Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Life is Imitating Art

I've written a few times about my connection to the music of Alice Peacock. Her entire self-titled album could have come straight from my head. It's rare that an artist speaks so directly an intimately to me through lyrics about things others wouldn't have the first inkling, but she has done it and I return to the tracks of this album often, visiting them like old friends, feeling their comfort, experiencing their excitement and it always makes my heart race.

As this new year starts, I can't shake this song and how it makes me feel. I don't know what Alice was thinking when she wrote it and I'm sure it takes on a different meaning for everyone. I love this song more today than when I first shared it with my readers in 2008 and it bears a rare repeat because of it's poignant relevance at this moment in my life.

For those on Spotify, you can listen to the song here.


All Consuming Love by Alice Peacock
I knew I'd seen your face before
When I was in a fever
You took my hand
And wiped my brow
Like a butterfly
To a dying flame
I'm drawn to you
Fold me in your arms
Fold me in

(chorus)
Take me down to the water
Take me under, set me free
I want to be your mother, sister, daughter
Want to be your fantasy

I said this wouldn't happen again
Swore it on the heavens above
But like a lamb to the slaughter
Can't fight this all consuming
Love me, hate me, mold me, break me
Take me down In ecstasy

(chorus)
Take me down to the water
Take me under, set me free
I want to be your mother, sister, daughter
Want to be your fantasy

If I had to tell my story again
It's been written in your eyes
And could I get so close to you
I'd melt away
I wanna' hear you say
That you're never gonna' leave
Wanna' hear you say it
Say it baby

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Forward Motion

I'm looking forward to 2012 more than any year I can remember in quite some time. I don't have any specific reasons which make me feel so optimistic about the upcoming year, but I'm not going to fight the feeling. I'm normally an overtly optimistic person but this goes beyond the normal for me.

It seems as though the past few years I couldn't wait to see the backside of a year and would be vocalizing about how the coming year just had to be better, but I don't have those feelings at all.....just the calm, peaceful feeling that no matter what happens next year, it will be stellar! All the tough lessons of the past 5 years and all the simplifying must be starting to pay off and I can barely contain my excitement.

Take that, Universe!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks

Most of my friends have been participating in 30 Days of Thanks by posting something each day for which they are thankful. I guess I'm not that dedicated because I always resort to one blog the week of Thanksgiving, or ON Thanksgiving, as is the case this year.


I have so many things for which I am thankful, I know I would never be able to remember and list them all, but this is my best effort to cover the highlights.


- I am thankful 2011 was better than 2010. I expect 2012 to follow the same pattern.
- I am thankful for a job I enjoy more than I ever could have imagined.
- I am thankful I am still able to live life simply.
- I am thankful for unconditional love.
- I am thankful for music which touches my soul and for the artists who create such beauty and choose to share it with the world.
- I am thankful for libraries and books which always transport me.
- I am thankful for my siblings and their love for me.
- I am thankful I have been allowed to be an auntie to the BEST nieces and nephews in the universe!
- I am thankful for my friends; old and new.
- I am thankful for the boring which balances out the crazy in my life.
- I am thankful for my seemingly eternal optimism.
- I am thankful for my sweet dog, Hildy Mae.
- I am thankful for tolerance which has been given and received.
- I am thankful for having options.

- I am thankful for YOU!

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Pendulum Effect


Over the years I've seen many, many instances of lives in full Pendulum Effect. I'm not sure if there's another name for this phenomenon, but I've been calling it this for years and it seems to be an apt moniker. To understand the Pendulum Effect, one need only understand the basic workings of a pendulum.

Imagine a grandfather clock that has stopped ticking. The usually swinging pendulum is at complete rest; not moving side to side in either direction. This is where one should be when life is balanced. However, there are times in life when something shakes one to the core and causes the pendulum to swing. When this happens, the pendulum must swing to the extreme right and left before it slowly starts to settle back to the balance point.

Having grown up going to church, I saw many examples of the Pendulum Effect as those who were new to religion and spirituality would "turn from their life of sin". Often going from the extreme of one vice or another to the extreme of near religious fanaticism. I'm not making any pronouncements of religion or religious converts, it's simply the first time I recall seeing the Pendulum Effect so vividly illustrated.

As with all things, moderation should be the rule of thumb. Swinging to either extreme isn't the healthiest place for anyone to be for an extended amount of time. Hopefully, if one is self-aware, the smaller the swinging of the pendulum when something life-shaking comes along.

Recently, I've not only been an up-close witness to the Pendulum Effect, but was almost caught up in the emotional free-fall created by another's inability to see the fanatical extreme turn his life and choices have taken. Sadly, communication has become the casualty, but I'm hopeful that one day soon that pendulum will settle back down to the balance point. Until then, I press on doing what's best for me.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Covering the Bases

I know it's just the beginning of November and we've barely gotten past Halloween and everyone is starting to post their daily what-I'm-thankful-fors but I really need to jump ahead to Christmas for this post. Don't worry, I'll post at least once about the things for which I'm thankful, but as I sit here listening to Christmas music as a cold, blustery north wind is chilling the air I have had a moment of such clarity!


I know what I want for Christmas!
[aside from world peace, of course]


I've talked for years about buying a ukulele and learning to play. Well, I'm tired of talking about it and want to take action! I will be writing to Santa to ask him for one, but since he told me in 2001 that I've been permanently put on the naughty list, I'm not holding my breath to see a ukulele, courtesy of St Nick, under my tree. So, I'm telling everyone that's what I want for Christmas. I don't even care if I get more than one. I have a feeling I will fall fast in love with playing the uke so more than one will be okay with me!

What will you be putting on your wishlist this year?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I Know This Much is True

No, it's still not a blog about 80's music! When and if I write one, it will have to be totally awesome, so it might take me awhile to hammer that one out.

However, this is just a short list of things that are hard and fast truths in my world.


- If you pair salty and sweet together, I will always say "yes, please"!
- Songs with la la la's, la-di-da's, nah-nah-nah's, etc...always make me smile.
- I'm a sucker for a man with a full bottom lip, dark hair and blue eyes. It's a trifecta I cannot resist.
- Caramel is my kryptonite.
- Conies from Coney I-Lander in Tulsa will always be my favorite food to eat.
- I am unable to say, "no" to my nieces or nephews (unless it's something that will harm them).
- I take my picture better than anyone else.
- Empire Strikes Back is THE. BEST. FILM. of all the Star Wars films. There is no argument.
- I am a geek.
- The only thing I know for sure is that I don't know anything for sure.
- I totally think like a dude.
- Patty Griffin is the best songwriter.


It's not a comprehensive list, but it was something I was talking about with a new friend and things like that tend to make it into my blog. Will the new friend make it into the blog? Maybe........

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Shhhhhh! Don't Tell The Universe!

Things are great and I'm really content!

Fall is in the air, my job is fantastic, college football is here and the holidays are fast approaching! Oh, and I'm getting paid to write! :)

If the Universe finds out, he'll try to screw things up, so this is our little secret, okay?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I Must be Doing Something Right

They say if you have haters, you're doing something right. I must have inadvertently stumbled into this because I'm not trying to do anything. And yet, over the past 6 months, I've had to deal with some crazy stuff. Specifically, it's jealous women who keep trying to either bring drama into my peaceful existence or to intimidate me into ceasing contact with a guy they like.

Bitches be crazy when it comes to a guy they like. Seriously......I've been through junior high once and I'm not nostalgic for it at all.

Besides being incredibly annoyed by having psycho girls delete me from a friend's account or send me unsolicited messages or blatantly telling me to "STOP" on a friend's facebook wall, I'm utterly perplexed by why others tolerate such childish and insane behavior. If this is what men look for in a partner, count me out!

These girls need to have some respect as females and act with a bit of grace and decorum.....even when it's difficult. Don't think that I didn't come up with a dozen catty responses to post.....the difference is, I know that's not my style and it wouldn't garner any result that I'd want so I kept them to myself. Life is all about choices and I'm trying my damnedest to choose a wise path.

Yes, I've lost guys to many of these psycho girls over the years, but when it's said and done, if that's the kind of girl they like, (to quote Bob Dylan) "It ain't me you're looking for, babe".

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Peace, Be Still.......

I mention often about being a loner and liking my alone time. I have good reasons for liking that quiet time and just last week, as I had a bit of a break in my workday, I was overwhelmed by how blessed I am. Only in the quiet times do I fully recognize the depth of how fortunate I am.

I can't imagine what it would be like to go through life without the love, friends and amazing opportunities I've been given! I wouldn't trade any of that for all the money in the world, but that's not the whole story.

As often as I mention my penchant for being alone, I mention my irrational fear of the unknown. For one with an analytical brain, this can be a nightmare. If there's a situation for which there is an unknown factor, my brain will play through it over and over with every possible scenario for the unknown factor. If you can imagine, this sometimes goes on for months......especially in the quiet moments.

Currently, my brain is still trying to figure out what caused the change between me and Baby Boy. Honestly, my brain is beginning to settle most often on one of two possible explanations.

Number one: I totally got played.
Number two: He totally hates me.

Either way, I find no comfort and continue to search for the answer to what is going on. One thing I know for sure: Losing Sucks and I hate feeling like I've lost him (and believe me....I know he was never mine).

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Things I've Learned

As my 40th birthday is looming, I've been contemplating how to blog about this impending event. Turning 40 is something I've been anticipating, looking forward to even, since I was 5 years old. I'm not freaked out by the number as an age because I simply don't feel old. In fact, sometimes I feel downright childish! But instead of writing about any of that, I want to write about some things I've learned about myself over the last 5 years. Some of them I may have blogged about, but all are very fresh in my mind and relevant as I approach the milestone of turning 40.

Things I've Learned

Choosing to be happy- My mother was right! Life is what you make it and happiness is a choice. Even when things seemed bleak, throughout it all, I have been happy!


The difference between wants and needs- There are very few things in life which are necessities...everything else is just gravy!

Having a job I love is worth more than any paycheck- Life is too short to mess with a job I dread going to everyday.

Making pathways through emotional walls and allowing myself to be emotionally accessible- This one is fairly new and still a bit scary, but I'm learning and getting better about this each day.

My decade with Pepe wasn't wasted- It taught me the importance of the truth listed right above this one!

My parents are the best parents in the universe- Hands down, I know this is the truth. I'm thankful everyday for the unconditional love they always give me.

My friends are like family- Blood may be thicker than water, but I have the most amazing friends.

I have a novel in me that is a story worth writing- It may take another year to finish it, but I like the story I'm telling and I think there are some who will find it entertaining and enjoyable.

I can only be myself- Okay, I've known this for many years but it's just as true today. Being myself is the only thing I'm really good at.......and I like that just fine!

All-in-all, I'm in a good place as I prepare to start a new decade in my life. I want to live better, give more freely and love more deeply. I guess it helps to be an eternal optimist when looking hopefully into the face of the future, but since Life is what I make it, things will be great!

Monday, August 15, 2011

An Open Letter the The Universe

Vast Universe,

I feel I have been more than patient with you over the last quarter of a century but now I am giving formal notice of my absolute and total disgust over the blatantly unfair treatment you've given me with continuing to send me unavailables or those who were destined to become unavailables. For the first decade, I didn't realize what was happening was the beginning of a cruel pattern, but the last 5 years have made it painfully clear and I'm OVER IT!

I know there are 2 sides to every relationship story and ours is no different. I realize my temperament and practicality make me a much easier target for this sort of thing, but how you have behaved is unacceptable. When I realized you were toying with me, I quit speaking to you in the hopes that you would see the error of your ways and back off. When that didn't work, I made a clean break with you and posted exactly what I was looking for and I think I was more than clear about that when I wrote my personal ad. Seriously.......was that unclear?!?!? NO, it wasn't.

It wasn't it enough that you sent me dozens of unavailable men over the last 25 years, you had to up your meanness ante and start sending available men who actually pursued me only to pull the rug out from under me as I let my guard down and they choose someone else. Seriously....WTF?

Bollocks! Shenanigans! Shame on you!!!!

As I've said, I've been more than patient and fair with you but you refuse to neither cut me a break nor leave me alone so I have no choice but to publicly let you know that I will be fighting back. You may not be concerned as I'm so level-headed and incapable of playing the part of the psycho-girl, but be warned. I'm coming for you and hell's coming with me!

Sincerely,
Me

Friday, August 12, 2011

Good, Good Day

I've been blogging on a regular basis for about 6 years. In that time I've referred often to my Happy List. I've had a difficult time dealing with some emotions over the past few weeks and in an effort to change all that, I did what I know works best. I got up, got out and did things which make me happy.

Today, quite by accident my friend and I stumbled upon a place beyond what I could have ever imagined. A place with tons and tons of glass. The place looked a bit run down but not deserted, so we parked, walked into the yard and the amazement started to settle upon us.

We wandered around the front yard looking at beds and beds of glass "rocks" of various colors and any size imaginable. I felt like a kid in a candy store!


We explored the many wonders the front lawn had to offer before we reached the front door and still, no workers were in sight. There were signs about camera surveillance, but I didn't see anything which could have been used to record anything today, let alone 20 years ago.

Once inside, we wandered around for a good 15 minutes before we heard the sounds of someone coming in from the back. That's when we met Frankie, the son of the owner. Frankie is retired but still works for his dad. We assumed he would ask us if we were interested in buying anything but instead he started to tell us the history of the place we had happened upon.

Frankie was a delightful man who makes interesting noises of which he is totally unaware. Little grunts and groans punctuated his monologue and just made it more interesting. As his verbal history drew to a close he asked if we wanted to see the "back".

"Yes!!!"

So, off we traipsed, following a total stranger into a dark warehouse without any qualms. The first stop was a short aside to show us how some of the glass looks under a black light and then we entered the workshop. By-in-large, the space was fairly empty; used for storage over the years since the custom chopper parts shop quit renting the space. As we neared the back, we could see Frank's 87 year old dad, soaked to the skin in sweat, hoisting a huge steel tub filled with glass he had melted together. We walked along the row of kilns used to liquefy and combine the bits of glass into a solid chunk at 1,900 degrees.

Beyond the shop doors we could see the mountains of glass from which they would gather the pieces to be melted into the unique rocks we had seen at the front.

Link











The glass they use comes from glass plants in the United States, but sadly, the last of those have closed and once the glass they have on hand has been utilized, this 35 year old family business will cease to exist. Take a moment to look at their Facebook page and the beautiful and amazing ways glass can be used in landscaping and architecture.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Karaoke Klunkers

Talent Quest is once again upon us and I find myself submerged in more karaoke than normal (and let's be honest, "normal" for me is probably once a week). From the beginning of August 'til the end of September the amount of concentrated karaoke will average out to about 8 hours a day. Talent Quest draws so many talented singers, but having worked for a year in a karaoke bar and being on staff with a national karaoke competition for 6 years, there are just some songs I absolutely hate to hear. Mostly it has nothing with how well a person sings, but rather the amount of times I've had to hear it and/or horrible lyrics.

So, here's my list of Top 10 Most Hated Karaoke Songs

10. Summer Nights- UGH! I've heard this tooooooo many times
9. Before He Cheats- easily the most heard song the year it was released. I've reached my lifetime limit on this one.
8. Paradise by the Dashboard Lights- I'm not hating on Meatloaf....just his 7 minute song.
7. Simple Man
6. Crazy- Sorry....you're NOT Patsy Cline.
5. Picture- This duet takes NO talent so EVERYONE sings it. I've easily heard it 500 times.
4. Whiskey Lullaby- Worst. Lyrics. Ever. Listen to what you're singing people!
3. Bridge Over Troubled Water
2. I Touch Myself- every drunk-I-wanna-sing-but-I-wanna-pretend-like-I-don't girl has done this song. Sooooo tired!
1. Broken Wing- I don't care who you are or how well you sing, if you sing this song, I will leave and come back when it's over.


I love karaoke and singing, but limits can certainly be reached. What songs make you cringe?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Can I Have a Do Over, PLEASE?!?

A few short weeks ago I wrote about whether or not I would go back in time and change things if given the chance. Naively, I said I wouldn't. I've heard it said it's a woman's prerogative to change her mind so, I'm doing just that.

I want to go back in time to 3 weeks ago and change a weekend with Baby Boy. If I had known then what a disastrous effect those 2 days were going to have, I would have done everything differently. I would have taken him to hang with my friends in Norman like I had arranged. I would have shown him more of the everyday side of myself. I would have sheltered him from an infinitesimal part of my existence which he now thinks is my everyday life. He says that weekend didn't bother him, but my analytical virgo brain sees that everything started to slowly change immediately following that weekend.

I've made plenty of mistakes in my life and I try to learn from them and move on. I recite The Starlight Manifesto (It is what it is; we are what we are; I can only be myself) and add the lessons of the mistake to life experience, but not this time. There's too much at stake for me and I don't even know if I can effectively explain why but I'll give it my best effort.

In a very short amount of time this man has given me the ability say and do things which I never would have considered doing before. Telling him how I feel about him, allowing him to witness my life in upheaval, fighting for myself, wishing I could change the past.....all things I never would have done before him. He made me feel that being odd-ball, neurotic Heather was a good thing.....desirable even.

I will regret that weekend forever and I don't want to add regret over not doing everything I can to try and make amends for it. I may have done irreparable damage, but I'm hoping he will give me a do-over.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Maybe She's Just Pieces of Me You've Never Seen.....

October 5th, 1992 at Sooner Theatre in Norman was a life-changing night for me. I sat in the theatre with 818 other people and learned what others meant when they said a concert had been a religious experience. That's what Tori Amos' Little Earthquakes was for me. I loved that album long before that concert experience but that solidified a spot for Little Earthquakes as one of my Top 5 All-time Favorite Albums.

When I listen to Little Earthquakes (and I mean the entire album, not just that song), I need only close my eyes and I am instantly transported back. I can't explain what I was feeling as I watched this intriguing red-head pound the keys of the piano while seductively twisting her body towards the audience. Everyone sat in mesmerized fascination and for 2 hours we were all on the same wave length. Where did she come from and why didn't she get here sooner?

The songs seem timeless to me and I know that's because I love them, but today as I was dealing with lots of emotion, I couldn't get this song out of my head and it seems so poignantly relative to what I was feeling that I had to share it.

[Try the Spotify link first as it's the album version, but if that doesn't work, I've embedded a decent live version. Words to the song are at the very bottom of the blog.]

Tear in Your Hand- Click the title for a link to listen on Spotify!



All the world just stopped now
So you say you don't wanna stay together anymore
Let me take a deep breath babe
If you need me
Me and Neil'll be hangin' out with the dream king
Neil says hi by the way
I don't believe you're leaving
Cause me and Charles Manson like the same ice cream
I think it's that girl
And I think there're pieces of me you've never seen
Maybe she's just pieces of me you've never seen well

All the world is all I am
The black of the blackest ocean
And the tear in your hand
All the world is
Danglin'...danglin' dang-dangalin' for me darlin'
You don't know the power that you have
With that tear in your hand
Tear in you hand

And maybe I ain't used to
Maybes smashing in a cold room
Cutting my hands up every time I touch you
Maybe, maybe it's time to wave goodbye now
Time to wave goodbye now

Caught a ride with the moon
I know, I know you well
Well, better than I used to
haze all clouded up my mind
in the daze of the way it could've never been
So you say and I say
and I know you're full of wish
And your "baby baby baby babies"
I tell you there're pieces of me you've never seen
Maybe she's just pieces of me you've never seen

All the world is all I am
The black of the blackest ocean
And that tear in your hand
All the world is
dangin'...Dangling'...dang-Danglin' for me darlin'
You don't know the power that you have
With that tear in your hand
Tear in you hand
With that tear in you hand

Friday, July 29, 2011

Be Careful little Fingers!

For at least a year I have written intermittently about being deliberate with language. Using words so their meaning is correct, sincere and appropriate to the situation. Being too casual with language can create complacency and leaves too much room for misunderstanding. I really try to practice what I preach, but it's not always easy.

Hand in hand with being deliberate with my language is being true to my word. If I say I will do something, that's it......I will do it. Seems simple, right? Well, this afternoon I find myself sitting here, writing this short blog because I have painted myself into a corner with my words. I sent a text and said I was not going to do something until certain conditions were met and now I'm sorry I said that. I've always loathed when people make idle threats, so I sit with my hands tied, miserable, waiting for the condition I set to be met........and my heart heavy as I realize that may never come to pass.

Oh well, at least I'm being true to myself even if I've been hurt to my very core. It's a bittersweet victory but score one for me!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Have a Little Patience, Please

I'm really angry with myself. Angry because I'm not dealing well with recent changes. Angry because I hate to feel like I can't control my emotions. Angry because I let small things dictate my mood lately. Angry because I'm jumping to irrational conclusions.

But mostly I'm angry because I let a decade of association with Pepe get so far under my skin I'm not entirely sure I can change my ways. To be fair (and as a Virgo, I always try to be fair), it's not just Pepe, but most of what is causing me such grief stems from that relationship.

Generally, I'm a very practical person. In fact, I pride myself in the fact that I'm able to be so level headed but lately, everything is out of whack. I'm really trying to change my ways because I'm tired of all the Unavailables and I'm actively taking steps to change that.

Here's the main thing which is derailing me at the moment. I'm not a jealous person, however, I'm finding that a decade of being the "girl on the side" has made me jaded. When I hear some one say, "don't tag me on facebook if you check in", what I hear is, "I don't want anyone to know I'm with you". Irrational? Probably, but after 10 years of being the secret, I find I can't control that reaction. I don't want to look up in 10 years and find that because I didn't express my feelings about the situation, some one else has won the prize and I'm stuck playing second string. If it hadn't already happened once, I don't think I'd be so wary of it happening again.

And that makes me angry.

I'm angry because I make a great "other woman" and angry because I'm afraid that's all I'll ever be. I'm angry because I feel like every time I try to do things differently, I make a colossal mess if it. And in the midst of it, I'm afraid I'm pushing away something that could be really good for me and my personality. I use all these words and have a great command of the English language and I can't effectively explain myself to him. I go to say one thing and the next thing I know, I've said something that sounds similar but just makes me look like a jerk. Even with all that, he listens to my neurotic babbling, reassures me and continues to be a great guy. That's why it's so important to me that I let him know I realize I'm wrong about this and I will get past it. Because it's just that important to me. What he thinks and feels about me is just that important to me. All new territory for me.

He occasionally comes over and reads my blog, so I close with this:

Baby Boy, please, please, please continue to be patient with me. I'm trying......but it's me, not you.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Seems Simple Enough.........hmmph!

There are only 3 rules to remember when caring for gremlins:

1. Keep them away from light.
2. Don't get them wet.
3. Don't feed them after midnight.

Seems simple enough, huh? If you've seen the movie, you know they fail......miserably. It used to drive me crazy that they were unable to follow such simple, straight-forward rules but I'm realizing some of the simplest things are much more difficult than they appear.

At the moment, I have one major guideline under which I'm trying to operate:

Don't screw this up.

Apparently, I'm doing a horrible job. There's certainly a learning curve and thankfully I'm good with apologies and can most times get myself back on track. But, to be on the safe side, I might watch Gremlins this weekend to refresh my memory on emergency damage control. It certainly can't hurt.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Lost Cause?

This is a difficult blog to write and post, but I need to get it off my chest. So I unburden myself to the blogosphere and any who care to read it.

One of the hazards of 10+ years of associating with unavailables is starting to become painfully aware to me. I'm a master at compartmentalizing- especially emotions. After breaking ties with Pepe, I'm determined not to head down that path again.

The trick is figuring out how to do that.

I'd like to say the problem is that I've forgotten how to invest emotion, but that's far from the truth. It's actually like riding a bike.....much to my surprise. And I find that although my heart didn't get bumped or bruised much when it was tucked away in it's padded compartment, it also hasn't had a chance to gain a thicker skin.

Caring about someone is painful.

Don't misunderstand, no one is treating me badly. It's just very new territory for me and as a Virgo who hates the unknown, every 10 minutes I want to throw in the towel and retreat to what I know. But then I take a deep breath, sometimes wipe a tear from my eye and remind myself of something I know beyond all doubt.

I want to take a different path. This path.

It scares the shit out of me and I'm feeling uncomfortable and vulnerable every five minutes it seems but I'm forging ahead. I know I'll find my balance, but in the meantime, I hope I don't come off as being too needy or seeming like a pest.

Am I a lost cause? Thankfully, not yet.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

If I've learned anything over the past 5 years it's that change is inevitable. I've also learned that one should react to change like one should react to a fall: Relax until it's over! Don't try to stop it once it has started or try to break your fall and it will be a lot less painful.

There has been a lot of change in my life over the past 2 weeks and I haven't had time to let my Virgo brain process it all, yet. Some people view all change as bad, some think it's all good but I'm gonna go all Forrest Gump on you and say, "I think it's a little of both, maybe" (although Forrest wasn't talking about change). Because I like to be on the positive/optimistic side of things, I've decided to write about some of the good change.

I remember back in 2006, sitting in my office which was off of the employee break room at B&N. They weren't offering free wireless back then and I had purchased a subscription and allowed the other employees to use it, too. One of my favorite co-workers popped her head into my office one day and told me,

"You should join Facebook."

"What's that?" I asked.

"It's like Myspace, only better."

After a couple of promptings, I sat down and created my account. After adding my current city as a network, I decided to add my university to my networks as well. I entered the name of my college, selected it from the list and clicked "add". Up pops a window!

"Enter your college email address:" [what? Is this a joke? We didn't have email when I was in college!]

My start with Facebook was shaky, but I hung in there and what my friend said proved to be true. It was better than Myspace. I started a campaign to bring all my friends over to Facebook and one-by-one, I wore them down. Facebook is the place I go to find out what's going on in the lives of my friends. A daily read-through of my news feed fills me in on all the good news, the bad news, birthday parties, baseball/soccer/tennis games, graduations, vacations, etc..... and I don't even have to make a single phone call or send any emails.

Last week my trendsetting friend sent me a loophole invite to try Google+, a social networking venture brought to us by.........you guessed it! Google. I've never been a fan of Google because of some of their privacy policies, but let's face it, if one uses the internet on a daily basis, you're giving up some of your privacy, whether you know it or not. So, I plunged in and have been using Google+ for a week.

So far, it's okay. It's very similar to Facebook except much quieter. I'm not ready to start harassing my friends to switch yet and I might not ever but, for now I'm sticking with it because my friend was right about Facebook........she's probably right about this too.

If you want an invite to join Google+ and have a gmail account, let me know and I'll send one to you.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What's in a Name?

I am of the belief that one doesn't pick out a nickname for someone, but rather the nickname picks the person. Often I blog about friends or unavailables and instead of asking for permission each time, I tend to use nicknames to protect identities. The parties involved know to whom I'm referring and it keeps everyone happy. Two years ago I wrote about my family's obsession with nicknames and decided to re-post this after yesterdays nickname discussion with Baby Boy. Enjoy!

The Nickname Game- July 5, 2008

Nicknames.......my family is a nickname kind of family. It's a multi-generational thing with us and I used to think that all families were like mine as far as nicknames were concerned, but I'm not so sure anymore.

To start, before my parents were even married, my dad was called "Cookie" by friends and co-workers [actually, he was Little Cookie and my grandfather was just Cookie]. My mother's dad and uncle thought it was a funny nickname (even though his last name is Cook) and they started calling him "cornbread" as a joke. Then the day of my parents wedding, my grandfather (my Lovey Mom's dad) mused that my father looked like a deacon in his suit and forever after that my grandfather and my father called each other "Deacon". Always. Not son (in-law), not dad, not by their first names. Just their common nickname for each other: Deacon.


It's not just that everyone has a nickname......we usually have several that are used frequently. I guess that's the part that's a bit strange to most others. It seems perfectly normal to me, but I grew up surrounded by adults that used multiple nicknames.........what can I say? I guess I come by it honestly.


Here is an overview of my siblings, nieces and nephews and their nicknames just so you can gain an understanding of how my family adores using nicknames.


My oldest sister Julie is most often called Jule (pronounced like Jewel) or Jujee. Sometimes we'll even shorten Jujee and just call her Juj (did we really make another nickname OUT of a nickname? Oh yes we did!)


My sister Melissa's first nickname was given to her by my father when she was an infant. He called her "Mippy Dip" because the curl on the top of her head reminded him of a dip cone. Her other nicknames are Missy, Mip, Misser Sisser, Mimi and Meem.


My little brother Chuck also has several. When he was born, my father was still "Little Cookie" to many so those friends called my brother "Cookie Crumb". That nickname didn't stick around, but he's had plenty more over the years. Chuckie, Buck, Wooger Booger. Now that he's an uncle, he's most often referred to as Uncle Buck (for a short time, our nephew Chris called him Donald Buck).


AAAANNNNNNDDDDD.....I don't want to leave myself out! My first nickname was "Heavy" and was given to me by my sister Melissa because she couldn't say Heather. When my little brother was about 2, he called me "uh-oh" for about a year. Other names that I've been called (I'm talking NICKNAMES people!) are Deder, Heheher, Booger Wooger (not to be mistaken for Chuck's Booger Wooger). Heather Ann (Ann isn't my middle name), Starla, stargirl, Hev and Hevver.


Now for the kids!


Tyler: Matty Ty, Matthias Tylus and Tyler Rupert (sometimes we just call him Rupert)

Phillip: Pilpy, Pilly Pot, Philly-Pilly

Christopher: Crispy, Crisp, Crispy Critter and Christopher Robin

Nick: Neeko, Nickel Pickle, Cabezon (this is because his head is HUGE and I love it!)

Emily: Emmy Dawny, Emma Pooka Looners, pooka looka, Emmalia, Em

Erika: Rarika, P.B. (I've caller her this since she was about 2 years old, but now that she's a teenager, I can't say what it stands for because it might embarrass her)

Justin: Bubba Joe, Bustin and sometimes just Bubba

Jared: Pared, JP, Perry

Andy: Andy-boo, Boo Bear and Sugar Bear Itchy Spot

Max: Maxamillian, Sugar Max and Maxeroni and Cheese

Lauren: Sugar Lips and Laurney Little Bit. (More recently I've started calling her mini me. She looks just like I did when I was a child.)

Tommy: Twister Man, Monkey Boy, Tommy Toodles and Tom Bomb


Also, I call my parents Poppy Bear and Lovey Mom.


So......there you have it. Here's what I want to know:


1. What are your nicknames?

2. Do you think my family's used of so many nicknames is odd?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Charlie, You Can Never Go Back!

When I was in college, I worked at a daycare for a few months to help out a friend. The class I was in charge of loved the movie "All Dogs Go to Heaven" and requested to watch it every time we had a movie day. It's actually a cute movie if you can see past the sub-par animation and since that summer, I find myself still quoting one of my favorite lines from that movie. "Charlie, you can never go back"! Surprisingly, this line has come in handy over the years and I use it most often when I think things may have been better in the past.

But lately, I've been thinking a lot of my junior high and high school days and this phrase has been in the forefront of my mind. Over the years I've heard lots of people ask variations of this question, "If you could go back and do anything over, would you?" My answer for that is always, "no". All the things I've been through and experienced have molded and shaped me.....and without trying to sound egotistical, I like who I am, on the whole.

The world of social networking had made the world from my past so small. The wisdom of age and the confidence gained through living allows conversations and connections with people I might never have spoken to otherwise. And, in the back of my mind is the steady cadence, "Charlie, you can never go back". No matter how many conversations are had, no matter how many confessions are made; those days are past.

But sometimes, when my mind wanders, I can't help but wonder what I would do if I could go back. It's silly, I know but I'm fairly certain what I would do if I could go back. [And, since it's impossible to actually go back, I have added some more impossible things to the mix.]

If I could go back, I would want to do it a la Back to the Future. I'd want to go back as I am today and talk to my 15 year old self. I wouldn't reveal any secrets, but I would tell her that she's on the right track and to be more confident because everything would work out great!

It's true we can never go back, but it's sometimes a good idea to look back to see things and understand how somethings do come full circle. Or, to use an oft-quoted song I love, "To turn, to turn will be our delight, till by turning, turning we come round right"

Monday, June 27, 2011

Feels Like the First Time (but not really)

The Universe is up to his old tricks again. Not wanting to bog you down with depressing details, he has created this perfect storm of upheaval in my life for the next few weeks. I could see it coming and made attempts to avoid it, but that wasn't meant to be. The Universe and I are destined to continue our clashing and so I press on. but in order to win this round with my Constant Adversary, I really need to focus and that's easier said than done. Why?

Because I have a crush on someone.

Not only do I have a crush, but it has made me feel like I'm back in junior high. Seriously, junior high wasn't the easiest time for me when it came to boys so you can imagine why I'm not thrilled that a crush at nearly 40 years old conjures images of those turbulent days. UGH! In an effort to take back control of my emotions I'm allowing myself to be effusive about this crush in a blog so I can move on and focus on the task at hand.

Here goes:

I like this guy. Really like him. Enough that I don't want my neurotic ways or the upheaval in my life to put him off.

I want to tell him I have a crush on him but I'm scared he doesn't feel the same way and NO one ever wants something that's one-sided. Can you see the correlation to junior high here?

He doesn't read my blog, but on the outside chance he finds his way over here, I want to leave him a message.

I hope you're interested enough to take a chance on me. If you do, I promise I won't rack you with the back of my chair after lunch.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Don't YOU Forget about Me!

If you were expecting a post about John Hughes, the Breakfast Club or my beloved 80s music, I'm sorry to disappoint you but if you bear with me for this blog, I'll make it up to you with my next post!

Through the magic of social networking, I heard about a job opening with a local company. I sent my resume and had an enjoyable first interview. I really, really want to be called in for a second interview, but I find myself in an interesting predicament.

My interview was the first Friday of June. During the interview I was told there were a couple of other candidates to interview but they wouldn't be scheduling those interviews until the 3rd week of June. Having sent a followup email last week, I find myself wondering what I could do to show my continued interest in this job without seeming pushy.

Given my culinary talents, I thought about sending a batch of my addictive-you-can't-eat-just-one cookies, but that might seem like a bribe.

I could send another email just touching base to keep me fresh in their minds while they decide who they will call in for a second interview, but that just seems boring.

I've worked in marketing and promotions for most of my post-college career so my brain just naturally gravitates towards networking and marketing, so I've decided to use my predicament as an exercise in using social networking as personal marketing.

I need your help!

Please take the time to visit my "Don't Forget about Heather" page on facebook and click "Like". AND....if you really think I deserve a second interview, suggest the page to your friends. It's not just that I need to find a job, but rather the excitement I feel when I think about working for this company. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to be a part of that!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Limitations and Frustrations of Job Hunting in the Age of the Internet

This post might really show my age, but it's something I find very frustrating. Job hunting in the digital age can be difficult sometimes. It's practically impossible to walk into a place of business and leave your resume because everyone wants you to go through their online application process. Don't get me wrong, I'm not the kind of gal who refuses to embrace technology [after all, you're reading my blog which I posted from my phone] but this lack of personal interaction severely limits the playing field which makes it more difficult for the job hunter. Not to mention the fact that it could blind an employer to a stellar employee because the human factor is removed until the last steps of the hiring process.

Even after one fills out all the requisite online forms and hits send, it's anyone's guess as to whether or not your information will be forwarded to the hiring managers inbox. Because these online applications are designed as a screening process, your fate rests squarely with an algorithm. If the right boxes were ticked or the correct combination of key words were listed, one might wind up on the lucky end with countless other candidates for a single job opening.

I won't even go into the nightmare of trying to follow up on an application when one has no idea with whom to follow up! It's enough to make my head spin!

I've had this beef with job hunting via the internet for a couple of years now, but I'm beginning to think it goes much deeper. One of my favorite bloggers just posted about how algorithms narrow the information which reaches us via the internet. You can read her blog about it here and I encourage you to follow her blog. If search engines and Facebook are giving us content based on what it has "learned" about us through our posts and searches, it stands to reason the same is filtering down to internet job searches we perform.

What if I go to jobdig.com and use their site to search for a public relations job in the Metro Area....the next time I visit the site, will it exclude certain jobs for which I qualify and might have an interest? My guess is that it probably will. This is the main reason I have taken a different approach to my job search this time around. I'm only pursuing solid leads which have come from personal acquaintances and it has made a huge difference. I've gone from sending 10 to 15 resumes a week with a 0% rate of garnering an interview to sending 4-6 resumes a week with a 50% success rate in securing an interview. That's an impressive improvement from just a small modification. And, one can't get the job if they never see your information!

There's so much I enjoy about how the world wide web has made the whole wide world a smaller, more accessible community, but I don't want it making too many choices for me. I want to look at the scope of ideas and beliefs so I can maintain a healthy balance personally.

Here's to mixing things up! [and to hopefully being gainfully employed again in the very near future!]

Friday, May 13, 2011

Bleep!

Dear You-Know-Who,

Thanks for choosing today, a day which has been less than stellar for me, to suddenly become communicative again and drop a bunch of "news" on me which I would rather have not had to deal with today. You. Suck.

Sincerely,
Heather

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Taking Advice from Rilla Askew and David Sedaris

One of the things I miss most about my job as community relations manager for Barnes & Noble is being immersed in the book community. When I was hired, my dad asked if they would be paying me in books (he knows his daughter well) and my response, "They give me a paycheck and I trade it in for books". During my 7 years, I met and got to know many authors. Some were best-selling authors, some were not but most were struggling, local authors doing their best to self-promote the books they had lovingly written and had published through e-publishers like iUniverse.

I think desktop publishing and "print on demand" publishers provide a wonderful service for the industry, but sadly they have become the vanity presses of the past. Anyone can become a published author......but that doesn't mean they should. I couldn't tell you how many times I would meet with a local, print-on-demand author to tell them my store would not be able to host a book signing for them AND that we wouldn't be able to stock their book on our shelves. Some books were good, but most of them weren't. It was by far the worst part of my job; dashing the hopes of someone's dream to see their book on the shelf of their local B&N. I tried, as gently as possible, to explain the reasons we couldn't carry their book and to push them in the direction of submitting the book to traditional publishing houses if they wanted to go further with their career as a writer.

What does this have to do with Rilla and Dave? Bear with me and we'll get there!

I am writing a novel.

It seems so cliche and that's probably the reason I've not told many people. I think of all the years I crushed the dreams of aspiring writers beneath the heel of corporate guidelines and I tell myself I'm insane for taking on this task. I've become so jaded I think I don't have a story to tell that anyone would want to hear (and maybe that's true). But that's where Rilla comes in! Two weekends ago I heard her speak at the 22nd Annual Oklahoma Book Awards where she received the lifetime achievement award. She spoke of the rich literary history of our state and how each author's writing was a voice of Oklahoma with an Oklahoma story that needed to be told. This spoke to me and made me feel my book was MY Oklahoma experience and it is a story that should be told. My voice is an Oklahoma voice that needs to be heard!

Last night I went to listen to David Sedaris. He was quirky, irreverent, hilarious and inspiring. After he read, he asked the audience for questions. One man asked how many times he'd had his writing rejected before he was published. His answer was charming. He said he had never submitted his work because he couldn't take rejection so he just tried to put himself in places where people would eventually ask him to write something for them to publish. That is brilliant! And seeing as how I was convinced to write my novel by an editor, I feel I'm taking David's advice, too.

I still have snippets of self-doubt as I forge ahead with my writing, but I'm feeling more confident that maybe, just maybe my dream will come true! And maybe someone will want to read my story.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sorry You're Uncomfortable: Language Should be Deliberate

As a life-long, avid reader I am partial to words and vocabulary. Pair that with my keen intuition and you'll have a road map to most of my relationships. I couldn't begin to count the number of times I've intuited the uneasiness of a partner/friend/colleague and took the initiative and bypassed the uncomfortable conversation they were dreading. In short, I give an easy way out because I know how to be very deliberate with my language.

I feel everyone could and should be more deliberate with the language we use. I've written about my struggle to use the words "want" and "need" correctly. Those words are not synonymous and "need" is used far too often in place of "want".

But, I digress. What has my ire up is an unexpected "poke" I received notice of via Facebook. If you and I haven't communicated in 5 months, "poking" me on Facebook isn't going to open back up the lines of communication between us. I know I could make it easy, more hospitable even, if I would just "poke" you back, but after a decade of making every situation between you and I easy for YOU, I'm drawing another line. Where we stand is a direct result of the choices YOU made, so if you want to communicate with me, you must address some of these issues.

Sorry if that makes you uncomfortable. It's your turn to bridge the gap.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Out Like a Lamb

March 22nd would have been the 10 year milestone for me and Pepe. The day came and went without any fanfare or even a mention of him from me. To be quite honest, I really wasn't sure how that day would be or how I wanted to approach it. Mostly I was scared I would cave and at least send an e-mail acknowledging the significance of the day. It's difficult to look at something that is basically a failure and not feel badly about it. [And for me, it's the the most substantial "something" I've ever had the willingness to commit to for such a length of time.] Now that it's 2 weeks behind me, I'm able to reflect and try and gain some perspective.


This morning, a text exchange with a friend made me think of something I'd written long ago about Pepe. I figured it was in a blog written about the night we met so I hit my blog archives in search of those words which were a tiny flicker in my memory.

I read back over 5 years of blogs written on or about March 22nd trying to remember how I felt and why I felt it, but I couldn't find the passage I was looking for. After reading more old blogs than I cared to read today, I finally ran across a short paragraph written in a blog near Thanksgiving 2007 which contained what I'd been looking for. As I re-read the short paragraph it made me smile, feel at peace about the past and helped me NOT to feel as though I wasted a decade of my life waiting for something which would never happen.

I'm not sure it will ever be possible for Pepe and I to actually be friends.....I mean the kind of friends who will keep in touch and talk from time to time, but I will always think fondly of our near decade. With that, I leave you with the words I wrote about him in 2007.

[taken from a list of things for which I was thankful]
Pepe- I don't want to get sappy, but he is the reason I don't hate men. He came into my life when I was in a very dark place and totally changed my outlook. The wonderful part is that he wasn't even trying to do that……I will be indebted to him forever and I love him for being who he is. He is very special to me. I'm also thankful that he's so understanding of my neurotic ways!

Lloyd Dobler

As I was reading through old blogs today, I ran across this post from 5 years ago about Lloyd Dobler. As recently as last Thursday night I was laughing with friends about my love for Lloyd, so I decided to re-post that blog here. Funnily enough, if I were to write this blog today, I wouldn't have written it any differently. So, here's to all my peeps who are also Lloyd Dobler devotees.

Lloyd <span class=Dobler Pictures, Images and Photos" border="0">

It's true....I am a Lloyd Dobler fan!

It's not just the boom-box-up-in-the-air-I'm-going-to-win-you-back romanticism of the character that I love, it's the idea that there could actually be a Lloyd Dobler out there for me. If most of us are honest, we're all searching for our Lloyd Dobler.

How do I know this? Go to any search engine and type "Lloyd Dobler" and you'll get thousands of results. If you click on www.lloyddobler.com you'll see just the boombox picture with the words to "In Your Eyes".....whoever created the site thinks that nothing more is needed.....I kind of agree.

There's a band called "The Lloyd Dobler Effect". It's not my style of music, but I'm sure that more than one person has checked them out just because of their name. [They have a very "Dave Matthews Band sound, so if you're into that kind of music, check them out at www.lloyddoblereffect.com]


There's even an art gallery in Chicago called "Lloyd Dobler".

Even with the huge cult following that Lloyd Dobler and "Say Anything" has achieved, I still find that people don't get it when I say, "Lloyd Dobler is my dream man." What I love about Lloyd is that he is passionate about what and whom he likes. He doesn't just blindly follow the path that others try to create for him. He does things that are common, but seem romantic because he is sincere.

Here's what I want to know: What does Lloyd Dobler mean to you? Do You have a Lloyd Dobler in your life? What makes that person your Lloyd Dobler?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Perfect Love Song [for me, at least]

Thursday night I was fortunate to spend the evening with many long-time friends as we celebrated the 10th anniversary of our friends, Todd and Renea Killingsworth. It's difficult not to reflect on the last decade of memories, but Thursday was really a celebration of love and friendship. As I reflected on the last decade, I thought about love. I'm not very traditional when it comes to love and relationships, but despite that, I can be a hopeless romantic. Here's a re-post from my old blog, written 3 years ago about a song I considered the Perfect Love Song.

February 5, 2008

The Perfect Love Song? [with explanation]

I'm a sucker for lyrics. Most of the songs I love have lyrics which speak to me much more than the melody or style of music. It makes my heart beat fast when I hear a song and immediately think to myself, "this is exactly what I would have written"!

So, if I were going to write a love song, I think it would have been very similar to "The Way I Am" by Ingrid Michaelson. Here are the lyrics and why they speak to me. Enjoy!

"The Way I Am"
If you were falling, then I would catch you.
You need a light, I'd find a match.

[I don't smoke, so I don't carry a lighter or matches, so.....if I go in search of flames for you, I really like you]

Cuz I love the way you say good morning.
And you take me the way I am.

[My personality is very distinct and I definitely need someone who takes me for what I am]

If you are chilly, here take my sweater.

[I keep my house cold and it has been mentioned to me on more than one occasion. However, I think I'd be more likely to offer a hoodie instead of a sweater if you're visiting me and you're cold.]

Your head is aching, I'll make it better.

[I'm really good at getting rid of headaches......it just takes a bit of TLC. And, who wouldn't want to ease the pain of the one they love?]

Cuz I love the way you call me baby.
And you take me the way I am.

I'd buy you Rogaine when you start losing all your hair.

[I love bald men. I have loved them my entire life. However, for love, I'd be willing to buy rogaine for one that was reluctant to lose his hair. Now that's the ultimate in loving gestures coming from me]

Sew on patches to all you tear.

[For those that don't know, I sew. I could probably forgive a guy for cheating, but if my guy takes his sewing or mending to someone else, I can't bear it. Sewing for someone shows how much I care and is as personal as a kiss to me.]

Cuz I love you more than I could ever promise.

[I'm very non-traditional and am not really interested in traditional commitment so I totally get loving someone more than I can promise to love them.....it makes total sense to me and is the ultimate expression of how much I can love someone.]

And you take me the way I am.
You take me the way I am.
You take me the way I am.


So, that's the love song I would have written but Ingrid beat me to it! If you haven't heard this song, you should listen to it now and tell the one you love how much they mean to you!




..

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Time for Everything

It's no secret about the recurring theme which Unavailable Men have played in my life. I've started a project which has me spending some time immersed in memories and I've realized some interesting things only time spent as the "other woman" can give one. Although my time as the second string has given me better insight, many of the things I've discovered apply to every type of relationship. Family, friends, romantic, etc.....

I can remember once, in frustration, telling Pepe he needed to choose time with me when it was difficult to make happen. I didn't need him to do that every time, but I needed him to choose me, just once in awhile, so I could see my importance. For the record, he would do that. There were many times he chose to go with me when it could very well have made his life difficult when dealing with the girl who didn't know of my existence. Once we got beyond year 7, that began to change with us.....at least HE began to change. My importance began to wane.

The hard and honest truth is this. We make time for things which are important to us. It still makes me a bit sad to think I lost my importance with him, but often times the truth is painful. Rejection is never easy so I try to keep this in mind when dealing with those in my life. There are times when I really don't feel like talking on the phone, going out for a drink or attending a party but I'll do these things anyway. There are people who are important enough to MAKE the time to spend with them.

Maybe I'm oversimplifying, but I've been mulling this over for about 3 years and I keep coming back to that same, simple truth. I'll say it again. We make the time for the things/people which are important to us. Think about it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It's a Fine Line

Lately I feel like I've lost my self identity. Maybe "lately" is a bit understated since I spent the better part of the last 10 years making adjustments to how I act and what I say so others feel comfortable and safe. And to be honest, I think that's a good thing to do, but at what point does it become too much? Where does one draw the line?

There's a fine line which separates the two extremes of everything. A fine line between love and hate, pleasure and pain, good and evil.......there's also a fine line between being true to one's self and being selfish. This one has been on my mind a lot the past few weeks and I'm trying to find the correct balance between the two. After all, isn't that what the fine line is; the balance one should strive to find? However, finding that balance and walking that fine line are often easier said than done.

Why should I feel selfish when I feel I've reached my tipping point when it comes to this fine line balance? The only thing I'm really good at is being myself and if I don't have that, it's very disconcerting. I'm not sure this is something I could even change since I've been doing it so long, but at least with the thought germinating in the back of my mind, I might be able to make it a bit more balanced.