Why, Yes, I Do Believe I Will Wear A Wig If It Doesn't Work Out

I’m getting a haircut.

Normally, I wouldn’t announce something like that on a public blog that could be read by, you know, the public and heads of state and stuff like that. (Note: HOWDY, PRESIDENT BUSH, IF YOU’RE READING THIS!)  Because haircuts are, you know….sort-of not a big deal.

And we wouldn’t want to take valuable time away from President Bush and the Iranian conflict or anything.

No way.

(P.S. If you’re asking, “What Iranian conflict?” right now, please stop torturing yourself. I don’t know what Iranian conflict. It just sounded good. So I wrote it. And I’m sure I’ll impress the President with my global savvy.)


But this isn’t “normally” and I am announcing the haircut on my blog.

For two reasons.


Reason Number One:


And I just had to get that off my chest.

It all started when I saw one of the ladies at my work, and I liked the style of her hair, so I asked her who did her haircuts. She named off some unpronounceable stylist at a salon in a nearby city.

“I’ve heard of that salon!” I told her, like it was some kind of coincidence, which, come to think of it, it was not.

At all.

She probably thought I was a dork.

But anyway. Back to the haircut: for several months I’ve been saying that I’m going to get a haircut done there. And I really have meant it. But it’s just never, you know, HAPPENED.

Which is somewhat important in the whole getting-a-haircut order of business.


But I began to convince myself that, the longer I waited, the longer I wouldn’t have a haircut.

(I know—that’s kind-of totally obvious. STILL, I bet the President was impressed. In fact, I bet he’s going to ask me onto his speechwriting staff. It would clearly be “seasonal” help, seeing that we vote NEXT WEEK, but, hey.)

If I get my hair cut now and it looks totally ugly, at least it will have time to grow out before Thanksgiving and my 21st birthday. And a lot of time to grow out before Family Photos For The Christmas Letter. And a super long time before Easter Dinner When I’ll Probably Take Pictures With The Easter Bunny. And by the time our next homeschooling conference rolls around, it will be completely back to where we started.

That, people, is what we call STRATEGY.

(Or, you know, lack of faith in the stylist procrastination. But let’s not go there.)


Speaking of procrastination, my mom kept bugging me about booking the appointment and when I didn’t, she finally just called and made me the appointment herself.

That’s when I got the email explaining Reason Number One.


Let me paste it. In full.

It’s from my mom:


Hi Nic,

Soonest (which I secured --that work with your schedule) is November 1 (Sat) at 10AM.



I didn't want to give you one at 11:30 or 12:00 am since the cut would take 1 hour - and I know you'd go over on time.



Oh, wait. Did I say I was going to paste it in full? Nevermind. I deleted one little thing called THE PRICE. But, trust me, it was a LOT. Which I guess you gathered when my very sophisticated mother decided to throw vocabulary and grammar to the wind and wrote “ug” as a full and complete sentence.



With the price that you didn’t see, let me add this: the haircut BETTER take an hour. It better take five or six or seven hours. It better take a week.


But I’m wasting too much of your time. I really must move on to Reason Number Two:


I know (kind-of) what I want. (For the haircut, silly.)

But if you had a say, how would you suggest that I cut my hair?

Instead of my infamous glasses-post where I gave YOU choices, I think it’s time for all of you to reinvest a little and give me photos of YOUR ideas.

Just write me a little note, or copy and paste a picture so my family and I can consider the possibilities. (Please note: Google images is really, really, really good for coming up with pictures of haircuts. I know this from experience.)



P.S. If your name is Sarah Palin and if you are reading over the President’s shoulder or something, I just want to let you know that I already picked glasses like yours and I would totally trade hair with you if I could.


Sorry, China

Remember that desk, on that boat from China?
The one I blogged about?
The one I said was prompting even agnostics to pray desperately?
Yeah, that one.

Well, guess what?
The prayers worked.
Actually, my various supervisors, bosses, and other persons of high importance decided that it was in the best interest of the City and Taxpayer Dollars to ditch the desk coming from China and get me another desk altogether.
A desk that happened to be in stock.
Today, when I got back from my lunch break, guess what was sitting there waiting for me?

That should have been the end of the story.
But it's not.
Because, guess what else?
The guy who delivered the desk forgot to give me the keys and, of course, before he forgot, he locked all the desk drawers.
Oh, yes, he did.
So I was sitting there perched in my brand-new ergonomically stable chair, staring at my beautiful new desk, with boxes stacked all around me, and I couldn't do a thing about it!
In case you're wondering, the color of the desk is "cognac".
Yes. That's actually a color.
And in case you want to know how to pronounce it, here: kɒnjæk.
Yes. I copied and pasted that from Wikipedia.

So anyway.
When the guy from the office supply store came back by later, I started marching down the hallway at fast speeds to tell him a thing or two.
Actually, just kidding. Halfway down the hallway I got distracted by someone with Very Urgent City Business That Needed My Immediate Attention. So I forgot all about telling the guy anything.
He ended up coming to me first, giving me the keys, and apologizing for forgetting him. I didn't hear everything he said, because I was already making a beeline for my desk.
You know, to check and see if he actually gave me the right keys.
(Hey, after the order of events so far, you never know.)
They were the right keys.
And there were four of them.

Of course, the story couldn't end there either.
It had to include our City's substantial "MIS" department being called in to set up my computer and get it ready for, uh, turning on and other stuff that you do with computers. (Note: When a computer screen is off, you technically can use it as a mirror if you stand at just the right angle. You're welcome for that handy tip.)
My coworker Nancy gave several very clear calls to the aforementioned MIS department, letting them know that we expected them to drop whatever they were doing (including lunch breaks) and get over to set up my computer before any further catastrophe ensued.

The calls apparently did no good because an hour later, they still weren't there. So Nancy called again, and this time talked to some sort of MIS director, who said that the MIS techs had left to come set up my computer an hour before, and had not been heard from since.
Not been heard of since!
Of course, neither of them had remembered to take their cell phones.

Eventually, they showed up.
But then we had to work through various quirks.
For instance: nobody had thought to bring a power strip so we could plug the computer in.
Now, I might be mistaken, but as far as I understand, a power strip is pretty important.
(Unless, of course, you're using the monitor strictly as a mirror.)

FINALLY I logged into my computer, and was going to start refamiliarizing myself with it after two weeks (absence makes the heart grow fonder, you know) when I glanced at the clock and realized it was time to leave work. I didn't even have time to open my inbox or Microsoft Word.

Cruel, cruel.

I'm sorry. Super sorry.

This post is going to be all about apologies.
I'm sorry.
I'm sorry I haven't blogged lately.

I'm sorry I haven't told you about the move my office made last week.
Note: My desk still hasn't arrived.
It's still on the boat.
From China.
No, literally.
Last week, I overheard people from the office supply company talking about using GPS tracking to track the boat in the water.
I had two options: sit Indian-style on the floor with my computer tower in my lap, or, use a vacant office until my desk arrived.
I opted for the latter.
Even the non-Christians in my workplace are praying for strong, strong winds from China.

I'm sorry I haven't told you that I've been made the ersatz "pianist" at church for the time being.
Note: I'm terrified of playing in public.
But I had no choice.
My pastor broke his ankle and since he can't lead music, he asked my dad to.
And since my dad is leading music, I'm accompanying him.
Because my dad would rather lead music with me than the regular pianist.
Does that make sense? I don't think so, but it's supposed to.
Anyway. I'm stuck playing the piano.
It's still terrifying, even after I've done it three (3) consecutive weeks.
Especially after I accidentally started to play an extra chorus on "I'll Fly Away" this Sunday.
Jay said that the usual pianist was heard gasping audibly when I did so.
He also said, "Good save, Nic," when I managed to play some interesting chord and finish triumphantly (sans second chorus).
I am still trying to figure out why a pastor with a broken ankle can't lead congregational singing.
But we're not going there.

I'm sorry I haven't told you about the Christmas letter I'm writing for some friends.
Note: Yes, I am aware that it's weird to write a Christmas letter in October.
But there's nothing normal about these friends and the Christmas letters I write for them.
This years' letter includes a picture of their daughter holding a rat. Named Maggie.
And a picture of a sign they saw in an airport: "Attention Please: Will the owner of a white Ford expedition, blue in color, parked on the lower level, please return to your vehicle. Thank you."
Last year's letter included an update about their son, who popped the car tire on a curb.
And a note from their son, who said that he thought that food at college was lousy and that he thought it would be a very spiritual undertaking to send carepackages to college students abroad.
Writing a Christmas letter in October isn't all that weird, considering.

I'm sorry I didn't tell you about the funeral.
Note: My Auntie Deanie (that's one name, and should be hyphenated. Auntie-Deanie. We called her that all my life. Her real name was Nadine Huff, but if your name was Nadine Huff, wouldn't you go by Auntie Deanie? I thought so.)
The funeral was today. She had lived a full life, and we will miss her.
A female officiant of some kind, in a white robe and a necklace, came and threw "holy water" at the coffin from various angles.
Other than that, it was a nice service.
Well....other than the restroom trip, too. We (Hearn females and Daniel) decided to take a restroom stop, and we decided to walk instead of drive.
Why did we decide to walk? Nobody knows.
Why were they remodeling the restrooms after that long, long walk? Nobody knows.
Why did a good Samaritan stop and give us a lift on her golf cart so we could visit other restrooms? Why did Whitney stay perfectly calm and quite inside the mortuary, only to shout, "FISH!!" (or something like it) at the top of her lungs right when the officiant was taking a phone call from a grieving family member? Why did I decide to wear three-inch heels to go walking through grass? Why did I decide to wear a suit jacket on a day that was warm and humid? Why did the funeral home provide water (for everyone present) that was in little bottles that were impossible to drink from, and that had been treated with enough flouride to make you feel like you'd just been to the dentist for a teeth-whitening session?
Like I said, nobody knows.
We'll miss you, Auntie Deanie.

I'm really sorry I haven't shared some of the recent quotes that have been funny.
Note: I'll save most of them for a quote post.
But, just to whet your apetite, here are a few.
All by my grandma. Who is really the most hysterical grandma I know.

Grandma: That lady looks like she combed her hair with an egg-beater.

Grandma: That was her favorite restaurant, so maybe we should invite the family there after the funeral. But wait -- what does it matter if we're going to her favorite restaurant? She's dead; she can't come with us.

Grandma: I have email, but I don't use it very often. In fact, if you email me, make sure you call me and tell me, so I know to check it.

Grandma: Many years ago, I heard that they were quote-unquote "seeing eachother". But I don't know if that meant that they actually went somewhere, or just that they "saw" eachother in the front yard once.

I'm sorry.
For all those things.
Really, really sorry.

What are you sorry for today?

I'm it.

My good (bloggy and irl) friend Adrienne tagged me in a survey!!!!!!!!!

I shouldn't sound so excited.
But I am. So deal with it.

WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? I was almost named after an implement of asian warfare—does that count? See, my parents were going to name me Matthew Robert (MattBob for short) since I was supposed to be, uh, a boy. After I was a girl, they looked at me and spontaneously decided to name me Samara (not the usual pronunciation; they were going to call me SAM-ruh.) At the very last possible second, my uncle said that it reminded him of a samurai sword, and his comments were a sufficient-enough deterrent to make them decide on Nicole. I'm glad they did.

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? When my dad spanked me in fifth grade. Just kidding. I cried about something less than a month ago – I just don't remember what about.


WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? If I'm having a sub sandwich, I like Italian.

DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Well. In an ecumenical matter of speaking, we're all God's children, right? So they're all my children….wait. That doesn't work.

No. I don't have kids.

IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? That strongly depends. Which other person?

DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Is there a difference between trying to use sarcasm, and actually using it? If so, then no.

DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Keep your hands off my tonsils! Yes.

WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? All depends on the length of the bungee cord.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? I haven't eaten a regular bowl of cereal (you know, milk, bowl, spoon, etc.) in almost ten years. I like dry cereal, but I just can't stomach the whole drinking-milk thing. Isn't that weird? Anyway, when I do eat dry cereal, ALERT granola is really, really good. No seriously. If you've never had it, I have only two words for you: make it.

DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? My theory is this: when I'm putting my shoes on in the morning, I'm perky, energetic, and ready to go for the day (well, at least I'm energetic in direct proportion to my quality of sleep the night before, but let's not stray OT). When I take my shoes off at night, I'm tired.
Question answered?

DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? I can have a strong personality, but I strain to pick up a fifty-pound bag of dogfood at Costco.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Ice-cream, categorically, is my favorite. Thing. Ever.




WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My brother. I feel like I rarely see him anymore.

WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Cute little brown shoes that I wish I'd bought five pair of when they came out. They're professional enough to wear to work (heels, leather) and they're flip-flops. Flip-flops!

WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Whatever it was, it was way too long ago. I'm starving. Actually, it was a burrito my mom made—and some chips. Actually, no. It was a breath-mint. Do breath-mints count?

WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? A modern work environment. [HT: my formal job description]

IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Probably the one that got chewed up so badly [by the dog then the baby] that nobody can tell what color it used to be.

FAVORITE SMELLS? Pear blossom body spray, roses, campfires, and autumn. Yes. Autumn is a smell. Well, sort-of.

WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? My sister. We talked for eight minutes and twenty-eight seconds. Yesterday.

FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Hockey! I love to watch people get their teeth busted out! Or not. I really don't watch sports, but I'm mildly fond of football, I suppose, if there is positively nothing else to watch.

HAIR COLOR? On a good day: brown. After a summer of swimming in high school, it was green. (Is that WTMI? Sorry. It really was green. Public pools and chlorine, I tell you…)


DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? I wish! But I can't even put eye drops in my own eyes.

FAVORITE FOOD? The stuff my mom makes. To be a little more specific, we have a fettucini alfredo recipe with romano and nutmeg that is really something else, I like to make orange chicken occasionally, and, best-till-last, I am currently on a corn-tortilla tacos kick. Every night when I come home from work I ask, "Mom, are we having tacos tonight?" No, really. I do.

SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? I like suspenseful movies that end well. There.

LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? In the theater, Fireproof.

WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Brown with white cuffs and collar, three-quarter sleeve. Nancy told me that I look nice, so it must be true. ;-)

SUMMER OR WINTER? I'm gonna pull a Sarah Palin – autumn.

HUGS OR KISSES? I don't have much experience with the latter, so I'll have to say the former.

FAVORITE DESSERT? Ice-cream (duh). On birthdays and special occasions, I like cheesecake.

WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? I'm on my umpteenth reading of, "To Kill A Mockingbird", and am dabbling, somewhat consecutively, in some Ted Dekker books, "The Silver Chair" by C.S. Lewis and the procedure manual at work.

WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Two words: Lap top. Wait. That's one word. Laptop.

WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? That question is obviously for people who have way too much time on their hands. I didn't watch anything.

FAVORITE SOUND? Music is beautiful. I like to hear the sounds in my backyard, too.

ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Why does it have to be one or the other? Why can't we all just get along? *lights bic lighter* All we are saying / is give peace a chance.


WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME??? Maine. With Adrienne (and her hubby and little girl!) It was amazing.

DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? I'm sure I do somewhere. I'll let you know when I find it.

WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Here in this valley. I had a dream the other night that my parents bought a house down the street, and I woke up under the impression that it had been a nightmare, since we haven't moved in twenty years. Well, nineteen. Which is basically twenty. Speaking of twenty, next month I'm going to finish being twenty. Isn't that amazing?!

Okay. The tagging selection:

Based on completely arbitrary lottery-of-the-mind, I choose:

Catherine Kinz

Gavrielle Houser

Josh LeMaster

Minch Minchin

None of those people have blogs.

So they'll have to post their answers in the comments.


Yes. Tonight, Emily and I jogged two miles. I know you were just dying to hear that information.
Or not.
But it's important. Because tonight, on our two-mile jog, we stopped at my grandma's house.
This is a ritual--we usually stop and catch the last few minutes of "Wheel Of Fortune" with her before heading on our way home.
But tonight, when we came through the door, the news was on.
The news!
"Why aren't you watching Wheel of Fortune?" I tried to ask, trying not to sound too devastated.
She looked at me blankly. "The coverage of the Southern California fires has been the only thing on all the stations since four o'clock this morning," she said.
Fires. What fires?
I quickly noticed that the TV screen was only two colors: orange and black.
Black because it's, uh, night.
Orange because there's fire.

Of course, I did the only logical thing to do in such a situation: I whipped out my cell phone and called Jay, breathless, to tell him about the fires ravaging the state.
He listened patiently, then said, "Yeah, I'm logged into the incident website and there are thirteen fires statewide. I'm on top of it."
Like I said before: oh.
I guess I was the only one in Southern California who didn't know about the fires.
Well, I take that back. Emily didn't know either.

My grandma mentioned that a homeless man, and his dog, had been killed by the fire. That led to a very involved conversation on how it would be possible for a homeless man to die in a fire (not to mention his dog. We'll get to that later.)
Think about it: it's not like the fire could overtake him in a house before he had a chance to escape.
He'd be in the middle of a street and would see the fire coming towards him.
Grandma had a suggestion: Maybe he was asleep under his blanket.
Well, Emily and I made quick work of that one; she suggested that he would smell it, and I suggested that he would think it was awfully hot for an October day.
Grandma countered: Maybe he was high on drugs and thought it was drug-induced psychedelic hallucination until it was too late.
That was plausible enough to give us a short pause.
That is, until we started thinking things through more carefully: what about the dog?
Wouldn't the dog run?
Emily said, "Maybe the homeless man was the arsonist, and he stayed around to watch the fire."
That still didn't answer the question of the dog.
"Maybe," she said, "the dog was on a LEASH."
"Or maybe," she said, "the dog had no legs."
Yes. You read that correctly.
My own blood sister had the audacity to suggest that the dog of a homeless man who died in a fire perhaps had no legs!

We all burst out laughing.
I know it's not supposed to be funny. But it was. What a visual.
We went home and related this story to our family;
Jay was a killjoy and made a comment like, "This family is morbid," and went back to his computer.
Dad said, in a perfectly normal voice, "Maybe it was a lapdog."

So. What do you think? What plausible explanations can you think of for why a homeless man on the street would perish (with his dog) in a fire?
And, no, you may not consult any legitimate media sources for the answer to this question.
Use your imagination.

And, while you're at it, please pray for the fires. Apparently, it is a very, very serious situation.
Not that I would know about that -- I just found out about the fires.
But still.
I have a somewhat informed brother. Which helps.

I did it. Again.

Well, dear readers, I did it again.
I had another culinary tragedy.
You'd think that, based on simple odds, I've experienced more of those in my lifetime than a normal human should be subjected to, but apparently there are no rules of fairness where things like this are concerned.
I was even doing a good deed when it happened, but apparently that didn't help anything either.

See, I had called Elizabeth McCauley.
For those of you who have not had the extreme pleasure of meeting Elizabeth, (you would remember it if you had. Trust me.) perhaps her nicknames would best describe her -- two of my favorites are "Bubbly" and "Firecracker" which seem so synonymous with her personality that they feel natural to use as proper nouns.

On this particular morning, I had decided to multitask: call Elizabeth while making breadsticks for dinner (we were having lasagna--and what is lasagna without fresh bread? [Lasagna, you say, but that's beside the point.])
We were deeply engrossed in an edifying conversation concerning Google Reader when I used one of my God-given senses (i.e. smell) to determine that my breadsticks were ready to come out of the oven. Balancing my cell phone on my shoulder, I got a towel in my hand, deftly opened the oven door, and pulled the pan of breasticks out.
I admit, I impressed myself.

That is, until the whole pan went flying.

I maintain that it must have been some sort of conspiracy. I mean, it sounds perfectly safe to pull a large, heavy pan out of the oven with one hand and a kitchen towel, right?
The next thing anybody heard was my frantic, "Mooooooooooom!"
My mom is always good at rescuing me. Before I could hang up with Elizabeth, she practically had the whole thing cleaned up and had a bucket of water cleaning up the garlic and parmesean cheese remnants from the kitchen floor.
(Yes, of course the breasticks all landed upside-down.)

In cheerier--much cheerier--news, yesterday my mom had the extremely helpful idea of going into our storage shed (in the backyard) and getting out all of the costumes that Jay and I used to wear as children.
You're probably wondering: what costumes?
Well, see, we have this very creative mom, who, unlike her daughter, is a domestic wonder and who can randomly wake up one morning (probably before 5:00 a.m., too) and decide to do something like, oh, say, design and execute the production of a lion costume.
Yes. You read that right.
Lion costume!
Or rabbit, or squirrel, or Moses-in-Egypt, or Laura Ingalls, or anything else she sets her heart on. When we were kids, all we had to do was:

a. come up with an educational reason why we needed to have such-and-such costume
b. sort the laundry and sweep the kitchen floor, plus any other bribery tactics that seemed appropriate at the time
c. watch mom make the costume
d. use
e. repeat next time we wanted a costume made

By this method, we acquired quite a collection of very creative costumes when I was young. And, now that Daniel and Mally are into their years of formal education, my mom doesn't need to make costumes, she can simply go out to the shed and get them.

Today was the day they came out of the shed. And as soon as they came out, my mom promptly disappeared on a trip to every grocery store, bank, and other retail establishment within, oh, say, a dozen miles, and, since I don't like shopping, I stayed home.
But I'm sure she planned it that way, because when the little kids woke up from their naps, they spotted the infamous "costume bucket" in the living room, they mobbed me and wanted to try the costumes on.
I told them, "Actually, those are mom's special costumes. Wait until she gets home before you use them."
So the kids waited, and once mom got home, we had a big costume-wearing party. Don't let Whitney's smile deceive you: she was terrified of the costumes. She takes after her big sister, I guess, because when I was a child, one of our neighbors, who was about 5'5" but seemed about as tall as Goliath came over in a large pink rabbit suit on Easter, intending to amuse me, and I screamed, pitched a fit, hollered for an unreasonable amount of time, and, I think, permenantly scared her off.
Come to think of it, in the years since, I've never actually seen her wear anything pink again. There has got to be some correlation there.

Anyway, Emily lined them up and took pictures, and they were just so cute that I had to post them for you.

And yes. Like I alluded to earlier in this post, my mom made all of these costumes. And there are lots, lots more where those came from.

Posted by Picasa

Note: Apparently I have some technical difficulties with my links, as several of my pictures aren't showing up. I'll try to fix them when I figure out what the problem is. :-) Thanks!

Playing Dead

Uh, guys --  the cemetery has visited my blog again.
The cemetery has visited my blog post about the cemetery.
The cemetery visited my blog nine times since I posted about the cemetery.
And still, no fessing up.
How do you like that?

Freaky Friday, or, "The Post That Couldn't Wait Until Halloween"

Okay. So.

(Do all of my blog posts start with, "Okay, so"? I'll have to conduct a survey on that.)
I planned to post this on Halloween, for three reasons:
1. Halloween falls on a Friday this year, and "Freaky Friday" is just such a....cute title for a post!
2. The post was, well, freaky. (Am I repeating myself?)
3. I don't remember the last reason. But I'm sure there was one. I'm really sure there was.


Regardless: this post couldn't wait for Halloween.  I just had to post it before.


Note: Oh, yeah! I just remembered the third reason: what if I posted it on Halloween and nobody believed me? (Maybe something along the lines of April Fool's—only, Halloween Fool's. Catchy, isn't it?)


Because if you think I'm making this stuff up, I absolutely am not.


I guess I haven't told you what stuff I'm talking about yet.


Let's fix that.


Remember last week when I wrote that I read my blog more than anybody else, and am therefore entitled to post whatever I like?


Well, that was a little, itsy-bitsy tiny white lie.


Because I don't read my own blog more than anybody else.


And before I tell you who does read my blog more than anybody else,  let me back up.

It all started when I got a site meter. A site meter is an internet "tool" that ends up becoming an obsession; it gives stats like: who visited your blog, how often, what kind of web browser they were using, and, most importantly, their map coordinates.


Yeah. Map coordinates.


And, okay, yes.  "Hesperia, CA" had a lot, lot of hits.  I'm not the only one in Hesperia to visit my blog – there are eight people (five computers) in my household and, with our busy schedules these days, my blog probably has better information about me than they know "in real life".


But "Hesperia, California" doesn't show up as the number one visitor to my blog.


Do you want to know who the number one visitor to my blog is?

Well, I did, too.

I had map coordinates. (34.0416, -118.2988)

I had a general location. (Los Angeles, California)

So all I needed was a map.


Enter Google.

Here's what I found.


Go ahead and admit it: you're speechless.

I know you are.


So was I.

So that's the news that couldn't wait for Halloween.


I forgot.

I don't believe in Halloween.



Forgot that little matter.
I'm sure it's just a mess-up; a cemetary can't really be connecting to my blog.
That only happens in, you know, Steven King novels and stuff.
Note: If you live somewhere near or around the cemetary and if you think maybe my site meter is off just a little bit and you're actually the number one faithful visitor to my blog, send me an email (nrhearn@gmail.com) and I'll collaborate on a future post with you. Provided, of course, that you are, uh, alive.

The Guys Who Weren't Very Good At Hitting On Girls, or, "A Scary Incident"

Tonight Emily and I were out on a nice Sunday walk, minding our own business and going to visit our grandmother.
It was fairly uneventful on the way there-- we did pass three rather large people standing next to their car texting on their cell phones. Anybody who ever said that texting is a silent language obviously never got to know these guys--they were liberally using audible expletives while texting. We didn't pay much attention to them (but they'll be important later, so listen up.)
We made it to grandma's and watched her play "Freecell" on her computer for a little while.
(Yes. I do know that watching someone play Freecell screams, "get a life". We only watched one game, honest.)
It was a very nice time.
But. On our way back, when we were going past an intersection, a little red sports car went past and the two occupants of the vehicle, uh, said something. Actually, it was quite evident that they were trying to cat-call, however, I can't say that they actually did, because their attempts were rather lame. It came out sounding more like a dying animal of some sort.
We crossed the intersection, and Emily commented, "They just slammed on their brakes."
"Don't worry about it," I said, "they're just trying to be nice."
"That isn't nice!" Emily protested.
"They probably thought it was," I insisted, "Don't worry about it."
And so I didn't worry about it.
Until they turned around.
And turned onto the street where we were coming.
And pulled up alongside us.
In the dark.
Their window was rolled down so we could get a good look at them, and there is no other way to say this: these two guys were ugly.
Not just slightly-distasteful-ugly--no. These guys looked like they had just returned from a photo shoot for the Megan's Law website.
If we could have held them for the law, the Smithsonian would have probably given us millions for bringing in the missing link for evolution.
They were hideous.
"Hey girls," the closest one to us said, in a voice that I assume was supposed to sound smooth, "Are you out exercising?"
No, we're having a tea party!
I looked at one and said, rather blandly, "Yes."
Several things were going through our minds at that moment, Emily and I discussed later. She was thinking, "I wonder which of them likes which of us?"
What was going through my mind was: Why, why, didn't I bring my cell phone tonight? And, These guys obviously don't have very much experience hitting on girls.
Because, after that first brilliant come-on line (the one about the exercise) it took them awhile to collectively come up with a second conversational subject. They had clearly had plenty of exposure to Jack Daniels, Elmer's White Glue, antifreeze, Timbisha Shoshone Peace Pipes, and prescription drugs within, say, the past five minutes or so. Their reaction times were just a little behind.
I know the driver launched his next talking point, but I didn't hear it because traffic was backing up behind these two, and at the obvious encouragement of a huge U-Haul truck behind them, they sped up.
"I will be grateful to U-Haul for ever'n'ever," I said, under my breath.
But that wasn't the last of it.
Thing One and Thing Two had obviously decided to come back for another try, so they had pulled off the road and had turned on their left blinker--they were going to do a u-turn and give themselves some more face time. 

At precisely this time, we were coming up upon the texting wizards from earlier, who were apparently still wrapped up in their cell phones. I saw that left-blinker ahead of us go on, and decided that most men (even tough men who use audible expletives while texting) will usually become sympathetic when girls appeal to their protective instinct, and made a quick decision: I was going to go up to them, apologizing for bursting in on their gathering, and ask them if they would let us stand there a little while until the guys stopped bothering us.
But Emily, ever quick, had a better suggestion.
"YOVANOVICHES," she said.
That name might not be significant to you, but the Yovanoviches are good friends of ours, who just happened to live across the street from the scene we found ourselves in. A contributing factor to Emily's reasoning must have been the rumor that once Mrs. Yovanovich yelled at a man who was going through her backyard, "If you do that again, I'm going to call the police!"--only to discover that the police were right on his heels with guns drawn. He was some horrid criminal and we never did find out whether or not they caught him, but Mrs. Yovanovich hollered at him all the same.

The car was turning around. We had to act quickly.
Yovanoviches it was.
We broke into a run, reached the front door, banged on it, and basically let ourselves in.
"What is it?" Mrs. Yovanovich asked, just as the car was slowly passing by the house.
We explained in abbreviated terms, and Mr. Yovanovich regarded us calmly, held up a dish in his hand, and asked, "Would you like to have a pistachio?"
Mrs. Yovanovich asked if we would like to call our dad, which we did want to do so very much, thank you. I told dad a few pertinent details, ending with, "So, if we're not home in an hour, you'll know that we've probably been abducted."
"Okay," he responded, cheerfully, "Preach the gospel to them, sweetie."
You've got to love my dad.
I tentatively agreed and we set out on our way, thanking our hosts for the pistachios and haven, then proceeded on our way.
We thanked God--of all the places for something like that to happen, it was on the only part of that dark, unlit road where there were any people, where there was a house we could run to!
"Nicole?" Emily asked, "Um, where would you, uh, punch somebody like that?"
It was quite a question.
See, the two guys weren't, by any means, small.
In fact, if someone told me that their momma was an elephant, I would believe them unquestionably, science notwithstanding.
They were very, very large.
(A bright spot is that they probably wouldn't have been able to fit us in the little sports car with them if they had actually been interested in hauling us off.)
We pondered that they had probably found our disappearance to be somewhat miraculous, and tried to imagine the post-incident conversation after having seen us, and then turning around to see an empty street.
"Or maybe they thought you were angels unawares," Dad suggested, once we got home, but Emily and I concluded that they were probably unaware of that biblical passage.
We called the Yovanoviches assure them that they didn't need to send out a search party.
We were safe.

Quote Post

Some people post "quote posts" with really stirring, thoughtful quotes from ancient patriarchs and foreign dignitaries whose names are hard to pronounce. They tell us that Whatchamacallit Gandhi said "be the change you want to see in the world"—or was it John Waldo Emerson who said that? Or Ralph F. Kennedy?

Touching, regardless. Those kinds of quote posts are nice.

Really nice. Sweet.

But my quote posts are never touching or particularly inspiring.

They're not by famous people. The names are easy to pronounce. (i.e. "Scott". How can you mispronounce "Scott"?)

But!— they're funny. At least, they were funny when they happened, so they are fun to repost even if everyone reads them and thinks, "Whaaaa?"

After all, it's my blog, and I visit it more often than anybody else, so I'm entitled to post anything I want to. Right?

Come on, now, folks. Let's get some audience participation.

I'm entitled to post anything I want to. Right?

There. That's better. Thanks. *curtsy*


With that in mind, here are a few quotes:


Collin: It's not a touch-screen.

Scott: Yes, it is. It just doesn't do anything.


Scott [walks in the room]: As you were, men.


Jeff [smells my new perfume]: That's heavenly!

Roland [smells my new perfume, later]: What does it smell like in here? Lysol?


Don: Since you've started attending that church, has church membership gone up—all of those eligible guys following you around wanting to marry you?


Nancy [sees Mark after he got back from cooking for employees on vacation]: Hey, Chef Boy-ar-dee!


Nancy: I see she's cut her hair short this time. [She's gone through every phase under the sun….except cute.] And she can't help that.


Jeff: Mark Blair can ride with me. I have duct tape.


Scott: In Nevada, it's always about the girls and the silver.


Nancy: I'm going crazy. Do you want to go with me?


Scott [looking at the back of a Polaroid picture]: That's Hesperia at night.