Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Service Engine Soon

You know that commercial where the woman is supposed to get an oil change but instead she's running some insane soccer-mom taxi service until her trendy SUV spots some Quick Lube establishment and the engine JUMPS out of the car and hauls engine-ass into the oil change?

Well, I think one of my ovaries is trying to do that, only without the whole oil change part.

Heather at 2:44 PM


Tuesday, March 30, 2004

200 Word Wednesday: Character Sketch

She walked back out into the yard. She checked by the door for her grass-stained Nikes, the ones she'd had since sophomore year. The left was there, still propped by not entirely square front door. The right was missing again, most likely having been used as a pillow the night before by the neighborhood stray as he slept beside the roaring air-conditioning unit. The steps were smooth under her feet in spite of the fact that no one ever saw to sanding or finishing them. Years of foot traffic and rainy weekends had worn them to the oily smoothness of railings coercing children through amusement park lines. She knew the bill needed today's postmark, with or without her right shoe.

She crossed the yard to the car without looking down. She had little concern for bees, thorns, or excrement. She was proud of having a stamp this morning. At least there was that. One stamp left for the last bill. The final installment. An end to an era she had never wanted to begin in the first place. With the key in the ignition, the turned her wrist. Click. No rev. No sputter. She leaned forward, head on hands on steering wheel.

I realize now that it's actually TUESDAY. This is what teaching does to you.

Heather at 8:24 PM


In the meantime

I realize that I'm utterly wrong for laughing out loud and having fond memories of T.F. volunteering to shove entire sheets of paper in his mouth to keep himself quiet after reading this.

p.s. What are the chances that this guy was TFA?

Heather at 7:02 PM


Monday, March 29, 2004

So so very tired

There is someone I miss very much. Someone who won't even answer the phone. Someone who's voice mail I've developed an intimate connection with. And now I call and leave messages that drop off after things that would be profound if Ione Skye were saying them in a movie. Only she isn't. And I haven't perfected the pregnant pause.

When I call and say that I want to hear your voice, and then let things drop off and a car drives by and I use the same pause I perfected at seventeen when I still thought I could simultaneously manipulate and charm people... well, it's really all for you.

I'm going to bed now, and maybe when it's very very dark and quiet outside and I've been asleep long enough to curl into my perfect side-sleeping-fetal-with-one-leg-extended the phone will ring and I'll answer and you'll be drunk and sweet and watching the History channel and you'll ask me to tell you a story.

Heather at 7:38 PM


Sunday, March 28, 2004

Where was I at 24?

I've tried to think of ways to write this in a very un-15-year-old fashion, and my scientific research hasn't yielded any. See, I'm not lonely. I've just come to the point where I've realized that it'd be extraordinarily nice to share all of this with someone. I want to be in love. And I don't care if he's a farmer or a door-to-door knife salesman or a media mogul, so long as he enchants me and I enchant him. And as many things as I could write about what enchantment might require and entail, the word can speak for itself.

And, above all else, I want new adventures. I know, in the past, my adventures have been of the self-created "Watch Heather Go!" variety. Not that I'm finished with starring in my sitcom where the opening credits feature shots of me cliff-diving and popping my head into trendy New York shops. Nor do I want some weak subplot where I find a man who fulfills my every desire only to have him leave after he falls in love with his editor/band manager/publicist and moves to London where he can live happily ever after with his adVERtisments and GARages. Nor do I want the show to entirely shift gears, where the audience will then become hopelessly cynical as they watch the bright, shining twenty-something throw away her life of promise to move to the suburbs where she can carpool to the Children's Reading Hour at the public library. I want the show to continue, as previously planned, dictated, and written in the stars, but I want there to be another show, preferably on a different night (so as not to confuse viewers or haters of metaphor) where Heather gets to be in love. Real, challenging, fearless love. The kind of love that people wish there was a different word for because "love" sounds a bit too tired and trite.

Of course, the show would get cancelled, because as the creative director I'd be insistent on episodes consisting of nothing but couch-cuddling-conversations about college sports and teaching, not to be overshadowed by episodes shot entirely in the Walmart aisles as the happy couple shops for DVDs and mangoes. But it'd be an instant cult classic, and once we got the axe after ten glorious episodes, our small legion of fans would be hungry for the entire season to come out on DVD.

The happy part is that I'm not alone, at least not in some cosmically significant way. And when all the "Will I ever...?" questions pile up too high in my head, there's at least one number I can call to find some bitchy-single-girl solace.

Heather at 9:17 PM


Thursday, March 25, 2004

Please, take my week. I'll pay you.

Monday = Sucky

Tuesday = Sucky

Wednesday = Sucky

Thursday = It's not even nine yet, and I managed to get my very first speeding ticket on a highway that no one in their right mind would ever get a ticket on. 77 in a 55. Yes, daddy, I'm deeply and importantly sorry.

damnit damnit damnit

Heather at 6:58 AM


Wednesday, March 24, 2004

How in the hell did YOU get here?

To catch up on interesting searches that led people to our humble abode in the last week or so:

Dear person who searched "Virginia Slims is such a girly thing to smoke,"
1. Bring it.
2. I'm a freaking enligh teacher. Watch the horrible grammar mistakes.
In my usual cloud of smoke,

Ashley, I don't see why you can't remember the address.
You suck,
Your much smarter sister

Person who was looking for "Platinum Plus Greenville Comments,"
My comments are as follows: My ex went there more than once. I've heard enough lap-dance-laden, tities-in-peoples-faces stories to last me a life time, so take your smut searching ass elsewhere.
I'll be praying for you,

To the alarmingly large number of people who get here for searching for Ally Hillfiger and Rich Girls,
Dudes, as far as I know the show is over. And as sad as that is, when you're reading blogs written by poor school teachers in Mississippi to feed your incessant need for all things ditzy and annoying, I think it's time to take a long hard look in the mirror.
Smarter than you

Person who was searching for "redneck camper,"
Not sure what you have in mind. I have stories. Email me.

Dearest person who found this site searching for "free sexual outfit designs,"
One, you've been horribly misled. Two, if you ever get a lead on that, get in touch with me. If not, I'm totally thinking about starting my own business now.
Thinking jeans and birkenstocks constitute a 'sexy outfit,'

To the horrifyingly large population who gets here by mixing coffee related terms with sex,
Please call me. Email for the number.
I'll be waiting,

Heather at 7:25 PM


Monday, March 22, 2004

Dear Saturn, Walmart, Mississippi Delta, and related parties,

First, thanks for making my car environmentally sound and all. Really, I appreciate it. I like driving along on my two-lane cotton field infested highways knowing that I'm getting fantastic gas mileage and that if I had an unfortunate incident with a gigantic truck, deer, school bus, alien, etc, that my excess of safety features would keep me in one vaguely-Heather-shaped piece.

But when it comes to my goddamned oil filter, and the fact that I have to go to Walmart for an oil change because no one else in this area will even think about touching my car, I'd like to kick you in your little smartly-advertised balls. Because apparently even though the people at Walmart SAY they know how to change my oil with its tricky oil filter, they aren't necessarily truthful.

Lucky for you, Saturn, cute little baseball cap wearing Adrian was there this afternoon to inform me that I'd been driving for 5200 miles with my oil filter all out-of-whack, so much so that oil had gotten all up in grooves and crevices of my DAMN ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND oil-filter-holdy-thingie. But Adrian, cute sweet wonderful Adrian, let me sit in my car and search through my old paperwork so that he could figure out the guy who did it incorrectly in the first place and promptly bitch him out while he spent no less than twenty minutes scrubbing and cleaning my filter-cap-thingie back to its shiny Saturn self.

Saturn, I'm kinda pissed off. Greenville Walmart, you can go jump off a cliff. (Lucky for you, we're in the freaking Delta and cliffs are kinda hard to come by.) Adrian, I'd totally marry you and you could fix my car all the time, and we'll have lovely little light-skinned babies.

3000 Miles to go before more impending bullshit,
The Magnolia (with much respect to Zelda)

Heather at 6:13 PM


Friday, March 19, 2004

ADD and Me

For the two people that visit every day, well, first of all, thanks for your loyalty. I love you, too, and all that jazz. And second, I'm sorry for all the changey stuff I've been doing. I've been spastic and antsy all week and even American Idol couldn't hold my 14-year-old-mentality interest. (I think I'm finished with the tweaking except for maybe a bit of color adjustment.)

As far as life, it's so difficult and confusing right now that it's making writing very difficult. (And I say this knowing that if one of my students ever tried to sell such a lame excuse they'd be sent to some sort of English Class Purgatory.) But, honestly, it's the truth. I don't have the sort of all-thats-good-and-pure writing in me that I had a few months ago, or even a few weeks ago. But maybe I'll have enough relaxation (read: porch sitting, smoking, and drinking) time this weekend to refuel and realize that my life isn't a total chaotic mess. Maybe after that I'll be back to my previous brilliance.

If not, just expect a whole hell of a lot more excuses like the ones contained above.

Heather at 9:53 AM


Wednesday, March 17, 2004

200 Word Wednesday: The Triumphant Return

A Life in Not So Carefully Made Decisions

I have been good at plotting, usually in front of your face
And so much of it goes back to one bright-blonde-headed girl
Who taught me at fourteen that resume building was
Of primo-importance. I took her at her word.

And now I have the following to show for it:
Many, many depressing CDs
Seven pairs of Old Navy flip-flops
A book collection that will not survive another move
Forty-seven names in my cell phone
(Thirty-eight of whom have yet to reach a two year anniversary)
A four-door sedan
Unpaid bills
Late notices from the library and a book club
A desk piled high with blank job applications,
empty yogurt containers, soda cans, long wilted paperwhites
Frizzy hair, cracked heels, eight hangnails, dirty clothes
Dark circles, mild psychotic disorders, anxiety, hair twirling
The thought that I did all of this to be different
to avoid the normal, the babies, the husbands,
the cell phones, the four-door sedans.

Now she is getting married. She is in law school.
She has no idea I am writing this. She probably got
The better deal.
The boy.
The student loans.
The life that is easy to explain
That still looks good on paper.

Heather at 8:22 PM


Monday, March 15, 2004

Hold yer Horses

Yes, we're redesigning.

No, it's not finished.

Yes, you can shut the fuck up now.

Heather at 9:15 PM


A Big F-ing To Do

1. Discover and acquire fulfilling employment (preferably that will allow me to keep my sweet-ass ride).
2. Fall in love and/or get super-awesome boyfriend who can telepathically know when I need a back rub/phone call/frappucino/make-out-session/etc.
3. Wash some freaking clothes already.
4. Learn that "cleaning my room" should not mean "moving junk from bedroom into office so that it will be less noticeable to guests".
5. Grade the pile of papers that is now approximately the same height and weight as the dude from The Littlest Groom.
6. Swear off making obscure Reality TV references.
7. Find styling products that have been AWOL since Spring Break Extravaganza so hair will not look like crazy-finger-in-light-socket-incident tomorrow.
8. Retrieve new Jack Johnson CD from car and put in alarm clock therefore rendering tomorrow's wake-up a chill, relaxing experience. Yeah, right.
9. Become as cool as little sis so that my Saturday nights will become more "punk Eurotrash party fun" and less "weird friends making out with each other awkwardness".
10. Relax a little, for the love of god, because if I don't soon I'm going to start going bald and/or gaining weight and/or losing friends in addition to my now nightly migraines and freak outs.

Heather at 6:59 PM


Sunday, March 14, 2004

Re: Where the hell have you been?

In short, a lot of places and nowhere. I took off for a while, gas in the car and enough panties to see me through. I tried to say that I wasn't in search of anything, that it was just an ordinary trip (since I'm always taking off in my car since I adore driving so much). Of course, the truth of the matter is that I was desperate for that answer, that opening of the skies where I get to figure out what it is I'm supposed to be doing with the next year of my life.

There weren't angels singing or visions in the middle of the night or anything quite as dramatic as I would have hoped for. I suppose, now that the break is over, it all boils down to a lot of thinking on the open road and two versions of the exact same conversation. There were lots of mentions of "settling," of "being comfortable," of "doing what's right for me." There were tears by the bucket full (as there always are when I realize that I'm up against something that might actually be bigger than me). And in the end, everyone pretty much had the same answerless story to tell: Wait it out and you will know what is right for you. You are the only one that can answer this question.

And now, even though a week's search for clarity has left me more muddled and confused than I ever thought I could be, I know a few things for sure. (If anyone else is in the same boat, maybe these might be helpful.)
1. Never doubt the wisdom of people that love you unconditionally.
2. Never think that your dream job doesn't exist. Mine came open on Friday, I found the listing today, and I hope to have my application in by Wednesday. (And yes, I realize that I just totally jinxed it.)
3. Have faith in the power of the open road (even when it's plagued with flash floods and wind advisories). The big giant answers might not be hidden on it, but at least you can put some distance between you and what has been bothering you.

Heather at 6:26 PM


Saturday, March 13, 2004

Spring Break: A summary in numbers

Miles driven: 694
Miles my car is now past-due for an oil change: 1438 and counting
Major mid-south cities visited: 3
Starbucks visits: 6
Times a dog tried to hijack my frappucino: 1

Number of boys I shared a bed with: 2
Number of boys who acknowledged that I was actually in the bed: 1
Number of Boston Terriers that acknowledged that I was in the bed: 1
Beds slept in with ceiling fan controls and interrogation lights IN THE FREAKIN HEADBOARD: 1
Beds slept in that broke my solemn "I will never again sleep in an extra-long twin" vow: 1

Cool random kids I had conversations with: 2
Of those, the number that taught me how to kill toy-stealing monsters: 1 (What up, Damonte?)
Of those, the number that had giant bloody IV ports sticking out of their arms: 1
Beers consumed: 10ish (disappointing, I know)
Number of cigs smoked in front of dorms at U of Memphis: entirely too many

Times I was asked, "Where do you go to school?": 2,000,000
Times I responded with a blank stare: 1,999,998
Times that blank stare was met with a gaze that must have meant, "You dropped out, didn't you?": 1,999,997
Number of people I recruited for Teacher Corps: 1 (and she's totally awesome)
Number of hours left before spring break is officially over: 40

Heather at 1:16 PM


Friday, March 05, 2004

Away from my desk...

This morning I showered, made coffee, printed directions, and threw a lot of freshly dried clothes into my trust HCJ LL Bean tote then into the trunk of my car.

The Karma fairy visited this morning after my delivery of breakfast (Cinnamon rolls, doritos, and ham and cheese sandwiches, as requested) to my remediation kids, more than one of whom said I'd be blessed over the break for doing that for them.

So, with Karma, clean clothes, and a soon to be full tank of gas, I'm outta here. Don't know when I'll be back. The plans are vague at best. Wish me luck.

p.s. Please don't call me, I'll call you. I'll be in Louisiana by 5 this afternoon (hopefully) and therefore outside of my cell calling area. I'll call the appropriate people to let them know I'm happy and safe.

Heather at 10:13 AM


Thursday, March 04, 2004

Dear Sanity,

We seem to have become strangers to each other in the last 48 hours or so. My normal happy-go-lucky self seems to be on vacation two days prior to my actual vacation, leaving me in a state of hyper-animation. Everything around me seems to be moving too fast, but under a microscope it becomes abundantly clear that nothing is moving at all. (Good job with making the weather mimic this perfectly. It looks windy outside, birds taking swooping flights like they are getting sucked in one direction or another, when all the while the air is thick and sedentary.)

All of this is stemming from the following:
1) I finished a book last night with an ending so close to what is going on in my head right now that I have assumed the fiction as some sort of appendix to reality.
2) Being at school right now is harder than anything I've known in a while. The kids are having a hard time, the English 2 retest is tomorrow, and I feel entirely ineffective.
3) I made the mistake of saying that the only thing I really wanted in the world was to be in love. I said it out loud. Repeatedly. I forgot the line about being careful what you wish for.

So Sanity, or those who regularly contribute to my sanity, your attention is needed. The edge is approaching.


Heather at 9:51 AM


Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Diversions, a Drive-Thru, and Doritos

If you've never lived in Mississippi, you've never experienced the distinct joy of knowing you've just seen something that could never ever occur in quite the same fashion beyond the boundaries of this state.

On Friday night, T. and I went to Wendy's somewhere in the middle of the giant Ashley-trapped-on-the-side-of-the-interstate fiasco. All the normal drive-thru things happenned. Ordering, sorting of money, waiting patiently behind cars that seemed to order the entirity of the Wendy's menu twice over. Only this time, the monotony of America's fixation on low quality food came with free (and classy) entertainment.

The car in front of us in line (some sort of mid 80's sedan) held four occupants. The front seat contained "Mullet Boy" and some vaguely unattractive female, both of undetermined ages. (At one point we thought them to be the parents of the crazies in the backseat, but we eventually decided it was some sort of older-brother or much-older-friend arrangement.)

And the backseat (oh god the backseat, with all of its backseat potential) held two of the horniest, grabbiest fifteen year olds the world has ever witnessed. When our attention was first drawn to the backseat we had a moment of pause.
"They aren't really making out, are they?"
"No, they couldn't be. There are people in the front seat. No one is that gross."
But as the cycle of heads coming up, and disappearing back down below our line of sight continued, we knew there was no other explanation.

These kids were getting some major face-sucking action. Simple as that.

Eventually the two love birds realized they were being watched. (I think our incessant giving of the thumbs-up might have tipped them off.) And did they have a moment of pause? Did they ever consider perhaps this wasn't appropriate behavior for the drive-thru? Hell no. Let the face-sucking continue!

And so it went, through the ordering, through paying the girl at the window, all the way until big-brother-or-older-male-friend passed food into the back seat to offer nourishment to the surely famished couple.

But, they might not have needed the food. After all, through the entire makeout session, boy-makeout-participant kept frantically grabbing chips out of a Doritos bag featured prominently in the back windshield, one time having to paw around, his face so securly attached to makeout girl that he couldn't be bothered with actually looking for the all important Doritos bag.

The drive-thru, Doritos, making out, laughing hysterically... God, I love Mississippi.

Heather at 9:40 AM


Monday, March 01, 2004

Decision, decisions

I'm either going to write something incredible later in the day, or I'm going to shut this thing down completely. Honestly, right now I'm not leaning one way or the other. Life is crazy and confusing and more than a little bit sad and I'm not sure that this is truly serving any purpose anymore...

My brain = incapable of making decisions = undecided fate of blog. (In case you needed a summary.)

Heather at 9:56 AM