We move like cagey tigers.

Last night we came as close as we’ve ever come to cuddling.  I slept on my stomach, and he slept curled up in a ball on the backs of my knees.

Yes, it’s blog-worthy.

Cleanup in aisle 1995.

Last spring I wrote a somewhat confessional post about a really stupid yet angsty daydream that I had invented as a preteen.  I feel compelled to share another equally ridiculous fantasy that I just remembered (I was a really strange kid, I guess.)  I’m stranded in a grocery store.  Stranded is too mild – I’m held there against my will.  I don’t know who, or how, or why the heck this is taking place, I mean, I guess I couldn’t be bothered to imagine those particulars.  All I know is that I’m stuck in the grocery store after hours and I can’t leave.  And I’m not alone.  I’m not stuck there with the cute boy in class, that might have made some sense.  Usually I’m there with whoever my current hero is.  I distinctly remember this daydream playing out during my No Doubt Tragic Kingdom phase (Beck, you remember it!) and I was trapped in this grocery store with Gwen Stefani.  And of course there was a healthy helping of angst, served up on a cold deli platter.  “Why can’t we just leave??” I would half scream to an equally befuddled Gwen Stefani.  In a fit of what can only be described as pure adolescent torment I grab a can of spaghetti sauce off of the shelf and hurl it at the tile floor.  It shatters, of course, and the floor is covered in broken glass and cold tomato sauce.  I crumple into a ball and cry, and Gwen does what she can to console me.  Seriously.  What the heck was wrong with me?  The really strange thing is that I was pretty popular in middle school.  Middle school was actually the climax of my popularity, believe it or not.  Probably because people could not see what kind of uninspired culinary ska-pop melodrama was teeming inside my head.  I had normal preteen daydreams as, well, I swear!  I just can’t remember those.  For those of you who knew me back then, thanks for being my friend.  If my mom paid you, don’t tell me, I’d prefer to live in ignorant bliss.

Now, for those of you who are Wiederhoeft historians, you’ll be pleased to know that I have finally imported my old Blogger blog here, and I’m thinking about importing even older blogs, like Pacific For Now and Reign Blue Feign Blue (my now-offline California blogs) and maybe even the blog that started it all, the Xanga.  Of course none of us will ever read the blog that was tragically deleted that one fateful summer day (I still curse thee, Blogger!) but 5 out of 6 isn’t bad.

A compromise compromised.

Earlier this month I took on a challenge which was a self-designed compromise from the more daunting, national challenge of National Novel Writing Month.  I knew I couldn’t complete a 50,000 word novel this November, but declared I would, instead, complete two chapters of my graphic novel (which I now speak of rather freely… hm, go figure.  So much for self-propelling mystery!) Well, to put it bluntly, I was crazy.  There is no way I’ll have two chapters done by the 30th.  This story has been unfolding just fine at its own lazy pace and I would only screw that up by forcing myself to write words and draw pictures that aren’t coming of their own volition, when they have been doing so quite nicely prior to this.  Yes, it’s an excuse, but those are allowed on occasion.  I will hereby compromise my challenge and say that I would like to complete ONE chapter this month.  Just one.  It’s a compromised compromise, but it’s still a challenge.

All right, now that business is out of the way, I have a few other things.  First of all, don’t take this as sounding ungrateful, but I am really creeped out by how low gas prices are getting.  I drove past a station that advertised $1.85 a gallon today, which means that other places in the country are probably getting down near a dollar.  Yes, it’s great, it’s cheap, we can all dust off our hummers again, but it’s still freaky.  I feel like I’m living back in the late 90s.  And who the heck likes the 90s?? (Okay, Alex, I know you do.)

Next, I had another dream about my late cat Pepper again last night.  This one was a different kind of sad, though, because of how realistic it was.  Usually when I dream about her (which is often) she has somehow been resurrected, enjoys full health, and seems perfectly unaware that she was ever dead, to both her and my delight.  But last night she was weak, small, and frail, just like she was in real life before she died.  In my dream she barely had the strength to jump up onto the bed, so I picked her up and she crawled under the blankets where we cuddled.  Just like real life.  I feel like I write about these Pepper dreams every time they happen (which is often) but I did a search to link to some past ones and couldn’t find any.  Maybe that is a good idea for a blog-reader-challenge.  Locate the Pepper Dream Posts!  Whoever finds any wins… a photograph of Pepper.

I had a few other things to say but I think I’ll save them up for days when I have nothing.  Which, you’ve come to know, is most of the time.

Clever AND lazy.

This was last month’s. I don’t think I can continue to get away with not drawing my characters. Who the heck invented deadlines, anyway??  (Probably have to click this little guy to read it…)


But for you who fear my name.

Sometimes I hear people who have recently met the love of their life say things like, “I wasn’t even looking for love, it just happened.” Or maybe something like, “I couldn’t have imagined anything so perfect,” or even, “All my life has been building toward this moment!” I’m about to tell you that I’ve become one of those people, but before you get too excited about some new romance I should quickly make the point that I’m referring to an album, not a person. I had never heard of The Welcome Wagon, nor their debut album Welcome to the Welcome Wagon. This music came into my life when I wasn’t looking for it, certainly wasn’t expecting it, but here, I’ll say it: I couldn’t have imagined anything so perfect. I’ll let you read the official website for a far better description than I could come up with. I know I’m being dramatic, but I feel like I’ve just been connected with something I was meant to hear and love and cherish for all times. Who needs romance when a record like that exists?

Download Sold! To the Nice Rich Man

Number anxiety.

I forget to pay my bills, sometimes. Or I forget to pay rent by the 1st of the month. I forget to take the garbage out on Monday night so that it will be picked up on Tuesday morning. That’s something I do really well, forgetting. So I can’t help but be a little impressed with myself for remembering that tonight is the night that Winter Parking rules come into effect in Madison. Tonight I remembered to move my car to the other side of the road, and avoided a $20 ticket! If I ignored the annoyance of having to go out in the cold to perform a single three point turn, it was kind of cute to see all of the other cars who had obediently lined up on the EVEN side of the road, as if the teacher had just announced a fire drill. Because tonight is the 15th, which means tomorrow morning at 1am it will be the 16th, an even number, thus we must park on the even side of the road.  Tomorrow, on the 16th, we’ll have to park on the ODD side of the road because 1am on Monday will be the 17th, an odd number. Get it?  It’s not even truly alternate parking, if you figure in the months that go from the 31st to the 1st (two nights in a row on the odd side of the street!)  Clearly it is a plan that has been designed to create revenue from parking tickets, not keep the streets plowed, because if I remember right from last winter the streets were rarely cleared in a timely or effective manor.  Ahh, winter, it begins.

Evens and odds… I’m not talking about parking rules anymore when I say that I tend to prefer even numbers.  I like 3 and 5 for odd numbers, and actually 7 is all right as well (consequently I’m not so fond of the evens 2, 4, and 6) but after 7 I’m all about the evens.  If someone gives me a mix CD that has 19 tracks I question if they really care about me.  Mix CDs MUST have an even number of tracks, 18 or 20 are the most common, but mixes with 16 tracks have a special quality to them.  I’d rather have a mix with 12 tracks than 19, even if it means sacrificing 5 great songs.  Odd numbers (after 7) give me panic attacks.  Full length albums with 11 tracks bug me the most (Jenny Lewis’s Acid Tongue is the most recent offender in my collection).  Albums with 15 tracks are okay, but usually too long.

I stay home on Saturday nights and write about parking and numbers.  This is a step up from watching the Night Rider remake, which I was doing earlier.  Anyway, it’s 9:09 which reminds me of California (SoCal, you get the reference, right?) and I’m graduating to an offline activity.  Happy Saturday!

Pink Polymer Weekend.

I had the urge just now, just before coming to the desk to write this, to lose myself in deep thoughts. I was lying on the couch on my side; my face was pressed against a lumpy square pillow such that one eye was forced shut and my remaining vision was monocular. I could hear guns blaring from a video game in the next room, I could taste the memory of Taco Bell with which I had “rewarded” myself after staying late at work on a Friday night. Amid such banalities what turned my head in such a direction as to wish deep thoughts upon my already over-taxed brain?

It was our TV that is sitting on the floor – that pathetic white little TV with the built in VCR. It’s still the only way that we can play movies, but we refuse to give it the place of honor, the seat atop the black stand where our larger but movieless TV sits. Our little Panasonic, sitting there on the floor. When I was lying there on the couch, my one eye obstructed, I was positioned at just about the perfect viewing level for this little TV. It was turned off, that is, it issued forth no pictures or sound. Instead I stared at the place where our cheap plastic TV meets the cheap, plastic carpeting. Something about that line made all of life feel heavy. What does it all mean? The thought flashed briefly in my mind and I wanted to want to ponder it. I wanted to get lost in thoughts so abstract that I could write about them someday. But instead I got up from the couch and came here to write about wanting that.

The wanting can be enough. Get off of the couch. Polymer weekend, begin.

Grown up thumbs and hot gums.

You would be proud of me. I did it. I ate sushi. Of course it was the vegetarian kind (yeah right, like I would ever put raw fish in my mouth!) It comes as part of a series of growing-up moments for me, or maybe I should call them horizon-expanding moments. Earlier in the day I learned about CSS code, enough that my head was exhausted by the late afternoon. Every 26 days or so I wear makeup. I sometimes get a radical hair cut. I have set a schedule to water my houseplants. I regularly exercise willpower to prevent myself from getting a kitten. I drink coffee now. Sometimes. The other day I thought I had a gray hair but I was mistaken. It will come, though. It will come.

sushi face

sushi face

Also, I have to confess something. Remember my bedroom, and how I love that it’s the hottest room in the house? Well, sometimes it is actually too hot. Sometimes I think it might be near 100 degrees. I wake up sweating, the covers long since cast to the floor. I wake up and touch my dry tongue to my dry lips and think, “Am I awake or dreaming this?” Sometimes I hear men yelling violently from outside my window, and my coworkers suggested that possibly this is really only a feverish delusion caused by the heat. In the morning when I open my bedroom door I’m met with a burst of cool air like the kind in those gum commercials. My entire life is a gum commercial. A hot one.

Correcting consumerism.

It began innocently enough.  Shawn was playing an instructional DVD which was teaching about light and color in digital art.  I made the comment that I would like to learn how to use Corel Painter, and my mom said, “Well, Christmas is coming.  Maybe you would like that program for a gift?”  We already have Painter, so I began to think what else I might like for a gift.  An ipod?  Computer accessories?  New clothes?  My mind settled for a moment on one thing, and I announced, “I think for Christmas I would like a digital video camera.”  Because it would be fun, to have one of those and make silly movies and capture the memories and what not.  But is it something I need?  Not at all.  It’s something that would be outdated in a year and I would be unhappy with it and want the newest model.  Don’t believe me?  I have a video camera.  It’s sitting on the top shelf of my closet because it’s not cool enough, it’s not digital, it’s not new.  I have an old ipod and heaps of last season’s clothes and stacks of books that I’ll never read, music I never listen to, and computer gadgets I never use, and I’m sitting here thinking of what I want next?  As if I need anymore stuff?

My good friend Rachel posted some great videos on her blog that kind of snapped me back out of my consumerist trance.  She posted the first three but you should watch the entire series.  They are informative and convicting.

My church has been talking about this thing called Advent Conspiracy, substituting compassion for consumerism.  Even if you’re not a Christian it’s worth a look:


My cat PJ was born dead, but he survived.  A few years later some vigilante redneck neighbor shot him in the head, for trespassing.  The pellet went in through his ear and split into two pieces, which remain there to this day.  PJ, once again, survived.  There may be some truth to this nine-lives mythology.  He is now 18 years old.  He is arthritic, and his kidneys are failing, and he has shrunk down to a fraction of his weight in healthier days, but he is surviving.  Every time I come home, PJ makes the effort to hobble downstairs for some petting.  Yesterday he followed me around for the better part of the day.  I bent down and gave him a good scratching behind the ear and said, “PJ, you have a strong will to live.”  It’s strange how animals have this while humans, sometimes, do not.  If survival is the name of the game, it wasn’t very Darwinian of us humans to evolve a self-destruct button.  PJ could teach us a thing or two.  Meanwhile, animal euthanasia, while humane, is still incredibly sad.   For PJ in particular it would seem like an insult, after he’s made it this long.  I need my pets to live forever.

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    Breena Wiederhoeft
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