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!