Thursday, April 29, 2004

Hey That Reminds Me

Seeing Derek's subheader made me remember...a while back, Mom & I were discussing who should play Robert Langdon in the upcoming mivie of The DaVinci Code. One of my suggestions was John Cusack. She thought he was too goofy..."You know, in that movie? He was the boy that was too good to throw away?"


Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Song of the Day

I was making a tape this morning to listen to in the car and while recording one of the selections, I realized that no one I know knew this song. And it's a GREAT song...very bluesy and I'm telling you all about it. Find it, listen to it, enjoy it: "Raw Ramp" by T Rex. Actually, most anything by Marc Bolan & T Rex but that song happens to be my favorite. If you like that one, listen to "Life Is An Elevator" and "Planet Queen." Then listen to the rest!

The Foot has spoken!


I Put It To You

I have a couple questions and I expect some answers...from EVERYONE, not just Derek. I need the opinions of men for the first question. Here it is:

Two nights ago at work I was coming out the double doors that lead into the hallway. 2 maintenence men were also in the hall, walking from different directions towards the door. As I ducked under Shawn's arm, I heard Scott say, "Are you enjoying your night?" There was no sarcasm in his voice. This was a serious, legitimate question. I heard Shawn say "HUH?" as I walked down the hall, giggling my ass off. I just thought that was an incredibly girly thing for a man to say to another man. Your thoughts, guys?

Second question...this is bugging me. We're having a guy come back to work Saturday after being out sick for two months. Big Mike wants to get him a welcome back cake so he was going around last night collecting money. He asked Prescilla to ask me for him because, in his own words: "I don't want to ask her. She always looks mad." Do I ALWAYS look mad? Do you guys feel you can't talk to me because I look pissed off? I don't think so! Like Mom always says, "I'm born with this look!" So I need some answers, please!

'Preciate it! :D


Tuesday, April 27, 2004

My Favorite Things

Work has really been sucking lately. I don't want to go into detail cause that would just be boring & tedious but Sunday night wasn't the best night and I got so mad that I had to just leave. I went for a walk at 3:30 in the morning to mellow out. I started thinking about what I liked so I would calm down and remembered that years ago while cleaning bathrooms at Fargo's, I came up with alternate lyrics for the classic song, "My Favorite Things." I can't remember them now but I figured I would rewrite them for today. Sing along!!





So there it is. I know I'll have this tune stuck in my head while I"m trying to sleep today but it was worth it. It was fun!


Thursday, April 22, 2004

Scared To Death

A common expression, "You scared me to death!" Everyone will more than likely use it at least once in their life unless their first scare is so intense that it's the one that sends them to the great breakfast buffet in the sky. One person that has had to say that A LOT is my poor mom. She's easily startled. I noticed this as a kid and would purposely sneak up on her and then talk real loud to see if she'd jump. Looking back, that was pretty cruel. I blame Derek's influence...I know you guys will back me up on that!

Her first big scare was the birth of her second child. She ended up with a giant shock of gray hair after Derek was born. That should have been our clue right there what kind of evil she was bringing into the world!

But this isn't about Derek. This is about Mom. Poor, poor Mom...

When she was in high school, her family traveled to California to visit relatives. The guys all went to a baseball game and the women went to the famous wax museum. There was a Horror Movie section complete with wax figures of Wolfman, Frankenstein, Dracula among others. Mom and her sister were standing at the rail, looking at the macabre display. Dracula was laying inside his coffin. The girls thought he was dead. To their shock, he was only sleeping. This wasn't a wax figure but a real man who shot up to scare them.

Mom says that he jumped the railing to come after them. To use Trevor's phrase, I'm sure he had blood in his eyes. Mom & Aunt Peggy went running, screaming, down the hall. Mom threw her purse in the air and took off, leaving her sister in the dust. Of course, the adults didn't believe them when they said that Dracula had come to life to suck their blood until he came into the lobby laughing with Mom's purse, apologizing for scaring them. He was just an employee who wanted some fun that day.

Now, that's a pretty bad scare to go through...your nightmares coming to life and all, but she didn't have to go through it just once, oh no! Leave it to my dad to replay that sinister event!

When I was in college, I got into reading Dean Koontz. After I finished a book, I passed it onto Mom. One of the books, either Midnight, Strangers or Watchers, I can't remember but one of them had a plot line where some mad scientist-type fellow was deevolutionizing people. They were turning back into apes and were killing people. They loped as they chased. That was the word that Mr. Koontz used and that was the word that caused Mom to be scared while reading the book. Perhaps it brought back memories of Dracula chasing her...

Anyway, she had made mention of the fact that the lopers scared her. She should have known better. She went out one morning to start her car for work. It was dark still and she had her purse hanging over her arm. Suddenly, from the side of the house came a shadow, heading straight for her...LOPING!!! She didn't even think, she just threw her purse in the air and started running up the street in a panic.

"Where do you think you're gonna run to, Karen," came my dad's voice behind her as she ran. He had been the loper and he was laughing so hard he couldn't stand it. Of course when Derek & I found out we were appalled for Mom's sake but we also couldn't help but laugh. It was just damn funny.

Why is it that we find other people's fright so funny?


Damn It, These Cats Are Smart!

Anyone who knows me knows about my five cats. One of them, Claude, recently shocked the hell out of me and I figured I should write about it.

I first got Claude when I worked at Fargo's. I was behind the counter on a cold sleety day when my manager's voice came over the intercom: "I need someone with a soft heart to come to the office." I went, along with 2 other hostesses. There was Barry, holding a baby kitten in his hands. She was soaked from the sleet outside, shivering and crying. I immediately took her from Barry; she fit in my palm, she was so small. She was pure black with big greenish-yellow eyes. We put her in a box in the back stockroom and tried to give her some milk. When Barbara stuck her milk-covered finger in the box for her, she hissed and swiped her little baby paw at her. She got her name right then: Claude LeMew, after the rough Avalanche player. It didn't matter that she was a She. The name fit.

It still does today. This girl is mean. Even motherhood didn't make her into milk toast. She's had three batches of kittens...we still have one of her babies, Alice Cooper LeMew, and Claude HATES her. She swats at her whenever she walks by. Claude also beats up Murphy who is 12 pounds of cat when she only weighs about 5 at most.

For some reason, as mean as she is, she loves me. I think it might be because I sat with her while she was in labor. Whatever the reason, whenever I go to bed, she's hot on my heels to get to sleep with me. She spends the first 15-20 minutes purring and nudging at my hands to get petted. After I hide my hands under the pillow or the blankets, she calms down, crawls up on me and zonks out.

The other day, I had woke up briefly and decided to go back to sleep. Claude realized I was awake and tried to get my attention. A little history real quick...this is pertinent...when I first got together with my husband, he started this thing he calls Kissy Face. He blows kisses at me, making the smacking noise with his lips and I have to return it. I didn't realize that a cat could pick up on that little ritual but apparently Claude has. To get my attention from under the covers, she jumped up on my shoulders and made the kissy noise! I thought maybe she was just licking her lips loudly so I ignored her. A couple seconds later, she did it again, louder.

I looked up and she was staring at me. "SMACK SMACK SMACK," she said, looking intently at me. I did it back to her and petted her a little bit. She started purring and laid down. It was bizarre!

Cats never cease to amaze me.


Wednesday, April 21, 2004

It's like those French have a different word for EVERYTHING!

Okay, so I won't be writing about the French and their language but I think it was Steve Martin that said that and it fits my story so there you go.

When I worked at Fargo's during my second sentence, there was a guy that worked across the street at the welding place. He came in every afternoon and ordered a lunchon pizza that he took back to work with him. One day he dropped his pizza in the parking lot and came back in all mad because he had to buy another one. I took pity on him and didn't charge him. After that he made sure that he always cameto my window.

He was really sweet...his name was Billy and he was from Scotland. He had this great accent! I would ask him inane questions just to listen to him talk. A lot of the girls there couldn't understand him but I found that if I looked down at the ticket while he spoke I didn't have a problem with his thick brogue.

One day as he was leaving with his order, he smiled at me and said there was something different about me. "I have bangs now," I said. I had just cut my hair the night before; my hair had been all the same length and now I had bangs. It looked cute.

"Bangs?" He looked at me funnny so I pointed to my hair. "Ohhh! Fringe!" Okay, so the Scottish call bangs fringe. No big deal - that's kinda cute, right?

After a while, he stopped coming in and we figured he didn't work across the street anymore and I forgot about him. About a year later, this woman I worked with, Jill, came to work and said, "Oh, Heather! I HAVE to tell you this!" It seems that her hairdresser had just come back from visiting Scotland and she had been telling Jill how they have different words for some things, especially in the hairdressing profession.

"Did you know, for example," the hairdresser said, "that they call bangs fringe?"

"Actually, I did know that," Jill replied.

"But do you know what bangs are in Scotland?"



OH MY GOD!!!! If you think about it, the word fits. But I didn't know that and there I was telling this guy that I looked different because I had bangs!! He probably thought, "WHOA, NELLIE!" I was sooooo glad that he didn't come in anymore. I was absolutely mortified.

He probably also thought America was a pretty swingin' place!


Monday, April 19, 2004

The Right Pryce

As I've mentioned in a previous post, I'm a huge Denver Bronco fan. When I first got married, my in-laws were big into driving up to Greeley for Bronco training camp. I got to meet Shannon Sharpe and Neil Smith that year and so needless to say, I was hooked.

The first Elway-less year we had with the Broncos, I went up to Greeley with my friend, Christina, who was a big Bubby Brister fan & had just recently shelled out the bucks for a Brister jersey. That day Mom had come up with us but while we were standing on the sidewalk watching the players ride by in their little golf carts, she decided it was too hot and she went to wait for us in the car.

A side note about Mom that day: she was determined that she would get autographs that morning. She had her little pad of paper and pen and she practiced asking while the guys were scrimmaging. But when it came right down to pushing her way through the other fans, she couldn't bring herself to do it. "I'm a failure as an autograph hound," she announced sadly as the last Bronco trailed off the field. She made me sad.

So anyway, we watched the guys zip by in their carts. Brian Griese and Trevor Pryce both waved at us which totally made my day. Trevor was a sophomore player and he had won my admiration by his tough rookie play the year before and his sleepy eyes and sweet smile. I'm still pretty shallow when it comes to athletes, I'll admit that freely. But the Trevor story comes later. Right after my mom left for the car, here came Bubby. I heard him say to the driver, "Pull over here" and point to where Christina & I were standing.

"Did he just say 'pull over here?'" Christina asked me. I just nodded as I stepped back and Bubby's cart pulled up in front of us. He smiled brilliantly at Christina and nodded at her shirt. "Like your jersey," he drawled in his Louisiana accent. "Thanks," she smiled back. He gave her another nod then pointed forward. "Let's roll," he instructed the driver. I just thought it was cool that Bubby stopped like that when no other players did.

We got back to the car and I burst in with "You'll never guess what happened to Christina!" My mom's reply to this day still cracks me up. "Did she get run over by a golf cart?"

Well...this started an uncontrollable obsession on Christina's part with Bubby Brister. We went to Dove Valley A LOT for practices, hanging out on the corner in front of the Broncos' Training Facility. A lot of players would stop there and sign autographs or stop and chat. One time, some player I can't remember stopped and looked at us, grinning. "You know who's behind me?" We shook our heads. "It's Elway! Nate Elway!" The player behind him was Nate Someone...I can never remember his real name anymore because I can still hear that guy yelling "NATE ELWAY!" as he drove away laughing like a loon.

Bubby never stopped again but he would yell out his truck window as he drove past: "Hey, number six!" at Christina. I thought that was kinda cool, too.

During this time, I had decided that my new favorite player was Trevor Pryce. Christina & I had gone to a preseason game against the 49'ers at the old Mile High. That was when you could walk around the track and be really close to the field and the players. I don't know what came over me that night but during one of our passes by the Bronco bench, Trevor Pryce was standing with Neil Smith and Alfred Williams. Now, for those of you who don't know who Trevor is or have never seen him...he's HUGE! 6'5", 310 pounds and can look downright mean when he's not smiling. He was scowling about something that had happened on the field and I just yelled, "I LOVE YOU TREVOR!!!!" His whole face transformed. He smiled real big and yelled back "I LOVE YOU TOO!"

After that, I decided I needed a Pryce jersey but they weren't available to buy at SportsFan or anything then. No one knew of him yet. So I went to a little place in Westminster and paid big bucks to have one made. It's authentic and a 3X so it's huge on me. But I wore it with pride that first day at Dove Valley. Trevor was driving out in his black BMW and Christina instructed me to turn around so he could see the back of the jersey. Pretty soon I hear a gruff voice: "Excuse me. Where did you get that jersey?"

I turned around to see Trevor Pryce leaning out of his car window, looking at me. "I had it made," I replied.

"You had it MADE?" He sounded incredulous. I nodded. "You want me to sign that for you?" I think - no I know that I just gaped at him for a couple seconds before grabbing my sharpie and running to his car. As he was signing, I asked if he remembered the girl who yelled that she loved him at the San Fran game. He laughed and said, "I still love you, too." Hee hee hee!

He's still my favorite player...I wear his jersey to every game I go to and practically every game I go to, he gets a sack for me. I tell everyone that he loves me. It must be true, he said it twice. :D


Friday, April 16, 2004

You Can Call Her Rita

A while back, my brother posted about our cat, Rita. His was a sad post, talking about how we lost her last year. This shall be a happy post. I hope.

Derek mentioned how she slowly moved from the porch to the garage to the utility room before finally taking control of the house. I remember the day Mom walked in from work and I was sitting on the floor next to the ottoman and Rita was curled up on top, purring contentedly. Mom just sighed; she was already under the cat's spell.

I read in TS Eliot's book of poetry that the Broadway play "Cats" was based on that cats have three names: the name their humans give them, the name that other cats give them and the name that no one will ever know because that's the name that the cat calls itself. If that was true, I figure Rita called herself something like Bastet (the Egyptian cat goddess) or Queen Cleopatra. She had a very regal bearing. Rita would only sit on your lap if you had a pillow ready for her first.

I wasn't sure that she had any kitty friends that would give her the second name mentioned by Eliot so I gave her a second name: Princess Angelina Contessa Louisa Francesca Banana Fana BoBesca III. I got the name from Animaniacs which is where the name Rita came from as well. I thought it fit her.

Rita thought she was people. She would talk to you and tell you about her day like Derek mentioned. She would stand at the door and cry "Out!" when she needed to go out. And she was moody, like any woman is.

One night we were getting ready to go somewhere and for some reason that ticked Rita off. She showed her displeasure by running by Dad and wacking him on the foot with her claws. When he looked down and said "What the hell is your problem?", Rita shook her paw and we swear she extended the middle toe. A drive-by attack followed by the finger. She let him know she was mad.

One of my college classes was held at 9am. That was early for me so I set my alarm. I was awakened by not only the alarm but by Rita's tongue on my forehead and her urgent meowing. Apparently I had been sleeping through the alarm and the noise was bugging her. She was licking my forehead to wake me up then would stand on her back paws and smack the clock with her front paws like she had seen me doing many times. She was a smart kitty.

She was tough, too. She tried to take on a raccoon and would have if Dad hadn't made her come in. She beat up the neighbor's cat pretty bad. You just didn't mess with Rita.

I miss her a lot. She was a great cat. I keep telling Mom & Dad to get another kitty but they haven't found one special enough to replace Rita.


Thursday, April 15, 2004

The Trouble With Wedgies

In an earlier post, I mentioned my friend Shanon and her daughter, Elena. Elena is 2 and really smart, funny, and personable. Her favorite movie is Shrek and she runs around quoting lines from it. She calls her mother "a noble steed" and as we were going into a restaurant a few weeks ago, she started saying "Thank you, thank you, I'm here all week. Try the veal!" It's funny in the movie but funnier coming from a 2 year old.

Shanon & I are Chinese food connoisseurs. We went to a place called Xiang's Kitchen which, in my opinion, is the best Chinese place in town. So anyway, we had eggdrop soup. Elena wasn't paying attention to the bowl and hit the edge with her elbow, spilling soup everywhere. Shanon reminded her to be careful, that she had spilled her soup. At the top of her voice, Elena says: "I'M SORRY SOUP! I'M SORRY! I DIDN'T MEAN TO SPILL YOU! I'M REALLY SORRY, SOUP!" The people at the booth behind us actually got up to see what was happening.

We went to the park & rec's playground today. Elena wanted to slide. After a few trips down, she started pulling at her shorts, saying they were stuck. "Do you have a wedgie," Shanon asked. Her daughter nodded before going down the slide one more time. She immediately started working to free her wedgie when she stood up. Shanon fixed the problem and Elena was happy.

When we were done at the playground, we walked to Shanon's mother's house. Before we all left for lunch, Elena went to the bathroom. She came out and announced: "I have a wedgie. Wanna see?" She proceeded to pull her pants off and show off her butt where the wedgie should be. "See? See my wedgie?" Controlling the laughter that obviously wanted to break free, Shanon explained to Elena that the wedgie was gone. It had left.

As we were walking out the door, Elena looked underneath a bookcase and said, "There it is! There's my wedgie!" It had now become a tangible thing...Super Wedgie! She had to say "see ya" to it as we left.

We went to a Chinese restaurant, of course, in Fountain. The host who sat us seemed enchanted by Elena...who wouldn't be?...and at the end of the meal, brought her a bracelet, a ring and a little football player eraser from the toy vending machine. She put the jewelry on, the ring going on her middle finger since it was her biggest finger. As we walked out, Shanon told her to show her ring to the nice guy that gave it to her. She did exactly what she was told: she extended her middle finger only and displayed the ring.

There's so much I could tell that's funny about Elena, but since I can't think of much to write lately, I better save that for a later entry.


Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Child's Play

If someone asked me if I was creative, I'd probably say not too much. I'm okay but I seem to do better if I'm surrounded by seriously creative people. Hence the reason I've got some pretty fun memories of growing up with my brother. He's hands down the funniest person I've ever known. But to top that off with his creativity, it makes him pretty frickin' hilarious!

When we were fairly young, Mom bought us a tape recorder. Bear in mind this was the late 70's, early 80's so it was just one of those hand held things that played tapes but it also had a condensed microphone built in so you could record things like...YOUR VOICE! That was huge for us then. We made up commercial jingles for ficticious products like Bea's Peas. The jingle started out with the word "Bea's" in successive higher notes. Then the song started: "Bea's Peas are delicious, wherever you may buy them in your local grocery store..." Something like that. I know the last line was something about the freshness date being from 1970-something. It was actually pretty catchy for a couple of little kids. We also had a spot for Hospitality Hospital but it must not have been that great cuz all I remember is the name.

One night my friend spent the night and we used that recorder for all it was worth. The best thing that came out of those sessions is something I still actually find myself saying to this day. Derek pretended he was calling a swanky restaurant and he asked "Excuse me but you carry lobster?" Rhonda, in a Shmoo-type voice, replied, "No, they are too heavy." It was just the voice that made us crack up so hard.

Our crowning glory, however, with this recorder, was anything we did with Pudding. Pudding was a stuffed mouse that I had gotten as an Easter present one year from LeVine's Toy Shop. He was small & gray with a white belly, little white felt paws, black button eyes and a shoestring tail. I loved that mouse. When I got him, he was a little ball of fur. That got worn off pretty quickly and now you can see the netting that holds him together. Oh, yeah, I still have Pudding. He's sitting about 5 feet away from me right now on my stereo. I love that little guy.
One year at the state fair, one of us won the 45 record of Merle Kilgore's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." Derek & I would play that record at 78 speed and make Pudding lip sync the words. Now that was kinda difficult considering Pudding doesn't have a mouth. But we made it work. There was a part in the middle of the song that goes, "A boo, a boo, a boo." Pudding would scrunch up his little face and get lower with each "a boo." To us it was the funniest thing ever. We'd do it over & over...

Anyway, one day we decided to record a soap opera starring all the stuffed animals we had. Believe me, we had a ton. The soap opera would be based on "Dallas" and the title of our episode was, you guessed it, "Who Shot P.M.?" P.M. standing for Pudding Mouse, obviously. Pudding played the JR Ewing character that was ruthless and cruel and everyone hated. All the animals were suspects: Acorn, Fuzzy, Cleo, Jellybean, Pie, Midnight Sun...but at the end they were all proven innocent when Sunset Snake admitted to Pudding as he lay dying that she was the one who "sssssshot" him.

I think that P.M. had been faking the whole dying thing and that after the confession, he jumped out of bed and started railing at her. I think. I just basically remember the confession and Derek's voice on the tape: "WHO SHOT P.M.?" in a sinister, Shadow-like way. It was all fun.

I don't know where that recorder is anymore and I'm pretty sure all the tapes have been busted by now. But I'll always have the memories. And Pudding.


Saturday, April 10, 2004

The Legend of the Rose Ghost

Back in the mid-1800's, a couple from South Carolina decided to make their fortune by hunting gold out west. James & Phamey Tiller loaded all their possessions into their old wagon, hitched up their cattle and off they went. After traveling for months, they came to a spot that appeased them both: there were mountains sure to be hiding gold for James to prospect and the grand valley at the foot of these mountains was lovely enough for Phamey to live in. James set about building a house for his wife and after it was completed, he set off to prospect. The one thing that Phamey loved more than anything was her roses. She had a large rose garden on the east side of her house where she spent most of her time tending the flowers. Her husband used to tease her, saying she smelled like roses because she spent so much time with them. They lived there for almost two years when one night James came home. He stumbled through the door, carrying a saddlebag full of gold. He told Phamey an amazing story of finding a hidden cache left by Spanish explorers who were hiding from the inquisition. James, however, wasn't the only one who knew about this cache and there were many people after him for it. In fact, he was already wounded; a shot had hit him in the back while he was riding for his life with the treasure. He knew he was dying and he warned his wife with his last breath to be careful. Take the gold and run away. Go back home, he told her, where she would be safe and she would have family to take care of her. After James died, however, Phamey couldn't bring herself to leave her home and her roses. She buried the gold in her garden and spent all her time on a bench with a shotgun across her lap, protecting her husband's treasure. She died one winter night in the garden of exposure during a snowstorm. The gold was never found and the house rotted away. To this day, people say you can see Phamey wandering through her garden late at night. You know she's there because you can smell roses.

Okay...that was a story that I concocted years and years ago while visiting Grand Junction. Everyone was there for my uncle's wedding. I was hanging out with my cousin Camille and we had been telling my older cousin Holly that Grandma's house was haunted. She didn't believe us and actually scoffed at us for believing such nonsense. So Camille & I huddled in the basement, trying to think of a plan to make her believe that the place she was sleeping was haunted.

Camille wanted to make a little ghost out of paper towels and hang it outside of her bedroom window. I thought that would be too hokey. Holly was sure to see right through that. I wanted to be a little more subtle. So we made up that story about the Rose Ghost and secreted away a bottle of Grandma's rose-scented perfume. After we told Holly the story, we waited for an opportune time and liberally sprayed her bedroom with the perfume. We waited in the living room for her to discover her spectral visitor.

She didn't buy it. Holly came out of her room, spitting mad that we'd stunk up her bedroom like that! What a wet rag! She didn't even try to believe in a ghost! Personally, I think it was a great story and she SHOULD have believed.

Of course, there IS something in that house over there...but that's a whole 'nother story.


Friday, April 09, 2004

The Old Swimmin' Hole

When I was little, it was great fun to go swimming. Every summer weekend, my brother, my friend & I would walk up to the community center and swim for an hour. I always craved nacho cheese Doritos after I was done...still do, actually. I've never figured that one out.

Anyway...lately I've lost the enthusiasm for swimming. There's a pool at the complex where my parents live and I can use it at any time during the summer. I used it once or twice the summer before and last summer not at all. It's just kinda boring to me now...floating around, getting pruney & sunburned.

The most fun I've ever had swimming, if you can call it that, was in 1985 in Grand Junction. Derek & I spent 6 weeks over there with our grandparents. They didn't swim in pools over there, at least our family didn't. They swam in canals. Down the road from grandma's place was a big canal that my mom and her siblings swam in when they were little. Grandpa used to take Derek & I and a couple of our cousins down there when he got off work that summer.

We could swim in the shallow part of the canal. One day I stepped on something squishy and was told people threw dead cats in there. Ummm...I never swam there again. I started floating on an inner tube. There was a bigger canal down the way that we started floating on. It took about an hour to float all the way to the drainage pipe where Grandpa would park on the bridge and pick us up.

There was one bridge in the middle of the course that we had to deal with. There were two options: either get out and walk around the bridge or swim underneath. I always swam underneath. I'd slip off the inner tube, hold my breath and go under, hoping I didn't crack my head on the wooden slats. Luckily I never did.

One day, Grandpa decided he was going to swim with us. He was floating along with Derek and they were coming up on the bridge. Grandpa asked him what he was going to do...get out or go under. Derek wasn't sure. He was thinking over his options. The bridge was getting closer. Still no decision. At the last minute, Derek decided to get out. However, this hadn't been obvious to Grandpa. Thinking he had not made his decision, Grandpa made it for Derek. He grabbed his curly little head and shoved him under the water as the bridge came up. He held him down until they passed the bridge.

Derek came up, sputtering, "YOU TRIED TO DROWN ME!!!" To this day. that's a raging debate between the two. Derek insists that he was being murdered while Grandpa says that he had everything under control all along. It's times like that we all remember the goat and the shovel story.


Wednesday, April 07, 2004

M is for Mother...

Just a quick note cuz I thought this was funny. If you haven't read Dan Brown's book Angels & Demons and plan on it and don't like the plot being given away, STOP NOW! I usually don't ruin plot lines but this is critical to the story.

A few months ago I read The DaVinci Code. I loved it and passed it on to my mother who also loved it. So when she saw Angels & Demons, the prequel to The DaVinci Code, she snapped it right up. Since she works so much, it takes her a while to finish a book. This one took about 2 months but she took it with her to Junction last week and told me she finished it. "You need to read it," she told me. "I want to talk to you about it. There was a twist at the end and I'm thinking I must have missed something."

It's never a chore for me to read a book. I read every night at work so I took the book to work and finished it last night. It was REALLY good. I called Mom tonight and told her I was done. "I was bummed, though," I said, meaning that the guy I liked, the camerlengo, was the bad guy.

"I know," she commiserated. "I didn't think he would be the bad guy."

"Yeah, but he turned out to be crazy...the pope having a kid and all that just turned his brain." She didn't say anything at first. I kept going. "But then when he found out that HE was the pope's son!"


"You know, when he found out that the pope was his father. Is that the part you skipped?"

"I guess so. I didn't really finish it...after the antimatter exploded, I figured it was done. Did the camerlengo die in the explosion?"

By now I'm just floored. She didn't even finish the book! She said she did but she figured that since the whole plot of the thing had been trying to find the antimatter before it exploded and wiped out Vatican City that when the camerlengo & the hero took the stuff into a helicopter and it exploded, she was done. It didn't seem to matter that there were like 50 pages left!

" He survived the explosion."

"Really? Maybe you better bring that book back."

"Did you even know that the pope was his father?"


" wonder you were confused! You didn't read anything!"

I know now that my reading gene does NOT come from her!


Play Misty For Me

When I was young, I thought I wanted to be an interior designer. I even took an interior design class my senior year in high school and was positive that was the road I was going to follow. That was the first semester. Second semester I took a TV Production class, the only class of it's kind offered in high school in the whole town. Even though the teacher was yicky and I always developed a migraine before the class started, I was so enthralled with the editing machine that I decided to forego the interior design career and go into broadcasting.

I signed up for broadcasting classes at Pikes Peak Community College. I had an appointment with Wendy McDonald, the head of the TV production side of broadcasting. The day I went up there to talk to her, I was so nervous I was sick. I remember sitting in the car with Mom telling her I couldn't go, I was going to puke! She still made me go. Wendy wasn't there; she had an emergency come up or something so I had to talk to the head of the radio department, Jack Donahue. I was so intimidated that I let him talk me into starting with radio rather than going right into TV like I had dreamed of.

That started an actual career! I was on the PPCC radio station, KEPC, for three semesters. I met my soon to be best friend Troy there and after a couple of years, he was hired by KSPZ radio as a board operator. He dropped my name to the program director of their sister station KVUU when he mentioned he needed a board op.

It was a normal day...I was sitting in the living room, probably eating Doritos and watching TV when the phone rang. "Hi, this is Ric Morgan from KVUU radio. I got your name from Troy who said you would be interested in a board op position." I made an appointment to go talk to Ric that afternoon and within 2 days, I had a career in radio!

It wasn't all that glamorous. At first I was a lowly board operator. No talking, just pushing buttons and keeping the music flowing. I was shocked to realize that these stations didn't take listener requests. They had a log that they followed very strictly. There was no room for what the listener wanted. As a long time listener to radio, I was offended. The public was who kept the stations going! Why weren't we catering to their wants & needs? We actually went with whatever the "consultants" told us to play. Whatever.

Since there were 4 stations in the company, the board ops were swapped and shuffled around. I ended up being a full time employee of KSPZ Oldies 92.9. I started, again, as a board op. I was working 10am-2pm but I had an hour off between noon and 1 for the All Request Lunch Hour. A "real DJ" would come in then and do the hour long show. After a while, I was moved to the 7pm-12am spot. At first it was all board op. Then the program director let me talk from 10pm-midnight. Then from 9 on. And finally, I got to talk the whole time! Woo-hoo!

When I was about 14 or so, my cousin Camille spent a couple weeks with me. She fell in love with a KIKX DJ, Gary "Rockman" McCoy just because of his voice. She called him every night and he got to know her while she was here. I always thought that was a little weird that she could fall for someone without seeing them. I found out that it wasn't just Camille that could do that.

I had three guys that called me regularly because they liked my voice. There was a 30-something guy named Mark, a teenage kid named Corey and a 50-something man named Jesse.

Mark was cool cause he knew music and he liked the same things I did. His selling point was he knew & liked Badfinger. After talking for weeks on the phone, he asked if he could meet me. I told him to show up at a karaoke bar that I went to a lot. I made sure that my brother and Troy were with me. Mark did show up and he was nice enough but he was creeping me out. The next time he called me, he admitted that he was married and was unhappy so he was looking to have an affair! Next caller, please!

Corey was sweet but damn that kid could talk. We had an 800 number for the "request" line which meant that the station was paying for each call by the minute. I would get in trouble because he would talk for like 20 minutes and I was too wussy to just hang up or interrupt him to tell him I had to go. After a while, he kinda faded away.

Jesse...ahh, Jesse. He would call every night with his Mexican accent and tell me he lived in La Junta (Jesse: "It's pronounced La Hoonta). He always asked me to play the same two songs. I can't remember what they were now but they weren't on our playlist. I kept telling him that we didn't have the songs he wanted to hear but he never gave up hope. He started sending me presents because I was nice to him. He sent me a dozen roses, money (!!!) and an 8x10 of himself. OH MY GOD!! He looked like Pancho Villa, no joke! Big & Mexican with a pasty, pock-marked face, black cowboy outfit, hat included and bullets across his chest. It was scary!

Radio, after a while, got tedious. I wasn't making enough money to support myself and after I got engaged, I knew I needed a job that paid more than $5/hr. What ticks me off to this day about the money was that I had the #1 show for that time frame in the CITY! And I was still at the bottom of the pay scale! Then I heard that the General Manager said in a meeting that "women have no place in broadcasting." That was it. I put in my 2 weeks. My last show on a Sunday afternoon I threw the log out the window and played whatever I wanted and whatever the listeners wanted. The PD came in at the end of my show and pretty much kicked me out cuz I was playing requests! Ah, radio!

I definitely don't miss it. My brother is still in the business. Somedays I think he's crazy!


Blah Blah Blah

I haven't posted anything in quite a while. I was busy being bored in Jct. Well, that's not true, I wasn't really bored. It was fun dodging the spiders and playing games with Grandma & Grandpa. In fact, I did make the greatest comeback in Oh Heck history...the first 6 hands I was in the hole then I climbed out with great tenacity and cunning to destroy the competition with 33 points! Whoooo! Can I get a Whoa, Heather?

But when we weren't playing games, there wasn't a whole lot to do. Mom went off to Utah to visit her best friend, leaving me alone. I played a lot of solitaire on the computer and dug through all of Grandma's old pictures so I could take home the ones I liked and make copies of them. In the living room of their house above the front window is a ledge that Grandma has a bunch of pictures set on. Some are behind others and one day I climbed up there to see what pictures were being hidden in case I wanted copies of them. One hidden picture was me in my cheerleading uniform from 9th grade. Hey! I took offense so I rearranged all her pictures so that I was in the center spot! I'm not sure she even noticed. There's a gaggle of pictures of Derek up there and only 3 of me & 1 was hidden! I'm only trying to balance the scales.

My aunt & uncle and 4 of their 9 kids came out to visit while Mom & I were there. The only one that I even like is Tony. He's about 7 years younger than me and he's a bodybuilder. He's HUGE! Muscle-wise, anyways. He's really short for a guy...Mom's 5'2" on a good day and he's shorter than her! But since he's a bodybuilder and is going to be in a competition in June, he's on a strict diet where he has to eat every hour! Yeah, EVERY HOUR! At one point, Mom & I were in the kitchen by the fridge and he came in. I made a comment that he was eating again and he said he was late in eating..."Like an HOUR late," he exclaimed in horror, checking the clock.

My mom, always the witty one says, with the straightest face: "Uh oh. There goes a muscle."

I thought his sister was going to die laughing. Sometimes you really got to hand it to Mom.

Yeah, I know this post is boring...I have to think of something interesting to write...I'm in the same boat as Collin...the S.S. Writer's Block!


Friday, April 02, 2004

More With The Eight Legged Freaks

A while back I posted about my fear of spiders and how I'm sure there's a Spider coalition out there somewhere that sends these creatures out with the purpose & intent of scaring the crap outta me.

Well, I'm at Spider Central. Swear to God! At Grandma's house is where they meet. In the bedroom that I'm sleeping in (in the Haunted Basement, FYI) Grandma had a black boxy looking thing plugged into the wall. It made a clicking noise every 10 seconds. It's supposed to keep spiders away. I don't believe it...I see them anyway. There are dead spiders in every corner of the floor and the ceiling and in the window wells of the basement. It's scary!

My first night here I couldn't sleep because of the clicking so I thought "Spiders be damned!" and unplugged the thing. Then I had the vision of the leader calling an emergency meeting.

"She's unplugged the clicky machine. We're free to terrorize her! GO! GO! GO!" The last part said, of course, like a drill sergeant. Little spiders & big spiders together would be coming in on the webs, ready to swing into action. Luckily, if that DID happen, I was already asleep & I missed it.

Now, you know in thriller movies when someone is being stalked and they show themselves for just a brief minute to shake the other person up? Okay, I'm sitting at the kitchen table this morning facing the fridge & suddenly a HUGE BLACK SPIDER comes swinging out from behind the fridge on his web, hangs there for a second them disappears behind the bread on the counter. I swear he was looking at me with every one of his beady little red eyes. I could hear him..."We're out here. We're just waiting for you, Heather." {insert terrified whimper from me here.}

For lunch we had sammiches. When Grandma put the bread in front of me I diligently checked it for spiders. A bird flew by the window and made a shadow on the loaf. I almost screamed and I did jerk my hand away so fast it looked like I'd been burned. Lucky for me Grandpa can't see so he didn't witness my freak out.

They're out there. I can feel them watching me. They're planning their next attack and they know I'm afraid...


The ABC's of a Mother's Love

I've been in Grand Junction since Wednesday, visiting my grandparents. I love being out here; it's so quiet and calming. The people that live across the road have lots of animals so I get to watch them. I'm a city girl so seeing horses and chickens and roosters fascinate me. There's also a real pretty Siamese cat that wanders around as well. AND I saw a woodpecker this morning. I don't think I've ever seen one up close before. He was cute.

I enjoy the drive over here as well. We go through some great scenery and it's always fun to ride with Mom. Last year we were coming over here and we played the Alphabet Game. For those that aren't familiar with that go through the alphabet using signs that you see while you're traveling. Some letters, like J, Q & Z are harder than the rest unless you're going through a little town. So last year we were playing and I was kicking butt. I was on Z when Mom was stuck on Q. We were going through DeBeque Canyon and on the right hand side of the road is the Colorado River. Suddenly Mom says "Hey! Is the river running the wrong way?" Of course I look to check out this odd claim. "No, I don't think so," I answer. "No, I really think it is. Keep looking."

Now, I trust my mother. Apparently I never learned from the egg in Derek's face incident that I shouldn't but I do. I thought she was really concerned that the river was not following nature's course. After a while I told her that the river was fine. I start to look towards the road, ready to resume my search for a Z to win the game and she whips her arm in front of my face and points towards the river again. "WHAT WAS THAT?" "What was what," I cry, my eyes flying out the window again. "I don't see anything!"

"I don't know, I thought I saw something." She shrugs and goes about her business. All this time, however, she's caught up to me in the game and is also on Z. She ended up winning. Afterwards she admits that there was never anything wrong with the river and that she made up seeing something. She wanted to take my eyes off the road where there were signs with the letter Z on them. **SIGH**

I see where my brother gets his evilness.

This time, we didn't play the Alphabet Game. We were too busy trying to figure out who should play Robert Langdon in the DaVinci Code movie that Ron Howard is slated to film. We discussed this for quite a while and went through a ton of actors before deciding that Johnny Depp would do. She wanted me to go to "" (if there is such a thing) and write him to tell him our idea. She's sure he'll listen to us.

There was quite a bit of road construction in the mountains this time. Lanes were closed off by utilizing the orange cones. Except the cones were all laying on their sides, some in the middle of our lane. We passed a Falling Rock sign and then a sign warning to watch for deer. Mom suggested that we were in a dangerous area and they should add a road sign to the mix: "Beware of Rebellious Cones."

I'm looking forward to the return trip. You never know what could happen.


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