Wednesday, September 30, 2009

best friends

It's Wednesday, and that means it's time for the Weekly Writing Assignment from Mamakat. This week I chose the prompt: "how did you meet your best friend"

Two years ago, my mother's best friend past away. Maryanne was the coolest person I ever met. Quite possibly the coolest person on earth. I'm not positive about that, because I have a long-standing theory that Jack Johnson is the coolest person to ever live, simply because in one lifetime, he has held the two coolest jobs there are: professional athlete and rock star. However, since I have not at this time, actually met Jack Johnson, I'm gonna stick with the assertion that Maryanne was the coolest.

At her memorial service, I met no fewer than five people who told me that Maryanne was their best friend. That really struck me as something to aspire to. To have such close relationships with five people that they referred to you as their best friend? Why, that's even better than the cool factor.

Well, I haven't reached the five person mark yet. But I am lucky enough at this point in time to say that I have three best friends.

Shell and I met when she moved in across the street from me. I was in third grade, she was in second. She first met Mickey, who's house was next to hers and diagonally across from mine. I noticed that there was a new girl in the neighborhood who could skateboard ALMOST as good as me. So I went on over to Mickey's with my Goofy Foot Malibu Freestyle Board.

"Hi!" Shell said. "I'm Shell. I'm eight."

"I'm Heather." I said, skateboard defiantly against my protruding hip. "I'm NINE."

We skateboarded for a while and then I had to go home. Later I learned that after I left, Shell turned to Mickey and said "Does she really think I believe she's nine? She's about six."

I'm happy to report that our level of trust has increased exponentially since then.

A couple years later, J moved into the house behind Shell's. By this time, I was in the middle school while Shell was still in elementary. (SEE???? ONE YEAR OLDER!!) (four inches shorter) One day, Shell came off the bus with a girl from school I had never met. I was sitting in a tree when they walked over from the bus stop.

"Hey," the new girl said, "that branch doesn't look very strong."

"Oh, no." I said. "I sit on this branch all the time. It's perfectly safe." I proceeded to bounce up and down on the branch to illustrate its safety.


I came plummeting out of the tree right on my kiester. J and I became instant friends.

Isabella and I met our senior year in college. We were living in an on campus townhouse with six single bedrooms. Though we both knew some of the other girls in the townhouse, Isabella and I did not know each other. She had apparently had a rough time with her roommate the previous year and and was not looking to make new friends. I could take a hint.

But one gray, rainy, November morning, we both found ourselves in the kitchen with no classes until later in the day. I was eating my food, she was eating hers. We both had our noses stuck in textbooks. We more or less grunted at each other and sat in close proximity, but didn't interact.

Then something happened. I looked out at the low, low, impossibly thick clouds and thought of a song.

"All the leaves are brown..." I sang.

Isabella looked up from her book: "All the leaves are brown." she harmonized.

"And the sky is gray..." "And the sky is gray."

"I went for a walk..." "I went for a walk."

"On a winter's day..." "On a winter's day."

By the time we reached the song's end, we were standing on the table together, singing into spoons. Nothing bonds like a good spoon singing session.

Three down, two more to go.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The worst case scenario

One the things I like about blogging (and reading other people's blogs) is that blogging celebrates the mundane. (though not as mundane as twitter or facebook. Ya gotta draw the line somewhere!) Sometimes you come across a serious or poignant or life shattering post. But for the most part, we talk about our day, the weather, our pets, our weekend plans, the outfits we wore to an important event. It's oddly comforting to me.

Take my "Tuesday's Bad Dates" idea...I try to put a funny twist on my pointless stories, but really -- they are just fluff. Sadly, the fluff is true, which is a terrible reflection upon my life. But overall, the fluff does not affect my life to any great degree.

This week, I came into contact with the absolute worst dating-related scenario I can imagine. It is the opposite of fluff.

This week, I met a boy who is 18. He was in a car accident 6 weeks ago. He has some cuts and scrapes along his arms and face. He broke his leg in two places and suffered a minor concussion. His girlfriend died.

Can you imagine being 18 years old and having your girlfriend or boyfriend die? I cannot fathom that. At age 18, my entire world revolved around my boyfriend, B. The sun rose and set upon the mere idea of him. He was my first real boyfriend, my first love. We spent every moment together that we could. It took me 5 years to come to the conclusion that even though I loved him, we were not good together. If he had...DIED...I don't know how I would have coped. I think I would be a very different person today.

Losing your significant other would be devastating at any age, of course. But at least NOW, I understand on an intellectual level that things like that occur. At 18, nobody knows that. At 18, things like that happen to other people. At 18, you are young and invincible. You are beautiful and skinny and have great hair without even trying. Nothing bad happens to you when you are 18. Unless it does. And then -- everything about being 18 is wiped out in an instant.

My heart goes out for this poor guy. His very first real girlfriend is gone. His young, confident, untouchable 18-ness is gone. And for him, time is not flying by like for us bloggers who remark "Where did September go?" or "What a short summer!" Every moment drags by and is a constant reminder of that one horrible day in August.

Oh, imagine remembering the-summer-you-were-18 and remembering THAT. Oh, that poor, poor kid.

My hope for him is to come out the other side to a place where he can be concerned with fluff.

Monday, September 28, 2009

keep on decluttering

ok, so I've calmed down a bit since yesterday. I had a ridiculously productive day at work (though still left a giant pile of paperwork on the desk unfinished) and completed two assignments from my online class. I think that maybe in my decluttering, I need to declutter my commitments? Anyhow...

Last week I didn't post, because I was at a U2 concert!! But I DID get the decluttering done in the front hallway.

Sept 15: broke down a few boxes and put em in the recycling bin

Sept 16: went through a milk crate of my grandfather's stuff-- put some writing aside for a later project, put some towels in the laundry, repurposed some decorative boxes, and put some stuff into a pile to bring to work

Sept 17: put a sweatshirt into the donation bag

Sept 18: finished a book and put it into a book donation bag

Sept 19: a few more magazines to donate to the gym

Sept 20: pulled a book from the front bookcase and put that in the book donation bag

Sept 21: cleaned off the bulletin board and put outdated stuff in the recycling pile

Then, I moved onto the bedroom. The bedroom is actually looking quite good, its more in a maintenance phase, as well.

Sept 22: Went through the drawer in the bedside table. I threw out some papers that I didn't need any more.

Sept 23: went through the "missing socks" bag...threw out any sock that had been in there for way too long.

Sept 24: I had a decorative candle on the bedside table... aside from almost being gone, it was melted not from burning, but from the one week of hot weather we had in summer. Threw that away

Sept 25 - Sept 28: Ok, sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and get it over with. Opened each drawer in turn and pulled one or two items of clothing to put in the donation bag.

Moving along, moving along, moving along.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

too much

One of the great consistencies in my life is this: I take on too much. If I start working in a clinic that barely has enough patients for one person, I set about building a patient load and before long, there is enough work for three or more people. If I go to a bookstore or library, I bring home more books than I could ever read in a reasonable amount of time. If I have any stretch of time that sprawls out before me empty, before long I have more projects and events than can possibly fit. And of course I set a ridiculous amount of goals.

Lately, I have been feeling like my life is a treadmill, set one notch too fast. I can go comfortably along if I just keep running until I just can't keep up the pace. Then I do a strange little hop-jump-run maneuver to propel myself forward just enough to resume the running speed. Until I can't keep up the pace. And so on.

I'm not sure why I do this to myself. I think that maybe I have a missing gene or something. "The contentment gene." I can never be content with where I am now. I am forever focused on where I am moving toward, what I am striving for, who I want to become. Or maybe that is where my contentment comes from -- the journey.

This past weekend, I had this overwhelming sense of nostalgia. I felt the way I did when I was in college. So many classes, assignments, events, work shifts. So little time. Also...the sense of impermanence. The "this is where I need to be right now to get ahead in my life, but this is not where I will be forever" feeling. The "real life begins after I get this done" feeling.

Possibly, this whole nostalgia is really from two Friday night phone conversations: one with Nerd and one with No-Potential P, both of whom have returned to grad school and were feeling a bit lame because their Friday nights were spent reading textbooks. Or possibly because the informal college reunion at the Big E I had been trying to organize with friends officially imploded. But whatever the cause, the sense of urgency and importance that I always associate with my college years surrounded me all weekend.

Finding balance. Finding contentment. Deciding what need to continue and what I can let go. Maybe that's what living in "the real world is all about." I understand that.

But still I keep juggling plates.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Another item on the life list down

Last night I went on a pilgrimage to (finally!) worship at the church of Bono. And what an arduous journey it was! In order to get to the cathedral (Gillette Stadium), we spent what felt like 40 days and 40 nights on route 495. However, I did learn that if I ever need to, I have a natural ability to make people follow my lead. After I couldn't stand it any longer and ran into the woods, the breakdown lane was literally filled with people running towards carloads of friends after THEIR trips to the woods. (I'm awesome)

When we finally completed the journey (and forked over $40 dollars to park) we climbed the greatest of heights to our heavenly (nosebleed) seats. The show started and it was like being baptised in the fountain of youth. Remember being in college and sneaking from your cheap seats up to the front when the security guard turned his back? Well, it's still just as fun and exciting years later. Let me tell you, section 105 was a giant love fest, full of section 320's ticket holders squashed into any empty seat available.

Don't get judgemental here -- it was absolutely necessary! Our original seats had terrible acoustics. Completely unfit for listening to the chosen ones! Besides, I'm pretty sure the original ticket holders for section 105 were down in the VIP section, squashed into any empty section of field available. (And one VIP actually made it up on stage! The holy grail of U2 experiences!)

So there we were -- in our wonderful seats with great acoustics! It was mesmerizing. Hypnotizing even! I'm not saying that I was brainwashed by the shimmering rings of the Edge's guitar and Bono's haunting passionate singing...but about halfway through the show, I came up with a completely new plan for the rest of my life. Immediately upon returning home, I was going to cash out my 401k and clean out my savings to send to starving orphans with AIDS in the Sudan. Then, I was going to get rid of my jeep and all my shoes, shave my head, and walk barefoot up a mountain to sit at the summit and be at one with the universe. It was just about the best idea I'd ever had!

Then came the encore. Bono came out wearing a jacket covered with red and white flashing LED lights and sang into a flying light-up microphone that looked like a mini-megaphone. Really Bono? I'd just assumed that any self respecting musician would want to avoid ANY possible comparison to David Hasselhoff's German performances. I immediately abandoned my previous plan decided that instead, I'd just get a bacon double cheeseburger and chocolate shake to consume on the way home.

As it was, I didn't do either. 'Cause getting out of the parking lot was even harder than getting in. By the time we exited, nothing was open. I just settled for a big glass of water and some prophylactic tylenol before bed. I drifted off to sleep with visions of the giant rotating disco ball atop a spaceship.

"Sleep comes like a drug, in God's country"

(Sigh. I can't wait to finally worship at the church of Bruce.)

Friday, September 18, 2009


September is skipping on by, and I seem to be surrounding myself with the following addictions:

My MBTs! What started out as a drunken purchase, turned into one of my favorite little sneaky workouts! Fleecie socks! It's still nice during the day, but at night, the cool air is creeping in and making my toe-sies rather coldsy! With these babies, my toe-sie are toasty!

With several duffel bags for gym stuff, swim stuff, beach stuff, and extra clothes in the front hallway, with several pairs of sneakers in the shoe basket, and with a less than water-tight Jeep on a very rainy summer, Febreze has become less of a luxury and more of a necessity!
PB & J!! I bought some organic peanut butter, some all natural jam, and some all grain bread. I made a bunch of these, wrapped em up and threw em in the freezer. Now I just take one out at night, put in on the counter, and by morning, breakfast is ready. I'm sure there are healthier breakfasts out there, but none easier than make me as happy!

Colin Hay! Saw him a couple weeks ago and I've had the CD on perma-play in Jeepie-Jeep ever since!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

weekly writing assignment

It's time for MamaKat's writing prompt! If you haven't jumped on the bandwagon, well, you should. It's fun and all the cool kids are doing it.

Anyway, this week I chose prompt #5: If you could choose only three things in life and focus on them fully what would they be?


The other night, J and I were watching a DVR'd episode of Miami Ink. In it, a guy got a tattoo of the words "Risk Everything" across his shoulders. J turned to me and said: "If it were me, I'd get a tattoo that read 'Risk Nothing'."

We laughed, of course, even though she was only half kidding. J is the kind of person who has to be organized and in control at all times. She is, without a doubt, the most organized person I know. She goes shopping each week and buys the exact same articles of food. The cabinets are arranged in perfectly straight rows of cans and boxes and Tupperware containers. There are Monday meals and Tuesday meals and every other day of the week meals. I wish I could be as organized as she is. But not really.

See, organization is very important to her. As is security. And comfort. She and I are are alike in so many ways, but so different in others. Keeping an orderly and organized home, making sure everything is clean and working properly and in it's place, curling up on the sofa with a nice cozy blanket -- those are the things she occupies her time with. And though I like to be able to find my keys in the morning and live in a home that isn't covered with dust, cleanliness and organization just aren't that important to me. And though last Saturday, when it was pouring rain, I was sooo happy to put on my sweats and watch TV on the sofa, comfort is merely incidental in my life. These are not the things I could focus upon.

To me, uncertainty makes life worth living. The idea of knowing what I will eat every day, where I will be every night, how long every item I own will last; that makes me uneasy. The mere thought makes me suffocate!

I aspire to have a life filled with adventure. Why sit on the sofa and watch the travel channel when you can get on a plane and travel there yourself? Why stay in a comfortable hotel when you can stay in a bed and breakfast with people who live there? Or a hostel? A tent? A yurt? Of course I plan my trips, pouring over Lonely Planet and Frommer's, but the plans are always flexible. A little more time here, a little less there; there's always a chance we have to spend a night sleeping in the car because the change in plans left us without a hotel room. But at the end of the day, that's better than a comfortable hotel room and a few day excursion and WAY better than a night on the sofa in front of the TV.

It's also very important for me to focus on exercise and health. It rather bothers me that sometimes these endeavors are presented in a superficial way. Yes, exercise will change your body shape, help you to lose weight, and maybe clothes will look better on you. But the real purpose of exercise is to allow you to live life to the fullest! I'm amazed at how incredibly our bodies operate, if we only take care of them. I so wish that more people would respectfully take care of their own bodies -- not as an act of selfishness, but as an act of celebration. Life really is better when you're healthy.

There are so many places I want to visit. So many mountains I want to climb, so many oceans I want to dive in, so many races I wish to run. And there are so many topics I want to learn more about. Do we ever stop learning? I certainly hope not. I often say that if I won the megabucks, I'd have degree in everything. And I probably still wouldn't know nearly as much as I wanted to. (Maybe that's why I seem to be attracted to nerds, geeks, and dorks!) Either they share my live of learning, or they serve as a mobile encyclopedia. Maybe I just need to get a blackberry so I can google anything at any time.

The good news is I'm doing my best to build a life of adventure, health, and education as we speak. Maybe years from now, I can write a blog post about how I focused fully on these area without having to give up a thing!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

By popular demand, numerology

As I said in the post from 09/09/09, I did a little numerology thing. Not very enlightening in my opinion, but fun. And much better than reality TV!


Look at the chart to determine the number value for each letter. Then add all the numbers together. Keep adding the numbers together until you come up with a single digit. For instance, if all the letters from your name added up to 147, you would add 1+4+7= 12; 1+2=3 So your numerology number is 3. Get it?


1 = A, J, S
2= B, K, T
3= C, L, U
4 = D, M, V
5 = E, N, W
6 = F, O, X
7 = G, P, Y
8 = H, Q, Z
9 = I, R


1= Strong willed and independent, you can be either generous and sensitive ,or jealous and domineering.

2 = Sympathetic and gentle, you have an understanding nature and are a good diplomat, creative yet often putting love before work

3 = Charming and happy, energetic and creative. You are ambitious and work realistically to achieve you goals.

4 = Practical and straightforward, you achieve your goals through a mixture of caution, dedication, stubbornness and practicality.

5 = Lively and temperamental, you need action and variety. Life is an adventure, and you need stimulation.

6 = Caring, reliable, and artistic, you enjoy the good things in life. You can be too trusting, but are protective of those you care about.

7 = Quiet and intelligent, you love beauty and a sense of order. You may be a loner, not liking authority.

8 = Charming and successful, you can be dynamic and passionate, but also very spiritual

9 = Down to earth and tolerant, often keeping your true feelings hidden, you need to concentrate on your strong emotional and sensitive nature.

According to the chart, I am a 4. But I see myself as a 5.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Random Thoughts

Random thoughts on a TUESDAY

1) I think I want a job on the road crew that is fixing the Sagamore Bridge. As far as I can tell, the only job requirments would be to sit on your duff and drink coffee while the traffic backs up for miles

2) Who the frick is Kanye West, does anyone over the age of 10 listen to Taylor Swift, and exactly WHY should I give a crap about either of them?

3) As much as I am mourning the departure of summer, fall is really nice. Especially in New England.

4) I want to go hiking.

5) With the general buzz in work today about the return of The Biggest Loser I decided to tune in and give it another try. But it really has gone from a good idea to just about the most ridiculous show in the history of mankind. Calling Jillian Michaels "a good trainer" is like calling Dr Phil "a good psychiatrist."

Monday, September 14, 2009

decluttering and maintaining

One of the things I am discovering in the decluttering process is that some parts of the house merely require maintenance, while others require full fledged shit-slinging!

The living room area is in the maintenance phase.

Sept 8: Under the coffee table, I have a basket with exercise DVDs and equipment. I had the packaging to my "jungle gym" which I had been saving in case I wanted to return it. Except: I LOVE IT!! So today, I threw out the packaging.

Sept 9: In the magazine basket, I gathered all the catalogs. I ordered the stuff I was saving the catalogs for (X mas is only 3 months away, eh?) and then threw those out, too.

Sept 10: Today, I pulled out some magazines to bring to the gym.

Sept 11: I had a couple shoe boxes that I had set aside for...some reason. Seeing that I can't remember the reason I was saving them for, I felt pretty ok putting them in the recycling.

Sept 12: Brought the bag of clothes to the donation center today.

Sept 13: Went through all the piles on the coffee table: paid the bills, filed the filing, returned everything that needed returning, and threw out anything I didn't need.

Sept 14: Cleaned under the sofa and threw out a bunch of old cards I had in a box under there.

Just keeping it all under c0ntrol! Next week onto the front hallway.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Helpful Advice for Athletic Events

If you are MC-ing an event that entails an open water ocean swim, it is perhaps better NOT to mention the recent great white shark sightings in the area.
(just saying)

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Moment of Silence

I'm kind of ashamed that I didn't cry today.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Today, on 09-09-09, I came home and found some junk mail that had a numerology chart inside. I figured it was pretty serendipitous. So I sat down with a letter to number conversion table and dusted off my 3rd grade math skills to determine that I am a --

4: Practical and straightforward, you achieve your goals through a mixture of caution, dedication, stubbornness and practicality.

Hmmm. Maybe not so serendipitous after all.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

unsolicited advice

Why is it that we always know exactly what somebody else should do with their love life?

Last weekend, I took a trip down to visit some friends in New York. Over the course of the weekend, I was introduced to one friend's "plus one". The friend of the opposite sex with whom you don't have that spark. But with whom you have a fantastic time. So anytime either of you has an event you don't want to attend solo: wedding, company party, reunion, you call up the other person. You call up your "plus one".

Here's the thing: they were wonderful together. They were happy and cute and funny and flirty. As far as the "we're just not attracted to each other" line, it was completely false. You could cut the sexual tension with a knife! I wanted to get them both liquored up and then lock them into a back room for a couple hours. (I'm sure I could have wandered solo around the streets of New York at night for a while. What's the worst that could happen?)

On the ride back to her place, I proceeded to tell her how crazy I thought she was. How this "plus one" business was ridiculous. How if she didn't leap on him the next time she saw him, I would never speak to her again. I may have stolen her cell phone and texted him similar sentiments.

Ok, before I left, I did promise to just drop it. But I made her promise not to go back to the jerk who had been jerking her around on and off for the past year and a half. He's not good for her. Not like Mr. Plus One.

Monday, September 7, 2009

the decluttering continues

Labor day weekend is coming to a close. Once again, I'm gearing up for another week of work feeling spent, a little sore, and completely satisfied.

One of the reasons is that I finally cleaned off the piles of books on the sofa. It looked like a book and paper bomb had exploded in here! So now everything is neatly filed away and put back on the shelf. Plus, I moved into the office area in full decluttering mode!

Sept 2: Went through all the scraps of paper that were littering the desk top and put all the un-needed paper in the recycling bin.

Sept 3: Went through the desk drawer and got rid of two dayplanners that I never use. Put those in the book donation bag.

Sept 4: Went through all the stuff under the desk: put the papers for classes into folders and filed, put all the cards back into a card box, organized the printer paper, and put all the miscellaneous paper that I don't need into the recycling bin.

Sept 5: Over to the top of the filing cabinet: put all the check stubs and paid bills into the files, and got rid of more papers I don't need (more recycling)

Sept 6: Onto the book shelf: Put a book I'm done with into the book donation bag.

Sept 7: An old name tag from an old job was hanging on the bookshelf. Threw that away!

Back tomorrow: Tuesday's bad dates. And continuing next week: decluttering in the living room!

Happy back to work, y'all!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Life is Good

Today was a perfect crisp mcintosh apple of a September day.
Ahhhh. Life is good.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September Goals

Oh, summer -- where did you go? It's the first of September and I'm feeling a bit sad. Generally, September is still pretty summery, but last night, there was a definite change in the weather. The humidity vanished and was replaced by a crispness that, while pleasant, is still a bit premature for my liking. It really feels like fall.

Like the kids, all nervous and waiting for the buses this morning, I am looking forward to my goals for the year. September, to me, seems more like the beginning of the year than January.

But first, the August review:

1) Get my hair cut: success! I feel like I've given myself the gift of time because of the exponential decrease in tangles in the the ol' mop!

2)Lose 3 more pounds: half credit. The last two weeks of August decayed into a window of debauchery. But I still managed to end up 1 pound lighter than last month.

3) Finish the two book stacks on the sofa: Close enough for rock and roll, baby. I finished The Kite Runner, I Was Told There'd Be Cake, The Single Life, Food Matters, and Think and Grow Rich (a present from the motivational speaker friend). I still got two more unfinished books on that stack, but I think it's time to just clean off the sofa!

4) Take an online class: I put it off on July, I'm doing it now. It'll be completed first week in October.

5) Continue Decluttering: yeah, yeah, yeah. I keep trudging along.

6)Step Up the Mileage for Marathon in October: Half credit. After my foot injury in August, I had to stop running for a week and a half, and then I just got lazy for another week! So...I'm bumping up the mileage now. I'm going to do a half marathon in Oct, and vying for the San Antonio Marathon in November.

7) Go Boating with J, K, Nerd, and his sister: The boat didn't materialize, but I still got to hang. It was so fun! I miss those guys already.

8) Submit Proposal for New Clinic Procedures in Work: Half credit. I'm submitting next week.

9) PR for spring Tri: FAIL! I was 2 minutes slower than last year. BOO!

10) Go Hiking: FAIL! It's ok, though. It was beach weather, not hiking weather. The hiking weather rolled in last night.

And now...on to September:

1) Eat Clean. Drastic times need drastic measures. If I really want to lose weight, I gotta stop fooling around. Plus, last Sunday morning, I felt like a washed up rock star. Time to dry out!

2) Start P90X Workouts: This is gonna take a little tweaking, as the running mileage is increasing. But I bought a used P90x from somebody at work for $15.00 (husband got it and never used it) I figure, it's as good a time as ever to do it.

3) Lose 3 pounds: For real this time!

4) One Client for New Per Diem Job: Long story. I got two jobs now.

5) Hike Mt. Washington with J: I tried it solo last fall and didn't summit. Let's tackle this biatch!

6) See U2 in concert!!!!!!

7) Submit one article for publishing in Cape Cod Health Newsletter

8) Read three Travel Books from Bookshelf

9) Plan Weekend Reunion with Folks from College

10) Finish up the Tri Season on an up-note!