I suppose the goat never really had a chance.

It seems that every time I visit my grandparents he has a new and interesting story to share. This last visit, he told me that once upon a time he had a pet billy goat that he lovingly referred to as "Billy."

My Grandpa told us that he loved that goat but if my memory has not failed me, the goat developed a bit of a humping problem and my Grandpa's father, my great-grandfather, said the Billy's life had to come to an end. Grandpa was not about to kill his cloven hoofed friend so his father was going to do the deed. As my Grandpa put it, the goat first had to be hit in the head with a sledge hammer "because that is the only way to kill a goat."

Um, I'm sorry. What?

But, after the first big blow to the head, the goat didn't seem to bat an eye and continued to run around the pen, I don't know, making the fence his woman or something. It was clear Billy was not going down without a fight so I'm pretty sure it ended with a shotgun. However, I have to hand it to the goat for fighting the good fight. And gettin' a little while he was at it.


Note to self: Run toward help, not away from it.

I am not really the best in emergency situations. Read on.

We moved into a new house when I was going into the 4th grade. My grandparents we over and were helping with the move as well. The moving truck was backed up to the garage and my Dad and Grandpa were taking some of the heavier furniture off the back of the truck. While they were trying to get a huge cabinet off the truck, my Grandpa lost his footing and just as I was coming into the garage from the house, I saw my grandpa fall backward off the truck onto his butt and then watched his head slam against the concrete garage floor. He then let out the most horrifying moan that I imagine is the same as the sound of a Yeti dying. I completely freaked out and screamed and then ran the opposite direction from my grandpa into the back yard (away from any people that could actually help) and yell, "CALL 911! CALL 911!!!"

I suppose looking back, I did better than my grandma who supposedly was running around on the front lawn in circles and screaming as though she was being chased. And I suppose I did better than my dad who, after my grandpa had regained consciousness and the paramedics had arrived, told our neighbors that he hadn't fallen but rather my dad pushed him. Lovely.

My mom did the best job of all of us and right after my grandpa fell, he ran across the street into our neighbor's open door, right into their house and said, "Hi, I'm Allison. I live across the street now and I need to call 911."

Welcome to the neighborhood!!!

My grandpa was fine and made a full recovery. And I suppose I was able to redeem myself a few months ago. I came home to my complex to find my neighbor standing on the curb holding her baby and yelling for help. Her giant, scary, lion dog had attacked her. That's right people, HER DOG. THE HAND THAT FEEDS IT. Her jeans were torn. Although completely unharmed her baby clothes were covered in blood and chunks of skin were hanging from my neighbors jeans. Although I did not call 911 this time, at her insistence, I had her come into my house and sit down. I called her husband and waited with her for her sister in law to show up and drive her to the ER. She was really thankful for my help.

A lot of people have asked me why I let her in my house or apologized to me for having to deal with a hysterical woman. To that I just say, she was just a person that needed my help. So I helped her. Does that make me a hero or a human? Maybe a little of both?


If I could time travel, I'd go to 1955

We recently started watching Mad Men on DVD. Based on what I have seen, I don't really know why I would want to revisit this era as a woman. What traveling to this time means is that one, I will be a chain smoker. Additionally, I will either be a secretary who is sleeping with a married man (aka: my boss) or I am covering his tracks of infidelity from his wife. Or, the best of all I am married to an unfaithful husband while I stay home and take care of the kids. Did I mention I probably have a drinking problem too. Also the food looks terrible. What is up with suspending everything in jello and putting canned pineapple on canned ham, anyway? Blech.

So why do I want to go back to the 50's? 4 words: Awesome hair. Awesome clothes.

I'll deal with the sexism and a little lung cancer.


Conversations with Jessie

(Regarding the Tamarin Monkey we were looking at, at the Oakland Zoo)

Heather: And there are people out there that seriously don't think that we evolved from primates.
Jessie: I know, right?
Heather: I mean, look at that face. It is like a mini human face.
Jessie: And that is pretty much what I look like most Saturday mornings.


'Tis better to be a wuss and not decide.

"And this, boys and girls, is why Heather drinks wine."

Better to have loved and lost? Well this seems like the obvious "right" answer. The problem with me is that I hate the "lost" part. In fact, I wish the sentance read, "Tis better to have loved." The End. No lost. Nothing gets taken away. How about that?

The thing is I know me, and although I don't like to speak in absolutes, I feel like I really can't recover when this mean old "lost" thing happens. So maybe ignorance really is bliss. Because maybe the pain, sadness, and anger you feel about the loss is not worth the few moments of love you felt in the first place? For me it wasn't. So that begs, the question: What do I do now? Give up? Risk feeling like the shittiest if the shit again. Or worse? Spend the rest of my life wondering, "what if" all because I did give up and didn't take another risk just to protect my sanity?

You see, to me it is a vicious cycle that I feel like I am stuck on and frankly I am about ready to get off this ride.


I like to relax with acupuncture

Acupuncture Barbie

There are many things I do to relax really. Probably because so much of my life feels like I am constantly struggling to achieve a state of relaxation and less worry.

Cooking is a good technique. The prep work involved is very soothing to me.

I don't clean to relax. This really is a double edged sword though, because a lot of times the stress is amplified by the fact that my house is a mess. So instead of picking up a broom, I watch ridiculous reality TV which makes me realize that my life is not nearly as bad as any of those people. So what if I haven't folded the laundry! Heidi just married an abuser! And don't even get me started on Jon and Kate Plus 8!

Lately however, I have been using acupuncture as a means to relax. I should start by saying the lady I go to is crazy. She is very difficult to understand do the language barrier. (That is not what makes her crazy, by the way). What does make her crazy is that she talks CONSTANTLY. She leaves me be once all the needles are placed but before and after that it is one strange story after another. For example, she has told me EVERY TIME I HAVE GONE TO SEE HER that her husband "played around with other women." So they are divorced. She has repeatedly tried to get me to go to her church, specifically so I can talk to this one lady, "Monica" who is "white like me, the same culture, so she will understand what I am going through."

And the list goes on. So why do I keep going to her? Well I am trying to keep an open mind. Supposedly, she works wonders. (So she says). And quite honestly, when I am in the room alone, albeit covered in needles, I can really clear my head and just be. Also she gives an awesome acupressure massage which is an added bonus.

When I was telling a friend of mine about my adventures at acupuncture she did call me out though. She said, "Admit it Heather. Now you are just going to for more stories for your book."

She's probably right.


The lesson to be learned? Always take the cookie.

I was a good kid. Seriously. I never had a detention, got suspended or a Saturday school or even a paper pick-up. (Paper pick-ups were a demeaning punishment in Junior High where you had to spend your lunch break picking up trash in a designated area of the school. I don't know what was worse, knowing that everyone knew you were bad, or touching the trash). So I made sure to never do anything that would warrant that kind of punishment. Teachers freaking loved me.

But in the second grade, no amount of explaining was going to get me out of this one.

Let me first preface this story with the following:


I swear on my family's life, I did not throw the cookie. The following is the God's honest truth.

My friend tried to give me her cookie in a plastic baggie (the baggie is a key part of the story later.) I did not want the cookie. Why? I have no idea. In retrospect I should have just taken the damn thing. I gave the baggie back to her and said, "I don't want it." She gave it back to me, "yes you do!"

"No I don't!"

"Yes you do!"

You see where this is going? So now it had turned into a game, back and forth, back and forth. Finally, I snapped the baggie back at her and said, "I don't want it!!" It was not a hard snap. I don't think I would even say I "threw" the cookie from my lunch box to hers. Now, I don't know if it was the fling of my wrist or the force of the cookie hitting the side of her lunch box that sent the cookie flying 3 tables behind me to then land in someone's mashed potatoes.

I was completely dumbfounded. I was now holding an empty plastic bag. It was then that the evil lunch lady came barreling down the isle and told me to get my things because I was going to the office. I tried to explain, "But I didn't throw the cookie! I don't know what happened."

"Oh yes you did! I saw you!!"

Liar!!! What could she have seen?? I didn't do it! I was crying and trying to explain myself but she would not hear any of it. I remember saying that I was really sorry but I did not throw it! The office was shocked to see me in there. She told me that I would need to eat my lunch in the office for one week. This was a new thing the principal (who was also a terror) was trying to cut down on food fights during lunch. I asked to see my mom, who was a yard duty a couple times a week at my school.

"I'm can't get your mom!" she yelled at me.

When I told her that my mom was the yard duty she said, "Your mom is Allison Andersen? I am so ashamed of you."


My mom came and I told her what happened. She was not happy at all about what lunch lady said to me. My mom believed me that I did not throw the cookie and said that the reality was that some people, this lady included, are just mean and like to exert there power over the weak. But, the reality was, I was probably just going to have to eat lunch in the office.

But my mom got her revenge. Every single kid that she saw through anything thing from an entire roast chicken to a cheeto was sent to the office. I think she took about 25 kids into the office the next day for the food throwing offense.

My mom rocks.