Tuesday, August 31, 2010

All the Way

If I got two, I could have a double rainbow, OH MY GOD, in my room.

Monday, August 30, 2010


My brain has been complete mush lately, and I haven't been sleeping all that well, and I think that I have finally pinpointed the reason(s):

I'm reading Mockingjay and A Wrinkle in Time simultaneously, and Mike and I just started season 6 of LOST. With all of the plots and subplots and sideways-plots (and that's just Lost, dammit), I realize that I am having a little trouble putting everything together. You know, brain-wise.

Also, do you realize that it is going to be September soon? All of the little monkeys are moving into the dorms here as we speak, my precious, lovely town is about to become a college town again, and I do not relish having to wait in long lines for my lunch. Or at traffic lights. Or anywhere.

I am too impatient for my own good.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Maybe the License Plates Just Seek Me Out

I don't know what it is, but I have been seeing some awesome license plates around town lately. This one, if you get the joke, is pretty classic:

And then there is this car. I was driving behind this guy, and I knew that something was off, but it took me about three lights to figure it out.

Here's my car:

Here's his car again:

Do you see what I see? Because I think that it's hilarious.

Friday, August 27, 2010


The aftermath of my kick-ass 30th Birthday party was nowhere near as bad as I had anticipated. I slept until 11:30 on Sunday morning (because I am old now, and four beers was apparently enough to put me over the edge), before unwillingly rolling out of bed, throwing on some jeans, and venturing outside to assess the damage.

Turns out, thanks to my dad and my brother, there was nothing more to clean up than empty beer bottles. They had dismantled and stacked all of the rental tables and chairs, and the only thing left to do was pack up the tent.

Yeah. I took one look at that thing and laughed. The rental company did it, and I talked them out of charging me since I am just one lowly person and am OH SO AFRAID that the tent would collapse on her. Happy Birthday to me!

(There really was no way that I was going to be able to dismantle that tent by myself. It was like one of the tents at Art Fair, and it was far too complex and heavy for me to even attempt. Really. I'm not totally lazy ALL the time!)

But what really hit me was the feeling I got as I walked around the backyard, picking up empties - it was slightly overcast, just a little humid, and definitely chilly. It felt like I had just rolled out of a tent,

I haven't been camping in more than a few years, and that's sad! I love camping and I truly miss that morning feeling. I would usually wake up hours before everyone else (besides my mother, as she woke with the birds at like, 4:30 a.m.), sneaking out of the tent trying to make as little noise as possible, even though the tent zipper made a sound that seemed as loud as a chainsaw in the quiet campground. I'd saunter over to the campfire, attempt to get the fire started from the few embers too hot to be annihilated by the morning dew, and sit in relative silence.

Of course, as I got older and went camping on my own, the morning scene was similar - I'd still be awake before everyone else, but my morning peace involved many more beer bottles and half-empty bags of soggy chips. There would be all manner of debris in the fire pit from some point in the evening when we decided to play "Will it burn?," and there would generally be a few visitors in the near vicinity:

Anyway, as cute as the chipmunk was, I might be too far removed from camping at this point - that is, unless I get an air mattress...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

In Which... What? No, I Am Not Smoking Anything

There are things that you just don't expect to see when walking around downtown, and one of those things is a two-legged topiary elk next to a temporary parking lot near the library.

Now, this could be an elk. Or perhaps an antelope. I don't know. I like birds. I tried to post it on my friend Tim's Facebook page, because he is a hunter, and obviously he should be able to immediately tell me what animal this is because he is a good hunter. (He once killed him a b'ar, y'all.) But since The Facebook is the devil, it wouldn't let me, and I hate it more than ever.

So I'm thinking that I should probably email the picture to him. This is really important, you guys. It just is.

Okay, perhaps it is presumptuous to assume that Tim should know what animal this is. It's possible that the artist with the garden shears isn't completely sure what animal this is. All I know is that I walk by it on the way to the bus station every evening, and I stop and look at it like I've never seen something strange in Ann Arbor before (strange is kind of par for the course around here). I like stand there, cock my head, and look at it like I'm waiting for it to come to life.

No, I don't know why. I'm just reporting the facts, you guys.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Arts & Culture TRUMPED

My colleagues and I went to the Toledo Museum of Art yesterday afternoon. We left Ann Arbor in the early afternoon, giving us a few hours at the Museum. I head right for the European wing and spent the entire two hours there. If you want to see some of the non-flash photography that I took, check these out! (Warning: They're not really all that exciting.)

It was actually because my boss found out that I had never been to Tony Packo's.

So really, it all comes down to the fact that we planned a departmental trip to Toledo (of all places) to visit a hot dog restaurant.

In case you are not aware, Tony Packo's is a famous Hungarian hot dog joint made even more famous by Jamie Farr, who played Corporal Max Klinger on the television show M*A*S*H. If you only vaguely remember the show, he was the character who cross-dressed in an attempt to get discharged from the army. My favorite episodes were when he wore a wedding dress. Because, obviously.

Right, so there is a huge picture of Farr, greeting you as you walk in the door. Besides the immediate feeling you get of walking into your own local bar, you're struck by the appearance of hermetically sealed hot dog buns framed all over the walls. Signed by celebrities and pseudo-celebrities, it was kind of fun to discover that Zsa Zsa Gabor actually visited the place. Well, and the Monkees.

The real travesty here is that I failed to take a picture of my meal. A hot dog with the works, a huge bowl of chicken chili, and way more french fries than a sumo wrestler would eat, but I think that they like rice better. It was the combo #1, and it was my first visit.

(I would order the same thing again, even though I had to take most of the chili home.)

It was a fun trip, and the food was much better than I expected. The chili was amazing, and I was surrounded by hot dog buns. You can't beat the ambiance!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Evil Genius Cat Is Evil. And Genius. And EVIL.

"I do not know who you think you are, but if you think that I am moving off of this here automobile, you, my dear, are mistaken."

"I find it humorous that you don't listen to what I am telling you. I am simply not moving."

Friday, August 20, 2010

And Now I Am Thirty, and Lo! I Am Tired All of the Time All of a Sudden...

My birthday was quite a day, you guys. Let me TELL YOU, Ann Arbor is the place to BE on your birthday, because your meals are free, you get things like free cupcakes and free cups of tea. And glasses of artfully-arranged lemons, but that's neither here nor there.

(Before I start on the debauchery, I should tell you that on the 17th, I arrived at my morning job to find skittles on my desk! So that was fun.)

Taste the motherfucking rainbow.

Anyway, I had my birthday itinerary saved, in a word document entitled, "DAY OF AWESOME." And an awesome day it was!

My mom and I started out at Angelo's for breakfast. I had a lovely omelet (omg, it had potatoes in it! Potatoes, you guys!), and it was FREE. We then headed to Zingerman's Creamery, because there is nothing better after a big breakfast than gelato. Also FREE. Raspberry and free.

We then walked a few doors down to Zingerman's Bakehouse, where I hand selected six fresh bagels. I PICKED OUT MY OWN.

Finding these two places was an adventure in itself, as they are completely on the other side of town from the original deli. As we drove past the mall toward the small airport in town, I carefully followed my GoogleMaps directions, which turned out to be INCORRECT. What the hell, GoogleMaps? What are you, Mapquest? DAMMIT.

And we found ourselves in a sea of warehouses. It was weird. The addresses made absolutely no sense, and we were driving in circles, about to give up, when I spotted tables with umbrellas. It was the weirdest thing, I can tell you.

And that's how we found gelato and bagels!

It was then off to new horizons.

Kerrytown, one of my favorite places in hippieville Ann Arbor, boasts all kinds of fun shops and boutiques. One of these, FOUND, has all kinds of kitchsy knick-knacks that I adore (including the pretty text-type ornaments I got for my Christmas tree)

Helen and my "Aunt" Kim joined us for lunch at The Quarter Bistro, where not only was my meal free, the wine was HALF PRICE. THAT'S RIGHT.

Heather and Helen marvel at the lemon presentation:

After Helen went back to work (boo!), the three of us continued to follow the itinerary. We first went shopping for supplies and food for my kick ass upcoming party, and then we made a stop at Cake Nouveau, where I received a free, strawberry cheesecake-flavored, piece of Heaven.

From there, we stopped at Caribou Coffee for my free mocha, and then we stopped at my house to rest. I'm old now, you see, and I require water and rest. Like a horse!

When we realized that we had lounged around too long to get in at Conor O'Neil's for dinner, we headed to The Macaroni Grill. A chain, yes, but it was very good! We were still pretty full from the day, so we ordered appetizers and wine. And I got free chocolate cake! Not too shabby for Heather!

My mother's artistic skills shone through the gloom of the dimly-lit restaurant:

My mom and Kim drove off into the night as I ran into the mall to get my free gift at Sephora. Sign up for their rewards thing, you guys! Free gift on your birthday!

Here are some results of my PLUNDER OF ANN ARBOR:

Candles from FOUND, makeup from Sephora, and a free decaf mocha (because of the dreaded GERD) from Caribou. LOVES IT!

Oh, and Mike's sister wins the prize for the best card. It's from Uncooked, and it is AWESOME:

P.S. What the hell, you guys? I AM THIRTY.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Branching Out

Mike's parents got me some really nice, really thoughtful things for my birthday (can you say, "going above and beyond?"), but one of the funnest was a Wendy's gift card. There's an inside joke there that you JUST WOULDN'T UNDERSTAND, OKAY?, so I'll spare you.

My usual order at Wendy's is a five-piece nugget (99 cents), a junior hamburger (89 cents), and a small pop (99 cents). It is a filling lunch, though not really very healthy, but at least I didn't break the bank.

But I had a gift card this time. FREE MONEY, you guys! So instead of spending as little money as possible in order to stay in the black in my checking account, I thought that I would splurge and get something different.

I got a chicken sandwich. And it was nice. Wendy's wanted to make sure that I understood that I was getting THE BEST from them, and they put it right on the label:

Hee hee!

Well-rounded meal.

Actually, it was a free well-rounded meal. It tasted better that way, I swear.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Thirty years ago to the minute, I was born.

August 17, 1980, I am told, was the day of my baby shower. My original due date was mid-September. As the irritating party games piled up next to the pastel wrapping paper, my mom went into labor. Apparently my grandmothers entertained people as my dad and aunt rushed around getting her ready for the hospital. This makes me smile. My grandmas were awesome.

So I'm guessing that I didn't want to wait anymore - I wanted to party with my grandmas! There were complications during the labor, and I was born by Caesarian section at 1:06 a.m. at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital. I weighed five pounds.

My parents had grabbed a party gift as they left the house - my Teddy. He was much larger than me. (P.S. I just re-read that post, and man! I used to be a good writer!)

Sentimental stuff aside, I really can't believe that I've been on this planet for thirty years!

What major events happened on my birthday? I AM HERE TO TELL YOU. YAY HISTORY!

~1227 - Genghis Khan died. All I know about him I learned from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

~1587 - The first English child was born in what would become the United States. You know, after all of the smallpox.

~1598 - The Roanoke Colony is found deserted. Perhaps... smallpox?

~1914 - Germany declares war on Russia; President Wilson issues his Proclamation of Neutrality. Good timing!

~1920 - The nineteenth amendment to the US Constitution was ratified, granting women the right to vote. You're welcome.

~1939 - The Wizard of Oz premieres in New York City.

~1966 - The first pictures of the Earth, taken from the moon, were sent to NASA.

~1992 - Larry Bird retires.

And now, you might be wondering, who else shares my birthday? YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO KNOW:

Antonio Salieri - 1750
Meriweather Lewis - 1774
Shelley Winters - 1920
Robert Redford - 1936
Martin Mull - 1943
Patrick Swayze - 1952
Denis Leary - 1957
Bob Woodruff - 1961
Christian Slater - 1969
Edward Norton - 1969
Andy "Chronic-WHAT-cles of Narnia" Samberg - 1978

I'm most excited about sharing a birthday with SWAYZE and Edward Norton. What does that say about me?


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Goodbye, Twenties!

'Tis the last day of my twenties. I went to work today, but I took tomorrow off. It's kind of a big deal, you guys. Thirty. Big deal.

I have the most ridiculous day planned tomorrow. My mom is coming up and we are gallivanting around Ann Arbor getting free shit and eating way too much food.

Breakfast at Angelo's (an Ann Arbor tradition), followed by free bagels and gelato at Zingerman's. There are free birthday candles to be had at Found, free tea at the Tea Haus, and a free cupcake at Cake Nouveau.

Restaurants cover me for lunch and dinner (but I haven't decided on which ones, yet!) and then coffee at Caribou or Biggby.

I realize that this makes me a bit of a freebies whore (I said this, verbatim, to several clerks I encountered at several establishments), but I don't care! I'm fucking thirty! THIRTY, BITCHES!

And we have to do some shopping for this ridiculous party we're throwing, so that will be fun. I have to remember to get those butter mint things. I don't even care if people eat them. I freaking love them and I'll eat the whole damn container of them myself.

Oh my God, look at them. GET IN MY BELLY.

Oh, and Mike gave me my present last night. No big deal:

P.S. I went outside to try some practice swings with these foam golf balls he got for me, and... Well, I'm not very good. To say the least. So now I have a whole new thing to obsess over! Wheeeee!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Brain? Are You Listening to Me? LISTEN TO ME!

It was fucking HOT today. HOT.

I got to my morning job at 7:45, and since it was Friday, I was wearing jeans. I love this dress-down rule, especially in the summer. Since the majority of the college students are rarely better dressed than the panhandlers, I still look slightly official.

I was fine throughout the morning in the overly air-conditioned building, and when I left at 11:45 to stop home to grab some lunch, I changed out of my jeans into a skirt. But THEN, my brain decided that there was no reason to change into something cooler. I replaced the skirt with my jeans.

That was all well and good, until I missed the bus by half of a block (DAMN YOU, EARLY BUS), and had to hoof it into campus. That's two miles, baby.

And I was wrong about the temperature. WRONG. It was 89 degrees at this point. The humidity was relatively low, however - at a nice 70 percent.

By the time I made it downtown, I was dying. I stepped into my favorite shop for some air conditioning, but that only seemed to make it worse.

As I was waiting to cross Main Street, wiping the sweat out of my eyes, and trying to keep my glasses from sliding off of my face, a hippie chick asked me for thirty cents. As I handed over the only change in my wallet, I think that she decided I was crazy (or possibly high), what with the exorbitant sweating, and backed away slowly.

But not before calling me "sweetie."

The closer I got to campus, my thoughts of dying increased. I had on a black tap top (but not hooker-ish. Classy, you know? Classy.) with the jeans, and my flip flops. Black was clearly an inspired choice. Sure, I was sweating like a crack addict, but at least you couldn't see the sweat.

I was a block away from Orchid Lane, a total hippie store (lots of hippie talk today, eh?) that just happens to stock one of my favorite lines of clothing. I could see skirts flowing in the breeze as they hung on racks on the sidewalk. I was practically halfway out of my jeans by the time I got to the shop, and into the dressing room before I could count to ten.

I wore it to the register and they removed the anti-theft device and price tag (cost for a linen wrap skirt? $12. I LOVE THE HIPPIES). The relief was immediate and amazing.

But I'm still an idiot.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Feast Your Eyes on That Which I Have Not Killed! Yet.

You guys, I like tomatoes. I really, really like them. I eat them all the damn time, and I always seems to have grape tomatoes on my kitchen counter. Grape tomatoes are sweet and awesome year-round, so I tend to buy them more often than any other kind, but summer brings massive garden-grown tomatoes, and those taste better than most any other thing that I can imagine.

Besides popcorn. I really love popcorn.

So my mom bought two grape tomato plants for me, probably secretly realizing that I would kill them with neglect, but happily placing them into the cart at the farmer's market.

I killed the first one within the week. I don't know how, but it happened. Okay, I do know how. Apparently plants like water. You'd think that I would have known that.

The other one, the "sweet million" grape tomato, was different. It was a fighter. I would leave for Mike's for the weekend, go out after work on Monday, and eventually remember the poor thing on Tuesday. It would be helplessly limp on the ground. I would drench it with water, sometimes remembering to add fertilizer, and within a day or two, it would be back to fighting shape.

But then the weekend would come around, and I would be gone for two days.

Well, I finally committed myself to the care of the poor plant, and there are BABY GRAPE TOMATOES growing. Like, I helped to not kill create life! But look! See for yourself!

Okay, so it's a bit droopy, and I had to tie the damn thing to a plant hook-thing that I actually bought for use with a bird feeder but my landlord wouldn't let me because the last time I had a bird feeder, the birds pooped everywhere and the thistle seeds fell through my upper deck onto her lower deck, and she was none too pleased. So because my poor tomato plant was pretty much as tall as me, and the hook was all I could find in my storage room, and it was that or a bunch of hangers, and I didn't know how that would actually work, I used the hook thing.

Look at that which I have cultivated!

Oh, and these were the casualties. Oops.

Friday, August 06, 2010

And I Am Not Ashamed!

A few weekends ago, Mike and I were just hanging out at his house, minding our business, when the power went out. It was about 6:30 pm on a Friday. We avoided opening the fridge, lit some candles, and relished in the fact that we had set the air conditioner to 62 degrees.

When Saturday morning arrived, the power had not.

Major dilemma here. Food? Not to be had. Air conditioning? Non-existent. Electricity in order to get ready for a wedding later that day? Not so much.

We had crap for breakfast - McDonald's, I think. Then we settled on Taco Bell for lunch, because we are classy, and I got this:

It was five bucks, and it was delicious. There was something called a "chalupa" in there, along with a taco, a bean burrito, and cinnamon twists! And a pop! Brilliant, Taco Bell. Brilliant.

I liked the cinnamon twists the best.

The power came back on eventually, which was slightly disappointing, since I was sort of looking forward to walking into a fast food restaurant with a hair dryer in tow.

The wedding was insane, though. And by "insane," I mean "completely over-the-top." Three-hundred guests, towering flowers, and a freaking photo booth. It was gorgeous, don't get me wrong, but it just wasn't my style.

At least my hair was dry.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Fruit Frenzy INDEED

Holy crap, you guys know how I adore Trader Joe's? Well, I just discovered another reason to marry Joe. Fruit Frenzy Bars:

Three different fruits! Oh my!

Frozen nutrition on a stick, really... when you think about it.

Right, so I love ice cream. I love it. I also love fruit bars (I think that Dole makes a lovely strawberry version), and I love fresh fruit. But what makes Trader Joe's so deliciously brilliant is that the company does not add preservatives and their products only contain natural products (I'm sure that there are exceptions, but I've never encountered a product like that).

Raspberry starts off the popsicle and it's lovely! A little tart but nicely sweet, it blends perfectly with the next flavor: lemon. And the lemon? Nice! Not overly intense, and then, before you know it? Strawberry. So good. So very good.

Anyway, if you have a TJ's near you, and you have the means, I highly suggest picking these up. They are so choice.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

To Be Honest, I Don't Really Know Who She Is, Either

BF: Who's Ashley Tisdale?
Me: She was in all kinds of Disney stuff.
BF: She looks like the Joker.

As I was about to post this, Mike glanced over and asked, "Who's that?" I scrolled down and he re-read his musings.

"She does look like the Joker. I stand by my original statement."

Monday, August 02, 2010

Whales in the Sky

Or sharks. I'm not sure. All I know is that these clouds look like sea creatures, and there is no arguing with me.

I think that the big one is trying to eat the little one.

I took the picture with my phone, thinking that there was no way it would be a clear shot, and then there it was, sitting absolutely gloriously, on the screen. Kelly and I were driving to Potbelly for dinner, with plans to also get cookies (obviously), and I thought that maybe, in my pressing hunger, the whale clouds were merely figments of my imagination.

But they weren't. They were there. And they were awesome.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

August is Here, Y'All!

And you know what that means...

It's almost my birthday!

Sure, I know that I go on and on about my birthday every year, but this year I have an excuse. This year, I am turning THIRTY and am looking forward to it very much, thank you.

Now, you might think, "Heather, that's insane. Thirty is the year that marks the death of your youth! Thirty is the year that your metabolism slows down and you gain weight and look like a heifer trying to squeeze into clothes from college! Thirty is the year that you really, really, really have to start using face cream!"

And to you, I say, "Yes, my youth is dead now. But I never really much cared for leaving for the bar at 11:30 p.m. anyway. Oh, and remember how I was in bed at 10:30 on New Year's Eve? Yeah."

And then I continue to say, "My metabolism is already fighting me, but I can still wear jeans from my senior year of high school, so suck it! Of course, I have to make sure that I am wearing a large t-shirt to hide any hint of muffin top, and there are enormous holes in the inner thighs and back pockets, but they STILL FIT, BITCHES."

And lastly, I say, "I've been using face cream for years, and I don't see it as a bad thing. I see it as preparing for the future and not having to get botox. Not that I would do that, anyway, but still. STILL."

And while those are not the only reasons that I should be dreading thirty, I have pretty much made peace with the fact that I will now be in a different age bracket. Besides, I know that I will continue to get carded when buying beer, and I know that I will continue to be considered a college student at the campus on which I work, and those are good things!

Also, I know that I will not lose my insanity or my humor with my old age. Hell, I just have to look to my own mother for proof of that.

Anyway, August the 18th cannot come soon enough! Neither, coincidentally, can the 21st, as I will be having a sweet ass party at my house ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT. If you happen to be planning on being in Ann Arbor that Saturday, do let me know, because you are therefore INVITED.