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.