Category Archives: Humor

Best of Everett (Age X)

Seven years ago today, right about now (10pm), Everett came into this world pink and pudgy and not at all breathing. For thirty seconds, he took no breath and made no sound. If I had known then what I know now, I would have enjoyed those thirty seconds more. It was the last moment of silence I would ever experience in his presence again.

In fact, he seems to have made a point to make up for those first few tense moments by cracking us up at every possible moment. By age 3, he had developed quite the fan following on Facebook for my “Everett (Age 3)” posts based on things he said. Over the ensuing years, it became “Everett (age 4)” and “Everett (age 5)” and now it’ll be “Everett (age 7).” For your enjoyment, and in celebration of his birthday, here’s a collection of the Best of Everett (Age X).

Everett (Age 3)

Everett: Do you love my eyes? I love your eyes. They are super pretty.
Me: Aww… Ow! What are you doing?
Everett: I’m going to steal them and keep them for myself. <Poke!>

**

Everett: I HATE you Mommy!
Me: Everett, that’s not a good thing to say.
Everett (after a moment’s thought): Well then, what SHOULD I say when I hate someone?

**

Everett: You have three choices Mommy. Yes, or yes, or not no.

**

Everett: What does it mean when you make me go sit on the stairs?
Me: Well, what do you think it means?
Everett: It means… that you still love me.
Me: Mmm… true…
Everett (after a moment’s thought): And that you’re a jerk.

**

Everett, Age 4

Everett: Mommy. First of all, I need to go poop. Second of all, you need to wipe my butt. Got it? That’s my plan.

**

Scene: The car.
Everett: Doo, when I get to be a big person, like you, I’m going to be a good driver.
Carey: You’re going to be a good driver like me?
Everett: No no no. I’m not going to yell at the other people when I drive.

**

The boy loves his mama.

Carey (singing Guns N Roses): Everett, do ya wanna down to the paradise city, where the grass is green and the girls are pretty?
Everett: But Doo. The grass IS green. (Meeting my eyes with a dimpled smile) And Mommy’s the girl and SHE is pretty.

**

But also keeps her humble.

Everett, investigating my hands: Mommy, you’re getting old.
After a moment’s thought: I guess I will have to get a new mommy.
Hopping down to go play: When you die soon. Bye.

**

Everett gets up from the table explaining that he needs to go poop. One minute later, we hear a call from the bathroom: “Nope. I didn’t need to poop. It was just a fart.” Pause. “Do I still have to wash my hands?”

**

Everett absorbs everything like a sponge, including salty words he may hear in passing. He understands we prefer him not to use certain words, so when in doubt he asks whether a word is okay or not. One day, sitting on the toilet, singing and chattering:

Oooo, I’m singing on the toilet going poop right now! Oooooo!! I’m going poop and it’s not coming out… It’s a hard one, Oooo, this one’s really a …

Then: Mommy!

Me: Yes, baby?

Everett: Can I say, “son of a b*tch”?

**

Everett (Age 5)

Everett: Who’s going to be the first one in our family to smoke? Oh, I know, Doo.

Eli (Age 9): No, Doo doesn’t smoke.

Everett: I know. So I’m going to be the first one.

Eli: No, you don’t want to do that. Smoking is bad for you.

Everett: Why? Do bad guys smoke?

Eli: No, it’s bad for your throat.

Everett: Then why do people do it?

Eli: Because it doesn’t hurt right away. It’s bad for it eventually. And then you have to have surgery and have your throat taken out and a new one put in.

Everett: Does it hurt?

Eli: No, but…

Everett: Then I’m going to smoke.

**

Everett (Age 6)

Everett: Eli, if we were in a survival situation and all we had was Mommy, would you care if the food was burned?

**

Me: Okay, no kissing on the mouth right now. On the cheek.
Everett: Because my tongue is out?
Me: Yes.
Everett: Do you want to tongue kiss?
Me: Um. No. No, not ever. Nope. Parents don’t tongue kiss with kids.
Everett: Do you and Doo tongue kiss?
Me: Well. Yes. Sometimes.
Everett: You mean like this? [Sticks his tongue out] And then you put your tongues together?
Me: Well, sort of…
Everett: Or you put your mouths together like a regular kiss, and then put your tongues in each other’s mouths?
Me: Um. Yes. That.
Everett: Okay. I’m not disgusted. I’m just like, ‘okay.’
Me: How.. why… what just happened?
Everett: I just asked you about kissing.
Me: Oh.

**

Everett, on the way to Petsmart: When I have a pet, I don’t know which kind to get.
Me: Well, what’s important to you in a pet?
Everett: I want it to talk.
Me: You’ll have to have a parrot then. They’re expensive!
Everett: And I want to train it to sit and come.
Me: Oh. A dog does that… but not the talking…
Everett: And I want it to play with me, like pretend games and computer games.
Me: … Um. I think you don’t want a pet. You want another kid.
Everett: Yeah. How much to adopt one of those?

IMG 20150112 220923159 168x300 Best of Everett (Age X)

The Dummy’s Guide to Building a Christmas Tree Out of Books

You know those “dummy’s guide to” books? I hate them. Seriously, people. The fact that I am buying books demonstrates that I am not a dummy. Give me a little credit.

This entry, however, is a dummy’s guide–not because *you’re* a dummy, but because I am. At least when it comes to construction. And you too can feel like a dummy–and waste most of a weekend–simply by following these step-by-step instructions.

Or you can use this to avoid my dumb mistakes and cut your Christmas-tree-building time down to a few hours. If that’s what you want to do, start at Step Five, and skip steps six and seven. Which leaves you with only two steps. And what fun is that? Just go ahead and do all eight steps for maximum fun and frustration.

Step One: Start with Books

 

Books for Heather Head Christmas Tree 300x168 The Dummys Guide to Building a Christmas Tree Out of Books

 

I mean, you could try it without books. That would probably take even longer. So yeah. Let me know how that turns out for you.

Step Two: Over-Analyze

Being the free-spirited, spontaneous folk that we are, we couldn’t begin this project without a detailed cost-benefit analysis. The following graph represents our key findings.

Screenshot 2014 12 15 19.24.10 The Dummys Guide to Building a Christmas Tree Out of Books

 

We decided to proceed. Your results may vary.

Step Three: Over-Plan

This is a major undertaking that will affect the appearance of one corner of one room for nearly one month. It’s important that you plan it out in detail prior to engagement.

Stack all the books Heather Head 300x225 The Dummys Guide to Building a Christmas Tree Out of Books

Start by carefully laying out all the books in your house on the floor, and organize them by thickness, height, and width. Bonus points for arranging by color also.

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This step is completely unnecessary and will eat up several hours. Throw in a shirtless kid putting books in the wrong piles and you’ve wasted yourself an entire afternoon. Congrats.

Step Four: Start Small

When you finally realize the utter futility of step three–preferably after you’ve already emptied all of your bookshelves, ideally in the wrong room–you may begin building a base for your tree. Start small in order to create a set-up that will have to be taken down and started again.

Use big books, but not too many, and place them super close together.

Too Small Tree 300x168 The Dummys Guide to Building a Christmas Tree Out of Books

Important: Be sure to start stacking the next set of books really far in–leave at least three or four inches between the outside of the first level and the outside of the second level.

This critical step will ensure that the tree circumference decreases in size at a precipitous rate, leading to a completed tree that is wider than it is tall. Continue to stack in this manner until you have at least five or six layers that will have to be undone in order to get the proportions right.

Step Five: Start Over

This is actually the first step that accomplishes anything, so you might want to stop and get a drink first. Maybe watch a little television or troll Facebook for an hour or two. Wouldn’t want to get ahead of yourself.

Ready now? K. Start with as wide a base as you have space for. Then start stacking books in alternate fashion, moving each level in from the previous level by less than an inch at a time. Try to choose books at each level that are more-or-less the same thickness. It’s okay to stack two books to match the thickness of other books on the same level. Don’t obsess–you can always adjust any leaning by thickening one side or the other.

This part will go pretty fast. Sorry.

IMG 20141207 123738728 HDR 300x168 The Dummys Guide to Building a Christmas Tree Out of Books

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IMG 20141207 125301526 300x168 The Dummys Guide to Building a Christmas Tree Out of Books

 

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Step Six: Add Some Fancy but Unstable Adornments 

IMG 20141207 151530390 HDR 168x300 The Dummys Guide to Building a Christmas Tree Out of Books

It’ll look great and get tall in a big hurry. Fortunately, however, it will come tumbling down quite readily without much effort, and take some of the more stable substructure with it, creating additional work. Plus, it’s fun to retrieve all the fallen books from the hollow in the middle, which can easily lead to more damage to the substructure.

Step Seven: Repair the Damage and Finish Stacking

This is the second productive step. Take another break to draw it out. It’s important to forget to take a picture at this point. You’ll be glad for the lack of evidence of your productive work, especially if you have more than a dozen shots of all the unproductive steps.

Step Eight: Light it Up

If you’ve done it right, you won’t get to this stage for at least a week from the start. But when you do:

IMG 20141214 214329989 576x1024 The Dummys Guide to Building a Christmas Tree Out of Books

 

 

 

Sprout Massacre

sprout massacre 300x225 Sprout Massacre
Massacre? Or Manifest Destiny?

Do you have these odd little internal habits that seem perfectly normal to you until one day it crosses your mind that maybe it’s not normal at all but quite possibly downright weird? Maybe you don’t even realize you’re doing it because you’ve done it all your life and so it’s not even something you think about.

For instance, maybe you tell yourself stories about inanimate–or nearly inanimate–objects, in order to explain their (ahem) “behavior.” You’ve done this all your life, almost unceasingly, running this internal storytelling monologue with yourself, until one day you’re standing in the kitchen and it hits you that maybe you’re just wee, teeny bit, tiny bit, a little insane.

So this morning I was harvesting sprouts. We grow them in these little trays, where they start as seeds and get watered twice a day. We watch tenderly as they spring to life, the miracle of a tiny seed suddenly sprouting roots and leaves and growing into a cute baby plant. For about five days, we nurture their growth, marveling over the miracle of life, and then we yank them up by the roots and eat them.

But first we yank them up by the roots and stick them in a container in the fridge to chill for a while. You harvest them by fistfuls, and there are always some stragglers left in the bottom of the tray and you have to decide whether it’s worth the trouble to go back and harvest those few one at a time, and usually it’s not, so you just wash them down the drain with a scrub brush.

So I was standing there yanking them up by the roots and wondering how they felt about it. For instance, were the ones that were harvested really sad, or were they kinda oblivious and thinking it was some sort of fun adventure. If they knew they were going to be eaten, I figured they were probably pretty scared about that. Poor little yummy little things.

Then I thought about the stragglers. Were they relieved when they realized they’d been spared? I imagined them throwing some sort of quiet but jubilant party: “YES! We made it! Now we have all this room to grow… spread those roots out, search for the nutrient-rich earth that is surely mere millimeters away. We are gonna MAKE it!”

But their party is about to be interrupted with a rude awakening. Suddenly they’ll find themselves violently crushed and torn, washed away in a devastating torrent, to a terrible underground death… or maybe (wait, some of them might find some place with nutrients and sunlight and eventually grow into something but… no. They’re on their way to a water treatment facility, and death by chemicals. Except the ones that end up in the trash. THEY might become something in a landfill… but more likely they’ll suffocate in the plastic bag).

Back to the tray. So then I got to wondering. What if one of the sprouts, prior to his tragic end, got to wondering (with a mixture of gratitude and humility) why he’d been spared to go on living, and someone came to him and said, “Dude, you think you’re lucky. But you know what? You’re not. Because THOSE sprouts, the ones that got pulled out of this life so early? They’re going to fulfill their destiny. They’re going on to do the thing they were created to do. They’ll become part of a larger organism, playing a critical role in cell growth and immune function. Sure, they’ll die first. But you know what? At least they will have died for a reason. You? You’re going to die too, but your death is going to be pointless. Nothing useful will come of your having ever lived. No one, nothing, will ever remember you were ever even here. And it’s going to happen soon. Now who’s the lucky one?”

And then I start applying the concepts to a larger picture. I think about our lives and I think about how sad we get when someone dies young, but maybe that’s the wrong approach. Maybe as long as they died FOR something then they’re the lucky ones. And how can we even know whether they died for something or not. Maybe what looks like a tragic accident or a terrible disease is really part of some bigger scheme and they’re going on to do something important, be part of something bigger, and we’re just the stragglers left here to wash down the drain at the end of the day.

That’s the point at which I usually start frantically pulling up stragglers, trying to get every last single sprout into the harvest container for later consumption. Until I start thinking about OCD disorder and decide I don’t want to be quite THAT crazy, so I stop.

And then, I start imagining the whole thing as an essay and about three minutes later, I drop the scrub brush and run to the computer to type it up.

Yup, so that’s what my mind does. Pretty much non-stop. Every day. All day. And until today it hadn’t occured to me that it might be a little strange. Am I the only one? What weird things does your brain do?

Me Being Awesome and Other Stuff

It’s really hard to get going again. You know the feeling? The longer you go without posting to your blog (writing in your journal, calling your mom, apologizing for a mistake), the harder it gets to pick it back up again. Yes, that. In this case, it’s mostly because there is so MUCH to report. Let me break it down.

On the Internets:

Me pretending I’m a Minoan snake goddess on the Curiosity Cat blog

I wrote about increasing lead capture for BellaTEX on my marketing blog

Uncle Pierce runs a brisk business in captured flies that later supports purchasing the meds he needs to treat his dysentery on POW Diaries

I wrote about trends in business education for GCB magazine (you’ll have to actually open the magazine view and flip through to find it, unfortunately.)

I also wrote a bunch of other stuff for clients. Some of it will show up in my marketing blog over time.

In Business:

I’m putting the finishing touches on a presentation I intend to deliver at rotary clubs and other civic organizations around town. It’s part of my personal marketing push, developing my network and so forth. I’m excited and nervous and also… beginning to wonder if it might be overkill. I’ve got so much already in my business pipeline that I may be near capacity two months from now. Not a bad problem to have.

Gunner:

Gunner Graduation 300x225 Me Being Awesome and Other Stuff
Gunner the Graduate

Gunner graduated from Beginner Obedience class at Petsmart. He did awesome. He knows “sit” “stay” “down” “off” “sit-and-say-please” “touch” (a basic recall command), and “Okay, I’m leaving now” (which he learned all by himself. This command apparently means “dance excitedly to the door, push your way out the door, run to the car, and attempt desperately to influence the course of events to end in “and Gunner’s coming with me.” Can I emphasize enough that he learned this ALL. BY. HIMSELF. I’m certain he’s a doggy genius.)

What he has not yet learned:

 

  • Cats are not toys
  • Neither are ducks
  • Or goats
  • Or small children
  • Or chickens
  • Or squirrels
  • Or Mommy’s favorite pair of heels that she wears to work almost every day and is heartbroken to have to throw away but can’t wear with one heel missing and the toe chewed out

What he has also not yet learned:

  • Running in the woods is really really fun but more fun if you don’t run off and get lost and make someone late for work and come home really really muddy so they never want to take you for off leash runs ever again
  • Other dogs are great playmates but it’s okay not to stop and say hi to every single one you pass in the road
  • Mandarin Chinese

In Other News:

We took up the “can you live on food stamps” challenge and won hands-down. We totally made up the challenge and still won. Actually, *I* made up the challenge and its rules and THEN won it. Sort of. I mean, I did win. But I didn’t *totally* make up the rules. I read about it somewhere, or maybe Carey did. The idea is, folks living on food stamps get the equivalent of $30 (a bit more) a week per person in the family, and the author of whatever it was I read (or Carey did) wondered whether that was a reasonable amount and asked the readers whether they thought they could live on that.

I said yes, and took it upon myself to prove it. It wasn’t that hard, really. I used to do it, years ago when we were poor. In fact, I fed three of us on $35 a week, ten years ago. That’s $35 total, not $35 each. Now, with five in our family, our allowance would be $150 on food stamps.

I’ve been feeding us on $100 a week for two weeks now. And by “I’ve been feeding” I mean I’ve been purchasing super cheap ingredients and Carey’s been cooking.

Okay, so we already had some stuff in our cupboards. And it isn’t exactly fancy fare we’ve had. It’s been chicken and dumplings (with homemade dumplings–flour is cheap), rice and beans, turkey hash, and hot dogs. I wouldn’t want to do it indefinitely. It’s not easy to bypass all the yummy stuff, and it’s hard to squelch that desire for more.

On the other hand, there is something delightful about getting to the cash register with your carefully selected items, and discovering that you have $5 left after paying. What will it be? A gallon of ice cream? A watermelon? A bag of peaches? A treat becomes a treat, a true treat. The actual enjoyment of that watermelon or peach… it’s higher when the fruit is purchased so dearly.

In Yet More News:

Our Internet is very, very spotty at home today and yesterday. Don’t worry, we’re holding up fine. We’ll be okay eventually. It’s just hard right now, you know? The worst of it is that I can’t play my favorite (guilty pleasure) online MPG because I keep getting bumped off the server. So sad. But I’ll survive.

Also, it’s amazing how productive I’ve been today and yesterday. I refuse to believe there is any correlation between the previous paragraph and this one.

Finally, don’t forget to subscribe. Very important. I don’t really know any good reason why you should subscribe but as a marketer I know it’s important to include a call to action so there you go.

(P.S. Above this line is an excellent example of a poorly executed call to action, demonstrating the classic mistake of failing to provide an incentive.)

Subscribe and I’ll mail you  a beautiful unicorn pony, a real one, with feathers.

(P.P.S. Above this line is an excellent example of setting unrealistic expectations, also known as outright lying, and I don’t recommend it.)

Subscribe because I’m funny.

(P.P.P.S. Almost but not quite.)

Subscribe and I’ll send you updates every time I post something fun here.

(P.P.P.P.S. Okay, but no sense of urgency.)

Subscribe tonight and I’ll send you a copy of my never-before-published short story called “Sleeping Panther.”

(P.P.P.P.P.S. And also updates every time I post a new goofy update like this one.)

And also I’ll do a happy dance.

Wait. Subscribe before tomorrow night and I’ll do a happy dance AND VIDEO RECORD IT.

(Notice I did not say whether I would post the video.)

If five people subscribe before tomorrow night I’ll video record it… and post the video here.

(There. That’s not bad. Bring it on.)

Update to June 9, 2012

Please, we need your help. 16 years of marriage hangs on your intercession.* Carey seems to think my last post was highly offensive, and not just because I talked about cadavers. Actually, he didn’t even mention cadavers. Are you even paying attention, Carey Stephen Head?**

This is the part he took exception to:

“Carey, however, was trying to look inconspicuous and pretending not to know us. I’m not sure why. ”

He says he was NOT in fact pretending not to know us. For which he puts forth the following evidence:

1. It was his idea to go to Rivergate for the live music in the first place (true).

2. He bought the book Monty was reading (true).

3. He bought the safety pins that were holding up Everett’s pants so he could dance (true).

4. He took most of the pictures and video of us dancing (true).

5. He kept his eye on Everett, who was meandering from group to group and eventually settled on playing ball with another family (probably true. Evidence: Everett did not go home with anyone else last night. I am not sure this is a point in Carey’s favor).

6. He was enjoying himself and being a part of our family, even though he doesn’t like dancing and especially in a public place but that doesn’t mean he didn’t enjoy watching us dance (could be true but he can’t prove it).

Probably it wasn’t at all fair of me to make him sound like a spoilsport or not participating in the fun just because he doesn’t like to dance. On the other hand:

1. I said he was “looking inconspicuous and pretending not to know us” BEFORE he made any of the above arguments. And I said it IN WRITING.

2. I was very tired last night AND I DANCED ANYWAY.

3. I am highly skilled in the use of capital letters. Capital letters make everything truer. TRUE STORY.***

4. Carey did not show up in ANY of the photos or videos. Highly suspicious.

5. Carey threatened me in the very comments of my own blog with a digitalized equivalent of a giant metal chicken.

6. I have more Facebook friends than he does. I think. I haven’t actually checked. Will someone go look please and let me know? Thanks.

7. He didn’t even notice that I talked about cadavers in the same entry. Clearly, he doesn’t even read my stuff except when he can complain about it.

So. Can you help us? I need you to convince Carey that he’s wrong and I’m right, so we can move forward here. Thanks.

P.S. There is a P.S. to this but I think it belongs below the other footnotes, so I’m going to put it there.****

*Not really but it sounds more dramatic this way, plus allows me to link to earlier material, which increases readership. It’s a fundamental rule of media: Readership over truth. Deal with it.

**Exhibit A: He wasn’t paying attention.

***Not really but a lot of people think so and who am I to argue?

****This is the P.S.: P.S. Carey is actually absolutely correct and was a great deal of fun last night. I only said the thing about him trying to look inconspicuous because it seemed like an amusing thing to say at the time and my sense of humor, however un-funny it may be to anyone else, often trumps my common sense and sense of fairness. Also, Carey and I aren’t actually arguing at all.*****

*****Actually, we are arguing, but only because we think it’s funny. It’s how we say “I love you.”******

******My next entry won’t have so many asterisks. I recognize that it’s gotten a little out of hand. I apologize.*******

*******Please don’t tell Carey he was right. I would prefer to win this argument. Thank you.

Heather Today, June 9 2012 (Updated at the Bottom)

Here is what we did tonight:

Here is what Everett thinks is the epitome of performance art:

Hint: He’s shaking his booty.

Monty & Carey were there too. Monty was reading a book he heard about on NPR. Reading. A novel. That he heard about: On NPR. <3 TOTALLY acceptable excuse to not be dancing. Carey, however, was trying to look inconspicuous and pretending not to know us. I’m not sure why. So all the pictures are of Eli and Everett and me:

Dancing at Rivergate 225x300 Heather Today, June 9 2012 (Updated at the Bottom)
Dancing at Rivergate

What you don’t see here are the various little kids that occasionally joined our dance-a-thon and laughed and talked and showed us new moves, and then later shunned us because their parents told them about “stranger danger” and then they were too scared to look us in the eye. I have lots to say about that, but I’ll just give it a single sentence for now: Use a little common sense, people. Also: Stop scaring the crap out of your kids. Finally: They’ll be safer if they learn to distinguish between “safe” and “unsafe” interactions rather than a blanket “all strangers are dangerous.” Finally: Sigh.

And: Everett spent part of his time playing ball with a family nearby that also had children and a dog, and who were within full view of us at all times, and he is not afraid of strangers and I like it that way. This is the last I’m going to say on the topic (for real): I read this in a parenting magazine today and liked it: “We can’t keep them safe all the time, but we sure can drive them crazy trying.” That.

In other news, Carey and I have now been married for 16 years.

Wedding Party 300x225 Heather Today, June 9 2012 (Updated at the Bottom)
Happy couple--with Rebecca Catalanello, Keli Enzweiler, Julie Head, and Mary Whittemore

We made it this far. And shhhhhhh… I think there’s a good chance we’ll make it the next sixteen, but don’t tell Carey. It’s a surprise.

Also I am so tired I can’t even process much of what is being said to me, so I’m a little worried about what I might have said here tonight. So I’m just going to hit “publish” and then go to bed. Because going to bed first and then hitting “publish” after I’ve had a chance to check my work in the morning when I’m slightly coherent would be quite sensible and also very boring. I like to live on the edge. Wild thing.

Also, I’m planning to let Gunner tell his story soon.* Maybe.**

*The one he’s planning to dictate to me.***

**Probably.****

***For pretend.*****

****As soon as I’m less tired.******

*****The mythical fact that he’s dictating is for pretend but the story is for real.*******

******Or at least more coherent.********

*******To the best of my knowledge.

********Does anybody know if that’s ever the case?*********

*********And can someone please count the asterisks and see if I got all the footnotes in order?**********

**********Thank you.***********

***********I’m pretty sure I should go to bed now.************

************Note: Never use footnotes when you’re tired. Trust me on this.*************

*************Colons are dodgy too. When you’re tired, I mean: Not colons like the body part. You need those ALL the time, even when you’re tired: I mean the grammatical (punctuation?) colons. The ones that look like this: : Those: They’re dodgy. When: You’re tired. Also: Body part colons you really only need one of ever. **************

**************Unless you get cancer or something, in which case you might need a second one, probably from an organ donor aka cadaver. This is all really highly inappropriate to be joking about. Cancer: Really serious stuff. Also organ donation. And it’s disrespectful to talk about an organ donor as being a cadaver. Just for future reference.

***************I should have hit “publish” when I said I was going to.

(UPDATED: When you get done reading this one, there’s an important update here: http://heatherhead.com/updated-june-9-2012/)