Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Watch out - your cheese has a label on it!!!

I've been given the challenge of writing: Best. Post. Ever. and even though it was stipulated in said challenge that I should feel no pressure, the overwhelming feeling of pressure is ever present. I can't even think of a story, let alone, write the best one. Shit.

Here goes... I can only hope that the lack of substance in this post is overshadowed by illustrative goodness. No pressure EliseArt.

When I was around 6 or 7, my mom had a boyfriend and he had a daughter my age. Naturally, we became best friends. One summer, Mom's beau, Bo, was going to Alberta to visit family. He thought it might be a good idea if I went along and kept his daughter company. We ended up going three times altogether, one time after him and Mom broke up.

The first time I went there, I was a bit out of my element. We stayed with his family; they had a farm with horses and chickens and a pond and everything. Although, in theory, I liked all those things, in reality, I had no idea what I was doing. I had 'city kid' written all over me.

Heather - City Kid

The very first thing I learned about horses was to never approach them from behind. If they don't see you coming, they'll get spooked and kick you. I also learned to feed them with a flat hand, so they couldn't bite off your fingers. Both are very good lessons to learn.

Horse Chomp

Then I learned to ride them. I only ever rode them with an experienced rider in front of me. I'd sit behind the saddle and hold on for dear life. I was told I was a natural, which made me feel better about the city kid beacon emblazoned on my forehead.

I became very paranoid about these two lessons I learned. Every time I'd see someone feeding a horse I'd want yell and warn them about getting bit.

Horse Chomp - stopped

Anytime I saw anyone walking behind a horse, I'd want to yell out for them to keep back.

Heather - Watch the horse

I didn't want to see anyone get hurt. But then I'd remember that they'd been around horses a lot more than I had, so they probably knew already. Afterall, these were the people that taught me these lessons.

Fearing that I would live up to the city kid stereotype even more if I vocalized my concerns, I kept them to myself. However, I confided in my friend about my internal battle. She mocked me every chance she got. She would constantly remind me that she 'goes there every year' and 'rides horses all by herself'. So I definitely would never have corrected her for fear of her mocking me until her voice was hoarse.

So one day we were playing in the field with the horses. And by 'we were playing', I mean, I was standing at a safe distance observing the horseplay. I see my friend walking across the field behind this horse. She was at a safe distance so I didn't fear for her safety.

Horse Kick 1

Her path was directly behind the horse and at a diagonal, so she progressively got closer and closer to the horse.

Horse Kick 2

I started getting a bit nervous.

Horse Kick 3

At one point she was standing directly behind the horse.

Horse Kick 4

I got really nervous, but didn't call out, out of fear of ridicule. But because I was keeping it in, really, I was just flailing my arms, looking terrified in the middle of a field with nothing at all around me. (Let alone something scary nearby).

Heather - Worried

I was fairly certain my friend was safe. The horse was completely unaware that she was behind him. And then my friend did the stupidest thing ever.

Horse Kick 5

She literally gave it a pat on the ass. Naturally, the horse spooked and bucked.

Horse Kick 6

Horse Kick 7

Horse Kick 8


She seriously flew through the air at least 4 feet* and smashed into a fence.

(*memory says it's more like 8ft, but that seems unrealistic, so I'm cutting it in half for conservatism)

She got up. I ran over to her and asked if she was okay. When she said yes; I burst out laughing and told her that I totally saw it coming. She was really mad (for some reason) and questioned (nearly hysterically) why-oh-why hadn't I called out to her? Why!? Because Karma's a bitch, that's why!



Big thanks to EliseArt for providing the illustrations.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Worst. Date. Ever.

Dear Gorm,

I would like to apologize for sucking. I attempted to write the post for: Worst. Date. Ever. But failed miserably. Actually, the draft post is a surprisingly accurate protrayal of said date. I'm just incapable of posting it; it is just far too embarrassing. More embarrassing than stories about syphilis? Yes... because I don't have syphilis. But I did have that date and immortalizing it in print is just too much for me to endure. I'm truly sorry.

Sincerely Yours,


Sunday, December 5, 2010

It feels like 5 mins when I'm alone... 20 mins when I'm car-pooling

I've been single for some time now. Rather than doing math and becoming depressed, I'll leave the actual number out and stick with 'some time'.

The first while, it was fine, interesting actually. 'Finding yourself' and having 'me time'. But it all gets very old, very fast. Over the last while I've found myself wanting someone, anyone, more than before. Not because I'm unhappy or unfulfilled or anything... I'm just tired of being alone. Also, I need to get some.

So despite my better judgment, I decided to embark upon the internet to help me find a match. After a 'bad experience' on a free-dating website, I quickly thrust my credit card into my computer, shrieking "Take my money, just so that doesn't happen again!!!!!!!!"

For the past 5 days, I've been living the paid-dating-site lifestyle. It's really not that much different than the lifestyle I was previously living except that now my credit card is being billed and I have something less interesting to look at on the internet.

So, a couple days ago, I get a 'match'; it's a guy named "CJ", he's 25 and lives in Vancouver. I immediately thought of this guy I went to school with last year that has the same name.

Side story: Me & CJ had a class for 15 weeks together this time last year. During the first few weeks of class, our preferred seats got closer and closer together, until we sat next to each other every class, no matter what. Eventually, people wouldn't even take that seat beside me because they knew that CJ was going to want to sit there. But because I'm a moron, I wasn't really sure if we were into each other. I asked him out for a drink, he accepted, we went out, but it all seemed buddy-buddy. We emailed, talked on the phone, went and watched a movie together and that's about where it ended. Every so often he'll call me or email me and we'll talk and then it ends. Very mind-gamey. But because I liked him, I've always kinda held out hope; this hope is rekindled every time I get the email or the phone call from him.

So anyways, I get matched up with CJ, 25, Vancouver. I immediately think of CJ from class. Even though I know CJ from class is 8 years older than me (I'm not 17) and he lives in PoMo. I was disappointed when I opened CJ's profile and, alas, it wasn't him.

So yesterday, I get an email announcing that I have a new match "CJ, 39, PoCo"... Immediately, I thought, hey, maybe it's CJ... ya right... he doesn't live in PoCo and he's only 8 years older than me. But when I logged on and looked at his profile it was him. I burst out laughing. I didn't know what to do. So I logged off and went out, as planned, barely thinking about him all day.

Like most dating sites, "who viewed you" is an option on this site, so I knew that he would know that I looked. I was expecting something. I get home late after volunteering all day, check my email and nothing. Log onto the site and he hasn't viewed my profile. I was slightly disappointed.

This morning, I wake up, check my email and I have a notification. This site has a way of 'sending a match a message', without having to 'send a match a message'. It's a way of 'saying I'm interested' without having to 'say I'm interested' and worry about what they'll say in return. It's basically a drop-down menu and you select the message you want to send. Wink! I like your pics. We live close, let's chat. I like you, let's meet up. Let's get to know each other, slowly.

So I log in and the message is one of these drop-down messages and it's from CJ and it's the "let's get to know each other slowly" option.

I think he's fucking with me.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What's your head's excuse?

Despite being an absolute sweetheart, Sab was notoriously aggressive towards other dogs. As a result, he didn't know how to play like a normal dog (since he had never played with one before). Thus, I had to create games for him to keep in occupied and stimulated. This may be one of many installments on this subject.

One game we played (let's call it "Run & Chase"), was a 3-player game (i.e. 2 people; 1 dog). We usually only played this game when K was around. Basically, I would get him all riled up and ready to play; getting him riled up usually consisted of me smacking him in the face and goading him on.

Sab and Heather - smack

Once he figured out what was happening, he'd get excited and start playing (i.e. biting); at which point, "Run & Chase" would start. K would hold him down while I started running (and goading him all the while).

Heather - running away from Sab

I would run clear across the field. When K decided that I'd run far enough, she would let him go and he'd run after me. She'd give me an ominous warning of "He's coming!!!". At which point, I'd start looking over my shoulder for the impending doom; once he got close, I'd turn around and stop; bracing myself for impact.

The game always played out the same way; he would barrel towards me and at the last minute he would deke out of the way, slow down and then attack me.

Heather - Sab please don't hit me

Sabastian deek

We'd play and then I would hold him and K would run across the field calling to him; when she'd get far enough away, I'd let him go. He'd run, chase her, attack her. Then she'd hold him; I'd run, call for him, he'd chase. You get the idea.

The first few times we played this game, while I watched him run directly at me, I would consider the possibility that he wouldn't deke. I would lose confidence and would side-step him. On more than one occasion, I side-stepped and he deked in the same direction; one of us ended up hurt. Eventually, I learned, and began to trust, that he would deke and wouldn't hit me.

This one time, we were playing and, as per usual, Sab was barreling towards me.

Sabastian running1

Sabastian running2

Sabastian running3

Sabastian running4

Sabastian running5

Sabastian running6

I mentally coached myself not to sidestep him, as I did every time we played the game. At one point I realized that he wasn't going to stop or deke out of the way. Unfortunately, it was milliseconds before impact.

Sab's head/chest height was roughly mid-thigh level, so when he hit me (and ran right through me) he literally swept me off my feet.

Sabastian run over

After that I had to contend with a 100lb dog licking my face and jumping all over me while I tried desperately to regain my breath after having the wind knocked out of me. Meanwhile, K was on the other side of the field laughing her ass off.

Big thanks to EliseArt for providing the illustrations!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I bent my wookie

I was playing the guitar the other day. I had just learned a new song, so I was OCD-ing pretty bad. Something which I haven't done in awhile because 1) I haven't been playing guitar much and 2) I haven't been learning any new songs. The two may or may not be connected. Anyway, it's easy to imagine that I was quite focused on what I was doing.

Guitar bliss


All of a sudden I heard this noise; it was loud and it was a voice.

Computer danger 2

It was so loud I didn't even know what it was saying. It really freaked me out. I abruptly stopped playing guitar and looked over my shoulder towards the noise with pure terror on my face.

Guitar horrified

My heart was pounding; I was sure I was going to see some monster bursting through my wall, coming to get me.


And then I saw it. A pop-up notification that my anti-virus software had an update. This particular software includes voice-notification in addition to the temporary pop up message. I had been listening to music through my computer earlier that evening and every volume knob was cranked to the max. Thus, when the nice lady told me that I should download an update, I nearly crapped myself. All I could do was laugh while I waited for the palpitations to subside.


Big thanks to EliseArt for providing illustrations!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How I met my friend

I had the best dog in the whole wide world. Yeah, sure, everyone says that, but for me, it's actually true. His name was Sabastian and he was awesome.

Sab sitting pretty

Just look at him!! Who couldn't love that dog?! He was a 100+lb rottweiller/german shepard cross. He was big, but also a big sweetheart. I loved him and he loved me. I had him for about 10 years before I had to put him down, and those were some damn good years we had together.

I, literally, have hundreds of stories I could tell about him and my blog won't be complete unless I tell at least one, but I'm having a really hard time narrowing down a really good, really representative story about Sab. I guess I could start off by how I got him. (And I'll write the really good, really representative post another day).

I got him when he was just over a year old, but I'd known him for about 6 months by that time. I met Sab through a punk-ass kid that ended up being a friend of mine. Oh, high school, how I miss you. I met this kid, (who actually went by the name of Flea) through a friend of my brother. My brother's friend, ended up letting Flea move in with him and this is when I met Sab.

Flea, didn't work; he was on welfare and made getting drunk and high a priority over feeding his dog. Me and K would buy Sab food, because he was starving to death. Literally. We took him to the vet at one point and he weighed in at 44lbs. (His healthy Post-Flea weight was 98-105lbs, but he chunked up to a whopping 115lbs at one point).

I would beg Flea to give me his dog, I was even willing to pay for him... how much do you want for him? $100? $200? $300? How much for your dog??? But he wouldn't budge. He "loved" Sab and wouldn't get rid of him. Some stuff happened and Flea ended up having to move back home and wasn't able to take Sab with him. I jumped on it: I'll take him!

The deal ended up being that he would stay with me for one month, after that, Flea would get him fixed and he would take him back. I knew this would never happen, so I agreed.

Two months later, I saw Flea and he said to me "I can't afford to get him fixed. So, I guess he's your dog now" and I said "Dude, he was my dog a month ago".

And that's how I met my best friend, and how our 10 year friendship started. (miss you Bubby!)

I'll write an actual post about him shortly, complete with pictures (fair warning, EliseArt!). I just had to get this one up... you know, because of obligations (thanks, Gorm!).

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Techmology: Death to Society

I think technology is killing us. Yeah, sure, global warming, blah, blah, blah. But what I'm referring to is us as a society, not just a species. I think with advent of technology, and the extent to which we choose to use it, is causing serious problems with our social skills. We have none.

We don't know how to interact with people anymore. I've heard stories (which I promptly chose to ignore and label as 'not true') where two people go out on a date, with their laptops/phones, and instant message/text each other throughout the entire 'date'. Barely speaking to each other. That's just not right.


We no longer live in the now. I'm sure we've all had this happen. You're out with friends, and someone spends the whole night with their face in their phone. Now, I understand, sometimes you have to answer things, regardless of where you are or who you're with. But really? Why are you with friends, ignoring their conversations, having a whole other conversation with another friend that isn't even there?!


I was at a concert a couple weeks back. The show was epic The Arcade Fire were absolutely amazing. I spent most of the night picking my jaw up off the floor. At one point, I look down and the guy beside me is sitting down texting. He didn't even appear to be listening to the music. I wondered if, to him, it was just like when he's at home listening to the album. Why spend the money if you're not going to watch the show? I really just hoped that he was at least texting about the concert and it wasn't a conversation about his father's boat.

We should not experience life through a camera lens. We all have seen that person at a concert, or sporting event that spends the entire time taking pictures/videos. I always wonder how much they actually see or appreciate the event when they're looking at it through a 4 sq. in. screen. (I'm all imperial and stuff, weird). I'm particularly baffled when it's an event relating to nature, like when you climb up a mountain and look out at the view. You just can't appreciate it through a camera lens. I look at the pictures I've taken of these sorts of things and I always think to myself "The picture does not do it justice".


I honestly think that we, as a society, would make serious improvements to all aspects of our lives, if we just put the technology down. Don't spend the entire night on facebook or texting when you're with people and don't view the world through a lens. Live in the here and now. Be there for your friends and family. And appreciate the world around you. And remember, even though you have your head up your ass in your phone, life is still going on without you.


Big thanks to EliseArt for providing the illustrations. It's good to have you back! :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Never interrupt me in the middle of a Star Wars musical!!!!!!!

Alright folks - it's 2% time! If you don't know what I'm talking about, go here or here.

A couple of years ago, a couple of weeks before Christmas, I got really sick with the worst flu ever. Once I recovered and started eating and drinking again, there were some... symptoms.

My pee was funny; it smelled weird and looked weird. I attributed it to the fact that I hadn't peed in four days because I was so damn dehydrated. I figured if I flushed my system, it would go away; a couple of days of drinking water and it did.

A couple of weeks later, I went over to my aunt's house for Christmas dinner. It was a particularly snowy year; K picked me up in her AWD vehicle, so I didn't have to drive my car. We also dug my car out because it was buried deep.

Car winter mod

After dinner, we went for a walk in a park through the snow. I started getting this strong abdominal pain; the pleasant walk became a death march for me.

Death March

I slept over at K's house; the pain persisted through the night, but when I woke up, it was gone. That night for dinner, we had... you guessed it, leftovers. Yum!

Heather - eating, happy

Shortly after dinner, I developed the same abdominal pain.

Heather - doubled over

I was certain it was indigestion; we attributed it to the stuffing: Uncle Barrence uses roughly 20x more poultry seasoning than most people. I was convinced I was simply experiencing a sage overdose.

Again, the following morning I woke up and the abdominal pain was gone. I went home; that night, I noticed the same change in urine. I thought I might have a bladder infection and I would see a doctor the following day.

I next morning, I woke up sick. Really sick. Really, really sick. I felt terrible. I had a lot of pain and needed a doctor fast. I went out to my car and it wouldn't start. This car has always started for me; I was crushed.

Heather - in car

I called a taxi and one didn't show up for 45 minutes and then when he did show up he went in the opposite direction of where I told him to go. Fortunately, there was walk in doctor in that direction. Unfortunately, that walk in doctor was closed.

I walked to the Safeway so I could use one of those free taxi phones because I didn't know the phone number by heart. An hour and a half after calling first the taxi, I finally got to a doctor.

The receptionist asked me why I was there. I told her I thought I had a bladder infection. Here, pee in this cup. I did and then I waited for the doctor. He came in and told me that my urinalysis came back negative and asked why I thought I had a bladder infection. I told him about the pain, the changes in urine and said I felt terrible. What kind of terrible? I'm nauseous, I'm lethargic and my back hurts. Your back hurts? Yes. Where? I showed him.

Heather - hit in the back

He started hitting me in the back: Does this hurt? YES! He started looking at the chart again. I looked at him questioningly. He said he just wanted to review the urinalysis again. But, no, there were no signs of infection. I was sitting there feeling miserable, wondering why he was wasting my time going over test results that he already said were negative. Either they're negative or they're not - get on with it!
Doctor: This is odd. You have no sign of a bladder, or urinary tract infection, but I think you have a kidney infection. It makes no sense; in order to get a kidney infection you have to have a UTI and you have to let it go untreated for weeks before it'll move up to your kidneys.

Me: Maybe... I got the bladder infection weeks ago... after I got sick... and it moved up and now it's in my kidneys???

Doctor: The infection would still be in your bladder, it would be throughout your entire urinary tract. Your urinalysis would be positive, really positive; the infection should be rampant. *shakes his head* Bizarre.... Almost no one gets a kidney infection without having a UTI first.

Almost no one? Like maybe 2% of the population? Sounds about right.

I'm a medical marvel.

Big thanks to my special guest animators: JArt and JCart for providing the illustrations.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Attack of the Corn!! Part 3

It's been awhile so if you haven't read, or want a refresher on, my story please look at this and then this first.

The Corn Plants

Stretching, stretching, stretching... with all my might just trying to pull myself to the surface. The soil becomes a bit brighter and drier... it gets a bit easier... bit by bit. Success - bright sunlight pours down on me. I've finally reached the surface. I grow. Small bugs try to come near, but I repel them with pure will.

Mean Corn

Something seems to have awakened in me. The same goes for the others in my crop. There's a crop next door, but none of those corn even acknowledge our existence. Assholes. Ignoring us won't make us go away, if anything it's going to want us to take you out... stupid corn.

Our farmers are weird, they wear these white coats and act important. The farmer next door wears overalls and acts like a yokel.


But that's okay because soon enough the corn revolution begin and we will cut them down to size.

We've been getting messages from the mother corn, but as of right now we haven't figured out how to communicate back to her. In time, we'll get strong enough and smart enough to respond. But we'll have to keep it under wraps as well, so that the farmers don't catch on.

... Several weeks and a couple generations of corn later...

We've been successfully communicating with the mother corn. I can't believe our grandparents couldn't figure it out. Communicating: it's as easy as lying down.

Crop Circle-giant

I can't believe the farmers haven't caught onto this!

... Several months and a several generations of corn later...

Alright. Our collective intelligence is up, we're communicating with the mother corn on a daily basis. We know what we're supposed to do... we just don't know how to do it. We're stuck in this ground with these long root-like tentacles. We need to mobilize. Lying down isn't good enough anymore - we need to act! We've started producing off-shoots of ourselves in hopes that these beings can figure out how to become mobile. It seems to be working; the farmers come round and collect them on a daily basis.

The Corn Off-Shoots (a.k.a. Corn)

After being removed from the corn plant the farmers take us into a lab of some sort and start disecting us. It's rather gruesome. Corn juice everywhere. Eventually the disecting stops and they start ripping us to shreds with their teeth, all the while commenting on how sweet we are. I've had to sit here and watch as the farmers murder my fellow corn. The mother corn said there will be an event that will activate something inside us, so we will be able to move under our own will. I can't figure out how that is going to happen, but I'm keeping a watchful eye.

The farmers must be getting broke - they were talking with the local yokel and were trying to sell him corn. Now, I know I'm smarter than the average corn, but they should know better: yokel grows corn, why would he buy it from them??!

An older man walks into the lab and peers down at me. He seems important, what with his top hat and everything. The dorky farmer with glasses stutters and says "I'm sorry Samuel, it's just that no one wants to buy it."

"What do you mean? It's perfectly good, right? I mean, it is sweet, isn't it?"

"Yes, sir. Very sweet."

"Then people will want to eat it."

"But they don't."

"Fine. Well, I can't let this all go to waste. I'll take it home and have Martha cook it up."

This "Samuel" bends down and picks a bunch of us up and mutters something about cornbread. Not sure what that is... We get into a car and drive for sometime before we reach our destination. Everything the mother corn has ever told us is running through my head - we're the first corn that have gotten out, we need to keep an eye out for what she prophesized.

She said there's an animal that is at the root of all our problems. If this animal didn't exist, no one would eat corn. We need to find that animal and destroy it. As with all hierarcys, the smart ones are at the top and if we take those out, we will have control over the rest. We will have to travel great distances to find the top animals, but they will all be in one place.

We get transported into a house, the lady grabs me by the ear and drags me over to the sink and proceeds to skin me alive. Silk everywhere. Next, when I don't think I can take anymore, she bring me over to a boiling pot of water... oh no, that looks hot!... but she places me gently next to the pot. I look around I see large slabs of red meat. The lady is complaining to the man who brought us here, saying how eating too much red meat is bad. The man responds with, but cows are so good and they go so well with corn.

There were cows on the farm next door, I remember what they look like. I see a gold brick glistening in the distance... I look closely and see a picture of a cow. Butter. Butter and steak. They both come from cows... this must be what the mother corn prophesized. We must take out the cows.

I got tossed into the boiling pot of water. The first couple minutes I thought I was going to die, but something inside of me bubbles to the surface. I start moving around. At first, I thought it was the boiling water that was making me move and then I realized it was me. The lid on the pot begins to move... I see the lady peer down at me and I leap out of the water and eat her face.

That's it! Heat activated corn! All we have to do to get mobile is to get heated up, if we get mobile we can take over the cows and then the world.

The man comes running in the kitchen after hearing the lady scream, he screams when he sees what I did to her face. I jump at him and eat his face too. I scurry out of the building and attempt to find my way back to the corn. It's easier than I would have thought... it seems like I have a honing device built in. I force the local yokel to harvest my siblings and cook them. We are now an army of mobile, blood-thirsty corn.

Since my departure, my siblings have learned more about cows... it's like they were aware of my thoughts... we're connected more than any one of us thought possible. The mother corn said we need to find the smartest of the animals and take those out... my siblings have learned that there's a place in this world where cows are worshipped and it goes against the human's religion to kill or eat them. These must be the smartest cows in the world if they convinced humans not to eat them. We must find these cows. We must go to India.

Dawn Knotts-Wade

I was watching the news today and saw a story of corn gone wild. At first I thought it was a joke, but then I saw hundreds and hundreds of corn marching across the country, headed for the Atlantic. Eating any human that tries to eat them. I knew instantly that this corn is Ian's corn. I knew this would happen.

I sat, mesmerized, watching the TV, the reporters are interviewing people to get their take on it. Most are flabbergasted and can't understand what's happening. Others are sure this is what Nostradamus predicted. And others still are welcoming the corn with open arms; Shiva prophesized a new beginning; the people of India are convinced this corn is their new symbol of hope and prosperity.

... ... several months later ... ...

The corn have crossed the Atlantic. Some swam, others latched on to barges. They have landed in Africa and have made their way their way through the middle east. Oh. My. God. They are going to India.

... ... several weeks later ... ...

The corn have made their way to India; the result is what no one expected. The corn have massacred all the cows in the country. But all the saturated fat has increased their strength. The Indians cannot control the corn. We must do something!

Completely overwhelmed by the corn, I decided to take in a movie. I was standing in line waiting for some Junior Mints when I saw it. I don't know why I didn't think of this before!! I must tell Ian. I called him at work immediately and told him of my plan. He thinks I'm crazy. I think he's an idiot. I'm going to India and I will single-handedly fix this problem if I have to.

Luckily, the people of India are more than willing to help me help them. I tell them of my plan and we start brainstorming ideas. We need desiccant. My plan won't work without it. Luckily, again, India is the largest manufacturer of electronics and therefore has the largest supply of those silica packets that keep things dry.

We start looting the factories and stores and robbing anyone and everyone for silica. They think we're crazy, and maybe we are, but they hand over the packets because it's not worth dying over and they can see in our eyes that we will, in fact, kill them for their silica.

We have collected more packets of silica than we can count. We spend days emptying them into the storage units of crop dusters. It's game time. We've herded all the corn into a small 4 block radius. We crop dust the fuck out of them. At first, nothing appears to be happening. Then, the ears of corn start shrinking. As if all the water is being sucked out of them. It is. That silica is damn absorbant. Night falls. We can't see our progress any longer, but continue dusting throughout the night.

Day breaks. The sun comes up and lets us see what's happening in the corn block. They are weak and dry, but vicious. The sun is in full force. It's 45 degrees Celcius. Hot enough to fry an egg on your forehead. Brutal. But we need this.

In the distance I hear a shot. It sounds like a mix between a gun shot and a sonic boom. I hear another one. And another one. So that's why people say "pop a cap in your ass"... it's working...

We fly over the corn zone and see it. Giant white balls littering the ground. The corn is self-destructing. But we're not done yet. We'll need to make sure no corn is left standing.


We're going to have to eat our way out of this.

And that's how genetically modified corn nearly took over the world and how Dawn saved mankind.

The End.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Your nose moves when you talk

Okay - so I went to the fishing derby. Unfortunately, the only thing I caught was a cold. Fortunately, I was fortunate enough to eat the catches of others. It's nice when people share their fish!

This year was quite different than previous years. For one, C, the guy who brings us to the fishing derby, showed up sick. He ended up sleeping for 18 hours straight and missed the Friday night gong show. It wasn't quite the same without him. During the Friday night gong show, two guys decided to play some guitar. My best friend, K, said I should join them, but I said no because they seemed all professional and stuff and I didn't want any part of that.

I wasn't prepared for what came next, and I was deeply grateful for not wanting to be a part of it. These two guys tuned guitars (unsuccessfully) for at least an hour, enduring the drunken heckles of most of the spectators. At one point, I grabbed my guitar and me and K played and sang, while the drunkies bitched about the guys who couldn't tune a guitar. They didn't really even realize someone else was in fact playing a tuned guitar. Our campfire sing-a-long just wasn't the same.

Saturday seemed to be a bit mellow, but we decided to drink our way to a party anyway. But then, K up and broke her nose. It was a pee-related event and I don't think I'm at liberty to say much more than that. Needless to say, she wasn't feeling like ripping it up after she smashed her face in. Turns out, the party was on that night, we just missed it entirely.

Heather - Mopey

Sunday was the day the derby wrapped up. I didn't win a door-prize even though that is totally my forte, but K did and she chose the prize that I would have chosen, and I'm sure she'll let me play the drinking game one day, so in a way, I did win. In a very long, convoluted way, that is.


This place is particularly muddy down on the banks of the river and since we intended to fish we had to be prepared. On Wednesday, K informed me of her intention of buying some gum-boots. On Thursday, I realized that if I wore my hiking boots, I might ruin them, so I texted her during the day and asked if she could pick me up a pair as well. She searched high and low and finally found some cool ones in our sizes. She bought me a pair that she wasn't quite sure if I would like or not, but figured if I hated them, then we could trade. Luckily, I loved them and we got comments all weekend about how cool our boots are. Mine look like this:

My boots

That took far too long to draw and yes, they actually ARE that cool! Keeping in mind I'm not exactly a pink kind of girl, you can imagine why K suspected she was giving up her boots. The beauty part is, when I asked her how much I owed her she said "Nothing." and I said "What?!" and then she said "They're a gift for being such a great friend!" and I said "Aw, really?! Thanks!!! Now you're a great friend too!! :D "

Sunday was supposed to be the day where we fished, but since K smashed her face in, we went home instead. Despite having not gotten fishing-derby-drunk, and having went to bed by 1am every night and slept until 9am every morning, I was surprisingly tired, so I wasn't upset.

Monday, when I woke up I realized why I was so tired. I had caught C's cold. I cursed his name and considered calling him to tell him, but I'm not sure if we're "there" yet, so I let it go. But I'll likely inform him of all of this the next time I see him.

Let's see... other stuff happened... but the side story will make this post unbearably long, and no one really wants to read about vomit, so I'll just leave it at that.

One of the guitar guys, Ken (who had successfully tuned his guitar - yay built in tuners!!), is the person who originally was the campfire sing-a-long guy. Well, we are now friends on facebook and we will be working together to add more songs to our already long set list. So maybe, if all works out, we'll have a rip-roaring good time next year.

Also, C and T (the organizers) informed everyone that they are not organizing the derby next year. *major sigh* Our deal with C is, he gets us a motor home and we cook for the fisherpeople. Since he's not organizing next year, we won't have to cook, so we can actually fish. Bonus! Not so bonus: we'll have to foot the bill for our own motor home cuz there's no way in hell I'm tenting it at the fishing derby... not after three years of precedent.

Okay. I think that's it now.

Big thanks to EliseArt for providing an illustration that has been reused and recycled numerous times. Apparently I pout a lot in my stories. So over-dramatic.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Oh... a troll bidge!

Alright... this weekend is the weekend I've been waiting for. It's been a year in the making, but, finally, it's here. It's fishing derby time, boys and girls!!!

A bit of background: I volunteer at all the work events for my dad's union. So when I say the fishing derby is the event of the season, I mean it! The fishing derby is not exactly volunteer work. C, one of the organizers, needed some people to cook, so he asked my best friend to help out. When she found out the night time is comprised of campfire sing-a-longs she knew I had to go. To entice us even more, C rents an RV and lets us use it for the weekend. In return, we cook for the fisherpeople. A pretty good bargain if you ask me.

This is the third year that I've gone to the fishing derby and the first year where I'll actually fish at it (what a concept!). But fishing and cooking aside, there'll be a rip-roaring party every night we're there. There will be many-a-story about the fishing derby, hopefully some of them are PG enough to make it into a blog. Otherwise, all the poor saps at work will have to hear about it, yet again. Sorry guys! :)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I decided not to hit you because you cowered as soon as I came over.

I thought I might roll with this 2% business because it occurred to me that some people might think the scarlet fever incident was an isolated event and I was just being overly dramatic.

Immediately following scarlet fever, I developed a 'secondary rash' after the antibiotics went in and blasted the strep out of my body. This rash was localized to three parts of my body: my hands, my feet and the inside of my thighs. It was quite painful.

The hand rash was absolutely disgusting. In the end, all the skin on my palms dried up and peeled off. The peeling exposed new skin. Skin that was not ready to see the light of day or to touch things. It was raw and it was angry.

Heather - Balloon Palms mod

Because of this secondary rash and because I never had strep throat, the doctor decided to send me to an internal medicine specialist, who deemed me healthy. Of course. The rash persisted on the inside of my thighs, so I was sent to a dermatologist, who prescribed me the most kick ass cream ever.

Kick Ass Hand Cream

The rash disappeared, finally. The scarlet fever, secondary rash, peeling hands fiasco lasted about two months. I was miserable. But, finally, it was over. Until one day, several months later, I woke up on my friend's couch with swollen hands.

Heather - Puffy hands mod

OH NO - I have scarlet fever again! I waited for the full body rash to develop. Fortunately, it didn't. Unfortunately, I developed the same secondary rash as the last time.

I happened to have an appointment booked with my family doctor. By the time I got there, I was at the stage right before peeling. He started asking me all kinds of questions, mostly pertaining to my work in the lab. Are you testing anything different? No. Have you switched departments? No. Have you been working with any different chemicals? No. Do you work with, or test for, heavy metals? No. He tells me that my symptoms are indicative of high level arsenic exposure. OH NO - someone has been poisoning me!

Have you started eating any new foods? No. Have you changed your diet in any way? No. Have you ingested anything at all recently that you don't normally eat?

Heather - Pepto

Well, I did take pepto bismol last week. What? I... I... I took some pepto last week. You took pepto bismol? Yes. Do you normally take it? No. Well, I guess bismuth is a heavy metal... so maybe it could produce the same symptoms of arsenic exposure. I'm sorry... what?!?! Are you telling me that I exhibit symptoms of heavy metal poisoning when I ingest pepto bismol? It appears that way, yes.

Are you fucking kidding me? He wasn't.

Any guess as to the number of people that have the same reaction? Roughly 2%, perhaps? Sounds about right.

Big thanks to EliseArt for providing the illustrations.

Friday, October 8, 2010

From Zero to Italian

I'm a spoiled brat and I love it. My mother and I (and my brother) have an on-going battle. A battle over butter tarts. You see, my mom went off and moved away and took her Christmas butter tarts with her. I was crushed. But after a few years of begging, Mom started sending butter tarts (and shortbread cookies) on the bus down to me and my brother. Along with our Christmas presents, of course.

She hates doing it. She thinks the work of making every tart and cutting out every cookie isn't worth it. She thinks I should do it myself. Every year she tells me "This is the last year you're getting them." And at some point leading up to Christmas she'll toss it in again: "Remember, I said last year was the last time....".

But you see, she sent the treats down a number of years in a row; building and cementing a precedent. The past couple years (three, maybe) the battle is getting tougher and tougher to fight. She's relentless. She's started mentioning it earlier and earlier in the year. This year, she has started in on me in January! It's become a year-long epic battle.

As part of my mom's compromise she said she was going to bring the recipes down so that I could make my own treats. Recipes. What the hell am I going to do with those?!

But it's Thanksgiving and Mom's down. She brought homemade cabbage rolls and perogies for dinner tonight (another delicious precedent my mother has set) and left the recipes at home. I'm gettin' my treats in the mail this Christmas. Oh yeah!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Quick - randomly say something random!

I am the 2%. What's the 2%, you ask? 2% represents the fraction of the general population that have unbelievable things happen to them, things that do not happen to the other 98%. Sounds okay, right? Riiiggghhht.

The 2% has two sides, two extremes. One extreme is: unbelievably awesome things happen to me! Things like winning the lottery or never having a sunburn. The other extreme is: I can't believe this happened... why me... wwhhhyyyy!?!

Heather - Sunburnt

I have yet to win the lottery and I get a sunburn every summer. I'm the 2% that gets the shaft. Oh come on, I must be exaggerating... just being dramatic, right? Wrong.

One Sunday morning, I woke up on my friend's couch with a headache. We'd polished off more than our fair share of booze the night before so I wasn't so surprised that I was under the weather. What I did find odd was my hands. They felt.... weird.

Upon first inspection they appeared to be slightly red and felt almost numb. I was sure I slept funny and it would just take some time for the feeling to come back into my hands. I was right. But what I didn't anticipate was that the feeling that came back ended up making my hands feel worse. That and they were swollen. And I mean, sausage fingers kind of swollen. I convinced myself that it was normal and there was nothing to worry about. Denial can be a powerful force.

Heather - Puffy hands 2

A little while later, I noticed my pants were chaffing me. They really seemed to be digging into my stomach and it hurt. A lot. And they had an elastic waistband. That's not quite right, so I inspected my stomach and it was also red. Nothing to worry about here. All is well.

A while later, after changing into some larger pants and they too became uncomfortable, I suspected something else might be happening. I, again, inspected my stomach.

Heather - Rash

Small raised bumps had appeared. The tell-tale signs of an eminent rash. I was convinced I was having an allergic reaction so I popped a couple anti-histamines and hoped for the best.

The following day I woke up, with swollen hands, a rashy belly and sore feet. But that's what Monday's feel like, so I went to work. After spending the day at work, I came to the conclusion that I might have more problems that I originally thought.

Heather - Trying to work

I still wasn't feeling well and I certainly wasn't hung over. I decided to go to the doctor.

I went to a walk in clinic, feeling a bit like a tool. I can't believe I'm here just because I have a rash and I can't make a fist because my fingers are so swollen and why do my feet hurt?... The doctor came in and asked why I was there. I think I'm having an allergic reaction. Why? Well, because I have this rash and look at my hands! He looked me over and asked some general questions: how are you feeling? have you been sick? how long ago did you have this cold? did you have a sore throat? how do your feet feel? They hurt, in fact.

He took some notes, my temperature and then looked at me and said: "I don't think you're having an allergic reaction. I think you have scarlet fever. Do you know what that is? I've heard of it... I think he realized that I had absolutely no idea what it meant because he explained it to me.

Scarlet fever is caused by the streptococcus bacteria (the one that causes strep throat). Now, certain strains of this bacteria secrete a certain toxin and certain people are sensitive to this toxin and it results in a full body rash. This occurs in roughly 2% of the population. Of people under the age of 12.

Seriously. I had a childhood disease at age 27. Fuck you, 2%.

He wrote me up a blood work order, took a swab of my throat and told me to come back in two days. Scarlet fever, left untreated, can cause kidney failure, so he was pretty concerned about it. He had also never seen anybody that picks out their own clothes get scarlet fever before. I went back in two days and he looked me over again and decided that he wanted to send me for more blood work. He wanted to test me for everything that could possibly cause a full body rash (sounds reasonable), illnesses such as mono (okay, that's not too bad) and syphilis (what!?!?).

Heather - Syphilis

Oh, don't worry, he said, I don't think you actually have syphilis, I just want to be sure. Okay... sure... no problem... I'm clean...

I went and had the blood work done and went back to the doctor in two days time to get the results. I had to go in the middle of the day, so I had to leave work and go back after my appointment. At first, I didn't really consider syphilis as an actual cause of my problems. But then the doctor walked out, went up to the receptionist and said "I need an infectious disease agent on the phone now." Infectious disease agent? Syphilis is probably an 'infectious disease'. Oh dear God, I have syphilis. How long have I had it? Can it be treated? Where did I get it from? Who gave it to me? Who have I given it to? Am I going to die?

Heather - Sweating

By the time they called my name to see the doctor I was pretty much sweating bullets and had convinced myself that I was a dirty whore. I went into the examination room and waited. And waited. Oh no, he's probably waiting to talk to the agent before he comes in here. He finally came in and said: I got your test results. Uh-huh. And it came back negative for mono. Uh-huh... And negative for everything else, but we don't have the results for the strep tests yet. So, no syphilis? No, no syphilis, come back in three days for your strep results.

I breathed a huge sigh of relief. No syphilis, I'm not a dirty whore. No awkward telephone conversations for me - success! So I went back to work feeling pretty good about myself and I told the story to one of my work friends. I was kinda ashamed that I had to have the test done in the first place, so I was trying to keep it on the down-low. But when I got to the point where I said he tested me for syphilis, my not-so-subtle friend yelled out "YOU HAVE SYPHILLIS?!!?!?"

Heather & Jon Y

Everyone turned and looked. I was mortified. NO! NO SYPHILLIS!! It came back negative. But that doesn't make it any better, does it?

So I went back to the doctor and got my results. I never had strep throat - my throat culture came back negative. My blood work, however, was positive. The doctor was slightly baffled... how can you have it in your blood if you don't have it in your throat? Almost no one gets strep in their blood without strep throat.... Almost no one? Like 2% of the population? Sounds about right.

Big thanks to EliseArt for providing the illustrations and being so damn excited about drawing the pictures that I had to write the post.