Saturday, December 30, 2006

New Look for the New Year!

I have made the executive decision that the time has come for The Heathernet to undergo a little cosmetic upkeep. Much like her moderator, The Heathernet requires constant maintenence to stay on top of her appearance. Oh, you think stunning aesthetic beauty just "happens"? Reality, it's Los Angeles, we're all high maintenence, and these blogs aren't posting themselves, people...

As much as I would have liked to save the old, archived posts in the "old format", and only present the new shiny format for forthcoming posts, I don't believe agrees that this detail is an important one. So there you go. It's revisionist history. Soon people will forget all about the old green, friendly Heathernet and only this new fancy impression will remain!

A note on why I chose this template: Primarily, I believe, it was the simple fact that calls this layout "Snapshot Tequila". Now, I've looked it over, and I haven't seen any evidence, photographic or otherwise, of tequila on the page. However, the name did succeed in attracting my attention, hence winning out over such options as "No. 897" and "Simple II". I sincerely hope you enjoy this new layout as my contribution to usher in a fantastic 2007!!

what a boring fucking post. The content will be next to recieve a makeover, promise.

Friday, December 29, 2006

this little piggy

I would like to take the opportunity to thank, via this forum, perhaps the most popular guest at my Christmas dinner last week:

The Pig!

In keeping with Filipino tradition, we had a lechon, which is a whole spit-roasted pig, complete with head and decorative ear ribbons. My brave mother, who bafflingly accepted the challenge to prepare a Christmas feast for 40 invited guests, decided on ordering said pig from a restaurant/store in Vallejo, where the Filipino population is more prevalent than say, anywhere in the delicate balance of the vintner/hayseed/hippie occupying cultures that comprise Sonoma County. Yes, it's a complicated place.

In any case, back to the star of the show... So my dad helps my cousin haul in this roasted pig, which was touted to feed 40 people. And everyone's jaw collectively drops. The thing was massive, at least twice the size we had envisioned. It's fairly dramatic, to say the least. Immediately, cameras are whipped out and everyone starts posing for photos w/ The Pig. [Amazingly, none have circulated quite yet, but as soon as they do, I will add accordingly.] So, the photo taking, admittedly felt a little weird to me; I don't often pose for photos with dinner, and less frequently with meat that more closely resembles a barnyard pal. On the other hand, I am a staunch carnivore, and have unapologetically tried meat that many might find offensive. Let it be known, however, there is a distinct line in the sand re: dogs, cats, monkeys, and most certainly insects.

So the pig, of course, was delicious, as was the variety of other food being served: zucchini frittata, leg of lamb, butternut squash soup, and [holy crap, this was good] the pecan pie and bread pudding. Deeeeelicious. But I wanted to resolve these feelings that we did have so much food, and this gigantic pig was on the table, and I believe the way to do that is to be grateful. In the days of the Native Americans, hunters would ceremoniously thank the buffalo for allowing itself to be killed and eaten in this great cycle of life, as well as gratitude for replenishing to provide for the tribe. Everything [yes, I don't care if you are vegan] that we eat was at one point, alive. Think about it. Vegetables, fruit, meat, eggs, dairy, all of the things we eat are dependent on the life that is around us. And it works the same way for animals. So, it is a cycle, and we are part of it, and it connects us all to each other, to the animals, and to the earth.

Wow, heady stuff for a blog that includes a photo of Dakota Fanning. Anyway, I guess my point is, beyond being thankful that food is wonderful, and that you have the means to procure it, and that some higher power [God?] provided you with this food, I also think its important to think about and be thankful for the source of your food, or the food itself... unless you find yourself ruminating on what you just picked up from Taco Bell, then you might want to rethink your standards of eating...

So think, and say thanks!

*Update 1/3/07: photos of The Pig!

here is a photo of my dad carving The Pig amidst a throng of hungry admirers...
and here is a close up!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Turkey Day! or How Carnies Ruined The Best Holiday Of The Year

Its officially November, which means the greatest holiday ever created is right around the corner: THAAaaaaaNKSGIVING!

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Thanksgiving is the best holiday because it focuses solely on food and eating. Other holidays might get sidetracked with religious undertones, or giftgiving. [Don't even get me started on Valentine's Day. Last year, I ended up getting a debilitating case of hives. My doctor blamed the antibiotics; I found it a little too convenient that the outbreak occurred dead on V-Day...]

Not Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving, your only objectives are to eat as much awesome food as you possibly can, share the wealth with others, and all be grateful that you are enjoying a delicious meal. Thankful for the earth's bounty, and whatnot. It's a glorious, glorious holiday.

For me, specifically, there are a few simple, traditional components that I think we can all agree help make Thanksgiving the most delicious holiday:

  • mashed potatoes
  • gravy
  • green bean casserole
  • stuffing/dressing
  • cranberry sauce

and the most important element, obviously:

  • The Turkey.

In my household, its important to note that battle is waged over the drumsticks and thighs, with turkey breast/white meat living on in perpetuity in the form of sandwiches and inventive casseroles in the weeks that follow.

Now, for the past few years, the Jack clan has celebrated Thanksgiving at my aunt and uncle's house just outside of Sacramento. My aunt is from Louisiana, and she is a phenomenal cook, truly. She is also a very sharp and extraordinarily kind person. Thus, I was extremely confused when we arrived at her house on Thanksgiving in 2004. I looked at the presentation. Everything initially seemed in order: veggies, potatoes, bird..... but the bird gave me pause. Was it a little bit smaller than years past? My internal monologue went something like this:

"Hm, that's a small turkey..... wait, why doesn't it have any drumsti-OH MY GOD!"

Folks, my aunt had purchased a turkey without legs or wings. On purpose. It was, in fact, an all-breast turkey.

Where had the legs and wings gone? Why were they selling maimed turkeys at the store? And how had my otherwise intelligent and generous aunt been conned into buying one? I thought this might have been a fluke, but in 2005, the same amputee turkey showed up for dinner.

This year, I have had time to mentally prepare to greet the white-meat only turkey. It is just something I have had to come to terms with and accept; no hint is subtle or tactful enough to imply to my dear aunt that I prefer my turkeys with all of their limbs. So, my strategy to overcome this is to overcompensate with (as outlined above) sides, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, etc. to mask the white-meat-only nature of the meal. In addition to this, and as my mother would pronounce, I probably also require an "attitude adjustment". Look, I understand that those less fortunate than I would be ecstatic to have any turkey. I get that. Fine!
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My beef remains with the food manufacturers: where do you get off selling people turkeys sans appendages?? Why do you feel the need to further demoralize this already flightless bird by rendering him even more flightless? And, the most obvious mystery in this whole affair, where are the missing turkey components??

Well, I'll tell you where the drumsticks are: they are at traveling carnivals and county fairs and Magic Mountain, all selling for $9 a leg. I think the implication is all too clear: who is responsible for this travesty?


The carnies are turning a tidy little profit at the expense of the American People!

So carnies, I just have one more question for you... what have you done with our wings??

Faithful readers: Don't let your Thanksgiving fall victim to carnie propaganda. Take a stand and take back the turkey!

Monday, October 30, 2006

perhaps one reason why people don't recycle

Not everyone recycles. I know that. People throw away their recyclables all the time, because recycling is too inconvenient, because they can't be bothered, whatever. In my neighborhood in Los Angeles - one of the major metropolitan cities in America - there is not a scheduled recycling pickup, only garbage removal. Which, honestly, I find shocking, especially given all of the resources we have in LA, but for whatever reason, no recycling pickup. In any case, that means anytime I want to recycle, I have to load up Loretta (the-little-red-Jetta) with bottles, cans, what-have-you, and take them to the local recycling center so I can appease my conscience that I am at least doing some small part of what I can do to help stave off global warming and reduce waste. I know its not much, but it makes me feel better. I drink a lot of water, and those bottles aren't going to recycle themselves.

ANYway, this past Sunday, in an attempt to clear away the water bottle graveyard that had been accumulating in my room/Loretta, I headed to the recycling center in the parking lot of Vons on the corner of Santa Monica and Barrington in West LA. Now, here's another point of contention with the state of recycling in Los Angeles: this particular station will ONLY take beverage containers. However, they are also kind enough to give you the equivalent of cold hard cash for your troubles. I think the last time I dropped off my recycling, I made a cool $3.75 or thereabouts. Apparently plastic is not as valuable a commodity as aluminum.

So, its Sunday, its 2:45, and I have just finished separating my recyclables. There is a healthy line of people, and I patiently get in the back of the line, to witness:

the man who is taking the recyclables is BERATING a woman who is trying to turn in her plastic gallon-juice bottles.

Crazy-Recycling-Overseer: LADY! YOU CAN'T TURN THAT IN HERE!
Woman-Trying-To-Recycle: what? why not? it's recyclable.
WTTR: i don't want to throw it away; it's recyclable!
WTTR: but... you used to take them!

So I am standing awkwardly with my bags of bottles, when Crazy Recycling Overseer turns his attention to me:

CRO: WHAT are you DOING??
me: (thinking... uhm... is this a trick question? rhetorical?)
me: (pointing to car where I had been separating my plastics for the last 20 minutes) but I've been here!

In the meantime, the woman holding her juice containers, to her credit, had apparently come up with some new angle to her argument, bc as I stormed off from the recycling center, she and the crazy recycling man quickly got back into their spirited debate.

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Now, I have no idea where they hired this man, or why he hates people, or what they pay him. Maybe he has to deal with a crappy boss, maybe he is on parole, I have no idea. But I do know, that the following factors are not encouraging people to recycle:

  1. non-pick-up with regular trash
  2. inconvenient acceptance policy - beverage containers only, and seemingly arbitrary denial of specific juice containers...
  3. crappy hours (as I mentioned, this was around 2:45 on Sunday)
  4. crazy person yelling at you

So, despite the joy I find in arguing with the crazies, I am not looking forward to returning to the fun-time all-smiles recycling center. However, I do eventually have to turn in my recycling before it takes over my entire car... my coworker informs me that he goes to a lovely place in Burbank, where they accept all of his recyclables, but by the time I've driven over the hill, isn't the gas I've burned counter-productive to the goal?

In relating the story to Eric Luther Ling, we both lamented the lack of photo documentation regarding the event. He was kind enough to supply us with this artist's rendering:

Yeah. It went down something like that.

Monday, October 09, 2006

about bloody time...

So you can breathe again - bowling starts up tomorrow night.

Somehow those chuckleheads at the league pulled their shit together and we're actually all set to go tomorrow evening! It's a different ball game going into our third season; we're returning vets now. We know how shit is run. Other teams know, and (appropriately) fear us. We have forged alliances with a few teams we like, and are gunning against some we do not (i.e., Tim Farmer, chubbies... if we don't like you, you probably know who you are). Regardless, this is the season where it all comes together for Off in the Corner. As Beau Ling so aptly put it, the question is: which team are we beating tomorrow?

So, to review, Off in the Corner is back, and better than ever! Basically, this is how I think it breaks down:
  • Season 1: Beginner's luck - we had low expectations and high handicaps. In the end, TF took us down with a combination of voodoo and poor fashion.
  • Season 2: Sophomore slump - some bad luck combined with a corrupt bowling administration led to the team's collective low point, imparting valuable lessons about perserverance, and alcohol tolerance.
  • Season 3: Total Mastery and Domination (yes, it all needs to be capitalized) - where Off in the Corner silences all rivals with superior bowling skills and dance moves to take the championship.
The magic begins tomorrow at 9pm, Bay Shore Lanes in Santa Monica. Feel free to stop by, have a delicious bowling pin shaped beer, and show your support. We will also be celebrating our imminent victory at a nearby tbd watering hole.

Go Off in the Corner!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Further bowling outrage

I was so incensed at the fact that bowling is supposedly meant to be starting in the next couple of weeks, and with no word from the organizers, I just wished I had an outlet to express my rage!

and then I remembered: my long-neglected blog!

Apologies for the lapse in entries lately. I blame Thailand, and its laze-inducing influence. Never mind that I probably should have had an actual "post" regarding my trip to Thailand, but all in good time, let's not be greedy.

So back to this bowling issue. We already know the bowling league is run by people of questionable moral character; that's not even the issue. Despite all of their shady business, the very least they could do is pull it together to get the league going again. The league was meant to be starting any week now, and random fellow bowlers I had run into all had the same question: when?

I asked my friend Tom, an opposing team captain but fair sportsman, to see if he couldn't shake an answer out of the league operators. He dutifully emailed, but... no reply. One week passes. We are, naturally, distressed. We called the bowling alley. Indeed, they had encountered the same problem: radio silence from our league administrators. What the fuck?

In the meantime, rival bowling alley/Mon night industry league at Mar Vista Lanes is on week 3. Week 3.

So, being the agile-minded athletes that we are, Tom and I agreed there was only one viable solution: We would usurp the league. Yes, we would lay seige to the bowling alley on Tuesday nights and take over as fair-minded administrators for OUR league! It was brilliant! It couldn't be that difficult to do, and we would be relatively impartial, since we were on opposing teams anyway. I think the current organizers were even turning a wee profit. It would be easy enough to do, as Off in the Corner, is, as you well know, the darling of the Bay Shore Lanes circuit, and we've got mad connections in positions of influence.

So we were all set to make the call, when Tom receives this email:

We will be sending out an email in the next week or so. Thanks for checking in.

Supremely. Weak. But whatever, right? It's still good news, because it means he's alive, and will be running our league.


This email is now one week older... Mar Vista Lanes will be trucking right along to Week 4... and we still have no idea what the hell is going on! The league is crying out for leadership! I'm sorry, Bowling Officiant, but you leave us no choice: we will revolt, and we will take over the league! Viva! Revolucion!

Tom pointed out this would be a big responsibility.

I reminded him: With great power, comes great responsibility.

Thanks, Spidey.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Cheers! La revolucion!

Consider: the cost of the average beverage in Los Angeles is continually on the rise. This disturbing trend is true even at less expensive establishments. Last night I ordered a jack and ginger that set me back a staggering $8! Now I don't know about you, but for the HJ, $8 a drink makes for an expensive evening out. After a night of a few too many drinks, my rent may be in jeopardy. This can not and will not stand! But, you say, what can I do to combat this alarming development? The bars certainly aren't going to make their drinks LESS expensive after setting this precedent. If people are paying, they will keep charging. It's a case of simple economics, supply and demand.

So, by that theory, if we stop buying drinks, the prices will come down. I for one, am happy to lead the charge against this exploitation. I am not, however, willing to suffer by practicing sobriety at the bars - it's not the alcohol's fault, after all; Jack Daniels is not the subject of my boycott. The only solution? Bringing my own stash of booze.

The flask is maybe the most underrated and underutilized tool at any drinker's disposal.

Now, most bars would probably frown upon the practice of bringing a flask in to mix your own cocktails. In fact, I would even say that some might go as far as to throw you out, or confiscate your flask! Indeed, to carry a flask, you must be bold, yet covert. You must be prepared to deal with any negative consequences. You have to be a renegade.

Once committed to this worthy task, you will find yourself pleased with the wide variety of uses for you and your trusty new best friend:
  • sporting events
  • bowling
  • concerts
  • amusement parks
  • movies
  • the beach
  • nights spent gallavanting on the town
  • and of course, expensive bars
The flask is endlessly versatile. Going to a tequila bar and don't like margaritas? Fill your flask with vodka! Worried the flask will clash with your style? Don't fear - there are many different flasks for every personality. You can even have yours personally engraved, to avoid mixups with your friends' flasks. Think you can't carry a flask because people will peg you as "an alcoholic"? Please! Just a case of jealousy and why-didn't-I-think-of-that rearing its ugly head. You will be ushering the flask into its new status of acceptability!

All this, and you will be drinking for a cause! Sticking it to the man! You will be living the dream; the rebellious life of a revolutionary!

Hail to the flask!

Friday, July 07, 2006

YARRRRR! the remix...

So, realizing all too well that my initial pirates themed posting attempt was, admittedly, very weak, I consulted my blogging muse Martin Luther Ling to ask if he had any ideas to help "spice it up". He suggested adding a picture.

Here are some pictures I found in an effort to create a superior pirates themed blog.

The Pirate Puppet.

The Pirate Showercurtain. Because dammit, even pirates value their privacy! Arrr...

Dial-a-Pirate, for a handy rolodex of pirates at your disposal

Pirate band-aids, for when you have pesky sword-inflicted injuries, but an ordinary non-pirate bandage will not suffice.

Pirate llama. Awwww... looks like the scurvy got you too! But just because he only has three legs, don't think he's not lethal with that dagger...

and perhaps my favorite.......

A Very Pirate Jr. Prom

nice work on the authentic teeth, buddy!


go see pirates.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

one year ago...

In one month (and a few days) I will have been at my current job for one year. And on that day, the anniversary of my re-entry into the workplace, we can look back on that productive year and smile. But for today, I'd like to take a moment to reflect upon the glorious place I was in one year ago: Unemployment.

After being laid off and cut the largest single check of my life (thank you, severance!), I thought to myself, 'now what'? I knew at some point I would be re-entering the workforce, but did I really have to rush right into it?

Things I decided I would allow myself to do before finding a job:
  • Take a 2 week trip to Argentina with someone I had only had two in-person conversations with.
  • Extend that trip by one more week after aforementioned person left to return to America.
  • Visit my newly engaged pal in a remote Canadian town for a long weekend.
  • Spend a week with my parents, learn how to fly-fish with the old man, eat everything my mom cooked up.
  • Convince my best friend/job hunt coordinator to cancel her work drinks every night for a month so we could properly spend our evenings getting wasted together.
  • Celebrate the 4th of July with a week-long bender that culminated in dehydration and police intervention.

Ah, memories. Could I have asked for better circumstances to be unemployed under? I had money in the bank, I was as tan as I've ever been, and I had time to read books! For fun! I also bought houseplants (which have since passed on to the next world) and vowed to master the Spanish language after being inspired by my trip to Buenos Aires.

I think now about how things have changed... while I am, admittedly, gainfully employed, I have little/no money in savings, very little time to vacation, and my Spanish practice has been relegated to short conversations with Lopez in the kitchen. I love working at The Brucks, but I do sometimes get a bit misty reminiscing about my short-lived freedom, Summer '05...

I will say, in all fairness, that while it was a glorious, lovely time to be free, I always did have an underlying anxiety... What if there are no jobs out there? What if I run out of money? What if no one will hire me? Despite my great tan!?? So for now, I do have that security and peace of mind, even if it is keeping me from the beach for now...

Thursday, May 18, 2006


As you may already be aware, there is a huge conspiracy afoot. It has created such a stir in the public, that as we speak, protests are occurring throughout the world. This controversy has been even further mitigated by the media, and at this stage, has permeated almost every aspect of our lives: spiritual, emotional, and physical.

No, kids, I'm not talking about The Da Vinci Code. There is something much more sinister at hand.

I'm talking, about JQBL playoffs.

Exhibit A:
Off in the Corner, everyone's favorite bowling squad, played a team we'll call "The Chubies" earlier this season. The Chubies showed up with two regular season players, and one substitute. Let the record show that they were playing with only 3 out of 4 players for our entire matchup. And, they were bitches. Here is a full account of that travesty.

In any case, when we wrote to the organizers of the bowling league about the injustices that had taken place that fateful night, we were met with silence. Had they no interest in justice?? This was our first clue as to the organization we were dealing with.

Exhibit B:
After the last week of regular play, Off in the Corner was informed via email that we were in 17th place and would not be making the playoffs, which was limited to the top 16 teams. So close! Understandably, we were crushed, but because we are such avid supporters of the sport and upstanding sportsmen in general, we still decided to watch some of our friends compete for the championship. Upon arriving (in our leisure clothes, as our uniforms for the season were retired) Beau Ling happened to grab a copy of last week's standings and happened to count our placement in the standings.

"1... 2... 3... 4......... uh... guys?"
"uh - this says we are in 16th place."


Oh yes, faithful supporters: it was right there in black and white. 16th place - which meant we should have been bowling at that very moment. Filled with a new deliberate rage, we scanned the lanes to see what team had somehow made it to the playoffs despite being lower in the standings. It was no other than LMB Partners, the team we beat in last season's playoffs. They were in 20th place on the scoresheet, well below our team, but somehow were duking it out for a shot at the title?? What?? Immediately, we used Pop-pins' blackberry to once again contact the organizer.

"We are upset and confused"...
His lame reply via email 30 minutes later? "LMB Partners were owed 3 points from a forfeit. Sorry for any confusion."




Exhibit C:
Spare-y Pop-pins' boyfriend succeeded in getting his team to the playoffs. They were matched up with TIM FARMER... and lost.

Mere coincidences? Happenstance?

I'll let you be the judge.

Seek The Truth.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Mud Run, bitches!

That's right: the era of Heather as a sedentary, inactive slob has come to an end! In a rare display of athleticism and ultimate physical exertion, Heather conquered an event that has brought no less than marines and militiamen to their peril.

Yes, I speak of the inimitable...


I have compiled a little photographic tour so that you might be able to experience some of the glory that was the 5k Mud Run from the comfort of your computer, without so much as a fleck of unwanted dirt on your person! I know, I am a giver...

Here I am looking cocky before the race. Ooh, look at my shiny white tank top! I'm so clean and mud free!

It is approximately 7:30 am here, btw, which is a feat worth mentioning in itself.

So then, I meet up with the other members of my team, which were assigned by our mutual friend and relentless organizer Kat. You may remember Kat from other such "active" blogs, as Hiking, and other activities where she uses her wiles to convince me to do things I would usually not. Though I guess in the end, that's probably a good thing... I mean, look at me! I have a number on my shirt! I look like a seasoned athlete in this photo!

So the Mud Run begins, and we take off, all smiles and high hopes. Here is the beginning of the race, where a truck propels water over all of the participants as we begin. Ha! Water? That's the least of our concerns......

So the beginning is not too bad for Team Bigfoot (as we have inexplicably called ourselves), we try to pace ourselves while also trying to gain ground on Kat's team. There are obstacles in our path, like haystacks and tires and tunnels that we have to navigate, but nothing too major up front.

This is the first mud pit. Jack (on my team, in the red) appears to be pretty confident about plunging into the mud. The look on my face, however, says one thing.


Damn, suck it up, Heather! You're embarrassing your team!

This is the second mud pit. As you can probably tell, this was much, much worse (aka, muddier) than mud pit #1. See those turquoisish poles? There were Mud Run volunteers yelling at us to "GO UNDER! GO UNDER!" So, as we approached, we had to fall onto the ground, in the mud, to crawl under the poles. They were pretty close to the mud, so there were instances where we had to hold our breath, and just duck our heads into the mud. Pret-ty gross.

So after emerging from the mud like some kind of bog monster, I am saturated in mud. Shoes, socks, shorts, underwear, everything. I found mud in my ears afterwards. I am in the midst of blinking away mud, when I look up to see, looming ahead...


The Hill would not end. This photo doesn't really do The Hill justice. If you think it ends where you can kindof see the horizon, you would be wrong. The Hill leads you up a sharp right and continues for about twice as long. Everyone is at this point caked in mud, trudging uphill, and murmuring curse words when breath will allow it. Running is no longer an option for me. I am sucking air, The Hill has taken my last ounces of energy. I wonder, at this point, if I will have to be carted down The Hill, if I will indeed make it to the finish line. There are volunteers standing by, surely one has a walkie talkie they could summon help with. My team was ahead of me, but I was pretty sure Kat's team was behind me... and so, I kept going. I could NOT be the reason my team lost to Kat's... Closer to the top, Sylvia and Jack (Team Bigfoot) waited for me with words of encouragement. I kept going, but was thinking, my God, I bet we're not even halfway done...

And would you believe it, after The Hill, it was all downhill! I caught my breath, and it was easy for me to take off down the hill... we were home free! We just had to link arms and cross the finish, except(!), to our dismay, for a final mud pit. Oh, sure, why the hell not? Crawling again, under the flags, we finally made it to the end, and in an astonishing 23 minutes! Yes folks, that's less than an 8-minute mile! We did in fact beat Kat's team, and rinsed off some of the grime before they finished, but Sylvia and I were kind enough to wait for them to finish for a semi-muddy last photo...

It was, in fact, a very triumphant feeling. And they had free pizza waiting for us at the end! I was actually pretty pleased with myself that I had done it. Dammit, Kat was right again. At least I beat her in the race! Face, Kat! And... I did get this picture to take away...
*photo credit to Kat's boyfriend. Nice one, Burton.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Pizza Party

I made pizza last night.

From scratch!

OK, so my version of scratch involves refrigerator section "fresh" pizza dough from Trader Joe's and pizza sauce from a jar. But nonetheless! I rolled out the dough! I grated the cheese! I sliced up the mushrooms! And by 10:30 pm, a mere 2 hours after I embarked on my mission, I had my first taste of my deliciously fresh, homemade pizza...

...and its' soft, undercooked dough.

Where had I gone wrong? Never mind that my oven is so old the temperature markings on the dial have worn away... I cleared that hurdle with an oven thermometer, an enterprising move on my part if I may say so myself. No, it was supposedly at the requisite 400 degrees farhenheit. The package of dough told me 10-12 minutes in the oven... but 15, 20, 25 minutes later... still chewy flour flavor. What the f, man?

So, finally, I'm starving, I've gone through 2 glasses of wine and half a script waiting for this thing, and I can't take it. I take my undercooked pizza out of the oven. The veggies have roasted to 1/4 their original size, the cheese is healthily browned, but the bottom of the crust? I can't take it anymore. I cut out a couple slices, and into the toaster oven with it.



[Do you know that feeling when you are just starving, and all you can think about is food?? I get that a lot.]

Freaking finally. It's so hot, I don't care. Thank God, it's still good. The charred veggies, the crispy cheese, it doesn't matter; it's still pretty damn edible. And I have that satisfaction of having made it myself! Tho, it is admittedly quite late... where did I go wrong?

I will never again take for granted the 30 minute delivery guarantee. Does anyone even promise that anymore?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Lopez: king of the office

This is a shout out to my man Lopez, who keeps the Brucks running like a well-oiled machine.

Lopez is from Guatemala. He is fluent in Spanish and English. He claims that the key to never getting sick is drinking quality tequila (his personal recommendations: Patron or Don Julio). And - he makes amazing carne asada.

Our typical morning conversations take place in the kitchen, and go something like this.

HJ: Hi Lopez...
L: Hola, senorita! How are you?
HJ: (exasperated sigh) I don't know... maybe I should just give up and move to Fiji.
L: Why you want to move to Fiji?? It's boring!
HJ: Because! I can just relax, lie in my hammock, catch fish...
L: You can't move to Fiji!

Then I reflect on his argument, which is a convincing one, finish applying cream cheese to my bagel, and go to my desk for another productive day.

From what I can tell, Lopez loves the Brucks. He always has a smile on his face when I see him, he never complains... everyone loves him.

Perhaps the only person in the office who has drama with our beloved Lopez is Paul. The trouble began during an event now known to most as "Pretzelgate". The disgruntled Paul, miffed there were no more pretzels, rummaged around the kitchen, on a crazed search for any remaining pretzel fragments. Paul (who, in his defense, was completely joking) turned to Lopez and demanded, "Lopez! What happened to all the pretzels!?" and continued on with his search. Now, I am not bilingual, but I imagine that if someone was being facetious in a language that was anything other than English, I would be completely lost. As it turns out, Lopez did not see the humor, and thought Paul was berating him for lack of pretzels. Hence... he may have a vendetta against Paul. We are not sure. But I digress...

Where would we be without Lopez? Hungry, uninspired, sick, unkempt? Maybe I would be in Fiji... which, yes, is nice to think about every now and then, but maybe after a little while it would get boring...

So thanks, Lopez. For the kind words, the inspiration, and the justification to drink tequila when the sniffles are coming on.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

going postal

For. the. love. of. all. that. is. holy:
STOP sending me unsolicited crap!!!!!


This is a desperate plea directed to all the misinformed freaks and psychopaths out there that think that blindly sending off movie ideas to random companies is a good idea. Might get lucky! Make a million billion dollars on the next Armageddon! Couldn't hurt?

But it does hurt. It hurts me. Personally. Very very personally. Becuase for every single person from New Mexico, or Montreal, or small German towns I can't pronounce, I am the one who gets the distinctive pleasure of mailing back all of the material and informing these aspiring whomevers that we cannot even so much as look at it.

Sometimes, some of these brilliant people decide that me responding to their query is an opening for more correspondence! A phone call, perhaps? No! That is INcorrect! My letter is to inform you that your correspondence is not requested, desired, or sanctioned AT ALL! If you send me another piece of mail, I will still be the one sending it back to you. I will still be the one committing hari kari because you fedexed a bubble-wrapped box containing some random manuscript that I now have to figure out how to send back to you.

I am not even getting into the ideas or loglines behind the gems that find their way to my inbox each day. But here's my one piece of advice. You think you have the next $100 million blockbuster movie? Get an agent. Preferably one anyone working in the industry will return phone calls to. That's all. I'm not going to tell you how to go about finding one, or how to submit your material. That's your job. And there is this glorious learning resource called 'the internet'. Use it before you call me and ask for any and all knowledge I have on the matter of getting your screenplay looked at.

In the meantime, please don't send me any more unsolicited mail. I beg of you.

Because the mail never stops. It just keeps coming and coming and coming. There's never a letup, It's relentless. Every day it piles up more and more, but the more you get out, the more it keeps coming. And then the bar code reader breaks. And then it's Publisher's Clearinghouse day.

- Newman, Seinfeld, 1990s.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Special Edition Guest Blog: Melancholia 5.1

So, as a special treat to fans of the Heathernet, today we have a guest blogger, our very own Mr. Paul Lyons! After I told him I was a little bummed out, and certainly in no mood to blog, he took it upon himself to write up the little entry below to share with all you impatient readers! I hope you enjoy, it made me think, reflect, and feel a little better. And if that doesn't work, there's always cheesy potatoes!*

- Haj

*(see last blog entry)

Alright, let’s face it….we have all experienced sadness and disappointment in our lives at one point or another. I’ve had a plethora…a cornucopia….a King’s ransom’s worth of disappointments, let-downs, put-downs, put-upons, frowned-upons, dissings, ditchings, dumpings, teasings, tauntings, tortures, and general melancholy. You would think by now, I would be some sort of expert on the subject. That I would have an innate, superhero type-ability to detect the upcoming disappointment well in advance, and as a result I would either avoid it….or manage it in a way that would have me coming out ahead. But no….I experience life’s shortcomings just like everyone else…. No special concessions for us world-weary veterans. No hats, nor t-shirts nor souvenir badges….seerslee, nothing…nada. So what does one do in such times of sorrow…knowing that one’s suffering, one’s sadness, one’s disappointment is no different than anyone else’s? Well…you could, I suppose, start a worldwide contest to see who is really the person who has had the biggest disappointment, or the greatest sadness in life….ever. The judges could be famous experts on the subject(s)…or maybe the judges can be non-famous people picked at random, like TV’s Nielsen system. Whatever. People could be judged by Style, Depth of Pain and/or Sadness (measured by a machine designed by NASA, or perhaps Microsoft… Apple), Ripple Factor (i.e. husband dies, then wife and family gets kicked out of house, etc…), and of course…the wildly popular “My Life Is Sad and Hopeless” essay, monologue, verbal ranting, picture collage and/or diorama presentation. Now I am thinking Donald Trump could be involved….Okay, now I’ve completely gone off track….Where was I? Oh…yes….sadness. The way I see it….life would not be life without sadness and disappointment….Our lives are shaped by both good and bad experiences…I believe both are of equal importance. Too much of one, or the other is horrible. If all one experiences is nothing but good good and good….well….my guess is that one would eventually no longer appreciate the value of the good….and so to…would at some point, no longer be able to identify that it’s a good at all….It would become….standard. You win a million dollars every single day of your life….after awhile….it becomes standard issue…no big deal….whatever. Today I read in the L.A. times about a rich dude who crashed a $million dollar Ferrari in Malibu. The mf crashed the car, and ran away. To most of the world….it’s beyond belief, not crashing the car…but actually owning a $million dollar Ferrari! Yet to the billionaires of the world….who cares? I mean….car is a car is a car….why not race it, crash it…whatever. Point is…too much good is, well….not so good. Look the Paris Hilton’s of the world….she has everything, but have you met anyone who really, truly wants to be her? It is my feeling that we should embrace what we have in our lives…including the bad stuff. Own it. I read somewhere that Jack Nicholson said he is proud of the marks and lines on his aged face….he said something to the effect of “I’ve earned every one of them.” I happen to agree with that sentiment. Own your life…earn your success and failures….and failures, in themselves, are always disguised opportunities….to learn and grow. So, I am sad today….no big deal. I will live through it…and get over it…but more importantly….I earned it, I own it. It’s mine. It’s me….and only I can take my sorrow away. So what the F am I waiting for????

Friday, January 27, 2006

Cheese and Potatoes

are two decidedly delicious foods in their own right. Independent of each other, each possesses fantastic potential for making wonderful cheesy or potatoey dishes. HOWEVER, this awesome power is only enhanced, when they come together... and form...



Good God, man, combine them and you not only have food that will appeal to the masses, but also fit for gods and kings! Now, of course, one can't ignore the unfortunate fact that in many ways, these are two pariahs of the food community. After all, cheese is, well, fat. And potatoes are pretty much the embodiment of evil for anti-carb fanatics. But vilification aside, can we focus on the food itself for a moment? Cheesy fries, potato skins, hash brown casserole, baked potatoes with melty cheddar... think about it: cheese and potatoes were made to be friends.

My personal love affair with the combination of cheese and potatoes probably reached it's apex while I was in Scotland, getting styrofoam containers of piping hot chips (fries) and cheese at 3 am. Oh my God, the Glaswegians did it right, adding liberal amounts of salt and vinegar, sometimes even a little chili sauce (depending perhaps on how many beers you were trying to neutralize). You add a big handful of shredded cheese to a batch of chips right out of the fryer, add s & v to taste, close the styrofoam, shake it around... 2 minutes later, absolutely heavenly chips and cheese. Magic.

Yes, it may not be your healthiest option. It's no secret that the Scots aren't necessarily known for their lithe/slender body types (tho, don't misunderstand me, their legs look dead sexy in a kilt). But I will argue against Atkins fans, in saying that a diet consisting only of lettuce wrapped burgers and bacon wrapped steak can't be the best thing for you either... so give balance a chance!

...and balance your potatoes with a healthy side of cheeeese!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Reflections on a sober weekend


First of all, some of you may be saying to yourself, "wait, did I link up to the wrong site? I thought I was on The Heathernet...?" Well, yes friends, despite the initial shock, the implausible title of this blog, is in fact, fact. Heather spent the entire week, including the 3-day weekend, in complete and total sobriety.

Here are some things I learned from this sober weekend that I hope will serve me in weekends to come, when drinking may well work its way back into my repertoire:

- Weekends are not as short as I once presumed! In fact, this weekend seemed to last an incredibly long time. Granted, it was a 3-day weekend, but I remember this sensation of extra time striking me as early as Saturday! Not only did I pop into the office for a few hours over the weekend, but I also managed to get a haircut, attend a friend's birthday party (in the valley, no less!), go out to breakfast, read a script, meet up with an old friend for sushi, go grocery shopping, cook myself lunch, and write this very blog! Laundry is next! Overall productivity is up, seemingly a byproduct of this unfamiliar non-hungover state...

- Karaoke, which I remember as being fairly ridiculous while drunk, is still ridiculous while sober. I may have to make a note not to attend future karaoke functions while not under the influence of some type of drug or alcohol.

- Peer pressure still runs rampant. Drinkers like to be in the company of other drinkers, not bland "designated drivers" such as myself, guzzling water while the "cool kids" are downing shots and wearing other people's underwear on their heads. I understand that some people are more easily influenced by their peers than others, so I have developed this clever comeback to quickly diffuse an awkward peer pressure situation. Please feel free to take your own liberties when adapting the following quote to your own, personal situation.
"You know what, guys?? I'm "cool" without drinking/using pot/smoking crack, I am still a fun and exciting/interesting/studious person, and if you can't see all that I have to offer just because I don't have a beer/blunt/crack pipe in my hand, then you can find yourself a new friend."
Problem solved!

- Sparkling water is still less expensive than vodka tonics at most LA bars. Pour into a glass and add a lime and its like you have a fancy cocktail! Only you will be the wiser ;)

So my experiment as a teetotaler has been an unmitigated success! I would like to take this opportunity to thank my many supporters who made this sober week/weekend possible, and also to those who gallantly agreed to help take care of me when I end the experiment this weekend, at my birthday party.