Monday, January 30, 2012

Poor Baby Focus

No, I haven't knocked off another side mirror. Not yet.

Mike gifted me a remote car starter for Christmas, and he had it installed in early December. Very thoughtful on his part, as it tends to get chilly here in Michigan in late November, and getting into a nice, warm, defrosted car is pretty much the best thing ever. Well, besides not having to leave the house at all.

Lately, though, it's been struggling to start up, and for the last week, it hasn't started at all. I have to override the system and start the car regularly. The cold, frosted-over car. Poor, cold, sad Focus.

Today, I got up at 5:10 to go to the gym (I know - no good can ever come from getting up that early, especially if it's to go to the gym), and my poor baby Focus was just not having it. The engine barely made a sound as I tried to start her up, and as I froze my toes off, the dying cat noises that it was making eventually just ceased altogether.


I was parked behind the garage, nicely and efficiently blocking Mike in, so he couldn't just take me to work with plans to deal with the car later. We don't have jumper cables, and we know absolutely no one in the area who does, so I pulled a teenage girl move and called my dad.

My "Always Plan For the Worst" father had jumper cables, and drove 30 minutes to my house to jump my poor little car. POOR BABY FOCUS!

Then, the Focus got a shiny new battery AND an oil change (just for fun), and it was like a day at the spa for her. She starts up just fine and runs like a dream.

And my budget is fucked.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Necklace(s) Covet

Dinosaur and bird necklaces! Hello! Why do you have to be so expensive? BECAUSE I WANT YOU ON ME.

My birthday is in August...

Friday, January 27, 2012

Phone Etiquette

"I'm convinced that when you call me and I don't answer, you hang up the phone, throw it, and run in the opposite direction."

My office is in the basement of the museum, and there is absolutely no cell phone reception. If I want to make a call, I have to haul my ass upstairs, wait for my phone to realize that it's above ground, and then call. I can't stand around in the fucking lobby all day, so if he doesn't answer, I leave a voicemail (sometimes) and go back to work.

Also, he is infinitely busier than I am at work. Even when he's working from home, I'm lucky if he even answers the phone when I call. We're not one of those couples who call each other all the damn time, but I had a very important story to tell him, and it was necessary. God.

I think that it was about... birds. Or possibly sandwiches.

So he calls me back within a few minutes, but I am already in the bowels of the museum and have no reception. Hence today's quote.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ten Years?

So I just realized that in April of this year, it will have been TEN YEARS since I graduated from college. Ten years? Are you serious?

So you can possibly understand my complete glee at having this glorious pile of bottle caps on my counter last night. They make me feel like perhaps I am not so old after all!

Even if all I had were two ciders and two Michelob Ultras.

Michelob Ultra? God. I guess that I AM old.

Friday, January 20, 2012


Oh sweet Jesus. Mike has discovered Rebecca Black. More than a year too late, sure, but what does it matter? Whether my ears bleed now or then doesn't make much of a difference.

Now, I avoided that train wreck like the plague, and I almost got away with it, too, until Mike's STUPID FRIEND LARRY had him pull up youtube and take a gander/listen. I was sitting right next to him! There was no escape! It. Was. Horrible.


Is it really so bad? Mike also likes to annoy me with Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night," and I'm not really sure which song is worse. The lyrics to both are asinine and ridiculous, and at least Ms. Black's verses don't leave me feeling dirty.

I'm going with Rebecca Black. Sure, she's annoying, but at least she's not a HOOR.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hi. I'm Heather, and I Recycle.

Or at least I try to. In Michigan, we have a ten cent deposit tax on many bottles and cans, but it's pretty much beer and pop that concern me. I don't drink those energy drinks because I am completely convinced that they will kill me. So there's that. Anyway, it's always fun for me to return these returnables and receive a lovely little voucher in return. It's free money, you guys!

Since moving in with Mike (almost a year ago, wow), I've tried to be more cognizant of what I save, what I toss, and what I recycle.

We drink a LOT of bottled water, and I feel guilty about it. I recycle those bottles religiously, even though they fill up that bin so quickly you'd think that we were living in the Sahara or something. And then there's the beer. I like cider, and those bottles, for some reason, do not have a deposit. They are glass, and thus, they are recycled.

And when my parents visit, there is wine. There is always wine.

And when Mike's buddies come over, there are more bottles of beer than I can count. Except that I do count them. As I am a frugal little bitch, I see the dimes piling up as each bottle cap hits the counter. And returning them? It's like an arcade game that you CAN'T LOSE. It's so exciting, you guys. You put the can in, and PING! Ten cents! Put another can in? PING! TEN CENTS.

And honestly, if I was still living in hippieville Ann Arbor, I'm willing to bet that I would have been fined for not recycling MORE. I threw away an occasional aluminum can when I didn't feel like rinsing it out and peeling off the label, but I never threw away pop cans. Pop cans = money.

But I now live elsewhere, and they are recycling racists.

No colored glass, eh? RACISTS.

So that's the story of how I cart recyclable green and brown wine and beer bottles to my parents' house twice a month. Which probably uses more energy and gas and pollutes more than it would if I just threw them in the trash, but I HAVE PRINCIPLES.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Time We Roamed the Museum at Night and Almost Died. Died!

During my sophomore year of college, I started working as a docent at the Museum of Natural History on campus. It was a pretty sweet job - I gave prehistoric life tours to school children (DINOSAURS!), I worked in the gift shop, and I was an office assistant in the main office.

I also made some really fun friends. I mean, we were all total dorks, but what else would you expect at a museum? With dinosaurs? (DINOSAURS!)

I have told this story so many times, it's practically a campfire tale. And I promise that I am not exaggerating, which is something that I truly love to do. No, my friends, this is what happened. AND IT WAS AWESOME.

One Saturday night, we had a movie party at the museum. We watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail, ate pizza, and drank pop. Most of us were old enough to drink, but we didn't because we were GOOD kids, and alcohol wasn't allowed on University property. (Of course, this didn't stop me in the dorms, where we regularly snuck in beer and other things, including a pony keg of Molson during the last week of classes one year).

Later that night, after quoting the movie verbatim, we decided to go exploring. We were lucky that we had some senior docents in attendance, because they had access to areas that most didn't. Like the roof.

So there we were, on the roof of the museum at midnight. This is not the part of the story where we almost died, though it would be a fair assumption. No, we did not almost die on the roof or by almost falling off of said roof. Instead, our collective near-death experience came later. In the research wing of the museum... DUN DUN DUN!!!!

So there we were, in yet another place in the building that we were not supposed to be, and we were snooping. We were snooping HARD.

First, we found a room with huge freezers. One freezer was labeled, "Bird Division," and the other was labeled "Mammal Division." We figured that those were where the different staff members kept their lean cuisines. BUT NO.

Each freezer was JAM PACKED with grocery store bags. Each grocery store bag contained a carcass! Apparently, each division accepts dead animals and birds and whatnot for study specimens. Roadkill! It was pretty gross, you guys!

But not as gross as what we found next, a door labeled, "BUG ROOM."

Was it just another room of freezers? Does one freeze bugs for future use and dissection? Were there just going to be a bunch of bugs flying and crawling around? IF ONLY.

The door was unlocked. No one would open it, so I reached over and turned the knob, because I apparently had a death wish. The second the door opened, the odor hit us. I have no other way to describe the smell other than it's what I imagine the smell of pure death to be.

There was a crate on the floor in front of us. It had a wooden base with chicken wire sides. Inside was a dead... something. It was covered in beetles. COVERED IN FLESH-EATING BEETLES OH MY GOD.

Flesh eating beetles are able to remove every bit of organic material from a bone, and without them, scientists and researchers would never be able to use the bones for study or for mounting unless they let nature take its course. This could take years, and the bones could be scattered and broken by scavengers and it would be a fucking disaster. Hence the beetles.

And this is STILL not where we almost died.

No, we were still alive and not yet fearing for our lives when we ventured further into the depths of the Zoology wing. We could hear a faint sort of dull pounding, and as we got closer to the source, we recognized that it was music. And not just any music, mind you, but death metal rock that scared me to my very core.

All of a sudden, a very short, very strange woman stepped out of her office. Like, horizontally. Like she was in a play. She had short white-grey hair and was wearing a floor-length lab coat. On the coat, someone had taken a sharpie and drawn a large white mouse - like, the entire length of the coat - with mouse babies at its feet.

EXCEPT THAT THEY WERE DEAD. They had x-marks where the eyes should have been! Dead mouse babies! On her coat!

"You're not supposed to be here," she said.

Cowering in fear - us.

"Come with me," she said, as she retreated into her office/lab.

Looking at each other for guidance, someone followed her in. And, like MICE, we followed.

She started explaining her research, much to our horror. She showed us around her lab, and the only thing that I specifically remember is when she pointed out the microwave that she used for her lunches, and the microwave that she used to nuke mice fetuses. "You don't want to use that one for food. Ha ha ha."

Terrified - us.

"Go now."

Backing slowly out of her office - us.

The story eventually got out, and the exhibit designer, a KNOWN GOSSIP, ended up telling the story at a full staff meeting. We... weren't allowed to have parties at the museum for a while after that.

But some good did come of our trespassing!

Said exhibit designer was tasked with creating a small exhibit for this person. Here is the result:

There are mice on her lab coat, you guys!

So we didn't really almost die. But it was close.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Internet FAIL

So I am on a mission. There are three things that I am attempting to locate, and I while I am hoping to be successful, I have a heavy sort of feeling in my heart.

First up, Cinnamon Tic Tacs. Mike loves Tic Tacs, and cinnamon is one of his favorite flavors. They are next to impossible to find in stores, and I think that it's because they may not be making them anymore. I can get the cinnamon/fresh mint packs, which is good, but it is not EXACTLY what I want.
OH HOLY CRAP: The Tic Tac website has informed me that Cinnamon Tic Tacs have been discontinued. Oh, Mike is not going to be happy about this.
Second, HEAD-ON. I know that it's incredibly ridiculous that I want to find this stuff, but if you get migraines, you understand that anything that takes your mind away from thinking about the intense, throbbing pain is worth trying. Emily suggested it, and Mike found it at Walgreens one night at 2:00 a.m. when I was reeling from the worst migraine of my life. It doesn't cure your migraine, but it certainly distracts you with menthol evaporating goodness.

And after an exhaustive search, I don't think that the company is making it anymore, otherwise it wouldn't be on Amazon for TWENTY DOLLARS. Granted, I was never the one to purchase it, so I'm not sure how much it costs, but twenty bucks seems a bit steep. I'm guessing that they spent too much money on one of the stupidest commercials in television history and many consumers viewed it as a joke. So, GOOD JOB, ASSHOLES.

Third, Crest Vanilla Expressions toothpaste. Mike loves this stuff, but alas - it is no longer being made. You can find it on Amazon, however, for the low, low price of $11.99 for 6 ounces. And there's no telling what the expiration date is, so...
The internets have failed me. FAILED ME.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

OMG Look at this Child!

My lovely Emily had a baby (!) and SOMEHOW Mr. Brian is nine months old already. Here he is wearing the pajamas that Aunt Heather sent:

Dinosaurs AND monkeys? I just don't think that there could be better pajamas (well, besides these).

Here is the text exchange between me and Em:

Em: Yay! Thanks for my jammies! (with above pic)
H: Omg! Dinosaurs and monkeys! IS THERE A CUTER BABY NO THERE IS NOT.
Em: He is on my list because he just shit all over me.
H: Ugh.

And you people want me to have children.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

If I Can't Control Animals, How Would I Ever Control a Child?

Recently, I came home to a jousting tournament. Cow versus cow, with dinosaur mounts.

There were many bets floating around.

I walked out before witnessing the match. These animals are fucking ridiculous, I am telling you.

Monday, January 09, 2012

The Woman in Black

Arthur Kipps is a young London lawyer sent to Crythin Gifford, a small town far from the comfort and familiarity of London, to attend the funeral of a long-time client of his firm. Mystery surrounds the family and the ancestral house and lands, so much so that the locals will speak nothing of it and seem to pity Arthur's assignment. Before long, Arthur is besieged by terrifying images and sounds, and a mysterious woman in black, old-fashioned clothing seems to be stalking him.

Crythin Gifford, picturesque with flat lands and salt marshes, is not as welcoming as the brash young lawyer expects. When explaining to those he encounters that he must spend time at Eel Marsh House, the home of his deceased client, Mrs. Alice Drablow, to sort her files, he receives little more than pained silences and shocked expressions. He brushes his feelings of uneasiness aside as local tales and makes arrangements to spend a few nights at the house.

I don't think that I took a breath throughout the entire second half of the novel. Hill writes so descriptively and beautifully, and that style continued as she painted a haunting tale of madness, allowing the reader to be swept away to Godforsaken Crythin Gifford. The characters are developed and interesting, and the story never falters. The final twist was not altogether a surprise, but it was definitely a shock. A wonderful, proper ghost story.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

This is What I Deal With, You Guys

This is our thermostat. Let me decode it for you:

On the left, 59 is the temperature in the house. Cold, I know, but I was wrapped in an electric blanket on the couch, so I wasn't aware of just how cold it was until I went upstairs to check.

On the right? 43. That is what Mike set it to - for why? I'm not entirely positive, but I'm sure that there are many reasons and one of them is to see if I'll freeze to death in my sleep. But the joke's on you, Mike, because I don't even HAVE a 401K. HAHAHAHAHAHA!

In his defense, I have trouble sleeping if I'm too warm. I like to breathe cool air. I like to bundle up in blankets and cover everything but my eyes and nose. It's pretty awesome, and it's nice on the weekends. But during the week? That's another story.

My absolute favorite times are when simply turning down the heat does not result in a cool house quickly enough for his liking. That's when the air conditioning goes on. Yes, the air conditioning. In January. The house will be something like, 65 degrees, but he wants it to be 60 degrees, so he turns on the air. It's nice at first, but before I realize what's happening, I am lulled into a state of cool, calm comfort and passively drift away to dreamland.

Oh, and the ceiling fan is usually on, too. I forgot to mention that.

And before I know it, my alarm goes off the next morning, it's 54 fucking degrees and I have to somehow extricate myself from the covers in order to take a shower (generally that is how it works) and it's pretty much what I imagine torture to be.

But I sure do sleep well.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Peanut Dressing/Dip

I don't remember where I found the original recipe for this dressing/dip, but I've modified it enough so that I feel comfortable calling it my own. You guys, it's pretty awesome. I've used it as a dressing for an Asian noodle salad, as a dip for veggies, and as a marinade for chicken.

This is a quality picture, right?

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • splash soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp lime zest
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients but the canola oil. When thoroughly combined, leave the blender/processor on low and slowly steam in the canola oil so that it incorporates completely.

For garnishes or additions on a salad or noodles or whatnot, you should definitely consider using the following:

1/4 cup scallions
1/4 cup chopped peanuts

Monday, January 02, 2012

Maybe It's Because They Don't Get Out Much

Remember how I am totally batshit insane? In that Mike and I have stuffed animals and we create lives and backstories for them? Well, when Mike travels for work, I always sneak an animal or two into his suitcase. Then he sends me amusing pictures from the hotel. The latest? Mr. Happy Dinosaur and Grant inspect the desk in the hotel:

"They have never seen a phone like this before..."

Sunday, January 01, 2012

January First

Happy New Year! And holy crap you guys, get these chips.

Get these chips and then eat the shit out of them. They are incredible. Here is where you can find them, my darlings.

Enjoy the new year. And the eighth year of my bloggitude. Good God, I've been blogging since 2005. Yikes. You would think that I would have found something better to do with my time by now, but APPARENTLY NOT.