Wednesday, September 28, 2011


most of my blogs tackle the deep brain stuff in heathers world, so this will be a nice change of pace.  i'm going to talk about football. before i go into the preface, i'll tell you why i'm writing about this. Elbert Starks. Elbert and I go back to freshman year biology class, he was best friends with the best pair of buns in the class and we stayed friends even when my obsession with those buns subsided. Elbert is a professional writer and had a strong sports focus for many years and spends a fair amount of time commenting on sports on his facebook. I'm writing about sports from a completely different perspective, but this post, is for Elbert. (that sounded like a preface, but it was a preface to the preface).

preface: i started watching sports 4 years ago. this is my 4th season as a football fan. i grew up in a hippy dippy liberal household. my dad played acoustic guitar in bars. he was an avid participant in all forms of theatre. sports were so . . base.  there is nothing cultured about sports. my ex husband was into music and history and pbs. sure sometimes he'd put a game on, but i can count on one hand in 12 years together that we watched football. i had a scathing view of sports. in kids sports the parents and coaches pushed the kids too hard. the screaming and yelling and demand to win. i didn't want that for my children. at the college level sports were more important than an education. awful! and you really didnt want to get me started on professional sports with their bloated egos, inflated salaries and their inexcusable behavior both on and off the field, court, rink  . . .. . and so i spent the first couple decades of my life being proudly highbrow, anti sports, looking down my nose at your team colors and dreading football season and your incessant posting about your team. and i guarantee you know someone who is  JUST like that ....

so i met my current partner and he was an avid sports fan. and i made it pretty damn clear he had a choice to make. sports, or me. well i won of course because you know, we found other ways to occupy our time and life was good. a year into our relationship i was feeling bad about this massive cut he had made in his life, and while it didnt seem to bother him to not be watching football, one rainy sunday i put the game on for him and settled into nap time. about 1.5 hours later chris is snoring away and i'm laying there yelling at the tv. VERY QUIETLY. uh oh. i'm not only paying attention, i'm actually enjoying this....

i spent my first season in denial but chris loved telling his family i was a newly hatched football fan. year two chris's dad bought me my first (and only) piece of official NFL merchandise, my Colts sweatshirt... i was conflicted. on one hand, i was really enjoying this. on the other, i was mortified. i was one of THOSE people. because its my nature, i really had to take a hard look at this thing and figure it out. what was it that really captured me? and i'll be honest. it was Peyton Manning. once i had a better understanding of the game, i started to really grasp what captivated me about Peyton. watching him quarterback was like a ballet of movement. it was orchestrated and executed as delicately and exactly as a prima ballerina. now i know right now, some of you are slack jawed. but i'm telling you, the man is amazing. as i continued to understand the game, the plays, i became even more enthralled with the colts. yes, i was a "fan" because they are my home team. but watching how they conducted themselves on the field is what made me fall in love. they dont showboat. they dont send their hands high thanking god for their touchdown. they are paid to do a job, and they do it. i started to build a healthy respect for the coaching, the players and even the fans.

soon i was watching more than just the colts games. and i developed what some would call a complicated system for which teams i rooted for. i'm always going to root for the underdog. whoever is most likely to not win the game is going to be the first person i cheered for. i spent a lot of time cheering on the lions, the bills, the browns. i cheered on the steelers because some of my good friends are fans and i wanted them to be happy. the packers have a soft spot in my heart. they were Statttons team. i still have his packers shirt and wear it often. i'll always have a love for the green and yellow. there were teams i rooted against for sometimes good reasons and sometimes just because i'm heather. i'll always root against the broncos. i worked with a couple a few years back and he was a big broncos fan. and i loathed him (yes, you davin). i'm also not a huge fan of tim tebow so it works out well (tho i did watch his story and i'd like him if he and his mother hadn't done that abysmal anti abortion ad, but that is another blog). I never liked the eagles, but once they brought Mike Vick in I had to go extreme in my hatred. I can not root on a human who treated animals that way. and yes, i know all the horrible things other players have allegedly done, but he did do it and if you have any compassion in your soul you will relish watching him get his clocked cleaned week after week till that wussy leaves the game. (sorry elbert)
I'll always root against the patriots because tom brady cheated on his wife with a supermodel. so tacky. I dont like Drew Brees and I dont know why, he just annoys me. and i hate black and gold so they are always on my cheer against roster. Last on my root against list are the bears. mostly because i cant stand when people say "da bears" and i dont like blue and orange and jay cutler is a BABY. (sorry jen, i know you love them) however, if the bears play any of the above teams then i root for the bears.

so once i've rooted for the underdog, rooted against the teams i dont like, sometimes we are simply down to little things. like i loved the chargers because of darren sproles, but now he's with the eagles . . . i prefer the chargers colors to say, the falcons so the last resort is going by colors i like, or nostalgia factor (dolphins). (tho with the way the dolphins are playing this year they are going to get sympathy cheering).

now. the MAIN thing i wanted to address here (and yes, i got a little side tracked) is the whole FAN thing. see, for those of you who dont follow football, peyton is out this season. in fact, i'm not sure we will see peyton play qb again. and i guess there is this whole band wagon factor that people get pissy about. because the colts havent always been here, it took awhile for them to develop a fan base. this seemed to happen once they became GOOD. i guess fans wanted to cheer on a WINNING team. crazy huh? so people defected from other teams and became colts fans and were thus referred to as "band wagon" ers. now that they are having, what looks to be a challenging season, some people are assuming that colts fans will, you know, not be colts fans. now this may be true of some people. by nature americans are finicky and their need for instant gratification is pretty high. but i think a true fan, will always be a true fan. for the love of the team and the sport. i may have fallen in love with the colts because of peyton, but i'm not a colts fan just because of him. as long as they continue to play with integrity, act appropriately on and off the filed (mcafees drunken swim in broadripple not withstanding . . .) i'll support them 110%. above any other team, even the pretty green and yellow. : )

so go on about jumping on and off the band wagon. dis the colts all you want this season. (tho i think we held our own pretty well against the steelers. FREENY CRAZY!).  i can sit back and (mostly) laugh at you. or with you. in the end people. its just a game. its a little pig skin ball being thrown back and forth by a bunch of dudes who make more than you and i will ever see. but i do have a healthy respect for the art of the game now. and i'll continue to enjoy watching it, for whatever team is playing that hour that through my complicated system, im cheering for. and finally. Go Colts! :)

Friday, September 23, 2011


so. i decided when i received this new camera that i would slow down, and when something caught my eye that i wanted to take a picture of, i would. so last night i'm driving from KCs football game in napanee back to north webster and randomly there is this freaking rainbow. i say randomly because there had been no rain . . . anyway, so i find a place to pull over (this is tricky because its mostly corn fields, and the corn was too high to shoot over) so i find a place and low and behold i have in front of me a golden field, a barn, a country house and a PICK UP TRUCK. nothing says indiana like all that! and the rainbow of course. so i have the camera in the back hatch of chriss car that im driving so i go around to the back and get the camera out. as im doing this i'm thinking, please dont let some wacked out meth head find me and kill me out here. i have a deep seated fear of the country. growing up a city girl you get me out there and i'm one step away from a full fledged panic attack. low and behold a car is coming down this deserted country road and being the good city girl i am i pretend to ignore it, line up my shot and keep one eye on the mother. the car slows and my heart picks up a beat. then i notice its a cop and my heart picks up another beat. because if anything scares me more than the country, its a cop. especially a country cop. so here i am. standing behind a VW rabbit, Nikon camera in my hand with dereks $1000 long lens, black leather boots, black leather jacket and a bad attitude. conflicting image im sure. so the cop ever so cautiously and slowly exits his vehicle and i pin him down with my best "im not a meth head, dont rush me, and you better stay where you are" stare and say "do we have a problem?" (now, this goes against everything chris has tried to teach me about how to talk to a police officer. for some reason the whole sir, officer, bs goes right out my head) . . 
officers replies "what are you doing?"
me (looks at camera and back at him) "taking a picture"
officer "do you have a flat? are you broke down?"
me: no. i'm taking a picture. (holds camera up) of that rainbow.
officer: oh. so you dont need any help?
me: nope. i'm good.
(at this point i'm really resisting the urge to add "i just thought it would give me something to do while my batch cooks on my dash, the fumes were KILLING me!")
officer: ok then. well i hope your picture comes out ok.
he seems confused.

me" well. thanks for stopping"

off he goes. it was was bizarre. i snapped a few shots and got the hell outta there. the country is creepy. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011


bessie is my car. and this post is about bessie.
now i know i'm one of those people, who gets attached to inanimate objects. a trait i've very obviously passed on to my children (yeah, you should see the number of rubbermaid storage bins in my basement), but yesterday, i was able to justify why i'm so attached to this car. this is the story of bessie.

on a humid 90+ degree saturday in July of 2000 i woke up and decided it was time to buy a "new" car. what makes this noteworthy is i was 7 months pregnant with my third child. now after you hear this next bit, you will wonder how i could have ever ended up divorcing a saint such as Steve. because when i informed him he needed to load up the two kids into our van, and that we were going to Kelly's to trade it in all he said was ok. now I saw the look in his eye. the one that says "i dont know why you are doing this, and i want to ask you. but i fear you and those pregnancy hormones so i'm going to just do what you say but so you know, i do think you have lost your mind". yes, his eyes said that. so i did what any sane pregnant woman does. i scream (while crying) "I'M 30 FUCKING YEARS OLD DRIVNG A FOREST GREEN PONTIAC TRANSPORT THAT LOOKS LIKE A SPACESHIP MATED WITH A BOX AND I'M NOT DOING IT ANY MORE!"
so 5 hours, 1 new loan, 2 sobbing sweaty hungry children later: mommy has a 2 door purple pontiac grand sport and the children's beloved van stays behind at Kellys. (it took years for them to forgive me for parting with that van). this is how bessie came to me.

6 months after the birth of child three, we added a third vehicle to our garage. a 1997 Mercury Villager mini van.

i did not give up bessie. at the time i was selling pampered chef to bring income into the household and i used bessie to travel to my shows.  bessie and i rocked out to ballads of love on those sometimes long drives home. bessie and i blasted barney songs while driving the kids to preschool. bessie got left behind when we went on our last family vacation. the mini van was required for that long trek to the coast, and when we got back, things had changed.

 the nostalgic songs of love became cries. 

once upon a time i was falling in love, 
now i'm only falling apart, 
theres nothing i can do, 
a total eclipse of the heart .  . . .

I found you standing there
When I was seventeen
Now I'm thirty-two
And I can't remember what I'd seen in you
I made a promise
Said it everyday
Now I'm reading romance novels
And I'm dreaming of yesterday 

The songs got angrier.

No matter how hard I try
You’re never satisfied
This is not a home
I think I’m better off alone
You always disappear
Even when you’re here
This is not my home
I think I’m better off alone

fast forward a few months and bessie, the kids and i are on our own. im driving down highway 30 in new haven, having just dropped off my bankruptcy papers. i'm losing my house. my husband lives in an apartment and i'm having an anxiety attack so bad i have to pull off the road. i cant breathe. i know its just another anxiety attack, i cant breathe. i'm losing my house, i'm losing my house, i'm losing my house. i've left my husband, my kids are so small.  my baby is 15 months old. i have no job. i have no education. and i've left my husband and i'm losing my house. i love my house. my kids love their house. oh my god. bessie waits until i can drive again.

months later: bessie and i are screaming PINK out the windows: 

hey hey man
whats your problem,
i see your trying to hurt me bad
dont know what your up against. 
maybe you should re consider
come up with another plan
cause you know i'm not that kinda girl
to lay there and let you come first

i'm a few years into this thing, i'm doing it. i'm surviving. i've been hurt. i've been broken. ive been through hell. but i'm getting there. bessie and me. we are going places. i've got a job. i'm doing ok. thats the best of it. i'm doing ok. we are doing ok.

bessie gets flooded. the water is almost up to the radio. the fucking apartment complex has a flash flood zone in front of my apartment. someone forgot to tell me this. the insurance company wants to scrap bessie. but shes paid for so i lie about the depth of the water. i spend all day using a wet vac to get the water out, by myself. always by myself. everything. everything. everything.  i have to cut the carpets, pull out her padding. she smells. the smell never goes away. parts start to rust. the gear shift sticks. i wd40 the hell out of that car. the transmission develops a grinding noise that 8 years later is also still there. she runs. we keep on going.

hate me
hate me today
hate me tomorrow
hate me for all the things I didnt do for you

.  . . . these lyrics come through my speakers and every bit of forward slams me to the ground. i'm on my way to a client meeting and once again i'm on the side of the road. i cant see for the tears. i have snot running down my chin. i'm sobbing. from the depth of my soul. for the first time (but certainly not the last) i mourn the end of my marriage. its like my husband, my best friend, wrote this song for me:

And with a sad heart i say bye to you and wave.
kicking shadows on the street for every mistake that i have made.
and like a baby boy i never was a man.
until i saw your blue eyes cry and i held your face in my hands.
and then i fell down yelling "make it go away!',
just make her smile and come back and shine, just like it used to be . .
 and then she whispers "how could you do this, to me?"


life moves on. you recover. you laugh. you cry. you fall. you get up. and all along the way, i'm singing in my car. i'm singing love songs. and angry songs. and bitter songs. and songs about divorce. and songs about meeting someone new. 3 days grace vents my rage. liz phair becomes my voice. divorce song. fuck and run. johnny feelgood. polyester bride. white chocolate space egg is always on play, over and over. Digger. dear god digger.

little digger, don't be shy
You saw your mother with another guy
You think you'll tell her that she's one of a kind, you say
My Mother is mine

You put your trucks up on the bed next to him
So he can get a better look at them, you say
This ones my favorite one, this one you can't have
I got it from my Dad, you say
I got it from my Dad.

so. today i'm having one of those rare moments when its bessie and i. its been 9 years and 6 months since i decided i could no longer be married. since i decided i needed to do this myself. and bessie and i have been singing a lot more happy songs the last few years. she's taken on more tears, but more smiles.  bessie is a bit worn. not much works. she drives. and the radio still kicks ass. bessie and i, with her windows randomly going up and down. the the wipers shutting off on their own. the windows fogging up. we are having a dance party. lady gaga. LMFAO

Party rock is in the house tonight.
everybody just have a good time.  . ..

 is making us shake our booties. and bessie IS shaking her booty. it may SEEM like an alignment problem but i think its really from all the grooving we've done. she can tear it up off a light. her get up and go is still there. her seats fit perfectly to my form, shes held me for so many years. through the sadness and pain. through the laughs and hilarity that come from girls nights out. shes absorbed spilled drinks. taken the dropped ashes. shes carted kids, been smeared with melted crayons. beat up, knocked down. and expected to hold up with very little care and minimal maintenance. shes strong and solid. rough but comfortable. she's got grit and she's still going. maybe thats why i love her so much. i see my foot resting on that special spot on the door, the wheel dropped low between my knees and we amble on down the road and i realize.

 i love her because not only has she been there for me. she is me.