Friday, February 25, 2011

operation: fly north

Spring keeps knocking on my door.

"Listen, Spring," I tell it, "I have nothing against you. You have a lot of things going for you. But I just don't love that. Please stop coming."

But it doesn't listen.

It's already gotten inside the minds of the community. Boys playing basketball in their driveways. Girls riding their bikes down the street. Mothers yelling out their doors for their children to find their shoes and come inside for dinner.

They have no resistance!

And I don't know how much longer I can hold out.

Kroger is selling lilies and hyacinths and lilacs and, I would still be okay, but then I saw them.

The daffodils.

Spring is so sneaky! Blast its yellow-petaled tactics, like drops of sweet, syruppy sunlight, smiling, laughing, bobbing their heads under a bright blue happy....

There's only one option for me: I have to flee.

I tell people it's because I can't find a job (which I can't), or because I'm hoping to go to grad school this fall anyway (which I am), but the real reason I am packing up all of my things and moving back to Wisconsin is because, well,

Winter is still there.

Winter and I have had a very long love affair that goes through months of turmoil every year. People often shake their fists at the wintry sky and ask, "Why must you snow?" But, you see, Winter and I, we understand one another. I understand why it must snow. And, in the same way, it understands why I want it to snow. But we can't explain it to you. You wouldn't understand.

I wonder if it knows how much I'm struggling right now.

And I have to hurry, because now tulips are beginning to grow right outside my front door.


Curse you and your cheerfulness.
Thursday, February 24, 2011

if they knew sweet little you

My neighbors have adopted an elephant.

It's nocturnal, because it has the most energy after midnight.

I picture it as a very sad elephant, too, because it cries, nay wails, a lot during the day. Maybe because it can't sleep?

I'm assuming it's a baby elephant, because otherwise it wouldn't be able to fit in their side of the duplex, let alone run from room to room, which it does, which makes all of my walls vibrate.

And I think it's female, because sometimes I hear it singing, and it's a very high-pitched, little-elephant-like voice.

I wonder if it has little pink ribbons tied around its ears?

And guess what: It's Russian. I know this because my neighbors speak to it in Russian, nay, yell at it in Russian, at 1 o'clock in the morning, when it's beating its trunk against the wall that borders my room. Maybe it just came over on the boat from Russia, and that's why it's nocturnal. At midnight here, it's only 11 a.m. there. Is it thinking that it's time for tea?

There is no tea in my wall, no matter how many times you beat it with your trunk.

I wonder if it misses being in the wild?

Are elephants like turtles, which only grow to the size of their cage? Because once this elephant, which I imagine is named something like Anitchka (which means "Grace," how fitting for the little tot), starts to grow, that apartment is not going to be big enough.

Sometimes I get pretty angry, around 3 o'clock in the morning, that there is so much stomping, pounding, yelling, and shaking going on in the duplex next to me. But then I just try to remember that bringing a new baby elephant into the family is not easy, and I should try to have compassion on them.

I would want them to have compassion on me if I adopted, say, a poison dart gun. I mean, what if I accidentally rested it on their windowsill and then my finger twitched and shot a poison dart into their elephant's rump? I would want them to understand, as Anitchka lay silent and unconscious on their bedroom floor, that there's an adjustment period when bringing a new member into one's family. So I should try to be understanding of them, too.

And I do understand.

But if their nocturnal elephant does not learn new sleep patterns and lighter walking techniques, I am going to adopt a velociraptor, which know how to open doors and take down very large animals.

All in the spirit of growing my family in love, of course. Just like my neighbors.
Sunday, February 20, 2011

good news! great joy!

I love Turner Classic Movies. Their website is even one of my little tabbies on the top of my web browser. I made magnets out of their logo, which are on the refrigerator right now. At one point I even kept records of what classic movies I'd seen, categorized by actor and listed by year. I stopped tallying in 2008, but at that point (according to my documents), I had seen 19 Cary Grant movies, 24 Jimmy Stewart movies, 17 Paul Newman movies, 16 Fred Astaire movies, 12 Bing Crosby movies, 14 Ginger Roger movies, 10 Doris Day movies, and the list goes on. And on.

And on.

I was kind of a nerd in high school. Not the "study hard and wear too-short jeans" kind of nerd, but the "hanging pictures of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers on my wall" kind of nerd. In fact, they're there, even now. Hey, Fred.

I wanted the TCM Scene-It game for my birthday, until I realized, who would play it with me?

Dear Robert Osborne,
I realize you are a very important and busy man, what with being the host and face of TCM. But I was wondering if you would play Scene-It with me. Then maybe Glenn Miller DDR.
Love, Heather

For 3 1/2 years I have gotten on TCM's website and requested they replay a certain film. It isn't on DVD yet, so I occasionally change my e-mail so I can vote they put it on DVD. And on their "recommend a film" page I change my name and location so they think many people all over the country are requesting the same movie.

Please play Pillow to Post again. I think it's fabulous!
Beth/Kansas City

OMG i just luv this movei! plz play it agan

My mother just died from a 7-year battle with cancer. When I was a little girl we used to watch this movie at night when I couldn't sleep. Also there were puppies involved. Please show this movie.

Then I wondered if they could track my posts from the same computer, and all the men in the tech center at TCM headquarters were probably looking at each other with enormous and very official headphones on their ears thinking, "Why does this woman keep messaging us as fake people? We know you're only one person!"

Because I want to see this movie! Please just show this movie again!

And guess what. They are. THEY FINALLY ARE!

March 25 at 11:45 p.m.

Thank you to all my split personalities who contributed to make this moment possible.

Why don't movie posters look like this anymore?
Monday, February 14, 2011

my funny valentine

Wisconsin, I think it's time I told you.

I love you.

I know we haven't known each other that long.

I know we aren't always the same.

I know that sometimes the novelty of this feeling wears off,
and we can't remember how exactly it felt in the beginning,
and all that's left is this vague, shadowy idea of what we thought it was going to be,
but isn't.
And our eyes grow dull to one another.
And all we see is the bitterness and the dryness and the cracking skin.

But that won't happen with us.

I know this because I miss you when I'm not with you.
And I think about you, even when I'm in other parts of the world,
and I only want to be here,
with you.

So wrap me in your rosy pink arms when the setting sun reflects off the silos.
Capture me with puffs of breath that disappear over white fields.
Send me snowflakes through the air like storms of lacy love letters.
Sing me the echoing song of frozen trees popping in the wind.
Leave me deep red kisses on my cheeks from the unabashed breezes. 
Write me poems the color of the sky when it looks like ice in the mornings.

Promise me you won't forget me when my footprints melt away.

Because, Wisconsin, I love you.

And if you give me a chance, I think we could be great friends for a long time.

And I've felt like this for a while, but I didn't know how to tell you.

So I just did.

And now I feel better.
Friday, February 11, 2011

with love, from me to you

To celebrate the Beatles coming to America 47 years ago (and Valentine's Day), I baked these:

What you can't see in this picture are the outcast-cupcakes with frosting smeared on their little bald heads like comb-overs, 'cause I got tired of filling the little decorative bottle with an opening the size of a quarter. How do you neatly fit gobs of frosting in there without getting it all over your hands, clothes, and counter? You don't. Which leads to a lot of unofficial frosting-licking.

Oh Taste of Home, I want you so much to like me.
Thursday, February 10, 2011

they don't mine

The dictionary describes the word "know" this way:

to be or feel certain of the truth or accuracy of
to be acquainted or familiar with
to understand, be aware of, or perceive
to experience, especially deeply

Jesus says, "This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent" (John 17:3).

Do all those definitions of "know" describe what your relationship of knowing God looks like?

They don't mine.

But I desperately want them to.

Do you?

Something to think about.


A quote from Dana Candler's twitter on February 11:
Missing Him is part of loving Him. Loving Him is fruit of knowing Him. Knowing Him is eternal life (Jn 17:3).
Tuesday, February 8, 2011

hail to thee, Mayberry

I remember being a little girl and walking into the living room while my brothers were watching football. I asked them, "Who are the bad guys?" Translation: Which team are we wanting to win? My brothers less-than-patiently (supposedly I asked this question more than once) told me that "there are no bad guys." That's just how my little mind, fed on Disney movies, interpreted things. Good guys, bad guys. Aladdin, Jafar. We want the good guys to win, to ride away on a magic carpet with a woman wearing a very fluttery pant-suit made of sheer Arabian fabric. Just tell me who the good guys are so I can appropriately pray for them to succeed. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it! Amen and amen.

Since then I've learned a tad bit more about football (though there are still bad least, that's how my mind, still fed on Disney movies, interprets things). I also pretend to know more than I do. I'll teach you a good strategy: The less you say, the more it appears you know. Maybe even keep a notepad near you during the game, so when you have comments to make, you can jot them down and read them over later to yourself, and either agree or disagree with them. That way it seems like you're having a conversation with somebody, but it's really just yourself. And that way nobody else really has to know that you still don't really understand the differences in neutral zone infraction, encroachment, and off-sides, but you like the first one the best because it sounds more technical and complicated.

"Ohhhh neutral zone infraction! That's because his neutral zone has been infracted. Don't infract his neutral zone, buddy!" (These are the kinds of things you will write in your notepad.)

I still love football, for all I do understand. And for the first time, I got to be in the state whose team went to the Super Bowl.

the G stands for Greatness

My Monday morning breakfast prayer (featuring Dad):
"Dear God, thank you for Mom for making these pancakes--"
"--thanks that I got to be home for a little while--"
"--please provide me with a job--"

And it just so happens I had scraps of fabric in green and yellow lying around:

this G stands for Gosh this took me a long time
This pillow says, "I watched Sports Center in between A Little Princess and The Secret Garden." Which I did.

Congrats, Super Bowl XLV champs.

Oh Sunday afternoons, how will I spend thee now?
Thursday, February 3, 2011

taking the cannoli, part II

As Man on Center Yellow Line (Holding Pole) taught us earlier, you're not crazy as long as you love what you do. And I realized a few days ago that that is also the moral of The Godfather.

Other possible morals are: 1.) It's okay to murder other people if you're doing it for your familiy; 2.) It's okay to murder your family if you're doing it for other parts of your family; 3.) Love never dies, except when it is murdered - by your family, for your family, or because of your family.

But the one I want to focus on is the first one. You're not crazy as long as you love what you do.

For example, I apparently like to flap my legs and screech like a baby dinosaur. I didn't know this about myself until a few days ago, when I was sitting in Courtney's car and I, indeed, flapped my knees and screeched like a baby dinosaur. Courtney sighed, "You always do that."

Well. I was not aware that I "always" flap and screech like a baby dinosaur. Hopefully I was never sitting in a lecture and randomly began flapping and calling out, "Screeeeee!" But if I did, and my professor looked at me with a concerned and shocked expression, I would calmly have said,

"I love, therefore I'm not crazy."

You're not crazy as long as you love what you do.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011

leave the gun; take the cannoli

Today I saw a man standing on the yellow center line on 1268. He was holding a pole. I had just rounded a curve and he caught me off-guard. I expected him to move over, or wave me by, or maybe look up into the sky, nod, and be beamed back up to his mother ship. Instead he just stood there, in the middle of the road, holding his pole.

So I slowly drove up beside him, eying him as I passed him by, wondering if he would step backwards, or ask me to turn around, or tap his pole on the roof of my car and turn me into something unnatural. He didn't even make eye-contact with me until the very last minute, and he smiled at me. It said, "I know exactly what you're thinking, but I don't have to explain myself." On the other side of him, I laughed.

I know now that when I feel crazy for wearing red tights or headbands with flowers on them or my pink jelly shoes because, come on, Heather, you're 23, not eight, I will think of Man on Center Yellow Line (Holding Pole). You're not crazy as long as you love what you do, no matter what anybody else thinks.
"Why mind the fashion? Wear a big hat, and be comfortable!" - Laurie, Little Women

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