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Category Archives: custom

Rites of Spring

Here we are. Sunday! And a lovely Sunday it is. Birds are chirping! The sun is…well, it’s not really shining, but it’s trying to, if the damn clouds would get out of the way. A person barely needs a coat!

I’m going to say it, even though I’m probably risking the wrath of the weather gods in doing so. SPRING HAS SPRUNG, my little chickadees!

I’m so excited about this I can barely sit down for the time it takes in order to write this post. Eh, who am I kidding, I love sitting down.

Spring is my favorite season of them all. I like summer, except I hate heat because who likes to be sweaty unless you’re doing something a little naughty that makes you sweaty? I mean, walking to the car should not make you sweaty. There’s nothing naughty about that. I like fall, except it leads to winter. And I HATE WINTER. I hate snow and I hate cold and I hate wind and I hate ice and I hate heavy coats and boots and hats and all things related to winter. Except hot cocoa. I’m down with hot cocoa.

But spring! Spring is just the best thing. It’s like a gift to us all from nature. The air smells like a promise. Beautiful things start to grow. Trees start to shyly peek green at us. You can open the windows and your place can smell a little less like you’ve been cooped up in it for months and months and a little more like humans ought to live in it. There are mud puddles and sometimes crazy wind and rain storms and it’s all very exciting and very new. I never get tired of spring. I’d live in a year-round spring climate, if there was such a thing somewhere.

They're like a little surprise! A little nature surprise!

I know this year we didn’t really have a winter, so you’d think I wouldn’t be as excited about spring springing, but I totally still am. SO EXCITED! I have got the worst spring fever. Yesterday at work I did NOT want to stay inside. Obviously, that isn’t an option, as we work in a call center. I mean, it’s not like you can move a whole computer and phone setup to the picnic table. But OH how I wanted to try. It was BEAUTIFUL outside. I want a dog all the time, but more so in the spring, so we can go adventuring and smell all the smells and see all the sights. I want to feed the ducks to thank them for coming back for another year. I want to hug strangers. OK, that’s one step too far. I’m not hugging any damn strangers. But I can’t say the thought doesn’t cross my mind. I AM FILLED WITH SPRING FEVER.

I used to love a boy who loved Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. I think I kind of fell in love with him starting with that factoid, honestly. He was writing an epic poem based on the music. Tell me you wouldn’t have fallen in love with a deep, dark, twisty blue-eyed poet writing beautiful words based on an almost century-old musical work. You can’t tell me that, because it would be LIES.

So today I was poking around online, you know, as one does when one lives in the internet, and found a list of things that cultures and religions do to usher in spring. Well! THAT is exciting. Since the spring equinox is Tuesday, we should probably celebrate. Here are some things we can do. Ready? SHUT UP, YES YOU ARE.

In Japan, March 20 is Vernal Equinox Day. It is a NATIONAL HOLIDAY. Are you LISTENING, Merka? Japan gives the FIRST DAY OF SPRING as a NATIONAL DAMN HOLIDAY. I approve, Japan. I highly approve. Let’s see what Japan does on their amazing, springy, day off from work.

Um. They spend the day visiting family graves and holding family reunions.

I take it BACK. Japan! Way to ruin a beautiful spring day. No one wants to fight with Aunt Matilda over how salty her baked beans are while visiting a cemetery on their day off. Day off FAIL. Sigh.

(Apparently, they also take some time to look at the cherry blossoms. OK, I’m a little less down on Vernal Equinox Day now. Because, look!)

Nowruz is the Iranian New Year, celebrated around March 21. The first thing that is done to celebrate Nowruz is a huge spring cleaning. Well, I’m down with spring cleaning. This place has more cat fur in it than you can even imagine. Dumbcat is SHEDDY, you guys. OK, cool, so we’re spring-cleaned. Then what, Nowruz? Then we buy new clothes and a whole bunch of spring flowers. LISTEN. This is awesome! I want to clean my whole house, then dress up all fancy and get some blooms. This is going great so far.

Then people go to visit their friends and neighbors while wearing their fanciest clothing and give each other gifts. WHAT KIND OF AWESOME HOLIDAY IS THIS. Because I totally want in. The best part is? People visit each other “in the form of short house visits.” SHORT house visits. Like, you don’t even have time to get SICK of your visitors! I like this so much, Nowruz. Wikipedia says the visits are half an hour. Awesome, I could totally visit with anyone for half an hour without getting stabby. Also, GIFTS! And “pastry, cookies, fresh and dried fruits and special nuts, tea or sherbet”! I am SO DOWN WITH NOWRUZ.

Look at this fun display! I want some of these things. The lamp makes me laugh, though. HI, LAMP.

In Egypt, the beginning of spring, Sham el-Nessim, ALSO A NATIONAL HOLIDAY, AHEM, MERKA, is celebrated with picnicking in gardens, along the Nile, or in a zoo (OK! Yes, please, Egypt, I want to picnic in a zoo), and a delicious meal of fish, lettuce, onions, beans, and colored eggs is consumed on your delicious zoo-picnic. I like that colored eggs are like a universal sign of spring, don’t you? So cheerful.

Don't Easter eggs totally make you more cheerful? What, they do. It's like a RULE.

Oh, hey, this one’s for Andreas! Look, Andreas, these are your ancestors! According to Wikipedia, there was a Scandinavian “sacrificial holiday” on the Vernal Equinox called Dísablót. I like how they don’t come right out and SAY what that means but if you read between the lines I’m pretty sure it means they were sacrificing people so that they could have better crops. Andreas! What’s going on with this? Apparently, Valkyries and kings with harmonious names like Alfr were involved. And now, instead of sacrificing people, there’s an annual market in Uppsala. Samesies! Hey, I remember Uppsala! They mentioned it in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I think. THIS IS ALL VERY EXCITING. I want to go to a Scandinavian market with roots in a bloody sacrificial holiday! What could I buy there, I wonder? Man, Andreas’s ancestors have ALL the fun. I don’t even know who mine WERE. Grump. Grump.

Look, here's the market. I was going to put in a picture of the "sacrificial holiday" but to be frank they scared the beejeebers out of me.

Oh, shit, and, AND, apparently, there’s a World Storytelling Day around the Vernal Equinox and it started in Sweden. But obviously now it’s WORLD Storytelling Day. Well, THAT’S exciting. I like stories. And telling of stories. This year’s topic? “Trees.” I think I could tell a very exciting story about trees. I don’t think it would be along the lines of what they were looking for, though. It would have more chicanery. And nefariousness. Probably more spies, too. And douchecanoes. Let’s be frank, I’d be kicked out of the conference.

Apparently in Maryland, where I am TOTALLY GOING THIS SUMMER, they have a “burning of the socks” ceremony at the Vernal Equinox every year. The fancy boat people have to wear socks all winter. They don’t like that. So when the spring hits, they burn their socks. Now, listen, Maryland, I am torn about this. A., I hate socks and would walk around sockless for the rest of forever if given the opportunity. Also shoeless. I’m like a damn hippie about not wearing shoes, if given the opportunity. HOWEVER. I love socks. I know, isn’t it ironic, Alanis Morrissette? I have a whole DRAWER of wacky socks. I LOVE wacky socks. I have cat socks and Wallace and Gromit socks and Goonies socks and penguin socks and frog socks and turtle socks. ALL THE SOCKS.

The sheer fact that this popped up when I did a search for it worries me.

So I’m kind of six of one, half a dozen of the other on the sock-burning issue. (SIDE NOTE – I can NOT, for the life of me, get that saying right. I always say, “I’m five percent of one, a dozen of the other on that.” Or something like that. It’s different every time. And my coworkers are all, “You’re WHAT?” and look at me like I’m nuts. I AM NOT GOOD AT THINGS THAT INVOLVE NUMBERS AND METAPHORS AT THE SAME TIME OR SOMETHING. Leave me BE.)

And of course we have the Wiccan celebration of Ostara. Sound like anything you’ve heard of? Anyone? Anyone? YES YOU IN THE BACK. Oh, Easter? Yes, you win a bag of Cadbury Mini-Eggs (what, they’re only the perfect candy.)

The pagan celebration of Ostara, celebrated on the Vernal Equinox, was co-opted into Easter by the Christians, because they had to quick quick like a bunny make all the pagans be Christian, but the pagans didn’t want to give up ALL their holidays! So they just said, here, we’ll pop Christ on the cross around the same date as your Ostara, who knows what time of year that all really happened, it was so long ago, we’ll call it Easter, those sound similar, and hell, we’ll even let you keep your pagan bunnies and eggs and chicks and shit. Are we cool? ARE WE COOL, PAGANS? Because if we’re not, we’ll totally kill you.

And the pagans were all, um, yeah, we’re cool. Guess we’re cool. Guess so.

Ostara is the celebration of the Vernal Equinox. It’s totally joyous. It’s when the Goddess and God reunite. It’s totally a sexy holiday, you guys. It’s a holiday of fertility and reunion and all good things. You know why bunnies and eggs are the symbol of Easter, right? Not because of Jesus. What does Jesus have to do with bunnies and eggs? Nothing. Because SEX, that’s why. Because pagans and sex. Who doesn’t want a sexy holiday filled with sex? Also, Eostre (sounds like Easter, right? Because it IS) is the goddess of fertility. You want to hear about a sexy goddess. She’s one hot mama. Eostre is this voluptuous sensual goddess of fertility and sex. Wherever she steps, she leaves green GRASS and FLOWERS, she’s so damn fertile. Whoo.

I like Ostara. I like Ostara very much.

Did we learn anything today? No, not much. Other than listen, GO OUTSIDE. The air smells like magic. There’s squelchy mud. Flowers are coming up. You can’t be sad, because you can sense something’s coming, something bright and beautiful and shiny and new.

Also, if all else fails, go get some Mini-Eggs. Nothing’s wrong with a little candy-covered chocolate in your mouthhole. NOTHING.

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I’m a lover, not a fighter, and I’m really built for speed

*This is totally an all-over-the-place cussing post. I don’t think anyone cares, honestly? Other than me? But, you know, think of the children. But in case I have one person who’s reading this that DOES care? SO MUCH THE CUSSING. Sorry in advance. Also all the sex. But IT IS ALL IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE! AWESOME SEXY SCIENCE. So, sorry. Also, YOU ARE WELCOME.*

See those horns in the background there? Sneaky fuckers, all.

I am constantly in awe of the people I am lucky enough to know through social media.

Say what you will – that they’re (ahem, DAD) not “real,” that (thanks, MOM) it’s “sad” and I should “get a life,” I have met some of the funniest, most intelligent, most genuinely awesome people through Twitter that you could ever hope to meet.

And this time, they’ve outdone themselves.

The other day, I blogged about Dr. Jaroslav Flegr and how our cats are attempting to kill us, or perhaps control our brains, with poo-borne parasites. Andreas – who, listen, is my sciency friend? I don’t know that I’ve ever had a sciency friend. I LOVE HAVING A SCIENCY FRIEND, you guys. I’ve always loved science, and having someone who can say, “hey, there’s totally science backing up that insane hairbrained theory you just posited” makes me so happy, I can’t even tell you – posted this in my comments on the post:

‘Feline fatal attraction’ is a good one but it’s not the best. My favourite scientific term is the ‘Sneaky fucker strategy’, aka kleptogamy. It probably is rather self-explanatory but here goes: In species where males aim to gather a harem of females to mate with, there are two male strategies for successful mating.

The first one is to be as big and strong as possible in order to fight off the competition and win access to the females. This is however both costly and risky. You might spend more energy than you can replace, or you might get seriously injured.

The second strategy is to be a Sneaky fucker. This consists of avoiding any direct conflicts with the alpha males, and keep to the periphery of the harem of females. Then, when the leading male is busy fighting off any competing males, the Sneaky fucker male can sneak in and – well – fuck. And as long as he’s out of the way by the time the alpha male is back, he doesn’t risk getting into a fight.

It’s a brilliant strategy, and this is probably why it’s a very common strategy. So beware of the Sneaky fuckers.

This was a., not a theory I’d ever heard of before, and b., SO TOTALLY AWESOME I CAN’T EVEN.

Then, THEN, Ken commented on Andreas’s comment thusly:

This sneaky fucker business is seriously good enough to merit its own blogpost. Actually, I’d like to see each of you (Amy, Jim, and Andreas) do something with this. Maybe we should declare sneaky fucker week and all write blogposts and make a festival of it.

It’s a movement, and as Harry Shearer says, ‘Everybody needs one.’ A movement, he means.

(If anyone but me pays attention to shit like this, you’ll notice the link to Jim’s blog above is NOT his regular blog, but his other blog, because he apparently has like a million of them. I’ve decided if he’s going to participate, he’ll probably do it on this blog and not his other blog because on this blog he can cuss more. ALSO there’s totally this weird-ass Twitter app going around that you can use that tells you who you’re in love with on Twitter and it said I’m in love with Jim. SORRY MRS. JIM. I do love Jim but I assure you it’s just platonic. I am not a sneaky fucker. I am not attempting to sneaky Twitter-fuck Jim. I don’t have a lot of morals and such but one of the few I DO have involves not having sex with someone who’s involved with someone else. I TOTALLY HAVE A NEW IMAGINARY BOYFRIEND THOUGH BTW. I will talk about him later in the week. IT IS TOTES EXCITING YO. NO, it’s not Jim. Sorry, Jim. Sorry, Twitter app. You’re welcome, Mrs. Jim.)

SO. Anyway. I was so excited about this that I said, audibly, in my car, “I could not love my Twitter people more right now if I tried.” Then I laughed until I had a coughing fit. You know. As you do.

So, Andreas is in (and has promised either moose porn or erotica), and Jim is in but isn’t sure WHAT he’s in so I’m not sure what kind of post we’re going to get from him. Ken’s in and is blogging about John Hughes films and I could NOT be more excited about that. And then Lisa wanted in and listen, LISTEN, if she wants in? To anything, ever, anytime? SHE’S IN. I don’t care WHAT it is. Like, I’d let her into family reunions if she was interested. Or possibly even closed-door theater board meetings. I’ll totally kick your ass twice if you argue with me on this. Then, THEN, Laura wanted in (I assume her real name is Laura. Twitter says so. And Twitter NEVER LIES) and as we totally want to dominate the internet in the field of Sneaky Fuckery, and also, who are we to turn down people interested in such a topic? we said yes. I mean, we’re not dictators. We want internet scientific theories about animal porn to be free for all, you know? And THEN Lisa wanted in (ANOTHER Lisa, don’t be confused, my little tiger lilies) and I love her face. HOP ON BOARD LISA.

If you’re counting, that’s seven people. ALSO, there are not many Google results for Sneaky Fucker Strategy. Just from the one comment, my blog’s already on page two when you do a Google search. We’re totally going to own the internet when it comes to Sneaky Fuckery, you guys. I’m pretty sure this will be a new category at the Bloggies next year, and we’re shoo-ins. Who wouldn’t want a Sneaky Fucker Bloggie? What would the award look like? I’m going to go ahead and assume animals screwing. But in bronze or something. I WANT THAT.

So:

WELCOME TO SNEAKY FUCKER WEEK. It’s like Shark Week, only with less teeth and chomping and swimming and more sneaky fuckers and animal porn and chicanery.

Andreas told me I should be the lead engine leaving the sneaky fucker station. I’m down with that. I like to lead. I also like to be last. I don’t like to be in the middle. Because then people always are stepping on the backs of your shoes and shoving and making stupid comments, and that all just makes me stabby.

OK. Even though Andreas gave us an excellent breakdown of Sneaky Fucker Strategy, I went online to check it out.

It’s really a thing (not that I doubted Andreas in the least.) And his breakdown? Excellent. You don’t really need to read any others. What he says above is actually totally 100% what it is. The other information I found out about it:

  • It’s attributed to one of the world’s greatest evolutionary biologists, John Maynard Smith. Smith also did a lot of work on signalling theory. Which I just spend a really long time reading about and it is FASCINATING and I’m totally blogging about this someday. DAMMIT ANDREAS. My brain is not meant for science. I get distracted by shiny things, and there are SO MANY SHINY THINGS in science. (PS, my brain is also not meant for researching pretty much anything, because this weekend I was trying to research a musical and ended up reading a thirty-page article about these serial killers that was just absolutely fascinating and when I looked at the clock it was 1:15am. I get distracted. I’m like a kitten with a new toy, seriously.)
  • Sneaky fuckers are actually doing better in spreading their seed (ew) than their more aggressive brethren: according to this article, “The less dominant male (deer) were in fact far more successful in evolutionary terms, passing their genes onto a larger number of female deer.”
  • This, of course, as most behaviors in the animals kingdom can be, has been extrapolated onto the human population. The “alpha males” are, just for the sake of argument, the “frat boys.” The “sneaky fuckers” are the sensitive types – the ones that the “frat boys” usually think are gay. They hang out with the girls. They can talk about the shows girls want to watch; they can listen to girl problems; they’re there when the girl needs a shoulder to cry on. They’re also there, apparently, when the girl breaks up with the alpha male – to sneak-fuck. And there you have it: we’re all just animals, after all.
  • There’s not a Wikipedia. This worries me, because there totally should be. There’s a Wikipedia for EVERYTHING. Even Justin Bieber, who I’m pretty sure isn’t even a real person but a robot. You can tell because his lips are too red and moist. That’s always a sign.

Now, there was mention of sneaky fucking in elk and deer populati0ns, and ducks, and also there was this awesome paragraph here, which I think is the best and Disney should totally make a movie about it:

Let’s look at two mating strategies among certain male frogs, for example. The males are selected by the females based on their song (presumably, the bigger the song, the bigger the frog, therefore the better its prospects as a mate) but some males have adopted a strategy that is different from “get big and sing loud.” These “sneaky fuckers” home in on a loud-singing male frog and lurk nearby. As the beglamoured female comes hopping along for a tryst with the Barry White of Bullfrogs, the “sneaky fucker” hops on, mates with her quickly, and hops off – mission accomplished. Because both strategies are successful, we see both strategies continuing in force because now most frogs descend either from big singers or sneaky fuckers, and females that like big singers.

The "just finish up and get the hell OFF OF ME" look in bottom-frog's eyes made my YEAR, seriously.

So we have elk and deer and frogs that are all sneaky fuckers. AWESOME.

The point of sneaky fucking, from an evolutionary standpoint, is, of course, to vary the genepool. You don’t want ALL big, strong, alpha-male genes in the pool. The pool needs to be varied. You need lovers AND fighters. (And the sneaky fuckers tend to be the more intelligent animals – because they can plot the sneaky-fucking, which takes more brain cells than the fighty-fighting, I guess.) So, you introduce a few sneaky fuckers, and all is well. And apparently it’s VERY well, because that study above indicates that a lot of the kiddos in the deer population are cuckoos in their daddy’s nests, if you know what I’m saying.

So! Where does this take us?

We were discussing on Twitter how some of us have dated sneaky fuckers. Here’s the thing. I’ve totally dated SNEAKY fuckers, but I’ve never dated a sneaky FUCKER. The difference being: a SNEAKY fucker is the guy who’s all “no, baby, I totally don’t have a girlfriend!” and then you find out he does; or “you’re amazing, you’re the best thing that’s even happened to me, my whole life has changed since meeting you” and then you never hear from them again; or “yeah, I tried cocaine once, but it wasn’t for me” and you start hearing from people he’s dealing and he’s his own best customer. A sneaky FUCKER is the one who’s hanging out, willing to be your best friend, but always eyeing you a little too avidly, always with the “you’re so amazing, WHY do you let him treat you that way, you’re too GOOD for that” and some girls totally dig on that because it’s attention and they like that and then when they find themselves alone he makes his planned-out move and I guess they’re weak enough to be “eh, whatever, a warm body’s a warm body.”

I hate both of these types of people.

Obviously, I hate the first type of asshole, because you’re a liar and a time-waster and a user and a prick and if I ever come across you again, you can be damn sure you’re not going to leave that meeting unscathed, you human piece of shit.

The second type, I hate just as much. I think the second type of man is weak and pathetic and waiting for a woman, in a moment of weakness, to throw them a bone and be all, “I just need someone to hold me” and he can be like “I’m HERE for you, I’ve always BEEN here” and that makes me want to stick a fork in my eye. I would rather, honestly, be sneaky fucked by a liar than someone who is a dishrag just waiting for me to be pathetic enough to need someone to scratch my back against like a bear with a tree in the woods.

Psst: I’ll never be that pathetic. Keep on waitin’, sneaky fucker. Hope you brought a magazine or something.

Oh, girl. I FEEL YOUR PAIN. I'm here. I'M HERE FOR YOU GIRL. Whatever you need. I AM DEEP LIKE A WELL OF DEEP EMOTIONAL DEEPNESS.

I knew a sneaky fucker in college. Let’s call him Tom. Because that is almost his name and I’m pretty sure he’s not reading this because I haven’t spoken to him since 1994. Tom and I met because we were in a play together. Tom was not in the play because he liked theater. Tom was in the play because he heard there were a lot of gay men in theater, therefore, him being a straight man, he would have a good chance at getting laid. Tom was a nice enough guy, but he was sad and kind of pathetic and spent way too much time in the computer lab looking at porn in the middle of the night. He decided I was going to eventually stop falling for “bad guys” (anyone who wasn’t him was bad) and realize he was “the one.” So I’d leave the computer lab and there would be Tom! I’d leave the dining hall and there would be Tom! And he’d always be all, “If you ever need to talk, I’m here. If you ever need a shoulder, I’m here.” And he didn’t know me very well, because I NEVER need a shoulder and I very seldom need to talk, at least not to people I’m not that close with. Also, he could NOT maintain eye contact. Tom was all about having conversations with my tits. It was totally repulsive. I’M UP HERE TOM.

Eventually I started seeing him and quickly walking the other way because every conversation was “Are you seeing anyone? We should have lunch. We should hang out. Are you happy with him? I hope so. You deserve to be happy. If he isn’t making you happy, you deserve better. If you ever need to talk about it, you know how to find me.” ZOMG TOM LAY OFF.

Yeah, I totally am the wrong kind of prey for the sneaky fucker, seriously. Because I see sneaky fuckers as equal parts weaselly and pathetic? And there’s nothing that gives me the opposite of a lady-boner than a combination of those two things, let me tell you. Ick.

Additionally, the alpha male doesn’t do it for me, much, either. I think if I was an elk and you had the fighty elk in one corner, and you had the skeevy sneaky fucker elk waiting to hump me like a Dachshund getting amorous with a table leg in the other corner, I’d make a beeline for the aloof quiet staying out of all of it elk who was minding his own damn business and maybe reading whatever the elk-equivalent of a book is, or whatever. Because sneaky-fucking? Not hot. But bashing in each other’s brains for some nookie, equally not hot. TAKE NOTICE MEN.

Also, can we just quickly discuss what the flipside of this would be, sexually? (I assure you this isn’t going where you think it is.) I mean, gender-role-wise. In nature, obviously, there’s no need for that, because it’s all about procreation, and the women aren’t fighting over the men, I don’t think. (Or are they? I bet Andreas would know if there were species, other than humans, where the females all cage-match it out for male attention.) But in the human race, there are TOTALLY female sneaky fuckers. Waiting for the guy to break up with his girl, or whatever, and hanging out all one of the guys but not REALLY all one of the guys, just in order to be with the guy she has her sights set on in case he notices her in “that way” and decides he wants to trip the light fandango when his girlfriend’s out of town at college orientation WHAT I TOTALLY MADE THAT SHIT UP THAT IS JUST A TOTALLY HYPOTHETICAL SCENARIO AND DID NOT AT ALL HAPPEN TO ME. That skank ho Bonnie. Moving on. So, as humans, aren’t we evolutionarily advanced? We have BOTH female and male sneaky fuckers! But! Ladies! Word to the wise? The guy isn’t going to, suddenly, all When-Harry-Met-Sally-style the morning after realize you’re the one that he wants, ooh, ooh, ooh, honey, the one that he wants. I mean, again, TOTALLY HYPOTHETICAL SCENARIO, but you might have spent MONTHS being sneaky fucker and then one night FINALLY, and the next morning, guess what? It’s like his damn PANTS are on fire to get out of your place, and the next day you totally get the “listen, that was a mistake, you’re a great girl, I like you so much as a friend, but that’s it, I got back together with Cyndi with an i today” email. Even though you TOTALLY wore your nicest underthings. THE LACY ONES. THAT MATCHED. What? I said it was hypothetical. Sheesh. Also, put away your judgey face, I was barely in my twenties. Oh. Shit. I mean, if it had happened, the person it would have HAPPENED to would have been barely twenty-one. Ha. Ha ha.

As Andreas has already informed us that his post is going to be all about moose porn, or maybe moose erotica, it was debatable, I feel like I have let you all down because this post has most DEFINITELY not been about moose porn. I mean, I could try to throw in some moose porn. But it would feel forced. You shouldn’t force moose porn. That’s the worst kind of moose porn. It should be ORGANIC.

So, in summation: science is just about my favorite thing in the world. Because it brings me such things as Sneaky Fucker Strategy. And my Twitter people? The most awesome. Because, Sneaky Fucker WEEK. Which I will keep you apprised of; I’m pretty sure they’ll be more entertaining than I was. OH! And I bet you, other bloggers reading this, want in. YOU CAN JOIN US. This is totally open to all people who want to be part of the sneaky fuckery! Just let me know you sneaky-fucker-blogged and I’ll tell the world. THE WORLD.

Sneaky Fucker Strategy. Andreas! YOU WIN INTERNET.

OUR SNEAKY FUCKER BLOGROLL OF SNEAKY FUCKERISM

Lisa at Random Thoughts of a Plum pre-blogged about her plans for Sneaky Fucker week here and then blogged here. Children’s-book-style! Disney-fied! It’s Sneaky Fudger Week for Lisa!

Lisa at The Best Self-Help T-Shirt Catalog Ever! (SO MANY LISAS)’s post: How to Protect Your Eggs from Kleptogamists. It is sexy because it talks about fish gonads. EXTRA-LARGE FISH GONADS.

Andreas’s post at Heinakroon.comThe art of kleptogamy. It is the hottest moose erotica you’ll ever read, seriously. I mean, if you ever read any OTHER moose erotica, or HAVE read any other moose erotica.

Here we have Ken’s take: Duckie Dale, an 80s sneaky fucker if there ever was one. (An aside, if I may – and who’s going to stop me, it’s my damn blog. Did anyone ever see the episode of Just Shoot Me with Slow Donnie where he was all, “My dog smiles with his tail!” This post made me so happy I would have smiled with my tail, had I a tail. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH.)

And a guest post ON MY OWN BLOG HUZZAH: Mr. Anonymous gives us his own tales of Sneaky Fuckerism in college. Not for the faint of heart, or for those who have children going off to college in the near future. Or for people who don’t like awesome things.

And! Patrick, who we totally didn’t even EXPECT to join us in the sneaky fucker festivities! Huzzah! His post on his hatred of sneaky fuckers and how they trick you with free doughnuts here.

And one from Ms. Darkstar, about a fucker so sneaky he didn’t even KNOW he was a sneaky fucker!

A sneaky fucker so-far-under-the-wire-that-the-wire-is-no-longer-in-existence-huzzah! post from Elaine4Queen! Starring Handflapper!  With awards and meerkats! And here’s Handflapper’s response!


The new year: full of things that have never been

Happy New Year, Lucites/minions and minionettes/all the party people in the house!

How was your New Year? Excellent? I hope so. I hope there was glitter and magic and bubbly beverages, or, you know, whatever you do to celebrate the New Year. Me, I worked for eight hours, answering phone calls for the greater Capital Region (most of which were people planning their free cab rides home for later in the evening – one of our clients runs a free cab service on the holidays for people who have been overserved, so we were getting, on average, a call every minute from people trying to plan their debauchery ahead of time, since the rides were only from 10pm to 2am, and some of the people were already on their way to overservitude, like, at 10am), then came home to my lovingly chilled bottle (and…a half…ahem) of magic no-hangover wine and the interwebs, which is really how it should be on New Year’s Eve. Well, maybe not for YOU. For ME. I’m not a fan of going out on New Year’s Eve. There are all those people! Who are all loud, and drunk, and touchy! And then there’s all this pressure to come into bodily contact once the ball drops! Who needs that, I ask you? Well, most of the world, I suppose, needs that. I don’t need that.

One New Year’s Eve, many moons ago, a friend came to visit me from far away, and we made big plans to go out. I bought a fancy-schmancy dress. It was sparkly. And heels. I don’t wear heels, because I’m a tall lady, to begin with, so it’s like I was born not needing to wear heels, you know? But it was New Year’s Eve, and I wanted to be FANCY. And on my way to the car (when we hadn’t even started drinking yet, by the way – on my WAY to the car, BEFORE the bar) I fell flat on my face in the parking lot because of the effing heels. Which weren’t even that tall. And sprained my ankle like a son of a bitch. But we still went out, because I had a sparkly dress and I was planning on getting drunk and that’s a painkiller, right? But it started to hurt, badly, and then started to swell, and the heels had ankle straps which started to cut into my ankle like little guillotines of evil, and well, HAPPY EFFING NEW YEAR, I could barely function. So, yeah, it’s a lot safer for me to stay in the house. Also, to wear flats. Or no shoes at all, like a hillbilly, which I can do if I’m in my own house, hence the staying home.

Hey! Do you know what’s awkward? The end-of-year coverage on television. The newscaster is always some third-stringer guy they bring in, probably a cameraman or something so the rest of them can go out to some fancy party, and he’s not very comfortable up in front of everyone, and last night on my local news station they kept cutting between him and Times Square, and in Times Square, there was ANOTHER awkward reporter, and also the Green Goblin from the Spider-man musical, and although I totally had been drinking? It felt like maybe it was one of those old-time movies where they show you the horrors of drinking, like “this is what will HAPPEN if you drink the DEMON ALCOHOL you will see AWKWARD REPORTERS and a man dressed in GREEN LATEX and FACEPAINT and he will CACKLE and ALSO SING, HAPPY NEW YEAR you LUSH” but it was really real. And embarrassing, for everyone involved.

Then the ball dropped, and all the people were doing all the kissing, while wearing huge Nivea-sponsored New Year’s hats (…I don’t know, either, unless someone paid me major coinage I’m not sponsoring a lip-gloss company while making out on national television) and then my man Sinatra’s “New York, New York” came on, and that was nice, then that super-sad ukelele version of “Over the Rainbow” came on (why is that all of a sudden a New Year’s thing? That does nothing but remind people of dead Dr. Greene on ER, that’s not celebratory, is it?) OH. And earlier in the night? That miniscule and odd Cee Lo Green who has the weirdest little stubby arms like sad little penguin-wings sang “Imagine”? And it was the WORST THING EVER you guys. Seriously. John Lennon was like the most peaceful human beings alive and he would have been all “WHAT THE HELL CEE LO GREEN MAKE THIS STOP RIGHT NOW OR I WILL PULL OFF ONE OF YOUR MINI-ARMS AND BEAT YOU BODILY WITH IT.”

Anyway! So that was my New Year’s Eve. I drank a lot of magic no-hangover wine, and it really was magic, because I am not hungover today at all, even though I really did have more than one bottle. I mean, you couldn’t just LEAVE like a quarter-bottle of the stuff for another day. You really had to finish it. It was like a rule, right? Right. And I tweeted all the people. And I told kickass @debihen she lived in Texas when she didn’t, which was just confusing, but to be fair, since like, a ton of my other awesome Twitter people live in Texas, I think kind of my default when someone is awesome is, “Oh, they must be from Texas.” But yeah, no hangover, I’m good. And I slept like a champ, too. I know, you kind of hate me right now. I’m cool with that.

So let’s talk resolutions! That’s what people do on New Year’s, right? Resolve things?

I don’t know what the hell to resolve.

So I went to Google, as you do, to see what OTHER people are resolving. I mean, other people are totally helpful, I think I need some help, here.

Drink less alcohol. Hmm. Really? People resolve to do this? I guess, if you have a problem with it, or something. I actually was thinking in 2012 I should drink MORE alcohol. Because I really enjoy it? And I was wanting to try some other TYPES of alcohol. I’m not really down with this one.
Resolved: To drink as much alcohol as I want to in 2012 because I am a grown-ass woman. Also, there was whipped-cream-flavored vodka at the liquor store the other day. How can I NOT try that?

Eat healthier food. Yeah, I should totally do this, but I don’t like how it tastes. If we were meant to eat healthier food, wouldn’t it all taste like chocolate cake?
Resolved: To find healthier food that tastes like chocolate cake in 2012.

Get a better education. Nope, I’m cool, I’ve got a lot of this. More than I need. I’m still paying for the education I’ve got, actually. Sorry, resolution.
Resolved: To keep paying for the education I’m not using because I made some ill-planned choices in my youth, possibly due to alcohol consumption, in 2012.

Get a better job. Yeah, I should do this. But it’s a lot of work, and I’m really lazy. Also, usually you have to dress up for job interviews, and I don’t like pantyhose.
Resolved: Find a job that doesn’t require I wear nice clothes or pantyhose for the job interview in 2012. Or leave the house. Or interact with people. Or do any work. Just sends me a check, really, for being awesome.

Get fit/lose weight. Yeah, again, I should do this. But how will I blog and work out at the same time? There’s just not enough time in the world. This is a problem.
Resolved: Find a way to blog and work out at the same time. Possibly hire someone to work out for me while I blog. Win-win. Stimulate the economy while not having to sweat and still getting to write.

Manage debt/save money. Way to be a buzzkill, New Year’s resolutions. You can’t really “manage” something when you owe enough money to your student loan people to buy a private island where you could, technically, HIDE from your student loan people, possibly behind a palm tree. Also, you can’t save something you don’t have in the first place. Stupid rubbing-in of poverty.
Resolved: Suck it, debt. Suck it twice, savings.

Manage stress. This is vague. I think this should give directions, not just “manage stress.” HOW DO I DO THIS RESOLUTION. Now I’m stressed.
Resolved: Find a way to manage stress that isn’t screaming oneself hoarse in rush hour traffic, punching or kicking inanimate objects, eating all the things, or calling everyone you meet a douchecanoe.

Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Um. This is a popular New Year’s resolution? It’s called “being poor.” I’ve been doing the reduce and reuse part since 1992. Recycle – yeah, I should probably be better about that. Al Gore is probably going to come to my house one of these days and punch me right in the neck.
Resolved: Get one of those burglar-chain-thingys so Al Gore can’t just get in here and punch me right in the neck.

Take a trip. ZOMG I GOT THIS ONE. This year, I am taking TWO trips. In late spring, I am going to Florida, to see the ocean, some kookaburras, a whole bunch of flea markets, probably a lot of old people with blue hair and walkers with tennis balls on the feet, and drink a shit-ton of half-price margaritas; and in early-to-mid summer, I’m going to Maryland, to see R. & A. & Baby Girl Awesomesauce, and also A. has promised to show me the seedier neighborhoods from The Wire, and R. says there’s an Edgar Allan Poe museum. I WIN AT THIS ONE.
Resolved: To rock the hell out of my two trips I’m taking this year and take a ton of photos of me being inappropriate at various out-of-state venues to share with all of you on here because why else go?

Volunteer to help others. DUDE. I do this ALL THE TIME. I help people at the theater, because listen, I don’t get paid for that. I help people by letting them go ahead of me in lines in the store when I have all the things and they have very few things. I help people by saying, “Hey, lady, you dropped something out of your laundry basket on the floor there.” I help people by holding doors. I help people by giving totally helpful advice, like at work yesterday, this guy who seems very nice and also has an intriguing arm-tattoo said, “So there’s this girl and she says we’re just friends and she treats me like shit and she uses me all the time for like money and a place to crash and sleeps in my bed but no touching, so she really loves me, right?” and I was all, “WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH NICE MEN, WHY DO YOU LET WOMEN LIKE THIS USE YOU, GET RID OF HER NOW, SLAPPY.” That was totally helpful! I mean, he looked scared, but mostly that’s because I’ve never spoken to him before. Come to think of it, I don’t think it was fear, probably awe? Awe at my amazing advice. I help people who call us at the answering service by saying “Yes I will have the doctor call you back immediately, running out of birth control when you want to have all the sex IS a totally serious emergency, yes ma’am” and not even laughing at them until I get OFF the phone. I AM THE MOST HELPFUL YOU GUYS.
Resolved: To CONTINUE to be the most helpful, because listen, pay it forward, that kid who saw dead people said I had to, I think. I mean, I didn’t see the movie or anything but I think that’s what the commercials for it implied was going on there.

These were not really the best resolutions. Google! I am not pleased. This only proves that America is not very creative with their resolutions.

Resolved in 2012, the Amy version:

  • Get a bigger SD card for my phone because the stupid thing keeps running out of memory and I totally had to erase Google Plus from it the other day in order to continue texting and maybe someday I’d want to use Google Plus again, how do I know what future-me will want to do?
  • Get another cat at some point. Oh, also maybe some fish. And also a terrarium because you have always wanted frogs. But don’t get any hamsters or mice because remember what happened when you had those once? They totally escaped and ate through the back of your couch.
  • Read more books that are awesome and less books that are garbage. If a book is not good, please stop being afraid to put it down in case it “gets better.” Odds are slim it will get better. You never seem to learn that lesson. Let 2012 be the year you do.
  • At some point, get a haircut. It’s been like a year, it’s gotten embarrassing. You look like a hippie.
  • GET A NEW COMPUTER. No, seriously. Save up your money and buy the damn thing. I’m not backing down on this one, Me.
  • A couple of things that are NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS NOSY PARKER.
  • Write ALL THE THINGS.
  • Laugh more, cry less, and be happy more than you are sad.
  • Repeat that last one every single day, 366 times, until it’s a year from now.

Happy New Year to each and every one of you. I love all of your faces. YES EVEN YOU PERVY PETE. Today, you’re all smooshable.

(Title’s from Ranier Maria Rilke. You could do worse than to start the new year with a little poetry.)


Also, we usually don’t live like we’re dying or serve beer to our horses. Sorry, Germany.

Dear Germany:

It has come to my attention, through this very educational blog post my friend (and I’m pretty sure somehow my secret long-lost twin even though my father SWEARS it’s not genetically possible and I promised I’d believe him) @lahikmajoe posted the other day, that apparently, you are forming your opinions of us through a radio station called The Ranch.

When I researched this radio station, I learned that a., their website was cluttered with all the bright knick-knacks the internet can hold and kind of gave me a total headache, and b., they are “the sound of Texas.” Well! That’s nice.

Listen, somehow, randomly, and I really have no explanation for this, I have become acquainted with some awesome Texans lately? PLUS, twice, I drove through the top of Texas on my way west, and again east. I’m pretty sure that’s called the panhandle, or something. Although I don’t think it looks like a panhandle. And who even says “panhandle” anymore? Except beggars. ANYWAY, I’m pretty sure this radio station isn’t the sound of my Texans. From what I can tell, the sound of MY Texans is a lot of sarcasm and awesomeness. But probably no one would listen to that radio station. Except me. I would listen ALL THE TIME to that radio station.

Some of the things @lahikmajoe’s countrymen ask him about our country (specifically, Texas, but I’d like to think that The Ranch makes them think this about all of us), according to his post (and listen, are you reading his blog? I’m totally about to get all up in arms here. I really like his blog. You should too! He is awesome and like a zillion times more intelligent and thoughtful than I am. Go follow him. No, seriously, I’ll wait. I’m drinking all the Olive Garden magic no-hangover wine tonight, I have the patience of JOB right now. Go! Go, go! OK, you’d better be back now, because we’re moving on) are:

  • Did you grow up with horses?
  • Did you wear a cowboy hat to school?
  • What’s a real rodeo like?

These questions sadden me, Germans. Because listen! America has a lot of other things, too! Like weird roadside attractions like big balls of twine and huge cement rolls of Life Savers! And zombie preparedness stores! And like 43 gabillion Dunkin’ Donuts!

But then I did some research, and I realized that the country songs you are listening to that form your idea of America (or, if you’d like, “MERKA,” which is the way I say it when I’m pretending to be a patriotic hillbilly, because it makes me laugh) are totally misleading and also kind of upsetting. So I’d like to talk about them with you, and maybe disabuse you of any notions they’ve caused you to form about our great land.

“Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off”
by Joe Nichols

What this might make you think about MERKA: Drinking to excess makes women forgetful and nudist.

What is wrong with this picture: Alcoholism isn’t this jolly or sexy, even in MERKA.

This song is about a man whose significant other is going out to drink margaritas at the Holiday Inn (CLASSY!) and he’s all “oh, good gravy PUT ON SOME EXTRA CLOTHES THIS TIME MYRTLE” because apparently she comes home wearing table linens when she drinks tequila, but not champagne or or rum or vodka.

Germany, I can assure you this is not the case. I had a very long and storied love affair with tequila, and it did NOT make my clothes “fall off.” At least, no more than any other alcoholic beverage. It did, however, cause some HELLACIOUS hangovers. And also vomiting. A LOT of vomiting. Once in a cab. Sorry, cabdriver. Sorry.

Please do not come to our country and buy our ladies margaritas expecting us to start shedding clothes like trees in the fall. Or, wait, do. I totally love margaritas but those suckers are EXPENSIVE, yo. I’ll meet you at the Holiday Inn. There’s one right around the corner from me. So that’s handy!

“Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy”
by Big & Rich

What this might make you think about MERKA: Cowboys are super-hot, and everyone wants to have sex with them, and they buy everyone drinks, and they’re totally always making “riding” puns.

What is wrong with this picture: I don’t know that these type of cowboys exist anymore outside of movies. And also, have you never HEARD of STDs? What is this, the 60s, you damn freewheeling hippie? You KNOW this jackass isn’t packing protection.

This song is about a braggy cowboy who tells about all of his exploits in a shouty, “look at my big old dick, mama!” voice. Things he does: buys everyone drinks; rides his horse all over the place, including into cities; passes out hundred dollar bills to everyone in a bar; compares himself to John Wayne (AS IF); taking a girl out to some abandoned road and showing her how to hunt frogs (WHO DOES THIS I LOVE FROGS) with his dog while singing her all the Willie Nelson songs and then they MAKE LOVE (I’m sorry, but that phrase makes me want to throw up until I’m sore).

(Side note: I’m kind of the most in love with John Wayne. I know. It’s weird, right? I want him to protect me from all the badguys. I have no explanation for this phenonemon, either. Carry on.)

I’m not going to deny there’s some sort of shouty appeal to this song, but I don’t think these kind of people exist, and if they do, I don’t think people are falling all over themselves to MAKE LOVE ZOMG to them because a., if anyone ever said to me “let’s make love” I’d be all “ok, Barry Gibb, where are your platform shoes, the 1970s called and want their sayings back” and also then I’d probably laugh until I cried, and b., no one DOES these things. No one rides into the city on a horse and starts throwing money around like a crazy person. If they do, they deserve to get mugged and beaten. That’s looney tunes behavior.

I feel like people in Germany are listening to this and they’re like that poor kid in Love, Actually who wanted to come to America to have sex with all the hot American co-eds like in the sex comedies. Although that kind of worked out for him. Dammit. THIS WILL NOT WORK OUT FOR YOU, GERMANS.

“Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue”
by Toby Keith

What this might make you think about MERKA: I shudder to think. Ok, fine. That we will stick a boot in your ass. It’s the American way.

What is wrong with this picture: We’re not all jingoistic morons.

When this song came out, it was a tough time for America. Post 9/11. We were all pretty shaken up. There was a lot of “rah rah AMERICA” sentiment. I get it. I totally get it! From the tip of my liberal toes to the top of my liberal head, I get it.

Then this song happened, and my friend Mer and I were seriously not sure whether to run away to Canada or to hide under our covers until the inevitable end of the world came.

“Hey, Uncle Sam put your name at the top of his list,
And the Statue of Liberty started shaking her fist.”

“Oh, justice will be served and the battle will rage:
This big dog will fight when you rattle his cage.
An’ you’ll be sorry that you messed with the U.S. of A.
‘Cos we’ll put a boot in your ass, it’s the American way.”

Please, Germany. We will NOT put a boot in your ass. I promise. We are not all crazy people. We actually don’t even all have guns. I mean, can we? Sure. But we don’t all EXERCISE that right. Please don’t be too scared, Germans. We’re not all big dogs. Some of us are little dogs! Like Basenjis. Doesn’t everyone like Basenjis? They lick themselves! Like cats! And they’re barkless! Barkless clean dogs! PLEASE DON’T BE AFRAID GERMANY!

“Bubba Shot the Jukebox”
by Mark Chestnutt

What this might make you think about MERKA: That we all have guns in our cars and we shoot up bars when we get sad. And we have people here named Bubba.

What is wrong with this picture: I don’t think this happens DAILY or anything.

This song is about Bubba, a mentally-ill man, who is at a bar and drinks a lot and the jukebox makes him cry so he goes out to his car and gets a gun and shoots it. You know. As you do.

Um, Germans, I’m not going to say this has never happened? Because this totally sounds like something that COULD happen. I’m not going to lie to you, Germans. But probably it won’t. PROBABLY it won’t. I mean, I can’t guarantee anything. But odds are good this won’t happen if you come to MERKA.

Now listen, Germans. There are fun and enjoyable country singers you can listen to. Old country singers are kind of kickass. Johnny Cash! Willie Nelson! Dolly Parton! Kenny Rogers, before he became a scary plastic-faced monster! And also, I’m totally madly in love with Brad Paisley, because his songs are clever and adorable. Also, he’s super-smart on Celebrity Jeopardy. Although that “I want to check you for ticks” song was a total misstep. I’m not going to lie about that.

Also, GERMANS! I totally spent four days in your country in the late 90s and I liked it VERY MUCH. Things I liked: your chocolate; seeing the Berlin Wall museum; how even when people were smiling, your language sounded totally gruff, so it was kind of an adorable disconnect; Germans were not as anti-American as, say, people in France were (DAMN YOU RUDE PARISIANS AND YOUR TOTALLY SNEERY CORRECTION OF MY HIGH SCHOOL FRENCH) and in one town we went in, there was an entire RESTAURANT that served nothing but FUNNEL CAKE. I don’t know why EITHER. It was the BEST THING EVER.

So I kind of think I owe to to you, you lovely people, to let you know that we may be Americans, but we’re not all MERKANS. From what I understand, Texas is LOVELY. And also, so is New York! I mean, I choose New York, obviously, because, well, I’m here, and I’m kind of the most kick-ass awesome, but I’m pretty sure if you decide to go to Texas OVER New York (I mean, I’m not telling you what to DO, or anything, but you DO know we have Broadway here, right? OK, just checking) that you won’t get stampeded, or forced to ride the bull in the rodeo, or wear a ten-gallon hat. Even if the country songs make you think otherwise.

Sleep well, Germans! And if you want to send me a thank-you gift, I totally would take some of that random funnel cake.

Love, Me.


I’ll be flying on Christmas Morning…I’ll be flying on Christmas Day.

I think you randomly get a lot of brain fluff today. I’m at loose ends. 

THE POWER OF SPAM COMPELS YOU 

So I got Twit-spammed by some religious looney this weekend. The religious looney told me that the Mark of the Beast was upon us, and that I’d be ok if I followed the two commandments. 

Um. THIS IS UPSETTING.

First, the Mark of the Beast? Is that like the little 666 that was in Damien’s hair? I have to research this. My church wasn’t big on Revelations, growing up. 

This is very confusing, internet. There are a lot of Mark of the Beast websites (and seriously, can I get a Mark of the Beast t-shirt? OH MY GOD. I used to KNOW a guy named Mark. He should totally capitalize on this. Like, when he’s hitting on someone, say, “Hi! I’m Mark. You know, like “of the Beast.” That would weed out the religious crazies! MARK YOU CAN HAVE THAT ONE) and in one place it seems to think that the Mark of the Beast is the Euro? And in another it seems to think that the Mark of the Beast is the Damien 666 head-stamp? (Or also, one place said it might be a hand-stamp, which makes me think you could use it to get into over-21 clubs. BEAST clubs.) And ANOTHER place said it refers to a future where we’re all forced to attend religious services on Sundays. These things kind of don’t go together at all. I want a unified Beast-Mark theory or something. I don’t like loose ends. 

Also, two commandments? Which two? I don’t like that the spammer wasn’t specific. In looking over the list, and interpreting the commandments loosely, I think I broke five of the ten commandments THIS WEEKEND ALONE. This is worrisome. Did I break the two remaining commandments? Which two are they? Spammer, you are really leaving me hanging in the wind, here. Do I get to make the decision? FINE. I decide that the two remaining commandments are “Don’t murder” and “Don’t covet thy neighbor’s ass.” I don’t have any interest in murder because it seems like a lot of work, and my neighbor’s ass holds no interest for me whatsoever. SAFE! Safe from beast-marks! 

BUT THE GRINCH WHO LIVED JUST NORTH OF WHO-VILLE DID NOT 

I’m usually totally Christmas-oriented. This year, I am the Grinch, mixed with Scrooge and Bill Murray from Scrooged and also probably the Heat Miser or something, although I never saw that special. It’s kind of perplexing. Is it something that happens when you get older? I bought some presents for people today, which I thought might make the holiday spirit kick in, but mostly it just was shopping. (They’re pretty kickass presents, though. I mean, you don’t have to be all toot-toot on board with Christmas to win at buying presents.) 

So I think I have to go on some sort of ramp-up-to-Christmas plan to get in the mood. Like, put up the tree! Put up the lights! Put up the hanging thing with frogs kissing that makes me laugh like a moron every year! (It probably wouldn’t surprise anyone to know I’m a total kitschy Christmas-decorations fan, right? I also love horrendous tree ornaments. I have one that’s made of rubber from a Happy Meal in the 80s and it’s Grimace and on the back it says “The Grimace.” Every year it makes me laugh so hard because of that “The” I can’t even tell you. THE Grimace? Why does he get a The? Is it because it’s The Hamburglar, and you thought everyone needed a The? THAT IS AWESOME. I also have some angels that are missing their heads – I don’t know why I find this entertaining, but I do – and a wooden soldier that my brother made when he was little that looks like it has a noose around its neck, which again, probably isn’t funny to anyone but me, but to me it’s just about the best.) 

Do some baking! That will totally help, because I win baking. I’m good at baking. I cuss a lot, though. And I make a huge mess. But the result is really kind of spectacular. 

Also, I think I have to start watching Christmas movies and specials early, to get in the mood. I have a regimen of Christmas specials and movies that I watch. It’s very precise. I’m totally the most serious about my Christmas specials. I might watch others, if I catch them on television – I’m not averse to watching Scrooged or the Charlie Brown Christmas special – but my PERSONAL Christmas watching is: The Grinch That Stole Christmas (at least twice); It’s a Wonderful Life (while wrapping gifts, and then again on Christmas Eve while everyone else in my family is at church); and A Wish for Wings that Work

What? What’s that? You’ve never HEARD of A Wish for Wings that Work? Shame on you. SHAME ON YOU I SAID. It’s only the best Christmas special EVER. 

You’ve heard of Opus and Bill, I assume. I mean, unless you’re a total heathen. Or maybe really old. Or really young. Berkeley Breathed – Bloom County? Outland? Opus? The cartoon strips in the paper? The books? No? Anyone? – had a character named Opus. Opus is a penguin. Opus is my favorite cartoon character of all time. Because I love penguins. And there was also a character named Bill the Cat, who is mentally deranged (at least in A Wish for Wings that Work.) 

Anyway, in 1991, Breathed wrote a children’s book about Opus and Bill called A Wish for Wings that Work. IT IS THE BEST CHRISTMAS STORY EVER WRITTEN. 

You really should read it yourself, because you’re missing out, but here’s a quick teaser: it’s about how Opus the penguin has one wish for Christmas – he wants Santa Claus to bring him real wings. That work. Not stubby little non-functioning penguin wings. Real ones. So he writes a letter to Santa, explaining why he needs them, and that Santa is his only hope. He faxes the letter, and goes to sleep, sure that his wish will come true.

I’m not saying another word, other than: something happens Christmas Eve to Opus after he faxes that letter that makes me cry so hard I get hives and blotchy-face and have trouble breathing correctly for a bit, and I’ve watched the special (and read the book) once a year, every year, 19 years (this will be the twentieth anniversary! Aw, happy anniversary, little Wish for Wings that Work!) 

Wikipedia tells me that Berkeley Breathed was not pleased with the way this special turned out. This really saddens me. I’m probably the only person who has watched this special as an annual tradition for twenty years. It’s really, really good, you guys. I mean, I love the Grinch and his Grinch-feet getting cold in the snow, and I love teacher saying that every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings, and I love Charlie Brown’s sad little tipping-over tree, but oh, do I adore Opus’s little sad, hopeful face watching the sky as the ducks fly by. And I’m pretty sure The Nephew might have enough attention span to listen to the whole book this year. I’m bringing it home, just in case. I’d like there to be two people in the world who make Opus an annual tradition. 

I’m feeling a little more Christmassy right now. I think that’s penguin-magic. Thank you, Opus. 

I AM NOT AMUSING TODAY 

There is a box of envelopes sitting at the front desk and it says, in obnoxiously large letters, “ENVELOPES – STORE IN A COOL DRY PLACE” on it. So, you know, as you do, I said, “Just reading that makes me want to store that in a wet, hot place. Like a rainforest. I hate that it’s being so bossy.” Response: “That would make the envelopes stick closed, I think.”

Explaining how to illegally watch television shows online to another co-worker. “But it’s illegal.” “Yes, technically.” “But you’re not supposed to.” “No. I know. But everyone does it. Highly doubtful they’re going to lock you up for watching that episode of American Horror Story you missed.” “But I don’t want to do something illegal.” “OK, well, no one’s TELLING you that you HAVE to. I’m just saying it’s an OPTION.” “But it’s illegal.” “Yeah. Forget I mentioned it. Sorry. This never happened.” 

Fancy dressed-up coworker walked in, so I said, “You look nice today!” “I have a meeting today,” he said. “Oh! Hope it goes well. I bet they’ll just throw money at you, because you look like a fancy person. It’s the tie that does it, I think.” Dead stare. “I don’t think they’ll actually do that, Amy.” NO REALLY? I thought clients were always tossing around money. I’m just going to stop trying. I mean, it’s Monday, so I’m not really at the top of my hilarity, I get that, but also, YOU COULD GIVE ME SOMETHING TO WORK WITH HERE PEOPLE. 

YOU CAN’T ARGUE WITH SCIENCE SO STOP TRYING 

So we were discussing that Meyers-Briggs Personality Test today (we discussed this before, remember?) and I took it again and apparently I’m still an INFJ, so that’s nice. It’s nice that I’m consistent. I like that. No one else that was taking it got the same result today, though, which is a little distressing, but they assure me we’re not mortal enemies or anything because that’s not how these things work. So that’s nice. ANYWAY, I read the description and it seems pretty right-on. I’ll take it. My favorite line from the analysis? “They are internally arranged in a complex way that only they can understand.” Ha! I totally have a scientific REASON to be all twisty, yo. IT IS SCIENCE. 

Alright. That’s all the lint you get from my brain’s dryer trap today. You have to clean that out between cycles. Otherwise you could totally get a dryer fire. You’re WELCOME.


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