Category Archives: Heather


I did some thinking about home today.  I haven’t found a dentist or doctor in my area, so I came to my hometown for the day and stayed at my parents’ while they were on vacation.  Strange, to walk around the darkened, empty house at night.  It’s not as though I have never been alone in a house — for someone who lives with three roommates, I’m alone in my apartment surprisingly often — but I couldn’t recall being alone overnight in that one.  The only bed left is theirs; they sold mine some months ago.  I slept on my father’s Tempurpedic pillow.  Comfortable, but strange.  But of course I slept well.

I need to get surgery on my head, the doctor says.  But this is nothing to worry about, she told me; I do not have skull cancer; that is not even a thing.

Afterward, I went for a drive because I could.  Driving, just to drive, felt wonderful.  I must have missed it more than I realized.  (And my mom’s car is brand new, which doesn’t hurt.)  I drove around and through my old neighborhood, went to see the house I lived in my first twelve years.  We lived on the right side of a white condex that looked pretty much identical to three-quarters of the other houses on our street, which was paved with purple gravel and terraced, so each house had a hill in the backyard.  The street has been repaved in the past dozen years; the gravel is gone.  The house looks much smaller and duller than I remembered; the dog pen has been disassembled and leant against the shed.  They have boarded up our side porch.  When you drive up, you can see a plastic toddler’s playground in the back.  I was happy to see the shutters are still pink.  Do my old neighbors still live on the other side?  Two years ago, they did.  It’s difficult picturing them anywhere else.  It’s been half my lifetime and I still imagine us all sitting on the shared stoop, or winding up the tire swing so it spins like crazy when you let go, or kicking [redacted]’s shitbox car in the driveway.

I had forgotten the sheer number of trees, how they bend over the road to form a tunnel.  A ceiling of leaves.  Made, and makes, it almost impossible to see the sky as you drive down the perpendicular road, at least until you reach the dairy farm.  But the cows are all gone now, of course.  The farm went out of business and sold the cows when I lived in the neighborhood, and that was a dozen years ago.

The trees were overwhelming, in a good way.  I drove another hour just to see more trees.  For all its flaws, and all the reasons I so hated that town when I grew up there, it’s beautiful.  That surprised me.  In spite of all the time I spent hating my hometown, hardening myself against the boredom and nature and smallness, I really loved that neighborhood.  (Once, when we were making apple crisp, I told Rachel about the apple-peeling competitions my mom would have with our neighbor.  She turned to me and stared.  “Where did you grow up, Pleasantville?”  And it seemed like it, in some ways, it did.)

In my fervor over my new life, I think, I have neglected some people back home.  I must do better.  I will be better.

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sexy bold American summer

Tonight I went with a friend (hereby called the Girl on Fire) to something she calls “spinjam,” where a dozen or two dozen people gather together in a field and practice poi, among other things (e.g. contact and traditional staff, metal fans, juggling).  The Girl on Fire specializes in poi; I tried the poi, the staff and a weighted red stick on a string.  I’m not sure if spinjam is my thing, but it was pretty amazing to see everyone doing theirs.  After the sun went down, some people soaked the weighted ends of their poi in fuel and lit them on fire.

I realized, during this experience, that I am incredibly lazy.  (I wasn’t always.  I’m not sure what happened.)

Last summer was my Summer of 2011: Time to Be Bold campaign.  This year, the summer will be 2 Bold 2 Furious.  Thusly, an official Start of Summer 2012 to-do list:

  1. Learn advanced Photoshop.
  2. Learn basic CSS.
  3. Learn basic JavaScript.
  4. Learn how to do something in Excel beyond, like, typing stuff in boxes.
  5. Release Broad! #2 already.
  6. Find hobby that I am as passionate about as the Girl on Fire is about poi.
    1. Hip-hop?  Tango?
    2. Archery?
  7. Take far more baths.
  8. Read more (and actually complete the book — no more reading three books at a go).
  9. Finish that fucking story already.
  10. Swim.
  11. Go paintballing.
  12. Choreograph new burlesque routine; put together costume.
  13. Be more adventurous in cooking.
  14. Throw dinner parties.
  15. Submit to litmags for publication.
  16. Be the best aunt ever (i.e. buy her safari-themed baby things, read her books about magic and heart and feminism, talk to her in a normal human voice, pinch her tiny chubby cheeks).
  17. Camp.

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the circle of life

I won a fellowship today.  I’m excited.  It funds part of the tuition cost to attend an international writing seminar later this year.

It’s highly unlikely I can afford it, though, even with the partial fellowship.  But damned if I don’t try.

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so here’s the thing

I don’t know how to make things up anymore.  And I don’t know how much I want to share things that are not made up.

That’s a problem that started more or less when my senior thesis ended, but that was May 2010, so….  I guess I’m stuck.  Also I have an enlarged spleen and most of my close friends have moved away, so there’s that.  But it doesn’t hurt to smile anymore!

I went to a hospital walk-in clinic about a week ago because I had been sick and couldn’t figure out why; turns out I have mono.  (WOMP WOMP.)  So my boss insisted I take all week off from work and my coworkers texted me to see how I was doing and the office even sent me a giant bouquet of flowers, which was all beautiful and touching and I felt loved.  But on Wednesday night, after a few days of being unable to eat or drink much (anything, really) and a solid week of a high fever, I realized I would have to go back to the clinic because there was clearly something wrong with me.  And I couldn’t think of anyone in my area who I could ask to drive me.

It’s not as pathetic as it sounds; my roommates would do it but they either have a 9-5 job or do not have a car.  I have a friend or two in the area who also would have done it, but (again) no car.  I couldn’t take myself to the clinic because it involves multiple transit methods and standing up was kind of a big deal for me at the time.  The Professor ended up rescuing me because she is a star and altogether wonderful human being — and thank god for that, since I had to be wheeled to the ER and pumped full of drugs — but all in all, it kind of sucks that I don’t have anyone I feel close enough to to ask a favor like this.  The Professor doesn’t live all that close, and she hates driving in cities.  The State lives twice as far as the Professor.  Both of them have lives.

It’s not that I don’t have friends here, either.  I have a lot of friends here, actually; it’s just that I am not on inner-circle terms with any of them (or vice versa).  I miss that.  I miss my close friends, but they have their own lives in their own cities.  I don’t want to go another year thinking I’ll make better friends than I did.

I also don’t want to go another year thinking I’ll write more/better/harder than I did, so there’s that, too!

Guess what I’m trying to say is: grilled cheese writing workshop party, my house, your wine.


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GGCEx: Buffalo Benny

I have three meals’ worth of leftovers in my fridge and two meals’ worth of space in my fridge.  One of these leftover cartons is large and housing Buffalo chicken.  I like buffalo chicken, cheese, and this recipe looked awesome.  So: buffalo grilled cheese!


  • buffalo chicken tenders, cut up into bits
  • “farmhouse” sourdough bread
  • Caesar dressing
  • American cheese
  • goat cheese
  • cream cheese


Okay, so maybe I didn’t feel like buying the actual ingredients the above hyperlinked recipe called for.  I had three kinds of cheese (wait, no, four.  FOUR!) in the vegetable drawer already and didn’t foresee me using up all the crumbled blue cheese Shaw’s had on tap.  And like, why buy blue cheese dressing when you have Caesar’s you (eventually) need to use up anyway?  Right?  So this sandwich was going to be a cross between the sandwich linked above and the Buffalo Ranch Melt at Denny’s.  Except then I discovered my goat cheese was growing dark green fuzz and my cream cheese smelled kind of questionable.  Oops.

The sandwich went from a poor woman’s Blue Buffalo to a poor woman’s Denny’s, is what I’m saying.

It is probably the best sandwich I will make all year.

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hello again

I have had a headache since Saturday morning.  Actually, wait, I took ibuprofen for it at the restaurant with the Sister Figure on Friday, didn’t I?  Okay, then, Friday night.  I have been weirdly tired and dealing with a continuous headache since Friday night.  Wake up with it, fall asleep with it.

Today at work, when the ibuprofen I took (again) failed to do its job, this began to worry me.

At first I attributed the headache to my weekend being busy, or noise levels on my parents’ televisions — I was visiting for a couple days — or stress.  Or being tired.  But medicine would have to start working at some point, right?  So then I thought, in typical fashion, What If I Have a BRAIN TUMOR.  “do you think i have a tumor, y/n,” I asked a coworker. “n,” she said, “you are probably dehydrated.”  I checked the symptoms just now, and looks like she’s right.

(She always seems to be right.)

In other, funnier news, my mom called to find out how to block people on Facebook.  Some strange man messaged her requesting pics because he “really wants to get to know her better” (!!! OMG).  So my mom called Dad in to read this and said, “I still got it!”  (and, I imagine, snapped her fingers in a Z-shape). He read it over and said, “Well, I always knew that.”

Also, the dude used “God bless” as his closing signature, so as to seem less questionable.  But I’m onto you, [Redacted].  I know your first name.  You’re not troubling MY mom, that’s for sure.

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The Great Grilled Cheese Experiment: Avocado Goat Supreme

I love gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches (or, fine, paninis if that’s what you insist on calling them).  And one of my New Year’s resolutions is to cook more.

Hence, I have decided to embark upon the Great Grilled Cheese Experiment of 2012.  Every so often, I’ll make a fancy motherlovin’ grilled cheese with a new/different combination of ingredients and record the results (a brief taste summary, a star rating) on this here blog.

Tonight was the Avocado Goat Supreme (!).

  • goat cheese
  • havarti
  • baby spinach
  • tempeh bacon/fakon (which I made! I am so handy)
  • avocado
  • crushed red pepper
  • paprika
  • yellow lentil hummus with sunflower seeds and apricot
  • store-brand multigrain bread
Avocado draws out the agave nectar in the fakon, so it tasted a bit sweeter and more barbecue-y than I necessarily intended.  However, I also overshook the crushed red pepper and, between that and the hummus (delicious but weirdly peppery!), my nose started running partway through the sandwich.  I had to get up for a napkin and pour myself a glass of milk to combat the spiciness.  The goat cheese provided a cooling effect, but not enough of one.
To be honest, this sandwich — though tasty — may be too intense for me.  I had to keep taking breaks.  Next time I’ll make something more simple.  Oh, and add pictures, because that’s a thing I could do.

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