Thursday, December 20, 2007

mike huckabee can munch on my grundle

He can lick it, flick it, and motorboat it. Apparently he said "Unless Moses comes down with two stone tablets from Brokeback Mountain to tell us something different, we need to keep that understanding of marriage."

I guess "that understanding" means his understanding, because my understanding of marriage is definitely not what it is in his lovely little world. I can tell you some motherfucking stories about marriage -- good, bad, and absolutely horrifying. It's different for everyone, and maybe sometimes that includes two people who happen to be the same gender. Big fucking deal. How about we do something about domestic violence. Then you can tell me how if two women share health insurance and hospital-visitation rights, all the straight people are going to light on fire or something.

And by the way, I don't seem to recall anything in the 10 commandments about "Thou shalt not marry a dude if thou art also a dude." I also seem to recall something about the church and the state being separate entities in this country.

Not that the other pubbie candidates are any better.

Rudy "I Feel Pretty" Giuliani said, "It’s the acts, it’s the various acts that people perform that are sinful." He paused, then added, "Nine eleven." I've beaten the shrimp-as-sin dead horse to the texture of hamburger already, but I just wanted to bring it up one more time in the true spirit of Giuliani. (It was either that or go make a bunch of bad decisions.) But his statement makes me wonder if he really understands what sodomy is. If you think that being gay is gonna send you into a lake of fire for all of eternity, if you've ever had a blowjob, you're gonna spend the afterlife between Andy Dick and Richard Simmons. And I do mean between.

Mitt Romney, laying it out there plain and simple, much like tying a dog to the roof of a car, said, "I don't want civil unions or gay marriage." Only he could make an incendiary statement fucking boring. You know what, Mitt? I don't want you. And yet your existence is still legal. So I just stay away from you and other likeminded, breathtakingly boring individuals. Maybe if you're so afraid of me kissing on some ladies, you should stay the hell away from me. In fact, let's just agree right now to never, ever see each other.

However, Mike Huckabee, the invitation for you to dive facefirst into my nether regions shall stand until one of us is dead.

It's not just that particular statement that makes me hate him so much. Nor is it his policies, which include supporting the FairTax. (By the way, I've heard things from retarded people that were way less retarded than the FairTax. More on that here if you're interested.) He also wants to write shit into the Constitution banning abortion, of course he wants to "protect" marriage from all us scary non-straight people, he thinks immigrants are gross, he wants to stay in Iraq until the Sun supernovas, and I'm pretty sure there's probably something in there somewhere about repealing suffrage for all non-white, non-land-owning men, and all women.

All of those things contribute to his douchebaggery. But they're not the reason I can't stand him. Not the way I hate Dick Cheney, of course. It's a little more annoyance than hatred, but it could still shift.

It's because he can't fucking write, yet he continues to do so.

I had to caption a speech he gave to a bunch of nodding white people with really bad haircuts and even worse clothes. I can only assume this took place in a church of some kind.

He kept drawing these ridiculous analogies between "the good old days" and "now, a time when gargoyles apparently fly through the air." Except none of his "now" analogies were things that were within the past 10 years.

These quotations are from memory, so they're not exact, but the then-versus-now examples are accurate, because I could not make this shit up.

"I remember when art was Norman Rockwell. Now it's Robert Mapplethorpe." I am 25 and I only had a vague recollection of who Mapplethorpe was. That's because he died in 1989. He was a photographer who, among many other things, photographed nude people. Which, in case you didn't notice, destroyed society.

"I remember a time when children grew up watching 'Leave It To Beaver.' Now we have 'Beavis and Butt-head.'" Dude, you should seriously watch "The Sopranos."

"I remember a time when Father Knew Best. Now we have fathers like Homer Simpson, who need help from their kids just to get through the day." You do understand that Homer Simpson is a fictional character, correct? That it's funny? When you hear about "Family Guy" in like 12 years, you'll probably have a stroke.

There was a lot more of this crap -- it just kept going and going. He's a good speaker, though, and if I were really fucking stupid, I'd be taken in by him. (Iowa, go kill yourself.) Which is why it's possible that I could possibly hate him as much as I hate Dick Cheney someday.

He's such a wad of snot that because Chuck Norris has endorsed his candidacy, (apparently the third fist isn't under Chuck's beard; it's inside his skull) I have officially renounced Chuck Norris. So I need to find some other celebrity to take his place. Maybe William H. Macy, because I love his name. We'll start a line, guys. Just don't get in the one behind Mike Huckabee.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

christmas dusty

Where's Waldo?

Some guy just came down the chimney. Don't worry; I ate him.

Looks better on me anyway.


dusty auditioning for "i am legend"

halliburton: as evil as possible

What the hell is wrong with people?

Enraged? I am, too.

Take 25 seconds and do something about it.

Friday, December 14, 2007

it's the day when my people wear candles on their heads, and i am serious about that stabbing thing

So it's been brought to my attention by, um, all of you that I haven't written anything in several moons. Sorry. So as a kind of apology, here's a picture that has been making me snort all day:

Yeah, that's fucking awesome right there.

So here's what's been up. School. Work. New dog. Speeding ticket. Going to England next month (for school -- 10-day residency just like what I did in August in Jersey, except it's January in England).

School -- going well. Getting some good "real" writing done.

Work -- fortunately, the writers' strike hasn't yet affected my ability to bring home the partially dehydrogenated bacon substitute. (I think I got an email from one of you asking what in the hell it is I do -- I create closed captions for television.) And on a related note, how about the bunch of new HD channels that sprang, Greek-god-like, out of fucking nowhere, yesterday. All of a sudden I'm seeing my Law & Order SVU repeats in high definiton, which is exactly how Mariska Hargitay should be viewed. AND Discovery is now airing its regular lineup in HD in addition to the other HD channel it has. Which to me means one thing: Mike Rowe. In high definition. Mmm. Yes and yes. Today was our holiday party, one of two yearly catered events during which they try to kill me via buffet. Why does everything have to have green peppers in it? Are they a food group or something? I really have the most obnoxious food allergies. Today was also St. Lucia Day. If you don't have any idea what that is, it's okay. That just means you are not Swedish. As my friend Meadow explained to the table of Very Confused Coworkers, "it's the day where her people wear candles on their heads." Yeah, pretty much it. It also involves getting up with the sun, which is when I go to bed, so to you, St. Lucia, I say: perform a miracle where dawn happens at 3:00 PM and we'll talk.

New dog! Dusty is fucking awesome. She's like a furry toddler. Who eats people. I walk her when I get home from work (which is a little before midnight) and we go past a bar at the top of the hill and I have discovered something. Drunk old guys in parking lots leave you the fuck alone if you're holding the leash of a snarling creature. I need her with me all the time.

This is her.

I got her from a coworker. Her owner passed away, and so I saw this flyer with pictures of this sad-looking doggie...posted right behind my desk. And in the kitchen. It was like she was looking at me all day, saying "Mommy! Come get me! Take me home!" So I did. And she's absolutely a wonderful dog. She's attached to my hip and extremely protective and very sensitive to my moods. Granted, I pretty much just have the three: angry, laughing, and asleep. The other night we were playing and she got really wound up -- she started spinning like a top. So I collapsed in a kind of stage fall and she freaked the hell out. She ran over and pounced on me and started crying and licking me and whapping me in some kind of berserk doggie CPR. It would have been funny if only she weren't completely terrified. So no more Jim Carrey moves for me.

Speeding ticket -- I was NOT!

England -- very excited. But if one more person tells me that it's cold in England in the winter, I will fucking stab you in the taint. I live in Pittsburgh, where we have things called seasons. Therefore, I own sweaters. Also, I'm pretty sure there are buildings in England with which I will shield myself from rain and/or snow. And I am serious about that stabbing thing. Also stab-worthy: telling me that things in England are expensive, that I should take food with me, and telling me to go "swing by" every single corner of the country. You know, since it IS a vacation, not an assload of graduate credits. So serious about the stabbing. So serious.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

i'm an abortion survivor: another exciting installment in the hit series "why i'm like this"

So this will truly make sense only to those of you who are fans of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." (And if you own a tv and have the ability to laugh, you should be.) For those of you who are not, here's some quick background info that you will find helpful. Suspecting that Frank is in fact his biological father, Charlie confronts him. Frank admits to impregnating Charlie's mom but says she had an abortion, so therefore he can't be his dad. Charlie questions his mother about the abortion, and she tells him that Frank did, in fact, knock her up, and that she did, in fact, have an abortion. It just "didn't take." Cut to Charlie screaming at Frank, "I'm an abortion survivor, dad!"

I know the recap sucked. This is why you should watch the show.

My mother and I were watching random videos on On Demand. We'd just rocked out to ACDC (insert obvious joke here) and then we saw a video for a band called Dying Fetus. How can you say no to Dying Fetus? Here's what they sound like. Imagine Satan. Now imagine he's just eaten a really big extra-spicy bean burrito from Taco Bell that was somewhat past its prime. Now imagine it's El Diablo's third trip to the bathroom, and last week he had a coupon for some recycled toilet paper. Because even Satan understands the importance of recycling. He killed the last roll of Charmin long ago and now his asshole looks like one of the stalactites of fire above his head. Imagine what you'd be hearing in Satan's downstairs hallway right about then. Multiply that by "extremely lame" and you've got the vocals down. Also, Satan is angry because he can't play guitar after all. Or bass.


So we kept making dead fetus jokes and then my mom all of a sudden busts out with "I'm an abortion survivor!" I high-fived her.

Cut to like an hour later and I'm on the phone telling JK about it, and Mom's in the next room cracking up. Literally doubled over laughing. Then she screams "You're an abortion survivor, Amanda!"

Even later, we're in the kitchen, and I'm telling her about a donation system that Planned Parenthood has where people's donations are multiplied by the number of morons outside the clinic every day. (That link is to the PP of western Pennsylvania, but most PPs have this program, from what I've seen.) Which is fucking ingenius. And we're laughing about it and I said that the next time I see one of those obnoxious "Smile! Your mother chose life!" signs, I'd tell them that no, in fact, she did not. It just didn't take. And mom goes, "Well, for me she did, but my twin..."

"Hand me the scissors! I'm gonna stab this fetus in the eyeballs!"
"Damn, that baby is UGLY! I can't be having no ugly babies."
"Hey, hand me that coin. Call it in the air! Who's getting flushed??"

And so on. I'm pretty sure they'd be sad my mom chose life. Which fills me with a warm, happy feeling. Like Christmas morning, but with 25% more abortion jokes.

Friday, October 19, 2007

dear wonderful friends and cherished network of internet-based stalkers

I'm sorry I haven't written anything here in so long. But I have been doing some other writing, so at least we know I haven't sustained a serious brain injury.

Everything is okay, I've just been really busy. And I have a large collection of ridiculous observations and rants to share with you soon, I promise.

I saw a commercial for a hydroponic "garden" growing system recently. Just a preview of the profound musings you all have to look forward to!

Peace, love, and hydroponic growing systems to you all.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

they forgot "less tolerant of complete fools"

According to OkCupid's new personality award thingies, I am...

more aggressive
more ambitious
more artistic
more literary
more desiring of sex
more trusting
more well-mannered


less dorky
less indie
less desiring of love

...which to me seems like a frighteningly accurate assessment of my life and personality via funny little pictures. If by "trusting" you mean "more likely to be able to take most people out if they get out of hand" and by "well-mannered" you mean "more likely to fucking kill you if you don't acknowledge that it was me letting you into traffic and not your superior driving skills, you brain-damaged asshole."

Some douchebag wrote in to the paper whining about people swearing. Really? Swearing is the problem that gets you so bothered that you feel the need to write in to the paper to combat the problem? Not global warming, our unjustified war with Iraq, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong Il both being crazier than Bobby Trendy on crystal meth, and Steely McBeam still at large? It's not AIDS or world hunger or female circumcision or terrorism or Toby Keith fans? The entire world running out of oil and yet having no feasible solution to meet our insatiable need for power and they still let Britney Spears out in public?

Swearing, huh? Yeah, I get it. I can see in a world where Osama bin Laden is still chilling out somewhere with time to Clairol his chin pubes, you'd really be upset about my frequent use of the word "cunt." Because somewhere in a concentration camp in North Korea, someone whose second cousin was rumored to have complained about the weather had his fingernails ripped out right as I stubbed my toe and said "fuck." Clearly, something needs to be done about me and what I've done to the world.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

the other night, she said "twat" at the dinner table

So I bought one of those Magic Eraser things to scrub the scum off our shower grout. Those things actually work, which is kind of amazing. Because that type of product almost never works. But that's not what I wanted to tell you.

No, I wanted to tell you all that my mother has finally given up trying to clean up my mouth. After about 25 years. I'm glad she didn't reach the official quartercentennial under the delusion that eventually I won't sound like a truck-driving sailor who just smashed his thumb in a door. Or, you know, her.

On the Magic Eraser package, it says not to use on your skin, because it "may cause abrasion." I'd fucking hope that my skin wouldn't be able to hold up to something I'd use to clean up mildew. Something would be extremely wrong with the makeup of my epidermis if it had the relative toughness of, say, a triceratops.

Me: May cause abrasion. Damn. I was gonna use it on my taint.
Mom: Turn it into a 'twas.

Thank you and goodnight.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

you know, the germans have a word for this


I have a whole bunch of words for it, but I can't quite make sense of it all, as there is screaming in my head.

Also, I can't believe/am extremely grateful I didn't have to caption that.

Monday, August 27, 2007

almost famous...but only at biondi ford, and for all the wrong reasons

Salesman: So what are you looking for in your new car?
Mom: Mike Rowe.

Salesman: (joking) And, of course, you can't go wrong with a Mustang.
Me: Oh, sure you can.
Salesman: How?
Me: By buying one.
Salesman: That V8 is fun, though.
Me: Until you get to the gas station.
Salesman: Here's what you do. You tell the idiot ogling your car that for $10, you'll take him for a spin around the block.
Me: Yeah, or if you're a girl, you can do this. (leaning over the car in low-cut shirt) "Who wants to fill my tank?" Oh, wait. Shit.
Mom: You're gonna get us kicked out.
Salesman: Not necessarily.

Salesman: (apparently...I didn't hear this...though I heard about it nonstop) I wonder how much pot you'd have to smoke to like this Kiwi Green?
Me: Hey, I really like that Kiwi Green!

Salesman: What features do you really want?
Mom: A moonroof. And Mike Rowe.
Salesman: Okay, who is that?
Mom: ...I don't think I can talk to you anymore.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

basement conversations

Me: What would you do if you found out you knocked up some girl?
JK: "Here's a coat hanger."
Me: What if she wanted to keep it?
JK: "Here's a coat hanger."
Me: No, seriously.
JK: If it happened right now, there's just no way. I'd convince her to have an abortion or give it up, because there's just no way.
Me: If she absolutely refused?
JK: She'd never see me again.
Me: What's funny is that if some guy did that to me --
JK: That situation would never happen. You'd be like FETUS B GONE!
Me: I don't know.
JK: [ instantly serious ] I'd fucking kill him. I'd kill him. Oh, he'd be so fucking dead.

Mom: Once I get my check, I'm going to get a hearing aid for Mo. Because I know that's the issue -- she doesn't want to spend the money. Maybe I'll just send her a check.
Me: And then she'll rip up the check, because that's what the two of you do -- think the other has no money.
"Here's a check for you!"
"I can't take that from you! RIP! But here's a check for you!"
"I can't take your money! RIP! But here's a check for YOU!"
Mom: Now, don't be a smartass.
Me: You should have thought of that before you had children.

Me: I think I'm an acceptable sort of insane.
Mom: I think you pride yourself in it.
Me: Wouldn't you?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

more pittsburgh goodness

Seriously, what the hell is wrong with me? How did I manage not to invent this?

Which reminds me, while I was at Target this weekend, some chick hurricaned into the jewelry department and yelled "Is these real?" (which sounded like "Iseezriww?") as she ran her hand through the selection of fake pearls that were hanging on a plastic rack. Because if I had a store, on plastic racks is where I would hang my fine jewelry. Not inside the several glass cases right next to you.

Then when she finally figured out that no, in fact, they were not real, she stopped cracking her gum long enough to yell "Do yinz have real pearls?" ("Dyinzavriwwperws") at the jewelry clerk, who displayed enormous personal strength when she did not respond by stabbing that girl in the neck.

If ever you have some sort of pearl-related emergency that makes you think you might have to careen into a store and start barking at the woman at the counter and you decide that Target is where you need to go, please drive yourself over the side of the Rankin Bridge. Which might be the safest way to cross it, despite its thorough endorsement from PennDOT: "Well, it's open, ain't it?"

Sunday, August 19, 2007

only in pittsburgh...

...does Girls' Night In include preseason football.

...will you see a fake-homeless guy holding up a black & gold sign that says "Homeless. Please Help. Go Steelers." (Although I do have to give him credit for knowing his audience.)

...will you walk out of Phillip Pelusi positively dripping with your own fabulousness and then some 18-year-old Cricker says, "You poppin', girl" and then you sort of want to go kill yourself.

...will you use the heater and the air-conditioner in your car not just in the same day, but in the same outing.

All true stories from my weekend here in lovely Pittsburgh.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

i <3 school

I just bought three different kinds of Post-its. They're all color-coordinated. I also got two different sizes of paper clips and a box of push-pins. Also color-coordinated. Four three-ring binders (because I finally found some that didn't make me want to throw up when I touched them and/or had some Disney character on them).

My episode of "Intervention" will be filmed exclusively in the office-supply area of Target.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

and my pigeon army shall be fearsome

I passed this on the turnpike but I didn't get a chance to stop. I already feel a profound regret.

I'm sort of afraid it's a farm for pigeons that people will eventually shoot. I'd try to free the pigeons if that were the case. I'd sneak in wearing all black -- the pigeon ninja. I'd free them and in their gratitude, they would become my loyal army. Fred Phelps would disappear and then be found at the bottom of the world's largest deposit of pigeon poo. Or perhaps carried to a considerable height and then dropped. Although I wouldn't want any of my little pigeon soldiers to be harmed.

I've always liked pigeons, although most people consider them rats with wings. These people tend to hate bats, which I also love. I've always wanted to have pet bats, but I don't know how I'd be able to pull that off. What I do know is that Bert and The Count were the best characters on Sesame Street.

When I was in Venice, I was the only person in my family who'd let all the pigeons eat from her hands. They land all over you -- even on your head, despite the food being only in your hands. But it's close to the food, and that's good enough for them. I can understand a desire just to be near food. This is why I am the Pigeon Whisperer.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

apple juice and a cheese sandwich

I am not a role model. The children should not read this. Which is only going to make them want to read it even more.

I keep trying to be Not Drunk Anymore. So far, it's not going so well. I typed the title to this entry, which I thought up in a fit of brilliance as I was eating a cheese sandwich and drinking some apple juice on the couch. I've had to re-type nearly every word since then. I don't know how anyone can be an alcoholic and a writer. Maybe it was easier when you did it longhand.

I haven't been drunk in nearly two years. Or something like that. I couldn't really do math right now. Or ever.

Today was a good day. I woke up at 6:00 (what the fuck, dude? that's when I usually go to bed) and wrote. Good ideas. Solved some fiction problems. Let's hope it sticks.

So then I had some crazy dreams (even while drunk I won't spill these beans to the general public) and then kept thinking in some bizzare paranoid state that the person the dreams were about could freaking read my mind. Or maybe I talk in my sleep and his room is above mine. In which case I should just kill myself now if he just heard the phone conversation I had with my best friend. If it had a refrain, that refrain would be, "Give me a baby!"

Moving on. Had a workshop, hung out with a friend, formal final dinner, and then graduation and then the newbie reading, of which I was part. Awesome. Receptive crowd, and my favorite thing ever happened -- a person I'd never met before came over and said that she really liked a specific poem. That takes a lot, man. To listen to a poem is hard work, which sounds stupid, but it really is hard because there's so much in so few words. You have to really pay attention. Anyway, I got some really nice compliments afterward. And then everyone hit the bar. I hit it particularly hard, although I'm starting to sober up now. I base this on a reduced amount of backspacing and correcting.

None of this has a point. I just sort of needed to do something while I was waiting for my cheese sandwich to take effect. I have to be at a lecture at 10:30 and then drive back to Pittsburgh tomorrow. What the fuck is wrong with me? I don't know how anyone can do this all the time. To repeat my most-used phrase this week, Dude, whatever. I even said it in class today.

I clearly have problems. Although nothing that can't be solved by a cheese sandwich and some apple juice.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

how i accidentally photographed my shirtless professor a half hour before class

You know what kind of sucks? All my professors are hip and know how to perform interwebular activities, and so I can't gossip about them on here 'cause they'd find me. And since there are only a handful of other people studying poetry (and since, you know, I have my name and picture on here) they'd know it was me. Not that I have any good stories (or do I? this place is kind of like the world's most literary soap opera).

Okay, so I kind of have one story. I mean, I have been here almost a week. (Even though this happened on Wednesday.)

I don't think I'll use his name, even though I'm the butt of this joke. I don't know what the hell kind of reputation I think he'll get from this, anyway, (or how many people I've deluded myself into thinking actually read this) other than maybe having unfortunate timing. And everyone here has already heard this story twice.

So I have my new camera, and I recently realized I do, in fact, exist in the 21st century and the thing has a zoom. Because it's, you know, digital. I took some pictures of my cavernous room and then I took some pictures of the view from my bedroom. Then I decided to try to figure out the zoom and to see how precise it is, so I tried to photograph my own license plate in the parking lot. So I zoomed in and in and in and the lens was out as far as it could go, a good several inches.

Because I was trying to make out my license plate, I didn't notice that my professor, apparently coming from the pool, was walking by the window. And there I was, in all my backlit, bedroom-window-peering zoom-lens glory -- and he, half-dressed. Did I mention the flash went off?

I know Scott's going to ask, and no, you can't see it -- I deleted the picture as soon as I took it, because I knew that if I kept it, someone would wind up looking through my pictures on the camera and then would stop, think for a few seconds, then cock his head to the side like a Golden Retriever and say, "Amanda, can I ask why..."

He wound up not even noticing (because I had to ask him when I saw him in class shortly thereafter) and thought it was hilarious -- his only question was, "So, how'd I look?"

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

the lackwit epistles: part 87

It's kind of delicious that I got this stranger email while I'm at school.

"Hey wuts good ma how u doing? I peeped ya page and damn u looking sexxy azz hell! Wut u b gettin in2 4fun? Ya smile is also real cute, i like that alot :) Well hit me up when u getta minute ok..."

And now for some thoughts:

Did he seriously call me "ma"?

Why are letters towards the end of the alphabet cool?

His profile picture is him holding a giant stack of money.

Even if he were holding a giant stack of burritos, I wouldn't like him.

Because he probably already ate the burritos.

But he might know where to get some more.

I make really good burritos.

I want a burrito.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

angry road math, raccoon bacon, and the world's smallest abridged kama sutra: welcome to pennsylvania!

So here's what I should be doing right now:

A bunch of reading.
Deciding what I'm going to read on Saturday at the Newbie Reading.
Clipping my toenails.
Figuring out where the rich people keep the Target.
Putting photos of the campus on my computer.

And here's what I am doing:

Telling you all about how I bought the world's smallest abridged Kama Sutra.

So I left Friday morning around 10:00 even though I planned to leave at 9:00 because buying tickets to the Tori Amos show downtown in October takes precedence above oxygen most of the time. These people know what a bizarre species we Tori fans are and so they planned accordingly. Except not at all. Their website wouldn't allow me to add two tickets to my cart (making a total of two tickets) because I was limited to two tickets. Two is also the number of aneurysms I can't believe I didn't have.

I finally got the fucking website to work (or someone at the IT department figured out a way to keep his job) and sprinted onto the turnpike. The trip was fine till I had to exit the turnpike, which is a phrase you will never hear ever again even if you live to be 150. I had to exit near Carlisle, which is just the first in a series of serendipitous intersections with Schools That Rejected Me. Anyway, as I was getting near the exit, I started to see all the digital signs flashing some warning about a backup at exit...something. I missed it. Because the idiots who program those signs make half of a vital message display for about six seconds, and then you pass it as you get the second half of whatever it was you really needed to know. But I had to pee, so I got off at the next service plaza, which was a Roy Rogers and a Sunoco competing for Dirtiest Establishment In Pennsylvania.

I stood around with a bunch of irritated vacationing dads in front of the turnpike map conveniently located directly in the flow of all the foot traffic entering the entire building. Because when you're trying to figure out a route based on a giant plastic map in a Roy Rogers bathroom vestibule, it's good to be jostled by sweaty strangers. So I mumbled at the map for a while and then, almost in synch with all the vacationing dad troupe, said, "But that's gonna take an extra 45 minutes!" because the only math I can do is Angry Road Math.

I hadn't had lunch yet, and I was already in a bad mood, so I decided to buy something from Roy Rogers. If you ever go into a Roy Rogers on the Pennsylvania turnpike and actually leave with food, you can safely assume that you are either A) already angry at the world and don't care what happens to you anymore, or B) about to be. I ordered a Number 1, which appeared to be a cheeseburger from 1979. I don't know what decade the fries were from, because before I could decide, the angry woman at the register threw my paper cup at me. "Drink!" she grunted at me. I wasn't sure if this was her way of communicating to me that I should not eat the cup, or if she perhaps had some fetish. "Yes. Drink," I said. Which might be how I wound up catching my bag of cheeseburger like a fly ball.

I slung some condiments on my burger, which I now suspect was actually from 1979, filled my drink, and got the hell out of there. Back in the car, I turned on the radio and staticked my way through the AM stations to figure out if it was, in fact, my exit that had a backup and why that might be. All I got was Jim Rome. So I listened to him and tried to figure out how the hell I could manually adjust the radio stations. And that's when I took a bite. There was something not of a cow in this burger.

I pictured that old Simpsons scene where Lisa is visualizing all the meat that goes into a hot dog -- a pigeon, raccoon, and an old boot. I think they use the same meat supplier. But then I realized that it was something extra that was giving me shivers in my soul, not the patty itself. And I peeled what I think was bacon off the bottom of the bun. Never in my life have I not wanted bacon. Although this might have been boot and/or raccoon. The fries were what I can only describe as cool and flaccid. And still, none of this prepared me for the Coke. How do you fuck up Coke? You hook up some tubes, you shut the door to the machine, and then you walk away. And it wasn't just that the ratio of syrup to carbonated water was wrong. It was like they'd tried to make the Coke syrup themselves. Using raisins and turpentine. I kept forgetting or thinking, "Was it really that bad?" and then taking another sip. I concluded that yes, in fact, it was, as I finally got the AM station I needed.

Turns out that the backup was at my exit, but I decided to brave the apparent throngs of Goat Fair-goers (or whatever the fuck the event at the Carlisle Campgrounds was) and just deal with it, because if I got lost, I'd be even angrier. I got there and there were three cars ahead of me. I'm never listening to those goddamn digital signs ever again after this trip, because every time I needed to exit, there was some alleged backup that never happened. Not that I wanted to sit in traffic (which I did do several times, just not at the times I'd been warned) but because raising my blood pressure so often for no reason isn't good.

As I got nearer to New Jersey and further into Pennsylvania towns that clearly count corn stalks in their welcome-sign populations, I really fucking had to pee. I stopped in some town that appeared to consist of a stop sign, two gas stations directly across from each other, and a white pickup truck that kept driving up and down the road. Also, corn. Its claim to fame was "E-Z On, E-Z Off!" Clearly, that was enough to sell me.

I ran (or perhaps skittered) into the Sunoco and hurdled a bunch of Sierra Mist stacked on the floor to get to the bathroom. This is what Mr. Cecil's sadistic gym-class jumping blocks were training me for. I don't know what trained me for the women's room with no door that faced into the store, but I'd have peed in the middle of the floor right next to the Sierra Mist if I had to.

For those not about to die of burst bladders, they'd placed a vending machine inside the stall advertising a hilarious assortment of condoms, lube, and reading material that I suspect was there to facilitate urination through laughter. I bought "Erotic Sexual Positions From Around The World" for 50 cents, which might be the wisest financial decision I've ever made. It's a great combination of terrifying artwork and racism. I plan to keep it in my wallet until it falls apart.

Here's an excerpt: "Backward Jockey Position: The freewheeling Scandinavians, with their lust for sexual experimentation, originated this turnaround sitting position. The ultimate 'turn on.'"

"The Rocking Position: We have the Arabians and their 'ships of the desert' to thank for this erotic import. This position allows frontal caresses between the partners while they gently rock to a prolonged orgasm aided by the swaying of camels."

Because when I look at a camel, I think, "Yeah, I'd like to fuck somebody on that thing. I like the way it vomits and bellows at the same time." Nothing can bring about a prolonged orgasm like a camel.

The back cover says "1st in a series of Erotic Best Sellers." Clearly, I need to hit "E-Z On, E-Z Off!" on my way back to Pittsburgh on Sunday.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

jesus and vampires

I need to get a "No Proselytizing" sign to put next to the mailbox. Some asshole keeps leaving me Jesus junk mail, which I keep crumpling into a ball and launching into the street, because I won't even bring that crap into my house to throw it away.

I also do that with the newspaper-looking roll of advertisements I keep finding in the driveway. If I ever see that person, I am gonna knock his teeth out and make a necklace and wear it as a warning to all the other junk-mail distributors.

Can you imagine if I actually went to their creepy church?

How did you first hear about our religion? Please check only one...

- all the crap we left on your porch
- poked yourself in the ear canal with a fork and then wandered down the street
- when we threw that Hefty bag over your head and shoved you into the van

I saw about five minutes of a "documentary" the other day about vampires. Or rather, some interview with a dude who was so gay it was obvious to everyone but him talking about how he just loves to suck on this other dude's neck. But it's okay -- they're not gay. The guy is just his blood donor. (And then I rolled my eyes so hard that they fell out of my head.) Then he explained that he needs this dude's blood every couple weeks (you'd think it'd be something he needed every day, but I guess as a non-vampire, I wouldn't know, would I?) because it gives him "vitamins and nutrients." I hear those now come as a part of this complete breakfast, too. And you can't get AIDS from Trix. He also explained that vampires can die, can see their reflections in mirrors, won't be repelled by garlic, don't have aversions to crosses, and can't turn into bats. You know, because those are all misconceptions about vampires, not because vampires aren't real and these people are just desperately searching for some way in which they can be different and special and loved by someone, anyone at all. Has nothing to do with that.

Then they ran out of things to ask this lunatic, so they started retelling the entire plot of Bram Stoker's "Dracula." That's when I changed the channel.

My point is this: I would sooner let some nutjob drink my blood than I would go to a church that left me a religion menu dangling from my mailbox. Because at least that would only be once every couple of weeks.

the vicious cycle of my face

I won't turn 25 till Thanksgiving Day, so what I'm about to say might not make a whole lot of sense in a chronological (or logical) way. But I'm freaking old.

Not just because the last thing I posted was a quotation from "The Golden Girls," although that should qualify me for AARP membership. No, it's because I have found actual wrinkles on my face. I've got some to the left of my nose that are from smiling. Some below my eyes, also from smiling. They're pretty minor. No one would ever notice the ones under my eyes, and the ones by my nose are very light.


I have a giant deep crease and several auxiliary creases running across my forehead like tiny little horizons. I didn't even notice them till Trina pointed them out to me. (She'd told me she'd noticed her own forehead horizons and then confirmed mine -- it wasn't like she just said, "Hey, check it out! I can use your face as a level!") These are definitely not from smiling. I know this because apparently what you do, as an old person discovering a new wrinkle, is stand in front of the mirror and cycle through facial expressions trying to figure out what the hell kind of face you've been making so frequently as to cause your face to form a crease. And in the back of your mind, you're wondering what this says about your psychological state and if you possibly need therapy.

I'm fine with the laugh lines. Of course I laugh a lot. Those are good wrinkles.

So I stood there -- was it an angry face? No, but that produces a little crinkle slightly to the left of exactly between my eyebrows. I'd missed that one. Confused face does the same thing. Shit. I'm confused a lot. But "When Harry Met Sally" is one of my favorite movies, so it's all good.

Was it frowning? No, because only cartoon characters actually frown. How about surprise? Oh, there we fucking go.

I was shocked to discover the frequency with which I am (apparently) extremely surprised. Maybe it wasn't really surprise, but some other more subtle emotion. I sort of make a weird quasi-angry face when I'm concentrating or thinking, which is almost always, which is why some people seem to think I'm about to hit them all the time. Yeah, that's not it. Not even close. Back to the eyebrow crinkle there.

So then I did what any sane person would do. I started talking to the mirror. Apparently I raise my eyebrows as I talk for emphasis, particularly when I get to a punchline. I thought about that for a little bit and then came to a satisfactory conclusion.

I've got other people's laugh lines on my forehead.

i love "the golden girls"

Rose: [It was] right after the herring juggling act.
Blanche: You mean to tell me that somebody actually juggled herring?
Rose: No! It was the herring who did the juggling. Tiny little Ginsu knives. Really very dangerous -- I mean, one false move, they could have filleted themselves.
Sophia: I hate you.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

remember the scene from "twister" when they run in the barn and it's full of huge blades and they say "who ARE these people?!" amateurs, that's who

Okay, so they weren't real tornadoes. Sure, they were funnel clouds that ripped trees right out of the ground and the force of the wind was so strong it took two people to open a door on the INSIDE of our house, but whatever. Apparently those things do not a tornado make. Not enough flying cows, I guess.

But when I was in high school, we had some fake tornadoes in the Pittsburgh area. Or, more specifically, in my backyard. Took a huge tree from our property line and deposited it squarely in our yard. That tree was always our bitchy neighbor's when she was talking about cutting it down, but once nature did it for her, it was our responsibility to dispose of it. Which, to my father, meant "firewood!" and to every snake in western Pennsylvania, "yay! a new place to coil up and then spring out of at a truly surprising speed!"

Back to the story. If we were in Kansas, those alarms would have been blaring. But since this is western Pennsylvania, where we don't get tornadoes even when we get tornadoes, we don't have those. But the house was shaking and the sky appeared to be upside-down, so we thought "Ahh! All these years of being the only people in the this area (and century) with a root cellar have finally paid off!" (or so we thought) and so we went downstairs and the three of us and Madison (because our father was where he always was at dinnertime on a weeknight: work) squeezed into the root cellar, which, as the safest place in the house, had been packed chock-full of shit in the event of just such an emergency.

But not just any shit. No, no, only the most dangerous shit can be stored in your family's emergency shelter, especially if you have two children. We weren't even allowed in there lest we do something stupid and reckless, like clean it.

There was a windshield from some car we didn't even own anymore. Gas cans. Kerosene lamps. A scythe. I swear, a scythe. This wasn't even the only one we had. There were two others hanging in the regular part of the basement. This appeared to be the emergency scythe, the hoarded stash in case he had to suddenly harvest some wheat. In 1894. Who in '90s American suburbia owned not one but many scythes? I'm surprised there weren't nuclear warheads down there. For all I know, there were.

You know how people always say it sounds like a train? It totally sounds like a train. At first, I thought that there were cars coming up the driveway, but then when it got louder, I realized what it was. Probably the only one of us not convinced we were all about to die in one of a myriad of ways (and suddenly with the urge to look over our life-insurance policies) was Madison. He was much more interested in shedding every hair on his body directly onto my face while crawling so high on my lap that I think he was moments away from molecular bonding. Not that I minded.

But because I crawled into that stuffed storage locker of death/emergency storm shelter with my mother, brother, and furry companion, I did learn something very important about my family. We came across some old letters and postcards written by my grandmother, my father's mother and read them. They were all postmarked in Roswell, New Mexico, in July 1947. The face you just made is nothing compared to the one we all made.

You have to admit, it would be one hell of a satisfactory explanation.

Friday, July 06, 2007

yet another talent i cannot use to fight crime, and an exciting update

I have never encountered another individual with the talent for self-injury that I possess. I'm the MacGyver of klutz -- I could find a way to kill accidentally kill myself with an empty tissue box and a handful of cotton balls.

Yesterday morning while I was still legally unconscious, I found a way to slide across my bathroom floor as though it were buttered ice. The only reason I didn't wind up doing a cartoon-banana-peel-style slip-n-flip was that my foot (or more precisely, one of my toes; the next-to-last one, the one that "had none") cracked into the base of my toilet. Which happens to be a very, very old toilet made of porcelain, lead, and Kryptonite. I was afraid I'd broken it at first because of the horrible noise of the collision. Fortunately, I didn't. I did lose some skin, though.

Then last night while the rest of the city was gazing adoringly and unblinkingly at the sky flowers erupting overhead, (even though in Pittsburgh, they start setting off fireworks on July 3rd, but that's not much different than any other day ending in Y) my brother and I were assembling my new desk. Somehow during said assembly, I managed to drop the desk on -- that's right -- the same foot. Different toe, though. The desk landed on the big toe, the one who "went to market." This time, he's going in pieces; my desk took out a nice slice of toe. You may be asking yourself how I found the one bony area of my body and then managed to drop the one sharp edge of my extremely heavy desk directly onto it, but I have no answer for you.

I only know that today I shut two doors on that foot and hit it against my desk at work so many times that I lost count. Usually there are ruby slippers associated with this kind of unlikely landings of falling objects.

Coming soon to a blog that is this one: pictures! I bought a digital camera on Sunday. A new era of God Damn It, Amanda is upon us. One where I share with the world photographic representation of every new set of sheets I buy at Target. Apparently the iPod will be my final technological frontier. If that's the case, I hope never to make it to Oregon, as it were.

no, in fact, fuck YOU

I was just on Facebook, which is only one step below MySpace in that it's basically useless and I kind of hate it. But at least no one assaults me with a song that plays automatically as I try to view a page. (Why I bother looking at pages is beyond me.)

Anyway, I saw a Facebook group (which are, again, useless -- they're sort of like bumper stickers for your Facebook profile) called something like "Get an Education or End Up Stuck in Iraq? Fuck You, John Kerry."

Seriously? I don't know how this got twisted around in the first place, but the man was insulting Bush, not American soldiers. And how are people still talking about this? That was months ago. Shouldn't you all have maybe thought about it for a second (or read the actual statement) and come to the conclusion that a veteran isn't going to insult soldiers? Like, ever? Furthermore, where is all of your outrage at being led into the clusterfuck that is the Iraq War by President Wyatt Earp? You've got your panties in your colon over a couple of sentences when there have been over 3,500 American soldiers killed in Iraq and over 26,000 wounded? These soldiers are killing or being killed so the American rich can get richer. A minimum of 66,800 (and probably many, many more) Iraqi civilians have been killed. And don't forget the unimaginable horrors that have happened at Abu Ghraib as a result of this war. (By the way, the really, really horrifying stuff wasn't even reported until very recently, in an article in The New Yorker. But who cares about that, right? Just Iraqis -- just more brown people. If it's good enough to be Bush administration official policy, then it's good enough for the rest of us, right?)

What makes my head spin is that people read some ridiculous misinterpretation of Kerry's statement and blindly latched onto it just because it sounded like it could be right -- which is exactly the same way the warmongers drummed up support for the unjustified invasion of Iraq in the first place. There are people who still think that Iraq was in some way responsible for September 11th. That's so brain-searingly idiotic that I can't even address it. Why not believe in the Tooth Fairy while you're at it?

So maybe Kerry wasn't insulting your intelligence, but I will.

Learn to think for yourselves or you'll wind up being led everywhere, and that includes to your own death. Maybe not in Iraq, but hey -- there's always Iran!

One final point -- I do not disrespect American soldiers. I have absolutely no respect for Bush's administration (or anyone who supports it) because they clearly place absolutely no value on the lives of anyone -- Americans, Iraqis, soldiers, civilians, it doesn't matter. If they did, they'd allow media coverage of soldiers' bodies returning home. Instead of worrying that the public would become outraged, they'd maybe start worrying about their own actions that led to those soldiers coming home in body bags. And that maybe they should be just as upset.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

it's like a pyramid scheme, except instead of losing your life's savings, you get a bunch of books

So I got invited by a friend of mine here in the 'burgh to a book club of sorts. It involves you sending a letter to six people and a book to one person via the real, actual, physical mail. I have to choose six people to get to participate. If anyone is interested in participating, email me with your address. If you don't have my email address or if you are just extraordinarily lazy, just leave a comment. I won't publish it, obviously, if it contains your address.

Unless you'd like stalkers. If you want stalkers, I can totally publish your address. And measurements.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

television writers: causing english majors to have aneurysms since 1928

Why the hell do stupid people insist on using the word "ironically" to describe everything? I'm sitting here watching a show on Discovery Health and the narrator has used the word "ironic" three times in the past five minutes to describe things that were coicidental, unfortunate, counterintuitive, and other various adjectives that have nothing to fucking do with irony.

Also, who was the asshole who decided to start using "an" as an article before "historic"? And why have other people latched on to this? You only use "an" before a vowel or vowel sound. Do either one of those qualities apply to the word "historic"? Here's a hint: no. No, they do not. And if you just thought to yourself "But I pronounce it 'istoric because I think that makes me sound smart!" then you should probably go have yourself sterilized immediately. It's not "'istory," so it's not "'istoric." Also, you can look it up in the dictionary, where you will find that dropping the H is not an acceptable pronunciation.

And -- I'm looking at you, Discovery Channel -- stop referring to rape as "taking advantage of" a person. Taking advantage is when someone is maybe a little bit drunk or vulnerable and makes a bad decision. Knocking out a little girl, raping her, and then dismembering her is nowhere near the sphere of "taking advantage." And while we're on the subject, "brutal" does not need to be used to describe murder and "violent" does not need to describe rape. They're sufficiently vivid words as they are.

Also: "dead body" should be removed from the English vernacular. We call live bodies "people." So if there's a body found decomposing in the woods, I think we would all assume we're talking about a dead person. Perhaps someone who just said "take and" to me.

Friday, June 29, 2007

yet another story that i can't believe doesn't end in "and then she punched him in the face"

So today, my mother ran into some people we used to vaguely know a long time ago. They're the sons of one of our former neighbors, and they're quite revolting. Apparently they're even more disgusting than either of us remembered or ever could have imagined.

Her telling me about the brief encounter reminded us both of this little gem of a vignette.

One of these guys is named Tom. Quite a long time ago, maybe about 10 years, my mother was walking Madison, our dog, down the street like she did almost every day. Tom was in someone else's yard having a conversation with someone else when he abruptly called out, "Ellie! I can't believe it! Madison is on a leash!"

Madison would occasionally (and still does) wander around the neighbors' yards because they insist on putting out bread for the birds, knowing that Madison will of course be the one to eat it. Almost all the dogs in the neighborhood wandered around, especially the dogs belonging to the family around whom this story revolves.

So that pissed off my mother in a very specific way. She said back, "You're probably as surprised as I'd be if I looked out one day and said, 'Tom! You're on a date!'"

Of course, he had nothing to say. Who would?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

it is entirely possible that ann coulter is actually retarded

First of all, Ann, maybe if you ate a sandwich now and then, you could stop being such a nasty cunt all the time. You look like Skeletor in a blond wig. You make Paris Hilton look not only rational and balanced, but portly.

Second, do you find it that difficult to respond to the actual words that someone is saying to you? I mean, I've worked with people who were severely mentally retarded and they could respond to questions with answers that related to said questions. What the fuck excuse do you have?

Third, if you're going to try to be a ballsy bitch, then don't shrivel away as soon as someone calls you on your cuntdom. Don't deny shit. I had more balls than that when I was in the 7th grade. You're a fucking amateur when it comes to outside ovaries and you're giving women everywhere a bad name. If you can't step up, then step off.

today: things that sucked, things that did not suck

I'm going to break this day down into some lists.

Things That Did Not Suck

- Fried chicken
- Macaroni salad
- Walker, Texas Ranger
- Being told that my hair looked pretty.

Things That Sucked

- Screaming headache.
- Bizarre continuing bouts of nausea in the morning. (No, I'm not pregnant.)
- A royal fuckup at work that kept me there till almost 1:00 (which was basically my own fault, so I can't even be angry about it).
- Walking across the entire parking lot barefoot in a monsoon because I didn't want to ruin my nice new sandals.
- PennDOT.

Things I Cannot Categorize

- Not being struck by lightning on my barefoot walk to my car. I can't categorize this because on one hand, I don't want to die in a parking lot, but on the other hand, if I died, I probably wouldn't be pissy. I'd just be dead. And still in the parking lot till someone ran over my fried, soggy corpse around 7:00 AM. Yeah, I still can't make up my mind on that one. I'm just going to sit here and watch Chuck Norris deliver roundhouse kicks to various faces as I slowly pass out.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

they say variety is the spice of life

And it's certainly the spice of mine. Well, that and cumin.

There was just a guest on The Colbert Report talking about correlations between certain physical traits and homosexuality. One that he mentioned was the length of index fingers as compared to ring fingers. This isn't new news, but it's not something I think about every day.

So I looked at my left hand, and the index finger is shorter than the ring finger. This apparently suggests that I am a lesbian. But then I looked at my right hand, and the index and ring finger are exactly the same length, which is the most often the case among straight women.

If anyone finds this surprising, please check the room you are in to be sure you have proper ventilation.

The only real conclusion I can draw from this is to say that I probably have two hands for a reason.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

things i've had enough of: a list

Stupid Fucking Lyrics

That stupid song "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield that is on every fucking tv show and has now invaded a shampoo commercial. I haven't heard lyrics this bad since Vanessa Carlton dropped acid and picked up a pen to write "1,000 Miles." These two should go fall into the sky together because after all, no one else can feel it for you. Just because something is nonsensical doesn't mean it's deep. Sometimes, it's just nonsensical. Like the fact that both of you apparently have careers that involve writing things. Also: Paul McCartney, please stop writing lyrics. I like your song, Paul, I do. But it would have been much better as an instrumental. Or perhaps with words that meant something. At least in Neil Young's "Dance, Dance, Dance," of which "Dance Tonight" seems a pale imitation about 30 years late, there are a few lines with something like meaning.

Cloying Bullshit

Here is but one example in a broad category -- the ad for "Little People, Big World" where one of the kids says something about how he wishes people would just understand that they can do the same things as everybody else, but just in a different way. You know what? Fuck you. I don't discriminate against anyone, and I think you fucking suck for assuming that I would. What the hell do I care that you're short? I wouldn't ask you to get something down off the top shelf, but I don't think you're mentally or physically handicapped and I wouldn't assume that you can't do things that you obviously can, like drive, work, and lead a normal life -- you know, just like the rest of us. But people who do harbor some juvenile fascination with and prejudices against little people (which is an idiotic phrase, by the way) are the reason there's a show about your family. And the people who feel guilty about their own prejudices are the reason there are ads like this one where we're all condescended to like naughty schoolchildren who were just picking on the different kid. Some of us were raised right, you know.

...More to come, I'm sure.

confessions of somebody who just watched five minutes of "confessions of a matchmaker"

In a rather twisted turn of events, I apparently am becoming a fan of the show "Intervention." It's reality tv that's actually reality and where people can either better their lives or die. Not surprisingly, I feel the most empathy for the people who have eating disorders and I get angry at the alcoholics. I know, I'm a mystery wrapped in an enigma. Anyway, I guess it airs on Fridays, so that's what was on when I turned on the tv before I went to go brush my teeth.

So by the time I got back to my bedroom, there was some other show on called "Confessions of a Matchmaker." Simple premise: appropriately acerbic matchmaker gives tough love to dateless wonders. I pretty much hate all of these people, and I knew that before I watched any of the show. But there was one line that made me just want to slap the crap out of this woman. Speaking to a painfully insecure 22-year-old who intentionally dates assholes (of the smack-you-in-the-face variety) the matchmaker said something like, "All these men have come into your life to teach you a lesson that you still haven't learned." Um, no. First of all, the universe is not conspiring to teach us lesson about our romantic life. If the universe isn't intervening in Darfur, it does not give a flying fuck if some tarted-up insecure little American girl gets her jaw cracked by her boyfriend.

Secondly, telling some insecure girl (who thinks so little of herself that she feels the need to do shots at the dinner table and who apparently applies her makeup with a spatula) that she will be taught a lesson by dating these assholes will make her date more assholes. And even though I kind of hate this girl, I don't want anyone getting smacked around. Except for, you know, the matchmaker.

I have no real conclusion to offer you other than the big revelation in this episode apparently is that this guy who's a 41-year-old virgin is actually gay and in denial. "41-year-old virgin" is enough to make most of us think "closeted!" But looking at this guy's man-choker and listening to him talk, it's intensely obvious that, as Margaret Cho's mother would say, he is "the gay." I've been saying "Um, yeah, you're gay," to the tv in response to everything this guy has said. He randomly mentioned ABBA. You're a homo, dude, and it's cool. Join us out here on the other side of the closet door. It's seriously a hell of a lot more fun. There are cute boys for you to make out with, and then later you and I can go shopping.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

i'm either well-rounded or a threat to myself and others

I have a new life goal: to drive in a demolition derby. I'd love to use my father's old Mercury Zephyr, but that's mostly because I want to destroy that car. Although I don't know what I could do to that thing that could damage it any more -- it has a family of raccoons living in it and a tree growing through it. I don't even know how that's possible, but apparently it is.

Not only do I think it would be quite suitable for me to take up a hobby that involves intentionally crashing cars, but people will probably start taking me more seriously when I threaten to run them over. And I would really like it if my obituary were carried by the AP and contained the phrases "radical feminist," "Nobel Prize," and "demolition derby." Also, I think it will make my students exactly the right mix of amused and slightly afraid of me.

I already know what I'm going to call my series of spraypainted, barely moving hunks of metal: Beowulf. All of them will have the same name. What name could possibly be more suitable for a hunk of screeching metal barely clinging to its own existence and yet charging off into battle? (Here's to no funeral pyre.)

I think I'll invite my students out to see me crash up some cars, and I'll give them extra credit if they can explain in a brief, amusing essay why exactly I chose that name.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

if there were a parrot that lived in my car, one of the first phrases it would learn would be "do i LOOK scared, asshole?!"

So tonight I had one of my encounters with the clinically insane on the highways of greater Pittsburgh. I think this is going to have to become one of my ongoing series, because honestly, what the hell. I must have some kind of pheromone that attracts them to me. It doesn't matter what car I'm driving, if I'm even the driver, or where I am. These people sniff the air, take a swig of Wild Turkey, and head out a-swervin'.

This week has been just pure suck from start to finish. Work has been really hectic, I haven't felt well, and PennDOT is continuing its efforts to make me finally go off my nut. Last night, I was up until about 4:00 (even though I got in bed at 2:00) with a washcloth on my forehead, willing myself to just die already rather than continue the sudden migraine I got almost as soon as I got in the door. So I don't know why I was hoping that tonight, when I knew I was going to have to take an absolutely ridiculous route home actually through downtown Pittsburgh, (which is one of the worst places I've ever had to drive) I hoped I could just listen to Patty Griffin and mellow out and forget about the week.

And here's where I need to interrupt for my story-within-the-story.

It was really foggy tonight, and fog always makes me think of a friend I had in college who grew up in New Orleans. One Halloween, he and I went to a club in Delaware (for those who don't know, I went to college on the eastern shore of Maryland, very close to Delaware) and wound up having a very, very spooky ride back to Chestertown in my Festiva. I'm not going to use his real name, as he and I are not friends anymore. So I'll call him FF for "former friend." We hit this sudden fog that for some reason just gave both of us the creeps. It was thick and hung in these layers that I'd never seen before and I've never seen since. And FF told me about what "the voodoo people" say about fog: that it's the souls of those in purgatory, chained together, fated to walk the earth forever. It's not foggy here very often, at least not at the hours when I'm usually on the road, and I always think of that conversation when I drive through fog.

So I thought maybe there could be some purgatorial element to how I will probably think of FF every time I drive through fog for the rest of my life, and how those thoughts, the ones we can't control, the ones that drift in and out of our lives so much like fog, might be a way in which souls can be linked forever. And I thought about how I felt to have my soul linked to thoughts of a person I find to be such an unkind human being.

As I was starting to think that maybe this idea could become a poem, I needed to merge from one highway onto another. It was after midnight, and there's usually just a handful of people on the road then. As I was about to merge onto the highway from the on-ramp lane, which ends, but not too abruptly, this guy in some late '80s land yacht decided that he hated me. He actually sped up so I couldn't merge. He had a completely empty lane right next to him, and anyone else who's ever driven a car would have just moved over, especially at the speed he was going, but he apparently had decided that I was not worthy of driving on the same road as him. So he boxed me in and I had to slam on my brakes and swoop behind him. That just pissed me off, especially since he'd broken my goddamn train of thought. Never do that. That's how people get their skulls cracked.

So I did what any extremely angry and possibly unbalanced person would have done with my limited resources. I blasted my horn and high-beamed him for about 10 seconds, which in my mind was an appropriate punishment. Then I got over it and passed him. He tried to high-beam me, but as I said, he was in an '80s land yacht, so his high beams were ineffective and laughable. It was like an attempted rape by the world's smallest-dicked man.

Side note: Even my low beams are blinding. Not long ago, I was following my brother home at night and the whole way, he thought I was trying to get his attention. When we got home, he got out of his car, stormed over to me in the driveway, and said "What the hell?! Why were you beaming me?!" to which I said, "Those aren't my high beams...these are." And then he screamed like a vampire in sunlight.

Back to Birdshit-For-Brains. I tried to outrun him, but his land yacht was surprisingly fast. I was doing 90 on Green Tree Hill, but then traffic picked up, so I just slowed down and boxed him in, which drove him even crazier and made me laugh. He was still trying to high-beam me, so I flipped him off. Then he rode up beside me and we got to take a nice look at one another. Unfortunately. I just gave him a huge smile as he screamed and gestured and jiggled all over the front seat. Dude had to weigh at least 400. The reason behind his choice of vehicle was instantly apparent. I mean, I don't make fun of people for being big, because I'm not one to talk, but seriously, dude. No wonder you hate life.

Then he started swerving, like he was going to intentionally hit my car. Now, I wasn't scared of him, but I was getting a bit sick of his antics. I knew that if he forced me off the road, I had nothing heavy enough to hit him with that would just take him down. So I started thinking of the areas I would punch if I had to. Never be without a battle plan. I had settled on an upward butt of the hand to the nose, a punch to the throat if I couldn't reach the nose, and possibly a knee to the groin if it were accessible. You never know what might be hidden under fat flaps, and I like to have options. I also knew that I had the power of built-up rage on my side and that no matter how big you are, you will lose a fight with a Ford sedan every time.

Then we were in the Ft. Pitt tunnel, and he started doing that riding-level shit again. I hate that. I am not scared of you, fucker. On the scale of scary shit I've experienced, you are way down on the list, right between accidentally setting off my smoke detector and oversleeping. So I grabbed my cell phone, flipped it open, and pretended to dial. I'd heard somewhere that whackos get freaked out if they know you have the ability to summon the police. I don't know if that's what did it, but that was the exact moment he chose to speed up and take some evasive maneuvers away from me. That brought me great joy. But nothing like what happened next.

PennDOT has completely shut down a heavily trafficked tunnel here called the Squirrel Hill tunnel, which was the reason for my aforementioned completely insane route home. Traffic there is notoriously awful to begin with, and there is no good detour for large volumes of trafic. You have to go through this tunnel to get just about anywhere. Of course, there are a bunch of side roads, but no other highway for people to detour onto. So people are being routed through residential areas. There was an article (front page, above the fold) in today's paper about the detour route and just how absolutely awful it was going to be. An assistant chief of police called it a "nightmare." So I thought about it ahead of time and decided to go the fuck around this mess.

Well, I might have guessed that reading and thinking ahead were not two of Birdshit's hobbies. Or general life skills. So he drove off towards his giant steaming pile of detour, and I cackled as I went off on my wildly circuitous tour of the city proper and outskirts. This was about two hours ago, and I am on my couch in pajama bottoms, sipping ice-cold Gatorade and watching TNT in an air-conditioned room while he is most likely still sitting in traffic somewhere, loathing his very existence. And that makes my toes curl with an orgasmic sense of rightness-with-the-world.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

a random assortment of things i think about when i'm not outraged

There should be more movies where the main characters have to pretend a dead guy is still alive. I've seen Bernie whang that buoy about 50 times, and I have fallen off the couch and wheezed till I thought my eyeballs would burst every damn time.

I think I have more mosquito bites than I have body parts. I don't know how the little fuckers pulled that off. Scratching mosquito bites while you're at work makes you look like you have either a mental illness or a serious and possibly contagious skin condition. Either way, no one will bother you. But it's possible that you will go insane.

Futurama was a really good show with a cult-like following and I cannot think of one good reason they could have had for canceling it except that Rupert Murdoch may be a demon of some sort.

Ted Kooser astounds me.

I went to dinner with my mom on Saturday and the family next to us had three children -- a little boy maybe about 5, a little girl about 2 or 3, and a tiny little baby who was maybe 3 weeks old. The little boy kept turning and waving at me, and after about the fifth time he did it, I started to talk to him. He introduced everyone at the table -- his mom, aunt, grandma, and his two sisters. When he got to the baby, he said, "And that's Ashley, and she just came out of my mama's coo-coo." Possibly the funniest thing I've ever heard aside from the phrase "Subterranean Tankosaurus," which is the name I gave some creature on a kids' show.

Going to the grocery store after going out to dinner is a good idea except if you get a little tipsy at dinner. That's how I found myself standing at the deli counter being presented with three turkey options and being genuinely confused by this vast array of choices. I was also wondering of Stephen King has ever wanted to use a deli-meat slicer thing in one of his stories.

One of my uncles has apparently been operating under two delusions for quite a few years, despite all kinds of evidence to the contrary: that I want to be a journalist and that my eyes are blue. I can't decide which delusion is weirder. Also, the mental image I get from the word "journalist" is April from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Seriously, I could watch guys running headfirst into buoys all day long.

i really should have more opinions

Once upon a time, I had a good deal of respect for John McCain. Of course, not anymore, for obvious reasons. I wouldn't spit on him, but I might tell him that he was someone who could have inspired a sense of bipartisanship in this country, and he threw that aside for his true desires -- power without leadership. I think Americans, particularly the young ones, who will be the ones living with the consequences of the clusterfuck that is this administration's policy on any- and everything, not only deserved better from him, but now deserve one hell of an apology. Two roads diverged in a wood, and McCain took the 8-lane highway that leads to Wal-Mart.

Once upon a time, I thought of Rudolph Giuliani as a Republican I kind of liked -- one I would even consider voting for, and not in some bizarro-world scenario where up is down and right is wrong, which is of course now the only way I could see myself voting for him. Once upon a time, I agreed with him. I thought he was a good-humored guy with some good ideas and a great sense of human rights. Not anymore. He, too, has fallen into step with the power-hungry bastards who have ruled this country right into a Dark Age.

A friend of mine told me to watch this. His choice of closing was particularly apt. And yet it's somewhat frightening that Murrow's words can bridge nearly 60 years of fearmongering, "us versus them" myopia, and an absolute lack of anything even resembling morality.

Last week I saw part of a George Carlin special that was at least as old and possibly slightly older than me. Reagan was in office, and Carlin remarked that the man who campaigned on the "keep big government out of our lives" platform wanted to make sure government remained firmly planted in every American uterus. He went on to say a lot of other things that were extremely applicable now but that I won't recount, as that's not my point.

I had the same feeling I got when watching "Murphy Brown" and Murphy said something about Bush wanting to build a wall along the US-Mexico border, and I jolted up. I was in elementary school then. Now I'm a graduate student. How long do I have to wait for things to change?

Maybe that's the problem. Are we waiting for change? Are we so wrapped up in insignificant bullshit that the real problems, ideas, tragedies, and joys that should make up our lives fall by the wayside? I'm willing to bet serious money that the number of people who could recount in detail the conditions of Paris Hilton's jail sentence is exponentially greater than the number of people who know the name of the current Poet Laureate. I wonder how many could pick Karl Rove out of a lineup. Or know that American women have had the right to vote for less than 100 years. I will be 38 the year the 19th Amendment turns 100. My mother will be 68. I hope my children will be old enough to remember it when they are adults.

I will teach my children that people died for us to have the right to vote -- not just women, but all of us -- and that we should exercise that power, the fundamental principle upon which democracy is founded. I will teach them that we are all equal. I will teach them to be curious, to think things through, to never accept anything on blind faith alone. I will teach my children how to be responsible citizens of the world.

I hope there will be enough of a world for them to live in. So I guess that means that it's time for us to wake ourselves from the gossamer nightmare that has become our reality.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

human: the other other other other other white meat (right after chipmunk)

I clap my hands in delight whenever some killer whale in a SeaWorld-type place eats part of some asshole tourist. It just seems like justice to me. Animals are not meant to be locked up like that and made to perform tricks; if I were a killer whale with my dorsal fin all flopped over because I've had the will to live drained out of me, and I had some jackass standing on my face because gee, what a cool picture that will be to show the guys at the office, I'd bat him around the tank for about 45 minutes before I ate his left foot.

So I was not sad at all when Timothy Treadwell got eaten by the bears he so loved. And by "loved," I mean "annoyed shitless." If I were a bear, I would have eaten him, too, and I don't think I'd have been able to put up with him for 13 years. I'd last a good week and a half. And if there were plenty of salmon, I'd just have killed him for the hell of it. Which brings me to my next point.

When wild animals attack people, why are we amazed? If you're sitting in an airport and a buffalo charges you, then you have the right to be astounded. But odds are that if you're currently being ripped apart by some animal, you were not supposed to be wherever you are. Sure, there are exceptions, but they're still animals. So are we. And yet people are so horrified when a cougar eats a person, as though we're something other than walking meat. Yeah, it's a terrible death, but I'm pretty sure those mountain goats don't enjoy being eaten while they're still kicking, either. We slaughter and eat all kinds of animals (or parts of them, anyway) but then we've got to go shoot down the "maneater" from a helicopter. It's a good thing cows don't have delusions of being at the top of the food chain.

Of course I'm on this rant because of what I captioned this evening. Some douchebag has taken it upon himself to go out and try to find a way to get himself mauled. If he feels the need to get himself torn into fleshy bleeding flaps, all he needs to do is show up on my front porch and remind me who he is. Of course, none of the animals care that he's there because he hasn't gone to poke them with sticks while they're half-starved, which seems to be a common denominator among animal attacks on humans. If a bear sees you while he has a mouthful of salmon and is standing next to a field full of berries, he won't care that you're there. I can't imagine that human would taste very good, especially because we live so long. (Usually.) We've got to be stringy and gross. I think salmon and berries sounds great. I will choose that over Random Hiker every time. One very big reason Treadwell was slurped up by Mr. Chocolate or whatever the fuck bear ate him is that there was no food. And when there's no food around, your definition of food becomes a bit broader. You know how you start sniffing at yogurt that expired last week and saying "Well, it smells all right..." We are the expired yogurt of the natural world. No one wants to eat it, but every now and again, someone has to.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

i should stop holding back and tell you all how i really feel

So Papadon, my adopted Texas grandpa, at the behest of his wife, Lisa, sent me a link to a video by Roy Zimmerman, a man who so far appears to be my soulmate. There's a bunch of his stuff on youtube, but so far this one is my favorite.

I put him in the same category as Mark Morford: hilarious, smart, and a guy I'd totally blow out of sheer principle. (And if you watch the Dick Cheney video, well, there's just one more reason. Because that's hot.)

Which brings me to my next topic: Bush should be impeached. Which all of you know. JK (my brother) asked me tonight how in hell it was possible for Clinton to get impeached for getting a blowjob while Captain Sparky is still wandering around the White House peeing on things. I only assume this is how he fills his days, because it's clearly not spent thinking up ways to solve problems. His biggest decision every day is what to have for dinner. You never know when a pretzel might attack. (Yeah, that's right, I went (back) there.)

A few years ago or maybe yesterday, I said that if some chubby-girl head is what it takes to get a president impeached, then I will step up for America.

But really, the idea of even seeing that limp, barely used nub of a cock that's buried in the graying pubes of our coke-rotted, barely literate, alcoholic, possibly functionally retarded squatter of a president makes me want to vomit in rage, fear, rage again, and just general repulsion. And that's exactly what happened. Although he still paid me. Can we impeach the fucker now?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

optimus prime, the bible, and some douchebag with a milkshake

So last week I was chomping Midol like they were Skittles. I think there were tiny little peasants fleeing from every step I took. In short, it was not a good time. Of course, the foul-tempered writhing of various internal organs was nothing compared to the prospect of being turned into chowder on 376.

I was in the fast lane when the genius ahead of me slammed on his brakes because there was a ghost in the road or something. I suspect he was in fact trying to kill himself. So I screeched dramatically to a stop, which somehow did not involve getting my transmission in his back seat. The guy behind me did the same thing, but he fishtailed out into the right lane. On this particular stretch of 376, there are only two lanes, no shoulder, and a jersey barrier on both sides. It's a jumble of bridge, onramp, and overpass. So as we were all camped out (mostly) in the left lane while traffic whizzed past us on the right, I looked up and fucking Optimus Prime was barrelling along. And I had three overlapping scenes go through my mind: the last thing I said to my brother, the last thing I said to my mother, and a vision of the inevitable crash. I just knew the truck was going to clip the rear of the guy behind me and then send us all splattering into the barrier and each other. Apparently the guy behind me knew that, too, because he pulled some James Bond maneuver and whipped around me and the douchebag. I have no idea how in hell he managed that. But wherever you are, dude, thank you for saving my life. He quite literally risked his own life, but I guess he didn't have much of a choice.

So I managed to get myself to work, and the second I took the key out of the ignition, I shuddered and started shaking. It took me three tries to just log in to my computer. Oh, and did I mention the crying? That was lots of fun and not humiliating at all. But I couldn't stop. I had to go have a freakout in the bathroom for a few minutes. Almost dying is one thing. But I cannot stand to have anyone see me cry like that. So then I transitioned into furious. Somehow I got through the day, mellowed out, and in the last half hour I was in the office, I had to caption some religious nonsense. And what were these particular Unfuckables yapping about? Only the two issues most likely to make steam come out of my ears -- abortion and gay rights. At the same time. Which apparently can both be irrefutably condemned by god by reading the same few verses. One of which says murder is bad (so are lima beans. Your point?) and the other is even more rambling and pointless than what I write here.

I'm now going to do something I've never done before -- quote the bible. Specifically, the book of Romans, if you're interested.

"And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet." Yeah -- how many times did you just look back at that and go, "Huh?"

Once again, I am struck by the notion that if some omnipotent being truly did write the bible, it'd be better-written. But I digress. More than usual. Also, the phrase "use of woman" triggers screaming in my head.

Anyway, the whole thing is pretty vague. Sure, we've got the word "lust" going on there. But "working that which is unseemly" could be anything, especially since it previously mentions a whole slue of sins, including committing murder and being disobedient to one's parents and not having mercy for one's fellow man. Said list says nothing about boys kissing each other. Or girls. In case you were wondering.

But right in the next chapter it says something that is pretty unmistakable. "Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. " I had to read that once in order to understand it. How about you?

That chapter goes on in that vein, essentially repeating itself and saying that god alone will judge mankind and man should be content in that knowledge. I could twist that around to oppose the death penalty really easily. But I'm not going to use it to support anything I believe. Why? Because using a 2,000-year-old book to support my own ideas is ridiculous. The bible says a lot of shit that is conveniently mostly ignored because we as a society have recognized that is is completely insane. Like in Leviticus, in the discussion of how long everyone is unclean after or during various things. Like childbirth. Apparently if you give birth to a girl, you're much more unclean than if you have a boy. Who knew?

Also, there is a giant list of who you should not have sex with or see naked. I think this is hilarious not only for the number of times I've seen just about everyone I know naked, including my father, which is right at the top of the list, but because it reminds me of the letter the FBI sent me when they ran a background check on me when I was working with the kids a few years ago. They sent me a list of every crime I'd never been convicted of. Which was all of them. (On that list was sodomy. Not forcible sodomy or anything, just sodomy. Which made me wonder several very strange things I'm sure you're already wondering so I won't bother reiterating your own thoughts.)

Perhaps if you're going to base your life around an ancient book and you're going to pick and choose your abominations (like eating sheep or shrimp) then at least acknowledge that maybe everything in the bible isn't meant to be taken literally. Because lamb chops are delicious and so is lady business. Mm-mmm!

My point is this -- I can't believe my head hasn't exploded. Especially since somebody threw a fucking milkshake on my car. I guess this was either some idiot teenager trying to look cool for his friends or someone opposed to ending the Iraq War. (Or they're opposed to Pittsburgh public radio or AIDS research, the only other stickers on my car.) Because nothing says "I blindly support our retarded chimpanzee of a president" quite like throwing a milkshake at a parked car. I suppose I should be happy it wasn't feces.

But, Amanda, you may be asking, How can you be sure that some idiot thew the milkshake? Well, dear imaginary inquisitive reader with whom I have frequent imagined dialogues, it's because I watch Court TV and have learned valuable lessons on blood-spatter patterns. I was out in the driveway in shorts and plastic sandals, holding a hose and Forensic File-ing the drips. Then I was out in the driveway in shorts and plastic sandals cursing the existence of that fuckwad. There are a lot of people in the world who I'll never meet but who I'd pay to hit in the face with a length of 2x4. And that list has a new entry as of yesterday.

As usual, I just wanted to give you all some stories to tell CNN via satellite interview after I finally snap.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

on the other hand, children are learning all about the doppler effect

Forest Hills is insane. I was sitting in the yard with my mother a few hours ago and we heard a voice over a bullhorn coming from the street that runs on the other side of our yard. Our yard slopes down into a wooded area that gives way to houses and a small apartment complex. Not the best acoustics. All we could make out was some garbled nonsense and then the phrase "pick them up at the fire hall." After about a half hour, the voice made its way up to a place where it could cut through the brush a little better, and we finally received the vital message, "For anybody that ordered hoagies off the fire department, don't forget to pick them up at the fire hall."

Seriously? The phone has been around how long? And everyone in the world, including my grandmother, has email. You can even email someone from your cell phone. And still, Forest Hills seems to think that the best way to communicate with people is the town crier.

We also have an insane ice-cream truck in Forest Hills. We never had one in my neighborhood when I was growing up, (a whopping three miles from here) so the only experience I have with ice-cream trucks comes from television shows and manufactured nostalgia I've inherited from other people. But I would think that when anyone thinks of an ice-cream truck (unless this person lives in Forest Hills, of course) the basic thought that comes to mind is some kind of melodious music and a slow-moving freezer on wheels. Forest Hills apparently hired the Antichrist for its ice-cream-delivery needs. My other theory is that they are trying to combat obesity in a really cruel way.

The music this thing plays is so cacophonous that you wonder if the ice cream it contains will bite you if you somehow find a way to purchase it. I say "somehow find a way" because the truck barrels down the road at about 45 mph. In case you're wondering, the speed limit is 20.

They pick a new song every once in a while. The last two summers, it was "The Entertainer" performed by, I think, The Mental Patient Ringtone Symphony. And the truck moves so fast, you only get to hear about four notes at a time, so it took me both summers to piece together just what in hell it was I was listening to.

Today was the ice-cream truck's first appearance of 2007, and I think their music selection has devolved even further, something I didn't even know was possible. Remember the episode of "Friends" where Ross is playing a collection of sound effects on his keyboard? I think that's what just blew past my house.

I'll let you know next August.

Friday, May 18, 2007

"amanda wins at life"

I mean, who doesn't know that already? But in case you were wondering, or perhaps if you need a reaffirmation, here is the story of why my coworker said that today.

I had been musing on just what it would cost me to hire Chuck Norris to stand by my desk and deliver roundhouse kicks to the faces of those people who feel the need to stand behind me and speak in obnoxious stage whispers and laugh like cartoon Japanese schoolgirls. About 12 times a day.

So then we started trading Norrisisms. (Chuck Norris does not sleep; he waits. Chuck Norris's tears cure cancer. Too bad he has never cried. Ever. Chuck Norris is not hung like a horse. Horses are hung like Chuck Norris. When it rains, Chuck Norris does not get wet. Water gets Chuck Norris.) Then I came up with a brand-new one.

Chuck Norris does not caption. He punches deaf people until they can hear.

I do, in fact, win at life. But only because Chuck Norris allows me to.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

a blogevangelist extravaganza: ding! dong! the douchebag's gone

Is it wrong to laugh at someone's death? Almost usually. But no more wrong than every single thing that Jerry Falwell ever said, including the time he said, "Sure!" when a waitress asked him if Coke was okay when he ordered a Pepsi. (Note: he then prayed for her heathen, Coke-selling soul.)

So apparently Ol' Jer dropped dead (or, if you'd like to use the medical terminology, he was 'smote') around noon. Right as I was getting up vaguely early so I could go vote. And oh, boy, am I glad I voted. Now I'm going to have yet another reason to want to go a-vote-castin'! Not only will I order up some democracy, Sheetz-style, but now I can hope that somewhere, every time a "Vote" button lights up, a disgusting ball of intolerance and adipose tissue will heave a sigh and then flop to the ground. Or, in the case of Fred Phelps, have a crystal-meth-induced seizure atop an underaged male prostitute.

Everyone who has a blog is today writing something about Falwell's death. Some, like me, are clapping their hands and cackling. Some are sure it's a sign of the apocalypse. (Note: if ever there is a day during which nobody says the words "it's a sign of the apocalypse!" it will actually be the apocalypse.) And some are saying that we shouldn't mock his death because he had a family, and it's mean. Or something.

Dude, what the fuck ever. I have a family, too, and he didn't seem to have any problem bashing every single thing I stand for. And if I keeled over today instead of him, he'd have surely condemned my entire life, glossing over all the good things I've done and focusing instead on the fact that I like to kiss girls. Right, so, party at my house. Let's get a fucking keg and celebrate all the oxygen that's freed up for the rest of us now that he's not yammering about homosexual cartoon characters. Naked post-barbecue absinthe-and-THC-fueled moon-worship is optional but encouraged.

Phelps is going to protest the funeral, which confirms my theory that Phelps does not actually understand the concept of a protest and just has some kind of a homemade-sign fetish. A protest is to bring attention to your cause in order to bring about some kind of change. So in protesting a funeral, what is it you want to change? The death? Isn't that somewhere along the lines of questioning god? Shouldn't you disappear in a cloud of logic right about now, Phelpie? I think being called "Phelpie" by such a "fag-enabler" and carpet-muncher such as yours truly would really drive him...well, crazier. If such a thing were possible without some kind of lobotomy. I thought maybe the protest was just a rumor, but you can't make this shit up. There should be a mental disease named after that man.

Funniest thing about it is not that I agree with one of the statements therein (that Falwell split hell wide open) and with Falwell when he called Phelpie a lunatic or somesuch a while back. It's not even that everything is so poorly written. (If you can't make your point without exclamation points, then you are an idiot and should sit down.) And it's not even that the first three digits of the zip code of Ground Zero of these nitwits are 666.

No, the funniest thing about all of this is that just a few days ago, I was channel surfing and landed on some televangelist. And he was blathering about something and using completely ridiculous attempts at logic to prove that god exists and free will is a myth. He claimed that if a man makes a table and then dies, the table still exists. So far, I'm with you. I've never seen a table get blinked out of existence. But then he just threw in that the opposite is true for god and the universe -- that the universe cannot exist without god and that if god ceased to exist, so would we. Right, because that's something you can prove. If you have a guy, some wood, and a gun, you can prove the first part pretty easily. But the two aren't really related beyond sharing a couple of verbs. That's so ridiculous that I can't even come up with an appropriate analogy.

So in watching this jackass rattle on, I got so irritated that I apostrophized god or whatever mystical force might enjoy listening to basements in Forest Hills, and I said, "Aren't you fucking sick of this by now?"

It would seem that I got an answer today. I think I might be ready to be America's next cult leader.