November 08, 2005

The Surreal Life

Or, My Life on the D-List

Or Or, My Dinner with Antonin

Last night I shared an order of fried calimari with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

I know! Even I was thinking, "The hell?"

So about a week ago, Jason and I were asked to be judges at the 2005 International Wine for Oysters Competition at Old Ebbitt Grill here in DC. (For the non-locals, every year Old Ebbitt throws this huge-ass party called the Oyster Riot and holds the wine competition ahead of time to determine 10 wines that will be paired with the oysters and, I assume, will get everyone tanked and properly riotous.)

We were completely flattered and were all, "We are bona-fide local celebrities now! Riot!"

Then Amy, the event organizer (who keeps ordering me not to write anything bad about her, which OF COURSE I WON'T, that would take valuable space away from discussions of my boobs), sent us the list of the OTHER judges.

Scalia. Phyllis Richman. Food Network show hosts. Actual Media Professionals. And Other People Who Probably Know Way, Way More About Wine And Oysters Than Us.

It was exceedingly clear that two judges had pulled out and we were the Bottom of the D-List Barrel.

But who the fuck could care when we're talking about a competition of 20 wines and all the oysters we could eat, PLUS tickets to the sold-out-since-forever Oyster Riot?

Hint: not us!

So we agreed, and I was determined to be as fabulous and non-mommy-like as possible, and even seriously considered taking the baby to Georgetown to shop for new clothes. As in, new clothes for ME, new clothes that did not snap around the crotch or feature sayings like "Daddy's Little All-Star" or some such shit.

I did not take the baby to Georgetown, because...well, that's a lot of work and planning and I thought the lighting in dressing rooms was depressing BEFORE, so I cannot even imagine what my wide, squashy expanse of stretch marks would look like under those lights.

So I rooted around my closet and behold! I found that an admittedly quite awesome suit from Banana Republic actually, seriously fit me. As in, I could zip the pants ALL THE WAY UP. (I will not say whether I actually left the house with them zipped all the way up, or if I maybe left them an inch or so unzipped in order to minimize the over-the-waistband-pooch-while-sitting effect, because THE POINT IS, I COULD ZIP THEM IF I WANTED TO.)

And with a scandalously low and suddenly-super-filled-out silky camisole under the jacket and the return of the fuck-me gold stilettos, I was SO READY to ascend to at least the C-list of Washingtonian celebrity.

Of course, you know where this is going, right? You totally know that the baby pooped all over my silky camisole the instant the babysitter showed up, right?

Sigh. I wore a regular tank top instead.

(And yes, of course our babysitter has a blog. Doesn't yours?)

So we arrived, and all the other judges were Networking, and we stood in the corner like Idiots, because I was suddenly hit with an Attack of the Shy, and OMG, Jason's seated next to Phyllis Richman, who like, OWNED THIS TOWN when she was the head food critic for The Post, and JASON DON'T LEAVE ME TO GO TALK TO HER AND DON'T MAKE ME GO TALK TO HER BECAUSE I WILL SAY SOMETHING DUMB ABOUT MY DUMB WEBSITE.

Once we were seated at our little appointed stations (which contained, no lie, seven hundred million billion different wine glasses and a gallon-sized spit bucket), we had to go around the room and introduce ourselves, and GOD, I'm SUCH A LOON, because while the other blogger there had the sense to introduce herself as a freelance writer and Jason just said he "wrote for" DCFoodies.com, I completely forgot that I could mention my ACTUAL JOB and just mentioned my website and I called it a blog and nobody there knew what a blog was I think and then the President of the Old Ebbit Restaurant Empire asked me if I had a webcam, and I meekly protested that it's more of a creative writing thing, not so much of a sex-on-camera-exhibition thing, but by then the person next to me was introducing himself and I decided to Shut The RIghteous Fuck Up.

Luckily they started pouring the wine soon after that.

And oh, my GOD, the wine. Twenty different wines and we were supposed to taste each one with an oyster, and oh, my GOD, the oysters. I kept tasting the wines repeatedly, mostly because I wanted to eat more oysters, and partly because I knew there would be a mingling cocktail hour afterwards and then dinner and I figured if I was really drunk I wouldn't notice if I said stupid things about blogs to people.

Oh, and we had Official Judging Clipboards where we were supposed to write comments about each wine and assign a numbered rank to each one.

My comments? Were the STUPIDEST THINGS EVER. Everyone around me was the type who could sniff each glass and detect the barest scent of a nutty edam cheese and discuss the fruit's effect on the brininess of the oyster or whatever, and all my comments were like: Good. Is crisp or something. Contains alcohol, which is a plus.

On one wine that I didn't like? I seriously just wrote "Meh."

(Needless to say, the winning 10 wines were almost all the wines that I ranked in the bottom 20.)

After the official judging and whatnot, we all went upstairs for -- what else? More free wine and oysters. And Networking.

Guess which of those three things I did NOT do so much partaking of.

Jason: You should introduce yourself to the publisher of DC Magazine and see if you could submit articles or something. He's right over there.

Amy: (nods thoughtfully) Yes. Yes I should.

Jason: Well?

Amy: Look! I am not paying for this champagne!

While I was pondering what kind of monstrous mother leaves her five-week-old with a babysitter and whether my nursing pads were still in place, everybody sat down for dinner, and the only spot left was right next to SUPREME COURT JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA.

I kind of freaked and grabbed Event Organizer Amy and hissed that I COULD NOT SIT NEXT TO SCALIA, and she assured that he is actually quite nice and not scary, and we'd probably be discussing food and wine mostly, so if I could just not have any Tourette's episodes of yelling GEORGE BUSH SUCKS! HARRIET MIERS WTF! for an hour or so, I would do just fine.

And indeed, he is charming and nice and we compared our rankings to the winning wines and we actually liked several of the same ones. And he shared his fried calimari with me and then ordered a hamburger and a beer. Which: awesome.

I ordered filet mignon. And didn't giggle stupidly when Marc Silverstein of the Food Network told me how awesome I looked after having a baby five weeks ago, although I did introduce him to Jason by pointing and shrieking, "The Best Of! The Best Of!"

Oh, and in my oh-so-suave way of justifying why in HELL I'd been asked to participate in the competition, I mentioned the Washingtonian article and then (oh, GOD) starting rattling off my visitor stats. So, so tacky, but since at least 98% of the people there still didn't get what a blog was and clearly still thought I had sex on a webcam or went through my congressman's garbage looking for incriminating memos to post, they didn't get why that was a tacky, dick move on my part.

Anyway. I could still walk when we left, although I was officially Freaking Out About Missing My Baby, My Precious, Precious Baaaaybeee.

Who was fine and alive and sleeping peacefully. Ceiba missed us a lot more, and gave us all a minor heart attack by FALLING OFF THE BACK OF THE COUCH as we walked in, because YEAH, LET'S SPEND THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS ON ANOTHER STUPID LEG, YOU STUPID DOG.

And Noah rewarded our neglect with sleeping for six. Hours. In. A. Row. Six! Sixsixsixsix!

I woke up at 2 am anyway, already in the throes of the most awful hangover EVER, or at least since JANUARY, and stumbled around looking for Excederin and water and very nearly had an oyster-related-come-to-Jesus-experience in the bathroom but did not, because pregnancy or no, I am still an old pro at this drinking thing.

Although I will probably be pumping and dumping breastmilk for at least a week, which really adds a new dimension to Big Nights Out, and how many D-list celebs do you know that will share THAT kind of information with you? Huh? NONE. BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT A BLOG IS ALL ABOUT PEOPLE. THE SHARING.

I think I forgot to thank Justice Scalia (no, he didn't tell me I could call him Tony or Big T) for sharing his calimari though, and I may have spelled my website's name wrong to a couple people who pretended like they would rush home and check it out. (Probably because they still think I am having sex on a webcam.)

Img_1486

"No webcam here, just some stupid girl who tried to photograph her baby's big gummy smile and forgot to turn off the damn baby swing beforehand."

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (84)

September 12, 2005

I Barely Even Thought About My Kitchen This Weekend...

...because the fabulous Diana came to visit.

Lushad

Diana brought me spiced wafers and trashy magazines, tolerated my putting us on the wrong bus to Georgetown, ignored the fact that it took me 20 minutes to find all the pieces to my coffee maker and also walked my dog so I could take care of important things, like sitting down.

(Diana is now Ceiba's best friend in the entire world, and that dog was clearly and openly pissed when I returned home on Sunday afternoon without her.)

We took not one, but two trips to Lush, purchased approximately 97 bath bombs and openly abused a tester container of $78 moisturizer, spent forever in Sephora in search of Chanel lipgloss and the perfect green eyeshadow, decided that Paris Hilton's perfume smells exactly like filthy whore, and bought lots and lots of wee baby boy clothes.

Jason took us to a fancy restaurant like the divas we are, schooled us on why the 2002 vintage is the best for Burgundy, got wasted on said Burgundy and then broke our new wine glasses from Target by accident, which was really funny and this totally absolved Diana for knocking her water glass clear across the table at dinner earlier.

Broken_2

(It's very interesting being the sober one and realizing that your loved ones are hilarious drunks.)

After Jason done passed out cold, we stayed up to watch Gilmore Girls reruns, applied face masks from Lush and then poked my belly for a good 20 minutes to get the baby to move around and entertain us.

And we discussed Serious Issues, including:

1) Racism: The real thing vs. your friends just being assholes.

2) FEMA, suckage of.

3) The Food Network, awesomeness of.

4) Natural childbirth, batshit craziness of.

5) What it was like to be in DC on September 11, 2001.

6) Who is costarring with CuteDean from Gilmore Girls in Supernatural, and oh my God, it's not Freddie Prinze Jr., right? Please tell me it's not. (It's totally not, but we were Very Scared there for a moment.)

7) Celebrity couples whose divorces we would take personally (i.e. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson).

8) What a perfume by Tara Reid would probably smell like (i.e. chlamydia and condoms).

9) How that's Dick Cheney's mansion right there, Diana, which she really didn't care about, especially since I totally interrupted an important story about her hair to point it out.

10) How starting sentences with the word "dude" is NOT lame, but merely a way of adding emphasis, as in, "DUDE, it is very important that you listen to what I say next, because DUDE, it's crazy."

Now, I ask you, could you imagine a better weekend? Because I, for one, cannot. At all.

P.S. That first photo? Some random guy in the street took for us. And he claimed to be a "maternity photographer" and made Di put her hand on my belly like that. After he handed the camera back we realized that he snapped approximately eleventy hundred pictures and was probably nothing but a big weirdo perv.

P.P.S. BUT JESUS GOD IN HEAVEN, THAT BELLY IS GIGANTIC. How am I still walking upright?

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (87)

August 16, 2005

Spazzentry

Momalah Update #1 (left as a comment yesterday, but HA, like anyone other than me was going to slog through all those comments and find it):

Thanks everybody -- I just got off the phone with my dad, and my mom is out of surgery. Very, very sick from the anesthesia, but is at least in a private room. I'm going to call her later tonight.

The doctor said the surgery went "okay." Over-analyze that as you see fit.

(And the cake is from Balducci's, and seriously, I have eaten four pieces today.)

Momalah Update #2:

I called her last night around 8 p.m., and she sounded, well, "okay." Very tired, very sore, very much still throwing up from the anesthesia and pain medication (a fairly normal reaction for her, but still draining and NOT HELPING THINGS).

She had it together enough to send my dad home so he wouldn't have to drive in the dark, and she wanted to know how the baby was doing and laughed when I complained that he'd been hiccupping for the past hour and taking out his frustration with the hiccups on my ribcage.

And then she asked if Diana (who'd encountered car problems on the way to my baby shower) was okay.

So in summary: Even after major surgery, my mom is still my mom and has enough mothering left over to be everybody else's mom too.

Cake Update #1:

I ate six pieces yesterday. Also some grits and then some chocolate pudding. It was just that kind of day, I think.

Gahgahgah2_5

Confession: I've fallen terribly behind on my baby-gift shout-outs and thank-you notes. And I'm hoping that by including this fact in this particular entry everyone will feel too sorry for me to be mad.

Especially Pratt, Miss Doxie, Dazed and Kathy. And maybe anyone else that sent something and I sort of lost the packing slip but will totally find soon and seriously, feel free to email me and be all, "HEY BITCH, I SENT YOU SOMETHING AND YOU HAVE NOT ACKNOWLEDGED IT. YOU SUCK, BUT I UNDERSTAND WHY AND WILL THEREFORE BE GENTLE IN MY REBUKE."

I also need to take care of some parking tickets. My life is fun.

Ticketpalooza_1

Gahgahgah2_4

Speaking of fun, our new hardwood floors were delivered yesterday. Yes! After months and months of nothingness on the home improvement front, we have made progress.

We almost didn't, as they delivered the wrong-sized planks, or something, but luckily our contractor was there and promptly send those bad planks back from whence they came, and then the correct planks arrived a few hours later and indeed, they look like good planks. (Pre-finished, by the way, so everyone can just back off the assvice ledge regarding sanding and varnishing around the pregnant girl.)

The floors will be installed tomorrow. Which of course means that seven hundred million other things have to happen on the same day. This is what tomorrow will look like, I'm predicting:

6:00 am: Wake up so I can shower before work begins at 7 lest the hot contractor guys see me unshowered and rumpled.

6:05: Remember that I am pregnant and therefore, no longer a sexual being and nobody cares. Go back to sleep.

6:55: Wake up, panic. Jump in shower.

7:10: Cobble together some sort of clothing combination from the four things that still fit. Argue with self over refusal to buy more maternity clothes this late in the game even though self is on the verge of going around naked because NOTHING FITS AND/OR IS UGLY AND CAFTANISH.

7:20: Ready for contractors to arrive. Yes.

7:30: Waiting. Yes.

7:45: Dog needs to go out. Do not want to walk dog until contractors arrive lest they arrive the minute I get her to the end of the street, far away, because that's currently the only spot she's deemed acceptable for taking a dump.

7:55: Dog is frantic. Put leash on dog, get halfway down stairs, hear intercom buzz because ta-da! Contractors are here.

7:56: Debate. Walk back up the stairs and buzz them up, while thoroughly confusing poor dog who will probably pee in the foyer the minute she sees big scary contracting men? Or walk down the stairs and just let them in, while thoroughly freaking out dog who will barkbarkbark and then set off that goddamn poodle on the first floor and then Ceiba will refuse to pee outside because she knows big scary contracting men are inside her house, possibly stealing her toys?

8:00: Since this is in the future, I have not decided which option I will take. Suspense! Tune in tomorrow! Drink your Ovaltine!

8:05 - 10:55: Here we have two distinct possibilities. Our nursery furniture is also scheduled to get delivered tomorrow. I did not want it delivered tomorrow, but the delivery guy was kind of mean and insistent that my furniture is to be delivered tomorrow, whether I want it or not. YOU WILL TAKE THIS CRIB AND LOVE IT, LADY. 

So Option A: The nursery furniture will arrive at the EXACT SAME TIME as the floor contractor people, creating bedlam in the stairwell and much noise and my neighbors will open their doors a crack and give me Dirty Looks of Death and then Ceiba will barkbarkbark at them because they all smell like cats.

Option B: The nursery furniture will not arrive during the scheduled window at all, leaving me in a panic because guess what! I have a doctor's appointment and need to leave by 11, so if the furniture is not there I will have to cancel my appointment or ask one of the contractors to sign and pay for it. (The delivery fee is $70 CASH, and I have been reminded of this REPEATEDLY and it sounds sketchier each and every time I hear it.) This will all but GUARANTEE that one of the pieces will be missing or broken and I will spend the rest of the day trying to track the mean and insistent delivery guy down and have him return with my missing furniture and/or my $70 CASH.

And no matter what option actually happens, there is still the small matter that I HAVE NO ROOM FOR THIS FURNITURE YET AND HAVE NO IDEA WHERE MEAN AND INSISTENT DELIVERY GUY SHOULD PUT IT. HERE, LET ME JUST MOVE THE IRONING BOARD.

11:20: Doctor's appointment. Pee in cup, check weight and fundal height, doppler, see you in two weeks. May possibly bring up fears that everybody is right and I AM INDEED carrying a Godzilla Child who will not fit through my narrow, delicate little business down there.

Noon - 6 pm: Attempt to get actual work done, despite hardwood floors being installed and cut and pounded and God knows what else. Hysterical cat and dog and lots of people around to witness my cake intake. Also Advice Smackdown.

6:00: Need to leave to take Ceiba for her yearly exam and vaccines and whatever. Pray that contractors have already left or are ready to leave at the same time so I can lock the door and leave in peace without worrying that my neighbors will break in and steal my nursery furniture and/or cat.

6:15: Get dirty looks from vet re: the big cut on Ceiba's nose. Swear that we are not involved in some kind of underground Miniature Pinscher Fight Club. The cat bit her and seriously, she started it, because she's kind of a bully. Yes, a five-pound rat-dog bully. Shut up.

6:30: Pay vet bill, submit claim form for veterinary insurance that is an exercise in futility because they never pay for anything, give dog a dirty look and tell her how much the hardwood floors are costing us because she JUST HAD TO PEE ALL OVER THE PERFECTLY-FINE CARPET ALL THOSE TIMES, DIDN'T YOU?

6:40:
Get home, eat cake, pass out on couch, wait for Jason to get home and discover that the contractors installed the floors upside-down, or something.

Catch ya on the flip side, peeps.

 

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (29)

August 09, 2005

Good Times, Bad Times, You Know I've Had My Share

Yesterday was our seventh wedding anniversary. To celebrate, I assembled a toy box from IKEA while Jason was stuck at work until 9 p.m. because his job sucks and that's totally just me saying that, People From Jason's Job, and you can't get mad at him because his very pregnant wife was home alone cursing profusely at pieces of particle board on her wedding anniversary and decided to say that you suck on the Internet the next day.

We actually celebrated Big Crazy Style over the weekend and went to our favorite restaurant where they prepared a bazillion courses of amazing food for us and served me sparkling water in a champagne flute. And I thought the woman at the next table was STILL giving me a dirty look about it until I realized she was mad because she was very, very drunk and decided, upon seeing me in all my basketball-belly glory, that SHE WANTS A CHILD and proceeded to pick a fight with the man she was dining with AT QUITE A LOUD VOLUME.

WHY WON'T YOU GIVE HER A CHILD? HER LIFE IS EMPTY. EMPTY! EMPTY LIKE THAT SECOND BOTTLE OF WINE SHE ORDERED. AND SHE WAAAAANTS A CHILLLLLLD.

Did I mention that both she and her dining companion were at least 60 years old?

So that was very fun, in a trainwrecky kind of way, especially when, as they were leaving, the guy let her walk out first and yelled FUUUUUCK YOOOOOUUUUU!! when the door swung shut after her.

(I swear to God, we're going to read about them in the paper some day after she defies all medical logic and gives birth to octuplets or something.)

What was also fun? Was when Jason gave me my anniversary gift, which is so incredibly awesome and ridiculous I'm not even going to tell you about it. Because no, I don't deserve it, and no, he really shouldn't have, what with the baby and the college fund and the whatever, and yes, he is fully aware of what a pain in the ass I am and yet he still enjoys spoiling me to no end.

Anyway. It both begins and ends with the letter "D" and no, it is not a bra.

What was not so fun? And is kind of the reason I didn't immediately write some entry about OH MY GOD YOU'LL NEVER GUESS WHAT SHINY SPARKLY THINGS JASON JUST GAVE ME AND ALSO LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THE BATSHIT CRAZY PEOPLE WE SAW AT DINNER?

My mom got her pathology results back from her second surgery. The cancer originates from the ducts, not the breast tissue. There are no clear margins, and it could very well be scattered throughout the entire breast. This severely lowers the chances of success with radiation and drugs, so her doctors have advised her to have a masectomy instead.

I'm trying to stay positive and busy and take out all my many frustrations on IKEA furniture, but it's hard.

We're all very, very sad over here. Bummed, even. And really ready for some good fucking news for once.

Babalah boy? We're all counting on you. Please be adorable and squishy.

mom and ceiba

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (73)

July 18, 2005

You Will Never Ever Guess Who Bought Herself A Scanner This Weekend

Amy_ice_cream

No, really. Just TRY and guess.

I am now scanning photos like a crazy photo-scanning fiend for no particular reason, except that I CAN and it's EASY and LOOK HOW CUTE I WAS ONCE.

(Also, HELLO. Look at that nose, and look at this one. Hmm? You see it?)

What makes the whole scanner acquisition even more delicious is the fact that I recently organized EVERY PHOTO IN MY HOUSE into a variety of photo boxes and albums. The baby's room is not painted, we have not ordered furniture, actual food products are still not allowed in my kitchen cabinets, and for reasons too bizarre to explain there is a spare kitchen table sitting in the middle of my bedroom. BUT AS GOD IS MY WITNESS, OUR PHOTOS ARE ORGANIZED.

So would you like to see some photos of my pre-Amalah.com life? Too bad! That's what you're getting, and will probably get all week, until I get bored.

Amy_yellow

Baby Amalah, who looks an awfully lot like her little bald grandpa in this picture.

Also, the 70s, they were a very yellow time.

Amy_allison

Long-time readers may recall the story of Allison Last-Name-Withheld-Because-She-Was-And-May-Still-Be-Evil, my first-grade archenemy. That's her, right in front of my bowl-cut, gapped-tooth self. DO NOT BE FOOLED BY THE ANGEL COSTUME, PEOPLE, SHE IS CLEARLY UP TO NO GOOD.

Approximately five minutes after that photo was taken, I entered my "awkward stage," which would continue until college, so very little photographic evidence exists during that time.

Amy_drunk

Well, no more angel costume for me, that's for sure.

I HAVE ILLEGALLY OBTAINED ALCOHOL! WHOOO! AND I AM WEARING A HAT! HEEEEEEEE.

(That's a poster of Leonardo DiCaprio on my door, people. It was a very weird time in my life.)

Amy_lion

A photo from the horrific Dharma-from-Dharma-and-Greg-Haircut-and-Those-Fuzzy-
Mules-I-Wore-Everywhere Period. GAH.

(I remember those cut-off shorts, too. I wore them until they very literally disintegrated off my body.)

Amy_jason_drunk

It was around this time that I met this one guy. I think his name was Jason, or something.

This is us on St. Patrick's Day in Philadelphia. I do not remember ever agreeing to wear a hat, especially a hat that seems to be missing a substantial chunk of itself, but I definitely remember that I was no longer wearing the hat when I was puking in the parking garage a short while later.

I do remember Jason holding my hair though.

Amy_christmas

It wasn't all drunken debauchery, of course. Here I am on Christmas morning (exact year unknown, because there is only so much organizing a girl can do after years and years of photo neglect), surrounded by my loving family. (Or at least my dad and the top of my sister's head.) I am holding up the battery-operated nose-hair trimmer that my older brother thoughtfully purchased for me.

Amy_christmas_cat

Another Christmas (some years later, judging by the hair growth). I believe this may have been one of the holidays AFTER my parents decided to allow wine back into the house. Am just guessing though.

Amy_jason_beach_1 

Meanwhile, I was still pretty darn crazy about this Jason character.

Amy_shower_1

We got engaged, and I had a bridal shower and got lots and lots of casserole dishes.

Here I go for a demure, bride-like pose with my big ribbon bouquet, but I think the effect is a little ruined by the fact that you can see up my dress.

Amy_wedding_1

We were married on August 8, 1998. I was 20, Jason was 21.

If this photo had those little thought-balloon things, I'm betting about half the people in this photo are thinking, "It won't last, and I wonder if anyone's running a divorce pool. I could hit the ATM before the reception."

HA HA SUCKERS. YOU OWE US A BIG FAT PARTY.

Amy_wedding_2

Jason: (through gritted teeth) Do we really have to go to the reception?

Amy: (hisses) Shh. Just smile for the camera, and then I'll tackle the limo driver, steal the keys and we'll drive to Atlantic City.

Amy_wedding_4_2

We didn't do the garter toss, so I did the classy thing and put it on Jason's head for some reason.

But can we just talk about how skinny I am? Please, let's all talk about how skinny I am.

(This is what happens when you get married before the full onset of puberty. Also before you are allowed to buy your own beer.)

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And then we bought a cat, who may or may not be posessed by the devil.

(Had enough? You've probably had enough. I'll stop now. But I cannot promise to stop for good, because like I said, all my photos are organized by category and subject into half a dozen adorable little photo boxes, and it is so, so satisfying to take a picture out, scan it, and then PUT IT BACK IN ITS PROPER PLACE. HOLY GOD, IT IS BETTER THAN SEX.)

P.S. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to everybody who commented on my last entry. Your words and prayers and stories were just what my mom and I needed to read. We both really appreciate it. And for everyone currently fighting breast cancer or supporting somebody who is (and DAMN, there are a lot of you), we're praying/hoping/positive-vibe-sending right back at you.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (56)

July 05, 2005

The Weevils & Me

The sole purpose of this post is to make amalah.com the number one Google search result for anyone looking for "goddamn+flour+beetles+must+destroy+haaaate."

So. We discovered a little bug problem in our kitchen. Wee, wee little bugs.

Noted bug wrangler Steve Dirwin, aka Flour Beetle Dundee, is on hand today to provide a little background information about the yicky, nasty bugs.

Amy: Good morning, Steve.

Steve: Crikey!

Amy: Tell the nice people about the Confused Flour Beetle.

Steve: Amy, the Confused Flour Beetle is a gorgeous little crittah. Flat, shiny-red and elongated, it can grow to a massive 1/8th of an inch long! Almost the size of a grain of rice! Crimeny! It looks just like the Red Flour Beetle, except for a straight-sided thorax and four-segment antennae. In fact, you can only tell the difference between these little guys if you stick your thumb up their assholes.

Amy: Well, there's no need to do that.

Steve: Are you sure? I can demonstrate...

Amy: Am sure. Where do these bugs come from?

Steve: Most people bring them into their homes straight from the store. They can lurk inside any innocent-looking bag of flour and then take over from there. Within a few weeks you've got yourself a full-scale infestation, with the little buggahs crawling through all your dry goods, even chewing right through unopened packaging!

Amy: Ew. I'm all itchy now.

Steve: And then they've got free reign...feeding on your flour, cornmeal, chopped nuts, cereal and rice...creeping through the pet food and the chocolate chips...chomping away at your crackers and pasta and the microwaveable oatmeal packets...laying eggs in the raisins and Duncan Hines brownie mixes...

Amy: OH MY GOD! STOP!

Steve: Females lay about three to five eggs every day, with the wormlike little larvae hatching in about five days. Eggs are covered in a sticky, milky-white substance that adheres to...

Amy: This is because I wouldn't let you stick your thumb up the bug's ass, isn't it?

Steve: Come on! This is fascinatin' stuff! Look at this gorgeous little guy! Look what happens when I throw some cracker crumbs his way!

Amy: I don't want to look, and you can't make me.

Steve: Crikey!

We're pretty sure our personal little infestation started with an honest, homey-looking bag of organic bread crumbs we purchased at Whole Foods. The bag was closed with a simple twist-tie, as vacuum seals are probably killing our wildlife and leaking deadly toxins into our bread crumbs, and don't you want to support your hardworking local bread crumb co-op that doesn't go for that "fancy" "corporate" "packaging" instead?

(I'm thinking of printing up t-shirts that say, "I spent twice as much on my groceries and all I got was this lousy beetle infestation." Either that, or "Fuck You, Whole Foods.")

To be fair, we were kind of asking for a bug problem. We're sort of...lazy like that.

Case in point: roaches are a fact of life for any city-dweller, yet I always forget to replace the 473 roach traps I have strategically scattered throughout my tiny condo.  That is, until I pull back the shower curtain one morning and WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT IN THE TUB OH MY GOD IT'S A ROACH JASON JASON JASON COME DO SOMETHING WHILE I SHRIEK IN HELPLESS HORROR FROM ATOP THE SINK.

Then I remember to go buy 500 new traps that very day. Six months later? Rinse, repeat, etc.

But our cabinets! Oh, what a disaster they were. I own three airtight glass canisters for flour and sugar and such, but I kind of missed the point of owning airtight glass canisters. I'd buy a huge bag of flour, dump half of it in the airtight glass canister, then kind of just roll up the bag and shove it in the back of the cabinet with the cornmeal and the rye flour and the other bags of grains that I bought when I was totally planning to use my breadmachine on a regular basis.

I currently have no idea where my breadmachine even is.

And every Christmas I decide to bake cookies. So I load up on chocolate chips and chopped pecans and brown sugar -- completely forgetting that I bought all this shit last year and never made a single blessed batch of cookies, and the stuff is still sitting in my cabinets, probably open, because I would at least rip open the chocolate chips to eat a few before putting them away.

Steve: So basically, the Storch household is a lush, fertile breeding ground for all sorts of nasty buggahs and pests, and you should never attempt to enter it without protective goggles and mosquito netting.

Anyway.

So what should you do when you discover a flour beetle outbreak?

First, you need to THROW OUT everything that's infested. Or, if you're like us, you just THROW OUT EVERYTHING, AND I MEAN EVERYTHING, BECAUSE EWWWWWWWWWW.

You may think I'm kidding, but I'm not. We threw out three cabinets' worth of food. I believe we kept some canned soup, a jar of roasted red peppers, three cloves of garlic and a bottle of vanilla extract.

(I'm still eyeing that vanilla extract very suspiciously.)

And unless you can immediately hand all the infested food directly over to the garbage truck, put everything in Ziploc bags.

Second, you need to vacuum like you have never vacuumed before. The bugs can apparently live for YEARS on crumbs in the cracks and edges of your cabinets. So vacuum the cabinets. And then vacuum the countertops. And then vacuum again and again until your husband appears in the doorway at 2 a.m., sobbing, begging you to put the vacuum down and come to bed, please.

Third, since we're talking about your kitchen, where you (presumably) will one day feel brave enough to store food products once again, you don't want to start blasting the cabinets with insecticide and bleach and other toxic cleansers. And that's not just the hippie-Whole-Foods-shopper in me talking. That's the all-knowing Internet and the surprisingly honest exterminator I spoke to talking.

It's hard to resist. I understand. My first impulse was to grab the Raid and smoke those little shits to oblivion.

But you know, I'd like to not poison myself. Or my unborn child. Am funny like that. Plus, I remember what happened in college after my roommate decided to store her bottle of Clorox in the same plastic crate as our groceries. ("This rice tastes like bleach for some reason." "Heh, you're so high." "Well, yeah, but still. This rice tastes like bleach.")

So after vacuuming, scrub the cabinets down with a low-toxicity cleanser -- or even just soap and water. The goal is really to just get rid of every remaining speck of crumbly food goodness that will keep the fuckers alive. The vacuum sucks out the actual bugs and eggs, so you really don't need to go all beserk with trying to poison them, as richly satisfying an experience as that may be.

If possible, remove the shelves from your cabinets when you scrub. We couldn't figure out why in hell the bugs kept returning to this one particular cabinet when we'd vacuumed and washed and sprayed and EVERYTHING until Jason removed one of the shelves and turned it over -- only to find a FREAKING BEETLE BUFFET of flour and cornstarch residue all over the bottom.

You can try pheromone traps or Baygon aerosol (to be used ONLY in cracks and crevices), but these tactics are mostly recommended for restaurants, schools or other "food handling establishments" (COUGH COUGH WHOLE FOODS COUGH), where the problem is widespread and recurring. I am hopeful it will not come to this for us, however, I will do it if I have to, I swear to God, so don't fucking PUSH ME, you evil little bugs.

And a couple householdy message boards recommended sticking bay leaves in infested cabinets and drawers. Actual entomology sites claimed this was an old wives' tale and completely useless. I figured, what the hell, and scattered bay leaves all over the damn place.

Guess what! It's an old wives' tale. Absolutely no effect at all, except to give the bugs something to hide under when I went on vacuum patrol.

Anyway. It's been a couple days since our last bug sighting. We're still vacuuming the cabinets like insane people, especially since those very cabinets are slated to get demolished this month when our shiny new kitchen gets installed, but OH MY GOD, I will CRY if I find a bug in my shiny new kitchen, so I'm determined to kill the outbreak dead dead dead.

(See also: Nesting, pregnancy.)

We also purchased an insane number of airtight containers for all pet food and treats, as well as any and all possible foodstuffs that we one day may buy, once the hurt and shame of the beetle outbreak fades from our hearts.

(To the lovely couple who recognized Jason and me at Balducci's this weekend: Hi! And thanks for reading. And for asking about Ceiba's eyes. And no, I didn't end up buying that package of bucatini pasta I was holding and weirdly gesturing with the whole time we were talking, because I just don't feel ready to commit to new dry goods, no matter how well-sealed or wildly overpriced.)

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (37)

June 03, 2005

Crimes of Fashion, Plus Gratuitous Belly Photos

And also, one last note about maternity clothes...

All the pregnancy books suggest "wear[ing] your husband's clothes! Pair a men's dress shirt with some kicky stirrup leggings! His jeans won't look ridiculous on you at all! And if you're single, gay or just plain fatter than your husband, well, fuck you! Ha!"

I have actually taken this Very Stupid Advice from time to time and borrowed Jason's t-shirts. I like to choose ones that are particularly tasteful and appropriate.

Img_2358

This one announces to the world that yes, I am indeed carrying the Skeletor Demonspawn of Hell, so hand over the pudding.

gah-gah-gah2

Earlier this week, I received a particularly amusing comment from some (fat, lonely, unloved) troll who informed me that I am odd-looking, have feet like Fred Flintstone's and anyone who comes to me for hair and make-up advice should be really be referred to an opthalmologist.

She signed it with the classic hate-mail closing, "Just a thought." Like, sure, you're just offering some impromptu friendly advice here, and totally did not just spend over 20 minutes composing what you imagine to be a brilliant, deadly blow to my ego, and also, you totally did not have to Google the correct spelling of "opthalmologist." (edited to add: Okay! It's ophthalmologist! Google let both me and our trollish friend down. Sheesh.)

I imagine the Fred Flintstone bit is a reference to the ugly-yet-comfy-as-a-fluffy-cloud Born sandals I am wearing in this photo, for which I make NO APOLOGIES, and will instead smile with karmic delight at what this troll's feet will look like during pregnancy, when they will probably swell to Sideshow-Bob-like proportions. Yabba-dabba-do, bitch.

However, she makes a valid point about the hair and make-up advice thing. I really don't know how all that started or why people suddenly started asking me about lipglosses and hair products or why this post continues to get a zillion hits a day.

So, as penance for my audacity to give beauty tips while not being myself an actual supermodel or something, I'm presenting a list of Secret Beauty Confessions, or The Things I Do That I Know I Shouldn't.

1. I wear my hair in a ponytail to bed.
2. My hair looks best when blow-dryed layer by layer, using professional duckbill clips and a round brush. I tell my hairdresser that I do this every day. This is a big fucking lie.
3. I bite my nails. (Pregnancy has made them oddly indestructible, but at any other point in my life, my nails have been nothing but 10 brittle, gnawed-down stubs.)
4. I never get pedicures.
5. The last time I painted my toenails was in March. (To be fair, I can't see my toes anymore, much less comfortably reach them unless I do some complicated gymnastics on my stairs, and really, who cares?)
6. I still use Q-Tips to clean my ears, eardrums and brain damage BE DAMNED.
7. If I'm in a hurry, I'll shave my legs with a wet razor and nothing else.
8. I always forget to tweeze my eyebrows.
9. I use Pantene hairspray.
10. I still wear a pair of cheap, square-toed pumps from Nine West to work occasionally because they're really, really comfortable.
11. I can't properly contour blush to save my life.
12. I own eye-makeup remover, but I hardly ever use it.
13. I still love those slightly-masochistic blackhead-strips from Bioré that don't really do a damn thing except give you a cheap giddy thrill at the sight of the crud you just ripped from your pores.
14. My husband is the only one who remembers to put out a fresh washcloth, ever, as I'll keep using the same one until it's literally BLACK with eye makeup and dirt.
15. I am Very Bad About Flossing.

gah-gah-gah2

Man, that was liberating. And now I will post photos of the nasty, unflossedness that is Me At 23 Weeks Pregnant. Please also note that today was not a day for the Proper Blow-Drying Technique.

From the front: I don't look pregnant at all. Just a little thick, like after eating a lot of hot dogs.

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From the side: poochie!

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And uncensored:

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(By the way, it's really, really hard to take a belly photo by yourself.)

(Also by the way, the top is from Old Navy, the hand-me-down capris are from Motherhood. This entire outfit cost me $12.99! Whoo!)

Believe it or not, there really is a baby in there, and that baby is currently 11 inches long. That's this big:

Img_2397

He kicks me very, very hard. He must have inherited my Fred Flintstone feet.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (48)

May 30, 2005

A Note from the Trenches

Happy Memorial Day, y'all!

Wish you were here, as I would totally put you to work.

Upstairs1 Upstairs2 Upstairs3

That's my bedroom, along with every single thing from our storage area crawlspace things, dragged out and strewn around the room. We pulled everything out so we'd be forced to ask the tough questions, like why are we saving empty wrapping paper tubes and the TiVo box, and what IS IT with me and the saving of shopping bags from upscale stores?

FYI: Jason did all the actual dragging and strewing. I supervised.

23weeks

It's really easy to get out of doing things when you look this pregnant.

In between pondering the mysteries of my selective packrattiness (box from Thomas Pink = save, extra wedding photo prints = trash) and 300 trips to The Container Store (which is like CRACK for nesting pregnant women), we also kind of bought a new car.

Rx8amy

(What? You were maybe expecting a station wagon or an SUV something? Ha. Like hell.)

But oh, CALM DOWN, it has a backseat that is fully LATCH-compatible and freestyle rear doors. And we already have a sort-of-wagon for primary child transport purposes blah blah blah.

Rx8open

It also has a 238-horsepower engine for which to get Squishy to playgroup very, very quickly. Corners like it's on fucking rails, y'all.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (31)

May 20, 2005

Good Morning America (and Amalah)

7:00 am: Alarm goes off across the room (where it was put to prevent mass snooze-button abuse).

7:02: Roll over, discover that left ear formed some sort of vacuum seal with pillow overnight which now HURTS LIKE A MOTHERFUCKER.

7:04: Get out of bed, stumble towards clock, turn alarm off, get back in bed.

7:05: Momentary stumbling has awoken the babalah/boybalah/squishy/whatever-I'm-calling-it-these-days, which awwww, but also STOP KICKING AND LET MAMA SLEEP.

7:10: Wide awake now, gripped by horrible reality that in four months, there will be another human being in my house who will most likely want to wake up at 5 a.m., and who cannot be ignored like the large, plaintive eyes of my dog.

7:20: Anxiety makes me tired. Back to sleep.

7:30: Secret backup alarm goes off.

7:32: Shuffle downstairs with one eye open to make sure I don't step in any Ceiba's overnight accidental shit piles.

7:35: Pee. Congratulate self on making it through the night without getting up to pee. Thank uterus for finally getting its punk-ass self out of my pelvic cavity and off of my damn bladder, like the pregnancy books promised would happen WEEKS AGO.

7:37: Feed pets. Max immediately begins slurping and inhaling his food at an alarming rate, while Ceiba sits by her untouched bowl, quietly observing the frenzy.

7:38: Max is done. And now he is sad. Ceiba takes her cue and starts loudly and happily munching on her kibble, occasionally walking up to Max to crunch in his face. Max, completely forgetting that he ever had food in the first place, looks at me like, "Why? Why do you make my life so very hard?"

7:39: I swear I am not making this up. 

7:42: Jason is in the shower. Shit. Might as well go back to bed and lie down for a few more minutes.

8:03: Vaguely aware of Jason calling my name. What?

8:05: SHIIIIT.

8:06 - 8:18: Shower. Try to think of way to blame lateness on Jason.

8:19: Because Jason strongly prefers long hair, I am forced to keep my hair long and therefore I require tons of primping time in the morning, so really, it IS all his fault. Ta-da!

8:20: Hate. Maternity. Clothes.

8:22: So much.

8:30: Need to leave for work this instant.

8:31: Jason returns from walking Ceiba, finds me standing in the kitchen eating a chocolate pudding cup, still in my underwear.

8:32: Shirt. Pants. Hate.

8:35: Apply makeup. Momentarily debate drawing smiley face on belly with eye pencil and taking picture. Jason enters bathroom to kiss me goodbye and pretend that he didn't actually see me staring at the mirror with my shirt up and an eye pencil in hand.

8:42: Hair, which has been wrapped in a towel, turban-style, has dried all bent and frizzy.

8:43: Should be fired from Advice Smackdown duties.

8:44: Untangle cord to blow-dryer.

8:45: Which is not happening.

8:46: How does a cord get so tangled in 24 hours? By just SITTING THERE in a CABINET. It is EVIL and POSESSED.

8:52: Hair is dry and sort of vaguely straight. Decide to over-product-it-up and scrunch it so it looks like I purposely went for bendy-straw-hair.

8:53: I want more pudding.

8:56: Run upstairs for jewelry and shoes, check reflection in full-length mirror for first time. Red bra totally visible through pink shirt.

8:58: Options: change to white bra from two cup sizes ago, iron a new shirt, blame the lighting and change nothing.

8:59: The lighting in my bedroom IS really weird, actually.

9:00: Cannot find full pair of footie socks.

9:01: Where are all the footie socks?

9:02: I swear to God, I've bought 400 pairs of footie socks in the past six months alone.

9:03: Find one footie sock mixed up with the dish towels.

9:04: Find other footie sock stuck to the side of the washer, soaking wet.

9:05: Put on one dry footie sock and both shoes, gather purse and keys while frantically waving wet footie sock in air.

9:06: Stop looking at me like that, Ceiba.

9:08: Outside! Headed towards car!

9:09: Parking enforcement. Shit. Must act casual yet get to car quickly before expired inspection sticker is spotted.

9:10: Is impossible for a pregnant woman to look casual while trying to walk quickly.

9:11: Especially if said pregnant woman is carrying a footie sock.

9:12: Parking enforcement person is ticketing out-of-state car parked behind mine. Frantically and not-at-all-casually get into car, fumble with keys and drive off just in time.

9:14: That was all very James Bond, wasn't it?

9:15: Hang wet footie sock on air vent.

9:22: XM Radio exists merely so humans have the option of going from Lucinda Williams to The Killers to 80's dance songs in a single commute.

9:24: I like to move it move it, I like to move it move it...

9:30: So. Late. 

9:33: Footie sock is still not dry. Turn up fan. Footie sock sails off of vent and into backseat.

9:37: At work. Park, retrieve slightly damp footie sock from backseat. Decide pneumonia is better than blisters and put on.

9:40: In office. If anyone asks, I had an offsite meeting at 9 am and it was totally productive.

9:41: I wonder if anyone would notice if I ran out to Starbucks real quick?

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (35)

May 16, 2005

The Big Announcement

ATTENTION INTERNET, I HAVE NEWS.

I'm very pleased to announce that this weekend, a very important decision was made. Perhaps the biggest decision I've made all year.







Darling people of the Internet, the diaper bag. It has been purchased.

Fortunecookiebag

After much thought and research and comparison shopping, I rejected Coach(!) as too summery and Kate Spade as too boring, and instead opted for a Petunia Pickle Bottom bag -- specifically, the Fortune Cookie boxy backpack.

(Oprah Winfrey gave a similar bag to Julia Roberts, in case you were wondering, which you probably weren't. Likewise, you probably don't care that Julianne Moore and Reese Witherspoon also have them. Yeah, me neither.)

(Liar. And also, snobby snob snob.)

And so, I present a combination portrait of The Belly At 20 Weeks and The Prettiest Bag For Carrying Dirty Diapers Ever.

Img_2353

P.S. Dear Mr. Creepy-McFetish-Man, please do not comment on this post or send me any more email. I don't care how beautiful you find pregnant women or that you want to date an actress who wears a prosthetic belly and I'm sorry that waitress from the strip club isn't returning your calls or whatever. Please take your freak self elsewhere.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (34)

April 11, 2005

More Random Crap Masquerading As An Entry!

Scene, Last Night, Out at Dinner:

Amy: You have to take a picture of my belly tonight. Don't let me forget to make you take one.

Jason: Okay.

Amy: Because I have NOTHING TO WRITE ABOUT and at least if I throw a belly pic at people they will shut up and not be mad at me for not updating.

Jason: Okay.

Aaaannnnd...we forgot to take a belly pic. Which is a shame, because the belly is looking pretty cool these days. Waaaay bigger than it should be at 16 weeks, but I'd totally be lying if I said I minded. I mean, I sort of mind the duck-waddle I've adopted, but it's simply goddamn fun to actually look convincingly pregnant. Your friends gasp and want to wait on you hand and foot! Your husband wants to pet the belly! Strangers smile at you everywhere! Cops reduce your speeding tickets!

Yeah, I got to test that last one out this morning when I got pulled over on the way to work. $150 fine bumped down to $75, baby, and I SO TOTALLY deserved that $150 fine. I will not lie. But I will push my belly out at opportune moments.

(By the way, all the your-belly-looks-like-a-basketball-you're-so-having-a-boy people? The belly now resembles a football. And it is changing shape JUST TO FUCK WITH YOUR MINDS. Ha! I love my belly.)

*****************************************************************

To: Amalah
From: Pregnancy Newsletter #238947356439527594

"Most" women feel fetal movement (quickening) at 18 weeks if it is their first baby. Some multiparas (those who have already carried a child to term) feel movement earlier, simply because they know what it feels like. The normal range is 16 to 20 weeks.

Amy: Heh. Not me. Wake me up in another month, Babalah.

Scene, Saturday Night, Lying In Bed:

Amy: What the hell was that?

As unbelievable as it sounds, I'm vaguely feeling the baby move already. Only at night, and only when I'm lying on my side and being very, very quiet. Then suddenly: tap tap tap tap tap. It's the slightest, ticklingest sort of feeling that vanishes just a few seconds after my brain registers that hey, I don't think that's gas.

*****************************************************************

And in the only non-pregnancy news I have to report, I am pleased to announce that I am a genius who was awarded a prestigious $5 gift certificate to Krispy Kreme by my company during Corporate Rah-Rah Lovefest Day on Friday.

How did I achieve such lofty heights of recognition? By correctly identifying Portia's "measure of mercy" speech as coming from The Merchant of Venice during the trivia contest.

(Yes, there is always a trivia contest during Corporate Rah-Rah Lovefest Day. I don't know either, but the prizes are always food-related and since the Lovefest starts at noon and the free pizza and salad is withheld until the end, we are all VERY DETERMINED to win those food-related prizes.)

Anyway. I gave a shout-out to my English professor father as I accepted my prize, and was then beaten by MERE MILLISECONDS in naming the "friends, Romans, countrymen" from Julius Caesar, and then embarrassed my English professor father by getting Twelth Night mixed up with Much Ado About Nothing.

I bring shame on my household! And $5 worth of donuts.

Now, after the Lovefest was over and we were all lining up for our free pizza, I was teased just a bit about being such a colossal brainiac dork who's all Shakespearean and shit. (Yes, my office could double for your average middle school cafeteria sometimes.) And I felt the need to point out that in my more than three years with this company, I have only answered ONE other trivia question correctly. And it was about The Simpsons. The prize was two $5 Ben & Jerry's coupons that, I believe, are still tacked up on my fridge.

So there you have it. From Shakespeare to The Simpsons, I know absolutely nothing in between.

(Update! From searching my archives for Corporate Rah-Rah Lovefest Day entries, I have discovered ANOTHER trivia win from my past. In the interest of full disclosure, I also correctly identified Adam's Sandler's animated Hannukah movie and won a $5 Panera gift card. I bought soup and a brownie. My apologies to all who were misled by my previous statements regarding my catalog of useless knowledge.)

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (18)

April 05, 2005

Dreams, Spoons & Pimpage

I am officially obsessed with my baby's sex. Even though it will be another four or five weeks before The Big Unveiling at the ultrasound, I cannot stop thinking about it.

("It" being the presence of a penis or a vagina and the answer to this question: Will I one day ruin all other women with my perfection in the mind of my son...or will I be the one woman my daughter fears turning into more than anything on earth?)

Last night I dreamt that someone gave us a jar of powder to sprinkle on my belly. If the powder turns blue, it's a boy. Pink, a girl. All very logical and realistic, as is so typical of my dreams.

The power turned blue, and then the dream took a much more sensible turn when I went to work and found that my office had moved everyone's offices around and wouldn't tell me where mine was.

(This could be stemming from my current anxiety over the fact that there are NEVER ANY PLASTIC SPOONS IN THE OFFICE KITCHEN ANYMORE. For the love of God, restock the plastic spoons! I brought pudding!)

*************************************************************

Okay, I wrote all that many, many hours ago. Obviously, I really had no idea where I was going with this entry and was just typing so I could enjoy the look of all my pretty words.

Then work got really, really busy and then I got to discussing home remodeling projects with Zoot, which was really important and time consuming.

(And consider yourselves warned: there will soon be much talk of kitchen cabinets, countertops, tile, hardwoods and the orgasmic pleasure of a brand new floor-to-ceiling pantry that will soon be mine.)

(Also possibly home equity loans.)

After work, we went out for crappy Mexican food because I wanted queso and nachos. You know, for the calcium. For the baby.

And for the second time today someone spontaneously congratulated me on the baby. Jesus God, I officially look pregnant. I can totally start responding with, "WHAT baby?"

Something I have ALWAYS wanted to do.

Anyway, that was my day. And that's my entry. Sorry.

(P.S. All D.C. area residents are cordially invited to listen to Z104 at around 8 a.m. tomorrow morning, because you just might get some really awesome restaurant advice from a local celebrity blogger with a really sexy voice.)

(P.P.S. And yes, we're both aware that Jason is giving restaurant recommendations on a drive-time radio program that is sponsored by McDonald's. The irony has been noted, moving on.)

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (20)

March 23, 2005

The Death of Dignity

(Advice Smackdown? What? Eh. Didn't feel like it, frankly. Better luck next week, suckahs.)

I had to work from home today because Jason took my car keys. And his car keys. All the car keys.

Well, we do have one extra set of keys, because we're not complete fools, but the extra set is only for the Subaru, not the Ford, because we hate the Ford and want it gone gone gone so why bother making an extra key for a car we'll be trading in any day now?

Guess which car Jason drove to work today. Go on! You'll never guess. Fools.

I called Jason to make sure he had both sets of keys, just in case pregnancy stupidity was causing me to overlook the keys that were like, in my hand or something.

Amy: I think you took my keys.

Jason: D'oh! Shit. Fuck damn bitch.

(We are a household that watches a lot of Simpsons and HBO. Can you tell? But don't worry, we totally plan to buy The Incredibles DVD so the baby will have something wholesome to watch. And I already moved our Eminem CDs to a very high shelf, so we're cool.)

After sending my boss an email describing my keyless plight and swearing up and down that I actually had stuff to do and would not just spend the day surfing the Web while clearing out my TiVo queue, I received the following reply:

Sure, sure. The old "my husband took my car keys by accident" excuse.

I was tempted to write back:

Well, I figured you were tired of the old "puking my ever-loving guts out" excuse by now.

Then I thought better of it.

Either way, I actually did have tons of work to do and only spent the barest minimum of time torturing my fetus with the doppler. (And even less time torturing the dog, cat and other various parts of my own anatomy with the doppler.)

The baby hates the doppler. As soon as I lock onto the heartbeat the baby moves away. It's like a sullen teenager, running to its room, slamming the door while screaming LEAVE ME ALONE! It's frustrating, yet infinitely amusing. My child has a prenatal 'tude.

Anyway. Work. Diligence. Etc. How about some more awkward and embarrassing moments?

Yesterday, back when I had my car keys, I stalled my car at a stoplight. And in my frantic attempt to restart the car, Miss-Automatic-Transmissions-Are-For-Pussies turned on the windshield wipers. It was not raining.

Last week, back when it was my turn to drive the Subaru, for which we have extra keys and also XM Satellite Radio, I realized that I am making the conscious decision to listen to Kelly Clarkson.

When you're stuck with regular radio, you don't always have much of a choice. It's either commercials, crap pop, that one Jane's Addiction song with the steel drums or more commercials. But with XM, you have four hundred bazillion options. You can go from Pixies to Zappa to Ben Folds to to Snoop to Wilco to the Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack.

It's totally awesome.

So why the hell am I listening to Kelly Clarkson? And even worse, telling the Internet about it?

I blame pregnancy. Which is also to blame for some fairly gnarly hemorrhoids and the fact that I am wearing a maternity top with polka dots today and was fully intending to go to work like this.

So maybe, actually, Jason taking the keys was a good thing. Thanks, babe. At least one of us is still thinking clearly.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (22)

March 07, 2005

Thumped

Originally, all I could think of to post today was puking. More puking.

Trust me, I'm as sick of hearing about it as you are. Possibly more so.

I left work around 2:45, because honestly, once you've spent over a half hour in the office restroom hunched over the toilet while praying that no one walks in to hear you throw up the orange juice you drank this morning because MY GOD, THAT'S ALL THAT'S LEFT, I'd say the day is pretty much toast, right?

Right. So I left. And while I drove home I tried (in my head) to compose an entry about puking that went above and beyond your usual entry about puking. Bonus points if I was able to refrain from mentioning Ceiba's diarrhea.

But then! When I got to my front door I realized that joy! joy! my rented Doppler had arrived. Instead of an entry about puke and poop I could write about heartbeats and the weirdness of lubing your stomach up with ultrasound gel on your living room sofa! About how all the misery is worth it when you hear that little sound! Brilliant!

But then I couldn't find the heartbeat. All I could find were the sounds of my miserable heaving stomach, assorted whooshing sounds and some static whenever a cop car or ambulance drove past my building.

So I started recomposing my entry. And it wasn't funny. It was all sorts of panic and fear and betrayal that here I've been, consoling myself that while vomiting Spaghettios is certainly a low point, at least it's a sign of a healthy and progressing pregnancy, MEANWHILE, my baby has clearly died at some point and it's all fucking pointless.

Then I decided to try again. I relubed the probe (dirty!), and instead of slowly scanning around my belly button, I mashed the damn thing directly INTO my belly button.

whoosh whoosh whoosh whoosh

OH THANK GOD, I thought, and I started thinking about the sappy, sweet post I would write about how every time you hear that little thumping, it's a bloody damn miracle.

But then I made the mistake of popping in the CD-ROM that came with the Doppler and listening to the assorted heartbeat sounds it contained...

...including the sound of a mother's pulse picked up through the device.

OH SHIT.

So now? I'm totally confused. I think I might be picking up my own pulse and not the baby's. The whoosh I'm hearing seems too slow and doesn't seem to match the 10-week-old heart rate on the CD, but I'm not sure. I might not be counting right. (Every time I stare at a second hand on a watch and try to count at the same time? I end up counting the seconds and not whatever it is that I'm actually counting.)

So in summary: haaate.

And if anyone out there is pregnant and considering renting a Doppler unit and would like to make me feel better, rent it from BabyBeat.com and enter referral code 12953. If you keep it for three months or more, I get 10 WHOLE DOLLARS.

I could buy a lot of onesies with 10 whole dollars. Or beers, depending on whether or not I'm even pregnant anymore.

And may you have better luck with the stupid Doppler thing and not end up throwing it across your living room where it leaves a big, sticky lube-stain on your rug.

UPDATE: Y'all rock. I was looking up too high. Stupid printed doppler directions that I follow to the letter. LIKE A SHEEP, I am. Houston, we have a heartbeat, and it makes the heartbeat on the sample CD sound like SHIT. Clearly, this baby is a genius, which is great, because his/her mother? Is freaking retarded.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (30)

March 04, 2005

Cheez Whiz Inc.

Update: Pants stayed up. Pizza stayed down.

Took me long enough to tell you that, didn't it? Damn, I'm so lazy.

Actually, TypePad locked me out of my blog this week because of some boring credit card thing that is so boring I'm not even going to bore you with the boringness.

But I am indeed, so lazy.

Tonight I am sitting at home alone, spooning Pepto Bismol to my poor dog who is still shitting foul black sludge at every possible occasion and watching Monk. Jason is out drinking.

Do you know you can't take Pepto Bismol when you're pregnant? And that you can't go out drinking? All you can do is sit at home and watch Monk. And eat string cheese.

Mmmm. String cheese.

Anyway. I meant to write this whole hilarious entry about our whirlwind weekend in Philadelphia, but it really wasn't very whirlwind at all. It was mostly about napping in expensive hotel rooms, not drinking at rock concerts while your blogging friends pity you, getting handed small bricks of hash on random sidewalks, and eating various kinds of food drenched in cheese.

Like...cheesesteaks! Whee.

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Behold, the glory.

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A Whiz Wit Onions for Jason. (Whiz Witout for me, because GAH, ONIONS.)

Any cheese on a cheesesteak that is not Cheez Whiz is a crime against nature.

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We're just trying to be responsible parents here. The baby needs Cheez Whizzified calcium.

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(I am NINE WEEKS pregnant in this photo. Nine. Weeks. SAVE YOURSELVES FROM THE SPAWNMONSTER FETUS.)

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (31)

March 02, 2005

SpongeBob PukePants

GAH.

So I owe you a "Weekend, Part Two" entry, a photoessay about cheesesteaks, and an Advice Smackdown. I know this. Y'all pay good money to read this site, and I'm totally letting you down.

Except that you don't pay shit, so technically I don't owe you shit, which means I can freak out about my pants instead.

Today I must speak in front of my entire company as I am recognized and congratulated for not getting fired. Monday marked my three-year anniversary with my company, and today I get to make a speech about it and bask in the glow of my colleagues' forced attendance and polite golf claps.

Usually when one is expected to speak in front of the entire company, one dresses accordingly. Like in a suit with a jacket and neatly pressed pants and you'd probably even comb your hair.

Now, aside from the fact that my suits were the first thing banished to the back of my closet for the duration of this pregnancy, I also completely forgot about today's festivities until I arrived at work. I dressed with the idea that I would be confined to my desk all day and am wearing non-maternity dress pants with a Bella Band.

What's a Bella Band? Why, it's the greatest thing ever. It goes over your unbuttoned/half-zipped pants at the waist and creates the illusion that you're wearing a tank top under your shirt -- a tank top that happens to cover, smooth and hold up your wide-open-too-small-but-dag-gummit-I'm-still-wearing-them pants.

Brilliant, right? Except that I am completely rattled by the realization that I will be addressing my entire company while my PANTS ARE UNDONE.

Also, I didn't get much sleep last night. Or the night before. So I may very well get up there and make a huge ass out of myself, pants issues aside.

Since we got back from Philadelphia, I haven't been able to keep any food down. I started throwing up Sunday night and it continued until...nowish, probably. I stayed home on Monday and spent most of the day on the bathroom floor -- starving, exhausted and headachey because I couldn't even keep a goddamn Tylenol tablet down.

And then Ceiba decided to upstage my misery and has had projectile diarrhea for the last 24 hours, complete with farts so loud they woke us up in the middle of the night.

Guess which Storch Girl Jason stayed up with all night to comfort and pet and research home remedies for.

Hint: NOT THIS ONE.

On the bright side, there will be free pizza after today's Great Open-Pants Speech, which DEAR GOD IN HEAVEN, PLEASE ALLOW ME TO EAT A SLICE OF PIZZA WITHOUT HURLING.

ALSO PLEASE KEEP MY PANTS ON. AMEN.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (30)

February 28, 2005

The Weekend, Part One

We went to Philly this weekend, y'all! And I hung out with Diana and I ate cheesesteaks and have lots of stories about it.

BUT FIRST, AN ENTRY I WROTE ON FRIDAY AND THEN NEGLECTED TO PUBLISH, FOR I AM THAT STUPID:

I had my second prenatal appointment today, in all its boringness. Three highlights:

The nurse called to me in the waiting area and told me I could go ahead and use the bathroom, which I thought was nice of her, as I ALWAYS have to use the bathroom. But it turns out that "go ahead and use the bathroom" is a secret OB code for "go pee in a specimen cup." I did not know this and did not pee in the specimen cup. The code was then explained to me and I was shown the self-serve specimen cup station that I am to familiarize myself with from now on.

All of this goes to prove what infertile women everywhere already suspect: THE PREGNANT WOMEN HAVE A SECRET CLUB AND LANGUAGE AND SPECIMEN CUP HANDSHAKE AND THEY WILL NEVER TELL YOU ABOUT IT. BWA. HA. HA.

After Specimencupgate, and my sincere promise that I would most certainly have to pee again by the end of my visit, I stepped on the scale.

Get this, I've LOST WEIGHT.

Despite my best efforts, and the efforts of about 346 orders of Chicken McNuggets and 143 bags of Doritos, I'm losing weight. The damned morning/afternoon/evening sickness has deprived my body of all the essential fatty goodness that one would usually get if one usually consumed eight or nine mini-Twix Bars every day. I'm wearing nothing but maternity clothes now and am actually sporting a noticeable little bump, yet the bump appears to contain nothing but featherdown pillows and air. Possibly helium.

Clearly, I need more milkshakes.

THEN, the doctor came in, revealed that the ultrasound place never sent over the ultrasound films or the ultrasound report, so he could not review it with me and tell me what a perfect and clearly indestructible embryo I'm carrying.

THEN, he whipped out the little doppler thingie.

Him: Now, it's probably too early to this to pick up the heartbeat, so don't panic if we can't hear it.

Me: Oh, I know. It's about a week or two too early. Is okay.

Him: Right. So don't panic.

Me: Right. Right right.

Him: *starts searching for heartbeat*

Me: *oh shit*

Him: Nope, too early. Next visit! Don't panic!

Me: *panics*

And that was that. Go pee in cup. See you in four weeks. Try to fucking eat something already.

Now I am at home, where I should be packing, but I am not packing, because I am TIRED and PREGNANT and need to have a good talk with my baby regarding the polite volume for one's heartbeat.

Hint: LOUD, MOTHERFUCKER.

Then I should pack. We're taking a weekend trip to Philadelphia, where we will be going to see Carbon Leaf with Diana, and staying in a nice hotel and eating lots and lots of room service. Hopefully. Because damn, I can throw up at home for FREE.

Also, Ceiba will be staying at a PET RESORT. No, seriously. Mostly because we totally forgot about her until like, yesterday, and our vet had no room to board her. So she's going to board at a place that sounds even nicer than our nice hotel. She's getting a SUITE, people. With rooms and everything.

I'm so excited for her.  I wish I could send her with a camera to take pictures.

Max will be staying home alone, because I trust him not to throw loud parties.

Another reason I am not packing: delivery food trauma. Earlier this evening my stomach and I decided that the only thing I could eat tonight was paneer makhani from this one Indian restaurant near us. So we ordered, and it was delivered, and there was no paneer makhani.  And I swear to God, I cried. And I said the f-word many, many more times than was really necessary. And then Jason sighed, put down his fork (they got HIS fucking food right, naturally), put on his coat and drove out in the cold to obtain my paneer makhani.

Welcome to pregnancy, baby. Isn't it the greatest thing EVER?


Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (22)

January 24, 2005

Peachy

The worst hiatus ever continues!

One Saturday morning, many, many Saturday mornings ago, a little girl was eating her Cheerios and watching her cartoons. It was her birthday, but no one was awake yet because no one else cared about watching animated Pound Puppies solve mysteries at 8 a.m. on a weekend.

But then, without warning, a bright pink box appeared in front of the little girl. It was a Barbie, and it was the most beautiful Barbie in the entire motherfucking world. It was Peaches 'n Cream Barbie, who was as pretty as a peach blossom and who came with a GLAMOROUS CHANGE-AROUND STOLE that you could style all sorts of interesting ways, including as a very slutty dress if you used it by itself. There was also a little Vanna White wheel with stole styles on one side and hot date destinations on the other (i.e. dinner, movie, whorehouse) to save you from having to use your imagination.

The little girl's big sister had bought Peaches 'n Cream her own self, and I swear to God, there was never a better-loved Barbie in all the land.

For about four hours.

After carefully arranging Peaches 'n Cream on the family room sofa (legs straight out, head cocked towards the television, detachable wrap-around stole a vision in peach synthetic fabric), I went to...do something else. Probably pee.

When I came back, my mother was casually sitting on the sofa reading the newspaper.

"Where's Peaches 'n Cream?" I asked.

She gestured towards a nearby heap of semi-naked Barbies and said, "Isn't she over there?"

I rolled my eyes at the sheer ignorance. Clearly, none of those dolls were Peaches 'n Cream. Those dolls were garbage. They all had hopelessly tangled hair and were missing at least one shoe. Those were yesterday's fashion dolls.

After a lot of whining and digging around the couch cushions I persuaded my mother to stand up. And that's where I found Peaches 'n Cream.

My mom had SAT on her and SMUSHED her head. She now had a big gash running from her neck to her nose. I could see the extended plastic neck and white swivelly thing through the rip in her pretty face.

Amy: waaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiillllllllllllllllllsssssss

Amy's Mother: horrified, yet chooses this moment to remind daughter about leaving toys on the couch where yeah, they get sat on from time to time

Amy: waaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiilllllllllllllllllsssssssss

In the end, there was nothing anybody could do. We crazy-glued her head and left her wrapped in rubber bands overnight, only to have the wound pop open the minute anyone touched her.  I never threw her out though, and everytime I was introduced to a new type of adhesive (rubber cement, Elmer's paste sticks, glue from my sister's false eyelashes), I tried to repair her.

Amy's Mother: Well, Peaches' clothes are still fine. You can dress up one of your other dolls instead. They're all the same.

Amy: THEY ARE NOT ALL THE SAME. I WILL BELIEVE THIS UNTIL I DIE. PEACHES 'N CREAM BARBIE WAS SPECIAL AND I'LL THANK YOU TO REFER TO HER BY HER FULL NAME.

I still tell this story from time to time...usually around the holidays, usually to my nieces and nephews to scare the crap out of them, and usually to make my mom really regret choosing that one instance to teach me a lesson about responsibility instead of just rushing out and buying me another damn Barbie.

Apparently, somebody was paying attention.

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Thank you eBay. And thank you Jason. Although I am now faced with a dilemma. Peaches 'n Cream is quite a collectors' item now, and I'm not supposed to take her out of the box. But how can I resist that glamorous change-around stole?

(BY THE WAY: The original 1985 price tag? That is still on the box? $8.05. EIGHT DOLLARS AND FIVE CENTS. Not to be a total brat, but Mom? Don't you think it might have been worth splurging $8.05 to prevent your 8-year-old daughter who had already written four books from someday writing a book about the time you sat on her Barbie? Or even worse, writing about it on the futuristic Internet? I'm just saying.)

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (48)

January 17, 2005

Fra-gee-lay

Hey y'all,

So listen. The work thing. Is priority.

(So is teaching myself the art of the compound non-fragment sentence.)

I've put this off for as long as I can but I simply must take a (short, temporary, wee, please come back) break from updating.

I'm super-extra-beyond stressed right now, and while I'm usually stubborn as hell about how writing here is my essential relaxation technique and all, that just hasn't been true lately.

Our heat is only sort-of working, we have two monstrous holes in our bedroom wall, Ceiba is keeping me up all night during remedial potty training, I'm working 10-hour days on 20 minutes of sleep, my dad is having another health crisis, I'm still not pregnant and I've realized that the main character in my book is a selfish, hateful little brat.

(The main character is me.)

As a result, I'm kind of going insane from sheer exhaustion. I get a mean comment and I cry.  I honest-to-God CRY over some dipshit who found me via a Google search for "ashlee simpson large sexy boobs" and decided to say something cruel for the hell of it. I have 389 unread emails. And this morning I got some news that I really didn't need to know about, except that I really did need to know about but I didn't want to know about because it made me cry and then I made the bearer of said news cry which made me cry more because said news should not have made me cry because I am an ADULT who needs to handle things like said news better.

(Please do not ask about said news. You will make me cry. You do not want to make me cry anymore because I just might kill you. Am still a bad-ass motherfucker, y'all. Only more delicate-like.)

So basically: You can knock Amy over with a feather at this point so she's going to stay away from feathers.

I'll be back in a few days, maybe a week, promise, after I get some sleep and re-up my medications and get some actual work done for once.

Love,

Amy

P.S. Why don't you sign up for the pretty Notify list? So you don't have to come here everyday and re-read this hysterical entry? And be all annoyed about the mysterious said news or worried that I'm about to jump out the window? Because I'm not? I'm just cranky and tired and will probably change my mind in like, an hour?

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (38)

January 11, 2005

This Post Has Three Titles Already, So I'm Not Typing One Here

Ok, I have a really funny story to tell you, but also many other boring things. So I've divided this ADD-like entry into chapters for easy reference as to What The Hell Amy Is Talking About Now.

THE PART ABOUT THE SCARF

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Look at my scarf! That is all mine! It is a Type A Original, already the hottest thing in crocheted couture this winter. You should totally go buy one of your very own, because it's soft and pretty and I was stopped in the PARKING GARAGE by a stranger this morning who loved it so much I was a little afraid she might rip it off my neck and run away with it.*

*That probably won't happen to you, so don't let it stop you from contacting Kristie and sending her money.

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And no, this is not a coincidence. I may have a problem.

AND NOW, A WALL INTERLUDE

And I am so glad I have my warm, wooly scarf, because I STILL HAVE NO HEAT IN MY HOUSE.

I do, however, have a big motherfucking hole in my wall.

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I meant to take a picture with me holding Ceiba up to the hole because she is our universal measuring unit now. (As in, "Wow, that jumbo roll of paper towels is about a Ceiba-and-a-half," or "As long as that mole on your head stays smaller than Ceiba, I wouldn't worry about it.") But I was afraid to put her anywhere close to that hole because it is about three times the size of the wee pup and is gaping and sticky and makes weird clanging noises periodically.

I am very scared of this hole.

On the plus side, I can totally see my closet through the extra bonus hole in the ceiling, which is very convenient for picking out outfits from downstairs.

Wait. I said I had a story for you, didn't I? That was supposed to be the point of this entry? Wait, what's that over there? Jangly keys! Shiny!

ADVENTURES IN STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY

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Right. This is my friend Thea. The Washingtonian put her on their cover a couple years ago because she is adorable. And because she works for a restaurant called, adorably, 2 Amys, which is my favorite place ever. Look at that pizza! Look at those authentic Neopolitan toppings! Look at that wine list (not pictured)!

Anyway, she's totally famous. But the last time we ate at 2 Amys (which was...probably about 48 hours ago), Thea told us that a relative saw her picture in a magazine. Another magazine. From like, South Carolina or something. And like most people do when their relatives start talking like this, Thea assumed they were insane.

They were not insane. Her photo had been reprinted for an advertisement. The pizza had been replaced by a plate full of not-so-appetizing-looking barbecue.

"On PAPER PLATES." This offends her.

"SUE THEIR ASSES." I told her. "That's like, SLANDER."

It turns out, Thea's picture is now royalty-free stock photography. For $299.99, you too may Photoshop your inferior product into her adorable arms. Or you may buy it on CD for $499.99.

Does she get any of these mad dollahs? Does she get any say in what horrific things will get piled on those plates? Does she have any recourse if The Onion uses her photo for biting social satire on the eating habits of Middle America? Does she have a snappy comeback ready in case someone on the street goes, "Hey! You're that girl from the acid reflux ad!"?

No, she does not. Well, except for that last one. She's pretty snappy.

Nemopizza

I am not pleased, yet also, deeply amused.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (37)

January 07, 2005

In Which I Please Everybody Except People Who Want Actual Intelligent Writing

In response to the many De-Lurking Day requests, I present a photo essay about the pets, the shoes, and the drunk. Also cows.

First up, just to make everyone happy...

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(I took these all last night, when both pets were feeling especially squirmy and blurry and did not feel like being photographed. But I tried. FOR YOU.)

Next up, the drunk. New Year's Eve drunk!

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This is Jen. And me. At Jen's house, which was where the party be at, bitches. We have only had three, maybe four glasses of champagne by now, tops.

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This is Jason. And Mike, who is engaged to Jen, whose house it was, where the party, it be at.

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You can SEE Jen trying to lean away from my terrifyingly large flower pin. She's all, "Put down the camera and HELP ME."

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Do not ask me how I got my hair to do whatever it is doing in this picture. With the flowing and the curling. I may have made a one-night pact with the devil.

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God help us. The white girls are dancing, and they are dancing to Snoop Dogg, and Amy has busted out her patented "Praise Be to Jesus" dance move.

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Jen: I want YOU to put that muthafuckin' camera down THIS INSTANT or else I'll get Snoop down here to put a cap in yo' ass.

Erin: Hee. Being drunk is fun!

Amy: *not pictured, possibly because she was eating all the mini-quiches*

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Honestly? I have no idea. Was I trying to kill Erin? Make out with her? Force her to smell the flower pin?

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Uh-huh. We may be too drunk to stand up anymore, but we are BAD ASS GANGSTAS. Also pictured: Unidentified feet.

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Jason: Yep. Y'all keep having fun there. I'll be over here on the couch, with my water, being all responsible-like. Fuckers.

Next up, more drunk! Drunk cows!

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Translation: I was drunk, and decided to take pictures of cows. We were wandering past a local art gallery and were confronted by many, many paintings of cows. Just...cows.

But then...

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I don't even know where to begin. Weiner! Udderly! Nudes! Cows! January!

But then...

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MOOOOOO!

I went to put the camera away, and there were MORE COWS. In my new Christmas Coach purse, next to my Chanel lip gloss. COWS.

What? This was SO FUNNY at the time I took the pictures. You have no idea how funny.

Shut up.

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Do fuzzy slippers satisfy the shoe people? No? Well, life is just full of bitter disappointments now, isn't it?

Shut up.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (31)

January 06, 2005

Re-Lurk! Re-Lurk!

I have nothing to say, but I must post SOMETHING and put an end to the De-Lurking Day madness. Madness!

My plan was to email all of my brave little lurkers and say hi and thanks for commenting and see? Don't you want emails and validation from me? Don't you want to comment more often?

It was a great plan, until the comments hit 140 and still. Would. Not. Stop. I've emailed like, 20, and then those 20 people replied and said something funny and I just had to write back again, because yay, new people to waste the day away with and also, I am not a snotty bitch, regardless of what you may have read in the tabloids.

So I will keep trying with the emails, just like I am still trying to finish the prizes for the Focking Swag contest from like, a month ago. But the prize is going to be so focking awesome it will be worth the wait, I swear. Remember how in High Fidelity John Cusack's character was reorganizing his record collection and his friend asked if he was doing alphabetical or chronological and John Cusack was all, "No, AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL." And then his friend was all, "Whoa." Remember that?

Anyway, I'm making an AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL mix CD for the year 2004 that will mostly make sense to me and like, the four people I know in real life who crossed me this year and will get ripped a new one in song form. It's Passive-Aggressive Mixtapeology, and it's going to be awesome. Focking awesome!

(Also, did anyone used to watch the Rosie O'Donnell Show? Remember that one time she made up a song about the Kotex Multi-Pack of tampons? That song is stuck in my head and WILL NOT STOP. I am really, really frightened about the things my brain absorbs and chooses to maintain. Especially since I cannot remember where I parked my car today.)

(That song will NOT be on amalah: the album though.)

(And I don't REALLY remember all the words to the song, but just have an image of Rosie O'Donnell holding a box of tampons singing "Multi-Pack! It's the Multi-Pack! It's the greatest idea Kotex ever had!" And it replays over and over again, along with her telling the audience that she "gets no money from the Kotex people." )

In other words, please kill me.

So even though I am clearly losing my fool mind, I'm glad all of y'all decided to de-lurk and say hi and say nice things about me and my life choices, except for one person who called Ceiba a food product (which is true...she does resemble some kind of smoked sausage snack that would taste really good on a RItz cracker), and one person who insulted the Uggs (YES, I KNOW. They are ugly and over. The Manolo, he does not approve. But they are COMFY and half of the people in my neighborhood are still wearing Christmas sweaters with JINGLE BELLS on them so who the fuck do I need to impress?). The rest of you were lovely and well-behaved and delightfully kiss-assy.

In fact, I was even able to do some market research with your comments and find out ways to make amalah.com a better reading experience for us all. Here's what you and your fellow lurkers had to say about the site, in super-scientific Gallup poll results.

The amalah.com De-Lurking Day Instapoll

99% think I am awesome

76% think Ceiba is awesome

34% think Ceiba sucks and Max is totally the awesomest

24% think no, shut up, Ceiba is the awesomest

85% want me to update more

15% want me to update a lot more

50% want more pet photos

49% want less pet photos, more shoe photos

1% really, REALLY want more shoe photos, preferably stilettos, or possibly Keds without socks, and also some toe cleavage

100% still did not get the Notify message about yesterday's post

17% want to work for me remotely, which no, that will not work, stop asking

2% want to sell me DISScouNT herBAl ViAGra

34% used a replacement for the word "fuck" (including fock, feck and frick), and seriously people, there's no need for that kind of fucking fake language here

40% want more drunk posts

0.2% want me to take better care of myself

6% know me in real life

4% would so write a tell-all book about me so email them!!

3% are my coworkers

1% are my boss

0% have a new job to offer me after I get fired

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (34)

December 30, 2004

How to Write a Book

(First: Wednesday Advice Smackdown? What? It's Thursday. Why are you asking about Wednesday?)

(Second: Holiday hiatus, apparently.)

(Third: How to write a book in one week.)

1) Decide to write book.

2) Make some notes in a notebook. Lose notebook.

3) Take week off work.

4) Vow book will be written within this week, or at least substantial portions of it.

5) Find notebook. Drink wine.

Monday:

6) Is birthday! Cannot write book on birthday. Drag husband shopping and to Phantom of the Opera, because you are brat.

7) Discuss book over dinner and act really, really serious about it.

Tuesday:

8) Sleep in.

9) Start writing.

10) Decide that this is easy. Also decide that it is really, really cold.

11) Have husband call heating guys, because you are busy. With the writing. For real.

12) Realize house is messy. Decide to vacuum and organize closet before heating guys arrive.

13) After heating guys arrive, try to type one-handed while holding a really annoying howling dog who really wants to annoy heating guys.

14) Think of really amazing piece of dialogue while in the shower.

15) Completely forget amazing piece of dialogue 10 minutes later.

16) Realize that after book is done, you will have a lot of apologies to make to your friends and family.

17) Consider posting pre-emptive apology on Web site now; write birthday wrap-up post instead.

18) Decide to take a break at page 10.

Wednesday:

19) Start working on page 11.

20) Heating guys come back. Dog yaps. More of the same.

21) Realize you need to write an advice column and provide photos of expensive gifts to satiate online readers.

22) Realize that the week is more than half over and you have only written 11 pages.

23) Change font. 14 pages!

24) Watch Lost in Translation for inspiration of subtle character development and condition of human soul.

25) Realize entire book, idea and brain suck. Eat leftover pumpkin pie.

26) Go out for happy hour with friend. Discuss book, issue pre-emptive apology for composite-like character.

27) Drink wine.

Thursday:

28) Get out of bed when heating guys arrive at 9 a.m. once again.

29) Attempt to communicate with heating guys while unshowered, uncoffeed and wrangling the most annoying yapping dog in the entire world.

30) Re-read existing 14 pages. Huh. They don't suck as bad as they did yesterday.

31) Write this list so others can know your secret to writing 14 entire mediocre pages in one week.

32) Write the damn book already.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (17)

December 28, 2004

Happy Birthday, You Huge Freaking Pain in the Ass

Behold, the blank space of the unwritten entry!

So Christmas is over. My birthday is over. It was a glorious run. But now, it is over.

I am at home all this week, however, so I am not hitting the "oh shit I'm back at work and this is my life forever and ever" wall yet.

Instead, I am freaking out, because:

1) Our heat is not working. It is freeeeeeezing in here. Max and Ceiba have called a truce and are both leeching off my body heat under the covers.

2) Ceiba fell off the bed this morning and cried and limped and still seems to be walking funny but it could just be that she is cold.

3) I have not chosen winners for the Focker Swagathon, nor have I finished the playlist for my Amalah: The Album mix CD that will be the bonus prize for the winners because honestly, the Focker stuff is a pile of complete garbage.

4) I am trying to write a book. I have taken this week off for this express purpose. But I've hit the "six solid pages of literary gold followed by narrative implosion" wall that I hit every time I try to write something that is not:

   a) A really disorganized entry about assorted things I am freaking out about.

   b) List-related.

   c) Completely stupid.

So instead? Let's just talk about my birthday. Which was yesterday. I've been stressing to Jason for WEEKS about how I want to do NOTHING on my birthday except to relax, chill, veg out and etc. No parties, no friends, no fuss.

Jason: Well, that's good, because I wasn't planning a party and you don't have any friends.

Ha! I kid. But I really hate the Big Birthday Fuss, because honestly? I had no say in my arrival into this world and would rather be celebrated for actual accomplishments, like writing the next great American novel, or at least 3,165 words of it.

So I slept late, got breakfast in bed, re-admired my new Tiffany's necklace that Jason got for my birthday but I insisted on opening on Christmas, and then horribly abused Jason's good nature by responding to his offer to go see "any movie [I] wanted" by dragging him to The Phantom of the Opera.

(Have I ever mentioned that I have a horrible weak spot for horrible musical theater? I do. I own soundtracks, people. Original cast recording soundtracks!)

Jason, At The Theater: You sure you don't want to see Lemony Snicket? The Life Aquatic? Spanglish? Anything?

Amy, Digging In Her Birthday Girl Heels: Phantom. Of. The. Opera. There is singing! And melodrama! And then more singing!

Jason is so wonderful. He even refrained from killing me outright when I said (with great delight, as we taking our seats), "This movie is going to be so, so bad. I cannot wait."

And it was...well, it was not great. It was also three hours long, so it gave me tons of stuff to nitpick and overanalyze the rest of the day and show off my pretentious geekitude when it comes to Broadway musicals. And Jason LISTENED TO IT. All night! And he even NODDED. Like he CARED.

He also took me to dinner at Ceiba, the restaurant frpm whence our dog's name came from, and I got to wear all new clothes and carry my new sparkly black satin Coach bag and our menus said Happy Birthday Amy with like, three exclamation points and I got a very special birthday flan wish for dessert.

Amy, Peering Obnoxiously at the Next Table's Menus: Oh, it just says happy birthday on OUR menus. Not everybody's.

Jason: *sticks fork in eye*

Next year? I want a pony. Preferably one who can sing Broadway showtunes.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (21)

December 27, 2004

The Post-Christmas Pre-Birthday Drunkening

Merry Day After.

I can't give details on our Christmas Day right now, mostly because I'm a littloe bit drnuk. But tomorrow is my birthday! Like, in an hour! Happy birthday meeeeee. I will be 27. Which means I am still young and youthful, so suck it, older people. And younger people? Well, I probably make more money than you, so you can suck it too.

(druuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuunnnke.)

OKay, enough typing about me rationalizing my birthday as being not that old even though, ogh my God, I am so in my late 20s and not totally world-famous yet, which blows.

HERE ARE (wHOOPs) some Christmas-y-ish photos to fill up some space. I am going to get more wine now. Or maybe some like, extra dry sherry, because I'm FUCKING OLD.

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Amy's Mom + Craftiness - Real and Actual Grandchildren = Stockings For Pets

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Cat + Catnip + Wee Stocking = We could help him get his head unstuck, but we'd rather just laugh and take pictures.

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Christmas Tree + Wine + Tripod = The last time I'll do this damn mathematical-type photo caption, I promise

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I got a My Little Pony for Christmas. Did you? I was going to keep it in the box for display purposes, but was overcome with desire to comb its hair within five minutes.

(I got lots more than this, though. Like Coach bags! Many things Coach! And Tiffany's! Because I am loved and spoiled.)

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Good God, I fucking hate you. So very, very much.

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I would hate you, but I'm too stupid to grasp the concept. Instead? I will just poop on the upstairs carpet.

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Ceiba: I will save you!

Max: Hey HamsterDog, I hate this hat, but I hate you more, so fuck the fuck off, mm'kay?

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Christmas is hard work. And I totally cashed Max's bag of catnip. Sweeet.

(I started this post at 11 p.m. on December 26th. It is now 12:38 a.m. on December 27th. So Happy Birthday to me, and also, photo essays are hell damn time consuming. Am too old to be wasting my life like this.)

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (28)

December 21, 2004

Fock This

There will be no Advice Smackdown today, because I have something better to write about. And you can just suck it if you don't think it's better, because you're wrong and stupid. Plus, there are prizes!

Last we wandered into some sort of surreal, this-does-not-happen-in-actual-real-life bonanza of blog material.

It was the after-party for a screening of Meet the Fockers, brought to you by Bud Lite. At a Ruby Tuesday's.

First, okay, yes. The Amalahs were at a Ruby Tuesday's. Am ashamed. But we were only there for the cheese fries and the beer. We had other reasons for going there, all of which make such perfect sense that if I wrote them all out you'd totally be blown away by our late-night munchie logic, but I won't write them out because this post is not about me and my eating habits.

This post is about all the notes I took on a napkin. The very first thing I wrote down?

SHUT. UP.

An argument had broken out at the bar regarding whether or not the cat and the dog in the movie were real or animatronic.

"Of course they were real! They looked so real! They couldn't make them so realistic if they weren't really real!"

"But there is no way they really flushed a dog down a toilet. There is just NO WAY."

"Hey, who else needs a cold and refreshing Bud Lite?"

The "party" consisted of five Bud Lite reps, two guys who may or may not have been a couple, and a group of four twentysomethings on a group date who all ordered bacon double cheeseburgers, except for one girl who got the salad bar but then ate all her boyfriend's fries.

We learned who the Bud Lite people were kind of by accident at first.

Swarmy Guy With Two Cell Phones & A Pager: So! Were you two at the movie? Wasn't it GREAT?

Amy: Um, no. We weren't at the movie.

Jason: *snorts*

Amy: Yeah, see, I hated Meet the Parents intensely.

Swarmy: You HATED Meet the Parents? Nobody hated Meet the Parents!

Amy: I know I'm alone in this opinion. That movie made me want to gouge my eyes out with a plastic spoon.

Swarmy: Well, you should still totally see Meet the Fockers. It was awesome!

Amy: I also hated Titanic.

Swarmy: *head explodes*

The Bud Lite people came laden with five boxes of Focker Swag, including beer coozies, keychains, T-shirts and Very Official & Authentic Movie Posters.

"That was the organizer I was just talking to, wasn't it?" I asked. "How much do I rock? Tell me that I rock."

"You are a rebel." Jason answered.  "Also, I think they were expecting a few more people."

The Official Bud Lite Focking Team wandered around the sparsely populated bar for awhile, pawning off coozies that nobody wanted and trying to get everyone to talk about how great the movie was and wasn't it so great that they got to see it FIRST, and let's all raise our glasses to toast the wonderful Busch family for making this all possible and being so great.

My napkin reads: Dudes. The movie opens in THREE DAYS. You are not special. You are not a unique snowflake. Shut the fock up.

(My napkin was wrong, actually, as the movie opened today. So these people had only gotten about a 12-hour jump on the rest of the country. So my point still stands, even though I clearly need to hire a fact-checker for all future napkin journalistic efforts.)

A redheaded Bud Lite girl who was not aware that I was blaspheming the good name of one-note-joke cinema came around and gave us coozies and keychains.

Napkin: Focking swag! Woot!

After the like, six attendees left, the Bud Lite people hung out to bitch about work and drink more Bud Lite and make seventeen trips to the bathroom each. Jason and I had pretty much moved on and were having a rollicking discussion about Fight Club (a movie I did not hate), and I was congratulating myself for the "unique snowflake" reference.

But, you know. The Bud Lite people were RIGHT THERE. It was hard not to overhear their conversations. Especially since those conversations seemed to be about:

1) Strip clubs. Attending and/or working in.

2) Whether or not some boss guy had kids, and whether or not they were ugly.

3) Whether or not some boss guy's kids were actually his own, because they were not ugly.

Redhead: Doesn't some boss guy remind you of that guy? Oh shit, you know who I'm talking about. That actor who was in the movie with the 12 kids? And the one with Queen Latifah? What the hell is his name?

Poor, poor Steve Martin. I'm so sorry. You're no longer the guy from The Jerk, Roxanne, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels or even Father of the Bride, for Christ's sake. You're no longer that wild and crazy guy with the arrow on your head. You're now that guy from Cheaper by the Dozen and that movie with Queen Latifah.

I'm sorry. I know it's your own fault, but I've read both Shopgirl and The Pleasure of My Company and still love you intensely. And I would have slugged Redhead for you if Jason had let me.

Swarmy: *tries to get his icy cold draft of Bud Lite into the promotional coozie*

Amy: *a little embarassed because she already tried that, and it didn't work*

Beer: *goes everywhere*

Swarmy: Hey there, can I grab a napkin from you?

Amy: Um. No. I need it. For. Stuff.

Next, the group started talking about some photo of Redhead when she was, apparently, all decked out in Bud Lite Ho Wear for another, more interesting event.

The word "cameltoe" was overheard. We checked out. The End.

But now? I currently posess two (2) Bud Lite/Meet the Fockers beer coozies, two (2) Meet the Fockers keychains that look suspiciously like the Star Trek logo, and three (3) Very Official & Authentic Meet the Fockers Movie Posters.

And one (1) very funny napkin of notes, in near-mint condition, except for one little part that Ceiba ate.

So to thank the good people at Anheuser-Busch for providing me with such scintillating entertainment, I'd like to help create some "buzz" for this Meet the Fockers film, because I think it's really important that we support quality cinema that may otherwise be overlooked by the Hollywood marketing machine.

Your challenge is to write the funniest damn comment involving the word "Focker," which I hear may be a small source of humor in the actual movie. From time to time. Okay, in every scene. So let's pretend we wrote the script and can make wacky Focker jokes 'til the cows come home because HA! It just never gets old.

Variations are allowed, including fock, focking and fockity. The rest is up to you. Stories, haikus, historical biography -- I really don't care. You may enter more than once, within reason. (Meaning don't make a focking nuisance of yourself.) Winners will be chosen by me and Jason will help with any tiebreakers. Prizes will be awarded as follows:

Grand Prize: The Almighty Napkin which contains AT LEAST one extra bonus joke that did not make it into the final post, one movie poster (autographed wittily by me, if you'd like, unless you hope to make millions off it on eBay), one coozie and one keychain.

Second Prize: One poster, autographed by me blah blah blah eBay, and one coozie.

Third Prize: The poster thing. Again.

Honorable Mention: A keychain. And the shame of defeat.

So get ready, get set, go fock yourselves!

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (43)

December 20, 2004

The Christmas There Was No Fresh Basil

I found out late last week that a two of my many, many siblings were going to celebrate Christmas with my parents on Saturday. Jason and I went too, as I am unable to resist the prospect of early Christmas presents and maybe somebody would remember my birthday and maybe I would get money.

I don't think I've really written much about my family -- siblings in particular. There are two reasons for this.

1) They read this site.

2) They know lawyers.

But on Saturday, I was granted special permission to write all about our day together. There are three reasons for this.

1) They were drunk.

2) They would like to be famous and have people buy things off of their wish lists.

3) They were drunk.

Jason and I arrived to a great uproar of yells and applause and hugs and it was great to bask in the love of family and blah blah blah. Except then I realized they were mostly (okay, completely) excited because:

1) Jason was carrying a TiVo box.

2) I was carrying Ceiba.

3) They were drunk.

It was one p.m. in the afternoon, people. And the Corbetts had already Gone Wild and Gone Through about two bottles of wine. Awesome.

Let me introduce the cast.

Keith, my oldest brother. We find each other to be absolutely hysterical. We were both nearly hyperventilating over a recent episode of South Park, to the point that we couldn't actually SAY any actual quotes from the show, but we both KNEW what the other was trying to say and would lose it further.

AMY, STILL GOING ON AND ON ABOUT HER DAMN UGGS: Yes, it's all very Paris Hilton.

KEITH: HEE. HEE. Stupid, hee, Spoiled.

AMY: Stupid Spoiled Whore!

KEITH: Playset!

AMY: Hee. HEE HEE HEE. Mister Slave Hee.

KEITH: A whore-off! HAAAAA. HA.

AMY & KEITH: *die of laughter*

REST OF FAMILY: *frightened and confused*

William, Keith's son, my nephew (I know!). Eleven years old and smarter than you. Maintains that Jim Carrey is NOT the right actor to play Count Olaf, just no, and that his mother is making him see Polar Express and just blech, you know? Do they sell blindfolds at the concession stands?

AMY, AT DINNER TABLE: I think I have the giggles.

WILLIAM, AT OTHER END OF DINNER TABLE: No way. We totally didn't notice.

AMY, COLLAPSING INTO FURTHER GIGGLES: Hee hee hee. William needs a blog!

Jennie, my sister. We both enjoy expensive things and she knew the instant she I handed her a Sephora gift bag that I'd gotten her the stupidly-hard-to-find Chanel lip gloss that I'd praised to the skies last Christmas but didn't know the name of, so she'd spent all year going to stores trying to find a Lip Gloss With No Name.

JENNIE: You do not even know how excited this makes me. Also, I know how much these cost and YAY.

AMY: Ha! I know. And I have like, three of them in my purse. Brat.

JASON: Wait, how much do they cost?

AMY: Um. $12?

JENNIE: Heh. You dirty liar.

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Jennie, Allie & Amy. If you are a Corbett, please insert your own "blond sandwich/windtunnel joke here because wow, those NEVER EVER GET OLD.

Jennie buys the best gifts ever, and was thrilled to learn that I still get dozens and dozens of Google search hits for "Care Bears Days-of-the-Week Thongs," which is what she got me last year.

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Jennie found Ceiba a little "naughty" tee, which everybody said was an unfair label until she pooped on the stairs.

(Confidential to Amy's Mom: Yes, Ceiba really did love that dollop of whipped cream you gave her, but by any chance do you know how many more times I need to wash my left foot that stepped in doggie diarrhea at 2:30 a.m. on Saturday night before I can feel clean again? Should I use lye?)

Then there's Cary, Jennie's husband. Dedicated Amalah.com reader, so everybody say hi. Totally wants me to upload their wedding video to the site so y'all can see me as an eight-year-old junior bridesmaid with really bad hair.

AMY, MINUTES AFTER ARRIVING: No, I swear to God, Ceiba is NOT a chihuahua, so stop calling her that.

CARY: *creeps up, hands Amy glass of wine, departs*

I gave Cary William Shatner's new album and a songbook of Christmas carols for dysfunctional families, many of which Jennie and I tried to sing during dessert but no one paid us any attention. We tried singing louder but then everybody just walked off to play with the TiVo.

Allie, the child of Jennie and Cary, who is now sixteen, despite my repeated orders for her to stop with the growing already. Properly mortified by all other Corbetts, especially the ones who are all, "Have some wine! Stay out late! Ride in cars with boys!" Her mother and her aunt may be among the people who tell her this garbage.

I got Allie a baby blue Ugg backpack for Christmas. How totally cool am I? Cool, I know. Also radical.

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Allie and I cleaned up the entire kitchen together, because it's her job at home and she's THAT GOOD OF A KID. I helped because my mom said I never cleaned up after dinner, even though it had been my job my ENTIRE LIFE and I ALWAYS DID IT, and now I was being SMEARED by my own mother at CHRISTMAS. So I got all huffy and went to load the dishwasher, because I'll SHOW THEM what a lazy teenager I am and one day I'll go blind from dishwasher detergent and THEN they'll all be sorry.

Speaking of my mom, she nearly wept with joy over her brand-new TiVo, and also her DSL. Both of which Jason had to set up for her, which meant we NEVER, EVER saw him the entire day.

AMY, THREE HOURS AFTER ARRIVING: Where's Jason?

MOM: Oh, I heard him calling the Verizon people because there was some sort of problem.

AMY: Did anyone take him up a glass of wine?

REST OF FAMILY: *horrified gasps*

AMY: I'm coming, baby! I'm so sorry! Red or white?

My mom cooked a huge meal for us, and was frantically throwing random hams into the oven at the last minute because THERE MIGHT NOT BE ENOUGH FOOD. She does this every year, and I used to laugh at her. But then I cooked several Thanksgiving and one Christmas dinners on my own and have learned that she can't help it, the oven gives off Crazy Rays to your brain that suddenly makes an 18-pound turkey not look nearly big enough to feed four whole people, so OH MY GOD I better defrost a pot roast and make another kind of salad.

MOM: I used your recipe for the potato casserole, but I didn't put the bread crumbs on top. I'm sorry.

AMY: Don't worry! I'm sure it will be just fine without the bread crumbs.

MOM: I also made coffee before you got here, but everybody drank it. I'm sorry.

AMY: It's okay! We'll kick their asses after dessert.

MOM: I can't find my wine glass markers! I've looked everywhere! I'm sorry.

AMY: Really, it's all right. I taped a big Christmas bow to Jennie's glass so she'll stop losing it. She's dumb sometimes.

MOM:  I made a tomato and mozzarella salad, but I don't have any fresh basil. I'm so sorry.

AMY: Well, now you've just totally RUINED Christmas, you know.

And my dad, who is still holding his role as Post-Christmas-Gift-Wrap-Disposal-Patrol-Dictator after all these years. Also loves his TiVo and had a CIVIL WAR Wishlist created in mere minutes. Thinks Amalah.com is the biggest possible waste of my time and talent, because y'all are just four or five dimwits who comment under different names.

AMY: Hey Dad, a literary agent emailed me. I'm going to write a book!

DAD: That's amazing! Wonderful! How did she get your email address?

AMY: Well, through the site.

DAD: *immediately suspicious that Amy has mistaken Viagra spam for a book deal*

God, I love them all so much. 

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (28)

December 10, 2004

Cheese and Cracking

I have decided that I am entirely too popular. I need to piss some people off. (Maybe you!)

I had some kind of party or get-together or gathering or box social to go to every night this week, which seriously cramps my TV-watching lifestyle. Add in the fact that my JOB is INSANE, my blogging (gah! journaling! weblogging! diarying!) lifestyle is like, dead. Waaaay down on the list of things I need to do, just below writing an angry letter to TiVo for recording fucking NORTH SHORE instead of The Apprentice because it screwed up the channels or something, which meant when I finally got home after a shindig with all my jet-setting friends last night and went to watch The Donald and I was confronted with SHANNEN DOHERTY.

(Although last night was super-fun, as it involved a lot of cheese, tequila, gossip and me schooling a group of coworkers on the term "fuck buddy.")

Still. Damn TiVo.

(Confidential to TiVo: I don't mean that! I love you! You can record tonight's repeat episode! I forgive you! Come back!)

Also, I am gaining weight like it is going out of style. Another reason I need to piss off some friends so they stop inviting me places where I can eat lots and lot of cheese.

Oh! And for the first time since the Great Amalah Brain Meltdown of 2004, there is a wee tiny chance that I could be pregnant, but I'm probably not, but I can't stop thinking that I might be, which is driving me crazy and also to tequila, but then I'm all guilty that I'll end up with a little web-footed frog baby instead of this precious little thing that makes me weep every time I look at it.

(Confidential to self: Please stop with the run-on sentences. They are called PERIODS. Use them. Love them. Because you'll probably be getting one of your very own in another week or so because YOU ARE NOT PREGNANT, YOU BITCH ASS CRAZY GIRL.)

(Confidential to all concerned readers: I'm cured! Off the Crazy Pills and into therapy where I've determined that my problems are actually emotional [whee!] and not so much with the chemical, and I was relying on the pills too much and also labeling myself as "sick" thus taking a passive role in my recovery and blah blah blah psychobabble blah. Anyway, I can safely get pregnant without giving birth to a Prozac baby, but I'm not going near the Clomid for a long, long time because DAMN, that shit messed me up and GOOD, so we're doing commando cycles with the possibility of pregnancy falling somewhere in the one in seventy gazillion chances range.)

(Again with the run-ons! I blame the cheese.)

Oh, and ask me how many Christmas gifts I have bought people. And how many cards I have sent out. If you guessed ZERO, you are correct and have won a personalized non-denominational holiday card from me, which you will receive sometime next June.

And I'm sorry for that. Except that I'm not, because I really would rather you be mad at me and stop asking me to dinner on good TV nights. But not TOO mad, for the sake of my little cheese baby, who will need gifts and things. She likes tequila.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (21)

December 06, 2004

Stupid Girl

I think I may need to follow Doxie's lead and create a category like her "Times I Fell Down." My category can be "Times I Did Stupid Things That Resulted In Injury to Myself, Or Else Just Public Embarrassment."

With that in mind, let's recap the weekend.

Stupid Thing #1

Friday night, I fell out of a cab. On the WAY to dinner, pre-wine, pre-anything. I do not know how or what or why. I just did.

Stupid Thing #2

We went to see The Incredibles on Saturday. A matinee, because we are trying to pretend that we like children.

"Kids are great! Wow, what spirit! What energy! What...brats. Shut UP, child. Why doesn't this movie theater serve beer? I'd probably like these kids if I had some beer."

Anyway. We followed the (small, screaming, monstrous) crowd into the theater and sat down. The previews were atrociously kiddified, and included a movie about a plucky zebra who wants to be a racehorse and features the voices of Snoop Dogg, David Spade and Frankie Muniz. I wish to God I was making this up.

(Although the trailer for Fat Albert made me laugh pretty damn hard, but again, I remind you that I am Very Stupid.)

ANYWAY. The movie starts, and I'm confused when we see the Nickelodeon SPLAT logo instead of the Pixar logo with the adorable desk lamp. Then there's some non-animated guy on some non-animated boat, and I'm thinking that I've been grossly misinformed about this movie.

Yet I DO NOT COMPREHEND what has happened until the fool CREDITS start rolling and we hear...

WHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO lives in a pineapple under the seeeeeeaa.....

"Grab your coat!" I hiss to Jason, "We're in the fucking Spongebob movie!"

"Shit!" He said. "What the fuck?"

(Yes, clearly we are ready to have children.)

We made it to the right theater in time, only missing part of some odd little Pixar short about a bald hopping sheep and a jackalope that may or may not have been voiced by John Goodman or by someone who really wanted to sound like John Goodman, only more cowboyish. Either way, it was weird. The Pixar people are on drugs. The end.

I can include this story in my Times I Did Stupid Things That Resulted In Injury to Myself, Or Else Just Public Embarrassment Category because this morning, while regaling a coworker with this story, I got a little too animated and did a big dramatic chair-swing at the "Jason, grab your coat!" part and smacked my knee on the side of my desk. Hard.

But I tried to act like I didn't and kept going with the story until I realized that there was blood seeping through my pants. At this point I had to admit to my coworker that I had perhaps fatally injured myself and would he please go get me a band-aid, some ice and some vodka.

Stupid Thing #3

I have seriously yet mysteriously injured my lower back. Considering that I do absolutely nothing strenuous at all, ever, I became convinced that I was dying of kidney failure.

(In my defense, I had serious Kidney Issues as a child and was forever being hospitalized with infections and blah blah increased risk of renal failure pee in this cup and allow us to insert tubes where tubes shouldn't go but it's okay because your mom is going to buy you a Pound Puppy when you get home but first let me rap you on your poor infected kidneys some more.)

(Also, WebMD is perhaps the most terrifying Web site on the planet, just behind this one.)

So I spent much of the weekend rapping on my back and moaning and preparing for death, but I'm pretty sure now that I'm going to live and that I just pulled something, most likely during sex. Sex! Hi, I am ninety years old.

Or maybe from falling out of that cab. Either way, I'm installing a damn handrail in my shower before I break a hip.

Stupid Thing #4

I clipped Max's back claws. By myself. He did not enjoy this. Ow.

Stupid Thing #5

In spite of Stupid Thing #3, I decided on Sunday night that the Old n' Busted Couch had to go. That. Very. Instant. I believe it was about 10 p.m. Someone in our building had abandoned a cheap and ugly-ass armoire on the curb, which you aren't allowed to do, otherwise Old n' Busted would have been deposited there months ago. But look! Someone else was breaking the rules! It was dark out! No one will see! Everyone will blame the armoire people! It's the perfect crime!

Perfect except for the hauling-a-big-ass-couch-down-three-flights-of-stairs-in-the-dark part. And the injured back part. But we succeeded! We have one couch and one couch only in our living room! And it only took six months!

But dang it, my back hurts. Put me in a home.

amalah: Jase?

jason: yep?

amalah: what are those things called that you plug in and they get hot?

jason: a hot plate?

amalah: no, no, you lie on them

jason: like a lie detector?

amalah: no, no, for your back! for your pain! you lie DOWN on them and they are like pads that get hot, but not those sticky ones from the drugstore.

jason: a heating pad?

amalah: right! but what are they CALLED?

jason: you know, I think I might work late tonight.

Stupid Thing #6

I let TiVo use my Tom Hanks Wish List against me and record a whole slew of Bosom Buddies episodes. This is a very, very bad show. Also stupid. Like, Zebra Racehorse Stupid.

And I laughed my fool head off and got myself a damn season pass. Help. I'm old, falling apart, senile and have horrible taste in television.

But I only have one couch in my living room. And I'm so going to get one of those heating plate pad things and then I'll be back in action and ready for my next fall down a flight of stairs, or something.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (30)

December 03, 2004

One Week

Amy’s week, as told through a series of vignettes, sentence fragments and exclamation points.

MONDAY

Hello, this is <awesome cool magazine>, we just love your site and think it would be awesome cool if you submitted an essay or two. We will pay you actual money. Let us know.

Amy: SQUEE!

Amy: <debilitating writer’s block>

Amy: SHIT!

gah-gah-gah2

Hello, this is <all your readers>, where are you? Why haven’t you written anything? Why don’t you love us? Fucking lazy bitch.

gah-gah-gah2

Hello, this is <your job, dumbass>. You really need to get a move on those eleventy hundred Special Reports that print on Friday, especially the ones you HAVE NOT EVEN STARTED ON. We pay you actual money, but only because we assume that occasionally you do actual work.

TUESDAY

Hello, this is <your hair>. I am ugly! So are you! Frizz! Frizzfrizzfrizz!

gah-gah-gah2

Hello, this is <a soon-to-be-published actual author>, I just love your site and think it would be awesome cool if you pitched a novel or two to some literary agents I know. They could give you actual fame and make all your stupid high school friends wicked jealous. Let me know.

Amy: SQUEEEEEEEE!

Amy: <panic, writer’s block, self doubt and a loss of narrative ability>

Amy: SHIT!

gah-gah-gah2

Amy: Stay away from me tonight, for I need to Write.

Jason: Bah. Boring.

Amy: I must Write! I can do this! I have talent! I have a car accident near-death experience! Comedy GOLD!

Jason: Fine. I will watch Star Trek reruns all night.

Amy: <blanks>

Jason: Are you done yet?

WEDNESDAY

Hello, this is <8:30 in the morning>. Yes, I know this is early to be at work already, but you’ll get lots done and maybe be able to leave a little early and walk your dog before it is pitch-black and all the crazy rapists are hiding in the bushes! Have a good day!

gah-gah-gah2

Hello, this is <special report #6>. Why haven’t you started writing me yet? I need to be at least 12 pages. Oh, and I need to be done before all the other special reports for some reason that is complicated. So that means tomorrow. Have a good day!

gah-gah-gah2

Phone: Ring Ring!

Amy: This is Amy.

Phone: Who?

Amy: Amy. Storch.

Phone: Nooo, I don’t think so.

Amy: Yes. Yes, I am quite sure.

Phone: Where is Betsy?

Amy: Who?

Phone: What?

Amy: There is no Betsy at this extension. There is actually no Betsy at this company.

Phone: Extension?

Amy: What?

Phone: I didn’t dial an extension. Who is this?

Amy: Amy! Amy Storch! Not Betsy!

Phone: Fine, whatever. Click!

Amy: THE HELL?

gah-gah-gah2

Hello, this <Yahoo!>. We heart Snarkywood! We will make you famous! Sorry about the whole bandwidth thing and not giving you a heads’ up about your Important Editorial Mention. But still. You rock! Meow!

gah-gah-gah2

Hello, this is <6:30 in the evening>. So much for leaving on time! So much for seeing your family ever again! So much for the Advice Smackdown, which I know you’re starting to get just the tiniest bit tired of but will hang over your head every Wednesday for the rest of your natural life! Mwa ha ha!

gah-gah-gah2

Amy: <at home, Writing feverishly>

Jason: More writing?

Amy: Cannot. Talk. Must. Give. Fake. Advice.

Jason: I want pizza. Let’s go out for pizza!

Amy: No time for food! I must Write! Am Writer!

Jason: I bet they’ll give you free wine again.

Amy: Let’s go! Pizza pizza!

THURSDAY

Amy: Today I will get to work early again! And be productive! Will make Special Reports my bitch. Bitches! Plural! Proper grammar!

Hello, this is <Ceiba>. Hi! Baby ate Kitty Kat’s food and now not feel good. Baby might need to poop. No! Need to play with sock! No! Need to poop! Here! On sock! And carpet. Wah. Is sticky.

Amy: <gets to work very late>

gah-gah-gah2

WORK WORK WORK WORK SPECIAL REPORTS WRITING WORK WORK CRY.

gah-gah-gah2

Hello, this is <your sweater>. I am so pretty and soft! But guess what! I am 10% angora which means I like to fuzz! Fuzzfuzzfuzz! All over your black pants! You look very stupid now.

gah-gah-gah2

Amy: I promised my readers that I would finish the Advice Smackdown today. But I didn’t! I must do it now! But I am tired and not creative. I suck.

Jason:  I think maybe you need to chill.

Amy: Okay. Please reheat me some stuffing.

gah-gah-gah2

Hello, this is <Ivana from The Apprentice>. I totally got my ass fired just to make your week. You are so welcome.

FRIDAY

Hello, this is <Ceiba>. Baby still pooping all sticky. Also pee! On bathroom floor for some reason. You clean up now.

Amy: <gets to work very late again>

gah-gah-gah2

Special Reports: <still not done>

Print deadline: <looming>

Writing career: <stagnating>

Entry gimmick: <wearing thin>

New black boots: <rock my world>

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (25)

November 30, 2004

The Time I Could Have Died But Didn't

On my second-to-last day of high school, I almost died.

*prepares for the inevitable "RIGHT, oh ye drama queen" eye rolls*

No, but really. I did. And it fucking changed my life.

*and here come the "You learned a lesson, isn't that fan-fucking-tastic" eye rolls*

On the second-to-last day of high school, I had two finals. English and History. I had an A in both classes, but had worked myself up into a state regardless. I was going to fail and not graduate and not be able to go to that horrible Christian college in the Midwest that I didn't yet know was horrible and my life was going to be ruined because I was going to end up at a COMMUNITY COLLEGE where I would never meet a nice Christian boy who wanted to marry me and my life would be horrible and I'd probably die alone in a maroon velour housecoat while watching the 700 Club.

And all this would happen if I got anything less than an A-minus on these finals. So I was worked. Up. Just a little.

(Obviously, this is the one part of my life that was not changed by the whole almost-dying thing, because even today? I can take two parking tickets and a bad PowerPoint presentation and map my life out from comfortable yuppiehood to crack whoredom in about five minutes.)

I took extra puffs from my rescue inhaler in the bathroom and chewed deeply on my knuckles to calm down.

In the classroom, the girl seated next to me folded her hands and bowed her head in prayer. I snorted and doodled out a list of all food products I had consumed in the last 24 hours.

And then I kicked ass on the finals. One right after another. I wrote English essays until my raw knuckles couldn't take any more and I knew every damn date of every motherfucking crusade in whatever damn century those motherfucking crusades happened in.

I was allowed to leave after my History exam, as I had a car and no real friends that I felt like goofing of in study hall with. I'd really stopped caring by senior year though. I was dating the captain of the football team at a local public school and had tons of friends there -- who needed these snooty rich kids and goody-goody church kids when I was getting to second base on a regular basis with a really hot guy?

So I left after my exam. I got in my 1988 Honda Civic sedan that was really just on-loan to me while a missionary friend of my parents was missionarying in Japan. We'd given her $1,000 towards her trip and she agreed to let me drive her car while she was away. I loved that car.

I went to the McDonald's drive-thru first -- I lived 25 miles from my little school and it was a long, boring-ass drive -- and was shocked to see one of my classmates was already manning the window.

"That history exam was freaking cake. I was done in 20 minutes," she said with a shrug.

"Yeah." I replied. I still never expressed original opinions to any of these people, ever. Even ones who worked at McDonald's.

"This way, I figure I can get off shift a little earlier." She handed me my super-sized Coke.

"You gotta study for Chem tomorrow?" I asked, and deciding to play all Happy Days/Dukes of Hazzard cool, took off my seat belt and slid out the window, sitting on the door frame.

(Which, hello, 1: proved that the only TV I was ever allowed to watch was on Nick At Nite, and 2: meant that I couldn't see my friend unless I twisted my torso awkwardly, and 3: made me look like the biggest tooliest dork ever.)

"Yeah. Study. Right." She eye-rolled and handed me the rest of my order, which I grabbed by twisting my left arm over my shoulder and then almost lost my balance while sliding stupidly back into the car.

I'd ordered some burger that was aimed at "adults" with "adult tastes" or something. The Arch Deluxe? The XXX Pounder? I forget. But I went through a phase where I always ordered it, because I bought the marketing hook, line and sinker. Although I always scraped about 99% of the crap they put on it before actually taking a bite.

I got stopped at a red light and absent-mindedly put my seat belt back on.

I drove past my school and popped in a tape. An alphabetical collection of the Beatles that I'd recorded off the oldies station during a "Beatles A-Z Weekend."

I hit fast-forward to "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds."

I hit the gas.

My bag of food fell off the passenger seat.

I reached out to stop the spill, but was too late.

I surveyed the Value Meal damage.

I looked out the windshield.

The road had curved. I hadn't. My right tires were on the grass. There was some kind of ditch. For drainage? For dumping bodies? I don't know. But it was just steep enough that my tires slipped and I couldn't correct. I couldn't get back on the road. I couldn't slow down.

shit shit shit shit shit

Then I saw it. A wall. A wall? What? A stone wall supporting a driveway over the ditch. A stone wall I was headed straight towards.

Oh my god. This is it. Is this is?

No!

I don't remember the impact. I sort of remember the sounds but mostly I remember the deathly silence that followed. The deathly silence right before I realized I needed to start breathing.

I opened my eyes. I was alive. The car was...no...let's not think about that...

I felt fine. Really, really fine.

I bet I could walk back to school and catch the bus home

So I opened the car door and tried to get out.

HOLY MOTHER OF BABY JESUS GOD I'M HAVING A HEART ATTACK. MY HEART IS ATTACKING AND THE PAIN, OH GOOD GOD THE PAIN

Then I didn't feel so fine. My chest burned and throbbed and ached and all sorts of other words the Thesaurus could supply you with. I gasped for breath and started to cry.

Which didn't help anything, as the tears just made all the blood that was gushing from above my right eye run down the side of my face.

What the fuck?

Yes. Blood. GUSHING FROM ABOVE MY EYE. BLINDING ME. WITH BLOOD. Blood that was GUSHING FROM MY OWN BODY.

"I'm hurt."

These were the first words I said out loud. I said them calmly, staring at my bloody fingertips.

Suddenly there was someone there. By my door. An elderly man. Apparently it was his driveway that I had plowed into.

"Oh my gosh, I am SO SORRY." I gasped. "I go to school down the street...if you call them they will get me and I'm sure the nurse can take care of..."

"Close your eyes," he said. "You have a really bad gash on your eyelid and your collarbone is swelling. Stay still and close your eyes. I've called 911."

*11? What? Shit. This is going to be a whole big thing now, isn't it?

"Where are my sunglasses?" I asked, but he was already running back to his house.

I opened my eyes and tried to survey the damage once again. The glove compartment was missing and the steering wheel was really close to my chest. I was soaking wet. The hell?  Every window and mirror was shattered.

My foot was stuck under the gas pedal.

Elderly Gentleman was back at my side, bearing a hand towel. He pressed it against my eyes and told me again to close them.

"I'm really sorry," I repeated.

"It's okay. Third accident since we've lived here. You're okay though. You're really okay."

We sat in silence while I bled into his guest towel. I wondered if he used the nice towels or if he knew there was a difference. I wondered if I would get out of my Chemistry final tomorrow. I wondered what my parents' missionary in Japan would say when she found out I wrecked her car.

The EMTs arrived and were openly amazed that the girl inside that crushed soda can of a car was awake and talking and insisting that they find her damn purse and also, there is a BUS at her SCHOOL and a NURSE and this is all not NECESSARY.

I barked my parent's phone number to Elderly Gentleman who said he'd call them and my school, and the thought of my bastard classmates finding out that Amy, poor, ignored, under-appreciated Amy was very nearly killed several hundred yards away made me extremely happy.

"Tell them I was bleeding!" I yelled at Elderly Gentleman as I was loaded into the ambulance. Then that heart attacky feeling came back and I gasped and flailed until they strapped an oxygen mask on me. Although it could have just been good timing, because I was sort of being a pain about the commands and WHERE THE HELL IS MY PURSE?

I passed out on the ambulance ride and woke up in the trauma center at St. Mary's Hospital (aka Our Mother of Holy Staphylococcus). They cut my clothes off (including the most adorable eyelet lace bra from Victoria's Secret that I have never forgotten and never found a replacement for) and asked if I was lying in a puddle.

"Actually, I think that's a super-sized Coke." I was coming to my senses now.

My dad arrived. My mom was at the motherfucking gynecologist getting a goddamn pelvic when he called the office in a panic. She was on her way.

"I'm so sorry about the car, Daddy."

You know when someone is crying so hard that the most they can do when they hear something absurd like that is shake their head and cry harder? That's what my dad did.

I had surgery on my eye socket which, to our best guess, was hit with the rear-view mirror and sliced up with glass from a variety of sources. The plastic surgeon who stitched me up liked to tell me how stupid Americans were for treating their children like little princes and princesses because it made them grow up weak. I was awake and disturbed by this but I knew better than to argue with a man who had several needles going through my eyelid and also controlled the morphine.

I was lucky.

I did not break a bone. My ankle and foot? That had been pinned under the gas pedal? Had actually been protected by the pedal when the front of the car crunched in. My sternum and ribs took a nasty blow from the steering wheel, but since I drive with the seat so far back from the dashboard I wasn't close enough for my ribs to be crushed. Shards of glass fell from my skin and hair for weeks but I have tiny scars that only I can make out.

I was lucky.

My car had no airbags. The entire dashboard closed in on me. The force of the impact sent the glove compartment flying into the backseat.

I had put my seat belt back on less than five minutes before the crash.

I was lucky.

I lived. I was 18 years old. My life started then.

It's been pretty good so far.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (25)

November 23, 2004

Amalah.com Has Been Named a "Best Blog" By Absolutely No One!

To: Amalah
From:
Fresh Baked
Subject: Baby Jessica part deux

Amy,

Are you dead?  Have you fallen down a well? Or are you stuck under a massive pile of work and cute-ass shoes and lattes?  Should I be alarmed?  Do you need me to sound the alarm, alerting all to your immediate assistance?

I'm just wondering.  Because you have not written a single thing in 4 days and, quite frankly, I'm bored by now of the last entry.  I did my tour of vodka this weekend.  I need something new.

I'm here! Alive and fine and kicking and etc. Apologies for not writing anything since Thursday. I did try, actually. Several times. This is about what I got down:

Friday: Workworkworkworkwork. Goddamn assistant candidate turned down my generous offer of indentured servitude. Weep. Corporate Love-Fest Rah Rah Day, complete with free pizza and a lot of new employees because other people are not so horrible as I am and can actually HIRE PEOPLE. Weep.

Saturday: In-laws. Gah. Meet our new puppy, who will not go anywhere near you except to bring you a mouthful of cat poop. She will also pee on the bathroom floor after we brag about our housebreaking brilliance. Also please ignore Amy's drinking problem and the sticky kitchen floor.

Sunday: Bye In-laws! Gah. Now must prepare for my parents' visit over Thanksgiving. Holy shit, Jason's site is in Washingtonian magazine as a Best D.C. Blog. Bastard! But also, woot. Free meals from chefs and holy FUCKING SHIT, an offer from a Big Shot D.C. Chef to PERSONALLY ARRANGE my birthday dinner next month. We're celebrities! Or Jason is, and I shall ride his coattails. Or maybe I'll submit him to Snarkywood.

Sunday Part II: Ow, my head really hurts.

Sunday Part III: OW OW OW.

Monday: Holy lord. Migraine. Death. Blinding pain. Spent the entire day hiding under my covers, trying to stay in total darkness and moaning pathetically to Jason (who has the whole week off and can be found in this month's Washingtonian magazine, in case you didn't hear). Warm soft puppy belly is actually quite nice on the temples, by the way, as long as you try to forget where her dirty, dirty feet have probably been.

Tuesday: Today! Workworkworkworkwork! Another assistant interview, although I refuse to get excited lest she break my heart like the last few. Why does no one want to work for me? I'm really quite a kick.

Jason is at home, again, although he might be out autographing Washingtonian magazines or something, because I keep pinging him to ask that he email me a bunch of photos from the camera that I wanted to post and he is ignoring me. So maybe tomorrow. I had this whole photo essay thing planned, but Mr. Best Blog of Washington is too much of a big shot now to help out with wee, modest amalah.com.

So maybe tomorrow. (Wait, I said that already.) The day my parents arrive for Thanksgiving. The day I really, really need to clean my house up by. The last day before Thanksgiving vacation and my last chance to write to the 5,094,294 people who I owe emails to and now think I am a nasty, snooty bitch who is mad at them or changed my email address and moved to Bolivia. I am not mad! At you! I am just a very, very bad friend. Really.

Also, wee, modest amalah.com will be turning one year old on Sunday. Happy birthday, little site! Why the hell aren't YOU in the Washingtonian Magazine? What? Because you suck? Oh, right.

That.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (15)

November 16, 2004

Duncity in a Time of Boredom

A collection of completely random and mostly unrelated observations/complaints/kvetchings for Tuesday because I cannot be bothered and also my new shoes are pinchy:

Oh right. The new shoes. I don't know why the Internet cares so much, but pictures were demanded of the new shoes. Whatever. Y'all need a hobby. I hear knitting is pretty fun!

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The new shoes are from BCBG, just like the Sparkly Stilettos of Death, because I have learned Nothing.

Also, it is very hard to take a flattering picture of your own feet that doesn't make your calves look elephantish and overly stout.

Gahgahgah_1

The Notify message for yesterday's entry arrived in my Inbox at 10 a.m. this morning. That would be (for those of you playing along at home) more than 19 hours after I actually sent it via the NotifyList site. This beats the previous NotifyList Record for Slow As Shitness by a good 11 hours. So congratulations, Fucking Notify (tm Doxie), you have risen to new levels of Suck. Let's see how long this record holds.

Gahgahgah_1

The bathroom at work smells like oranges. And not like orange air freshener or tile cleaner. Actual oranges. Like someone peeled and ate an orange while on the toilet. This is disturbing me.

Continuing with the smelly theme, the elevator I rode down on at lunch smelled like cigarette smoke, and the elevator on the way up smelled like green onions.  My office smells like white-out, and I smell like flowers. Pretty ones.

Gahgahgah_1

I would also like to brag that I am wearing a SIZE TWO skirt today. SIZE TWO. Which is only two letters off from twee, which is how I feel. And I am really only barely sucking in and the mark the waistband is leaving on my skin is really not that noticable at all.

As a reward for my tweeness I am eating a cheeseburger for lunch. I will neither confirm nor deny the presence of french fries. I will simply use more white-out to mask any scent of golden crunchy deliciousness.

Gahgahgah_1

Speaking of the Diarist Awards, did you know that the finalists have been announced? No? Well. They have. That's all I'm going to say about them, and I will provide links to both the site award finalists and the individual entry award finalists as a public service only and for no other reason at all.

(But seriously, there are some great sites and entries that you should check out and vote for them because I really heart them all and I have nothing but blind hate for myself and my bloated french-fry-eating ass.)

Diarist Site Awards Finalists

Diarist Entry Awards Finalists

So go vote! Because if you don't? P. Diddy will kill you.

(And thanks for nominating me, yo. And for nominating my truly deserving and brilliant peeps Miss DoxieColeen, Mir, Chiara, and Snarkywood.)

(And all praise for Snarkywood must go to Martha and Lauren who are really the funny ones and have been carrying me for months because they are too nice to tell me that I suck.)

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (19)

November 15, 2004

Of Shoes and Duncity

There is not a made-up screamy-type word with enough vowels out there to adequately describe how stressed out I feel right now.

AAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaeeeeeeeeeeEEEEiiiiiiiiiiiiaaaaaaaaa!

Nope. Not even close.

There is Much Work To Be Done and Little Motivation To Be Had. I spent most of Friday writing a Big Ass Document but then accidentally closed it without saving it because I thought Document 7 was a stupid-lame entry I'd started, but no. That was Document 12. Document 7 was Big Ass Document. Documents 8 through 11 were blank, and Document 6 was nothing but my spelling cheat-sheet full of words I'd typed to see if the spellchecker thought they were correct. Or if they were even actual words.

(Friday's words included concomitant, exacerbate and duncity.)

(Duncity, while not an actual word, is the state of being a dunce and/or behaving in a dunce-like manner. Feel free to use it in a sentence today.)

So I lost all my worky work on Friday. I had no time to redo it either, as it was one of my bestest coworker's last day with our company. She got a job as the Boss of Everything Important at a Very Important and Famous Place and we had a little party for her so I couldn't redo my work; I had a company obligation to go socialize and eat cheese puffs and copious amounts of ranch dip. And also to sulk, because I am going to miss her.

We took her out after work too. And that evening can be summed up in three words: Caramel. Apple. Tini.

The weekend was quiet and sleepy, except for Saturday night, which was an experiment in terror.  First, we got the cab driver from hell who made me totally carsick. Then we got stuck in massive Tony Blair-related traffic. Then I sliced my finger open on the paper covering our table and bled all over the white tablecloth. Then I ordered the nastiest tasting wine ever that made me lose faith in Sauvignon Blanc. Then the restaurant's bathrooms flooded.

Then we left, and as Jason ran to hail a cab I fell off my shoes and down some steps. Yes.

The ankle strap on my sparkly stilettos slipped and I fell down the stairs onto the sidewalk outside the restaurant, where about 20 people were present to shriek, "OH MY GOD ARE YOU OKAY? THAT LOOKED REALLY BAD! ARE YOU ALL RIGHT ETC. ETC.?"

I mumbled to the assembled crowd that I was fine and then tried to act natural and loudly remark to Jason that I'd only had one glass of wine and it was my shoes! My shoes! It was not the fault of my own clumsy drunk ass! It was not duncity! It was the SHOES!

Anyway, I hurt my wrist and managed to bruise and scrape the hell out of the top of my left foot, which makes no sense as I fell off my right shoe and fell backwards, not forwards.

But looking back, it was good that I fell, because that eased my heartbreak when I discovered later that Ceiba had decided to seek vengeance on the offending shoe. She completely destroyed it which necessitated the purchase of new shoes, which I got yesterday and which are even taller than the Shoes of Injury. But they are a pump, not a sandal so therefore? Totally different and practical. I am wearing them right now and have only sort of tripped on the carpet once but it didn't count because no one saw. Anyway, they are beautiful Pointy Shoes of Death and if Ceiba chews on them I shall skin her and make two very small fur mittens.

(Also, extra special love to Hilldery, who got me a tape of last week's Lost episode, and also to Modest Mouse, who are the type of band that makes me a little sad that I did not decide to be a professional groupie muse person when I grew up.)

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (15)

November 10, 2004

A Little Cop-Out

Oh my GOD y'all. What a day. What a fricking freaking fucking day.

I have a cold that will not quit, a sinus headache and a hacking cough like my three-packs-a-day uncle. Who died. And who I just made up because I couldn't think of anything and I needed a simile. I also stepped on my dog this morning and dropped the can opener on my cat. Then I ruined my Spiga shoes by spilling a gingerbread latte on them.

Then? When I went to write today's entry? I had this great idea to do a Drunk Amy Retrospective. Links to my drunk posts and a series of vignettes about Things Amy Has Done While Drunk And Found Out About Later. It was going to be brilliant. And then I looked at the calendar.

Wednesday. Shit.

So I compiled all of this week's Advice Smackdown questions, which were all wonderful, but I just wasn't feelin' any of them. Or even feeling them. Everything I wrote was just blah blah lame lame jump the shark blah. I just wasn't up for the hair advice as I had the worst stringy flat frizzy hair day ever today, combined with winter-onset dry skin and two nasty premenstrual zits. (Just except for the actual "premenstrual" part, as I STILL DO NOT OVULATE OR MENSTRUATE BECAUSE MY OVARIES ARE RETARDED.)

So I hope no one needed really urgent advice this week, because I suck. I also look as shitty as I feel if that's any comfort.

And now? I have just finished watching A Little Princess, which I TiVo'd last week and have been waiting for Jason to work late or go see strippers some night so I could wallow in my little-girl-sappiness. (Me: "But it was directed by Alfonso Cuaron! Who did Y tu Mama Tambien! With the threesome! So it's cool!" Jason: "Whatever.")

And lord, I cried like a baby. Full-on heaving sobbing with hiccups and tears and runny eye makeup. (Waterproof my ASS, Loreal.) It was the best cry ever. Even better than Steel Magnolias with Sally Field crying in the cemetery just before Olympia Dukakis is all, "Hit [Shirley Maclaine]!" and they all start laughing through the tears which is Dolly Parton's favorite emotion.

That scene doesn't hold a fucking candle to the end of A Little Princess. See, she's all hungry and tired from being a servant and she recognizes her father but he doesn't remember her because he has amnesia from the nerve gas from the war and Sara is all "PAPA! PAPA!" and sobbing and then the police drag her away in the rain and then that mystical Indian dude is all "SCHWAA WAA WAA WHAMMY" and her father is like, "SHIT!" and runs outside and screams "SARAAAAA!" just as the police are taking her away and the evil school mistress is all, "Fuck." and then they all hug and are crying and happy and wah.

It was awesome. I think I might watch it again.

So there's really no way I can do an Advice Smackdown in this schmoopy sappy state. I have absolutely no edge tonight. I really would just like to tell you stories about magic and how all people are good and all girls are princesses and la la la.

And y'all would just fucking hate that. So piss off. Til tomorrow, anyway.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (19)

November 09, 2004

Blah De Bloo Blah Crap Entry

So I'm pretty much all moved into the (new!) (window!) office. I still need pictures hung up on the walls and for some reason I don't have a name plate outside my door like everyone else. Maybe I'm not really here. Am an illusion!

It's actually quite cozy in this office. I have lots of plants and pictures and sensual mood lighting and Muppet finger puppets and such.

And yes, I can keep plants alive. I'm really good with plants, just not plants with flowers. I kill flowers. But I grow absolutely indestructible green leafy plant things.

Jason grows orchids and does surprisingly well with them. What a weird, mixed-up household we have.

I also managed to snag a second guest chair, so now I can have two people visit at the same time. I don't think I've ever had two people visit at the same time, but maybe that was just because I didn't have a chair. Dude, it's a paradox.

I still wouldn't advise anyone to sit in my second guest chair though. The first chair I stole had a broken wheel, so I snuck it back and took another one. This one has two broken wheels. I've just kept it as a reminder that office crime never pays.

(I actually did have two special guests stop by yesterday, though not at the same time. Both were amalah.com readers, including this guy, and they both commented on the new! window! office! and totally put the exclamation points in when they said it. Love.)

Oh! And for everybody who said they liked my shoes in yesterday's post? They are from J. Crew. Jason bought them for me as a Christmas gift. Yes. He picked them out and he knows my shoe size. Yes, he also grows orchids. And yes, he has a brother but he's married. So stop asking.

Last night, I had a dream that I had the best idea for a post but didn't write it down and forgot it. This morning I woke up and tried to remember what the idea was but couldn't remember. Freaky.

I'm pretty sure it wasn't this post though.

Damn. This post is horrible. There's really no way to save it, either. Maybe a dog photo?

Img_1479

No? Shit. Okay, how about a Name the Planty Plants Contest? (Basically I'm stooping to anything that will get me nice comments instead of "u suck! and have ADHD! shut Up u whore!")

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This is spider plant #1. She is a girl because she has wee babies. She likes pina coladas and getting caught in the rain. She would like to make it clear that she does not like spiders and really wants a new name.

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This is spider plant #2. He is a boy because he has no babies and leaves the toilet seat up. He likes participating in Civil War re-enactments but is frightened of the ghostly neck and hand that always seem to float just outside the window.

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This is tree thing. I got it at Ikea for $5.99 and have no idea what it is. Or whether or not it can be trusted. So far it seems to like water and dirt but not much else.

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This is fake bamboo thing. He came from Target and used to hang on the wall of my old! windowless! office! Every night, he wishes upon a star to become a Real Plant. One time a big mean Siamese cat got a hold of him and chewed on his leaves and very nearly killed him. He's had a tough life. Won't you make it easier by giving him a name?

Img_1572

This is fake grass thing. He also came from Target. He even has fake water and sand but that still doesn't help him overcome his poor self image. Because face it, he looks like a rubber Chia Pet and that makes him very sad. He likes getting knocked over onto people's laps while they sit in my guest chairs because they think he's real and scream sometimes.

So there. Pick out names for them. The winners will get...something. Perhaps a wee spider plant baby. Or a pony!

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (23)

November 05, 2004

The Great Office Packing Diary

So right after yesterday's post, four amazingly wonderful things happened:

  1. Jason called to inform me that the gingerbread lattes are back at Starbucks.
  2. My mom emailed to inform me that she just ran into the Captain at the grocery store last week and he is fat.
  3. I re-Googlestalked him and found a photo of him AND his wife, and they are both hideous looking and lame.
  4. THEN Typepad updated its postie interface and now includes spellcheck (thank the good Lord in heaven), colors, bullets and (duh) numbering. WYSIWYG in the hizzouse!

I could very much die happy right now, but I think I'll wait until I have a latte first.

I also have so much else to live for! Like moving to my (new!) (window!) office! I'm supposed to be packing right now. I am procrastinating.  Instead...

Look! Double-jointed fingers! Aren't they cool?

Img_1547 Img_1550 Img_1551

OK, time to pack. Packpackpack.

11:02 a.m. Stare very hard at orange crates. Wish for Jedi powers. Pout.

11:03 Get IM from Kristie re: gingerbread lattes. Mutual online drooling commences.

11:05 Drag empty crate to desk. Get wedged between wall and full heavy crate.

11:08 Years of playing tetris have done NOTHING for me. NOTHING.

11:11 Full crates out in hallway. Empty crates by desk. Open desk drawer.

11:12 Change mind, decide to pack old Wall Street Journals instead.

11:14 Should really recycle them, but then what would I use as a prop to look smart and informed? The talking Pets.com puppet?

11:15 Wrap Pets.com puppet in protective layer of Barron's and put in crate.

11:22 This is so boring. Pack space heater, fan, extra Gladware containers.

11:23 Bookends, oatmeal, peanut butter, honey and two boxes of teabags.

11:24 Also a rolodex. Did not know I owned a rolodex. Scan for celebrity names. None.

11:25 Bah.

11:27 Time to pack top desk drawer of mystery. Tremble with anticipation over what will be found next.

11:28 Christmas cards, a ruler and file folder labels.

11:29 An autographed photo of Judith Light.

11:30 Paystubs dating back to 2001.

11:31 Wow, I've made money. Where did it all go? Oh. Right. The shopping.

11:32 A package of dried ancho chiles. OK, that's even weird for me.

11:33 Seven dayplanner pages; January 14-21, 2003. I went to the dentist on the 16th and had a meeting re: feasibility reqs 4 site enhance on the 19th. I hope it went well.

11:37 Thirty-five pages from my cat-a-day calendar that I have saved for some reason. Awww. Kitties. Squishy. Put in crate.

11:38 An OCD self-assessment worksheet, folded meticulously; not filled out.

11:41 Jackpot! A monster stash of napkins, salt, pepper and plastic cutlery.

11:43 A Pillsbury promotional recipe book for the holidays. Awesome. Just in time.

11:44 Canadian nickels, band-aids and a spare roll of scotch tape.

11:45 Chocolate-covered espresso beans. Buzzbuzzbuzz! Also eyeglass cleanser.

11:47 Hairbrush, lint roller, chap stick and hand lotion. Time to primp.

11:52 Supremely bored. Check email. Mom is yelling because I voted for Kerry; the JLB is singularly obsessed with finding gingerbread lattes; someone joined my notifylist.

11:56 There is free pizza in the kitchen, but am supposed to interview an editorial assistant candidate any minute. Would it be bad to eat pizza during interview? Am starving.

11:57 Shit, I've got actual real-life WORK to do too. Editing and whatnot. Print deadlines and the like.

11:59 A card from Jason, a note from Mir and four thank-you cards I meant to send to wish-list gift givers.

12:01 Fuck the interview. Am getting pizza.

12:35 So okay, the INSTANT I got pizza it was interview time. But then my friend Sprocketeer was here with her brand new baby girl and I had to hold her and smell her head and then my coworker was all, "Amy, interview. Now. Put baby down" and I had to fly into my office holding a plate of cold pizza and shake hands with assistant candidate who probably thinks I am a crazy insane person who keeps dried ancho chiles in her desk.

12:37 (It was one of those interviews where halfway through I stopped quizzing her about herself and starting pitching the company and the position as the best thing ever and you totally want this job and oh my god, please work for us please please please.)

12:39 Am shill. Also cold pizza rules.

12:51 Since I figured some of you would totally think I am lying, I took a picture of just some of the stuff I found in my drawer.

Img_1552

Clockwise, from the thing on the wall: UPS delivery notice from 8/9/04, a lid for a Gladware container sans actual container, 35 cat calendar pages, cold pizza (from kitchen, not from drawer), lint roller, eyeglass cleaner, honey, small moldable snowman, dried ancho chiles, Christmas cards, stack o' paystubs, Judith Light.

12:57 More scotch tape and JCon swag. The hell?

1:00 Oh SHIT. That thing that I was supposed to fill out and give to that guy like, ages ago. Shit. Does he even work here anymore?

1:12 There is just Too Much Crap. Am going to drown in the Crap.

1:14 My calculator! Whee!Was wondering where that went.

1:17 Apparently my new desk is already in my new (window!) office. Yay!

1:31 OK, so I can only accomodate very skinny guests. Desk is huge and mammoth. Problem could be solved if I had them turn the desk to face the other direction but then people in the hallway can see my monitor. So no. Lose weight or just talk to me from the doorway.

1:33 From under the desk: more paystubs, three Sephora bags and that black jacket I thought my drycleaner stole.

1:34 Unpaid parking ticket, second notice. Shit.

1:36 A book of...poetry? Seriously, the hell? Am I accidentally packing up someone else's office?

1:39 Look at all the progress!

Img_1554_1

1:41 Look at all the crap!

Img_1555_1

1:46 The desk might still be covered, but at least all the drawers are empty.

1:47 Except for...

1:47.4837 SHIT!

1:48 Goddamn motherfucking cockshit drawer with all the pens and rubber bands and whatever.

1:52 Holy hell. I have a print deadline in an HOUR. AN. HOUR.

2:05 Stupid corkboard with all the stupid thumbtacks is so boooooooring.

2:15 You know what is not boring though? Crate races.

Img_1556_4

We had a drag race in the widest hallway; Print Team vs. eComm Team. VP Mike and I were the Print Team Racers and we done SCHOOLED them eComm people. We kicked their asses and GOOD.

2:38 Am feeling a little seasick right now though.

2:45 Am in full "throw everything into crates with reckless disregard for breakables or spillables" mode. Finally, some progress!

2:47 Ew. What the hell is all over the inside of my minifridge? There's black sludge everywhere.

2:50 That looks like a "Monday" clean-up job to me.

2:51 If anyone would like to know what soups are being served at Panera, just ask me, for I have a schedule.

2:57 All sorts of ink-related nastiness in the bottom of my pen holder.

3:00 Print deadline! Bah! Another secret stash of Post-its! Am crazy Post-it Girl! Give me some candy!

3:05 Holy shit, y'all. I think I'm done. DONE!

Img_1557_1

Four hours, seven crates, 12 labels and seventeen bazillion pens and paper clips later, I am done. And I am so glad I'm leaving this office, because Christ, it's FILTHY. Am not a grown-up at all; am a little messy girl who never cleans her room but just shoves stuff in drawers or under the bed.

Or in big orange moving crates. And small Starbucks bags.  Whatever.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (22)

November 04, 2004

About a Dog

It’s raining today, which means my leg hurts. Or aches. Or throbs. It’s hard to describe.

And no, I never broke it and I don’t have arthritis and I can’t predict the weather with it like a trick thumb or something. (Though I do have double-jointed fingers, which are really cool and also disgusting.)

The story of my leg goes back to high school (at least for this story, anyway, as I believe my leg was present some time before high school as well), when I was dating the captain of the football team at a school that was not mine.

(My school didn’t have a football team. There was soccer, but only if no one lost the school’s one ball, and we just used kindergartners for goal posts.)

The Captain of the Football Team went to a big and gorgeous high school with cheerleaders and art class and a Glee Club. I really meant to write a story about him for the Many Loves of Amalah series that I started and then abandoned when someone distracted me by jangling their shiny, pretty keys. It would make a really good story, except that I’d be super-torn about linking to the photo I found while Googlestalking him, because it is HILARIOUS. There's bad hair and a gut and everything. Google jackpot, for real. I also found his harrowing testimony about finding Jesus and repenting from a life of sin at the bitter age of five.

Let’s just say, Captain of the Football Team ended up becoming someone who would do shit like this.

(I was a little bummed that I wasn’t mentioned in his testimony as I was responsible for many, many sins.)

ANYWAY. Captain’s family big German Shepherd named Duke. Duke was big and scary. And did I mention big?

He was big.

The first time I met Duke I backed away and hid behind Captain. (Not that I was being a chicken, but this was also the first time I met Captain’s mom and she was also scary.)

Captain’s Family: Don’t be scared! Duke is a sweetie!

Amy: Am not scared! Am just…enjoying the feel of the carpet in this other room.

Captain: Duke is my boy, my good good boy, aren’t ya fella, good boy!

Captain's Mom: Duke is a baaaaaaaaby. He would never hurt a fly. He’s a big old chicken.

Amy: Okay, will tap him gently on head so y’all shut up now.

Captain's Mom: Also? I hate you.

Amy: What?

Captain's Mom: What?

Captain: Good good buddy boy!

So that’s how I met Duke, the gentle giant, the wussy wolf, the sweetest dog ever.

Liars. Dirty stinking fundamentalist Baptist liars.

After Captain and I got serious, he offered to give me one of his football jerseys so I could wear it to his games. And anywhere else that I wanted to be identified as the girlfriend of a football player. Which was everywhere.

So one night I drove to his house to pick him up and bring him back to my house, because that’s where the Approved Parental Chaperones would be for the evening. (Captain did not have a car, but sometimes got to use his parent’s minivan, but most of the time they said no so I ended up hauling his ass all over creation which pissed off my mom but didn’t bother me at the time because I was in lurvvvve.)

(*gasps for breath after that long-ass sentence*)

He came out to the car, sans the jersey he had been promising me for weeks.

Amy: JERSEY!

Captain: D’oh! Be back in a jiffy.

(Yes, he really said stuff like jiffy.)

Amy: *sits in car*

Captain: *is taking a really long time*

Amy: *has to pee, like she always does whenever she is further than 10 feet from the nearest bathroom*

Amy: *decides to run in to pee*

Duke: BARK BARK BARK BARK

Amy: *calls out* Duke is my boy, my good good boy, Amy’s good boy who she pretends to like…

Amy: *opens door*

Duke: INTRUDER ALERT KILL KILL KILL

And with that, Duke attacked me. I was wearing shorts and he went right for my thigh. He latched onto my flesh and shook his head violently, enough to knock me off my feet and onto the ground. I remember throwing my hands over my face. I remember him releasing his jaws only to bite me again as I tried to slide away.

Then the damn dog sniffed me. And remembered me. And started to cry and lick my arm.

Did you ever have a nightmare where you’re trying to scream but no noise comes out? The takedown to the floor knocked the wind out of me, and the shock and pain and bloodbloodblood left me gasping. I tried to call for Captain and couldn’t even whisper, so I ended up just curled up in a little bleeding ball in the tile foyer.

Captain came downstairs, freaked out, carried me to the kitchen and handed me a box of band-aids.

BAND. AIDS.

Captain: We really need to leave. My parents will kill me if they find out we were alone in the house.

Amy: *bleeds*

Captain: Why didn’t you stay in the car?

Amy: *sees pretty colors*

Captain helped me back to my car and handed me the keys. I drove back to my house while he alternated between apologies and chastising me for being so stupid.

Captain: Didn’t you hear him barking?

Amy: Dude, all dogs bark. My dog barks. My dog sounds like she’ll rip out your spinal cord as you walk up our driveway but then rolls over the minute you walk in the door.

Captain: Well, Duke is different.

Amy: Duke? The baaaaaaby? The dog I am stupid for being scared of?

Captain: Well, yeah. He’s got this…territorial thing.

Amy: *wishing she dated that nice boy at school who keeps all the prescription painkillers in his locker*

Captain: You’re kind of the third person he’s bitten. Which is why you can’t tell anyone about this.

Amy: *haaaaaaaaaate*

When I got home, Captain seriously tried to downplay the injury in front of my parents. It’s a scratch! A flesh wound! Duke was just playing! Haaaa, funny, right?

Amy’s Dad: I am going to kill you. Kill!

Amy’s Mom: See? This is why you need to date a boy who has his own damn car.

Needless to say, I ended up in the emergency room later that night. I had a lot of cuts and deep puncture wounds that wouldn’t stop bleeding and a fever and a bad case of shock. I had to give the hospital the name and address of the Captain so the Health Department could issue them a warning or something.

Amy: Oh shit, am I going to get my boyfriend’s dog put to sleep?

Social Worker: Oh no, not because of one bite. It takes three attacks before we’ll destroy an animal. This dog hasn’t bitten anyone else, right?

Amy: Oh shit.

Turns out, the first two people Duke bit never reported the attacks, since they were also Big Strapping Football Players who did not feel “pain” or “whatever.” They also may have weighed as much as Duke, which was an advantage I did not have.

So Duke was fine. Captain’s family got a call from the Health Department to verify that Duke didn’t have rabies or anything, which was like, soooooo totally my fault and dude, what a BITCH I was. Captain’s dad called my mom soon after.

Captain's Dad: So. How’s the bite?

Amy’s Mom: Well, if you mean those mosquito bites she got last weekend, those are fine. If you mean the HUGE GAPING HOLE IN HER LEG, that’s not so good.

Captain's Dad: Hmmpf. Maybe she shouldn’t have walked in the house.

Amy’s Mom: Maybe you shouldn’t have told her your dog was a big softie with teeth made of marshmallows gumdrops.

Captain's Dad: I suppose we should offer to pay for her medical bills.

Amy’s Mom: *waits for the offer*

Captain's Dad: Well?

Amy’s Mom: You know what? We’re fine. No thanks.

Captain's Dad: OK then! Goodbye! Peace in Christ!

Amy’s Mom: *censored*

Oh the plus side, I had a really bitching wound for awhile. And it was still warm out so I could wear shorts and show it off. Captain bought me things and was not a total asshat about it afterwards, although he did tell me that it "hurt him" when I told everybody we met about how his dog bit me and he "felt bad."

But now? Ew. I still have these weird scars from the bite and from where the puncture wounds didn’t close up right. My veins were damaged and I have a cluster of old-lady varicose veins right where Duke’s bottom jaw clamped on. And my whole thigh sort of throbs when it rains.

I'd take a picture of it but even I have some sense of Internet decency. Maybe tomorrow I'll show you my double-jointed fingers. Right now I'm off to Google the Pennsylvania Health Department's Animal Bite Division to see if it's too late to sue for laser surgery.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (19)

November 03, 2004

Morning After

Amy-

Some of your posts can get quite dangerous, have you ever considered using a stunt double?

-Stu

Advice column? Today? Are you drunk?

Or just from Ohio?

(This may be one of those posts where I should use a stunt double, because it's all politicky and I am not a politicky person and will probably piss people off and get stuff thrown at me.)

So apparently, Jason and I made a little wager last night. If Bush won, he was allowed to go buy a Mazda Miata, which he wantswantswants and I'm all, moneymoneymoney. Also fucking Ford Focus which is not paid off and is worth a teeny weeny fraction of what we actually owe on it. But! If Bush won, he could buy it because...well, I forget why.

I also forget what I was supposed to get if Kerry won. I really need to not make wagers while drunk. I suck at them.

Anyway.

But whatever. I'm not sobbing, I'm not distraught, I'm not shaking my fist at the heavens in self-righteous rage. Frankly? Kerry never impressed me much. I never really got how he was going to fix everything. Or anything, really. And while I certainly think Bush has made an assload of mistakes, I could never get behind the whole "anybody but Bush" thing. No, not anybody. Let's get someone better. We deserve to set our sights that high.

But no, we got Kerry. The most milquetoast of the candidates, mostly because Dean scared us by actually displaying a personality and some passion and made a funny screaming noise. McCain didn't have the balls to break from his party and Edwards was too young and Al Sharpton was a sideshow and blah blah blah.

We got Kerry, another silver spoon Yalie with a connected family and the secret Skull & Bones handshake and an heiress wife who comes across as only slightly more grounded than Paris Hilton. Meh.

We got Kerry, so now we've got Bush. The end. In four years we can try again. Will Bush make some mistakes before then? Of course. But we aren't headed towards World War III or a complete economic meltdown and we've proven ourselves to be extremely capable of homophobia and intolerance and hate without help from the President, thank you very much.

We've got Bush. And we'll be okay, really. Not great, but okay.

And maybe in four years we'll get a presidential candidate who is better than Bush. Someone who is not just okay, but who is great. 

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (26)

November 02, 2004

ON THE BRINK OF GREATNESS AND ALSO VOMITING

Y'ALL Y'ALL Y'ALLK

Hi, am drunk. Election Day Drunk, an American tradition or whatever. Jason and I left work around 3:30 to go vote, and there was no line so we voted and then got margaritas. And have been drinking ever since. WHEEEE.

Jason is fuckinhg watching STAR TREK y'all. And he voted for BUSH. And is watching STAR TREK. And is making fun of me for voting for kerry and reminding me that I am registered Republican which is true but shhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

HOLY FUCK STAR TREK IS CREEPY SOMETIMES.

I just got off the phone qwith Coleeen who is also drunk and also yelling at Jason to shut the fuck up about Bush leading in Florida. I told her I was going to drunkpost as I was falling off the bed so she says hi and you all look pretty.

My dog is wearing a Livestrong bracelet around her neck and an "I VOTED" sticker on her butt., It is cute. Haaaa.

Jason just says he is drunk. Am shocked. Shocked!

And now hje's going to play a Star Wars Playstation game becasue he is a LAME DRUNK REPUBLICAN. And yet I would still totally have sex with him right now because he is so hot.

b ah bah bah bah bah bah bah bha

(That's the Star Wars music.)

Oh my god, y;all, my dog! Is so cute. And I don;t. Like. Dogs. Even now. I meet other dog owners and they're all, "Oh my god your dog is so cuuuute! Squeeeeee!" And I'm all, "Yeah, your dog smells and his fur is all pee stained near his ass. Ew."

But I love Ceiba. SAY-bah. That's how you say it. Like A-MA-LAh. Long A, like Amy. MUH. LAh. Not ahMAAAlah like I know all of you say it. Even my mom says it wrong! Wah. So come ON, you stupid people with the pronunciation issues. aaaaaaaa- muh-laaaaa, bizzitch.

(Jason sucks at video games when drunk. hehhhhh.)

But! My dog! Is so bad. She's horrible. She's like barking right now which is like yip yip yip huff huff and I can't get her to stop because she doesn't respexct my authoritaaay. She also has a rash and eats cat poo at every occascion. But! So wee.

Shit, she has dragged a pair of my underwear into the living room and is chewing on them. They are the Sunday Care Bears days of the week thongs with Cheer Bear on them. That is gross but also funny.

Ok, Jason is all about his video game so I have to go upstair to check if our country is going to hell in a handbasket or if it's going to hell in a handbasket.

Because there is no fucking difference y';all,/ there I said it! cRUcify me. Bah. Everybody sucks. Jon Stewart for President. Like, for real.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (24)

Voting Is More Fun Than Reading This Site

Blah blah bliddity dee vote vote cakes or P. Diddy will kill you etc.

I tried to vote this morning, but the line was two hours long. And the line at the nearest Starbucks was even longer. So no. Later. Promise. Because D.C. three electoral votes are going to decide the election this year! I can feel it! We sort of matter!

Actually, the only real influence Washington, D.C. has on the presidential election is the Washington Redskins Factor. If the Skins win their last home game before the election, the incumbent gets re-elected. If they lose, the challenger wins.

Green Bay totally spanked the Skins on Sunday. SPANKED.

So since I watched the game with extra intense patriotic interest, I feel I have already done my civic duty.

Gahgahgah

I spent most of the weekend pretending not to be sick. And then I spent most of yesterday pretending not to be sick at work. And eating leftover Halloween candy. But that’s besides the point.

But since I have no point, I will just tell you about my hair.

I did not cut it all off. I got a trim. See? Long and flowy and hippie-like:

Front:

Img_1496

Back:

Img_1513

Very exciting.

Gahgahgah

Later, we took Ceiba to the park for her first leash-free experience.

Img_1527Img_1525_1Img_1522

Also very exciting.

Gahgahgah

(Y’all, I am CRANKY today. I mean, I must be. This is the worst entry ever.)

Gahgahgah

I think I know why I’m cranky. Somebody switched my office phone last night. I was hoping to get a new phone for my new (WINDOW!) office.

I came in this morning and had a new phone, but it’s an OLD new phone. Like, even older than the one I had before. The speed-dial labels were done on a typewriter. And there’s a big ugly sticker on the handset with the number for our company security pager.

What the hell is the security pager? Who exactly does it page? Is that the number I call the next time I fire an assistant so a big burly security guard will rush in and escort her out? That would be cool. Except that we only have a security guard after 6 p.m. and he’s quite old and feeble.

Anyway. I hate this phone. It’s ugly. It is seriously labeled “Classic Lucent.” Classic meaning Old n’ Busted Piece of Shit, apparently.

It’s ringing. I am so not answering it until someone brings me some disinfectant for the handset.

Gahgahgah

I neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed an assistant, y’all. We got turned down by our one smart and human candidate. And yet on Friday in the Big Ass Meeting, I decided to talk a lot and suggest all sorts of brilliant ideas that mean tons more work for Amy. I really need to just wear my 15 pieces of flair and shut the fuck up sometimes.

So seriously? Any editorial assistants out there want a job? Entry to junior level? You get your own office? And there’s always a lot of candy around? And you could work for me, Special Mystery Guest Advice Columnist and VP Mike?

I bet they’d give you a new phone, too. Which I would promptly steal from you.

Gahgahgah

AND FINALLY…

I present The Bold & the Bloglicious Election Spectacular, which makes about as much sense as Ralph Nader.

Part 37: Vote or Die(t)!

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (14)

October 29, 2004

Spazzy

A Big Author is coming to the office today, and I must pretend to be a Real Editor.  Who can like, write and shit. Also spell. And I must do all of this with a throat that is all but swollen shut for some reason.

But I'm wearing my lucky Pink shirt, complete with Jason's cufflinks, because they cost more than mine. I shall be brilliant and together and financially savvy and I won't get the S&P 500 mixed up with the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Again.

But all this professionalismissitude means that I won't be around today to write that totally brilliant and hilarious entry that I totally meant to write today. Oh man, it's such a shame. You would have loved it.

So instead, why don't y'all just check out the archives and then discuss how much better this site used to be in the old days, when I actually put effort into things instead of just sitting down at the keyboard and writing really, really long run-on sentences about my hair. Which is very FRIZZY today and not professional and I hate it. I'm getting it cut tomorrow. Perhaps I shall hack it all off.

Dun dun DUN! There's a little mystery for the weekend. Will Amy cut her hair super short? Or will she just get a trim? And what about the bangs? WHAT ABOUT THE BANGS?

(I've always wanted to do a weekend cliffhanger post. I'm not sure this is what I had in mind.)

My throat hurts. I think I might be running a wee temperature.

Big Author gets here in 45 minutes. I need to pull it the fuck together. And put my hair up in a professional matronly bun or something.

Oh! Jason sent me flowers this week? Because he likes to make the husbands of my friends look bad? And the bouquet has sunflowers and these weird little yellow chili pepper things. Which are very cool, but they look DELICIOUS, because I love chili peppers. Can I eat them? Are they poisonous? Is Jason trying to kill me with irresistable foliage of death?

I am so, so hungry. I also forget what I was talking about. I also am very nervous about Big Author all of a sudden and am too paralyzed with fear and hunger to get my damn notes together or find a pen that doesn't have teeth marks all over it to take to the Big Meeting.

I'm really not drunk. I swear. This is just Amy in High-Pressure Situations. I'm really quite a pain in the ass, especially when the nervous tics start up because I tap things and make softly annoying tapping sounds. I also have to pee a lot.

(There's a frightening and growing number of coworkers who read this site, and yet this does not stop me from sharing all this information. I am clearly deranged. Coworkers? If you see me today? Please give me a hug and tell me I look pretty and that I'm totally the best editor ever, because I'm so cool and stuff.)

(It might also be a good idea to carry a brown paper bag around today in case you stumble upon me hyperventilating in the supply closet or something.)

(Actually, instead of a hug? Just give me a good, hard slap. Thanks. Y'all are peach pies.)

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (17)

October 22, 2004

Complaints & Advice & Such

I'm still alive. I'm sure you're all relieved.

Seriously, I will be the first to admit that I am the BIGGEST baby about being sick. I'm a nightmare. I expect the entire world to stop spinning until I feel better. And the entire world needs to bring me tea and sympathy and soup. So when I'm feeling shitty and I have to go to work? Holy hell, that's just tragic.

And yes, I know October is not flu season. Shut it. I know the damn flu when I get it. I don't need no stinking CALENDAR dictating my diagnosis, thank you very much. There's actually been a strain of stomach flu wreaking havoc in the DC area for a few weeks now and I seem to have picked up some sort of bizarre hybrid strain of it.

I never, ever get flu shots either, because I never, ever get the flu. Except when I get flu shots. Huh. The last flu shot I got was in college and good lord, it very nearly killed me. And I thought I was being all grown-up and responsible by getting the shot without anyone telling me to and I called my mom to proudly report on how well I could take care of myself. And she was all, "NO! YOU DON'T GET THE FLU SHOT! YOU ARE ALLERGIC YOU BIG DUMMY. WHY DO YOU THINK I HAVE NEVER TAKEN YOU FOR A FLU SHOT EVER? WHAT KIND OF MOTHER DO YOU THINK I AM?"

Oh!

See, I am allergic to antibiotics. All. Antibiotics. Penicillins, erythromycins, tetracyclines, sulfas, you name it. Swell up like beach ball. Hives. Fever. Drama. And duh, people with allergies like mine are not supposed to get flu shots or certain other vaccinations. (Like the chicken pox vaccine, which I learned the hard way TWO WEEKS BEFORE MY OWN WEDDING. Bah! Whole other story there.)

(I'm very much about the sentence fragments and angry capital letters today. Not sure what that's about.)

Anyway. That was the end of flu shots for me as I was plowed over with the flu for a month. La la la.

But! Am better today. Still have a wicked hacking cough and a headache and my back is hurty and sore. Food is not my friend, unless it is chicken soup food. But I do feel better.

In fact, I feel better enough to write a Special Bonus Friday Edition of the Wednesday Advice Smackdown. Since y'all were so good about sending the resident idiot all new questions after she deleted all the old ones, I will answer a few today. The rest? On Wednesday, just as God intended.

Dear Amalah, Queen of Everything,

I need your help.  I've recently discovered knitting. Yes, knitting. The "hello, I'm someone's grandma..here's an ugly sweater and some mittens you will never wear" knitting.  Except I'm not anybody's grandma, and I haven't made a sweater or any mittens yet.  I've made hats. And scarves. And a purse.  But I live in Texas, so the only thing that might get any actual use would be the purse. I'm addicted. I can't stop. I knit when I walk, when I wait for the bus, when I'm on the bus. I knit during dinner and tv-watching. I knit in bed.  I've considered taking it with me to the bathroom, but have actually put my foot down there, and set it down. At work? I sneak away from the counter where I work to secretly knit a few stitches here and there. It's a disease. And it's spreading.. to all of my friends.

And yarn? Don't even get me started on all of the yarn I've bought and am currently drooling over buying.

How can I curb this addiction and become a normal human being again??

Signed,
My name is Manda, and I'm a knitting addict.

Dude, seriously, what is with all the knitting? Everybody knits now. There are knitting blogs. Knitting blogs! What's next, um…shit. Was trying to think of some funny thing like "paint-drying blogs" only not so bloody obvious. Cannot. Moving on.

I do not knit. I do not do anything crafty like that. I don’t remember the last thing that I made with my own two hands that did not involve ice cubes.

Many of my friends knit. And yet I have not received any scarves or sweaters or anything. I'm a little ticked about this, because DC gets very cold and windy and I could catch a cold if I don't have a scarf. Or the flu! Again!

What an inconsiderate bunch of bastards I have for friends. For real.

Anyway. I have no advice on how to deal with a knitting addiction. Perhaps try replacing it with a more conventional addiction? Alcohol? Cocaine?

Or maybe you could knit me a damn scarf. Make it stripy and trendy and match my purse.

Question for the Empress of advice....

What should I be for Halloween? I mean here's the thing..I wear glasses. Without  them I have all the ocular power of that skater girl in "Ice Castles". So anything I throw on has to include the specs in the mix.

Any suggestions?

Pratt

(Ice Castles? What?)

(Also, why have I not been invited to any Halloween parties? What the hell is wrong with my friends? Is it because I don’t knit?)

Anyway, a few costume suggestions that could involve prescription eyewear:

1)  Harry Potter (get someone to make you a scarf)
2)  Warren Buffett
3)  Pirate Ghost
4)  Tina Fey
5)  Naughty Librarian
6)  Naughty Warren Buffett
7)  Milhouse
8)  That one guy in that show who wears glasses
9)  Dilbert
10)  St. Hubbins, the patron saint of quality footwear

Ok, so I love you and all and am all about helping a sister out in her time of need when she needs people to give fake advice to. Also you make me laugh until I start choking because I have the Vulcan Death Flu and when you are laughing you can't sneeze and all the snot runs down the back of your throat and so, the choking. And if it weren't for you I would never have known about hot saucing and the brilliance that is Lisa Welchel and my life would be sadly incomplete. Anyway, here is my question, oh brilliant Amy:

Having recently gotten off the zany fun that is the infertility roller coaster, Mr. Ex and I decided we should try to, um, renew the part of marital relations where it is actually fun and, you know, not scheduled and mechanical and about the temperatures and the charting and the shots in the butt and whacking off in the doctor's office (that's him, not me). I seem to remember at one time that we actually enjoyed this activity, but it's kind of a blur. Any suggestions for, er, getting the Hot back after a couple of years of "What, you're ovulating AGAIN?" would be greatly appreciated. 

Also this is not technically advice but WHAT is WITH the women on The Apprentice this year? How is Carolyn restraining herself from punching them all in the face? Because that is what I would do. Except for Lil Stacy who I would just step on.

Love,
Jen(noS)Ex

HAAAAAAAAAA! NO MORE LIL WEE STACY! FIREDFIREDFIRED. I could not be happier about last night's episode. Unless someone personally brought me Wee Stacy and let me smack her precious snooty little face.

(At this point Jason will be IMing me to remind me that Stacy is a "person" with "feelings" and I shouldn't be so "mean" and "violent" all the time. Whatever.)

Anyway. Sex after infertility. Christ. The hell if I know. I certainly wouldn't recommend going on a cocktail of numbing antidepressants, that's for sure. I shall spare you the details, but wah. Wah wah wah.

I'd recommend taking a vacation though. Get a cheap flight and spend all your money on an upgraded room and room service. Get champagne delivered with your breakfast each morning.

If you can't afford to actually fly anywhere, just take a couple days off and stay in your own city. Again with the nice room and the room service and champagne and a big tub or shower. Lounge around and anytime one of you says, "I'm getting bored, why don't we actually *do* something?"

Well then, you do each other. "Fuck," as the common people say.

Good luck, and please don't tell me if you decide to reincorporate the shots in the butt for fun. Because ew.

 

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (21)

October 11, 2004

Dreams Dreams Dreams

dfohdhf. AUOJDFhldfhllllllllsud9.;.

Yes, really.

Bitches, I am TIRED today. In an effort to not become a total tranquilizer sleeping pill addict and end up like Winona Ryder stealing Coach bags from Neiman's while sleepwalking, I went sleeping-pill free all weekend.

The worst part was actually not the not-sleeping-part. The worst part was the crazy-ass dreams I had when I did manage to sleep for an hour or two.

Dream #1 involved me posing as a flight attendant. It was a high-pressure masquerade, as I kept whacking people in the elbows with the beverage cart until one guy stood up and yelled that I was the WORST STEWARDRESS EVER and that I should be fired. And then all the oxygen masks fell from the ceiling! And the captain informed me that we were all going to die! And there were all these damn passengers who wouldn't put on their damn oxygen masks because it was against their religion. Gah.

(And during the whole dream I kept wishing I was allowed to operate my laptop so I could write an entry about it. That's dedication, people.)

Dream #2 involved a volcano, a bicycle, the city of Des Moines and Krusty the Klown from The Simpsons. Enough said.

Dream #3 was like, the mother of anxiety dreams. I was on deadline at work but I hadn't  read my publication once. I was also barefoot and my throat was so sore I couldn't talk. My friend Andie also worked in my office and announced that she was pregnant and everybody asked me why I hadn't had a baby yet and I started to cry, and then my office Bubbe slapped me and told me to grow up. I ran back to my office to call my mom, only to find that my new window office was actually a big room I had to share with five of the most annoying coworkers I've had from all my past jobs. And the windows were all boarded up just out of spite. And then my desk turned into a bed with really filthy sheets. And then a huge praying mantis crawled out from under my pillow and ate my dog.

I decided to just stay awake after that last one.

Oh! And my car's battery was dead this morning. The carwash guys apparently turned on the interior light while vacuuming. I would like to go back and demand the $3 I put in the tip box back. So that was really fun.

And Andie is back from Hawaii and informed me that while they were not eaten by any volcanoes, they did bike down one. So, um, sweetie? Remind me to smack you next time I see you, for you is BATSHIT CRAZY. You may also need to buy me a retroactive drink to calm me down.

Anyway, y'all must excuse me, as I'm off to inspect my still-under-construction window office and make sure that the window is not boarded up and that there are no dog-eating insects.

Then I might take a little nap.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (17)

October 08, 2004

Shatner To the Rescue

I think everything is going to be all right. Jason sent this to my office yesterday:

Shatnerhasbeen

Say it with me. HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

The thing is? While this album is, of course, COMPLETELY hysterical, it's also way better than it should be. For real. I'm like, ENJOYING it. Credit to Ben Folds, who arranged it and got all sorts of cool-enough-to-appear-on-a-William-Shatner-album-and-have-it-make-sense artists like Aimee Mann and Joe Jackson to play along. I'm not sure what this says about me, but I heart this CD so much. Jason also sent me these:

Roses

I know, right? I suck. At least that's what my new therapist told me yesterday.

No, not really. But I kind of felt that way after pouring out all my assorted Crazy to the sweetest, gentlest person I have ever met, only to be told, essentially, to grow the fuck up.

No, not really. But also yes. And then my hands stopped trembling for the first time in weeks and I was suddenly aware that there was absolutely no chance that I would drop dead of massive-internal-organ-explosion-itis while sitting there on her couch. Huh.

So see? This Shatner album really IS good, and that's not just The Crazy talking.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (18)

October 07, 2004

Two Steps Back

Damn. Damn damn damn.

I was doing really well there, couldn't you tell? Besides the Volcano Crazy and the Manic Bitch Crazy, I was definitely on an uptick. I made it through the Social Phobia Event of the Season. I made it through a week with the Amazing Projectile Pooping Puppy with grace and ease and four bottles of Nature's Miracle. I made it through a week of Incredibly Important Grown-Up Meetings and did not get fired, but was actually invited to my company's equivalent to the Big Kid's Table for more Incredibly Important Business Planning Brainstorming Thingies.

I made dinner one night and put my clothes away. I went to the store and bought Jason a present to thank him for all the flowers and gifts and molten chocolate lava cakes he's sent me over the last few hellish months. Real-life people who know me complimented me on how "like myself" I was.

La, la, la, bunnies and rainbows and such.

But I think It's back.

I'm still not even sure what "it" is. I just know it sucks and it makes me sad and it makes life hard for everyone around me. It's panic, tears, trembling, insomnia, fear, worry and the urge to self-destruct. It's scratching at my own skin until I bleed and lying about how many Tylenol I just took. It's lying in bed, too terrified to move lest my heart stop beating while at the same time wishing that it would.

I'm not ready to say it's definitely back. That I'm back where I started. I'm not. I can't be, because I'm fighting it too damn hard. I'm not curling up inside of it like a warm blanket. It. It it it.

So I guess all I can do is issue a pre-emptive apology to everyone for birthdays I'll forget, phone calls I won't return, lies I'll tell and crazy things I'll do. I'm sorry. It's not me. It's not who I am.

And I promise that I'm fighting It with every ounce of strength I have. Because I've fucking had ENOUGH of this shit.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (30)

October 05, 2004

Eruption

OH MY GOD PEOPLE.

Volcano

OH MY MERCIFUL GOD IN HEAVEN.

For those who haven't been reading very long and who haven't obsessively combed through my archives so as to catch every desperate crumb of Amalah goodness, you may not know that I? Am absolutely terrified of volcanoes.

No, for real.

STOP LAUGHING.

It's all fucking public television's fault too, but I've already told you that whole story.

So the past week? Has not been a good one for me. Jason was actually afraid to tell me about Mount St. Helens erupting again. He actually took my hand gently and looked into my eyes and said, "Baby, everything is going to be all right, but I think you should know that Mount St. Helens is erupting again AND EVERYBODY IS GOING TO DIE A FIERY MOLTEN DEATH OF POMPEIIAN PROPORTIONS."

He might not have said that last part, but I kind of blacked out for a while so it's fuzzy.

To make things even worse, Andie is on her honeymoon in Hawaii right now. HAWAII. WHICH IS BASICALLY DOZENS OF DORMANT VOLCANOES THAT ARE JUST WAITING FOR AMY OR ONE OF HER FRIENDS TO VISIT. Maui is fucking going to explode and eat Andie and Jim whole, and there's nothing I can do about it, because Jason won't let me call them.

How do I know this? Because the volcanoes KNOW. When one erupts? It sends vibrations through the tectonic plates to all the other volcanoes that NOW is the TIME for the APOCOLYPSE and then BOOM, they will all erupt at the same time like they did in that one part of Disney's Fantasia.

Do not even attempt to argue with me on this. That's just good science right there.

Also, I am fairly certain that there is a dormant volcano under Washington, DC, that will also get the bat signal from St. Helens and erupt and I will die. And then you will all be sorry. The whole world will be in chaos like some bad Jerry Bruckheimer movie and Will Smith will be all, "WHY DIDN'T YOU LISTEN TO AMY, MR. PRESIDENT? SHE KNEW THIS WOULD HAPPEN!"

And then Martin Sheen will look pensive and turn to his evil vice president who got my letter about the tectonic plates but hid it because it would uncover decades of government corruption and say, "May God have mercy on us all."

And then lava bursts through the windows of the Oval Office and everyone dies. The end.

(If anyone needs me, I will be balled up under my desk weeping softly.)

(And you think I'm kidding, don't you?)

(Wah.)

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (37)

October 01, 2004

The Coupon Adventure

So my day started with a coworker giving me a coupon for a free medium coffee at the Krispy Kreme across the street. I don’t like coupons. Which is stupid and shallow of me, I know. I get embarrassed. Not because I think they make me look poor or something, but because they seem so presumptuous. “Hello, I know how to use scissors. Please give me free stuff.”

I also hate coupons because most of the time I’ve forgotten to read some tiny print on the coupon and am informed that I can’t use my coupon, not on Tuesdays and not on the East Coast between the hours of 9 am to 8 am. But free coffee? All over that. Plus, I had to run to the pharmacy in the same shopping center as the Krispy Kreme, so it just made good sense.

I had to drop off (surprise surprise) a bazillion refill prescriptions for The Crazy Pills. Okay, just three. But still. The pharmacist there must think I am the most tragic head case ever. My prescription history there looks something like this (yeah, suck that, HIPAA):

February:
Pre-fertility-drug drug
Fertility drug
Prenatal vitamins (haaaaaaaaaaa!)

March:
Pre-fertility-drug drug
Fertility drug

April:
Tylenol with Codeine for phantom broken foot

May:
Fertility drug

June:
Fertility drug

July:
Stony silence

August:
Antidepressant #1
Mood stabilizer #1, dosage #1
Antidepressant #2
Antidepressant #3, dosage #1
Mood stabilizer #1, dosage #2

September:
Scary anti-psychotic mood stabilizer horse tranquilizer #1
Scary anti-psychotic mood stabilizer horse tranquilizer #2
Antidepressant #3, dosage #2
Antidepressant #4, dosage #1

October:
Mood stabilizer #1, dosage #3
Antidepressant #4, dosage #2
Mood stabilizer #2

It’s like a roadmap to Babyville with a huge-ass detour through the Dark Land of the Crazy. Anyway. So I drop off my prescriptions and try to look like someone who is stable and also possesses reliable health insurance, which would imply a job and responsibilities.

Then I encountered the Suburbia Phenomenon in which I, a city girl, got in my car, drove to the other side of the same shopping center and reparked my car. Come on, you know you do it too. Why though? What is it about suburban strip malls that suddenly turn me into a big fat lazy ass who drives five lanes over to go to Krispy Kreme?

Again, anyway. I went into Krispy Kreme, where there was a line of other people who presumably also made sure they had the shortest possible walk from door to car, because we all wanted to start eating our donuts immediately. I took this opportunity to listen to my voice mail, which I never listen to if I recognize the number, because I can usually guarantee I already know why you’re calling me.

Jason? Wants to know if I’m home and what the dog’s poop looks like today. My mom? Wants me to call her already, good lord, she’s worried. Coleen? Is drunk and wants to sing me a song. While I did this I found two “voice memos” I somehow managed to record for myself at Andie’s wedding. I am drunk. I am slurring. I am full of HYSTERICAL ideas for my entry about the wedding. Fo’ reaaaal bitch. They’re so good. I wish you could hear them. I would try to make them into an AudioBlog if I had any idea how to do that.

Or if AudioBlog posts didn’t annoy the living SHIT out of me. Because, hello, I’m most likely to be reading your blog at work. So I’m supposed to ANNOUNCE to the entire office that I’m reading your blog at work? Also what, are you that entranced with the sound of your own damn voice?

ANYWAY.

The first memo is about how I ate Andie’s piece of wedding cake and how it was funny because she and I once ate that other bride’s cake by mistake. But duh, I made Jason take a picture of me eating her cake, so of course I would remember that one. The other one goes like this: “Oh shit. I forget what I was going to record. Because it took me so long to hit the button...thing...um. OH! Okay, definitely write about how your hair fell out during the car ride to the hotel. Because that’s frickin’ weird. Okay, bye!”

So first, I hate my voice, because I sound like I’m 12. Second, I love how I say goodbye to myself on voice memos. Third, why does my language actually IMPROVE when I’m drunk? Also my hair did not “fall out,” like, out of my head. My fancy hairdo just spontaneously collapsed as soon as I got in the car. Frickin’ weird, indeed.

Oh, so by now I’m at the counter of Krispy Kreme, furtively clutching my little coupon, which I handed over to a bunch of Blank Stares. “What’s this?” The girl asked. “So I guess I give you a free coffee?” (See? Coupons and I do not work. We just don’t.) I got my free coffee, and then proceed to order a bunch of donuts so they wouldn’t think I was a freeloader. I ate them all in the car as I drove back across the street to my office.

Somebody called me and I didn’t answer because I’m terrified of the telephone, because I am Crazy. They didn’t leave a voice mail. Oh well.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (24)

September 28, 2004

Weddalicious

I met my friend Andie at my first job out of college. The job sucked. Our three-martini-lunches-on-Fridays did not.

We both left the Job Of Suck within two weeks of each other, and have been best friends ever since. Actually more like sisters. Sisters who are alcoholics and can rationalize ANY clothing purchase for the other in minutes.

Andie: Well, I like this skirt, but I just bought that other skirt, plus the shoes, so I probably shouldn't buy this one too.

Amy: But that skirt GOES with the new shoes. That skirt will go with EVERYTHING.

Andie: Really? Even though it's a shade of red I've never actually seen before?

Amy: Yes, and also I'm buying this Hello Kitty underwear and you need to wait in line with me. Then we shall go drink some more.

Andie: Okay then, I'll get the skirt. And maybe that belt too.

This is Andie.

Img_1235

(I am so sorry, baby, but you know I had to post this picture. I mean, COME ON.)

(Andie has a special ringtone on my cellphone. It's "Get Ur Freak On" because we always sing "Get Ur Drink On" on our way to happy hour. Yep. We do.)

Andie got married this weekend. Jim makes her very happy, which makes me very happy.

Img_1264

I was the maid of honor. (Andie said matron of honor, because there was another girl who was technically the unmarried maid of honor, but I said fuck that, we're both maids because I am not ancient.)

Img_1241

I got my dress for $50 on eBay. I know! I suck.

Img_1251

(Christ. Narcissistic much? You will notice there are zero pictures of Jason. Zero. He was there, I swear.)

Img_1254  Img_1268

It was a gorgeous wedding and gorgeous weather and Andie looked gorgeous in the dress I was with her when she bought that made me cry when she tried it on. It was the one time she didn't need my help in rationalizing the purchase.

Img_1284

Okay, so this one time Andie and I went to the wedding of a mutual friend from the Job Of Suck together. We drank just a wee bit too much. And by "wee bit" I mean we were completely trashed before the salads were brought out.

Anyway, the waiters stole our cake when we put them down to go pee. We wanted cake. We also wanted to get the attention of this one groomsman who Andie went on a date with and then didn't call her. Or maybe she didn't call him. Either way, it seemed monumentally important at the time. And getting his attention by pretending to be lesbians also seemed like a good idea at the time. We smushed together in this big armchair and proceeded to feed each other bites of cake that we cut from a hunk of cake that was sitting on a table next to us.

We got the groomsman's attention. He came right over to inform us that we were eating the top layer of the wedding cake. The top layer that the bride and groom wanted to save for their one-year anniversary.

Um, d'oh?

So what's worse than eating the top layer of the wedding cake? Well, not much, but eating the bride's cake right off her plate while she's mingling comes in pretty damn close I would say.

Img_1290

(I knew she wouldn't care, but LORD, you should have SEEN the looks I got from nearby tables.)

Doesn't my hair look pretty? We all went to a salon that morning to get our hair done, but it was kind of scary. It was in TinyPodunkville, Pennsylvania and the salon's actual location had been flooded. So we were in a makeshift salon in some house. There was a bathroom, but no sink, so you had to wash your hands in the one shampoo tub.

They also had no hot rollers. NO. HOT. ROLLERS. So you know how they curled my hair? They sprayed it with hairspray and then curled it with a curling iron and then sprayed it again.

THEY SPRAYED IT WITH HAIRSPRAY. AND THEN WRAPPED IT AROUND A HOT CURLING IRON.

People, do you KNOW how bad that is for your hair? Your hair SMOKES when you do that.  Please, for the love of God, don't ever do that to your poor hair.

Luckily, there was no teasing of my hair, because I proclaimed that there would be no teasing. Amy's hair + teasing = rat's nest + scissors - Amy's hair = Amy crying.

But it was all worth it, I think, because my hair was curly and lovely and did. Not. Move. All. Day.

Img_1289_edited

It even stayed put during the White Girl Dancing.

It even looks pretty good in this picture, which I only have a vague memory of taking. (Although I definitely remember the Burger King. Oh my God, that was so good.)

Img_1306

Anyway. Congratulations to Andie and Jim. Love you both. Here's to years and years of happiness and lots of dinner parties disintegrating into drunken chaos.

Img_1286

 

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (23)

September 24, 2004

Schmoopy

Ceiba is fine. Her teeny little reproductive organs are no more, because we are Responsible Pet Owners.

(Even though Jason was hit with an attack of the "But I want Ceiba puppies!" at the eleventh hour.)

Anyway, we went to visit her last night.

Ceiba_spayed_1

Ceiba_spayed_2

Ceiba_spayed_3

I KNOW, RIGHT? HOW PRECIOUS IS THAT PUPPY? OH MY GOD.

And that's all I have for today! What a total gyp. I should be ashamed of myself.

Tomorrow is The Wedding, we leave today in like, a few hours, I have not packed, I have lost the bride's card, I still did not sleep last night even after taking a motherfucking tranquilizer pill, and my shoes have wrecked my toenail polish.

Ceiba is staying at the hospital all weekend, which makes my heart all hurty, because I miss her so damn much. She is an unbelievable pain the ass who pees on the floor and rips my panty hose and runs around the house with cat poop in her mouth.

God, do I ever love that dog.

Max will be left at home with buckets of kibble and water and toys and treats and will not even notice our absence. I will miss him too, because staying at a hotel means I won't wake up with a 15-pound cat who thinks he's still a tiny kitten snuggled up in my armpit.

Wah wah wah. Shut up, Amy.

Monday: Wedding pictures of people you don't know! But also of me wearing the prettiest damn bridesmaid dress ever, and looking super skinny and busty in it because of miracle space-age lingerie!

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (19)

September 23, 2004

Two Steps Forward

So I sent out an email yesterday to just about everyone with “insider knowledge” about my illness. The nice people who sent me emails offering comfort and virtual hugs.  The nice people who were rewarded for their kindness with hysterical ramblings from me that usually contained entirely Too Much Damn Information, Crazy Girl. And to the other nice people who sent me nice things or offered to clean my house or gave me their home phone numbers with permission to yell PICK UP THE DAMN PHONE BITCH! into their answering machines.

I told them all that I was doing better! Better! Happy! Medicated! Bzzz! BZZZ!

And of course, this angered the Pharmacy Gods muchly and I was promptly a quivering mass of anxiety and weepiness once again. Yay!

I still maintain that I’m getting better. Fuck you, Pharmacy Gods. *shakes fist at nightstand piled high with seventeen bottles of pills* You call that a panic attack? Ha! I laugh at your panic attack! Or I will later, once I stop crying about it.

Anyway. Ceiba is getting spayed today. Ack. Ackackack. I woke up at four a.m. convinced that something awful was going to happen to her and she was going to die.

I was able to get back to sleep, only to have an extremely disturbing dream about being a scientist working on a top-secret government project which turned out to be Jason as some Terminator-type supersoldier whose evil powers I accidentally unleashed after falling in love with him and kissing him.

So after that? I was pretty much wide awake and vowing never to sleep again. Got up. Got dressed. Told Jason he had to come with me to drop off the puppy or else he would probably get a call from a payphone in West Virginia after Ceiba and I Thelma and Louised it away from the vets.

The good news is that her extra baby teeth fell out last night. No one is allowed to vacuum our house until I find them.

After tearing myself away from my precious little pumpkin pie angel girl and giving her an embarrassing number of kisses in front of the vet, I went to my bazillionth doctor’s appointment this month. You can all now refer to my doctor as “Dr. Doomsday” (tm Coleen), as she managed to rip my “I’m feeling better!” routine to shreds and sent me packing with not one, not two, but THREE new prescriptions. We’re adding tranquilizers now, people. TRANQUILIZERS. Like I’m an escaped monkey from the zoo or something. Also doubling dosages that were already doubled once before.

Cripes.

So now? I’m a little cranky and short-tempered and seriously ready to rip that guy’s head off if he doesn’t SHUT THE HELL UP OUT IN THE HALLWAY OUT THERE YES I CAN HEAR YOU LOUD AND CLEAR.

Basically, this, again:

Img_0609

But! But! This weekend? Is my best friend’s wedding. I picked up my bridesmaid’s dress from the cleaners this morning; I bought shoes last weekend; I had my highlights touched up; and I have narrowed my toenail polish choices down to three.

I am ready. I think. Do I need to give a toast? Can I pawn that off on someone else? Where did I put her card? Where did I put the directions? Why didn’t I just take tomorrow off from work instead of being all stoic and agreeing to come for a half day before driving up to some town in Pennsylvania that I’ve never heard of with a half hour to spare before the rehearsal?  Could I write a longer run-on sentence than that one?

Also: New television arrived this morning. It’s big and pretty and will probably require a whole new entertainment center solution furniture thing. I have not bonded with it yet, however. I'm eyeing it suspiciously, like it will shock me every time I touch it or somehow mess up my TiVo. I'm sure this feeling will pass after we enjoy The Apprentice together tonight. In the meantime, I'm keeping my eye on you, New Television. Don't try anything funny.

The old n’ busted T.V. is now sitting on top of the old n’ busted couch. Seriously. I’m thinking of propping the couch up on some cinderblocks and bringing in an old rusty lawnmower just to complete the look.

Notified Readers Fuck Not With The Crazy.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (13)

September 20, 2004

I Just Kept Typing Until There Were A Lot Of Words

AAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYYYYY.

Hi! Hi hi!

Where you been, bitch?

I have had absolutely nothing to write about. Nothing interesting to say at ALL.

And now?

Still nothing. But I'm starting to get testy-sounding emails from people.

So that's why you're doing the thing where you talk to yourself again, right?

I'm not just talking to myself. I'm talking to my ITALICIZED self.

Oh, right. Completely different then.

gah-gah-gah2

Oh my god, oh my GOD, y'all. There was a tragedy at my house this weekend. A TRAGEDY.  Saturday night. My television like, blew up.

I turned it on and there was some scary white static and then a popping noise and then *poof*. No TV.

So now? I need to buy a new TV. And I have no money to buy a new TV. But I HAVE to buy a new TV, because of The Apprentice, people. The. APPRENTICE. 

My TiVo is recording and recording away in vain. I have no idea what it's recording and I'm frightened.

We cannot watch movies, we cannot play Playstation. We toyed with the idea of playing actual BOARD GAMES on Saturday night because we had nothing to do. I went to bed at 8:30 p.m. last night because I have no PURPOSE in LIFE anymore.

Oh, Amy?

Yes?

You know tomorrow night? Season premiere of Gilmore Girls.

JESUS CHRIST.

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Attention All Dog People:

You must help me. Help! My puppy is teething. Her "big" and "ferocious" teeth are coming in, but her baby teeth are NOT FALLING OUT. They are freak-of-nature teeth that won't budge. In a few days she will have EIGHT fully-grown canines in her precious little mouth.

We have bought her rawhide bones, knots, braids, flips and rings (both regular AND condensed), rubber bones and Kongs and balls, dental bones, pig hooves and all sorts of assorted vague animal hides. She chews and chews and chews and still. The. Teeth. Won't. Budge.

What do I DO, oh all-knowing crazy dog people? Do I need to take her to the vet? Do I attach a string to a doorknob? Do I need to chill out?

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(I am extremely desperate to think of things to talk about.)

(I'm sure you didn't notice, because the topic of my dog's teeth has you totally enthralled.)

I'm getting a new office! Yes! There's going to be some big internal office move for reasons that were explained to me but I really wasn't listening, because I was too busy scanning the floor plan for my name, lest I was getting moved to the supply closet.

Because really, I deserve to move to the supply closet. I mean, I'm totally brilliant and everything, but I haven't exactly been at the top of my editing game the last few months.  You may be totally shocked to hear this, but Amy has kind of been a little bit of a complete and utter wreck recently.

But apparently, my job has not noticed, because I, Amy, Managing Editor Who Is Barely Managing To Hang The Fuck On, am getting a window office.

A. Window. Office. Complete with my own personal temperature control. (And also a window!)

The temperature! Will be in MY control! Too cold? HEAT. To hot? Air! It'll be like magic!

I will also be able to see the weather, which is very exciting. And if I park my car on the roof of the parking garage? I can stare at it all day, because that's all my window will overlook.

But still. Am excited! Am important! Have completely fooled them all!

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So what else did you do this weekend?

I went to a wine festival in Maryland and got drunk.

And no drunk post? You SUCK.

Well, it was kind of far away so I was sober by the time I got home.

Pfft.

Yeah, I know. Can you imagine me sending out a drunk Notify? That would have been hilarious.

Haaaaa. Yes.

"NEw entri bizzitchES that yoo shouldf read right now cuz am DRUNBK and hgaaaaaaaaaa."

See? Now I'm all mad at you for sobering up.

Am sorry. It won't happen again.

 

Notified Readers Know It Damn Well Won't Happen Again.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (18)

September 11, 2004

Ouch.

(I meant to write a 9/11 entry. Maybe to tell you about how I was trapped in traffic on a bridge in D.C. when I saw the fireball at the Pentagon and felt like the world was coming to an end. Or maybe to tell you how I drove to work anyway because I didn't know what else to do, and how I watched another driver at a red light singing along to a CD, oblivious to the horror unfolding on the radio waves. Or maybe to tell you how my brother-in-law was on the subway when the planes hit, having just left the WTC a few minutes earlier and how I remember my ears ringing when I heard this news. Or maybe to simply say that I remember that morning like it was just this morning, and that I hope you do too. That's what I should have written. I wrote this instead.)

I get a lot of hits from Julie’s monster master list of infertility blogs. I'm linked under "Trying."

I guess I’m not really in that category anymore, but I haven’t asked to be taken off the list. Partly because, hell, I get a lot of traffic from it and, you know, I’m a whore like that.

But mostly because I refuse to think about it in black-and-white terms. No, we’re not actively trying to conceive. Yes, we’re using birth control. No, there’s not going to be a change in this arrangement anytime soon.

I’ve gotten used to this idea. When my psychiatrist told me that I would need to put all thoughts of pregnancy on hold for at least nine months, it hurt. Like hell. But at that time I was completely, utterly and batshittily sick and out of control. I was threatening to leave Jason and run away with someone else or maybe simply RUN AWAY, far away, where no one could find me. So the whole plan of having a baby was already starting to crumble. Just a bit.

Thank God, we're past that whole breed of Crazy, and recommitted to the idea that we WILL have a baby together and it WILL be wonderful and it WILL happen for us, as God is our witness, shaking our fists at the sky, etc.

Setbacks in finding the right combination of medications have pushed back our plans to a full year or so. I accepted this news with a shrug of the shoulders and a weary “Well, duh.”

I’m in no shape to be anyone’s mother. Even my puppy annoys the living shit out of me with the neediness and the hyper and the noise and the mess and I weep openly when I can’t get her to eat and once the cat starts in with the howling for food I start thinking that chucking them both out the window sounds like a damn fine idea.

(And oh, my God, to everyone whose fingers are already itching to fire off an indignant comment or email or threaten to call the ASPCA on me or whatever: I WOULD NEVER THROW MY ANIMALS OUT THE WINDOW. Both pets are well-fed and loved and showered with attention and toys and expensive, organic, all-natural treats because nothing on God’s green earth is too good for my precious babies. Okay? Good.)

But you get the idea. Am hanging on by a thread as it is. Baby? No fucking thank you. The idea of post-partum depression or relapsing in future years scares the shit out of me. I wonder if I'm being irresponsible even considering becoming a parent. Perhaps it is all Meant To Be This Way.

And yet.

And yet when our next-door neighbors came home from the hospital today, bearing baby girl number two, flushed with excitement and pride and the joy of being a family, the old wound was reopened.  And the longing for one of my own was rubbed raw.

Ouch. OUCH. I cried. I sat on our stupid second couch that we STILL have not gotten rid of and cried. I cried when my mom called and asked, “How’s the baby?” even though I knew she meant the puppy.

I cried when I wrote that just now.

I just feel so…DAMAGED. The infertility could be a result of the chemical problems in my brain. The infertility drugs could be responsible for my rapid decline and resistance to medications that worked for me in the past. 

So if I get better, maybe I’ll conceive more easily. But if I don’t, and I go back on Clomid or some other hormone-charged drug, maybe I’ll get sick all over again.

My head hurts just thinking about that vicious little circle.

So I try not to think about it. For now? I’m only trying to get better. I’m trying to get better, and then I will try to get pregnant.

So I’m not asking Julie to take me off the “Trying” list. Because I still am. Harder than ever.

 

I’m still going to cry about the baby next door a little more though.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (17)

September 09, 2004

Wickedly Bad & Awful

Or, The Laziest Post Ever

So I had a topic I wanted to write about today. It was something important. I even wrote a few sentences in my head while I was brushing my teeth this morning and they were quite funny and very insightful. I was well on my way to winning a Diarist Award, I know it.

But I have absolutely no frickin' idea what it was now. Life? Death? Dog poop? Why brie cheese with fig jam on French bread is probably the best food combination this side of peanut butter and chocolate?

Nope. It's gone.

So instead? Some random crap, interspersed with selections from an IM conversation I had last night with Mir, because I've already had the conversation, which means way less work and typing now.

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And If An Entry Full Of IM Nonsense Wasn't Bad Enough, Here's Some IM Nonsense That Won't Make A Lick Of Sense To Anyone Who Has Not Read The Book WICKED:

Amalah: just read your comment...I didn't give up on Wicked, I finished it
Amalah: Just thought the story kind of fell about after she went to the Vinkus

Mir: I read it years ago, so I'm fuzzy on details... but I do remember thinking it kinda dropped.

Amalah: And I sooooo could have done without the Star Warsian "The Wizard is your FAAATTHHHER!" thing. At that point? Literally chucked the book across the room.

Mir: true

Amalah: But the first half? Amazing. Loved it.

Mir: me too
Mir: I'm glad you finished it...sorry it was disappointing.

Amalah: want to rewrite the ending for him
Amalah: i was just a little letdown. like I wanted the ruby slippers to have more significance…some cool witchy magic power thing, not because the Witch’s daddy never loved her and wah wah wah

Mir: heh yeah I know what you mean
Mir: Now I kinda want to read it again, but I know it's just going to piss me off.

Amalah: hee
Amalah: I'm still interested in seeing the musical in NY though...I heard they rewrote the second half of the book to the point of being unrecognizable

Mir: Oooh, I wonder what they did.

Amalah: Plus it's got Joey McIntyre from New Kids on the Block as Fiyero! My hearthrob!

Mir: But, um, I dug "Into the Woods" so I'm guessing I would like it.
Mir: LOL

Amalah: I heard that they cut out Liir and kept Glinda in it more

Mir: I wonder if that pissed off the author.

Amalah: less time at the castle debating the nature of good and evil endlessly and such
Amalah: The author needs to shut up and praise the Unnamed God for every royalty check he gets

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My next-door neighbor was induced at 7 a.m. this morning. This is her second baby. Jason and I started trying to get pregnant right around the time the first baby was born.

To say that I am jealous, bitter, resentful, unhappy, petulant, angry, bratty, selfish, hurt and sullen about this would...well, that would probably be about right.

Basically, green with envy. Like the Wicked Witch!

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Mir: I need to write something people will pay for.  I could get used to royalty checks.

Amalah: Yes, or write a musical that can charge $100 a seat to see a New Kid try to sing.

Mir: That's genius.  I don't know that I can aim so high.

Amalah: You are going to be a VP though!
Amalah: Your readers BELIEVE in you!

Mir: Oh yes!  I left a very lovely, earnest, and not at all stalkerish message for my contact at Big Company today.
Mir: "Remember me?  I'm just checking in!  Hoping to hear from you soon!  I love Big Company with all my heart!"
Mir: *cue music appropriate for the selling of one's soul*

Amalah: Hmm...definitely should be a NKOTB song

Mir: Absofuckinglutely.

Amalah: Step by step, ooh baby, gonna get a job in your wor-or-ld

Mir: heeeeeeee

Amalah: (please do not judge me for still knowing New Kids lyrics)
Amalah: (I was a very lonely child)

Mir: You poor dear!

Amalah: I wrote them stern letters after they used the word "hell" in one of their songs.

Mir: Did you really???

Amalah: yes.
Amalah: in sixth grade.

Mir: Oh my.

Amalah: I felt it was too risqué.

Mir: In your middle school yearbook, do you have big bangs and look very earnest?

Amalah: YES
Amalah: nightmare

Mir: hee that's a very amusing mental image.

Amalah: I? Was Not Cool.
Amalah: I took Not Cool to new and frightening levels.

Mir: But look at you now!  So cool!

Amalah: ‘bout effing time, really.

Mir: You worked hard for it, clearly. 

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Haiku Smackdown IIIVVVXXMMM: The Death of Smackdown

Yeah, so the Thursday Haiku Smackdown seems to have died. After one too many Wednesday nights of going "Oh SHIT" and throwing some pictures together, only to have participation and ku quality drop more and more each week, only to be so UNBELIEVABLY BORED OF THE ENTIRE CONCEPT, everyone here at Smackdown Grand Central all kind of stopped caring.

I'm sorry to disappoint the, oh, four of you who still care. Maybe we'll make it a monthly thing. The First Thursday of the Month Haiku Smackdown? The Second Tuesday of Months Ending in "R" Haiku Smackdown? Well. We'll see.

Wait! I know! We'll get Cousin Oliver to haiku! Maybe two 'kuers could get married! We could do a special edition from Hawaii! Or maybe a Very Special Smackdown where we all write anti-drug and alcohol 'ku.

Or we could all just move on with our lives and write sonnets, or something.

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And Speaking Of Cousins:

Mir: By the way?  I am watching The Miracle Worked on ABC Family and that's enough to make anyone feel better about their sucky life.  At least I can see (sort of) and hear!

Amalah: WAAAAAA TAAAA!

Mir: It hasn't gotten to that part yet

Amalah: Is it the old one? With what's her name? Patty Duke?

Mir: Is that who it is?  I have no idea.
Mir: I think it's a slightly newer one.

Amalah: Patty Duke had that sitcom...where she played herself and her identical cousin
Amalah: i also watched a lot of Nick at Night as a teenager

Mir: Whaaaaaat?
Mir: LOL

Amalah: Identical Cooooousins
Amalah: or something
Amalah: that was the theme song

Mir: Identical. Cousins.
Mir: Brain. Hurts.

Amalah: I know you're totally singing it now

Mir: Nope, never heard of it!

Amalah: I think it was a post-Parent Trap thing

Mir: ah

Amalah: IMDB! Prove that I am not hallucinating!

Mir: Well you're a bit younger than me on account of I am old and decrepit, so maybe I missed it somehow.

Amalah: its a fairly old show...70's I think
Amalah: 1963

Mir: If you were watching Nick at Night in high school, I would've been in college and without a TV.

Amalah: Not crazy! Look! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056778/
Amalah: Patty and Cathy. Identical cousins. Yes.

Mir: That's just wrong on so many levels.

Amalah: ah know
Amalah: was horrible

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I just realized that my best friend's wedding, the wedding that I am in, is about two weeks away. I do not have shoes. I was going to order shoes online about a month ago, but decided to check out Nordstrom Rack before I bought anything because they'd probably have something similar. I have not been to Nordstrom Rack and now I cannot remember what site had the shoes I wanted, or even what those shoes looked like.

And I also think I MAY or MAY NOT have heard Ceiba chewing on something that MAY or MAY NOT have been a beaded strap of my bridesmaid dress, which is still in a heap on my closet floor, waiting to be dry cleaned/pressed/steamed or whatever. And now I cannot bear to look at the dress in case the strap is ruined. I shall instead just ignore it and hopefully it has enough time to become sentient and repair itself like something from Star Trek.

And maybe Glinda the Good Witch shall arrive in a big pink bubble with some shoes. Yes.

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Mir: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0246786/
Mir: That's the version I'm watching.

Amalah: GAH! Its that little girl from the Pepsi commercials!

Mir: "Starring Alison Elliot as Anne Sullivan! And she was never heard from again."
Mir: Yes, that's her.

Amalah: She creeps me out.
Amalah: That is one star-studded cast!

Mir: She's actually good in this.  I mean, for a little kid, she does a great job.
Mir: She got creepy later.

Amalah: Twila Provencher! Eugene Lipinski!

Mir: All my favorites!

Amalah: DAMIR ANDREI!
Amalah: Hee. I am so funny sometimes.

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Dude.

Yeah, I know.

That was like, the most weak-ass entry ever.

Look, I KNOW, okay? I really had a good idea this morning and have spent all day trying to remember it, but I'm giving up. This was better than NOTHING, right?

That's...debatable. Much like the future of the Haiku Smackdown.

Oh my God.

What? What?

I totally just remembered what it was that I was going to write about.

And?

Well, for one thing, it did not involve me talking to myself in this stupid little way.

That's a start. Anything else?

Shit. I just forgot again.

Stupidest. Girl. Ever.

If I only had a brain!

Oh my God. Shut up. SHUT UP!

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (24)

September 03, 2004

Love in a Time of Madness

My house is a mess right now. For real. I have not put clothes away for about two months. My suitcase from Miami is still sitting in the bedroom. My shoes sit in a pile that could double as a small child's fort. Today I noticed the cobwebs that coat the dining room chandelier have taken over the ceiling. The entire kitchen is sticky. I'm not even going to address the bathroom -- I'm tempted to just board it up and say "Bathroom? What bathroom? The McDonald's down the street has a nice one" when anyone asks to use it.

It's not easy living with someone like me.

I leave wet towels on the floor and forget to unplug appliances. I get too dizzy to put dishes away and I can't be trusted around sharp objects or the medicine cabinet. I can't get out of bed without actual physical pushing, pulling and/or dragging. I want to sleep all the time and feel about as sexual as a sleepy garden slug. I won't answer the phone or check my voice mail and I complain a lot.

(You might have noticed that last one.)

Jason cleans. Jason vacuums. Jason makes dinner. Jason sends flowers and buys me little gifts.  Jason checks in on me every hour or so to see if I'm okay and if I'm maybe sort of ready to start thinking about getting up and dressed because it's almost noon already. Jason rubs my head when I have a headache.

About a month ago, though it seems longer than that, I lashed out at him. I said awful things that I can never take back.  I threatened to leave. I told him I didn't love him. I hurt him because I was hurting in a way that I couldn't articulate and didn't understand. Which is no excuse. But there it is.

I hurt him. Deeply and truly. He's still licking his wounds and he has every right to be angry with me still. He should have left. He should have kicked me out. I was practically daring him to. I pushed and pushed and then freaked out when it actually came down to an ultimatum. I cried and hiccuped and begged for forgiveness. And then I did it all again a few days later.

In short, I was an absolute fucking nightmare of a human being.

Last night, he curled up on the kitchen floor with me as I gasped for breath as panic ripped through my body. He held me close and whispered, "I love you. I love you. I love you."

This morning, before the sun came up, he held me close again as I twitched and kicked and sobbed in despair. He whispered again, "I love you. I love you. You are everything to me. You always will be. I love you."

I usually can only answer back with, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry."

Jason. Thank you for being the man you are. You are my rock, my soulmate, my everything. You always will be.

I love you. I love you. And I love you.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (36)

September 02, 2004

Placebo

Dear Amalah,

Greetings and salutations from Limbo! Having a great time, wish you were here!

Wait, now I’m having a bad time.

No, a good time!

Wait, no!

Haaaa! As you can tell, it’s a party every minute around here. That killjoy Lexapro is still hanging around and dude, I totally hate that guy. He’s such an asshole.

There’s this new guy called Wellbutrin who just showed up – hasn’t really done or said anything yet so I don’t know what to make of him. I’ll keep you posted.

Trileptal? Is such a slut. All the serotonins have had her by now. We’re all just totally ignoring her but she keeps showing up.

And holy shit, Risperdal? Hard core. Just showed up and trashed the place in 20 minutes flat. We all did shots of Jager with that guy and blacked out. Felt like SHIT the next morning though, oh my GAWD.

So be careful with that one, dude. For real.

Anyway, things should settle down in about eight to 10 days, and hopefully we’ll be seeing our old friends Full Effects in three to four weeks. In the meantime, don't count on anything you're feeling or thinking, because I am OUT TO LUNCH. Like, completely. VACATION IN LIMBO, BABY!

Well, I’m pretty tired now, so I’m going to have one last little mood swing at the hotel bar and then go to sleep right around the time you’re trying to drive home from work. This is fun!

Love,

Your Brain

P.S. The airline lost my luggage. Fuckers.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (18)

August 30, 2004

Amy Gets An "F"

Well then.

When I said I'd be back "tomorrow," I obviously had some pretty high hopes for my weekend, none of which included spending the majority of it in a panicking panicked ball of panic.

And when I said I'd be back with "the funny," I was obviously on crack.

At some point last week, I began to suspect that my meds were not working. I was right. They failed in a spectacular fashion.

Insert your own damned clever crash-related metaphor here, for my brain is muddy.

I swing wildly between why-even-try-anymore-depressive lethargy and manic, holy-shit-I'm-going-to-have-a-seizure-or-heart-attack-or-tumor-like-thing-and-die panic attacks. I hyperventilate and tremble and then my legs give out and I curl up in the fetal position and stare into space for hours. I lock and relock doors. I pace and jitter and nervous tic and cry because my puppy is not eating enough and is going to die. Jason is going to get sick of babysitting his wife because he's afraid I'll hurt myself and leave me for someone healthy. Or at least someone who will put her clothes away and not cry about it, for the love of God.

Then there are moments where everything is fine. I make jokes and smile and remember to unplug the iron. But then It starts all over again.

I would definitely say that the meds are not working.

I'm at home now, counting the hours until I see my doctor again, dozing off in between sentences, praying that I'll have the strength to drag myself out of bed and out the door when the time comes.

Maybe tomorrow will be better. Maybe tomorrow will be the day that I'll be back with the funny.

Maybe tomorrow.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (35)

August 26, 2004

Freak Out

No post today, obviously. Am too busy having a heaving all-about-me panic attack over this entry.

 

I'm not that sick. And yet I'm sicker than that. Oh my God. Help.

(Will be back tomorrow with the funny and the whatnot. Must go walk howling dog now and make smiley face at neighbors.)

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (21)

August 24, 2004

The Wrath of Con, Part II

OK, OK. Let's get this JournalCon post done and over and over and done with so I can get back to talking about my dog. And myself. My pretty, pretty self.

Verdict on JCon: Yay.

Mostly because I spent all my time hanging out with these clowns:

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SNOBBY WHORES ARE WE. But we are merry snobby whores, so you can just suck on it.

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We also brought Ceiba, who was not a snobby whore but was merely a lap whore. Was way more popular than me.

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Left to right, top row then the bottom, just like reading a damn book:
1) The happy yet rather ragged-looking family. Amy's doing that weird squinty eye thing she does when drunk.
2) The amazing Dawnie.
3) The amazing Martha and also the amazing Chickie's amazing husband who is, as you may have heard, amazing.
4) Chickie and the Chicklet, who shall be mine, because I waaaaaant her.
5) The babies vie for the title of Official Mascot of JournalCon, or at least a comfortable spot to lie down on.
6) Cute puppy photo or shameless attempt to see up my skirt? You be the judge.

I pussed out and slept a lot, for I am a pussy who gets cranky without sleep.

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But oh, there was much silliness and much mingling and much meeting of the loavely people.

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From left to right:

1. Rebekah and Coleen, who totally make me want to dye my hair red so I can be cool.
2. Dawnie, Molly and Rebekah, who are all totally not posing for my camera, but for someone else's, but I took the picture anyway because I wanted to pretend that I hang wit them and am cool.
3. Coleen posing at Maggie Moo's fantabulous shop of ice creamery and crazy ice cream servers, with perhaps the greatest motivational phrase a woman can hear: Something had to be done, and Maggie was just the heifer to do it. True dat.

And I'm seriously mad that these are all my pictures. I didn't get pictures of all the other people who I shall obsessively stalk and maybe marry someday.

(Here come the shout-outs.)

(Watch out.)

(You might want to leave now.)

Loave and make out sessions to Chiara and Kate and Kalamity and Pratt and Booger and Mo Pie and Lovinglav and Pineapple Girl and everybody else who I met and people I didn't because I was stricken with a major attack of The Shy almost the whole time because y'all are too SMART and it indimidated me, for I am dumb.

(Oh, and I read this entry at the reading, and I am told it went over well. There was a MICROPHONE. I was not prepared for a microphone. I think my hands shook. I probably looked like a drug addict. I also did not wear a bra and that room was COLD. Shit. I was going to read one of the Many Loves essays, but Jebus. If you had HEARD some of the smart/funny stuff other people were reading? You would have totally applauded my choice to stay in my little puddle of sophomoric humor where I belong.)

 

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (13)

August 15, 2004

Return of the Smile

Hi. Guess what we did on Sunday.

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This is Ceiba. (SAY-bah.) Everybody say hi to Ceiba and tell her she's pretty. You can tell her she looks like a rat, but only if you do it affectionately.

She's a four-month-old Miniature Pinscher. Wee. WEE. Four pounds. Won't get much bigger. Will fit in your freaking pocket. Paging Paris Hilton and etc.

Her ears are taped for cosmetic reasons...in a week or so they'll stick straight up like a Doberman's. Whatever. Stupid. The breeder did it. The breeder was a tad Best-In-Show-type scary.

Breeder: Blah blah blah pedigree champions purebred blah

Us: We do not care. Give us cute puppy. Squishy.

Breeder: Dog show!

Also? She uses a litter box. A. LITTER. BOX. We're still doing the whole crate-training-housebreaking process, because we like to make things difficult. Also, cleaning up pee is fun! For the whole family!

And it's really hard to focus on your own personal drama hell and mental funkitude when there are PUPPY BLADDER CONTROL ISSUES at hand. I mean, I have priorities. For real.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (36)

August 13, 2004

Amalah: The South Beach Album

I should start a band. That would be a cool album title.

Anyway. Um. Here! Pictures!

The South Beach Photo Album Spectacular Experience

That's all for today, as it took approximately eleventy million hours to upload all these pictures. ELEVENTY MILLION HOURS.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (11)

August 12, 2004

Miami Rhapsody

Back!

Back back back back!

Miami Beach? Lovely. Totally going to get wiped off the face of the earth this weekend by hurricanes, but for the days we were there? Just lovely and sunny and pretty and nice.

I'm tan, except for my scalp, which is totally red, and totally going to peel. Also pretty and nice.

(The ratio of complete-sentences-typed-to-appearances-of-the-word-totally is off the charts already. Totally off the charts.)

So Miami was great. Yes, there are pictures. No, I don't have them today. Although if you scour the Internet you might find one of a topless girl in a blue-and-white-striped bikini who looks just like me, but who totally isn't, because Amy would never go topless in Miami, because Amy would know that the instant her top is off she would have the rotten luck of getting photographed by some perv with a really nice camera. So yes. Or no. I'm confused now.

Tomorrow: Pictures. Today: Barely coherant random thoughts and ramblings that only sort of tell you about our trip. Lucky you!

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Take comfort in the fact that I am the sort of person who gets seated in the emergency exit row on planes. Don't you feel safe now? I am totally in control of the situation, people, just as soon as I emerge from the fetal position in the overhead compartment.

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You know how you always leave on trips feeling like you've forgotten something? But you just shrug it off because you ALWAYS feel like you've forgotten something, even if you haven't. And if you have? It usually ends up being something silly like lip balm with SPF in it, which you always forget, which is why you own approximately 243 tubes of it.

I remembered the SPF lip balm.

Scene: Miami airport, seconds after getting off the plane

Jason: Max was so mad at us this morning.

Amy: Yeah, he's been mad since he saw the suitcase.

Jason: Poor guy. I wonder if he'll hiss at the neighbors when they stop by to feed him.

Amy: So which key did you give the neighbors?

Jason:

Amy: JASON!

Jason:

Amy: Oh fuck.

Jason: Well, we knew we were forgetting SOMETHING.

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(Max is fine, by the way. One of the benefits of condo living means somebody out there has a key to your house at all times. It's like Stupidity Insurance. Stupid people should be required to live in condos. You should have to take a test before you can buy a house.)

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I will refrain from making some lame South Beach Diet joke in regards to how we ate while in South Beach. Mostly because I can't really think of one.

I ate a lot of French fries. And lobster. Even though it was Maine lobster and we were technically further away from Maine than we are at home, lobster seems like the thing to eat on vacation.

We also ate at Emeril's restaurant. Shut up. I was kind of giddy when we were there. Shut up again. I did not, however, pick up the salt and pepper and yell "BAM!" over and over. Although I totally would have if I thought of it at the time, because that would have been HILARIOUS.

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The waiter at our hotel? Looked so much like Jack Nicholson I was a little frightened. He was nice though. And yet scary.

Scary: Men in thongs.

Scarier: Women in thongs. Because while frankly, most of the men had the buns for the thongs. The women? Not so much.

Scarier II: Topless women. It's never the ones you want to see.

Scariest: Topless women in thongs playing paddleball. Bad naked! BAD NAKED!

Scariest II: Scare and Scarier: Did I seriously just use the word "buns?"

Totally Not Scary: Cute boys making out with each other. My marriage was in no way threatened. The family unit remains intact! Jason did not catch the gay germs! The natural order and balance of the universe is maintained! Humans continue to procreate at an adequate rate! The earth is still spinning on its axis!

Honestly. Also, gay bars have the nicest bathrooms. So there.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (17)

August 06, 2004

Mysteries of the Universe, Part One

In which Amalah confronts the questions of the ages...

What the hell am I banging and bruising my knee on repeatedly? Who is kicking me without my knowledge?

Where did all my red pens go? How do I keep buying and buying red pens and yet never have any?

Is it totally wrong to think the cleaning people are probably stealing my pens?

How can that really be how you spell "debilitating?"  That doesn't look right. I feel like it needs an "h" in there somewhere.

Why has my hair suddenly decided to be curly? When did this happen? My hair has been poker-straight my entire life. In high school I would put it in hot rollers every damn day and would still be lucky to create a wave that lasted longer than the school bus ride. Now? That I decided to embrace the straight hair and got a haircut designed for super-sleek and straight hair? Curly. Wavy. Bendy. I'm not really sure. I do kind of like it, which means it's totally just a humidity fluke and will go away in a week.

How am I going to get my anniversary flowers home tonight? Should I buckle them in?

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Why hasn't Jason's anniversary gift arrived? How do I break it to him and not sound like I just waited too long? Because I totally did just wait too long.

How did I end up married to a man who wants to put George W. Bush stickers on my car?

What in the world am I going to wear in Miami?

What time is our flight?

Where are the tickets?

Who's looking after Max?

Jesus Christ, what kind of half-assed travelers are we?

How in the world can my doctor call me an obsessive-compulsive if this is the way I plan my vacations?

Jesus Christ, where ARE THE TICKETS???

Why do so many medications cause "drymouth?"  My tax dollars should be finding a cure for this.

Also "tremor." WTF LEG STOP WITH THE TREMORING.

Why did I eat that old cheese just now?

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (25)

August 04, 2004

Off The Rails

No advice column today. I may postpone it until tomorrow, or it might take a little hiatus and run away with the 'ku.

I've made some light-hearted references to The Crazy and the Brain Doctor and la la la, Amalah's feeling a little blue and stressed.  Prozac is the new Flintstones Vitamin, no big deal, she's FINE. FINE FINE FINE.

Am not fine. Am dirty liar.

I'm not going into details. < insert standard "people in real life read this" boilerplate here > I'm not going to spend a lot of time writing about it. In fact, I'll probably just refer to the whole situation as "It" a lot and gloss over It entirely for weeks at a time. La la la.

But I thought you should know a few things.

1) No advice column today. Check.

2) I am still hilarious when I'm depressed. Sometimes even more so. Please don't leave me. Please don't find someone new. Especially someone younger and prettier. I would cry. Don't walk out that door! I am still talking to you! Baby, don't goooo!

3) I'm more than just depressed. Everybody's depressed. I need to be special...to stand out in the crowd. Am star!  Thus, I have Other Problems besides/in addition to/on top of It. I probably won't talk about Them either.

4) But these Other Problems require some serious mood stabilizers. Which make me feel like shit. Stable shit, but still. Shit.

5) I cannot, under any circumstances, get pregnant while on these drugs. My doctor literally held the prescription over her head and wouldn't hand it to me until I promised promised promised to go back on birth control, cross my heart and hope to not die in a depressed and moody puddle.

6) I will be on these drugs for a minimum of nine months. Nine. Months. Minimum. Ouch. Just...ouch. Right in the heart. The length of a pregnancy. At least. At this rate, my next-door neighbors will have a goddamn softball team by the time I have one. (And yes, it's totally a competition. I have to beat the spread in Vegas. Shut up.)

So. This is where I'm at. Fucked-up ovaries, fucked-up brain, fucked-up plans and now a seriously fucked-up entry that I'll probably regret posting instantly. Luckily I changed the title from the original, which was "Off the Baby Train, On the Crazy Train." I am happy about this, because that? Was awful.

(SIDE NOTE TO ALL REAL-LIFE PEOPLE: You never read this. I don't care if you read this, I'm telling you now, YOU NEVER READ THIS. The first person to walk into my office or whatever who makes a concerned frowny face and asks if I'm okay? Dies. As will anyone else. I do NOT WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT WITH YOU. Yes, you. Capiche?)

Ain't I a peach? Don't you want to take me shopping and give me big hugs?

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (35)

July 30, 2004

HOLE. EEEE. FUCK.

Oh my god.

OH MY GOD.

PEOPLE! FOR REAL! LOOK!

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Judith Light. AUTOGRAPHED.

I have yet to stop screaming. I don't believe I ever will.

Blessings and Loave and the Eternal Light of Judith to Martha.

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And Cyn pointed out a very valid oversight on my part. OF COURSE there were pictures of the Drunk Ho's and Ugly Dudes at the bar last night. OF COURSE.

I just left them on the camera, at home. Where I am right now, so look! Pictures!

(Click for the full versions, yo.)

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From left to right: Bald Grey Polo Shirt is Alpha Male who, for some weird reason, was the one who got all the lapdance action AND was spotted making out with both women. He swapped ladies when Black Talbot's Biz Casual went to the bathroom. Black Talbot's Biz Casual lost her lap to Fluffy Hair (in red, seen here doing a little seat cha-cha). Guy In Jacket just sort of stood there, just like that, all night. Non-Bald Grey Polo Shirt was the owner of the laptop that Black Talbot's Biz Casual spilled a beer on. He wore a lot of pagers and phones.  The beer belonged to Tacky Golf Shirt (not pictured), who was Black Talbot's Biz Casual's back-up guy after she lost out on Alpha Male.

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"Look at meeee! I am strong! Feel my muscles! Wheee!"

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Alpha Male: *hot tongue action*

Fluffy Hair: *about to vomit*

Guy In Jacket: *kind of thinks these people are jackasses*

Non-Bald Grey Polo Shirt: Heh. Heh. Yeeeah.

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It's the elusive Tacky Golf Shirt Guy! Totally working the fanny pack too.

(And while this picture looks tame? Please bear in mind that I seriously watched this woman lick this man's face. Yes. LICK.)

Okay, okay, enough with meanness. They were wasted, they were loud, they were all married and vaguely squicky.

But we were also drunk. Luckily, instead of licking random guys' faces, I just staged elaborate productions using the plastic bulls that came with our mojitos.

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Yellow Bull: How YOU doin'?

Green Bull: *about to vomit*

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (10)

See Amalah. See Amalah Lose Her Shit.

SEE AMALAH UPDATE AFTER A WHOLE DAMN DAY FOR SHE IS LAZY:

Friday. Fri. Day. Bitch. Es.

Too bad I woke up thinking it was Saturday. I’ve actually done that every blessed day this week. I blame D.C. Restaurant Week, which has required me to get dressed up every night and go out for dinner at swanky places and totally gives every night a Friday night vibe.

(Restaurant Week is well, a week where, well, restaurants lower their prices and let the poor white trash in for a three-course meal for $30 a person. Which should mean you get a meal that would usually cost over $100 for about $60, except that every place we’ve gone we’ve still ended up paying over $100 because we’re snooty people who demand lots of wine pairings and cocktails and sparkling water blessed by little French nuns or whatever.)

Last night we ate at some Nuevo Latin Cuisine Culinary Trend du Jour place that was awesome. Quite very much awesome. Quite very much mojitos. Hemingway Mojitos, actually, which are still just booze with sugar and mint but are literary, and therefore sophisticated.

We drank these literary cocktails and actually were more sophisticated than 90% of the jackasses at the bar, for they were Bad, Sloppy, Embarrassing Drunks.

Recipe For Hilarious Floor Show Cocktail:

First, you will need:

2 somewhat attractive yet nearing middle-aged women
5 totally unattractive middle-aged men on a business trip
5 tacky patterned golf shirts.
3 bald heads
1 toupee
7 wedding bands
8 pagers
6 constantly ringing cell phones.
8 glasses of house merlot
17 beers
5 martinis
Desperation (to taste)

Remove inhibitions with melon baler. Apply alcohol liberally and season with a heavy sense of desperation. Set alpha-male aside to marinate in beer.

Women should now be screeching at an increased volume and finding everything hysterical. Make sure to douse their Talbot’s biz casual wear with an extra helping of wine. Give men napkins to help clean them up in a completely gratuitous manner. Add one to alpha-male bowl for some booty shaking and grinding on a bar stool.

Shoot bartender look like, “Oh my god are you seeing this too?” 

Swap females so slightly younger one can make out with the bald and fat alpha-male until she falls off the bar stool. Combine older female and random other male with a turquoise golf shirt. Shake. Watch the horror.

Spill beer on someone’s laptop. Stir with inappropriate threats of spanking. Bring out photos of kids. Add French-kissing and remove any remaining Shame that may be floating around.

Continue mixing all ingredients around until the bartender flags them, gives them a bill so long it takes four receipts, and kicks their sorry asses out.

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SEE AMALAH STILL COP OUT ON REALLY WRITING ANYTHING:

Amalah: give me something funny to write about today so my readers don't all abadon me
Amalah: abandon, even
Amalah: also buy me a dictionary

Chris: I can do that
Chris: um...funny...
Chris: nothing good from dinner last night?

Amalah: a couple funny/sad things from the bar scene, but not enough for a whole entry

Chris: I was going to say...that sounded like some decent material...but whatever would have made it funnier?  make up!

Amalah: lie? on a BLOG? are you MAD?
Amalah: the blog police would get me!

Chris: I know!  I'm just that frickin radical
Chris: oh yes, the blogtroopers

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SEE AMALAH MAKE POLITE CONVERSATION WITH HERSELF:

Amalah: You are very sad. You didn’t update yesterday and yet you still have nothing to write about.
Amalah: Shut up.

Amalah: You also wussed out on the Haiku Smackdown, to the disappointment of dozens.

Amalah: Fuck you, bitch.

Amalah: Also, why don’t you go eat a sandwich or something? Jesus.

Amalah: Why don’t I just punch you in the face?

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SEE AMALAH BORE YOU WITH WORK TALK:

So remember those 11 reports I need to write and get to print by next Tuesday? Here’s how that’s going:

Number of reports that are DONE, as in DONE: Two

Number of reports that are DONE, as in I DON’T CARE ANYMORE: Two

Number of reports that are NOT DONE, but GETTING THERE: Five

Number of reports that are NOT DONE, and NOT EVEN CLOSE, OH MY GOD: Two

Number of extra small printing tasks that I did not include in the 11, but is also DONE and therefore has been added to the task list for the sole purpose of crossing it out as DONE in bright red ink: One

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SEE AMALAH DECLARE AN END TO ALL THE MADNESS:

I’ve given myself a deadline. Thursday, August 5th.  That seems like a nice date.

Either I write an entry on a single topic, start to finish, without all the lists and lame IM conversations, and actually say something remotely intelligent, and quit with the run-on sentences, by August 5th, or else…

Or else…

Well. Either I do all that by my deadline or else I miss my deadline. And that would be bad and stressful for me.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (15)

July 27, 2004

This Post Has No Pictures At All

Sorry about that. It’s all reading and words. But don’t worry, I don’t use any big words.

And I seriously have the attention span of a gnat today.  A drunk gnat.

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We’re going to Miami! South Beach. In two weeks. A last-minute little getaway for our anniversary. Six years. SIX. We’re on two hands now. We’ll be using our toes to count the years soon.

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HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED ABOUT P/E RATIOS?

Of course you have. Here, I wrote this today and would like to share it:

That’s the forward P/E ratio, and there’s no need to worry about figuring it our yourself…Yahoo Finance has it for you!  If you go to Yahoo and enter a quote, you’ll see a P/E ratio come up with all the other basics, but this is not the one you want. That’s the “trailing P/E ratio” which is talking about PAST earnings history, not future earnings potential.

If you are talking about the company’s estimated earnings for this year, you’re talking about the FUTURE earnings, so you want the “forward P/E ratio.”  From the basic quote page at Yahoo, click on “Key Statistics” from the left-hand column. In the top box you’ll see the forward P/E ratio. Take that number.

For example, I have a quote open now for Microsoft. If I look at the forward P/E, Yahoo gives it as 20.50.  I would then say that MSFT is trading at 20X its 2004 estimated earnings.

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I apologize for the above. While it’s one thing to not have anything to write about, it’s something completely different to purposely torture your audience just because you felt like cutting-and-pasting something.

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A NOTE TO ALL THE BRAVE WOMEN COMING HERE EXPECTING SOME SORT OF MOTHERLY WANTINGS AND ROLE MODELSHIP:

I have been added to Julie’s Big Ass Page Of Infertile People Who Write Things On The Internet. 

See?

And while this thrills me beyond belief (Traffic! Hits! Julie knows I exist!), it also makes me sad, sad, sad.

I was supposed to be all pregnant and fat by now, but I am not. I am skinny and get drunk a lot. This should be a good thing, but it’s not.

(Has anyone ever managed to get your period at the exact moment you've chosen to take a pregnancy test? I have. Am talented. Am also pathetic, because I still stared at that blood-stained pee stick for a minute and a half to make sure the results window said negative.)

(All male readers have just fled screaming from the room.)

Anyway, I hate Clomid, because it Did Not Work and it was Supposed To Work. So now what? IUI? Other various injectables that will leave me bruised and hormonal and riddled with The Crazy? $10,000 IVF cycles? Black-market babies?  Another cat?

My next-door neighbor is about to have baby number two. Guess when we started trying? Back before baby number one. I found myself spilling this information to her right after congratulating her on the second pregnancy.

"Congratulations!  Wow, number two. So soon? Really? Well, I guess she IS coming up on two years old…but you know you’re not the only grown-ups in the building who would like to be all responsible and shit because we’re trying but it’s not working because I’m defective and I’d appreciate it if you stopped flaunting your own glorious fertility all over the place, thank you very much."

Blah. Am a bitch.

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Number of questions I have received for tomorrow’s advice column: 0

ZERO. What, I don’t look like someone who can be relied upon to fix your stupid problems?  What, you want your advice columnist to have functioning ovaries and mental stability all of a sudden?

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Everyone raise your hands if you are sick of that little divider thing and wish I would stop thinking it's cute and stop being too lazy to write a cohesive, well-thought-out, non-MTV-generation-type post.

Yeah? Well. It's hormones...or something. Step off.

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IF YOU THINK I AM CAPABLE OF MORE INTELLIGENT THOUGHTS THAN THESE, YOU ARE WRONG, MISTER

A conversation with Chris:

amalah: you think that three-squash soup from last thursday is still good?
amalah: I’ve had it in the fridge
amalah: (I'm such a child.)
chris: not sure about that but there’s one way to find out!
amalah: Here! Smell this for me!
chris: I'm the same way with food and stuff
chris: sniff sniff...mmm, three squash!
amalah: hmmm...I think it’s down to about two and a half squash
amalah: squashes?
amalah: squashi?
chris: I was just thinking that
amalah: squashes doesn't look right. It's a verb
chris: yeah, that doesn't seem quite right to me either...just squash?
amalah: i think so
chris: like fish
chris: fish and squash
amalah: one squash, two squash, red squash, blue squash
chris: LOL
chris: Dr. Squasheuss
chris: Horton Hears A Squash
amalah: To Think That I Saw It On Squashberry Street
chris: Hop On Squash
amalah: Green Eggs and Squash
chris: There's a Squash In My Pocket
chris: Yertle the Squash
amalah: How the Squash Stole Christmas
chris: Squash in Socks
amalah: Did I Ever Tell You How Squashy You Are?
chris: Thidwick and the Big Hearted Squash
chris: (obviously I'm cheating, for I have gone to Amazon)
amalah: (me too)

(EDITED TO ADD: If you would like a post with pictures, I advise you to go HERE.)

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (23)

July 26, 2004

"Weekend" -- A Musical Extravaganza In Three Acts

Am back. Y’all missed me, right?

Well, not really, Amy. You never update over the weekend so I don’t even bother to come visit and was only vaguely aware that you were somewhere besides sitting on your own couch all weekend.

Miserable bastards.

Oh yeah, I totally missed you. Bitch.

(stony silence)

Ok, ok. Please tell me all about your frigging weekend already. Post some pictures and then shut the hell up.

Thank you!  I had a lovely weekend, actually. It was quite busy. But right now I’m having that “oh shit oh shit oh shit” feeling that comes from taking a WHOLE DAY OFF from work and then coming back to HOLY MOTHER OF STARBUCKS TORNADO O’ WORK PANIC PANIC SHIT SHIT SHIT.

Also, the CAPS lock key! I missed you, CAPS lock key! I brought you some taffy.

I am really, at this point, just trying to remember to keep up with the breathing.

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WEEKEND, PART ONE, THE FIRST

I drove up to Pennsylvania on Friday morning-ish. It was an uneventful drive, except for the eventful parts. All of which involved my E-Z Pass.

Now usually I would have great contempt for “E-Z” anything. But I love my E-Z Pass. You have your own special little lane at tolls that you drive through and you never, ever have to worry about having dollars. Because I never have dollars.

(Seriously. My lunch on Thursday was completely ruined by a BITCH coffee and sandwich place that was not Starbucks that would not let me charge an iced coffee because of some stupid $5 minimum charge policy.)

Anyway. E-Z Pass is great. You occasionally get the morons who drive in the E-Z Pass lane and don’t realize it until the last minute, but these people are not the fault of the E-Z Pass.

I drive through three tolls on my way to my parents’ house. Two in Maryland, one in Delaware. I drove through the first toll and the light didn’t turn green. It turned red, then yellow, which confused me. Do I…drive?  With caution? Did I pay the toll? With caution?

I figured maybe I drove through too fast. But the same thing happened at the next toll. And since I am a Good Girl who is terrified of the words “toll violator” but who is also helpless and wussy, I called Jason and ordered him to call the E-Z Pass people and yell at them.

But he was busy doing work stuff so I decided to be a grown-up.  At the Delaware toll I pulled into the “E-Z Pass Customer Service” building, and walked in and asked for some E-Z Pass Customer Service. Except that I was a Maryland E-Z Pass Customer, and therefore was ineligible for E-Z Pass Customer Service in Delaware.

Fucking Delaware.

So I get back in the car and drive through the regular toll, with all the regular people, and I hold out two lone dollars I managed to find in my purse. The toll lady ignores me completely, so I hold them out higher and wave them a little bit. She says something to me that I cannot hear at all. Here is the rest of the story:

Toll Booth Bitch:  *mumble mumble kvetch*

Amy: What? Also, look, dollars!

Toll Booth Bitch: *mumble mumble E-Z Pass*

Amy: (takes a wild guess) Yes, I know my E-Z Pass is not working. Here. Doll. Ars.

Toll Booth Bitch: YOUR E-Z PASS PAID.

Amy: (thoroughly confused now) What? But it hasn’t been working right at the last two…

Toll Booth Bitch:  I DON’T FUCKING CARE, YOUR FUCKING E-Z PASS PAID NOW DRIVE ALREADY.

Amy: (mouth drops open, gets the big and watery Precious Moments eyes)

Amy: (recovers) 

Amy: OH SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY YOU BITCH.

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WEEKEND, PART ONE, THE SECOND

Dad and I went to a Phillies game Friday night after it miraculously stopped raining humungous buckets of water.

I sat behind a woman who had the largest head ever. We called her Big Giant Head. Her husband? Next to her? Not a small man himself.

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Luckily we got to move over so the game was not obscured by Big Giant Head anymore.

The three stages of baseball, as played by Amy and Amy’s Dad:

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1) At the game, but before any beer.

2) At the game, after beer, after the home team scored.

3) At the game, after several beers, after the home team completely blew it.

Yes, the Phillies lost. Congratulations Chicago. And to any Chicago readers, please know that I mean absolutely no offense when I say that Chicago Cubs fans have no sense of humor, are mostly ugly and also smell bad.

But they do have normal-sized heads. I will give you that.

And oh! We were on TV! For real!  A whole bunch of people saw us and called my mom to tell her about it. V. exciting. Actually, most people only recognized my dad. Obviously, I have not posted enough damn pictures of myself on the Internet.

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WEEKEND, PART TWO, THE FIRST AND ONLY

On Saturday I went shopping with my mom. I bought many things. Many, many things.

But the only picture I have of that day is this:

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That’s a garbage can at the mall’s food court. It fucking TALKS to you. It says, “Thank you!” after you put garbage in it.

I thought maybe if you waved your hands in front of it the flap would open for you so you could avoid touching the germy trash flap. That would sort of make sense. But it does not. It just thanks you for your donation of trash.

It would also be cool if it yelled at you for throwing away recyclables. Or maybe snapped closed on your hand if you were wasting food. But no. ‘Tis a stupid trash can. But polite!

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WEEKEND, PART THREE, THE FIRST

On Sunday, it was the long-awaited and much-hyped meeting of the JLB Philly girls. It was fun. FUN. And you were not invited. Better luck next time!

Aren’t we pretty?  Say we are pretty.

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WEEKEND, PART THREE, THE SECOND

After brunch I called:

1)  My mother, to let her know that Coleen and Diana were, in fact, exactly who they claimed to be and were not 45-year-old gang members who lured me to brunch to keel me or sell me into white slavery over eBay.

2)  Jason, to let him know that I’d be home in about two hours. Maybe two and a half.

Like four hours later? Was still on the road.

My E-Z Pass was working correctly again, but it was not such the timesaver this time because Delaware only had one E-Z Pass lane open.

Fucking Delaware.

Also light drizzle in Maryland means you must go verrrrry slowly lest you go careening around a slight bend on 95 and lose control completely and end up in a ditch and die. In fact, it’s better if you put your car in neutral and just sort of coast home. You’ll get there eventually.

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WEEKEND, PART THREE, THE THIRD

I am in love with Bed Head After-Party. I have been searching for this product my entire life.

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Too bad it sort of looks like a sex toy of some kind. I mean, I don’t love it like that. Except that I totally do.

 

 

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (27)

July 22, 2004

Packing Diary II: The Packening

Going on a little trip, chickies. Tomorrow morning I head on out to Pennsylvania to visit with the parental units.

Dad and I are going to a Phillies game; Mom and I are going to spend money and buy shoes. Everyone's a winner!

AND AND AND then? On Sunday? I shall be brunching with Coleen and Diana in Philadelphia, which shall temporarily be renamed the City of Brotherly Loave in our honor. And we are totally bringing a picture of Judith Light to prop up on an empty chair and talk to like she is really there with us.

Because she will be. In our hearts. And in our crazy, crazy brains.

Anyway. Since I forgot to give y'all any warning of my departure and don't want anybody to panic when I don't update tomorrow and notify the authorities because oh, my god, she surely must be dead, I figured I would plagiarize from myself and do another packing diary -- a gimmick that sort of worked once so therefore must be beaten into the ground, shot and run over with a car by doing it again.

(That sentence was a bazillion words long. My head hurts now.)

6:30 p.m.  At work. Horrible, terrible, not-so-good work.

6:31  Fuck this. FUCK THIS.

6:33 Am totally leaving. Yes.

6:38  No.

6:55  Really leaving.

7:02  Really really leaving.

7:40  Home.

7:41 - 8:06  Rant about day.

8:07  Rant. Rant rant.

8:08  Must pack. Yes.

8:09  Get out suitcase. Cause small closet avalanche.

8:10  Order husband to order food. Fooooood. Indian food. Yes.

8:12  Realize one fingernail is starting to break. No!  Noooo. Paint. File. Pray.

8:14  Bite nail off.

8:15  Look for Saturday and Sunday Care Bear underwear.  Find Saturday's. Are dirty. EW!

8:16  Have seriously had dirty pair of panties in drawer with clean ones since last Saturday?  Who AM I? Dirty, dirty girl, that's who.

8:25  Terribly productive. Huge pile of clothes on bed is a very good short list of options of things I might possible want to take.

8:26  Pull cat off clothes.

8:27  Phillies hat!  And red shirt!  Wooooo! Go Phils!

8:29  Should bring bridesmaid dress found on eBay.  Perhaps Mom can alter it for free as a seamstress would probably charge more than damn dress cost in the first place.

8:30  Realize one tank top, upon which all other outfits depend, is in wash.

8:31  Order husband to go pick up food already. Am cranky.

8:34  Hate all clothes. Why does it always come to this?

8:36  Tank top is NOT in wash. WTF?

8:38  Mistake lacy garter belt for elusive tank top for the seventh time.

8:39  Ponder the many things that are sort of wrong with that.

8:43  Entire summer wardrobe is mashed into wee suitcase.

8:44  Should probably bring some warm stuff too in case it gets cold.

8:45  Like it so often does in JULY. Shut up, Amy.

8:50  FOOOOOOOOD.

8:51  AND WIIIIIIINNNNEEE.

8:52  Dinner is served. Crystal wine glasses brought out, as are paper towels because we are out of napkins. Plates are provided, but opt instead to eat right out of plastic container. Lit candles though.

8:54  Also realize am not wearing pants.

10:03  Totally over the packing. Over.

10:05  Which is different than being done with the packing. Very different.

10:06  HOLY SHIT, THERE IS A HELICOPTER HOVERING RIGHT OUTSIDE MY WINDOW. OH MY GOD. MY NEXT-DOOR NEIGHBORS ARE AL-QUEDA OR THERE IS ANTHRAX IN THE INDIAN FOOD.

10:08  Never mind. Helicopter was far away. Was reflection of ceiling fan in window.

10:09  Need more wine. Promptly.

10:12  Soooo almost tripped on the stairs and fell on my ass.

10:13  Still not wearing pants.

10:14  Still wondering where that damn tank top is. Going to bug me all weekend now.

10:17  Have not packed toiletries, shoes or the baby spider plant I promised my mom.

10:18  When did I last water the spider plant?  Or look at it?

10:20  Uh oh. Aren't plants supposed to be green?

10:21  Water plants. Water!  Life-giving water!  Live babies!  I care for you!  I do not forget you!

10:23  Will be horrible, terrible mother someday.

10:24  Although Max certainly ain't lacking a blessed thing in the world.

10:25 Except a clean litter box. Ew.

10:26  Wonder if blue and white linen skirt is better outfit than cream and brown striped one. Jason doesn't want to hear about it any more.

10:28  I wonder if anyone is online?

10:29  MIR! MIR! MIR!

10:34  There is a GNAT in my WINE.

10:35  That is gross, and yet what a glorious death that would be.

10:47  This post would have been funnier if I were drunker. Ooof. Glass hit teeth.

10:53  Loave Mir.

10:56  I don't think I shall pack anymore tonight.

11:00 Hope Coleen and Diana don't make fun of me when I show up on Sunday in the wrong tank top, a sweater for some reason and quite likely, no pants.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (23)

We Don't Need No Effin' Cohesion

TODAY'S FREAKOUT, BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE NUMBER ELEVEN:

Hey, anybody remember last week? When I had seven special report things to write for work? And how much I complained about it?

Am stupid girl. Drama queen. I know NOT of what I speak.

Next week? Eleven reports. E. LEV. EN. 

And I won't actually have a week this time. I really have about four days. What's four divided by eleven? Or I am supposed to divide eleven by four? Or is that the same thing? How in the world have I not been fired yet?

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Yes, it's back. I missed it, actually.

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TODAY'S THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL, BROUGHT TO YOU BY MIR:

So a little something arrived in the mail yesterday. Something that could really ever only be addressed to me.

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Yes. That is a tote bag that says Queen of Everything on it. Look at the marvelous detail.

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So thank you to Mir (what's that link? Mir? Mir?), for not only the perfect bag for announcing my superiority to everyone, but for also giving me an idea for this year's Halloween costume.

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TODAY'S LAME-ASS PHOTO ESSAY, BROUGHT TO YOU BY MY OWN FILTHY FILTH:

Poor Chris. He certainly took a thrashing in Tuesday's post. I mean, there once was a time when you could go out for lunch with a friend and not have to worry about your nasty, dirty cupholders ending up on the Internet. Those days are past. Especially if that friend is me.

But! Let he who is without filth cast the first stone! The rest of you, get in line behind him! Amalah? Back of the line, toots.

I present to you, my coffee table. (At a special artsy angle, too!)

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This is not a cupholder. This is where I LIVE. This is where I put my feet up. And also where I eat dinner a lot of the time, which has only now occurred to me as being really, really gross.

Just what is some of that crap? Well, let's do a quick inventory, starting in the top left corner and going clockwise:

Blank DVDs for pirating movies, topped off with a copy of the Jenna Lewis Survivor sex tape, blank CDs for pirating music, my birthday card that Jason forgot to give me in December and gave me on Tuesday, the case for Carbon Leaf's live CD (empty), a burned-out and busted wireless network card, the case for Carbon Leaf's Echo Echo CD (empty), the box and manual for our new wireless network card, shit from work that I brought home and ignored, keys, a rum and coke, an empty wine glass, an empty wine bottle, TiVo remote, plates from dinner, Jason's cell phone, stamps, another rum and coke, another empty wine glass, a Gladware container of soy nuts, the manual for our new camera (in Spanish).

Also strewn about: sharp scissors, more remotes, Post-Its, random bits of Important Trash, hair clips, sunglasses, matches, my collection of nail polish, catalogs, shoes, mail, and Max's Puppy.

This is Puppy.

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Max loves Puppy. Puppy is loved. Puppy gets the living shit kicked out of him on every occasion. Puppy is hanging on by a thread.

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AND ONE MORE, BECAUSE I LIKE WHEN PEOPLE TELL ME I'M PRETTY:

This is me, surprisingly not on drugs, just with smeary eyeliner.

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"Yes, I know I should be cleaning off the coffee table, Jason, but I'd really prefer to just hang out on the couch, over here, by your pants."

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (26)

July 20, 2004

Please Report to the Amalah's Office

Good afternoon, lovelies.

I am calm and collected today, and only barely on the verge of a spaz attack of some kind. So does that mean this entry will be boring? Possibly. But there are pictures! Pictures are not boring.

Unless they are pictures of my office, which they totally are, so yes. Boring.

(I still have not stopped with the new camera love. I mean, it is SO TINY. And I PUSH A BUTTON and it TAKES A PICTURE. I will NEVER QUIT with the LOVE for this CAMERA.)

Well, I will for awhile, because the battery just died. So no more pictures today. But that is okay, because I already took like, four dozen to bore you with.

Also, I just drank a lot of Coke at lunch. And then a venti iced coffee. (Venti is Italian for "fucking huge ass coffee.") So I am a bit jiiiiittttttttttttttery. Jiiiiittttttt. Ery. I like holding keys down. iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii.  Especially the i key. It's very satisfying.

You know what else is satisfying? A good night's sleep. Not like I would know right now, because my darling husband caught my insomnia last night. Allllllll night. I woke up around 3 am because the man was doing PUSH-UPS in our BEDROOM. I yelled at him or threw a pillow at him or something, because then he went downstairs and left comments on all the Judith Light Brigade sites.

The man is strange, yo. And then? To add insult to injury? He worked from home today? Because he was so tired? And he emailed THIS to me:

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Bastard. But oh my god, he's so cute.

He also, apparently, took a picture of my near-naked ass with the new camera last night. Which I was not aware of. Until I started going through the pictures on it today and was confronted with a close-up of my own butt.  Nice. The only thing that would have been nicer, frankly, would have been if I had discovered that picture while showing someone ELSE the new camera. Like, my boss, for instance. Or Chris.

Because Chris and I had lunch today. Yes. Which is where I drank all the Coke and then decided a venti venti venti was in order. I forgot to take pictures though, except for these, which are of the cup holders in his car.

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Seriously. Click on that there thumbnail, chickies, and just BEHOLD that horror. I believe those are jimmies (or "sprinkles" for those of you unfamiliar with the proper phraseology) from donuts. Many, many donuts. The crumpled up receipt is from me, because I am Rude.

Anyway.

So Jason is at home snuggled up with my gorgeous, precious cat, Chris is wallowing in his own filth, and I? Am here.

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This is my office. That is my desk. Run, Spot, run!

Several things of note in this picture.

1) The Starbucks travel mug, which I brought from home this morning, that was full of coffee, which you can add to my total caffeine tally of the day.
2) The little Tiffany's bag, which I carried some CDs and the camera in today. That I carry something in everyday. Is that not SO obnoxious of me?
3) The sensual mood lighting from IKEA, for I hate the ceiling lights so that I would rather work in a dim dank cave.
4) The Carbon Leaf poster, recently hung in its place of glory.
5) The wall calendar, which was not my choice, but was my Christmas gift from my company. They also supplied me with refills for my dayplanner. They really want to make sure I know what day it is. But they didn't have to worry, because my underwear tells me that.

IMG_0158This is the other side of my office. Please note the abundance of Important Looking Files and Binders and Finance Books, which are exquisitely balanced with the talking Pets.com sock puppet, Muppet finger puppets, tribble and Justin Timberlake bobblehead. Also Mickey and Eeyore, who is Scotch-taped to the bookcase by his neck. Also also, fake flowers from Target give my office a very homey feel.

I know how to work exactly three buttons on that phone, by the way.

pile_o_crapI think I've mentioned my hoard (horde? whored?) of free trial subscription financial newspapers, right? Here they are. They are so pretty and unsullied. And unread.

There is an envelope from The Wall Street Journal in my mailbox at work. It looks important. I am afraid to open it because it might be a bill or something. I don't remember signing up for a trial subscription or anything...it just started showing up. So I will do the adult, responsible thing and ignore it completely.

Anyway. I'm starting to crash a little bit. But there is still so much more!

van_gogh_earLike this!  This is Van Gogh's ear! For real!  I actually won this somehow. Some trivia contest or something. I can't remember. But the ear is actually one of those sticky stretchy things that if you throw at the wall it will kind of climb all the way down. It is Awesome. Except that the last time I played with it I threw it too hard and it just stuck to the wall and left this big greasy mark on the paint. Still. Awesome.

Now we shall move on to the more shameful aspects of my office. (And since you now know that I have no shame in owning a Justin Timberlake bobblehead doll, y'all better prepare yourselves.)

Ahem. First up. Under the desk.

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A dark and vile place. Where small shopping bags go to languish and die. Where red pens weep, uncapped and dried out. Where bottles of water sit until swamp life appears. Where I keep a mini-fridge stashed with Coke and chocolate. Where all the Post-Its that I write important things on apparently end up.

Also, look at those boring shoes! Boring boring boring! I hate work shoes! I look like a nun! Wah.

Next up. The DRAWERS. Dun dun duuuuun...

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Right. So the first one is the bottom drawer. In which there is a spare hairbrush and lint roller, plus my in-case-of-lunch-emergency backup jar of peanut butter. And honey. And oatmeal. That oatmeal is probably about three years old, as I bought it in a fit of good-breakfast-intentions a very long time ago. I have eaten about two packets. I also keep my lone office Christmas decoration in here, which I just removed from my computer monitor last Wednesday.

And now the top drawer. Which is just full of crap, crap and more crap. Old paystubs, napkins I have stolen from various restaurants, salt and pepper packets, a slot machine pencil sharpener, some dried ancho chiles and pages from my cat-a-day photo calendar that I thought were especially cute. There are about 202 pages in there so far this year. Also my calculator that I use for complicated stock market math, but which only works now if I hold it right up to my lamp.

Anyway. That's about it. Except for this. This was me this morning, before I'd had any coffee at all.

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And this is me now.

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FACT: Caffeine not only makes you hyper, it gives your skin a near-radioactive GLOW.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (42)

July 19, 2004

The Weekend of the Leaf

BUT FIRST, THE SLEEP REPORT:

Friday night: 12 glorious (albeit strongly medicated) hours of sleep.

Saturday night:  Yeah, not so much. But how much sleep can you really expect after finding yourself in line for chili cheese fries at 3:30 am?  (Yeah, just keep reading.) Although I did have this one really vivid dream about being Mariah Carey’s personal assistant. Mariah was exactly the sort of damaged train wreck one secretly hopes she is, except even more so, like Anna Nicole Smith. Like I picked out a dress for her to wear and she put it on backwards and I had to do her hair for her because she kept putting pink bows in it. And I was all, Bad Mariah, no! No bows! I also defended her to everybody by saying she was just “fragile.”  She also had a huge ass.

Sunday night: Was on my way to a good eight hours of sleep when Jason woke up at 4 am due to some kind of allergic reaction to our sheets. Or to the detergent we washed the sheets in, which was not my beloved Allergen-Free All but some vile Bounty-of-Allergen Tide. As a result, have been up since. And if you ask me if I did anything productive like get to work on time, I will totally lie and say yes.

AND NOW…

So. Saturday morning.  Or really, Saturday noonish. I was still sitting on the couch in an unshowered puddle when Jason spotted an ad in the paper for Carbon Leaf’s latest album. The latest album I have listened to a bazillion times already and am totally peer-pressuring all my friends into buying.

Oh, but wait! The ad was also for an in-store concert by Carbon Leaf at a Borders’ in Maryland.  That started in…holy shit…two hours so FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GET SHOWERED WE HAVE TO GO NOW.

So we went. But oh! My! God! As we walked in the mall entrance, I noticed this guy in front of us was carrying an instrument case stenciled with CARBON LEAF.

Lead singer, babies. His name is Barry Privett and just prepare yourselves, because one day you are all going to want to sleep with him, for he is HOT. (And to Fresh Baked who pointed out an unfortunate resemblance to that bug-eyed freak that played Fourney in that Natalie Portman movie where she gives birth in a Wal-Mart or whatever: No more Fourney. The hair is cut and so are the biceps. Yowl.)

Jason and I were all, “Holy shit! It’s Barry!” But then we did all that second-guessing and whispering and whatnot until we stepped on an escalator right behind him. (I was eye-level with his ass, people. Who wants to touch me?) I finally made Jason say something to him, which he did, and Barry was all nice and shook our hands and talked to us the whole way up to Borders’. I was only sort of a blithering stalkerish idiot.

Oh, and we forgot the camera. Please to enjoy some grainy camera-phone pictures that are all we have to remember the coolest concert I have ever attended in a retail environment.

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We bought a second copy of the CD, because we fight over the one we already have. Plus we wanted more autographs. AND they let me steal a poster off a bookcase and they autographed it. WITH MY NAME. And I gave Barry a wee hug, which was better than the last time I hugged him, which was after their last concert at the 9:30 Club in D.C. and I was very drunk and sweaty and I distinctly remember squealing.

Anyway. Ta-da!

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THIS WEEK’S EXPENSIVE MATERIAL POSSESSION CURRENTLY FILLING THE BABY-SHAPED HOLE IN OUR LIVES:

We bought a new camera. A Canon PowerShot SD110 Digital ELPH.

The concert was the last straw.  Now, we have a digital camera. A very nice one, actually. It’s just HUGE. And complicated. It intimidates the crap out of me and I always end up taking it to Jason and asking him to set it up for me so my pictures won’t look like crap.

So we bought a new one that’s small and all point-and-shootable. It’s actually so wee I can keep it in my purse or even a wristlet. And you hit a button and it takes the picture. I think it does more than that, but those were the major selling points for me.

(We’ve taken a frillion pictures with it already. I’ve put them in a separate album so this entry won’t take three years to load. Warning: These are not good pictures. Many of them? Are downright horrible. But they are NEW. NEW NEW NEW. There are also lots of self-indulgent arms-length shots and also a lot of the cat. Who is ADORABLE and I KNOW you want to look at him in various stages of sitting and staring.)

I wish I could buy a camera that would make me look less stupid.

AND THE MAIN EVENT…

We went to see Carbon Leaf AGAIN on Saturday night at the 9:30 Club, which is a very cool and small venue. But it’s also very cutthroat. It’s all general standing-room admission and people are total assholes. I hate people.

We staked out a spot nice and close to the stage but spent half the show defending our territory against stage-crashing drunks. I seriously had WORDS with these two Drunk Girls before Carbon Leaf came onstage who thought that they deserved to be in front of us because it was the one girl’s birthday. Or “biirfffday”, as she put it. They also thought making out would change people’s minds. I tried to reason with them that there was no way in hell I was letting them push me aside and then realized I was arguing with a completely smashed 21-year-old who looked like the chubby Dixie Chick. Anyway, there was no point in getting worked up over it because they left to go throw up a few minutes later.

Other thoughts from the concert:

You have not truly lived until you’ve heard a celtic-folk-rock band do a Zeppelin cover on acoustic guitar. You simply have not lived.

Wearing flip-flops to a standing-room only show is Stupid. Stupid dumb idiot moron.

Barry wore the same t-shirt he wore at the Borders’ show. I would say “ew” but he looked really good in it. He should probably never change.

Our camera didn’t really do us much good at the show, as we got yelled at when we used the flash. Without the flash, we took a lot of nice pictures of darkness. Which is why I posted all those crappy pictures, because I must justify the existence of the new camera in one way or another.  Anyway, I don't need photos from the concert, for they are printed on my heart. I will also check out the fan sites for other people's and then steal them.

AND, THE AFTERMATH…

After the show we wandered around, decided we were hungry, and ended up at Ben’s Chili Bowl, the D.C. institution of late-night-drunk food in a slightly sketchy area that you don’t notice because you’re drunk. This is where we found ourselves, at 3:30 am, waiting in LINE for chili cheese fries. Which were the most delicious thing I have ever tasted. I very nearly wept over them…it was that good.

On the way out? As I pushed my way through the line? This woman sitting in a booth shrieked. “DON’T TOUCH ME!” and pulled away in horror, like I had open sores and was lurching towards her clamoring for brains. I stopped and stared at her, because she didn’t look like The Crazy. She actually looked pretty normal. She shrieked again, “WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T TOUCH ME.”

And with a bravery unseen by most white girls, this white girl in particular, I looked her right in the eye and told her to calm the fuck down, because I wasn’t going to fucking touch you, you crazy bitch.

And then I went home and had the crazy Mariah dream. La la la.

ONE LAST PARTING SHOT:

You know you had a good night when there's an empty wine bottle in the trash IN YOUR BATHROOM.

wiiiine

That is all, thank you, good night. Will be here all week.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (23)

July 16, 2004

Things Amy Did This Week Instead of Sleeping

- Stayed awake.

- Covertly poked Jason with toes to see if he was really asleep.

- Stared at stupid cat that sleeps 22 hours a day and seethed with jealousy.

- Flipped pillow over to cool side approximately 80 bazillion times.

- Decided to try glass of warm milk.

- Burnt milk.

- Counted my shoes. (Not. Telling.)

- Haiku’d.

- Sent Chris annoying IMs of “Are you there? Are you awake? Huh, huh?” only to realize I was sending them to his cellphone because Trillian wouldn’t change his status to “mobile device” or whatever until AFTER I sent the IM. Fucking Trillian.

- Stared at buddy list and tried to subconsciously will somebody to log on.

- Checked email obsessively.

- Sent out delirious and poorly typed emails to people demanding that they explain this Rockchild individual to me because what the effing hell.

- Ate $5 low-carb peanut butter right out of the jar.

- Wrote things on Post-Its.

- Made note to steal more Post-Its from work.

- Thought about that guy I saw at that bar who was wearing a polo shirt with “Allstate Catastrophe Team” on it. Seriously? That needs to be put on a polo shirt?

- Pondered the return of the upturned polo shirt collar and how totally toolish it looks.

- Started exercise regimen of sit-ups and push-ups.

- Shelved exercise regimen.

- Looked up law school costs.

- Blacked out momentarily.

- Drank.

- Self-medicated.

- Wrote this entry.

- Forgot to change post status from “draft” to “publish.”

- Saved entry repeatedly in confusion.

- Checked site obsessively for missing phantom post.

- Muttered obscenities and decided I didn't really want to post this after all, so there.

- Realized mistake.

- Put head down on desk.

- Laughed like a crazy, crazy loonybird.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (17)

July 15, 2004

RANDOM THOUGHTS AMY HAD TODAY, PLUS MORE FROM THE POST-ITS IN HER PURSE

Once upon a time, this journal had A Point. I wrote essays. Fully-developed entries about a linear topic or storyline. My posts had beginnings, middles and ends.  I could do that thing where you conclude with a clever play on your first sentence or post title. I would even proofread sometimes. I could turn the world on with my smile.

In other words, A Point.

Will we ever see those days again?

Yes! I know it! I promise!

But not today. And probably not tomorrow either. Actually, now that I think about it, you should probably just forget I said anything.

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See? Smaller today. Because I am no longer screaming it. Just repeating it softly to myself over and over and rocking slightly.

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The big metal toilet paper/seat cover/wastebasket thing in Stall #4 in the ladies’ room is busted, just like the one in Stall #2. It kind of hangs open and makes getting paper off the roll really hard.

I never cared about Stall #2. Other people complained bitterly when the Stall Service Station broke and I was all, “Use another stall and shut up. Also, I don’t want to know which toilet you sit on.”

But now! I understand! Stall #4 was mine! It was a good location, was always well-stocked and had an interesting drain on the floor to look at and wonder if this bathroom ever used to be a locker room of some kind and then maybe imagine some kind of office women’s prison film or something.

Stall #1 is right next to the entrance of the bathroom, plus has a gap in the door that you can totally see through. Stall #3 is the favorite stall of the notorious toilet seat cover taker-and-putter-backer. Stall #5 is the handicapped stall and it’s just too big to feel comfortable in.

I am extremely distraught. Perhaps I shall just hold it all day.

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While we’re on the subject of bathrooms, and before y’all totally leave in disgust because I am STILL on the subject of bathrooms, let me just tell you about the ladies’ room at my office.

It has a combination lock.

You have to punch four numbers in before you can open the door. FOUR. And it’s really low and hard to see. Originally, the combination was something absurd, like 7351. This caused such an uproar that it was changed to something easier. (Which I would totally tell you because I think it’d be hilarious to have people coming to my office and already know the secret bathroom door code, but my office takes Restroom Security very seriously, and I would get fired.)

The men’s room? No lock. No security. The men of my company? Can apparently take care of themselves better than us weak, delicate little vagina flowers.

Allegedly, we have the lock because we had a Restroom Security Breach at our old building. Some dude walked in, went into the ladies’ room and hid in a stall all day. He never talked or touched anyone. He just apparently got off on listening to women pee. Eventually, someone saw his shoes and he was discovered. 

That could just be one of those old publishing company urban legends though.

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Number of special reports Amy has written this week: 7
Number of bitter, bitter tears Amy has wept in the process: 700
Number of drinks Amy will have tonight to celebrate: 7, because it’s only fitting

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THE SORT OF SENTENCE THAT MAKES ME DIE A LITTLE INSIDE WHEN I WRITE IT:

These are high-quality growth stocks at value-stock prices!

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So according to the Post-It Notes in my purse, I rode the Metro recently. And I was going to do a post about it. I don’t think I’m going to do a post about it.

But here are my notes for the entry I was going to write, but am now not:

There’s nothing like riding the Metro to trigger a full-blown case of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. I feel itchy and dirty now.

That woman over there hasn’t snipped the white stitches holding her jacket pleat together.

That guy’s t-shirt tag is sticking out. And he has neck acne.

That guy’s low battery light on his laptop is flashing. Turn off! TURN OFF!

Someone “proofread” that anti-drug poster near the door. Except that they incorrectly changed “affect” to “effect” and “hypocritical” to “hypercritical” and inserted an unnecessary semicolon. I am dying to take my red pen to it. STET!

STET STET STET!

Dear god. Why do I even have a red pen with me right now?

gah-gah-gah2

Several Post-Its later, I wrote this:

“I seriously thought my eyeballs might already be on the floor. Am such a whore.”

I have no idea when I wrote that or why my eyeballs were on the floor. Ew. But props for rhyming!

gah-gah-gah2

FUN WITH OUT-OF-CONTEXT IM:

amalah: let’s run away and be mimes
rudecactus: hey amy...will you be mime?

gah-gah-gah2

Odds of Amy winning a Diarist Award, ever:  negative 3 plillion percent (%)


Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (18)

July 13, 2004

Freaking Out By the Numbers

Gah. Gah. Gah. Gah.

That’s really all I can say right now.

In fact, let me say it a few more times.

Gah. Gah. Gahgahgahgah.

Work has totally just exploded all over the place. Everywhere with the work.

Next Monday I have seven super-special reports that must go to print. That I must write. Me, alone, with my own words. SEV. EN.

These super-extra-special reports are all about stocks and stuff, which means that I may also have to do math with numbers along with the writing of words.

So I kind of had numbers on the brain when I wrote this entry. I also kind of wrote this entry in short 30-second bursts over a period of two days. I apologize in advance.

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Haaaaaa. Isn’t that funny? It’s totally funny. And functional!

gah-gah-gah

Dudes, I totally never talked about my Saturday night dinner with Chris and Beth Cactus. Well, it was so long ago that I kind of forget everything. This is what I remember:

Number of times Amy changed her outfit before Chris and Beth arrived: Four
Number of times Amy changed her outfit after Chris and Beth arrived: One

Number of gifts Chris brought for Amy: Three
Number of gifts Chris brought for Amy that were reality TV star porn home movies: One
Number of gifts Amy had for Chris: Zero

Number of cabs in the entire freaking city when you really need one: Zero
Number of cabs per square inch when you are going out after company has left: Seventy billion and two

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Number of Google hits amalah.com will get for “reality TV star porn home movies”: Seventy billion and three.

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Number of lip glosses amalah.com readers admitted to owning: 37

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Number of nickels Amy put in the vending machine yesterday to get some lunch: 17

My only options were ramen noodles or some new low-carb meal replacement thingie that cost two fucking dollars. But the noodles were shrimp (RANDOM FACT: Amy is allergic to shrimp so please don’t feed them to her, for she will die.) so I went with the low-carb thingie. Um, ew?

Number of minutes until Amy was hungry again after eating low-carb thingie: .28473

gah-gah-gah

Number of nickels Amy has for lunch today: 0

gah-gah-gah

Number of misplaced apostrophes Amy has found this week: 48

gah-gah-gah

Number of super-duper-extra-special-with-a-cherry-on-top reports Amy wrote on Monday: 3.5
Number of days Amy has been waiting for someone else to do the second half of that other one: 4

Number of blah-blah-blah-special reports Amy wrote today: 1, sort of

Number left to go: 3.5

*weeeeep*

gah-gah-gah

Number of times Amy has listened to her new Carbon Leaf CD: 482
Number of times it took Amy to memorize the whole thing: 1

(RANDOM FACT: Amy has a photographic memory, but only for things she hears. A photoauditory memory? This really only helps for CD lyrics and Simpsons episodes, because Amy doesn’t really pay attention to much else.)

Date Jason told Amy was the date of the Carbon Leaf concert: July 13, 2004
Date Jason thought was the date of the Carbon Leaf concert: July 12, 2004
Actual date of the Carbon Leaf concert: July 17, 2004

Number of amalah.com readers who should buy the dang CD already: Seventy billion and four

gah-gah-gah

Number of times Amy has considered a career change since Monday morning: 324

I think I want to be a lawyer, y’all. Like, for real. Can someone tell me how I become a lawyer? Is it hard?

gah-gah-gah

Number of posts at amalah.com, including this one, right now: 200
Number of comments at amalah.com, which are totally skewed because of the Haiku Smackdown, but still: 2,350
Number of weeks we're behind on Grand Master crowning: 3
Number of hits amalah.com has gotten since November 2003: 52,040
Amount of faith Amy has in that number: Negative seventy billion and five

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (15)

July 11, 2004

The Inner Sanctum, Cont'd.

DUN.....

the-holy-grail

DUN.....

closer

DUN.....

closerstill

DUNDUN!!!!

open

(insert timpani-type-banging here)

Yes, this is my make-up case. And this is its story.

tarte I have a lot of cool stuff in there. Like this Tarte cheek stain, which is sort of like a big jellified crayon for your face and makes your cheeks look all rosy instead of that fish-belly death-white color they usually are. You kind of look like you've been standing at a bus stop for awhile on a windy day. And it only cost $26.

tonyntinaI also have this Tony & Tina Herbal Eye Base stuff, which is perhaps the greatest innovation in neutral-colored cream-type stuff ever. You put it on your eyelids before your eyeshadow and it keeps the shadow from smearing or doing that funky eyelid-sweat thing. I keep a travel-sized version in my purse in case of herbal eye-related emergencies. (No, actually, it works as a totally kick-ass concealer too.) $22.

sparkle glitter

Ooh!  Ooh! This stuff is fun. It's my Urban Decay Menage a Trois set of body glitters. Lickable body glitters, y'all. Heh. It's awesome because it's trashy. But because it cost $38, it's like, upscale trashy. (My sister bought me these for Christmas, along with my Care Bear days-of-the-week underwear. Which are thongs, by the way, to answer the burning question many of you just HAD to ask. Care Bear cotton thongs with sparkly waistbands. I am wearing Sunday's pair today, but under protest because of the aforementioned Cheer Bear/Funshine Bear conundrum.)

Anyway.

Time to move on to The Gallery of Regrettable Products, Volume II.

clear-whatI went through a phase when I wanted to be all natural and dewy. So I bought clear mascara. What? You put it on and it looks like...you didn't put it on. Brilliant! At least brilliant of Sephora, as they got me to hand over $8 for a tube of nothing.

skinlightsAlso from my dewy phase: Revlon Skinlights "Face Illuminator."  I'm pretty sure this was bought at a late-night drugstore on a munchies run. It's supposed to make your face shiny. And it does. You get a healthy, natural shine -- similar to the shine you could get after a long night of sleeping on a pillow of French fries. Cost? No idea, although I do remember there was some kind of two-for-one deal on Doritos at the same store that night.

purpleDude, step AWAY from the purple. Especially glittery purple. I distinctly remember buying this after the first Charlie's Angels movie came out. I also bought purple sunglasses with a little rhinestone heart on the one lens too, so I was obviously quite deranged. Luckily, this is by Maybelline, so it was probably $3 or something. Still not the 99-cent bargain that is the Wet N' Wild Clearance Bin, but still.

eye-polishThis stuff is called "eye polish." I still don't know what it is. When I tried to wear it? I sort of looked like that woman from the Drew Carey Show with the crazy makeup. It also made my eyelids STICK to themselves whenever I blinked. So good thing I went ahead and bought TWO of them.

wetslicksThe single worst lip gloss purchase ever made. And, as you'll in just a moment, I've purchased quite a few. This color, while a lovely wine-ish shade in the tube, goes on magenta. And smeary and sticky and uneven and guaranteed to end up all over your teeth and in your hair and to make you look like the opening credits of the Rocky Horrow Picture Show.

glossies(And I wasn't kidding about the glosses. Here's my collection of glosses, balms and other assorted Things That Make Your Lips Shiny, because non-shiny lips are ugly and un-sexy. And even though I just took this picture this very morning, it is out-of-date because I bought yet another lip gloss at the grocery store today. But it was in the Wet N' Wild 99-cent clearance bin! And look! See how I'm almost out of that Chanel one in the center? That one costs $27. I'm cutting back! I'm behaving!)

(I also lined up my lipsticks for a group shot, but it was too horrifying. 19 tubes. I wear maybe two of them.)

Aaaaannnnddd...that's pretty much about it. Oh, I could go on and on about my really nice Sonya Kashuk brushes that I treat like shit and all my little tubes of sparkles and the bottomless black hole at the bottom of the case, but I won't, because I am sick to death of uploading pictures. And sick to death of this post, actually. I mean, what's next...a photo essay about my sock drawer?

Well, now that you mention it...

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (21)

July 09, 2004

Best Weekend Plans Ever

Two posts in one day! Can you even stand the excitement? But I just HAD to write again to tell you about my awesome plans for the weekend.

BUT FIRST, ONE LAST THING ABOUT THE WHOLE DRUNK THING:

So at lunchtime today, I drove to Starbucks for caffeine and that little antipasto lunch-pack thing they sell, because I was craving some kind of salty lunch meat and really didn’t want to go to the grocery store and end up buying a package of bologna and eating the whole thing before I got to the checkout aisle because that’s totally what I would have done.

What? Oh right. Driving to Starbucks. Hideous, hideous sunlight. A pothole that very nearly killed me. The soothing sounds of Sarah MacLachlan in the CD player.

Park, walk to store humming the song I was just listening to. Enter. Am suddenly aware that I can hear the exact same song playing. Just barely, but I can’t seem to make it stop. I panic and think, “OH MY GOD I AM STILL DRUNK. MY EARS ARE RINGING AND I’M HEARING PHANTOM MUSIC.”

Stricken, I move slowly to the food display and pick out my lunch, trying to look sober and collected. I go to the cashier and order one of the new Light Frappaccinos instead of the orgasmically fantasticular Strawberries & Crème one, because after all this weight-loss bragging I have done, I cannot gain back a single ounce before JournalCon.

Suddenly, I realize the cashier is SINGING THE SAME SONG. She stops when she sees me looking at her, as I imagine I really did look marshmallow toaster I am the walrus-type crazy at this point. I also looked like shit with the aforementioned tote bags under my eyes. But still. I tried to explain.

AMALAH: Heh. I was JUST listening to that song in my car. What a coincidence.

CASHIER GRRL: You mean the song that’s playing now?
CASHIER GRRL: *points at the ceiling*

AMALAH: *stares dumbly at the ceiling as the revelation dawns on her verrrrrry, very slowly that she is not insane, but still very stupid*

CASHIER GRRL: Here's your change. Now get the fuck out of my store.

ACTUALLY NO, HERE'S ANOTHER THING ABOUT THE DRUNK THING:

From an email I wrote to Samantha, regarding Wiccan bumper stickers and keeping Post-It Notes in your car...

The problem with writing on Post-Its in your car is that 1) It's dangerous. 2) They're very sticky. 3) If you use your steering wheel as a writing surface you tend to honk the horn accidentally. 4) You end up with notes like this:

(actual transcription of my notes)

Wiccans + bumper stickers
dragons, good men, etc.
back OFF goddess
Ameriwiccan
Walk ancient ones
Harm None

Not exactly very helpful. Except when you're drunk. Then they apparently make perfect sense.

AND WHAT THE HELL, WHILE WE'RE ON THE SUBJECT OF READER CORRESPONDENCE:

A conversation with Meli regarding Care Bear underwear and this trainwreck of a site she provided and for which I loave her now...

AMALAH: That site is going straight on my blogroll of The Crazy. *shudder* Maybe I should send her pictures of my panties?

MELI: I'm thinking that either her or the boyfriend would like that a bit too much. Then it might go from crazy to stalker... She is old enough to know the original Care Bears though. I was wrong about that. She's also old enough to know better than to build a website like that.

AMALAH: She is also wrong about Funshine Bear, whom she says is a girl. All my readers assure me Funshine is a boy, and my readers are always right. So there, Krazy Kare Bear Kook.

AND BACK TO THE DRUNK THING AGAIN, BECAUSE WHY NOT:

MINDY
: Amy, why you no love me on IM?

AMALAH: AM HWERE bur missed you. send messages to no avail. sad now. pout. cry. maybe weep a bit. also druuuuunk.

AND NOW, YOUR ACTUAL POST TOPIC:

Dudes! Jason and I are having dinner tomorrow night with both Mister AND Missus Cactus. Aren't you so jealous now?

THE END.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (16)

Things That Are Making Amy's Head Hurt Today

(Ahem. A little background, if you must know.)

1) Light.

2) Air.

3) That shirt you are wearing.

4) That relentless, infernal "breathing" thing you insist on doing.

5) The fact that there was, apparently, a seven a.m. this morning.

6) The mental energy I have spent pondering my underwear.

7) No, for real. Because why does the Care Bears days-of-the-week panty for Friday have Funshine Bear on it? Shouldn't Funshine Bear be on Sunday's pair? Because he has a sun on his tummy? Sunday's pair has Cheer Bear on them, which would make much more sense on Friday, because you cheer "Yay, Friday!" on Friday.

8) Also the amount of anguish typing all that caused me because I'm thoroughly confused about whether a pair of panties should be referred to as singular or plural. It/them? Has/Have? What?

9) My looming four p.m. print deadline for this damn newsletter that has been in production for SEVEN DAYS and I am still finding misplaced apostrophes.

10) Also, is Funshine Bear a he or a she?

11) How loud my car radio came on this morning when I started the car.

12) That girl who is SUPER CHIPPER and positively SHRIEKED "Good Morning!" at me this morning. Oh my god.

13) This guy on the phone right now who is responsible for all the misplaced apostrophes in my life and who is totally fishing for compliments about his writing.

14) My own damn chirpy telephone voice.

15) The plight of Zoot and her paranoid fucktard of a boss. And how many times I keep going to email her things because I'm stupid.

16) The mortgage calculators at Realtor.com.

17) How badly I want this one house and how afraid I am that it will be sold long before we get to look at it.

18) My ponytail. Or possibly my hair follicles. I can feel them growing. Ouch.

19) The number 19.

20) The word "contrarian." Shut up, word.

21) The nagging suspicion that I will never write anything as funny as that last post ever again and people will just leave comments like, "Hey, remember that drunk post you did? You should do more like that." And I will sacrifice my liver to keep y'all entertained and end up dead in a ditch of alcoholism like Edgar Allan Poe or whoever that author was who ended up dead in a ditch of alcoholism.

22) The fact that I wrote "dead in a ditch of alcoholism" instead of "dead of alcoholism, in a ditch" twice and could not sum up the energy to fix it.

23) The bags under my eyes. Nay, the shopping bags under my eyes. Nay, the shopping CARTS under my eyes.

24) The number of times I have used the phrase "the fact that" in this post.

25) The fact that this stopped being funny 17 numbers ago.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (14)

July 08, 2004

days of wine and fucking roses or whatever

haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Guess who's a little bit drunk, bitches.

GO ON, GUESS.

So first of all, I loave wine,. And also Futurama. TiVo these reruns, like, for real. I did not realize how brilliant this show was until this very minute.

Second of all, guesss what. We're moving!  Maybe. We're going to buy a house (and no, for real, A HOUSE) in the ghetto/murder/kill part of our beautiful nation's capital. Or is it Capital? Capitol? WEhere the fuck is my AP Style Guide?

Anyway. Jason is sitting here going through seventy billion realtor.com printouts of houses right now and there's this one? I totally want to make out with. Yes. I want to make out with a house. Because it's beautiful and has a porch and a two-car garage and a fucking WHIRLPOOL and a fireplace and is just so cute I want to put it in my pocket.

If I had pockets, which I don't right now, for I am wearing this French Connection skirt that hasn't fit since the day after I bought it that NOW FITS and MY ASS IS AWESOME PEOPLE. It;s like a size 2 or something. And by "something" I mean a size 4 which is probably a size 8. But still: AWESOME.

Am skinny and hot. Because of the South Beach diet. And also because of The Crazy. But am calling a doctor tomorrow to get new Crazy Pills I swear. (HJi Mom!)

Also: duuuudes. Other thoughts I'm having right now:\

1) Max is so fucking cute he is BREAKING MY HEART.
2) Especially since I know if we move to murderville Northeast DC I will need to buy a big dog and Max? Will fucking hate that.
3)Maybe Zoot will give me her new dog? Becuase OH MY GOD. That is the cutest dog ever.
4) And Zoot will totally want to give me her dog once she gets the birthday gift I sent her, because it is AWESOME.
5) i WAAAAAAANT THAT DOG.
6) Whoops. Caps lock.
7) My birthday is not until December 27th but I would accept giofts anhytime. Check the fucking About page for ideas
8)I am getting drunker by the minute.

Anyway. That is all that I am thinking of. Except I am also thinking of this Izuzu Rodeo I was behind at this one long red light today? Which had like, ten bumper stickers on it? That were all Wicca-related? And I totally wrote all the bumper stickers down on this little stack of Post-OIts in my purse while at a red light. Becuase I like to keep notes for possible amalah.com entries and apparently I was seriously considering writing a post with some "Didja ever notice how Wiccans have so many bumper stickers on their cars?" or some such total NONSENSE or whatecver.

Anyway. The one bumper sticker I saw today said "I'm an AMERIWICCAN." And another said, "I BELIEVE IN DRAGONS, GOOD MEN AND OTHER MYTHICAL CREATURES." wHICH WAS KIND OF SEXIST WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT. whoops. CAPS lock again.

Anwya. Wiccans need cleverer bumper stickers. I would think of some right now becuase I am totally clever enough but I can't right now because I'm drunk.  Also tehere's another Futurama rerum on now. Fuck all y'all.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (24)

Serenity Now, For Real

To: Self
From: Same
Re: Tuesday’s Little Tirade

You suck at dark comedy. Don’t ever try it again.

While it’s always kind of fun to watch someone come unhinged and sort of implode all over their journal, YOU don’t want to be that person. And you are not that person.

(I have a whole secret blogroll of just sites that have The Crazy written all over them. And you all know what I’m talking about, right? They’re the bloggers who throw tantrums, design all-black skins one day and then fluorescent pink clip-art of angels the next complete with an animated fairy-dust cursor the next. They’ll delete their entire archives one day and then wail and moan about trying to recover them for the next week.  Then they might change their blog’s name to “ASHLEY IS A SLUT BITCH AND I HATE HER.”  They post a lot of poems and song lyrics that get increasingly bizarre and scary and then one day there’s a post that just says “toilet seat gas oven with a toothpaste sandwich I am God.” And then the next day it’s all Page Not Found. Those sites are awesome.)

But that is not this site. So the next time you bang out a slightly manic-sounding post hurridly before lunchtime that you think is funny in a pretend-crazy-morbid way, please remember the following rules:

1. You want people to laugh, not stare gaping at your site while pushing slowly away from their desks and then running off to hug their children.

2. Having someone refer to your post as “psychotic” is also not what you’re going for either.

3. Scaring the HOLY LIVING CRAP out of your mother via the Internet? Not priceless. Mean. And Bad.

4. If your comments have the tone of an entire group of people trying to talk you down off a ledge, you’ve probably gone a little too far.

5. Suicide via letter opener is NOT FUNNY. Someone’s sister’s roommate’s uncle totally died that way.

Although, I did like Sheryl’s recommendation that I post my Amazon wish list somewhere on the site so when readers DO think I’ve completely lost it, for good and official-like, they’ll know what pretty things to buy me. So it’s on the About page now. And it’s sooo the wish list of a sane and balanced person, with the exception of the 12-guage and the 350 rolls of aluminum foil. Those I need for personal reasons that cannot be revealed at this stage of the moon cycle.

Ha! See? That was a joke. Look, here’s a smiley face: :-) 

Smiley faces are totally the sign of sane and normal people on the Internet.  For I am not The Crazy. Not quite yet, anyway.

But I’m sure you’ll read about it here first.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (10)

July 06, 2004

Things I Don't Want To Talk About

Well then.

So I don’t really want to talk about my weekend. It rained a lot. Plans changed and fell through and then last-minute houseguests left me more stressed out than I felt on Friday. Do you know that the itty bitty bathroom in last week’s post is our ONLY bathroom? And that we still have our old n’ busted couch sitting in the middle of our living room? And that it blocks the walkway to our dining room and kitchen and has surprisingly sharp corners for a big puffy couch?

And I didn’t get to see any fireworks except for some smoky crackly thing some guy set off near my car in the parking lot outside the liquor store. Which was CLOSED because buying booze is downright un-American, even if you are trapped with one bathroom and two couches and your in-laws in a crowded apartment and OH MY GOD WE ARE OUT OF WINE.

And I really don’t want to talk about the drive we took my poor in-laws on around the D.C. neighborhoods we are thinking of moving to because we could actually afford a second bathroom there, even though those neighborhoods are all in, around, and through the ghetto. It doesn’t matter how great of an investment it may be or how much potential Northeast DC has, your parents do not want to know that you are thinking of raising their future grandchildren next door to a crack house. This does not make for happy holiday family fun.

I also don’t want to talk about the new design. Because I still don’t like it. Because it looks nothing like the absolutely amazing design I sketched out on a cocktail napkin a couple weeks ago. It looked awesome. All clean and Zen-like and shit. Then I lost the napkin. Then I realized that my Web design skills are actually worse than my programming skills, which are roughly on-par with the programming skills of your average monkey.

And we certainly won’t talk about how I didn’t realize I’d accidentally published the new template on Saturday which was way earlier than I wanted because it looked even more like shit and I had a complete and utter meltdown because of it and Jason suggested that maybe it’s time to call the shrink again because damn, woman.

And I don’t really want to talk about my day so far. Last week’s sick days and general uselessness have left me completely and utterly screwed for the next two weeks. Much editing and writing and print deadlines and such. And all of it for an author who puts apostrophe’s on plural’s instead of on possessive’s, which hurt’s Amys head. He also likes to write stuff like $4 million dollars or 10-20% percent which drives me so crazy I cannot express it.

Tomorrows headline’s: “Young Woman Who Was Always a Tad Unbalanced Driven Completely Over the Edge By Poor Punctuation. Kills Self With Letter Opener; Innocent Desk Lamp Remains In Critical Condition.”

Oh, and Gmail? I love you and all, but maybe you could try sort of actually delivering my email today? Like in my Inbox? Where I could read it? That would be peachy.

Yeah, I don’t want to talk about Gmail either.

So what else is there to say? Well, there’s cheesecake in the kitchen here at work. That’s yummy news. But I probably shouldn’t talk about the cheesecake either because all I can say about it is that I would very much like to stick my whole face in it and gobble the entire thing up and growl at anyone who approached me. So I guess the less said about the cheesecake, the better.

So in summary: Don’t talk to me, don’t look at me, don’t touch me and don’t you dare come between me and that cheesecake.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (19)

July 01, 2004

The Inner Sanctum

I'm home sick again today. AGAIN. This must end, for I am going crazy. I am also losing touch with the outside world a wee bit, as evidenced by today's post, which is about...

starting with the amy in the mirror

My bathroom.

Or rather, the contents of my medicine cabinet. Yes, seriously. And there's pictures and everything. This is where I'm finding amusement today, so y'all can just indulge me. Then bring me some damn soup.

I really, really need to go back to work tomorrow.

oh-dear-god Ta-da! Quite a collection of crap, no? And the little pink basket on the top shelf? Totally keeps everything organized and orderly.

always wear sunscreen Would you be liking some screen of sun? This is truly the cabinet of pasty, pasty white folks.

junk Under The Sink: A dark place where unwanted products go to die. Where hopes of the perfect sunless tan and smooth, beautiful skin go to rot.

thief My secret shame. I am a complete and utter kleptomaniac when it comes to free hotel toiletries. I hide them in my bag every day so the maid will give me more, and then I bring them home and horde them under my sink. This one time? I was in my friend's room on a business trip? And I stole HER mini-shampoos. And a shower cap.

hair, the musical Moving right along to the shelf on the wall. Which contains approximately $500 worth of hair products. I should look into getting an insurance policy for it. By the way, the BedHead products really work, but I would probably buy them anyway because they look so totally bitchin'.

excedrin-gallery So yeah. I get headaches. And I buy anything and everything with the name "Excedrin" on it, just as I insist on trying every new variation of Coca-Cola that hits the market, for I take brand loyalty to cult-like levels.

From top left, moving clockwise: A 250-count bottle of Excedrin Classic. I tap this puppy at least three times a week, not counting the times I use it to refill the mini-bottle I keep in my purse. Excedrin Migraine, for those serious bitch headaches. Contains so much caffeine that it makes me tremble from head to toe, and also so much pain medication that it makes me walk into walls. Excedrin Tension Headache, because it was new and different. Have no idea what a tension headache is and why I need to treat it differently. I take this stuff when I've got a headache and am extra cranky. Excedrin QuickTabs, purchased on a car trip when I didn't want to drink anything that would make me have to pee and pull over again. The most disgusting things ever, in the history of disgusting. They may cure your headache but then you'll just need Pepto Bismol to stop the vomiting.

frankenbandage fauxpoo zitmaker
The Excedrin QuickTabs leads us to the rest of the Gallery of Regrettable Products. This is the stuff that just Sucks, and yet we keep it, either because it was expensive or because the trash can was full the day we discovered it sucked. Here's a sampling, from left to right: New Skin Liquid Bandage, aka Frankenbandage. This stuff ain't right, people. First of all, it smells exactly like nail polish remover, which is not something I generally associate as being good for open wounds. Continuing this theme, the stuff goes on like clear nail polish, which is fine for repairing ripped panty hose, but ripped skin? No. Ew. Plus, it looks like you have leprosy while you wear it and hurts like hell to peel off. Wear a fucking band-aid already. KMS Do-Over Cleansing Spray. Claims to be sprayable shampoo, basically. Perfect for touch-ups after work or to remove excess product from hair. Except that it totally doesn't. At all. And it makes your hair slimy. NEXT! Neutrogena Rapid Clear Gel. HA. No.

the holy grail The Mysteries of the Sephora Make-Up Case... Shall not be revealed in this entry, for the batteries died in my camera. And also, enough already.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (22)

June 28, 2004

Adventures in Disposable Income

(In which we are filthy, dirty yuppie sell-outs. Y’all are going to hate me after this post, I know it.)

I kicked off the weekend by spending over $200 on a haircut, highlights and hair products on Friday morning. Gulp.

Friday night, Jason took me and my haircut to LeftBank in Adams Morgan. LeftBank is a new trendy spot...the chef described it as a "wired retro lounge," or something. It's the kind of restaurant where you’ll spend over $100 while sharing a cafeteria-style table with up to four other people. Half the menu is raw/vegan stuff while the rest of the menu explores every culinary fad in the world. The music is loud so you end up shouting at your dinner companion and rolling your eyes at the slobs who dare to ask for a table while wearing JEANS and TENNIS SHOES. I mean, come on. Do they not notice the sea of metrosexuals in here? The Eurotrash and the Manolos? Please. Oh, and all the cups and cocktail glasses are made of fluorescent plastic. Funky!

(Coming Soon to an Amalah.com Near You: The Meathead Incident. There’s a whole other entry from this dinner that must be written, and will be written, I promise.)

After dinner, we could not bear to go home, for we had no air conditioning. A series of pipe bursts on our street knocked out the water supply to our HVAC unit thingie since Monday. It’s been awful. Luckily we ponied up the money for our sleeper sofa so we could sleep downstairs where it’s only 85 degrees instead of our bedroom upstairs where it’s 90.

But still. Hot. Humid. Crankiness. The AC came back on for one glorious evening this week on Thursday, only to be shut off again Friday morning when one of the repaired pipes sprung a leak AGAIN, probably because the District of Columbia is no longer allowed to repair water pipes with, you know, lead and asbestos and stuff. Damn liberals.

On Thursday we cranked up the AC so high we had to sleep under the comforter and I woke up with a little cold. It was wonderful. Our electric bill weeps.

So on Friday, when faced with another sleepless night on the sleeper sofa with the sounds of Wisconsin Avenue blaring through our useless open windows, we did what any couple who routinely spends $100 on a meal of veggie burgers and prosciutto with cantaloupe would do. We called a hotel.

Specifically, the Hotel Helix, future home of JournalCon 2004. We dashed home, packed a bag, filled up seven bowls of water for Max and bolted from our luxury/slumlord condo/sauna.

The hotel was very nice. So was the hotel bar. Also funky and trendy and loud. Except for all the tourists who dared go out to drink at their own hotel in Birkenstocks and athletic socks. But anyway. Lots of Red Bull drinks (which I am so over, frankly) and cocktails garnished with interesting things, like cucumbers.

After spending $11 a cocktail at the lounge, $5 for Maker’s Mark from the room’s minibar seemed really reasonable. And it went well with the complimentary coffee, which we drank at 2 a.m. and then had only decaf for the next morning so we went to the lobby for our free complimentary continental breakfast only to learn that no one ever really said "free" or "complimentary" and we paid $10 for two coffees, one muffin and a croissant.

I also could have done without the hotel bathroom ceiling starting to leak at 7 a.m. in the goddamn morning, and also without the bathroom ceiling starting to just GUSH water at 7:10 a.m. Especially since the dripping water not only woke me up but also made me really, really have to pee, which required trying to sit on the toilet and not get rained on, which was not possible. So I just prayed and prayed that the water was coming from somebody’s shower and not from any other plumbing fixtures.

But waking up early meant that we could get to a certain store that was having a certain big sale right when it opened. (Not-Exactly-Confidential to Zoot, Tjej and Fraulein: Thomas Pink is a store that sells tailored shirts and ties and cufflinks and scarves. All business-like and shit. But so, so beautiful. And expensive. But beautiful!) Jason thought he needed to exchange the black shirt I got him for his birthday, but it turns out he didn’t, because apparently we don’t know anything about men’s dress shirts, because we are trashy New Money. But while we were there we were soon suckered into buying him a matching tie and another shirt with another set of cufflinks.

And then I wandered into the women’s section. And at first I was all, yeah, these are pretty but I never like the way button-down shirts look. And the salesgirl was all, would you like to try on a sample shirt? (Yes, you can only try on samples, as the shirts you buy are all pristine and virgin and folded with so many fasteners they resemble a Chinese puzzle.) And I was all, okay, why not?

And then I tried the shirts on and was all, oh my god.

But even with the sale, the shirts were still pretty damn expensive, so I decided (or Jason glared at me until I decided) that I would only buy one. A classic one. One that would go with all my suits and I could wear all the time. Pink. White. Maybe a light blue.

Somehow I ended up with an eggplant-colored shirt with black and grey stripes and a pair of purple and pink cufflinks which are way more complicated to get on than I thought.

Anyway. After that spending frenzy, we decided to take it easy the rest of the weekend. So Saturday night we saw a movie, which cost us seventy hundred dollars for two tickets and a bottle of water. (We saw The Terminal. Which was sweet and harmless and definitely flawed, but starred Tom Hanks, who washes away a myriad of sins. Oh Tom. Please marry me. I will buy you shirts and fasten your cufflinks.)

After that, we decided to get serious about the not spending any more money. Except that the apartment was still so ho-ot. Too hot to make breakfast on Sunday. So we went out for brunch, which just isn’t brunch unless it includes Bloody Marys. But still, it was only $30 which was a bargain, except that we both clearly remembered a time when $30 was all we had to spend on dinner. On our wedding anniversary.

After brunch, it was time to not spend any more money ever again. Except on things we needed, like toilet paper. Except that once in the drugstore, I realized that I needed a lot of other things, like to try that C2 Coke with half the carbs or whatever, and also some fun lip gloss, because I should be good and not spend $30 on Chanel lip gloss ever again, even though I totally will.

I also decided to finally take control of my life and invest $29.99 in a package of Crest WhiteStrips.

Needless to say, when we realized we needed to hit the regular grocery store later on Sunday, Jason was perfectly happy to leave me at home in the hot apartment and go by himself. But he still bought me a bouquet of roses, because he’s like that.

And that, my friends, is how you spend your entire paycheck in a span of three days. And also why Amalah and Jason need to have a baby or get a hobby like volunteering in a soup kitchen, because this is shameful. But fun.

Plus I’ve already gotten like, five compliments on my shirt and am thinking I could really use a white one. And then I could donate all my cheap ones to the Goodwill or something, lest a huge karmic anvil comes crashing through our roof this week.

It would probably hit our air conditioning.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (16)

June 25, 2004

The 2004 Amalah Awards

The lovely Miss Lauren wrote a very funny post today about made-up awards for herself at work. I immediately decided to steal this idea, and then went a step further and stole her entire first sentence too.

Of course, her post was really funny because Miss Lauren works for her own damn self, while I, you might be surprised to learn, am a slave to the corporate machine. (Those of you with the patience to plod through this post may now smile weakly at that lame little joke. Go on. I’ll wait.)

And I’ve actually gotten awards. Twice. Well, the awards didn’t have my name on them or anything, and technically belong to the author whose publication I edit, but we’re just going to say that he never would have won those awards if it weren’t for his amazing editor.

But. Still. I obviously deserve some more personal recognition. So without further ado, here are the awards I am putting myself in the running for…

The Bart Simpson Memorial Grammar Rodeo Award. While you might not know it from the labyrinth-like sentences I post here, I’m a damn fine copyeditor. While it’s not primarily what I do, I’m always asked to proofread other people’s stuff. (I have somebody to do all my proofreading. Damn, don’t I sound important?) Quite often resumes and cover letters, but that’s not important. What is important is how great I am at catching typos and grammatical errors and punctuation problems and dangling participles. And extra spaces after periods. I’m amazing at finding those. Which is good, because the entire company would probably crumble if we sent out newsletters with incorrect spacing after periods.

Odds of Winning: About 75%, because our full-time copyeditor is better than me, but she’s a lot shorter than me, so I could probably take her in a hand-to-hand combat tiebreaker.

The Oral Fixation Bite-Mark-Free Pen Award. Just once, I would like to not feel a rush of panic when someone asks to borrow a pen. I don’t just chew on my pens occasionally. I freaking gnaw on them. My pens spend more time in my mouth than they do in the pretty little pen holder cup thing on my desk. I keep a pen in my mouth while I type, people, that’s how bad it is. I have a special pen that I just take to meetings, because it's the one I don't like to chew on so it's not all mutilated. But I think if there was an award and maybe a small cash prize, I could improve.

Odds of Winning: Slim to snowball-in-hell.

The Impressive Array of Important Financial Publications Award. I could so win this one. I have a stack of Barron’s in my office that’s over a foot-and-a-half high. I’m swimming in Wall Street Journals. There’s Kiplinger’s, BusinessWeek and some stray copies of the Financial Times. Do I actually subscribe to any of these? Hell no. But if there’s a free trial subscription to be had, I’m on it. And then I never, ever throw any of the issues away. The stack of Barron’s are from January through March, when I had a free three-month subscription. But you’d never notice that unless you look real close, and I won’t let you because I’m stacking the free Wall Street Journals that I'm currently getting on top. I don’t really remembering signing up for a free WSJ subscription…it just started arriving. Which is cool except that I’m afraid it might be a mistake and a bill will arrive any day now. And that would SUCK because I never, ever read any of this crap. It’s boring.

Odds of Winning: 100%, unless there was a reading comprehension quiz of some sort.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (4)

June 23, 2004

Anatomy of a Company Picnic

Or, When Life is an Episode of The Office Just Waiting to Happen
Or, The Longest Entry Ever

Part One: The Memo

food

We're pleased to invite you and your immediate family or a guest to our upcoming Company Picnic on Wednesday, June 23 from 2:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. (Employees are excused from work at 1:30 p.m. to attend the picnic. If you choose not to attend you are expected to remain at work.) The picnic goes on rain or shine. Should the weather be bad (heaven forbid!), there is covered seating available.


There will be numerous activities for all ages including: softball, volleyball, horseshoes, miniature golf, basketball, ping pong, and field games for kids and grown-ups alike! We’re also featuring some new and returning favorites this year. These include a double dump truck slide (new), a horse-drawn hay ride, a moon bounce, remote controlled NASCAR racing, and a bucking mechanical bull - (it was so much fun last year!) We will also enjoy a "fun in the sun" entertainment package from Bristol Sounds Deejays.


In addition to all the fun, you can plan on plenty of good food and beverages. Barbecued chicken and spareribs will be served along with vegetarian baked beans, green salad, corn-on-the-cob, cranberry sauce, pickle chips, applesauce, three-bean salad, rolls w/butter, potato chips and snack cake desserts. In addition to the main course, we will have Nachos available all day. And, if that's not enough, you can save room for individual ice cream treats in the late afternoon.


Beverages -- consisting of soft drinks, beer, wine and coffee -- will be served throughout the day. (Beer and wine will be served only if you have proper I.D. and will be limited to one drink per person per visit. In other words, you can't carry a drink back to your spouse or friend unless they also provide proper I.D.)

Part Two: Resist urge to copyedit memo and tape on HR's door. Grumble about "Nachos" being a proper noun for some reason. Shut up about it. Attempt to RSVP via a fancy online form on the company intranet. Give up, call HR to RSVP. Try not to laugh when asked if my spouse will be attending. Haaa, right. Hang up. Wonder if maybe I should have asked around to see if anyone else is going. Shit. Print out directions to picnic.

Part Three: Forget about picnic completely until Tuesday, June 22 at 4:30 pm. Completely revise work schedule and write many post-its reminding self to bring picnic clothes to work, as they're still making us wear suits in the morning. Print out directions to picnic.

Part Four: P-Day, Zero Hour

9:30ish a.m. Arrive at work, picnic clothes wadded up into wee Coach bag.

9:45 Print out directions to picnic.

10:02 Find out friend cannot go to the picnic after all. Neither can other friend. Other friend still on vacation. Shit.

10:15 Feel small and unpopular.

10:22 Oh right. Work.

10:27 Work work work.

10:30 Am super productive, really. Should get a raise.

10:47 Assistant asks if she can follow me to picnic. Print out directions for her. She seems shocked when I tell her I probably won’t be arriving there promptly at 2 p.m.

11:34 Seriously dude, EVERYBODY is blowing off the picnic. Dude.

11:37 Consider blowing off the picnic.

11:43 Determine that I cannot blow off picnic for the following reasons: I RSVP’d and unless someone picks up my nametag from the sign-in table, I’ll get a stern lecture about how the company paid for my share of Nachos and rolls w/butter and since I wasn’t there the money was wasted and could have gone to poor children and the rolls are all stale now. Also, I do not want to stay at work doing work stuff all day. Also, free beer and wine.

12:00 p.m. Did not bring lunch. Forgot how hard it is to wait for picnic food. Go eat miniature Snickers from office Candy Corner.

12:24 Update sites. All three of them. Lordy.

12:56 Holy crap. Hungry. Eat three Twizzlers and miniature Twix.

1:13 Huzzah! One person is going to picnic. No, two!

1:45 Assistant leaves for picnic. Adorable.

2:26 Get following email from practically last person I know going to picnic: I think I’m gonna bail out on the picnic…you?

2:28 Oh hell no.

2:32 For no real reason, guilt email-sender into coming to picnic, reminding him of that one time he bailed on the Christmas party and then the picnic once I think and shouldn’t we be a better example to poor assistant who has NOT had zeal for life and corporate spirit sucked from her yet?

2:33 Translation: I’m going to be miserable, and I’d like you to join me please, thank you.

2:40 Change into picnic clothes. Shove super-expensive work clothes into wee Coach bag. Shit.

2:42 Print out directions to picnic.

2:44 Leave. Alone. Brave face on. Leave directions on desk.

3:00 Miss turn. Drive two miles out of way before finding place for U-turn.

3:10 Arrive at picnic. It’s sort of raining. Fantastic.

nametag3:15 Dorky name tag? Check.

3:17 Oh my god Oh my god Oh my god I don’t know anyone here. Health publishing side of business outnumbers wealth publishing side by a bajillion to one.

3:18 Holy FUCK, there’s a clown. Named Crackers. Driving around like a crazy person in a little miniature car. Cannot breathe, shaking.

3:19 Debate which looks worse: woefully wandering around looking for familiar faces with or without a beer in hand.

wristband3:20 Beer. Green Wristband of Power. Check. Social anxiety disorder vanishes instantly.

3:22 Assistant! And other people I never talk to but sort of know!

3:30 Picnic organizers keep announcing last call for children’s “field games.” Everyone momentarily perks up upon hearing “ffff-“, but when it’s not “food is served”, everyone dies a little inside. So very hungry.

3:32 The DJ is trying very hard to get people to join in a hula hoop contest. Is honest-to-godly playing the Macarena.

3:34 Damn, there are some serious skanks on the health team.

3:35 Skanks who hula hoop, apparently.

3:37 – 3:50 Beer. And PLEASE MAKE THE CLOWN STOP DRIVING AROUND IN CIRCLES.

3:51 There's white zinfandel from a TAP, for crissakes.

3:54 Try to think of a company activity that DIDN’T involve the Electric Slide. Cannot.

4:00 We’re all getting a little hammered. And a little mean and catty. Somebody Important’s Important Wife? TOTALLY has hair extensions. Please. Hair don't grow that fast, sister.

4:02 Dude, people are wearing those ugly T-shirts they gave out for the cruise last fall. Like dozens of them.

4:03 Discuss with coworkers the varied fates that befell our company T-shirts. Painting, carwash, gave to dog, etc.

MP_Chicken24:07 FOOD!

4:15 Fucking food line.

4:18 Panic. Have lost sight of coworkers. Am wandering around with a plate of chicken and baked beans with no place to sit like it’s the high school cafeteria.

4:19 Found them. Cling.

4:20 Why are there no knives?

4:23 Eat barbeque chicken in silence using fingers and cheap plastic fork. Stupid knives.

SVC_Moonbounce4:25 Decide there are no knives because of inflatable Moonbounce and mechanical bull ride.

4:27 Notice that the mechanical bull’s inflatable “pen” is decorated with inflatable palm trees. Huh?

4:30 Coworker: “This is where mechanical bulls come to die. They go from Urban Cowboy to country western bars to this. Their agent goes, think CORPORATE, and then here they are, surrounded by inflatable palm trees, terrified that one company will give their employees KNIVES.”

4:31 Me: “Do you have a blog? Because seriously. You should.”

4:34 Important VP is hovering around the exit area. Shit.

rooster4:37 Killing time until VP relocates. Notice there is a rooster graphic on Green Wristband of Power. No one at table gets my “You can’t kill the rooster” reference. Morons.

4:40 Notice graphic of rooster is also on beer cups. Rooster is chasing hen. Heh.

4:42 Funny-as-hell-coworker declares my powers of observation to be superhero-like. Seriously calls me Queen of the Mundane.

4:46 Imagine new site banner with rooster graphic. Heh.

4:48 Fucking clown. Stop it. Stopit stopit.

4:53 Decide to get “snack cake dessert” for road. Maybe two.

4:55 Leave.

4:57 Am free! Free!

5:17 Fucking picnic grounds with the one fucking entrance with the fucking traffic light that lets three fucking cars through at a fucking time.

5:20 Eat cupcakes. Both of them.

6:00 Home. Saved NO TIME by going to picnic. Diet is in ruins. Cannot find scissors to cut Green Wristband of Power off.

6:20 p.m. – 11:15 a.m. Write longest entry ever. Jeez.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (21)

June 22, 2004

Gifts, Presents and Other Things All About Me

Today is Jason's birthday! Yay for Jason! Just for today, you may refer to him as the King of Everything instead of Mr. Amalah, because there's a difference.

The things I do for him, really.

Actually, the things I don't do for him make a much longer list. For instance, he made breakfast for ME this morning. For ME. On HIS birthday. What? And I think I may have called him a bad name when the alarm went off this morning and he told me to get up.

But this is why he is a 28-year-old grown-up and I am still a 26-year-old child. I've been offering his birthday gifts to him for a week now, but he wanted to wait. And he's still waiting. I asked if he wanted to open them this morning, but he declined. Again, what?

The WORST thing you can do to me is say you have a present for me but I can't have it right now. It's in the mail, you forgot it at home, it's out in the car, you're making me wait for my actual birthday. I don't want to hear it. Hand over that gift, buddy, and it better have fun wrapping paper and bows for me to tear through while squealing a little bit.

But I've always been a little nuts about presents, possibly because my birthday is just two days after Christmas. This is a crap birthday. CRAP. Sure, you always have the day off from school but all your friends are away or busy and can't come to a party. Your birthday cards are usually just leftover Christmas cards. Plus, everyone is broke. Or cheap with the stupid "this is your Christmas AND birthday gift!" line. No, no, no. No.

My friends and family are terrified of my Christmas/Birthday Wrath now. I always get birthday wrapping paper. And real birthday cards. Packages come in the mail saying DO NOT OPEN UNTIL DECEMBER 27TH!!!! to let me know they understand it's two different occasions. (I never listen, but I appreciate the thought.) My friends made an extra point of organizing two get-togethers for us to exchange gifts -- one for Christmas and one just for my birthday. It was very sweet, but I got the sense they were trying to appease me like some angry volcano-god.

Every once in awhile someone still pulls the combo gift thing. And while I certainly wouldn't mind if the combo gift was, say, a flat-screen TV, I tend to get a little peeved at the $50 gift certificates that come with an explanation like: "$25 is for Christmas, $25 if for your Birthday. Have a happy one!!!!!!!"

Gee. Thanks. You really shouldn't have gone to all that trouble. I mean, you did math. Wow.

Anyway. I'm definitely kind of a brat. And Jason is not. Because he's perfect and patient and took me to New York City for my last birthday to see a musical and stay in a really nice hotel and spend a lot of money on Fifth Avenue. AND got me gifts from Sephora, aka Heaven on Earth.

I'm, um, taking him out to dinner. Where we shall destroy our lovely South Beach Diet progress. (Side note: Not likely. Jason's lost OVER 10 POUNDS on it so far and I've lost six without REALLY TRYING. I'm sold. And skinny!)

And in a brilliant burst of creativity, I'm taking him to the same restaurant he took me on the day of my finals. (Side note #2: my diploma came yesterday! It's pretty. But GET THIS: Even though I graduated with a 3.85 GPA, I'm not eligible for cum laude honors, because I transferred to Univ. of MD with less than 45 credit hours to go. BITCHES.)

But I DID get Jason really nice gifts. That I hope he likes. And that he better open soon because I need to see some wrapping paper get ripped up, even if I'm only helping. (Yes, I do that too. Stop being neat! Stop taking so damn long! Open IT!)

And on that note, here's my wish list. Haaa.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (13)

June 15, 2004

Six Degrees of Updatieness

1) I'm back.

2) Dad is doing well. He was discharged from the hospital this afternoon after his blood pressure returned to normal and is home. We made hamburgers. And came up with cover stories for the crazy-ass wound on his head. Knife-fight in Mexican bar. Rollerblading. Home-run ball from the Phillies. Frying pan from crazy wife.

3) My mom is doing well too. We took her out for dinner last night and then crawled around the carpet with Oxy-Clean and damp sponges cleaning up bloodstains. And debated what a Luminol spray-down would reveal and who would go to jail for it. So pretty much a typical Corbett-family gathering.

4) We also tried recreating my dad's fall and could not, for the love of life or physics, figure out how he ended up with the crazy-ass wound. We think he hit the doorknob and fell so fast he beat the blood to the floor, so to speak, as the bloodstains did not match any hypothesis we could concoct. There was much fake-falling and fake-lying-around-on-the-floor and fake-vacuuming. Also faily typical of Corbett family get-togethers.

5) Ben Affleck was in the hospital on J-Lo's wedding day because of chronic bronchitis. Blah. I feel misled. By InTouch Weekly. If I cannot trust InTouch Weekly, who do I have left in this world to turn to?

6) Why, I turn to you, the good people of the Internet. You are all awesome. Thank you very much for your kind and loavey comments and emails. My parents were awfully darn touched and a little bit closer to believing that y'all are not a collective of crazed stalkers who will one day kill me. You've done the Internet proud, peeps.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (23)

June 10, 2004

Random Bits of Random Absurdity and Random Randomness

In only a vague particular order:

A D.C. cab idling outside my building for 20 minutes this morning. The cab driver standing next to the cab, holding the back door open, waiting. Waiting. D.C. cab drivers don't hold doors open. And they don't wait around for 20 minutes for damn near nobody. I watched this all from my bathroom window while I got ready and tried to make a mental note of the time and descriptions of the driver and the cab in case the police stopped by tonight to investigate a missing person.

A woman crossing my street, stopping to pick something up from the ground. I figured it was a coin or maybe an earring. As I drove by I saw that she had a cicada delicately perched on her finger. She crossed the street and set it gently down on the grass.

A pair of rogue mattresses, strewn across the center lane of the highway. Traffic everywhere swerving to avoid the deadly obstruction.

A Hummer swerving to avoid the mattresses. A Hummer. Afraid to drive over a mattress. A driver, missing his one shot to actually navigate the treacherous urban terrain his fucking montrosity was built for.

A man, having eaten a substantial number of free cheese cubes at Whole Foods, brazenly asking for someone to please refill the sample plate already.

Riding in the office elevator while carrying two packages of whole-wheat pitas.

Having to explain to people in the elevator why I was carrying two packages of whole-wheat pitas.

A pipe explosion resulting in no air conditioning for you (translation: me) until at least tomorrow. Fuck.

Getting your downstairs neighbor's mail -- the one who hates you ever since you ripped up the carpet and refinished the hardwoods, so basically, forever -- and walking downstairs to return said mail, overhearing said neighbor shrieking, "They wouldn't hire her because she's BLACK!"

Gently placing mail outside neighbor's door and running like hell back up the stairs.

Reno 911's new opening credits. Hee.

The five windows and graphics FOX has onscreen for its coverage of The Great Sitting and Watching of Reagan's Casket. One live feed, one loop from yesterday, one window for the anchors, one scrolling news ticker for the Latest Casket Events, and one humungous Remembering Reagan memorial graphic.

A can of daal makhani that most unfortunately resembles dog food.

And my friend's ultrasound, revealing an empty sac at seven weeks. Her second miscarriage and D&C this year.

Absurd.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (8)

June 09, 2004

Yesterday (Start Humming, Bitches)

Yesterday was a very fine day. I got to stay home for the delivery of the couch (the blessed miracle of furniture) and then went downtown for an awards luncheon. Because I am once again, an award-winning editor. Honorable Mention this time, as opposed to Second Place last year, but at least I wasn’t beaten by that damn Canadian newspaper again. (Newspaper! In a newsletter journalism contest! Boo! I still have not let it go. Perhaps I should.)

The luncheon was fine, except for the luncheon part. This goddamn Atkins shit has got to END, people. If I’m showing up at a gorgeous hotel to receive an award, I want some honest-to-god food. Instead, we got one ladle of bean soup, one scoop of chicken salad, one scoop of tuna salad, one-half tomato and a pile of cucumbers. And no bread or crackers for the salads, which were both so gross and so indeterminable that my whole table sounded like a chorus of Jessica Simpsons. I’m still not sure which one was which.

I did enjoy the mug of crème brulee, however. I was in sugar shock all day. Buzz buzz!

And! Then! I got to the office late in the afternoon and promptly learned that we will be closed on Friday! Closed! It’s like a snow day, only warm outside AND I get to make plans. Just one of the not-too-many perks you get from working for a super-conservative company run by a man who named his child Reagan, and not after the kid from the Exorcist, which was my first thought when the name was announced. Huh.

And then I went home and luxuriated on my new couch. We flipped out the sleeper part to test the mattress, and I must say that overnight guests to Casa de Amalah will be CHILLIN’, y’all. It’s comfy. And the top part of the mattress (like where your head goes) folds up a little bit so you can sit up in bed and read or watch TV. And while that sentence made not one blessed lick of sense, you must trust me on this…it’s like a Craftmatic Adjustable Bed only not so…hospital-bed like.

We honestly contemplated leaving the mattress out all the time because it’s so fun to lie on and watch TV. But then we realized that might be a tad too ghetto.

(By the way, my Goddamn Rock Solid Ghetto Shiznit Name is Ass Machine Teapot, Yo. Which is awesome.)

Oh! And we took a stroll down to Starbucks and I had my very first Strawberry Crème Frappuccino. Holy fuck, people. You must try it. After I was done? I opened the lid and used my finger to lick up whatever was stuck to the side of the cup. This is like, a Gingerbread Latte-caliber drink.

(Plus 10 cents from every SC Frap goes to the Komen Foundation, which means spending $3.95 or whatever on them multiple times a week is really totally justified and karmic.)

Oh my god. I wish I was drinking one right now.

Which brings us to right now. Today. Not so fine as yesterday.

I overslept.

I tripped and hurt my foot on the Old n’ Busted couch which is directly in my path to the coffee maker.

I sliced my leg up in two places while shaving.

A cicada (CICADA!!!) flew and splattered on the driver’s side window on the way to work, thus scaring the crap out of me and causing me to shriek a little bit.

Work work work work work. And where’s my Vegas expense check, bitches? Am bloody broke.

I realized that my cell phone has been in silent mode since the Harry Potter movie on Saturday night. Which means I have several dozen voice mails from people who are all pretty damn mad at me right now. "Call me back, bitch! I know where you live!" Sorry Mom.

And it’s 90 degrees outside and I’m wearing effing panty hose.

But it’s not all bad. I went out for lunch with my friend Sprocketeer and we never actually got around to ordering actual food. We just ate a lot of free salsa and chips and a lot of queso. How I loave queso. We sat outside and I totally peeled off my panty hose and shoved them in my purse until we got back to the office.

AND 21 comments (wait! 22!) on the couch post. A post about a COUCH (wait, 23!).

Heh. I’m totally writing about my new broom tomorrow. Bonus points if I can figure out a way to incorporate cat photos.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (11)

June 08, 2004

Couchness

It's here! It's here! Couchity goodness!

So here's the thing. Last week, when the couch was SUPPOSED to be delivered, two guys showed up and were all, "No." So we rescheduled so they could bring in MORE guys to help.

Two guys showed up today. Two.

And they were all, "Hercules!" And got that puppy up the stairs and into my living room in 10 minutes flat. And they complimented my wall color.

So the couch is here. It's a sleeper and it's pretty and I am looking forward to my very first nap on it.

And yes...I put together a little photo essay about a damn couch, because the Internet NEEDS to see my couch. Couch couch couch.

Oldcouch

Max loved the old couch. He loved sitting his fat ass on the back cushions and causing them to completely collapse.

Cushion

See? Smoosh.

Newcouch

And here's the new one. Pretty!

Oldnnew

Old n' Busted...and the New Hotness. With special guest star: Vacuum Cleaner!

Yowl

Max still likes Old n' Busted.

Also, in Non-Couch Related News, we bought the video capture DVD XR writer digtal input thingie and can now burn all our TiVo shows to DVD. It's glorious.

Thingie

Dudes! I can get a Season Pass to Who's the Boss and then? Upload actual moving talking Judith Light quotes. Oh my God, shut up, Amy! Shut up! It's all too exciting.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (24)

June 04, 2004

Holy Crap, Blank Space

Why does a new document in Word have to be so white? And wide? And…blank? It’s very intimidating, especially when you have NOTHING TO WRITE ABOUT.

But this was why I started this godforsaken website, though, right? So I’d be forced to write everyday instead of watching Simpsons reruns or playing little online games like this one? So I’d be forced to wring creativity from my brain like an old sponge that has been used to scrub the bathroom one too many times but every time you’re at the grocery store you forget to buy sponges? Right?

In other words, nothing of interest has happened to me. And definitely nothing of interest that could be strung together with other interesting things to make one interesting website update has happened to me.

So I guess it’s time for some stream-of-consciousness writing, where I simply yap on about whatever occurs to me until I’ve filled up the majority of this big blank screen. Brace yourselves.

My choice of salad dressing utterly destroyed my otherwise lovely salad from Whole Foods. “Roasted red pepper ranch” sounds delightful, doesn’t it? Sadly, no. Yeeeewww.

Every other day this week I ate a cup of ramen noodles from the vending machine. No, I don’t feel very good about that either.

Jason has lost five pounds on the South Beach Diet already. I am trying not to hate him for it.

But how can I hate a man who bought me a present EVERY DAY THIS WEEK? I cannot hate such a man. First, he ordered a whole heap of stuff from Victoria’s Secret, and due to backorders and the crazy way VS packs stuff, it all arrived in the mail one item at a time. Shoes! Nighties! Tops! Bikinis! Panties with cherries on them! Every day was a celebration of ME ME ME!

I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but Jason buys me clothes all the damn time and is damn good at it. The man SHOPS, people. With ME. For SHOES. He has OPINIONS. Opinions that I have learned to trust implicitly, as he has much better taste and more patience than I.

I’m all, LOOK! BROWN SHOES! I LOVE THEM THEY’LL DO OH THERE’S A LINE FOR SIZES WELL THESE SHOES HAVE ALL THE BOXES STACKED HERE I’LL JUST BUY THEM OR MAYBE GO ONLINE WHERE I DON’T HAVE TO DEAL WITH HUMANS JASON WHERE ARE YOU?

And Jason will have wandered over to a different display and have chosen the most beautiful shoe that is not only a designer brand but has been marked down to ridiculous levels. And even if it hasn’t, he’ll talk me into buying it. We’re a very dangerous team.

Anyway. After the Victoria’s Secret bounty all arrived, he brought home a dozen yellow roses. And then the next day, the brand-new book from David Sedaris that he happened to notice at the store, like, three minutes after it was unloaded from the truck.

And he bought advance tickets to see Harry Potter. I think I might just swoon.

Jason also has impeccable taste when it comes to ordering food. If he’d been at Whole Foods he would have known not to get the roasted red pepper ranch dressing.

Or at least known to taste it before completely drenching your entire salad in it.

And on a completely unrelated note, y’all want me to be in your weddings. Because I rock at it. I’m MOH in my friend Andie’s wedding this September, and first, I found two very lovely and flattering bridesmaid dresses secondhand through another friend for the other two girls, saving each of them a heap load of money.

(I didn’t get a secondhand dress for myself because I assumed I’d be like, six months pregnant by the time the wedding came around. Oh Amy, you’re so stupid. I laugh at you, stupid girl.)

So I was GOING to order a matching dress full-price through the store, but then lo and behold…eBay, bitches. I got the exact same dress as the other bridesmaids on eBay. In exactly my size. For $54. Boo. Yah.

Here is the dress. It’s pretty and has a little shawl for my wan and delicate shoulders, which look exactly like the model’s.

Ha.

So I think I have filled up adequate white space now. Plus I need to do work. The latest newsletter from a certain author I work with contains a poem. A big long poem. Did I mention these are financial newsletters? About stocks and bonds and mutual funds? Did you know there are poems about those things too? I did not. But I do know this: There should not be poems about those things.

Especially poems that read like this.
That are only preferable to watching a bris.

Singsongy lines with singsongy rhymes,
The creator of which should hang for his crimes.

If Dr. Seuss ever wrote about stocks
It would probably suck great bloody bullocks.

So obviously, I have a lot of work to do right now. Have a nice weekend, muggles.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (11)

June 02, 2004

Housekeeping

Christ, this site is a MESS. Sporadic updates, lame topics, and where did those stains on the carpet come from?

(Yes, Miss Doxie has a HILARIOUS new entry today so I've got a Journaler Inferiority Complex thing going on. I'd hate her if I didn't love her so.)

Anyway.

First, there will be no advice column today, because nobody sent in any questions. (Or any good not-stupid questions, rather.) Thus, the whole idea peaked, jumped the shark and flamed out in just under a month.

So apparently, I have the power to solve EVERY PROBLEM IN THE WORLD in just four advice columns. TAKE THAT, Dear Abby.

(A live reunion show is planned, however, so you can send any questions to amy[at]amalah.com and they'll be held and cherished until that time.)

Second, the Haiku Smackdown site is down, we know. WordPress ate it. The same WordPress that ate last week's Smackdown. Future of blogging, my ass. In the meantime, the Smackdown will be HERE tomorrow. And hopefully some people will show up. I'm thinking White Trash 'ku again...

Third, Crate & Barrel's delivery guys are lazy, lazy bitches. We were supposed to get our couch today, but the guys showed up, took one look at the three flights of stairs we live up, and said hell no. Because the delivery instructions which said, "Delivery to third floor. No elevator." were obviously a mistake of some kind.

So we're getting a "custom delivery" on Friday, with extra bonus moving people. And now I have that damn Dire Straits "Money for Nothing" song stuck in my head. Fucking delivery people. (UPDATE: It's Tuesday now. TUES. DAY. And I'm all nervous that they'll end up with my beautiful couch stuck in the hallway and tell me I can't have my beautiful couch after all. Fucking delivery people.)

Fourth, we finally have a new Bold & Bloglicious episode, courtesy of Lauren. Watch it, loave it, ponder how long it will take Amy to write the next one.

Part 33: What What?

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (4)

May 26, 2004

Slight Delay in Programming

Many insincere apologies, but today's Wednesday Advice Smackdown post will not be available until sometime this evening. Besides being shitstormingly busy at work today, I also left the majority of questions on my laptop at home. So d'oh.

Speaking of the New Hotness Grand Duchess Carmichael Judith Light Machine, I have discovered that she is capable of ripping my TiVo'd shows from the TiVo and onto DVDs. Oh my god. All I need is to buy some connector whatzit video capture thingie (yes, that's seriously what it's called). And then burn, baby, burn.

In other news, Jason bought me these. Possibly as part of a Bring Back the Cherries Theme campaign of some sort. What do y'all think? Time for a revamp? Time to see what the Judith Light Machine is capable of, graphics-wise? (And no, I will NOT incorporate a picture of my ass in those panties, so I don't even wanna hear it.)

Anyway. Advice column tonight. Tell your friends. Spread the word. Set your TiVos.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (3)

May 25, 2004

Attention Internet: Amy is Alive. Alive!

Look! An update! Update! Update! Update!

So I am happy to report that I am not dead, maimed, depressed, on hiatus, kidnapped or eaten by zombies. I did have a killer attack of writer's block though, followed up with a secondary infection of work. Work work work. Because believe it or not, I'm vaguely important at work and many important tasks depend on me. Like whining about things and the occasional memo.

I wanted to update today, and even started writing an entry when the power went out. (And because that entry is lost forever? It was probably the funniest and most brilliant entry ever, never to be repeated.) But for real, I mean the power went OUT. Total blackness. Turns out some drunk construction worker drove a tractor into a transponder/transformer/transexual or something and knocked out the entire power grid. Poof.

So we all waited around for awhile. I retrieved my soup from the microwave and tried to think of non-electrical ways to heat it up. I discussed last Sunday's whacking on the Sopranos. (Verdict: sad!) I texted some peeps I know. I carried out my recycling and inventoried my pens by the light of my cellphone. Finally it started to get hella hot so they sent us all home.

(I told TiVo to record Young Frankenstein, and I have ended up with two hours of infomercials. And not even good ones, like Proactiv. Stupid ones, like Body By Jake. That guy is creeeeeepy.)

So now I'm at home, although I seriously did more work at home this afternoon than like, ever. I'm all diligent and stuff.

(Reno 911 is coming back. I'm so happy.)

So what else has happened since Friday? Hmm. I recovered from a killer hangover in time to go to a friend's surprise 30th birthday, which was awesome, because he proposed to his girlfriend in front of everybody and it was just all so awwww and nice and sweet. And then we all went out dancing until 2 in the morning. And congratulations for Mike and Jen. Yay!

(28 Days Later is FUCKING SCARY. Bloody zombies and machetes and such. I won't be able to sleep as long as that movie is in my TiVo menu. Delete!)

One not-awesome thing about the surprise party was a pregnant woman who SMOKED and DRANK throughout the whole thing. And I mean pregnant. And I mean smoked. Apparently, she did the same throughout her first two (two!) pregnancies and those kids turned out all right, so what's the big fucking deal, bitch?

I don't believe I have ever fantasized about bitchslapping a woman (a pregnant woman, no less) so hard and so often. Dear Jesus, please explain that one to me because really. Really. Grr.

Anyway. We also bought a new couch this weekend! Look at us, buying furniture! Like grown-ups do sometimes! Here's our pretty new couch, which will be born next Wednesday. I am not planning on natural couchbirth; I have hired a surrogate to deliver it.

Oy. I want to bitchslap MYSELF after that awful metaphor. That's exactly why I haven't been posting. But the next time I got three or four days without updating? There's no need to worry. Jason has my username and password and strict instructions to immediately notify the Internet in the event of my death.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (13)

May 17, 2004

Delirium Etc.

Yes, I am back.

We took the red-eye back this morning, so my whole sleeping-eating-not-walking-into-things equilibrium is all kinds of effed up. But let's see if I can recap some Vegas highlights.

Monday through Thursday afternoon: Work. Blah.

Thursday afternoon through yesterday: Fun. Haaaaa.

Jason flew in on Thursday, the workish convention thing ended, I got out of my suit and put on cute clothes, including a fluffy miniskirt that resulted in me being promptly manhandled in the casino by a very drunk and very sunburned shirtless man. It was a drive-by skirting. A crowd of decent-looking yet creepily-overly-involved senior citizens witnessed it and pointed out the skirtlifter to me. Jason marched off to confront him while I was all, "Oh my god, tussle in the casino! No!" But then I got PISSED and reported the jackhole to a nearby security guard who was very bored and very pleased with the prospect of a good skull-cracking. Jason came back laughing -- the guy already had a HUGE gash in his nose where he'd obviously been punched before, and the ladies he was drunkenly trying to mack on were NOT impressed by hearing of his skirt-lifting antics.

The security guard was bummed because the guy was a hotel guest so he couldn't toss him out, but he was sent to his room to get a shirt and...think about what he did...or...something. Fuck. Ing. Ass. Hole.

Anyway. We had tickets to the late Cirque du Soleil show at the Bellagio, which was pretty damn underwhelming. $105 a pop for third-to-last row in the balcony? $28 for two drinks? Lots of...synchronized swimming? What? I want freaks! I want crazy fire-breathing contortionists who throw small people around and then snap them in two. And I want clowns, but not clowns.

But whatever. Everything in Vegas is the equivalent to dumping bags of money out the window. So just enjoy the pretty patterns the bills make while they blow away. I did win $150 twice at slots, which only sort of balanced out what we lost at roulette, blackjack and other slots. Oh well. I also bought awesome clothes and ate what was probably the most amazing meal I have ever eaten here. There was a chocolate tasting platter for dessert. A platter.

We also drank many many (MANY) margaritas at Jimmy Buffett's restaurant, duh, Margaritaville. I also bought one of the two most awesome t-shirts ever there, which I will post a picture of later. Jason bought the other most awesome t-shirt ever, which he is wearing now. And it is awesome.

I actually have a lot of pictures to post, but they'll have to wait. Because I can't find my toothbrush right now, much less the camera.

In other homefront news, the cicadas have arrived and they are VILE, Max is supah-pissed at us, and I forgot my license in my carry-on bag so at dinner the waiter both refused to serve me a martini AND called me ma'am. So ma'am'ed and denied booze at the same time. Congrats, Amy.

And I know I'm forgetting a lot, but I'm tired and would like to go to bed. So photo essay tomorrow, advice column on Wednesday (SEND ME MORE QUESTIONS, you messed-up puppies), and then hopefully the return of The Many Loves of Amalah series. Or else I may simply drown in all my laundry.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (12)

May 15, 2004

More ADD from Vegas

Y'allllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll...

How I have only sort-of missed you so. Today is the first day since Monday that I felt like ponying up the $9.99 per 24 hours for Internet access here at the hotel, as I have been too busy and too drunk to do it AND there was some crazy worm virus running amok at the trade show and hotel early in the week. (Take THAT, capitalism and investment conventions! Some 14-year-old locked in his hotel room while his parents went out and lost his college fund decided to hack Champion Rental Services and destroy all rented computers with a seriously annoying virus.) So I was scared to connect lest the clean and virgin Grand Duchess New Hotness become infected and maybe destroy my perfect FreeCell record.

Also? Did. Not. Care.

And I still really don't. But since I paid for the Internet to look up restaurant reviews, I might as well do something useful like post. So here. Post!

I actually tried to write a post earlier in the week...a guest entry written by the Drunk Guy At Amy's Table during my Important Business Dinner on Tuesday. But it sucked because I was cranky and bitter over being put at his table in the first place, instead of the Table Where The Important People Sat Where Amy Belonged Because She Is Important. But instead? I was at the business dinner equivalent of the kiddie table. So grrr.

But whatever. Jason arrived on Thursday so we could have fun and fun has been had. Lots of drinking and eating and gambling. Rinse, repeat. I won $167 at a slot machine in the Bellagio. We buffeted. We saw Cirque du Soleil (meh) and George Wallace (ha ha HAAAAAAAAA). We drank (at. the. pool.) very early in the morning through very late at night.

We just got back from the Star Trek Extravaganza of Geekitude where we rode the little rides and saw the little characters and drank a little drink that was bigger than my head. It was called the Borg something something and was green and smoked and also? Yooge. $25 worth of booze. I also saw a real-life Borg guy who scared me. A lot. Pictures to come.

Actually, a lot of things on this trip have scared me a lot. The Important Business Dinner bill which cost as much as a very nice car. Also the cost of my Cirque du Soleil tickets. The Cirque du Soleil clowns. The mere existence of that Circus Circus house of horrors down the Strip. These copper-painted people at the Paris hotel that pretend to be statues and then REACH OUT and TOUCH YOU while you walk INNOCENTLY BY and scare the fucking living bejeezus crap out of you. And the women in Vegas who dress without regards to body shape OR the fact that metallic-colored spandex is never a good idea.

Anyway. I'm bored and getting sober so I'm going to post this and be off. Also, shut up, Geraldo. Why are you still on TV? Oh, Jason's fallen asleep or passed out on the remote. Must remedy this. More to come, including Scary Borg Pictures, the guy who lifted up my skirt in the casino, stupid things I have said and done while drunk and more love for George Wallace, the motherfucking Godfather of Comedy and the King of Yo' Momma Jokes. Haaaaa.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (6)

May 10, 2004

Up On the Airplane

(Howdiddly-do from VEGAS, babies. Tons of hilariously mundane things happened to me today, as did some craptacular crappolish things. But I'm tired and desperately need to de-funktify and get all pretty for dinner so I'm just going to post a bunch of random crap I wrote on the plane.)

I can now use approved portable electronic devices. Whee. I cannot, however, get up from my seat for another 20 minutes, since I flew out of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. (And you MUST call it the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport at all times. It’s like, a federal crime not to.) Everybody must stay in their seat for the 30 minutes after take-off or before landing at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, because the people who live outside the 30-minute diameter around the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport have it coming, frankly.

(Note to self: Don’t let anyone on the airplane see that, ever, as it is Not Funny, Please Come With Me Ma‘am type material.)

I barely got my suitcase zipped this morning as my insistence on bringing my own blowdryer (it’s ionic!) caused some space issues. As did my adorable new makeup bag from Target, which I was also not leaving.

(OW OW OW OW OW. I just bit my tongue and there is blood. In my quest for pop-free ears, I got a little aggressive with the gum chewing. Repeat: OW.)

But I did eventually get my suitcase zipped and made it to the airport in time. I cannot yet say the same for my coworker Rosemary, who may or may not have made our flight. I called her just before boarding started and she was “having all sorts of special bag-related issues.” I hope she made it on, as I need to borrow a dollar for a snack. (Forgot to hit the ATM before boarding. Think the flight attendants would accept Visa for a $2 package of Pringles? Am starving.) I also hope she made it on for non-me-related issues as well.

I hope they give out some freaking pretzels. Oh my god.

And speaking of Survivor, (transitions? what?) what did everybody think of the finale? For once the reunion show was more interesting than the actual last episode, and jeeeezzz those people were all kinds of crazy bitter. And Rob and Amber engaged? Seriously?

(Dammit, the movie is Along Came Polly, which I really wanted to see. I have $1.43. I am pathetic. And now they’re reading the food available for purchase, which is making me so, so hungry.)

Anyway. Survivor. Shut up, Lex. Shut up, Kathy. Shut up, Jerri…oh, ok. Jerri shut up. And then she left. Because the audience booed her for bashing the show and being all, “We are not entertainment! We are HUMAN BEINGS!” This was very moving coming from the girl who’s been on Survivor twice, Blind Date, The Surreal Life and that Bravo show about reality television where she gave her expert opinion about how reality shows were wrong and bad and also? Not so great for that acting career as she originally thought.

So shut up, Jerri. Because of you, I actually agreed with stuff that Richard Hatch and Shii-Ann are saying. And that’s scary and troubling to me.

(Just got up and wandered the plane…Rosemary DID make it on. But she’s asleep so I won’t wake her up to ask for money. Yet.)

Did anyone else go from sort of liking Amber to sort of hating her? I mean, damn, girl is HOT. And now she’s rich. And engaged. And la la la, isn’t she cute and nice and America’s goddamn sweetheart or something. Or was that just me?

(You know, one of the oft-overlooked pleasures of a new laptop is a clean FreeCell record.)

So how long before some Survivor crew member leaks a Rob and Amber sex tape to the Internet? In all greenie night-vision a la Paris Hilton?

“Oh Ambah…Ambah! Yo’ ass! So smokin’! Oh yeeeeah, Ambah! Yaaaawwww!”

Haaaaaa.

(Oh god. I just changed time zones on my computer and now it’s fucking 8:30 in the morning. Noooo, not again! One 8:30 am a day is enough.)

So before they show Along Came Polly, they’re showing an episode of Friends. See? It will never be over. It will never go away. Friends has hijacked the friendly skies and it’s not giving them back.

I’m not sure I’ve ever written while this hungry.

Gah! It’s the episode with Bruce Willis. I love that one. I love him. I hear he’s very good in bed. No idea where I heard that, but I’m believing it with every fiber of my being.

Pretzels!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Didn’t this post sort of have a topic once?)

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (27)

May 09, 2004

Error: Memory Overload, Begin Nonsensical Ramblings Now

Done!

Done done done done done!

So while I wouldn't necessarily say I made them slut finals my bitch, I can at least say that I was not made a bitch of.

Which is remarkable, taking into account the breathtaking amount of not-studying I did on Friday night. I mean, I tried. I started. I wrote some definitions of boldface words down in a notebook. And then I read a GQ from three months ago and watched TiVo'd goodness all night. (Confidential to ER: Shut up, ER. Why you make me cry so? I. Don't. Care. About. You. So stop making me cry over one more freaking dead baby. And maybe stop killing so many damn babies.)

I even turned my phone off Friday night so I wouldn't be interrupted. Unfortunately, all this meant was that I missed Coleen's call when she was stranded with a flat tire (and pre-happy hour!) and needed distraction while she waited for a tow truck. Luckily, this meant that I was the recipient of the best voice mail ever, as it was in chapter form. Chapter form! With a narrative arc and everything! I love it and am never deleting it, ever.

Anyway. Today started way early. (Oh shit...it's tomorrow. As in Sunday. So this is Saturday I'm talking 'bout Willis.) Did you know there's a 7 a.m. on the weekends too? I was not aware. Even during the week, 7 a.m. is kind of a snooze alarm grey area. But today started at 7 a.m. with 17 gallons of coffee and much mad rushing. Pencils! Pencil sharpener! Hair clip! Scrap paper! Lip gloss! More pencils!

To look the college student part I even dug out an old backpack. And I packed the four-leaf clover I found on Thursday. And I wore my lucky Care Bear underwear. And everything I own from Tiffany's because that shit has gotta be good luck because it's expensive.

By the time I arrived at the exam site I was fully caffeinated and covered in hives. But I was confident. I walked up to the nearest folding table and took the folder they offered me. The folder that was for the Medical Transcriptionist Conference being held that day in the building that was not the exam building. Well.

The exam building was bedlam. All the layoffs in this area have obviously been a boon for universities with distance and adult learning, as the students outnumbered the proctors by about eleventy billion to one. There were so many lines and people getting knocked out by rogue bookbags that it resembled a Civil War reenactment, only with less beards. After waiting in one line for about 15 minutes I was told that I first needed to wait in another line and get some kind of pink confirmation of exam card. Which by the time I got to the front of that line they were pretty much giving them out willy-nilly to anyone who looked studentish. (I decided to cut right to the willy-nilly for my second exam and just swiped an extra card to bring back later. Yeah, I'm a total rebel.)

My first exam was open book. It was boring and hard and blaaaaah. I was all prepared to have my civil rights trampled on as a student so I left my coffee in the car and raised my hand before going to the bathroom. They did not give a rat's ass, and some people brought an entire goddamn breakfast buffet to the test. You could also totally go to the bathroom and then send someone smarter back in to take your place. Which is what I should have done because this test was all legal talkyspeak and case law stuff and who does the professor think I am? Luckily I found that if all else fails, you can always mention the First Amendment a lot. A. Lot.

The next exam was closed book and I was done by 4 p.m. My hand hurt from all the essays and the retarded way I hold a pen. I somehow managed to puncture my palm with one of my fingernails and bruise the underside of my middle finger.

But anyway. I am done. I think I got at least a B on both tests, which means for all intents and purposes, I've graduated. B.S. in Communications (B.S. because I didn't want to take any more Spanish so I took businessy computery classes instead) with a secondary specialization in English. And it only took me eight years, including three years of doing absolutely nothing.

And oh yes, I am typing this entry on my pretty new laptop that was waiting for me when I got home. I love it so. I think I'm going to make out with it for a little bit after I post this. Her full name is Grand Duchess Carmichael. You can call her GDC for short, or maybe 'Puter once she gets to know you. She's so pretty. Except for the touchpad mouse that doesn't let you tap the pad to click or move the cursor so I keep tap tap tapping away like a monkey. But she has a DVD writer and dozens of ports (ooh, dirty) that I can plug my camera right into (dirtier) and an internal WiFi card and a whole bunch of stuff that I'm scared to touch.

We also went out and spent over $200 on dinner because I'm all gradumacated and smart and not gonna end up in no trailer like these people.

Tomorrow: Packing. Target. 'Puter love.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (13)

May 07, 2004

The Not-Calm Before the Storm

Needless to say, I’ve been busy lately. And I mean busy as in bizzay. (Unless that only refers to busy as in gettin' bizzay. Because that? Not so much.)

Ever since the horrific crapulence of Wednesday night, I've been a wee chicken running around with my damn head cut off. (Dude, the spell-checker totally says crapulence is a word. Is it? Heh.)

Papers, studying, work…I won’t bore you with the details. Instead, I’ll bore y’all with a list! Yay for lists! Yay for no transitions or narrative cohesiveness! Yay for you shutting up about it!

1) I got the paper done. Or, as I like to put it, I made that slut paper my bitch. Which is how I’ve put it to quite a few people, none of whom found it as amusing as me. But I don’t care. Slut paper. Was made. My bitch.

2) The paper probably sucks. But I really don’t care. (Okay, yes. Yes I do care. Because I am a huge nerd who gets beyond worked up over grades. I get hives at the prospect of a B-. Which is really sad, because at 26 years old with a good job that really doesn’t care about my GPA; I should be able to let that 3.7689 or whatever slide a bit without the aforementioned hives. But I cannot. CANNOT!)

3) Every time I made an appearance at yesterday’s (hugely successful and wildly hilarious) Haiku Smackdown, it was because I was staving off a panic attack or an outbreak of hives or simply a murderous rampage. And let me testify to the healing, soothing and centering power of a good haiku. We need to bottle this shit. We’ll make a frigging fortune.

4) I do not know how to spell piece. There. Word just fixed it for me. I always type peice because I am convinced it is one of the i before e exceptions, even though it’s not after c. It’s before c, so therefore…I’m an idiot. Perhaps this post will help me spell it correctly from now on. But it probably won’t because even if I type piece, I’m so used to being wrong that I’ll just switch it back to peice and applaud myself for going against my instincts.

5) My COMM 400 (Communication & the Law, in case you were wondering, which you weren't) professor posted the final exam review, and it sounds like it will be open book. This goes against everything I’ve heard all semester about the final exam, so I’m confused. And I don’t necessarily believe open-book exams are a good thing, especially when there’s a time limit. And I’m also worried that I’m going to show up at the proctored exam site and they’ll be all, "Suuuuure your professor said your exam is open book. Did she also tell you we’d be providing punch and pie while you work on it?"

6) I just realized that I have nothing identifying me as a University of Maryland student. They were supposed to send me an ID card this semester and never did. So what if they don’t let me into my exam site? And just how evil do I think these "they" people really are?

7) Even though I was supposed to study last night, I still watched Survivor and the Friends finale. Because I may be stressed and overworked but goddamn, I am an American and I do not miss my television programs.

8) I haven't watched a new episode of Friends since Survivor moved to the same time slot, and I have a hard time telling all the reruns apart. But when the hell did Jennifer Aniston get those bangs? I have bangs, my friends have bangs, but Jennifer Aniston should not have bangs. Nose size issues I think. Also the whole "Whoops! It's twins!" thing? Please. I repeat: Pleeeeeeaaaase. With extra sarcasm on top.

9) I feel compelled to have 10 things on this list, but I cannot think of something to go here. So let me just say that I’m having a good hair day today, am wearing boots that I could kill you with, and I went to Target over lunch with Sprocketeer. Who is wise and said, "Does Target sell anything that you don’t want?" No. No it does not. I want everything in that store, even the stuff that I don’t really want. When I’m there, I want it. When we do figure out how to bottle the Essence de Haiku? We should totally sell it at Target.

10) I have to go to Vegas next week for a trade show. Poor, poor me. And hopefully rich, rich me. And hopefully Jason will buy me a new laptop as a graduation present so I can take it with me. Because otherwise? This site will pretty much be a ghost town until May 17th. If I do get a shiny new laptop, however, I can pretty much guarantee quite a few drunken posts. So Jason! Buy Amy a laptop! Amalah.com readers are depending on you! Don’t let them down!

Exams start at 9 a.m. tomorrow. Egad. Wish me hive-free luck and expensive graduation gifts.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (19)

May 06, 2004

About Last Night

Right. So if you haven't read my mini-meltdown from earlier, go read it. Now here it is again...in minute by minute super slow motion action. Whee.

6:00 p.m.  Father-in-law calls. Will be in town tonight and wants to take us out for dinner. Hell yes! Leave work, with dry-cleaning that has been hanging on coat hook in office for a week, feeling immensely pleased with self.

6:33  Home. Messy, messy home. Toss dry-cleaning in heap on closet floor, shove all clutter into drawers, closets, etc. Feed poor starving (starving!) yowling cat and change into cute going-out-for-dinner outfit.

6:45  Boot up laptop.

6:55  God this laptop sucks ass.

7:03  Log onto online classroom to check for final exam review shit.

7:04  WHAT. THE. FUCK.

7:05  WHAT THE FUCK WHAT THE FUCK WHAT THE FUCK

7:10  Call Jason in hysterics.

7:11  Jason: “What the FUCK?”

7:13 Sobbing gasping heaving panic attack.

7:13.57999 Flashbacks to every anxiety dream I’ve had about papers I didn’t know about, tests I didn’t study for and classes that I SWORE I DROPPED and what do you MEAN I’m still registered for and have to take a final in and I haven’t been to a single class and why in the world is the class being held in a building that I have to take a train to get to? Oh my god, where is the train station? Run!

7:15 The reality sets in. I have to write an entire bullshit paper TONIGHT and then cram my little ass off tomorrow and Friday. 

7:16 Blog about it.

7:20 Send testy email to COMM 400 professor asking where in sam hill our final exam review stuff is, as (ahem) the final is in TWO FUCKING DAYS.

7:22 Compose death threats to SPCH 426 professor who decides to assign PAPERS the same week as finals. Do not send.

7:25 Spring into mad action. Dig out textbooks from under bed. Print off class notes and assignment description. Google to find some resources to…collaboratively…share…or something.

7:30 Father-in-law arrives. He and Jason head out for dinner at my most favoritest pizza place ever. Warn Jason that he will not be allowed back in the house unless he comes bearing pizza.

7:31 Put bottle of white wine in freezer. Take pint of Ben & Jerry’s out.

7:35 Type name, class section and paper title.

7:40 Eat last of the Doritos Rollitos.

7:41 – 7:59 The lost minutes. No idea what happened here.

8:00 Start writing paper furiously. No time for thinking! Just typing! Big words! Vague meanings!

8:15 Well. That was productive. Time to get the wine out.

8:16 – 8:22 The Battle of the Stubborn Cheap Cork. More almost-tears and almost-need-for-stitches.

8:25 Thesis of paper looks something like this: Cross-cultural conflicts are the result of blah blah self-perceptions colliding with reality and racism prejudice overcoming talkyspeak.

8:35 I like Martha. She’s funny and knows how to bullshit and write papers drunk. Emailing with her almost seems like a total non-waste of precious minutes. It's actually productive!

8:47 Bump font up to Arial 12 pt double spaced. Voila! Three whole pages already.

9:00 Blah blah blah I haven’t a friggin’ clue what shit I’m writing about. But it sounds damn fine.

9:10 Where the fuck is my pizza?

9:18 Four pages. I’m using a hell of a lot of full names and not a lot of pronouns, interestingly enough.

9:30 Pizza! Gimme gimme gimme.

9:31 Now everybody go away so I can finish this shit up.

10:00 Wine is so good. What the hell was I all freaked out about?

10:02 Oh. Right.

10:05 Never going to finish this paper. Never going to have time to study for finals and now 40% of my grade in a class I was SO SURE I was acing hangs in the balance. Hate. Hate.

10:15 I’m not going to have time to haiku tomorrow. Oh my god. The shitival never ends.

10:30 Did I mention how much I like Martha?

10:45 Very hyper and animated all of a sudden. Am saying very funny things to Jason about something that happened earlier today with some asshole who said something assholey to me and I’ve already forgotten what is was. But it was funny!

10:52 Five pages! Huzzah! Anything after this is a bonus. Bonus of crap filler, anyway.

10:56 Time to do the reference & citations page with all the sources that I did not use and did not cite but whatever. Will go through it tomorrow and plug some random footnotes in.

10:57 Martha double dog dares me to use “talkyspeak” in my paper. Find myself actually staring at paper, looking for a place to put it. Decide that maybe it is time to go to bed.

11:03 HOLY LIVING FUCK. The computer just froze up. Did I save? At ALL?

11:04 “Begin physical memory dump.” Oh my god. That doesn’t sound good.

11:07 Please reboot please reboot please reboot

11:10 Please AutoRecover please AutoRecover please please please

11:15 Oh right. I did save it. And emailed it to myself at three different addresses. Definitely time for bed.

11:20 Heh. A timeline blog entry would be hilarious right about now.

12:01 a.m. Good fucking night.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (14)

April 29, 2004

Pride Comes Before a Something Something...

Last night, as Jason and I were walking back from the gym, I mentioned that it was time for another redesign for Amalah.com. I’m worried that between the whole “Queen of Everything” theme and my somewhat (okay, very) cocky writing I’m putting some people off.

To which Jason promptly replied, “Well, yeah. I’m sure you are. I mean, I know it’s your schtick, but you do come across as pretty elitist.”

Of course I pitched a fit in response to this allegation but also secretly knew he was right. And I don’t want to put anybody off. I love every person who reads this site and I read about a bazillion sites a day that are much, much better than this one. And to prove that it is just a “schtick,” I’m going to drop it for this post (and this post only, bitches) and thoroughly embarrass myself for your amusement.

Here, in no particular order, are some of my Deep Dark Secrets of Mortification, Betrayal and Stupidness:

(Please be gentle.)

1) In the first paragraph? I lied. We DID go to the gym, but were actually walking back from the burrito place where I totally pigged out when we had this conversation.

2) And at the gym there was this big meathead muscled mustached guy who looked a lot like Tom Selleck, and I was confronted with the fact that I still think Tom Selleck is hot. I used to kiss my big sister's poster of him and make her declare us husband and wife.

3) I have broken up with exactly two boyfriends. I have been dumped by at least eight boyfriends, not including the one boyfriend I dumped and then got back together with, only to be promptly dumped.

4) One guy in high school asked me “out” over the phone at 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday night. We made out during lunch and then he “broke up” with me at 3 p.m. on Wednesday in front of the school bus. Mortifying.

5) This same guy, as I learned years later, was Jason’s best friend all through high school. He was the best man at my wedding. Also mortifying.

6) I was a huge dork in high school. Yooge. Colossal. I played the timpani in the band and wore braces and took drama way too seriously.

7) I once was dropped from the lead in a school play and replaced by the director two weeks before the performance. I cried and cried and cried and my mom called the director and made him give me my part back. I still had to alternate performances with my replacement.

8) My very first boyfriend went to a different high school. We dated for like, MONTHS and he was my first kiss. Then he transferred to my school. No one could believe a dork like me got a guy like him until he dumped me a week after classes started. By my locker. He then started dating some girl who rode on the same school bus as me and told the whole cross country team that I put out. I spent most of 9th grade locked in the bathroom to escape the mortification.

9) This same guy? ALSO one of Jason’s friends. Christ. Luckily, not past 10th grade.

10) I’m terrified of volcanoes. TERR. IFIED. It started with Reading Rainbow on PBS and they read this one book about a farmer in Mexico who noticed a bump in his field. And the bump got bigger and bigger and started to rumble and then it exploded and wiped out the whole damn village. And after reading this book? LeVar Burton WENT TO A VOLCANO that was ACTIVE and RUMBLING and stood around with these batshit crazy volcano “experts” and talked about how soon it would erupt. (Soon! And yet they STOOD NEXT TO THE OPENING. THERE WAS VISIBLE LAVA!) It did not help that I had a little crush on LeVar Burton. After watching this I would spend hours in my backyard looking for bumps. For YEARS.

And I had a panic attack during that movie about the volcano in L.A. and had to walk out. And the “volcano” show outside the Mirage in Vegas scared the crap out of me too. I hid behind my friend the whole time. And I will never, ever go to Hawaii because I KNOW that some dormant volcano will suddenly erupt while I’m there and I will be killed. Do not even try to reason with me about this. (I did some searching, and THIS is the guilty episode that started it all.)

11) I once submitted an essay to Salon.com and got rejected. I cried. And never read Salon again, those bastards.

12) I got a job as a reporter at Penn State’s Daily Collegian newspaper. It was a journalism student’s dream come true. I quit three weeks later. I tell people I quit because I hated the newsroom environment and disliked writing hard news. I really quit because I was too timid to call any of my sources on the telephone.

13) I was the Janet Cooke/Jayson Blair/Stephen Glass of several journalism classes. I sometimes made up sources and quotes and attributed them to my friends who would cover for me if the professor called them.

14) I have bought answer keys for tests and written papers from Cliff Notes.

15) I still think Spam and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese are delicious.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (22)

April 26, 2004

11 Things I Learned While Watching The Swan

Yes. I know. I'm disappointed in myself too. I told Chris that I would not watch The Swan, mostly because I was embarrassed to let TiVo know I watched it. (TiVo's been recommending indie movies and stuff on BBC America, y'all, I finally got it to think that I'm smart! ) But then today, while watching a Simpsons rerun, that irresistable green "thumbs up" icon showed up on a commercial for The Swan.

What could I do? TiVo was literally giving me the green light to watch this garbage. It was like, "C'mon, you've earned it. I know you have a season pass to The Office and stopped watching American Idol. You deserve some trash."

So I did. And I'm glad, because I learned some Very Important Lessons.

1) I'm actually very pretty and quite happy with my looks.

2) Except that I could probably use some fat injections under my eyes.

3) Also my top lip is much smaller than my lower lip, and this is apparently a really horrible thing that I should get fixed.

4) I'm not quite so ready to have a baby now that I've seen just what it does to the skin around your belly button. Ew.

5) Doritos Rollitos may in fact be the most delicious things I have ever tasted, and not even close-ups of other women's cellulite will make me stop eating them.

6) My right boob is almost a full cup size smaller than the left one, which is still only an A-cup, and my entire chest is losing its Lolita-like appeal as the years go by. So if I get the eye-bag fat injections and the upper-lip tissue restructuring it would really make sense to just get a boob job at the same time.

7) No, no it wouldn't. Because that? Looks incredibly painful. Beyond painful. Although I imagine recovering from plastic surgery is a little worse when there's a FUCKING CAMERA being shoved in your poor, swollen and mutilated face constantly. Still. Hell no.

8) Surgery-related blood and guts and even some quick shots of boobage are okay, but ass-cracks are still too hot for prime-time TV. You either pixelate that out or make the doctor spread a little hand towel over it. Hee.

9) The blond girl in tonight's episode look(ed) a LOT like this girl I knew in high school so I got out my yearbook to look up her name. Not her. But then I Googled her and she's some sort of Pennsylvania beauty queen now. Her! A beauty queen! Talk about ducklings and swans and baby chickens and all that.

10) Even though FOX has probably produced eleventy billion hours' worth of reality television since Survivor appeared on the scene, and yet they still don't. Get. It. Stop with the vaguely foreignish female hosts who do absolutely nothing useful and stop with the McMansion settings and crazy violinning and oh my GAWD stop with the showing the SAME DAMN FOOTAGE SEVEN TIMES IN THE SAME HOUR-LONG SHOW. "Before we meet sad-chubby-blond-girl-number-four, let's have one last look at her arrival, the arrival that we just showed you 45 minutes ago when she actually arrived and then showed again at the halfway point and then one more time before the last commercial break. But it has such a good sound bite about how sad she was, so one last time, whee!"

11) The Halle Berry-narrated domestic violence PSA that ran constantly during tonight's episode? With the whole "Does he tell you he loves you when he's hitting you?" Was more depressing than anything, ever. Does FOX tell The Swan contestants it loves them too? Or will that all depend on the ratings?

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (10)

"Delete Post" Cannot Be Undone. Ever!

For you lucky few who came here over the weekend and got to read a certain post that was written when a certain girl was a little...tipsy? Congrats. In 20 years? When amalah.com is the blog equivalent to The Beatles? You can say you were there to read the Long Lost Forgotten Post, because it ain't coming back. TypePad ate it. Poof! Goodbye.

And believe it or not, I didn't write that particular post in Word first, save and then cut and paste into TypePad. I know you're shocked, but as I recall...well, actually I don't recall anything about writing the post, which was kind of the point. Anyway.

My mommy reads this site and I already upset her enough with all the fucks and damns and whatnot so I can't give her the impression that her baby girl's life is all about the drinkin' ana' cussin' ana' fightin' ana' feudin'. So bye-bye post.

Although really, how sad is it that Amy gets sloshed and decides to post something and ends up writing about old ER reruns, her dinner and her purse? And also that she can't spell the word "drunk" but can spell "sanctimonious?" Well, actually...that's pretty damn funny.

Shit. Sorry about deleting it. I'll get drunk and post again real soon, promise.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (12)

April 21, 2004

Of Bug Guts and Birthdays

I woke up this morning with a huge (yooge!) bee on my pillow. It made scary buzzing noises and I had to use a legal sized folder to coax it back outside. I don't kill bugs that big...not for any bug-loving-all-God's-creatures kind of crap...but because I can't kill anything that makes an audible crunching/squishing sound and leaves substantial bug guts behind. Eesh.

Today has actually been all about the bug guts, interestingly enough. My poor car was covered in them after our long drive to and from Vermont so I took it to a car wash over lunch. So a $6 car wash and some intense squeegee action later, my windshield is about 73% bug gut free. Splat, suckahs.

And I might as well BE bug guts, because I forgot my friend Andie's birthday on Thursday. Like, completely. La la la I'm all obsessed with my foot and then it's off to Vermont and then what? My best friend's birthday? The friend who is getting married in September and whose MAID of HONOR just so happens to be ME? Her birthday? She's soooo going to make me wear something salmon-colored with big puffy sleeves. Happy belated birthday, Andie. Love, Squishy Bug Guts.

(I just ate part of the paper bag that my sandwich is wrapped in. Serves my ass right.)

So today is pretty much back to normal then. Early morning bee-related drama, work, errands, Amy's special brand of idiocy and then the usual lunch-related eating paper/tainted yogurt/moldy mayonaise drama. Perhaps later this afternoon I shall fall down and injure something or get trapped in an elevator or lock myself out of my car. Or all three! It's gonna be a great day!

Plus, I do believe I took some pictures during our Vermont trip, although they're all from the very first day. Before the trip took a turn for the horrific. Actually, I think the camera was put away permanently before we even got out of Jersey. But Jersey is very scenic so maybe I took some interesting ones. Of like, industrial yards or something. So stay tuned for um...that.

On second thought, I'll do my best to fall down and injure myself in some comical fashion instead.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (7)

April 14, 2004

Yes, Amy Is Still Going On About Her Foot

Did I mention that Jason had his camera phone with him in the ER?

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12:45 a.m. "Where the fuck is that nurse with my ice chips and narcotics? And I'm about to shove a bedpan up that guy's ass if he doesn't stop moaning about it."

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12:52 a.m. The victim. 26 years old, seven and a half inches in length. Was wearing sparkly red polish at the time of the attack. Don't be deceived by the pretty, unsullied white skin. She hurts from the inside.

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1:13 a.m. This is your wife, not on drugs and not amused. Whee.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (6)

Unbreakable

So. Last night was fun!

Since I didn't think the foot thing was going to be a big deal, I kind of abbreviated the story yesterday. The point of the post was supposed to be my MacGyver-like (tm Lauren) approach to first aid, not the actual injury. But now, the rest of the story (tm Paul Harvey)...

I actually injured my foot yesterday morning. I got in the car and didn't open the door quite far enough, and the door swung back just as I was pulling my left foot in. It hurt. A lot. But then it seemed to feel okay. And since I was determined to make yesterday Not Suck Like Monday Sucked, I ignored it. I drove to work and used the clutch with my left foot just fine. High heels too, because I'm a trooper who does not like frumpy shoes.

(Further proof of my troopdom: Chris noticed I was limping at lunch. I didn't even realize I was limping, so this is pretty funny to me. It also proves that I am not always the huge baby about pain I became later in the evening.)

Anyway. NTB, the No-Tire-having Bastards (tm Chris) called me in the afternoon to let me know that they weren't able to "track down" the tires I'd requested after all. Ah, yes, the elusive BF Goodwrench Traction TAs...running wild and free out in their natural habitat. Whatever. I got a ride to pick up my car and again drove to the office just fine. A couple hours later, I got back in the car to drive home.

This time? It was instantaneous AND unavoidable. My foot hurt like HELL every time I had to shift. I must have stayed in second gear for about 75% of the drive. By the time I got home I was REALLY limping and could barely make it up the stairs.

And that's where we originally came in, with my foot in the wine chiller thing.

Jason got home and laughed at me and made me a more presentable ice pack. But the pain kept getting worse. I COULD NOT stand on it. There really wasn't a lot of visible bruising or swelling, but obviously something was wrong. Jason gave my foot a thorough exam to find exactly where the pain was (which I think he enjoyed a bit too much), and that's when we determined it was probably the tendon. There were about four specific points of pain but about forty different movements that caused the pain.

The ice did not help. I tried crawling around but something that hurt seemed to be connected to my knee, so that didn't work. The stiffest medication we had was Tylenol. (Maybe God is waiting for us to get some damn medical supplies before he entrusts us with a child?) And the kiss of death: WebMD and random Google searches. It didn't seem like bruised tendons were very common for that part of the foot, but breaks in the little skinny bones were. It was also possible that while the door slamming put enough stress on the foot to break it, it might not have actually broken until hours later since I didn't stay off it.

Jason was not happy about it, but at midnight I insisted on being taken to the hospital. There was no way I could sleep with the pain, plus the ER would not yet be full of the morning's rush hour injuries, fatalities and crazy people who wanted a free breakfast. So we went. (Getting down the three flights of stairs was REALLY fun...I nearly killed us both.)

So. ER. Not so much like the TV show. Just your average badly decorated waiting area with ugly chairs and curtained-off rooms full of old men moaning for bedpans. I got a lot of compliments on my Marc Jacobs perfume from the nurses. (Yes, I spritzed perfume before leaving for the ER. I also changed my underwear, brushed my teeth and brought a book. I go prepared.) My blood pressure was elevated from the pain. I got a gown but was allowed to mostly stay dressed, though I was very glad I'd put on clean underwear, even if they were Hello Kitty.

I got X-rays and turns out? We were right the first time. No breaks, just severe contusions to the bones and tendons. Obviously, I was glad my foot would be fine, but I still felt really dumb for being there and for being a baby and telling them my pain was an 8 out of 10 and it was JUST A BRUISE. But apparently? I have very, very strong bones. I've never broken anything more than my pinky toe in my life, and this time is no exception. Osteoporosis and decrepit old age have not set in yet. Calcium power!

So I was sent home on crutches and on codeine. Which don't go as well together as you might think. You need to be a little coordinated to use crutches, which I am not, and then the codeine (should I have told them about the vodka cocktails?) just totally effs with your motor skills.

And I'm supposed to stay off it today and keep it elevated as much as possible. Codeine every four to eight hours as needed, which is still quite often. My foot looks fine though. Surface bruises won't appear until the internal bruising gets better. We're placing bets on what color it will turn first.

Hmm...anybody else smell a photo essay? I hope it's gory.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (10)

April 13, 2004

The Saddest Sight My Eyes Did See

As I got in my car to drive home tonight (on the dorky donut spare again, by the way, as my day took a sudden and unfortunate turn back into shitdom), I slammed my foot in the car door. Owie.

By the time I got home, it was swollen, purple and full-on HOLY LIVING HELL THAT FUCKING HURTS.

Could I find an ace bandage? A brace? Some measly medical tape? No. Did we have a soft ice pack? Or even any ice cubes? No.

So I wrapped my foot in the last paper towel on the roll and stuck it in a plastic wine chiller sleeve.

No, seriously.

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Update: Jason made ice. And vodka cocktails. And determined that it is probably a bruised tendon. Jebus god. The pain.

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Update Update: Nope. Probably a fracture. Freak show foot: Put ice on it, watch it get WORSE! Yay! X-rays on the agenda tomorrow methinks.

HOLY MOTHER OF GOD THE PAIN. THE PAIN!

Update Update Update: 12:10 AM. GOING TO THE HOSPITAL NOW BITCHES. HOLY FUCK. VICODIN! PLEASE!

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (13)

Moving On

So today is not quite so shittacular as yesterday.

(For anyone who's confused, I am NOT pregnant. The test did not let me down in THAT way. Amalah is trying to procreate but her ovaries are total bitches and we hateses them. It's not even about parenthood at this point, it's about winning. Beating my reproductive system at its own little warped game.)

But anyway. I went home last night and opened a $3.99 bottle of Orvieto from Trader Joe's and popped in an Eminem CD and behaved very un-responsible-mother-to-be-like. Except for the part where I finally put about a mountain of laundry away and ironed my suits. But I did it drunk and singing along to some Very Bad Words.

In other news, "pussy" has become my new all-time favorite word.

Also, last night I dreamt that I was playing Billy Crystal's love interest in some When Harry Met Sally / My Giant hybrid-type movie. Which you just cannot make up. I also worked at a Barnes & Noble in the movie. Or maybe in real life. It wasn't a very linear dream. But I always dream that I work at a Barnes & Noble. Do I secretly want to work at a Barnes & Noble? Or do I feel guilty because I, an English major, never toiled at a Barnes & Noble like every other English major hoping to land a tenure-track professorship at some august university? Am I questioning my decision to chuck an academic life of the mind in favor of a corporate paycheck career? Do I actually secretly like My Giant?

This morning, I had to drive to work verrrry slowly. For the slow leaky tire on my car decided to put itself out of its misery and just go totally flat. So I (translation: Jason) put the little donut spare on and drove in at speeds not to exceed 50 MPH. People, I'd forgotten what 50 MPH felt like. It's SLOW! I was shocked. I was barely moving. Little old ladies with walkers move faster than 50 MPH in D.C. Christ.

So I have to get new tires today, but it's fine. Chris and I are meeting for Lunch II: The Lunchening. And I will hit him up for a ride to the tire store. Ha. I would also like to say that my mom loves me very, very much and is very, very frightened that Chris is a psycho killer/sexual deviant, or simply so wonderfully irresistable that I will divorce Jason and become Mrs. RudeCactus. Which I think the current Mrs. RudeCactus would object to. But that's my mom, and she's adorable.

Anyway, Chris just called and he's here for tire duty and lunch. He's so dreamy. Especially when he's holding that crowbar.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (3)

April 07, 2004

My Adventures With This Guy

So there's This Guy.

At work. I don't know his name. I have only a vague idea of what he does and who he works for, but yet This Guy? Totally has it in for me.

Last week, I was walking from the parking garage to the office. I was about 10 steps behind This Guy. He didn't pause to hold the door for me, but whatever. As I came through the door, he was at the elevators and looked over at me. I smiled at him and sped up a bit. He got on the elevator. I sped up even more, only to have the doors close right in my face.

Now see, we're on the top floor of our building and these elevators are slooooow. We always hold the elevator for other top-floor people. I'll feign obliviousness for anyone I don't know, because nothing pisses me off more than those second-floor people who take the elevator when it's ONE FREAKING FLIGHT OF STAIRS. Plus? Elevators. Sloooooooow.

So this was...odd. I'm sure This Guy knows we work for the same company; we pass each other all the time in the hallways. Plus I was wearing a suit and we're the only damn company in the whole damn building with a formal dress code. The other floors are full of people in jeans, shorts, tutus, etc.

But whatever. I got another elevator. I moved on.

Flash-forward to 5:30 pm. Walking back through the parking garage to my car. As I turn up the aisle to my car, a big SUV comes flying (FLYING) around the corner. It's taken the left far too close and I have to jump over to the right to avoid being hit. Guess who's driving? I trip and sort of fall against a nearby parked car, which promptly announces to the world that it! Is! Being! Stolen!

And now this morning. I'm about 10 steps ahead of him on the way to the elevators. I hold the door for him and some woman I don't know. (You know, to be all nice and martyr-like.) (I have not really moved on.) He gets on first, and instead of stepping to the big empty side of the elevator where I wasn't? He steps to the same side I'm standing. Where I am holding the door open. It was like I wasn't even there. I had to let go of the door and jump back to avoid being stepped on. And of course, the woman who got on after him was from the third floor and you need to swipe your security card to get the elevator to stop on the third floor. The swipey thing is on the side where we were now both standing. Without looking, he steps backwards to let the woman swipe her card and whacks me in the chest with his briefcase. Ow.

And instead of apologizing? He just kinda turns around and grunts in my general direction, like his briefcase was just attacked by an invisible force-field.

We get to our floor and he gets off and goes to swipe his security card to enter the interior of the floor. (We're totally nuts for security. There are combination locks on the ladies' room.) To my surprise, he opens the door but steps back to let me go first. And as I say "thank you" and walk through...the door closes right on my foot. Ow.

So. This Guy has nearly run me over with his car, nailed me in the chest with his briefcase, and bruised my ankle with a door. Either I have suddenly developed super-invisibility powers or I will soon be killed by This Guy. I should at least figure out his name so I can etch his initials on the elevator walls with my last dying breath or something.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (10)

April 06, 2004

Stuff I Think About

I am vaguely unnerved by the seedless orange I am eating right now. It's certainly convenient, but there's something about seedless fruit that screams FREAK OF NATURE MAD FRUIT SCIENTIST MWA HA HA.

(Of course, I've met more than my fair share of sinister fruit in my time.)

Also, decaffeinated coffee? What's the deal? How do they do that? And non-dairy creamer. And especially the non-powder non-dairy creamer. The little flavored liquid Mini-Moos that look like milk, taste like milk but ARE NOT MILK. And can sit out on the counter for weeks without refrigeration. That's not right. Food should not be an oxymoron.

And that's my freak-show genetically-modified breakfast today. I brought yogurt and baby carrots for lunch. But don't even get me started on yogurt and baby carrots.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (6)

April 05, 2004

'Bye Kurdt

I was 16, but I didn't have my license yet. I was riding in the backseat of my parents' Ford Taurus. I forget where we had been or what we were talking about, but just before we got home the conversation turned in the direction of Evil Rock Music. I'm sure I wasn't listening.

But I remember hitting that *dip* at the end of our driveway at the precise moment my mom said, "And just today, that singer of that group went and killed himself."

I was listening now. "Who? Which singer?"

My parents didn't know, and were probably a bit disturbed at the way I made a beeline for the TV inside and started flipping through the channels. My mom brought it up as a cautionary tale—one of the many reasons I was not allowed to listen to "secular" music. Singers went and killed themselves all the time and sometimes took their unsuspecting teenage fans with them.

I still find it odd that I couldn't find anything about his death on TV that night. I still didn't know it was him. There were so many grunge rockers teetering on the edge of self destruction back then: Scott Weiland, Shannon Hoon. I asked my parents where they had heard the news.

Rush Limbaugh. RUSH. LIMBAUGH.

My dad taped Rush Limbaugh every single day, filling entire VHS tapes with his rantings. I popped in the latest tape and hit play. I kneeled in front of the VCR and hit fast-forward. It was near the end. It was about a 15-second spot. Kurt Cobain killed himself. Shotgun to the head. They played a clip of Heart Shaped Box and Rush mocked the unintelligible lyrics. (Just a few days later Rush would call Kurt "a worthless shred of human debris." Because he's so fucking perfect.)

I watched the clip a couple times and then went to my room, trying to act like I didn't care. I turned on my radio and heard Smells Like Teen Spirit. I put my hand over my month and stood there, frozen.

I remembered staying over at my friend Donna's house, listening to Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, Mudhoney and Mother Love Bone. The sheer deviancy of her CD collection shook me to my very core. We would listen to song after song and work ourselves into the cocaine-like frenzy that only sleep-deprived 16-year-olds can achieve naturally. One night the artwork from Nirvana's In Utero scared us and we blacked it out with a Sharpie and then colored black streaks in our hair with it. I was too scared to buy any CDs of my own but instead commissioned Donna to record a bootleg collection of grunge rock cassettes of epic proportions. My favorite Nirvana song was Sliver from Incesticide but I could never remember the title.

Donna really got the music, I didn't. We both wore black the day after Kurt's death but I washed my hair and wore makeup. I spent most of the day trying to wipe it off and look more desolate. I listened to grunge but owned Mariah Carey's Christmas CD. Later, Donna and I would watch a recording of Courtney Love reading Kurt's suicide note to fans on MTV. Donna bought a new copy of In Utero and gave me the defaced one. I kept it under my bed with my contraband Rolling Stones until Donna asked for it back. Her mom had listened to some of her CDs and threw her entire collection out.

But back in my room, the night he died, I stood frozen, entranced. For the first time I think I actually heard Kurt sing. I understood, but it was too late. My mom walked in and I jolted back to reality and turned the volume down, fast. My mom was concerned. Did I really like that singer? Was I just saying I didn't to make them happy? Did I listen to his music?

Three questions. I denied each one. No! NO! No.

Outside, the cock crowed, and Kurt was still dead, never to rise again.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (4)

April 04, 2004

Coffee, Tea or Me?

Due to a recent purchase at Pottery Barn, all Amalaholics are hereby invited over to my place for coffee.

Cutest. Thing. Evah.

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I can offer you CREAM.

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I can offer you SUGAR (complete with its own leetle tiny sugar spoon).

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I can offer you SPRINKLE (which is really Ghirardelli hot chocolate mix, which is really yummy):

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And for all you tea drinkers, I can offer you HONEY (complete with some adorable little wooden honey dispenser thing).

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And of course, I can offer you plenty of REAL coffee accessories.

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I will also wear my finest Juicy Couture track pants and Michael Kors tube top while serving coffee, like any good hostess would.

Mmmm Godiva...

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Mmmm Grand Marnier...

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And oh yeah. Coffee. That.

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Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (9)

April 02, 2004

Random Thoughts From Florida That I Remembered Just Now

1. What in the name of all that is holy and good would make a woman think that a pastel paisley-print, plastic snakeskin purse would ever be a good idea? Seriously. This was the ugliest purse I had ever seen in my life. I couldn't stop staring at it. She probably thought I liked it, which is a shame. Perhaps that's why she bought it. She heard women in the store gasping and screaming at The Horror Of The Ugliness and misunderstood. Seriously.

2. When traveling, one should always bring an extra pair of underwear because there is no better feeling than getting to your hotel and putting a fresh pair on.

3. I love grits. Why have I not been eating them before? I've been living in the quasi-South for four years and never tried them. Damn Yankee snobbery. The next time? Someone says to me, "Kiss my grits," I'm totally going to say, "Don't taunt me." Although I don't recall someone ever saying that to me, but you never know. Love. Grits. I wish I was eating some right now.

4. Anyone who does their Spring Break in Pensacola? Totally has a mom who watched some exposé on Spring Break and told them they couldn't go anywhere cool like Cancun or Panama City.

5. You should not be surprised when a $2 margarita turns out to be very, very crappy.

6. It's very awkward when you are driven around by someone who is totally in love with their little town and expect you to rave about how nice it is. Repeatedly. We were given the grand driving tour of Pensacola and by the end I was complimenting what a nice shade of blue the mailboxes were. Tool.

7. I borrowed my author's laptop on Wednesday to check my site and read all my nice comments. But since he could find it later I cleared his Internet history. Afterwards, I realized that he didn't have any bookmarked sites but instead just relied on Explorer's cache of visited URLs. I still feel bad about this. Especially when I told him that "just happens" sometimes.

8. In the South you get called "Honey" a lot. It's kind of nice, except when you're mad and want to tell them to fuck the fuck off.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (7)

April 01, 2004

PUI: Packing Under the Influence

I'm back from Florida. Finally. But more on that later.

First, let me give you the results of my packing efforts, chronicled slightly obsessively here. It should come as no surprise that I made a few critical errors. Such as the seven different shirts I brought vs. the one pair of pants. The three skirts vs. the fact that I would never need to wear a skirt, ever. The white capris that sit really, really low vs. the seven shirts that did not cover my belly. The high heels vs. no stockings or little footie things. The two white shirts vs. two black bras.

And I was in constant battle with the weather. Wool slacks and blazer when it was 80 degrees, capris and tank top when it plummeted down to 50 at night. This culminated in an unfortunate incident when our host decided to show us the Pensacola beach yesterday so I was wandering around the beach with Spring Breakers in the same wool pants as the day before and a dorky sweater set. I have never felt like such a tool in my life.

But whatever. It was a short trip and I was comforted by the fact that I would soon be home with my full and glorious closet in no time.

Right.

My plane was supposed to leave at 6:20 last night and connect in Atlanta. Due to weather in Atlanta (which, as far as I could tell? Was some freaking drizzle), the flight was delayed until 7:30. I wasn't worried. It's only an hour flight and my connection wasn't until 9:30.

Then I was gently reminded of the one-hour time difference.

I was totally screwed. There weren't any later flights from Atlanta to National Airport. The best they could do was put me on a 9:45 flight to Dulles in Virginia. It would be super close, but I could probably make it. If I missed that I'd have to wait until 6:50 am the next morning.

VP Mike and I handled the whole situation with grace and aplomb though, we went straight to the bar and got hammered. It would all be ok! Who cares!

Then they closed the bar at 7 pm, which angered me greatly. But we were boarding! Whee!

(Side note: Delta is Coca-Cola's bitch. On every flight? When they talk about the beverage selection? One of which is water? It seems to be an FAA regulation that they must refer to the water as Dasani Water at all times. It's not just water, it's Dasani Water! We're proud to serve Dasani Water! Blah blah blah. We also found it hilarious when the flight attendents gave everyone an extra bottle of Dasani Water because of the delay and VP Mike asked the attendent, "Is this DASANI WATER?" and she stared at him for a minute and then told him to "Stop being smart" like your mom would. If you had been there you totally would have laughed. Especially if you had been there and had three drinks on an empty stomach.)

ANYWAY.

We landed in Atlanta at 9:30 sharp. VP Mike's flight was delayed enough that he could make it. My flight wasn't delayed but the boards said it was still at the gate. We landed at gate A06. My flight was at gate D32, which could not have been further away and still been in the same airport. I was faced with a dilemma. Did I make a crazy dash in hopes that they were holding the flight for all the delayed connections? Or did I give up and go for the Dulles flight at gate A02 which was delayed 18 minutes?

Fueled by alcohol and DASANI WATER, I felt brave. I'd run for it. Or rather, I'd run, hop on the tram thing between concourses and hop impatiently while it carried me past concourses B, C and then D. Then I'd run again. So I did. There were escalators to deal with. I sprinted. I stopped and gasped for breath and then ran again. The boards still said the flight was at the gate. I was still in heels with no stockings, wool pants and the dorky sweater set. I got to the gate. The flight was long gone. The boards just hadn't updated.

And like a little girl I sat down on my luggage and tried not to cry. Because I didn't have time to sit and cry. I had to sprint back to the A concourse and catch my last hope of getting home in less than 15 minutes. It had taken me almost 20 minutes to get this far.

So I ran again. I missed the entrance to the tram and had to turn around and go back. I ran the entire way and was a sweaty, red and flustered mess by the time I got to the gate. I was the last person to get on. All the running and the no food and the beer upset my stomach and for the first time in my life I was relieved that planes do indeed carry air-sickness bags in the seat pockets. I didn't need it, but lord, I was glad it was there. (I opted for ginger ale instead of DASANI WATER this time which helped.)

And because I'm a brat? I made Jason drive to Virginia and pick me up at 12:30 am. I was afraid of puking in a cab or something.

That was my trip. It was lovely.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (5)

March 29, 2004

The Non-Packing Packing Diary

7:21 p.m. Home from work. Finally. Grr.

7:26 Check email.

7:30 Get out suitcase. Attempt to rip old airport baggage tags off.

7:32 Get scissors.

7:33 Cut tags off. Peel sticky ends apart and stick on cat.

7:36 Vodka.

7:39 Open suitcase. Find old batteries and mini-shampoos.

7:40 Put pink pinstripe PJ bottoms and pink tank top in suitcase. Adorableness.

7:42 Cannot resist adorableness of pink pinstripe PJs. Put on.

7:44 Put less adorable blue jersey PJs in suitcase. Because really.

7:40 Look for Tuesday and Wednesday's Care Bear thongs.

7:43 Still looking.

7:47 Where? Where?

7:49 Find them in sock drawer. All is well. Also find Strawberry Shortcake PJs. Put on. Pink pinstripe PJs back in suitcase.

7:51 I wonder what the weather is like in Pensacola?

7:53 75 degrees. Pink pinstripe PJs replaced with Simpsons Mr. Sparkle tee-shirt and white men's briefs.

7:57 Frantic trying on of everything in closet, on floor and in laundry pile. Hate everything. Have seriously nothing nice to wear. Am poor little girl from Les Miserables with the rags and the whatnot.

8:02 Is Juicy Couture business casual?

8:07 Oooh dinner!

8:14 Oooh vodka!

8:17 Everything in closet makes ass look huge. Hate huge gigantic ass and size four clothes from last year. Hate all-you-can-eat Indian buffets.

8:19 Ok. Brown pants with rose sleeveless top for tomorrow. White dress capris and black sweater for dinner out. Light blue skirt with striped shirt for Wednesday.

8:20 No.

8:23 Brown pants with cashmere sleeveless top for tomorrow. Black pants with blue sweater for dinner out. Navy pencil skirt with tan top for Wednesday.

8:24 Hate!

8:26 Black pants with rose top for tomorrow. White capris for dinner out. Teal striped skirt and cardigan for Wednesday.

8:28 Hate everything I've ever owned, ever. Except for that one shirt I put in the donation bin last fall which would have solved everything because it was perfect. Perfect!

8:30 Stalemate. Suitcase still only contains one thong, tee-shirt and briefs. Will throw all clothes in and continue battle at hotel tomorrow.

8:32 Why don't I have any pretty bras? Why?

8:34 Vodka! Bladder! Oh my god!

8:39 Oh my god! I totally forgot about that one black skirt I have! This changes everything!

8:42 No. No it does not.

8:45 Dude, I have not even begun to think about shoes.

8:49 Vodka hitting head. Ass is bootylicious. Am J-Lo, bitches.

8:56 Think VP Mike would recognize the dress I wore to work today? It's so pretty.

9:03 Am taking the following hair products: Bed Head Dumb Blonde shampoo & deep conditioner, Small Talk thickifier, Control Freak anti-frizz serum, Head Rush shine spray, Sexy Hair soy milk smoothing cream, Cat Walk something-something hair spray. You know, just the bare essentials.

9:13 Just had argument with Jason over toothpaste. One tube in house. Argued that hotels do not provide toothpaste, will not remember to buy tube at airport. Squirted adequate amount into plastic baggie and told him to go to CVS tomorrow if he needs more. Would think I was asking him to nail his damn self to a cross for the dental hygiene of mankind.

9:15 Going to miss him sooooo much.

9:19 If I bring sandals? I must touch up my toenails.

9:28 Oof. Should have painted toenails before having vodka.

9:34 Shoes. Oh my god!

9:37 Am bringing two books for plane. Big Fish and Virgin Suicides. Both movies now, yes, shut UP. Reading VS because just read Middlesex and am in love with Jeffrey Eugenides and want him to write hundreds more books so I can marry them.

9:45: Vodak. Hate clauthes agin. Love cat thogh!

9:53: Holy shit. Have to leave at 6:30 a.m. to get to goddamn Metro on time to get to goddamn airport for goddamn flight. Should be in bed. NOW.

9:58 Jason is doing push-ups. Silly. Squashy is beautiful!

10:00 I have no idea what I've packed.

10:07 Pick fight with Jason using time-tested "Why don't you drive me to the airport anymore?"

10:14 Where the hell are my sunglasses?

10:17 Lint roller! Need that. Shove in suitcase before Jason sees and complains about lone lint roller going away with the toothpaste.

10:22 Where are you, sunglasses?

10:27 Ouch. Walked into closet door. Hurt toe, perhaps fatally.

10:29 Toenail polish is chipped again.

10:34 Holy mother of god. I left my plane tickets at work.

10:43 Fuck fuck fuck.

10:47 Fuck.

10:51 Oh. Here they are.

10:56 I'm very tired.

10:58 Sunglasses are gone forever. Toenails look like shit.

11:00 Family Guy is on! Yay!

11:04 Better pack some Excederin though while I'm thinking of it. And cereal bars.

11:05 Check email. No one loves me.

11:13 Very tired now. Think enough nonsense and whatnot for now. Can't make sentences more. Going to Florida with Mr. Sparkle tee and no shoes. Whatever.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (9)

Floreda

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I'm going to Florida tomorrow morning. For work, though, before y'all amp up your "Yay! Have fun! Get some sun, etc." comments. I'll be back late (laaaate) Wednesday night.

FIVE REASONS WHY I VERY MUCH DO NOT WANT TO GO ON THIS TRIP:

1) I'm going to miss not one, but TWO episodes of American Idol. I'm going to miss Gilmore Girls and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Scrubs. The Apprentice. South Park. These are two momentous days of television and my lone TiVo will not be able to handle it all. Decisions must be made. I may also, a little bit, miss my husband.

2) I'm going to be in the Atlanta airport for a mere 48 minutes tomorrow, and then again on Wednesday. 48 minutes of being so close, and yet so far away from Miss Doxie and all the fun we could have in the non-airport part of Atlanta.

3) I have to write new and revised rules in preparation of Thursday's Haiku Smackdown, to be held right here. But because of this trip I need to write them today. And I don't wanna. I also need to write a clever and witty Actual Smackdown post for the Actual Smackdown, then save it as a draft and set a publishing time because Lord knows I ain't getting up Thursday morn at the crack of dawn to placate all you krazy 'ku-ers.

4) Packing. I hate packing. If I am ever really rich I am going to hire someone to pack for me. A full-time packing person. He or she will pack my lunch, suitcase, gym bag AND switch between the black and brown purses for me each morning to match my shoes.

5) I'm so sleepy today that the best post I could come up with was five reasons I don't want to go on this trip...and yet I could only think of four reasons. And this could very well be the last post until Thursday. And this could very well be the worst post ever. You are all going to leave me and find another blogger that you love more than me while I'm away and there's nothing to be done about it.

I hate you, Florida. You also look totally fat today.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (5)

March 22, 2004

Amy vs. The Department of Education

OR, AMY IS PROBABLY AN IDIOT BUT WE'RE BLAMING SOMEONE ELSE ENTIRELY

So I got this letter from the Department of Education on Friday, saying that the automatic debiting of my student loan payment had been halted.

(PANIC ATTACK #1: Oh shit, oh shit...did I change my information when I opened that new bank account? Did I just default on my student loans? Oh shit.)

The second sentence of the letter said that the automatic debiting of my student loan payment had been halted because the loans were no longer in repayment status.

(JOY ATTACK #1: Holy shit! I've paid off my loans! I'm done! No more loan payments ever!)

The third sentence said that I still owe approximately eleventy zillion dollars, but that I had been granted a deferment or forbearance.

(PANIC ATTACK #2: Oh shit. They've screwed something up. They've given me someone else's deferment and if I stay quiet about it they'll show up at my office and arrest me for fraud.)

The fourth sentence of the letter and all sentences afterwards were all blah blah blah form letter talkyspeak.

So I went to the Department of Education's lovely website, and after trying every single username/password combination I have ever used, I finally got into my account.

Sure enough, I'd been granted a deferment. It did not say why. It did not even really say what a deferment is. But it did say that I don't owe them anything until July 20, 2011.

(JOY ATTACK #2: Holy shit! 2011? That's like...(counting on fingers)...SEVEN YEARS? I don't have to pay anything for SEVEN YEARS?)

Then it said that interest will continue to accrue on the unsubsidized portion of my loan during the derferment period. Fuckers.

So this won't work at all. I mean, I make a nice living. Jason makes an even nicer living and we had no pre-nup. I can afford the stinking $135.33 monthly loan payment. It gets automatically taken away every month and I never miss it. Poof. Bye-bye, money. So when it comes down to it, I'd rather just keep paying the stupid loan off rather than defer and still be paying it off when I'm 57 years old.

Right. So. I shall call and tell them to where they can shove this derferment nonsense.

Ring Ring.

Blah blah blah menu options talkyspeak. Whatever, give me a human. Zero pound, zero pound, etc.

Human: Hello, this is Jason, how may I help you?

Amy: Hee. Jason.

NotThatJason: Excuse me?

Amy: Sorry. Yes, I just got this letter? That said I've been granted a deferment? But I don't want it.

NotThatJason: Excuse me?

Amy: Deferment. That I didn't ask for. Get rid of it. I want to keep paying the loan off.

NotThatJason: You know deferments are good things, right? It means you don't have to pay anything.

Amy: But I want to. I have money. Take it.

NotThatJason:
Well, you can keep paying the loan off if you want to.

Amy: But you turned off my automatic debity thing.

NotThatJason: Right. But you can still mail in a check.

Amy: A...check? Like...with paper?

NotThatJason: Yes. You can pay the interest with a check.

Amy: Um, right. See, I will not remember to mail in a check. Why can't you just make things like they were before?

NotThatJason: We received notice that you're enrolled in school at least part-time this semester.

Amy: OH! Right. That.

NotThatJason: So you qualify for an in-school deferment.

Amy: Yeah, but...I'm taking some classes...but I graduate in May. And I'm not like, a real college student. I'm not poor. There's no need for this 2011 nonsense.

NotThatJason: We're required by law to grant you the deferment.

Amy: But. I. Don't. Want. It.

NotThatJason: You'll save almost 60% with the deferment.

Amy: Wait, what?

NotThatJason:
But if you want it gone, fine, I'll take it off. Hold please.

Amy: Wait! 60%? How?

HoldMusic: doo de doo doo de doooooo staticstaticzzzzz

NotThatJason: Ok, I've gone ahead and removed the deferment. It should take about two weeks before it takes effect.

Amy: What was that you said about 60%?

NotThatJason: During a deferment, the government pays the interest on the subsidized portion of your loan. If you continue to pay the interest on the unsubsidized portion, more money will go towards your principal and you'll finish paying the loan off faster.

Amy: Oh. OH. I didn't, um, know that.

NotThatJason: (silence.)

Amy: See, I didn't really understand what a deferment was.

NotThatJason: (silence.)

Amy: I just did something really stupid, didn't I?

NotThatJason: Well. Hmmxzzerp.

Amy: Can I have my deferment back?

NotThatJason: Hold please.

HoldMusic: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzstaticstatic do dee doozzzzzzzzz

I did get my deferment back, and I realized that I can still just have my bank mail a real-life check for me every month automatically, and also that I should read more and not talk on the phone to people, ever.

But in my defense? The letter they sent me did not say ANYTHING about saving money or mailing paper checks or the government paying for things. And NotThatJason did not explain a damn thing either. I still, just now, Googled "deferment" to make sure that I was explaining it right. He obviously realized he was dealing with a complete and utter moron who needed things explained to her and chose not to. I hope they recorded and monitored our call. Grumble, grrr, etc.

(And then YesThatJason pointed out that next semester? When I'm not in school anymore? They'll probably take the deferment away from me again. So if I hadn't called I probably would have just been all, "Oh good, they fixed it" when I got the next letter. Welcome to the futility that is my life.)

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (7)

March 18, 2004

At the Cactus Cantina

So today! I had lunch, live and in person, with Chris! And I am pleased to report that he is neither weird nor psychotic. So if you were one of the people who got that funny stricken look when I told you I was having lunch with an online friend? And maybe suggested I dial "9" and "1" on my phone and hold my finger over "1" again the whole time? Chill. Amy did not get murdered in a suburban Rockville shopping mall.

But! Anyway! Lunch!

We had fun. Possibly a little too much fun. But then things got scary.

I noticed this big, huge red thing on the table next to us. And I mean huge. Bulbous. I suddenly remembered the music video for Joan Osbourne's second single that didn't do anything and whose title I cannot remember. But she was a maid? In a hotel? And there were goldfish in the toilet? And she picked up a huge strawberry that started beating like a heart?

Anyone? Hello?

Well, just look.

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(Click for full-scale terror.)

That's one strawberry, people. One. And it's bigger than her hand. And she did not have small hands. And it was just sitting there, on a paper towel, in a burrito joint that does not sell fruit of any kind. I mean, there was a Safeway nearby but I must have missed the circular where they advertised huge-ass mutant strawberries.

Anyway. I have never in my life been so disturbed by produce. We did not stick around to see if she started glowing green or growing gills after eating the monster, but instead just snapped the above picture with Chris' phone and hightailed it out of there.

The killer tomatoes were probably in the restroom.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (7)

The War of the Amalah

Last night Amalah.com died. Temporarily. It was a mercy killing. And it's not quite right yet.

So I've been trying (And. Trying.) to set up a group weblog for all the cool boy and girls in the Judith Light Brigade. I registered a domain and everything. So la la la, I'll map the domain to the TypePad weblog, just like I did for Amalah.com.

TypePad was all, "Oh no you won't!" And I was all, "Whuuut?" And TypePad was all, "No."

And it went back and forth like this for awhile.

(Public Service Announcement for TypePad users: If you do a TypePad blog and do the domain mapping thing, make sure you map to the SPECIFIC WEBLOG, not your main TypePad site (i.e. map to amalah.typepad.com/amalah/ instead of just to amalah.typepad.com). Because if you ever want to add another one? You have to totally screw up your first one. You have to unmap completely and restore all default DNS settings. And you feel sad and you cry and you curse a lot. And cursing makes Baby Jesus cry.)

So for some reason Amalah.com seems to be working, which is weird because it technically SHOULDN'T be working. I set up the DNS and everything but I haven't activated the domain mapping because everytime I do the site loses its pretty style sheet and looks all ugly. So for now? We're just leaving it sort of half-assedly mapped because we don't want to anger the TypePad gods. So shhhh. Be quiet.

Also, when I say "we" I obviously only mean myself, because I'm crazy and have been doing this third-person thing for awhile now and I don't know where it came from.

Also also, it's Haiku Smackdown time. Go and play over at Hussified.

Also also also, I get to have lunch with Chris today, and you don't. We're getting (what else?) burritos, the food of the gods. Whee.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (5)

March 17, 2004

So much to talk about, so little to say

Here are some of the topics I considered writing an entry about:

1) Deep sea fishing for fun and profit. (Thanks, Chris.)

2) Fun things you can do with your stapler. (Again, thanks Chris.)

3) Quantum Physics, Or Things I Don't Know About Quantum Physics. (Yes, yes, thanks Chris.)

4) Why people end up looking like their pets. (Ok, Chris, ENOUGH.)

5) Why TypePad hates me.

6) The sheer awesomeness of the word "Amalaholic."

7) Who left me that voice mail just now and why won't I just pick up the damn phone and check?

8) The sheer awesomeness of the Coach (Coach!) mini-day-planner thing my friend just gave me for no reason other than her sheer awesomeness.

9) The unfairness that her sister works for Coach and gets literal buckets of free stuff all the damn time.

10) The crazy $98 price tag that we found inside the free Coach mini-day-planner and who in sam hill would pay $98 for a four-inch day-planner?

11) The amount of money I have paid Coach in the past two years and other interesting long-term investments I could have done with it instead.

12) At what point in my life did I stop being horrified at $630 shoes?

13) I don't own $630 shoes, mind you. I just want them. More talktalktalk stuff about shoes.

14) The fact that the voice mail was from a doctor's office that I don't go to anymore confirming David's appointment for tomorrow at 9:45 a.m. Noted.

15) Who is David??

16) Should I call back?

17) Why Amy doesn't like the phone, and won't use it unless absolutely necessary and life-threatening, and even then she'd prefer to send an email.

18) More things I don't know about Quantum Physics.

19) Why Amy thinks it's amusing to list random topics instead of just buckling down and writing an actual freaking entry.

20) What medications is Amy taking today and what are the side effects? Go on, guess!

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (8)

March 15, 2004

Oldie McOld, The Illustrated Version

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Behold! The Green Wristband of Power!

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The ladies. Amy has only just recently realized that the beer, it is green. Ew. This may also be soon after I was told the disturbing truth about that milkshake song. Ew ew.

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Amy and the Chick-fil-A cow, who is totally up in her light. Stack of green plastic cups? Multiplying.

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Our friend's shoe. This picture taken at his request.

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The Festival has run out of green plastic cups. And yet we drink on.

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The last known photo of the evening. Our blurry friends soon vanished into a Random Minivan, and Amy and Jason went home. To bed. To sleep. Because we're the lamiest lames who ever lamed.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (9)

Oldie McOld

So. Saturday. The annual Ballston, VA Shamrock Festival. Me, Jason, and a bunch of other people. Brunch. Mimosas. Goldschlager. Beer. Chick-fil-A. More beer.

The day started with our friends Mike and Jen making us brunch. Eggs and chorizo, beans, redneck pie. And many, many mimosas. Then some sort of mojito-like rum drink, except mostly? Just rum.

And this was all before 1 p.m., people. Which is good, considering I am way old and need to be put to bed by 8 p.m., apparently. A cab arrived to take us to the Shamrock Fest, which was also good, but also the high point of responsible drinking for the day.

As the cab arrived? Everybody did shots of Goldschlager. Except Amy and Jason, the resident grandparents who were all, whuuuut? Amy had only had mimosas and was wobbling all over the damn place. Jason, at least, had a respectable little spread of empty champagne flutes, beer bottles and highballs.

So we get to the festival. And it is cold. We are not dressed for cold and also? Cannot function at all. We're in a line for tickets, right? And it's a nice, short line. But then some guy starts hollering at us to go in this other line which is far away. "Blah! Ticketity tick line beh beh left! LEFT!"

Suuuuure, Mr. Yelling Ticketity Ticket Man! Whatever you say. So we all wander over to this other line, or more specifically, this "big random mob of people." Everyone kept forming lines only to find that about 20 lines were being forced to merge at one Official Ticketing Folding Table. So we pay our $15 each ($15!) to get in, are carded and and given the Green Wristbands of Power, and we're off.

Off to $5 Beer Land, where we stayed for many, many hours. And it was cold. And the beer was indeed green. Which is gross.

We had an encounter with the Chick-fil-A cow. I won a free dessert coupon for...something or other. Beer was spilled. People in cheezy plastic shamrock hats and pins were mocked. Green beer cups were stacked high. We struggled to not freeze. We left to go hear a band but never moved more than a few feet.

I think I started to sober up when I realized that I was screaming profanity at the top of my lungs at a Port-o-Potty. I'm not sure what the Port-o-Potty had done to me, but I believe it had something to do with the Purel hand-sanitizer dispenser.

There was also a harrowing bathroom adventure (green beer REALLY makes me pee a lot) in a nearby shopping mall involving an elevator and a luggage store. But the details are hazy.

At this point I really needed food. Bread food. To the fricking marketing geniuses at Chick-fil-A? It was really great that you had that little booth there and the whole schtick with the cow, but why (WHY!) would you not sell waffle fries?

Everybody else we were with? Was getting their second (third? fourth?) wind at this point. They're all debating the next big thing. I'm debating whether a burrito is worth staying awake for. We're desperately trying to hail a cab. No cabs. Amy has to pee again. Jason remembers he has to go to work on Sunday for some complicated Web-launch-push-Internet thing. At 9:30 a.m. in the morning.

Jen has flagged down a nearby minivan and is asking the driver if he'd mind giving us a ride. Sure! Why not!

Um, guys? Amy can think of about six reasons why not, but cannot articulate a single one.

This is when Amy and Jason parted ways with the Cool Fun People. They drove off in Random Minivan and we finally hailed a cab back to our car, and then back to our house where Max was furious and hungry. We ordered and ate some sushi and then went to bed.

It was 8:30 p.m.

(Pictures coming soon, starring the Chick-fil-A cow and a lot of green plastic cups.)

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (7)

March 11, 2004

Eternal Sunshine of the Cluttered Mind

My desk is a MESS, y’all. Papers piled higher than my head…one false move causes an avalanche…it’s quite treacherous. So I’m trying to file and organize all this crap. But I keep getting distracted by 1) Haikus, 2) Stuff in the pile that should have been done weeks ago, and 3) Post-Its and other notes to myself that make zero sense.

Like I just found this piece of paper, torn from a notepad, with the following written on it:

Double-edged sword
Broker
Client

The hell?

Here’s another note: “No clear cut investment in oil patch that will protect us other than futures is.”

And another: “No more 10% --> bonds allocation.”

Here’s a very urgent-looking Post-It: “AD REVENUES!!”

Also found: the scribbled itinerary of a flight I booked for a business trip later this month. Except that yeah, I booked the flight for the WRONG FREAKING AIRPORT. I had the state right, but that’s about it. You go to Florida, you fly to Orlando, right? No. I’m going to Pensacola, which is not only a bazillion hours from Orlando, it has its OWN AIRPORT. Who knew? Well, everybody, apparently, except me.

See, up here in the North? We have very small states. I have three airports within 30 minutes of my house, and they’re all interchangeable. You've gotta be crossing like, 17 states up here to justify flying from one to the next. So the idea of an airport in the SAME STATE being too far away? What?

So the corporate travel office probably thinks I’m a huge idiot. Only take out the “probably.”

I also put a smiley face on the itinerary. Why? I do not know. Perhaps my subconscious knows geography and was laughing at me.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (3)

March 09, 2004

Salad Days

We bought a photo printer this weekend. Our old printer was one of those $49.99 crap printers that started dying the very day we brought it home. It ate paper, it told us it was out of ink when there was a brand-new cartridge in there motherfucker, and it would print pages and pages that looked like this:

00000000000000000000aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa1111111111111111111&%#^0

But now! We have the most brilliant little printer in the world. I'm so proud of it. Jason and I praise and exalt every little thing it prints -- especially our digital photos. No photo lab in the world could do a better job than our little Canon Jr. It looks like TiVo has finally gotten that baby personified electronic brother it's been asking us for.

Anyway.

The new printer has revived our interest in all our old photos, which currently reside on the dying hard drive of a dying laptop. Its days are numbered, its battery is shot, its case is cracked, its screen doesn't stand up straight anymore but now kind of wobbles. But still we hold onto it because it was free. Jason stole it from some start-up we both worked for back in the gold rush dot.com days. We even tried to make the old CEO get us a replacement battery for it because while yes, we did steal a laptop, at least we weren't suing him for unpaid taxes like all the rest of his ex-employees.

Again. Anyway.

So last night Jason began ripping all our old photos to CD and printing the best ones out. It was quite fun. Old pictures of Max. One or two of us. More Max. Oh look! We had a friend over that one time. Wasn't it so cute when they held Max?

Then Jason found this one:

skinnyamy.jpg

It was taken about two years ago, judging by my tank top. I took one look at it and said, "Christ. Look at how skinny I was! I've really put on weight."

To which Jason, of course, responded, "Whatever! You don't look that different. In fact, you look better. Look at those bony shoulders! Ew!"

Except that he totally didn't. He just sat there. He didn't say anything. Don't you think he should have said something?

(I think he should have said something. A lie, a falsehood, anything.)

Max, on the other hand, weighed a whopping 15 pounds when this picture was taken. The next summer he had back-to-back life-threatening and owner-heart-attack-causing urinary track blockages that caused him to drop down to a horrifying 10 pounds. Now he's at a happy 12 pounds. Mom, however, has seen a thickening and softening of the upper arm area that methodically spread up her arm, past her shoulder, and is now moving down her back where it will soon meet the mushiness that has overtaken her ass.

Sigh. But thanks to our kickass new printer, Jason and I will always have this picture to remind us of the days when I had visible shoulderblades.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (5)

March 08, 2004

Mondays Suck Ass

Hey look everybody! Amy's bitching about Mondays! Such a thing has never before been written in blog form! Such stunning originality!

< /sarcasm >

Let me tell you about today:

Right before I woke up this morning, I had a nightmare about The Sopranos. But not like you would think. No, it wasn't all violent with whackings and such. I dreamt that I was dancing at the Bada Bing and nobody was paying any attention to me except Paulie Walnuts, who creeps me out to no end. I just wanted him to give me money but he wanted to talk and tell me his sad life's story and then he started to cry. Which creeped me out even more. And then Tony came over and was all, "What the fuck did you do? Why the fuck did you make him cry?" And when I tried to tell Tony that I was sorry I realized I couldn't talk because of the rubber bands on my braces. And if you watch The Sopranos, you know what happens to Bada Bing girls who wear braces.

And then I woke up. Good morning!

Then I came to work. All day with this work thing! I have until 5 p.m. to get this one newsletter to print. It was supposed to print on Friday but it couldn't because it was just So Very, Very Bad. Readers from last month may remember me mentioning a little something called The Worst Eight Pages of Text Ever Written Since the Dawn of Mankind, Amen? Yep. Same guy, and this time, it's personal! Personal, as in: He hates his poor editor and wants her to have a nervous breakdown every first week of every month.

Sigh. He makes me cry like I make Paulie cry. Where's Tony? Oh right, in my LIVING ROOM. Hee.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (6)

March 05, 2004

Post-Smackdown: "Ow. Stop Smacking."

Oh people, people. It has not been a good day. Buoyed by the tremendous success of the first-ever Thursday Haiku Smackdown, I went out drinking last night. As did...well, almost everybody else. And being the Big Dumb Self-Loving Losers that we are, we all drunk-dialed, drunk-Haiku'd and drunk-talked-on-telephone until the wee hours of the morning.

This morning? Hurting. Just a bit. Ow. Light and sound? Pair of evil fuckers.

I believe Coleen said what we all felt this morning best:

I would pay cash money or sexual favors for an egg mcmuffin right now.

Preach it, sister.

But no amount of cash money could buy the hilarity, the brilliance, the just plain blogging innovation that was yesterday's prolific marathon of Haiku-ing. I shall treasure the 130-odd Haikus on my comments board forever. I shall treasure the 90 bazillion hits this site got yesterday (yes, mostly us hitting refresh, shut up). I shall not, unfortunately, treasure the 130-odd emails I received. New comment posted new comment posted new comment posted new comment posted new comment posted etc. etc. Holy God in heaven there were a lot.

Also? I got my hair cut yesterday. And I took pictures after I'd had a few. Priceless. Click below to see the carnage.

Pre-cut. Procrastinate much? madfringe.JPG

Post-cut. Please note the vaguely psychotic look and crazy bitch eyes. No idea what's going on here. Also: Top lip. I do have one. postcut.JPG

The back of my head, sort of. I'm not sure why I attempted to take a picture of the back of my own head, but from the look of my reflection in the mirror I was taking it awfully damn seriously. back.JPG

And this last one? Just because. Because I am an IDIOT who can't work my camera. And who never washes my bathroom mirror, apparently. doh.JPG

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (8)

March 02, 2004

Wussified

Ok. This post is not for everyone. If you know me in real life, I think it’s best if you just move along. If you're a coworker? Don't even think about it. Seriously: begging, demanding, and all that. This is my space, and you need to step back.

I’ve been trying to get pregnant for awhile now. That probably doesn’t surprise too many of you who can read between the lines of no caffeine and a lot less stories that start out with, “Ok, so while I was totally drunk this weekend…”

“For awhile now” means since September 2002. Stuff went wrong. My period went away. Nothing happened. Meh. Clomid was the answer, according to my doctor. No, I don’t know if my tubes are blocked. No, we haven’t had a semen analysis. We’re lazy and assuming we’re only dealing with one layer of problems for now.

So this past month: Five days of Provera to force me to have my first period since September 2003. Five days of Clomid. Sex, sex, sex. Blood test to check progesterone levels to see if I actually ovulated. This week was supposed to bring either a period or a positive pregnancy test. I didn’t think I was pregnant...I didn’t feel pregnant. But I was sure I ovulated. I was sure something had finally worked. Now it was just getting the timing right. And maybe…maybe I was pregnant. It was finally, finally a possibility for the first time.

At 4 p.m. yesterday my doctor’s office called. No ovulation. Not even close. Time to start the whole process all over again at double the dose. No biggie. Better luck this month.

I went home and drank a bottle of wine. What’s the point now? Waaaahh and self-pity and all that. And I cried and tantrumed and drama queened. The words “what if” and “never” were thrown around a lot. I don’t want to do it again. I hate Clomid. It gave me headaches and hot flashes and basically turned me into one colossal, hormonal freak-out all month long. Sex on command. Not in the mood? Tough. Chop chop, the calendar dictates copulation. Anyone who tells you to “Enjoy the trying!” should be dragged out back and shot.

And then after the bad sex you wait for two weeks. Treating yourself like you’re pregnant, hoping you are, suspecting you’re not. Turning down alcohol at dinner while friends suddenly shriek, “You’re PREGNANT, aren’t you?!” and then congratulating you before you can stop them.

And Clomid is the Junior Miss of infertility treatments. It’s the chocolate cupcake of fertility pills. This is the easy one, y’all. I’ve done it once. People on my sidebar have been through the hell of failed IVF cycles and miscarriages and ectopics (and all of the above) and still have no baby. Shut up, Amy.

I’m not strong like them. Like Julie and Monica and all the others. Even if they don’t feel strong...I couldn’t go through what they’ve been through and still be anything other than a drooling, manic-depressive mental patient. They’re amazing women and I’m a spoiled, weak little brat.

And if I can’t hack this…Jesus. I don’t even know how to finish that sentence. I had a dream last night that I woke up and there was this little baby…just old enough to stand up on wobbly legs…holding on to the edge of my bed. I picked him up and cooed his name and pulled him into bed with Jason and I. He was gorgeous and chubby and the feel and smell of his little body was so real it makes my chest constrict just thinking about it.

Then I woke up and killed my hangover with a strong cup of coffee and some Excederin. Then I stopped at the pharmacy and re-filled all the prescriptions for Provera, Clomid and prenatal vitamins.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (12)

February 24, 2004

I, Dumbass

Or: Incredibly Stupid Shit I've Done Today, And It’s Not Even Lunchtime:

1) I very nearly choked and died while taking a multivitamin. I started swallowing the pill before I even had my glass of juice up to my lips. Gag reflex ensued, but the vitamin got stuck in the back of my throat. Rather than take a swig of juice to dislodge it, I panicked and stood there gagging on it for a good 30 seconds.

But in the end, I’m alive and full of nutrients.

2) While blow-drying my hair, I noticed that the little lint filter thing was pretty gross looking. So I popped the dryer open and started picking out lint. After deciding this was taking entirely too long, I put the filter back in the dryer and closed it up. Only I put the filter in the opposite way, because I figured this way I couldn’t see all the gross lint. Problem solved. Until I turned the dryer on and a big cloud of lint and dust came shooting out and into my hair.

3) I carried a bag of trash all the way out to my car before realizing that I’d forgotten to drop it in the trash room back in my building.

4) I was dumped by my Pet Boyfriend because I totally forgot to go visit him. And I was kinda bummed about this.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (1)

February 20, 2004

8 Things

1) It’s Friday! Much rejoicing, blah.

2) Two of the meanest freaking geese ever have taken up residence in my parking garage at work. They strut around and make a racket and honk honk honk all the livelong day. Also: Bird shit. Everywhere. And as I was walking in from my car this morning I passed them. Innocently. I mean the birds no ill will. I don’t want to steal their nest. I didn’t even look at the girl goose. But then the boy goose freaking charged at me. Wings wide open, honking like hell…running right at me. So what did I do when threatened by a goose? I ran like the scared little chicken I am. Fast. And I may have shrieked a little bit.

3) Ok, and for everyone who freaked out on my behalf over my boss reading this site, let me back up on the drama queenness. VP Mike is cool, dawgs. I'm totally down with him reading. Like once? He threw a party and invited the whole team over for Maryland crabs. I love me some crabs. And there were Jello shots there, people. Jello shots. He rocks. He also sent me an email yesterday with the subject line “You’re Not Fired…Not Yet Anyway.” See? Cool.

This would also be a good time to point out that I really don’t do too much work-related kvetching on this site. Work is work, and I actually like my job and about 63.5% of my coworkers. All the work trash-talk can be found on my other site, www.myassholecoworkers.com, or in my upcoming tell-all book about the seedy underside of financial newsletter publishing. Neither of which exist. Yet. Either way, send money!

4) Lots more parts to The Bold and The Bloglicious saga have arrived. Please see sidebar for more hilarity, purple pouting and lots of in-jokes.

5) Eve³ brought Krispy Kremes today. Oh my gawd. Straight from heaven, that girl.

6) I have a five-page paper on conflict resolution due on Sunday. Have I started it? Hell no.

7) Any "Casual Friday" that still requires me to wear heels, stockings and dryclean-only pants is NOT CASUAL. Oooh look at me! I’m not wearing a jacket! Look at me go with my crazy-casual dress slacks and sweater with NO JACKET! Anarchy, I tell you.

8) Oh my GOD I have a paper DUE in TWO DAYS that I have NOT STARTED.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (2)

February 19, 2004

So Fired

Y'all, I am SO totally going to be fired.

So I left work late yesterday after toiling on the soapish exploits of Amy, Lauren, Miss Doxie & the evil Señor Shiznit (New! Part Three is here!). I got on the elevator with our division's VP and Publisher, who is the boss of me above the boss of me. And who is awesome. And who apparently (as I would learn during this elevator ride) reads this site.

Oh!

Um.

Look at me! I'm working very, very hard. I only blog during my lunch hour, I. Swear. To. God. And I actually mean lunch half-hour, because I work so very, very hard. See, I can write something and then tell Typepad to post it later, so when you see posts at 4:17 p.m. on a Tuesday it doesn't mean that I actually wrote it then...oh no, not at all. Isn't that...um, super interesting?

And did I mention how awesome VP Mike is?

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (3)

February 17, 2004

ABCs of Me

Or, You Gotta Have a Gimmick. With apologies to every blogger whose sidebar I stole one of these from.

Admiring: My pretty, shiny necklace that I got for Valentine’s Day.

Beating myself up about: The $90 a month gym membership that I never use.

Crying over: Oh good lord. Everything. Survivor. Sex & the City. Phone commercials. Onions. Spilt milk. Etc.

Daydreaming about: My couch. My comfy couch with my ass on it.

Excited because: I found an old floppy full of Max’s too-cute-for-words baby pictures this weekend.

Frustrated because: My Photoshop skills suck so I can’t get the baby pictures un-blurrified.

Grumpy because: Eve3 cranked up her space heater too high and knocked out the power in our offices first thing this morning and I lost a lot of important stuff.

Hate-filled and seething over: I also lost a better version of this list.

Indignant because: People are seriously taking bets over who will be the next woman to get pregnant in the office. I made the top three, apparently.

Just shoot me now because: I just ate seven (7) dark chocolate Hershey Kisses in about 15 seconds. And I don’t even like dark chocolate.

Kidding myself regarding: The size 2 Ann Taylor suit still hanging in my closet.

Listening to: A VERY LOUD conversation the woman across the hall is having with her dentist. Also: Eminem.

Mooning over: Dooce’s baby. My god. That kid is way too gorgeous.

Need: A haircut, a camera phone and some new red pens.

Obsessing over: Basal cell body temperature.

Praying: That God will do my big school project that’s due on Sunday for me lest I be forced to toil on the Sabbath.

Questioning: My choice of footwear.

Reading: Lulofs & Cahn, Conflict: From Theory to Action, 2nd edition (2000)

Singing: Hold me closer, tiny daaaaancer…

Trying: To get that GODDAMNED SONG out of my HEAD. Rot in HELL, stupid preset oldies station.

Unnerved by:
This. Just…yeah.

Valentiney Update: In addition to said necklace, Jason took me out for fondue and got a room at the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel downtown…simply because our house was too messy to be romantic in. Best. Valentine's. Ever. With. Best. Guy. Ever.

Wondering: What TiVo was recording for me on channel 307 at 9 a.m. this morning when I left the house.

X-rated action: Right. Please see entry O.

Yawning over: A meeting regarding upcoming direct mail campaigns.

Zoinks: This seemed like a good idea when I started.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (2)

February 12, 2004

Fuck You, Mark Burnett

Ok.

A new low point in my life.

Survivor All-Stars made me cry.

Scratch that. Survivor All-Stars made me bawl like a little freaking baby.

SURVIVOR.

MADE ME CRY.

Fuck you Burnett. Fuck you so hard.

For those of you who don't watch (and seriously, shame on you and I bet you think you're better than me for not watching well guess what no), tonight one of of the Survivors (the much-not-loved Jenna Morasca) quit the game. Because her mom had cancer and after six days in Panama she realized that she shouldn't be in the game. She needed to go home and be with her mom.

Her mom died eight days after Jenna got home.

I. Freaking. Lost. My. Shit.

When I was in ninth grade, my mom took me for a drive. I forget where we went, but I remember we ended up at a Taco Bell parking lot. She turned the engine off and stared straight ahead when she told me Dad had cancer.

I didn't know what to do. So I cried because she was crying.

Dad had radiation. I got a kitten in my Easter basket. I expected people in high school to treat me differently because My Dad Had Cancer. Dad was very, very sick. But then the cancer went into remission.

Fast forward: freshman year of college. My first and last semester at a godawful religious college in the Midwest. Calling home collect from the pay phone in my dorm lobby, telling my mom how much I hated this school. Dad's coughing again, his throat is really sore again. But it's probably nothing...he's almost five years into remission so This Is It. He's beaten it, right?

Yeah, no. The cancer came back right at the five-year mark. He needed surgery, and fast. I met Jason and immediately became totally obsessed with him and his hotness. Dad would be fine...and hey, I have an awesome boyfriend! Whatever!

Jason came to the hospital for the surgery where Dad lost his vocal cords and voice box. They created a new voice box out of the vocal cords that were left, but my dad's beautiful voice -- that classically-trained, radio-announcer voice -- would be gone forever. He was left with something rough and raspy. I have a tape of him reading Shakespeare for me...he recorded it just before the surgery. If my house was on fire, I'd grab my cat and my Dad's tape. And that's it.

Dad read I Corinthians 13 at our wedding. Out loud, in front of everyone.

In August 2001, the phone rang in the middle of the night. I. Am. So. Not. Answering. That. I managed to stumble downstairs after the answering machine picked up and I heard my brother-in-law's voice. Dad. Aneurysm. Or something. I'm so sorry sweetie. Please call us.

I looked at Jason, bleary-eyed, and told him I had to go home. He nodded. He understood.

I walked out the front door in my pyjamas and tried to get in the car. Jason patiently led me back inside and said it would be better to wait until morning. Or at least until I found my car keys.

Dad had an aortic aneurysm. They operated just as it ruptured. But because of all the throat surgery they couldn't intubate him. His throat wasn't normal and no one was able to get a drainage tube in place. Staph infection. Fluid building in the lungs. Pulmonary infections. I went home every weekend. I spoke to strangers on the phone, using big medical terms like I had a clue what I was talking about. My mom, sister and I straddled the line between gallows humor and batshit insanity for weeks.

One Saturday morning I drove home and hit Stupid Insane Traffic in Delaware. I tried calling my mom to tell her I'd be late but couldn't get through. When I finally arrived at the ICU my mom was already hysterical. Five minutes before? My dad very nearly died. The fluid in his stomach and lungs had built up to such a level that he went into cardiac arrest. Dying. A 20-something resident-on-call had been paged, and determined that a drainage tube needed to be inserted. Everyone else: Well, duh, be our guest. 17 doctors have tried to get a tube down this man's throat and failed so good freaking luck, rookie.

Attempt one. Tube down. Crisis averted. Corbett family women? Beyond hysterical meltdowns.

Oh yeah, and like a week after my dad came out of his coma? September 11. Good times.

But now we know that when Dad went into cardiac arrest because of the fluid build-up, he also had a heart attack. And they also found cancer in his thyroid. They removed part of the thyroid. They decided against an internal defibulator. They have him on synthetic thyroid drugs. They monitor him every three months.

I hate They.

But when Jenna M. talked about her mom tonight, I understood. I was convinced something Bad Would Happen when Jason and I went to Aruba last summer. Every time my mom mentions Dad coughing or not feeling well, my heart just about stops. No, not now. I haven't gotten my diploma, I haven't had a baby, I'm just not ready.

Anyway. This is my daddy. We're gonna splurge for the good seats and go to a Phillies game together this summer. And it's gonna be great.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (9)

I've Lost It, For Good & Official-Like

me: WHAT THE FUCK
also me: what! what!
me: IM IS STILL NOT WORKING
also me: oh dear god
me: this is dire
also me: are you sure? let me try to connect again
me: it's NOT WORKING, you SILLY TWIT
also me: well there's no harm in trying...
also me: yeah, not working
me: duh, dumbface
also me: look, i'm the only one you have to chat with so be nice, ok?
me: yeah, ok, ok.
also me: this is like, ruining my marriage
me: really? didn't you find you and jason actually had stuff to talk about since you didn't IM him with every random flighty thought in your head all day?
also me: well, first his dad was in town for business so we went to dinner and then American Idol was on so no, we didn't really talk
me: American Idol instead of talking with your husband. ok.
also me: we talked about American Idol while it was on, does that count?
me: no. how was the fater-in-law visit?
me: oops, i mean father-in-law
also me: super unexpected. i had to dash home and clean. throw out massive empty boxes of caffeine-free Coke and hide the evidence of Tuesday's dinner of Kraft mac & cheese and leftover chinese food
me: ew
also me: yes, and please note that we were still too lazy to clean up the dishes after this sumptuous feast
me: ok, so American Idol is the least of your problems
also me: you could say that. also having imaginary IM conversations with myself probably isn't a good sign either
me: i wonder if it's working now
also me: let's check
me: no
also me: damn. how about now?
me: no
also me: your hair looks really pretty today
me: don't patronize me, bitch

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (3)

February 11, 2004

Wrong on Three Levels

P1010146.JPG

1) Caffeine free Coke. Gah. I don't care what anyone says. It just tastes different.

2) We still went through a 24-pack of the stuff, no less than six days after this.

3) Where's the beer?

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (2)

February 10, 2004

Assistant to the Amalah

Eve3, my new assistant and gopher, started today. She's been here 23 minutes and already offered to carry stuff for me so I wouldn't spill my tea.

I love her immensely.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (1)

February 09, 2004

My Thumbs Hurt

Ow. Seriously, they do hurt.

Saturday night we went out to dinner (which is the grown-up version of going out and getting smashed, only now it comes with an appetizer and costs over $100) with another couple; 1/2 of which is an amalah.com regular reader, which means I love her dearly. I gave her blogcards, we dicussed how this photo was seriously and honest-to-godly not staged, we discussed what one should do when a coworker reads your blog and then has the nerve to steal a joke from it, word for word, during a meeting, in front of you. And we talked Simpsons.

Now people, I have seen every episode of the Simpsons at least a dozen times. I TiVo three episodes a day and watch each and every one. I can recite long strings of dialogue and have a scary gift of recall...that is, I can come up with a Simpsons reference for absolutely anything.

"Ooh look, they have homemade eclairs for dessert here."

"Hee, hee."

"What?"

"Oh, I'm just thinking of the time Homer became a food critic for the Springfield Shopper and gave all the restaurants bad reviews so the owners decided to kill him with the Giant Poison Eclair at the Taste of Springfield Festival."

"Was that the one where Homer went on the acid trip after eating too much?"

"Oh no, that was the Springfield Chili Cook-off when Homer ate the Guatamalan Insanity Peppers after coating his mouth with candle wax. And Johnny Cash did the voice of the fox in his vision quest. He died you know. Very sad."

(Silence.)

So where was I going with this? Oh yes. So first, it's amazing that I have any friends at all. And second, why in the deep blazes of hell didn't any of them buy me the Simpsons Hit & Run Playstation game for Christmas?

Because they all suck, except for the people we had dinner with on Saturday, because they lent me their copy.

And this is why my thumbs hurt today. I played that #*$(@ game all day yesterday and it is hilarious. This game is like crack to the Simpsons addict. I am rewarded for my unhealthy obsession at every turn (seriously, turn right out of the "Secret Stonecutters Tunnel" and you'll pass Chester J. Lampwick's solid gold house. Hee!). When leaving on a mission with Apu, he says, "The last time I left the store hoodlums put pornography in all the bridal magazines." And when you ring Flanders' doorbell he says, "Is that you, Lord?" And Marge yells, "Canyonero!" when you do something reckless, like run over Chief Wiggum.

Anyway, it's fun. But I'd let my PS2 calluses go away after getting hopelessly stuck on level two in Grand Theft Auto 3 and exhausting all the amusing cheat codes and eventually getting bored of all the mayhem.

So ow, my thumbs hurt. Did I say that already? Like, more than once? Sheesh, I'm so determined to end this post in a circular-"reference the subject line at the last minute"-sort-of-way that I've totally lost my train of thought. That game has warped my fragile little mind! My pockets hurt! Run Marge! Pump those crazy legs!

And now I'm mixing South Park and Simpsons quotes. I've got nothing. It's time to go home people, it is just time to go home.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (6)

February 05, 2004

Amalah's Vices, In Box Form

P1010142_edited.jpg

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (5)

February 04, 2004

8 Things About My Day

1) I'm currently editing what may very well go down in history as the Worst 8 Pages of Text Ever Written Since the Dawn of Mankind (and No, I Did Not Write It, Thank You Very Much). I have to send it to print on Friday. At this point, the only solution I see is to correct all the spelling and grammar mistakes, send it print, then burn all copies and never speak of it again.

2) It's been three days since I've had any caffeine, except for a couple sips (ok, gulps) of Jason's soda last night. I'm downright homicidal. Can it, bitches.

3) I'm wearing kickass new boots. That I practically got for free. No, seriously! I almost bought these Charles David boots at Filene's before Christmas for $189 but didn't. But then this weekend I went back to the store and the boots were still there and 50% off so of course I had to get them. But then I saw these awesome Cole Haan pumps for $109. Was I really prepared to spend almost $200 on shoes that day? No, but I was going to anyway. But then the cashier was just all kinds of special and accidently applied the 50% discount to the entire transaction instead of just the boots. At least I think that's what she did. I'm still not sure of the math and her register ate my receipt. And she forgot to take a security tag off the shoes and I set the alarm off and thought that they knew I was trying to leave the store with $195 worth of shoes for only $100 and got all nervous but the guard only wanted to get the cashier number off my mangled receipt so she could get yelled at. Not having a good day, that one. Also: the guard had looooong acrylic fingernails. Also: the guard was a guy.

4) No one has noticed my kickass new boots.

5) I got an email from my mom saying she got another cat. This is cat number three. Mazie, Mollie and Maggie. My sister has two cats: Misty and Maddy. I have one cat: Max. This is not confusing in the slightest.

6) I feel a zit coming on.

7) I made a peanut butter and honey sandwich for lunch, which was yummy but small. So I decided to make another, which was a Really Bad Idea. Also: peanut butter and honey are both very very sticky and bad for keyboards.

8) The best out-of-context IM ever: "you got your tampon in my cheez whiz!"

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (3)

January 29, 2004

Bad Girls

For your consideration: An IM conversation with one of my nearest and dearest coworkers. In which we conspire to maim or murder the voice on the other end of the company emergency call-in hotline that dragged our asses into work on time every day of this god-forsaken week, known herein as "Principal Skinner." Much self-adoration and incoherent silliness, etc.

Sprocketeer: may i go home now?
Sprocketeer: i'm like, dying over here man
Me: this day is draggggggggggging
Me: and i've wasted so much of it too
Sprocketeer: totally - i'm dying
Me: i'm experiencing rigor mortis
Sprocketeer: i'm experiencing work hatred
Me: i'm experiencing principal skinner murder fantasies
Sprocketeer: do tell!
Me: well, i was thinking of poisoning the water cooler, replacing his visine with tobasco, tampering with his pencil sharpener, or maybe just shooting him in his ugly little pig face...basically anyway to hurt him without coming into any direct contact with his greasiness
Sprocketeer: that sounds like a start. maybe you should throw in dumping a few gallons of honey on his head, tying him to a tree on top of a red ant hill. then stand there and laugh at his agony.
Me: mwa ha ha
Me: if i could think of a way to trick him into standing in the middle of the street, I could just run him over with a big truck
Sprocketeer: or just pelt him with skunks
Me: skunks with laser beams attached to their heads
Sprocketeer: ha
Sprocketeer: i'm dying laughing over here
Sprocketeer: if this isn't fresh material, i don't know what is
Me: we are so fricking hilarious
Me: we should totally be famous
Sprocketeer: i know!
Sprocketeer: step aside red buttons.... there's a new sheriff in town!
Me: i should put this on my blog...think anyone would recognize him?
Sprocketeer: probably but i say go for it
Me: "ugly little pig face" is kind of a giveaway
Sprocketeer: do you think he haggles over the price of a haircut at hair cuttery?
Me: i could edit it…there’s no journalistic integrity in the blog world
Sprocketeer: i think you should edit the blog and use the name "principal skinner"
Me: hee
Sprocketeer: i'm sure monday when the "wintry mix" arrives he will say we’re opening on time yet again and to do our best to work from home.
Me: what alias would you like?
Sprocketeer: for principal skinner or myself?
Me: for yous
Sprocketeer: sprocketeer
Sprocketeer: or superintendent chalmers
Me: am totally posting this
Sprocketeer: hee hee - tell me when you're done so i can take a gander
Sprocketeer: when are we having lunch again
Me: i'm so up for it anytime. i'm done with this place
Sprocketeer: let's go somewhere delish like rio grande... i'm having a craving big time
Me: mmmmm enchiladas
Sprocketeer: mmmmm complimentary chips and water
Sprocketeer: i luv me some queso
Sprocketeer: i think i will have spaghetti o's for dinner again
Me: oh my god i love spaghettios
Sprocketeer: i love dipping tostitos in them
Me: i still buy them and eat them all the time
Sprocketeer: i usually wait until the expiration date -- just to live a little
Me: i really need a puking smiley
Sprocketeer: i'm sure one exists
Sprocketeer: i feel like i haven't done jack squat today
Me: you have helped me with a blog entry, and that's noblest pursuit I know of
Sprocketeer: is it up?
Sprocketeer: did you conceal the identity of greazy pig face?
Me: not yet, plus you keep saying funny things that i want to include, so quit it

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (4)

Confessions of an Anti-Dentite

Hola amigos. What up? I know it’s been awhile since I rapped at ya, but seriously, crazy shiat been going down on my end. No, that’s a total lie. (And a blatant case of Onion plagiarism.)

This week: Snow. Ice. Add DC drivers and stir. Repeat as needed for full annoyance.

My new assistant (who from this point forward shall be known as Eve3 for reasons that are hysterical to Me) starts on February 10, which is good, because the dry cleaners are threatening to give my clothes away if I don’t pick them up by then. Ha! Ba-dum-ching! Try the veal, etc.

I went to the dentist yesterday. Which I hate, but it was quick and painless and I got lots o’ praise for my fantastic oral hygiene. Oh, and see here…I know everybody hates the dentist, but seriously, I have reasons. (Warning: squicky tooth story ahead.)

When I was a teenager I had this one stubborn baby tooth that would not fall out. I needed braces so they yanked it and waited for the grown-up tooth to come in. And we waited. An X-ray showed that the grown-up tooth was growing in completely sideways. Freak show tooth, if you will. So I had to have this big oral surgery ordeal to attach a chain to freak show tooth so it could be yanked up gradually. It was awful. I was swollen for a week and in so much pain. And not just a throbbing toothache pain. More like they put my funny bone in my jaw and proceeded to whack it repeatedly with large, bulky office furniture.

But! Then! It gets even worse! I went for my first chain-yanking appointment at my orthodontist and some fuckwit dental technician yanks it TOO HARD AND THE ENTIRE CHAIN AND BRACKET CAME OUT THROUGH MY GUMS. This…stung. Just a bit. So I had to have the entire surgery all over AGAIN, right then and there in the orthodontist's office.

So seriously, I should get a medal or something for letting ANYONE touch my teeth now. And I very rarely bite anymore.

(Oh, and if anyone is still reading after that vile story, I just noticed last night that there is suddenly some mad amalah.com linkage going on, and I’m sorry I haven’t visited or reciprocated yet. According to Blogrolling’s search function, I’m still the most unpopular girl in blog school, so it’s weird. Because seriously! I’m cool now! My mom bought me deodorant! My freak show teeth are all fixed!)

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (3)

January 23, 2004

The 100 Things Bandwagon

And yes, if all the other cool bloggers e-jumped off an e-bridge, I’d do that too. Shut it.

1. My name is Amy.
2. It was Amy Beth Corbett.
3. Which made my initials ABC.
4. Which made life hard sometimes.
5. I blame the Jackson 5.
6. Now I’m Amy Corbett Storch.
7. Because I married Jason Storch.
8. Who is awesome.
9. And hot.
10. I dropped Beth because I didn’t want to be ABS.
11. Sometimes I wish I’d kept my name.
12. Not because of Jason or anything.
13. I’m just not sure I thought it through very well.
14. But you tend to do that when you get married at 20.
15. No, I wasn’t pregnant.
16. I’m 26 now.
17. Still not pregnant.
18. Am sad about that.
19. We have a cat named Max.
20. I call him Maximillian Thunderdome.
21. Because he’s mad, mad! and has a T on his chest.
22. He’s a traditional seal point Siamese.
23. Siamese cats get a bum rap because of Lady & The Tramp.
24. They are actually extremely affectionate and well-behaved.
25. Max thinks he’s people.
26. Yes, we call ourselves Mommy and Daddy to the cat.
27. We live in Northwest Washington, D.C.
28. And we love it.
29. I’m from Levittown, PA and then Newtown, PA.
30. I went to a Christian high school that I hated.
31. Not because I hate God or anything.
32. But because the people there were just plain scar-you-for-life mean.
33. But most of them still live with their parents so pffft.
34. I Google people I used to know compulsively.
35. I went to Penn State.
36. I majored in Communications and English.
37. I transferred to University of Maryland when I got married.
38. I got a full-time job before I finished.
39. I’m taking my last two classes now.
40. Because enough already.
41. I’m an editor.
42. Managing Editor, thank you very much.
43. I edit investment newsletters and advisory services.
44. It’s every bit as scintillating as you can imagine.
45. But I have my own office.
46. With a door and everything.
47. I have to wear suits to work.
48. Which is annoying and expensive.
49. I want to publish a novel.
50. But I need to write it first.
51. I am a bad skier.
52. But I try because Jason loves it.
53. My brother-in-law has a condo in Killington that we visit.
54. Last year I hit a tree on the bunny slope.
55. My leg hasn’t been right since.
56. It’s the same leg that was bitten by a German Shepherd named Duke in high school.
57. Duke was my boyfriend’s dog.
58. Duke had bitten two other people before me.
59. They didn’t tell me that until after he bit me.
60. I have wicked scars from it and bad veins.
61. Should have sued the assholes.
62. The boyfriend is a pastor now.
63. I know because I Googled him.
64. I ultimately broke up with him for Jason.
65. THANK GOD.
66. I have four brothers and two sisters.
67. They are all half-siblings.
68. Because we’re a blended family like the Brady Bunch.
69. Except that everyone hated each other.
70. It’s kind of better now.
71. I have one niece and three nephews.
72. My dad has had cancer three times in his throat and thyroid.
73. He lost most of his vocal chords and voice box.
74. Then he had an aortic aneurysm.
75. He nearly died.
76. Then he had a heart attack.
77. He’s still here though.
78. And doing better.
79. I’ve had problems with depression, anorexia and panic disorders.
80. But I’m doing better too.
81. I hate picky eaters. Just eat it already.
82. I spend too much money on makeup and handbags.
83. I have blonde hair and brown eyes.
84. I do get my hair colored.
85. But to a shade of blonde that’s darker than the shade of blonde that I actually am.
86. Seriously.
87. But I’m not a really girly girl.
88. Seriously.
89. I swear a lot.
90. I have two tattoos.
91. My favorite TV shows are The Simpsons, South Park and Family Guy.
92. My TiVo thinks I’m a 13-year-old boy.
93. I adore reality TV shows.
94. And I’m not ashamed to admit it.
95. Well, maybe a little.
96. I adore my friends.
97. I will take on anyone who hurts them.
98. My feelings get hurt too easily.
99. I still lip-synch into my hairbrush and practice Oscar acceptance speeches in front of the mirror when I think no one’s around.
100. Comments brighten up my whole day.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (11)

January 21, 2004

I Am the Boss of You

By popular demand (one person, but that's all it takes around here), the interview went fan-tab-u-lous. Getting me an assistant y'all. And she already lurves me.

Although everyone gave me great suggestions for interview behavior (all involving the Muppet finger puppets, oddly enough), I kinda winged it. (Wung it? See, this is why I need an assistant.) I sort of cleaned my office, but still couldn't find her resume under the pile o' crap on my desk at first. Then I misplaced the list of standard interview bullshit I'd been given, and I dropped my pen and kinda dinged my head on my desk when I was getting it.

Endearing though, right?

Anyway, we talked and tawwked and she seems smart and eager and bored out of her mind at her current job. So yeah, plenty of life and soul to suck out in the months to come.

And! Then! My boss's boss's boss stopped by to tell that when he talked to her, all she'd talked about was me! Me! Meeeeee! That she was interested in the job before but then she met me and I was so funny and nice and smart and totally where she wants to be so I could totally be a mentor and she could learn a lot and like, just totally. She wants the job. Rawk.

So hopefully she's not totally psycho and/or directly after my job. Because God help me, I'll sic the Muppet posse after her.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (3)

Short Bits and Follow-Ups

After looking at my stats and referrers, I must conclude that Tolkien was mistaken: all who wander here ARE lost, actually. While amalah.com is rife with keywords, it's horrifically devoid of actual content.

So I shall address a few Google search terms, because I'm bored:

Ford fuel pump recall: Yeah, you know what? Don't bother. Even though the cause of this recall (car stalls or nearly stalls in low gears on low fuel) has been well-documented and complained about since the Focus was first produced, Ford just issued the notice...but still, the parts won't be available until next month. If you car stalls, the best they'll offer you is an "interim" repair, which sounds way scary and sketchy -- like duct tape, gum and a blowtorch.

When I took my car in for the Battery Incident, I asked about the fuel pump recall. Yeah, uh-huh. Got the car back with the following note on my bill: Fuel pump recall: Parts may be in next month. Ford, it’s a RECALL, for god's sake. It’s the car equivalent of YOU called ME. And then asked who the hell I was and why you were speaking to me. And then kept me on hold for hours and hours and then hung up.

So. Ford fuel pump recall. Call first, plan to take your car in February. In the meantime, either keep your gas tank full and happy or be prepared to be the idiot who stalls at lot.

Oxygen network schedule: This is my fault. I have bitched and bitched about TiVoing AbFab episodes on Oxygen, only to end up with Roseanne eps. I finally cracked the elusive scheduling code and believe that the fault may not lie with Oxygen, but with my digital cable, brought to you by the clowns at Starpower. Oxygen is being broadcast a mystifying three hours behind. Why? We do not ask, we do not know.

But I now record Girls Behaving Badly at midnight on Friday night and wake up Saturday morning with a brand-spanking-new episode of Absolutely Fabulous that supposedly aired at 9 pm.

So I guess Oxygen didn't deserve all of my ire, but they still suck because they air exactly four things: Girls Behaving Badly, which is not nearly as funny as it could be; Roseanne reruns; Oprah After the Show, for those who just can't let go of the big O after only one hour; and some sex advice show with a host who thinks that she makes the show edgy and scintillating by holding up dildos occasionally. Also: old Meryl Streep movies you've never heard of.

an open letter to the guy who stole: Stole your what? What did he steal? Your bike? Your wallet? Your dignity? How can I help you if you don't give me the whole story? And why did you conduct the search twice within an eight hour period? I can see these things. Did you steal my bike? Don't leave me hanging, random Googler!

I want your bod; bod men commercials; men shirtless bod; body fantasies ad; bod men must die; etc.: It's official!! Those horrid commercials have infiltrated the psyches of Americans everywhere! We Google endlessly, looking for a purpose or point to the mystery that is the Bod Men! But there is none to be found! We want your bod! We all want your bod!

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (1)

January 20, 2004

Boss Lady

I have my very first interview tomorrow. I mean, it's my very first time as interviewer instead of interviewee. Professional virgin territory. Wait...that doesn't sound right...I mean, I'm not a professional virgin (methinks the jig is up on that one), but as a professional, this is vir--

Oh hell.

Yeah, I'm the big managing editor 'round here and I cannot write worth a damn today. Kiss my ass, interview person. I don't need to write good no more, because I plan to make it all your job.

I got the résumé and it's kind of scary-impressive. And I wore my best professional-yet-stylish suit today. Dammit. Is my pinstripe back from the cleaners? And my office is a mess. I should clean if we're going to have company. Or should I leave it messy so I look busy and super-important?

I think I should move the talking Pets.com sock puppet. And maybe the Muppets finger puppets. Seriously, what is with all the puppets? I'm insane. I have a talking tribble and a Justin Timberlake bobblehead doll that I got at the dollar store. In my office, for Christ's sake.

Should I have questions written out in advance? Here's what I'm thinking:

1) What contestant from Survivor do you most identify with and why?

2) Coke or Pepsi?

3) If you take the name of your first pet and the name of the first street you lived on, what do you get? (Me? Annie Twin Oak.)

Should I take notes or just stare intensely and go "Mm-hmm" occasionally? Oh oh! I should just stay silent after they've finished answering my question so they feel the need to keep talking, and then once they really get going again I'll interrupt with the next question. That would be cool.

Fear me, interview person. But also like me. Because I'll be the coolest boss ever. I mean, Muppet finger puppets! That's cool! Right?

Right?

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (3)

January 15, 2004

Sanity Slightly Restored

So tomorrow night is a girls' night out. THANK the LORD. My friend Andie and I usually spend an entire week debating venues, eateries, times, clothes, moon cycles, etc. whenever we plan a night out.

We start with a long list of restaurants, winnow it down, winnow it back up, debate, kvetch and then ultimately change our minds at the last minute. I think our record was something like 26 emails to plan one Wednesday happy hour.

This week, though, I just couldn't get into the whole Amy & Andie Listmania '04 thing. My list of options was feeble and my comments were cranky and distracted.

Then Andie read this morning's crazed entry and sent me the following email:

i'm worried about you.

okay tommorrow... i'll meet you at your place after work.. we'll go to spices and from there find a local establishment that specializes in refreshing beverages. how that's okay.. just thought maybe it might help if i make the decisions... know when i'm stressed am so not good at decisions.

How much do I love her? I love her like Homer loves donuts. Hell, I love her like I love donuts.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (2)

January 12, 2004

Amy vs. the Universe: A Ballet in Three Acts

Mondays are so fanfuckingtastic sometimes.

Scene: I leave my house this morning (which is freezing, because the heat’s not working again. Again.), and get in the car. The Ford Focus ZX3. The lesser car. Not a bad car…just lesser. I wave to Jason as he drives off to work in the better car.

Key in ignition. rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr….nothing.

Well, okay. It’s pretty cold out. Let’s try that again. (More pathetic revving commences.)

Oh god, did someone leave the lights on? Negative. Huh. Interior light on? Nope. Is it in neutral? Check.

rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…shudder, gasp, die. Crap.

Where’s my phone? Not in my purse. Crappity crap!

Back up three flights of stairs. Phone is not in charger. Phone is not in other purse. Find old bottle of Clonazepam. Ahhhh. Nice.

Finally find JASON’s phone in JASON’s jacket. Call him while dashing back downstairs, having a full-on hissyfit about the phones and the car and the Pile o’ Things waiting for me at the office.

No way in HELL I am waiting for Ford Fucking Roadside Assistance this morning. Jason senses this and promises to turn around and come back home. And this is why our marriage works.

Better call work and tell them I’ll be later than usual. And I have a real excuse this time!! Wait. The hell is my work number? Oh yeah, it's on MY phone. Speed dial is a beautiful thing, but it completely removes any and all hope of me remembering phone numbers.

Wait! A business card! I’m sure I have one and maybe I could get to the name directory to get Viper’s extension and…

Oh. All I’ve got are Blogcards. Hee, but they’re funny.

Jason calls and asks if I remembered to check if the car wasn’t in gear. Oh. My. God. Don’t. Even.

Jason arrives and we determine that yes, the battery has indeed inexplicably died. Yes, it’s cold but this car is TWO YEARS OLD.

Pop the hood. The hell is the battery? Oh, underneath a plastic battery cover. That's...odd.

Pop the battery cover. And now I'm glad I had the battery cover because it was so much prettier than the FESTERING MESS of turquoise battery corrosion underneath it. You know, the kind of thing that you or even a Jiffy Lube guy would have spotted in an instant and gone, "Hey, that's not right" HAD YOU SEEN IT. But no, the pretty battery cover saved you from that hideous sight.

(Yes, yes. Should have looked under the cover at some point, but seriously. This is me. Out of sight, out of mind. The last time I looked under my couch for the TV remote I saw dust bunnies bigger than my head. But then I found the remote and never looked under the couch again.)

Anyway.

At this moment Jason remembers that Ford sent us Recall Notice 2383749857034593-493-9 a couple weeks ago, and that it had something to do with a battery cable. And then I notice that a nylon strappy thing, apparently meant to hold the battery in, has shifted over to one side and has been completely cooked away by the corroded cable. Mmmmmmm, tasty.

Miraculously, we do get the car jump-started and I make it to work...praying to all that is holy that I don't do something blonde and stall the car. I hate that car.

Took it over to the dealer tonight. Sweetly explained the above story (without all the cursing) to either a Ford customer care representative or a chain-smoking, semi-sentinent brick. Hard to tell.

I hate that car. I hate the battery and the battery cover and I hate the noise it makes in second gear and the sloppy clutch and I hate that the thingie to adjust the side mirrors is just far enough away from me that I have to lean forward to reach it, but when I lean forward I can't tell if I've adjusted the mirrors right.

Hate!

(Also? Cleaning crew at my office cleaned out the refrigerator on Friday. And they threw out the frozen entree I'd left in the freezer. In the freeeeeeeeeezer. Where it was frozen.)

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (0)

January 07, 2004

Winter Dreaming

Lordy, what a week. And I'm only up to Love-A-Lot Bear from the Care Bears thong set.

So I'm driving home tonight, tailgated almost the entire time by a Jeep with one semi-out headlight. The driver decided to compensate for this by turning on his brights. Every time I looked in the rearview mirror: Blam! Blinding light! Glance in the side mirror: Blam! My retinas are still aching.

Sigh. It's always about this time of year that Jase and I start fanatasizing about packing up and moving to Vermont. We start browsing the real estate sites for places like this. We start debating whether we have enough pull at our jobs to work remotely. (Yeah, not a chance.) We've never worked it out, obviously. Last year we let the VT thing drop because there aren't any Chipotles up there. Oh, and no jobs. That too.

But a few months ago we found that there are like a hundred bazillion calories in those burritos, so we don't eat there that much anymore. And so the VT longings are back. It's effing freezing here, but no skiing. Everyone drives SUV monstrosities, but no one can drive in flurries. Our super-rewarding careers? Meh. And we paid more for our 2 bedroom, 1 bath condo with no parking space than that 6 bedroom chalet costs.

Jason's brother has a condo up in Killington so we go up a couple times a year. But not yet this year, which y'all can just add to the burgeoning list of things Amy thinks Suck. But I don't want to visit. I want to live there.

My husband would be the happiest little ski bum in the land, and I would let the urban-rock-star-layers grow out of my hair and wear ponytails and big warm sweaters and finish my novel and drink those cider-and-brandy things they serve at the lodge all day and maybe write a folksy little column for one of those free papers at the ski resort. And we'd have a tiny mortgage and two bathrooms and a little baby 'cuz I'd be so relaxed and easygoing up there that *poof* my fertility problems would vanish just like that.

And Max would be happy there too. Though Max is happy in my sock drawer, so whatever.

Do they have Sephoras in Vermont? No? Well, I could catalog-order my facial glitter I think. I'll give up my job and my Chipotle burritos and my hipster urban lifestyle...but I'm NOT giving up the glitter.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (4)

January 05, 2004

Viewer Mail

So I received the following email today:

Dear Amalah,

We are loyal readers of your blog.

We were intrigued by your discussion of your holidays, specifically, your sister, brother-in-law and niece. Who are these people? They appear, from your brief description, to be dynamic, sensitive and absolutely not the types who would ever spill wine all over a holiday celebration.

Please do tell.

Dear Gentle Reader,

I am very sorry if I gave such a dramatically untrue impression of my family. Sometimes, as a responsible online diarist, I try to hide the ugly truths regarding those I know in my offline life -- even if telling the real story would get big laughs. (And maybe some bloody comments, you ingrates. I know you're reading but who leaves comments? My parents.)

My sister Jennie (Or "Jumpin' Jennie Jemima" as she prefers to be called) is a screeching, alcoholic harpy with impeccable fashion sense. She's blonde like I am and skinny like I was in seventh grade. But do I secretly resent her for it? Yes. Yes I do. She enjoys spilling wine at holiday gatherings with her sister and causing International Incidents at Indian restaurants. Is secretly having an affair with Michael Moore. She does the world's best Valley Girl impression and buys totally awesome gifts for people, meaning me. Awesome things she has bought me include: the talking Pets.com sock puppet, Strawberry Shortcake pyjamas, the Elsa Perreti heart pendant and earrings, sparkly make-up, booze, and Care Bears days-of-the-week underwear. Thong underwear, which just makes them awesomer.

Today's bear: Grumpy, because it's Monday! Hee.

My brother-in-law Cary is a patient, patient man. He can restore your hope and faith in mankind. Hard to shop for. Also the lawyer of the family who gets all the freeloading emails from dippy sisters-in-law looking for legal advice.

My niece Allie was the world's most perfect child and is now the world's most perfect teenager. She's Rory from Gilmore Girls without the Princess Complex. If I could clone her, I'd have a baby in a heartbeat. I was 11 when she was born so she's never called me Aunt Amy or anything...though she did call me Mimi for about a year when she was a toddler. I tried to get her to stick with it because it was so gosh-darned frickin' adorable, but she was determined to be Right and Correct so nooooo, I was Amy. We played the "Oops Game" for hours on end, the rules of which consisted of me putting a plastic stacking ring on her head and then saying "Oops!" when it fell off. Hilarity ensued.

These were innocent times, when one could type "Oops!" without the inevitable Britney reference.

Today, Allie is a shockingly gorgeous 15-year-old with her mother's fashion sense, her father's excellent moral character and her aunt's brains, looks, humor, mad tennis skillz, natural born talent for drawing, social graces and gifts of snark, sarcasm and smart-assiness.

Anyhoo, Dear Reader Who is So Totally Not Related to Me, thanks for writing! Feel free to write again and tell me all about yourself. I bet you're pretty.

hail_the_gang.jpg

(Why are we all so blue? Because we descended from Smurfs, that's why. Also: computer that has Photoshop installed is on the fritz.)

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (2)

January 02, 2004

Resolutions Shot to Bloody Hell

Day Two of the new year and surprise, surprise, not doing too well on my resolutions.

Woke up at 8:09 a.m., 39 minutes later than I planned. No time to deep-condition hair. Proceeded to stand in the closet and stare at my clothes for approximately 17 minutes before putting something on, changing mind, changing clothes again. Repeat until 8:44 a.m.; finally dressed and out the door at 9:12 a.m.

Two cups of coffee and a soda already. Bit right pinkie nail off. Visited Fark.com twice and checked Survivor spoiler sites for rumored All-Stars line-up.

Lunch? Ramen noodles in a cup from the vending machine.

Blogging at work? Check.

But on the positive side of things, I did something even more important than any of the resolutions on my list. I registered for classes. The last two classes I need for my degree. By May 14, I'll be done.

I started going to school part-time just after my junior year, when the publishing company I was interning for offered me a full-time job. I was very diligent for awhile, but then got laaaaaaaaaazzzzzzzzzzzzyyyyy. Got jobs and promotions despite officially lacking a degree. Started taking semesters off. Like six of 'em. In a row. The last class I took was this weird 1 credit upper-level English class I needed because of the way my transfer credits settled. (I've attended five colleges at a shocking seven different campuses. Flighty much? Nah.) It was a 400-level class on the Harry Potter books. It felt so, so wrong and yet so, so right.

But now! I'm going to do it! I will take that long-reviled upper-level speech class (SPCH 426: Negotiation & Conflict Management) and the very last of my communications core courses (COMM 400: Communication & the Law.)

Boring? Totally. Professionally useless? Probably. Inconvenient formality? Definitely.

Expensive? Oh my god. Yes.

Making my dad really, really happy?

:-)

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (3)

January 01, 2004

SupahStar Rockin' New Year's Eve

12:47 a.m. January 1, 2004.

Watching Family Guy reruns on TiVo, web surfing, etc. Jason and Max sound asleep on the couch next to me; half-drunk bottle of champagne on the coffee table in front of me.

Saw Lord of the Rings for the second time tonight at the Uptown Theater. (Yes, yes, loser queen of all loserdom, shut up.) Snuffled and supressed coughs throughout the whole thing from the way-stubborn cold I'm still fighting. Yet... I could STILL smell the vicious case of BO from the woman next to me. This woman had apparently not seen either of the first movies and every few minutes was all "Wait, who's that?" and "Wait, what's happening?"

Probably would have totally snapped if I hadn't been 1) racked with fever and chills, and 2) totally hammered on NyQuil.

Verdict? Even awesomer than the first awesome time I saw it. Also saw it this time with a Tolkien Expert who was able to explain the whole Elfie-Heaven-Land thing. Then proceeded to rip the film to shreds for book-to-film accuracy. So seriously, I was an English major. I've read everything, including some truly godawful books. Tolkien? Cannot do. Peter Jackson? Film god, as far as I'm concerned.

Woo! Jason's awake! First sex of the new year! Oh wait...he's out again, never mind.

Happy New Year, folks!

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (1)

December 31, 2003

The '04 To-Do List

1.  Wake up on time. Get to work on time. No more of this getting up at 8:15ish, out the door at 9:10ish, and in the office at 9:45ish.  Realize that I am a prissy, prissy girl who takes a long time to get ready in the morning and wake up at 7:30, out the door by 8:30 and in my office at 9 sharp.

2.  Go to the gym at least three times a week. Jog, work on arms which are starting to get waddly and old-looking. Stop kidding myself that elliptical trainer set on way-easy settings does anything.

3.  Record something other than South Park, Simpsons, Family Guy and Blind Date so TiVo stops thinking I’m a 13-year-old boy.

4.  Speaking of TiVo, finally watch HBO’s Angels in America that’s still taking up 6 hours worth of space.

5.  Rent first seasons of Alias so I can stop pretending that I have a clue what the hell is going on.

6.  Take calcium.

7.  No more lunches from the office vending machine.

8.  Get a physical. See the dentist. See the shrink. Physical and mental health, harmony, etc.

9.  Take better care of my shoes. Polish them instead of just buying new ones.

10.  Dust and vacuum once a week.

11.  Deep-condition.

12.  Keep in touch with friends and family instead of emailing once and then vanishing for months and months. Cultivate long-distance friendships.

13.  Go see my friend’s band like I promised, even if it is at a church and all religious and the mere thought of it gives me hives.

14.  Try not to squeal with excitement every time I see a commercial for American Idol 3. Or Survivor All-Stars. Develop jaded and mature detachment towards silly bad shows of all kinds.

15.  Stop biting nails. Or at least bite them into better shapes.

16.  Cut back to one cup of coffee and one soda during the day. No chocolate-covered espresso beans. No caffeine of any kind after 5 p.m.

17.  Get news from other sources besides The Daily Show and Fark.com

18.  Apply to be on Survivor. Get cast. Throw the Biggest Tantrum Ever when voted out; challenge Jeff Probst to a stick fight with torch.

19.  Stop blogging while at work. So much.

20.  Remember all the little people.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (0)

December 30, 2003

Newsgroupies

We have newsgroups at my office. Basically, a couple email folders in Outlook for people to post messages about crap for sale, junk for rent, and corporate cheerleading rah-rah messages.  And at least one person is perpetually looking for a good plumber.

While it’s a nice place to score sports tickets or used DVDs, you must be very careful before posting. Think about it. I once posted a request for an orthopedic surgeon (Knee injury from skiing. I hit a tree on the bunny trail.  Yeah, I’m way hardcore.) and got about seventy-bazillion responses…all accompanied by people’s harrowing tales of injury, surgery and recovery.

One lady called and literally kept me on the phone for 20 minutes as she yakked about her broken neck and the miraculous recovery made possible because of the good people over at Bethesda Orthopedics. I was all, ew, but seriously, you just can’t interrupt someone who broke her neck and nearly died and still soldiers on in newsletter publishing with “Oh, thanks, I really just need the doctor’s name, so bye!”  But I did pretend my other line was ringing when I sensed the conversation was headed in the "And wouldn't you like to have a relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord?" direction.

One woman posts an ad for her husband’s house painting services at least once a month. This can be a problem.  He’s an ok painter, but really, really expensive. But you absolutely cannot post a request for a painter recommendation because well, you know. She has a monopoly and she knows it, and the entire company knows it.   

Another woman, let’s call her Merri Way, posts to the newsgroup for everything. She lives and breathes for the announcement board. Pot holders for sale. A lost pen. Recommendations for a gastroenterologist in the Rockville area but the Gaithersburg side of Rockville, not Rockville Rockville or the Bethesda side of Rockville. She once sold off everything in her elderly mother’s townhouse in precisely one dozen newsgroup posts over two weeks' time.

This woman has clearly lost her ever-loving mind, and I was beyond thrilled to meet her last year at the company Christmas party. I was a tad tipsy, so when I saw her nametag I was all, “Merri!  Announcement Board Merri!  Hi!”  She looked really confused but also like a really nice person.

Her latest post entitled Good News!!!! and gives her cousin’s current rates for mortgage refinancing.  See?  Nice but way crazy.

Here are some of the recent subject lines, completely unedited, because they're funnier that way:

“BOOKS ARE FUN” Fair is coming!
In Search Of a Treadmill
Its Bingo Night at Northwest High Schoo!!
Pumpkin Rolls
“BOOKS ARE FUN” reminder!
Lost Keys
CAR LIGHTS ON
Avon!
books are fun rescheduled
Can anyone recommend a heater repair service operating in Takoma Park area?
Recommendation for a licensed/certified chimney sweep company
HOLIDAY PARTY!
Pampered Chef Products
Looking for egg cartons for school project
CAR LIGHTS ON

If you wanted to get all deep about it, you could certainly view these subject lines as glimpses into the inner workings of my company and the sad, sad little existences of its workers. But I also bought the collector's edition DVD of Fight Club for only $8 not too long ago, so I don't really want to think about it.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (1)

December 29, 2003

Haul

Gah. Ok, where to begin?

We have heat!  A merry gift for Christmas Eve…the happy roar of our HVAC thingie springing to life and our water heater purring away, while visions of non-freezing floors dance in our heads. We cranked the heat up to a balmy 80 degrees just because we could.  Anyone who wanted to wear a festive Christmas sweater be damned…I was going to take my wooly socks off and prance around in a tank top.

Plus: festive sweaters are fugly.

Gifts?  Well, of course. Tiffany earrings! Rocktastic coat from Benetton! BCBG shoes! Sephora gift sets!  Marc Jacobs perfume! Clubby clothes!  Loungy clothes! Muppet pyjamas! South Park, Monty Python! And more! Best. Christmas. Haul. Ever.

We had enough food to feed an army and left one bottle of wine unopened.

After everyone cleared out I decided to be all domestic and make some stock out of the turkey bones and sliced the top of a finger off with my brand-new chef’s knife. I’m used to knives that require a sawing/hacking motion to cut through butter, so OW. It was Attack of the Leftovers!  Ha!  I mean groan.

(Incidentally, this was the same finger that, a few months ago, I’d taken a chunk of the nail off with a SAFETY RAZOR. The nail had just grown back and now it’s all disfigured again.)

The day after Christmas we put everyone on a train and the nervous tic in my eye started to go away.  Took a nap.  Woke up, rolled over, took another nap. Jason finally woke me up at dinnertime to inform me that we were Leaving.  Huh?  Leaving?  Where? To New York City, silly, for a surprise birthday trip!

We stayed here. We ate here. We saw this. And we shopped.  Don’t bother going to the Sisley on Fifth Avenue, people, ‘cuz I got everything. 50% off. 50freakingpercentoff. All in all? Good, good times, except for the knife vs. finger bit.

Tomorrow: More Christmas merriment, or how my life was not complete until the day I was given Care Bears days-of-the-week thongs.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (0)

December 22, 2003

Homeownershipness

A pipe burst in our neighborhood yesterday.  Result?  No heat until at least tomorrow evening.  I am freezing to death in my own home.  The hardwood floors are so cold Max won't walk on them and is getting around by jumping on the furniture. He has no problem with the couch to ottoman to chair to area rug to (aaahhhh) carpeted stairs route, but he's having trouble getting over to his food dish in the dining room...especially since I made it clear that the Christmas tree is NOT to be used as a launching pad of any kind.

I worked from home today in these arctic conditions.  Dryer Guy came earlier this afternoon to dig a bird's nest out of the outside dryer vent by leaning out out bathroom window with a broom handle and a coat hanger.  Cost for this stunning display of technical know-how?  $97.50. Running commentary on the rampant commercialism of Christmas and Dryer Guy's solution to the Middle East crisis?  Free.

Then Plumber Guy came to fix a leak in our upstairs storage room from the HVAC system-dealie-thingie. Even though they were just here about six months for maintenance and told us everything was fine, I was able to sense the leak using my extensive knowledge of HVAC thingies and the fact that WATER WAS COMING THROUGH THE DOWNSTAIRS CEILING.  Jackasses.  $360 later, the leak, it is fixed, and the ceiling, it will be painted and never spoken of again.

Now if you'll excuse me, I must dig out my ski socks and long underwear and possibly knit the cat a sweater.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (0)

December 20, 2003

Joyous Acquisition of Goods

Very good day today. Got such the nice haul from Jason's parents this morning, and when you add all the fantabulous stuff my girlfriends gave me last night (jewelry! awesome house do-dahs! food! Coach Signature Crusher hat! I love these people!), I'm feeling a bit drunk on the "getting" part of the holiday season.

Jason ruined the joy of the "giving" side of the equation again, as he has done many, many times before. We got his dad this really cool vintage-type Ski Whistler Blackcomb tee from Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ: URBN)...so cool that Jason was going to buy one for himself and I had to order him not to because I planned to buy it. So while his dad was oohing and ahing over the tee Jason mentioned how much he wanted one but how I'd stopped him.

Being the fantastic actress that I am, I pulled a very convincing "oh shit" face and acted like I'd totally forgotten to get him the shirt. Jase was sooo disappointed and I was sooo looking forward to surprising him on Christmas now.

But Jason refuses to be disappointed over anything for more than like, an hour, so the next thing I know we're down in Georgetown with the 'rents and Jason is bound and determined to stop at Urban Outfitters to buy the damn shirt. I tried the whole "Oh why don't you wait until after Christmas...it might go on sale" but no luck.

So for what feels like the bazillionth Christmas or birthday in a row, I had to ruin any chance of surprising him and tell him exactly what was under the tree for him because the man cannot NOT BUY HIMSELF EVERYTHING HE WANTS THE MINUTE HE WANTS IT REGARDLESS OF UPCOMING HOLIDAYS. (And yes, there are quite a few other unspoiled surprises for him this year, but it's just the PRINCIPAL of the thing. Grumble whine bitch, etc.)

Anyway, in retaliation, I pouted and proceeded to buy myself a few extra presents. Jason kept trying to be all "Oh but what if I got you that? What if you're ruining MY surprises?" But since I somehow doubt that a mini-lip-gloss-on-a-keychain from Sephora or a big book on mummies and tombs were real high up on his shopping list, I felt perfectly okay shooting him a You Absolutely Ruined Christmas look until he encouraged me to just go ahead and buy the Sephora silver train case too. Heh. He's gonna have a really nice Christmas though, and he deserves it, cuz he's great.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (1)

Ugh

'Nuff said.

Went out last night and most of the early morning for my birthday with my girls (whoo, ghetto!) to kickoff the Amy Birthday Extravaganza Week.  It will be interrupted momentarily by Christmas on Thursday, but then it's all about me again.  26 years old. I am slowly dealing with the fact that I will never appear on The Real World.  Mourn with me, people.

Anyway, we went to Meze for a Turkish tapas, Felix, and finally Home.  Felix had been invaded by some company holiday party (yeah, well, ours was at the Pooks Hill Marriott! That's cool too!) so the crowd was...eh, not so much the usual scene.  Boooooring.

So off to Home in Chinatown.  To recap the night: Dancing in stilettos (ow), getting people to buy me drinks (thank god it was my birthday 'cuz I forgot my ATM card at home and ran out of money after one tapa at Meze), fending off the men with our patented "hair flip signal of get-the-hell-over-here-and-get-me-away-from-this guy," and shanking my groove thang for all it was worth. (Outfit Verdict: Awesome. Lowrise pinstriped pants and a jagged neckline shirt from Guess, punked-out hair and Enzo stilettos that really look like Manolos.)

The high point--I got picked up by a prince!  No, really!  The prince of Dubai! I mean, he wouldn't have lied about that right?  And he had a bodyguard/advisor/wingman and the whole Coming to America schtick DOWN!  And who knew that the United Arab Emirates did the whole European kiss-kiss thing nowadays?  It's classy!

WhatEVER.  I kept calling him Eddie.

Anyway, in-laws are here for the day, which means presents!  Let's see how I well I function on less than 4 hours sleep and really really sore feet. 

Tomorrow: LOTR!  The king returns!  The battle continues!  Frodo gets really, really dirty!

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (1)

December 17, 2003

Nothing Good Will Come of This

A Krispy Kreme has opened near my office.  And not just a little kiosk or Dunkin' Donuts-type storefront. Nay, this Krispy Kreme is a mammoth, freestanding structure...it eclipses both the bank and the Starbucks nearby.  And this Starbucks has a freaking solarium. The Krispy Kreme has an antique truck parked out front, representing the donut trucks of olde, I guess...and a drive-thru in the back.  Yes, that's right.  Drive-thru donuts. 

My friend Christine and I, after completely pigging out at Chipotle for lunch, decided a little sweet something was in order to quench the hot salsa aftermath, and went to the drive-thru.  After getting the hard sell on the dozen donuts...complete with a mini-economics lesson on how the dozen is cheaper if you try to buy more than 5 individual donuts...we opted for classic glazed and maple iced and two skim milks. 

We drove around to the window and got a glimpse of Donut Nirvana inside...a freaking conveyor belt covered in about 500 classic Krispy Kreme glazed donuts.  Christine remarked on what a nice place Krispy Kreme must be to work at, except for the persistent acne one probably gets from the air inside the store, which is pungent with hot bubbling donut fat.  The very chipper drive-thru people gave us our donuts in the happy green and white polka-dotted box and two humungous milks.

We totally pigged out in the office parking garage on the freshest donuts I have ever tasted, and I drank more milk in one sitting than I have in a year. I can feel my bones getting denser by the minute.

Anyway, it was quite the outing.  But now I want more. A lot more. I want a crack at that conveyor full of donuts.  I am Homer Simpson.  And I forgot to deposit my paycheck so I have to go back to the bank which is next to the Krispy Kreme and I don't think I can handle it.  There's heroin in them there donuts, stay away!

Also, it's snowing again, which means another delightful commute.

I better stock up on donuts.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (0)

December 16, 2003

The Secret Lives of Storches

On the agenda for tonight:

First up, a Peapod delivery. Food, blessed food. And toilet paper. Sheesh. Grown-ups?  Yeah, not yet apparently. 

Our fridge is bare except for condiments and some funky Thanksgiving leftovers that neither of us wants to deal with so we're having a bit of a stand-off.  As long as they remain securely tinfoiled we are protected from the presumably bad smell and the soaking and the scraping and the oy-good-glavin of the petrified food.  Although, I have nothing against soaking dishes. I'll soak a dish for a week if I have to, and periodically re-run the water and dish soap over it to camoflage how long I've been letting it soak.  But when it comes right down to it, I'd rather throw the damn dish out than dig out the steel wool and scrub the grodiness away.

But I don't. I mean, I'm not Jessica Simpson or anything.  I'll do laundry and fold clothes and scrub dishes...but I will take my own sweet time about it. And yes, I get my groceries delivered.  Shut up.  We live on the top floor with no elevator and it's haaarrrddd.

Besides Peapod, we have a whole night of TiVoriffic programming tonight.  Tuesday is a busy night, what with Gilmore Girls, 24 and Queer Eye on top of our usual round-up of Simpsons reruns and these hilarious old Buck Rogers episodes Jason's been taping that are just So Terribly Bad.  I love a good Terribly Bad show.  Then tonight there's also something called What's That Sound: The Making of the Queer Eye Music Video that could be Terribly Bad, Terribly Hilarious, or just Terribly Jump the Shark.  But you know what?  Who cares.

And one of these nights I WILL watch HBO's Angels in America.  I know I will love it. I know it's good for me to watch it.  But some nights?  Buck Rogers in the 25th Century just sounds much easier to take than Tony Kushner and all his infuriating brilliance.

But we may not watch that much TiVo tonight, as we have a Project.  I want to move our bedroom from the first floor to the loft upstairs in time for Christmas.  We had the bedroom upstairs when we first moved in, then changed our minds and moved it to the smaller room downstairs. Now we have changed our minds again.  Why?  Oh, I don't know, we're weird, we're bored, and the loft is the nicest room in the whole place and is currently being used as a dumping ground for stuff we don't know what to do with.  Plus, it's semi-open to the downstairs with just a railing and it wouldn't be very safe to use for a baby's room now would it?

 

 

 

What?

 

No, not yet, calm down.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (1)

December 15, 2003

An Open Letter to The UPS Store

Dear UPS Store,

I love you.  So much.  Be my boyfriend, UPS Store.

You were made for people like me.  I do not have my shit together. Buying gifts is the extent of my togetherness.  I do not have boxes and packing tape and peanuts.  And I do not do the Post Office. 

So much love for the UPS Store.  I dashed there after work with nephew gifts in tow (no need to rush!  extra-late holiday hours!) and within 10 minutes, they were boxed, taped, labeled and whoosh...grabbed by a UPS guy and were on the truck outside by the time I signed my credit card receipt.

Mmmm, warm buttery efficiency.

So my little guys will have their (kickass) Christmas gifts within a couple days, I'm the awesome aunt and am two errands away from being completely DONE with the whole Christmas shopping brouhaha.

And I owe it all to you, UPS Store. 

Well, not really.  But I love you enough to let you think that.

-Amalah

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December 14, 2003

TiVo Hermits

So we've been so busy catching up on the dozens of hours of TiVo-recommended entertainment all freaking day that we completely missed the Big News

I finally staggered away from hour 43 or something of Battlestar Galactica to check my email and whoop, there it is.  We caught him.  He looks like shit, and he knows he's totally fucked. Huzzah and much rejoicing.

Think we'll ever catch Osama? 

Oh yeah, almost forgot about him, didn't you?

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (1)

December 11, 2003

The Morning After the Morning After

Alcohol and I made up last night, even though I tried to hold a grudge.  The free wine had me at hello.

I really behaved quite well at the company holiday party, except for one burst of giddiness at the end when I moved my nametag from my jacket to my ass. (Seemed to be where all the drunk men of the company were looking anyway, so it made sense at the time.) 

Anyway, good times.  Hangover-free this morning, ready to edit the best dang financial newsletter ever and be the perfect pretty picture of professionalism and poise. 

Do you think five chocolate-covered expresso beans is too many for breakfast?  I swear I can feel my eyeballs vibrating.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (0)

December 10, 2003

Amalah Rocks, Sort Of

Before we begin—a question: Alcohol, old friend, why so cruel? Good god.  I am death on toast today.

And now for today’s scintillating topic: the CDs currently in the six-disc changer in my car.

Disc One: Barenaked Ladies. Everything to Everyone. BNL has become one of the bands that I’ll buy anything from.  Bought this one without hearing a single song on it, and it’s exactly what I expected. Silly, poppy, catchy. Probably not going to attract a lot of new fans, since the single (Another Postcard) is a very odd song about mail-stalking with monkey stationary. Huh. But current BNL fans will think this album’s just peachy. I guess I’m a BNL fan, though, ‘cuz I lurrvve it.  Days in the rotation: About 3 weeks.

Disc Two:  Sarah McLachlan. Afterglow.  No surprise here…chick music.  Sarah vanished after the Lilith Fair for awhile and then came back with a very pretty album. Soothing, lyrical, slow. Makes Jason want to puncture his eardrums with his car keys. Oh well. Your wife/girlfriend/sensitive metrosexual will love it.Days in the rotation: Hasn’t left the car in a month, spent about half that time getting heavy play.

Disc Three:  Eminem. The Eminem Show.  Ok, here’s where things get a little strange.  But I love this album. It’s brilliant, disturbing and completely foul. Blah-blah-blah-social-responsibility-cakes.  I bought it after seeing the DVD extras on 8 Mile where Em really engages in a rap battle with random extras and just totally spanks them. After loving this album so much, however, I went out and bought The Marshall Mathers LP, cuz I am one badass white grrl.  But that’s the album with the song about Em killing his wife…and no matter how open-minded and cool and “I get the metaphor/irony/symbolism” I try to be about Eminem, that song is Seriously Fucked Up.  Whoa.  So that CD is currently in the glove compartment or under the back seat somewhere. Days in the rotation:  Has made regular appearances since April; also a road trip essential.

Disc Four: Dave Matthews. Some Devil.  Solo album. Mostly acoustic.  Harkens back to Under the Table and Dreaming days, without all the drugs. With the exception of one or two terribly self-indulgent wailing ballads, a very pretty, relaxing album.  Well, relaxing if non-stop death and social injustice imagery doesn’t bug you.  Days in the rotation: About a month and a half. Took awhile to warm up to, then became a regular addition. The perfect album for the post-Eminem slot, whether because it’s starting to warp your fragile little mind or because your passenger Doesn’t Approve of That Sort of Music and you need to switch to something inoffensive FAST.

Disc Five: The White Stripes. Elephant. All hype about The Stripes aside, there are albums that are just totally perfect, and you know they’re perfect from the very first time you hear them. Sgt. Pepper’s, Rumours, Dark Side of the Moon, Nevermind. Add Elephant to that list. Trust me…as soon as Seven Nation Army starts (baa da dum dum dum daa daaa…) you’ll be hooked. Days in the rotation: The CD o’ my summer. Been skipping it recently, but still gets played about once a week.

Disc Six: Michael Jackson. Number Ones. A moral dilemma in the record store. Did he or didn’t he?  No idea. Crazy? Yes, probably.  Creepy? Yes, now.  Genius?  Yes, then. Should we or shouldn’t we?  We did, and I’m glad for the most part. Or at least for the first few tracks. I’m not sure what chart Sony was using, since they weren’t all Number Ones, and a couple hits are missing. Newer stuff?  Yeah, not so much. Days in the rotation: About 12. First 7 or 8 tracks will get played, then generally gets skipped.

Other CDs that are currently in the car but not in the changer (in addition to the aforementioned Marshall Mathers LP) include: Beyonce’s solo album (meh), Foo Fighters (rock on), Audioslave (Jason’s), Queens of the Stone Age (also Jason’s), Ben Folds (keep rocking the suburbs, Ben), and very likely my old Barenaked Ladies’ Gordon CD, but probably not in the right case anymore. (It’s been missing for months.)

Company Christmas party today.  Free booze, and I want no part of it. You hurt me, alcohol. You hurt me deep.  You're dead to me now.  And you're going to stay dead to me for at least another 24 hours or until my body fully rehydrates, whichever comes first.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (1)

December 05, 2003

Sweet blessed death

Gah. 

Snow, sleet, slippery, slushy mess out there.

And some kind of horrific coldish flu thing descended on me last night. 

The biggest symptoms are apparently adjective overuse and hyperbole.

Yet I here I am, at work, diligently editing another fascinating investment newsletter. (Since my boss is probably my first and only fan of this blog, though, he knows that's a load of crap. What up, Viper! I'll get back to work after I'm done whining, promise.)

Except for the fact that everyone out there decided to drive 25 MPH in the left lane this morning, the drive in was fine. Husband v.1.1 was so kind as to let me drive the AWD Subaru WRX today, even though it was his turn, and he drove to work in the Ford Fishtail Car of Death. Love him!

Oh one more funny story...we had Recognition Day at work, which is our monthly corporate spirit lovefest. Part of the festivities include trivia questions that only two people in the company ever get right. This month, though, they decided to cater to the common, stupid employee and ask questions about holiday movies and specials.

Here's how brilliant I am: I knew that the 2001 Hanukkah movie was Eight Crazy Nights and starred Adam Sandler, AND was able to shout it out before anyone else. As I got up to collect my prize ($5 Panera gift card, ka-ching), my very Jewish friend TZ defended the Gentile's Hanukkah movie knowledge by shouting out "She's half Jewish!"

She cracks me up. Shout out to TZ!

Ok, I'm going to do work now, drink some tea, and then moan pathetically until Viper tells me I can go home.

mooooooooooaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (2)

December 04, 2003

Wha?

So I'm staring at my monitor, trying to think of something amusing and witty to write about, when I look outside and realize it's snowing.  I'm totally shocked because this is exactly what the weatherpeople predicted.  When does that ever happen?

Last night Fox 5 News (Slogan: Your News Source for Muckraking, Sensation Journalism and Bart's People) started in with the typical snow-forecast-shock-and-awe promo campaign. Clips from the big blizzard last year, stock footage of people shoveling sidewalks, a couple closeups of tires spinning in snow...you know, the usual schtick.

So of course, I predicted we would not see a flake. Made a big preachy, harpy deal about it too. Big 'ole whatEVER to these southern folk...I'm from PA y'all!  We saw snowstorms every day starting after Labor Day and school never closed cuz we walked uphill both ways in flip-flops and all that.

A "wintry mix" was predicted for tonight, so people were rushing around getting milk and bottled water during lunch today and I was just pissed off because Safeway was sold out of this month's InStyle mag. It's a necessity people!  It's the Ultimate Gift Guide issue!

But now here I am, watching honest-to-God snow fall from the bloomin' sky and sticking to the ever-loving ground.

Well I'll be danged, as we say here in the South.

Posted by amalah | Permalink | Comments (0)