Friday, 31 July 2009

Phone It In Friday: Show Us Your Stuff

No, not that stuff. Peefer! Put that away!

Hem hem.

Show us the flotsam and jetsam you can't throw away.

Next week: Contests! With Prizes!

Thursday, 30 July 2009

if only I had a cupboard under the stairs...

Jennie I have two problems. Well, two problems that relate to the topic this week. 1) I take forever to get rid of things and 2) Heidi and I just moved to a teeny tiny apartment with NO STORAGE WHATSOEVER.

So. Back before we moved, I decided it was time to get busy. Heh, get busy. I went through all of the stuff in my room and in the storage closets (oh, storage closets, how I miss you) and got rid of SO! MUCH! STUFF! you guys. Boxes and boxes full of stuff I'd been hanging onto for no raisin. It was such a good feeling. A high, if you will. So I kept doing it until I ran out of things to get rid of. That's right. Everything I own is absolutely essential because duh, that's why I keep it.

Your definition of essential may differ from mine but I hate to tell you this: YOU'RE WRONG. Anyway. Here are my essentials:

Things I find in the street (Me: Look at this sweet dinosaur I found while I was running! I named him Roary. Heidi: Wait, did you pick that up out of the street? Me: What, I totally washed it!):


Things that survived a friend break-up:


Things that ARE AWESOME:

boot cup Harold
penguin finger puppet! taming the wild beast

Things I have stolen:

L 001

Chairs that are TOTALLY BROKEN and should be thrown away, but have sentimental value:

MacGyvering the chair

Hats that I'll probably never wear again:

sad cowboy tea party

Collective souvenirs (they go in The Collective Archives obviously):

archives 004 drunk notes
Kat and I dear douche bag


Wednesday, 29 July 2009

It's my industrial strength hair dryer, and I NEED it to survive!

Squeezing a 13-pound cat, at 6-foot-tall boy, and a little girl with a lot of books into 812 square feet is real tough, man. It's so tough we've had a moratorium on receiving presents for the last five years because THERE'S NO MORE ROOM SO STOP SENDING US SHIT. Ahem.

So yeah, we've got no room and the rule is that if one of us wants, say, a shirt, we have to first get rid of a shirt and consequently every few months or so Goodwill gets four whole garbage bags full of shoes and clothes and that's about it, because over the years we've already gotten rid of whatever useless flotsam and jetsam is lingering about the place, taking up precious, precious space.

So double yeah, this week's topic is pretty much a bust for me because everything I own I NEED, except for maybe Seth's skis and golf clubs and hockey equipment and I'm pretty sure if I got rid of all that stuff both he and Winston would murder me.

The end.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

All through the changes the soul never dies

AbsI have a lot of bad habits, but the most visible one (since I keep the judgment and the snickering in my head) is my inability to throw ANYTHING AWAY. I love sentimentality and I love stories and so my mind is CONVINCED that I just need to save ONE MORE THING to have both.

Unfortunately, saving everything means I save stuff that hardly even has sentimental value. My friend Kay and I used to play this game in college called "Why?" She would grab a tchotchke from a shelf and look and me pleadingly saying, "Why? Whyyyyyyyy?" and I would explain to her the round about reason why I kept it. "See, my mom really thought I'd like a kissy bear. And they were on sale... so she got four."

I save a lot of stuff people give me because I feel guilty if I get rid of it. I save a lot of stuff that reminds me of something else in my life despite the convenience of photography. And I save a lot of stuff that I used to like, but don't any more. For example, when cleaning out my garage recently, I found TEN pairs of jeans that had holes in them. Why? Because I had once loved those jeans and loved jeans shouldn't be thrown away. They should be kept. Forever. Moved from garage to garage to garage for years and years and years.

I threw them away finally. But I saved one pair. I've taken these photos now, so maybe I'll get rid of them, but I haven't made up my mind:
jeans - frontjeans - back
These are my summer camp working jeans from my high school summers. They're covered in paint and tar and those rips on are the ass. I shingled a building in these jeans. Let's all remember that time I was bad ass.

I found a lot of other stuff in the garage too. Want to see it? That's what I thought.

empty boxes
Turns out I save a lot of boxes? I totally forgot these were all in there. And by these, I mean four times as much as what you see in the picture. What was I planning on keeping them for? I don't know.

It's small because it's gross: one of my teeth. I had this weird obsession with my teeth; I wouldn't put them out for the tooth fairy because I wanted to keeeeep them.

business card
A "business card" for my business where I was a "party" "server."

love letters that should be thrown away
I don't even throw away love/hate letters. Here lies a folder I am forbidden to ever read. Everything is awful. It's emails about the names of our brothers and our favorite colors and chat logs and the notes I took during each break up. It's our highest highs and our lowest lows. It's in chronological order--the most painful order--and I know better than to ever open it. But I can't seem to throw it away either. It's my record. My record that I wasn't wrong. So it will keep moving from garage to garage.

an assessment of the men in my life
Some sort of quiz assessment of the men in my life circa 2000 (age 16). My pseudo-boyfriend, his best friend, my brother, and my dad are represented. I have absolutely no recollection of what this is or what it means.

high school ID card - RDHS - 1998/1999
Oh, Little Schilbo. My high school ID card, freshmen year. I was 14. The year was 1998. Three weeks later my mom shrunk that sweater by accident and I was livid.

I have a whole tub full of t-shirts, sweatshirts, and one particularly meaningful pair of pajama pants. I narrowed that down from two tubs full. And my mom tells me I have "dozens" of boxes of equally debateble important stuff in storage in Chicago.

My problem is hardly ever moving on. But I like to keep a memento of where I've been.

Monday, 27 July 2009

flotsom and jetsom

heather I'm not nostalgic in a "long for the good ol' days" kind of way; the awesomeness in my life increases at such an exponential rate that I predict my heart will explode with glee by the time I'm 35. But I am a sentimental schmuck. I don't own a lot of stuff, except for books and t-shirts, but I have a lot of stuff because I don't throw anything away.

In my garage are two trunks full of Heather! Anne! history. This is a random sampling.

1) A t-shirt from Atlanta's defunct ABL team (because after the '96 Olympics, those in the know thought America would support two professional women's basketball leagues).
2) My first bible, given to me by my great-grandmother, Annie B.
3) The nametag from the summers I spent as a lifeguard at Lake Lanier Islands Beach and Water Park (two saves!).
4) The plate from the front of my very first car, which I wrecked three months after I got it. I had to walk back to the crash site to get the plate.
5) The letter Manmaw left on the kitchen table when my mom, dad and sister moved away to Florida. (I knew in advance. They didn't just sneak out in the night.)
6) My first (and probably last) purse.
7) Vacation Bible School certificate of perfect attendance (i.e. Ticket To Heaven).

Basketball schedules from my freshman and sophomore years of high school. I kept up with the quarters I played on the freshman schedule (to see if I had enough to letter) and I kept up with my points on the sophomore one (to see if I was the leading scorer). See that 26 against Loganville on January 27th? I only played the second half 'cause of foul trouble in the first. Their fans spit on me!

1) Number from my very first adventure race (running, mountain biking, kayaking, obstacle course).
2) Parking pass from my very first adventure race.
3) First review from my first accounting job.
4) Key to mine and Amy's room from our (high school) freshman biology trip.
5) Tickets from Atlanta Olympics
6) Tickets from 1995 Women's Final Four
7) Ticket from my first bus ride in NYC
8) Lady Vols basketball ticket from 1992.
9) Peachtree Road Race number

This one is my favorite. When I was playing ball in high school, my coach was insane. I mean, he was a brilliant coach, but he would light into us about how we sucked as people and he couldn't believe our parents even loved us. To lighten the mood at half-time, I started a game: After every pep talk, players always start shouting and slapping each other about how our team is the best team and whatever, mostly it's like, "Let's go, ladies! Let's hustle! Let's bring it back! Give it all you got!" So while everyone else was screaming that, others of us would see who could shout "BOOBAE!" the loudest without getting caught. BOOBAE, like "boo-bay" meaning "boobie."

By the time I got to be a senior, lots of people just called me Booabe because of that. (Also, there was an event at a Christmas assembly which I am strictly forbidden to speak about.) My BFF (and own personal cheerleader) made me a sign that hung in our gym (every player had her own sign). Other people's said about how they were supremely awesome basketball players. Mine was all, "Mighty Boobae!"

Friday, 24 July 2009

Phone It In: Listening to the news, again?

Well we've had our say about the news, now it's your turn. What news do you never, ever want to hear about again?

Thursday, 23 July 2009


Jennie So apparently this week marked the anniversary of the moon landing. BFD! That's right, I said BFD! That happened, what, like 80 years ago? That's right, I said 80 years ago! I mean, I could walk on the moon if I really wanted. I'm totally Facebook friends with someone who works at NASA. And not like a janitor, either, A REAL LIFE ROCKET SCIENTIST. I'm sure he'd let me sneak a rocket to the moon for a couple hours. If he won't, so what? I live down the street from WPAFB and everyone knows they're keeping aliens in Hangar 18 WHICH MEANS they probably have a spaceship lying around somewhere and I'll just make friends with the aliens and promise to break them out if they drop me off at the moon on their way home.

Alright, I will admit that landing on the moon and crap was all awesome at the time, but aren't we ready for more exciting space exploration? I grew up watching Star Wars and E.T. and when Contact came out, I thought maybe I should use Ellie Arroway's life as my career path on the off chance that I might one day be chosen to go on a crazy, floaty journey and hang out with my dad on a shiny beach. Then I realized that would be a lot of work for POSSIBLY no raisin. My point is, I EXPECT MORE FROM YOU, NASA.

From now on, I only want to hear about the following space-related things in the news:
  • Aliens landing (also: whether or not they're friendly or here to blow up my shit)
  • Invention of spaceship I can afford and fly without crashing and dying
  • Millennium Falcon found on another planet
  • Serenity found on another planet
  • E.T. found on another planet or in some kid's backyard
  • The answer to life, the universe, and everything
  • Darth Vader attacks some Ewoks or something
  • Bending robots bend some stuff or something
  • Someone walks on Mars
  • It's finally time for LIVING ON THE MOON
WHY AREN'T WE LIVING ON THE MOON YET? I was promised a lot of future things when I was in elementary school, things like jet packs and Jetsons houses and flying cars, but the thing I was looking forward to MOST was living on the moon and frolicking about the moon craters with my alien friend Norman. That's right, NORMAN THE ALIEN.

They've been talking about the moon landing every morning on NPR, and the other day they were all, "the moon is totally awesome because we can mine the shit out of it and solve all of our energy problems." Those were the exact words, I'm pretty sure. That's just so...practical. And so human. Hey, everyone! Let's rape the moon! It will be crazy awesome, who brought the roofies?

I mean, if we're going to the moon for practical purposes, fine...dig for minerals all you want. But can we also build an amusement park there? Please? I have just one thing to say to you: anti-gravity roller coasters.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

News I never, ever want to hear about again.

If a picture is worth all that blah blah blah, then my net worth of blah is off the charts. It's no huge secret that I've been busy, and this weekend past while hiding out from the world on my best friend's UWS rooftop deck (my God, this weather, right?) I summed up the change of Administration pretty damn accurately: our scientists are all, w00t!, and our lawyers are all, OH SHIT. Including me.

So busy I've been that all I've had time for is blah, and having time only for blah I've had none for news. Well, real news anyway.

My boyfriend's mother has developed this very bad habit of calling on the telephone. To talk to me. And only me. It's bad enough I have to talk to my own mother on a semi-regular basis, but to add his as well? Not to mention the fact that I'm Facebook friends and regular email/text messaging correspondents with his two step-mothers. Did I mention we're not married? I DID NOT SIGN UP FOR THIS!

So here is a short list of "news" I never, ever want to hear about again:

1. How cute your step-son's kids are and how much you wish you had grandchildren of your own.
2. Your latest knitting project.
3. All the fabulous new things you bought with my boyfriend's inheritance.
4. Your latest fabulous vacation that you didn't bother to invite us on.
5. How much you miss your dead dogs.
6. Your landscaping triumphs/woes.
7. Your computer/cable/cellular telephone problems.
8. Anything having anything to do with your/your husband's gluten-free diet.
9. How wonderful your unimaginative cooking is.
10. How terrible your terrible cooking is.
11. Anything having to do with Outback.
12. Tree damage from the great Buffalo ice storm of 2006.
13. How fabulously wonderful your daughters are.
14. How many rooms in your giant house need redecorating.
15. This list is getting long so I'll just stop now.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Heidi and Spencer are the worst

AbsThose of you who don't know who Heidi and Spencer must have a really good filter. Because they have dominated magazine covers and headlines for years FOR NO REASON. I know a lot about them because they star on one of my favorite TV shows, The Hills. I'm not going to get into why The Hills deserves your unironic respect because a) you won't listen, and b) the show is kind of over now anyway so it's no use. Someday though, I'll tell you and you will regret enjoying the masterpiece when it was in it's prime. ANYWAY, Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt play the villians on the fake reality TV show about hot, young things living and "working" in LA. They are genius on the show and deserve every second of fame garnered there.


They have become fame WHORES. Most of us experts would agree that Spencer Pratt is an evil mastermind who has created scenarios, conversations, and characters that dominate the spotlight. He is the creator of controversy, the star of his own drama, and BFF with none other than shit-smearing-gossip-blogger Perez Hilton. The media eats him up.

Probably cause of shit like this:

Heidi, Spencer, and Rod Blagojevich (failed evil mastermind and former governor of my homeland) in a promo shot for a TV show called "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!" that I not only never watched but never actually read anything about and YET somehow managed to gather way too many details regarding whether Heidi and Spencer were still on it, were getting kicked off, were demanded to be removed, were having sex or not having sex, and other things that even I don't care about

Heidi and Spencer caught in a private moment celebrating Mother's Day with Heidi's mom. This is seriously supposed to look like the papparazzi caught them unawares. UGH.

I do not want to hear anything more about them. Last year, celeb blog PopEater decided they didn't either and posted a poll: Should we stop covering Heidi and Spencer entirely? 95 percent voted yes and the site has hardly mentioned them since. Ah, bliss. Now if only I could get real news to ignore them.

A month ago I talked about how I wished I could run faster and be better at living. I thought perhaps the problem was my awful asthma and I finally got involved with some high-level allergists to get to the bottom of it. You were all so supportive so I wanted to give you and update.

Last Thursday I completed my final appointment at the clinic. They want to see me again in 3 months. I took many allergy tests and many lessons on how to take my medication properly. I kept breathing diaries. In the end the doctor decided that I was medicated as best I can be for my asthma and that my asthma is "controlled" according to their standards as long as I keep taking all my meds.

So my exercise problems aren't asthma-related, I'm told. The doctor said I need to go back to my regular doctor and see what other things she thinks could be causing my lameness. Heart stuff was discussed.

How do I feel about this? I feel like after having allergies my whole life (seriously, you just know when you have them) I can't trust the prick tests they gave me that tested negative. It didn't help when my mom said that my brother always tested negative for those and yet needed those weekly allergy shots to survive most of his childhood. Us Schillings, we resist tests. If I can trust those tests, what else can't I trust?

I also feel really, really not motivated to go back to my regular doctor and try to convince her that something is wrong with me. My experience with doctors is that they always, always doubt me and my symptoms. So asking her to send me to a heart doctor and then trying to make her believe that something could be wrong with me sounds like the hardest thing ever. Harder than just living with my sub-par body.

So. I need some courage, I suppose. D'ya think I could get a shot of that?

Monday, 20 July 2009

Listening to the news? Again?!

heather I am a News junkie. I love the News so much that I Google Read and Twitter Feed five dozen News sources every day. I love the News so much that I stream NPR or Air America all day while I'm working. I love the News so much that I DVR the Sotomayor hearings. I love the News so much that when I'm cut off from it I get body aches and shivers.

I love the News so much that I want to take it out behind the middle school and get it pregnant.

I'm what you might call an "active participant" in getting the News. I don't just hear it or read it, and then go about my merry business. No, I have to respond to it, in the form of comments, message board posts or occasional tirades at the television. So, in the interest of my own personal well-being and improving the quality of life of those around me, here are five news stories I never, ever want to hear about again.

1) Michael Jackson's death

What. a. clusterfuck. When Jackson died, I read his AP obituary and that was it, but I have still managed to get inundated with information about his kids and the mother of his kids and his dad and his family, and OH MY GOD, he had a crazy life, let the man rest already.

2) Sarah Palin

I don't hate Sarah Palin. I am, frankly, terrified of Sarah Palin. Or, rather, I am terrified of what she represents: the idea that a person shouldn't be educated beyond her faith; that the most important governing document of the United States of America isn't the Constitution, but the Christian Bible; that it's completely OK to enflame the ill-informed passions of a bunch of gun-totin' xenophobes and former KKK members.

Sarah Palin may look like a clown from where you're sitting, but the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains are just outside my office window, and there are people driving around here who have scratched out the "McCain" on their '08 bumper stickers and simply left the word "Palin."

3) Any News that requires accompanying paparazzi photography

Half the problem with the world lies in the fact that we permit photographers to stalk celebrities. Not just that we permit it, but that we encourage it. Like, we have some right to know what an actress wears to the grocery store or what's in a musician's garbage. Do you know what happens when societies start celebrating athletes and actors over professors and authors? Maybe you could ask them. Oh, wait -- no you can't. BECAUSE THOSE SOCIETIES DON'T EXIST ANYMORE.

4) Any News that comes out of Sean Hannity or Bill O'Reilley's mouths

5) News that uses words like "Anti-Family" to mean "Gay" or "Pro-Death" to mean "Wants to keep abortion legal." Or, on the flip side, "Anti-Choice" to mean "Has moral qualms about abortion."

See, because that's not News. That's just being an inflammatory asshole.

(Five dollars to the first person who correctly guesses the title quote.)

Friday, 17 July 2009

Besides, you're saying it wrong. It's LeviOsa, not LevioSA.

Jennie Harry Potter has a special kind of magic. He managed to distract the world from Michael Jackson's death. Maybe not completely and definitely not permanently, but it has been a welcome reprieve from the Jackson Family Circus.

I first heard of Harry Potter back in high school, soon after the first book came out. I wandered into the breakroom one day, all alone and bored, and saw The Sorcerer's Stone sitting on the table. BJ (hee), the BATSHIT CRAZY children's librarian, wandered in and was all, "Oh, you should read that! We just got a couple copies so I thought I'd keep one in here in case anyone wanted to read it. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go wander around the library, smiling creepily at people while I stand too close to them all smelling like B.O. and Crazy."

She left, and I picked up the book. I scoffed (scoffed!) because my first instinct when I am presented with anything new is to make fun of it. But I opened it and started reading, because as much as I like to make fun of things, I can't stand feeling left out of something. Plus, I had fifteen minutes to kill so what else was I going to do? Go out and talk to the patrons? Stare at the vending machine?

I was instantly hooked and bullied everyone I could into reading the books BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT I DO. Even my dad read them, although not the normal way, which is HUNGRILY, GREEDILY, AND AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. No, he'd take his time and I'd be all, "WHAT PART ARE YOU ON? ARE YOU DONE YET? I NEED TO TALK ABOUT THIS WITH SOMEONE!" because this was before I had turned to the Internet for my literary obsessions.

Some people will try to tell you that, if you like Harry Potter, you should read Twilight. These people are stinking liars. I hesitate to rail against the Twilight books here, as I have not read them, but when the craze first started I did some research. I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything. I knew I wasn't when I read the words, "sparkly vampire." What. The. Hell. It's like Stephenie Meyer took all the good that Joss Whedon did for vampires and then just pooped all over it (VAMPIRES DON'T SPARKLE). Why would she do that? Why? Anyway, just in case you're thinking maybe Twilight is better than Harry Potter (the hell is your problem?), I've created a list of reasons WHY IT IS NOT, YOU TURD, GO AWAY:

The Hero:
Harry Potter: Can fly (on a broomstick). Friend to house-elves, owls, and hippogriffs. Is a Triwizard Cup winner. Has fought evil wizards, basilisks, trolls, etc. Can DO MAGIC.

Edward Cullen: Is a sparkly vampire with gross hair. Does "Blue Steel" when picture is taken, apparently. Broods, but not as well as Angel.

Winner: Harry Potter

The Heroine:

hermione3 Hermione: Is a genius. Hearts Ron. Is brave and always comes up with the big ideas. House-elf advocate. Is very pretty but no one notices because she's SUCH A GENIUS.

Whatsername: Falls down a lot. Says "vampire" all whispery. Is boooooriiiiiing. I heard she had a vampire baby and it was totally the grossest thing ever written (besides anything written by Stephen King).

Winner: Harry Potter


Ron Weasley: Is our king. Is also brave. Hearts Hermione. Has an awesome family. Is basically Xander Harris, which, AWESOME.

I don't know. Does Twilight have BFFs? (Confession: I did not do much research.)

Winner: Harry Potter



In Harry Potter: are Professor Lupin

werewolf twilight

In Twilight: um, exist? And have long hair, I guess.

Winner: Harry Potter

Plus, almost everyone in Harry Potter has a British accent. Therefore, Harry Potter wins. I think everyone can agree that my logic is totally sound. Thank you and good day.


Wednesday, 15 July 2009

I must not tell lies.

Abs It is Wednesday, July 15. This means two important things. Firstly, it is Kat's birthday. Secondly, it is the release date of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Price, the sixth installment in the movie franchise based on the best-selling books by J.K. Rowling. Maybe you've heard of them.

Waiting in line outside the theater last night:

I'm a huge fan of the books as are the majority of my friends. I think they are brilliant and fantastic and that J.K. Rowling is doubly those things. I think you're crazy if you haven't read them. (And I get my rage when your reason is to the tune of "I don't see what the big deal is. Such a fad." You are not the exception to the rule here. Read the books THEN form your opinion.)

One of the greatest parts about being a fan is the fanDOM. I can't explain what it's like to celebrate something fantastic and brilliant with others. It's about community, I suppose. Love and friendship, things the books preach out into a vortex of evil. The costumes, the gear, the vernacular are all by-products of this awesome. I learned how to knit so I could have a Gryffindor scarf.

Snacks by my friend Katherine for our Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows book release party in July 2007:

At Barnes and Noble waiting for the release of the final book in this epic series in 2007:

My friends and I gearing up for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix movie. We are spectacular dorks. And not ashamed at all:

I hadn't read the books in two years and so I set to work four weeks ago. I read all seven, finishing the epilogue during dinner last night. I wanted to start from the beginning, to make charts and graphs and outline these characters. These books are powerful, powerful things and I feel privileged to be alive and around to attend release parties and movies.

I go to the midnight showing because of the fans. I've never had a better movie-viewing experience than with this group of people. These Potter-lovers grouped around blankets and chairs, casting hexes and reading aloud. And then, when we're in the theater, when the lights drop, there are cheers followed by silent reverence. Applause when our beloved characters take the screen.

The crowd last night waiting for the film to begin:

And the first few seconds of the movie last night, complete with the cheers of the 1,000 biggest fans in Southern California:

The fans are fantastic and brilliant just like the stories. And I repeat my plea time and time again, to give the books a chance. You don't have to knit your own scarf, but you might want to. You might not look or feel like my type of fan, but you'll still be a fan. I know it.