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Long Time, No Guilt Trip

Remember that time I didn’t blog for awhile and then I just started a new blog without any explanations? Me too!

I firmly believe people are both the best and the worst thing about life. Out of nowhere a person can make your day by holding the door open for you, buying you a handful of diamonds just because, or giving you a compliment on how good you’re looking lately. But people can also make you wish you lived in the middle of the forest alone. Completely alone without any axe-wielding killers or neighbors reporting you for watering your lawn during a drought like there’s a reward on the line for them or any animals at all, even birds because it’s all fun and games until a bird is flying all over your house shitting on your quaint straw bed and in your cauldron full of stew or macaroni and cheese depending on what your electricity situation is out in BFE.

Here are just a few of the annoying things people do that should result in their being voted off the island of earth:

1. Being really emphatic about defending pit bulls. Like it’s their job to prove pit bulls are more cuddly than Care Bears. I’m sure there are some really nice, gentle pit bulls. But there are also some nice murderers. Like that well-educated, elderly fellow from Silence of the Lambs.

pitbullstare

Pit Bull Stare

2. The people at Websters who legitimize retarded words by putting them in the dictionary. Like romantical. This is the real reason shit is going to hell in a cheaply woven hand basket. If they put bae in there I am going to move to Canada or maybe just threaten to move there like all those sometime patriots on Facebook after anything newsworthy and political happens. Bye, Felicia!

3. Speaking of Facebook, what is up with those people who post only half a miserable thought like “people sure know how to ruin a good day”? If you’re gonna start to say something, let your balls drop all the way and explain what was done to you. The venting will be cathartic for your soul to say nothing of what the information will do to my amusement meter. Otherwise, stop treading on my big, polluted island.

My Amusement Meter Goes to 11

My Amusement Meter Goes to 11

4. The person who invented iced tea. Can it just go away? It is less a low-cost, semi-healthy beverage and more like a glass of strained dirt mixed with the sink water after I do dishes. What’s that old expression- when life gives you a yard full of dirt and some ice cubes, make iced tea? Yeah, didn’t think so- lemonade is superior in every way.

5. Fools that go to the drive thru in a fast food place and have to open their doors to order. Maybe, just maybe your discretionary cash should go toward a more practical application.

milania

6. People who take small talk a little too far until just can’t hold my fake smile anymore. Especially at work when I have nowhere to be and can’t get away and it’s literally my job to be nice to you. Don’t make me use my cell phone and make a fake call to my work phone.

whoopie

7. That neighbor I have who is all about that bass that rattles every window in my house, my soul and my teeth. And not at all about common courtesy or noise ordinances or having a face free of terrifying tattoos.

8. Anyone who refers to wearing a certain color lipstick as “having a red/pink/fat lip,” anyone who thinks “you got this” is the ultimate in motivating speeches, anyone who relishes telling someone else they’re “naughty” or “trouble” and anyone who means “I enjoyed that” but instead says “that didn’t suck.”

9. Older people who use expressions the kids use especially when said expressions have been over for a decadeish. My dad used to relish calling himself the “mac daddy” in front of large groups of my friends. That was the worst offense I had seen until I happened upon a commercial for Real Housewives of New York City and saw this:

getoff

Imagine how many middle aged women are now saying this and how many 30ish black guys are looking at them thinking, “don’t flatter yourself, bae.”

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Five Truths and a Lie or The Art of Compliment Deflection

I have started writing this blog four times now because I almost have too much to say and it’s all trying to come out at once, like when I was a kid and I’d shake up a can of soda and hand it to some unsuspecting small child or senior citizen. Bonus points if it was Pepsi and they were wearing white. Unfortunately I never did that but even thinking about it is sort of satisfying, not gonna lie.

A lot has happened in my life lately. I went to Hawaii and got engaged, I got a new job, I met a really cool lady who does scary accurate tarot card readings, I watched the movie Wild and alternated between sort of bored, really deeply moved and extremely convinced Reese was about to get raped. Maybe I’m hyper paranoid but I truly felt like it was the goal of the director to constantly make it seem like Reese was about to get put in a pretzel and left for dead in the middle of nowhere. That’s why I don’t go on hikes that last hundreds of miles. Because of an elevated risk for rape and also because I just could not rip my own toenail off. If I had a list of things I could not do the toenail ripping off would be on there right along with growing my armpit hair out or drinking tea. In related news (because Laura Dern was Reese’s mom in Wild) I only recently found out that Laura Dern was Bruce Dern’s daughter. It never even occurred to me that they would be related and then I saw them together on the red carpet and thought for the first time about their shared last name and was sort of grossed out for a second thinking they were married.

That’s how things are with me. Really big, quasi important things happen to me but I get fixated on a two hour movie and think about it too much. Earlier this week I was helping my fiance by answering phones for his business when I got a call from someone wanting a large quantity of sod for the next day. Here’s how it went:
Him: Hi I was wondering if I could get some sod.
Me: Sure. How many square feet did you need and what city are you in?
Him: 5700 and San Jose.
Me: Okay and when did you need it?
Him: Tomorrow.
Me: Unfortunately sir we are full for tomorrow. For that big an order I could get you in next Tuesday.
Him: (long pause followed by a sigh) Are you mad at me?
Me: (laughing) I could never be mad at you.
Him: When’s the last time you got truly pissed?
Me: Gosh, it’s been years.
Him: (pausing) Okay just checking. Thank you for your help.

I have thought about that call many times since because I just can’t fathom how this dude exists in the world, asking random customer service associates questions like that out of the blue. I have to think he’d get hung up on a lot but then maybe make some really strange friends once in awhile too.

Luckily or unluckily something happened to me yesterday to bump that conversation out of the running in things I wonder about. A customer came into my best friend’s store where I was working, a dude who is a regular and a pretty nice, genuine guy.
Him: Hey, how’s it going?
Me: Awesome. We’ve been super busy today (the result of an idea my friend and I had on Thursday afternoon to give away free mini strawberry shortcakes to everyone coming into her store, which I promoted with an email imploring people to “take a cake break.” Turns out people love nothing more than cake except free cake and we had our hands full).
Him: Yeah? Cool.
Me: You should try the flavored water. We infused it with dried fruit.
Him: Okay…Wow, it’s good…You look really pretty today.
Me: Thanks…You look really pretty every day.

I swear to God I said that to a grown ass blue collar man. Partly because I am just sort of hard wired to return compliments with compliments and partly because I am just really strange sometimes. It’s a good thing he’s a guy because if he were a quirky chick he might waste too much time wondering how I exist in the world saying dumb things all the time. Fair enough, sir, fair enough.

Would You Bang a Homeless Guy for a Million Bucks?

I’ve changed a lot over the past day. And I don’t mean that I’m a better person or a worse person or that I’ve done gone and forgotten my roots or any of the ways people usually mean when they say they’ve changed. I mean literally. I’ve worn four outfits today and it’s been a pretty slow day on the changing front. I think my need to change frequently stems at least in part from my having attended Catholic school growing up and being made to wear a pretty dorky, uncomfortable uniform all day. I would bust out of that thing within two minutes of being home in favor of shorts and a tshirt. These days some of my outfit changes are functional, i.e for the gym or when I get home from work but most of the time it’s just because some little thing that worked for me an hour or two earlier just doesn’t anymore. This makes it super fun come laundry time because I feel like you should always err on the side of being clean.

But no matter how much I change, I’m still the same old Amber with the same heart, likes and extreme dislikes. I’ve had a long week of being penned up in my home office churning out pages for a pretty boring federal grant proposal and since I’ve had no outlet for my thoughts they’ve been marinating. So without further adieu I present Things That Make You Go Hmmm, That’s Really Goddamn Annoying:

1. People who buy old police cars and don’t repaint them and then drive behind me on the freeway.
2. This one has gotten waaayyyy less since answering machines went the way of the VCR but people who have creative voicemail messages. Messages with long songs, messages with multiple people talking in unison with all manner of cutesy retarded singsongy shit, messages with jokes that are not funny to anyone without a blue placard hanging from their rearview mirror.
3. The fact that seemingly everyone who got flowers on Valentine’s Day felt the need to post a picture of them on social media.
milania
4. The brand Saucony. Hate the look of their stupid shoes and really hate having no clue how to say the name. So I usually do that thing where you say it either really quickly or really quietly.
5. The GoFundMe trend. Who needs life insurance when your family can just make a plea to complete strangers to fund all manner of burial needs?
kyle
6. When people in front of me turn on their windshield wipers and it seems like it’s raining on just my car but that shitty amount that when you use the wipers they instantly make that aggravating “there’s no water to wipe, bitch” sound.
7. Drive thrus with more than one lane. They bring out the worst in me.
8. Chrissy Teigen’s face. Why couldn’t her features use a little more real estate on her face than just the very center?
chrissyteigen
9. How come on every reality show where people live together since Jersey Shore the people insist on saying they’re a family? You can’t develop the deep and lasting familial bonds woven by years of resentment, aggravation and dysfunction in six weeks, kids.
10. Unnecessary belts and scarves. Why do people insist on wearing belts with tight pants or over dresses they purposely buy too big and almost as bad why do people wear shorts and think a scarf is some logical complement to the outfit?
belt

You Mad(Lib), Bro?

My childhood was during a much different time. We didn’t have cell phones—we kept in touch with illegible notes filled with boxes to be checked, slam books and walkie talkies. We didn’t have organic food—kids ate only Doritos and drank only Pepsi and no one had ADHD (they were just considered little assholes). We didn’t have iPad games but we did have Mad Libs and those? Are super rad and never run out of battery when you’re hiding in the back stall at work for hours.

mario

So today, for your pleasure I bring you a Mad Lib I wrote just for you.

If you’ve ever done a Mad Lib, you can skip the next paragraph:

There is only one rule to follow in Mad Libs: Fill in each of the blank spaces with the appropriate type of word. Each blank notes what kind of word goes there, such as a noun, verb, adjective, etc. Since the content of the Mad Lib itself is adult in nature, I’m just going to pretend no one needs parts of speech broken down for them. If you do, click here for a helpful guide: http://www.thearc.org/who-we-are/history/segal-account

This particular mad lib has an option for you to do it on your own so if you want to do that then just make a list of the corresponding words you choose for the following prompts and then plug them into the body. Have fun!

  1. Adjective
  2. Curse word
  3. Things at a circus
  4. Name of friend/relative
  5. Article of clothing
  6. Adjective
  7. Body part
  8. Adjective
  9. Noun
  10. Verb
  11. Song title
  12. Body part
  13. Adjective
  14. Number above 1
  15. Body part plural
  16. Animal plural
  17. Name of your favorite song
  18. STD
  19. Super power
  20. Farm animal
  21. Verb
  22. Name of 80s sitcom
  23. Sexual favor
  24. Verb

Ma Petite’s Big Adventure

The (ADJECTIVE) day is finally here—it’s your (CURSE WORD+ty/ing if necessary) birthday. Besides the joy of being a year older and considerably more decrepit, today you have big plans. You’re going to the Freak Show, just like in American Horror Story but with 80% less (THINGS AT A CIRCUS).

You wolf down some breakfast, pick up (NAME OF FRIEND/RELATIVE) and hop in the car. Arriving at the Freak Show, you straighten your (ARTICLE OF CLOTHING) and head in. Walking in you can’t believe your (ADJECTIVE) (BODY PART).

Everywhere you look there are freaks. You walk past the (ADJECTIVE) woman, two midgets swallowing (NOUN)s and a Russian who can (VERB) in every position. Locked in a cage is an angry dwarf dancing to (SONG TITLE) while shaking the (BODY PART) it took his mama nine months to make.

You make your way past crowds to the main stage and can’t believe what you see- a (ADJECTIVE) man with (NUMBER ABOVE 1) (BODY PART PLURAL) eating live (ANIMAL PLURAL). You are so shocked that you yell (NAME OF YOUR FAVORITE SONG). You have to get out of here before you go crazy or catch (STD).

Dodging past a man balancing on stilts, a small child with the ability to (SUPER POWER ie Fly, Leap Tall Buildings in a Single Bound) and a pile of shit on the ground from the world’s biggest (FARM ANIMAL) you reach the tent’s exit. “We have to get out of here!” you yell to your companion who (VERB)s to keep up with you.

Finally safe in your car you sigh. “What the hell was all that?” you ask. “I think it’s safe to say that was (NAME OF 80s SITCOM). “Yeah,” you agree. Now whaddya say we go get some birthday (SEXUAL FAVORS) and get this party started.” “Absolutely,” they agree. “I thought you’d never (VERB).”

ahsclown

What’s Wrong With the Old You?

With all the “new year, new me” propaganda we are besieged with this time of year, I am reminded of something I wrote awhile ago that I think we all need to hear every now and then.

It is easy to forget it sometimes so as a reminder: You are not your job. You are not numbers on a scale. You are not defined by a paycheck, a neighborhood, a last name, or a degree. You are about more than your worst day or any days where you lost the battle against sobriety or faith or karma. You get to choose who you are every day. When you can, choose to be happy and choose to help people in need. That is your legacy.

raindance

Hey Centipede, You Wanna Go to the Bar?

Happy New Year! Let’s Enjoy the Time of Year When Drive Thru Lines Are Shortest!!

chickennugs

A friend of mine recently told me about a phenomenon of his creation: the holiday hangover. When the holidays are over but their negative effects linger. Bills, having to readjust your sleep schedule, weight gain, and having to go see that big group of aholes who always let you down again. Not family. The other group: coworkers. Before I let go of vacation completely I’m going to honor it here.

Here is a breakdown of my glorious Christmas break by the numbers: 

People with the flu determined to infect me: 7

Times I got sick: 0. Thank you, Zicam nasal spray. If you believe nothing I say ever again believe this. Zicam is a miracle. It’s like Jesus Christ rolled in Wonder Bread slathered with Nutella.

New recipes prepared: 4 (latkes, macaroni & cheese balls, white clam sauce, pepperonata sauce) 

Pounds Gained: 2. See above.

Average Wakeup Time: 7 am with one very rad 9:30 am

Board Games Played: 3 (Pictionary, electronic taboo, bejeweled) Turns out Bejeweled works best as an electronic game because their algorithms ensure you have at least one match at all times. Not sure in the manual version. I got pretty defensive trying to explain to my boyfriend that it is, in fact, fun when I play it as an app.

Drinking Games Played: 1 (King’s Cup) Drinking the King’s Cup is waaaay less gross when people aren’t pouring beer and tequila up in there. The drink was actually kinda good despite my protests to the contrary.

New Movies Watched: 2 (The Interview, The Gambler with Mark Wahlberg)

New-To-Me Movies Watched: 6 (The Skeleton Twins, Aliens, Blue Jasmine, That Awkward Moment, Nebraska, The Human Centipede, Zathura)

Okay let’s stop here for a second. The Human Centipede is a spectacle to behold. It was weird, it was funny, it was the most nauseating thing I have ever seen and I have seen both Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Two Girls, One Cup. In case you’ve never seen it, here’s the gist: there’s a crazy, anti-social German doctor who earned accolades for separating Siamese twins but all that work got him to wondering a few things. 1) Would joining things together be as fulfilling as separating them and 2) Do those idiots that sit on balance balls at work ever have sore backs?

Because no one will ever know the answer to number two, the good doctor decides to tackle number one. He experiments first with dogs but then he quickly moves on to humans because really, same difference. So just as he starts amassing people to test his theory on, two American porn stars turned tourists show up at his door at night in the pouring rain asking to use the phone. Yeah I know what you’re thinking:

You've arrived on a rather special night. It's one of the master's affairs.

You’ve arrived on a rather special night. It’s one of the master’s affairs.

But unfortunately for them, they were crashing an even freakier party. So the dude is all “come on in” so that he can promptly roofie and subdue them while he goes on out to get another person of compatible size for his project. He comes back with a very petite and yet surly Japanese man who keeps shouting the same thing:

The Japanese possess unbelievable strength when backed into a corner

The Japanese possess unbelievable strength when backed into a corner!!!

But the doc is all whatevs and proceeds to sew them together, butt-to-mouth. He gives the mouthiest chick the middle position, which is essentially just a human tube for feces to flow through and makes the sassy Japanese guy the front for whatever reason. Maybe he likes a challenge. After the centipede is completed, Dr. Feel Good wants his pet to do some really basic tricks for him like fetch and eat so much that you evacuate your bowels into the human mouth sewn to your anus.

hc2

The doctor is pleased but also already looking ahead to how he can grow the size of his pet when he runs into some problems. What, you thought I’d spoil the whole thing for you?

The weird thing is that I really thought the first one was gross but even the description of part two is way way worse. I don’t know if I can handle it. But if I’m able to, y’all are definitely going to be treated to an extremely descriptive review!!

Anyway, where were we….

Invention Ideas: 3

Viable Invention Ideas: 0

Times I Wore My Friends Shoes to the Bar Thinking They Were Mine and That My Feet had Shrunk: 1. Thankfully. In my defense how many people have both giant feet and 4-inch patent leather heels? Two apparently.

Farewell 2014, Christmas Break and all the social media friends I axed in the only kind of cleanse I’m up for after imagining a surly porn star glued to my backside. Here’s to the new year, the old me and to never getting stranded on German backroads.

The Good, The Bad and The Fugly

You know that feeling you get Sunday night when you realize the fun of the weekend is about to come to an end? After a long winter’s break I’m feeling that times about a thousand. I.do.not.want.to.go.back.on.Monday. It’s even harder considering I just started this job in December and worked for just three weeks before getting two and a half weeks off. But because this is the Unentitlement Project, I am trying to push that aside by doing some blessing counting.

Here are some things I’m grateful for:

1. I got everything I wanted for Christmas. And a lot of rad things I didn’t even know I wanted. I have gift cards to places I actually go, a stack of books I’m excited to read, new video games and board games I can’t wait to play and a hammock. A goddamn hammock y’all. The only thing better would be a katana and a world where it’s cool to just lop off the heads of folks you don’t like.

And that's for taking my parking space, bitch.

And that’s for taking my parking space, bitch.

2. Both Shameless and Girls are coming back next week.

3. Those pay-by-the-minute massage chairs. Love them with as much fervor as I hate anyone who just sits in those chairs without using them while people are waiting to use them. Fool, go get yourself a bench.

4. The fact that I don’t have to worry about writing “2014” on my checks because nobody writes checks anymore. Nobody who isn’t in front of me at the grocery store anyway.

5. This picture:

I'd like to pull Marie Rodin up by her bootstraps

I’d like to pull Marie Rodin up by her bootstraps

And here are some things that suck:

1. People all of a sudden saying “I’m feeling some kind of way” about everything. This bugs me as much as “it is what it is” did and even more than people inserting “literally” before literally everything. Because why bother saying you are feeling any way if you refuse to be anything more than completely vague?

2. When channels and satellite providers go to war and your shows become one big banner about how the other side is being so unfair and you wish you weren’t so invested in this bullshit because otherwise you’d show them both what’s up and stop watching but that just ain’t gonna happen so I guess I’ll just watch more ads on AMC/FX/etc

3. When even that egg nog you bought after Christmas is about to expire.