first two weeks are the worst. Because you inevitably run across something you know they would think is really funny, or an event they'd love to go to, but you can't send them the link. Then come the times when you might have regularly spoken to each other …

When all else fails...

...write about the good stuff. It'll make you feel better.

I just spent 30 some odd minutes writing this long post, trying to be all profound so I could hide the thing I was really worried about in the post without having to say it outright. I didn't even have to read it back to know that it was a waste of electrons.

Instead, I would like to tell you that I am LOVING the live Christmas tree I bought on my way home from church today. A seven foot balsam. It smells lovely, and I know it's going to look even more amazing as soon as the branches start to fall out a little more. I'll post pictures of the whole decorated set-up in a few days.

Also, played in a fellowship this weekend and did okay. I desperately need to work on my serve receive, but had as many blocks/touches at the net as everyone else and only missed two out of how many ever hit attempts I had and one serve all day. I also managed to get rated as an up-ref and a scorekeeper. One test and three ratings to go, a…

Dating Chronicles: The First Date

I'm a single girl in the city. If you're reading this, you probably knew that already. I decided last January after I met friends at an inaugural ball, that having a date every once in awhile might be a good thing.

Over the past few months I've tried being "out there" more. This is, in general, a miserable strategy. Anyone who knows anything knows that you'll never find the right person when you're looking for them. They're just going to show up.

This however, has not stopped me from practice dating. I call it practice, because I was never one of those people who dated in high school or college. I never went out on dates, even when I was really dating someone. It's always been friends who transitioned into relationships. This makes me feel like I missed some essential stage in the grown-up dating world.

In case there are other people out there like me, who have never done this, but feel like being part of this mid-twenties phenomenon, I'…

Lady in Waiting

There is a line from The Holiday that always struck me as meaningful, "I should be the leading lady in my own life." (this may be paraphrased, it's a bit foggy right now)

Right now I feel like someone in the role of Supporting Actress. I'm not playing the lead, I'm a lady in waiting (and not in the Episode I of Star Wars way). I'm like that actress who is the best friend in everything, but who I've never seen play a lead in anything - even I can't remember her name without looking her up!

I'm an impatient sort of person; as I've previously mentioned. So I'm setting out to turn my life around before 12/29/2009 (my last day in the U.S. for 2009). In 2010, I'll be turning an ideal age (based on my own weird thing - the last "good" year was predestined to be 23), and when I get there, I want to remember myself taking action now, not just accepting my self as a secondary character.

I hope Judy Greer does too. She's a great b…

"Real" Dreams

Last night I had a series of what I call "real" dreams. These are the types of dreams you have where you wake up and honestly believe that what you dreamt happened, because it felt so real.

Here were the weird things I dreamt:

That I decided to say hello to someone I haven't talked to in months because we were in the same place at the same time, and then all of a sudden we were in this tiff, and then I left.

That a kid I was babysitting had a pet lizardy thing that looked like a baby dinosaur that I found in one of a series of fish tanks. Oh, and I had to find a bucket to scoop out the little dead fish in all the tanks.

That one of my co-workers had figured out how to access one of my personal accounts (think Facebook or MySpace) and was warning me that my boss now could too.

I dreamt these things like they were real. Like baby dinosaur pets existed and that I was in the same place at the same time as someone I'd rather not see.

I have no idea what all of that means, bu…

I'm just saying.

Love always, ~Heather

Kudos: to the unknown creator of this image.

Boxes Upon Boxes

Today I had a chance to go through a bunch of old boxes of my stuff, culling out the things I cannot even remember why I bothered to save in the first place.

I found journals, poems, stories, school papers, newspaper clippings, stickers, paintings, and a horrifying amount of tediously penned notes. From 15 gallons worth of plastic tubs and a shoebox, I now have about 3 gallons worth of papers and another 2 of empty binders and folders I'm hoping to donate to a school somewhere.

Most of my life, I've thought it might be cool to go back one day and create a book of all of my old work. Incorporate my journals and short stories and random school assignments into something I could keep forever (and if I got famous, edit and sell). Realistically (after about 5 hours of this treasure hunting), I'm not sure it would be worth anything to anyone - perhaps not even to me.

One thing about looking back is that it gives you a chance to see how far you've come; and how far you have left…

Pensive Puzzle

I'm supposed to be spending this week thinking. I have a lot on my mind. Here is my list of things so far:
I used to be much better at asking about other peoples' days. I need to focus on being a better listener.Emotions are tricky things. There is a time to show them, a time to guard them, and a time to assess what all those feelings really mean and where they come from.Balance in life is important. Too much (or too little) of anything is a really bad idea.Being good at something and loving something are two different things. The ideal situation is a combination of the two.I'm incredibly lucky to have an amazing support system of family and friends.As I was taking the dogs for a walk just now I was trying to find the right words to fill in the rest of this list. What I came up with was actually a metaphor for the main thoughts I've been having the past couple of days.

Our lives are like puzzles, with pieces scattered over the course of our lives. Our early influ…

Finally Finished

Guess what folks? I finally finished a hand-made project I started last year. A fabulous, super fun, totally great, going-to-be Christmas gift. Sadly for most of you, the all too amazing woman who will be receiving this prize is a reader, so I can't show you now, or she'll see it too. BUT - I promise to show pictures of it after the holidays.

I brought some stuff to start another project (now that I'm a bit of an expert), but since I am dog-sitting this week, I have to be careful as the fur of my friendly house-mates sticks to EVERYthing.

Speaking of which, I am being nuzzled pretty seriously right now, so I better just play with these totally hyper pups.

Love always, ~Heather

10 Super Good Things About Today

Waking up with a great friend after a totally girly slumber party, talking about boys and eating chocolate chip cookie dough.Singing some fun songs at church.Having lunch with a totally kindred spirit.Hanging out while Lorien packed for her trip to open a new theater in Lynchburg, VA.Talking to my Aunt Babs about the readings from today and all the other stuff they made me think of.First attempt at relinquishing control of a situation I really only pretend to have control over. [Success to be determined in self-appointed two-day time frame.]
Gajillionth attempt at not-internalizing successfully accomplished with the help of #5.Talking to every member of my immediate family on the phone.Getting a text message at a crazily (in?)opportune time.Buying 8 tickets to an upcoming USC football game for my family and friends (!!!^3).
And I still have 4 hours left.

Love always, ~Heather

P.S. Quote of the Day: "I've never seen a monument erected to a pessimist." Paul Harvey, whoever y…

Coeur Ouvert

He made a choice.
I'm making a choice.
They have to match.

No one's winning.
No one's losing.
But we aren't tied.

Someone will lead.
Someone will follow.
And one way or another
We'll arrive at our new year.

Odd in an Even World

I am an odd number in an even world.

Every person needs to be self-reliant. We have to support ourselves and believe in ourselves and be strong enough to defend ourselves in the "big bad world." But, I don't really think that anyone can do it alone.

You need other people. Batman has Robin. Mom has Dad. Meredith has Cristina. Everywhere you look, there are pairs. Heck, even most college mascots have significant others (who look freakishly like themselves but usually wearing a dress).

And somewhere in this mixed up equation full of numbers divisible by two, I'm odd. Don't get me wrong, I love odd numbers. Sometimes it even makes me sad that my birth year is in a decade that starts with an even number, because it means that my birthday can never just be odd (despite being prime numbers). But what does that mean for me?

It means that when I have a terribly, very bad, no good, absolutely wretched day, I come home to myself. My outlet has become volleyball - the…

Labor Day Weekend 2009 - Part 3

This is being posted belatedly as the internet connection at home was completely useless when I was typing this on Monday. Also, it's in parts because I am an unapologetic rambler.

This morning I slept in as late as possible (I desperately need to fix my curtains again so I can PLEASE not have the sun glaring in so much), and then lounged in bed finishing Anne of the Island, the third book in the Anne of Green Gables series. I’ve been re-reading them the past week or so, and am falling in love with them all over again. (Wow, I am exceptionally girly .)

I got up and journaled, talked to the landlord about the rat in our backyard, had breakfast and otherwise putzed about. Rachel and I worked on getting the Internet revived (because it still is horrifyingly slow and awful at our house), and the landlord surprised me by mowing our backyard, weeding the patio, and weed-wacking along the fence. I was thrilled to be relieved of those chores, and the yard certainly looks nice enough no…

Labor Day Weekend 2009 - Part 2

This is being posted belatedly as the internet connection at home was completely useless when I was typing this on Monday. Also, it's in parts because I am an unapologetic rambler.

Sunday morning was bright again, and somehow in setting my alarm I’d messed up the actual time on my bedroom clock, so I wound up getting up a full hour earlier than necessary. I spent the time reading the newspaper and getting myself ready for church.
ASIDE: It has been an exceptionally long time since I bothered to read the newspaper. I got horribly discouraged during the campaign season last fall, and haven’t been able to pay attention to any non-work-related news since then. I know I’ll be kicking myself later – because it’s not good to live in a world where you’re ignorant of current events – but I honestly feel like living inside the Beltway makes me incredibly cynical that anything is actually being done in the world for the good of other human beings. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to work myself…

Labor Day Weekend 2009 - Part 1

This is being posted belatedly as the internet connection at home was completely useless when I was typing this on Monday. Also, it's in parts because I am an unapologetic rambler.

It’s been an excellent holiday weekend.

In my brain it really started with Lorien and my having a date with the Gamecocks. We had dinner and enjoyed the atmosphere as USC stood their sloppy ground for a 7-4 win over NC State. Luckily, the Jets were beating the Eagles on the next television over, so I got to see both of my teams win on the same night.

Friday I left work a little after 1 p.m. and didn’t look back …

After lunch I went out and did a bit of volleyball conditioning on the sand courts down by the river with a friend from the Wednesday night rec pick-up I’ve been going to. It was our first time conditioning together, so it was a workout, but I foresee much more challenging sessions as we get used to each other.

I cleaned myself up a little bit, talked to one of my aunts for an hour and then had …

Seriously...

Stop asking my advice and not taking it.Telling me to just do what someone else says when we all know it isn't right.Expecting perfection of me and accepting mediocrity from others.Respond to phone messages and invitations in a timely fashion.Say thank you.Be nice to me. I'm nice to you.
I'm really trying here, and being treated like I'm merely there to serve everyone else's needs all the time is belittling. Eleanor Roosevelt once said that only you can make yourself feel inferior. She may be right, but I think other people can plant the seed in your mind and water it (with Miracle Grow) every day.

I'm trying to be a weed killer. I am. But if I have to pick up my roots Ent-style and find a more hospitable environment, I'm not the only one who's going to be "ripped up" by it. And if I get that far, I seriously won't be sorry.

Love to all of you patient readers, ~Heather

Shoulder Massage

Most people who really know me know that I don't particularly like having my neck/shoulders/back touched, better yet massaged. However, I'm thinking that today, I could definitely use a shoulder massage.

The tension that is physically building up in the muscles supporting my weary, overworked head is reaching a serious threshold, that will, I believe, induce me to just give in to some serious hand-on-muscle action later. Well, if anyone offered anyway.

But, as I'll be spending this evening running around from work to the gym to the bar (Gamecock football, baby!), that opportunity isn't really bound to come up. I wonder if the Gamecocks really blowing out the Wolfpack tonight, will give me enough relaxed energy to counteract all the frustration that seems to be tightening cell by cell in my neck right now.

Ugh. I'm going to sleep. Wake me when the September-October of back-to-back events is over.

Grumpily yours, ~Heather

Uh?

At what point in the game did rational arguments stop making sense?

Pretty much my whole life, I've been a generalist. I study as many subjects as possible, I'm a little good at a lot of things, but not really great at any one thing. This used to bother me, but then I realized it was a gift, and I began to love the diversity of my experience.

The thing about being a generalist, is that it can be difficult to find a job or get people to take you seriously. So, you've got to become an expert in something. Which is what I did in graduate school.

Now, it is certainly arguable that I am not the smartest or best person in my field. I still do a fairly generalized version of what I was trained to do, and use a broad definition to do it. In fact, most aspects of my life basically demand this of me.

However, it is no doubt true that even my minimal expertise - in the grand scheme of things - is still more expertise than other people who have never done it before.

Yet for some inex…

The Class of 2013

If you want to read something scary, check out Beloit's Mindset analysis for the class of 2013.

It's hard to believe that this year's college freshmen were born in a different decade. I know I'm still young, but those years between us seem to be getting farther and farther apart.

My work keeps me pretty up-to-date with how the world is evolving online. I'm on a couple of different social media sites and actively avoiding others. I can track who comes to read this post and basically everything about the computer they visit from (don't worry, it's less of a deal here than it is over on the work blog where we track demographics pretty seriously).

And yet, despite my technological savvy and my awareness of things that happened before 1991, it still seems strange that I can be so different than students starting college less than a decade after me and yet, so the same.

I wasn't allowed to eat Berry Berry Kix, but I can remember when they were new. Before the…

My Life as a Mini-Series

The following things have (really and truly) happened to me in the last week (in no particular order and a little vague to protect everyone involved):
The button in the middle of my chest fell off my shirt ten minutes before the first of three in-person interviews with potential new staff at work.My car got towed. While I was parked in a perfectly legal spot. $115 later, my car was NOT returned in the same condition I left it in.
I did an amazing job on a project and was even quoted for my quality work in a popular online source and was then belittled for the same work by someone who could have me fired.My cheesecake flavored Jello pudding strangely grew MORE cheesecake flavored in just 48 hours.
While next in line at Walgreens, the store alarm went off (for no reason) which prevented the staff from helping me for ten minutes - exactly enough time to make me late for an appointment across the street.To prevent an unfortunate circumstance for a friend, I had to get help from my landlord…

Perfectly Reasonable

I like to think of myself as a perfectly reasonable person.

Except when I'm not.

Of the four things that are bugging me right now, the one that is the most annoying is the one I have the least control over and the one - for all intents and purposes - I should care about the least at this point.

However, it seems as if any logical argument or reasonable way of doing things goes completely out the window when I'm involved. It's like I'm my very own bad luck charm.

I really hope God will humor me and explain this one day, because I'm sure there has got to be a good reason for all of this. Or there doesn't and this ridiculous anxiety is for someone else's greater good.

Boo. I refuse to be perfectly reasonable tonight.

I think I'll make pancakes for dinner.

Love always, ~Heather

Points of Order

1. I'm going to be blogging even more intermittently than I am now for the next couple of weeks (hopefully less) because I so rarely have Internet access at home. Comcast is just about the suckiest service I've ever had in my home, and with any luck I'll either be rid of them or they'll have fixed everything VERY soon.

2. Cleaning my room less than once a month results in an unseemly mess. I obviously need to have more house guests so I feel more inclined to pick up after myself. Motivation, baby. Won't you be mine?

3. I feel like I've been trying really hard to do a number of things lately. I think I need a little more Yoda in my life: "Do or do not do. There is no try." I have the power to make a choice about which way I want to go on certain things. I need to be choosing better. Heck, I need to be choosing at all.

4. I am a horrible penpal. I say this not because I don't like writing to other people, but because I am horribly impatient f…

Hearing Things

I was sitting here thinking just now that the reason it must feel so eerily quiet and creepy when the power goes out is because there is no hum from all the devices we're so used to hearing as "white noise" all the time. My fish tank, the fan on the computer, the tangible static buzz from the TV system.

Yesterday I spent my day hearing all sorts of things. My alarm clock - early. MK, a girl from my volleyball team, as we chatted in the car on the way out to Harper's Ferry (though I got to just hear for awhile too, because for some reason silences don't feel to awkward with her). The river and the rapids as I floated along the Potomac and then the Shenandoah on a tube. Laughter from my fellow river riders, animals, the wind, insects buzzing, nature. The waterfall as I reached the sandy shore.

Then later from the roof of my townhouse, the fireworks as they rattled the sky over near National Harbor. My roommates and their friends enjoying each others company. …

We the jury...

If I were on trial for masochism, I would be found guilty.

Very, very guilty.

I was reading this study today about how physical actions actually incite emotional responses. So, for example, if you're forced to frown (because you have to hold a pen between your lips - not your teeth), you'll find things less funny and you'll be more unhappy. It seems to be true.

Which is why I've been working really hard to try and smile and get out more and do things with my friends - lots of exciting plans this weekend.

Because I need to be done being masochistic. Because hibernating is bad for my health (I am not a bear, and besides, it isn't winter in this hemisphere). Because the truth is, things don't get better just because time passes. Time passes and your brain helps you fade the edges of the memories that seem to attack you at unsuspecting moments. Time saps their strength so they can't come out and haunt you as often. People call it forgetting.

The curse of a me…

It is I, Don Quixote

If you couldn't guess, I saw Man of La Mancha today. It was out at the Middleton Wayside Theater. It was "just" a regional theater, but the show rivaled performances I've seen at WolfTrap and other off-Broadway style places.

The most incredible parts were the lead actor and the set design. Without both, the play was bound to fail - but they managed it so seamlessly ... I was in awe. There was also a brilliantly staged scene with Quixote and his squire riding horses ... the people dressed as horses moving in perfect rhythm ... all these ellipses mean I don't have the words to describe the awesomeness.

I went out - WAY out, past Front Royal - to see the show with Derek and his family. Afterwards, we went out to dinner at the Wayside Inn, which was built in 1742. They say Washington himself drank out of the well in the tavern (I'm guessing it used to be outside). The history there was better than the food, but the company was really fun.

Derek and I have kn…

Overdue

My posting here is so long overdue I should be charged a library fine. I mean, what is the point of you - my absolutely faithful readers - checking in or subscribing if all I ever do is apologize for not writing? So here is a brief synopsis, which should be followed over the next couple of days with photoblog and regular posts.

Life is, in general, proceeding at a rate of one day at a time. I spend most of my time working and the rest of it either curled up with a book or doing something with friends. I re-read the entire Harry Potter series over the past month or so in preparation for the movie coming out. So excited about that.

I had a chance to go home this past weekend to spend Father's Day with my dad and help out with my mom, who recently had minor back surgery. All in all, a great visit. We went to the pool one afternoon, had fabulous dinner both nights (broccoli rabe and Italian sausage night one followed by pork loin with red russets the way only Mom can make them th…

Off the Reading List

While you patiently wait for me to do photo blogs for all the exciting stuff I've been up to lately, here are some interesting reads I've been keeping tabs open for so I'd remember to share them with you.

As a mid-twenty-something, this post on being over 25 had some interesting points. I feel like I've made it past lots of these milestones, except maybe the asking for a place to stay when I visit cities where I know people. :)

I'm pretty careful about what I write here; under the excellent advice of my super tech-savvy best friend. But this post made me want to use my First Amendment rights a bit more than I do.

I'm a bit sad I didn't get my license updated sooner considering I'll now have to look even gloomier than before in my photo.

An exchange student friend of mine, Seiko, once made me a long chain of origami swans (based on a book I loved). If those were cool, these are feats of paper artistry.

Hope you enjoy and as I've already got the pictur…

What happened to Zaire?

In middle school I did my social studies fair project on Zaire. A large, tropical country in the heart of Africa full of interesting culture and amazing landscapes. A place I couldn't wait to visit.

Now, the Democratic Republic of Congo (which Zaire became sometime in high school) is a place I don't think I'll ever want to visit.

In college I was part of a phenomena known as the Vagina Monologues. A brilliant stage production of monologues of, by, for, and from vaginas. It seems strange when you consider my personality generally and my involvement in the show, but there is a strong message behind the Vagina Monologues: stop the violence against women and girls.

Eve Ensler was the author of the book that became the play that became a right of passage in feminist circles. And now she's testifying before Congress to explain the atrocities going on in the DRC.

It's graphic.
It's awful.
And it's happening right now.

This is one thing that I never covered in my &qu…

Do Re Mi in Antwerp

Love me some musical madness. Almost as much as I love live (spontaneous) art projects.



Thanks to Aunt Ro for sharing.

Love always,

~Heather

P.S. If you love singing along to stuff and are in the DC area (or willing to travel) buzz me for details on the upcoming sing-along birthday party. Your favorite Taurus is celebrating her new year in homestyle-karaoke fashion!

Email Hazards

I love the speed of modern technology and the many exciting means in which we can communicate with each other. But I have to say, it's a heck of a lot easier to wait for the mail to come once a day than to be watching your inbox for important news. Or unimportant news. Or any news at all.

Like everyone else, my inbox gets swimmingly full of emails, but to be honest, I'm mostly looking for the letters. The true messages from my friends. It's like sorting through junk mail and bills for that personalized card.

I wish I was a better letter writer. You've got to send mail to get mail, and even a Lenten promise couldn't use up the books of forever stamps I bought.

I guess I'll have to keep waiting by the inbox.

Love always,

~Heather

(More) On Taxes

Things I now know about doing my taxes:
All those property taxes on my car count as deductions!I will be taking at least one course at a community college a year (Intro to Spanish, Intro to Sign Language, Science and the Cinema, etc.) so I never have this exclusion issue again.The schedules aren't too painful to fill out if you know what you're doing.Having all the papers and receipts in one box doesn't actually decrease the amount of time it takes to locate one, as many receipts look the same and take time to dig through.My dad is awesome and I am glad I learned how to fill out the forms myself from him.
It goes well with sympathetic friends, swing dancing in the dining room, and Manichevitz.That is all.

Onto the first volleyball game of the Alexandria league season, filling out HOBY paperwork, deciding between Sportsplex volleyball and USC softball, acquiring a new roommate, planning excursions for the upcoming family cruise, planting vegetable seeds for the summer garden, …

On Taxes

Here is what I knew about filing taxes:
Filling out the forms usually takes about 45 minutes, including addressing envelopes and finding stamps.Finding the paperwork necessary to complete the forms usually takes about an hour and a half.Being a student REALLY helps.The instructions are convoluted and generally send you in lots of crazy directions.I love my graphing calculator (though I don't really need the graphs for this).State forms are a breeze as long as you only live in one state.
Things that are different this year:
I was, at no time this year, a student (first time since I was 4).For the first time in a really long time, I only have to file state taxes in one state.
I knew where the paperwork and stamps were (savings of 1 hour and 25 minutes, plus no mess from dumped out desk drawers!).I only had a W-2 from one place of employment.The instructions were not all that complicated and were generally helpful, with lots of worksheets, tips, and caution signs.U.S. Treasury bonds put …

Fear

When Roosevelt said that "we have nothing to fear except fear itself," he was right. I was so scared last night. I was petrified. And all my fears, my distrust, my lack of faith ... it was pointless. Because although it was bound to be unpleasant, following the path I knew I was supposed to take was worth it.

And it went better than I could have ever imagined.

It's going to be a bumpy road for awhile, but I've got great company and as much support as a girl could ever need. Including from the big guy she was so afraid of listening too.

Thanks for your prayers.

Love always,

~Heather

Listening

A couple weeks ago on Facebook my status was that I was trying to figure out how to discern between my internal monologue and the voice of God.

God has never really spoken to me in one of those booming voices or appeared in the form of Morgan Freeman or Alanis Morrisette. But, I've always felt the comfort of his messages to me in my soul.

Now, I am either fighting the message or I'm not hearing it right. It's the perfect time of year to find a place to just go and sit with the blessed sacrament and yet I fear it won't help or that I'm shouting over it or that I'm generally just unhappy with the content of the message.

Writing this out, it certainly seems that way. How do you make yourself feel better about God's plan for you if you don't really like it? I don't expect to understand it, but I never thought I'd feel bad about part of it.

Sigh. Reflections, thoughts, prayers, ideas welcome.

Love always,

~Heather

Outlook on Life

I'm behind in my letter writing and will have to make it up, but right now I have very little time (how surprising!). I should be able to share more tonight. In the mean time, I'd like to share a quote from Jim Henson that exemplifies my outlook on life.
"When I was young, my ambition was to one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is still to leave the world a little bit better for my having been here.

It's a wonderful life and I love it."Love always,

~Heather

If nothing else...

...work is certainly giving me the type of cardiac workout I usually associate with running 3 miles.

Outside.

Mid-afternoon.

On a Florida blacktop in late July.

(If you've never lived there, think: 110% humidity before the afternoon storms roll in to block out the 100 degree sunshine.)

Thank goodness it's Friday.

Love always,

~Heather

Grocery Shopping

I went "real" grocery shopping tonight for the first time in probably two months. I've been surviving on trips to Costco (limited selection) and random pop-ins to grab one item or another from the smaller groceries near my house.

I'm not sure why, but grocery shopping is usually really serene for me. I like the idea that I'm pre-planning. That I'm controlling my diet with my purchases. That I'm managing my budget. Or maybe I just like food.

This is an incredibly lame self-reflection, but it is true, and it is what's on my mind right now.

I like grocery shopping.

Now if only I could remember to go more often. :)

Love always,

~Heather

Of Yard Work and Bagpipes

(To the tune of "Mysterious Fathoms Below" from the Little Mermaid)

Oh this is a tale
Of a glory-filled girl
Who spent this nice day at home.

Out in the yard
With a spade and a saw
She cleared up those weeds with a hoe.

(Instrumental: "Heave-ho")

While this was occurring
Her roommie was stirring
The makings of wheat bread, oh dough!

Bagpipes were playing
On King Street parading
For St. Patty's, early, I know!

Fantastical daytime, it's so!

I just felt moved to write a little tuneage to describe today. If I'm really going to reflect on my self for this Lenten promise, I might as well relay it in the way I seem to think.

Yes, I often make up little ditties in my head.

Yes, I occasionally sing them aloud.

I agree, you wouldn't want to be in my head. :)

Love always,

~Heather

Inaugural Events Photoblog

So, yes, it was a million, trillion years ago (um, January), but I wanted to show you some of the pictures from the South Carolina State Inaugural Ball. Mind you, I still haven't had my disposable camera developed (and then scanned in) but Hillary was kind enough to take some pictures of me after I got back to Lorien's house.

This is me absolutely cracking up because they asked me to take a serious picture. (Not possible.)

Unfortunately, none of the other (moderately serious) pictures of me came out too well (note: take them BEFORE the event next time). However, this one was worth showing you:

This shot was taken for posterity, but posted for Marco - since he spent the whole time we were shoe shopping trying to convince me to wear sneakers with the dress. I didn't wear them to the ball, but as soon as I met Hillary at the Metro, I changed for the walk. Much more comfortable than the strappy sandals.

The next morning, we headed out to the Mall for an amazing historical eve…

3 Cubic Feet

The three cubic feet of clean laundry at the foot of my bed is put away. I changed my sheets so they are no longer germy with sickness. My stuff isn't strewn about the dining room table anymore and all of the flower stems and random compostables have been thrown in the soil bucket in the backyard. My bills are paid for the month and I have groceries in the fridge.

There's something about accomplishing a number of household chores all at once that makes me want to keep working on stuff.

Love always,

~Heather

P.S. - Sorry about the delay (as this is yesterday's letter). No matter how important my other life tasks are, I've got to stay on top of this Lenten promise!

P.P.S. - A ma famille francaise, je vous embrasse et vous me manquez. Passe une bonne journee!

Reasons Why My Roommate is Awesome

As part of my self-reflection, I'm taking a moment today to mark the fantastic qualities of my roommate, without whom I would not be as happy.
She's an incredible listener. She knows my quirks and is happy to let me vent basically whenever I need to.
She's an absolute perfectionist. Although this is a characteristic that can be overwhelming, in Rachel it just helps her be more predictable. If she's doing something, you can count on her to do it until it is done right.She's thoughtful. Not much of a milk drinker, she always checks with me to make sure there is enough if she's at the grocery store.She's communicative. As a communications person, I appreciate someone who is so willing to make an effort to communicate about everything. Even when we disagree, she's more than willing to explain her whole side of the situation in a rationale way, which helps us from hurting each others' feelings as often as possible.She gets me.So to my dearest roommat…

Snow Day

Above: The birds' nest in the front yard seemed a likely place for snow to stick.

It snowed a bunch last night (well, a bunch for here). Therefore, luckily, the 2 hour delay for the federal government made my half sick/half work-from-home day less of an issue. My head cold from Friday hasn't really gone away, but I am feeling quite a bit better after resting today.

This weekend was a bit of a whirlwind. I played volleyball on Saturday, which was good because it helped push my cold away and bad because my muscles were tired (though miraculously not sore). We played a really cool rotation that allowed me to play right side in the front row and middle and left in the back row. Quite fun.

Afterwards, we had dinner (homemade lasagna) at Erin's boyfriend's Matty's house (where we had met to carpool). After a round or so of Apples to Apples (love that game), I went home. My date arrived just when I did (I haven't asked name permission yet, so forgive the generaln…

Cheesecake Update

It was delicious!

Also, I now have a head cold (probably not from making the cake, but just generally being run down after three really busy weeks). I'm going to bed because tomorrow I have an all-day volleyball tournament, dinner with the girls, and a date.

Yup. You read that right.

I'm not sure what's more astounding really; that I managed to not follow a single recipe and successfully make a fabulous goat cheese cheesecake on my first try or that someone wants to hang out with me enough to not care that I have a cold. Either way, I'm calling today a success and hitting the sack as early on a Friday night as I've done in years.

Love always, ~Heather

What I Did Tonight

As my Lenten promise, I am going to be writing a letter a day. 40 days, 40 letters. I already have one to make up for, as I didn't think of this brilliant plan until I was actually in church during the 7 p.m. service last night. I have also decided that this counts as a letter because I have a decent number of regular readers (like you!) and you deserve to read too.

In fact, this writing process is about reflection. I try to pray as frequently as possible, but I'm not sure I'm really reflecting on myself and my life as much as I need to. My hope is that by writing to others and talking about what is going on in my life, I'll be able to build a better relationship with my friends (you!), family, and God.

Tonight was the most interesting part of my day, so I'll share that in words and pictures (ooo, maybe it'll help remind me to take more pictures too!).

Tonight, I made a goat cheese cheesecake. I have no idea if it is delicious, but it is in fact a cheesecake…

A New Courage

HISTORICAL POST - Original date: 6/28/2008 at 11:35 p.m.

Tonight, after watching An American in Paris with P, she lent me two books. One of them was a Brave New World. Now I intend to start reviewing the books I read for everyone's perusal, but the title really hit home with events from earlier in the day.

I have this policy, which you may or may not know about. It is a personal standard that I live by - when I think something nice about a person, I tell them. This policy applies to walking past people who smell good, or noticing shoes, umbrellas, appetizing smelling homemade lunches, whatever. It also encompasses a much greater array of "nice thoughts" as well.

My rationale is that you never know if someone is having a bad day, or had never received this particular compliment before and now, they will know that someone thought this nice thing about them. (I feel inclined to note here that I often think more things than I am able to share and I also tend to do this mo…

Proactive Waiting

Waiting is probably one of the hardest things in the world. It requires patience, perseverance, and willpower.

Sometimes I shock myself with both my possession of these characteristics and with my lack of them.

Right now I am waiting. I have been told to wait, so I am. But I am not in a line, I'm in my life. My life should not be bound by anticipation - it should be bound by action.

So I am proactively waiting. It's like putting your name in for a table at a restaurant and then flirting with the host/hostess so your group is seated first. Except I'm not flirting (which many, if not everyone would tell you I sort of suck at) or looking for a table.

I'm waiting on my future, and in a way I've never had to before. This is the first year I haven't moved in some way or another in almost a decade. Somehow, finally staying put has forced me to look around and notice the speed at which I am going. I don't like it.

There are some places where I'm keeping pac…

Lieu

HISTORICAL POST FROM 11/10/08 AT 11:35 PM
In lieu of a post that is long over do, I'm going to share some quotes to think about ...Josh Billings - "Common sense is instinct, and enough of it is genius."
Doris Lessing - "Think wrongly, if you please, but in all cases think for yourself."
John N. Mitchell - "The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire."LE CHEMIN N'EST JAMAIS LONG PARMI LES AMIS.

Des fois dans la vie, tu trouves un(e) ami(e) spécial(e);
Quelqu'un qui change ta vie juste en y faisant partie.
Quelqu'un qui te fait rire jusqu'à ne plus pouvoir t'arrêter;
Quelqu'un qui te fait croire que la vraie bonté existe encore en ce monde.
Quelqu'un qui peut te convaincre qu'il y a vraiment une porte qui attend simplement que tu l'ouvres.
C'est l'amitié pour toujours.You do not lead by hitting people over the head - that's assault, not leadership.
~Dwight D. Eisenhower The future has a way of arriving unann…

About Me at Quarter to Midnight

Lately I've been busy with a gajillion things and haven't blogged a single one of them. I understand that this makes me kind of a goober. I apologize for my goober-dom.

I have been writing though, including on a daily blog for work. After spending a decent portion of the day on blogger or reading blogs and online journalism, my brain does not want to blog at night. In fact, every part of me wants to be doing something that does not involve my poor little typing fingers.

This, however, does not help my loyal readers. It doesn't tell you what I'm doing, how I'm doing, or give you the pleasure of the ridiculous tangential storytelling technique I so often apply here. So, as a short favor (since it is late and I'm exhausted), I'll give you some bullets on me and where I am. Five minutes of them in fact. OKay, go.
Everyday my Gchat message is a new movie quote that is somehow relevant to the day. I am keeping track of them (and why I chose them) in a spre…