Monthly Archives: November 2010

#truestory

Guys, remember when MTV’s True Life was hard-hitting and kind of a serious documentary series?  I miss those days.

Nevertheless, here’s a list of specials I would totally watch if I were flipping channels and these were real:

  • True Life: I Used the Wrong Toothbrush and Now Have Oral Cancer
  • True Life: I Want to be Sparkle Beach Skipper
  • True Life: I Live-Tweeted my Childbirth and Severely Regret It (note: “childbirth” may be subbed for something like “horrific sexual encounters” or “criminal court proceedings”)
  • True Life: I Am Neil Gaiman
  • True Life: I Am an Evil Giraffe
  • True Life: I’m Allergic to Everything in the World, Ever

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Stuff Heather Thinks is Super Great

Yes, we’re back!  Or at least I am.  Rachel is out in real life somewhere sleeping/drinking tea/applying to grad school/Autostraddling.  Those are the things I imagine Rachel doing when she is not being a barista.

All right then.  Onto business.

Today is my day off! (Kind of!) As I’ve been selling things or ringing up things every day for the past two weeks, having a day off feels like Christmas.  More than Christmas will feel like Christmas, I expect, since I’ll probs have to work on the Eve and the day after.  I have an article due tomorrow morning for my newspaper gig and I’ve spent the morning doing research, so technically my day isn’t work-free –– I have to call sources and write it up later, not to mention NaNo –– but the Sister Figure should be showing up any time now to go to a movie and/or shoe browse with me.  I AM READY.

The ladies at [clothing store] gave me a nickname! In my brief career I have held… eleven jobs?  And not once have I been given a nickname by a coworker.  Even at [other retail giant], where my supervisor gives everyone a nickname –– Grandpa, Paris, et cetera –– I don’t have one.  They don’t seem to stick to me.  But my friends at [clothing store] have dubbed me “Barbara Bush” because, fashionwise, “You should be married to a president.”  I was going for a hot librarian kind of look, but I’ll take it.

Johnny Weir is a judge on Skating with the Stars. This means that despite the presence of “star” Bethenny Frankel, I now feel obligated to watch the show.

Market Basket. You guys, I went to one of these the other day and it is SO MUCH CHEAPER than where I usually buy groceries!  It costs three dollars to buy tahini!  Three.  Dollars.  The only reason I had never tried to make hummus, before this week, was because tahini cost eight at my usual grocery store.  Now I have made hummus.  It is glorious.  I will shop at Market Basket forever, or at least until I move out of my parents’.

Similarly, I love my food processor. It is tiny and cute and gets the job done.  Part of me wants to pat it on the lid after I cook and say, in a terrible impersonation of James Cromwell, “That’ll do, processor.  That’ll do.”

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brb

hi

sorry

i hate stuff

heather loves stuff

we are both thankful for stuff, including but not limited to you.

we will write blog posts again when we are not so exhausted/poor/overworked/the literal embodiment of this image

just kidding, that will never happen, but we’ll write blog posts again soon

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i said REJOICE

There are not many holidays or observances that we take seriously at HRHF headquarters, but today is one of them: IT IS HEATHER’S BIRTHDAY. She is older, but still the same badass motherfucker she always has been. I urge you to celebrate this occasion as is customary in your place or culture of origin, or by:

  • leaving a comment
  • delurking
  • writing her a limerick
  • linking us to an infographic you made of Heather’s best qualities
  • animal sacrifice (just kidding Heather!)
  • sending a huge paypal donation to heathernrachel [at] gmail [dot] com
  • drawing a picture of her as a superhero or Glee character
  • baking a cake and enjoying it immensely yourself
  • getting a tattoo of her face

 

I promise you all these efforts on your part will be received warmly and enthusiastically, as Heather is a kind and benevolent soul who is beloved by children and domesticated livestock and I love her. HAPPY BIRTHDAY HEATHER. Go forth and conquer.

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Stuff Heather Thinks is Super Great

Someone made a family of homeless Sims in The Sims 3.  Then that person documented the Sims’ lives in a blog. Even as a Sims fan, I didn’t expect much from this blog aside from personal amusement –– but the two characters and their problems are actually quite affecting/heartbreaking.  There’s also a page devoted to information about and links to various charity orgs, if you’re inclined to donate.

“That Was the Worst Christmas Ever!” by Sufjan Stevens. Not only do I work at two different retail stores, but the project I’m working on for NaNoWriMo is set at Christmastime, which effectively requires me to listen to holiday music every hour of the day.*  When I can’t take the jollity anymore, I click on this song.  It’s quiet and spookily depressing and oddly, cheers me up quite a bit.

GRAEME TAYLOR! Obvs.

I’m sure you’ve all heard about this but: Baz Luhrmann’s making an adaptation of Gatsby starring Carey Mulligan as Daisy. Giving me exactly one reason to like Daisy. (#daisybuchananistheworst)

And now for the obligatory Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows coverage:

Autostraddle wrote a piece about Harry Potter, and Rachel helped! Harry Potter, I am not a lesbian, but I love you too.  I love you enough that in seventh grade, when my best friend went as Hermione Granger for Halloween –– thus making it impossible, in the unspoken rules of our friendship, for me to go as Hermione Granger –– I went as a female Harry Potter, though every adult handing out candy in the local community seemed to find it weird.  I love you so much that the following year, I won an official Sorcerer’s Stone film poster because I was the only kid in Mr. [Redacted]’s four English classes to get a perfect score on a Harry Potter trivia quiz.

Merlin’s pants, the first installment of Deathly Hallows is a great movie. The Doctor and I went to Thursday’s midnight showing and agreed it’s our favorite of the films.  Admittedly, I have a history of declaring each HP movie (as well as each HP book) my favorite as soon as it opens; however, this one avoids the problem I generally have with HP movies, which is that I love it until the last ten minutes, when the filmmakers inevitably leave out something mega important.  (Dumbledore’s funeral comes to mind.)  But Deathly Hallows Part 1, but virtue of being part 1, ends partway through the book!  So the writers don’t cut out any important information!  Also, Rupert Grint got hot.  Which leads me to

Ron Weasley. If I had one unattainable dream in middle school, it was that Hogwarts was a real school and McGonagall had just handed my acceptance letter to an owl.  If I had a second unattainable dream, it was that Ron Weasley was a real person who would leave Hermione to Krum because he had met me.  Oh, be still my heart.

*When I write, I feel like I have to put on music thematically appropriate for the story.  For NaNo, I’ve been playing a lot of holiday stuff, crappy pop music, and Tegan & Sara.

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an open letter to the writers of Glee

Dear Glee writers,

Last night’s episode had some really solid musical numbers.  Rihanna’s “Umbrella” mashed with the title song of Singin’ in the Rain?  Why, only Gene Kelly himself could have made me happier.  I thought I could not enjoy your musical numbers more after Rachel Berry and Gwyneth Paltrow did “Nowadays” from Chicago, replete with shot-for-shot references to the film adaptation a few years ago. And Paltrow dressed as Mary Todd Lincoln?  The historian heart in me skipped a beat!

But can we talk about the tater tots subplot with Mercedes?  As much as I appreciate tater tots in and of themselves –– those things are delicious –– this storyline made me cringe.  When Sue Sylvester looked out into the hall and spied fat teenage girls (and they were all girls, I noted) eating chocolate and hamburgers, my mother and I watching immediately said, “Oh no” in unison.  Actually in unison.  Do you realize how tired the “fat people eat their feelings” stereotype is?  The only time that was funny was in Mean Girls, when Janis Ian mapped out the cafeteria.  Although I did appreciate that you raised the issue of Mercedes being the only glee member who has yet to be given a legit love interest on the show, and further appreciated it when Mercedes called out Kurt for setting her up with Anthony more or less because they’re both black.

But I digress.  Call me, Ryan Murphy, or call Marianne Kirby or someone, if you ever want to write about being a fat girl in high school.  Because last night’s episode made me think of the one last season where the big, bespectacled girl in Sue Sylvester’s Future Spinster Society (or whatever it was called) confessed to making out with her cat on Saturday nights.

Kthx!
Heather

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an open letter to a certain tech company

Dear [redacted],

When I purchased your external hard drive last month, it was with the intent to ease the minds of my parents, who were freaking out that all their stuff would be lost once they set up their new computer.  The external I bought was slick-looking, small, portable, and promised The Best Backup Job Ever Ever EVAR.  At 750 gigs, I figured, I could not go wrong!

Oh, how naive I was.

Now that I have uploaded my parents’ beloved documents, mp3s of Kansas songs and whatnot onto your external hard drive, I find that I cannot move those files to the new computer.  The purportedly-simple file restore you offer refuses to comply with my meager demand.  “Here!” I said (and continue to say) to your small, infernal machine. “Right here in front of my MOTHERLOVING EYES onscreen –– here are the backup files you so generously kept aside for me!  Will you restore them onto this computer, so my parents may enjoy their Kansas and photographs of Christmas Past?  Will you do this for me, my friend, so I may avoid great parental fear and waving of the arms while shouting in panic?”  It’s not an unreasonable request.  But what did your external drive do then?  Why, it brought up a window saying that as it could not open a file correctly, the restore had failed.  Again.

I’m going to come right out and say it: your computer products are shitty.  You should have stuck with making televisions.

Sincerely,
Heather

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Stuff Rachel Fucking Hates

The hilarious thing – if I had to pick just one hilarious thing – about applying to graduate school for writing fiction is that it takes all the time and energy and emotional wherewithal that you would normally use to write fiction. Maybe this is not true of other people. Maybe it is just true of me, for whom looking at online forms, even just looking at them, even when all they are asking about is what scholarships I had is just absolutely incapacitating. Why do they want to know which scholarships I had. I don’t get it. One nice thing though was that they included a text box asking me to fill in to what extent higher education caused my family financial hardship and how, I had 500 characters and that was kind of cathartic.

Anyways. This is a long, hard, weird thing. I kind of hate it. I have not even gotten to the personal statement/statement of purpose/choosing of samples for the actual writing part of the application. That part will be really fucking difficult. Not only because that is a lot of text and therefore intrinsically more difficult than just checking off boxes, but because it may actually force one to confront those questions – what is my intent? Why am I even doing this? What have I written in the last six years that is good? What have I written in the last six years that is the least bad? Do daily fixes count? No.

I guess basically I am trying to warn you: whereas this was once Thesis Whining Central, it may become Hyperventilating w/r/t Grad School Applications City for the next couple weeks, and sorry, because that probably sucks. There are people with good blogs about being in grad school, you could read those instead. Or just go back and read Heather’s letter to the Old Spice guy, I liked that.

Oh also my fancy Droid phone finally sputtered out completely last week and has been basically totally inoperable with the exception of sending my mother the same text message multiple times a day/in the middle of the night, which is freaking her out/making her think I am haunted. I had to pay out of pocket for a replacement phone, which is a fucking Blackberry of all things, and which I cannot activate even after like an hour on the Verizon site, which can I just say, why do they even have a site. It would be just as useful to have a blank page and they would save a lot on the webmaster’s salary. Anyhow I just wanted you to know that as soon as I figure this ish out I am going to be one of those obnoxious Foursquaring assholes faster than you can say “unfollow on Twitter.” FUCK YES.

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Stuff Heather Thinks is Super Great

Darren Criss on Glee. Gentleladies and gentlemen, you have no idea how into this new Blaine/Kurt arc I am.  Blaine and his a cappella group should be in every episode.  Here, producers, I’ve made it easy for you –– here’s a list I compiled of characters whose screentime can/should be cut in order to make room!  1] Will Schuester (or, as he seems to be known lately, Creepy-Ass Will Schuester Doll, Sexual Predator Edition).  2] Rachel Berry, for obvious reasons.  3] Finn (assuming that he’s not wearing the Brad specs from Rocky Horror).  4] Quinn, since her character has lost any development from last season and seems to have regressed to being a huge jerk all the time.

Mike Gerbino’s “The Beauty Calibrator”:

Peter sent me this yesterday and I’ve since watched it three times.  Once –– this evening, when getting ready for work –– as I put on my makeup.  Yeah, I know.

Scrivener. I’d heard of this writing software before, but wasn’t willing to pay $45 for it, and so I forgot.  But Rachel found out that the company’s offering a free trial to wrimos that will end on December 7.  (Score!  Thanks, Rachel!)  Now I have my project divided not only into parts, but also arranged according to character, so I can see to which plotlines I’ve devoted more time and space.  Which makes me feel less haphazard, which actually got me feeling like a go-getter today when I sat down to write.  The past week has been a mega-difficult one for writing, but hopefully this next one will be better.  It’ll have to be, if I’m going to make the 50,000!

Coffeeshops. The Coffeeshop of Choice near Rachel and Emma’s is really the only reason, aside from Scrivener and my own guilt, that I got any writing done at all in this second week of November.  I need to hunker down and burrow in a place that would force me to pay for Internet access, instead of sitting at the kitchen island at home and reading Jez for free.

Guys, 30 Rock. Obviously.  And not just because John Slattery played a crazy, bestubbled politician on the most recent episode. The Precious satire?  Making fun of hipsters –– and the Tea Party, kind of –– in a way that’s still funny, even after all this time?  I for one am impressed and pleased, though not terribly surprised.

A Home at the End of the World, Michael Cunningham. Before I bought this book, the most I knew about it was that there had been a critically acclaimed movie adaptation a few years ago, featuring a full-frontal scene that had to be cut in postproduction because seeing a nude Colin Farrell distracted test audiences from the scene’s emotional depth.  Now that I’m in the middle of the book, I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that it’s as good as Kavalier & Clay. (With the acknowledgment, of course, that some of Cunningham’s plot points are thematically similar to Chabon’s in the final two parts of K&C.)

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HOLD THE PHONE

I’m sorry, but this is the best idea I’ll ever have. Are you ready? You’re not ready.

“Throwdown with Bobby Flay” PLUS “Sister Wives.” Yes. Bobby Flay goes to Sodomy, Utah, or wherever it is that those people live, and challenges them to a cookoff. Ideally this happens every episode. I don’t know what it is that Sister Wives cook; I imagine it to be deep-fried turducken stuffed with green Jello salad and disenfranchisement of my rights to marriage. Bobby Flay  has to cook the same thing, except somehow always worse. Always. Also, whoever wins each challenge gets to beat the other over the head with a wiffle bat, or report them to the federal government for bigamy, whichever makes more sense.

Also, this week the Neelys made macaroni and cheese with four cups of heavy cream.

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