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?

Why I love Monday.

Monday 300x225 Why I love Monday.I love Monday. Strange, but true.

It wasn’t always this way. I remember a time when Friday would come around and I was all, “TGIF suckas!” And don’t get me wrong. I love weekends too–I love family time and letting work emails sit unanswered for a couple days and picking what to do and building things and lazing around with computer games.

But also I love the work week. I love working with my clients, telling their stories, building my training products, envisioning the future & direction of my company, taking chances, stretching myself, learning new things, focusing on my brand and reputation, solving problems, building systems…

I have learned more in a year as an entrepreneur than I did in four years of college (and I went to a great college!), and I am more who I want to be today than ever before… and expect to be more who I want to be tomorrow even than today.

Lots of folks would love to be where I am. So let’s talk about the top three reasons they’re not:

  1. Money.
  2. Money.
  3. Oh, and Money.

Money is tough. It’s scary. You put everything you have on the line at first. Some people figure out how to use other peoples’s money to do this, and that’s great for them. A few come into it with enough money to carry them for a while, but most of us start out using our own money, our own assets, our own credit lines. Even when business is good, cash flow can be tight because you have so many obligations. If you’re like me, you take care of your people and make sure they get paid first. Then you try to keep the lights on. Eating is your third priority.

I’ve talked to many a long-time successful business person and I’ve tried to figure out for years how they did this thing at first, this getting started. What I’ve figured out is that most of them (us), initially, just have to let go of the idea that financial security is the goal. I mean, YES, eventually. Eventually you hope to be making enough money that you don’t even have to worry about “security” any more.

But in the short term? Forget that 401k, the equity in your house, and college savings (except whatever has been given as gifts to your children–lock that away safely for them, because it’s not fair to use someone else’s money to fund your dream without their informed consent). Forget, for a while, knowing where next month’s mortgage check will come from or how you’ll buy groceries next week. Because, unless you’re already well-heeled, there is no starting a business without some really scary money stuff.

Sometimes you’ll want to quit because money is just that bad. Creditors will be calling and you won’t know what to say to them because you don’t have the cash to make the payment right now and you don’t know when you will, and probably it won’t be until after you get your son to the dentist for fillings and your dog to the vet for antibiotics and then tally up whether you still have enough for groceries that week. And you’ll be so fed up and tired and worn out and you’ll be ready to throw up your hands and say, “Uncle!”

I tried to quit  a few months ago. I got scared and decided to get a job, a nice comfy job with health benefits and a 401k and a steady paycheck. And an employer paying part of my social security tax (did you know that the self-employed pay more taxes than employees?). I dressed up my resume, created a personal website, spiffed up my LinkedIn account, consulted with my leadership coach to create a great message & strategy for launching my job search. I was ready.

But then God butted in: “Seriously? WTH, chicka?” I mean, God sounded really annoyed. “Seriously, what are you doing? What what WHAT are you doing?”

Okay, reality check. I don’t think God personally meddles in our daily affairs as a general rule. Or, actually, ever. But I do believe God speaks to us if we listen.

Take it how you will, this is what happened: It was the day before I made a public announcement of my intent to seek a job. I walked downstairs to the office mailbox, expecting it to be empty, but it wasn’t. In the mailbox was an envelope. It was from a former client who was no longer engaged with my company. Inside the envelope, to my surprise and consternation: A sizable check.

I called them up, laughing, and said, “You guys must really love me–what do you want me to do with this check you’ve sent me out of the blue?” They laughed too and said, “It’s a deposit to start our program again in August.” I bit my lip. This was unexpected and… complicated. Would I be in business in August? Should I cash the check (I really, really needed the money)? Send it back? I said the only thing I could think of: “Well, thank you.” I decided to sit on it a few days.

The next day, someone called me up and asked for a quote on a project. Another, smaller, check arrived in the mail that day too. Two days later I had three major new contracts, one of them with a client likely to send me regular business. Even all together these projects & contracts were not enough to catch us up on everything we were behind on. But it was enough to bring me to my senses.

I cashed that darn check, set aside my resume, and stopped answering calls from creditors who never have productive things to say to me anyway. I realized that the worst possible thing that could happen on my current course is that we could end up going bust. Best possible thing? I could create a lifestyle and a career that I love. And become financially wealthy at the same time. Either way, I will learn and grow and sometimes fall down, and then get back up and go.

Had I decided to quit & get a job, I might always be safe, comfortable, taken care of (until the company has to cut jobs, that is). Perhaps that would be nice.

I also would always be spending my energy, my creativity, the best hours and days of my life…

My one wild and precious life…

Creating someone else’s dream.

What a trade-off.

Since then, my client base has sky-rocketed. I work with the best people and companies my market has to offer. I’m building processes & programs that will allow me to scale my business up and grow it in new and exciting ways. I chose this. I love it. I am still paying the price. Have we caught up financially? Ha! Check back in a few years. Is it terrifying? Every single day. Would I trade it for a job where TGIF is the best thing I have to say on a Friday afternoon?

Hell no.

Why? Because there’s not much I would trade for this one simple fact: I love Monday.

Dreams and dreaming

Came across this from more than ten years ago, before I’d ever heard of blogging (had anyone heard of blogging in 1999?). Clearly I had been reading Lewis Thomas. On dreams and dreaming:

May 16, 1999

I am alone in the house, or, might as well be.  My face feels warm, as though radiating energy stored from the sun today.

I linger on the edge of sleep, images well up in my relaxed consciousness like giant gar rising to the surface of Cedar Creek.  A water moccasin drapes silently among the twigs, unmoving.  Sun and shadows dapple brown water.  A red lizard embraces a green one, eddies form around my paddle, a dripping sound mingles with bird song.  A daddy-long-legs touches my hand and I awake with a jerk, my hand tingling.

If I could play the instrument of consciousness like dreams can, resonating in the depths of being, singing the music of life’s history, drawing up the harmonies of ancient ancestral memories, I should be remembered above Shakespeare and Homer and Milton.

But dreams are wild things, unharnessed and unharnessable, universal, archetypal, and yet completely individual, custom-made entities, capable of setting to music the diverse beings that are me–the bacteria, mitochondria, and the cells that carry the ancient coding that still remembers the taste of primordial soup.  Of all entities, perhaps the dream is the one that understands most fully the inter-being of all that is.  A dream weaves itself out of the fabric of individual experience, current events, unremembered memories, personal ancestry, evolutionary memory, and primal being.  It subsists on energy gleaned from the sun, stored in muscles, and gathered from bean soup digesting in my small intestine.  If it serves a purpose for me, it serves the purpose of reminding me of these interconnections and allowing me, if I try, to imbibe of what it draws up from deep wells of ancient wisdom.  But I am inclined to think that the dream, like the bacteria in my gut and the mitochondria in my cells, is a separate entity existing for its own ends and living in symbiotic harmony with the consciousness I call me.

This passage is its own witness–the dream expresses its individuality as I lie on the brink, once more, of sleep.  A canoe sounds like water beneath me, dark creatures rise to creek’s surface, larger than I’ve ever seen, tribal sounds beat from the cypress woods around me and mingle with bird calls I’ve never heard.  Everything moves despite me, I cannot stop the flow of the creek nor the drift of the canoe, I do not even know whether I can move myself, nor whether I exist as something separate from the canoe and the creek and the tribal beating and the monstrous cypress trees rising from the depths of the swamp to touch the sky.  I am comforted, and slip at last into deep, all-encompassing unconsciousness.

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.)

A Short Story

For your amusement. A short story I wrote a while back called Peppi.

Peppi

Everybody says I was raped. But they’re wrong.

This is what Mother doesn’t understand: The first time *I* let a man take me, I made darn sure he was single and had something to offer. Now I’m the queen and she’s… what? Servant of mankind. Peaceful do-gooder. Get a life, Mother.

This is how it happened.

Helenis or Perseis or Doris or someone—by gods there are so many of that lot I can never keep them straight—and they’re supposed to keep me entertained, company, bah! Anyway, one of those ocean sisters blew up a giant fish bladder and started a game of catch down by the creek. Everyone thought that was great fun. They’re easily entertained.

Mother is always saying, “Don’t you roll those big blue eyes up like that at me, young lady,” but she wasn’t there to say it that day. By the gods, she’s almost never there because there is always some starving country in need of her special touch. She’s that important. Yeah, don’t tell her how high my eyes are rolling now.

So she also wasn’t there to see how far off I wandered from my “playmates” that afternoon. I wanted to be alone, away from their prattling and ridiculous giddy laughter. I was a woman of 16, and bloody sick of talk and silly games. I needed space to think.

The woods around there were always a great place to escape. They were peaceful and dark, and you could imagine that you were queen of all the shadows and that everyone there had to do your bidding. At least they left you alone. The ground was always rich this time of year with wildflowers. All sorts—yellow daisies, purple violets, forget-me-nots and tiny little multi-colored pansies. When I was a little girl, I used to pretend they were all my servants and I made them dress like that to make them look ridiculous.

I knew them all, of course, so imagine my surprise when there was something new. And it was actually quite beautiful, even to my refined taste. If this flower had been a servant, she would have been dressed in a gown of honor. She wore a deep blue skirt, kind of the color of my eyes—so blue they’re almost black, but with iridescent flecks of deep ocean, the color of my Uncle P’s eyes, echoing the depth of his violent passions. I used to worship that uncle. Sadly, he was already married, not that it kept him from messing around plenty. But not with me! I knew enough to wait, to bide my time. No single motherhood for me—Mother’s example at least taught me that much.

This flower I found, she was wearing that deep blue skirt, kicked up in high spirit, with a fringe of matching silk floating out from her waist. People call me cold, but that’s because they’re too shallow to touch me deeply. This flower though—it touched me.

I knelt and placed my long, elegant fingers beneath the petals to feel its texture and admire how the dark silkiness contrasted with the creamy background of my skin. I wanted to pluck its beauty and adorn my own sinuous waist with its sumptuous curves. I wanted to kiss it with my plump, deep red lips. I wanted to watch myself kiss it, watch those soft, curving lips part moistly and touch the satin darkness and press it, bruise it. I wanted to see how my golden curls cascaded down to embrace the petals as I bent to crush the flower, I wanted to see how I would devour its beauty into myself and rise again even more ravishing than before.

And that is when he spoke to me. “Do you like it?” Tones of silk, deep and powerful. “It’s for you, Persephone.”

I knew who he was immediately, of course. But that didn’t stop a thrill of expectant shivers from descending my spine. I froze to compose myself, then let my long thick lashes lift, and the color rise to my cheeks. I saw the tartarus-black hooves of the horses first and then I noticed the hot sound of their breathing as my gaze followed the slate-blue line of their legs bulging with muscle and veins, up to their flanks, streaked with sweat. Then those faces. Smoke curled from their nostrils and their eyes were blood red.

Of course. They were the horses of Hades, after all.

He stood holding the reins, steaming under his ebony fingers, only two steps away from me. I turned up the corners of my sumptuous lips in enjoyment, as I took in the sight of his royal blue robes trimmed in black fur and finished with buttons made of polished human bone. His eyes matched the color of the steeds.

Uncle Hades. Single. Sexy. Powerful. HOT.

I plucked the narcissus as I rose, twirled it in my fingers with their nails of crimson, faced him fearlessly, a thrill of expectation racing through my blood. The moment would have been perfect if Cyane, or one of the other nymphs—there was a tiresomely large multitude of dryads—hadn’t moved into the clearing at that moment and begun screaming some nonsense about a trap. Ice virgins, every one of them. Oh, the melodrama.

But there was nothing she could do. I turned toward the sound of her keening, and in the same split second, Hades’s strong right arm had encircled my waist and the next thing I knew, we were in the chariot, my golden curls streaming behind and the steeds galloping forward, striking sparks with every touch upon the ground.

And that is how I came to be the Queen of the Underworld.

Of course, there was a big to-do about the whole thing. Mother got mad and took her plea to Father, master of the Universe and blah blah blah, who had masterminded the whole thing in one of his endless schemings, and he felt bad and told Hades he’d have to give me back. Ha! When I heard that news, I grabbed the nearest thing I could—it was a pomegranate—and started gobbling it down as fast as I could, red juice dribbling down my delicate chin. You don’t ever really feel hungry in the Underworld, but if you do eat something there you can’t ever leave, at least that’s how it’s supposed to work, so that’s what I did and they couldn’t get me back up there for anything.

Well, I did finally agree to go visit Mother regularly, and I even help her with the endless sowing and harvesting and making things grow so people don’t starve to death. All of which is pretty pointless since they all end up in my kingdom eventually anyway, but it makes her happy. And as long as they keep procreating up there, it ends up being more people for me to rule down here. Everybody wins.

So now you know.

Updates and a Picture of Gunner

POW Diaries has had a few posts since I wrote. Check it out. Earlier this week, 70 years ago, some prisoners were captured trying to escape. Uncle Pierce’s memoir recalls what happened to those prisoners.

Curiosity Cat has some video of chicks dust bathing. It’s cute.

On the home front, Gunner has been neutered. Yay. He’s also making progress with the whole leaving the cat alone thing, and she’s been making progress with the whole don’t kill the dog if you can help it thing. Except tonight she took a swipe at him and he got all riled up. Two steps forward, one step back.

Gunner with scarf resized 225x300 Updates and a Picture of Gunner
They stole my junk and all I got was this silly blue scarf

The vet sent him home with a cute blue scarf. I’m thinking of buying more scarves for him. They’re cute.

At work, I’ve been working my buns off and met *most* of my goals for the week. Just one big project to finish up over the weekend. Boo.

My friend Mark Weber, of Darton Group, came by last week and helped me really define what it is that I’m doing at Groove On. Sometimes you’re too close to a situation to see it clearly. That’s been true for me. So he came over and had coffee and saw it for me, and it’s all going to be coming out soon. Stay tuned. And thank you, Mark.

I’ve been looking pretty fabulous all week again. My clothes came back with changes & tailored touches from Manchin Inc., and it’s like a whole new wardrobe. We shortened some skirts, updated some things, tucked in other things, and–this is awesome–put snaps in all the bust portions of my button-down shirts so my boobs don’t pop out in the middle of business meetings. This is preferable. Also, initially I typed “books” which is completely wrong because books are ALWAYS welcome to put in a showing. Books are awesome. I mean, so are boobs, but books don’t ruin anyone’s professional image when they appear suddenly in the middle of business meetings.

And that’s it. I’m going to finish on the note of how amazing I’ve been looking. Not vain at all. Nope.

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/)

Heather Today, June 7, 2012

I am tired tonight. I had to write a hard email. I know–first world problems, right?

Nevertheless, I’m wimping out and leaving you with only this:

Mantissa Corporation

That’s the magazine article I wrote that came out today in Greater Charlotte Biz magazine. And despite the fact that it’s about a manufacturer (boring, right?) it’s not at all boring. In fact, these guys cracked me up and I LOVED meeting them. But I’m way too tired tonight to remember why so I’ll just leave it there.

Also, Gunner let me know today that he wants to tell his story*, and asked me to take dictation**, but I’m too tired for it tonight***.

*This didn’t actually happen. It’s really just that I now have permission to tell his whole story online and I want to so I’m going to, and I thought it would be cute to write it as though Gunner were telling his own story.

**This also didn’t actually happen. Gunner doesn’t know I take dictation.

***This really did happen.

P.S. I’m pretty sure there was something else I was going to say but man I’m… … oh look, kitty!

Kitty1 Heather Today, June 7, 2012
Big Kitty Noses Are Cute Too