Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Legendary Night Of Christmas Eve Eve

Today is Festivus, a time for the Airing of the Grievances and the Feats of Strength, or, if you don't know what I'm talking about, a time to go watch probably the best episode of Seinfeld ever.

Before it was Festivus, today was what I used to call Christmas Eve Eve, which in my family was the last shopping day before Christmas because our festival of holidays lasted three days from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day, after which time we'd eaten so much no one could move.

Christmas Eve Eve holds a special place in my memory because it is the anniversary of the first time I was ever drunk. I was a late bloomer as far as the whole drinking thing (I suppose I had to be a late bloomer at something to make up for my early and enthusiastic adoption of the sex, but I digress). My high school friends weren't big drinkers. I mean, they weren't tee totalers or anything, but most of us were more occupied with playing sports or music or both, and all of us would have been killed and eaten by our parents if we didn't keep up our universally excellent grades. College is where most of the group finally took to the sauce - I've heard stories of my brother running down the road barefoot wearing a flag as a cape his freshman year and I know I was drunk dialed more than once by Kelly and TupperDoug. It was not so for me. In a misguided attempt to please my family, I had started dating and subsequently got engaged to a bible thumping deliberate virgin, and under no circumstances would there be any pre-marital sex or drinking of any kind (the biggest fight we ever had is when some of the guys on his floor were watching porn and I was like "OOO! PORN!" and then found out that The Lord would smite me if I even thought about enjoying porn.) (oh also, even though I was only with him because I thought he was the kind of guy my family wanted me to be with, I found out later that they all hated him because he was an annoying know-it-all and they were all relieved when I broke up with him. So, gigantic waste of time then, except that it came in handy a couple of weeks ago at trivia when I knew who had the highest lifetime batting average in the MLB because he was a walking sports almanac and made me memorize that sort of thing. It was Ty Cobb, by the way, .367.) So that collegiate right of passage was ruined for me. Eventually I broke up with him because SERIOUSLY WHAT THE HELL?, but by then I had graduated and gone back to Cleveland, two years early because I had plenty of time on my hands for studying and going to class since I wasn't drinking or having any sex, and all my friends were still away at school having a normal and more awesome experience.

We would make it a point to get together over breaks. One year on Christmas Eve Eve, I believe in 1999, TupperDoug, Kelly and I realized we all had a little last minute shopping we needed to take care of. Kelly had only just gotten home so our plan was that she would have dinner with her parents and her sister and then she would call us when they were finished and we would go pick her up and head to the McMall. TupperDoug came over to my house where we hung out waiting for the call from Kelly. We waited. And waited. And waited. A number of hours went by and TupperDoug and I were getting a little bit pissy. Finally we called her and this is what she had to say. "I'm sooo sorry you guys, we totally lost track of time. See, we had a bottle of wine with dinner, and then we got to talking and we had another bottle of wine and......... listen, my whole family's drunk. Do you want to just come over here instead?" Obviously we did, so we hopped in the Tuppermobile and headed over, stopping along the way to pick up some beer or something from the liquor store. By the time we got there, a few other friends and neighbors had been called and were sitting around the table with Kelly, Simmy and their parents and they were all drinking toasts to, well, anything really. "Doug and Amber are here YYYYEEEEAAAA!" they shouted, raising their glasses to us and gulping down some wine. "Oh look and they brought beer YYYEEEAAAA!" they shouted, raising their glasses to us and gulping down more wine. TupperDoug and I got right to it. Someone poured me a glass of red and we joined in on what had basically become a "cheers to everything" drinking game. This continued for a long time, as more friends and neighbors kept showing up, because apparently they had called everyone in the address book and said "come drink".

And then the shots started. I specifically remember vodka and moonshine, which Kelly and Simmy's dad had been given by someone for a reason I never cared to find out. There may have been some tequila. Hell, there may have been anything really, I was already half plowed before the shots even started. Despite being the oldest and most experienced drinkers, and also being English, the parents (who are also my pretend aunt and uncle, though for some reason I've been calling them "Mum and Dad" for the better part of 20 years) were already annihilated (the several hour head start probably didn't help matters). So when Simmy's date that night showed up to take her out, her Dad immediately started pouring the guy a shot. What followed was a several minute struggle between the two parents, with Simmy's mother yelling "Stop that! HE'S DRIVING YOUR DAUGHTER!" while trying to pour the shots back into the bottle, even as Simmy's dad was tipping the bottle sideways and pouring even more shots. They bathed the table in spilled vodka.

In the meantime, I had completely lost control of myself. The alcohol hit me hard and also all at once, so I went from interesting conversationalist to totally incoherent in the space of one sentence.

Let's take a break from that and talk about family traits for a moment. You know how sometimes you can look at a family and every has the same nose or the same smile? In my family, we all seem to have the same set of personality traits. For instance, everyone in my family allegedly makes the same face when we are trying to make a point. This was christened "The [My family name] Stare" by the comic when we were visiting Cap and Mrs. Sizemore in St. Louis. Despite not knowing the term because he had only just made it up, Mrs. Sizemore instantly knew what he was talking about and the two of them collapsed into conspiratorial laughter. So there's that one. There's also another one: when we have been drinking we get Loud. My suspicion is that this is due to our collective thinly disguised feeling of smug superiority. When we've had to much to drink, we dispense with the disguise entirely, and because we believe what we have to say is really PROFOUND and IMPORTANT, we all very suddenly go to eleven.

This being the first time I'd ever been drunk we were all about to find this out. The moment I realized I was impaired, I was struck by the desire to inform everyone of the momentousness of the occasion. "YOU GUYS!" I screamed. "I am SUPERDRUNK! You can't let me drink ANY MORE. I AM CUT OFF! DO you hear me? CUT! OFF!" And then I poured myself some more wine and repeated this at top volume throughout the evening.

The "cheers to everything" drinking game was still going on, but now it had evolved (or maybe devolved) into "cheers to drunk dialing". It worked like this: Mum would call someone, the rest of us didn't know who (she may not have either) and then she would say some random thing and the rest of us would erupt with screams and cheering. Everyone would take a drink, mum would hang up, and we'd start the whole process over again. We were having a good time with this until she made one call that started with "Hello! We're all DRUNK!" A mighty roar erupted from the crowd, but then she continued with "So I just wanted to let you guys know that Amber probably won't be coming home tonight." She'd just drunk dialed my parents and then ratted me out. I was too drunk to be furious but had no problem being Loudly Incredulous per the family tradition.

The rest of the night I remember in patches, as drunks are wont to do. At one point my pseudo-uncle was sitting on the kitchen floor mumbling to himself, "Turn your head and cough!" and we have a lovely photo somewhere of my pseudo-aunt standing next to the table covered in empty bottles where she looks for all the world like a spree killer who just happened upon a herd of fresh prostitutes. As for myself, I learned another important lesson that night about me and drinking, which is that when I hit the wall I don't just run into it, I plow through it like the Kool-Aid man yelling "OH YEAH!" while bricks rain down on me. One minute I was fine, the next minute I had passed out on the couch and managed to vomit gallons of red wine onto my white sweater while remaining passed out. When they found me they did the only thing they could - pull my shirt off me, carry my ass to the bathroom and lay me on the floor. This would prove to be the start of something golden. To this day, if the stories told the next day don't end up with me sleeping on the bathroom floor, then I wasn't really that drunk. Kelly did her best to get me to sleep in a bed and also to put a shirt on, but I wasn't having it. I liked the floor and I wasn't moving, so instead she laid a clean shirt on top of me like a blanket and left me there to sleep it off. Around 7:00 a.m. I was awoken by TupperDoug, who had come to collect me before sneaking out.

It was now Christmas Eve, and by tradition we were all expected at my (real) aunt and uncle's place mid-afternoon for a ham dinner and to sing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus (really) before heading off to church (another fond childhood memory - before church started they would hand out little white candles for us to light and hold up at the end of the service when everyone sang Christmas hymns by candlelight. All the kids in my family would spend the entire church service warming the candles in our hands and between our knees to soften them up so we could bend them into odd shapes. One time my cousin Bryan managed to tie his candle in a knot). Upon arrival the five of us who'd been involved in the prior evening's festivities looked one another over and I have to tell you, we looked like shit. We felt even worse and the idea of ham or food of any kind was simply nauseating. But as much as we all wanted to die, there was a sparkle in the eyes of all of us as co-conspirators of what would become the Legendary Night of Christmas Eve Eve.

KELLY, DOUG, SIMONE and anyone else who was there and happens to read this: PLEASE leave your memories of this night in the comments. I know we will never be able to give a complete picture of the awesomeness to anyone who wasn't there but damn it, we can try.

Nostalgia And Shit Like That.

When I was growing up, my family liked to play board games at Christmas. It started out with the adults while us kids were busy having a wrestling match with cheap-ass plastic and its tag-team partner gravity. When we outgrew that frustration we joined them. The first one I remember playing is Pictionary, which I hated because to this day I can barely color inside the lines, let alone draw something freehand and have it be recognizable. I also remember quite a bit of Trivial Pursuit, although in my family there was nothing trivial about it - we were pretty fucking serious about wanting to win, and by "win" I mean beat my dad.

By far the most popular game we ever played and the one that dominates my memories was Crack the Case. My parents got it for my brother as a gift one year and the entire extended family decided to test it out after dinner. We were instantly hooked. Nevermind that we didn't even play it right. Almost immediately we stopped keeping score and just played it until we felt like stopping, no small feat considering the disturbing amount of competitive spirit that myself, my father AND my brother all carry around to this day (remind me to tell you how I'm "winning" at sex right now). Crack the Case worked like this: one person would pick a card out of a pile. There were three piles to choose from: Easy, Medium, and Hard. Over time as we got good at it we started disregarding the Easy cards almost entirely. On the front of the card would be a "case" - some mystery, usually a suspicious dead body, and a handful of details about the environment or circumstances the body was found in. The back of the card had all the details about what had happened. The goal was to solve the case: Who killed this person, how and why? The more difficult cards had either less initial information, or the information given was misleading. I remember one time spending several hours and no small amount of frustration on a case where the card read, "A woman has died. On the ground is a puddle of water and a hat. Who killed her, how did they do it and what was the reason?"* The trick to the thing was that you were only allowed to ask the person reading the card yes or no questions. It was like do-it-yourself CSI before there was any such show as CSI. Everybody stayed at the table and played. If sitting around playing board games as a family sounds completely dorktastic, that's because it is. Except that it wasn't. The game has been out of print for years, so good luck finding it, but if you do, I defy you to sit down with your family and play this game without thinking it is the most fun and addictive thing you've ever done with your family (unless your family sits around having "family heroin time", which would be more addictive, though I dare say it's probably not nearly as fun, at least after a while).

I made the decision several years ago not to spend any more holidays with my family and I can't say I regret it. I've grown very attached to the freedom of not having anything expected of me. I don't have anywhere I'm supposed to be at any certain time. There is no dress code. I don't have to get dressed at all if I want. If I wake up that morning and decide "You know what? Fuck ham. I don't feel like cooking. Imma eat candy all fucking day and no one can stop me", I can sit there with a massive bowl of M&Ms in my paint splatter sweatpants watching "A Christmas Story" 16 times in a row and never take a shower. Of course I would never actually do that because OHMIGOD YOU GUYS, Christmas is so TOTALLY, like, my FAVORITE as by now you all know (and if somehow you've missed this piece of information about me, I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you that my living room is currently a forest of Christmas trees. Seven of them). Also, ham is awesome.When people ask "What are you doing for Christmas?" I have to restrain myself from saying "WHATEVER THE FUCK I WANT! SUCK ON THAT, BITCH!" and making their trip to rural Indiana to see their crazy aunt that farts at the table and their racist grandparents seem like purgatory. But the one thing that I do always miss this time of year is that time right after dessert when someone would go to the cupboard and pull out Crack the Case.

*Cap, Bry, Simmy and Kelly: Who remembers this case? We seriously spent like two hours on it. Bonus points for the first person to comment with the answer.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

They Came Through!

So this ought to be a challenging post, because I'm super excited about something that happened at work today and I can't wait to tell you about it, but I have to be a lil sneaky and talk around a couple things to avoid breaches of confidentiality about where I work, what I do, and whom we do business with, partly because it might be in violation of the company privacy policy (I have perhaps ill-advisedly given the address to this blog to our compliance maven, but I had to - she's my best friend here and also she's on it a lot. OK, fine, it's BrownsFan) but mostly because I love you guys, but only in an anonymous internety sort of way and don't want to provide anyone with enough details to track me down in real life.

ANYWAY, long story even longer, the pistachios are here (BrownsFan, where the hell are you? The pistachios are here!). And I know you're thinking "Yeah, big deal" and normally you would be right, but no, this time you are wrong. Way wrong. These are special pistachios. They come from a company that does things related to what my company does and they send them out every year in a big tin as a holiday gift. If you know or think you may have guessed what I do and you work at a company that does a similar thing and does business with this company, then you already know the exact tin of pistachios I am talking about because they are legendary. Also they are magical. They are gigantic by the standards of a normal pistachio and more importantly THERE ARE NEVER ANY BAD ONES. You know the bad ones: they look like a normal pistachio but when you eat them your face goes all Emperor Palpatine because they taste like all of nature just died inside your mouth. There's a few in every package, it's part of the pistachio eating experience. Pistachio roulette if you will. Well, in the whole history of getting these specific pistachios (nigh going on nine years now because we also got them at the place I worked in Cleveland) I have never had a bad one or even heard of anyone else having a bad one. Each and every pistachio is pristine of flavor (and massive). They are grown on trees made of gold in a land of perpetual rainbows and picked by angels Victoria's Secret could never hope to surpass in beauty or quality of underwear. And I am eating them right now.

I was concerned that maybe they weren't coming this year. Last week I had marched into BrownsFan's office demanding to know "Where the fuck are the pistachios?" (or more likely a similar question with less of the word "fuck" but an equal amount of inappropriateness) and she had pointed out that the big leader guy was going through some personal Scariness and sending out pistachios may not be at the top of his to do list, and also there's that whole thing where the economy is maybe not so good right now. I went away and sulked. But then! Today at precisely 3:24 p.m. Central Standard Time, Parent Company Accountant messaged me with one concise and glorious word: "pistachios!" and all the pieces of my life fell back into place.

Welcome back, magic pistachios. Please make yourself at home in my mouth.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Amber And Jenny Know How To Party

Mrs. Sizemore: Also, wanna home depot trip sometime this eel for a diy project?

Me: lol. eel

Mrs. Sizemore: Haha I meant week, no idea where eel came from

Me: best sentence of the day. then we can go to home depot and be like "where are your eels?" and they'll be like what? and we'll be like "the EELS! WHERE ARE THE EELS?" and then we'll get thrown out

Mrs. Sizemore: Hahahaha Let's

Me: it's a plan

Thursday, December 02, 2010

In Which Amberance Has Opinions About Sports

  • College football - It is not Cam Newton's fault that his father is a douchebag.
  • NBA basketball - I'm not going to sit here and pretend like I suddenly care about the NBA or that I've ever been a Cavaliers fan. That said, I am veeerrrry interested to see what goes down tonight when LeBron returns to Cleveland. A heard a clip from a talk show earlier where a caller said that Cleveland fans need to be given credit for being civilized human beings at heart. I'm pretty sure this man has never been to or met anyone from Cleveland. I've seen people throw Monopoly money on the field at Albert Belle. I've seen the Cleveland Browns have to surround an opposing team and walk them off the field to protect them from the fans. Jim Thome still gets booed every time he sets foot on the field. And those were at relatively low levels of collective pissed-offedness. Are we really expecting there to be no incidents tonight? Because I don't care how much "security" you have, angry-ass people are creative at smuggling and as I discussed with BrownsFan earlier today, there's only one figure in all of sports that Cleveland fans hate more than LeBron James, and that man hasn't set foot in the city since the day he stole our football team for fear of actual bodily harm or possible assassination. Just sayin'.
  • Sunday Night Football - Ben Roethlisberger has a broken foot. SWEEP THE LEG!*
*Just to clarify, this statement is not meant as any kind of support for the Ravens. I'm just saying there's an opportunity here to take this missing link out for the remainder of the season and it would be a shame to pass on that. <----This is what I'm talking about. Cleveland sports fans clearly are animals.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Suck It, Fondant

I've outdone myself. Most likely I've outdone you. I know that sounds arrogant, but that doesn't mean it isn't true.

If you are a fan of the show Sons of Anarchy (and you should be) you will most likely recognize this as the top rocker and reaper logo from the Sons colors (motorcycle jacket for those that don't watch the show or Gangland on the History Channel):

Looks an awful lot like a leather jacket, no?

I drew that myself.


Cake (not a leather jacket)


I'm better than you. Na na na boo boo, stick your head in doo doo.

The frosting of the moment is fondant. Its consistency makes it the favorite for detail work in current cake decorating trends. It is also a bitch to work with, tastes like chemicals and won't adhere to your cake on its own meaning that you still have to make buttercream frosting to decorate a cake with fondant. Fondant loyalists will try to tell you you will never get the kind of precision with buttercream that you can get with fondant. I point to the above cake as definitive evidence to the contrary. My cake is pretty AND delicious, and I defy you to repeat the detail work of the reaper's bony hands and bloody scythe with friggin' fondant.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Heartwarming Story Of Love You Definitely Don't Want To Read

"You should not have said that. I mean it. You have no idea what you're getting yourself into. None," I said to the volleyball team at the end of the bar. It is uncharacteristic of me to voluntarily talk to total strangers, but in this case my sense of duty outweighed my social phobias. A cute, young, apparently volleyball-playing girl had come in with the rest of her team and announced, to no one in particular, that she wanted to hear some gross out stories. She said this within earshot of the bartender. I have known the bartender for over six years at this point and we have been roommates for more than four of those years, so I know better than anyone: between working at Tai's, his prior work experience at the notorious Manhole, the cast of characters he hangs around with and his normal every day activities, the bartender has accumulated more gross stories than any human should be able to collect in a life time, and there is nothing he enjoys more than relaying those stories to unsuspecting newbies.

I knew what was coming. The Poo Bottle, Public Fisting Incident, Pool Table Porno, Drilldo + Midget Stripper, Turd of Frightening Diameter, Cocaine Toilet Seat, Sausage Fingers, Suspected Incest...I'd heard them all, but one story always stands out above the rest of them, and as the bartender turned to me grinning and asked me "Should I tell it first or save it for the end?" I knew he could only be talking about one story: Condom Holly.

Holly is a peripheral friend of the bartender and me, and by that I mean we know a lot of the same people and she tends to show up in places the bartender and I are known to frequent (rather than that she is somehow actually our friend). She is also a fucking train wreck. I mean it. If you look up "train wreck" in the dictionary, there is a photo of Holly and a note that reads "See also: Shit show, Hot mess." Holly lives off an apparently infinite supply of money from a settlement she was awarded after an accident many years ago. Her entire life consists of going to concerts and consuming as much drugs and alcohol as her smallish frame can handle (and usually more). Her commitment to complete self-annihilation is staggering to the point of almost being impressive: she has managed to age herself to a point where she looks fully 25 years older than she actually is and she makes the comic look like a tee totalling choir-boy.

Holly has an on again/off again boyfriend who is nearly as gross as she is. They fight and make up constantly and she always takes him back despite the fact that in the course of these fights he regularly beats the shit out of her. It was the aftermath of one of these fights that lead to the now infamous "Condom Holly" story. I will warn you now just as I warned the volleyball team on Thursday night: this story is not for everyone. As a matter of fact, this story really shouldn't be for anyone, but it takes all kinds and since I've already pretty much started it, it would be unfair of me not to go the whole nine. Just remember, I warned you to stop reading now and will not be held responsible for any retching or nightmares you may experience should you choose to keep reading. You are hereby informed.

One day, Holly showed up at a divey punk bar on Clark Street with bruises on her arms and a black eye. This sort of thing had happened before, and the owner of the bar did his best to talk some sense into her. "You have to get rid of this guy," he told her. "He's a fucking loser. I mean, you're no prize, Holly, but you deserve better than that piece of shit."

"You don't get it," she replied. "He LOVES me."

"Holly, he FUCKING HITS YOU. Kick his ass to the curb already!"

"No, he loves me. And I can prove it," she said with absolute conviction.

She then proceeded to cite an example that she felt "proved" that he loved her: Several months earlier they had got into yet another fight that degraded into a screaming match and possibly some fisticuffs. Eventually he stormed out of the apartment. She stormed out as well and headed directly to the nearest bar where she proceeded to get completely shit-faced. In due course, she managed to attract the attention of some random ne'er-do-well who was clearly too drunk to notice or care that she has the face of a bog monster suffering from smallpox (not to mention the breath of a coke addict - I should know, she's breathed on me in the past) and per the rules of white-trash culture, she took him home with her for a one night stand.

Some time the next afternoon, the loser boyfriend returned home all apologies and contrition and Holly of course took him back, as she always does. What followed was the inevitable make up sex. Holly had apparently not bothered to have a good wash after her activities of the night before. This was made evident when the boyfriend started going down on her and...and...(excuse me, I just threw up in my mouth a little)...and wound up sucking the used condom from the other guy that was still in her from the night before into his mouth.

"...and he STAYED with me," she finished to her horrified audience. "because he LOVES me." I can't necessarily argue with her logic on that. What frightens me most though was not even that this ACTUALLY HAPPENED but that she felt this was a story that was acceptable to tell other people and that it has now become so infamous that the bartender and now I also have come to think it's acceptable to tell other people.

There you go: the Condom Holly story. I informed you thusly.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Stand And Deliver

It's been pretty well established, I think, that I am remarkably lazy and perhaps a little bit selfish as well. Many of us are. There are a few people among us, however, whose selflessness and courage allow the rest of us to be this way. These people are called veterans. They are also called awesome. And today is Veterans Day, they day in which we do what we should be doing every day - honoring them and thanking them for their service to their country.

My most sincere and heartfelt thanks to both of my grandfathers and my roommate's father (R.I.P.), my dad (I love you Papa!), my Uncle John (who I only know because of his service - he's not my real uncle, he's my dad's best friend from the Navy), my parent's friend John K. (he's my friend too), Juice and Will from Tai's (Semper Fi, mofos), Terry (also from Tai's but he was Navy), Michelle (my R.A. from college), my amazing high school friend Erin (also I am jealous of her gargantuan boobs), my ex's father Ozzie and best friend Ronnie (miss you guys), Jamie from the Globe (Royal Navy), my favorite Browns fan Eric and his father Earl (who happen to be the brother and father of my best friend H-Town. Eric once sent me a photo of a camel spider while stationed in Iraq, I haven't slept well since), Dave from Ginger's (keep on rippin' and tearin' buddy), Machetti and Pretty Sean from Delilah's (drool drool drool), the incomparable Corporal a.k.a Chris (oi my good friend. P.S. You're ignorant!), my gorgeous friend Marty (he is seriously hot. I'd hit that. For sure.) and my former neighbor Marcus (who has appeared on this blog under the name "the Marine" when he accused the bartender of being a Communist because he doesn't like The Princess Bride, also he has two cats named Patton and Nimitz). I am so very proud of all of you and I am eternally grateful for all you've done. I owe you, well, everything, but I'm hoping you'll settle for beer.

Happy Veterans Day everyone!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Amberance: Hopeless Romantic

on why I won't be the one to walk away from my pseudo-relationship first:

I could tolerate you for decades if I only have to see you twice a year.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tremendously Tremendous

Me: I'm kind of starting to have a crush on Eddie Olczyk.

BrownsFan: (horrified) Not...physically...right?

Me: Um, well not really because I think he'd keep yelling "stop it right here" all the time. And that wouldn't be fun.

BrownsFan: ....Ok.

Me: I just think he's really funny and intelligent and I sort of like his little accent (giggle).

BrownsFan: Look, I know you finally had your way with [boy who doesn't call], but I REALLY think you need to go to Bermuda and have sex all week so you're not so...

Me: Boy crazy?

BrownsFan: Obsessed.

A Trip Down Memory Lane: Six Years of Bullshit Bizzybiz

For the first time in six years I have realized that it is my blogaversary on the actual day of my blogaversary. Six years ago today, I posted two very short blog posts: one because I was upset that CAKE hadn't scheduled a show in Cleveland until after I'd already driven all the way to Columbus to see them and the other because earlier that day, the CEO of the company I was working for at the time had asked the question "What is the process of statement processing?" which he thought constituted a double entendre (per the fabulous Mary (who I miss terribly) immediately after leaving that meeting, "I believe the word you're looking for is 'redundancy'. 'REDUNDANCY'!"). And thus Bizzybiz was born.

I started a blog primarily because I had started reading the blog of Salam Pax a.k.a. the Baghdad Blogger, a young Iraqi architect who was writing an amazing blog about what he was experiencing as a resident of Baghdad while we were bombing it called "Where is Raed?". I was tremendously impressed with his writing but moreover I was completely fascinated with the medium. The idea that regular people could share anything they wanted to say with everyone in the world who had an internet connection seemed completely amazing to me back then. H-town also had a blog at the time (she's been on extended hiatus for a few years) which turned out to be instrumental in changing our relationship from college buddies who called to catch up once in a while to the one we have now where she is my very best friend because it enabled me to keep up with her life on a daily basis. Also it was frikkin' hilarious. I wanted in.

I don't think I've ever taken the time to explain what "bizzybiz" actually means. I named this journal "The Bizzybiz Blog" because of an incident that occurred in close proximity to the time I started think about starting a blog. When I worked at the number factory, there was another company on the same floor of our building and like most office high rises, everyone on the floor shared a bathroom. Most of the women who worked there were nice when you'd run into them at the sinks, but there was this one angry looking red-headed girl who would scowl at you every time you walked in as if you were scum coughed up from hell just to ruin her private hand washing moment. The women of my company were discussing it on our way to the sundry shop to buy cigarettes (this was also right around the time that I tried to take up smoking because I wanted to be a cool kid. I hated it and couldn't stand to have a cigarette unless I also had a big glass of chocolate milk to kill that horrible charred ass taste. It was my smokin' milk. This adventure lasted 4 months before I finally woke up and said "What the fuck am I DOING?") and I said something along the lines of "That girl is a biz-atch" because I sometimes like to talk like Snoop Dogg. Bia, who was from Romania and who spoke impeccable English except for when she was trying to repeat words I had just made up, agreed with me by saying "Yeah! She is a...bizzybiz! Or whatever you just said." The new word wound up being a staple of our conversations. So "Bizzybiz Blog" literally translates as "Bitch Blog". Now you know.

When I first started the blog, I didn't set up a stat counter because I am an incorrigible narcissist and I would never have gotten anything done because I would have constantly been checking to see how many page views I had. Fortunately or unfortunately, earlier this year when blogger did a redesign, one of the changes they made was a tab that automatically tracks your stats whether you asked for it or not. I am fucking obsessed with my stats now, exactly as I predicted (to be fair, so is the comic. "How many page views do you get per day?" he wanted to know last week as we both kept frantically hitting the refresh button.). What I found out was I have a LOT more lurkers than I realized, and in places I wouldn't have expected. For instance, I have far more pageviews in the Netherlands than I do in the U.K. despite the fact that I go to England to visit friends every year but have never been to Holland and don't know anyone Dutch. India and South Korea seem to have taken a great deal of interest as well. Also, hello to my lovely readers in China, I am pleased that you are here since I just assumed I was banned in China. People seem to find the site while searching for some really bizarre things ("slutty Hogwarts", "men and women licking frosting", "huge naked grandma boobs"). The most viewed blog post is Amber And The Intern: Bad Wedding Guests  and I have absolutely no idea why unless the intern is running around driving people to that page (thanks if you are. I still think your decision to take up the bagpipes is really weird). I've also want to say thanks to a couple of readers who have been around since the beginning: my wonderful Canadian friend Pronto and the amazing but spider loving monogodo whose home I will never be visiting as he and his wife have surrounded themselves with tarantulas. You guys rock.

Thanks to each and every one of my Bizzybiz readers for your inexplicable interest in the ramblings of a highly accident prone, sex obsessed, boy crazy, immature, neurotic, socially inept, Christmas loving, moderately drunken midwestern girl with a Girl Scout Cookie addiction. You complete me. (But seriously, naked grandma boobs? How the hell does that search get you to here?)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Brotherly Love

I had lunch with my brother today.

Cap: Ok, see you. Be good.

Me: Yeah, see you soon. (pause) I'm not going to be good.

Cap: Oh, ok. Well go fuck yourself then.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Amberance, Simplified

You know you have chosen the right person as your best friend when they know you well enough to distill your entire existence into three words and a drawing. For example, MY best friend H-Town made this for me on Someecards yesterday:

That's the kind of person you should be looking for. If they can explain what exactly a barometer is measuring, that's handy as well (I've been assured it doesn't count how many baros there are, nor tell you the direction of the nearest drinking establishment).

Just As An Aside

When editing that last post, Blogger spell check said I should be spelling Schaumburg "Scumbag".

Oh IKEA, I Am Such Your Bitch.

So here was the situation: having recently bought a Princess Leia slave costume, slutty Hogwart's student costume and sexy Christmas elf costume, I found that I was entirely out of room in my costume drawer* and also that I didn't have any other drawers. It was obvious that I needed another dresser. (Also because if I had another dresser I might be able to fit all the buildings in my Christmas village into one scene. For real, this is how I pick out furniture.) And for that I would need to go to IKEA.

There was only one problem: I don't really have time to go to IKEA. IKEA is a magical world full of rooms you wish you lived in, unpronounceable words and meatballs. And they build them like a Vegas casino in that once you're inside they hide all the exits to prevent you from getting out. You can lose three days in IKEA and not even realize it, and I can't have that happen right now because I have other shit to do (such as buying more slutty costumes - the Halloween stores only appear once a year people).

So this was my plan: I went online and checked inventory for the things I wanted (because I was also buying a night stand so as to hide my little bottles of lube in a drawer, yet have them still handily nearby) and I wrote down what aisle and bin I could find them in when I got to Schaumburg IKEA. That way I could bypass the Maze of Wonder and go straight to the warehouse and I would only lose the time it took for me to drive to Schaumburg and back (oh, also I actually printed out the directions for getting there. I always think I know how to get there, but IKEA Schaumburg is tricky in that you can see it from the highway and surrounding streets, but it is almost impossible to find the actual entrance. I once drove around for an hour before figuring it out).

My plan was sound. Really. It was. EXCEPT.

What I did not account for, because there was no way I could have known, is that right next to the place where they store the flatbed carts was a great big fucking display of Christmas decorations. IT WAS A SWEDISH CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND. It might as well have been a giant pile of crack. Clearly I wasn't going anywhere. There were shiny things! There were trees! There were adorable strings of snowflake shaped LED lights OMFG GIMME GIMME MORE MORE MORE MORE!


I have no idea how long I was trapped inside the holiday vortex - it could have been hours, it could have been weeks. What I do know is this: flat-packed dressers are fucking heavy.

I found this out while trying to wrestle one off of the shelf. I was really annoyed with myself because I've been weight training every other morning since April and I really ought to be able pick up and carry a four bedroom house by now. I was also really annoyed when an IKEA employee the size of an MMA fighter watched me have a cat fight with a box trying to get it into my car by myself while he calmly collected empty carts.

Upon returning home and dumping off my new possessions (after wrestling them up three flights of stairs first, natch) it was obvious that the only way to fix the fact that I'd wasted half a day wandering mesmerized through a warehouse and that I now had arms with the approximate strength of cooked spaghetti was to drink several margaritas and call it "lunch", then go drunk grocery shopping while simultaneously phoning the comic in England and then yelling at him for answering his phone when I wanted to leave a message. I wound up spending $52 on chocolate syrup.

Thanks, IKEA.

*I was giving an inventory of my huge collection of stereotypically slutty bedroom outfits (nurse, french maid, etc.) to a friend in an e-mail and got this response back, "You are either the perfect woman or a stripper."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Well, I Can Die Now.

It has finally happened: I have managed to call in on the appropriate day at the appropriate time in order to be live on the most inappropriate and brilliant podcast ever recorded*. Check out episode 202 of Total Talk Nonsense with Jon and Scott and you can hear me chat with them about the blog, football, the Blackhawks, my amazing pants, catholic school, conspiracy theories, Scooby Doo, vacation, boys who only call when drunk and boys who don't call at all. Unfortunately, I forgot to talk about Scientology, my Super Secret Project and to use the phrase "want to ride that like I stole it" in regards to the boy who doesn't call. I'll just have to get myself invited on the show again at some point. While you're at it, why not just subscribe to Total Talk Nonsense so you can download and listen to all the episodes? It's the only place you're going to find the original tet-anus.

*In suburban Chicago, Illinois.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I Like It Stuffed Up My Ass. I Just Hope It Doesn't Burst While It's In There*

For those that missed it, last week on Facebook there was a rash of women leaving status messages about where they "liked it" i.e. "I like on the floor next to my bed" or "I like it on the washing machine". You, the reader (especially the male reader) were obviously supposed to think this was a declaration of where this lady prefers to screw. What she actually meant was that this is where she stores her purse when she gets home from her long day of frivolous shopping and shitty parallel parking attempts. There is a name for people who do this sort of thing. These people are called "teases" and they are no fun at parties or the drive in.

For the most part I really love internet memes - I've been to Candy Mountain, IMMD and I can, in fact, has cheezburger. What I don't like is what appears to be a trend (remember the "what color my bra is" bullshit?) of women on Facebook ganging up to fuck with people while they giggle behind their hands. Stop it, you uncreative sheep. It's dumb. Also nobody likes a tease.

*I don't actually carry a purse, but I am an international drug mule.

Fish: Adept at Innuendo

Fish: Excited about Bermuda? Will you be visiting the triangle?

Me: Someone will be visiting a triangle.

Fish: Oh I see what you did there.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

College Football Wrap Up

What a day!

  • #1 Alabama lost to South Carolina. I am only marginally upset that Lou Holtz called this.
  • Boise State needs to stop wearing the blue on blue uniforms at home. They blend into the field and I can't frikkin' see them.
Boise State (may or may not be appearing in your picture)
  • Spartans beat the Wolverines (again). Suck it, Blue.
  • O-H! With the Alabama loss I am very interested to see the BSC rankings when they come out next week. Also congrats to Coach Tressel on 100 wins and your uncanny ability to look like my dad.
  • Proposal: LSU is the most entertaining team to watch in all of college football. Please state your disagreements in the comments so I can tell you why you are wrong.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Insanity Has Begun

It's getting to be that time of year when I go completely insane*. The two biggest events of the year are right around the corner: Christmas, the best holiday ever invented, and then the most glorious day of all days, MY BIRTHDAY.

Yes, I do know it's September and that Christmas starts in November** and my birthday is in January. I am running out of time! There is planning to do! For the inevitable Christmas cross-stitching marathon, I have patterns to design and thread to buy. More importantly, I have to brush up on my knowledge of structural engineering.

Why? I'm glad you asked.

Faithful readers of Bizzybiz, prepare yourselves for the Greatest Birthday Cake of All Time. Seriously. My volcano cake from a few years back? Child's play. The Flying Spaghetti Monster cake? Amateur hour. The Death Star cake and accompanying X-Wing and Tie Fighter cakes? Pure crap. This cake, my friends, this cake is going to be such a triumph you will cry tears of joy at the majesty of it. You will be at odds with yourself wanting to eat it because you know it will taste like love and rainbows but also not wanting to eat it because if you do you won't be able to look at it and bask in the glow of the heavenly light that surely will be shining down upon it. Provided that I can fortify this delicious monument to my birth enough to keep it standing up and to transport it from my kitchen to the bar - hence my needing a tutorial in How To Build Things That Don't Immediately Fall Over.

As I said at the beginning, it is that time of year.

*as opposed to my normal baseline level of insane.
**The 40 Days of Christmas, invented not by me but someone else (in all fairness someone equally as unbalanced as I am), begins on November 16th for those who have not been around in previous years to roll their eyes at me.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

In Which Amberance Is Too Amberancy For Her Own Good

Most of the time I'm pretty good at impressing boys, because, let's face it, apart from the tits and the vagina, I am one. The average guy seems to really enjoy the fact that I can intelligently discuss football and hockey, know positions and formations and who the players are, and most importantly the fact that I never claim to enjoy such and such player because "he is so hot"*. Your nerdier type of guy is usually drawn in by the fact that I can recite the entire original Star Wars trilogy verbatim from memory, or that I'm happy to debate Kirk vs. Picard for as long as it takes to convince you that it is obviously Picard. By the time the conversation turns to sex (and the conversation ALWAYS turns to sex) every guy around thinks I am their dream girl. I'm happy to point out and then join you ogling that girl over there who is falling out of her shirt, after all, that IS an incredible rack! Girls need to be less selfish and uptight: blow jobs and anal sex for everyone, all the time! And did you see the centerfold in Playboy last month? Oh, because I subscribe, that's how I saw it.

The thing is, and here's the rub (heh): the above behavior is the kind of thing that works best in a group setting. When you're one on one it can be kind of off putting in that it comes off as overly aggressive, and when you're one on one with your really hot friend who is so attractive he distracts you and throws you off your game it can be a disaster. Such as when he is nice enough to drive you home and he makes a comment as he's dropping you off about the hilarious squeakiness of your vinyl pants. Answering that statement with a pouty sounding "Well you were SUPPOSED to take them off me!" can quickly make you go from "this girl is really cool" to "this woman is fucking terrifying". I should probably apologize for that. You know who you are.

*Seriously girls who like sports, this is annoying. Stop doing it. I'm not saying you can't think they're hot, but you need to keep that shit to yourself and not bring it up in the middle of a conversation about whether or not the Wildcat can continue to be an effective formation in the NFL now that the defenses are prepared for it (it can't).

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Night Out With Gene Yaas (The Few Bits I Remember Of It Anyway)

I have to blog about Saturday night because I have not kept up with my promise to post weekly dirty grocery lists and because I vaguely recall telling some people that I would write about it. Also because the comic has a blog now and I refuse to allow him to outblog me. Unacceptable.

My friend Jon of the brilliant Total Talk Nonsense podcast was filling in on drums for his friends' band for a gig that was in the city. Jon is suburban folk and is never in the city, so it seemed like a good opportunity to hang out without having to drive to the middle of nowhere and then not drink because I'd have to drive back.

The evening started out in the way that most of my evenings out typically end: with me nearly falling over and some vague molestation. Due to my own sheer stupidity, I thought I should take the red line train at the same time the Cubs game ended, thus ensuring that I would be crammed into a train car with the maximum number of douchebags possible. One of those douchebags was the guy who got on the train directly behind me. I admit, the train was very crowded, but given that I was not glued to the back of the person standing in front of me, I don't think it was quite crowded enough to have him pasted up against me like wall paper. Turning sideways was not helpful either. No matter how I tried to adjust my stance I couldn't get this guy (literally) off my ass. And then he started slightly humping me. Seriously. Weirdly I was far less concerned about the rapiness of the situation than I was about that fact I was having a hard time standing upright in heels with this guy's full weight pushing me forward. Either way it was bad so I ended up getting off at the next stop and waiting for the next train which blessedly was filled with only the normal, non-rapey, drunk Cubs fan type of douchebags.

Jon et al. (we'll get to them in a minute) were playing at US Beer Company. I had never been there before. I don't anticipate being there again. It's the most poorly named bar I've ever patronized - they have a whopping four beers on tap, one of which they were out of, and about a dozen bottles, a third of which they were out of. It didn't matter much because tracking down a bartender was about as frustrating as hunting a Sasquatch. The stage is adjacent to the bar and faces a wall about eight feet away, so your choices for viewing the band are to stand right in front of them which feels creepy and stalkerish, or sit off to their right where there are chairs and tables and also a huge cabinet blocking most of the view. The sound guy was on his second day working there, looked nervous and appeared to be 12 years old. I sat at the bar and peered between the cabinets and the 12 year old, from which I could see the tip of Jon's sticks, a microphone stand and part of Gene's right shoe.

Gene Yaas is a band I had actually heard before on an episode of TTN*. They play what they describe as "adult goof rock" which is incredibly accurate. It's rock music with lyrics that are slightly x-rated, extremely funny and entirely absurd. You'll like it. They have an album, you can buy it here or the other usual places (iTunes and such the like). Jon was filling in for the drummer, who was filling in for the lead guitarist, who was missing in action (the band claim he has been deported, but I suspect they got that information at There were supposed to be four bands, but three of them didn't show up, so Gene Yaas had the show to themselves, which worked out great because everyone in the place had come just to see them anyway. It was suggested they even do an extended set which would have been cool, but unfortunately Jon had only learned 12 songs. They sounded great in spite of the nervous 12 year old.

At some point someone realized that one band was not going to be enough live music to cover the night and called in the back up plan. The back up plan was a hip hop group - the kind that inexplicably hold their microphones upside down and have a guy on the stage whose entire job seems to be standing there and nodding. It didn't really follow from Gene Yaas. It was funny, just not on purpose.

From here things start to get hazy. The problem is that I know this is the part of the night that I told people I would blog about because everyone was saying things that were funny, but all I remember is the laughing part. I have no idea what the details were. Drinking is bad, kids. I know that everyone liked my dress (which was as inappropriate as my t-shirts and reads "You want me to suck what?") and that Gene Marteen know something about Buckeye football that impressed me (no idea what) but that he didn't know what he was supposed to do when someone yelled "O-H!". The only thing I remember in detail is talking to Scott about the quality of various brands of telescopes, because it is a law of social functions that the two nerdiest people will start a conversation that absolutely no one else cares about. I think I also mentioned that humpback whales look like giant pickles, apropos of nothing. I was obviously a brilliant conversationalist (luckily I was the only girl in the group so I think they all gave me the benefit of the doubt).

By the way, protip: If you ever buy a telescope, make sure you also buy a red flashlight. It takes at least a half hour for your eyes to get acclimated to the viewer, and using a regular flashlight when you're changing the filters means your eyes will have to adjust all over again. A red flashlight will allow you to see enough to change filters without ruining your night vision. You're welcome.

*I went back and listened to it again today, which I do not recommend. It starts out fine, but they quickly get overJamesoned and it turns into a train wreck. I believe I said to Jon and Scott that it was the most excruciating thing I had ever heard, and that was after they had played audio the week before of Bill O'Reilly reading some sort of pornographic drug story. Some of the best sound clips they have now were taken from the drunken ramblings of the band's front man on that episode. Jon reminded me he had been on the show after he introduced him to me on Saturday, to which I said after a beat, "Oh. He's THAT Gene Marteen." He turned out to be really adorable and not at all annoying, but also the bar didn't have any Jameson.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Is Star Trek Voyager Good For You?

It's a question we've all asked ourselves at one time or another. I personally have spent many hours pondering it:

I can't stop staring at Jeri Ryan's tits, and I think I've developed a Borg fetish. Can this be good for me?

I'm not sure if I want to give Neelix a great big hug or punch him square in the face. Can this show be good for me?

And so on for 172 episodes.

Good news everyone! The comic (this guy) and his friend Brian (who bears a startling resemblance to Neelix) have a new show this week at the Camden Fringe that answers this very question and is coincidentally titled "Is Star Trek Voyager Good For You?" FELLOW NERDS, THIS IS WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR. The show is this Thursday, August 12 (or 12 August depending on where you live) at the Roundhouse Studio Theatre in Camden, London, England. Tickets are £7.50 and are available here.

Go because this is an important question to have answered. Go because it's going to be absolutely hilarious. Go because I need you to report back to me with a full transcript* as I'll be trapped in the United States on Thursday and won't be able to see it. IT IS ONE NIGHT ONLY so be there before the answer is lost to you forever.

*With helpful footnotes and drawings please.

Amberance: Happy Yet Full of Rage

I have mixed feelings about the weekend festivities in Canton, Ohio. I was happy for Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith, though I had to tune it out when Smith started crying. I'm not saying men shouldn't cry, mind you, I'm just saying they shouldn't do it on television.

The bartender and I were excited to watch the Hall of Fame Game at first, enough to scrap tentative plans to drive to Green Bay for a Social D concert even. In retrospect we might have been better off with the 7-8 hour round trip drive. The game turned out to be such a shit storm that we turned it off at halftime. Still, even though it was one of the most crap games I've ever seen (and mind you, I'm a 32 year Browns fan), it means that football is back and I am delighted.
In related news, my next door neighbor remarked that my new dark auburn and purple hair looked like Ravens colors. (Long pause while I count to ten) OK Matt, look. Number one: no it does not. It's a reddish brown, not black. Number two: Fuck off. And number three: IF YOU EVER SAY SOMETHING LIKE THAT AGAIN I WILL THROW YOU OFF THE FUCKING PORCH.

Note to my readers: Your mother lied. Counting to ten does not work.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

The Scientific Method Step 7: Publish Results

I formed a hypothesis at this years Tai's charity golf outing in Galena that the real reason people golf is for the sexual innuendo*. Based on the swearing and frustration, I don't think there's any way people could be golfing for fun. I cite several examples from the foursome** I was in, aptly named Team Spank:

-(The bartender on the green): This is wetter than I thought.

-(Bob and Sarah sorting out golf balls) Bob: Sarah, did you grab both of my balls? Sarah: No, and that's my ball in the trap.

-(Bob, encouraging the bartender in a sand trap): Whack it away. Just go right at it.

-(The bartender, commenting on the little prize flag stuck in the green): We'd find out about closest to the hole.

The discussion is open. Opinions?

*In YOUR end-o.
**While I was technically in a foursome, I didn't actually golf. Not that they didn't try to make me. Sometimes I love being left-handed.

The Jury Is Still Out

On the golf course, watching porn on Big Ron's iPhone

The bartender: Who is this? I thought this was going to be someone we knew.

Me: It is. It's me.

The bartender: No it's not because this girl has a hairy snatch.

Big Ron: How would you know?

Me: Everyone knows, Ron. Everyone knows.

Long pause. The porn gets louder and I can hear it from 15 feet away.

Me: That's the loudest iPhone I've ever heard.

Big Ron: Oh. Well then maybe it is you.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Amberance: Prison Sexpert

"Do you want some more corn bread?" asked the bartender tonight at the dinner table.

"No, I want to stab him in the eye." I had been telling him about my hellish day at work that involved an hour and half long "15-minute" meeting, complete with a pointless impromptu phone call to someone who wasn't expecting it and was clearly annoyed by it, and being strong armed into a fancy dinner with a client later this week involving 5 people I've never met and a restaurant where I'll be completely out of my element, thus guaranteeing my social phobias will have me throwing up in the bathroom instead of eating.

"Well ok, but you'll wind up in prison. Hope you like broom handles."

I thought about whether or not I did, in fact, like broom handles. "Crap. All right, I guess I won't stab him in the eye, because I don't think I could handle prison."

"Actually, I don't know about that. You might be able to find a niche. Because you know how in prison people have to improvise weapons out of what they have around? Maybe you could do the same thing except you could improvise sex toys. You'd be good at that."

I lit up like a Christmas tree. "Dude, I could TOTALLY improvise sex toys, I'd be awesome at it! Seriously, I can make a sex toy out of almost anything!" (I can.)

"Yeah, and then you'd have your niche and you'd be ok."

So it looks like I could probably survive prison. It's always good to have a plan, I think.

Parsnip. Celery stalk. Ooo, Hand of Ginger!

My comment in the previous post about the possibility of posting a grocery list made me start thinking of an actual grocery list post, and how I could possibly make that interesting. And as is par for the course for me, I almost immediately turned to the idea of a dirty grocery list. Because I am that person who can't walk through the produce section without thinking something absolutely inappropriate.

Problem is, I got as far as "carrot" and I had to stop. There used to be a show on Spike TV called 1000 Ways to Die. It may still be on actually, I just stopped watching Spike when I discovered Top Gear on BBC America. Anywhore, one of the ways to die was a story about a girl who went to the grocery store, bought a carrot, and decided to masturbate with it. Which at first sounds like a really good idea. Until you find out that she ended up with a tiny tiny cut inside her that an air bubble got into, which made it's way into her bloodstream causing a gas embolism which killed her. Now, I'm an unapologetic frequent fiddler, but that doesn't mean I like the idea of my roommate having to explain to my parents how he found my cold, lifeless body laying there with a root vegetable in a place that was never made for a root vegetable to be in. Or any vegetable for that matter. Because I also had a vision of someone writing "coochcumber" underneath my name on my headstone, the joke being on me for all of eternity, and it was not a nice vision (again, with the parents and the visiting and all). So the dirty grocery list is now on hold until I can get my mind out of the produce section, which will clearly be the death of me.

On My Long Absence

It's not that I'm taking a break from the blog, or that the blog is dead, or even that I don't have anything interesting to write about. It's that I've been dealing with the worst case of writer's block I can ever recall. This needs to end and it needs to end now, because I love writing this blog, and also because I've promised to write some things for a few people and I feel that I've let them down. So starting now there will be something up here at least once a week. This week, at the very least, there will be a review of the agent's new album that he put out a few months ago and that I promised to review even before it was finished. Next week, at the very least, there will be a plug for the comic's new show at the Camden Fringe. I don't know what will be up the week after that, but there will be something, even if it's nothing more than a grocery list. Because this is getting ridiculous already.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Run Away! Run Away!

They're more afraid of you than you are of them, I'm always told by exasperated people who purportedly love me each and every time I am attacked without provocation by a spider. Well I have a question then. Because if that's true, then why THE FUCK did a spider just repel down and nearly land right ON ME just now when I was minding my own business taking a shower? Huh? HUH? Because that doesn't sound like fear to me. Something that was afraid of me would have gone somewhere else in the face of a scary human who was splashing water around in a way that threatened it's continued survival. It's not like it didn't see me there when it looked around with it's eyes eyes eyes before it started down from the ceiling. No, it looked right at me and at the flying water droplets AND THEN decided to join the scene. THAT IS NOT THE BEHAVIOR OF SOMETHING THAT IS AFRAID. That is the behavior of either an adrenaline junkie that enjoys putting itself in danger or of an intrepid hunter on a mission, willing to disregard his own personal safety in order to be the one who brought down The Big Food (which is what they call me in their strategy meetings). It was I who demonstrated a reaction driven by fear: I jumped out of the shower with conditioner still in my hair and a razor blade still in my hand and RAN THE FUCK AWAY like any sane, rational being would do when faced with another being trying to kill it. So don't even give me any of that bullshit - I know what's what and I know when I'm being STALKED AS PREY by malicious and hungry arachnids. Now I'm going to go find another sink where I can wash this crap out of my hair, and when I get back I don't want to hear any more of your patronizing rationalizations, are we clear on that? Good. Sheesh.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Where have I been you ask? Well, actually, I've been exercising.

No really. I'm absolutely serious.

Please stop laughing at me.


I decided it was high time I started doing something to take care of myself the way a mature grown up would. OK, fine, that's a flat out lie. I watched the Olympics and then right after that I watched a special on Scott Hamilton's come back to figure skating. He was doing back flips. He's 50. And I realized very suddenly, hey, Scott Hamilton is doing back flips and landing axles at 50 and I'm 32 and I can't so much as touch my toes. WHAT THE FUCK? I am jealous of a bald smurf in sparkle pants.

So I've decided to exercise. I've also decided that I wasn't going to fall into the traps I've fallen into every single other time I've decided to exercise. For instance, I decided not to join a gym, show up for 3 weeks, give up, and keep paying for a gym membership I wasn't going to use. Instead, I just DVR things that look interesting on FitTV. And it's working: I'm not bored. I'm thinner and I can almost touch my toes.

Here's the thing though. I hate it. I hate it with the hatiest of hates that have ever hated. I don't like being sweaty, I don't like when my muscles ache, I don't like being out of breath and I don't like drinking water. And I especially don't like the crop of lunatics they've rounded up to host shows on FitTV. Total Body Sculpt With Gilad: Right off the bat, they refer to him as an "Israeli stud muffin" in the promos. Just, no. Do not refer to anyone, ever, as a stud muffin and expect me to take them seriously. Gilad also makes it a point to remind you again and again that his is filming his workout in Hawaii. He grins at the screen while trying to murder you with plyometric exercises and says things like "You are landing too hard! I can heard you all the way to Hawaii!" Listen G, 1) No you can't. And 2) Fuck you. And that's another thing - he never stops smiling. EVER. He is absolutely overjoyed to be exercising; thrilled than I'm feeling the burn. "If you don't feel that, I don't know what you're going to feel," grins Gilad as I contemplate the odds of thighs literally catching on fire. My fist. I'm going to feel my fist connecting with your happy face. And probably bouncing right off because your face muscles are stronger than my whole arm. I hate you.

In Shape With Sharon Mann is even worse. Clearly Sharon Mann is a replicant because she has no grasp whatsoever of normal human emotion. She never stops smiling. She's never not cheerful. She bounces around the room like a grasshopper on a pogo stick. She is manically, mind-blisteringly happy to be working out. She makes me want to pin her down and stuff her full of Valium, but of course I can't because I am weak and that woman and her 8 pack abs will straight up kick my ass. While giggling. And giving me tips for life.

Ugh. I need to calm down. Thankfully I DVRed some yoga. I'll be OK. Eye on the prise.

Monday, March 01, 2010

MrSteve Calls 'Em Like He Sees 'Em

Discussing my diabolical seduction plot involving a ridiculously tiny vinyl dress

MrSteve (shaking his head): Subtle as a train wreck. And twice as...rubbery.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Olympics Bring Out The Best In Each Of Us

Discussing the USA v. Switzerland Ice Hockey game in progress:

BrownsFan: End of 1st period. USA is winning 1-0

Me: Whee!

BrownsFan: I think you meant, "USA! USA!"

Me: Yes yes, but mine was less letters, and as a proud American, I reserve the right to be unspeakably lazy.

Shit. Shit. Shit.

My desk at work is currently the home of seven (soon to be six) boxes of Girl Scout Cookies. Girl Scout Cookies are an annual problem for me. The only thing preventing this from being a full blown addiction is the fact that they only sell them at this time of year, and then I have a year of withdrawal before I can get hold of them again. The only good news is that I inhale them so fast, the self loathing only lasts a couple of weeks at best.

I don't see "crystal meth" listed in the ingredients, but I know it's in there. It has to be. There's no other explanation for the fact that I have already eaten an entire sleeve of Thin Mints and I've only had the damn things for 10 minutes.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Camping: Just Say No

A very dear friend of mine may have tried to invite me to go camping. I say "may have" because she sent me an IM that read "hey, do you camp?" which I understand is often followed by an invite to go camping with that person. My response though, "i most certainly the fuck do not," may have quashed that invite before it was ever made, so we'll probably never know.

I was being serious though. I most certainly the fuck do not camp, because outside has bugs (especially spiders) and also, camping is stupid. You people with the camping: what is wrong with you? Is indoor life and comfort and easy controlled cooking making you so unhappy that you just can't stand it and need to go sleep on twigs and eat crap that you cooked over an open flame? That is not my idea of a vacation. A vacation is being even more comfortable than normal, where someone else cooks for me and I can take a bath in a great big jacuzzi (not a river) and I can crap on a shiny gold toilet (not carry around little baggies to clean up after myself because I have to poo in the woods). I demand loads of pillows, dammit, and I demand that someone else makes my bed, which had better be a mattress on a frame and not a sack on the ground.

Oh, and before you go telling me that I can't criticize because I don't know what I'm talking about, let me just inform you that I have, in fact, been camping. Once. Because once was more than enough. I went when I was young with my friend who lived next door and her parents. To be fair, they may not have been the best people to try out camping with. Mrs. D was a charm school graduate (no joke) who had got it into her head that camping would be romantic despite that fact that she is even less suited to camping than I am. The woman brought, and I kid you not, LASAGNA for us to cook over a fire and eat. We rode the whole way to the campground in a rickety truck they had borrowed. I was stuck between some folding chairs and a stack of lumber (why?) and so by the time we got there both my shoulders were bruised all to shit. It was not an auspicious beginning.

My pain and unhappiness was nothing compared to that of Mrs. D. We pulled into the campground and discovered that (gasp) there were other people camping there. And those people were dirty and looked suspicious. She didn't like it. She informed her husband of this via a running commentary, "John, I don't like this. I don't like this John. John, I can't stay here. Please don't make me stay here John..." growing more and more hysterical the further in we went. Luckily for her, the campground appeared to be completely full. We stayed in a motel that night, which itself was filthy and it smelled like B.O. She would not allow us to walk on the carpet without socks on for fear of what might be lurking in the grime that was once a floor.

The next day we found another place to camp and the fun began!

That was sarcasm. No fun began, it was NOT fun. Putting up a tent? Sucks. Washing off in a cold murky lake? Sucks. Sleeping on the ground? Sucks a big bowl of dicks. S'mores? I hate marshmallows, s'mores totally suck. Spiders? HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, WHAT THE FUCK WAS I THINKING GOING TO THE WOODS ON PURPOSE? In fact, aside from this blog post some 20 years after the fact, there was not one single good thing that came out my attempt to go camping. No, there most certainly the fuck was not. Suck it, campers. Camping sucks.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Evidently My Marital Status Is The Correct One

Here's a bit of Valentine related amusement at my expense for the benefit of all you lovers out there - and by "at my expense" I mean "laughed out loud at myself on a crowded train and everyone turned around to look at the cackling crazy woman":

Last week on my way to work, I was doing the crossword that can be found in the back of the morning red paper as I do nearly every day on my way to work. It's generally a pretty simple crossword puzzle - no strange words no one would ever actually use, straightforward clues that don't try to trick you - I can usually complete that and the sudoku puzzle before I get to my stop assuming there were seats when I got on the train or I snagged one when everyone changed trains at Belmont.

Last week though, I found I was stuck almost immediately. The second clue down was a four letter word beginning with "L". The clue read "reason to wed". I stared at the puzzle blankly because I was deeply confused: I was certain that I knew of no word starting with "L" and consisting of four letters that would be a reason to get married. I started thinking of all the reasons I knew to get married in the hopes that it would jog my memory. Pregnancy? Money? Seriously, because I'm sure you all figured it out immediately, but those were really the first two things that popped into my head. Why do people get married? 1. Pregnancy. 2. Money. 3...I couldn't think of a third. I moved on and did some other clues. It wasn't until I got the next across clue which gave me the "O" that the light bulb clicked on in my head. "Love." Love is a reason that people get married. There I sat, my mind having immediately turned to reasons for marriage that were coercive, not even pausing to consider that some people actually get married ON PURPOSE. It summed me up so perfectly. It was a mistake only I could make. Thus making me the hysterical woman on the train jump starting everyone's day with a dose of concentrated crazy. I love being me.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

At Long Last, The Birthday Recap

The first rule of fight club is that you don't talk about the fight club. The first rule of birthdays, however, is that you get your ass on the internets and point out how ridiculous you are to the entire world. I will belatedly do that now, although I'm not certain I really need to. The event was summed up pretty well in this comment from the bartender late the following afternoon, "So, what time did you get off the bathroom floor?"

The day started with me going to work. I had brought mini cupcakes for everyone, since no one else can be trusted to make me a proper birthday cake (except, perhaps, Mrs. Sizemore, who no longer lives here). I left them in the kitchen, which I also decorated with confetti. At my desk I taped up a sign next to a stack of party hats: "Anyone wishing to speak with me on my birthday must first don a party hat. No exceptions. Come on, it's fun!" This rule was amazingly (and awesomely) followed by every single person in the office, including our outside web designer who had come in for a meeting with us and conducted said meeting with a slightly askew party hat on the entire time. I also insisted that pizza be purchased for a lunchtime birthday party, and that everyone sing to me before I blew out the candle I had brought and stuck into my first slice.

I repeated the demand for singing and hat wearing when I got home and scrounged up a couple of neighbors for a quickie party before the bartender and I got dressed to go out. Then we headed for Delilah's. Downstairs Pretty Sean was spinning hardcore, but paused long enough to make an announcement that it was my birthday and that everyone should clap and cheer because I am awesome. Upstairs, which is where we settled in for the night, my friend Machetti was tending bar and playing every single song I asked him to, because it was my birthday and on my birthday I get whatever I want. He also showed off his newest tattoos: a pair of Civil War era cannons, one on each bicep, intended to illustrate his "gun show". The bartender rolled his eyes, but I thought they were awesome. Our arrival was followed in short order by that of Eric (who works there), Corporal (the adorable skinhead/ex-Marine) and Ritchie the cop (who I had never met before, but had been invited to my party by the bartender because he lives across the street). This would prove to eventually lead to my downfall. You see, I was already drinking cider that was way more alcoholed than both normal cider AND the ridiculously alcoholed cider I normally drink at Delilah's. I was therefore in no shape for what I was about to do next, which was accept every shot anyone offered to buy for me. As I have stated many a time, shot drinking is against my normal policy both because I am a giant pussy and because I am not at all fun to babysit when I am uber drunk. Being as it was my birthday though, I chose to ignore this rule: It's against the law to be a huge pussy on one's birthday and too bad if my inanity needs to be reigned in by others, it's my birthday. So Machetti bought me a shot. Corporal bought me a shot. Eric bought me a shot. Pretty Sean, who kept coming upstairs to drink between sets thus providing me with brilliant birthday eye candy, bought me a shot. Ritchie bought me a shot. Machetti bought me another shot. Some total random at the other end of the bar who heard it was my birthday bought me a shot. The only person who did not buy me a shot was the bartender as he was already buying all my normal drinks and also he knows better.

Now, the thing I said before about people having to babysit me when I drink to extremes? This is mainly because I get lippy. I once went out with my pretend cousin Steve and a friend of his for a night on the town in Buffalo. At first it was fun for everyone: an ex-girlfriend appeared and had no idea who I was, a fact we used to torture her, and some kind of outdoor festival was going on - I vaguely remember saying really funny things about port-a-potties. At some point though, I got it into my head that what we needed to do was go find strippers. The boys thought not. I was shit-faced. The end result of this was us standing in the patio area of a bar getting stared at by everyone because I was angrily ranting screaming that it was OBVIOUS we should be at a strip club and the only reason they wouldn't take me was because I'm a GIRL and if MY BROTHER were visiting instead of me they would be at a strip club RIGHT NOW having fun, but NOOOOO, they were going to be TOTAL ASSHOLES because they CAN'T HANDLE IT that their FEMALE cousin wants to go to a strip club and GODDAMMIT I WANT A LAP DANCE. They took me home, Steve put me to bed, and they went back out, presumably to meet up with less crazy people who can control themselves in public.

I told you that story so that you might better understand why it was that after drinking a bunch of shots and escaping the bartender's watchful eye, I thought it would be a good idea to 1) Give my patented and extremely detailed lessons on hair-pulling to Ritchie, who I had known for an hour; 2) Vociferously advocate for anal sex to some girl that I didn't know at all; 3) Inform Machetti of where he could go to find a collection of my erotic musings and 4) Give him my number in case he wanted to provide feedback. I can't even imagine what else I might have gotten myself into if the bar hadn't closed and Jeff and I took a cab over to Tai's. Much less trouble is to be had at Tai's, because there everyone will babysit me.

I remember basically nothing from Tai's other than arriving and someone buying me a shot of sambuca. I have some fuzzy recollections of getting out of the cab at home and the bartender telling me he was going to go to the gas station and buy a paper. I have zero recollection of asking him to buy me string cheese for some reason - I was told about that the next day. Likewise I have no memory of going up the stairs or getting in my apartment. At some point, as per my now established custom, I woke up on the bathroom floor. I had pulled my towel over me as a blanket and there was a washcloth laying on the floor which I must have thought would make a nice pillow. I crawled to bed and stayed there until a quarter after 5 in the afternoon, when I only got up because I heard the bartender getting up.

Which is where I left off at the beginning with bartender asking, "So, what time did you get off the bathroom floor?" I had no idea, nor did I know precisely how many times I vomited while I was there. "See? That's why you don't drink sambuca," he told me, certain that the sambuca was the obvious problem and not the other nine shots.

I spent the rest of the evening on the couch with my back to the television and only got up to go back in my room and go to bed, thus proving that my birthday was a total success.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

In Which The Bartender Attempts To Save Me From Myself

The bartender walks into the living room, sees me eating a bowl of cookie dough (erm, again), yanks it out of my hands and walks away with it.

Me: Hey, I was eating that!

Bartender: No. Cookie dough is NOT a diet.

Me: I'm serious. Don't throw that out, I'm not done with it.

Bartender (yelling as he dumps it in the trash): You can't just eat flour and sugar!

Me: It has an EGG in it!

Bartender (completely exasperated): YOU CAN NOT EAT COOKIE DOUGH FOR YOUR DINNER!

Update: Just retold the story at work and had this response from the CEO: But really, that's not good. For you.

Note: I will be blogging a recap of my birthday festivities, and soon. My stomach just can't face the memory just yet.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Coming Soon! My Birthday!

I can't believe how little I've been mentioning my birthday over the last month. Like seriously, what have I been doing, celebrating Christmas or something? It's a week from today, just so you know, and I will be 32, so if you want to get me 32 little presents instead of one big present I'd be cool with that. Hint: I have inadvertently started a Pez dispenser collection owing to MrSteve and Gene Honda buying me so many on other birthdays and Pez dispensers are cheap (plus if you want you can go ahead and eat the candy instead of giving it to me since I'm only after the severed head part).

Planning has begun in earnest and by planning I mean running around in a panic because I have no idea how I want to decorate my cake and hitting up every person who has ever met me for ideas. Those ideas were fruitless either because they were even more crap than my own ideas or because I am lazy and they seemed too ambitious to tackle, especially given that I work exclusively in buttercream now after last year's fondant debacle. Also, H-town suggested a Darth Vader helmet which would be perfect if I hadn't done the Death Star last year, but I don't want to come off as a one dimensional geek who only makes herself Star Wars related cakes. I am a geek on many levels thankyouverymuch.

My current best cake idea is a Flying Spaghetti Monster cake. This would be advantageous for a number of reasons: it would be relatively simple to do (i.e. noodly appendages are not hard to draw in frosting), MrSteve is almost guaranteed to show up just to see the cake, it gives me an excuse to wear an eye patch and a pirate hat (and also make others wear them) and any reason to use googly eyes on something is always a good reason.

I have also purchased my present to myself and am waiting for Amazon to send it. It is a 3000 piece jigsaw puzzle of Pablo Picasso's Guernica painting, which is all black and white. It is clear that deep down inside I despise myself and want to make my fun hobbies into a never ending hell of frustration and pain.

One week to go. The countdown has begun.