Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Red-Headed Stranger

A couple of posts ago I wrote about the best birthday gift ever, a surprise trip to KC to visit some important people in my life that I just don't see often enough. Well, that wasn't all I got. J also bought tickets to Willie Nelson's concert at Riverport (UMB Bank Pavilion - whatever) for tonight. They were awesome seats - smack dab in the middle right behind the private boxes. So I was able to put my feet up on the fence and see Willie very well.

He was there with John Fogerty, which (no offense to any Fogerty fans out there) really surprised me that he was sharing the tour with another headliner, and that it was Fogerty. And I was also really surprised that Willie played first. But he did - which was fine, we were there in time to see his entire set. He was just as good as I thought he would be. He played everything I really wanted to hear, "Whiskey River", "Always On My Mind", "Crazy", "Momma, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys", etc. He even sang "Jambalaya"!

But you know what did surprise me? That he's so little. I guess I just didn't realize that Willie's such a short guy. And it was so cool to see Trigger in real life, too. That's the name of his guitar - he plays the same guitar he's had since 1969. He's played it so much that he's worn a hole in the front, but he refuses to get it fixed. And he's asked people that he likes and admires to autograph Trigger - he says he's got over 100 signatures on it - including those of Leon Russell, Roger Miller, Kris Kristofferson (love him!), Gene Autry, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, lawyers, football coaches and other friends and associates. Willie loves that guitar so much that during his IRS troubles back in the 80s he hid Trigger at his managers house for safe-keeping.

Something else I learned about Willie tonight - he's hoping to open an ethanol refinery here in Missouri.

He sang a couple of new songs, both of which I thought were really funny and totally enjoyed; "I'm No Superman" and "You Don't Think I'm Funny Anymore". The first line of "I'm No Superman": Too many pain pills, too much pot; tryin' to be something that I'm not; I ain't Superman. Enough said!

Monday, August 21, 2006

A Few of Heather's Favorite Things

Twice a year, Oprah does her "Favorite Things" show - I love those episodes. And I love it when people tell me about things they've discovered and fallen in love with lately. So now it's my turn...

Aquatanica Spa Sea Moisture Gel SoufflĂ© (the green jar in the center of the group picture of this line of products) - Holy cow, I love this stuff. It’s from Bath and Body Works brand new line, Aquatanica Spa. It soaks in right away and doesn’t leave your hands sticky or wet. And it’s got to be the silkiest moisturizer I have ever used. The scent is awesome. Generally, I prefer fruity scents – but this is a very refreshing, clean scent. Hard to describe, but I really like it. My friend, Michelle, introduced me to it – thanks Michelle, I need more crap to spend my money on.

Partylight Chiminea – I liked this candle holder so much that I had to buy two. And I bought Wasabi Ginger tealights to burn in my chimineas outside. They’re so cute!

AND I bought a candle-holder that looks like a mini Weber grill and holds three votives – OR it can three condiments at your next barbecue. And then of course I had to buy a bunch of other cool new votives to burn in them. So I bought way too many - but most of them are also citronella candles. Very cool - not girlie at all and they’re awesome for use outside. This one is all Michelle’s fault as well. Isn’t she an awful friend?

Mr. & Mrs. Smith - Good movie, just TiVo’ed it and watched it last night. It’s kind of weird, though, to see Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Vince Vaughn all in a movie together. Even though I think Brad’s a big asshole for leaving Jennifer for Angelina, which he obviously did, I loved this movie. It’s really slick, though and I really enjoyed it. And I’m sure that has nothing to do with the fact that I’m at that part of my cycle where I just want to walk around punching people for no good reason. I just really wanna punch people. So, yeah, there’s lots of punching in this movie.

Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer in Raisin (and Rhubarb) - Discovered this while in the checkout line at Border's a couple of weeks ago. It's their usual lip balm, of which I was already a fan, with color included now. It still tingles when you put it on, it has that nice minty scent - but it also has a nice deep rich color as well. It has completely eliminated the need for all those lip balms I had to use to undo the drying effects of lipstick. I still love my lipsticks and glosses, but I wear this for general everyday use and it repairs my lips and still looks great! It comes in a bunch of colors (Cocoa, Guava, Papaya, Toffee, Champagne, Coffee, Merlot, Nutmeg, Watermelon), but I personally like Raisin and Rhubarb the best. And didn't that list of colors just make you kind of hungry?

Cubist Martini Set - This was a birthday gift from Mary Beth and Mike (but let's be honest, it's from MB) - and I love this. For those of you who really know me, you know how I take my martinis - dirty vodka martini, straight up, with extra olives (preferably hand stuffed blue cheese olives). And I also love a good espresso martini made with Starbuck's liquor. But the bad thing about mixing up a martini is that is gets warm if you don't drink it quickly - and warm vodka is not yummy. But if you drink it quickly, then you need another and another and then you're too drunk and nobody wants a too drunk Heather to deal with! But these martini glasses are the perfect solution - it keeps your drink nice and cold, so you can take your time and really enjoy your drink. Without ending up on top of the pool table singing about pretty pretty pain caves.

Okay - that's enough for now. Enjoy.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Best Birthday Gift Ever!

I am so lucky! My 35th birthday was Thursday, and I got the Best. Gift. Ever. from my husband. Usually I get jewelry (I’m not complaining – I love his taste in jewelry), so that’s really what I was expecting. He’s just not that big on surprises – the kind of thing that takes a lot of time and effort just isn’t up his alley, even though I lovelovelove surprises.

So he asked me about two months ago if I had anything in mind that I wanted to do for my birthday. (We’ve gone to Hermann with some friends for the last few years, and I always plan it – so he was checking to make sure I hadn’t already made any plans.) I told him I didn’t and he asked if I wanted him to take care of it this year. My immediate answer was YES before he even got the whole sentence out – that’s exactly what I wanted. And then nothing. He never said another word about it. So a week or so before my bday I asked him what we were doing for my birthday. “What do you want to do?” he asked. “You didn’t make any plans?” I answered. “Well, what do you want to do?” So I figured he forgot, and there were no plans for my birthday. I was disappointed, but it wasn’t worth starting a big fight over – and I figured it was my own fault for getting my hopes up anyway. Should have known better.

So he wished me a happy birthday Thursday morning before he left for work. No gift. He got home and hopped in the shower and we rushed off to meet my parents for dinner. No gift. We finished dinner, and I opened my gift from my parents. Still no gift. I am not a patient woman. Finally I said, “Isn’t there something you want to give me?” He knew he was totally torturing me. “Nope, you’ll have to wait.” Butthead.

So we get home from dinner, I let the dog out, take off my shoes and plop down on the couch.

Still. No. Gift.

Someone pulls up in front of the house. It’s my parents. Must have left something in their car, or they forgot to give me something. I let them in the house, a little mystified, and Jeremy hands them the dog’s leash. Lightbulb moment! They’re taking the dog! They’re going to dogsit! That means we’re going somewhere! Immediately I’m all over the three of them. “Why are you taking the dog? Are we going somewhere? Where are we going? How should I pack? Are we flying or driving? What are we doing?”

Laughter – but no answers. Jeremy just tells me that I’ll have to wait and see, but I need to be packed and ready to go when he gets home from work the next day. “Do I need a swimming suit? Do I need anything dressy? Should I take sunscreen or a jacket? Are we going alone? Are we meeting anybody there? How long will we be gone?” No answers.

I was in suspense all day Friday, but I loved it. Surprises rock!

So he finally gets home on Friday and tells me that Mike and Mary Beth will be picking us up shortly. Of course, I’m completely packed, my bag is sitting on the porch and I’m ready to leave immediately. When they pull up in front of the house I meet them at the door with my purse. “You don’t need to come in, let’s go, I’m ready, let’s go. Do you know where we’re going? Where are we going?”

We’re on the road – heading west on 70. So I’m thinking Hermann, this is what we usually do, so he knows I love Hermann so he probably got us a really nice B&B this time and it’s going to be better than ever.

We get off on Wentzville Parkway. WTF? “Um, guys – I really don’t want to go to Wentzville for my birthday.” Okay, we’re not staying in Wentzville, we’re picking up Jeremy and Michelle. Awesome – good times, this rocks! (Ed note – from here on out Jeremy Broad will be referred to as JeremyJelly and Jeremy Moring will be JeremyJam.)

So back on 70 West. We pass Hermann and I think okay, we’re passing Hermann – bet we’re going to the lake. That’ll be fun! Then we pass the exit that would take us to the lake. Okay… no lake. We better not be going to Columbia. I don’t want to go to Columbia for my birthday. Once we passed Columbia I was out of ideas. I decided we better be going to Kansas City, because there was nothing west of KC that I wanted to go to in a car! We get to KC, and JeremyJam gets out directions and starts directing JeremyJelly (who’s driving) and JeremyJelly gets on the phone with someone to tell them we’ll be there soon. So at least then I finally knew we were going.

He’d made reservations at the Intercontinental Kansas City at the Plaza! We had an amazing view of Brush Creek and the Plaza from our cute little balcony! He’d arranged for us to meet my little sister (Nicole) and her fiancĂ© (Jeremy – from here on out referred to as JeremyAlso) Friday night for drinks. It was so wonderful to see Nicole and to finally meet JeremyAlso. We talked about their wedding plans and gossiped about family stuff. Turns out JeremyAlso is a very nice guy in spite of being a Cubs and Bears fan. I may one day forgive him for that, but it’s still under consideration. I drank too many gin and tonics and couldn’t stop giggling about how happy I was. I also probably did and said a bunch of stupid stuff, but I was drunk and happy – what do you expect?

This is my younger sister, Nicole, and I - a really bad, moon-faced picture of me, I've obviously had a couple of drinks here already, but I never noticed until I saw this picture that we have the same smile.

Saturday I spent some time walking around the Plaza and doing a little shopping while everybody else napped the day away – but it was hot and I was sweating, so that only lasted a couple of hours. That night we went to dinner and there were two extra seats at the table. But I knew he wouldn’t bring me to KC without seeing Kim and Jeff. (Kim’s my best friend from college and we try to see one another more than once a year – but once a year is usually all we can manage.) Kim and Jeff started dating our junior year in college, so I’ve known Jeff almost as long as I’ve known Kimmie. So we had a great meal, and Kim and I spent some time catching up and telling the same old stories we tell on each other every time we get together. Although I think there was a new one that came to light this time…

This is me in between Jeff and Kim.

We got home late yesterday afternoon and I was glad to finally be home after the long drive, but I’m still pretty bouncy about my weekend. It means so much to me that he put that much effort into my gift. He really thought about what would make me happy, and what would really surprise me; he had to break into my email to get to my address book to get Kim and Nicole’s email addresses and phone numbers; he contacted them both to arrange the meetings; he invited MB, Mike, JeremyJam and Michelle; he made the reservations; he arranged for my parents to dogsit; and he had to keep his mouth shut while I moped around thinking we weren’t doing anything for the weekend. I can’t believe so many people knew about this and not one person slipped – not a single hint. I was caught totally off guard – and I LOVED it.

I am a very lucky woman. And I love my JeremyJelly very much.

Monday, August 07, 2006


I've received a lot of feedback to this blog via email - thank you everybody. Feel free to post comments on here as well. Just click where it says "COMMENTS" at the bottom of a post. Or not, up to you - I don't care, if you don't want anyone else to read what you have to say, you can still just email it to me. Also, some people have asked me to email them when I create a new post. So I'm just going to create a distribution list of people who want me to update them when I post. So email me at home (hguyott@cablemo.net) and I'll put you on the list.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Mel Gibson, anti-Semite

Fair warning – you’re not all going to like this.

I waited a little while to make up my mind about this, but I’m going to have to agree with Barbara Walters when she said, “I don’t think I want to see any more Mel Gibson movies.” I’m saddened and disappointed by his actions and just can’t imagine supporting him in any way after what he’s said. I won’t be watching any more of his movies – either at the theatre or on DVD or even on television.

I’m of the mind that you speak with your actions and with every dollar you spend. I used to be a huge NBA fan, and after the players strike in the summer of 1998 I was so disgusted by both the players and the owners that I decided to stop supporting the NBA. I haven’t spent a single penny on anything related to the NBA in nine years and I probably never will again. No hats, no t-shirts, nothing else – I don’t even watch the games on television anymore. Those of you living in St Louis might wonder where’s the big sacrifice in that – St Louis doesn’t even have an NBA team, nobody in St Louis cares about the NBA. That may be true, but as I was growing up basketball was the center of life. In high school, basketball was the only sport that mattered. And we were good. We went to the State Championship regularly – both boys and girls teams. My family is from Kentucky – and that means I’m a Wildcats basketball fan. So of course, I was also a big NBA fan – specifically a Bulls fan. So it was a sacrifice for me. There have been other things in the past (I won’t go into detail with all of them) that I’ve decided not to support – once I found out where the money really goes to in the end.

So let’s get back to Mel Gibson. I really liked him. What woman of my generation didn’t? The Lethal Weapon movies, Tequila Sunrise, Bird on a Wire, Braveheart, What Women Want. An attractive movie star who has been married to the same woman for over twenty-five years and has seven children with her – no philandering or other scandals; that sounds like a good strong man. A person you can really admire and feel good about going to their movies and enjoying yourself.

Then he released The Passion of the Christ and I didn’t get a chance to see it in the theatre. I certainly heard a lot about it – both pro and con. J and I both wanted to see it, but didn’t want to spend the money to see it in the theatre. I heard a lot of commentary claiming that the movie was anti-Semitic, but nobody that I personally knew (that actually saw it and discussed it with me) thought it was. I heard about his father and his extremist views – the most commonly reported being his assertion that the Holocaust never happened. But we’ve all got family members who believe things we certainly don’t believe – trust me, I can give you a very long list of relatives whose beliefs disgust me. So I didn’t white-wash Gibson with the sins of his father.

However, after hearing of his anti-Semitic tirade while being charged with a DUI last week, I believe it now. Mel Gibson is a bigot. And there’s no excusing it. He was drunk. I get that. Shockingly enough, I’ve been drunk myself. A lot. And I’ve done and said a lot of stupid things while drunk, I’ve made an ass of myself, I’ve fallen and hurt myself, I’ve spent time with people I probably wouldn’t have chosen to spend time with had I been sober. But do you know what I’ve never done while drunk? I’ve never once gone off on a tirade of bigotry. I’ve never said awful things about a portion of the human race based on their heritage, race, skin color, sexual preference or religious beliefs. Why? Because that’s not the way I feel – I’ve never felt that way, I’ve never even considered saying such things because it’s the furthest thing from my mind. Drunk or sober – words such as those that came out of Mel Gibson’s mouth would never come out of the mouth of a person who didn’t actually believe it. I’m sorry, but I do believe that the old adage rings true here, a drunk man’s words are a sober man’s thoughts.

I’ve read his statements to the press, carefully crafted and released by his publicist. I see that he’s extremely remorseful and full of regret – but to me, he regrets that he’s wrecked his career, that he got caught being the hypocrite he has so vehemently denied being for so many years. He regrets saying what he did, when he said and to whom he said it – but I do think he meant it. Here is Gibson’s second statement to the press:

Mel Gibson’s statement, released to the news media early Tuesday, five days after his drunken driving arrest in Malibu:

There is no excuse, nor should there be any tolerance, for anyone who thinks or expresses any kind of anti-Semitic remark. I want to apologize specifically to everyone in the Jewish community for the vitriolic and harmful words that I said to a law enforcement officer the night I was arrested on a DUI charge.

I am a public person, and when I say something, either articulated and thought out, or blurted out in a moment of insanity, my words carry weight in the public arena. As a result, I must assume personal responsibility for my words and apologize directly to those who have been hurt and offended by those words.

The tenets of what I profess to believe necessitate that I exercise charity and tolerance as a way of life. Every human being is God’s child, and if I wish to honor my God I have to honor his children. But please know from my heart that I am not an anti-Semite. I am not a bigot. Hatred of any kind goes against my faith.

I’m not just asking for forgiveness. I would like to take it one step further, and meet with leaders in the Jewish community, with whom I can have a one on one discussion to discern the appropriate path for healing.

I have begun an ongoing program of recovery and what I am now realizing is that I cannot do it alone. I am in the process of understanding where those vicious words came from during that drunken display, and I am asking the Jewish community, whom I have personally offended, to help me on my journey through recovery. Again, I am reaching out to the Jewish community for its help. I know there will be many in that community who will want nothing to do with me, and that would be understandable. But I pray that that door is not forever closed.

This is not about a film. Nor is it about artistic license. This is about real life and recognizing the consequences hurtful words can have. Its about existing in harmony in a world that seems to have gone mad.

Some of this I believe, and some of it – not so much. The bottom line is that no matter how heart-felt and sincere his apology sounds, there’s no way to know whether or not it’s all true. We cannot read his mind, we can’t look into his heart and know how he truly feels. We can only go by what he tells us. And to me – what he tells us while drunkenly berating a Jewish police officer during a DUI speaks more to his true thoughts and feelings than a statement released through his publicist aimed at damage control.

He says in part, that being a bigot is against his religion. In defending himself against being called anti-Semitic he said “hatred of any kind goes against my faith”. True. But so what? That certainly doesn’t mean you aren’t a bigot. Just because it’s against your religion to do or be something – doesn’t mean you aren’t. I’m also a christian, I believe in God and have a strong personal faith. I believe that to lie is a sin, that to covet what isn’t yours is a sin, that many of the things I do are sins – but does that mean I don’t do them, because I believe those things are wrong??? No – it means I do them, even though I know it’s wrong. That I know I shouldn’t, and struggle not to – but it doesn’t mean I don’t do it.

All of that being said, I’m not saying that I’m absolutely right. I hope that I’m not. I hope he isn’t the person I now think he is. I’ll watch, I’ll listen and maybe I’ll be convinced that I’ve misjudged. Because apparently, unlike Mel Gibson, I have an open mind.