Wednesday, December 17, 2008

As You Wish

BrownsFan: Please change your password.

Me: I swear it has been done.

BrownsFan: You are a person of action. Lies do not become you.

Amberance: Bossy

There is a right way and a wrong way to string lights on a Christmas tree, which is why I don't ever let anyone else touch the lights for the trees except for my father, who taught me in the first place*. So, I was very confused on Sunday when putting up the agent's tree. I had four strings of neatly wrapped lights, and one string of inexplicably tangled completely disorganized lights. "I can't figure out how this happened," I told the agent. "Why would I have done this? And with just one string of lights?"

"Maybe I was trying to help you or something," he said, "and you made me stop because you thought I was doing it wrong."

I considered this. "Maybe, but I think even then I would have taken it away from you and bossily redid it the way I wanted it in the first place."

*This came about in high school when I decided that a 10 foot tree in the family room and an 8 foot tree in the living room was not nearly enough trees, and that we clearly needed another 8 foot tree in my bedroom, to which my father responded "Do it yourself. There's no way I'm putting lights on another damn tree."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's Beginning to Look A Little Like Christmas

"Amber's been decorating," the bartender told our friend the fat mexican over the phone. "It looks like the North Pole in here."

It's my mother's fault, really, that I'm like this. She loved Christmas and she loved decorating, so decorating for Christmas was a big deal at my house when I was growing up. My mother worked from home, so she would decorate in small batches during the day. When Cap and I would get home from school she would tell us how many decorations she had put up and then the two of us would tear off through the house trying to find the things that were new. We had our own assignments as well. We had a huge ceramic Christmas tree that was always on top of the tv (back when televisions were more of a piece of furniture than an appliance) that had little red lights all over it. Cap and I were responsible for sticking all the little plastic lights in and every year we fought over who would get to put the star on top. My mother also collected Santas, several of which I have inherited. She loved her Santa collection so much that they stayed out in a cabinet in the corner all year round. No lie.

At night I would sneak out of my bed and either hide in the living room staring at the tree for hours, or sit on the stairs and watch the snow fall in the little round light up winter scene in the hallway. In retrospect, it may be that Christmas seemed magical to me simply because it was filled with tiny flashing lights. and small shiny objects.

This is why the living room has so many decorations and lights that we don't even need to turn on any lamps (and the tree is not even up yet) and why I have a 4 1/2 foot stocking hanging on my bedroom door.

It's why I have a Santa hat on at work right now.

Friday, December 12, 2008

31 Days and Counting

It is one month until my birthday, the most joyous day of the year. Just ask these happy couples.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Breaking News!

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was arrested this morning on charges that he is a complete and utter douchebag. Disturbingly, this is not at all surprising. Hilariously, he was originally elected on a platform of reforming the corruptions of the previous Governor, George Ryan, who is currently serving 6 years after being convicted of being a total douchebag himself. I try very hard to keep politics out of this blog, but really this was too good to pass up. If I didn't laugh, I'd be crying.

This proves what I've been saying all along: Cabbage Patch Kids are evil.

Bedtime Stories from the Lazy and Irritated

The bartender: You're going to bed already?

Me: I'm tired. Tell me a story.

The bartender: (sigh) Once there was a crackhead.

long pause as I wait for him to continue

Me: And then what?

The bartender: He died.

Me: That is the worst bedtime story in all of history.

The bartender: Fine. Once there was a spider.

Me: Ok, ok, I take it back!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

NaBloPoMo Wrap Up

Wow, thank heaven that's over. What I learned from NaBloPoMo is that writing something every single day is hard. Or that it's incredibly easy and I simply have very few interesting things going on in my life, I'm not sure. Either way, it ends up being a mixed bag of genuinely good posts, drivel and crappy one sentence fillers. Oh, also crappy NaBloPoMo wrap-up posts. But I also learned that I miss blogging on a frequent basis and so from now on I will try to remember what a fun hobby this is when I'm laying around bored with no books to read. Which is pretty rare actually.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled once a week* blog post.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Kitty Report

There were no cats I just HAD to have this morning, which is good because it's not time yet to have a cat (which I discovered by trying to picture the tortie kitten walking through my kitchen and promptly bursting into tears because it's Kristen's kitchen). There was another tortoise shell kitten who had convinced herself that my neck and head were her personal jungle gym, but the cat of the day was a black ca in the adult room. As soon as he saw me sit down, he came running over and aggressively claimed my lap. Which is to say, he slapped the crap out of any other cat who tried to get near me. I tried to pet his head, but as soon as I touched him he turned around and bit me. After that he growled at me every time my hand got near him. Apparently he's not affectionate - he just wants the lap.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Food Hangover

I can't move. Seriously. I blame the stuffing, for being AWESOME.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Great Minds Think Alike

H-Town: Things that sound dirty, but aren't: "Hey, can I help brine your turkey?"

me: "let me stuff that for you"

H-Town: "Mmm, I love giblets"

me: "Can I have a little more hot gravy?"

H-Town: "I'd like to stick my pen15 into the cranberry sauce."
No wait, that is dirty. Sorry.
*totally went there*

me: *totally beaten to the punch*

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Holiday Memory Fun Time

I was reading an article today about a return to "classic" toys this season since there is not a "must have" toy this year (did I drive all around northeast Ohio in 1996 looking for a Tickle Me Elmo for myself? Yes. Yes I did.) and also because no one has any money.

This reminded me of the greatest classic toy of all time which is, of course, Domino Rally. For those who are either to young or too old to have any memory of this masterpiece, Domino Rally was a toy where you would set up a couple hundred dominoes in an elaborate pattern and then knock them all down.

The product itself was a piece of crap. The dominoes were injection molded plastic and hollow on one side. They were also way too thin and it was an enormous chore to get them to stand up and stay up. We eventually took to taking out every 10th domino or so until we were ready to avoid having the whole thing come down before it was finished, usually due to vibrations from someone walking around in another room. It was hours of painstaking and often frustrating work, for about a 20 second payoff, and even that never went according to plan. The knock down always stalled on the included bridge due to it's poor design, and also here and there along the line since we were little kids and sucked at spacing. We loved it. It was the go to holiday game for Cap, Simmy, Kelly, me, and occasionally our two younger cousins when we let them play (we were afraid that since they were younger they would knock stuff down. Because we weren't knocking everything down ourselves already.). It was a mixed blessing for the adults in that while it kept us quiet and occupied for most of the day, the only place we could set it up was on the kitchen floor where people were trying to cook for 20 guests. We played this at just about every holiday until we were old enough for more awesome games like Crack the Case, despite the fact that in all that time we were never once successful.

Who else had a crappy-ass toy they were in love with?

Bryan, is our failure at Domino Rally what led you into engineering? Because that would be awesome.

Monday, November 24, 2008


The bartender and I are making a 17 1/2 pound turkey for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday...for the two of us and one guest. Because, you know, we wouldn't want to run out of food.

In related news, check out Mrs. Sizemore's pumpkin pie recipe, if you're looking for a DIY dessert.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Finally, An Explanation

There may now be a reasonable explanation for my fear of the pizza man and librarians. It is because I am left-handed.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Observations at a Calexico Show

  • The opening band had two people on drums. It was still quieter than most bands with one drummer.
  • The lead singer of the opening band played bass on one song...with a capo. Bonus points for the agent coincidentally musing only minutes before, "Wouldn't it be hilarious to see someone using a capo on a bass?"
  • An Amazon couple. The giant man had an Adam's Apple that was so big it looked like a foot was coming out of his neck. The giant woman had salami scented B.O. We stared at their backs for a good portion of the concert.
  • Mutton chops.

Friday, November 21, 2008

This Will Only Take A Second...

Today's pants shitting moment is brought to you by a bum on the train on my way home from work today. He came in through the emergency exit door and proceeded to yell the following statement:

"Attention all the passengers on this train! I hope you can all forgive me for what I'm about to do."

Zzzzziiiiip went the needle on the imaginary record as all conversation in the train stopped immediately, because as everyone who has ever watched a movie or the evening news knows, that kind of statement is always followed by the guy pulling out a gun, dramatically jacking a round into the chamber and firing it at the ceiling as a warning that he WILL kill anyone who does not cooperate before robbing everyone.

What actually happened though was that he got down on his knees and begged for change. He wanted our forgiveness for asking us for change in the first place. Hopefully some day I will be able to forgive him for giving me a heart attack as well.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Horror, The Horror

This just in: There are spiders in the grapes. (WARNING: Picture of a spider in the article. I had to have BrownsFan read me the first two paragraphs.) Not just any spiders either. BLACK WIDOW SPIDERS, the quintessential ARACHNID OF EVIL. These are spiders that can actually harm or even kill you. Just look at them with their huge round ass presumably filled with poison, shaking their red hourglass at you and saying "This is how long you have to live!" They are hiding in your grapes people. Frequently:

"Some place in the U.S. almost every day of the year somebody finds a black widow in a package of California grapes," said Rod Crawford, curator of arachnids, Burke Museum.

I think we all know what kind of food I will no longer be purchasing, let alone washing.

And the woman in the article that wants to donate the black widow to a zoo? ARE YOU CRAZY? What are you going to do, stand there and calmly ask it to please crawl into your little cup so it can enjoy a life in captivity completely devoid of opportunities for evil doing? Yeah, that'll work. Put that monster in the freezer before it's too late!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Amberance Will Stick With What She Has

I took a career aptitude test online today because I love thinking about myself, and the economy is scary, and I stupidly signed up to blog every day this month, and I'm still not entirely sure what I want to be when I grow up. "Weird" is not technically a career, and is certainly not lucrative. Anywho, according to my own opinion I am very intelligent and completely unfriendly. I am also apparently very nurturing, but only if you like hearing about me since I seem to dislike conversing unless it's about myself.

The test says that in general, I should be in some type of creative field, but then goes on to give the three best career matches for me, none of which are remotely creative:

1. Personal Care and Service Occupations. I find this particularly hilarious seeing as I scored approximately "hermit crab" on my interpersonal skills. Also they make it sound completely unappealing with their description:

"Primary job stresses include working with sometimes unpleasant clients, having to work on your feet for many hours, and working in sometimes smoky environments. Primary job satisfactions include briefly meeting and serving many different people or animals and receiving their brief praise and thanks."

They make janitor sound like more fun than this.

2. Veterinary Technologist, or Technician, or Assistant. This makes at least a little more sense. I do love kitties. I do volunteer at an animal shelter. But the questions, I think, were not specific enough, because this doesn't take into account that

  • I hate watching things die.
  • I hate dogs.
  • I hate not making money.

3. Bindery Worker. "Make books and magazines largely by loading and operating machines that assemble printed pages and covers." Just an all around bad idea. I would spend my time reading the things I was supposed to be assembling. Also I am clumsy. I often break things and/or bodily crash into them. This job seems like a good way to break expensive equipment or lose a limb.

Other things I learned about myself:

  • My father was right about genetics, as I scored very highly on "Tax Preparer".
  • I should not lay pipe.
  • Fast food is not my bag either.
  • I might make a good nun (not counting the sex and blasphemy of course).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cat Shelter Volunteering

You know you're bound to be the crazy cat lady someday when you walk into a room with 20 cats who surround you, meowing for food like something out of The Twilight Zone and you think to yourself, "This. Is. Awesome."

I am in love with a kitten (who has already been adopted) who tried to climb me like a tree, and an orange tabby with a gigantic head.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Football Joke of the Day

Q: Why can't Michigan make it to Columbus?

A: Because they can't get past Toledo.

Ann Arbor's a whore.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It's Here! It's Here!

Happy 40 Days of Christmas everyone!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Backdating Because I Have The Lazy

The agent and I have invented a hypothetical game called "Cannibal Race". It's hypothetical because to play it correctly you would have to actually be a cannibal. The agent and I are not cannibals, so we can only pretend. The rules are pretty simple: two people bite huge chunks out of each others flesh. Last one to die wins. It's a hollow victory though, because the person who lost has eaten huge chunks of your flesh and you're going to die soon yourself, either from the blood loss or an infection. But you still won, so you'll have that going for you.

I told you that disturbing story to tell you this one:

IF you are not an actual cannibal, AND you are only playing Cannibal Race for pretend, DO NOT attempt to start the game by eating each others faces. This can only end in a bloody lip and loose teeth. Per the agent, while holding a tissue against his bleeding mouth, "Let's never play this again."

Friday, November 14, 2008

Spider Politics

Mrs. Sizemore: Hey, do you want to move to Canada and get gay married?

Me: That depends. Do I have to learn French?

Mrs. Sizemore: No, you don't have to learn French. I speak enough for both of us.

Me: Good, because I was planning on learning Portuguese.

Mrs. Sizemore: Ooo, if you learn Portuguese we could move to Brazil!

Me: Nuh uh. They have tarantulas in Brazil, I'm not moving there. It has to be Canada.

MrSteve: Oh what, you think there's no spiders in Canada?

Me: Not big ones.

Mrs. Sizemore: Yeah, the spiders in Canada are small and killed by socialism.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Random Follow Up

H-town: how can i have known you for so long and NOT known you were a tap dancer?

me: i honestly have no idea. i'm pretty awesome at it

H-town: i mean, it kinda sounds vaguely familiar, but i don't know if i'm just making that up
but that is awesome

me: for most of that time i was taking ballet as well

H-town: wow! the things learn about our friends

me: but i don't regret quitting ballet. ballet hurts and it sucks

H-town: yeah, i feel like all i hear about ballet is the bad stuff

me: i only stayed in it 10 years because all my friends from tap did. and they give you a line about it "blah blah blah balance, blah blah blah posture..."

H-town: and then you scissor-kicked those ladies in the head?
does ballet and tap give you the ability to scissor kick someone? because that would be awesome

me: i guess you could, but glitter would get EVERYWHERE

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Force Can Have a Strong Influence on the Weak Minded

MrSteve: Darth Vader Toaster. As the Ronco commercials say - ?The Ideal Christmas Gift!?

The engineer: *waves hand* "This is not the toaster you are looking for."

Mrs. Engineer: Now THAT was geeky.

Me: Geekily AWESOME

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

R.I.P. Herb Score

Herb Score died this morning. Between getting drilled in the face with a line drive and the huge car accident he survived in 1998, the guy had more lives than a cat. Everyone's got to go sometime.

I once met Herb Score, and it stands as one of the most mortifying moments in my life. I went to see A Christmas Carol with my faunt (fake aunt, thanks for this term Simone) and he was sitting about four rows back from us. My faunt is a huge Indians fan and she spotted him immediately. "Amber look. Look! It's Herb Score. Do you see him? Oh, I can't believe he's here. Oh this is so exciting..." It was almost as if that was what we came to see. It was hilarious.

At intermission we got up to stretch, pee, what have you, and headed back to our seats. He was sitting in his seat near the aisle, so we were going to end up walking right past him. I thought. Until she grabbed my arm to stop me and started talking to him. "Excuse me," she said britishly. "Are you Herb Score?"

"Yes I am!" he replied in the voice of Herb Score.

There was an audible gasp, which was followed by the loudest yell I have heard out of a tiny English person ever. "CAN I SHAKE YOUR HAND?" she screamed, while flapping her hands and bobbing up and down. Everyone in the room turned to look at us, while I quietly cast about for a shovel with which to dig a hole to climb into. Totally worth it though, since I've gotten a dozen years or so of physical comedy joke telling out of it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Shameless Promotion

If you live in Chicago and you have nothing to do this Sunday night, I'd like to suggest that you head over to The Elbo Room where the agent will be playing. He sings pretty and is very attractive, assuming you like men. If not, he still sings pretty. You can also meet me! I'll be the girl sitting at the merch table handing out CDs and pretending to enjoy socializing with strangers.

The show starts at 8:30 and is $7. Tell them you came to see Aaron Fox (they won't know who you're talking about if you tell them you came to see amberance).

Sunday, November 09, 2008

6 Random Things

As you may have noticed in the comments to the previous post, I have been tagged by Monogodo to play 6 random things. There are two things in particular that I am known for: ignoring the rules and talking about myself. SO. I will answer the challenge of my long time internet friend, but I will do my part to save the interwebs by disregarding the instructions and not tagging anyone. You're quite welcome.

1. I love love love sitting by heating vents. When I was a little kid I would get out of my bed and drag my blankets downstairs to the kitchen to lay down next to the heating vent. I still do this. The agent knows where to look for me in his apartment when I disappear in the winter: I am on the bathroom floor looming over my favorite vent, with a towel over me to trap in more heat. I would sleep there if he'd let me.

2. I am a very good tap dancer. I took dance lessons for 14 years, and my troupe won several state competitions and one year went to nationals and took third. Giving up dance is the single biggest regret of my life.

3. I have a love/hate relationship with math. Oddly enough, I didn't get very good grades in math when I was in high school. It wasn't because I couldn't handle the material, it was because I had no interest in applying myself. I HATED math and basically ignored all my homework. But even while I was not paying any attention in class, I was passing the time with some really fun activities such as writing out the Fibonacci sequence as far as I could go, or writing out Pascal's triangle until I ran out of paper. Or my favorite: solving simultaneous algebraic equations for three variables. I am currently obsessing about fractals (thanks a lot, Nova). Even so, I'm still convinced that I hate math.

4. For the most part I hate wine. Unless it is a super sweet wine I won't drink it. In situations where I feel like I have to drink wine (because everyone else has wine and I would look like complete tool ordering a beer) I have learned to ask for "the wine that tastes the most like candy". This seems to work pretty well.

5. I hated baseball until I was 16 years old. In 1994 the Indians were suddenly very good. Everyone was watching them all the time and I couldn't get away from it no matter how hard I tried. I was forced to watch it everywhere I went, and that is how I first saw Omar Vizquel play defense. I have loved baseball ever since.

6. A list of my five favorite instruments in descending order: oboe, harpsichord, calliope, tympani drum, vibraslap.

P.S. Don't feel bad for tagging me Mon, I had no idea how I was going to come up with material for today. NaBloPoMo is hard.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Plus, The Weather Outside Really IS Frightful

I should not be left alone in department stores this time of year.

In all honesty you could shorten that statement to "I should not be left alone in department stores" and it would be just as accurate. But right now especially is a very bad time to turn me loose on retail.

I went to Target this morning for a shower curtain liner. I needed one, and Target carries the ones that I like. I can see now in hindsight that my mistake was to also use the trip to look for movies to use as possible Christmas gifts. If I had skipped that task and gone directly to the bathroom aisle, I would not have been able to see that there, just a few steps away, there were Christmas trees for sale.

I did not buy a Christmas tree. I have nine of them already. But realizing the holiday season crap was out and for sale did me no favors. And while I did remember to buy the shower curtain I came for, I also ended up with four Christmas CDs and a stocking holder in my cart. To be fair to myself, I also refrained from putting a Santa snow globe, a nutcracker, fleece Christmas pajamas, a bunch of wrapping paper, about 5 more CDs, 2 movies, several pairs of holiday socks and a wide assortment of holiday underwear, including but not limited to festive bras. But still, there are 8 more days remaining before the beginning of The 40 Day of Christmas, and there are 22 more days before the start of Irresponsible Spending Month.

A chaperon probably would have been a good idea. It is clear I have a sickness (and the only prescription is more jingle bells).

Friday, November 07, 2008

In Which Amberance Creates Her Own Anachronisms

BrownsFan: Grady Sizemore won his second consecutive Gold Glove.

me: yay!

BrownsFan: I always spell it "yea" Not to be confused with "yeah"

me: yea feels all formal, like it's 1670 and we're in the parlor waiting for the roast boar to be served

BrownsFan: But "yay" is appropriate for more modern times, like sloppy joes on Krispy Kremes.

me: yeah, yay doesn't wear a powdered wig or play the harpsichord

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Death Star: Episode Three

BrownsFan was not a fan of my post critiquing her "nice Death Star" comment. She tried to support her comment by telling me that the Death Star didn't HAVE TO blow up planets, and could instead be used for, say, low income housing (suggestion, BrownsFan: giant homeless animal shelter?). I pointed out that while that sounded nice, the Death Star was designed and built for the express purpose of blowing up planets, and re-engineering it after the fact doesn't make the original idea a good thing. She is determined to justify her position, and has been searching the Internet for material to back up her "nice Death Star" idea. She is not having much luck so far. But in her quest she came across something else and sent me an e-mail the other day that contained this link. It is clearly extremely awesome, though not for justifying the Death Star as a cuddly happy space station. In fact the only way I've found to pair "nice" with "Death Star" in a way that makes sense is a conversation like this.

"Check it out, bro, I carved my pumpkin into the Death Star!"


This would be a reasonable and likely conversation, but not for the original argument. Here is the same conversation, but subbing out the word pumpkin:

"Check it out bro, I carved my marriage into the Death Star!"

"Wait, what?"

Several other responses would work here such as "Dude, that sucks" or "Bummer" or "To hell with that bitch, let's get a beer", but "nice"... it just doesn't fit.

Well Now They're Just Messing With Me

The last two nights in a row as I was getting ready for bed, I inadvertently started reflecting on the large lack of spiders in my house this fall. Usually that's when they seem to be lurking in every corner ready to suck my blood and feed me to their young whilst simultaneously escaping from the cold. But so far in the whole of this fall I've seen only one spider in my house, and that one was tiny and crawled out only because I was cleaning and I broke it's house. It was even tiny enough for me to kill it myself* by stepping on it (though I ground my shoe into the carpet for about five minutes as I was sure he was lurking in my shoe treads waiting for me to assume his demise so he could come out and crawl up my pant leg and GET ON ME).

I immediately tried to banish these thoughts from my mind. Spiders have the power of telepathy you see, so thinking about them not being around was just inviting an attack. At the very least it was tempting fate. I got my thoughts under control and went to bed feeling safe.


Waking up this morning and turning on the light, I immediately noticed a fuzzy looking spot on my ceiling over the bed. That spot was moving. Over the years I have developed the ability to immediately detect the motion of small objects in the vicinity of the ceiling or in corners of rooms. This motion is usually that of a spider and my enhanced abilities serve to give me more time to escape from their onslaught or avoid being ambushed. And without my glasses on the moving spot looked enormous. Certain that I had called this disaster upon myself, I lay there in mild terror waiting for it to move from being directly over the bed and praying it would not fall. I began mentally rearranging my morning schedule: I wouldn't be able to make the bed today, as I'd have to turn my back on it, and I would also have to gather everything I would need from my room before I got into the shower and bring it with me, including my coat, gloves, iPod, cell phone and shoes in addition to my clothes. Thus having finished organizing my crazy, I put on my glasses only to discover... of those annoying fake ladybugs. You know, the beetles that look like a ladybug but are yellow or light orange and they bite and also fly directly at you kamikaze style? One of those. Little douche.

Initially I was relieved, but later two disturbing thoughts came to me.

1) Are the ladybug impersonators in bed with the spiders now? Did they sign a secret treaty? Have they decided "the enemy of my enemy is my friend"?

2) If they have not formed an evil alliance, will the presence of a tasty (less wily/ easier to digest/ etc.) beetle bring the spiders that heretofore haven't come? Am I doomed by association, or perhaps just proximity?

Stay tuned.

*Later that day, when the agent came to pick me up I greeted him with this: "You are going to be so proud of me and disappointed in me at the same time." Because as a boyfriend he finds my terror of spiders quite tedious and annoying, not to mention ridiculous. So handling one myself is a huge step. But as a practitioner of Buddhism, you really ought not to kill things, so celebrating the death of another living creature is generally not typical of him. He was by the way. Proud and disappointed.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

But Is It a Brick House?

"Hey, remember Romper Room?"

"Remember what? No," replied the agent. We were having this discussion over a delicious dinner at The Pasta Bowl. The agent had eaten a hole through the middle of his bread and then held it up to his eye and looked at me through it (we're both 5). Clearly (to me anyway) it was exactly like the magic mirror.

"Holy crap, how do you not remember Romper Room?" I asked, grabbing his bread hole to use in my demonstration. "It was this show. It was on when we were little kids, where there was a host lady and a bunch of kids and some puppets and they would do stuff." (I give excellent descriptions.) "Then at the end of the show the lady would hold up the magic mirror and say 'Romper bomper stomper boo. Tell me, tell me, tell me do...Did all my friends have fun at play?' and then the mirror would turn into a hole that she looked through and she would name all the children she saw." Here I used the bread prop and held it up to my own face. "OOO! I see Aaron and cook guy and waiter..."

"O.K., put the bread down," said the agent. (For some reason he finds me embarrassing.) "I don't remember that at all."

"How can you possibly NOT remember that? It was on, like, all the time!"

"Because my brain doesn't work like yours!" he answered. "I don't collect and remember every single thing that has ever happened to me. My brain cleans house. My brain gets rid of stuff it doesn't need. Your brain just keeps filling up with more and more things."

This is entirely true. My head is filled with things that make no difference and that will never be useful or have an effect on my overall life or anyone else's in any way. If you live in Chicago and have ever been in the store Uncle Fun's, that is about the closest experience you will ever have to being on the inside of my head. A random sampling, in no particular order of some of the crap stored up there:
  • An Orca Whale's coloring pattern is a form of camouflage. When you are looking down on it, the dark back blends in with the dark water below. When you're looking up at it, the white belly blends in with the lighter water closer to the surface.
  • M & Ms candy did not contain red m&ms when I was a kid (another thing the agent doesn't remember). They were eliminated when the FDA began to suspect that Red Dye No. 2 was a carcinogen.
  • Ty Cobb's lifetime batting average was .367. (Also he was kind of a dick.)
  • The name for the agent's having two colors in each iris (a brown ring inside of a green-grey/hazel ring) is central heterochromia.
I decided to go with the agent's "housekeeping style if a brain was a house" metaphor. "Yeah, you're right. My brain isn't like that at all. My brain is a pack rat. It never throws anything away. My brain is one of those houses where there's so much crap piled up on the floor that you can't even fully open the door. You have to climb in and out through the window."
"Yeah, your brain is much more cluttered than mine."
"My brain is like, 'Oh hey, come on in! Yeah just climb over that pile there. Would you like a cup of tea? I'll make you some if I can find it. And while we're waiting, let me tell you about the whole history of tea and why anti-oxidants are important.'"
Also, it has a lot of cats.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Monday, November 03, 2008

Late Night to Get My Daily Post In

My roommate the bartender just came home with the best present ever:

Candy Cane Pop Rocks.

Go stock up now. The 40 Days of Christmas is only two weeks away!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Everybody Drill/Cut/Diesink Now

MrSteve: Do you know what a C and C milling machine is?
Me: I know what C & C Music Factory is.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

88 Miles Per Hour!

It's NaBloPoMo this month, and as much as I am loathe to participate in any "joiner" type of activity on principle, I realize that I am a terrible terrible blogger lo these last few years (which is lame as I've only been doing it about 4 years) and anything that gets me to actually write blog posts is worth a try. Although in keeping with my traditional complete laziness, I am backdating this post and the next one to cover the Saturday and Sunday in which I did not bother to post anything.

Time travel: now available on the Bizzybiz Blog.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Brilliant Ideas That Occurred To Me During the Blackhawks Game

  • Ice Crew home driveway shoveling service
  • UFC Fight Night on Ice
  • Zamboni bumper cars

Mixed Reactions

I've had a number of differing responses to my post about how I fear marriage.

BrownsFan, proponent of marriage and 20 year veteran of same is continually dismayed by my opinion. Upon reading the post, she looked at me sadly and argued, "Yeah, but it's a nice Death Star."

MrSteve was a bit more supportive and also a bit more true to Star Wars canon (because seriously, a nice Death Star?), sending along this lovely motivational poster:

The agent and I discussed the post and the reaction of BrownsFan over coffee. He said something funny which I did not write down and promptly forgot. When I called him this morning to find out what he had said, he didn't even remember having the conversation, thus proving that in fact we are pretty much already married as we clearly do not bother to listen to each other anymore.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Amberance: Good at Star Wars, Bad at Relationships

H-town: how's the agent? is he as dreamy as ever?
me: pretty good. except for that part where he thinks he wants to marry me. yeah
H-town: oooh COMMITMENT!! echo*echo*echo
me: no one can marry me! i am not marriable
H-town: oh, you are certainly long-term relationship/commonlaw marriage/regular marriage/gay marriage - able
me: i am none of those! i am the textbook committment phobe
H-town: aw, man i like the agent!
me: i know, i suck.
H-town: and there's no way you'll ever become into commitment, huh?
me: not that i'm aware of. i think i can and then when the moment comes i panic and run
me: with the words of admiral ackbar running through my head. "It's a trap!"
H-town: haha
me: marriage is a secretly fully armed and operational Death Star

Friday, October 17, 2008

Presenting Dumbassity For Your Listening Pleasure

After much editing, episode 3 of my super awesome podcast Dumbassity is available for download. It is our drunkest podcast yet. So drunk that MrSteve almost couldn't find any useful audio to work with. He managed to make it work though, and everyone but me sounds mostly coherent. This is not due to biased editing, it is due to the fact that I do not make sense when drunk. Less sense than I usually make, and much less sense than your average alcohol impaired individual. Be sure to check out the part where I explain my aversion to the Viagra commercials over and over again. Like FIVE TIMES in two minutes. Oh yeah, I'm awesome.

Our guest was the agent, so if you've ever wondered about what kind of self-loathing masochist would date me, download the show and wonder no more (instead you can wonder why. That's what I do). Besides the agent, the main topics were a debate about who has the worst musical taste and the world of male porn stars.

You can download this timeless masterpiece here. As always, there is absolutely no way that this is safe for work. Which is why I listened to it and wrote the show notes at work (whatever, it was lunch and there's barely anyone here today).

Friday, October 10, 2008

Amberance Gives Questionable Advice

Mrs. Sizemore: i don't want to run the marathon
me: but gene will be there!
Mrs. Sizemore: i know but i didn't train. at all.
me: can you just run part of it?
Mrs. Sizemore: um it doesn't count
me: hmm. can you disguise someone else to look like you and then secretly switch places?
Mrs. Sizemore: i wish i'm just afraid i'm going to hurt myself and for no good reason
me: well obviously if it hurts just stop running and get a taco instead
Mrs. Sizemore: haha not like sore i mean like tearing an ACL because i didn't train
me: oh yeah, that would be bad
Mrs. Sizemore: i do like tacos


There has been a lack of posting for the following reasons:

  • My football team stinks
  • My baseball teams didn't make the playoffs and got swept in the first round, respectively
  • I don't have a cat doing anything funny (unless dead is funny)
  • My current job description could effectively be "watching money disappear into thin air"
  • I hate and do not blog about politics
  • Episode 3 of Dumbassity was so drunken that MrSteve could barely edit it into something useful, and it has not been posted yet

I do have two stories coming up, I just need to find the time to write them down. In the meantime, please enjoy this picture of a murderous jack-o-lantern man:

Friday, September 26, 2008


I know what I like.

Mrs. Sizemore: how do you feel about pugs?
Me: The dogs?
I'm not into dogs, in general.
They are too not a cat.

It was fun while it lasted Browns Fans.

H-town: so, have you approached my brother's feelings on football?
per him: "I hate the Browns."
Me: that it is a heartbreaking exercise in futility designed to sap my will to live and leave me a
soulless husk? yes


H-town: so you think romeo's going to get the boot soon?
me: I think he's made poor decisions all year so far. And I think starting Quinn is not the answer
so something else has to be
H-town: how about starting you?
you could do well
me: sure, aside from that can't throw a football to save my life thing
H-town: i'm sure you could take a hit from a 300lb lineman.
you're pretty tough
me: there's a sex joke in there somewhere, but i can't quite grasp it


The bartender (watching football, needs one more score for the over): If they run this kickoff
back for a touchdown, I will whack off.
Me: Yeah. Wait, what?

Friday, September 12, 2008

No Habla Español

A text message conversation with MrSteve in Spanish. Difficulty: neither of us speak Spanish.

MrSteve: Out tonight?
Me: Si.
MrSteve: Que?
Me: To eres una legumbre. (You are a vegetable)
MrSteve: Que?
Me: I'm running out of Spanish words! Ocho cinco. (I'm running out of Spanish words! Chad Johnson.)
MrSteve: Chili con queso de amore chalupa de puta. (bunch of food. Whore.)
Me: No me gusta! (I don't like it!)
MrSteve: Heuvos y chicharron con patata con salsa. (more food)
MrSteve: Tequila! Bap-bap-ba-de-da-bop-bop-Tequila! (that annoying Pee-Wee song)

(At this point my friend Manny who is from Mexico stepped in to help me. Google stepped in to help Steve.)

Me: Tengo una araña sancona que esta peluda y sedienta. Y te que tienes? (I have a big hairy spider that is hungry and thirsty. What do you have?)
MrSteve: Tengo derecho a su araña. (Right. I'll give you a spider.)
Me: Me gustavia verte pronto pero no hay tiempo. Quizas despues por ahora solo te esenvo recados. (I would like to see you soon, but I don't have time. Perhaps later, but for now I can only send you text messages.)
MrSteve: Que el caballo y su madre viajaban en el. (Your mother and the horse she rode in on.)
Me: Mis manos sucias estan tocando el pollo. Y tus manos estan socias? Y el pollo donde esta? (My hands are dirty from touching the chicken. Where are your hands? Where is your chicken?*)
MrSteve: Pollo? Lo que la cogida? (Chicken? What the fuck?)
Me: La policia busca una persona con apariencia como la tuqa argumentando que anda un violador de gullinas suel to por la ciudad. (The police are looking for someone who looks like you. They say someone is walking around the city raping hens.)
MrSteve: Traductor Google dice que usted no sabe espanol. (Google Translator says that you do not know Spanish.)

*Manny explained this. "English is very straighforward. Mexican Spanish is not. Here, chicken means vagina. So this says that you are playing with your vagina and implying that he is playing with his vagina."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tis The Season To Be Yelling

At the TV that is. For it is now that greatest of all seasons: the Season of Football. My comments thus far:
  • The Browns are going to have to play better than they did this week if the don't want to be embarrassed by the Steelers on Sunday Night Football next week. Still, we've definitely seen worse.
  • "Football amberance is scaring me," said the agent as I watched the Browns on Sunday. As a general rule, I simply don't yell. There are precious few things that cause me to feel a need to raise my voice. Actually, only one thing. Football games. As such the agent had never heard me yell before, let alone scream out a string of curses at a bunch of enormous men who couldn't actually hear me. He has no idea how light he got off. Wait until he sees me when my team is winning.
  • I just love Dan Patrick and my boyfriend Keith Olbermann together again on NBC doing highlights, but I have to say I'm a little bit concerned about Bob Costas. Have you guys seen his face? He looks like he growing younger. I suspect he's either been having work done or drinking Dick Clark's blood. Seriously, it's disturbing.
  • Is it just me, or does Tony Kornheiser get more irritating every year? This weeks "let's suck off Brett Favre fest" was the worst yet. When Mike Tirico has to tell you ON THE AIR to stop saying Favre every six seconds, it's time to shut the eff up. New rule: every time someone says Favre during a Packers broadcast, Aaron Rodgers gets to kick them in the groin.
  • Da Bears! Were awesome.
  • Buckeye football: I think it's safe to say this team is heaps better with Beanie Wells on the field. Also, Terrell Pryor is going to be awesome. Also, I hope USC doesn't hand them their ass on Saturday.
  • Questions for the newly crowned Chad Ocho Cinco: When you retire from football do you change your name back to Johnson? What about if you get traded and the number 85 isn't available?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Amberance: Keeping The World Safe From Douchebag Pickup Artists

Amberance is sitting at the bar conversing with two other girls. Two drunk fans arrive direct from the Cubs game and come sidling up to us.

Drunk #1 (putting his arms around the other two girls and staring at me): Hello, ladies. I see you're having a delicious beer. We were at the game.
Me: I gathered.
Drunk #2: It was an awesome game.
Me: Yeah grand slam, I saw that.
Drunk #2: You were watching it?
Me: We were watching that and the Bears game. Oh and a couple college football games.
Drunk #2: Really? We love girls that can talk about sports, right Aaron?
Drunk #1 (Aaron, apparently): We do. That's super hot.
Me: Wait, your name is Aaron?
Drunk #1: Yeah.
Me (overly excitedly and clapping hands): That's my boyfriends name too!
Drunk #1 and #2 mumble something inaudible and walk away.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Amberance and Jenny: LOLdorks

Mrs. Sizemore: ummmmm genius:
me: wow
Mrs. Sizemore: O HAI, PETA. u can has dollarz because i sleep too much?
me: kthxsnuz

Friday, August 22, 2008

Squirrelarity Ensued

A while back, I cleaned out some junk from my apartment to make room for new junk that the bartender inherited from his mom. Among the things I discarded were an old beat up TV stand and a penguin cookie jar that was merely taking up space on my kitchen counter. The TV stand went out on the deck to serve as a table we won't use to go with the chairs we don't sit in. The cookie jar got put on the bottom shelf of the TV stand and forgotten about.

This morning the bartender was watching a little TV when he got home from work, but kept getting distracted by a loud ruckus coming from the deck. Eventually he got annoyed and went outside to see if perhaps Crazy Next Door had passed out without bringing her animals again, or possibly a hobo had climbed three flights of stairs to ransack our sparsely furnished deck.

He did not find a dog, a cat or a hobo. What he did find was two squirrels. One squirrel panicked and jumped into a nearby tree. The second squirrel stood on the railing staring defiantly at my roommate - with an enormous cookie in his mouth. Apparently I had baked some cookies, put them in the penguin and immediately forgotten about them, and then never checked inside to see if there were any actual cookies in it before I dumped the cookie jar outside. Where it sat for about four months before the two enterprising squirrels figured out something was inside it, pried the plastic seal from around the mouth of the jar, knocked the penguin's head to the ground and made off with the tasty loot.

I want a squirrel.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Inner City Living Can Be Demanding

One thing you can do that's REALLY douchey is to slam into someone's parked car so hard you leave a dent that I can fit my whole head in, and then just drive off. Fair warning to whoever did exactly that to Alistair: my roommate is livid and a very vindictive person. I would suggest not parking within a half mile radius of the place you hit my car if you plan on being able to drive yours.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dreams Can Come True With Science

While I am not nearly finished grieving for my kitty angel Kristen, fate has stepped in to unite me with my next pet.

Behold: the minicow. (scroll down a bit for video)

It is too bad that there would be no practical reason to adapt this breeding technology to give us whales that can fit in the palm of your hand. But no matter. I love cows.

Klingon Clock

There is an episode of Star Trek: TNG ("Ethics", season 5) in which Worf undergoes an experimental and dangerous surgery to replace his entire spine, which had been damaged in an accident leaving him paralyzed, with a brand new replica spine created in the lab. Unfortunately, removing a spine and sticking in a new one is no walk in the park and he dies on the table. But shortly thereafter, when the counselor goes to inform his young son of his death, Worf miraculously comes back to life. This is because Worf is a Klingon, and his physiology has built in redundancies that back up all his systems, including neural function. Klingons need this because as warriors and a generally angry race, they have a tendency to get stabbed, shot, bludgeoned, impaled, etc. on a pretty frequent basis. Without it, they would probably all die in their youth and have no ability to propagate the species. But that's not really my point.

My point is that I think my alarm clock may be a Klingon. Now I realize this may seem far fetched. My clock is not prepared for battle, in fact it is quite peace loving. There is also the somewhat minor point that alarm clocks are inanimate which may disqualify them from being considered a part of a humanoid alien species. But Klingons are down with meditation, much like my clock, and it is also capable of spontaneous regeneration.

Much like Worf, my clock was recently faced with a catastrophic injury. While I was away in Baltimore, the storm of the century hit Chicago, sending down as many bolts of lightning in a couple of hours as the area normally receives over 6 months. Seriously. Lance Berkman actually ran off the field in the middle of a play during the Cubs/Astros game amid almost constant lighting. My alarm clock, being plugged into the wall, got hit with a huge power surge and promptly died. Also like Worf, my clock underwent experimental "surgery" when I attempted to get it to run on batteries in the hope that it was just the electrical cord that was damaged. No luck. My dead clock sat on my night table, not chiming and not telling me the time.

For three days.

Until two days ago around midnight when I heard from inside the closed lid the sound of a chime tuned to E. I quickly opened the lid to discover that my alarm clock was on and flashing 12:00, having apparently regenerated itself from its redundant Klingon anatomy. It is obvious that there can be no other logical explanation. From now on I will try to always show honor and courage in front of my clock and try very hard not to piss it off.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Perils of the All Ages Show

The bartender: I've got 14 year old boobs in my back.
Me: That's ok, I have 14 year old elbow in my boobs.

Airport Entertainment - Boobs

waiting to board a flight at O'Hare

Me: Want to play "I Spy"?
The agent: Ok.
Me: Can I go first?
The agent: Yes.
Me. Ok. I spy giant cans.
The agent: You can't do that!
Me: What?
The agent: You just told me the answer!
Me: No, you tell me what color they are. I spy giant cans.
The agent: Are they in a green shirt?
Me: Yes!

We Now Return You To Your Regularly Scheduled Programming

Episode 2 of Dumbassity was posted a couple of weeks ago, in which we discuss food, gaming and torturing Barbie.

You can download it here.

R.I.P. Kristen Ann

Sorry about the lack of posting. I spent the last two months or so focusing on Kristen the angel cat. Caring for a kitty in end stage renal failure takes a great deal of time and effort. It is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Posting was not a priority. In the end we couldn't stop her decline, and so my pretty princess died on July 30. I'll get back to regular posting as soon as I can.

Mommy misses you, Kiki. I'll see you at the Rainbow Bridge baby girl.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Not funny: Learning that your beloved kitty is in kidney failure. Also: stabbing her with a needle every day to administer vital fluids that are keeping her alive.

Funny: The process of explaining this to your boyfriend.

Me: I have to give her subcutaneous injections every day.
The agent: What?
Me: Subcutaneous. It means under the skin.
The agent. Under the what?
Me: Skin.
The agent: Oh! I thought you said "ceiling".
Me: No. Cats don't have ceilings.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Should Have Called It Leningrad

Following a conversation about Billy Joel's "Vienna"

Me (trying to be romantic): I want to go to Vienna with you.
The agent: For the crossroads?
Me: Yes. And I want to go to Amsterdam with you.
The agent: Oh yeah?
Me: Yeah. And I want to go to Venice with you. And I want to go to Paris with you. And I want to go to St. Petersberg with you.
The agent: Ooo! For Spring Training?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A.D.D. Storytime (or Amberance Would Make a Crappy Mother)

I like bedtime stories. A lot. And I have a habit of asking for them from the agent and occasionally the bartender. This never goes over well, I suspect because I am 30 years old.

"Tell me a story," I demanded of the agent Saturday night. "Tell me the three little pigs." He balked at this.

"I don't want to. You tell a story."

I didn't want to tell a story either. I wanted to be told a story. So to teach him a lesson I told the three little pigs. Badly. "Once there were three pigs and a wolf wanted to eat them. So he knocked over the first pig's house and they ran away. Then he knocked over the second house and they ran away. Then he tried to knock over the third house but it didn't fall down, so the pigs were safe. The end."

This turned out far less annoying than I had planned. He actually thought this was hilarious and made me tell more abbreviated stories.


Cinderella was a girl that lived with her step family. Her stepmother and stepsisters hated her. One day she wanted to go to a ball, but her stepmother wouldn't let her. She went anyway, but when she left her shoe fell off. The prince found it and married her. The end.

The Godfather

The Godfather is about a guy named Michael who is born into an Italian crime family, but doesn't want to join the family business. Later someone shoots his dad, so he joins the family business anyway and becomes a bad person. The end.

Humpty Dumpty

Humpty Dumpty was an egg. He fell off the wall he was sitting on and broke. No one knew how to fix him. The end.

The Incredible Hulk

The Incredible Hulk is about a scientist named Bruce Banner who gets radiation poisoning. When he gets mad he grows huge, turns green and breaks stuff. The end.

The Little Mermaid

A mermaid goes to a witch and trades her voice in for legs, but the man she loves really likes her voice. Latter she gets her voice back and they live happily ever after. The end.

Hansel and Gretel

Hansel and Gretel are a brother and sister that go wandering in the woods until they find a candy house. When they go inside there is a witch and she eats them. The end.

Death of a Salesman

A salesman dies. The end.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Tiramisu Story

Of the whole anniversary dinner, the highlight was always meant to be the tiramisu. I knew I was making tiramisu before anything else because it is the agent's favorite dessert. I also knew that I wanted to use a specific recipe of a friend of his because he had said it was the best tiramisu ever.

I did not have his friend's phone number and I couldn't ask for it without arousing suspicion. Fortunately for me, she does have a MySpace page. Unfortunately for me, she does not allow messages from people who are not her MySpace friends. So I sent her a friend request and hoped she would would get it in time for the dinner. And luckily she did, so I got the recipe in plenty of time. She also sent notes about the specific coffee and rum she used, so problem #1 solved.

Tiramisu requires one to brew coffee. As neither the bartender nor I are coffee drinkers, I do not own a coffee maker or a coffee grinder. On top of this, the coffee his friend used to make this was espresso from Intelligentsia. Intelligentsia is the agent's favorite coffee and the only one I know is right next door to where he works. He is therefore there all the time. So first I had to get into Intelligentsia undetected somehow, and then I had to get some coffee. My options were to buy beans and then grind them and brew it at home which would require buying a coffee maker AND a coffee grinder, or order it already brewed. I needed almost two cups of coffee, and with espresso being sold an ounce or two at a time, I would have had to order a dozen or so. This seemed excessive to me in both time and expense, so in the end I decided to buy the equipment to brew it myself, figuring I can use it for holidays or something. So then all I had to do was figure out how to get to the beans.

How to get the beans was what I was pondering as I wandered around Whole Foods getting other items and talking to a stranger about what sort of wine to buy. In so doing I wandered right into a display of...bags of Intelligentsia coffee beans! And what do you know, they even had the espresso. I was gleeful as I put the beans into my basket. I had been on the verge of deciding to try to sneak into the coffee shop on Friday afternoon and now I didn't have to. Hooray! More time to prepare. Or so I thought.

Tiramisu also requires the purchase of lady fingers (of which I am not actually aware of any other use). I did not find them at Whole Foods like I thought I would. No matter, I figured I would get them at Jewel.

Except Jewel didn't have them.

Trader Joe's didn't either.


On Friday morning I raced to work in a panic and explained to BrownsFan that I needed to find lady fingers. I CANNOT MAKE TIRAMISU WITHOUT LADY FINGERS. I needed to find an Italian grocery, figure out how to get to it, go there and then get home to make the tiramisu before the agent got to my house for Friday night dinner (tiramisu needs to set overnight). Luckily for me, BrownsFan is a Googling master. Instead of finding me an Italian specialty store, she found me a forum in which people were discussing their trouble with finding lady fingers, to which someone had posted "You can get them at World Market". This was great news as I knew where to find a World Market and what the procedure would be when I got there. What I could not be sure of was whether they had them in stock. So I did the unthinkable: I called the store on the phone and spoke to someone. Unbelievable, I know right? Hey, I was desperate at that point. The conversation went like this:

Me: PLEASE tell me you sell lady fingers.
World Market lady: Yes, we sell them.
Me: PLEASE tell me you have some in stock, like, RIGHT NOW.
World Market lady: (laughing, I can only presume at me) We do. Would you like me to set some aside for you.
Me: Holy crap, yes. I'll be there in an hour.

W-O-R-L-D-M-A-R-K-E-T spells relief.

So now I had everything I needed and I'm at home. It was 2:00. The first step was to brew the coffee, but now I had another problem. Coffee makes the whole house smell, the agent would be over for dinner at 7:00 and he knows that the bartender and I don't drink coffee. I attempted to solve this problem in the obvious way: by brewing the coffee on the floor of my bedroom with the door shut to keep as much coffee smell out of the house as possible. For the most part that worked, but being totally paranoid, I ran around the house opening windows and turning on fans, all the while concocting a story to explain what the big baking dish covered in foil in the refrigerator was in case I was asked (the bartender was making lasagna we were not supposed to touch it on pain of death).

With all of that done, I finally sat down to watch some tv for a while, but my phone rang immediately. It was the agent telling me he was done with work early so he was coming over right now! This sent me running outside so I could come back in and see if the house still smelled like coffee.

The next day, when I went over to prepare the surprise dinner, I took the coffee beans with me because I certainly had no other use for them and they had a much better chance of being used by the agent, a known coffee fiend. What I didn't plan for was the agent to be there while I was cooking, so I was unprepared when he looked in the cabinet and said "Oh, you bought more coffee!" Fearing he would see it was espresso and guess what I had made for dessert, I turned the bag around with the label facing in, hoping he wouldn't look at it.

At dessert time I unthinkingly told the agent he should brew some coffee. "The coffee you brought over, right?" he asked. No!

Me: No!
The agent: No?
Me: No. Brew your own coffee.
The agent: So you don't want me to brew the coffee you brought?
Me: No.
The agent: But then why did you buy coffee?
Me: STOP ASKING QUESTIONS! Just brew your own coffee.

In light of the messed up dinner surprise, he did stop asking questions and brewed his own coffee, which we drank with the tiramisu while I regaled him with my very first telling of The Tiramisu Story, and which, after reading this long long post, I have realized I tell much better live, but it is what it is.

(The tiramisu was good. Especially for breakfast.)

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Anniversary Dinner Story

A couple weeks ago marked the first anniversary of my first date with the agent and because I am either an awesome girlfriend or friggin' psychotic (depending on how you look at it), to me this meant an elaborate surprise needed to be prepared entirely by me in the form of dinner. The menu:

Pear pistachio salad with raspberry walnut vinaigrette
Blue cheese crusted Fillet Mignon with port wine reduction sauce
Alaskan King Crab legs with garlic butter
Garlic mashed potatoes (strictly for the agent obviously)

Preparations for this included, but were not limited to: buying a cast iron skillet, discussing and selecting a bottle of wine for dinner with a TOTAL STRANGER, shiny new black linens for the table, a dozen red roses, a long black evening gown which gives the illusion of my having breasts and the soon to be infamous making of the tiramisu.

The key to any good surprise is the ability to keep it a secret, so to that end, I told the agent that I had made dinner reservations somewhere and it was a huge secret he would not learn until I gave him directions. In the meantime, I waited until he left for work on Saturday and snuck over to his apartment to prepare. I cleaned the kitchen and set the table, prepped everything that could be prepped, and laid out everything I would need for cooking later. Then I got in my car and went home because a) the bartender needed the car to go to work later and b) my car being at the agents house would be very suspicious. Very. After that I hopped on a bus to head back over and finish getting ready.

In my head I was imagining a very specific scenario where the agent calls me when he was leaving work. "I'm on my way to pick you up!" he says (in my head), and I reply, "Actually I think you should just come home." Then he drives home in confusion and arrives to find the table elegantly set and candles lit and Vivaldi playing softly in the background and me all dressed up smiling and handing him a glass of delicious Portuguese wine. At this point he variously starts crying or declares me the greatest woman who ever lived or immediately takes off his pants (fantasies vary).

This is what I was picturing right up until I got of the bus and walked toward his backdoor... which is when I saw his car parked behind the house. I tried to convince myself that it wasn't really his car, just some other car of the exact make, model and color that happened to be parked in his spot.

"Why are you home?" I shouted when he answered the door in his underwear. The one thing I hadn't counted on was my ability to tell a believable lie. The agent was so excited about the fancy restaurant that we weren't going to that he decided to come home early to change and get cleaned up. He managed to arrive in the 45 minutes that I was gone and figured it out when he saw the table all set.

The best laid plans....

Anyway. Dinner was fine and the agent was suitably impressed and everybody wins! and then it was time for dessert, which I was excited about not so much to eat the dessert but to tell the story of it. And that story is next.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Grand Announcement - For Real This Time Version

With as much fanfare as I can muster having gotten only a few hours sleep, I am proud to (finally) present Episode 1 of Dumbassity. You can download it here or subscribe to it here.

A brief warning: Unless your boss is Larry Flint or you are a porn foley, there is absolutely no way this podcast is even remotely safe for work. It is also not safe for children, the sexually repressed or the vast majority of my family. I'd like to reiterate that last part: if you are related to me but are not part of my generation or named Rick, my advice is to skip this podcast and put on a nice quiet Michael W. Smith record instead.

For everyone else, please realize that a) this is our first podcast b) we lost a solid 20 minutes of BRILLIANT material because we weren't actually recording and c) MrSteve and I are on a learning curve with the new editing software we've each acquired. We will get funnier with time. I swear. We welcome comments and suggestions (provided they are not "This is the WORST fucking podcast I have ever heard in my life! You should all jump off a bridge and end your miserable existence."). You can make them here.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Thank You Captain Obvious, For Clarifying That

Joe Morgan on Sunday Night Baseball: The slower the pitch, the longer the batter has to recognize what it is.
Me: This just in: the ball is round and the bats are wooden.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Where is Wendy the Snapple Lady When You Need Her?

Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc. began trading on the New York Stock Exchange today. Shares of the third largest soft drink manufacturer in the U.S. which was recently spun-off from Cadbury Plc. opened lower than expected, showing that investors are reluctant to invest in a company that makes and markets Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper, despite the fact that normal Diet Dr. Pepper really does taste more like regular Dr. Pepper.

Mr. Pibb declined to comment for this story.

Friday, May 02, 2008

The View From The Cheap Seats Is Good

A mainstay of televised baseball is the gratuitous crowd shot which, more often than not, is of some busty blond in a tiny tank top or a general assortment of really hot chicks. Of course these are not the only fans in attendance, but a fat guy eating a brat just is not good television. The bartender summed this up succinctly:

"You want to see the nipples! I'm sorry, but that's baseball."

Amberance Gives Accurate Descriptions

Gene: I'm not familiar with The Devil's Rain.
Me: Oh, dude, it is terrible, but the cast is ridiculous. It's got Ernest Borgnine, Tom Skerritt...
MrSteve: Joan Prather, Ida Lupino...
Me: William Shatner, and also a very is the scientologist that isn't Tom Cruise?
MrSteve: John Travolta?
Me: That's the one.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Grand Announcement - Premature Version

Did you guys see that in the comments? Pronto yelled at me! Yelling frightens me and makes me nervous, so here is the reason for the lack of posting:

I, along with Melle and MrSteve, have started a podcast. You can't listen to it because we're not done editing, and you can't visit the website because it has nothing on it. You CAN however know that it is called Dumbassity and that it is the reason why there has been no posting here. Also I am quite with the busy at work here for a few more weeks. My ability to multi-task is small and my creativity is finite.

I'll post a much better and informative announcement here when there is an actual website/file, and I will post better blog posts the moment I get a life.

Lunchbox Full of Crazy

In the course of one 5 minute conversation with BrownsFan I said:
  • I had $1.68 to spend on lunch and didn't know what to get. (I actually had another $40 but that is bar money and not lunch money.)
  • I need lunch today, as opposed to other days when I don't eat any lunch, because on Thursdays I go grocery shopping before I go to Tai's and the last three weeks in a row I grabbed a box of croutons (despite no plans for a salad of any kind) and proceeded to EAT THE ENTIRE BOX before going to the bar. Today I was eating lunch in an attempt to avoid this.
  • I couldn't go to a little grocery store around the corner because I hadn't been there before and I needed a "guide" the first time so I could learn the "proper procedure". Therefore I had no choice but to get some Doritos from Walgreen's.
  • Despite the fact that I drink enough milk to warrant a cow of my own, I don't like it in my cereal.
  • I hate Oreos.

Friday, April 11, 2008

I No Has Gud Flavor?

Me: I'm hungry. But I get to eat a pineapple ring when I get home, so that will be good.

BrownsFan: Oh yeah, that will be good.

Me: Oh! You know what? I have pickles at home! I can have...

BrownsFan: No. Do not eat pickles with a pineapple ring.

Me: Why not? They're sweet pickles.

BrownsFan: DO NOT eat pickles with pineapple. Don't do it. Do not do it.

Me: But they're both sweet...

BrownsFan: No.

Me: OK, what if I eat the pineapple ring and then waited 10 minutes and then ate the pickles?

BrownsFan: (considering) What are you going to drink in between?

Me: Milk.

BrownsFan and Co-worker make wretching noises and run away from me.

Me: What?

The Glorious Interweb

It happens to be that I have a very good reason why I haven't blogged in two weeks. It is because I have been spending my time working on a super secret project (or super annoying, sick of hearing me talk about it project if you happen to work with me or are my friend on Facebook or are Gene Honda) and I can't blog about it until it's finished. At which time there will be a grand unveiling n' shit. But currently I do not have the time or creativity for original blog content.

Fear not, my friends from a series of tubes!* For the World Wide Net is vast, and has much fabulous content which I shall tell you about

For those who weren't in the know during the early-mid 90's, the most hilarious show ever to air on MTV was the brilliant sketch comedy show The State. It's been off the air lo these many years, but the bigger travesty is MTV's inexplicable refusal to release the show on DVD. So it was with great surprise and overwhelming joy that I stumbled across the first season of The State for sale at the iTunes Music Store. If you are a fan of The State and you have i Tunes, I highly recommend you shell out less than $10 and download the shows so you can finally explain to your friends who missed it the first time around just what the hell you're talking about when you yell out "I wanna dip my balls in it!"

In the short space of three months, my brother's girlfriend has managed to get her blog named one Chicago's best by the Tribune, be chosen as blogger of the week, also by the Tribune and perhaps most difficult, become my favorite blog on the web. Realize, she is in direct competition with Jennie Smash and The Sneeze for this title. She is The Reckless Chef, and she is extraordinarily gifted at creative cooking, photography, writing and setting herself on fire. From her recipe for Pineapple Upside-Down Pork:

"If you’re using a 13×9 pan and a standard can of pineapple rings, you should have exactly one left over. Eat it. It’s tasty."

For a good time, call The Fail Blog. At it's best it will get you caught not working at work because of all the laughing. At the very least it will make The Reckless Chef's ability to set herself aflame seem perfectly reasonable.

*The Internet is not a truck.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Tip #329 On How To Avoid Becoming The Crazy Cat Lady

Do not Google Image search "pile of kittens".

Viva Vibrator

You've all seen the Viagra commercials I assume? Bunch of middle-aged dudes sitting around with their guitars, jamming in someone's garage, singing a parody of "Viva Las Vegas"? In the newer one, they've doubled in number and moved into a recording studio, ostensibly to lay down tracks for "Viva Viagra". In all of them they are smiling smiles of great joyness. I ask you, who is the advertising genius who thought this up?

REAL MEN DON'T ACT LIKE THIS. And I don't mean that as in "No macho guy's guy would behave in such a manner", I mean it as in "Human males regardless of their relative masculinity or effeminateness don't sit around singing to each other about erectile dysfunction". It's just not something you discuss with an entire roomful of people. Nor is it something you write songs about. It is especially not something you record songs about. Regardless of the quality of instrumentation, no such song will ever be aired on Casey's Top 40, I promise.

And another thing, I would not sleep with any of those people. It's not because they need Viagra and it's not because of their age relative to mine. It is because sitting around merrily singing about Viagra makes them look like a bunch of goofball idiots, and goofball idiots are not attractive (think Tom Greene. See?). It's also likely to end any such budding musical career through cause and effect:

Sing asinine song about Viagra --->Look ridiculous--->Become completely unattractive--->No one will sleep with you--->No need for Viagra--->Nothing to sing about

Just a little feedback from someone in the secondary target group for this product.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Even Mr. Rogers Would Be Aggravated

The occupants of my six flat building are as follows: Nice couple with annoying dog, nice lady with cat, nice girls who take a lot of baths in the jacuzzi tub, nice couple with no dog, the bartender and me, and Crazy Next Door. It's a miracle, really, that I've managed to get this far into my lease without blogging about Crazy Next Door.

Crazy Next Door is a petite, probably alcoholic (based on the case of Old Style she hauls up three flights of stairs daily), apparently independently wealthy (based on the food she has delivered daily, also the fact that no one has ever seen her go to a job) woman who smells like a walking ashtray and vacillates between creepy and weird, mean and weird, and drunken psycho. In the summer she enjoys browning her already crispy leather skin on the back porch, to the bartender's horror. In the winter, she tends to favor passing out drunk while forgetting to let her animals inside. All year round she entertains a handful of questionable friends.

A while back I had ordered a shirt and a bracelet from the internets because they were on sale and I hate all my clothes. I tracked my shipment with my handy FedEx tracking number, and on March 5th my package was deemed delivered. Except when I got home there was nothing there. I called FedEx, who again told me I had it even though I didn't have it. FedEx did their best to look for it on their end but couldn't find it. A week passed. Deeming the package lost I filed a claim with FedEx and waited. This past Tuesday I came home from work to find a Macy's bag hanging on my doorknob. It contained the skirt and bracelet I had ordered, which were without their original packaging and now reeked of smoke. While I went around lamenting the incompetence of FedEx, here Crazy had stolen my package, opened it, kept it for THREE WEEKS and then attempted to anonymously return it without bothering to try to mask her scent. And most disturbing of all, no one in the building was surprised.

No one was surprised, of course, because previous to this she had:
  • left a bag of dog shit at couple with annoying dog's back door. The shit was from her dog not theirs;
  • gotten caught by the building engineer throwing her garbage into the yard from her third floor porch;
  • deliberately or accidentally poured a bottle of whiskey out on the porch, which ran down to the two proches below it and cause our entire backyard to smell like Maker's Mark for a week;
  • yelled at couple with no dog when one of HER friends wandered into THEIR apartment because they'd forgotten to lock the door;
  • accused the agent and me of spying on her when I opened the door so he could leave and she happened to be standing in the hallway;
  • etc. etc.
I look forward to wearing my new clothes once they've been fumigated and disinfected.

Amberance Is Not A Nice Person

Greenpeace volunteer soliciting people on the street: It will only take 60 seconds to help save the trees.
Me (without breaking stride): I hate trees.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tiny Tiny Update

Ladies and germs, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Jonah, my new tiny tiny (stuffed) whale:

This is, I think, the closest I will ever get to my dream of a real tiny tiny whale. As you can see, he fits perfectly in my hand, and he even has his tail turned up just the way I like it. I do wonder why Ty, Inc. didn't find it important to sew a dorsal fin on him, but I suppose since he won't actually be doing any swimming he'll be fine without it. I am filled with near-joy.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

It's the Little Things In Life...

Sea World is fucking with me.

You know how I said I will suddenly declare that I want something I can't have, either because it's not at all practical or (more likely) doesn't exist? Yeah. Well. I am driving the agent crazy, but it is not my fault this time.

Sea World has this new commercial out (which I can't seem to find anywhere on the intertubes otherwise I would link to it so you could see exactly what I'm talking about) in which, I've concluded, they are deliberately fucking with me. What it does is to play around with reality, like you see dolphins swimming through the loops of a roller coaster and the sizes of things are all out of proportion and what not. It's the disproportion thing that's doing it to me. Right about the middle of the commercial, there is a shot of a little girl. She holding out her hand palm up in front of her and sitting on her hand is a tiny, tiny killer whale. As if this is not cute enough, the whale then proceeds to cheerfully lift its little tail up in the air behind it to the delight of the little girl (and more importantly me) before the commercial moves on to the next shot.


And I have not shut up about it since I first saw it. It's a huge conundrum. I can't have one because they don't exist, but it is obvious that I can't live without one. At first I wanted a whole menagerie of tiny tiny animals. "Animals are so much cuter in miniature," I told the agent. "If they existed, I would get a tiny tiny elephant, the size of a medium dog and it would follow me around the house and make little trumpet sounds with its trunk when I came home...oh! And also a tiny tiny rhino, like a cat sized rhino. Yeah, a cat sized rhino would be a perfect rhino. But I would love my tiny tiny whale the best."

I elaborated on my plans for the whale. "See, cause they're mammals you know. And they breathe air. So as long as I kept him wet I could take him out of his tank and carry him around. We could watch tv together, or I could carry him into the kitchen and feed him...what do whales eat? Tiny tiny fish I guess. I could feed him tiny tiny fish and ooo you know what else? If they made miniature seals I could feed him those too! Killer whales love to eat seals. Who is that guy that the whale ate in the bible? Jonah. That's what I would name him. Jonah." I frequently demonstrate how his little tail would flip up when I held him in my hand.

Last night, right in the middle of Die Hard, I turned to the agent with a pressing question. "Do you think, if I did have a tiny tiny whale, (here he rolled his eyes) I would be disappointed if he didn't do the tail thing?"

The agent says he dates me because I am always entertaining*. Hmm.

*Just think how much more entertaining I could be if I had a tiny tiny whale!