Thursday, December 06, 2007

What Happens in Vegas Gets Blogged on the Internets

I've just come back from Las Vegas and I have to say, I am more than a little bit shell shocked. Now, I've been to Vegas before, a number of times actually, and other than the propensity for middle-aged women to don velour pant suits for the duration of their trip (Seriously, what is the deal with this?) I have a pretty good understanding of the place. This ain't my first rodeo. But I saw more strange things in one day than most people see in a year. Snow notwithstanding, I was relieved to come home.

The purpose of the trip was to see Social Distortion and Mitch Fatel. Mitch Fatel didn't happen due to his not showing up, but despite the illness of Mike Mess, Social D performed at the House of Blues as scheduled. Let me just say that HOB Vegas is lame. The bartender and I were forced to surrender our studded belts because they weren't allowed. I am not certain what damage security thought we were planning to cause, but I can assure you, our only goal with them was to hold up our pants. I found it interesting that we couldn't wear our belts inside, but that a kid with a broken leg on crutches was allowed, not just into the show, but into the pit. Sure enough, we later saw him being carried out by security screaming in agony because he'd gotten hurt in the pit. After paying $7 each (!) for a freakin' Coors Light, we got into a conversation with a couple of girls (who were wearing the same kind of studded belts that we were told to check). It was during this conversation that a kid came stumbling by us in a gigantic parka. He was obviously impaired as evidenced by his erratic gait, but as he passed on his way to the pit we were left in no doubt. We all watched in horror as Parka barfed into his beer cup....and then drank from it.

This was merely the icing (or vomit I guess) on the cake for the day. We happened to arrive on the day of the Las Vegas Marathon. As such there were myriads of people wandering around with what appeared to be giant pieces of aluminum foil. I am sure there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for this, like that it reflects the sun away from you keeping you cool, or possibly gives you super powers. But anywhore, as the bartender and I sat in traffic with our guide after a lovely lunch at Fatburger, we saw a bum laying underneath one of the giant foil thingies in the middle of the sidewalk. At first glance he appeared to be sleeping. On closer inspection, however, there seemed to be some movement occurring underneath his shiny blanket. I also noticed that his left hand seemed to be jammed pretty far down his pants. A gust of wind blew the blanket up and that's when we all simultaneously realized that the guy was masturbating right there on the sidewalk. From the backseat, I was the only one who had a clear shot of his head, and let me say he was sporting quite the impressive "O" face. The bartender immediately began calling everyone he knew. For my part I fired off a text message: "Ah Las Vegas...where you can watch a bum jerk off right in the middle of the street. Which I just did." I finished just as he did, I assume based on him extracting his hand from his pants and rolling over on his side for a nice post-monkey spankin nap.

Later in the trip I drank some ass juice at Double Down and bought a Christmas CD there featuring songs like "Santa Was a Cross Dressing Nazi", "Imo Shoot Me a Reindeer" and "Santa Blow Me".

But the masturbating bum...yeah. Just....yeah.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Necessity is the Mother of Plausible Deniability

H-town: any recommendations for what movie i should rent tonight?
amy's not around, so it can be violent.

me: i recommend pornography. or the Lion King. either way

H-town: they're so similar, though

me: you know what might be good? put on the Lion King with the sound off, and then play the sound from a porno. you know, like The Wizard of Oz and Dark Side of the Moon. Only, you know, way more funny.

H-town: wow
i'd love to have amy come home and see that
" DOING?!"

me: "research on animal husbandry" - there, you're covered

I Have Watched Questionable Things

I saw Blade Runner at the Music Box Theater with the agent and MrSteve this week, and boy golly, is that movie an interesting piece of strange. Also? Having your eyes smushed into your head until they turn to jelly and blood seeps out of the sockets does not seem like a particularly good way to die. But I digress.

Blade Runner was released for the first time in 1982 and was set in the future. I love movies that are set in the future because I like to know ahead of time about things that are going to happen, as evidenced by my annoying habit of firing a barrage of questions at people who are trying to enjoy a film in peace. The great thing about Blade Runner though is that the future it is set in happens to be Los Angeles in 2019, a mere 2000 miles and 12 years away*. Here is what I have learned is in store for us:
  • Los Angeles will be overcast and rainy 100% of the time. MrSteve attributes this climate change to global warming, I think the weather just decided to become more appropriate. The weather is no fool.
  • Additionally, the skyline of Los Angeles will be completely unrecognizable from what it looks like now and will be dominated by a pair of gigantic buildings shaped like Aztec pyramids, but that look like the Death Star or a Borg cube close up. I have to question the aesthetic tastes of today's architecture students.
  • Almost everyone in Los Angeles will be of Asian descent, and apparently poor street merchants selling noodles (or information).
  • Good news! We are, at most, only 12 years away from flying cars. It appears though that law enforcement will have the first crack at them.
There is one other thing I've learned from sci-fi movies, not really about the future per se but more of a life lesson. Themes from Blade Runner, the Terminator movies, Transformers, the occasional Futurama episode and Steel Magnolias** all seem to be trying to teach us the same thing: DO NOT BUILD SENTIENT ROBOTS. Even Star Trek, where we have a fine example of android perfection in Data, teaches us this lesson in his evil brother Lore who is constantly trying to kill people. I think there is little hope that if we give robots consciousness that they are going to like us and agree to be our slaves. If you give a Roomba a sense of individuality and then tell it to suck up the dirt you tracked in on your filthy shoes, you run the risk of having it choose to suck up your face instead. We've been warned.
*Mileage may vary depending on where you live.
**This is not mine. The credit for this hilarious joke belongs entirely to Heather. Thanks :-)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

At Least I Know Where I Stand

The bartender and I are watching a rerun of the Top Chef reunion/viewer's choice show, which he has already seen.

Bartender: So who do you think wins? It should be obvious.
Me: Should it? I have no idea.
Bartender: Come on, who do you think people will vote for? Which one would people choose?
Me: Well, I would vote for whoever I thought was funnies-
Bartender (interrupting): No, not you. People!

Happy Halloween

Here is a pumpkin that I've carved for you (well, for my roommate and also my own self-gratification, but the nice thing about jack-o-lanterns is that they can be enjoyed by everyone):

For those of you not obsessed with Mike Ness, he's supposed to be this guy:
I think we can all agree I'm very talented at this, even if I've become an extremely lazy/terrible blogger.

Monday, October 01, 2007


Suck it, Ravens.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Everyone Needs Loving Friendships

E-mail to the intern this morning: [Coworker] says, "Speaking of douches, how's [the intern]?"

E-mail from the intern: I would say that is probably one of the top ten worst ways to strike up a friendly conversation.

Anyone have suggestions for the other nine?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

If That's Moving Up Than I'm Moving Out

My boyfriend, the agent, is getting ready to move next week, and I'm not sure I like the change in neighbors. Right now he lives next door to a guy I call American Idol. American Idol amuses the hell out of me. I've never seen the guy. I have heard him though, because he sings very loudly, very badly and very often. He really means it too. He sings huge epic Celine Dion type songs in a wobbly vibrato that is only slightly off key. His music is best enjoyed from the bathroom which seems to be directly opposite his bedroom. He will be missed.

On the other side, there is La Casa Fiesta. They always have something to celebrate, which they do by encouraging the kids to run around half the night to the sounds of pre-recorded mariachis. I frequently have inexplicable urges to go out and buy maracas.

Directly above the agent live the Lead People. At first I assumed giants must be living up there, based on the heavy sound of their walking. Then I saw them coming up the back stairs and they appear to be normal sized. This is how I surmised they must be made of lead, because their outside appearance couldn't account for the extreme loudness of their footfalls. I told the agent about it and urged him not to lick them; understandably he balked at this comment, as he's not in the habit of licking his neighbors.

Though all these people can be slightly annoying at times, such as when I'm trying to sleep, they are all quite charming compared to the new neighbor I encountered on my first visit to see the new place. After the agent took me on the tour we went out the back door. I looked up and saw The Biggest Spider I Have Ever Seen In My Life*. "Ok," I said, "THAT has to go or I am never ever coming back here again." Even the agent, friend of all living creatures, agreed that it was exceptionally huge. I ran from the porch like it was on fire and stood by the car watching it spin its GIANT web. The agent came to check on me, but I had already crossed the threshold into full on crazy: "Look at it! It's as big as my fist!" The next time we went over it was gone, but I don't know. You can't trust those monsters.

All in all, though I'll miss the vocal stylings of American Idol and head shattering percussion of the Lead People, as long as the spiders stay away, I'm very excited about the new place. Stay away from me spiders.

*Live. Thanks to Eric for the e-mail containing a photo of a camel spider from Iraq. That thing was like a freaking lobster and the sight prevented me from eating for an entire day.

Avast, Land Lubbers!

Today be Talk Like A Pirate Day. Go out and get some grog me hearties.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Slide, Slide, Slippity-Slide

Apparently Coolio has been doing what he does just to survive, because today is his birthday. He is 44. I find this amusing because I sincerely thought he was younger, and also because I feel like he shouldn't even have a birthday at all because he doesn't seem like a real person.

I learned this startling piece of information on the Captivate Network, which for the non modern high rise working set, is a news service that appears on tiny screens inside of elevators. It struck me funny that Coolio's birthday was included as a piece of news today: Is today a slow birthday day and that's the only celebrity they could find, or is the programmer stuck in a time warp, still listening to Coolio albums unironically more than halfway through 2007? It's a mystery.

As usual, the best part is the thing that is happening in my head. Because I keep imagining people coming up to Coolio yelling "Happy Birthday!" and reaching to give him a nice birthday hug...but his hair keeps poking everyone in the eye.

Happy birthday, Coolio. I hope you are still having a fantastic voyage through gangster's paradise.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Amberance Is Losing Her Touch

H-Town: yo
me: word
H-Town: what up?
me: just work. you?
H-Town: the same
me: that should have been "just work. et tu?"
H-Town: heh
me: it would have been funnier
H-Town: you failed
way to go, loser
H-Town: *ends friendship*

Moderation In All Things...

Except Cheddar Chex Mix, where I am apparently compelled to eat the entire bag.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

99 Pink Balloons

I am sick and heavily medicated. Don't judge me.

me: so what was the clown car thing before? is someone having quadruplets or something?
H-town: friends and i were just discussing women who have a lot of babies
it's a vagina, not a clown car
so we laughed at that
me: i love that phrase
H-town: me too
me: i don't want lots of babies. clowns are scary
H-town: true dat
clowns are weird
weird = able to stab people at any time
me: i don't really understand clowns. the only thing is i like the ones that are good at making balloon animals. but i think maybe you don't have to be a clown to learn that
H-town: you don't
me: if i knew how to do that i'd make a bunch of obscene things probably. that's how i roll
H-town: balloon wangs would be easy to make, i'd want to see you make balloon cootchies
that's a challenge
complete with different colored balloons
me: i was thinking a balloon vagina with a bunch of balloon clowns coming out of it
H-town: hahaha
i'd pay you money to make that
me: if i ever learn this craft, that will be my goal

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The 2nd Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Today is my half birthday! What is that? It's the day that is exactly 6 months after my last birthday and 6 months before my next one. A sort of birthday equinox if you will. And mine is today.

This may seem silly to you but think about it: am I not a completely silly person? Exactly. Also until recently I was not into my birthday. All through my early 20s I dreaded it. I took to laying in bed all day in a funk, being overly dramatic and complaining: (huge affected sigh) "I don't know WHAT I'm going to do. My life is slipping away, slipping away...." Clearly this was entirely the wrong attitude, so really I NEED to celebrate all my half birthdays to make up for all the ones I missed while I was busy being a miserable person.

Much like on my actual birthday, I am making a huge deal out of it. I sent the following text to a half dozen of my friends just now:

It's my half birthday! Come to Tai's later and watch me bounce off of stuff!

My friends can best be described as tolerant.

I think when I get older I'll start celebrating quarter birthdays as well. If people complain I can look at them gravely and say "You never know when you're going to go." Maybe a bit of a downer, but I'm guessing they will all end up buying me a drink.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Rainbow Brite Revisited

I have received several angry messages from friends due to my sucky posting habits asking for pictures of my new hair, so without further ado I give

Please note my posed posture and come hither look. This is because Melle secretly wants to be a fashion photographer, also evidenced here:

Descriptions thus far have ranged from "Rainbow Brite had sex with you hair!" to "A gay pride parade threw up on your head":

Personally I enjoy it. Commence with comments from the peanut

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Reading Comprehension

In the following sentence, which of the underlined words appears out of place but actually isn't?

Last night, I went to Uncle Julio's to drink alcohol and eat cheese with my boyfriend.

Rainbow Brite

Today Melle plans to "explore Roy G. Biv" on my head.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Pros and Cons

The interns last day in the office was this past Thursday. This has both benefits and drawbacks:

  • Pro - There will be no one here to talk me into getting ice cream that I don't need or drinking a margarita on our lunch break (true story).
  • Con - There will be no one to go to lunch with, period.
  • Pro - No one will be interrupting a conversation I am having with my boss by throwing a stress ball at me over the cubicle wall.
  • Con - Said stress ball will also not bounce once and then land in my cup of tea, thereby cracking me up.
  • Pro - I will not feel guilty when I don't have any work for him to do.
  • Con - I will not feel guilty for not doing my own work because the intern and I decided to watch Charlie the Unicorn or Weird Al videos on YouTube.
"I bet you eat the crap out of some lobster."
"No, she wears pants, but they're not THE pants."
"Why don't you suck a bag of dicks?"
"Someone has to piss excellence around here."
Intern, you will be missed.

The Way To My Heart Is Apparently Through My Apartment

Funny what life throws in your lap. Boys for example.

I haven't had any funny stories to post lately, mainly because I'm spending all of my time with a boy who is not MrSteve nor the bartender nor the owner and my stories about those events are not particularly funny: they are sappy, and cutesy, and romantic, and disturbingly cheerful and likely to make the average Bizzybiz reader throw up. Not that funny things don't happen - it's just that they are pretty much inside jokes that only I and this boy would find funny. Who has an actual name by the way, but I haven't quite asked him if it was OK to blog about him and I can't think of a good blogname (Captain Awesome? Smiley McSmileson? Hey You, Nice Ass?) so for now he will just be some boy I am dancing around telling you about.

My point though, was that I wasn't looking for this boy. I had decided quite honestly that it was OK to be single forever and ever amen since I have such wicked awesome friends. "Find a boy" was not on my to-do list. "Find an apartment" is what was on the list. The ridiculously hot music and baseball loving leasing agent with the great sense of humor and the smile that will make you lose consciousness due to it's brilliance was wholly unexpected.

I have become a cliche. It's a good thing I'm so good at making fun of myself.

Friday, May 04, 2007

I Watched Spinal Tap This Week

MrSteve: Out? In? On the moon?
Me: Home, but I wish I could hang out on the moon!
MrSteve: Pity. The moon would be cool.
Me: I know. I would be bouncing all over the place
MrSteve: And that would be different from regular you how?
Me: Well obviously because I could bounce higher what with the lower gravity
MrSteve: My point was that you bounce quite happily about under 1 g.
Me: Right but on the moon I could bounce up to 11

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

So the guy that called the police when he found a skull boiling in a pot at some guys house? Yeah, we know that guy. He's a hairdresser and part time drag queen. His brother cuts the bartender's hair. We saw him at the Social Distortion show last October dressed up like a cat with giant boobs and platform shoes.

Chicago. It's a small town, it just happens to have 3 million people in it.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Fredrick the Entertainer

About forever ago I had bought tickets to see Naked Raygun and their special guests Dillinger 4 at House of Blues. The show was Friday night, and I took Melle as payback for her strong arming me into the Scissor Sisters show a few months back (although I have to admit, a man in black and white vertical striped, sequin super short shorts dry humping an amp does have a degree of entertainment value). The best thing about punk rock shows is the people - you never know what kind of characters you're going to meet. In this particular case we met Freddie.

Freddie is a chubby, bald (I couldn't tell if this was by nature or on purpose) 26 year old. He was at the show with his step-brother Lou, or as Freddie called him "Lou-dog". Freddie could accurately be described as "high-strung". Our conversation started when Freddie decided that Melle was carrying a fake ID, because it was obvious to him that she was not 26. In fairness to Freddie, she did tell him she was "going to be 27" which is technically true, but made it look like she was lying as she will not actually be 27 for another 8 months. I was slightly offended that he was not at all troubled when I told him I was 29.

Freddie quickly noticed Melle's tattoo, which is hard not to do because it is beautiful and also covers half her arm. We were then given a rundown of Freddie's various tattoos. "This is my dad's initials, and this one is for my mom. You see this one here? That one says 'strength through struggle', which is important. I got that one when I was straight-edge." I found it hard to believe that Freddie, who was drunk off his ass, was ever straight-edge and I told him so. "Well, I mean, except for the drugs. But my friends were straight-edge." He insisted to us several times that this particular tattoo was "important", even though it was obvious to me he wasn't gaining any strength and was clearly losing his struggle. "Then these, do you see these?" he asked, pointing to some dark patches on his forearm. "These are cigarette burns. There's another fresh one under this band aid too. These are all from my buddies that died. I had three buddies die in the last year, so I burned myself with a cigarette for each one so I'd remember, you know? That's what we do in my neighborhood."

I didn't know and neither did Melle. But as stupid as the whole thing seemed it got worse when we asked him where he was from that this is what they do in his neighborhood, and he told us Rogers Park (home of Loyola University Chicago and a Jesuit religious order).

Freddie also seems to lack a short-term memory. A guy went past us trying to get closer to the stage and elbowed Freddie a little bit in the process. Freddie flipped out. "Fuck man! Did you see that guy? He fuckin hit me right in the fuckin face! I'm gonna go fuckin kill that guy!" The guy hadn't actually hit Freddie in the face, unless he had a second face on his upper chest. In preparation to go fuckin kill that guy, he did the athlete pour with the rest of his beer. This is the thing where you open your mouth and pour your beverage over your tongue and down the whole front of your shirt without actually swallowing anything. He then threw his empty on the ground with authority and started for the stairs. I grabbed the back of his shirt to stop him and told him it wasn't worth it to get thrown out right at the start of Naked Raygun's set. This stopped him from going but he continued to stand there, breathing heavily and fuming.

Ten minutes later he erupted again. "No man, fuck it, I'm gonna go kill that fuckin guy that spilled beer all over my shirt. Fuck! Look at what he did to my shirt!" Melle and I looked at Lou-dog who just shrugged with resignation. It was clear he'd been to shows with Freddie before.

Eventually we had to part with Freddie and Lou-Dog because Melle had obliterated her liver, but I will always think fondly of him and his crazy cigarette burning ways. And that's how to attend a punk rock show.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Amberance: Guru

MrSteve: Back when my job was fun, today would have been a perfect day to go for a test drive.
Me: Yeah, well, eventually everything starts to suck.


MrSteve: I have to start looking for a new place soon as well.
Me: Really? why?
MrSteve: Because I hate my place. The only thing keeping me there was the garage and now she says she needs her garage back. Actually, I'm thinking about maybe leaving here altogether to go somewhere else.
Me: Seriously? Why would you leave Chicago? Chicago is awesome! I'm going to live here forever!
MrSteve: As a wise philosopher once said, "Eventually everything starts to suck."

Caffeine Buzzkill

I have walked into the kitchen at work to heat up my tea which has gotten cold. A co-worker is in there pouring coffee.

Co-worker (all chipper and shit at 9:30 am): I've just got to have my caffeine in the morning! Hee hee!
Me: Yeah I was off the caffeine for a while, but I'm back up to two cups of tea a day. I can't drink coffee though.
Co-worker: Oh really?
Me: Yeah, it's way too much caffeine for me, but mostly it's because I don't like it. Coffee tastes like a shoe.
Co-worker: Ha ha! Well I add sweetener and milk to mine. That should make it better, right?
Me: No, then it just tastes like a sweetened, milky shoe.

Moving Right Along

So the bartender and I are all moved now, and boy what a relief. The bartender now has an actual bedroom with a closet and a door, and I have a room that actually fits all both pieces of furniture I have. And let's not forget the jacuzzi.

Speaking of the jacuzzi: have I mentioned the part where I'm largely inept at life? I'm clumsy, you see, and I don't have a lot of what they call "common sense". These traits are not especially conducive to things like moving. I started the move by shattering the glass in a picture frame, and ended it by shattering a glass that made it through the actual moving part intact when I was putting it away in the kitchen. In the middle I did the following:

  • Dropped a dining room chair on my ankle. Actually I do that kind of thing all the time, but this time I dropped it hard enough to form an impact crater on my leg. Seriously. It bruised up all angry and purple, and as it has faded, the bruising in the middle is gone and there is a purple ring around the impact point of the leg of the chair. I'm just like the moon now.
  • Asked for help. The old apartment had a key that opened everything. The new apartment has 6: The front two building doors, the mail box, the front door, the deadbolt on the front door, the back door and the basement laundry room. The building also has a friendly caretaker, and I know he is friendly because my first order of business upon beginning my move was to lock myself out of the apartment. I had taken a few things over myself because I didn't want the movers to break them (it's always better for me to break things myself). I had left the keys in the door. On my way down to make another trip, I actually thought to myself "Do I need to take the keys with me?" and I answered myself "No, because I am leaving this door open and therefore won't have to unlock it." I go out to the car, grab more stuff, walk back to the building and...oh yeah, I can't get in the building without the keys. Luckily I heard a Spanish language soap opera coming from the caretakers window, and he was happy to let me in after I buzzed the door. Unfortunately, I can now never need anything ever again because I am too embarrassed to speak to him.
  • Took a bath. So sore was I from unpacking things, and so excited was I that I now have a jacuzzi, I decide that my top priority was to take a nice relaxing bath. A bubble bath. Right, so for anyone who does not immediately see the problem with this (which I'm sure is just me) you can't take a bubble bath and a jacuzzi soak at the same time unless your plan is to overflow your entire house with bubbles. Luckily I didn't actually overflow the tub, I just had so many suds I had to take a shower afterwards to get them off me.
Clearly moving is not my forte. Or bathing.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Hiatus

OMFG, as the kids would say.

What with all the working hard, and the trying to find a new apartment (hi Aaron), and Reading Challenge 2007, and Easter, and margarita drinking (it can be a full time job sometimes) it's hard to find the time to check the blogs I read, let alone contribute to my own.

Reading Challenge 2007 takes up most of my spare time. This is a project Heather devised. Knowing that I enjoy reading and wanting to read more often herself, we made a pact at the beginning of this year to encourage each other to read more. So far it's worked out extremely well. I've completed 22 books so far this year, meaning I've been averaging about 2-3 books a week. After a slow start, Heather is doing very well too. I like to think this is because I publicly shamed her on MySpace.

A great side benefit to Reading Challenge 2007 is the getting of delicious mail. Heather and I have been exchanging books with the assistance of the US Postal Service, and the last package she sent me came with a box of homemade cookies, which I managed to eat all of in about 20 minutes. Heather makes a mean cookie. I wanted to send her back a pie, but I'm not sure it would survive the trip. Suggestions?

Yesterday I got the invitation to my cousin's wedding in the mail. I am very happy for him, but also it's really weird. This is primarily because I used to babysit him, which means someone I used to babysit is old enough to get married, which means theoretically that I am old enough to get married, which can't possibly be correct as I clearly don't qualify as a grown up. Despite the weird I am very excited. In other exciting family news, I'm going to be a faunt, which is short for fake aunt. Simmy is in the process of growing her first offspring, which should be fully cooked sometime in September. This will be the first baby of the family, which is super exciting, but which I secretly fear is going to get me booted from the kids table.

Melle and I have discovered a new favorite bar, Fernando's on Lincoln near my apartment. Fernando's is like a mexican version of Tai's Til 4 but with food. There is a real Fernando (like there is a real Tai) who has had the restaurant for decades (Tai's has been in business over 45 years). Fernando is retired but is there every day (just like Tai) and his son is running the restaurant now (just like Tai's son, the owner). I started calling it Mexi-Tai's. Melle calls it "the office" as in "Hey, I need to go spend some time at the office". She thinks this is hilarious, probably because she's never actually worked in an office. The margaritas are delicious. Melle told Fernando that they were better than the margaritas she had in Mexico. Fernando scoffed. "They don't know how to make a margarita in Mexico," he told us. "They do it all wrong. The make them with Fanta!"

I will be moving to my new apartment next week and I love love love it. For over two years I have been looking back with nostalgia on the days in Cleveland when I had a garbage disposal. My new apartment has one, along with a jacuzzi tub and central air. And a huge deck. All of my dreams are coming true!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Are You Bored? Circle One: YES/NO

The Intern is leaving for his real life job in a couple of months. This makes me sad because he is the only other person who will act juvenile with me and pass stupid notes back and forth in meetings. Also because it's funny when he gets irritated that I call his girlfriend "The Pants".

Let Me Know If I'm Leering

You know how when you first get something pierced you have to have some kind of jewelry in it for a while to prevent the hole from closing up? It's a really good thing vaginas aren't like that.

I have not had a dry spell like this since, um, ever. I am going crazy. Not having any sex is making it so that I can't think about anything else. (Also having sex makes it so I can't think about anything else too, so maybe it's me.) I have now begun sizing up every single human that walks past me in terms of mating with them. No seriously, I mean everyone. Are you 80 years old? Are you a toothless hobo who smells like moth balls? IT DOESN'T MATTER. I am checking you out. How you doin?

Case in point: My company is considering a new website and we've been listening to pitches from different website developers, as you do. Or rather, other people have been listening. I have been picturing all of them naked. Today my coworker asked, "So what do you think of those guys from Friday? Do you think they're better than the first group?" My actual answer: "I don't really know. I think the first group was more attractive. Well, actually the two guys from Friday weren't bad, it was just that one guy. Something bad happened to his head. It looks like the moon." Probably I should not be trusted with anything important right now.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Deal A Meal Is My Favorite Card Game

H-town: i love a good mumu
me: if i was huge that is totally what i'd wear
H-Town: ladies and gentlemen - the GOOD MUMUS!!
of course
they're comfy
me: i would be proud to wear my mumu. i would say "I may have a bigga figga but you don't get to wear a mumu!"
H-Town: haha
would you wear a tent?
if it got to that point?
i hope i'd be able to stop you before you reached tent size
me: I would cut a hefty bag into daisy duke shorts
i would go clubbing in it
H-Town: i'd want to stop you before you got to "we have to move you with a forklift" size
me: wait! if you don't stop me, does it mean i get to meet richard simmons again? because that would be awesome
H-Town: hmm that's a tough call
me: it would almost be worth it to become morbidly obese just to have richard simmons show up in person at my house
and cry
H-Town: and give you a pair of his hot pants to eventually fit into
me: he would sob openly as i showed him my refrigerator filled with cheese
actually i could show him that right now
H-Town: it's starting!
i'm willing to bet that if you wrote him a letter and said the only way you thought it possible to meet him was to gain 500lbs, he might come meet you now
he could promise to cry anyway
me: holy crap that's brilliant! we should get started right now
"My dearest Richard
H-Town: send him photos of you eating donuts and pizzas
threatening to put barbecue sauce on your cat
then say your cat's joined the cause
me: "You may not remember me, but I was the little blond girl who sat on your lap when you made an appearance at parmatown mall in ohio in the early 80's. Anyway, I've never forgotten your spandex biker shorts and have been dying to meet you again ever since...."
H-Town: hahaha
"should you not come to chicago to meet me soon, I will start to eat more and more until I cannot physically leave my apartment without the help of heavy machinery"
"enclosed is a photo of me eating a doughnut - I'm starting right now!"
me: every few months i could send him pictures of me getting fatter
i'd rig them so that i don't fit in the frame to make my situation look dire
H-Town: and show your shrine to him, surrounded by candles and empty entenmann's boxes
me: "please help. I can only wear my old bracelets as rings now"
H-Town: haha
me: "xoxo, Amberance"
H-Town: "i haven't seen my cat in weeks, I fear she may be stuck in one of my folds..."
me: "because i am so huge my perception of size is skewed. I fear I may have eaten my cat a few weeks ago thinking she was a nice juicy peach"
H-Town: haha
me: i really do need richard simmons though. there is not another human alive who has a chance of talking me into exercising. he's the only trainer in history who is not mean and nazi-like
H-Town: same here, i'd do aerobics with him
me: "If you just do 10 more sit ups, I promise I'll jump up and down and clap my hands and squeal"
H-Town: done
me: no doubt

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Beer and Pens Shall Be Your Reward

I came home on Sunday after dropping off the bartender at the airport and started a mental debate with myself about whether it was better to start cooking some dinner or lounge on the couch watching Arrested Development reruns and drooling. Just as I finally got hungry enough to drag myself away from the television and start chopping red peppers, my phone rang. It was Gene Honda.

This was interesting because Gene NEVER calls me. We generally discuss all things needing discussion at the bar, or relay messages through the owner or the bartender. So I was excited because my first assumption was that he had a really brilliant idea of somewhere to go to out to dinner and he thought of me first. I was wrong.

"Amber, this is Gene."
"Gene! What's going on?"
"This is an emergency."
My glee died in my throat. There's no such thing as a delicious emergency.
"I'm doing pledge at Channel 11." Gene seems to always be doing pledge at Channel 11, as WTTW does four pledge drives a year. "We are short about 30 phone operators. If you are not doing anything tonight, and if anyone you know is not doing anything, we could REALLY use some help down here on the phones. We're on East St. Louis. Go to the side entrance and tell them you're a friend of mine and you're there to help with phones."

It is a testament to how much I like Gene that I actually showed up, because talking to strangers on the phone ranks right up there with petting spiders on my list of Things I Never Ever Want To Do. It took me a half hour to convince myself that I didn't have any kind of reasonable excuse to stay home. In the end I decided that if I was going to watch PBS all the time and never donate, then showing up to handle calls from people who aren't cheapskates was the least I could do to prove that I don't suck.

When I got there, a very nice guy named Dan stuck me on the end of long table and quickly went over how the phone works, the script, the pledge forms and the various thank you gifts we were offering at that moment. "When you get up to use the restroom or go to the cafeteria, make sure you put your phone on not ready so it doesn't ring and ring while you're gone. It's awfully hard to find the one ringing phone when there are 50 of them. Oh, and obviously don't get up and leave while we're on camera." This will seem incredibly stupid I'm sure, but I was so nervous about answering the phones that despite having watched hundreds of pledge drives in my life and the fact that I was in a television studio, until he said that it hadn't even occurred to me that I was going to be on television. It was only by sheer chance that I had actually put on make up that day and hadn't worn a t-shirt that said "Bitch! Shut the fuck up!" or "Masturbation: My Anti-Drug". I looked around the room to find all the monitors so I would know where not to look. I don't actually mind being on screen; it just freaks me out if I can see myself. When I got to sing the national anthem at the Chicago Fire game I couldn't look at my huge head on the Jumbotron for fear I would lose it and crack up laughing. Dan handed me a very nice WTTW pen that lights up that I got to keep as a reward for swallowing my terror and went away.

During my first break I realized why the shortage of phone operators was such an emergency. It felt like my hand was going to fall off, and I was sure my brand new pen was going to run out of ink. The phones just did not stop ringing through the entire break. The show that was airing was called Remembering Chicago which is a great and extremely popular series. Apparently everyone wanted a piece of it (a $60 pledge gets you an episode of your choice on DVD, and $120 pledge will get you all four episodes!) I even got a call from a guy in Florida (how he was getting the Chicago PBS station in Florida is a mystery to me. I'd like to see that cable package. What else are they carrying?).

Surprisingly, I only got two prank phone calls the whole night. The second one creeped me out though. "Are you wearing a black shirt? HAHAHAHAH" *click* I hung up and thought Hey I AM wearing a black shirt! Holy shit, they're watching me!!! I glanced around the room trying hard not to look alarmed. In so doing I realized there were fully seven women in the phone banks wearing black shirts, which was a relief because it wasn't necessarily me specifically that they were watching. All in all, it wasn't nearly as bad as my neurotic social phobias had feared.

Afterward, Gene decided that he owed me a drink, so we went to meet up with Teacher Charlie. In a vain attempt to find a bar that was still serving food at 11:30 on Sunday night, we ended up in a place we hadn't been to before. Their kitchen was closed, but our need for alcohol was greater than our need for food, so we decided to stay. This caused a great deal of excitement among the staff. Gene is not Harry Caray, but he is somewhat more popular here than he'd like to believe. He does not like to talk about his Wikipedia page, or his appearance in Opportunity Knocks. The bouncer took one look at Gene and flipped out. "You're staying? Oh my God, then I'm going to get your drinks because I have White Sox season tickets and I have DePaul season tickets and oh my God, you're awesome!" I thought that was weird. He has season tickets because he likes baseball and basketball, or he has season tickets because he likes to listen to Gene talk? Because he can listen to Gene talking at Tai's for a lot cheaper. The manager was also impressed and bought us all another two rounds, as well as producing some chips and salsa from the previously closed kitchen. We hung out until closing with the bouncer basking in the glow of Gene, Teacher Charlie basking in the glow of my pen which seemed to fascinate him, and me basking in the glow of a very drunk girl who kept hugging me and dancing on me and insisting that she loved me. Or maybe she was basking in my glow, who knows?

I'm pretty sure I had much more fun than I would have as a drooling couch potato at home. And I certainly wouldn't have such a cool pen.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

More Scenes From a Bar

I'd been saving these to write full posts around, but I've forgotten most of what I wanted to post and I really want these scraps out of my purse.

MrSteve and I having a conversation about how other people are always driving my car:
MrSteve: You have a weapon. You could say "no".
Me: I don't think I have that weapon. I think my no is bent or something. Somebody broke it. Never let other people play with your no.

Mike: Who sings American Pie? It's Bob Dylan, right?
Me: No, it's Don McClean.
Mike: Are you sure?
Me: Yes. If it was Bob Dylan no one would understand any of the lyrics.

I'm stealing MrSteve's matches just so I can light them, and then sniff them.
MrSteve: You know that only minions of the devil enjoy the smell of sulfur, right?
Me: Well then bring it on, Beelzebub!

Mike: Hey, do you want a shot?
Me: No thanks.
Mike: I know. That's why I asked you.

Gene: I had this lobster while I was in Maine. It's so sweet you don't even think you need the butter. But you use it anyway.
Vic: I knew a girl like that once!

The dj had just started spinning.
Me: Well, that's my cue to leave. It's time to go when the music starts getting thumpy.
MrSteve: I like my music thumpy. With extra misogyny and a side of bling.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Girl Scout Cookies

Tagalongs are highly addictive. They should be classified as a controlled substance and regulated by the FDA. And those junkie dealers that only sell them once a year should be thrown in prison.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Shameless Self-Promotion

I bet you didn't realize you were reading the blog of a world famous poet, but you are. My favorite podcast, Punky! Radio - with listeners in every corner of the planet, 3,435 MySpace friends, consistently rated as the top music podcast on Podcast Alley and syndicated on two internet radio stations - has posted my poem that I wrote for their show as an audio file on their MySpace page.


You may not get all of the jokes, so I recommend you also become a regular listener because it's a really great show.

I'm going to go sit back and wait for the endorsement deals to start rolling in.

Amberance: Conscientious Citizen

Tuesday night I headed out for my first experience as a voter in Illinois. Or rather, as a voter in Chicago as it was only a municipal election. I was extremely excited despite there being only four races on the ballot, one of which was a person running unopposed and another being the mayoral race, which is really just a formality here. Mayor Daley was re-elected overwhelmingly just as everyone expected. Chicagoans are funny like that. It's not that people are unaware that the administration is overwhelmingly corrupt, it's just that they don't really care. It's almost considered part of the city's cultural heritage: who doesn't think of Chicago when they think of Al Capone and the mafia and buying politicians? Secretly we like being notorious. As long as the streets are clean, and they are, Daley can be declared Mayor for life. Nevertheless, voting was the thing I was waiting for to make me feel like I can tell people I'm from here, so I was really psyched about it.

I got to the polling place which was a school near my house and went inside. I got passed from one table to another until we finally figured out that my ward's table wasn't in the building. "Go back out and on the other side of the pavement there is like a yellow field house, that's where you need to go." I thought this was weird because the school was pretty huge and the other two wards were only using one room. But whatever. I walked around the playground and saw the yellow field house. It was tucked way back into a corner where it could barely be seen from the street. It also looked like it could collapse on top of the people inside it at any second. In my head I started imagining a conspiracy theory, like Daley found out that a lot of people in my ward were planning to vote against him so they put the voting somewhere that was difficult to find and scary once you got there.

The inside was tiny and smelled like mildew and unwashed jock straps. The people inside, on the other hand were awesome. In all my life I have never seen such cheerful election volunteers. I half expected them to hand me a beer and tell me come hang out at the table. While I was voting it was discovered that almost everyone volunteering in that room was left handed, and they had noticed the left-handedness of me and the person who came in right after me while we were giving our signatures and this caused much rejoicing.

I finished voting in about 18 seconds, and took my ballot up the collection table. By the way, they have GIGANTIC ballots here. Seriously. Only four races on the ticket, but this sheet of paper must have been about 12" x 20". Al Gore would have a stroke if he ever saw them. This was the part I had been most looking forward to. Because all my life, I've been a voter in Ohio and in Ohio you get this awesome "I voted today!" sticker when you turn in your ballot. I was really excited about that sticker because I wanted to wear it to the bar tonight in order to make fun of my friend Teacher Charlie, who is best known for his never bothering to vote. I planned to taunt him with it. Only, when I turned my ballot in, there were no stickers. Instead they handed me a slip of paper that read "Ballot Receipt February 27, 2007. Municipal General Election." as if I had purchased something I might later want to return. Also the upper left-hand corner noted that this was Form 10, so apparently it's some kind of official document. All I know is that it has no adhesive that I can use to affix it to my shirt tonight. I was disappointed. I thought everyone handed out stickers when you voted. On occasion it's been the only reason I went - I have no idea who all those judges are!

So I'll have to make fun of Teacher Charlie without a cool prop, but what's that you ask? Where am I from? Why, I'm from Chicago Illinois!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Post Traumatic Stress

I woke up from my dream last night with my heart pounding. While occasionally this is a sign of a good dream (wink-wink, nudge-nudge), today it wasn't.

I dreamed that I was standing in my bathroom talking to the bartender, who was also standing in the bathroom. Why we were hanging out talking in the bathroom remains a mystery. Dreams. Go fig. Anyway, we were standing there talking, and the bartender had no socks on. Suddenly, as if from no where, a centipede crawled out and ran across the bartender's naked little toes. The good news is, it didn't run over my toes. The bad news is I'm dreaming about centipedes.

Actually, I'm not sure that's it. Since the bartender arrived there have been three centipede incidents: one that he found in the tub when I wasn't home and released to the wild (stupid move - why not just put up a sign?: "No kill centipede shelter! Bring your friends!") the one that snuck into the tub and tried to eat me before escaping and one that came crawling out from behind the toilet while I was freaking on it that then crawled into the kitchen, where it ran into Kristen, got the shit beaten out of it, and was eventually trapped under a bowl with a note on it reading "half dead centipede inside!" until the bartender woke up and killed it. (Side note: it is perhaps possible that these were not three, but rather one exceptionally dogged centipede that twice escaped death and came back for more. But that's a conspiracy theory for another time.) The last of these incidents happened way back in October, so why would I be dreaming about bathroom centipedes now?

Because it wasn't an ordinary dream. It was a flashback caused by post traumatic centipede stress. I was so horrified by what I witnessed that I re-live it in vivid nightmares and become overwhelmed with fear anytime I'm in the bathroom and see movement other than my own.

When I discussed my self-diagnosis with the intern, it got him started on a tangent about bags filled with roaches and roaches on people's faces trying to eat their eyelashes and that these things had happened to people he knew (in South Carolina. Wally, is this common or are his friends just slobs with tasty eyelashes?). I got so freaked out I began to see the appeal of agoraphobia, provided that my entire house is one big hermetically sealed clean room.

I think maybe I should see someone.

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Geneva Conventions Say Sleep Deprivation is Torture

I've been having a lot of trouble sleeping for the past several months. I've tried everything I can think of short of sleep aid medication: warm milk, turkey, oatmeal, NyQuil - but no, I still find myself wide awake. I've decided maybe the problem isn't so much that I need some magical sleep inducing elixur, but that I might need to consider finding some different friends.


Monday morning I woke up around 4 a.m. and immediately noticed that there was one more human voice talking in my house than normal, and also that this human voice was really loud. Moments later, Hellbilly burst into my room and flipped on the light.

"AMBER! Hey, what's goin' on? I ran into your boy [the bartender] over at the bar there and I decided to come over and say hi!"

"Great. Hi. You need to turn off the fucking light now."

"Whoa, hey, aren't you happy to see me?"

"I'm happy I have this blanket on me." I was dressed in a pair of black panties. That's it. For once my blanket was actually on top of me instead of in a twisted heap half shoved into the corner and half on the floor. "I'll be even happier when you shut off the light and go the hell away."

"Holy shit! Why are you being so hostile?"

From the kitchen I heard the bartender shout, "See? I told you! I win the bet!" He appeared at my door all smiles and joviality. "So I'm at Underbar with [Vicodin] Jim and the psycho, and out of nowhere, [Hellbilly] shows up! Oh, by the way, the psycho actually complained about something else besides Jim today. Twice! Anyway, so [Hellbilly] asks where you are and I said you were in bed and he was all, 'I'm coming home with you and I'm going to climb into bed with her.' And Jim told him that was a really bad idea and I told him you'd be mad. But he didn't believe us, he thought you'd be all happy to see him, and he bet us you'd like it. But you're not, you're all pissed, so now we both get a steak dinner, hahaha!" This sparked an argument between them, because Hellbilly didn't think he'd lost as he hadn't actually climbed into bed with me, while they both stood in my room shouting with the light still on.

"HEY!" I interrupted. "Drunk #1 and Drunk #2! Get the fuck out of my room and either use your inside voices or shut the fuck up because if you wake me up again, I start ripping balls off, got it? Out, now."

"I told you," mumbled the bartender as they filed out the door. But something was still wrong.

"Hey asshole, get back in here!" I yelled. The bartender poked his head back in. "Shut off the goddamn light."

I never really got back to sleep.

This morning I was awakened by a nauseating smell. I laid in bed listening for the bartender. When I didn't hear him hopping around in the kitchen, I got up to investigate. The smell got a hundred times worse when I opened my door. Also the kitchen lights were on and the entire house was filled with smoke. I walked into the kitchen and found a pot on the stove with the burner on full blast underneath it and something that was probably once food black and sizzling inside it. Actually, it was Kraft macaroni, which I only determined by the packet of imitation cheese powder sitting unused on the counter next to an unused bowl and an unused spoon. I checked the clock and discovered it was 6 a.m. which meant two things: the pot had been on the stove for at least two hours and probably more, and I needed to check the kitchen smoke detector because apparently it's defective. I shut the heat of and started running hot water in the sink. I don't know how it works with metal, but if you heat up glass to a high temperature and then drop it in freezing water the glass will crack. I wasn't taking any chances. I don't really know why, it's not like the pot is usable. I opened the kitchen windows despite it being 4 degrees outside, lit a bunch of candles and sprayed some Glade through the house. This did nothing. In fact as I sit here right now at 1 p.m. at work, I can still smell burning burnt shit on my clothes which had been hanging up in my closet. As I was leaving the house the bartender woke up. "Did I leave that on?" he asked.


"Oh, sorry."

"That's ok, I took care of it. The window is still open in the kitchen." I have no idea why I said it was ok, because I was furious and it was decidedly not ok, and who gets in their bed while they're cooking something anyway? But I didn't have the energy to yell at him because I didn't get any sleep this week.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

We're Getting Six Inches of Snow Today

The owner called from Hawaii because he's shitty like that.

Me: What's up dude?
Owner: I'm a little chilly. It's only 83 degrees.
Me: I hate you.
Owner: I love you, I just want to punch you in the face most of the time.
Me: Whatever, you know it's negative degrees here today right?
Owner: Yep, and I'm here on the beach with my tropical lemonade.
Me: You know, you call and harass me every time you go to Hawaii.
Owner: I know. That's because you're the only one who's still dumb enough to answer the phone.

He texted me later:

Owner: Don't u hate when u get too much sand on your feet? It's uncomfortable.
Me: I hope a shark bites your kneecap.
Owner: Oh nice! I hope spiders attack you in your sleep!
Me: I feel your love from here!
Owner: Hopefully that's the spiders you feel.

Maybe With a Side of Mashed Potatoes

Discussing Hannibal Rising (spoilers):

Bartender: I still wish he would have eaten that guy's daughter.
Me: No, she was innocent, that's why he didn't.
Bartender: Bah, no one is innocent.
Me: Dude, she was, like, three.
Bartender: Exactly, she'd probably be really tender!

Monday, January 29, 2007

It's Funny Cuz It's True

Mass e-mail message sent to my gang of friends from high school:

OK, why hasn't anyone from this group thought this up for their wedding? Simone? John? Leash? What happened?

Simone responds:

that is funny. maybe we could plan it for the birth of baby leash. at the hospital. in hospital gowns.

I responded:

I'm making all you guys do Rhythm Nation at my wedding. Unless a couple of the guys want to get together to do Dick In A Box. (But please do not actually put your dick in the box. Thanks.)

My brother responded:

Who, on this earth, is going to be able to tie your arms and legs up long enough to keep you from running away from a wedding?

This is obviously the most brilliant respose in the history of e-mail.

Dear El Nino,

What the hell, bro? It's 13 degrees. Supposed to go down to 4 tonight. Four degrees. F-o-u-r. You have some explaining to do buddy.

When I first heard it was an El Nino year, I was overjoyed. I remembered my last El Nino: Mild temperatures all winter long, hardly ever dropped below freezing, barely any snow. I could not wait. I was so excited to see you again. I greeted you with open arms. Indeed, much of the last month was remarkable.


I walked out of my house this morning and the temperature sucker punched me in the face. I saw stars. Seconds later I lost all feeling in my extremities. I could have been wearing 9 snowsuits and it wouldn't have made a difference. I would have screamed but I was afraid that if I opened my mouth all of my internal organs would freeze. I stood on the platform waiting for the train, even though it was obvious I was going to die before it came. Two words for you, dickhead: booger icicles.

Am I in Canada? No, I'm not. I don't know who shit in your dildo drawer, jackwad, but there's no reason for you to take it out on me. I never did anything to you. So get your lazy ass in gear and fix this shit right now, because if I die it's on your head. Jerk.



Friday, January 26, 2007


MrSteve read the blog post about our drinking fun while we sat at the bar last night. He got to the part about the hangover and paused in his reading. "Inner ear fluid?"

I shrugged. "I kept running into things!"

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Kitty Woes, Hangovers and the Miracle of Ceramic Tile

I keep not posting my birthday party highlights. The reason is that I'm not in the mood.

I took Kristen the kitty angel of joy to the vet on Friday for her routine annual exam only to find out that she has a tumor in her mouth and needs a $700 dollar surgery to get it out. And then we have to send it to a lab to find out if there's cancer in that thar tumor or not. As if this wasn't frightening enough, they were concerned that she might not survive surgery with her heart condition, so I had to take her for another echocardiogram before they would clear her for surgery. So now my cat has a cardiologist. (Maybe I'm overthinking this, but how does a person decide they want to be a kitty cardiologist? I can see how people decide to become a veterinarian: "I love animals! I should work with them!", but how do you go from that to, "I love animals! I should work with them! But just their hearts."? Or maybe they just find out in vet school that they're good at it? I just don't know.) The cardiologist said her heart was doing very well on her medication and in fact should continue to do well for years before she starts showing signs of heart failure. So she has that going for her. Of course, she charmed everybody in the place with her sweet disposition and tiny frightened meows, because that is what she does. So she is cleared for surgery, which will occur on Tuesday.

So, not really in a party recap mood you understand.

This is not to say there haven't been some smiling times. When I got home from the vet on Friday with my awful news, I sobbed for an hour on the bartender. He did his best to be comforting, but he had to go to work. That was ok, because I had a plan for the evening: get obnoxiously drunk and pass out.

People that know me well know that despite most of my social life occurring inside of a bar, I actually drink very little. Two to three ciders once a week spread over 5 hours is my typical limit. In hindsight, I should have taken that into consideration before deciding to drink an entire bottle of wine by myself. In an hour and a half. Melle informed me later "you have to work your way up to being a wino." Oops.

Halfway through the bottle I remembered to call MrSteve, who knew I was at the vet and was waiting for the story. I also explained my excessive drinking plan, thinking he would try to talk me out of my self destruction. Instead he said "I have a bottle of Captain just sitting here that I've never opened. I should bring it to you!" I seriously have the best friends in the universe.

MrSteve ended up staying, I think as much to prevent me from seriously injuring myself as anything, and we had a grand old time looking up Monty Python sketches, eulogies, and Bob the Enzyte guy on the internet, as well as MST3K-ing an episode of Numbers. I also spoke to Melle on the phone while MrSteve made pirate noises in the background. Apparently I spilled things a lot. (I do that sober though, just not on other people as much. Sorry Steve.) We took in a little William Shatner music.

I woke up on the bathroom floor. I have been known to do this before. It's a tradition that started at the Christmas Eve Eve Drinking Extravaganza of 1999 (I believe. Kelly? Doug? Simmy?) and continued at the 25th Anniversary of the Birth of TupperDoug party a few years later. Since then I've found that sleeping on the bathroom floor is good because 1) if you have to ralph you are right next to the toilet and 2) the floor is nice and cool which paradoxally helps to keep you from vomiting. Also "and then I woke up on the bathroom floor" is a great way to end a story. I've got the bartender doing it now too which is hilarious.

Thanks to my bathroom tile sleeping ways I did not vomit. This proved to be a mistake the next day when I woke up certain that I was dying. My head, stomach, liver, esophagus and inner ear fluid mutinied. Several other organs tried to escape. I did not even need to swallow any water. I could just pour it on my skin and my body absorbed it instantly. I looked on the bright side - I was obviously not cut out to be an alcoholic. In the future I plan to drown my sorrow by eating an entire block of cheese instead.

I promise I will get to the birthday thing, what with the appearance of the brothers whose last name rhymes with "shmongola" and the forcing people to sing and the light saber appearing as drug paraphernalia. Eventually.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Pimpin' Ain't Easy (With the Flu)

I have been sick for well over a week. I told MrSteve that I had malaria. He was skeptical of this, as I have not been out of the country or anywhere near a river, and all the mosquitoes in Chicago have flown south for the winter, or where ever it is that they go. I looked in my throat in the mirror with a flashlight and found that my flesh most closely resembled freshly ground beef. This, combined with a week of hacking up respiratory organs, was enough to finally convince me that I should have a medical professional look into it.

We have previously established, I think, that I am a very lazy person. Procrastination is my main form of artistic self-expression. Because of this I only go to the doctor when prescriptions expire. And since my dad doesn't live here and can't do things like pick out doctors for me, I have no primary care physician in Chicago. This is the circumstance that led me to seek answers at an immediate care clinic.

I sat in the waiting room and checked out the magazine selection. I had my choice of Field and Stream or Sporting News Weekly. I picked up a two week old Sporting News Weekly and thumbed through it. It predicted a Superbowl battle between the Cowboys and the Ravens. This made me laugh out loud.

The nurse called my name and ushered me into a room. It quickly became apparent that English was not her first language. Eventually I started answering yes or no to her questions at random rather than point out that I couldn't understand half of what she was saying. "Are you on any medications?"

"Yes, Tri-levelen and Welbutrin."

"OK, can you spell for me?" I thought maybe I should make more of an effort to find a private practice somewhere. She swabbed my throat to make sure I didn't have strep (which was my primary concern; my tonsils came out in second grade because I kept getting it) and told me that the doctor would be in soon.

Whatever fears I had about the quality of care at this place vanished as soon as the doctor came in the door. He introduced himself and shook my hand. "How are you today?"


"That's a great answer. If you would have said good I would have known you were a liar."

He took a look in my throat. "Good news!" he told me. "You don't have tonsilitis! But you knew that, because you don't have tonsils."

He had me lay down so he could listen to my chest. When I pulled my shirt up he gasped at my belly piercing. "OH MY GOD! Didn't that hurt?"

"Not really, I mean not much. Like getting a shot." He shook his head in dismay.

"Shots hurt. No piercings for me. No tattoos. I told my wife if I die with more holes in my body than I was born with, that's the hole that killed me."

I took my glasses off so he could tap on my head. "Do you wear contact lenses?"

I feared this might be a trick question. "Um, yes. Sometimes. I mean, not all the time."

"Good. You should wear them. You have beautiful eyes. It would be a shame to hide them behind those glasses." I decided he was the best doctor ever.

In the end he decided I had sinusitis, which is really just a fancy word for the entire upper half of my body is filled with snot. I decided this was not nearly as interesting as having malaria. He prescribed an antibiotic, an antihistamine and two cough medications, and sent me on my way.

It wasn't until the desk receptionist checked me out and I turned to leave that I remembered I was in an immediate care clinic and not at my awesome new doctor's private practice. Sitting in the waiting room, sniffling like it was his job, was a pimp in a bright green pimp suit. Green suit with his shirt half open, matching shiny green shoes, mounds of bling and, for real kids, a bright green hat with a feather in it. He had a gold knobbed walking stick laying across his lap. I almost looked around for cameras. I was sure he had stepped right out of a Snoop Dogg video. Pimps need doctors too I guess. It's hard to keep your bitches in line if you keep sneezing all over them.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Real Friendship

It is vitally important to choose your friends carefully.

You need to have someone who will listen to you when you need to vent.
Someone to cheer you up when you are down.
Someone you know you can count on in any crisis.

Someone who will prank call you at work, play a roaring dinosaur pen in your ear, and then hang up on you. You know, someone like Heather.

It's been 20 minutes and I still can't stop laughing. I less than three you, Heather!

The Obligatory Holiday Recap

Well hello there, internet friends. Long time no write.

Despite the best efforts of the "kids" of my family (you all should have co-ordinated your efforts, It still wouldn't have worked but it probably would have been really entertaining) I spent my Christmas with the bartenders family in Galena this year instead of going to Cleveland. This worked out very well, because I can't get homemade swedish meatballs in Cleveland, and no one in my family is the crazy cat lady so I wouldn't have gotten to play with a half dozen kittens that were so cute I almost threw up on them. Then again, if I'd gone to Cleveland I wouldn't have been covered in cat hair, and also my dad's house doesn't smell like ammonia.

The bartender was born on Christmas Eve, so I baked him a cake with the Blackhawks logo on it (because I am friggin awesome) which we took with us to Galena that night. He decided, somewhat arbitrarily and with no basis whatsoever in reality, that we would be celebrating his 24th birthday, which magically transformed him into being younger than me for a day. We hung out at his sister's townhouse for a while, before retiring to our hotel to watch football. Alcohol was consumed, cheese was heated up at 2 in the morning and consumed on tortilla chips. I think he had a pretty good fake 24th birthday.

I got a lot of great gifts. My parents had sent me a huge box of stuff, including a couple of new nativities for my collection and a cute but weird stuffed lamb that had a card claiming it had slept on top of the baby Jesus in the manger to keep him warm. I found that unlikely because it seems like if you put a sheep on top of a baby the kid would suffocate, but then again I wasn't there. The bartender's sister and her girlfriend bought me an amber necklace when they were in Scotland. And the bartender broke from his highly cultivated "you are not so special and you annoy me" attitude and surprised me with airline tickets to Las Vegas for New Year's.

As far as New Year's goes, Las Vegas is the new New York. About 3 million people come into town for it. The cost of a hotel room quadruples. They shut down the strip at 5:00 so they can fill the street with people who will then watch a spectacular fireworks show at the stroke of midnight.

The bartender and I had gone to dinner with the owner et al. for his birthday at Japanais. While this seemed like a good idea at the time, we were clear on the other end of the strip from where we wanted to be, which was on top of Mandalay Bay at the Foundation Room, where we had been invited to watch the fireworks with the bartender's good friend whom I shall call His Royal Awesomeness because he fills me with awe. (And booze.) With the strip being shut down, and the blisters I had acquired walking to dinner, we were going to have a hard time making it back in time. Actually, as it turned out, it would be impossible to get back in time, because by 11:00 the street was so packed with people it was impossible to cross.

As much as I enjoy visiting Las Vegas, it is a Mecca for stupid asses. No one could figure out how to board a tram, look in the direction they were walking, or keep themselves from blocking foot traffic. As we stood trapped in the middle of the street, surrounded by drunk frat boys chanting "Tits! Tits!" at girls who were clearly not drunk enough to take their shirts off, the bartender observed that people seemed even more retarded than normal, and concluded that Los Angeles had thrown up on us.

We spent the next few days in the sports book watching some FANTASTIC (Fiesta) and some atrocious (Orange) bowl games, plus a bit of hockey. We also eventually stopped up at the Foundation Room where some girl hit on me. Only girls hit on me now. Boys don't any more. I don't know what that's about. We left without anyone else hitting on me, which was very disappointing because one of my main goals for this Vegas trip was to get some ass. Other than that the trip was pretty uneventful - just the usual "go to Fatburger" thing, the usual "drink with His Royal Awesomeness and get extremely hammered" thing and the subsequent "Amber and the bartender get in a huge argument on the last day" thing.

Next up: Amberance's Super Duper Fabulous 29th Birthday extravaganza! which is likely to consist of going to Tai's and getting all crazy, like flailing my arms around and demanding everyone pay attention to me or drinking four ciders instead of three. So pretty much exactly like what I do every week, except that I'm going to make everyone sing to me.