Brad & Heather's Journal

Friday, October 06, 2006

Deliciousness Has Landed

I think I might have an addiction and it’s kind of an embarrassing one. I’m addicted to Goldfish – yes those oh so delicious cheese crackers. It is so bad that I can only buy them in the snack packs. If someone were to give me one of those huge containers like they sell at Sam’s Club or Costco, I’d be doomed. I mean, it’s not a small problem. If there are Goldfish in the house… I will eat them. And not just a few. I will eat them until they are gone. I don’t know what it is… I can refuse any other crackers or chips, but cheddar Goldfish…(And don’t try to sneak by on those Dolphins or whatever the off brand Goldfish is… they are not the same.) Off brands. Who decided to that Goldfish were too expensive and that the world needed another aquatic animal snack that was more affordable for middle America. I always love that the off brands try to have tricky names so maybe you won’t notice. Some of them are really bad though. Like “It’s Not Butter,” and “Dr. Thunder”.

I have to go. There is still one snack pack of Goldfish left and I can hear its siren call.
Heather

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Happy Birthday, Heather

The fact that tomorrow is Heather's birthday has me thinking about memories of birthdays from when I was a kid. I know people now who make it really elaborate--hire magicians and clowns, hire "birthday organizers" (by the way, my favorite suggested title for a sequel to Snakes On A Plane is Spiders On A Clown), but it was never like that for me. Cake, pointy hats, blow out the candles, open presents, take some Polaroids, and you were done. I once did a pirate-themed birthday for my son Lucas, but mostly because it allowed me to be dressed as a pirate the entire day. And that was a do-it-yourself....no organizers were hired. I remember when I was about eight years old, and Ty Lang, the kid next door (who I now think had a pretty cool name), had a party. His mom had this bizarre and cruel game whereby you had to stand over a Coke bottle and hold a clothespin on your nose, then release the pin and have it go inside the bottle. I found this to be impossible to do, and I wanted to do it because anyone who could do it got a new Hotwheels car as a prize, which was pretty amazing when the typical prize was something like an uninflated balloon. But I couldn't do it. I kept trying, even after others had moved on to the cake and ice cream portion of the festivities. I was so frustrated, that I left. I mean, I just watched the last clothespin glance off the side of the bottle, and I walked out the back door and down the street to my house. I didn't wait for presents, didn't eat any cake, didn't tell Mrs. Lang I was leaving. I just bailed. Really, who could blame me? Most birthday memories are better than that, though. The best birthday I got a pair of stilts....a pale substitution for the unicycle I wanted, but still pretty good. My daughter Alex every year asks for pet food and pet supplies for her birthday, which she then donates to the local shelter. I think that's a great idea, one I wish would spread. Anyway, happy birthday to you, Heather. Just for fun, see if you can drop a clothespin into a Coke bottle....

Brad

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Wanting Something to Happen

Okay, I know I shouldn’t be vague like that. It’s in the ambiguity that the universe gets you. I think I’m just having that in-between-seasons blues. I mean, it’s not summer anymore… school’s in, it’s past Labor Day, it’s not a thousand degrees out, but it’s not autumn either (see, I like autumn – it sounds much more fancy-pants than fall). There aren’t any leaves changing yet. There’s no crisp feeling in the air. No pumpkins in the grocery stores. They don’t even have the Halloween candy out yet. (Now, that’s weird). I guess it’s also because my birthday’s coming up. And, because of the date – I can’t even be that excited anymore. I mean, because I was born on 9/11 and then five years ago everything happened, suddenly I can’t be pleased it’s my birthday. Don’t get me wrong. I feel all the same things everyone else feels on that day. I feel shock that it happened, sad at the senseless loss of life… but I want to have just a little bit of happy for my birthday. It’s selfish, I know, but there it is. So, I’m sitting here, waiting for something to happen. But, I’m going to try to be a bit more specific because “something” might mean something bad and I don’t want that.

More later,
Heather

Sunday, August 13, 2006

12-step program

The more I think about it… the crazier it seems. Okay, I know I’m obsessive, but it’s become a bit obscene. I guess I should start at the beginning instead of in the middle…Here are things you need to know about me before I can tell you the thing I’ve been obsessing about.

  1. I grew up in Texas. If you grew up in Texas, you can skip down to number two because you know what I’m going to say. Girls and women in Texas are forever messed up. (I’m sorry, but it’s true. It’s not anti-Texan to say that.) Here’s what I mean. Under no circumstance are you supposed to sweat. You may glow. You may perspire, but not sweat. Under every circumstance you should be well-coiffed. That means… hair, make-up – all of it. Your clothes should be pressed, should match, should be slightly stylish, and should be dressier than you think you should be. I did this fairly well – until college. That takes us to number two.
  2. I spent my college days pretending to be a hippie. I say pretending only because I did not go to college in the 1960’s, so therefore, I can’t be an actual hippie. I was a vegan, I joined Greenpeace and PETA, I drove a tiny purple car with a big Grateful Dead sticker on the back. I only wore products by Skin Trip or some other sufficiently organic company. I hiked. I camped. I rock climbed. I mountain biked.
  3. After college, I threw myself into triathlons and working (bakery and library). So, again – not much use for anything other than a hairbrush, some sunscreen, a couple of bathing suits, a couple pairs of jeans, etc.

    Okay, now that you know my history, you must understand something else. My mother and my sister actually have style. I mean, they know how to apply eyeliner and that people with my skin and hair color shouldn’t wear light pink or brick red. They know about finishing creams for your hair. They know things…. I don’t. So, here’s the creepy part. I have mostly avoided knowing things by following these rules….I have a good hairdresser … I just check my sister’s lipstick color and buy the same for myself. I wander through her closet and borrow things at will. And, for the creepy part…. I’m sorry…. I think my entire closet is slowly morphing into a J. Crew store. I think I may be an addict. I mean, I have my reasons, but I sound defensive even to myself. I wonder if there is a support group for recovering J. Crew addicts – not that I am in any way recovering. Maybe I should start one. Although I suppose “That Ed Guy” probably likes J. Crew, so maybe I’ll have to rethink this. More later.
    --Heather

Saturday, August 12, 2006

"The Ed Guy" and me

I forgot to mention that I had my cable turned off. (I don’t know what I was thinking…) Well, actually here is what I was thinking… We don’t watch it that much, it costs way too much… But, here’s the thing. A night like tonight. I have nothing to really do, I am way tired, my brain is too tired to read, think, write this actually… so what do I do? Well, I should flip on the television. But, there is no television now. I’ve actually discovered that while my television watching habits are pretty thin, there are certain times in my week where nothing else will do. I’ve even tried magazines or “light” reading. I’ve gone through all of ebay about four times now and shopped around on all my favorite online stores (shhhh we’ll save that for another day), and now I’m lost. I am starting to think that after only two months, maybe I was too hasty with this whole television decision. I have a daydream now that Suddenlink (formerly Cox Communications) is going to call me up and tell me about a great deal for customers looking to sign back up with them. I’ll play coy of course. “Well, are you sure that’s the best price you can manage?” But, in the end I’ll relent. I want to be the kind of person who doesn’t need any television, but I’m just not.

Okay, cool thing that happened to me this week. I’m in Starbucks, sipping on my half-caf (cream, one Equal) and I look up and coming through the door is that guy on Ed. I mean, it’s Ed. I’m trying like mad to think of his real name, but all I can come up with is “That Ed Guy” – which I’m sure he loves. But, see here’s the thing. I had a big time crush on his character in the show and so here he is in front of me and my half-caf and I feel like I’m running into some guy I had a crush on in high school. Until it dawns on me that “The Ed Guy” is probably wondering if I’m a bit off because I’m staring at him. I want to tell him that I’m not emotionally deranged, but I’m sure the look on my face and the fact that I seem to be blushing is what makes him walk a bit faster as he comes past my table. Oh well, it could have been worse. I could have spilled my coffee down my front or on him. Why is it that no matter how old you get, sometimes you still feel like you’re a little kid on the inside?

More later when I’m rested and making more sense.

--Heather

PS. His name is Tom Cavanagh

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

In the dark

I lost all power (well, the city where I live, not me) last night at midnight. First off, it was really hot, with no a/c and no fans, so I had no chance of sleeping. I walked outside around the town at 4:00 in the morning, and it was very weird.....you forget what no-light looks like. No lights from stop lights or from the bank clock (I live downtown in my little town) or from apartment windows or TV sets or store displays or EXIT signs or from anywhere. No cars. And in some strange way I haven't figured out, sound must be connected to light in ways we don't even notice, because it was also more quiet than I could imagine. When one car finally did go by, the engine sounded like this huge intrusion, and the headlights looked like steel spikes. Everything looked dead, and spooky, and cool. I have a good building for gong dark, if you like spooky, because it's a hundred years old and used to house a funeral home, and they embalmed bodies in the basement (there are still a sloped floor and drains down there). Everything looked different, and sometimes that's all you want to see, something different. Then I think there were others who couldnt sleep because of the heat, because I started to see the flickers of candles in apartment windows, which made the whole building look like a giant jack-o'-lantern. A few people with flashlights coming out of the buildings, the occasional glow of a cellphone. I didn't really sleep, until 5:00, and that ended at 6:00 a.m.....when the power came back on and suddenly my entire place was one giant alarm clock....the TV came on, and all the lights, and the a/c, and the computer. The answering machine told me, in a human voice, to press the review key for setup instructions. Not the best way to wake up, not when some spooked part of your brain thinks it's the voice of the basemented dead, speaking so clearly. I think I need a nap.

Brad

Friday, July 28, 2006

New cat

Why is it so incredibly hard to make flight reservations anymore? I mean, it’s supposed to be easier now that it’s all technologically superior, but I end up spending hours of my life trying to save myself what ends up being about three bucks. And, of course it never crosses my mind that I could actually be doing something else with my time. My favorite trick is when one of the travel sites gives you a quote on a flight and in teeny tiny print at the bottom it tells you that you have to stay overnight in – let’s say Anchorage or Bangor (not that there’s anything wrong with either of those places… I’ve spent the night in both airports because of difficulties way too long to go into here) – BUT, it says… your flight is only going to cost you two jillion dollars rather than two jillion and six dollars. Sigh… I am old enough to remember when all you did was call up the airline or your travel agent and say “I want to go to San Francisco on April 10th and come back on the 14th and about three days later the tickets would arrive in the mail. Okay, the paperless tickets are cool. The only thing that freaks me out is the self-check in machine that knows my full name. (I know – but still it’s a little freaky to have it printed there in black and white.

So, tomorrow we are going to get a new cat. After all of the deaths in our family… two cats, three tadpoles, a fish… (all in one year – no… it wasn’t me) we decided it was time. We are going to Dallas to interview our cat. Well, I actually think he is going to interview us. They had to have three references and then call my vet. And, they called the references. That’s more than most employers I’ve ever had. It seems bogus though. I mean, who is going to list someone that is going to say something bad about them?

“Hello, I wanted to ask you a few questions about Heather Hepler.”
“Uh huh.”
“Well, she is interested in adopting a cat…”
“WHAT?!? Are you crazy? They have a pet cemetery in their back flowerbed. It has a new gravestone every week.

Well, something like that. Wish us luck. What if he doesn’t like us? That might mess with me for years.

Heather