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.