April 30, 2003

Model Search

I want to be the t-shirt model for this. Someone recommend me? I can't just go in there in the comments and recommend myself, you see, because that would be far too blatant and I'd have no credability.


Posted by hln at 06:28 PM | Comments (0)

"Are McLawsuits legit?"

On p. 118 of Self magazine's May, 2003 issue, in the center of the page in yellow in the shape of a burger, sits this gem, which contains "yes" and "no" arguments to our friendly above-posted subject.

The "no" arguer has some brains: blah blah blah weight blah "...but litigation isn't the solution." Thank you, next?

The "yes" arguer needs a big shot of rational-thought epinephrine. Get a load of this...verbatim.
    "Fast food is a major contributor to obesity. The nutritional information that only a third of chain restaurants provide wasn't necessarily furnished out of the kindness of their hearts. Some fast food companies offered it only after several state attorneys general threatened to sue them for misleading advertising in the 1980s. We know public pressure can effect change, and litigation can make change happen sooner."
This snippet is attributed to Margo Wootan, Ph.D., director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, D.C. Here's some more Dr. Wootenisms. I'll subtitle the articles for you if it's not apparent. I've read two, and enough already.

Drop that french fry, Bob, and take note. You are not an individual. You do not have free thought. See, you dropped the fry when I told you to, didn't you? Obviously, you, Bob American, cannot think for yourself. You haven't the slightest idea that you're possibly overweight because your id desires a super-sized meal...six times a week, and you feed your body with your id. You can't possibly, with the glut of information available from library to library to web site to website site, endeavor to KNOW that behavior of any form has specific consequences. How shocked you would be if only Margo would swoop down with gilded wings and show you THE WAY and incite you to call the sleaziest attorney in town.

Oh, Margo, please. Are you one of those women who's going to insist that all women are oppressed? Perhaps I should write and ask. Obviously, all of those frivlous lawsuits against the tobacco companies are making great strides toward reducing smoking. Suuuuuuuure. Public pressure does nada. I'll give you that, though, if you'll recognize that you're a hemisphere away from linking that public pressure thing to lawsuits reducing obesity. What's next, Ruffles? Frito Lay? The Olive Garden for offering Tour of Italy as "a meal"?

Ugh. Fast food? Subway, please, if you want a gentle suggestion and are on the run. McDonald's, eh, it won't kill you every once in a while, OBVIOUSLY. Just try to keep the frequent nugget miles low, Bob. And skip the lawsuit.


Posted by hln at 06:19 PM | Comments (0)

April 29, 2003

A-Rod v. WHO

And, in the news this morning, since there's little else to talk about of late BUT SARS, MSN reported that A-Rod ain't a gonna leave his hotel room much while he's in Toronto. Hey, that's great. My question? Why is the hotel safe but the soon-to-be-not-frequented malls and restaurants not so? And how is this really "SARS precautions." Don the mask, wimpo; it could be your next endorsement.

And, of course, later in the day, the WHO (in this article) said Tuesday it will "take Toronto off its list of countries travelers should avoid over concerns about SARS because the city seems to have the disease under control." Wow, Toronto's a country. Lazy, lazy writer.

So, whom should we trust here? Tsk to the media for taking something so entirely inconsequential as a few days in A-Rod's life and making it a headline. Man bites dog, eh? Perhaps tomorrow it'll be "John Travolta chooses ziti over orzo."


Posted by hln at 09:39 PM | Comments (0)

Thank You, Gainpro

I'll tell you what Gainpro grows. It's hits! But, if you're visiting this site to enlarge your penis, I'm afraid you're out of luck.


Posted by hln at 09:11 PM | Comments (0)

April 28, 2003

And Speaking of Gardening As

As I drove to work this morning, I noted the new fully-grown yellow and purple tulips gracing the median of one of Creve Coeur's finest streets. I thought, hmm. Tax dollars hard hard at work. It reminded me of about a year ago when Brian and I were in Chicago to celebrate our wedding anniversary. This was May, and Chicago has some pretty well-kept and manicured flowers lining its sidewalks and streets. But, this being May, meant spring flowers were no longer fashionable, I suppose. At around 6:00 p.m. city workers were hard at, well, work, REMOVING the perfect tulips in favor of some fresher, more summery, replacements. Everywhere we walked was strewn (well, okay, they were in piles) with uprooted tulips.

Now, forgive me if you must, but I was APPALLED. I can see ripping out dried, dead used-to-be flowery plumage, but perhaps the citizens of Chicago would be better served (if one can prove that flowers/plants SERVE) with plants that last all season or whose lifespans persist from year to year.

But, hey, who ever said minutiae government made any sense. I'm going to go eat some state grapes now.


Posted by hln at 12:09 PM | Comments (0)

April 27, 2003

My Green (and Purple) Thumb

Today, Sunday April 27, marked a momentous occasion. My esteemed spouse was bitten by the gardening bug (which we pray was not radioactive). And because of said proclamation that we should "buy some flowers," we loaded our selves and debit card into the blue truck made for hauling things and ventured to the local greenhouse. Which was closed. The truck pulling in before us noticed this first, and we followed it to Schmittel's Nursery just down the road in the more rural part of Earth City which really means it's more of a flood plain.

Somewhere in the middle of choosing annuals, the same bug (which must've travelled with us in the truck) bit me as well. Chomp! Hey, I think we need some herbs. I think we need a LOT of herbs. OreganoParsleyThymeSageTarragonBasil squared.

We spent our fair fortune and returned home to stash the plants and begin part two of our journey - the Home Depot. The great orange emporium was so full of plants and folks and folks buying plants that we bilked the system and bought our planting supplies INDOORS (what a concept). Brian was even so stealthy as to filch mulch from another cart that was masquerading as a mulch display (honest).

And then we returned home to face the daunting reality of where to put all this stuff. We had our cedar borders, our two bags of potting soil, our bag of topsoil, our gardening tools, our annuals, our herbs, and our intrepid faith that man (and woman) would prevail over plant.

And it did, er, we did.

It's mostly planted. The mailbox sports eight new smiling plants and a beautiful coat of decorative rock. The ghetto door (smirk, Adam, please) is flanked by two faux pottery long planting boxes filled with beauteous (read: not dead) flowering plants. Heather's herbs sit in more of our favored faux pots, all in a row.

The roses are planted and should bear bloom before 2007.

The purple thumb, you ask? Well, that's a reality. Thank you, softball practice. Ow.


Posted by hln at 10:04 PM | Comments (0)

April 25, 2003

Thank you, Hotmail

And today's praise goes to Hotmail for providing content for this session.

I have a hotmail e-mail account. So does every Joe and his pet emu, so this is not an amazing revelation. Last evening the former Roommate (before there was the Husband, there was the Roommate) for some reason presented a charming, witty tirade about all of the "Enlarge Your Penis! e-mails he receives. I decided to begin my foray into my empirical evidence inbox of yore - the Hotmail account.

I never use this thing. I have it because I have an MS Passport, and so it collects nothing but random solicitations (oh, most definitely) from folks (and computers) I do not know. Lately, I've been good enough to keep it fairly bereft of said treasures, but I should have enough from my three-days-since-cleaning stash to bring forth some juice.

So, just how many penis enlargement e-mails does Heather have? Well...

There are 40 e-mails not denoted as Junk Mail. The inbox was last purged on April 23, 2003. This should be good.

Jackpot - first one. This one's clever. It tells me in a subject line that the server is down. Oh, yo, but no no no, the message states another tale: Gainpro will take your sex life to new levels... Guaranteed! Your penis will grow up to 3 inches. Thanks, random human, or whoever borrowed or made up your e-mail address, but no thanks. Penises don't look good on women.

Same e-mail with a "Lets work this out" (sic) subject. Then, "You forgot to answer" and then "I know all that" and "Why wouldn't you just give it to me." "Cheer me up." "Remember that chick." "Did you lose it?" "Remember that lady?" (I was ready for this one).

9 of my 40 e-mails were about Gainpro and my non-existent penis. Let's learn about Gainpro, which seems to have a corner on the PE market, at least this week. Perhaps Google's Zeitgeist section will have it topping the charts.

Could it be this? (Link safe for children and emus belonging to Joe).

Alas, no lovely home page marketing our featured product. There is a lovely link to an IP address with some CGI action going on in the background. Think I'll pass.

The other e-mails, you ask? Well, a few more oriented toward using the newly enlarged specimen of note, a bunch about refinancing, a fat buster/cellulite blocker, some human growth hormone advertisements, and a boootiful locket the vendor encourages that I purchase for my mother for Mother's Day. Awww.


Posted by hln at 12:31 PM | Comments (0)

April 24, 2003

It Blows Away Your Vic-20

Ah, do you remember your first computer with such fondness and loving tribute as I obviously do? If so, read on fellow geek.

My first computer was a Commodore 64, and it arrived in my hands at Christmastime of 1983. I was 11 and enraptured with my fun microcomputer classes held after school on the state-of-the-art Radio Shack TRS 80s. I had the power to make lines of text scroll ad infinitum...well, until someone nobler than I pressed BREAK.

Remember this?

20 GOTO 10

Oh yeah.

The computer came with no means of saving programs, so many a Saturday I spent typing the program that turned my C64 into a piano-like keyboard just to play Mary Had a Little Lamb or some such nonsense. Then my parents purchased the master contraption - the DATASETTE!

And then there was persistence.

The most interesting thing I wrote with the C64 was something that quizzed me with countries and capitals for the various continents. It even spat out a grade card according to my performance at that given time and modified how many questions it fed me (and in what order) at my whim as a user.

Then, sometime in 1985 I believe, we purchased the printer. It was a Blue Chip Daisy Wheel contraption, and it output far superior text than those dot matrix bozos. I had the best typed papers in class. At some point, the disk drive beckoned, and our package was complete.

This computer remained in my home as the main computer all throughout high school. Only in 1991 did my family acknowledge that perhaps it was time to join the revolution and upgrade. The family pet, as it were, was sold to my father's former secretary for help in running her household.

Lunch is over - but one more thought. Change that screen text color to Cyan!

What power. GOSUB Work.


Posted by hln at 12:07 PM | Comments (0)

April 23, 2003

Shut Your Seed-Cracking Beak

Sometimes life is just a bit too ethereal for even me. After the drive-thru house closing that Brian and I attended today, we opted to dine at the house of Regina vinegar and pepper, since it is close to work. I was working over my starter salad with my fork, enhancing each bit with equal parts of lettuce, croutons, tomatoes, and cheese, when he quipped this little thoughtpiece.

"I bet you wouldn't have married me if I had a seed-cracking beak."

What the hell?

I think I snorted and asked him to repeat. He did, and I had heard correctly the first time.

I'm sure I crinkled up my nose and conveyed the proper quizzical countenance and continued eating.

At some point, I realized, this makes a perfect insult. When someone's jaws are too freely flowing, you can always say "just shut your seed-cracking beak." But you must do this with a straight face, of course.

Seed-cracking beak face isn't too bad either. Remember that one for the drivers yapping on their cell phones.

And so the esteemed spouse days to me after reading this, "You're making life with me to be a bit more surreal than it needs to be." And his justification for this comment is this: "I was probably talking about my flesh rending teeth." And then, "I was eating a salad, and we were talking about becoming Vegan!" And then, the pinnacle: "Honest, I can connect this all up to sanity!" I love instant messenger.

The rest of the story: so, okay, there probably was some context of teeth and their uses, but that beak thing is a pretty good stretch - almost the splits. The Vegan thing? He couldn't do it - he'd have to give up butter, and that would be torture.

DOUBLE Addendum
Oh, and robins do not have seed-cracking beaks, they have worm-stabbing beaks; I learned this today.


Posted by hln at 08:46 PM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2003

He shoots! He scores! (And

He shoots! He scores! (And the other team goes home for a long summer)

There's nothing really like playoff hockey. Take, for instance, the game playing itself out right now on my family room television. The Maple Leafs of Toronto are thrashing the infidel Flyers of Philadelphia. Oh, wait, I'm in the United States, not Oceania or Iraq. It's 4-1 Flyers over the Maple Leafs right now, and Eddie "the Eagle" Belfour is probably not going to be hugging his Stanley cup on the Tilt-a-Whirl again in this year's celebratory commercial.

At any rate, I was about to explain the thrill, which, of course, I really can't; that's part of the thrill. Hockey is a great sport to live vicariously, mostly because it's so full of speed, strength, coordination, and skill - it's soccer on steroids. Goals are hard to come by, and momentum shifts can spell doom or ecstasy. And then you add the playoff element. Playoff hockey series are best of seven. So, four wins advances your team to the next round. And playoff hockey games continue until someone wins the game. Games may go into double, triple, even quadruple overtime, leaving many fans and players alike in a zombie-like daze the next day. Oh, and that seven-game thing? Teams muster up a lot of animosity for each other by about the third game, so you're in for some serious entertainment.

Tonight's games are all game 7s, meaning it ends here, folks. Thankfully (or sadly), I'm a bit under the weather, and so the lure of a tight game will lose to the plain, simple, practical fact that I must deposit myself in my warm bed at the exact moment that I am tired enough to strap on a Breathe-Right menthol strip, chug some Nyquil, and hope for sweet dreams.

Still, let me emphasize that again. It all ends here. It'll end for Philadelphia or Toronto. It'll end for Minnesota or Colorado. And it'll end for Vancouver or St. Louis. If I have to bet on one of these teams to win, it'll be Colorado. If Colorado doesn't win, this creative chap will proffer forth more clever invective like he did this morning. Newspapers in St. Louis have presented the disapproving parent tone, but no one's calling for the coach's head on a platter...yet. Perhaps that'll be tomorrow or around the stroke of midnight tonight if the Note can't pull through its major funk.

But, come tomorrow, eight teams will remain in the hunt for Lord Stanley's cup. If the Blues do bow out early, I will have more time on my hands to do things like write and exercise. But I really don't need that time until June - mid June, really...really...really.


Posted by hln at 08:09 PM | Comments (0)

April 21, 2003

Power Food

And now, my domestic side.

Power Breakfast
1 serving (1 cup, I believe) of Kashi Good Friend cereal (fiber, baby)
10 raspberries
1/8 cup almonds
1/8 cup cashews

Mix it all up. Yum. Ready to code.

And Dinner

4 tillapia filets
Spaghetti sauce of your choosing
Fresh basil, cut into long but thin strips.
Fresh button mushrooms
1/2 teaspon of oil
Smidge of part-skim mozzarella

Section mushrooms into quarters. Precook for about 4 minutes in the microwave at about 40 - 50%. Add oil to a skillet. Swoosh until it ever so barely coats the bottom of the skillet. Put mushrooms into skillet. Add tillapia. Cook about 2 minutes, and then add the spaghetti sauce. Cook about 5 minutes (more if your filets are thick), stirring occasionally. Add basil. Cook about two more minutes.

Transition fish and sauce to serving dish. Toss a bit of mozzarella on top for good measure.

Mmmm. Ready for anything.


Posted by hln at 08:21 PM | Comments (0)

Because Will Told Me To

Because Will Told Me To

Anything's funny at 8:40 on Monday morning. But this is especially strange. I will dream of it, I'm sure.

Oh, and this is equally disturbing. I have a 15 year-old private joke/true story with a friend from high school about a dog that vomited two-month old yellow Peeps in our presence (yellow ones, no less) on a blue carpet. Yellow and blue make green! And dogs and Peeps should never mix.


Posted by hln at 08:45 AM | Comments (0)

April 20, 2003

Visit the Spouse

Visit the Spouse

I'd be remiss if I didn't send you here. He makes me chortle.


Posted by hln at 08:22 PM | Comments (0)

Nails R' Us

My husband and I attended a 30th birthday party for a friend yesterday. We were to meet at a Mexican restaurant in a strip mall at approximately 3:45 p.m. We arrived at 3:30, and we put that free 15 minutes to creative use.

First, we noticed how no one dared to park when stopping by the dry cleaning store. Instead cars and SUVs alike were left unattended in what we dubbed the fire lane as lazy patrons scuttled inside for what they knew to be a quick trip to pick up mom's best dress or Sadie's favorite pink shirt. Nevermind it was nearly 70 degrees and no sight of rain. Nevermind that the parking places were a mere 30 paces...

This amused us, but it didn't require our full attention, and we thus turned that toward something more interesting. Parked in a medium-sized strip mall situated smack dab in middle America, we noted not one, but two, full-service nail salons. (Yes, we were parked, and so were they. What a clever turn o' phrase!)

I'm not talking about spas or hair and nails and eyebrows and massage places. These stores specialized only in nails. Now, I wish someone would explain this to me. I've never had my nails done. Is it expensive? How do these place stay in business? From which crevasses in the earth bubbles up the customer base for such establishments?

I'm so confused.


Posted by hln at 08:14 PM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2003

Run Heather Run

One of the greatest things we humans take for granted is our health. I am and have been for approximately three years in perfect health. This last year has been the best of the three, as I have become one of those gymrats that everyone who's not a gymrat disdains.

But this morning, as I was awakened by the "do-you-want-to-get-up-at-5?" intoned by my husband, I found myself making the 2,154 excuses to myself that I thought I was long past about why I did not want to transport myself to the gym.

*Too tired
*Leg muscles ache, ow, ow
*I'll do Pilates later
*I'll go tomorrow and do more
*It won't hurt me if I don't go
*It's only cardio day - I wouldn't be missing any strength training
*I could go to work early and go to the gym after.
*I could play some Asheron's Call!

See, these are not even eloquent. Nor are they persuasive.

Today is cardio day. My body knows this, as my id so aptly stated in the previous paragraph. The gym has a track encircling it up at about a mezzanine level, and 18 times around is a mile. It's a perfect 60 - 65 degrees, so the moment you start to sweat, you know your muscles are warm enough to stretch or rip (as needed).

Cardio day encompasses many pleasures and tortures. I like the elliptical machine - often do 15 - 30 mins on it on non-cardio-days as the cardio component of a non-all-cardio day. Did you get all that? Good. But, in preparation for this MS 150 thing, I've felt the need to do some adequate self ass-kicking. This is otherwise known as running.

Now, some people are born to run. You see them in shopping malls or grocery stores - their tiny ectomorphic limbs and torsos - sometimes Gollum personified. If you feel the need to scientifically observe, park yourself at a mall near the size 2 racks. Yes, those are they.

I am not one of these people. I am born to lift and grunt, and, in other societies, would likely be one of the first women tapped for manual labor. Tall, good strong back. I would not be your choice of messenger to Marathon.

Alas and excuses aside, this running thing is growing on me. It's fabulous endurance training to get those lungs moving, and dancing happy lungs are good things. Oh, and the endorphins. Oh baby. The body's own opiates? And at that moment when you finally make that self discovery of "hey, I'm breathing normally AND running" - oh baby. Euphoria.

I'm not sure it's entirely just that, though. I find myself want to run in places and at times when it's not appropriate to run (and then, of course, conversely, wishing quite the opposite at the exact moment when my feet should begin doing their thing). This morning, I wanted to run the strangely cobbled hallway from the restroom back to the office location that houses my cubicle. Very strange indeed.

Where does this lead? Well, this morning it meant I ran nearly two miles and walked (which is close to jogging, really) another two or so. And then I applied the old ramrod to my psyche about my lack of effort, and it broke. I found myself laughing. A year ago, if I had told myself, "today you're going to walk a few miles and then run a few (or that amount of exercise in any order), I'd have run (or something else) screaming from the impossibility.



Posted by hln at 10:00 PM | Comments (0)

April 16, 2003

Pineapples for Peace

Yesterday was the big tax day, as we Americans all know. I paid mine, throughout the year and a bit here before this deadline. Since my husband and I both work full time, we donate quite a bit of money to various charities to fund and support what we believe to be important.

Everyone has a cause or a belief or an embittered passion. Some have all three of these. Today the AP headline read: "Some Peace Activists Won't Pay Fed Taxes." And I just couldn't leave it alone.

You see, I'm a big fan of peace. Peace means a lot of things. Peace, to me, means no murders. It means no wars; it means no threat of wars, and it means no terrorism. It means no domestic violence, and it, at the core, also requires that man be something other than inherently evil. I'll talk more about that later but not today.

If you jump on my example's front porch, you'll see and probably agree that, even in a civilized country on a civilized continent, true peace is but an illusion.

America is a large country of 50 United States. We Americans live here by choice, for we have the free will to pick up our belongings (or not) and move our place of residence to any other country that will have us. America asks little of us as citizens. We elect our officials, and to have the most say in what these people whom we elect will represent,we have obligation to vote. If your state or federal courts request your service on jury, be honored, for our court system, though it contains many flaws and loopholes, often requires input from common civilians to deliver results.

Now, consider these things in somber tone. There are many ways to advocate peace. Some are obviously more constructive than others. Peace begins in the home. It travels then to groups of people, typically with a common objective. I am happy to agree that war is not peace. If you believe a nation not actively at war is at peace, think again, for these are not mutually exclusive.

I am disheartened by this article. I am often disappointed with this country's citizens en masse. At the core, whom do you hurt by not paying your taxes? You taint your reputation with this lovely label of "war tax resister." Oh, and what about those lovely social programs - fewer federal dollars means less money channeled into your state for your cause.

Hmm, I'm not too fond of the couple of thousand extra I had to fork out three years ago because the marriage penalty hit me. I'm pretty sure that money went to fund boll weevil researchers in Atlanta on some hefty government grant. Booyah. Perhaps I should write to the IRS and respectfully decline my bill this year and register myself as a "boll weevil resister." If I sell it well, I bet I could write a book about persuasion and bandwagons and perhaps raise enough money to get me out of tax hock. And have the last laugh.

But that's not what this is really about. This is, for the remainder of this evening's words, in effect, an open letter (rant) to the "war tax resisters" and an invitation to join my new campaign - because peace goes with anything, right? It's kinda like salt. And black.

And so today at lunch, I thought about Pinneaples for Peace. It's illiterative. It's got a nice ring to it. And I bet Dole would fork over some of those big spiky beauties, and we could make large posters of pineapples and draw big red circles around them with lines across the middle (I believe that's called a diameter). Pineapples could be the anti hand grenade! They do bear a small resemblance! Also, pineapple is yellow on the inside. If you cut it like Dole does, you have pineapple rings. Pineapple rings will fit around small bushes, and so your pineapple could stand as a sign that we need to bring our troops home. Pineapple is also, obviously, a food. So we could send our pineapples, after we are finished demonstrating with them, to Iraq and to Afghanistan. We could save the world.

Now, if this doesn't excite you, well, you could always leave the country. I hear France is pretty anti-war. Oh, wait. They're not very friendly. There's always Canada. You could live in the safety of America's shadow (because it's not like America's gonna let anyone mess with Canada). If Canada seems a good option, I've taken the liberty of providing some tax information for you here. Personally, if it ever got that bad here, that's where I would go. Oh, but be sure to save some extra moolah for your heating bill...and boots. You'll need 'em. Learn the rules of hockey, too; there's a good pacifier of a sport.

And there's Mexico! The good news? That country's tax regs were so vague and hard to find online I'm sure there's enough gray area in there to satisfy any diehard liberal. I'd recommend England, but that would only have been a viable option BEFORE the war. It seems public opinion has shifted toward the "winning team."

And, finally, if none of this excites you, perhaps you could find a new home country whose first letter is P. P is for Peace, right? I offer you these exotic locales: Paraguay, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Poland, and Peru!

Happy trails. Pay your taxes. Protest at will. Pray.



Posted by hln at 07:08 PM | Comments (0)

Oil and Vineger, Salt and Pepper, Vinegar and Pepper, Oil and Salt? Bread

Some things are meant to go together. Today I'd like to discuss vinegar and pepper, so see comma-delimited column three in our title up there on the whiteboard. For lunch today I have a turkey salad (no, really). It consists of that happy-go-lucky bagged salad whose brand I cannot remember, but it has the little perfect shredded carrots, some romaine lettuce, some iceberg lettuce, and some shredded red cabbage mixture. Good stuff. Also present is a smidgeon of reduced-fat skim milk mozzarella cheese. And, of course, this is topped with some leftover turkey from Sunday, the last of the white meat. For a chicken or a turkey salad, the best dressing I can find is a LOT of fresh ground pepper and a similar copious amount of Regina Red Wine Vinegar (with natural Garlic Flavor). Here, Regina, free marketing! And, guess what, no calories! Who said the best things in life weren't free - oh, the sales guys. I discovered this friendly tart vinegar at Lonestar Steakhouse, which is audacious enough to not offer a clear Italian dressing for its salads. Since this is the only flavor of salad dressing with which I will venture to lace my salads, I asked for oil and vinegar, and decided to tough it out. Mmm, liked it so much I had to beg the waitress to divulge the brand name of the restaurant's featured vinegar. That's really all there is to say about that. Since I put oil, water, and bread in my title to entice readers, I should spout off a bit. Bread - staple of human life, can't get enough, but my waistline would argue that all of its padding (of which there should be none) consists of bread and bread products. Bread good. Water - water of choice is Ice Mountain. I don't taste any minerals, and it's in a handy reusable bottle. Coupons often appear in the Sunday paper like lawn fungi - coupons are good. Oil? It doesn't exist unless I'm at Romano's Macaroni Grill. And then it's with its friends bread and pepper. And my salad is graced with a peppy and peppery balsamic vinegarette. And, sadly, it's not free. hln

Posted by hln at 12:01 PM | Comments (0)

April 15, 2003

So What's Your Car Handle Made Of, Anyway

I drive a Mitsubishi Eclipse. It's red, and I bought it when it was a year old and cheaper than a new Taurus. And this is how I justify my 1999 bright-red slow-moving (but curvy) automatic (not stick shift) sports car, complete with rounded high spoiler soon to make shopping for a bike rack a nightmare.

I bought my beloved car in late 2000, taking delivery of it just before Thanksgiving. I had to haggle for it, too, hooboy. "Car's got racing wheels," the salesman quipped. "Car's gotta have wheels...," Heather quipped. Shopping for a car is shopping for a car. Everyone's got a story. I'll save the story of the smarmy Taurus salesman for another day. Today's topic is something along the lines of "it ain't as good as it used to be" (like I would know?)

In July of 2002, when I had owned the Eclipse for just shy of two years, I surveyed the sweltering summer day and took preparations to enter my car. One would suspect this would not pose much of a challenge, as I had already invoked my remote keyless entry and unlocked my car. This is July, so just a gentle tug on the handle will do. Lift the handle, and, vamoose. Handle in hand - car door unmoved.

Now, it's July, as I have mentioned. It's not January 3rd, and the car door is not frozen to the remainder of the car. I applied no more pressure than I would have to pet one of the cats who make their home with us. And, yet, I rendered my driver's side door inoperable from the outside.

Months pass. Never one to let circumstance bog me down, I learn to enter the car in grand adept fashion from the passenger side. Finally, it nears the fateful time when one must face the government's requirements to renew the license (cue the music, please), and I decide to fix this problem.

Car handle is made of cheap plastic. How much does a plastic car handle cost, you ask? I answer: a new [cheap] plastic car handle costs approximately 230 dollars. Yes, it does. No, my extended warranty does not cover this. Wow, fun. Insert fuss and frown directed at serviceman.

I'm not sure there's a moral to this story. In a self-righteous huff, I paid my bill and drove my now-whole car to its home, vowing with venemous acclamation to fire off a letter to Mitsubishi (including the handle in the package) detailing my displeasure with the situation. Two months have passed, and laziness has prevailed.

Inertia, sadly, is occasionally mightier (or more safe) than the pen and the sword. And how's that door functioning now, you ask? Well, it opens. But you'd best not try to open it with a key; the security trigger's locked to on, and you'll get an earful.

I'm always good for that.


Posted by hln at 10:31 PM | Comments (1)

April 14, 2003


It is April, and today’s weather warns of an imminent scorching summer. But, this is April, and that warning’s text reads 87 on the bank sign. It’s the first night of softball season, something I planned to only barely notice this year.

Instead, sucker that I am, I find myself playing for a team I do not know on the Jewish Community Center’s (JCC) Monday night league. On Saturday, I found myself driving to practice for the other team for which I did not plan to play – my friend Bonnie’s Tuesday night team. Three hours, a shin welt, a bruised toe, and a sore right shoulder later, I emptied the day’s infield dust accumulation into the bathtub (for it belongs) and thought about this strange course my summer is taking.

The summer, in my mind, was to be dedicated to training for September’s MS 150, for, sucker that I am, I have been…um…suckered into joining the not-yet-established informal-but-soon-to-be-formal cycling team made of some friends and coworkers. And, being the only female in my side of the office, it’s bad form to wimp out. I don’t own a bike, but ever since I decided that this was the summer’s goal, I’ve been doing all the non-bike training things to make this a reality. The bike is to come later this week.

I digress.

Softball. My fond memories of softball are from nine years old until twelve years old. It was in these days that I was in an all-girl league and being bigger and more developed than the other girls was a distinct advantage. I learned my first sports lesson at age nine, when Randy Paape (yes, I remember his name), the seventeen-year-old who was kind enough to coach his little sister’s team, taught me to never ever ever throw a ball at a person with whom you have not established eye contact. This was humiliating at eight, but it has many practical applications even at thirty. Oh, and Randy played on the BIG people’s league (swoon, swoon).

That year, 1981, Thumb Hyde and Fur (Thumb being the thumb of Michigan) won the Sandusky Girls' Minor League Championship. I remember the trip to Dairy Queen (a big deal in a very small town) and my Big Quencher Lemon-Lime Mr. Misty. The trophy reads:
Sandusky Girls (sic) Minor Leag (sic)

Three years later, we moved to Missouri. Missouri softball in a city is different than small-town softball. A small town lives for its sports, for there is little else to do. In Sandusky, I lived a mere three blocks from the field, which made its home in the center of the residential section of the main part of town. Driving to softball was a new phenomenon; playing on a team with little skill was a new challenge. So, at the end of the season, I was invited to try out for the all-city team or something similar. At age 12, I still hadn’t mastered (or attempted) the slide technique. I was one of three girls cut.

And that was it for softball until last summer, showcasing a twelve year-old’s skill in a thirty year-old’s body, complete with a slightly creaky arthritic knee. I’m somewhat apprehensive that I’m coordinated enough to thrive in a team sports environment when we move beyond practice into that strange state of being known as a GAME. But, still, somehow, some things remain the same from youth to adulthood. Hopefully throwing and catching remain intact. Batting’s not a problem; I was 3 for 3 tonight.

Infield dirt is still infield dirt. It doesn’t seem to matter if you mix 17 or 19 different varieties of brown-tinted fine-grained mixtures. I believe the 18th is allspice, but you’d have to ask Dominique, my husband’s cat; she likes to clean me. I know for a fact that ingredient four is sand. And, as my socks can attest, plain old dirt is definitely present in copious amounts.

Bring on the Tide commercial. It’s softball season.


Posted by hln at 09:29 PM | Comments (0)

April 13, 2003

Turkey Vanquished

I left the country alone; no worries.

This year, I was asked on a last-minute basis to host Christmas, so on a snowy Christmas Eve I ventured to the local supermarket and purchased a 13.88 pound turkey to serve as the main course of the next day's feast.

Christmas of 2002 was too snowy for any of our relatives to venture to our suburban home, so instead I roasted a chicken and placed said turkey in the handy downstairs freezer (that I bought to freeze meat and individual servings of dessert, but I will get to that in later installments).

It is now April. That nagging home manager that sometimes surfaces to the forefront of my mind nagged at me about the long-frozen turkey. It was decided in the Noggle household that Sunday, April 13, 2003 will be the day of the turkey roast. So, on Thursday, we ceremoniously pulled the bird from the freezer and placed it on a plate in the center of the refrigerator like any other good soon-to-be-turkey-roasting individuals.

The day arrived! After my relaxed morning, I tackled the turkey, thinking to myself, "I remember how to do this from Thanksgiving..." Yeah, right. I begged the taller human in the household for his assistance in retrieving the turkey pan (conveniently housed above the cabinets). I sprayed said pan with cooking spray. I set the bird center stage in my kitchen sink, and I put the knife to the plastic Honeysuckle White wrap (hereafter known as the HWW). I discarded the HWW.

The turkey was strangely impaled with a menacing metal implement. I fiddled with this, sensing that its placement would hinder me from properly washing and preparing my Sunday dinner. Said implement refused to budge. I cursed. I pleaded. I stomped. It remained.

I believe I did a jerky pirouette.

Spunky weekend housewife then got the bright idea to refer to the discarded HWW. Washed hands. Read package - push down on funky implement. Wow, RTFM. How many times do I give that advice and then fail to follow the same? Push the left leg, girl - to the music now. Lift and push and lift and push, and, it...will...not...budge.


Wash hands, for they are cold as the dead bird.


Inject sense of self with a dose of rationality. I AM stronger than a dead turkey, and, indeed, somehow, after a bunch of fidgeting and other non-specified-on-package movement, I was able to loosen the implement (whose use I have still not yet determined) enough to clean the turkey's cavity by the legs).

Commence cleaning. It is at this point that I notice that the other portion of the cavity is stuffed with the giblets. Remove giblets. Ewww appropriately, for they are in a bag. The remaining contents are slightly frozen. Insert hand. Ewww. I should explain - poultry should have no effect on me, for I have gutted more chickens than I have eaten with my five years of experience at KFC. But, I should also note, chickens are not normally stuffed with their necks. And this bird's neck was slightly frozen to its other cavity.

It was at this point that my husband, who had thus done a wonderful job of cheerleading, peered over the Sunday morning paper. The sight must've transfixed him - It was, I am certain, most amusing. I said, "Have you seen Aliens?" He replied that, indeed, he had. I said, do you remember, the alien birth scene from Ripley's stomach? And he viewed with a straight countenance as I brought forth the neck from the cavity. If only I had mood music.

It's all downhill from here, baby. Wash bird. Ensure it's appropriately gutted and no other unexpected body parts lurk for later emergence. Season bird. Plunk in oven. Live the life of leisure as the rest of the week's meals cook in a gentle timed manner.

Bleach the hell outta the sink.

And my day was complete.


Posted by hln at 08:49 PM

April 12, 2003

So Who Took My Name?

So who took my name? (This thing's gonna say it's coming from stlbrianj - nope. Account config issues is all.)

Usually, it's pretty safe to assume that angelweave is going to be open. Not here, though, I guess. I must go read my predecessor...if only she or he existed. So, I shall be forced to use the active version of my normal name instead.

What is angelweave? Google will tell you that it's a carpet backing; no, that isn't a political term. Maybe I can get some for my Sims' home. All of those parties wreak havoc on their carpeting.

Someone else used it in a poem. Thankfully, that particular poem isn't as painful as the one above it; actually, it has a nice thought to it.

Oh, and someone is selling math and science textbooks using the same name. This is definitely not me.

I promise not to rant over anything too controversial the first five posts, so perhaps I should keep everything PC until at least...Monday.

Oh, wait, my husband just called Faith Hill "Wraith Hill" - what a riot!

Almost forgot - here's the namesake.


at nine o'clock the kilgore pub
holds its ritual service for the
evening flock. and one by one
we pile inside, form phalanxes
of thirsty souls who relinquish luck's
change barely spared from charon,
the landlord, and ex-wives. and
greedy eyes radarscope for fresher faces
and plead their novice rhetoric
to bartending juries.

and i thought i saw you watching me watch
you on the night when toothless harry made
snow angels on the window glass so
passersby might stop to chat. but all
they did was point and laugh and
inside we prayed to vodkagod and proffered
thanks for ice cubes and homes and
practiced restraint of wayward arms of
inner truth.

there's a novel or a poem in
sunken cheeks and too-weak drinks and
seldom-noticed-corner-hogging spiders that
seduce tonight's prey in showy webs and seem
to dance with table legs after my fourth drink.

and i dub myself a still-life snow angel,
arms outstretched in something's breathy fog --
frozen pale with all sides splayed under frosted
showcase glass.

and until i meet you in unclaimed corners
(and replenish womanthreads)

i go home a lady.



Posted by hln at 08:23 PM | Comments (0)