Tuesday, December 20, 2005

like pine sap off a sheet of fly paper

Saying "Happy Holidays" is nice and all, but it's insincere. Not only is it a cop-out designed to include all the holidays this time of year in one easy alliterative phrase, but it's easy to say. I will have none of that. I sincerely want you to have a wonderful whatever-the-fuck-you-celebrate, and I will create a word to showcase that sincerity.

I thought for a full thirty or thirty-five seconds and now I am ready to wish you all a very happy Solstichrismanukwanadan. (Go ahead. Try to dissect it at its seams--this fucker is built solid.)

Rolls off the tongue, doesn't it? Like maple syrup off a cotton ball.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

does amanda seem jittery? yeah, she forgot to floss

"I know exactly how hard it is to quit smoking. It's as hard to quit smoking as it is to start flossing. Mitch, you seem jittery. Yeah man, I'm about to floss."
--Mitch Hedberg (probably not a direct quotation--if you want legitimate research, teach a class)

It will come as no great surprise to you, Loyal Readers, that I inherited a bit of obsessive-compulsiveness from my father. Or at least I think I did. His parents lived through the Great Depression, plus they were crazy, which meant they used to steal ketchup packets from everywhere they went and then squirt them into a jar when they got home. So it's somewhat natural that my father can't throw things away. With the exception of hoarding dental floss, it's all quite organic in the Family Nut Tree. But I'm not sure where my particular psychological oddity comes from, other than perhaps a fear of the dentist.

I take obsessively good care of my teeth. I don't brush them constantly, because that's not good for them either. My usual routine is to begin with a rinse with a normal plaque-breaker-upper. My favorite is Crest Pro-Health, because I can using and not feel like I'm doing a shot really badly. (Corporate sponsor for my blog? You know you want to, Crest.) Then I brush my teeth. However, this is where I stop being a normal person. After I brush, I floss. Then I brush again. That first time was just for practice. A warm-up for the toothbrush. Then I end with a two-minute flouride rinse.

Right about now is where you guys wonder if you can continue to read this, or if you can still be my friend, or if you ought to return the necklace and get me a water pick for Christmas. (The answer to all three is "yes.")

But tonight I crossed a line. A line I had seen on the horizon, much like unemployment. But, like unemployment, I was in denial until I found myself hurtling over the line, straining several tendons in the process. Tonight I began by brushing and flossing my teeth in the "real" bathroom upstairs. And then halfway down the stairs to my basement lair, I felt myself being pulled toward the bathroom. I rinsed, brushed, flossed, brushed, and rinsed again. I guess brushing them upstairs was just to dislodge any food I'd saved for later or small animals that had begun nesting behind a bicuspid. (Even my cuspids are bicuspids. Yeah, don't pretend you didn't get that.)

Apparently it's not just starting to floss that can give you the jitters. It's the lack of flossing in the correct bathroom, or the lack of a flouride rinse. By the way, my favorite is Act. Cinnamon flavored. I bet I'd look great holding that in a promo spot. I have influence over literally dozens* of people. Come on, dental industry. It's time to back one of your biggest** consumers. You can pay me in electric toothbrush attachments.



*Probably not true. But like I said, if you want facts, teach a class.
**I have no idea. I suggest you do not look into it. Also, I straight-up lied in the next sentence. Cash or check only.

Friday, December 16, 2005

an open letter to all the people who, over several decades, have decorated our kitchen

Dear Decorators,

Seriously, what the hell. You started out with a nice plaster wall. Then you went with some light yellow paint. Wonderful move. Not far from the shade of yellow we intend to paint those very walls. Then something happened and you suddenly started painting in a horrid mustard color. I believe it was called Harvest Gold.

Not to be outdone, someone else painted half of the walls--only half, and I don't mean they painted two out of four, I mean they painted halfway up from the floor on ALL the walls--a robin's egg blue. Actually, it's more of a Demented Turquoise.

And then someone, god forbid I find out who, decided to wallpaper the kitchen. Leaving, of course, the exposed Demented Turquoise. Did the paint threaten you? You can tell me. I'm not afraid of it. Well, just a little.

But surely your Wallpaper From Hell could have stood up to Demented Turquoise. On any given square foot of that paper, you have what... seven or eight pieces of dancing fruit? It could have taken DT in a fight.

But oh how the mighty have fallen. Our primer may take a few coats, but it's covering the good yellow--the one shining moment in our kitchen's tragic history--the Harvest Gold, and even that sick bastard Demented Turquoise. And the wallpaper is nearly all gone, save for a few dangling strips over the fridge. They wave in the ceiling fan breeze like strands of hair on a row of scalps.

You did your worst. You installed horrible appliances, you put up awful cabinets made from fake wood. You used the ugliest and least ergonomic hardware available. --Did you have to special order it from a Nazi camp? You even gauged holes in the wall and stabbed the plaster. You installed a faulty shelf that periodically tips over, raining all its contents over the kitchen, making us wonder if the place is haunted. You even had a goddamn electric stove. How do you sleep at night?

I am no longer worried. All that is left of you is an awkward border in an unholy shade of blue, a fake tile floor, and those goddamn cabinets.

I will see you and your dancing pears in hell.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

do they have a short version of air force one?

"Wow! Brazil is big." —George W. Bush, after being shown a map of Brazil by Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Brasilia, Brazil, Nov. 6, 2005

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

the box matrix is far from perfect

Despite what you might have heard in the title of my blog, I've been without work for a while now. And I have so much time that I accomplish nothing every day. I've somehow gotten into this summer vacation mindset where I think "Well, I'm back from Target... looks like I'm done for today!"

It's given me time to read. Instead, I watch tv. It's given me time to write. Instead, I do my nails. It's given me time to cook. Well, ok, I do that. I also make my bed, slightly obsessively, every day. I also drink way too much soda for no apparent reason other than I can.

I also get way too involved in the little projects I make for myself that are of absolutely no consequence whatsoever. I made a garland of extra Christmas glass-ball ornaments the other day. I made a pattern that alternated color (of which there were three) and pattern (of which there were two.) A person with other things to do might have just put the ornaments on the string. But no, I planned out and executed the most complicated, well-done, completely unnoticed decoration ever.

I also have almost all of my Christmas shopping done. And because that wasn't irritating enough to people who have shit going on in their lives, I wrapped it all tonight. I had to put one item in a box that came from Urban Outfitters, which has become one of my new favorite stores. I love Urban Outfitters. They have great trendy stuff, and I'm lucky enough to live in a city where only a small percentage of the population is even aware of current fashion trends, so I don't look like a clone of every other twentysomething on the street. Pittsburgh is a place where I can wear the most mass-produced bohemian-styled clothing and still look like an individual. It's both wonderful and terrifying. Suffice to say, I love practically everything in Urban Outfitters.

That said, what the hell cracked-out sadist devised their gift boxes?

If I were a professional box-assembler, this baby would be a piece of cake. However, I am but a mere unemployed poet, and I am not savvy to the ways of the Box Matrix. That dotted line across that little 1/8 inch flap? What the fuck is that? Some sort of reinforcement? What kind of structural integrity does that offer? And the part that's glued down--yeah, I understand that now. But you might have mentioned it before I tried to pull it up. Furthermore, having it glued down like that means that you can flip up one side of the box in a jiffy, but in order to pull the other side into box-like position, you practically have to disassemble what you've already accomplished. And frankly, that was not an option. Also, I don't understand why cursing at the cardboard made it slide into place easier, but it did, and that would be some nice information to have on a little card or insert, or perhaps embossed on the inside of the box. Plus, that way, we'll all know which way to fold the little flaps next time.

After I assembled the box and wrapped the present, fearing that the box would self-destruct at any moment, and that Target gift-wrap would help keep it from falling apart, I stacked it neatly with the others (read: put it on the floor in the dining room) and tried to figure out how to wrap a particularly oddly-shaped gift. I cannot reveal the gift's identity here, as it would give away a friend's Christmas present. So, although I love my friend very much, I shall refer to this particular item as The Motherfucker.

The Motherfucker was a great buy, and my friend is sure to love it. I just hope she doesn't buy her own Motherfucker before I get a chance to give it to her. So I looked for a box, but alas, none were the right size. Then I thought about a bag. There was a fairly large gift bag in the storage closet in the basement, so I went and got it. There was a tag still attached to it that said, for some reason, "To Sasha, From The King." I had no idea that my friend Sasha knew Elvis, but we all have secrets. As I tried to pull the tag off of the bag handle, I discovered a large-ish spider inside the bag. When I recovered from my stroke, I saw that the spider was in fact a spider corpse. But that just meant there was a spider ghost around here somewhere. I mean, if I were a spider that died inside a bag owned by two arachnophobics, I'd probably have some unfinished business. So I decided to dump the spider into the toilet and be rid of it. No way was I going to touch it. I once tried to pick up what I thought was a dead spider with a tissue, and the bastard jumped when I touched it. That was the end of my tissue-disposal method.

So I was still sort of wary of the spider corpse, and I really, really didn't want to touch it. But I soon discovered that it was stuck to the inside of the bag by web, or whatever it's called. After a lot of shaking the bag over the toilet, I concluded that the bastard was decidedly stuck, and I tried to dislodge the web with a piece of trash from the trash can. Unfortunately, I picked up a used toilet paper tube, and when I dislodged the web from the bag, it became stuck on the roll, and the dead (now most assuredly so) spider rolled out the other end and dangled dangerously close to my arm. So I did what anyone would do when confronted with a terrifying dead spider. I dropped the tube into the toilet. I picked it out, and there was spidey, dangling toward me. I dropped it again. I went through this several times before I gave up, plucked the roll out of the toilet (it got completely wet, and it's ridiculous that getting toilet water on my hands doesn't bother me nearly as much as touching a dried-out arachnid) and tossed it in the trash. Still afraid of the prospect of some sort of Resurrection Spider, I tied the bag as tightly as I could and threw it away. Far, far away.

And after all that, The Motherfucker didn't even fit in the bag. So I tied a red ribbon on The Motherfucker, took an Excedrine, and that's that.

Happy holidays, everyone.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

flying gorillas and turkeys by the six-pack

Not that you asked, but today was my birthday. I spent it living on the edge. First I had some Wendy's for lunch, and then I went to renew my driver's license. Hell yeah. It wasn't that bad. I initially went to renew it yesterday, but I was informed that I lacked the camera card. (What's that, you might ask? I have no idea. I was never actually given one. I suspect it was a ruse to determine how serious I was about retaining my legal driving status.)

So I must know... what is it about the DMV that makes old men refer to me by anything BUT my actual name? When I first took the driver's test, I failed it. This was due in large part to me cussing out the tester guy (that and not using my turn signal while parallel parking between two cement barricades in a parking lot). It was his fault. He called me "kiddo" and "honey" and "kitten." Guess which one it was that sent me over the edge? Before I digress further...

The guy I was talking to to get my invisible camera card called me "kiddo." So what if I'm 23? It didn't offend me, but I did think it was odd that I've only been called "kiddo" twice in my life and both times were at the DMV. I was just happy not to have to wait in line for six hours. I was in and out in less than fifteen minutes. That has to be some kind of a record, or at least karma making up for the EIGHT HOURS (yes, really) I had to stand in line with my father when I was getting my license. (That, incidentally, was the day after I failed it. Apparently I have to go twice on consecutive days and get called "kiddo" in order to receive anything from the DMV.)

So after my DMV adventure--during which it started to snow!--I went to Sam's Club in Monroeville. Sam's Club annoys me. It's not that I have to play Dodge The Sample People or that they're associated with Wal-Mart or that they sell everything in ridiculously huge sizes. It's not even that every time I go there, the store has been completely rearranged, apparently by a toddler with a forklift. It's that the labels on the aisles make absolutely no sense. An aisle the length of a football field and it's labeled "sunflower seeds." Is that all there is? Ten thousand crates of sunflower seeds? Another aisle labeled "hot sauce." Perhaps "condiments" would be more fitting? We don't have "paper products" here at Sam's, but we do have several hundred tons of napkins. I was wandering the warehouse looking for the medicine--which used to be in the middle of the store, which is now occupied by some horrible holiday crap-- and going in circles until I had to ask a Sample Guy (who was apparently giving samples of some soap scum cleanser... how the fuck do you give out samples of cleanser?) where the hell it was. I don't know why I didn't check next to the meat--clearly, I have some mental deficiency.

They of course had turkeys for sale. Actually, they might have been pterodactyls, but I can't be sure. And remarkably, they were being sold on an individual basis. I was sure they'd be roped together into six-packs, or perhaps in giant Pez dispensers that gobbled each time you popped out a birdosaur. Disappointment at every turn.

This evening I went to the Southside with Mom and JK for dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. Delicious. Words failed me when trying to describe how wonderful the "Bang Bang Chicken and Shrimp" truly was (which was prepared for my convenience without peanuts or bell peppers in order to let me live to see 24). JK loved his dinner, Mom loved hers, and our waiter was great. I like to kid around with... uh, everyone... and when we were ordering drinks, I spotted something called a "Flying Gorilla." It was banana everything. And while I like bananas, that didn't really appeal to me. But the name did, so I told the waiter that "I don't actually want a Flying Gorilla, I just want you to refer to whatever I get as such." Not only did he get it, but he did it. He fucking took that joke and ran with it, and I totally love him for it. We of course ordered dessert, (interestingly enough, they have more for dessert than cheesecake. Who goes to The Cheesecake Factory and doesn't get cheesecake for dessert? If you are lactose intolerant, then you can leave) and they decorated my plate with candy sprinkly things (PINK ONES) and wrote "Happy Birthday Amanda!" on the plate with chocolate sauce. They even gave me a candle and sang to me. And they sang the real Happy Birthday song, not some stupid one incorporating clapping and whistles. I hate those songs.

But really, as long as I'm not being called "kiddo," I'm good.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

she went to the blog and the blog was bare

My adoring public bitches me out when I don't write. Here's a random assortment of the things that happen in the situation comedy that is my life.

I caught a mouse last week. In a shoebox. When I released him (because I have nothing against tiny shivering field mice) he wouldn't leave. I felt bad for him, but I explained that Mom would set a trap for him and eventually, she'd get to him before I did. I hope he was an English-speaking mouse. Later, Mom was discussing my rodent catch-and-release program with one of her sisters. Said sister has a cat who likes to catch birds and small animals, eat their heads, and then bring the filet inside to parade around. Usually when they have company, and the company is eating something. So when Mom said "Guess who caught a mouse today? Amanda!" my aunt immediately started laughing so hard I could hear her through the phone (I wasn't even in the same ROOM as the phone) because she envisioned me with a little tail sticking out of my mouth. I'm not sure if I was purring in her mental image or not. I should ask.

I went on a Fantastic Voyage to Alexandria to get my grandmother, Mo, for a visit. I always enjoy spending time with her, and we've been having a good time. However, she must have been talking with one of my uncles (who suspects that I am gay because of my tendency to display nude women and giant flowers in the art I hang up... which is a rather astute assessment on his part) because she's brought up the topic of homosexuality five times since I arrived at her apartment. (She is not homophobic in the least, so don't get the wrong idea.) Here are a few things she's said to me. Bear in mind that these were completely non-sequitur. I'd be talking about grapefruit and then she'd come out with one of these:

"I worked with a lot of gay men at the State Department and at GSA, but to my knowledge I never knew a lesbian at work."

"Two of my neighbors--in fact, the men who lived on either side of me, at one point--were gay and they couldn't have been nicer. I remember once the one man told me that if I ever needed a ride anywhere, no matter the hour, to call him and he'd be happy to come get me. I always thought that was so considerate. A straight man would never offer that to his old lady neighbor."

(Emily is one of my aunts/my grandmother's youngest daughter. Emily's 12-yr-old daughter is Rachel. They have a dog walking service that they run together, and occasionally their wealthier clients have Emily and Rachel house-and-dog-sit while they're out of town.)
"The couple whose dog Emily is watching now have the most beautiful home. Actually, they're a lesbian couple. One worked for the government and I forget what the other one did, but they're striking women. And very nice. They travel a lot now that they're both retired. Emily stays over in their house the whole time they're gone."

"A friend of mine once asked me if I'd ever get married again, and I told her I'd sooner have a wife than a husband. Someone to cook and clean and go shopping and pay the bills--that'd just be lovely."

(Tony is my uncle/her son-in-law.)
"Tony once mentioned to me that in all the artwork in my house, if there is a human subject, it's a woman or girl. There isn't one painting of a man or boy anywhere. And I never noticed that before, but he's absolutely right."
And I said, "I guess that's just what appeals to you."
She said, "Well, I don't like women in that way, but yes, that's about right. I do like men. I just don't want to be married to one."

Either my grandma is a closet lesbian, or she and Tony have compared notes. (Interesting that we call her Mo...)

I visited my darling wife, Cindy, before I went to Alexandria to pick up Mo. We had a fabulous time--ate some good food, drank some good Guinness and cider, read a horrible thesis... we had plenty of laughs and a few exasperated sighs. I'm going to start sending things to publishers--I'm disgusted enough with what happened that rejection isn't going to hurt me. I actually feel better now that I've read it. Because now I know, and I'm that much more convinced that I am ready to publish.

In the movie "Big Fish" the father character often says that the only way to catch an uncatchable woman is to offer her a wedding ring. Just a reminder--that movie is a fantasy. I am not for sale.

The night before the elections last week, the Democratic candidate for Mayor of the city of Pittsburgh (for those of you who are not Pgh natives, there's the city, and then there are ten thousand little towns and boroughs that are separate from the city, and yet still considered to be ostensibly part of the city in a more theoretical sense) helped chase down a purse-snatcher. A Republican candidate for another position (it wasn't nearly as important as the mayor of the city--something like a city council seat, or mayor of a small borough. I don't care enough to look it up) spent the night in jail after he threatened his neighbors with a gun. Doesn't that warm your heart?

I hope you all feel updated--I'll let you know if I catch Mo watching Logo while she's here. Right now she's watching women's tennis. I'll allow you to draw your own conclusions from that.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

you might have heard of my cousin, edward scissorhands

I could tell you all kinds of stories. How I got bronchitis, how I lost my job while I still had bronchitis, how I couldn't scream and yell at the people firing me because I had bronchitis... the new illness I have... and yet, none of these things are as amusing as my trip to Target with my Mom.

So we needed to go get a furnace filter. That's the real reason for the cold snap in this region--we were unable to have a heated home. It was actually warmer in the basement than it was in the house, which worked out well for me since I sleep down here.

We looked and looked all over Target for the damn filters (my prediction was that they'd be on an end cap next to a Hello Kitty thermos display) and couldn't find them. We were in the home improvement section and I picked up one of those little claw-rake things you use to garden. I put the handle in my sleeve so the claw was sticking out--look Ma, no hand. Apparently this struck Mom in exactly the right way, and she doubled over laughing and had to limp away, embarassed. So I did what any good daughter would do. I stuck another one in the other sleeve and followed her.

She saw the second one and nearly fell over, then she said the magic words. "I dare you to wear those the whole time we're here." Actually, she then progressed to double, double-dog, and triple-dog dare me (skipping the triple dare) to keep them on. Of course, as soon as I heard the word "dare" I was committed to the project.

Every time she looked at me she started giggling, and then sent me on a mission. She sent me down an aisle full of middle schoolers, who gawked. Tsk. You'd think they'd be sensitive to people with gardening tools for hands. What are they teaching children these days? Clearly the math textbooks depicting a black boy, a white girl, some kid with red hair and freckles (I guess he's gay) and an Asian kid in a wheelchair all holding label-less Snapples sitting around solving Algebra equations haven't instilled in our nation's youth a sense of tolerance for those who are Different after all. Sigh.

I've been needing coat hangers for a couple weeks now, and I kept forgetting to buy them when I go to Target, which is more frequently than you might imagine. So as we passed the hangers, Mom said "I dare you to use your claws to get them." Well... It took me a minute to locate the large pack... and I had mistakenly grabbed (stabbed... whatever) for the 3-pack. Who the fuck buys 3 coat hangers?? Not I. So I was removing my right claw from the 3-pack and preparing to snag a 12-pack when this man came up next to me. "Miss, can I help you?"

"Oh... this is just part of a dare."

I was wearing a sweatshirt with the name of my college written on it, which is probably why he asked, "Oh, is it for school?"

"Nope... just my Mom. No real reason other than it's Tuesday and we were bored."

"Well, you gotta keep things interesting!"

Oh, if he only knew. Turns out he thought that my garden claws were prosthetic hands. Have you ever seen a three-pronged, non-moving prosthesis? A hook would be more practical.

After I snagged my 12-pack, I found Mom, who was in the men's attire section looking for some socks for my brother. I told her about the man offering to help me, and she laughed so hard that she cried. Then she picked up a lime green travel case for toiletries, which had a ring on the zipper, unzipped the thing so it hung down, and put the ring on one of my claws. "I so dare you to walk around like that." Hello, have we met?

So there I was, Manda Gardenclawhands, walking around with this weird lime green thing hanging off my right claw. The people who were capable of not staring at me before reached their limit. The travel case only lasted a few minutes before Mom unhooked the thing and left it, in true Target organizational style, in a bin of dog toys. Have you ever been so amused by something that you feel the need to narrate your own life? I have. So has Mom.

"And that's when she discovered that her daughter would in fact do ANYthing on a dare."
"She wasn't sure why she doubted it in the first place."
"And then she wondered just what had transpired in four years of college."
"But then decided she'd rather not know."

While strolling down the bedding aisle, Mom suddenly blurted out "Oh my god, you just never know WHO you'll run in to at Target!" Oh yeah. There it was. The Golden Moment. Running into the work friend while out shopping. And isn't that always the time your adult daughter has garden claws for hands...

I should point out right now that I have awful tonsilitis and my voice isn't quite normal. If you've ever heard me do the Ugly Baby voice, that's pretty much how I sound. Except if Ugly Baby were being strangled. If you haven't, then imagine Shaggy talking. But slightly mentally challenged. And being strangled.

So Mom said hello to her friend, and her friend's friend... and shook the friend's friend's hand. I said, of course, "Nice to meet you both. I'd shake your hand, but well, it's a garden implement."

I recounted the tale of the Helpful Guy who thought my claws were fake hands. And then it was time to part ways, because I'd made them double over and nearly pee themselves. I didn't get their names, but honestly, who the hell cares. Names are not what is important.

Turns out that had I known who I was talking to, I would have been the one with bladder control issues. Mom's been a nurse for a very long time, and she often serves as a preceptor for new nurses. It's sort of like a shadowing, or an internship. Her current nurse, however, is a fucking mess. She can't manage to do anything without having a near breakdown. And she's been doing this preceptorship for close to six months. She's sixteen different kinds of crazy, and I can't list them all here. So the running joke is how this woman (she's not a young girl, she's in her 40s) couldn't start an IV because her hands were shaking so badly... and when Mom asked her to just give the pills to the patient, her hands were shaking so badly that the pills flew everywhere. Now, with most people, that'd be an isolated incident. Not with this woman. She's always this crazy. You'd think after six months, you could hand someone a damn pill. I managed to give all sorts of medicine when I worked with the kids. And usually cancer patients don't try to bite the staff, so I'm reasonably certain that my pill distribution was more difficult.

So I told you that so I could tell you this. As soon as we got a few aisles over from Mom's "friend" she poked me and said "That was the psycho girl!" I immediately put my claws up and started shaking. Mom started snorting. And then she said something I will remember forever. Something she's never said before. "Oh my god Amanda, you are too funny!"

"Ahhh... yes! My night is complete!!"

Ok, it wasn't totally complete. I shared this story with my friend Sasha.

pantses 211: omg, i must look like im having a fit
pantses 211: im crying
LilMsStickShift: YES!
pantses 211: omg, im dying
LilMsStickShift: i just celebrated like i won a marathon
LilMsStickShift: well, maybe not, because i didn't just pour my root beer on my head and then pee on myself and collapse

But only because I've already taken a bath.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

"if you're not going to eat pussy, you're not a dyke." conversely, if you do, then you are.

I'd take this asshole more seriously if he'd sign his name to anything he wrote. And I'm irritated with myself that I'm even responding--but perhaps I wasn't clear.

___ left me another 5:30 AM comment. "hating men because they disappoint you and being a lesbian are two vastly different things." (No shit. Care to remind me of the differences between your ass and your elbow? ...You do know the difference, right?)

So. Let me clarify. I don't hate men. Not once did I say that I hate men. I hate Rick Santorum, and I'm starting to think that I hate you a little bit, but I don't hate men. I have a great brother and some great male friends. My favorite professor from college was a man. I don't hate entire groups of people--I'm not an idiot.

However, I have decided not to date men. (How many times do I have to say that same sentence??) Why have I made this decision?

Because I've dated men and it hasn't made me happy.

Because I have never been sexually fulfilled by a man.

Because I fantasize about women--only women. I have dated women, and when I did, I felt like I was finally being true to myself.

Even when I was dating this guy, (I am purposely not using his name) I was honest with him about my sexuality and let him know that I prefer women. At some point while I've been with every man I've ever been with, I thought "Maybe I am gay..." So not only is it not fair to me to continue to date men, it's unfair to them. I'd only be wasting both our time.

Am I truly 100% lesbian? No. But no one is 100% anything. (Go watch Kinsey and you'll begin to understand.) I am bisexual, like a lot of people. But I've made a decision not to date men. And if I am a woman who only dates women, what do you think people will see? It's not that I want to adhere to some label. It's that I shouldn't have to explain myself all the fucking time to people who have nothing better to do than bother me about personal things that don't concern them in any way.

So the next time you analyze me, ___, try starting out with a little knowledge. And the balls to attach an identity to what you say.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

_____ knows best

So after my last post, some anonymous person left comments. Normally, I'd just delete them and move on, but I decided to go in another direction.

So according to this person, who apparently has nothing better to do at 5:30 AM than read my blog and leave quasi-bitchy comments, I "only think I am a lesbian," and "maybe if I stopped trolling the internet for weirdo trolls, I'd find an ok guy."

Yes, I do think I'm a lesbian. Or rather, I think I'm going to not date men right now--if ever again. Perhaps that's because it's true. Although to be fair, I should pay more attention to psychological assessments from people who don't know me. Especially the same weird internet trolls I apparently seek out. Because I'm clearly going to find Mr. Right in a couple of vaguely ascerbic anonymous comments left on my blog at 5:30 AM, because only the coolest and most desirable people leave anonymous comments on strangers' blogs. (He missed the part where I'm not interested in finding Mr. Right.)

My friend Danielle (who also thinks she is a lesbian, because she is one) had this to say.

djordan: wow
djordan: someone has strong opinions
djordan: you know though, no one's really a lesbian
djordan: they just think they are
djordan: til they meet the right guy

So until Bill Clinton or Patrick Dempsey winds up on my porch, I stand by my Penis Embargo decision.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

what's worse than a post-it?

Remember the Sex & the City episode where Carrie gets the break-up Post-It? Well, I have discovered something worse.

Today I got shut down via email. But not even real email; it was an email through MySpace. I wasn't angry until I started drinking, but I'm sober enough. And now I'm pissed, as is evident in this conversation between me and Sasha.

LilMsStickShift: i was fine before but now i want to KILL HIM
LilMsStickShift: i still hate rick santorum more
pantses 211: sweet, then its not THAT bad
pantses 211: thats also the alcohol
pantses 211: whatd u drink
LilMsStickShift: vodka
LilMsStickShift: rumor has it there was club soda in there, but i am skeptical
pantses 211: oh yea
pantses 211: russians are angry for a reason
pantses 211: and its not just the famine and communism
LilMsStickShift: GLOL
LilMsStickShift: i prolly just scared mom
pantses 211: hahahhaha, YES!
pantses 211: thats such a huge accomplishment on my part
LilMsStickShift: i'm putting that in my blog

It's time to put my money where my mouth is--well, money and a few other things. I said that I'd give men one last try. That if things didn't work out, I'd date women exclusively.

Hello, my name is Amanda, and I am a lesbian.

Monday, October 03, 2005

may there be typewriters in heaven

Some people see beauty and triumph in places where some people would fear to walk. These people are always artists.

August Wilson died today. He was sixty years old.

We will miss you, Mr. Wilson. We thank you for the gifts you gave the literary and theatrical world in your too-short life.

The city lights shine less brightly tonight on water that does not move as swiftly. Goodbye, August. May there be typewriters in heaven.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

hate falwell? get a blowjob

Me: http://www.religionisbullshit.org/falwell.htm
Me: i should just go perform oral favors for this guy
Danielle: lol
Danielle: i find it hard to believe that you haven't yet

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

cheese always makes me thirsty

Over the weekend my brother and I went up to Pymatuning for a Pitt Biology department retreat. Why? Free beer and canoes. Also, really amusing fish. And oh yeah, free beer.

It was a great time. We got to see our father sing some Johnny Cash song... and while I was not what you'd call "sober" while we watched that, I still think it's one of the funniest things I've ever seen.

The next morning (ok, it was more like noon) in the communal eating area (which is the only way to describe this room... "dining hall" does not suffice) I was watching this adorable little girl with blonde curls running around in a tie-dyed dress and stealing cheese from the platters.

Here is the key information in this little scene: this kid had a full head of hair, was running, speaking, and deciding for herself what she wanted to eat.

And then I saw her climb into her mother's lap and start breastfeeding. Yeah, that's right, as in sucking milk from her mother's body. She climbed into her lap, lifted up her shirt, and started sucking. And the mother acted as though this were perfectly normal, as though juice were not readily available right next to the cheese.

Breastfeeding in public is fine with me--but when the kid is big enough to lift up your shirt herself... well then, it's time to be cut off. If your brain is developed enough that you will probably remember the taste of breast milk for the rest of your life--no more for you.

What the fuck special serial-killer-training-manual version of Dr. Spock did this woman read, anyway??

Monday, September 12, 2005

an open letter to the hold message i listened to on a loop for over an hour

Dear Hold Message:

I'm so glad that you both understand that my time is valuable and appreciate my patience. But listening to this reassurance on a loop is what makes some peopel come into the office with loaded semiautomatics. Now, Hold Message, don't go calling my supervisor or anything like that. I know that these people around me are innocent... well, innocent of any Hold Message creation. But I can see why it'd drive some people--again, not me--to slaughter any living thing she saw.

It's not your cheery tone or the fact that you insist on playing what sounds like early U2 (albeit only seven seconds of a guitar solo from a familiar yet unnameable song). No, Hold Message. It's that you're lying to me.

It's that you like to go utterly silent for 13 seconds, leading me to check my phone for a connection problem.

It's that my break was supposed to start 47 minutes ago.

It's that you disconnected me earlier by transferring me to a busy signal.

It's that there is no alternate number, no working directory, no autoteller, and your website is as useful as tits on a bull.

I'd love to hang up on you. Violently. I'd love to slam this connection closed--but I know you don't mean it, Hold Message. I know that deep in your heart, my call is valuable to you, and that you are sorry--truly sorry!--for the delay. So I'll sit here and daydream and look for stray Gummi Bears in my desk drawers until my call is answered in the order in which it was received.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

the sound that makes me want to punch babies, chapter 2

She's always on the cutting edge of Annoying Shit.

This evening she disrupted the best part of the day--almost everyone is gone, including the Incredibly Loud Maintenance Assholes who are practicing for the Olympic Drop Heavy Shit team. Directly above me. I love being on the phone and wondering if we're being attacked by angry gorillas.

So during the few hours' peace, she decided that would be a great time to get on her cell phone and wander around, speaking loudly.

In Russian.

It's like she's trying to get a Nobel Prize for Annoying.

Monday, September 05, 2005

the reason you will never again see my face

Some guy just emailed me on OKCupid (possibly the worst dating site ever... it kept pairing me with Dungeons & Dragons players). This is, verbatim, what he wrote to me.

Will you hookup with me tomorrow night at my house for the promise of me making you snort a margarita through your nose while give you an orgasm and all at the same time.

Or in plain language. May I be one of your sex partners please??!! :p

His profile gives me no insight as to why he'd compose such a horrible message. All it says is that he's 27, male, (of course...) and lives a mere twelve miles from me. No picture. No profile. And yet he knows what I look like.

I fear that he will kidnap me in Giant Eagle some day. I'm going to have to start wearing a burqa.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

a new height in nasal-cavity humor

Scott: ...that's the worst. an itchy asshole at work
Scott: *squirming in chair*
Me: ...although an itchy asshole isn't quite as horrible as an itchy cooter at work.
Me: *limps frantically toward bathroom*
Me: "no, no really i'm fine, sometimes i just like to run like a gorilla..."
Scott: OMG
Scott: you almost made me shoot 7-and-7 out my nose... that's hard to do to me.
Scott: good job, princess!

A new high, ladies and gentlemen.

Monday, August 22, 2005

the sound that makes me want to punch babies

"There are certain sounds in this world... that make you want to punch a baby."
----Dane Cook

I have discovered the sound that makes me punch infants. It is the sound of my coworker laughing. She sounds like a drunk freshman. Nothing in an office could possibly be this funny this often. I'm glad I don't have children for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is because I would be forced to punch them as soon as I got home, due entirely to having heard this banshee's goddamn squealing all fucking day long.

And she acts like a fucking whore. She throws herself (not even just flirting, but fucking throwing herself) at every guy in the office. Doesn't matter if they're handsome or if they look like something I once saw my dog sniff on the side of the road--she apparently wants them all. And she has chosen "You are my MAN!" as her catch-phrase.

I'm going to have to take in a radio just so I can drown her the fuck out. It's either that or I have to cut a bitch, and I'm pretty sure that if I can get fired for not wearing pantyhose, I can get fired for cutting a bitch while on the clock.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

old navy tags

What's with the tags on so much of Old Navy's clothing nowadays? I don't mean the prices. I'm talking about these fucking "Remove Before Wearing or Washing" tags that are hidden in all of my work clothes. (You know the sort of clothes I mean. Button-downs. Knee-length skirts. Inexplicably sheer blouses, as though nipples were accepted office attire.)

They don't seem to serve a purpose. They don't give me washing instructions and they don't appear to be any sort of security tag. I could be wrong about that, because they are incredibly thick. But "Remove Before Wearing or Washing" is all they say. Well, that and "Cut Here." Which is handy information to have, because otherwise I might have taken a machete to my new skirt. I guess they just had a lot of material to use and didn't feel like making a bunch of really stiff-collared shirts. Perhaps they were afraid that people would pop them.

My brother does that. He starts college in less than a week. I hope someone educates him in the ways of shirt-wearing while he's there.