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Category Archives: comparison

The new kid in town

Moving to a new area (especially after spending over a decade in the last area) there’s a bit of a transitional period. I mean, more than you have to unpack everything and put everything away and figure out where the closest grocery store is. Of course I’ve done that. If I hadn’t, I’d probably have starved to death by now (or tripped over a box in my living room and broken my neck and Dumbcat would have eaten my face.)

I WILL EAT YOUR FAYCE, MOMME.

I WILL EAT YOUR FAYCE, MOMME.

No, it’s more the little things you have to get used to and relearn about your new place before you can feel truly at home there. Those are the things that keep popping up and tripping you up and reminding you that you’re a newbie.

THINGS THAT KEEP CONFUSING AND UPSETTING (AND SOMETIMES DELIGHTING) ME IN MY NEW HOME!

  • Where all the local towns are. I have to ask people at work this ALL! THE! TIME! A lot of my job is sorting towns on this one website by county (we serve a tri-county area, with a few forays into the other surrounding counties) and I have to look up all these towns online to find out where they are, and I’m forever asking my coworkers “OMG WHERE IS COPENHAGEN!” (Side note: Copenhagen is actually a town here, not just a town in Denmark. TRUE FACTS!) And then they explain to be “that’s south of us” or whatever and I have no sense of direction and they have to show it to me on a map and I’m still all “where is north” and then they all laugh at me because I am a freak of nature but also lovable like a stuffed animal made of hugs.

    Also, see Theresa? You pronounce the "h." THE-resa. I have a LOT to learn.

    Also, see Theresa? You pronounce the “h.” THE-resa. I have a LOT to learn.

  • The local news. We have one local news channel (THIS IS OUR COMPETITION! We watch this broadcast in the newsroom at night to make sure we have all of the big stories. And if we had them first, we like to say “WE SCOOPED YOU!” OK, fine, I’m the only one who says that. But I say it with a LOT of enthusiasm.) The local news is fine (they make a lot of typos on their website, which I like to point out and laugh at) except they have this local sports guy who makes me want to light both my eyeballs and eardrums on fire. His name is Busler. I don’t know what his first name is. (The website says it’s Mel.) He looks and talks like Champ from Anchorman. And he does this thing called “Busler’s Beauties” where he narrates sports plays with things like “Uh-oh! Spaghettios!” when someone falls down in a really obnoxious voice. According to my coworkers, who also think he’s got the most annoying voice ever, he’s a very generous guy who raises a lot of money locally for charities, so I suppose I shouldn’t pick on him. But when his segment of the news comes on, I always say “CAN WE TURN OFF THE NEWS NOW?” and coworker R. always says “Oh, yes, SORRY AMY!” because he knows Busler’s Beauties makes me want to stab kittens.
    Doesn't goold old Mel Busler...

    Doesn’t goold old Mel Busler…

    ...look like Champ from "Anchorman?" I totally want the WWNY team to get in a rumble with PBS. I would watch that.

    …look like Champ from “Anchorman?” I totally want the WWNY team to get in a rumble with PBS. I would watch that.

  • The local commercials. This should be a side-note to the last one, because good old Mel Busler does about 3/4 of the local commercials. He’s selling cars and vacations and who even knows what else. Also, there’s this one local commercial where a car company has their kids (grandkids? I don’t even know) do the commercial, and the little girl says “IT’S CRAAAAAZY!” with this weird look to and then away from the camera and the finger-around-her-ear gesture that signifies crazy and it makes me insane so I guess the fact that it MAKES me crazy means it’s working. I’m used to local commercials starring my friends (one of the best parts of being friends with the actors in the area!) so seeing these is jarring and weirdo-times.

    (This one actually isn’t THAT cheesy, but it provides you some local flavor. And now you totally all want frozen yogurt, don’t you? I’ve been to this place. It was a weird time of the day and most of the good flavors were gone but if I go back on another day I’m sure I’ll have better luck with it. There really are a billion toppings.)
  • Local stores and restaurants. FIRST you have to deal with the fact that you miss all of your favorite restaurants (Ala Shanghai – *sniff*) and find NEW favorite restaurants (I’ve found some that will do, but none that I’m crazy about yet. However, I’ve only been here 5 months.) Then you have to find your way amongst new and perplexing stores. There’s a store here called Herb Philipson’s (which seems like kind of a outdoorsy Big Lots? Like, it sells a lot of camo gear, but also random bins of sunscreen? I don’t even know.) I cannot remember the name of Herb Philipson’s to save my life. So whenever I talk about it I call it Harvey Fierstein’s. Dad always says, “IT IS NOT HARVEY FIERSTEIN’S!” So now of COURSE I call it that ALL! THE! TIME! (In this town’s defense, I have to applaud it for its shopping and restaurant choices. We have more shopping and eating venues here than you’d imagine. It’s kind of impressive.)
    It's Herb Philipson's!

    It’s Herb Philipson’s!

    Not Harvey Fierstein's! I AM SHOCKED WITH YOU, AMY!

    Not Harvey Fierstein’s! I AM SHOCKED WITH YOU, AMY!

  • Finding a new local radio station. I had FINALLY found a station I loved in Albany, with a nice mix of alt-folksy-rock and sometimes they’d play Pink, and now I have to start all over again. I’ve found one that randomly plays “Oops I Did It Again” and then five seconds later plays “Pour Some Sugar on Me” so I like that it’s unpredictable, but I need an alternative channel for my Brandi Carlile days. I don’t think we have that here. SIGH SIGH. Yeah, I know, that’s what the music on your phone is for, but I really like not knowing what’s coming up on the radio. It’s like a Magic 8-Ball of music for me. I’m easily amused.
  • Learning all the local lore. In Albany, you had Mayor McCheese, with the most prodigious orange tan (who left office right before I moved away.) Now I have to get used to our NEW mayor, who has a blog and owns a bar and is said to have an eye for the lay-deez. I have to re-learn things like “don’t eat there, because food poisoning” and “this is where the best coffee is” and “don’t trust that, because LIES” and “OMG, that’s the part of town where you’re going to get hooked on heroin, don’t drive there” and “that’s a stabmurderer, don’t slow down, JUST KEEP DRIVING.”
    This is my current mayor. He's nowhere near orange enough to be a mayor.

    This is my current mayor. He’s nowhere near orange enough to be a mayor.

    Right, Former Mayor McCheese?

    Right, Former Mayor McCheese?

I’m sure there are many more, but these are the ones that keep standing out. I say “HELP ME I AM NEW!” over and over at work, and my coworkers, who are sparkly-shiny-wonderful, always help, which is reason number 47 billion and 4 that I love them more than anything. They want me to fit in. I love that about them. (And in return, I tell them stories about my hometown, which is one of the counties we cover now and then, and sometimes I know people we write about because they’re someone I remember from my childhood so I give them the inside scoop and it makes them laugh.)

Until next time, my little chickadees. May you find a radio station that’s always playing your favorite songs and may you visit Harvey Fierstein’s, where I assume they would sell feather boas and FABULOUS false eyelash kits at an amazing discount!

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Are these my only two options?

Before we get started – it is sj’s birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO SJ! You make every day better by being in my life, and I am so grateful to know you and to count you as one of my most favorite people. I hope your day is amazing and your year ahead is the best yet! Everyone be sure to tell sj happy birthday!

Here is a pirate cake for your birthday, sj. ARGHHHHH.

I was talking to a friend the other day, and we were discussing those “would you rather” questions. You know those questions, right? Like, “would you rather eat nothing but sandwiches or popsicles for the whole rest of your life?” (That’s obviously a terrible example, you have to pick sandwiches, if you pick popsicles you would die of malnutrition so there’s really no choice, even though POPSICLES ARE DELICIOUS.) She brought up a good one, that actually is something I’ve thought of before – I’ll talk about it at the end, though, because it’s actually really good, and it’s a good note to end on. 

Anyway, so I was like, huh, I wonder if the interwebs has a million “would you rathers” for me to play with because I’m bored as shit at work today? And the answer is YES THEY DO. So let’s play would you rather today! You can play along. Just see how your answers match up with mine, I guess, I don’t know what the hell. 

Oh, you want rules? What, have you been living under a rock? FINE, the rules are you get a scenario and you have to pick one or the other. You can’t say “neither.” You can have time to think about it and you can puzzle it out or whatever, but there’s no abstaining. It’s one or the other. You don’t get further options, either. THIS IS IT. Them’s the rules, buckaroo, I didn’t make ‘em. Everyone knows the rules of would you rather. I guess maybe dirty hippies don’t, I don’t know. Maybe you’re a dirty hippie, I don’t know your life. 

Here, we’ll warm up with an easy one. 

Would you rather give up your computer forever or your TV forever? 

Duh, you obviously pick your TV. Because with your computer, you can watch all your programs via Hulu or pirating (arr) or whatever, but unless you’ve got that fancy-expensive (and seemingly difficult to use) Web TV garbage, you can’t surf the web on your television. 

All warmed up? Good.  

Would you rather always have to say everything on your mind or never speak again? 

Never speak again. I’d be fine with that. This doesn’t say I can’t type, so I could still blog/email/Twitter, so I could still communicate. Plus, no one wants to hear everything that’s on my mind. NO ONE. Trust me on that. There’s a lot of shit in there that needs to stay where it belongs. Locked down. Tight tight tight. Key thrown away. I’m not even kidding. It’s a dark and twisty place, that brain of mine. My SECRETS even have secrets. 

Would you rather be able to hear any conversation or take back anything you say? 

I’ll take takebacksies. Because I don’t want to hear any conversation. I’m a big proponent of “this is not my business.” And if it’s not my business, I butt right the hell out. I don’t snoop (Facebook stalking DOES NOT COUNT, I mean in real life) and I don’t listen at the cracks and I don’t try to peek at things I’m not supposed to see. Because twice I’ve purposely done that, and both times I found out such terrible things that I was depressed and upset for MONTHS. And who wants to invite things like that into their lives? No one does, that’s who. So I mind my own, and it infuriates me when others don’t mind their own. Privacy is underrated in this world. (I don’t count social media or the internet. It’s your own damn fault if you put something up on the internet. You put it there, that’s there for all to see, dummy.) Also, I say a lot of stupid things. I’d like to take them back, if given the opportunity. 

Would you rather be able to stop time or fly? 

WANT WANT WANT

This reminds me of one of these a boy I used to love (sigh) asked me once. “Tail or wings?” he said. I was all, “whaaa?” and he was like, “you have to choose one, do you choose a tail, or wings?” I obviously chose wings, but he was like, “Nope, tail, because then people know what mood you’re in without asking.” Heh. I just lurved him to bits, that one. Redhead. Southern accent. Swoooon. 

Anyway, in this case, stop time. Because then you could stop time right before accidents, and if you were having a really good time you could prolong it, and if you needed more time to get ready (or, sigh, sleep) you could have it. I don’t care so much about flying, whatever. Birds are assholes and would just peck you and shit on you anyway. 

Would you rather be rich and ugly, or poor and good looking? 

Rich and ugly, OBVS. Who cares what I look like? I’ve got all the money. I can hide all beauty-and-the-beast-style in my mega-library if I want. I don’t give two shits for appearances but I sure would like to be able to pay my bills AND get groceries every month. 

Would you rather be stranded on an island alone or with someone you hate? 

Wilson? Wilson? WILSOONNNNNN!

Alone. I hate people. I’d honestly even choose alone over someone I LIKED, because you’d start to hate someone you liked if you were in constant contact with them with no one else or no technology to be a buffer 24/7/365, I think. So your friendship or romance or whatever would be in the crapper AND you’d be on a desert island (SIDE NOTE one time? I knew this guy who always wrote “desert” as “dessert” so he would have written that sentence “dessert island,” so, hee! and, yum!) so who would you complain to, the palm trees? The seagulls? This island is the worst, I’d rather be alone. 

Would you rather eat a stick of butter or a gallon of ice cream? 

Oh, shit, I just realized – this is a HALF-gallon of ice cream. I take it back. I could barely eat this, I could never eat a gallon of ice cream. Never mind.

Um. People DON’T eat gallons of ice cream? I could totally eat a gallon of ice cream. I mean, I’d have to take breaks in between and like walk around or something, maybe put on a sweater, watch some television, I don’t know, but I don’t even think it would be all that taxing on me.  

Would you rather end hunger or hatred? 

I adore this movie. Does that make me a dirty hippie?

Hatred. Because if you end hatred, then I think people would work harder to end hunger, and both problems would be solved. 

Would you rather find true love or 10 million dollars? 

Twue wuv.

Ugh, this one’s tough. Probably love. I KNOW! Money’s all super-important and shit. But this doesn’t say I have to live like a pauper with my true love, just that I can have either ten million or true love. So probably I can have my true love and live like a normal human, or ten million and…um…random sex with random people, I guess. I take the love. I’m used to not having money, and love would be nice. I know, you’re all surprised I was so squishy on this one. I’m broken, but I still would like to fall in love someday, come on, people. 

Would you rather have a kangaroo or koala as your pet? 

So sleepy, aw! Dumbcat would love him.

A koala. I know they’re supposed to be all vicious (or is that pandas? I forget), but at least they’re small. Kangaroos are bigger and where would you keep it? I have a very small apartment. I could keep a koala under my bathroom vanity if I wanted. A kangaroo would need like a pen or a backyard or some such nonsense. I don’t have those things. 

Would you rather forget who you were or who everyone else was? 

This doesn’t make a lot of sense. I assume, by the wording, if I forget who I am, I know who everyone else is? That doesn’t logically compute, because if I know who everyone else is, don’t I know who they are in relation to me? Or am I just like, “That is Bob, he is a man who lives on Main Street and has three daughters HOW DO I KNOW THIS????” And if I forget who everyone else is, and they know who I am, they could talk to me and we could, I assume, start our friendship all over again, right? Are the memories I made with those people gone? So is my life like a void? Good gracious. 

I’m going to have to say, forgetting who everyone else is is probably the better option, because then I can at least function, and the people who are worthwhile would stick it out with me and would still be amnesiac-me’s friend. I think. The people who had friend-ADD would be like, “BORED NOW” and take off. So I guess I’d know who my real friends are? 

Oh, yeah, back to the beginning LIKE A FULL CIRCLE. Who says I can’t write. So the “would you rather” that started this whole thing was this: let’s say you have a daughter. Your daughter can be one of two things: a terrible bully, or terribly bullied. Which do you choose?  

It’s actually come to mind for me before, because it’s on my list of “reasons I’d be a terrible parent.” I couldn’t imagine parenting a girl for this very reason. If she came home bullied, I’d at least have the tools in my skillset to help her deal with that, even if it killed me to watch her go through that. But if she came home a bully? How would I deal with that? I have no idea. It would be like living with the enemy. I don’t know how I’d be able to handle it. 

But to answer the question. First, I was like, of course I think I’d choose to parent the bully. As painful as it would be for me, at least I wouldn’t have a child who was going through what I went through. So I was all, I saved my hypothetical child! Then I thought, NO, I am damning OTHER hypothetical children to being bullied by my child. Multiple hypothetical children! That is worse! That is so much worse! But if I was the parent of a bully, could I maybe make her stop? Could I get her help, counseling, teach her that it wasn’t ok? 

My final answer, with apologies to my hypothetical and no no no never female offspring, is that I choose to parent the bullied child. At least I know how to deal with that, and at least I’m not foisting a bully off onto the populace to crush other children’s spirits. Sorry, non-existent hypothetical child, for wishing pain upon you. It’s for the greater good. I martyred you before I even had you. 

Shit, I totally want popsicles now, even though they’re not nutritionally sound. DAMN YOU POWER OF SUGGESTION.


Also, sticks, stones, AND names are all hurtful, you jackoff.

Do you remember a while ago (a LONG while ago, good grief, how the time has flown, I was almost a whole other person then!) we were talking about adages and idioms and platitudes and proverbs and we learned that they are mostly really, really stupid?

Well, today, I was thinking, huh, this has been a day of stupid. We decided at work it was because of the full moon. That brings out the crazy. I know, I know, you’re all, “that’s just a fallacy!” NOPE. You try answering phones on the day of a full moon. Or working retail. Or working in an emergency room. And you tell me it’s not the truth. I’ll laugh right in your scoffy-scoff face, I will.

And as I was leaving, I told one of my coworkers “good luck,” and she said, “Can’t get any worse, right?” and I said, “Well, no, it totally can, and probably will, let’s be honest,” and she looked at me like I killed her puppy. SHIT. I am totally not supposed to say the things I think of, am I. I’m supposed to play the game and be all, “Right! It’s always darkest before the dawn of the days of our lives!” or something. I would be the shittiest cheerleader. And I’d look RIDICULOUS in those skirts.

So let’s talk, again, about some more of these ridiculous things. And, as an added fun bonus, if you make it ALL THE WAY TO THE END, my little cherry pies, I found some that were INSANE. I know! Are you so excited? You should be.

Let's do this. Let's start doing this.

It’s not you, it’s me

What this is supposed to mean: “You’re not to blame; I’m the asshole.” 

What this really means: “I want out of this relationship, like, yesterday, but I don’t want you to be sad. So I’m going to say the STUPIDEST THING TO EVER COME OUT OF ANOTHER HUMAN’S MOUTHHOLE to attempt to save your precious special snowflake feelings.”

Listen, we’ve all been in a shitty relationship we wanted out of. And we’ve probably all said this, at one point or another. I know I have. I can think of two situations when I did. Once when the guy was planning our wedding before we’d even gone on a date and once when the guy was just not at all physically attractive to me and I didn’t know how else to get out of the situation because the thought of kissing him made me alternately sad and worried.

But it’s never really true, is it? I mean, sure. Maybe it’s MOSTLY you. But also, let’s be honest, it’s also them. You’re not the only one in the relationship. There are two of you. And the other person is, to some extent, to blame for the end of the relationship. Even if they don’t know it. Sorry, other person. But sometimes people don’t click. So, yeah. It IS you. It’s totally at least a little bit you. Sorry.

A better substitute: “It’s you. And it’s me. And it’s us, no longer together. Sorry. Please let go of my arm. And blow your nose, that’s so gross, sniffly.”

What if you COULDN'T have this? That would be a crime. A CAKE crime. That's the worst kind, no joke.

You can’t have your cake and eat it, too

What this is supposed to mean: “You can’t have it both ways.” 

What this really means: “Why are you messing with CAKE? Obviously someone didn’t tell you that cake is SACROSANCT.”

OK, I have never, ever, EVER understood this nonsense. You can’t have your cake and also eat your cake. WHAT? Yes you can. That is foolish. You can have your cake. There’s your cake! Your delicious cake! And then you put that cake in your mouth. And it is delicious and tastes of the most delicious cake. SO EFFING DELICIOUS. What kind of horrible tempter gives you cake, then doesn’t allow you to eat that damn cake? Like, the devil would do something along those lines. That is a devil-like thing to do to someone. Just wrong and evil and wrong. DO NOT MESS WITH MY CAKE DEVIL.

A better substitute: “You can not only have your cake, you can nom on that cake. You can nom on that cake ALL DAMN DAY LONG.”

Yep. More like it.

Good things come to those who wait

What this is supposed to mean: “Be patient, and you will be rewarded.”

What this really means: “Shut up, sit in your corner, and you’ll get EXACTLY what you deserve.”

We’ve all heard this one, right? Often when you’re being told to be patient while everyone around you is getting and grabbing and holding onto the brass rings in life and you’re all, where’s mine? WHERE IS MY BRASS RIIINNGGGG? But those brass-ringy people are all, just sit down, wait your turn, it’ll come to you.

Let me tell you a story. I good-things-waited for my whole life. And the good things? They didn’t come. But once I got proactive? THE GOOD THINGS CAME. Because I put myself out there and I REACHED for the good things. And did I, and do I, get ALL the good things? No. But most? Yes. Yes, I do. Because I work hard for them and I TRY for them.

Stop sitting around and get off your ass and start grabbing for your good things. You’ll be glad you did.

A better substitute: “The only thing that comes to those who wait are bedsores. And also bitterness. And anger. GET OFF YOUR ASS.”

Oh, this is the worst. THE WORST. It needs to be on a t-shirt, so I can burn that t-shirt. Also, what is up with that flower? It looks DEFORMED.

A friend in need is a friend indeed

What this is supposed to mean: “…” (I don’t know. IT’S TOO DAMN CONFUSING.)

What this really means: “Your real friends are only your friends when either you or they are needy? Maybe? SO CONFUSED.”

This has always confused the shit out of me. Who’s the friend? You or them? Who’s in need? You or them? Is it supposed to be this vague? Why is it worded so poorly? If it’s YOU that’s in need, shouldn’t it say, “A friend who helps when you’re in need is a friend indeed?” Or if it’s the friend that’s in need, shouldn’t it say, “A friend in need is a pain in the ass?” I’M KIDDING CALM DOWN. I love helping my friends. LOVE LOVE LOVE. It’s one of my favorite things to do, actually. Shh, don’t tell a soul, I’ll lose my rep as a badass.

And is the friend only your friend WHEN they’re in need? That’s shitty. A friend should be a friend all the time, in good OR bad times. I hate this one. It makes me stabby. Mostly because I love my friends. And I don’t like to ever think of them in need of anything. Now I want to bake them all some cookies in case that’s what they’re in need of.

A better substitute: A friend in need is someone you should help without question. They should return the favor. If it isn’t working like that, maybe re-evaluate what’s going on there. And possibly punch that friend in the head twice.

Heh. Yep.

It’s like comparing apples and oranges.

What these are supposed to mean: “It’s like comparing two things that could not be MORE UNLIKE ONE ANOTHER!!!”

What this really means: “I don’t understand how comparisons work.”

When people say this I want to punch them in the face with one of those giant Q-Tips from American Gladiators.

THEY ARE BOTH FRUIT. Also, they’re both vaguely round; they’re both edible; they both grow on trees; they’re both portable; they’re both something you can easily throw at someone; and they both smell good.

They have more similarities than differences. Why the hell is this such a ubiquitous phrase? Shouldn’t it compare two things that are COMPLETELY different? Circus tents and gravel? Rotting fish and pigeon feathers? I mean, I just came up with those on the fly, I’m sure others could do better.

A better substitute: “It’s like comparing tigers and hotels.”

OK, now for the insane ones. I found these on this weird website with lots of odd phrases from foreign locales and climes.

Ready? I’ve been waiting forever to share these, I’m so excited.

Don't you even poke me, you've only known THE MAN for three years.

“You may poke a man’s fire after you’ve known him for seven years.”

Hee! I love this one because it’s totally a euphemism, if you want it to be. And I usually do. I’m looking forward to knowing some people for seven years so I can POKE their FIRES. If you KNOW what I MEAN. Heh heh.

But let’s pretend it’s NOT a euphemism. Is it really telling you that you’re not allowed to poke a man’s fire until you’ve been friends for seven years? Why seven years? What an arbitrary number. And why is this man so proprietary about his fire? Is a fire so sacred?

This has had me giggling all night long, seriously.

Apparently this is totally a thing. SO WEIRD.

“Better to wear out shoes than sheets.”

Um. What?

If you wear out shoes, you’re…what, walking? Running? Hiking?

If you wear out sheets, you’re…um…well, I guess you could be sleeping. But probably, let’s be frank, you’re engaging in the other activity that takes place in a bed, right? NO NOT CROCHETING. Having all the sex.

So, it’s BETTER to walk or run or hike than screw like a happy bunny?

I’m honestly befuddled here. I don’t know what to even think about this one. The internet says it means “get out of bed and get to work.” I think that’s stupid. What do you all think?

And and and AND. My FAVORITE. From Germany! So you know it’s good.

“In American, half an hour equals forty minutes.”

What? Is Germany accusing us of being slow? What does this mean? KEN KEN KEN KEN why is Germany accusing us of being so slow? I thought maybe it was the opposite and that other countries think we’re all crazy fast and spastic. Now I’m desperate to know about this slow reputation we seem to have.

Ooh, maybe we’re like Slow Donnie and we’re slow in a GOOD way. Oh, that’s the take I’m going with on this one. We’re totally slow in a good way.

(The whole clip is the best thing ever, but skip to 2:18 to see how we’re slow in a good way, if you’re in a time-crunch. Or just a jerk, I guess. WHY DO YOU HATE DAVID CROSS.)

I guess these last few phrases are good; they show America doesn’t corner the market on foolishness. But the exotic foreign foolishness seems fancier somehow. SIGH. When am I going to foreign locales in order to listen to awesome adages and such?

Happy Sunday, people of the world. Stop being silly. Say what you mean. Thanks so much. I don’t want to have to come back here six months from now and take you all to task again. Who KNOWS where my mind would be six months from now. I might be a CIRCUS PERFORMER then. Or a HORSE TRAINER. You never really know, life’s a funny thing with the twists and turns.


Ice Weddings vs. Ghost Dogs: a very serious decision to make.

Well, in a very exciting move for people who like things that are EXCITING, our resident Science Fellow, Andreas, is up and moving his family to a WHOLE NEW COUNTRY next month. Aren’t you totally the most excited about this? He seems to be under the impression that probably most of the internet doesn’t find this in the least bit interesting. I BEG TO DIFFER, ANDREAS. Moving? To a new COUNTRY? That is TOTALLY exciting! I mean, it’s not like you’re moving into your mom’s BASEMENT across TOWN because you got laid OFF because you showed up at work HIGH or something. That wouldn’t be exciting. I wouldn’t have the least bit of interest in THAT. But this! THIS is exciting!

Oh, shit, we probably need his graphic. I keep forgetting that.

OK, so since this is TOTALLY the MOST EXCITING, I thought we should probably do a little background into this, so we can all get the most pumped with Andreas. Oh, don’t get me wrong. ANDREAS is TOTALLY pumped. But I think we ALL should be pumped. MOVING TO A NEW COUNTRYYYYYY! Come on, that’s really noteworthy, you guys.

So! Currently, Andreas lives HERE.

Does anyone notice the thing on this map that made me laugh so hard I totally spit lemonade on my computer desk?

THERE IS A CITY ON THE ISLAND WHERE ANDREAS CURRENTLY LIVES NAMED AFTER HIM.

I think he’s had a successful run there. I mean, they NAMED a damn CITY after him.

This is the Isle of Man. Do not call it England. People who live there do not like that. They also do not like to be called British. They are Manx. When Andreas told me that, I said, “Like the CATS?” and he said, “Yes. Just like the cats.” I like to imagine he said it with a long-suffering sigh. I think a lot of my friends receive my more bizarre conversational salvos with kind of a long-suffering “Oh, it’s AMY, what are you going to do, her brain’s wired a little differently than you’d expect.”

Andreas will be moving to:

Ta da ta DA! FINLAND! Which you all know I like to pronounce obnoxiously. Like Fin-LAYND. Andreas listened to my pronunciation a few weeks ago and said it was alright that I did that. I trust his judgement. He is Finnish, after all. Who else are you going to trust in these matters? So I’m kind of excited, because next month I can say, “My friend Andreas, who lives in FinLAYND” and it’s TRUE, unlike the months I was saying it and he actually didn’t even live there and it was a thing I’d made up in my head when I first knew him.

So then I thought, you know what would be awesome? I think we should probably compare and contrast some important things about the two places. That way, we can see what Andreas is leaving BEHIND and what he’s moving TO. And we can SCORE the two places. Won’t that be fun? Because I don’t know if it’s a good idea for Andreas to just willy-nilly move somewhere that can’t even win a simple compare-and-contrast competition on some weird chick’s blog. MAN do I hope FinLAYND wins, I really have my heart set on this.

Ready? Oh, isn’t this going to be the most fun? I’m pretty sure it is. I’m not sure if Andreas thinks it is. Luckily, as I type this, he is ASLEEP. Also, he kind of already gave me permission to geek out all over his move, and if I’m given permission I’m totally tracking mud all over your nice new carpet. It’s your own damn fault. Be more SELECTIVE next time.

First, let’s compare the flags of the two nations, which Jim helpfully pointed out a few weeks ago.

This is the Finnish flag. Isn’t that nice? It’s very restful. It makes me think the Finns know what they’re doing, and also would be calming about it.

This is the flag of the Isle of Man and I have to be honest, it scares the beejeebers out of me because it reminds me of THIS:

Right? It’s like one of those composite dolls the creepy neighbor future serial killer made in Toy Story. I don’t know what’s up with those legs and no head and such.

The internet tells me the flag of the Isle of Man is known as “three legs” and is based on a 13th century Manx coat of arms. It gives me the willies. I’d imagine that chasing me all around all the time.

POINT: FINLAND.

Now: coats of arms.

Here is the coat of arms of Finland:

This is nice! There is a scary lion with his tongue sticking out all ruffian-like, and swords, I do so like swords. And I like the color scheme. Nice job, Finland.

And the coat of arms of the Isle of Man:

See, I would TOTALLY dig this one, if not for that creepy leg-monster! I like the FALCON and I like the RAVEN (which some random website tells me are named Dexter and Sinister, how kooky and fun is THAT?) and I like the fancy CROWN and I like the nice WORDS underneath it which the internet tells me means “whichever way you throw me, I will stand” (UGH! That totally refers to those CRAZY CREEPY LEGS! I mean, I like it, it’s really motivational, until you think about those LEGS being THROWN at you and they’re all STANDING and then HOPPING toward you. This is nightmarish.)

POINT: It’s a draw. I like falcons so very, very much. But those legs make me unable to give this win to the Isle of Man. And that lion with his crazy tongue make me laugh. NO ONE GETS POINTS AND NO ONE LOSES ANY.)

Now, the FUN stuff. Shit, who are we kidding, it’s all fun stuff.

The mythology of the Isle of Man:

  • The island was ruled by a Celtic Sea God (sea gods are always awesome)
  • There is a ghostly black dog called “Moddey Dhoo” who wanders through a castle (castles and ghost dogs? excellent)
  • There is a fairy bridge that you have to wish the fairies good morning or good afternoon or whatever when you cross it or you will get bad luck
  • Peel Castle, where the most excellent ghost dog lives, is supposedly the Arthurian Avalon. It is also a VIKING CASTLE you guys. And so pretty! Look!

So, what do you have, Finland, hmm? I hope you’re up to this challenge.

Finland has:

  • its own WIKIPEDIA page about mythology. Oh, shit, Isle of Man, this isn’t looking good at all. You just had a little SECTION on another PAGE.
  • A whole very exciting creation story about us all being formed out of an exploding waterfowl’s egg (BAM!)
  • An awesomely-named God of Sky and Thunder – ready for this? Ukko. I’d totally worship a god named Ukko. A god named Ukko would GET SHIT TAKEN CARE OF.
  • Some sort of strange bear-issue where “the bear was considered the most sacred of animals, only referred to by euphemisms.” (I included this specifically for Ken. He does enjoy a good euphemism. I’m sure he could come up with some ursine euphemisms, were he called upon to do so.)
  • Ooh, check this, a “sampo,” which was a magical mill that made flour, salt and gold OUT OF THIN AIR. I could use that. I’d like something like that. “My soup is so bland!” “Wait, I HAVE SAMPO! Kachow! Zing!”

POINT: I have to give this to Finland. Only because they REALLY seemed to put a lot more thought into it. Come on, Isle of Man. Step it up.

Everyone’s favorite part of travel: FOOD.

The food of the Isle of Man – well, listen, I’m biased because I hate all the foods. But the national dish seems to be boiled potatoes and herring. I don’t…this sounds terrible. Just so bland and terrible.

They also enjoy chips, cheese, and gravy. I think this is poutine. ANDREAS. Do they enjoy POUTINE on the Isle of Man? I thought that was just a Canadian thing? I have nothing against poutine. It is DELICIOUS. It looks like hell but it’s very, very good.

Seafood is common. Because they are an ISLAND. I like that very much. I could live on seafood.  They also like lamb a lot. I’ve never had lamb, because, aw, lambs. But one time I was trickily tricked into veal and it was delicious. So probably lamb is very good, too. Baby animals are unfortunately quite tasty, even though you want to also cuddle them. It’s quite a conundrum.

Ooh, they also make over 578 TONS of cheese a year. I would like all the seafood and cheese and poutine. Nice job, Isle of Man.

How about YOU, Finland?

Finland has many exotic berries. Here are some: bilberries, lingonberries, cloudberries. These all sound like things you would find at Willie Wonka’s factory, and make me want to try them all immediately. I want fairy-tale berries!

Finnish people love fish. LOVE LOVE LOVE. I can dig that, Finnish people. I ALSO love all the fish. They ALSO love herring. What’s with people in Andreas’s two lands loving herring? I don’t think I’ve ever eaten herring in my life, now all I read about all day is herring, herring, herring.

Also, Wikipedia seems to think the Finnish people pick berries, mushrooms and fish all day long. I think maybe they have jobs, Wikipedia, but it’s a nice mental image. Also, yum, mushrooms. Andreas, will you mail me some delicious Finnish mushrooms if Finland ends up winning this thing?

However, Finland does NOT win my love for the fact that everything I read says “blah blah blah THEY LOVE RYE BREAD” and I’d rather eat the lunchmeat off my hand-area than eat rye bread, so deep does my hatred of rye run. Also, I read this thing that says when times were tight, Finns made bread out of rye and pine bark, and it was not good or easy to slice, but some weirdo dirty hippies are making it again and saying “IT IS GOOD FOR YOU.” Of COURSE they are. Those damn hippies. Don’t eat trees. You are not a beetle.

“The Finnish breakfast traditionally includes a substantial portion of porridge,” says Wikipedia. I like this because of the “substantial” part, and because it makes me think they’re all like the Three Little Bears over there.

Also, if you live in Lapland, Wikipedia says one of the things you’ll be eating is sautéed reindeer. Andreas! Will you be in LAPLAND?

POINT: Shit, I have to say Finland. Mainly because they, again, seemed to try harder. I don’t think the Isle of Man is giving this competition their all, really. Also, look at this: this is a dessert that the internet tells me Finland has to offer.

This is laskiaispulla. Sometimes it has ALMOND filling. Finland, if you end up winning this, I would like a whole shipment of these adorable things, but NOT your pine tree rye bread, please.

Tourist attractions! Yes. Now, Andreas will NO DOUBT want to visit some exciting tourist attractions, and so I had the FORESIGHT to look some up for him.

Were you aware that Lapland – where, as you’ll remember, you will be eating sautéed reindeer, is the HOME of SANTA? It’s true. And you can VISIT his home! It is called Santa Park.

On this utterly confusing website, we find out many things.

Santa’s favorite food is apparently “Mrs Claus Christmas pudding!” (Google Chrome translated this page for me. In a…befuddling way.) “Porridge recipe is very secret, and none other than Mrs. Claus do not know it. The Wizard Elves are, however, revealed one of the secret ingredients of porridge: “What-I-sting-it?” Spice.”

“What-I-sting-it” is my new favorite thing, and I will be saying it on a regular basis. NO, I don’t know what it means. Does that matter? It is AWESOME.

We also learn way more than we want to about Santa:

“Korvatunturi is also home of Santa Claus: for this reason it is not the secret cavities can not Santa Claus in addition to other than Mrs. Claus and elves.”

SANTA’S SECRET CAVITIES EW EW EW.

Also, there are creepy photos like this one:

Yeah, that’s a taxidermied reindeer that Santa’s grinning about.

BUT, best of ALL, you can GET MARRIED THERE!

Look! A spectacular ICE WEDDING! With a CANDLE and also ICE! Andreas, this is really the opportunity of a lifetime. I bet if you got married here Santa and his taxidermied reindeer would come. Think of the photos in your wedding album! NO ONE would have photos like this!

OK, Isle of Man. Time to step it up. What’s your claim to fame?

Well, there is the Mann Cat Sanctuary, where you can see many Manx cats. I’d like that.

Ooh, and the Curraghs Wildlife Park. You KNOW I’m a sucker for animals.

And many fine historical and crafty places. Um. This isn’t looking good, Isle of Man. Finland has ICE WEDDINGS.

POINT: Finland

OK, let’s tally, shall we?

Isle of Man: Um. Zero. Shit, I am so sorry, Isle of Man.

Finland: ALL THE POINTS. Except the one that was a draw where no one got points because they were both fine.

ANDREAS! Congratulations! YOUR MOVE TO FINLAND IS A VERY GOOD CHOICE! Will you take photos of ice weddings and reindeer and fairytale berries for me?

Dear Finland:

Please note that Andreas is one of my favorite humans, and, subsequently, take very good care of him. The Isle of Man attempted to KILL HIM IN A FIRE recently. Well, I suppose that wasn’t the whole ISLAND’S fault, but I think it might have been a factor. Either way, I was utterly distraught at the idea of losing him and totally had the most nervous of nervous stomachs because he makes my life a happier and better place every day. So, Finland, please take the best care of Andreas and his family. OR I WILL COME MELT YOUR ICE WEDDING CHAPEL WITH A MERKAN BLOWTORCH. Then where will Santa keep his taxidermied creeptastic reindeer and secret cavities?

Please feel free to send me mushrooms and cakes with almond filling. Thanks ever so.

Love, Amy.


Because you’re lonely. Because it’s New Year’s Eve. Because you’ve given up.

I saw a lovely movie this weekend. I don’t want to say what it was, because this is going to spoil it. Some of you that follow me on Twitter already know what I saw, though, so sorry for spoiling. Although, it’s not much of a spoiler. I think you knew, five minutes into it, what the final outcome was going to be.

Sorry. I’m getting ahead of myself, here.

I saw a lovely movie this weekend. I laughed, and I cried, and I really enjoyed it. Here, I will link to its IMDb page. Only click if you want to be spoiled. That’s a happy medium, right? Right. Good. It was a really good movie, though, seriously. High recommendation. ALL THE HOT MEN HAPPENED.

It was a romantic comedy, more realistic than most, so I appreciated that. The people weren’t cookie-cutter. Good. Thanks. Appreciated. Some people were assholes. Some people fought. Some situations didn’t end up wrapped in a pretty little bow.

Then, of course, as most of these movies do, the inevitable happened.

The male and female best friends fell madly in love and rode off into the sunset. Well, the proverbial sunset. There was no sunset. But you know what I mean.

Now, I know. I KNOW. This does happen for some people. I don’t know if it was on here I mentioned this before, or on Twitter, or Facebook – somewhere? And I got a few responses from people saying “oh, no, it’ s not a Hollywood falsehood, it really happens, I personally married my best friend because one day I just looked at him and realized he was the one, all along.” I know I talked about this once, many moons ago, back when I was on buggy-as-hell-Blogger. (Speaking of which, last night when I wrote this I updated that post, because Blogger, as always, effed up the formatting. Well, WordPress, because it does that, sent out the link to everyone as if I’d just written it. So, sorry people, who thought I wrote a new post at 9pm last night. It was from July. And sorry if this looks like I’m going where I’ve gone before. It kind of is, and kind of isn’t. I guess it’s expanding upon that post, to some extent. Also, I’m all in a lather. AGAIN. Because of this movie I watched yesterday. And isn’t there a statute of limitations on topics? I blogged about that 8 months ago. I’m allowed to cannibalize it now, right?)

Well, that’s great. I’m glad that works out, sometimes. I really am. I’m just a little more skeptical than that.

I seem to have more male friends than female ones. This is not because I dislike women. The reason is two-fold: one, because I tend to get along with men better, because I’m kind of a tomboy and because I’m kind of totally geeky and because growing up I had very little in the way of strong female role models so I learned most of my social interaction skills from men so I’m more comfortable with them. And two, because I was cruelly bullied from a very young age by a large clique of mean girls at my school (think The Plastics from Mean Girls, only with very tall 80s hair and a lot, lot meaner) so I never quite got over my mistrust of women. I know it’s irrational and I know it’s stupid and I know it’s holding me back. I’m working on it. I really am. I currently have more female friends in my life than I think I’ve had in my entire lifespan combined, if that means anything. I think that indicates growth.

Anyway. More male friends than female ones. I promise I have a point here. The point is this: I don’t fall in love with them. I also don’t turn around one day and say, “ZOMG! There he IS! THE ONE! Whaaaaat? He’s been under my nose all along!” You know why I don’t do this? Because I have NO SQUISHY FEELINGS FOR MY FRIENDS. None. Zip. Zero. Nada.

I love my friends. To the point of distraction, actually. But it’s not romantic love. Is it throw-myself-in-front-of-a-train-for-them love? Yep. Absolutely it is. It takes you a while to get there (except randomly people that jump to the front of the queue, I can’t explain my weird heart or the way it works), but once you’re there, you’re there. And I would throw myself in front of a train for you. I would (ugh, and I hate this) HELP YOU MOVE TO A NEW APARTMENT. I would cat-sit for you. I would babysit for your emo pre-teen. I totally would do these things for you, if I loved you, and you were my friend.

I would NOT take off my clothes and have naked time with you. This is not a thing I would do. No no no. Because it would be, to quote Lorraine from Back to the Future, “Oh ….. I don’t know what it is, but when I’m kissing you, it’s like I’m kissing… my brother.” If I know someone well enough to help them move their porn collection across town or to have nursed them through a hangover or the flu or whatever, I am not immediately switching over to “hey, check out my titties” mode, you know?

Why is this the thing in movies? Is this what we all want? Or, at least, is it what Hollywood THINKS we all want?

Now, listen, I’m not saying people should fall in love with their enemies. Don’t be absurd! Of course you want to fall in love with someone you LIKE, someone you have an affinity toward, someone you have similarities to, etc. Of course you want that. But your best friend? Or at least a close friend? Like in so many movies? I can’t see that working. I just can’t. So why does Hollywood keep doing it? Why do we want to SEE it so badly? Because they wouldn’t keep making these movies if we didn’t want to see it happen.

There’s friend zone, and there’s romantic zone, and never the twain shall meet. No, that’s not true. The twain are meety. You can, and should, be friends with whoever you’re bedding down with. Of course you should! Both before and during the relationship. But best friends for years, then BAM THE SCALES FELL FROM MY EYES and NOW I LOVE HIM OR HER?

Come on, seriously?

Do you know what it seems like to me? Giving up.

Here’s the thing. You already know your best opposite sex friend very well. And he or she knows YOU very well. They know your quirks, the weird things about you that you worry about telling people, the things that you think might make a potential mate go run for the hills. And they still like you. So one day you think, hey, listen, Bob (I made up the name Bob, I don’t know a Bob. Well, no. That’s not true. I know a Bob. I don’t think he knows how to use the internet. That’s safe, then. I can use the name Bob. Sorry, Bob, if I underestimated you and you know how to use the internet. This isn’t about you) knows all my things, and Bob still likes me. And he’s not disgusting-looking. And we’re both single. Maybe Bob and I should give it a go!

NO YOU SHOULD NOT.

Do you value your friendship with Bob? Do you really? Because if you do, DON’T SLEEP WITH BOB. Have you ever heard the saying “don’t shit where you eat?” It’s a SAYING for a REASON.

It’s going to go one of two ways, most likely, except for the very few situations where people told me they did actually marry their pre-romance BFFs. And yay, you guys, I still think the whole thing’s hinky, though. Think about it, those people out there: were you really BFFs? For years? Or did you always have the sneaking suspicion in the back of your mind that you might have a thing for him or her? I’m guessing it’s the latter. I’m looking at the relationships that went from purely platonic to completely coupley right now.

(I know, I know. “AMY! I fell in LOVE with my BEST FRIEND!” Awesome. Actually, I would love to hear from people who DID fall in love with their best friends, because it would make me feel like Hollywood isn’t pulling these movies out of their asses. Also, I like true-life love stories. I like to cry over real things. TELL ME YOUR LOVE STORIES COMMENTERS.)

Here’s the two ways:

1. You sleep with Bob (or Roberta, whatever) and you start a relationship and think THIS IS AWESOME and then the real world crashes in and you realize you were just friends for a REASON. All this together time is INSANE. You don’t even find him or her that ATTRACTIVE. And you always hated the way he or she treated her significant others. And you feel smothered because you know each other so well. So you break up, and not only did you lose your relationship, you lost your BFF. Double suck.

2. You sleep with Bob or Roberta and it is HORRIBLE. You can’t look each other in the eye the next day. You wonder what the hell you were thinking. You’ve lost both your dignity AND your BFF. One and a half sucks.

And, if you think you can just spill your undying love for Bob (or Roberta):

You walk up to Bob or Roberta. You tell them you love them. You’ve always loved them. You will always love them. “Don’t You Forget About Me” plays in your head. Bob or Roberta leans close. This is it. This is your moment.

And Bob or Roberta tells you, nicely, they’ve never felt that way about you, but they treasure your friendship. (I TREASURE YOUR FRIENDSHIP, LISA! Sorry, watched Team America World Police this weekend. HOLY HELL PUPPET SEX SCENE. That is all.) You are embarrassed. You can’t look him or her in the eye ever again. Again, you’ve lost your dignity and your BFF. Also, you eat too much ice cream and emo all over your other friends. This is just totally embarrassing all around. Who looks good with cryface? No one, that’s who.

And, think about it. Are you sure you had romantic feelings for your BFF? Are you SURE? Or were you just tired of being alone, and didn’t want to have to get to know a new person all over again, and this seemed – well, easy? And he’s RIGHT THERE? And he’s cute enough, you know? And you KNOW him. It’s a TIME-SAVER.

We’ve all fallen prey to this, now and then. I know I have, when the Amy you see (fine, the Amy you READ, whatever) before you was a younger, less-wise, more idiotic and starry-eyed Amy. I still feel badly about the guys over the years I’ve decided were “the ones” and then come to find out it was just that I knew them, and it was comfortable, like an old shoe, more so than a romantic thing, and Hollywood duped me into thinking this was the way it was supposed to go and I was tired of being Forever Alone. I thought at the time they broke my heart. Come to find out they were being rational and I was being insane. (What? No, not ME.)

Listen, Hollywood. Enough with the When Harry Met Sally and The Switch and the Zack and Miri Make a Porno and the Some Kind of Wonderful and the Clueless (with the added layer of IT WAS HER BROTHER, EW) and Made of Honor and Reality Bites and movies of this ilk. I’ll give you 13 Going on 30, only because it seemed less forced, and she fell in love with him as an adult, and it was kind of a different situation. Also because Jennifer Garner was so damn cute and Mark Ruffalo was so Ruffalicious.

Do I like to watch them? Oh, shit, yeah, FINE, I’m a sap, I like anything sappy, I love a good cry in a dark movie theater. But I think we can do better. Let’s show it how it really is, once in a while. People falling in love with people who are NOT their best friends. People falling in love with people they meet, randomly, build a NEW friendship with, then a relationship. Can we have that, too? Because that actually would give me more hope than thinking one of my male friends was suddenly going to come up to me all, “Amy, listen, I woke up this morning and thought, I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT YOU.” (Also, KISSING MY BROTHER. And I’d giggle like a crazy person, I wouldn’t be able to help it. Not at all.)

So, movie today? All the men of hotness. But also all the relationship of unrealistic expectations. And that kind of made me cranky. YES FINE it also made me cry. But so do effing M&Ms commercials lately. Me crying is not overly indicative of a hit, let me just tell you right now.

Let’s show things as they actually are? Friends being friends, lovers being lovers, people acting like people? I’d like that a lot. More so as I age. Because apparently the romantic dreamer in me is dwindling away as I get older.

Apparently Allison was right, and when you grow up, your heart dies. Well-played, John Hughes. WELL-PLAYED.


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