Monthly Archives: August 2012

I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.

Job interview day! I have/had two interviews today WHOO. Just got home from one and have another this afternoon. I am ALL DRESSED UP. Which means while I’m sitting here waiting to get back on the road for round two of “like me like me LIKE ME,” Dumbcat wants to crawl all over me and get me all furry. NO NO NO DUMBCAT. I don’t think job interviewers would be overly impressed by my skirt being covered in Dumbcat-fur. Well, they MIGHT. But it’s totally doubtful.

ZEE OH EMM GEE. I don’t…WHAT IS THIS. Dumbcat says, “Please do note maek craftes out of meh furres, moMMy, grohss.”

Anyway, the interview this morning seemed to go well, and I’m kind of keen on it, so fingers are crossed. As they have been for over a month now. I would kind of like to un-cross ‘em at some point. SOMEONE OFFER ME A STUPID JOB ALREADY SHEESH. I’m going to get finger-cramps. Or, hey, I’ll also take a non-stupid job! A nice job. A very nice job. That pays money that I can spend on things. LISTEN. The first thing I’m buying as soon as I get a real paycheck? CHINESE FOOD. I am DYING for food that costs more than the store-brand and is TERRIBLE for me. And a bottle of wine. SIGH SIGH YUM WANT.

I’m seriously drooling at the moment. I WANT DUMPLINGS.

Job interview two was NOT as good. Let me tell you why. I showed up and it was CREEPY there. Like, I didn’t want to sit down in the office because I thought I would catch MRSA. (I’m not going to say where it was because that’s rude.) Then the first thing the interview lady said (she didn’t even introduce herself, odd) was, “This is a part-time position. Sorry it didn’t say that online. Also, we only pay minimum wage. Still want to continue with the interview?” Um. You couldn’t have CALLED ME AND TOLD ME THAT? (I got the interview after filling out an application online, and through a series of emails, no phone calls. Neither the online job listing or the subsequent emails said anything about it being part-time or how much the job paid.) So I nicely said, “Oh, I’m so sorry, I wasn’t aware it was part-time, I really need a full-time position, I’m sorry to have wasted your time,” and she was all “no, whatever, the job listing’s wrong, whatever, see ya.” That was a waste of time, gas, and pantyhose, yo. Although, listen, it’s for the best. Because who wants to get MRSA? Also, I haven’t gotten minimum wage since college. I couldn’t live on it then and I wasn’t paying rent then, I was living in the dorm. I sure as hell couldn’t live on it now. I make almost twice that at my part-time job, come on! I feel TERRIBLE for whoever ends up taking that job, what with the minimum and the MRSA!

This is where the MRSA lives.

Here is a story. BFF works in HR. (Hi, BFF!) BFF said I should periodically check Craig’s List for job listings, because there are sometimes good jobs on there. And he’s right; there are. But also, there are SHADY things on there. That send you emails like “Oh we totally want to hier you click this lienk HERE” (yes, there are actual typos in the emails they send you, very classy) and the link when you hover over it is porn. Thank you, tricksters, for capitalizing on those of us who are not employed and are sad and desperate and trying to become less-so by sending us spammy porn-links and assuming we’re too stupid to know better than to click.

Today, there was a posting that said the following:

FIRST COME FIRST SERVE BASIS – CALL ASAP
WE CURRENTLY WORK WITH STUDENTS FROM: LOCAL HIGH SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES AROUND THE ALBANY AREA!
PART-TIME/FULL-TIME AVAILABLE
GREAT FOR BUSY STUDENTS WHO ARE LOOKING TO MAKE EXTRA CASH AROUND THE FALL SEMESTER
NO BENEFITS INCLUDED
$12.50 base-appt.
Conditions apply – 17 w/ diploma is required

So the first thing I thought, of course, was that this was for prostitutes. Or at least those girls that work phone-sex lines.

Looking for a job has made me jaded and bitter. But I still randomly laugh at things like job postings that I think are for sex-industry workers.

Anyway, this is not ALL about jobs! No no no. Well, I guess the following is kind 0f job related. Someone’s doing a job and getting paid for it, all nefarious-like.

The amazing sj, my master musicologist and all-around kickass friend, alerted me to this story the other day.

Apparently, Todd Jason Rutherford runs a company where self-published authors can pay him for reviews. For $99, he’ll write you a review. For $499, he’ll write you 20. For $999, he’ll write you 50. Well, he won’t. He has a whole stable of people he pays $15 a pop to write glowing reviews of books they haven’t read for authors whose books aren’t good enough to get a good review on their own.

Or maybe they are. Think about it, seriously. Who’s buying these reviews? Who publishes a book, thinking it’s not good enough to get reviews on its own? Do you write a book KNOWING it’s terrible? Why would you do this? No one does this. Or do you write a book, and then it fails to get good reviews, and you realize it’s not going to sell any copies without them so you spend some of your hard-earned money on lies? Also, ALSO, who the HELL is spending $1000 on fifty reviews? If you’re doing this, you have the following problem, which is a saying my dad says a lot, and I got from him: “That guy’s got more MONEY than BRAINS!”

This is a very bad book; I think anyone could tell JUST FROM THE TITLE. ZOMG, what IS this? (Also, I don’t think you can still say “midget.” I don’t think it’s PC anymore.)

How far do reviews go, anyway? I think anyone with half a brain takes reviews with a grain of salt, especially if they’re written by someone you don’t know. The New York Times article with the SHOCKING REVEAL of this practice says about a third of all reviews written online are fake. People seem surprised by this. I was more surprised by people’s surprise, to be honest. I assume most reviews on public sites are one of two things: a., fake (written by a friend/family member, someone with an axe to grind, either pro or con, etc.) or b., biased. Aren’t all reviews biased, anyway? What works for one person doesn’t always work for someone else, whether you’re reading reviews for books, makeup, food, or lady-pens. (Please click this link; it’ll make your whole day. BIC! You made PENS for WOMEN? What the hell are you thinking? Our delicate fingers can’t handle a NORMAL pen? Our delicate eyes can’t handle all those bright whites and blues of typical pens? This is ridiculous. This link makes it a little better. My personal favorite is the tampon one.)

Ooh! LADYPENS.

As a book reviewer sometimes, it makes me sad that some of us are actually READING these books and giving them HONEST reviews while some people are getting PAID to LIE. Sure, that’s annoying. But we don’t live in the most honest society. People lie. Is this so shocking? Is it really? Does anyone read the reviews on Amazon and think, “OH THIS WILL BE AWESOME” when confronted with a shit-ton of five-stars for a book about alien swampmonsters?

Here’s my thought. Take it as you will. Let’s say you’re looking for a new book to read, and you’re scanning through Amazon. (I don’t know that anyone really does that when looking for a new book – at least among my friends, we all have to-be-read lists as long as our whole LIVES. I have a pile of books to be read that will take up probably the next six months of my life.) If you want to read the reviews of a book – well, great. You can. But first, try this. Read the blurb. Look at the cover art. Read a little about the author. Does it seem like something you might be interested in? Well, great. You can give it a shot, if you want. If you want to do further research, blogs tend to be a little less biased (well, if you find a good blog) than Amazon reviews. (And I find that Goodreads reviews are also less biasy than Amazon reviews – there’s still bias there, but Goodreads readers tend to be, for the most part, pretty intelligent, booky people. I like to read their reviews. I do scan the star-system over at Goodreads when I’m thinking about a new book, sometimes. I like to see how other readers have rated it. It doesn’t change my mind, but I’m curious about it. (Bonus points if my friends have read/rated it.)

Trust the reviews written by the people you know and trust. I trust that Susie and sj aren’t going to steer me wrong. They know what type of books I really enjoy, and they know what I hate, and they are my friends, and we have similar taste (well, we don’t always like the same things, but we have high standards in what we like, and that goes a long way.) I have a handful of other review blogs that I read and make me add books to my pile – I don’t want to list them all here, because if I leave someone out, well, I don’t want to hurt feelings. But there are probably 7-10 blogs that I read that I know write consistently intelligent, well-thought-out reviews. I still read them to see if the book is something I’ll be interested in – I’m still not going to be interested in a book about, say, golf, or boxing, or something (well, unless it’s REALLY well written, I don’t rule anything out in the world, life’s too short) but if they give it a good review, and it’s something I’ll be interested in? Odds are good that’ll make it onto my to-be-read list. My friends C and R also know when I’ll like a book and I trust their recommendations. BFF has similar taste and recommends me books (I’ve lost count of the times I’ve mentioned “I’m reading (whatever)” and he’ll say, “ME TOO!” This also works for television shows. We’re well-matched, me and my BFF.)

So, yes, I listen to the people I know and trust. Here’s a secret, though, ready? Guess who I know and trust most? Me. I 99% of the time know, going into a book, if it’s going to be up my alley or not. Not whether or not it’s going to be the book that CHANGES MY LIFE or whatever, but I know if it’s got all the hallmarks of being something I’ll enjoy. An author who’s written other things I like, or subject matter I like, or published by a publisher I know and trust – I trust my judgment, and I don’t pick a ton of terrible books. (I’ve also gotten better at just stopping when they’re so so bad. Again, life’s too short and my TBR list is too long for bad books.)

Would it surprise you at all that I have this on a teeshirt? Because I do.

So! There is CHICANERY in the book-review world! I totally thought, for a minute, “huh, I could use $15 a review.” I AM POOR GIVE ME A BREAK. Then I decided, nah. My good name and being able to sleep at night is worth more than $15. (Although, listen, I don’t hate the guy who started this service. He’s apparently making $28,000 a year month (THANK YOU SJ! You know, I meant to say month? But I think I couldn’t wrap my mind around that kind of money, considering I’m living on store-brand Cheerios at the moment.) And people are paying him to provide this service. He’s not the asshole here. The authors who are paying someone to lie up their book? Those are the assholes. Sorry, authors, it’s true. If you wrote a shitty book no one can/will write a good review for? That’s on you. WRITE BETTER BOOKS.)

(The title is a Nietzsche quote. I’m not really all that upset. Don’t fret. I didn’t believe most of the reviews to begin with.)

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No matter how much he cries or how much he begs never, never feed him after midnight.

Here are some things you think when you have to wake up at 5am for work when you’re used to waking up between 8:30-9am every morning like a PROPER unemployed person:

WHY IS THE ALARM GOING OFF. SO LOUD. SO, SO LOUD.

HOLY HELL, it’s dark. It’s like MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT dark. This is CRAZY.

People really get up this early? Like, every day? I feel like a FARMER. Ooh, if I was a farmer, I would totally pet a sheep right now. Farmers have sheep, right? Some farmers do. If I was a farmer, I’d have sheep.

I would be the best sheep-farmer, aw! Look!

DUMBCAT! It’s too EARLY for pettings and cuddlings. I KNOW you’re so so excited to see me awake so our day can start but I have to get ready for work now.

DUMBCAT YOU HAVE GOT TO GET OUT FROM UNDER MY FEET. I’m going to trip and fall and die and then who’s going to feed you and give you Pounce treats? I cannot do that if I’m dead, buddy-boy.

Mom mom MOMMMM can I have ‘em can I can I MOMMMMUH.

Whoa I have a lot of tweets and emails and Facebook messages. Sorry, world, I had to go to bed at 9pm. I KNOW. The sun had barely gone down yet. It was kind of an adventure. Also, I didn’t sleep correctly. My whole neck feels stretchy. Like one of those ladies in other countries who wear those rings around their neck to make them all tall. I don’t think I did that last night. But who knows, I’ve been known to sleepwalk before. I have NOT been known to sleep-neck-stretch, but anything’s possible, I suppose. Night is DAY! Black is WHITE! Up is DOWN!

She looks pretty calm. Me, I’m all neck-ouchy.

I JUST GOT TOOTHPASTE IN MY EYE. Who gets toothpaste in one’s EYE? Am I 3 years old and just learning to brush my teeth with special toothpaste and a special brush? OUCH OUCH OUCHHHHH.

I now have one bright-red eye and one normal-human eye so THAT doesn’t at all make me look like a weirdo or half a stoner.

DUMBCAT STOP YOWLING AT THE BATHROOM DOOR. I’m in here! I’m in here, buddy! Here I am! Oh, ok, I opened the door, you jumped five feet in the air and ran away, because that’s what you do when you want to get in somewhere and someone opens the door. YOU ARE SO WEIRD AT 5:30 am, bub. Well, weirdER. You are weirdER.

OK, now I have one eye that’s red and one eye that’s normal and one eye that I’ve inexplicably put a TON of eyeshadow on and one where there isn’t as much but it’s all crooked. Huh. I kind of look like a crazy bag lady right now. Like the lady at the bus stop you’d avoid because you know she’d start shouting at you about tinfoil hats, the evils of dungarees, and wearing shoes as gloves.

ME TODAY.

Ugh, the sun STILL IS NOT UP. Come on, sun, if I have to be up, you do, too. DUMBCAT GET OUT OF THE POTS AND PANS CUPBOARD. I live here. I LIVE HERE. I’m not a different person just because it’s so early in the morning.

These are not the same colored socks. One of these socks is white and one is cream-colored with spots. You know what? These pants are kind of super-long. I don’t so much care enough to change them. Bending all the way down there is a LOT of work. Mismatched socks are kind of cool, right? Remember you knew that one girl who wore them mismatched on purpose? Because she was artsy? Pretend you’re artsy today. That’ll be fine. JUST FINE.

Well, mine weren’t THIS bad.

Really? I’m going to eat breakfast before the sun is even up? That seems like it’s tempting fate. Isn’t that what turned the adorable Mogwai into evil gremlins? ZOMG I’M GOING TO TURN INTO A GREMLIN. I already have CRAZYFACE and I have INSANE SOCKS and now I’m going to be a GREMLIN. This day is NOT starting out well. Not at ALL.

OK, I have got to eat breakfast. Even if it turns me into a gremlin. I guess I’ll risk it. I’ll eat a banana. That might counteract the gremlining.

I’m gonna eat some breakfast. Look out, Gizmo.

ZOMG DUMBCAT. You are now under the couch making noises like singing. Also odd chuckling noises. I think YOU might be a gremlin. What are you DOING under there? Did you find some catnip or something? Oh, now we’re going to attack my feet when I walk by. That’s fun. That’s super-duper funtimes. Thanks, bud. I’m actually looking forward to getting to work where I will not be attacked by a yowly couch-gremlin whenever I walk.

THE SUN IS NOT UP YEEEETTTT.

You know, it’s days like this when I really miss coffee. Nice, hot coffee. With lots of cream and sugar. And that nice, swirly caffeine buzz. SIGH. I do not miss the headaches, though. Speaking of which: I woke up at 2am with the SAME STUPID HEADACHE FROM TWO DAYS AGO. How is that even a thing? So I stumbled around and I gulped down some aspirin with my eyes kind of half-open and half-closed and got a wee bit more sleep and it was mostly gone when I woke up. Dear headaches! Stop it. I’m only supposed to get one or two a month and I got two this WEEK. UNFAIR UNFAIR! Ooh, maybe when I do this again at the end of the week (UGH I KNOW THIS WEEK IS GOING TO KILL ME) I will have some nice tea which will not kill me, and also make me a little bit more awake. PLAN MADE.

Dumbcat. DUMBCAT. What are you…you are not ALLOWED on the TOASTER OVEN. Why are you on the toaster oven, exactly? You’re going to get FUR in it. I don’t want FUR in my TOAST. Seriously, do you always have the flim-flams at this time of the morning?

THE SUN CAME UP THE SUN CAME UP!! But it’s raining so I didn’t even get to see the pretty sunrise that people say such nice things about. UGH. This is TERRIBLE.

Alright. I am now HEADING TO WORK. At 6:30am. IN THE MORNING. My God have mercy on my SOUL.

(SIDE NOTE: totally survived it. Don’t recommend it to anyone with a pulse, though. GOOD GRACIOUS, a 7am shift is early. WHOO! You know how some people are better at nights than mornings? I’m one of those times a MILLION.)


If I were King of the Forest (not queen, not duke, not prince)

Back to work tomorrow! Many many long days ahead this week. My part-time job has been kind enough to give me some hours this week so I don’t get evicted and also so I can buy some groceries. I like to eat. You know, sometimes. When I’m hungry. That’s nice, eating when one’s hungry. So I have a long week ahead of me. The shifts I’m working are earllllly. Like, 7am early. Which is nice, in that I’ll be done with my day early, but that means I have to get up at FIVE A.M. Five! That is VERY EARLY, you guys. That means I have to try to get to bed around NINE. Is the sun even DOWN at nine? Guess we’ll see starting tonight! Also, people call the answering service at 7am? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? You should be ASLEEP at 7am. Or at least getting ready for work. Assuming you’re one of those employed people I’ve read about on the interwebs.

Look what I’ll get to see tomorrow! These things happen, or so I’m told!

Anyway, you will not be seeing me much round the internetty parts for a while. I’ll be working, running home, writing one of these, and going to bed. Probably until I get hired for a real job. Such is the GLAMOROUS LIFE I LEAD TA-DAH TA-DAHHH!

In news of scariness, I recently found out that some acquaintances of mine were also let go and can’t find jobs anywhere and they are a LOT more qualified for things than I am. And also nicer. And less mouthy. So, yikes. ANYWAY, mucho thanks to my part-time job which for the time being is my full-time job, because it is being a lifesaver. I really don’t want to be evicted. Where would I put my things? And my Dumbcat?

This may be me in the not-too-distant-future. Without the Blu-blocker sunglasses, of course.

Today in news of the embarrassing, I did a VERY SMART THING. So it was garbage-and-laundry day. So I cleaned up all the messiness and I put it all in bags. And it was empty-the-cat-litter day. Sometimes it’s empty ALL the cat-litter day and not just spot-clean the cat litter day. So I had one large bag of cat litter. Soiled cat litter. (Luckily, not very soiled. I’d cleaned it a couple days ago and Dumbcat is not very messy.) So I was going down the stairs with one HUGE HEAVY bag of soiled cat litter and one bag of garbage and keys and a note from my front desk that I had a package waiting for me and that’s a lot of things.

GARBAGE DAY! I didn’t have THIS much garbage. Only SORT OF this much.

So I got outside, and locked the door (because KILLERS) and walked to the car and got halfway there and looked down and what’s this? A TRAIL OF CAT LITTER. Yep. At some point, the bag sprang a leak and I left a trail of cat litter across the sidewalk, lawn, and parking lot. VERY CLASSY AMY! So I had to kneel down and perform emergency garbage-bag surgery in the parking lot and tie that corner up in a little knot and PRAY it would hold so I didn’t get litter all in my car trunk because EW.

Luckily, upon investigation, I didn’t spring a leak until the sidewalk, so the inside of my house doesn’t have a trail of used litter in it. Which has happened before. You’d think I’d learn. Also, IRONICALLY, these bags are the ones that are supposed to stretch and never break. MISLEADING!

These bags do not flex. And apparently cat litter is too much of a force for them. SIGH.

When I got home from throwing away the stupid leaky bags of garbage I made sure I didn’t look at the trail of cat litter so no one would know it was mine. What, I’m so not sweeping the parking lot, it’s all full of mud anyway. And the sidewalk is dirty, too. Our outdoors is full of outdoors here. If anyone were to say anything about the cat litter I would have been all, “Huh, wonder what happened THERE? THAT IS SO WEIRD!” Also, it’s raining now so hopefully THE SCENE OF THE CRIME is being washed away. Heh.

Dumbcat did not care that I went through all this for him, and when I got home, was merrily pooing in the clean litter like the dorky boy he is. YOU’RE WELCOME DUMBCAT. Enjoy your nice clean litter, bub, it only caused me ALL THE TRAUMA today.

My father is quite convinced that my mother caused Neil Armstrong’s death because the day before he died, she asked Dad, “What do you think of your hero Neil Armstrong being stripped of all his Tour de France medals?” so he thinks she is the reason Neil Armstrong is dead. Also he didn’t like how flippant she was about his friend Lance. Oh, married life, how much fun you seem.

This made me laugh more than it should have. Please tell me it was a joke?

Also, in happier news, my brother made it to Florida safely and was not sucked into the CONE OF UNCERTAINTY. Well, at least his plane wasn’t. I can’t say that he won’t be. He’s going to be there for four or five days, so I suppose anything could happen. I warned my dad about the CONE OF UNCERTAINTY today when we were on the phone and he was all, “Amy, I don’t think that is as scary of a thing as you’re making it out to be,” and I said, “No, Dad! CONE OF UNCERTAINTY!” and he said, “You could make anything into a story, couldn’t you? You’re amazing.” I don’t think “amazing” was a compliment.

Cone! of! Uncertainty!

To prove that my storytelling ability was not something I got from the neighbors, here is a story my dad told me tonight:

“A guy DIED on Saturday! He was walking at ELEVEN PEE EMM on that road we take to get up to camp? You know that road. And he was walking up by that spring where we get water? You know where. No, you do. NO YOU DO. You can get water? At that spring? You know that place. WHY ARE YOU PRETENDING YOU DON’T. Anyway, he was walking RIGHT IN THE ROAD! And a car HIT HIM! And now he is DEAD! Why do you think he was walking right in the road at 11pm in the middle of nowhere? There aren’t even any BARS up there. I think he was eating those hippie mushrooms. I know there aren’t any bars up there but I bet there are a LOT of hippie mushrooms.”

Hee, these are like Mario mushrooms! Power up, dude!

A normal person would have told that story like this:

“Hey, a guy got hit walking in the road up by camp on Saturday. He’s dead.”

Not me! Not me and my dad! WE LIKE FLAVA IN OUR STORIES, YO! However, it entertains me to no end that he gets all “huff huff huff” when I’m telling a story because it’s TOO LONG when he does the same thing ALL THE TIME. I learned it from you, Dad. I LEARNED IT FROM WATCHING YOU.

FINALLY! Before I go to bed because I’m pretty sure it’s bedtime, right? When a person has to get up at 5am? We need to discuss THE ESSEX LION.

Apparently, the British people and police are all in a kerfuffle because someone said “I saw a LION” so they’re searching and searching this town in southern England for a lion, even though there’s no reports of a missing lion, and no heatseeking helicopters can find a lion.

I feel like someone is the boy that cried wolf, here. Or lion. The boy that cried lion. If I went up to a cop here and said, “I saw a lion!” I think the cop would say, “You been drinkin’, ma’am?” No one would LOOK for a lion. What I have learned from this situation is that the British police have a lot more whimsy than the American police. This is probably a good thing. I like the idea of whimsical policemen.

In this article, which was just updated, apparently the search has been called off. THERE IS NO LION, FOLKS. Also, this photo made me laugh. It is supposedly the lion:

LION! Or…um…a blurry cat superimposed over a field. This is HILARIOUS.

This is the best photo ever. This is better than the photo of the couch floating in the loch that people say is the Loch Ness Monster. GIANT KITTEH!

What would a lion even be DOING there? Lions don’t just APPEAR. They are kings of the FOREST! Not kings of SOUTHERN ENGLAND. Oh. Shit. Shit shit SHIT. This is all because of the CONE OF UNCERTAINTY! It totally is! The CONE OF UNCERTAINTY dumped that lioncat there! Oh, man, this is bad. This is majorly bad.

Ooh, look at this one! The CONE of CONCERN! I like the CONE of UNCERTAINTY better.

OK. Here we go to bed. Many phones to be answered tomorrow! Many people that need my help when they call! Have a lovely day! Watch out for CONES OF UNCERTAINTY and GIANT LIONCATS!


And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night…

I don’t have a massive amount of time to write this. A., I am EXHAUSTED, because it was a loooong day of work today. B., for some reason I have one of those headaches that makes you feel like you’re going to vomit all over your shoes whenever you stand or sit or look at things. But I’ve got to blog! Or what will happen? THE WORLD WILL END. Oh, wait, it wouldn’t? Well, I’d still feel majorly guilty. Just because I am working and headachey is NO EXCUSE NONE AT ALL.

OUCH OUCH OUCH

I had an exciting phone call that might turn into something even MORE exciting in the next couple of months tonight, but until it’s for sure and settled that’s all I can say. Just that it’s very exciting, and I did a happy dance when I got off the phone, and it’s something I’ve always wanted but never thought was a possibility. No, it wasn’t someone calling to hire me for an awesome full-time job with benefits. Don’t get THAT excited. Someday soon, maybe. Keep those fingers crossed. Anyway, the top-secrety thing is VERY EXCITING and as soon as it’s a guarantee and not just a maybe (oh, how I want it to be a yes and not just a maybe!) I will tell you all about it. With many all-caps and ZOMGs. Promise. It’s a fun and good thing and perfect for me and I haven’t stopped smiling since I got the call tonight.

In news of the weather, Hurricane Isaac is a’comin’! All rockin’ and rollin’ up the east coast of the States. My weatherlady (she of the increasingly tighter and shorter dresses, which is just confusing…it’s like she thinks she’s a Fox News anchorlady) is just frothing at the mouth over the weather pattern down south. My favorite thing she said yesterday was that we were working with a “cone of uncertainty.” CONE OF UNCERTAINTY! It’s like the Cone of Shame pets have to wear home from the vet. Do not wander into the CONE OF UNCERTAINTY! Or you will be sure to meet UNENDING DOOM! (Yes, yes, I’ve been saying cone of uncertainty repeatedly for two days in a very film-preview-announcer voice. It’s been cracking me up incessantly. I am easily amused all alone in my house.)

CONE OF UNCERTAINTY! I’m uncertain just looking at this, aren’t you?

In more LOCAL hurricane news, my brother is getting on a plane for Florida tomorrow. Yes, I realize you’re all reading this TUESDAY. Sorry. I can’t write posts the day-of, I’m not a newspaperlady. Anyway, my brother, in his infinite wisdom, has a plane ticket for Florida for the day the storm’s supposed to come in. That seems ill-advised to me. My dad isn’t even sure the plane’s going to take off and everyone’s all in a tizzy in Amy’s-family-land. But apparently once you have plane tickets it’s not like you can exchange them for a better date without paying some sort of insane fee or something, so he’s stuck with the plane tickets of DEATH flying straight into the CONE OF UNCERTAINTY and this is all very worrisome. So send out belated good thoughts for my little brother who is defying death tomorrow. Bad news, little brother! You should stay home where we don’t have kooky hurricanes!

Also, it’s upsetting the Republicans, because they’re having their convention in Florida this week, and because of Isaac, they’ve had to change plans around, and the major networks have said they’re not going to show the convention (I’m not really sure why…maybe because it would be a shouty snoozefest?) and they are SO MAD. What does Amy’s dad think of all this? Well, if I asked him (I haven’t, do you think I WANT to get in an argument with him? We haven’t discussed politics in MONTHS) he’d say “That hurricane is a GOVERNMENT CONSPIRACY.” I think he’d probably say Gore sent it. He thinks Gore is in charge of the weather. Only when it’s bad, though. When it’s nice weather, he thinks Fox News sent it.

See? Look at this photo. It’s like he’s the MASTER of weather!

In news of GERMANY, and also ANIMALS, two things I like very much, thank you, we have another story of hijinks at a German zoo. I’m beginning to distrust German zoos, you guys. BFF has alerted me to the following story, in which we learn that Cologne, Germany, a tiger ESCAPED FROM ITS PEN and ATE A ZOOKEEPER. I’m exaggerating about the eating part, but the tiger totally killed the zookeeper. BFF wants to know what’s going on at the German zoos. I concur.

This is a terrifying photo. EAT YOUR FACE RIGHT OFF!

“The tiger slipped through a passage between the enclosure and an adjacent storage building, where it fatally attacked the 43-year-old keeper, said police spokesman Stefan Kirchner.” ZOMG SLIPPED. That tiger was wily and worrisome. Like a secretive snake of a tiger. All slipping in passages and waiting for zookeepers and then popping out like jack-in-the-boxes and then mauling and mauling.

Where is the tiger? You can’t SEE him. UNTIL HE EATS YOU.

Then another zookeeper killed the tiger, which is super-sad. I mean, I don’t like killer tigers. Who does? But I also don’t like dead tigers, because I find tigers beautiful and there aren’t enough of them in the world. I want to pet a tiger. I mean, not while it’s eating my face or anything. I’d like to become friends with a zoo veterinarian, and then one day, that zoo veterinarian would have to do some sort of procedure on a tiger. I’m thinking a teeth-cleaning.  (YES, I have VERY DETAILED IMAGINATIONS. What, you don’t? I blame it on the fact that I don’t dream at night. So I do my dreaming during the day.) So anyway, the zoo veterinarian would invite me over and he’d anesthetize the tiger for his procedure. Then, while that tiger is all sleepy, I can PET THAT TIGER. All the pettings! I could feel what the tiger’s fur feels like! I’m thinking rough but also shiny. I would also like to touch that tiger’s paws and claws. I think they would be awesome and powerful. Wouldn’t this be the best? Yes. Yes it would. Where is my zoo veterinarian friend, please?

Here is a tiger vet at the Oregon Zoo. SHE IS HUGGING HIM YO!

Anyway, I did research because I’m getting a little worried about all this zoo-news and Ken’s safety. First, Cologne is about 350 miles away from Ken, so I think the ghost of the murdered tiger will not eat Ken’s face. That’s nice to know, I don’t want ghost-tigers eating my friend’s faces. Then I checked on zoos IN Ken’s city. A BILLION! Ken, there are a billion zoos in your city. Give or take a billion. But there are at least 2 or 3. Why did you not mention this? Do you go to these zoos?

Look what Ken has! Tierpark Hellabrunn!

You have TIERPARKS and you have SEA LIFE PARKS and you have THIS PLACE which I am not 100% sure if it is a pet store or a zoo and also the website makes terrible animal noises when you click on it so don’t you click that at work, my little investigative reporters. You’ll get fired and I can’t have all of YOU being unemployed, too. If I have you all on my conscience, too, my conscience would collapse like a fine soufflé. It’s barely standing on its own as it is. KEN KEN KEN KEN. Why are you not going to tierparks and sea life parks and things that may or may not be pet stores and sending me a million photos? I AM DISAPPOINTED, my German correspondent! Right in your own CITY you have zoos and you have not visited them to tell me all about them! Oh, also, please don’t get eaten by the animals. It seems that German zoos have animals running all willy-nilly lately and that is worrisome. So if you’re walking around your happy city and you see a bear, please don’t attempt to take its photo. RUN AWAY KEN. I know, I KNOW, it would be an AMAZING PHOTO OP. You having all of your body parts would also be awesome. Don’t take photos of wild animals if you see them in your streets, Ken. I MEAN IT.

Except tortoises. You can take photos of the German tierpark tortoises if they are loose in your streets. They will not eat your face, and I know how much you like them.

OK. I’ve got to go to sleep or my head’s going to explode like a waterballoon. No one’d like that, now would they? Nope. Here’s hoping this stupid headache will be gone when I wake up tomorrow. Blergh, headache. YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE.

CONE OF UNCERTAINTYYYYYYY.


Wilted and faded somewhere in Hollywood; I’m glad I came here with your pound of flesh

I need to write a post I don’t have to think too much about today. I’ve been picking up extra hours at my part-time job and will be for the foreseeable future, so I am TIRED, yo. Today was nine hours of craziness. It wouldn’t have been too bad, except all of our computers randomly stopped working for about a two-hour stretch. It was not the most fun. First one system would go down, then another, then our whole office in another state (we have a couple distance offices) went down for a little while, then ANOTHER system would go down, and we kind of got to the point where we were irrationally giggling because what the hell else are you going to do? Luckily, I work with some of the most kickass people in all the land there, so we keep each other sane. Thank you, my wonderful coworkers! You are awesome and I love you. Thank you for not losing your shit when you could easily have done so today.

So, anyway, I decided, what does one do when you need to turn your brain off a little? I have a few hours, then I have to go to bed so I can get up early and do it all over again tomorrow. And, of COURSE, the answer is, CELEBRITY NEWS! What, you don’t look at celebrity news when you want to turn your brain off? You’re a liar, of course you do. OK, maybe SOME of you don’t. I can’t speak for all of you. I think I know at least two of you who don’t care the least little bit about such things.

I actually don’t look at much celebrity news, because there’s very little of it I care about. You know what I don’t care about? Those sparkly-vampire people and who cheated on who (whom? there’s probably supposed to be a whom in there, yeah? I suck at who and whom, don’t even correct me, I don’t care) and who’s sad and who’s moved out and who’s living with Reese Witherspoon while he gets over his bad bad breakup.

BORED NOW.

DO NOT CARE. You silly sparkly-vampire people. Cheat, don’t cheat, whatever, you’re in your early twenties or something, right? When my friends and I were in our early twenties, we were fooling around with anything with a pulse. If that person was in a relationship with someone else, well, that was unfortunate. We also drank a lot. This could explain the whoriness. I can’t even imagine if I was all over the tabloids when I was that age. It would be SO EMBARRASSING. It’d be all walk-of-shamey and makeup all running down my face and vomiting in cabs. Watch out, Lindsay Lohan and Kim Kardashian. (Also, this is a very good example of people GROWING UP and not acting like assholes when they mature. Well, I still sometimes act like an asshole, just not as publicly.)

But sometimes I can’t help but look at celebrity news. Here are examples of things I can’t help but look at:

  • dead people (especially if they were on Celebrity Rehab, shut up, I am a moth to the flame of that damn show)
  • celebrities I like (which are varied and I can’t even explain my attraction)
  • celebrities who are acting like total loonies (I’m looking at YOU, Cruise, also YOU, sugar-tits Gibson)
  • celebrities who wear really wacky clothing and think it’s normal (I’m still totally charmed by everything Bjork does)
  • casting news of almost every book adaptation

And that’s pretty much it. I don’t care about much else. Mostly it bores me. I assume this means I’m broken, because from the number of TMZ-style websites and People-style magazines people LURVE the celebrity news.

Anyway, as long as it falls under one of the categories above, when I’m in a “blergh I need news where I don’t want to THINK” I read some celebrity news. So today, lets’ talk about celebrity news. I promise I’ll try to make it somewhat entertaining. WHAT I SAID I’LL TRY.

First: Lance Armstrong. No, he doesn’t fall under any of the categories above. This one’s an Amy’s-dad story.

Dad: DID YOU HEAR WHAT HAPPENED?
Me: Lots of things happened. Which one are we shouty about?
Dad: Lance. They did it. THEY DID IT.
Me: Lance…Bass? I don’t know what we’re talking about right now.

Are you at all embarrassed this is the first Lance that came to mind when Dad said “Lance?” I am, a little. Shush. Bye, bye, bye.

Dad: YOU ARE UNEMPLOYED.
Me: Yes. Thank you for reinforcing that.
Dad: As an unemployed person, you could watch the news ALL DAY LONG.
Me: Could. Don’t. What Lance are we talking about?
Dad: ARMSTRONG.
Me: Oh, him. OK. What’d they do?
Dad: He stopped fighting the charges. They’re trying to take away his medals.
Me: OK, wait, I’m looking this up now.
Dad: You should already KNOW this.
Me: I was busy today.
Dad: Doing what?
Me: Stuff. LOTS OF STUFF. OK, this says he’s not allowed to cycle anymore, and also they’re definitely taking this medals away. Hee! He can’t cycle anymore. He’s WALKING from now on. EVERYWHERE.

No more medals. Dad does not approve.

Dad: THIS IS NOT A LAUGHING MATTER. THE BASTARDS. You know whose fault this is.
Me: The government?
Dad: Yes. He didn’t do DRUGS. Only LOSERS do drugs.
Me: OK. I don’t know enough about this to make any decisions here.
Dad: You know, you could just believe me when I tell you something.
Me: If I did that, I’d be voting Republican and eating red meat for every meal. No thanks.

Blergh. I hate beef. I know. I’m totally un-Merkan.

Dad: You’d be BETTER OFF. Those things are SMART. Plus, DELICIOUS.
Me: Mmm-hmm.
Dad: Why are you whispering?
Me: What? Random McGurk. I’m not.
Dad: STOP WHISPERING.
Me: Dad. I assure you I am not whispering.
Dad: Here, talk to your mother, your whispering is making me angry.

Then Dad gave the phone to my mother, and she picked up the extension in the other room and we chatted for a little while. Then I heard my dad in the background all “WOMAN WOMAN WOMAN LET ME TALK TO HER WOMAN WOMAN WOMAN” (sometimes he calls my mom that, it’s a thing, don’t ask) and she was all “sigh sigh sigh YOUR DAD WANTS YOU AGAIN.”

Me: What. I’m not even whispering.
Dad: Say some more things.
Me: What? What is WRONG with you today. You are being SO WEIRD. Mom heard me JUST FINE. I think your ears are broken.
Dad: MORE THINGS.
Me: Seriously, did you take that old codeine you have in the medicine cabinet that you’re saving in case there’s an apocalypse? I told you that’s probably expired and will cause brain damage now.

Dad has a whole drawer of old medication. I don’t even know what he’s saving it for. And I’m pretty sure it won’t do what it would have done when it was new anymore, either.

Dad: I FIXED IT!
Me: What the hell?
Dad: You weren’t whispering.
Me: No. No I was not whispering. I never whisper. Even when someone tells me to. I don’t think I’m capable. I’m very loud. You know that.
Dad: It was the PHONE.
Me: The phone was whispering? Is it haunted?

HAUNTED PHOOOOONE!

Dad: No, I was holding it with my face and I turned down the volume with my cheek by accident but I didn’t know it so I thought you were messing with my head.
Me: Yes, because I often pull a long con like whispering for a long period of time so you think you’re losing your hearing.
Dad: But while you were talking to your mother just now, I found the instructions. And at first, they wouldn’t tell me how to turn up the volume, so I almost threw them out the window.

RIGHT OUT THE WINDOW!

Me: RIGHT OUT THE WINDOW. That’d teach ‘em.
Dad: Then I found it! You hit the VOLUME button.
Me: Huh. That’s tricky of them, right? Very misleading.
Dad: So when I told you to keep talking? I was turning up the volume, and listening to see if it made your voice louder! Pretty tricky, right?
Me: Man, Dad. You’re the most tricky. Can’t put one over on you! How’s the volume now?
Dad: GOOD. I can hear you just FINE.
Me: What if I YELL SO LOUD?
Dad: Stop it. I have delicate ear-areas.
Me: Yes. Like a bat.
Dad: I hate bats. Stupid bats. Get in your house and swoop at your head with rabies in their teeth.

I’ve got rabies in my teeth! Someone get me some floss!

Me: Right in their teeth! Right in there.
Dad: I have to go now, because I’m going to read more things in this manual. You can also set how many rings before voice mail picks up! I’m going to change it to FIVE.
Me: Walk on the wild side, dude. Walk on the wild side.

So, there is CELEBRITY NEWS from dad-filters. Dad loves Lance Armstrong. He has Lance’s bracelets and he is Dad’s hero. I have no idea if the guy did drugs or not. I find it hard to believe he passed hundreds of drug tests without failing any, but I know nothing about drugs or testing for drugs, so I’m no expert and I don’t even play one on teevee.

The other celebrity news I read this week that I was all glued to was the news of Prince Harry. Listen! Listen. I LIKE PRINCE HARRY VERY MUCH. Here are my reasons.

Shut up, he is ADORABLE.

  • He is a ginger;
  • He is kind of adorable;
  • He makes funny faces;

    This looks like Harry holding a hedgehog. I like this very much.

  • He is tall;
  • He doesn’t seem to be capable of following the royal rules and regulations;
  • He looked super-hot in his military uniform (shut up, I’m only human, even though he’s young enough that my semi-crush on him makes me feel a little icky);

    I know, right? He could totally invade my country ANY DAMN TIME AT ALL. By country I of course mean my LADYBITS.

  • He seems the most normal-human of the royals, and I like that about him.

So this week, Prince Harry came to Merka, and as you do when you’re an adorable ginger prince who will most likely never be king (that has to kind of suck, right? Being that close, but so far? I think I’d act up, too) he partied with Ryan Lochte who is apparently the new Michael Phelps and then played strip billiards and some asshole took a billion naked photos of him and sold them to the gossip magazines. NO, I’m not going to put them in here. Instead, here’s a photo of Harry holding a dog. Were you aware there is a Tumblr called Prince Harry Holding Things? Well, now you are.

AW MY ADORABLE LITTLE PRINCE HARRY! All the naked photos. How embarrassing. You know his grandmother was all, “NO NO NO WE DON’T DO THAT HARRY!” but then my guess is he charmed her into forgiving him because he blushed and apologized and she was all, “I CAN’T STAY MAD AT YOU MY BOY” because shit, he is the CUTEST.

See? Look. She ADORES him.

I don’t know that you could stay mad at Prince Harry for long. He’s like the kid with a frog in his overall pocket and mud all over his shoes but a cowlick and you can’t stay mad because he has a winning smile. I totally dig Prince Harry. I think he’s stubborn and irascible and full of fun. (Except I pretend the time he wore a Nazi uniform didn’t happen. I hate that. That’s the only time I was like, “Prince Harry, I can’t forgive you this one thing, and I will always be a little wary of you since that happened because you were TOTALLY old enough to know that wasn’t ok and you KNOW you weren’t drunk when you put that on, no matter how drunk you got once you got to that party. NAZIS ARE NEVER OK HARRY.”) NO, I am ALSO not showing you Nazi-uniform Harry; instead, here is a photo of Prince Harry shrugging winsomely.

*sigh*

Anyway, Prince Harry was all naked but none of the pictures showed anything good. Not that I looked. OH NO NOT ME. I am PURE AS THE DRIVEN SNOW and NOT AT ALL PERVING OVER A 27-YEAR-OLD. And listen, is that the most pervy? It’s not like he’s young enough to be my kid. He’s only about 10 years younger than I am. Is that terrible? If you think it is, you shush, I don’t want to hear it.

Also, if the only headline you can think of is a variation on “the Crown Jewels” you are not trying hard enough.

What do you think Prince William thinks of these hijinks? My guess is, jealousy. He never got to have hijinks. He was too busy balding (seriously, he used to be so handsome, I am so sad about his decline) and being groomed for eventual kingship. Kingdom? Both. Either. I don’t know. Also, probably he’s all, “that’s my baby brother, what can you do.” As a sister of a baby brother, I can attest you can forgive a baby brother a LOT of things. A LOT, a lot. Baby brothers are kind of magical like that. Even when they are no longer babies and have babies of their own and that baby is named THE NEPHEW and he is made out of rainbows and hugs.

I’ll take the one on the right, please. The one on the left looks too serious and unnaturally aged.

There is your celebrity news! Which was light on both CELEBRITY and NEWS. I’m not good at staying on task.

Now I am going to bed so I can go back to work tomorrow and work MORE HOURS. I know, you’re totally the most impressed with my work ethic, right? Listen, I don’t want to live in a cardboard box under a bridge, that’d be bad news. Dumbcat’d run away and I don’t think wifi works under bridges, yo.

(Title from Hole’s “Celebrity Skin.” You knew that, right? Of course you did.)


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