Friday, December 31, 2004

Year-End Quiz

I love question things like this:

1. What did you do in 2004 that you'd never done before?

Left my husband, found the best man in the world.

2. Did anyone close to you give birth?


3. Did anyone close to you die?
He wasn't close in a "I like you" sense but my ex's brother died at the beginning of December.

4. What countries did you visit?
nada. *sigh*

5. What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?
A divorce.

6. What date from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Friday, June 18th. Mine & Collin's first movie seen together.

7. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting out of my house and finding Collin.

8. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Illness - the flu two weekends in a row.
Injury - cat bite that caused my arm to balloon up and bruise.

9. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Written more stories.

10. What do you wish you'd done less of?

11. What was the best book you read?
Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett

12. What were your favourite films of this year?
Dodgeball, Starsky & Hutch.

13. What kept you sane?

14. What political issue stirred you the most?
The ban on gay marriages.

15. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004:
life is too short - never miss a chance at happiness. Or in the words of Shirley Manson, "Don't let a soul mate pass you by."


Thursday, December 30, 2004

A Year-End Extra

Dad & I went to American Classics Marketplace the other day to wander around. ACM is a giant store crammed full of antiques, crafts & collectibles. The building used to house a furniture store so you have an idea of how big the place was. Anyhoo, there was one booth that had Egyptian-themed incense holders and containers. I was checking out the holders and I looked at the tag to see the price. The description said: "Egyptian Incest Holder $8." INCEST holder???? What the hell? That's a pretty bad typo to make. And what kind of a Freudian Slip is that?



Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Best Of...Part 2

This was the first post I did way back in February. I can tell how my writing style has changed.

I was just goofing around on line the other day when an IM from my brother popped up extolling the virtues of blogs. He sent me the link to his post and after reading his posts and laughing myself silly, I thought...crap! I can't compete with that! But...the more I read, the more I wanted to do my own, if only for the opportunity to defend myself or tell my version of things. So here it is.

One of Derek's posts is entitled "For God's Sake, Stay Behind The Camera!", or something like that. Anyway, the anecdote tells the tragic story of one Easter evening when, with the video camera rolling for posterity & all that, my mother smashed a raw egg onto my unsuspecting brother's forehead purely for her own amusement. You really have to read his version for the full effect - after all, he was the victim. I was merely the camera-chick.

Our roles in this evil plot of Mom's is the reason for this first post. In his side of the story, Derek says that Mom originally chose ME as her victim but that his whining got her to change her mind and I was inadvertantly saved. But, see...I remember it differently. In my mind, Mom said to us, "I have an idea for the camera. I need one of you to be my partner and one of you to run the camera." Of course we fought over who got to be her partner...which should really have made her feel guilty considering what she was about to do...and I finally gave in and relegated myself to the role of camera operator.

Not that big of a difference, really, unless you understand that I've always believed that Derek is the favorite child. I've been quite vocal about my belief and have evidence to back it up, which I'll get to in a jiffy. Mom, of course, has always denied this accusation and said it's hurtful when I say that. While I believe her, the evidence still stands...

Mom, Derek & I were traveling over to Grand Junction one spring to pick up a car for Derek. We stopped in Frisco at a Loaf N Jug to get some snacky-type treats...a few miles outside of town, I said, quite politely, "Mom, I have to go to the bathroom." With a sigh and that typical Mom-like voice she asks me why I didn't go when we were at Loaf N Jug. Reasonable reasonable reply: I didn't have to go then. "You'll just have to wait then," she tells me.

I waited....I stop after rest stop passing by as I sat in the front seat eyeing them with longing. I REALLY had to pee but Mom kept on driving. About an hour or so later Derek leans forward from the back seat and belches out one word: "BAAAATHROOOOM!" He sounded like a cross between E.T. & Young Frankenstein. Not nearly the polite request I had posed earlier. But what does Mom do? "Oh, do you have to go to the bathroom? We'll stop at the next rest stop." AND WE DID!!!! True story, hands in the air & all.

There are other pieces of evidence but that's my strongest and most used story to point out that Derek is the favorite. However, after reading his version of the egg story, I wonder...if he's correct on this and Mom truly had intended to "smite her first-born"...well...I think I have a much bigger case, doncha think?


Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Best of Matted Spam 2004

I've got nothing but I feel that I should post so this week I think I'll be re-posting what I think are some of my better entries. Hopefully, to the newer readers that I've acquired, this will be new to you. To Derek & Collin: re-read them anyway and comment again. :) It'll be os so much fun!

This one was originally entitled Mile High Madness. Enjoy!

I like to think I'm a very law abiding citizen and would never do anything purposely that would get me into any trouble with authorities. But sometimes you're faced with a choice to make between following the rules set in front of you and go home empty-handed or break those said rules and get not only a great story but a piece of history to keep forever. A few years ago I was faced with just a choice and my true nature was revealed in the blink of an eye.

My mother, to my great happiness, is a Denver Bronco season ticket holder. Her seats are in the infamous South Stands, known to be the rowdy side of Mile High Stadium. We're the part of the crowd that's known to throw things at the opposing team & shout obscenities at fans wearing gear that isn't blue & orange. When the defense is in our end, they rely on us to help get them pumped up to make the big stops.

No game atmosphere was more electric than on December 23, 2000. It was the last Bronco game played at the old Mile High Stadium. They played the 49'ers and it turned into a rout, Denver winning 38-9. As if the fans didn't need to be more pumped up, especially on our end of the stadium! Towards the end of the 4th quarter when it was very obvious that Mile High was going out in a blaze of glory, the fans began celebrating by ripping the place to pieces.

Now for those of you who didn't have the privilege of visiting Mile High before it was gone, let me describe the South Stands a little bit. It was all benches covered with thick orange fiberglass. To my surprise, it was very easy for people to break these benches off into pieces. While Sister Sledge's "We Are Family" blared through the stadium, hundreds, maybe thousands, of people had their seats in their hands and were waving them in the air. From where Mom & I stood, it was an awesome sight.

I asked my mom if she wanted to take her seats and she just looked at me like I was crazy! They had made repeated announcements that they would not hesitate to prosecute anyone attempting to steal property of Mile High and they had extra security & police officers all over the stadium. She was positive that if she even thought of taking her seats, she'd be immediately thrown in jail.

But we had some excited, helpful guys sitting behind us who asked Mom which seats were hers and then proceeded to rip them up for her. They handed her a section of dirty, smelly bench about 4 feet long...seats 24 & 25. She accepted it gracefully and covered it with her Bronco blanket. As the game ended and the fans were leaving, I asked what she was going to do with the bench, expecting her to just lay it on the ground and forget about it.

To my shock & delight, she wrapped it in the blanket tightly and hugged it to her body as she descended the steps. The mass of humanity leaving the game was immense and it wasn't very obvious that she had anything but her blanket clutched in her arms. She studiously avoided police officers and security personnel, convinced she was going to get out of Mile High with her piece of history.

And then we hit the final gate.

We had to walk right by a guard who was diligently doing his job. He eyed her blanket and she pressed it closer...nothing like being obvious! He reached out for her..."I'm going to need to see what's under your blanket, ma'am." I panicked! That's all I can say! I didn't want Mom to go to jail, although I'm not so sure that she would have for attempting to remove the bench, but I also didn't want her to lose it. It was a piece of history, for crying out loud! Plus they were just going to demolish the stadium anyway and we had PAID for those seats! Why couldn't we take them??

In the second that the guard reached out to pull the blanket off the hidden treasure, I knew what I was going to do. I lowered my shoulder, slammed into my mother's back and yelled "GO MOM!" There were so many people in that small space that my momentum in getting her out of there caused the crush to surge forward at an amazing rate. In the blink of an eye, we were past the danger and the bench was ours free & clear!

We hustled to the car as fast as our feet could carry us. Only one guy yelled out across the parking lot, "Hey! That old woman has a bench under her blanket!" But I think it was said in admiration rather than trying to get her caught. She stuffed the bench, still wrapped, in the trunk of her car and pulled out of there like a...well, like a criminal.

We laughed like loons for about half an hour as we drove through Denver. We got right outside of Castle Rock when a cop pulled behind us. Mom panicked. She was sure he knew what she had in her trunk and was there to stop her and take her away for life!

The best part was when we got home and found out that my dad, husband, brother & sister-in-law had been extremely concerned for us after seeing the craziness on televison. They couldn't believe that Mom had actually participating in the looting they had just seen. We suprised them all that day, I think.

The bench is just sitting in my mom's basement storage room now. But it's cool knowing that down there is a piece of history, something that only a few hundred criminals can say they, too, have!


Friday, December 24, 2004

Insect Love

There are always cartoons on somewhere at Collin's house and the other day while I was watching Jordyn, there was a cartoon with a cute little grasshopper. In reality, I hate grasshoppers. They ook me out but the one on TV was okay.

Jordyn pointed him out and said, "Isn't he cute?" I agreed. "So you agree that grasshoppers are cute?" She's been trying to get me to realize this from Day One.

"Only the one on TV."

"Maybe when you grow up, you'll realize that...."

"I'm as grown up as I'm gonna get, kiddo."

"How old are you?"


"So maybe when you're 32..."

"I've already been 32."

"Oh. Well, maybe when you're older, you'll realize that grasshoppers have great love for you."

Merry Christmas to everyone!!


Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Brightening The Holidays

It seems that Christmas lights on the outside of the house have become just as much a tradition as the tree itself or the presents or Santa Claus. That's one of the things I look forward to each holiday season is looking at the lights and seeing who's house looks cool & classy and who looks Griswalded out! When Derek & I were little, we would play a game in the car: who had the most lighted houses and/or yards on their side of the car.

I was wondering the other day how this became such a tradition and, almost by holiday magic, The Gazette's Mini Page* answered my question!! It seems that lights on the actual Christmas tree was started in the 1500's by Reverend Martin Luther, who wanted to replicate the stars in the sky on his tree so he placed candles on the branches. Of course, you can immediately see the problem; it also became tradition to keep a bucket of water next to the tree, just in case.

Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb, is also responsible for the first public display of lighting on New Year's Eve in 1879 at Menlo Park, NJ. The first electric Christmas tree lights were invented three years later by Edward H. Johnson, vice president of the Edison General Electric Company. His designed srting of red, white & blue lights numbered 80 bulbs and were each hand-blown, hand-wired & hand-painted. The Edison General Electric Company started selling strings of lights to the public in 1890 but it cost hundreds of dollars to light a tree so it was only for the well-to-do. It wasn't until the 1920's that most American homes were wired for electricity and could afford to light up their holidays.

So there you go, in case you were wondering like me.

*The Mini Page is a kids section in the Gazette newspaper that picks one subject every Monday and enlightens children on this subject. They also have (or did, they didn't this week unless someone stole it) a coloring contest on the back page that could win you money. At least it did when I was in school. I won first place once for a Halloween picture of pumpkins; I made them into Jack-O-Lanterns which was creative enough for the 1st prize of $5! I also won honorable mention of $1 two or three times, I think. I had a Christmas coloring contest that I knew would win - it was a candle surrounded by ivy and I cut it out and pasted it to red & green construction paper. When the results were listed the next week, I didn't even get honorable mention! I was crushed! Then at the end of the school year, my 6th grade teacher comes up to me and says, "Look what I found in the bottom of my desk! I must have forgotten to send it in." Pbbt! That was $5 right there! I should have made her pay me! Ha!


Friday, December 17, 2004

Tending the Garden

Okay, fine. One more chance at this blogging thing since I *did* get a few
comments on the last post. But anymore of this no commenting crap and I'm not
doing this anymore. I'm serious this time.

So, on with the story*.

Derek & I have mentioned that Dad's side of the family is all spooky &
ghosted-up and such, what with our great Grandma Reed seeing her husband building
his coffin in the back yard while he was lying dead at work due to an accident
or our Aunt Charlene seeing her ex-husband on the side of the road in Alaska
when he was really electricuted in Grand Junction. We take the afterlife quite
seriously in our family, as evidenced by the conversation between Great
Grandma Reed and Great Aunt Lilly:

Aunt L: When I get to Heaven I'm going to take care of all the flowers.

Grandma R: I'm going to take care of all the little children.

Aunt L: That's nice, Tilly. Just keep those little bastards out of my

True story - hands in the air and all!

* = Dad told this story the other day to Jackie, the president of their
housing committee or whatever it's called. She had told him how her father, long
dead, comes to visit her in her room driving a big red Cadillac. She says he
picks up the recently deceased in this Caddy, kinda like Death, I guess. I
was quite disillusioned; I want Terry Pratchett's Death to come get me with the
Death Of Rats squeaking behind him. We can have a chat about cats and such
before he swings his scythe and my hourglass runs out. Sounds good to me!


Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Let's Try This Again

A few weeks ago, I posted pics of my cat Chazz and I got zero comments. Nada! No big surprise there, I guess, since I get very few comments as it is but, come on! Who could resist my Chazz's cute face? So, here are the pictures again and this time, someone better say something or I'm never blogging again!

Yeah, big threat there, huh?


Murphy (L) & Chazz, Best Buds!


Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Kids Picks

Just a couple of kid-related items to share with you all today.

Item #1: Last night I was on the phone with Collin and his daughter asked to talk to me. She told me they would be setting their Christmas tree up the next day and wanted to know if I was coming over. I told her no, that I had to work. "Ohhh, again," she whined, not knowing that I had been off for 5 days and was only working 2 days this week. "Yes, again. I'm sorry." "I think you need to have 10 hundred months off." "That would be nice," I answered. "Yeah...I think 100 days would do it." I like the way she thinks!

Item #2: This pertains to my subheader. I went Christmas shopping with Shanon and her 3 year old, Elena, last week. Usually, Elena is very energetic and according to her mom, she had been until they got to my place. As we were walking into Kohl's, she asked Elena why she was so droopy. "I'm fat," she replied. "You're 3 years old, Elena! You're not fat!" "Yes, I am, mama. I'm fat like a flower." ??? Where do kids come up with this stuff? And what kind of messages are getting sent out when a 3 year old is sad because she thinks she's fat?

Item #3: This was about 2 weeks ago. I was watching Jordyn (Collin's daughter) and was sitting on the couch, thinking about playing a rousing game of Karaoke Revolution. I called out to Jordyn, who was watching TV. "Hey, Jordyn!" She turned, got up and stood right in front of me. "Jordyn can't come to the phone right now so leave a message after the beep. BEEEEEEP!!!" I just stared at first. She looked back with a big smile so I caved. "Hi, Jordyn, this is Heather. Just wanted to know if you wanted to play Karaoke Revolution with me. Call me back. Bye." "Oh! Karaoke! Yeah, let's go!" If only everyone answered their messages so quickly!


Friday, December 10, 2004

Christmas Weiners and Such

Have you heard about the hooplah in the Vatican over the Nativity scene set up at Madame Toussad's Wax Museum in London? It seems that they're quite upset with the "celebrity" nativity. And why shouldn't they be? Check out the cast of characters:

In the tableau, Australian pop star Kylie Minogue hovers above the crib as an angel while "Posh Spice" Victoria (the virgin Mary) lays her shawled head tenderly on David Beckham's (Jospeh) shoulder.

Tony Blair, George W. Bush and the Duke of Edinburgh star as The Three Wise Men. The shepherds are played by Hollywood star Samuel L. Jackson, British actor Hugh Grant and camp Irish comedian Graham Norton.

While I think this is a cool idea, WHHHHHYYYYY would you make Posh Spice and David Beckham Mary & Joseph? Bleh. I DO like Samuel Jackson as a shepherd and Kylie Minogue as the angel, though. If you're interested in seeing pics, go to's the fun part of the story:

Yesterday, Mom was telling me about this nativity debacle and she was saying that she had been watching CNN and they were teasing the story by showing a picture of baby Jesus in his manger. In her words, "there was a little black spot where his weiner was and I thought, 'oh, no! Someone's ripped off Jesus's little weiner!' but then I realized that they were just blocking out his little weiner."

Oh, Mom. Always entertaining!


For The Love Of Money

People will do crazy things for money. Money is the root of all evil.
It's also my subject this fine winter morning.

About a month ago, Collin & I went shopping and to lunch with my dad. We had
decided to go to Red Top for giant hamburgers and I had chosen the Powers
Blvd location. Dad turned on Palmer Park to get there. Suddenly, Dad cries out,

"Where," I asked.

"In the road! I think it was. I'm going back." And with that, Dad whipped
a U-turn in the middle of the road (thankfully there was no traffic) and
drives back. "It is money! It's a twenty! Collin, get out and get it!" Dad had
stopped and Collin obeyed, jumping out of the Vue and grabbing the bill. It
was indeed a twenty dollar bill. Dad drove around a bit more through the
parking lots of the businesses there, looking for more. He was positive that
should be more. If there was, we didn't find it. As it was, that twenty paid for
most of our lunch that day.



Thursday, December 09, 2004

Dimebag Darrell Dead

I never really listened to Pantera or Damageplan but I knew of Dimebag Darrell through Skid Row and thought he was pretty cool. This makes me sad. There's just too much violence and death and sadness in this world lately.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Dec. 9) - A gunman charged onstage at a packed nightclub and opened fire on the band and crowd, killing top heavy metal guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott and three other people before a police officer shot him to death, authorities and witnesses said.

Police spokeswoman Sherry Mercurio identified three of the victims of Wednesday's shooting as Abbott, who played for the band Damageplan, and two other men, Nathan Bray and Erin Halk.

She identified the gunman as Nathan Gale, 25, of the Marysville area northwest of Columbus. She said there was no information on a motive or if he had any connection to the band.

Damageplan had just begun its first song at Alrosa Villa when the man shot Abbott five or six times at point-blank range, a witness said.

Abbott, 38, one of metal's top guitarists, and his brother, Damageplan drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott, were original members of Grammy-nominated thrash rock pioneers Pantera, a popular metal band in the 1990s.

The witness, 22-year-old Chris Couch, said he was standing about 30 feet from the stage when he saw a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt walk up to the stage, followed by a bouncer and another club employee.

The man in the sweatshirt climbed onto the stage, started yelling and opened fire on the guitarist, then shot a bouncer who pulled him off the musician, Couch said.

Police spokesman Sgt. Brent Mull said that after shooting at band members, the gunman fired into the crowd. Mull said the gunman was shot and killed by a police officer who arrived shortly after the shooting began.


Monday, December 06, 2004


My very first plane ride came when I was 5 1/2 years old. Mom, Derek & I were
going to fly to Grand Junction to visit Grandma & Grandpa. I was so excited
and remember that I got a coloring book and some crayons from the stewardess
(she was still called that back then) and Mom pointed out to me where our house
was when we flew over. Our first leg of the trip was from Colorado Springs to
Denver where we would change planes and hop over to Junction.

It didn't take long to get to the capitol city and we had about an hour before
we boarded our next plane at Stapleton Airport. Mom took Derek & I to the big
plate glass window that overlooked the tarmac and pointed out the plane we were
going to be riding on. I was fascinated. The first ride here had been so cool
and this plane looked even bigger. I was thrilled with the prospect of getting
more crayons and coloring books! I looked up to tell Mom that and realized
that I was alone.

5 1/2 years old and ALONE in Stapleton Airport! Mom was nowhere to be found! I
completely & totally panicked and burst into tears, crying for my mommy! I was
running blindly and some man stopped me and asked me if I needed help. I just
pushed on past him, crying my heart out. I looked EVERYWHERE for her. I
remember being terrified that she had already boarded the plane and I was stuck
there in Denver. What would I do?

Finally, I happened to look into a snack bar and there she was with Derek,
buying sodas. I ran up to her, bawling, and she looked down at me and asked
why I was crying. SHE HAD NO CLUE I HAD BEEN LOST!!!!!! She thought I had
been with her the whole time!

I mentioned this story to her the other night and she doesn't remember it at
all. *sigh* I teased her that she had had Derek with her, that was all that
mattered. (For those of you who are new to Matted Spam, read my very first
post EVER to see how I'm positive Mom favors Derek over me.)

So there's my airport tragedy. For what it's worth. :)


Friday, December 03, 2004

Speaking Of...

Derek posted earlier this week about The Best Thanksgiving EVER and how his poor wife was tortured by all of us eating when she couldn't because of her dental work and how Mom gleefully taunted her. That reminded me about a similar story.

When I was in college, I had to have my bottom wisdom teeth pulled. I so didn't want to; I was afraid. When Mom took me in to the dentist, they made me sign a waiver that said that I wouldn't hold them responsible should I die. DIE????? I told Mom I couldn't do this, I didn't want to die! She merely laughed and said I wouldn't, it was just a formality. Okeee....We'll see.

The dentist gave me a numbing shot and went to work. The left side came out with no problems but the right exaggerations here, he literally had his foot on the arm of my chair, yanking on the tooth. If that wasn't bad enough, I could feel him pulling.

ME: Unnngh!
SATAN: Are you okay?
ME: Ah eah...I iine.

So, after he was done ripping teeth from my head, he gave me some gauze to pack my jaw with for 24 hours and sent me on my way. I was so out of it that in the car with the bright sunlight blinding me, I started frantically rooting through my purse. Mom asked what I was looking for. "My sunglasses," I replied without looking up. She sighed. "Heather, you're wearing them." Oh.

My appointment with Evil had been at like 2 so by the time dinner time rolled around I was starving. But I couldn't eat anything. So Mom made me a frozen yogurt shake. She brought it to me where I laid on the couch like an invalid. I was drinking away when suddenly I felt something cold on my chest. Looking down, I saw a big dribble of shake. I reached up and touched my chin...I was covered in shake. Since I was numb from the neck up, I couldn't feel that I was dribbling the stuff all over me. Of course Mom, Dad & Derek all saw it but didn't bother to help me. They just sat there and laughed.

And then they did the unthinkable: THEY ORDERED DOMINOES PIZZA!!!!

This was when Dominoes was GOOOOOD and we didn't order pizza often. It was always a big treat. And not only did they order pizza but they plopped the pies on the coffee table in front of me and proceeded to eat RIGHT THERE IN THE LIVING ROOM IN FRONT OF ME!! When I complained, they laughed.

So, Heather, don't feel bad. You're not the only one Mom's done this to.

An extra bit about this episode...I couldn't take that gauze out of my mouth for 24 hours. It was nasty and uncomfortable and I couldn't sleep. I thought maybe some music would help so I picked a CD to listen to. At this time, I had 3 CDs: Winger, Linear and Whitney Houston. I picked Whitney, put it on repeat & tried to sleep. To this day, I can't hear anything from the CD without feeling queasy.


Thursday, December 02, 2004

A Lost Friend Found

I saw a good friend of mine today that I hadn't seen since last June. His
name is Troy and he's been my best friend for 15 years now. Currently, he's in
a correctional outfit...I won't go into why although a few of my readers
already know the reason. Suffice to say, this is why it's been so long since I've
seen him.

BUT! I recieved a phone call three weeks ago from his primary therapist
saying that I was Troy's choice to be an outside contact for him, meaning that we
could only communicate by letters and the phone. The letter thing had been
going on for a couple months but getting to talk to him would be great so I
agreed to meet with the therapist and Troy this morning.

He has rules where he's at and one rule was that before outside "talky"
communication could be established, I had to meet with them and learn the rules.
The big rule was NO 3RD PARTY CONTACTS. Now, when they said that this morning,
I was thinking that that meant Troy couldn't say to me, "Go tell Derek that
....blah blah blah." And then I would tell Troy Derek's reply. Nope, that
wasn't it. The deal is that we cannot discuss anyone who he doesn't have prior
approved contact with. So I can't talk to him about my family, my boyfriend,
my friends...only me, him & his parents are safe subjects.

So now here's my quandry. What the hell do I talk about? I have a feeling
our first conversation will be something like this:

Me: Hi!! How are you?
Troy: Good, how are you?
Me: Good. How are your parents? (He has prior approved contact with them
so this is okay. Don't worry.)
Troy: They're good.
Me: How's work?
Troy: Busy but okay. You?
Me: Same. {long pause while I search for an appropriate topic} You know my

See, I have this vision of Troy having a buzzer that whenever I mention a
taboo topic he'll have to buzz me. It'll be like playing a game. Should be fun!

But it was good seeing him. When you see someone at least once a week for 14
years, it's weird all of a sudden not seeing them at all!


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