Friday, December 31, 2010

Hed’s Friday Flick.

Hey all…SO READY FOR 2010 TO BE OVER WITH. Counting the hours! One of my resolutions is to watch more movies this year, that way I will always have a Friday Flick ready. While I was on the plane from Australia coming home, there were a lot of movies to choose from. I attempted to sleep, but I did get 2 1/2 movies in: “Dinner for Schmucks” (meh), half of “Inception”, and “Salt”. I’m gonna review the latter for ya today.

Now there was a time not so long ago where Angelina Jolie could stand in front of a white wall with a potato sack on and read Latin and I would buy a ticket to watch it. Now? …not so much. I was excited to watch “Salt” though. I got sucked into the hype. I wanted to see her play “Jason Bourne with boobs!” I was also intrigued because the role was offered to Tom Cruise to play “Edwin Salt” but rewritten for AJ to play “Evelyn Salt”, and I think we all know Angelina can play a good badass.

The movie starts with Salt and her co-worker (Live Schreiber-I LOVE his voice!) about ready to leave for the day from their jobs at the CIA when a Russian defector walks in to give them information about the impending assassination of the Russian president while he is in the U.S. Salt walks in to the briefing room to speak to the guy when he drops a bombshell: the sleeper spy is named Evelyn Salt. She goes to call her husband, knowing he may be in danger, and all hell breaks loose. She escapes from the building, leaving everyone to wonder: is she really a spy? Or is she worried about her life and her husband?

The first third of the movie is you wondering if she is good or bad, and the action scenes can proudly fill you with girl power because AJ did all of her own stunts in this movie. The thing is, the answer is given to you so early in the movie you’re left going “ah, okay. Now what?” The next third of the movie is watching Salt’s backstory (I’m not going to give away if she is good or bad! As if!). The last third is you wondering if she is really good or bad…

Honestly, I was kind of bummed. At least “The Bourne Trilogy” lets you linger and be on the edge of your seat for three movies wondering who Jason Bourne really is. I wanted Evelyn Salt’s real identity to pop up and go “HA!”, instead of just kind of going “hey”. Maybe I expected more than I should of…but come on! The tag line of the movie was “Who is Salt?” for cripe’s sake!

I give this movie 6 Hed stars. ««««««

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Damn! When it rains it pours…

Hey…is that idiom always considered to be negative? Because I actually meant it as a good thing. After yesterday’s post I went from 34 followers to 39. (Okay edit: AS I POST THIS I hit 40 readers!!!) Holla! I told myself I would have a contest when I hit 50 readers, but I’ve been stuck in the 30’s so long I contemplated just starting one at 40. Now I will definitely have one at 50-when I hit 45 readers, I will give you all the details. Hint: It’s more like a competition!

A week-ish ago ib at Habitual Hobbit bestowed (how regal sounding) upon me the “Irresistibly Sweet Blog” award (created by Mynx, FYI). Me? Sweet? Hell yes!

ib wrote: “I adore this young lady. She may be the most honest blogger that I have come across thus far. I am impressed with her ability to get back up when she gets knocked down.  So, Hed, here's to you and continued success in life, blogging and all around awesomeness.”

I’m humbled…my first blog was just just get everything I am feeling on the inside out in the open, and two blogs later I’m (hopefully?) able to continue to convey my feelings and also not make you want to slit your wrists every day. Because that would kind of suck, reading a sad emo blog every day. To be clear I’m not a sad emo every day lately-as a matter of fact starting completely over has given me a kind of motivation to succeed. Did you read that?

I’M MOTIVATED!!! WTF?

Now the rules to accept this award is to list my five guilty pleasures and also pass this on to three bloggers who are deserving of it. So lets see…

5. I’m a sucker for ice cream. Sadly while I am trying to get on board with losing weight this doesn’t mesh well. Low fat ice cream-SCREW YOU! I want Haagen-Dazs, milkshakes,  McFlurrys, Blizzards, anything that basically comes in a cup is my poison-which is the worst kind of ice cream usually, calorie wise.

4. Sleep. I think one of the biggest things going against me if I ever actually chose to have babies is that I like sleep wayyyyyyyy too much. That and all the other crap. My naptime never ceased after preschool. I would come home from school and sleep. I would come home from work and sleep. I napped after lunch today. When I’m tired, I’m miserable and it doesn’t seem to let up unless I …you guessed it…SLEEP!

3. Alone time. Sometimes I just want to hang out in a room and do what I want to do (that sounds kind of dirty). Sometimes I want to lay in bed and watch TV. All day. Or organize my pictures on my computer according to date or person. Or catch up on reading. There has been many a time where I have taken a sick day to just veg out and have ME time.

2. Dairy products. It’s a guilty pleasure because dairy to me is like the boyfriend you’re forbidden to see, but you still sneak to see him even if you know you’ll get grounded for it. Cheescake! Cream cheese on a bagel! Ice cream (see above)! Cheez-it’s! Cottage cheese! Yogurt! My heart says yes but my tummy says NO!

1. Paul Frank. Unless you get a China knockoff or get lucky, Paul Frank is pricey. Even at Target! My Snuggie was $40 (stepdad forgot to take off the tags). My niece’s 3T PJ’s? $25. Yet if there is a PF home ware I would shell out twice what I should just to have a Julius shower curtain, or a bed set (the comforter alone is $80+). It’s pretty bad. I buy things with his face on it even if I don’t need it, because I always panic and think I don’t have THAT!!!

Oh Julius, you’re like crack to me.

Now onto three “sweet” bloggers…

Bruce over at JADIP-Yeah, I know you got this award YESTERDAY, but you crack me up and you’re so sweet you come over to my blog all the time and post words of encouragement. Hell, you even let your dog blog for you. How sweet is that??

Skippy at I Make Soap-I love you. Seriously. You always give me a nice swift dose of reality when we talk (commenting or privately), and there are only a handful of bloggers as genuine as you.

Morgan at The Adorkable Ditz-Lady GaGa on flute. The end. You’re awesome!

Also yesterday I received a repeat of the “Honest Scrap” blog award by Colenic at A Smile a Day.

Colenic wrote, “her blog is as real as it gets”. Thanks!

So thanks to everyone, new and old, award giver or lazy bum (kidding), and everyone else who took the time to stop by. Respect!

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What’s your definition of “fat”?

I wrestled with whether I should shelve this archive and post the next one, but, as uncomfortable as it is to talk about my body, I really wanted to share it with my readers because it is a part of my life. I did some housework today and after one room I was exhausted. My back hurt, my arms hurt, and I was sweaty. Gross. How did it get to this?
This blog is dated June 16, 2010, and it rings as true today as it did then.

First off, I'd like to share with my readers that I am typing this naked in the middle of the day. Because my brain never turns off, my mind wandered to the look of my own body while I was in the shower so I sat at my computer in my towel and started to write. In the shower, I came to this conclusion: I think there is an invisible weight limit for each individual where you cross the line from-

"skinny" to "trim"

"trim" to "healthy"

"healthy" to "curvy"

"curvy" to, gosh, there's so many, "plump", "chubby", "chunky", etc.

"chubby" to "fat"

"fat" to "really fat"

and finally, "really fat" to "I can't lift my legs out of bed fat"

I am the second to last one. Really. I'm not some tabloid mag that shows Beyonce with jiggle and proclaims "FAT!!!", I'm the one you would say to a friend, "I can't believe she got so big!" or "she always had such a pretty face". I do have a pretty face, damn it, it's just hard to see the actual shape of it.

I'll lay out the grim, uncomfortable details: my thighs don't just touch, they stick together. I'm starting to get stretch marks on my knees. My knees! The stretch marks I was blessed with when having my son have actually risen upward and backward. That horrible back fat near the bra area some of us are plagued with? Mine actually rests on my lower back fat. My ears are fat. (No, not really, I just wanted to break the gross visuals with some comic relief.) It's hard to lift up my body, like when you pull the blankets out from under you when you are lying down. I walked the other day to our mailbox and by the time I got back my back was aching. The worst part about my fat is that I got passed down an apple shape via my grandmother. I'm all stomach. My ex said I was "shaped like a boy", because I carry all of my weight in my middle, as opposed to actually hot fat girls who have boobs and booty. I'm still a C cup. I used to have to buy jeans that were tight up top but baggy everywhere else because I didn't have big legs. Now I wear track pants, which is ironic because I've never been to a track in my life. My feet are fat. I wear slip-on because tennis shoes are too tight.

By the way, I'm not writing this for you to feel sorry for me. I heaped this on myself. Mr. McDonald and the Colonel and Jack were merely accomplices. The thing is, I want to be invisible. I want to walk somewhere out in the open and not have one person lay eyes on me. When I am in the grocery store, I make my husband go with me because I can make him be the culprit if we put Oreos in the basket. People may look at him and pay no mind, but I feel like if I grab cookies, people are like, "doesn't she know how she looks?" I only go through drive-through, because you are anonymous and people can assume all that food you are buying is for a family of six waiting for you at home. I feel instantly guilty whenever I say "and one Reeses McFlurry". I refuse to eat a hot fry or take a sip from my milkshake in the car while waiting for more food. Even one fry in public means I am a fat, lazy cow who belongs in Wal-Mart on a Jazzy scooter. Of course this is the main thing we talk about in therapy, because my outside is what I convey to others. I can be whomever I want on the inside to anyone, because that is what I do. I can't hide my outside. I can only hide inside-I mean, in my house, away from any eyes. When I was younger, 130 pounds was fat. See how fat I was?

(Face covered to protect the innocent fat people. Namely me.)
 
I wanted to slap my 90 pound friends when they said they were fat. Where??? I used to work in a plus-size clothing store, and I loved it, even though I was a size 12-14. So many insecure girls would walk in and it was like the store was a safe haven. It screamed "look at everyone around you! You are not alone!!!" I wasn't the smallest girl that worked there and I wasn't the largest. Other than my stomach, I was okay with my body. I still had food issues back then though. I would try and hide the food I would eat when I had to leave the store on lunch and go to the food court. Us big girls always had plenty of snacks to go around, and I would make sure I would only eat either in private or when another girl was eating the same thing. After that job I started in the restaurant business, and as a manager I got all my food for free. For free. I would buy the massive desserts all the time because I knew that my servers would offer to split it or I could half it right away so I wouldn't seem like a fat pig. That way, instead of them looking at me eating, it would be like a reward for them and take the emphasis off myself. Fried foods were a daily indulgence. The cooks were so awesome, and I could ask them to make special stuff with the ingredients they had that weren't on the menu, like patty melts or crunchy fish tacos. Even after a ten-hour shift, I would still pick up fast food on the way home. It's like it was never enough.

I've tried to rationalize to myself that overeating is self-destruction, so it wouldn't be a big deal if I became bulimic or started to starve myself. Bulimia is out-I can't believe some people get a high after they puke, I feel awful and shaky and just want to lie down. And starving myself? Fat chance (pardon the pun). If I don't eat after eight hours *BAM* instant migraine. If I block out foods they become all I think about. If I only drink liquids I crave solids. I can't take ephedra or fat-burning supplements because of my medications and my somewhat bum ticker. I don't know what is scarier: walking into a public gym or being in the same room with a cockroach. They are both paralyzing.

I'm not gonna lie: I want the surgery. I want something that forcibly says, "you want that slice of cheesecake? Oh hell no! *Puke*". I know the drill people. I can't expect to succeed even with surgery if I don't change my routine and eating habits. When I buy a candy bar, I tell myself, "just today. Tomorrow I will cut out a sugar item". Then I eat another candy bar. It sucks. I have an addiction. It's not like crack, where you can learn how to recover from the dependency. You have to eat to live. And I live to eat.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

YouTube Tuesday.

Over the next week or so you may be seeing more of my Bipolar blog archives as I am really trying to stay focused on looking for a job. Don’t worry, they’re probably new to you! And I’m still reading my fellow bloggers every day, so I’m still around, people. The new poll is up, go vote…as for last week’s poll, it looks like my readers like to thug out and drive with one hand either at the top or the bottom of the wheel. So, gangsta style over safety? I guess so!

Today I went through my favorites on YouTube to show you a video that’s just…wow. It’s from “Filipino’s Got Talent”, and he/she freaks me out, every time…plus when I hear the song I start singing it around the house. It’s pretty funny considering I don’t speak Tagalog, so I end up belting out “Vanilla Asso! Sock cocka bayou!”

Speaking of singing a song so wrong it’s right, I’ll throw in a little Mariah Carey…

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

It’s all over!

Christmas has kind of been my climax, my landmark, my “I’ll start doing (insert goal here) after” day. Now it’s over, and Monday will be like any other day. Crap. No more excuses. I need to update my resume, start looking for a job, find business clothes that actually fit, become active, stop eating shit food, etc. I’m anxious. But for today I’m laid back (except for the massive stomach ache I have from too much cheese ball) and spending the day catching up on blogs and playing good ole’ WoW. Can I tell you about Christmas? Well, I’m going to tell you anyway, suckas!

With my mom being the ringleader of Christmas for the past bajillion years, our family had to pull together and spread out the holiday duties so it wasn’t mom 99% everyone else 1%. Even with my mom’s bum leg it was still about 70/30% because she refuses to sit back and let others do the work for her. But she did good! She actually let people do things this year! My aunt baked the turkey, made the green beans, rolls, and the pies; my sister and her hubs made a pumpkin log, corn casserole and brought all the paper goods; mom made the ham, yams, chili cheese dip, deviled eggs, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, and deviled eggs (see what I mean?); and my brother brought the best stuff according to my family-all the booze! My grandpa usually pitches in, but with his back issues over the last week we told him to just take it easy. My job was to make the cookies, cheese ball, and the Pièce de résistance, the pretzel salad. Okay, pretzel + salad sounds so gross, but it is the best damn thing known to man. And I was making it! Well, my mom must get her stubbornness from Pop, because he insisted he make it (and I’m glad he did-it’s a tough recipe to get right and he makes it BEST). I also at the last minute made this Reese’s no-bake brownie-type things, and they were a hit for sure. And the cheese ball…oh man. I’m going to be sick all week from the leftovers.

Our Christmas morning ritual is this: we rotate the presents around, and for the past few years the adults in the family pick out one person to gift. This year I had my brother-in-law (guys are SO EASY), and my stepdad had me (jackpot!). I also gave my family some knick knacks from Australia I picked up, like coasters and Bundaberg rum. I seriously may never wear regular clothes again, because I got three pairs of PJ’s, two of which were Paul Frank. Woo hoo! The present to end all presents though…I was dying. I opened up what I thought was a Paul Frank throw blanket, until I looked a little closer and see that the picture on the package shows Julius the monkey wearing the blanket.

I got a freaking Snuggie.

I laughed so hard when I asked my stepdad “did you read my blog poll last week?” He said no…I must retract my statement since Paul Frank has a Snuggie. Paul Frank could make poo and I would probably buy it. It’s a problem, friends!

The busyness of the day and the hyperactivity of my niece and nephews made me forget for a few moments that I was spending Christmas without my husband. I tried to just interact as much as possible with the kids, since I really did miss them and they make me so happy. I played Sorry and Uno with them, and we battled on the pinball machine. All they wanted this year were gift cards to Best Buy so they could either buy a Wii or an Xbox 360. So that’s what we all bought for them. Well, that morning their mom (who is divorced from my brother) surprised the boys and bought them a Wii! They were so happy because now they could spend their cards on games and junk. Well, the last present of the day was from my brother to the boys, and it was…an Xbox 360! I tried to barter with them to maybe take the Wii off their hands, but they wanted no part of it. Two consoles! A kid’s Christmas dream, right?

My niece got so many things, but I think the highlight for her was a new baby and a salon chair so you could do the baby’s hair and stuff. It’s so funny because she had the play blow dryer in her hand and was drying the baby’s hair-by punching her in the head with it. Nice. My 11-year-old nephew was trying to tell me a story and while he was, I noticed my 3-year-old niece was repeating everything he was saying. So I whipped out the camera phone and taped them. The last two words were my suggestion. I’m a terrible aunt!

 

I hope everyone had a great holiday!

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

“G’Day Mate?” or “Will Whore for Australia”, part 2.

I was reading the next part of this story from back in June and it’s all wrong. What I mean is I wrote it six months ago before the big move and it’s all about me rationalizing that I would be able to live permanently in Australia. Obviously reading all of my hopes and dreams for my new life sucks ass considering I’m alone, living at my moms and sleeping in a day bed with Thomas the Tank Engine sheets. I think you all wanted a love story and not a life story, so I will attempt one.

March 2008 was the best month of my life. I had an excellent job, money in the bank, was living on my own, and I had met my future husband. He was everything I could have hoped for and more. He was full of life, perpetually happy and excited about anything and everything. He met my family, and they fell head over heels in love with him (which was huge, as I usually tended to bring home douchebags). The three weeks he spent with me in the States was magical. I took him to Big Bear so he could ski (he had only been to snow one other time in his entire life).

He was the soldier-I tried to snowboard and ended up a crying heap watching him ski the rest of the day.

We went dancing with my best friend at an eighties club in Hollywood. We pointed and laughed at him as he danced like a European on crack, twirling and spazzing out.

I took J to Disneyland and told him all about the rides and my childhood, about how the Haunted Mansion had the coolest elevator and how you have to go to the French Quarter (or whatever the place in Disneyland is called with the New Orleans flair) to get clam chowder in a bread bowl and beads thrown at you. One day I drove him to Newport and Balboa Beach, and we spent the day walking around and being happy in love people.

By far the best part of his “holiday” was Las Vegas on St. Patrick’s Day. I don’t drink often (and neither does he), but we got shitfaced on Fremont Street that night. It was amazing, one of the best carefree moments I ever shared with someone, let alone let myself have.

This picture pretty much sums up our night.

The next day we did the tourist thing, taking in the lions and tigers and buffets, and towards the end of the day I took him to my favorite hotel, The Venetian. On the bridge he whips out a ring and said something along the lines of “Hed, you are my life and I want to spend the rest of my life with you” (I think that’s what he said, damn my fish memory). As soon as we got the rings on one another the band in the courtyard started playing and I started bawling (as I am now).

Taken on the bridge of The Venetian, March 18, 2008

I actually threw a tantrum and made him stay an extra week. With all the sightseeing, I felt like I didn’t have a lot of time to just absorb all of J and his awesomeness. The last week I had to work, but it was so wonderful to come home and know that he was there waiting for me.

J left April 3 and it took me two weeks to put together all of the documents needed for his fiancé visa so he could live permanently in the U.S. I did well that entire month, but by May I was miserable. I cried almost every single day. I learned the definition of “yearn”. I needed him with me. I never needed anyone like I needed J. We spent our free time on Skype and could seriously talk for hours and hours about anything and everything.

During the visa process I flew to Australia in August for two weeks. This time around it was his turn to show me everything. His family took me fishing on the Anabranch River (after they swore to me there were no crocs in it).

We spent the night at Jupiter’s Casino in Townsville and he took me to Reef HQ where I met Nemo and Dorrie! We also spent the day at Billabong Sanctuary where I came…a little too close for comfort to a crocodile..

Pardon the mouth…

We spent the night at Magnetic Island, and were so happy with each other’s company we stayed in our room and watched “March of the Penguins” and took silly “we’re in love” pictures, like this one.

Hed and Jim 4

I even got the thumbs-up from his family who told me, “you’re alright…for a Yank”. Leaving J this time was harder because we didn’t know when our paperwork would be approved or when we would be able to see each other again. The week after I got back he was approved and had an appointment October 8 for his visa in Sydney. I got on the ball and starting planning the wedding (the rules for a fiancé visa is that once J landed on American soil, we had to marry in 90 days or he would be deported). 

J landed in Los Angeles October 28. By November 2 he had gone to Knott’s Scary Farm, carved his first pumpkin and had his first Halloween, moved into our new house and went with me to my bridal shower. Apparently our life was just meant to be on the fast track. I wanted to be married on our one year anniversary, December 7. We chose Las Vegas because it was where we got engaged. His family came to the wedding from Australia, and it was a perfect day.

Two years later I can honestly say I love J as much as I did when I met him. As cheesy and clichéd as this sounds, my life started the day I met him. I can’t imagine life without him. I miss him so much right now it hurts. It physically hurts (tears). But it was my choice to move back to America and he supported me, even though we both knew he would have to stay in Australia for the time being. I know we will be okay because we have gone through this before.

It’s funny guys, I didn’t mean for this blog to be as long as it is. It could have been longer! I think the best thing I can do for myself and my husband right now is to get healthy. Be strong. Find a purpose. Go back to being the happy, independent girl he fell in love with. So that’s what I’m trying to do.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

“G’Day Mate?” or “Will Whore for Australia”, part 1.

Everyone always asks me how I met J, my Aussie. I always say I’m going to post the story, but never have on this blog or my Hed Down under blog. When J and I were contemplating moving to Australia this past summer, I wrote up how we met and why I had always been gung-ho about Australia.

This blog is dated June 13 2010, and revised slightly. I’ll post part 2 tomorrow.

I was destined to live in Australia. Okay well, that's not entirely true. I was living in the happy bubble we call the United States. I didn't care if the people in Rwanda were dying-what the hell does that have to do with me? I never bothered to vote because, to be honest, I would listen to the news or TV commercials and decide who I wanted as president based on the facts they laid out in 30-second increments. Then I'd just forget to vote that day. (I almost voted for Bush. I ALMOST VOTED FOR BUSH!!!)

In 2004 I became closer, in the biblical sense, to my male best friend and hung on his every word. He talked logically and rationally about current events, politics, the environment, religion, etc. Most of the time I'll admit I turned on the happy music in my brain to tune him out when he started to go on and on about something like gun control, but he helped open my eyes a little bit when it came to "real" news. My news was Angelina Jolie adopting Maddox or a celebrity dying. One day it dawned on me that I wanted something more from my best friend then a friend, and laid it out for him and spoke from the heart on why we would be a great match. His response? "You're not girlfriend material".

You're not girlfriend material. That sentence has forever been branded into my head.

I asked him why, and he compared me to his ex: She had a bookcase full of books, she was an English major at a University, she cared about what was going on in the world. Hopefully you have at least read one of my blogs to know I like to mold myself into whatever shape the other person needs me to be, so I tried to become everything he told me I wasn't. At the doctor's office, I picked up Newsweek instead of Entertainment Weekly. I subscribed to MSNBC news feeds on my computer. I volunteered to be an election officer at the 2004 elections. Something funny along the way happened: I actually liked news. I liked knowing about global warming. I liked being able to have an opinion about Republicans vs. Democrats. And I know in my heart the guy I was doing this all for liked me more because I cared about what he liked-but I'm still annoyed he refused to watch "America's Next Top Model" with me, though.

Damn it, this was supposed to be a blog about Australia! Let me get back to that (damn my ADD!). During the time I was trying to be Ms. Perfect-to-Him, I met a guy online that lived in Melbourne. At the time we would just chit-chat about video games and he would rib me for being American, and I would drool over his accent. I didn't know much at all about Australia, let's see: Koala Bears, Vegemite, Kangaroos, Shrimp on the Barbie, Sydney Opera House, Heath Ledger, G'Day Mate, and the stupid "u" they added to all their words. The guy, by the way, wasn't my type at all; I have a 5-year boyfriend age limit up or down, and he was older than my brother (9 years). He smoked pot. Listened to death metal. But he was a good guy, and he liked me, which automatically got me interested in him. He was the first guy to ever send me roses (at my work no less! Women, you know when other girls fawn and hate you for flowers, it's the best feeling in the world!), and at that point I was all-in. He offered to fly me over, and I was able to get a week off of work. My poor mom was terrified: What if he is an axe-murderer? What if the plane crashes? What if you die, we can't afford to ship your corpse over! Thanks, mom. I had never taken a chance, so I held my breath and crossed the Pacific.

I fell in love the minute I landed. To the country, unfortunately, not the guy. Melbourne was so... contemporary! People on cafe sidewalks drinking espresso (2005 was long before my coffee addiction), a tram that carried you around the city, art galleries. We made spaghetti one night and didn't go to a supermarket: we went to the butcher, the produce stand, the bakery, the mom and pop shop for noodles. One other giant difference, though, was that their "world news" really was World News, not "how this world event affected America" world news. They were very aware that there were, in fact, other countries/wars/people/events out there other than only their countries struggles. I would sit and muse that I would just stay here and not take the return flight back. I could always get my clothes and things shipped, right? Well, reality set in. Where would I live? What about my job at home? What about friend/boyfriend in America? I took the flight home and cried and cried on the plane. I would never be back to Australia. I'm incapable of saving that much money for a trip. Ever.

When I got home, I would yearn and cry over my dream country. I realized how closed-minded and exceptional a lot of Americans thought they were. I would read blogs online how every other country was inferior to the United States, and how no one would ever be better than us. I joined a video game circle where everyone was Australian (but me), and I loved it. I fit in. I would ask them questions about Australia, they would rib me for being American. In late 2007 I started talking to an old friend from the circle and he ended up being my husband a year later. Wait a second...

I ended the previous paragraph early. I re-read my story and can only assume the title of this blog should be "Will Whore for Australia" or "I Caught Another Aussie!", or something to that effect. It reads like I was waiting to spring my claws into some poor guy and ride his coattails into the land Down Under. I have to admit, there is nothing sexier than an Australian accent (I'm still privy to English or South African as well). The reason I started talking to my now-husband (J) is because around Summer of '07, I was in a hole. Not like the hole I am in present-day, but everything fell apart around me and I was sitting around thinking, "who am I?" I never talked on MSN or chat rooms (creepy), but I did give my e-mail to J who had quit the video game circle. I remember him as always being friendly, courteous, and really funny.

Anyway, one day J popped online and I vented to him about all the things that were going wrong and he listened. The end. Three or so months later he saw me online and said hi, and asked me about all the things I had vented to him about in the summer. I thought that pretty decent of him to remember and genuinely care, so I decided to continue to talk to him online. J could have very well been a little-brother type, honestly: He was five years younger than me, lived at home in a town of 8,000, and had very little real-life experience. We started talking on the phone and although his accent was very Outback/Crocodile Dundee (Melbourne guy's accent was so...contemporary! Like he drank out of a brandy snifter and had eaten caviar before), he was incredibly funny and kind. I would talk and talk and talk and he would listen and remember little details. One night, I was bitching about my new cell phone not working and he Googled it for me and walked me through the set-up like a sweet Indian tech support would. At that moment I told him, "this is going to sound cheesy, but I just developed a crush on you". He told me he felt the same way.

The level of communication we shared was the deepest I had ever shared with someone, perhaps even more so with my best friend. By the time my best friend became "kind of boyfriend", I didn't talk to him as much about fears and stress because I wanted him to see me as perfect so we could one day live happily ever after. The way I saw it, my best friend loved me for who he thought I could one day be; J loved me for who I am. J never judged me, and his wisdom was that of a man much older than 22. I was working at my brand new restaurant job and every day I would come home and look forward to telling him about my day. Around Christmastime, we started talking about visiting one another one day. Australians happen to have awesome vacation benefits (thanks for my one week a year Uncle Sam), so we decided since I had been to Australia before, he would come visit me in the States. (So to everyone reading that thinks of me as an Australia slut, I gave up a chance at spending a week in Australia!)

As soon as he landed I fell in love. With the guy fortunately, not his country. He was what I expected. No doubts, no lies or fallacies, just J. We had an amazing holiday all over California (FYI-if you EVER go to Las Vegas, go on St. Patrick's Day. Best.Vegas.Trip.EVER!). It took him nine days to ask me to marry him, and nine seconds for me to accept. We immediately started discussing our trans-continental relationship. We decided since my job/assets/established life was better than his was in Australia at the time, J would move to the States.

To be continued…

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

YouTube Tuesday.

YTT

I’m happy to report that 69% of you agreed with me and thought that the Snuggie was the biggest lame-ass invention of all time. And dog Snuggies? *Shudders* New poll up today, don’t forget to vote!

So I’m late on the YouTube bandwagon for this video, but about a month ago I heard about it from word of mouth and the minute I listened to it, it instantly got stuck in my head. It’s also the most watched YouTube video of 2010, so run and tell THAT!

What you are watching is from the makers of “Auto-Tune the News”. What they do is pretty much make catchy songs to news segments, and it’s really addicting and funny to watch. This particular song was a story about a girl in Alabama who was attacked by an intruder in her house, and her brother stopped him to see what the fuss was about. The rest is…magical.

Oh, and for anyone who wants to watch the original news clip, here it is. I dare you not to sing along!

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hed’s Sunday Shortlist.

With 2011 just around the corner (thank God-I’m OVER 2010), I thought it would be fitting to write out some things I’d like to accomplish in the new year-I just won’t call them resolutions! The minute you say “resolution” your goal is cursed, like getting a tattoo of a lover. So here we go, in no particular order:

10 Un-Resolutions of 2011.

10. Learn new recipes. The years I’ve lived on my own I have eaten out 95% of the time. Thousands and thousands of dollars spent; pounds and pounds of weight gained. Living back with parents (my own and my in-laws) has really made me want to give cooking a go. I don’t plan on becoming the next Paula Deen (in shape or in terms of cooking skill)-I just want to be able to whip up some dishes with ease and not rely on McDonalds to nourish me.

9. Learn a new language. Before I left for Australia I really wanted to learn Spanish-seeing as I live in America where Spanish is the native language (what? It kind of is!). When I moved over there it occurred to me that learning Spanish would be just about as helpful as learning Latin, but now that I’m back in California it would be really cool to communicate in a foreign language that would actually be useful.

8. Get a job-and stick with it. Can you believe that the longest I’ve ever been at a job is 22 months? I’m 30 and I haven’t even hit a 2-year mark at a job. There are a million reasons why, but the main one is I tell myself I can do better. Well with the economy being the way it is at the moment I will take what I can get! But I do want to like where I work and I do want to have passion and excitement for what I am doing. Is that too much to ask? Oh, and…decent wages and benefits!

7. Learn the definition of “schedule”. In many mental health disorders, planning your day in advance is a huge part of making progress. If you plan your day, there are a lot less things that can go wrong (in theory). I have been bitching this whole week about having my grandpa’s schedule (8pm-6am), but it’s kind of cool to have hot coffee in the morning without leaving your house to go to Starbucks (props to my stepdad). If I could move it up a little to say 11pm-9am, I would be set!

6. In said schedule, include regimens. I always feel best when I would remember to take my vitamins and supplements, but sometimes when I wake up at 2pm or I forget to eat until dinner, those things get put in the “I’ll remember to do that tomorrow” bin. Same goes for beauty crap. If I put moisturizer on once a day I’m lucky, and going from summer to winter in the course of a day has thrown my poor skin so out of whack. Even my poor hands are chapped as I write!

5. Get my rogue to 85…and my priest too! Don’t ask! It’s too nerdy to explain :)

4. Be happy again. It’s ultimately up to me now. Australia didn’t change it. America didn’t change it. Being with and without my husband or family didn’t change it. I’ve been in this depressed episode for over a year now, and it’s not getting any better. So I need to fix it. I’m going to look into seeing the old psychologists now that I’m home, and I’m going to try and do baby steps to try to improve my way of life in general. I’m 30 now. There are no excuses for the things I still do. It’s up to me now.

3. Save money! Never have I been successful with this, but I have sold everything I own. I have no car. No house. No silverware, no towels, no TV, no couches, etc. Nothing (I heart YOU, my pink Dell laptop!). If J comes over in six months and we are still broke, then we have no foundation to start over on. It’s got to be the simple life for me now-I have to do what will benefit me later on.

2. Get healthy. Period. “Exercise helps depression”. “Certain foods help depression” “Routines help depression”. There are SO MANY avenues to try and improve my life that I choose to ignore. No more! I have to lose weight. HAVE TO. Fat Bastard in the “Austin Powers” movies said, “I eat because I’m unhappy and I’m unhappy because I eat. It’s a vicious cycle”. It’s so true. I don’t want to make any set goals here, because when it comes to health, if I set a goal for myself and fail it I will be devastated. So baby steps. That’s all I want now. Just good health.

1. Be a better wife/daughter/aunt/friend/sister/etc. It’s about damn time! My husband would move mountains for me. He is just the greatest man I could ever dream of, and he’s mine. He deserves more, yet he chooses to stick with me. If that’s not motivation to be a better person, then I don’t know what is. Same goes for my friends and family. Oh, I should throw “writer” in there too, I guess. Writing has helped tremendously with my depression and feeling worthwhile. Having readers like YOU has helped me feel like I’m not alone and that I’m not useless. So thanks to each and every one of you as well.

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Hed’s Friday Flick.

HFF

My husband picked out the movie “Kick-Ass” a while ago, and I am so glad he did. I was expecting a kids (or teens) movie about a comic book character or something, and I was sorely mistaken. The trailer really got it wrong-they portrayed the movie as a fun, uplifting action movie! NO. This movie is kind of dark. And sad! But I actually really enjoyed it, and at the end I was jumping on the bed and cheering like a big gay.

The movie is about an ordinary teenager that wants to do something more. So he buys a scuba suit and becomes “Kick-Ass”. Unfortunately, he has no superpowers, so when he tries to fight bad guys as any superhero would, he gets his ass handed to him. In the hospital, Dave (Kick-Ass) finds out some of his nerves are permanently damaged, which gives him a higher threshold of pain. One night, he tries to break up a fight and gets beat down, but Kick-Ass just keeps going because he feels little pain. During the fight, a kid takes a video and uploads it to YouTube (how modern), and Kick-Ass becomes a sensation. He even makes a “Kick-Ass” Myspace page. (LOL, Myspace!) Along the way he meets a couple of superhero vigilantes, which really kick starts the movie into high gear.

Once Big Daddy and Hit Girl come on screen, it’s over. It’s their movie now. You want to see more of them, especially the little girl, because she is a freaking BAD ASS! She should have been called Bad Ass, actually. Anyway, the film kind of starts over a bit by showing that the duo have it out for a crime boss and has big plans to shut them down for good. Lots of fighting and killing and potty mouth by the little girl, which is hilarious. It’s definitely an action movie, and I think anyone who isn’t going in expecting a comedy like they teased it on the trailer to be may like it.

I grabbed the trailer that shows Hit Girl in action-but be warned! It’s graphic and is filled with language! (My favorite kind of language!)

I give this movie 7 hed stars. «««««««

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hed needs a jobby-job.

January 1 is sixteen days away. That’s when I swore to myself I would start looking for a job. I haven’t had a job since November 2009, back when I was working at Starbucks of all places after being a restaurant manager for two years. One day I couldn’t go to work. I just…couldn’t. The boss wouldn’t let me slide that day. So instead of trying to be rational, I quit. Three weeks later I landed a job at Starbucks for half the money and half the hours. One day I gave up. I didn’t even call in sick. I just stopped. Something died in me last fall, and, like I have said in many of my blogs, I don’t think that part of me will ever be back.

BUT! Unless I choose to go through months and months of paperwork and waiting to get approved for permanent disability (Bipolar is actually something you can apply for, apparently), my ass needs to get a job. Now I have been in management since I was 21. I have years of experience, and once upon a time I could have probably talked you into buying poo as a facial mask because it firmed your skin. I had a LOT of charisma. Had. I tend to not have a sense of humor anymore, and it sucks.

I’ve been looking into schools since I’ve been home, and with the economy and my lack of savings, it seems like a moot point. Plus, no one is getting jobs-with or without a college education. I have a friend who graduated in Economics from a top-tier university…she delivers pizza. Another friend is in graduate school for Marketing. During the day she works at a furniture store and at night works at a clothing store. I really don’t think spending my time learning a skill will be fruitful at this time-and I hate saying that. School is so, so important in my opinion.

My mom is pretty much saying “take what you can get”, and I agree. But now all the fear and doubt and excuses are popping in my head. I have no work clothes anymore (I sold it all/gained weight). I’m afraid to work with people. I can’t manage my own life, let alone other people! What are my options? What do I tell people about my year absence? What if I fail after a week? A month? Three months? UGH.

I want a job. I want to be super ambitious like I used to be and network my ass off. But I think everyone will see through me, or they won’t see the spark that I once had. I can’t get a job working on my own, because working in the service industry is all I’ve ever done. At this point I don’t have the confidence to tell myself I will succeed, and it sucks. I’m really, truly NOT trying to be a Negative Nelly today! The reason I even blogged about this subject is because I have been looking into my options. I gave myself until the first of the month so I can get situated back home and so I could try and give myself many pep talks.

I want to go into Medicine. Serious. My dream would to be a Physician’s Assistant or a Pharmacist, or to be Miranda Bailey. I’m thinking about just trying to weasel my way into something related to medicine at the moment, even if that means answering phones at a doctor’s office or something. So that’s what I’m looking into at the moment. If any of you lovely readers have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them…

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Oh man…part two.

My mom’s house is always cold. Cold and dark. I don’t know why-it usually just tends to be like ten degrees cooler than other houses. Normally this is awesome, but these last few days, what with the jet lag and the acceptance that I am starting completely and utterly over, it…it’s close to being almost too much.

I left off at last Saturday on yesterday’s blog. Sunday there was a barbecue scheduled for my welcome home, so everyone was planning for it. My grandpa, who was preparing my favorite dessert of all time (pretzel salad!), called my mom Saturday and told her his back was really bothering him. My mom had asked my sister to stop by his house and check on him on her way home (they live in the same town), and when she got there at 6 pm he was already in bed.

At 5 am Sunday morning my mom got a call from my uncle who said that he had tried to call my grandpa twice but there was no answer. After my mom called a couple of times she called my uncle back and asked him to drive down to his house to check on him. About ten minutes later he called from my grandpa’s house to say that he was MIA. The car was in the driveway and everything was still locked up. Mom asked my uncle to check the bathtub, to check outside, to really look around-and I was sitting on the edge of her bed with tears in my eyes waiting to hear what they found. When my uncle said that my grandpa’s wallet was gone, mom tried the hospital.

Sure enough, my grandpa called 911 at midnight because he was in so much pain he couldn’t move. I breathed a sigh of relief-he’s okay-and my mom was mad. Mad! Mad because he hadn’t called anyone or had anyone call us to say where he was. I drove my mom to the hospital, and she said something that will burn in my ears forever. “Maybe Pop was waiting for you to come home before he died, Hed.” I won’t go into detail right now, but something happened the day before my grandma was admitted to the hospital in 2006 that I will never forget, and it was pretty much the same foreboding as what my mom had said. Here I am, back in America for less than 72 hours, and my grandpa is in the emergency room.

Seriously how could it be such a beautiful day out with my grandpa in the ER?CameraZOOM-20101212081926

By the time we got there he had already gotten a litany of tests and all was right with the world-he’s just an old guy with degenerative bone disease (the one my mom got diagnosed with this year as well). My mom hemmed and hawed for more tests, but it was a Sunday morning and there was pretty much nothing else that could be done. I went home while my mom stayed with my grandpa at his house until he kicked her out and said “I’ll be fine!”

If I forgot to mention this, the main reason I came back to California was for my mom. Last June she had a knee replaced (because of the bone degeneration), and the recovery has not gone well. Severe nerve damage, accidental opiate addiction (she stopped cold turkey and ended up in the ER for withdrawal), and she’s unable to bend her knee. Temporary physical therapy has become three times a week, and due to the medication fiasco she has to see a pain management doctor. On top of THAT her dermatologist found six new moles that look suspicious and need to be biopsied; you can’t be too careful with melanoma (see that story here). My grandpa has been her ride and escort, but it wears him out. So I decided to come back and fill his shoes. And they are BIG shoes to fill. I love my mom to death but when we’re around each other for longer than about an hour we want to kill each other. Monday I drove her to physical therapy and her skin doctor appointment, and the whole time she was the worst backseat driver…ever in the history of life! Yes, it’s HER car but I mean the whole time she was like, “okay, in three miles there is a stop sign, make sure to stop in time”. Really? You mean on the street I have been driving on for fourteen years? THAT stop sign???  During her therapy I was able to stop by my favorite sushi joint and get a couple rolls. It tasted like manna from heaven.

CameraZOOM-20101213113621

 

That night it was just me and my mom as my stepdad is in Santa Barbara for work all week, so she made homemade lemon chicken and we just hung out. At 3 am my grandpa rang up. He said he needed us to come over right now, that he was in severe pain. We got there and I had never seen him in so much pain-he was breathing really hard and trembling. He took some pain meds and we decided to wait 45 minutes before we decided whether or not to call 911. By 5 am he was a lot better. He was reading the paper and able to walk to the bathroom (with the walker they had given to him at the hospital).

Mom insisted she stay the night with grandpa, so I went home. Alone. I was asleep by 7 pm, and up by 5 am. The good thing about waking up so early is that’s the time my husband gets home from work, so we were able to game it up for a few hours. When he finally crashed and went to bed, I got sad. Really sad. And it’s lingered on all day. My grandpa is in pain. My mom is struggling to move around like a normal person. My husband isn’t here. Crap.I am not the person to tell themselves everything is going to be okay. I’ve been here five days and already I feel things starting to slowly fall apart.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Oh man…

HI EVERYBODY! I feel like I’m so behind with my blog and all the blogs I follow-and even after only being here for four days I’m already twice as busy as I was in Australia. I need to wake up and check my blogs with a cup of coffee starting tomorrow! First off, I wanted to tell you the results of last week’s poll. A whopping 32 people voted, and with 59% of the vote Freddy Mercury was the singer you would most want to see in concert one last time, followed by John Lennon/George Harrison with 15% and Jim Morrison with 12%. The new poll will be up after this post, so VOTE!

My flight out from Townsville was at 5:55am on Friday, and as much as I attempted to sleep the night before, every time I would close my eyes I would start to cry because I knew it would be the last time in a long time I would be sleeping near my husband. So I ended up staying awake all night (which is a good thing since I’m terrified of planes-I wanted to be as sleepy as possible). J sent me off, and I burst into tears no less than three times while saying my goodbyes. The worst was waiting in line on the plane to get to your seat, because the lump in my throat was so big but I didn’t want to be a mess so I held it in.

In Brisbane I pleaded to change my ticket from a middle (ugh) seat to a window seat. I told the lady, “I’m terrified of flying, and I tend to curl up into a ball, is there ANY WAY POSSIBLE I could switch it to a window seat? Pretty please?” After she said no she made a call without me prompting and switched it for me. Yay! I board the plane and realize the seat next to me is occupied by…a baby. The seat in front of me? A baby. Shit. He was so adorable I couldn’t even be mad when he kicked me with his little baby feet, and he ended up being really well-behaved.

On a scale of one to ten, I give the flight a five-because there was crappy turbulence for about four hours, and three Xanax failed to put me to sleep. I attempted to watch “Inception”, but about halfway in I realized how much I hate Christopher Nolan and his intricate plots (sorry Drake!). I did end up watching my girl Angelina Jolie in “Salt” (6 Hed stars) and “Dinner for Schmucks” (4 Hed stars-even with Jemaine Clement in it!).

During “Inception” I guess I must have dozed off, because when I woke up the flight attendant was about three rows ahead of me and my seatmates were eating. I did a polite hand gesture to let the attendant know I was awake whenever she had time to get to me. A few minutes later she came over and let me know there was only fish left and no more beef casserole (gross and gross!). I told her no thanks, that I was allergic to fish. Okay, I’m not allergic to fish…but I’ve been on enough flights to know that they REALLY want you to eat something, but I didn’t want to waste any food so I just blurted it out. I thought I’ll be fine, I can just snack until we land or something. About fifteen minutes later the attendant walks over to me and hands me a meal. “From business class, dear”. My eyes light up and I tell her “oh…wow! That was very thoughtful. Thanks!” The dad in the aisle seat gave me the nod like “you suck!” as I opened the lid: Roast beef tenderloins in a mushroom wine sauce, mashed potatoes, vegetables, a salad with vinaigrette and feta cheese, and a buttery dinner roll. CHA CHING!!!

It was so cloudy when we landed in LA that we flew down from Santa Barbara. I was able to see the Hollywood sign from my seat. You know what was the first thing that made me all teary eyed? Looking down and seeing bumper to bumper traffic on the 405 Freeway. I know, right? I must be crazy, or I must really be a urbanite. Walking from the airplane to customs there was a sign that said, “Welcome to the United States of America”. I did the devil horn sign to it, like it was greeting only me and I was telling it F*CK YEAH! My best friend met up with me and took me to Hof's Hut, my favorite diner/bakery (I broke the food poll!). Ordered a patty melt, french fries with ranch and a salad. It was practically licked clean. Afterward I was able to meet his new baby. He’s so teeny! We had planned to hang out longer, but the mixture of lack of sleep and jet lag kicked my ass and he took me home.

I slept from noon Friday to five in the morning Saturday, only waking up to eat the Italian Beef sandwich my mom had gotten me for dinner at Portillo's. Heaven. It was heaven! I barely remember my mom and grandpa walking in my room to say hi and hug me while I was sleeping, or my mom waking me up for dinner. It’s all a blur! Saturday we went to Target so I could pick up toiletries (my luggage was so full I had to leave things for my husband to bring over in June), and so I could get my new phone, a Droid Incredible. I love it SO MUCH! That morning we went to IHOP and I had a fried chicken salad and for dinner my mom and I made homemade pork marsala (which was chosen as “the first meal I should eat when I land”). Oh and FYI, as much as I’m going on and on about food, I have only eaten those meals-no snacks or crap in between. I really want to keep my portions Australian-sized instead of American-sized!

Tomorrow I will fill you in with the details of Sunday to today, as a LOT has gone on-and most of it is not good. Don’t fret-I mean everything is fine, but some big scares to tell you all about. I miss J like crazy, but I am so, so, SO glad to be home!

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Monday, December 6, 2010

2 Years!

Hi readers. This will be my last blog for about a week or so-Thursday we are spending the day in Townsville and Friday at 5:55am is my flight down to Brisbane. I think this weekend I’ll be fighting the jet lag more than anything.

Today is December 7. Three years ago J and I decided to actually attempt dating long LONG distance. We knew it would be a feat and a struggle, but we made it work. Two years ago we got married on our one-year anniversary. I’m sad to be leaving him for six months, but am also so grateful that I married an amazing, patient man who truly is the cheese to my macaroni. I wrote a little something for him…

20 Things I love about my husband.

1. Our secret language. Noooooooo bosey!

2. His Australian accent and slang.

3. He fills up my water bottle every day, and makes me food when I am tired lazy.

4. His territorial love of food!

5. His nose, his eyes, his arms, his back, his pointy tooth, the mole on his stomach, his stomach, the dent in his eyebrow, his smile…okay, his whole body!

6. His sense of humor is hilarious, and the voices he mimics crack me up.

7. His fierce loyalty to his friends, family, and anyone in need.

8. The way he dances. Whether in a car or in a club-he’s a true spaz.

9. His willingness to compromise, and the sacrifices he has made to make me a better, stronger person.

10. That he is a tech nerd. I fell in love with him because he fixed my cell phone.

11. That he talks incessantly in his sleep.

12. He is a terrible driver! But a safe one.

13. His passionate, obsessive love of music.

14. That he knows almost every episode of “The Simpsons” by heart.

15. That he talks incessantly when he is awake.

16. He is the glowing, glass half full yin to my emo, dark yang.

17. That he is always down to make-out!

18. He sleeps on his back like a vampire.

19. That when he talks on the phone, he can’t stay still-he has to pace back and forth.

20. That he loves me.

Jumping off the Bridge!

See you next week!

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

I have endorsements!

I noticed last week’s poll only had five people vote on it (note to self: your readers don’t like rap!), so this week I bring you a rock vote. Now I know what you’re saying, “where’s Elvis? Or Jimi Hendrix? Or (insert your favorite deceased musician here)?” I come from the Grunge era, and Layne Staley/Alice in Chains is by far the top spot on my list, and I know a lot of people my age probably wished they could have seen Nirvana as well. If I am missing your pick, let me know in the comments (remember it’s a singer from a rock band)!

Anyway with the five measly votes taken in, Ludacris won with 60% of the vo-

kanye-cutout

DAMN YOU, KANYE!!!!

I have four new followers in the course of 24 hours. Yay! I was wondering where the rush came from, then I caught up on my blogs. Barb (you know Barb don’t you? You don’t? Well, what are you waiting for! Go!!!) from This and That (as I Bounce Thru Life) threw me a full on shout-out in her blog. For those of you who haven’t read our comments back and forth, she’s pretty much my East Coast momma. So I feel I have the right to vent to my mom when I feel like it! Two days ago I randomly commented on her blog that I’ve been stuck at 22 followers for two weeks (hey Hed Down Under readers! Where are ya’ll? Come on over! Press the “follow” button pretty please!). What a surprise when I read her blog from yesterday!

“I saw one quick comment this morning from Hed at Hed Above Water that she's not getting any new followers now that she's combined her old blogs into a new one.  You are missing out if you don't start following her.  If she's anything at all, she's honest with herself and therefore to us.  She's lived all over the place and has an amazing perspective on life considering all the negativity she has been dealt in life.  Please check her out and let her know you heard about her from Bouncin' Barb!!  I have come to be her Surrogate East Coast Mom.  So go visit my daughter's blog!!!!”

I’m so humbled! Thanks a million, Barb!

Also I was given an award by Tress over at Jumble Mash! 

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Tress wrote, “Hed is amazing. She writes from her soul. I love that about her.” Humbled again! She noticed that this award doesn’t come with any rules or stipulations, so I am going to pass it onto three writers whose blogs make me happy:

Danique at Obsessed. She’s quirky. Her writings make me think about the most random things, like ghosts and aliens. She’s good at History lessons, too. Now I know all about the Australian Memorial Day (Remembrance Day).

Erica at Recycled Fashion. She is “Fashion MacGyver”. She can make a ball gown out of a tablecloth, shower curtain rods and garbage twist ties. Just kidding. But she is absolutely amazing, and is a huge supporter of sustainable (green) fashion.

Dad at Unsound Reasoning. You can totally call this nepotism, as Dad is actually Tress’ dad, but no. He writes a damn good blog. And he’s extroverted, which I love. He’s always asking YOU, the reader, questions.

So please go check them out! Also, tomorrow will be my last blog for about a week, as Friday is moving day and I have yet to pack or do anything! I’ll come back with pictures of the Magnetic Island trip, I PROMISE!!!

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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Ugh!

My blog reader is broken because Feedburner sucks. I have had nothing but trouble since I started using it. Anyway, you may not see my previous blog on your blog reader today-this post is basically a test/check to see if the stupid issue has fixed itself.

Also! To my RSS subscribers! I’m trying to fix the problem with my feeds at the moment, I implore you to either subscribe to my posts via e-mail or by following me until I can get it all straightened out. Thanks oodles!

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Hed’s Sunday Shortlist.

HSS

Thanks to everyone on their comments from yesterday’s blog. When I texted my mom that I wrote a blog about her, she replied "did you write bad things? Cause I don't remember being a bad mom!" That cracked me up, so I texted her back “ROFL”, then she asked “What does ROFL mean?” Oh, mom. So today’s list is:

Top Ten Movies That Make me Cry my Ass Off.

10. The (stupid) Notebook. After every woman told me how much they sobbed over this movie, I swore to never watch it. I hate chick flicks! But one night I was staying over at my moms house and couldn’t sleep, and the last 30 minutes of this movie was on. And my grandma had died about two months prior. I walked into my moms bedroom at 4am sobbing “WHY DID YOU TELL ME TO WATCH THAT STUPID MOVIE?!?!?!?!?!!”

9. Forrest Gump. Come on. You cried to Forrest Gump. How could you not? That movie was solid from start to finish. And momma died. And Bubba. And Jenny (!!!!). And Lieutenant Dan gets new legs. And Forrest Jr.? Oh man.

8. Beaches. I watched this movie in the theaters when I was 10 with my mom and sister and it still makes me cry. It’s a story about two lifelong best friends and their loyalty, and also their competitiveness towards each other-which I can completely identify with, seeing that I both love and hate my best friend on any given day. Dudes, don’t watch this movie-it is 110% chick flick.

7. Philadelphia. Damn you, Tom Hanks! This is a story about a lawyer who was fired from his firm because he had AIDS, but the real message is that he is a human being, just like all of us, and should be treated as one. The end of the movie messes my life up (it’s the Neil Young song and the home movies, I think-not to mention the hospital scene just before this one). And Antonio Banderas was the best boyfriend ever!

6. and 5. The Green Mile and Braveheart. I put these two together because they are two movies I will never watch again! I hate movies that end unfairly. I know. It’s stupid. But they gave John Coffey the chair! And beheaded William Wallace! When Wallace sees his family before he dies, it’s so sad! And the damn bagpipes don’t help the tears, do they? And Tom Hanks, making me cry-AGAIN!!!

4. Boyz n the Hood. Yes. This movie is on here. And it always makes me cry. Another take on “the good guy dies”. I watched this one night with my dad, and while he was sitting there cracking jokes, I was riveted by the story. When it was over, I was shaken-I was 12 and didn’t know that gangs existed. When he started to make another joke, I burst into tears and told him, “YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT’S IT LIKE GROWING UP IN THE HOOD, DAD!”, and ran out of the room. True story.

3. Vanilla Sky. My favorite movie of all time (cue the laughs from you). Love it. Love the music, love the story, love Cameron Crowe, love it. The end where the tech guy is telling David Aames (Tom Cruise-pre wacko) the story of how he came to be in the lucid dream is so sad, as is the rooftop scene where he has to choose between “living the dream” or reality (PS go listen to Sigur Rós). “I’ll see you in another life, when we are both cats”.

2. La Bamba. This movie made me never, ever, EVER! want to get on a plane. Ever! Lou Diamond Phillips is Ritchie Valens, and just as his career took off he died in a plane crash with Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper-“The Day the Music Died”. Someone commented about this YouTube clip: “I started crying IN 2 SECONDS”. Yeah. Me too. I played this song at my grandma’s funeral, that’s how sad it is. I dare you to watch this clip and not tear up. RITCHIEEEEEEEEE!!!

1. Steel Magnolias. You know how I swore never to watch chick flicks? This one (and Beaches) is the exception. When it’s on TV I HAVE to watch it. Ultimate tearjerker movie. The hospital scene and the funeral scene…ugh! Tissues please! Any woman who has watched this all the way through and not cried is secretly a man. For real. And all the actresses are gold! Dolly Parton? Shirley MacClaine? Sally Field? I think I need to add “be in a ‘Steel Magnolias’ play” to my bucket list.

I know I’ve missed a lot that probably make you cry (Ghost, Requiem for a Dream and Higher Learning were my runner-ups), but these are mine! What are yours? Would love to hear your list!

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Friday, December 3, 2010

Cancer sucks.

Oh my gosh, and ACTUAL blog post! It’s new, ya’ll!

I was eating a ham and cheese jaffle (it’s like a panini I guess) and reading an article about Queensland being the skin cancer capital of the world due to the state being close to the Equator and most Australians having fair skin. To say I’m fair is an understatement. I’m pale. I’m so pale my skin should shine like diamonds in the sunlight (what movie guys?). Here’s a picture of me in the car so you can see what my skin color actually looks like:

It looks like I have no jawline…WTF?clip_image001

I hate the sun. I hate heat, it makes me sick (literally). From what my hubs has told me, the sun is actually stronger down here (I don’t remember why-ozone layer, perhaps?). On the other hand, my sister and my mom are total California girls. Growing up we spent many, many days at the beach-them laying on a towel in the sand, me walking around the boardwalk or in the water. When winter came, going to a tanning salon was a regular occurrence, and memberships were made. At my moms there is a pool, and everyone swims as we BBQ –while I’m inside in the air conditioned house more than likely on the computer. In 2004 I ended up landing a counter manager position for the Japanese luxury skin care line Shiseido, and believe me I sold an assload of products by saying, “look at MY skin! Of course it works!” I tried to pass this knowledge onto my mom and sister, but they were having no part of it. They equated tan, dark skin with healthy, beautiful skin. Idiots! (Mom and S, mean that in the nicest way! Love ya!)

Every June for my mom’s birthday her and my stepdad head down to Oceanside for their timeshare and spend the weekend down there. I love Oceanside so much! I usually try to scam driving down there one of the days just to sleep practically on the beach (inside with air conditioning, of course). A few weeks before her birthday in 2009, I got a call from my mom. She was driving home from work, I think. We chatted like we always do. About 5-10 minutes into the conversation, she says all casual, “so I have cancer”. Okay…the way she said it was so blasé it could have well been “they put pickles on my burger when I asked for no pickles”. I know why she said it that way-if it was dramatic I would have freaked the hell out. Or maybe she was in shock. I don’t know, it was just thrown out there like it wasn’t anything serious. “What?? What kind?”

MELANOMA.

Oh shit. My mom is going to die. She’s gonna die. For those of you unfamiliar with melanoma, it is one of the less common types of skin cancer, but causes the majority (75%) of skin cancer related deaths (thank you Wiki). I start grilling her like it’s the Spanish Inquisition. What type of melanoma? What stage? How big is it? When are you getting treatment? What’s the treatment? She doesn’t know anything. What had happened is about nine months prior, she had noticed a splotchy mole on her calf and pointed it out to the doctor. Doc said we will watch it to see if there are any changes. A week or so before this phone conversation my mom sees the doctor again, and the doctor recommends a biopsy. The night before this phone conversation my mom gets a call from the doctor saying it tested positive for melanoma. Now, I am not one, at ALL, to start making waves and demanding, but I made my mom get right back on the phone to the doctor and ask all of these questions. It turns out her type was superficial spreading melanoma, and it was just barely a Stage I. Okay.

I made damn sure my work gave me the weekend off so I could spend it at the beach with my mom. Who has cancer. My mom has cancer. My grandma is gone, if my mom dies I’m fucked (pardon the potty mouth). Yes, I was thinking about myself. And my family. As much as I want to strangle my mom 40% of the time (I’m the baby/black sheep/pain in the ass child), I know she is the Sun in our solar system of family. We all revolve around her. She is our rock. She lives for her family. She was taking this whole thing so easy, and I was a wreck. I would burst into tears at work (and I was the manager), and she handled everything so well. I have my dad’s bitch weak strength, whereas my mom isn’t afraid of anything. She would probably shank you in a bar fight (if she was a bar hoe).

Hubs and I drove to Oceanside and met up with my mom and stepdad. This was the first time I had seen her since she told me she had cancer. My mom has cancer. Cancer! She was having a grand old time (I think she was a little tipsy), and I was sobbing like a baby, asking her what we are supposed to do if she dies (yeah, I’m REALLY a downer). She was cool about it. It didn’t bother her (at least on the outside). I took some pictures in between tears, because even though staring out at the ocean made me all emo and distraught, it was just too beautiful not to look at. Then we had a seafood dinner and all was right with the world (I think it was the sautéed mushrooms that put a smile on my face finally).

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Shortly after the trip, my mom had the melanoma excised. Every 3-6 months she goes back for a full body check. A few weeks ago they found six spots that need to be biopsied. My mom wasn’t going to even tell me because I’m over on the other side of the world and she didn’t want me to worry. Which I totally am, by the way. By the time I come home we will know the results (I think at least). I don’t blame my mom or people that still think tan=beautiful. That still holds true today to many people, sadly. When I see people walking around without some sort of protection on I want to shake the shit out of them, especially young girls.

I know my mom and sister hate being pale. I think S may go the spray tan route, but I’m really happy she realizes how dangerous the sun can be.At my nephew’s football fundraiser they were raffling off things, and one was a membership to a tanning salon. My sister looked at my mom and said, “if you win that, you ARE giving it away, you hear me?”

Christmas 1986. S is 11, mom is 30 (my age! Weird!), and I’m 6.clip_image003

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