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.