Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Tribute to Friendship and Love

In one week my best friend will be getting married. When I moved to Oklahoma City, I never could have imagined how my life would change just by meeting Jessica.

We share a love of books, music, roller skating and the number 13 just to name a few.

We've celebrated birthdays together (Party 'til you Puke.......Outside!) and have been tattooed together.

Neither one of us could have forseen what would come from checking out a karaoke bar on a friend's recommendation. That was the first time we (yes, I meant to say "we") laid eyes on Darrell (better known as Junior to most).

At the time, Junior had no idea what he was in for, but just last week he told me. "I realized a long time ago that you and Jess were a package deal" when I asked, "Do you realize you're practically marrying me, too?" Not only does he put up with mine and Jess' crazy friendship, he really does consider me a part of their family.....which makes me a very lucky girl, indeed.

In addition to the kind of love one can only get from her best friend and the love and tolerance from Junior, there's the icing on the cake: Jess and Junior's children. What a priviledge it is to be their godmother. Even more blessings I don't deserve.

Over the past 8 years Jess and I have experienced all manner of joys and sorrows, but those are the things which strengthen the bonds of friendship. And next week we will add another joyous memory to our list.

I'm so thankful to have the Hall family in my life and wish them all the happiness and love in the world as they start this new chapter.

As Anne Shirley said of her best friend, Diana, on her wedding day, so I say to Jessica,
"You are the bride of my dreams" I love you, girl!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Things That Really Frustrate Me!

I'd like to preface this blog with a few facts about me and my personality traits (or qwirks might be a more appropriate word).

-I am a virgo.
-I am a planner.
-If I say I will do something, I will do it, come hell or high water, unless I'm in the hospital.
-If something does happen and I can't keep a committment (which is a rarity), I'll make sure an explanation and an appology is given.
-I hate it when people do things that force me to change my plans at the last minute.

With that out of the way, here are some things that have been causing me lots of frustration lately.

In the past 2 weeks, several of my friends have made committements to either go out with our cozy, little group of friends, help me with a project or just hang out with me.....and then they flake out at the last minute. Most times without even a phone call, let alone an explanation.

I fully realize that it's impossible to make it through life and never have to cancel something you've planned, but I'm talking about those people who make a habit of flaking out. In my mind, there's a simple solution: If you think there's a possibility you won't be able to keep your committment, just keep your mouth shut and don't tell me you're going to be there to help me or hang out with me.

A recent example:
[a re-enactment of a recent conversation]

Friend A: Hey, Heather! What are you doing Friday night? If you're free, we should go check out that new restaurant.

Me: Oh, that would be great! I'm actually free this Friday!

Friend A: Okay, call me when you get home from work Friday and we'll figure out when to meet.

Me: Okay, I'll call you Friday.

So.....when I called on Friday, I got the good ol' voice mail and I leave a message saying I'm home and am ready to make plans about meeting. I even send a text message.

Guess when I finally got a phone call from Friend A? Two weeks later when Friend A called to share some good news with me. When I asked Friend A about the dropped dinner plans from 2 weeks earlier (after the appropriate congratulations were given for the good news), Friend A said, "Oh.....I got busy".

Really?!? It was Friend A's idea in the first place! AND......why couldn't Friend A call me or text me that evening and tell me that dinner would no longer fit into the schedule?!? I don't have many free Friday nights and sitting at home waiting (with a growling tummy, I might add) for a call back is not the way I wanted to spend my evening.

The other frustrating thing is friends who make plans with you, call to cancel the original plans and reschedule. Then they call and cancel the rescheduled plans and re-reschedule the plans......and on and on and on. All the while, the plans never actually happen. Seriously....if you don't want to hang out or are too busy to hang out, just say it. People who habitually cancel (even if they call) just confuse and frustrate me.

Here's another example:

Friend B: you want to come have a drink with me after work?

Me: Sorry, I can't tonight, I've got some sewing to do.

Friend B: Really? You can't come for a little while?

Me: No, I really need to get this done and I know that "one drink" will turn into a 3-hour gab-fest. I'll have to pass. I'll be going out Friday after work, 6-10, you're welcome to join me.

Friend B: Okay! I'll be there!
[fast forward to Friday]

Text message from Friend B: Hey, I got caught up in a project. How late are you going to be out?

Text from me: Until 10pm

Text from Friend B: Only 10? I don't think I can make it. I'm still going to help you tomorrow. What time do you need me?

Text from me: 6pm

Text from Friend B: Ok!
[fastforward to Saturday]

Text from Friend B: This project is taking longer than I thought. I don't think I'll be able to come out tonight either.

Text from me: But I thought you were going to help me.......

Text from Friend B: I was but I've just got so much to do. I need to stay home. I might be able to make it there by 10pm.

Text from me: Don't bother coming out. Stay home and do your stuff. I'll find someone to take your place.

Am I just being overly sensitive?

Maybe I'm being too idealistic. Maybe it's not as cut and dried as I think, but what happened to honesty and common courtesy?

Needless to say, it has been a very frustrating month. I hope August is better as far as plans with friends go!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Songs that Make Me Smile

I love finding new places to eat, good books to read and great music it listen to. Sometimes I find these things on my own, but more often than not, my groovy and ecclectic friends are my source for finding cool, new stuff. And when I find some new gem, I easily become obsessed.

For the most part, I gave up watching television two years ago but in the spirit of full disclosure, I should let it be known that I go to a friend's house every Tuesday to watch Flipping Out and I also watch full seasons on TV shows on DVD....and then there's YouTube.

In the past I've blogged (over on myspace) about my obsession with What the Buck?!? and Sam Harris' "Hello Vlog People!" postings on youTube. But......I have a new obsession (and special thanks to my friend Kelly for finding it first)!

Julia Nunes is an innovative and talented musician who has been posting her music on YouTube for a couple of years. She plays several instruments, but mainly the ukelele and the guitar. She does some interesting covers and many originals.

I love folksy-type music, so her originals really speak to me but other than that, her music just makes me smile. That's why I want to share it with as many people as possible!

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

This is the first video I saw from Julia Nunes. The first thing I thought when I saw this was, "Why didn't I think of this?"

I won't take up space by posting all the videos of Julia's that I think you should see, so instead I will point you to her YouTube page to peruse at your leisure!

Check it out!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Food, Glorious Food!

I'm a foodie! I don't care if it's an expensive restaurant or a hole in the wall, if the food is good, I'll be a devoted fan.

Here's a list of 10 of my favorite places to eat. Most of them are in Oklahoma City, but there's one in Shawnee and my number one place is in Tulsa.


10. Saturn Grill -This is a trendy little spot where you can go for a nice early dinner (it's open for lunch, but space constraints make it hard to find a table). I like to go with a couple of girlfriends and get the Rustic Roman Pie and a bottle (or two) of wine to share.

9. Chelino's Mexican Restaurant (no website)- They have several locations, but the best, in my opinion is the one on SW Grand (I think it's the first one they opened). Everything on their menu is good, but I recommend you try the shrimp cocktail appetizer! It's a real treat!

8. Hamburger King in Shawnee, OK
This is one of my favorites from my college days. I love this place so much it's where my parents took me after my college graduation. They don't serve french fries....only potato wedges. The decor is kitschy (I think some of the knick knacks have been there since they opened in 1927) and you order from your table by phone. Lots of fun!

7. Sherri's Diner (no website)- I'll drive all the way to the south side of OKC just to have an order of fried pickle slices from this place! I've had fried pickles from all over, but NONE even come close to Sherri's.

6. Zorba's Mediterranean Cuisine I love everything on their menu, but there are 2 items that I seem to order more often than any other: baba gannouj and pistachio baklava. I've never had pistachio bakalava anywhere else, but I dream about theirs.....yummy!

5. Cheever's Cafe The dinners here can be a little pricey, but well worth the cost! Menus are changed seasonally, so it always seems like a new experience. Lunch is an inexpensive way to check this place out and I highly recommend the Chicken Fried Steak with Jalapeño Gravy!

4. Prohibition Room This restaurant has only been open a month and a half and it is quickly moving up my list of favorites. they have a unique list of prohibition era cocktails that would have been served in a speakeasy and their menu is fantastic. If you can only choose one meal to eat here, I suggest brunch. From 11am-3pm on Sundays you can enjoy an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet of sweet and savory selections and bottomless mimosas (or coffee if you prefer) for only $20! It's the place to be!

3. Tokyo Japanese Restaurant (no website)- This is my favorite place to go for sushi in the city. The atmosphere is laid back and the waitstaff is always very helpful. It's a great place to take your friends who are first-time sushi eaters because everything is so FRESH.....they'll love it! My recommendation: The Double Crunchy!!!!

2. Iron Starr BBQ Self described as "upscale urban BBQ", I can recommend everything on the menu in good conscience. My personal favs are the St Louis Ribs with dutch oven potatoes and southwest slaw and for dessert, the bread pudding! all-time, absolute, favorite place to eat:

1. Coney I-Lander in Tulsa, OK (no website)
Not to be mistaken with just any coney place, this branch of local coney parlors has been serving the Tulsa Metro area since 1926. There are TONS of message boards on the web where people who have either moved away from Tulsa or who have visited there and experinced the perfection of their conies will wax eloquently about their virtues. Having grown up in Tulsa, I remember eating here as a small child and even then it was my favorite. One of the great things is the word scramble that's posted each week in the store. I loved to see if I could solve it before my mother.

Whether you're dining in or taking it to go, the conies are always served in a styrofoam tray. I like to get mine togo so they put a second tray on top as a the time you open them to eat them, the cheese on top is all melted and fantastic. Anytime I go to Owasso to visit my family, I make sure to eat there at least once......and I'll order 6 and will most likely eat them ALL in one sitting. I really don't know what it is that makes these so much better than any other coney I've ever had....I used to think it was the chili, but now I'm convinced it's the combination of all the ingredients.

The buns are kept warm and soft in a steamer and the weiners are slow-grilled (not soaked in a vat of yucky weiner water). The mustard, finely chopped onion and their secret-recipe chili top them off for an unforgetable meal!
If you want to talk me into something, call me up and tell me you want to go to Tulsa with me and have conies.......I wouldn't be able to resist!

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Rant About Forwarded E-Mail...

There are several reasons I hate forwarded e-mails.

1. Most people who habitually forward e-mails NEVER send any personal e-mails inquiring about my health, my life, my opinions on the state of the economy and the upcoming election. Well, you get my point....

2. People who forward things usually never take into consideration that the recipient might not agree with the political/religious/lifestyle views contained in the forwarded e-mail....not to mention the contents could be offensive to the one receiving it.

3. People who spread misinformation by not fact checking BEFORE they send it to their entire mailing list. If you're going to warn me about someone waiting under my car to cut my achielles tendon and that this type of attack is on the rise OR you send me an e-mail project from a dying child as their last wish to see how far around the world the e-mail will go, PLEASE, for the love of God, check it out on a site such as!

Yesterday, I recieved this e-mail from a co-worker through our company e-mail accounts (don't even get me started on that!):

"Navy Petty Officer Mike MonsoorPO2 (EOD2) Mike Monsoor, a Navy EOD Technician, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for jumping on a grenade in Iraq , giving his life to save his fellow SEALs.
During Mike Monsoor's funeral in San Diego , as his coffin was being moved from the hearse to the grave site at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery , SEALs were lined up on both sides of the pallbearers route forming a column of twos, with the coffin moving up the center.
As Mike's coffin passed, each SEAL, having removed his gold Trident from his uniform, slapped it down embedding the Trident in the wooden coffin.The slaps were audible from across the cemetery; by the time the coffin arrived grave side, it looked as though it had a gold inlay from all the Tridents pinned to it. This was a fitting send-off for a warrior hero. This should be front-page news instead of the crap we see every day.
Since the media won't make this news, I choose to make it news by forwarding it onto you guys. I am proud of our military and the men and women who serve in it. They represent the highest and finest values of this country."

Embedded in the e-mail were very moving pictures of Petty Officer Monsoor's coffin adorned with the gold Trident pins. My problem with this e-mail was the fact that this very story was covered by the media.

CNN: http://http//
FOX: http://http//,2933,376243,00.html
NPR: http://http//
USA Today: http://http//
Wash. Post: http://http//

That's not even all of the links I could have provided.

Let me be clear. It's not that I don't want my friends to forward things to me, just use a bit of common sense before you add me to the list and hit "send". I think everyone's time is valuable, if only to themselves, and I'm not going to waste it by sending an e-mail that is unfounded or bogus.

Enough ranting! I'm not directing this at anyone sepcific. Chances are, if you forward lots of stuff to me, you don't even realize this blog would require effort to locate it and read it! Snap!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Am I The Eternal Optimist?

(This is a recent posting from my other blog....sorry to those who have already read it)

I've been accused many times in my life of being silly or frivolous and maybe there have been times when it was true, but more often than not, it was unbridled optimism and enthusiasm that was mistaken for frivolity.

I don't know if I was born optimistic or if it was a trait my incredibly wise mother gradually instilled in me. Most likely it was a mixture of both....the old heredity vs. environment debate. One day I'll write a blog about my mom and her incredible wisdom, but today I'm writing about happiness and finding it when you need it most.

Despite the trouble I've had with my home over the past year and a half, my home is my place of peace and refuge for me. When I need to get away from the stress of the world, that's where I want to be. But, on those rare occasions where my mood turns dark, I pick myself up and get out of the house........I don't want to have bad feelings associated with my time at home, but in turn, I think getting out of the house and finding something to do helps improve my mood so it's a win/win situation!

Once I'm out the door, wondering where to go, this is how I determine what I'll do. I ask myself, "What makes me happy?" And then I do those things. What amazes me, is when I ask other people what makes them happy.....many don't know how to respond. How can that be? (See, even now I'm dumbfounded) Life is what you make it and you can't always wait for happiness to knock on your have to go where you (hopefully) already know it can be found. Here are some of the things that make me happy and where you might find me when I need a little more happiness than usual.

-Glass.....something about the transparency, I think. I'm lucky to live in a city with the largest permanent collection of Dale Chihuly glass. A trip to the OKC Museum will quickly put a smile on my face.

-Roller Skating- I keep my skates in the trunk of my car because I never know when I'll need to roll!

-Books/reading- I might end up at a park with a blanket and a book or at B&N where I can read and have coffee.....either does the trick.

-Family- All of my family is special to me but specifically my nieces and nephews. Nothing cheers me up like talking to them. Hearing them say "I love you" makes everything right with the world.

-Friends- many's the time I've spent long days hangin' with Jess and her family (which is almost like being with family). Anytime spent with a good friend is a good time and I'm blessed to have some incredible friends who always make me happy!

-Singing/Music- whether I sing at the top of my lungs to music in my car or I go for some karaoke, music always sooths my soul.

-Stars- sometimes I'll drive out, away from the city at night just to see the stars. Having grown up in a rural area, I miss the clarity of the stars away from the city lights. Also, since I collect stars, I've started a new project with my's too involved to detail now, but I'll probably post something about it soon!

-College football- in the fall, this will always do the trick!

-Baking- I love to create new recipes!

So, am I an eternal optimist because I feel nothing is so bad I can't find something to shake it off? Maybe. Probably. I'm happy with either. (See, I can't help it!)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

So....Here I Am

I've been blogging on a somewhat regualr basis on myspace for the last two years. In that time, I've gained more readers than I could ever have imagined....enough that I make the Top Blog list each time I post.

Several of my friends have moved their blogs to, but I have resisted because I barely have time to keep up with the blog on myspace. Even though I've started this, I'm not sure how disciplined I'll be with keeping up both blogs. I'll probably end up duplicating many of the blogs, but for better or worse, I'm here now......we'll see how it goes!