Friday, February 27, 2009


The luck dragon is not amused.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Well that didn't last long.

Join me in hell?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bye Bye, Coke

Dear Lord,

It's Ash Wednesday and I have given up pop yet again. I am a little hesitant because I know what the lack of pop can do to my system, but I am also looking forward to having about 300 fewer calories in my system each day. Please help to keep me from substituting with lemonade, though, as that stuff has at least the same amount of sugar and also tastes like ass.

Oh, and I've also decided that giving up coffee is a good idea, too! Well, not regular person coffee. I don't like that noise. Cafe mochas. Cafe mochas from Biggby, specifically. They are bad for me! Yet, like my beloved Coca Cola Classic, I love them. LOVE.

And I know that I should be fasting today, but Lord, skipping meals gives me dinosaur-sized killer migraines. With fire. And not those little prissy dinosaurs who sat around looking cute. We're talking big ass Argentinosaurus headaches. (They were the large ones. Oh right. What am I telling you for? You created them).

Anyway, I hope that you understand.

Love, Heather

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What I Read For Three Hours Today

Want to waste a few good hours of your work day? The Fart Party. I love her. She has the mouth of a dirty, dirty sailor and a nice healthy view of reality. She's short, too!

Thanks, Jeff!

(I totally did not read this at work. I totally got lots of work done instead.)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Monday, February 16, 2009


While working from home today, a noticed a lot of birds on my bird feeder outside. I have always had goldfinches, and no differing species, so I was really surprised to see these:

I had never seen these birds before, so I had to look them up. I know that this is exciting to no one but me (and my mom), but they were Common Redpolls. And though the name suggests otherwise, it is somewhat unusual to see them around these parts.

So, as a self-proclaimed bird nerd, those little guys made my day! Now if I could only get that fucking squirrel off my other feeder...



Yeah, I think that he's had enough.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher

On my flight back to Michigan from California, my seatmate asked me about my book. "Is it fact or fiction?" The cover image depicts an English manor home, with sinister trees and darkened windows. It has all the makings of a good horror novel... made all the creepier due to its place in history. It is fact, sir, and nearly impossible to put down.

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher details the case of a gruesome 1860 murder in Victorian England and the cunning detective assigned to the case. At the time, detectives were a new breed of policeman, the fledgling force at Scotland Yard created only several years before. Detective Whicher is sent from London to Road, a small town northeast of Bath to investigate the murder of three-year-old Saville Kent.

The case shocked the nation and invigorated a collective interest in crime, detecting, and the idea that behind closed doors, the middle and upper classes had much to hide.

In 1860, the English home was viewed as a private sanctuary. What was once considered the family - aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc., had become the extended family. Family constituted the nuclear family - those that lived together under one roof. Infiltrating the English home construed images of forced violation. But once the doors to Road Hill house were opened, all dirty laundry became fair game.

The Kent family was a blended one. After the death of his first wife, Mr. Kent married the former nursemaid, producing several more children. The new family's dynamics were skewed, resulting in both jealousies and secretive relationships. But what led to the murder of an innocent?

Kate Summerscale does an absolutely brilliant job of recreating the scene and the emotions (some might say hysteria) of the times.

I studied history, and I read a lot of history books some of which were so dry I thought that they would spontaneously catch fire. I knew that this book had the potential to be mind-numbingly dull, but I was absolutely hooked from page one. Though non-fiction, Whicher tends to tiptoe on the edge of historical fiction, and this helps. However, the author never once makes the reader feel like he is reading her thoughts or ideas. The book is based entirely on police reports now on file at the British Museum, newspaper articles, and personal letters, while secondary sources rely on detective fiction of the time and stories like Henry James' novella The Turn of the Screw (which, if you haven't read - do. It is entrancing).

Summerscale draws out the details of the case perfectly, only rarely changing course to cover additional back story. And even these dalliances were welcomed as part of the flowing narrative. While the reader might have a good guess as to the identity of the murderer, the author is careful to present all evidence before revealing the satisfying solution.

I found this book absolutely captivating, and it is highly recommended.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Waded in the Pacific? Check!

Though I've been lucky enough to travel to Europe on several occasions, I had never actually been to the west coast of the United States. Until I traveled to Phoenix in April of 2008, I'd never been further west than Chicago. I mean, I went to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama on a family vacation, which I think is geographically further west than Chicago, but I never really counted that.

When Old Roommate Jenny moved to southern California last year, we all knew that her wedding would be just around the corner.

The weather wasn't super cooperative, with highs in the fifties and the constant threat of rain, but compared to the icy negative temperatures in Michigan, it basically felt like the Caribbean to me. The planned bonfire for Friday night had to be scrapped, but we ended up at a cute bar instead.

Me and the bride-to-be at Beach Fire

At the San Clemente pier

I had most of Saturday to myself, and my plan was to get good Mexican food and visit the Mission San Juan Capistrano. The food I found, courtesy of Laurel (and now I know what guacamole should taste like, WOW. Thanks, Laurel!) and then I headed to the Mission.


The wedding was Saturday evening, in a gorgeous courtyard. Jenny and Dave wed as the sun set and it was romantic and lovely.

The reception was amazing - in a quiet, dark restaurant with an open bar.

I didn't have to have the car back until 2 on Sunday, so I decided to drive up the Coastal Highway instead of taking the boring interstate. It was amazing. The coastal towns were both quaint and extravagant (Laguna Beach, are you kidding me? You need to calm down), and when I got to Newport Beach, my head could barely contain the Arrested Development quotes. I kind of wanted to ask someone where I could find a frozen banana stand.

I settled on hiking for about an hour at Crystal Cove State Park, just off of the highway:

I had a wonderful time and though I wish that I could have spent a week or more just driving up the coast, I know that I'll be back eventually (Betsy isn't going to visit herself, now is she?).

The John Wayne International Airport can suck it, though. A 16-ounce bottle of water? $2.99. (Okay, it was Evian. But I abhor the taste of Dasani water - it's just rebottled tap water that didn't get the luxury of being made into Coke in Atlanta. It's awful and I hate it and I really only spent like, thirty cents more or something. Whatever, quit judging me! I would have brought my own goddamned water if it was allowed.) And then a medium Coke at McDonald's? $2.58. Cut it out, airport!

It was nice to land in Detroit, even if it was 1:30 in the morning. Whee!

Congratulations again, Jenny and Dave!

(All pictures can be viewed here.)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Soft and Cuddly, Yet Still TOTALLY PUNK ASS

When we last saw our fearless gang, they had battled the evil Puffasaurus Gang. Narrowly escaping death, Sammy stole one of the Puff's prized bakery cakes. Now we join them after a particularly large meal...

"Something... strange is going on."

"It seems like... something has changed."

"I agree, Troy.
The last thing I remember is eating that delicious pastry treat,
and now I feel different.

"What do you mean? I feel light and freeeee!
I love buttercream frosting!


"Anyway, on to more important business.
Who the hell are you?"

"I am Pterrence Pterodactyl.
I was soaring up above the trees and spotted your cake party.
I was hoping to join your gang."

Sounds good.

"Yeah, Albert Anklyosaur wandered off months ago...
I need someone to shoot hoops with."

"Not so fast. These guys are too trusting.
We just had a problem with an outsider,
and he was from the wrong geologic time period, too."

"Oh my God, I can't hear you guys.
Must we walk and talk?

"Listen, I am awesome, I promise.
And I can fly! I can check out parties
in advance to make sure that they're not
complete sausagefests."

"And I have a LOT of female friends.
Just wait until you meet all my bitches."

"Well, we are severely lacking in good tail. Hmmm...
And I didn't think Sammy would ever get laid!"

"But you need to tow the line. I'm in charge.
And you DON'T want to mess with me."

"Yeah, right.
Like he'd ever do anything more than cuddle with him."
"Heh heh, I know!"

"Guys, where are we going?
Is it lunchtime yet?"


Will the Punk Ass Museum Dinosaur Gang regain their former selves? Will they run into the Puffasaurus Gang once again? Will Sammy ever go through puberty? TUNE IN TO FIND OUT.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Special Delivery

K-10 arrived home the other day to an unexpected package from her dad and stepmom. Her dad, Elwin (seriously, that is his name - isn't it amazing?), is the source of many, many inside jokes. He's so unintentionally hilarious that I look forward to her phone calls with him just to see what little anecdotes he's casually dropped into their conversation.

Over the years, he's sent her amazingly awesome things - I can't remember them all, but the alpaca wool hat with little alpacas stitched around the top is one of my favorites. Basically, nothing is expected, everything is hilarious, and every time he goes on a trip, we hope for something truly ridiculous to arrive.

Right. So what did he send?

Eleven pounds? And refrigerated?

Of course.

Monday, February 02, 2009


Okay, so apparently it's 1993 again.

What the hell, JCPenney? Kurt Cobain is gone. GET OVER IT.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Do You Want to Know How Insane I Am? Do You?

There is a snack food that I love, and I am aware of only one other person who actually likes them (my sister-in-law). I'd think that there'd be more.


Eat me.

Most people like the chocolate ones. I enjoy the chocolate cupcakes very much, but if given the choice? Orange all the way. The majority of people also think that the orange cupcakes are disgusting. I think that they need to obtain a more refined palate.

Anyway, the museum's vending machines were finally replenished, and to my excitement and delight, there were THREE ROWS of orange cupcakes. It was amazing.

But I soon realized that the museum's basement had become my own personal hell.

Ninety cents is not a bad price for snacks, and I wanted them. The machine? It would not give them to me. "INVALID CHOICE," it said. And I was all, "YOU DON'T KNOW ME, MACHINE!"

(The situation was tense, you see. It was reminiscent of this fateful day.)

So I called the phone number on the vending machine. The poor lady at the call center in no way made fun of me and my insatiable need for over-processed sugar and carbohydrates, and she promised to send a repairman straight away.

She was a liar.

Right, so to recap, I am insane.