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.