Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Liner Notes

I spend a lot of money on CDs. A LOT of money. You're probably thinking, "Amber, why don't you just burn them like every other person on the face of the planet?" I can't. And it's not any kind of "I feel like a bad and dirty person for ripping off the music industry" type of thing either. Believe me, I'd be happy to rip off the music industry and save myself literally thousands of dollars a year, but I can't. I have a sickness about liner notes. I feel like I have half a product without them.

For one thing I like to have the lyrics. I realize that not everyone puts the lyrics in their liner notes. I also realize that any lyrics I ever wanted to anything are available somewhere, somehow on the internet. It's just not the same.

I also dig checking out the artwork. Again, I know it's not like back in the days of vinyl when album covers were an art form unto themselves, but people do put some thought into the drawings and photos they include with their music, and to me it enhances the whole experience, like watching The Wizard of Oz on acid, which I've never done, but my friends swear it's like a totally different movie.

But the keenest (keenest? honest to God, I hate myself sometimes) thing is the thanks yous from the band/disclaimers page. I read all the thank yous, even though I don't know anyone that they are thanking. I read the little disclaimers in the margins ("Boy Band Bonanza wrote all of these songs except for 9 out of the 11 songs, which were written by totally different people who have never even met the band"). I read the parts about "Band member X only, and I mean ONLY plays Epiphone Guitars. Ever. Even on Tuesday."

So, I pay full price for everything and rape my pocketbook. But my reward is when I find little jems in there like the one I found today:

"Drowning Pool proudly enjoys massive quantities of Jagermeister."

Totally worth it.

A Tale of Two Idiots

Mary and I are easily amused. Very easily. We're also fascinated by small shiny objects, but that's a story for another time.

Today in the mail I received a pop up calendar . It had a big paperclip on it to keep it flat. Mary acted like she had never seen one. I took the paperclip off and let it inflate (or whatever they do). She seemed to think it was neat, so I told her she could have it. We sat looking at it for a while (VERY easily amused) and then I did this neat trick I know. If you have one, try it:

I put my finger on the top hexagon shaped part of it and pushed it down so it was flat against my desk. Then I let go. Know what happens? It jumps up off your desk like a 14 sided frog! Mary was delighted. We did it over and over and over.

We also wondered aloud what the name is for a 14 sided solid. I suggested "fourteenahedron" but Mary vetoed that and suggested that we just go with "polyhedron" until we found out the answer so as not to look stupid. As we made the calendar jump over and over. Yep, wouldn't want to look stupid, that's for sure.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

1153 and Me, Part 1

For those of you who don't know me personally, I need to give you some background on the whole 1153 saga. I haven't posted about it much (or at all) because it's still pretty fresh, and also I'm trying to attract readers, including male ones, and I know that talking about other guys when you're trying to attract guys is a BAD IDEA. Be that as it may, this is what I happen to be thinking about right this second, so I'm either going to write about this or not at all. I'll do my best to be irreverent as usual. So with no further ado...

The Introduction

I met 1153 a little over 4 years ago. A friend where I worked at the time had a buddy he went to high school with who was going through a divorce. Almost every day he would come into the office with stories about his friend's idiot lazy whore of a wife trying to stall the divorce that SHE asked for, mind you, so that she could live off her husband while fucking someone else for as long as possible. Chuckie tells a good story, and I laughed and laughed at the crazy woman, and at the man who, despite his wife's flagrant infidelity (she once came home drunk and told her husband "I have to go take a bath right now. I have cum in me."), was still holding out hope that she would change her mind and stop fucking firemen right in front of him. He was also apparently hoping she would get a job, learn to cook, take care of her children, clean up once in a while, and finish high school. It wasn't going well.

Chuckie had known 1153 for a long time, and they were good friends, so it hurt Chuckie's little heart that his long time buddy was being such a cuckhold about the whole thing. Chuckie, being a guy, decided the best way to help his friend get over his slutty spouse was to get him laid. One morning, Chuckie strolled into my office. "I should set you up with [1153]," he announced. Now, Chuckie is well aware that I'm part guy, at least in my head. I like to have sex and I like to talk about sex and I like to talk about the sex that I'm having. So Chuck has full knowledge of what a nympho I am. Years later, 1153 would tell me that Chuck had told him on the phone I was sure to put out, being such a whore and all. I chose to be amused rather than offended. I like Chuck.

One day after work, Chuckie, me, and Jarhead, who also worked with us, headed over to Harpo's for some beer. 1153 was supposed to meet us there. Chuckie saw him coming and pointed him out to me through the window. I grabbed Chuck's arm and very nearly ripped his sleeve off. Walking towards us was the most beautiful man EVER. European features with Asian coloring, a flat top haircut (he's a policeman, in case you didn't pick that up from the 1153 moniker) and dressed like he just walked out of a J. Crew catalog. He sparkled. He smelled good. I ran to the bathroom to change my underwear.

We all hung out and had a nice chat, over the course of which I learned he was friendly, intelligent, and had an offbeat sense of humor. He laughed at my jokes, told us police stories, and smiled pretty. Later we all played some Golden Tee. I caught him looking at my ass a couple times. I looked at his ass more than a couple times. We drank more beer. We joked about how much I flat out fucking suck at Golden Tee. I looked at his ass some more. I was smitten.

Too soon it was time to go. We all walked out to the parking lot together and 1153 said to me "It was nice meeting you."

"Nice to meet you too," I said.

"Cool. Well, drive carefully."

WHAT??????? WHAT????? DRIVE CAREFULLY? WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT? How about "Can I get your number?" or "Here's my number." or "Hey, wanna go fuck?" I am so totally floored at not hearing any of these things that I don't remember to say them myself. I got in my car and drove home. Alone. Solo. By myself. Confused as all get out. I found out later that he was afraid I didn't like him (um, didn't he see me looking at his ass?) and didn't want to be too forward, seeing as how he's a nice guy. Let me tell you something: Nice guys suck. SUCK. And as it was Friday, I had to wait all the way til Monday to accost Chuck and ask him what his friend's fucking problem was.

Flotsam and Jetsam

I have nothing solid to report besides my musings on the latest from 1153; a post on that is forthcoming. I do have some smaller bits:

I have eaten all I can eat. I looked at myself coming out of the shower yesterday and decided that in my current condition I would never ever have sex with me if I were someone else. So I'm consuming nothing but milk and white grape juice until further notice. Hopefully I'll look good enough by then to be able to post some pictures from my upcoming birthday party, which I think about all day long. Three more weeks...

Ellen DeGeneres is now dating Portia de Rossi. I am SO pleased by this. Ellen is about the funniest person alive, I LOVE her, and Portia de Rossi should have been on my famous people I want to sleep with list because, DAMN! She is smokin hot.

My house is officially on the market. I have the most awesome realtor, Bruce Trammell, who knows my dad and bizarrely thinks I'm the shit. He laughs at everything I say and compliments my housekeeping. Also thinks my cat is the shit, to the tune of bringing over a whole box of food and treats for her. I looked out the window and saw the sign in my yard and I was sad, but I just tell myself it's one more step in getting to Chicago.

It's supposed to thaw here a bit around the middle of the week, which is good, although it was kind of neat how it seemed like I was walking through tunnels of snow like I was a rebel at the base on Hoth or something. Oh my God, what a geek I am.

Mary, Rob and I are planning a trip to Best Buy tonight, one last foray before the end of Irresponsible Spending Month, as if I didn't acquire enough media in my Christmas loot. Then home to Mary and Rob's house where I will talk everyone into watching the MST3K episodes I bought Mary for Christmas. I may be a geek, but at least I'm not alone!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Mother Nature Sucks My Ass

At 7:00 am this morning my phone rang. Normally, if my phone rings at 7:00 am, it's my bartender, calling to tell me bar stories from the night before, or to bitch about what a cunt his roommate's girlfriend is (she really is). Today it was Bia, wanting to know if I was going to work.

For those of you who are not living in this part of the country, let me give you some background. It's been snowing like a mother fucker for over 24 hours. Actually, it snowed, then it rained, then it freezing-rained, then it snowed again, and it is still snowing. There is about 16 inches of snow on the ground, as well as standing water everywhere from the rain last night. I dug my truck out of the driveway this morning while standing in snow more than halfway up to my knees. It's wet sticky snowball makin' snow, and it's heavy. I nearly had a heart attack trying to scrape the stuff off my windows.

Bia wanted to know if I was going to work because she was worried about the Cherub. The Cherub didn't have anyone to back her up on phones today, and Bia was going to do it. However the roads where Bia lives are impassable and there was no way she was going to make it here, so since I live in the city and have 4 wheel drive she called to make sure I was going.

I had considered not going. The freezing-rain woke me up at 3 am and I looked out my window and said "Fucking A." Then I, erm, rocked myself back to sleep. When my alarm went off I looked out and saw that it was even worse than when I looked at 3, and the roads hadn't been plowed AT ALL (This was not a surprise. Cleveland never plows my neighborhood, or anyone else's for that matter. It sucks here, hence why I'm leaving). Today is only a half day at the office anyway, our company's little gift to us to kick start our holiday weekend. We close up shop at noon. It's even listed on the corporate calendar. I thought "Fuck the half day, fuck changing the back up tapes in the server room, fuck everything. I'm staying in bed with my cat." She was adorably sleeping on my head at the time. But then Bia called to see if I would go. And I felt bad for the Cherub, so I went.

Holy freakin shit! I have never, ever seen anything like that in my life. Dumbasses were out in cars, CARS! careening around like bumper boats in a hurricane. Visibility was...well, invisible basically. I myself felt like I was off-roading the way my big honking truck was handling in that miserable slush. And I'm out driving in it with my heart in my throat because even though I have 4 wheel drive, most other people don't, and I know one of them is going to spin right into me and kill us both. I'm not ready to die, I just got my life back for crying out loud! And I'm pissed off that no one has called from the office to say "We love you. Please don't go out and kill yourself for a half-day. Stay home and watch porn instead."

Next, Mary hits me up on the TM.

Mary cell: U R not going in R U?????
Me: Have to. Bia is not going, [Cherub] needs help on phones. Bad out. Don't go.
Mary cell: WHAT??? R U fucking kidding me? Why is the office even open?
Me: Who knows?
Mary cell: Call when you get there.

When I get here, the Cherub is sitting all cute and cherubic at the front desk. "Did Bia call you?" I asked.

"Yes. Thanks! I was the only one here until about 10 minutes ago, when [Captain Morgan] came in."

"Wow. I think it's going to be just us today. That will be fun."

WRONG. Twenty minutes later the CEO shows up. I think I've mentioned before, but I'll say it again anyway, the CEO's head is so far up his own ass he can see his lungs. "You made it!" I said to him. "Are you still alive?"

"Piece of cake," he said, grinning stupidly. The CEO truly believes he is the best at everything. Even driving his crudded up Lexus in the snow. "Seriously though, it's getting bad outside. [Cherub], why don't you stay til about 2, to answer the phone, and the rest of us, let's all go home at noon." And with that he walked away, whistling obliviously.

The Cherub stood there shocked. "He's kidding right? He has to be kidding. He's not going to make me stay here is he?" I was too dumbfounded to answer her. I mean, the guy is stupid, but his name is on the fucking door, you'd think he'd be know when his own office is closed. Fortunately for our stunned selves, Captain Morgan overheard this surreal exchange and informed the CEO that we were ALREADY closing the office at noon, as per the corporate calendar, and there was no reason for the Cherub to stay.

Someday I'm going to figure out how a guy that disconnected from any events transpiring around him got to be so successful. In the meantime, as it's nearly 12, I'm going to pack up my shit and go the hell home before I get snowed in here for the holidays.

P.S. With not being at work I'm not sure when if I'll get a chance to blog over the weekend. But you all should be spending time with your families anyway, so go be merry and I'll be back on Monday. Peace, love, and lots of Christmas gifts for you all. And Happy Birthday to my cat Kristen and my bartender Jeff, both Christmas Eve babies, and both a joy to be around. I'm out like the fat kid in dodgeball.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

My Car is Coming!!!

I just checked the MINI USA website, and my car is currently crossing the pond. Which means that I need to get to work on picking out a name. Here's some background information:

My car is a boy, and he's very very British. In fact, he's british racing green. Here's some ideas I've come up with so far:


I'm kind of liking Alistair. What do you guys think?

P.S. I know naming my car is extreme cheese, but I can't help it. It's a MINI for Pete's sake!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

My Best Friend Mary

My best friend Mary is 33 years old, which, for the record, is about 6 1/2 years older than me. She has long red hair, is FREAKISHLY tall, and believes that she has a big fat ass. She doesn't actually have a big fat ass, but it is hilarious watching her think that she does. Mary grew up outside of Toledo, Ohio, where as a child she was raised by a family of cows. Wait, sorry, that should be her family raised cows. My bad (although it would explain her penchant for thorough chewing). She has a little brother named Matt, who hates the Grand Ole Opry, a dad named Jim (otherwise called "that guy who lives here" by Mary's little cousin) and a mom named Cinnamon*, whose birthday was last Thursday when Mary forgot to call her.

Mary attended Miami University of Ohio, back in the olden days when they were the Redskins instead of the Redhawks. I find this particular fact amusing since I myself attended Ohio University, which is their rival school (they wish they could drink like us, we wish we could look that good in a pair of khakis).

Later on in life she took a step backwards by moving to Cincinnati and going to work for a brokerage firm. Note to readers: Mary advises that people who wish to maintain their sanity should not work for brokerage firms. Several years later, after realizing her mistake, she moved here to Cleveland.

In Cleveland, Mary met her boyfriend Rob while volunteering in community theater. Rob is extra nice, because not only does he put up with Mary, he also frequently puts up with me, which shows a strength of character few people possess. We like Rob and reward him by making out. Wait, no, that's just how he wishes we would reward him. We don't actually make out. Sorry about that.

Mary rarely drinks to excess, but when she does it's a show not to be missed. Once we were having movie night and Mary was having some wine. Next thing I know she's apparently channeling Dr. Seuss, because everything out of her mouth was rhyming ("You gotta go? Say it ain't so!"). This weekend at Tai's, whilst throwing back the gin and tonic (i.e. truth serum) she went on a confessional jag trying to convince me what a bad person she was ("One time, in college, I kissed this guy. On the LIPS! And now I can't remember his birthday. I'm such a whore!"). Also she makes up stories that are hilarious. She convinced a guy who was hitting on us that I used to live in a crack house, and that while I lived there, two people were murdered in the house. The only bad drunk thing she ever did, and I don't think it was even drunkenness so much as an error in judgment, was to play ABBA on the internet jukebox at Tai's. It was met with a chorus of "Who played THIS? This fucking SUCKS! Holy shit, my ears are bleeding!" from everyone in the bar, including the guy who had just played songs from Andrea Bocelli and Social Distortion back to back.

Mary and I like to watch movies together. What we also like to do is memorize the entire script of every movie we've ever seen together, and then recite the lines to each other in front of people, or alternatively, sprinkle all our conversations with movie lines. Both of these things piss off our co-workers to no end, which of course is our goal. For further study of this phenomenon, please see her comment to my prior post, which contains a line that was completely ripped off from Anchorman.

Other fun facts about Mary:
  • Due to her allergies, she always carries about 27 boxes of Kleenex around in her car.
  • She is very concerned about our clients' confidentiality. Therefore, before she leaves for the day, she turns all the papers on her desk upside down, so that the janitorial staff can't read them. Unless, of course, they turn the page over.
  • She once bought a CD she had never heard, just because she liked the shiny cover.
  • She refuses to go in hot tubs, calling them "a smoothie of secretions".
  • 99% of the time, I can get her to do whatever I say.
In conclusion, despite her sometimes questionable taste in music, her near circus freak height, and the fact that her first ever comment on this blog was deliberately hurtful, Mary is my bestest friend ever and I would never ever trade her in for anything, because she makes me smile, and smiling's my favorite!

*Not her real name, but Mary wouldn't tell me how to spell it so I just made one up.

Comments From the Peanut Gallery

I went over to Mary's desk to complain about having writers block. I feel guilty when I don't post something for you guys every day, because I know how I feel when my favorite bloggers don't post every day. So I went to see Mary, in an attempt to dig up some inspiration. She glanced up as I came around the corner, looking guilty as hell. Immediately Bianca showed up behind me. "Have you seen your blog today?" she asked, grinning wickedly.

I looked at Mary. "Did you post a comment?" She grinned maniacally.

I have been BEGGING her to comment on my blog since I started it. I've dropped hints, both subtle ("What do you think of my post?") and not so subtle ("Why don't you ever leave any fucking comments on my blog? Some best friend YOU are!!!"). I've tried complimenting her ("I'm so much funnier when you're around, you make everything funnier.") and insulting her ("Only assholes read people's blogs every day and never say a damn thing about them.") I've tried reverse psychology ("Please don't leave any comments for me. Ever.") and heavy guilt-trips ("It's so OBVIOUS that you don't love me, because if you DID, you'd leave a comment for me on my BLOG! *sob*"). Nothing ever worked. Until today.

The look on her face spoke volumes and I ran, nay, skipped back to my desk to go read what my loving and wonderful best friend had to say. I was ecstatic - she loves me after all, even after our whirlwind trip to Chicago where I made her stay out all night, spend lots of money, and got her stuck in a frikkin blizzard for 3 hours on the way home. I am the luckiest girl in the whole wide world that I have someone as wonderful as Mary in my life. In fact, I don't know how I survived 26 years without her amazing personality and pleasant companionship. She is miraculous! I pulled up the comments.

"Today Amber bought Chipotle, and she didn't even ask if the rest of us wanted any."


I waited all that time, and all she wanted to do was bitch and try to make me look bad in front of my readers (all 4 of them)? Nice. It was 12:35 when I got to Chipotle's, everyone had already gotten their lunch. Plus I barely had any cash because it's Irresponsible Spending Month. AND it wasn't even what I wanted, I had a taste for Boston Market but the line was too long. AND the only reason I was even over there was because I had to go to the crazy doctor and get more crazy drugs before my life spins all the way out of control. But do I get any sympathy from my supposed "best friend"? NOOOOOOOOO. And SHE is in the least position to be complaining since she drank like a fish all weekend for FREE just by virtue of having shown up with me. This is the thanks I get.

Well two can play at this game, so guess what? My next post is going to be all about Mary. Yeah that's right M-Jaq, I'm going to get your strumpet-ass.

Stay tuned.

Funny Bunnies

Looking for something fun to do while not working at work (or waiting patiently for my next post, hopefully)? Check this out.

I'm still processing (recovering from) my weekend in Chicago with Mary. Sorry for the lack of posting; it's on it's way, I promise.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

My Last Office Christmas Party

And so it was, that on December 15th, 2004 I attended my last holiday luncheon here at my firm. And it was good. Maybe a little too good.

We started the afternoon by indulging in a little vino. I believe I mentioned in an earlier post about the Yankee swap. The gifts were layed out on a table off to the side. Several of us were standing there, attempting to divine their contents when the CEO came ambling by. "Did we all stick to the $75 limit this year?" he joked, as the limit was only recently increased to $25 from $20 the prior year. In the spirit of my impending departure I said, "Yeah right. As soon as I get that 75% raise." Probably a little out of line, but what the hell.

This was followed by the getting to know you game I had complained of earlier. It turned out to be fairly entertaining. Everyone's "fact" was listed on a sheet of paper and you had to go around interviewing people about themselves without asking any direct questions to try to match up the people with the fact. I spent most of my time copying other people's answers, and still only got 6 right, most of those being things that I already actually knew. But I did learn that the FNG partied with Keith Richards in Germany, so that was pretty cool.

We took the group picture, which I was very surprised at being invited to join in. Had I but known I would very much have worn a dress. And make up. Mary wore both and looked quite fetching, but per her usual routine she tried to hide behind a pole anyway.

We sat down to lunch. I am now on my third glass of wine, when one will usually do me. Hence I was more than a little amused by the corner of my menu, which read "Today's Beautiful Soup". Likewise, it didn't take much cajoling from Bia and Mary to get me to sing "All I Want For Christmas is You" at the table in front of everyone. It was well received.

After the show broke up, most of us headed down the street to the Treehouse, so called for the large tree that holds court behind the bar. Much hilarity ensued when Bia couldn't figure out how to light my cigarette and somehow between the two of us we broke it. While demonstrating how it was broken for Mary, I went to lean on Bia, who stepped away from me. I was surprised to suddenly find myself on the floor of the bar rather than on the bar stool where I had been only moments before. I'm pretty sure the only person who didn't see me fall

Finally I hauled my drunk ass home and stumbled up the stairs and into my bed. Kristen, who always sleeps with me, wouldn't come by me for some reason (because I reeked like a brewery perhaps?) even though I drunkenly called to her for 20 minutes and sang her song over and over ("Kitty meow meow meow, meowmeowmeow..."). So I got up and tried to grab her, but she (wisely) ran away. Finally I got out a bunch of kitty treats and put them all around my pillows in the bed to try and trick her into coming up there, and then promptly passed out. When I came to Kristen was snuggled up to me and the cat treats were gone. And I'm pretty sure that she ate them and not me.

I've been at work today for 5 hours, and yet I don't seem to have gotten anything done...

Monday, December 13, 2004

Why I Hate Snow

It started snowing this weekend, like for real snow that sticks, not the scattered flurries we'd had so far this year. I woke up on Saturday and looked out and there it was, staring back at me with frosty gloom.

I hate snow. It's been out to get me since I was born. Seriously. I was born in January of 1978, and if you're older than me, you may remember that winter also being referred to as the Blizzard of '78. So here's me, little baby Amber, cooing and being all cute (except for my big floppy dumbo ears), and along comes Mother Nature and drops about 3 feet of the white shit all over my parents' house and snows them in. And of course being new parents and not realizing that they should be prepared for Armageddon at all times, they run out of formula. And suddenly I'm not so cute anymore because I am starving. Lucky for starving baby Amber, my parents are pretty intelligent people, so they called the police. The police drove to the store, bought me some baby formula, beat a path to my parents door and I was saved. Incidentally, they also refused to accept any money from my parents for the formula, which was nice. But that was only the beginning.

Flash forward. A little girls sits in the living room. Her blonde hair is pulled up in pigtails, showing off her cute smile and dumbo ears. Streamers and balloons are hung gaily throughout the room. A cake shaped like a pair of ballet slippers is on display in the dining room. The little girl looks out the window at...nothing, because she can't see through the friggin white out. The party was supposed to start half an hour ago, and no one is there yet. The phone rings. Mom answers it and speaks for a while. No sooner does she hang up then the phone rings again. And again. Eventually, my mom comes into the room. "Sweetie, that storm outside is really bad, and, uh, well honey, no one is coming." So snow has fucked me again.

When I got out of college, I was at one of the lowest points in my life. I had just broken off an engagement (later to become a theme of mine), and I didn't have a job. I was pretty depressed. One day my parents went out somewhere, and I thought I'd try to do something nice for them by shoveling the driveway while they were gone. So I put on about 6 pairs of pants, my coat, my gloves and a big hat to cover my dumbo ears and went outside to be a good daughter. Oh, did I mention how fat I got in college? I was a tub of lard from my daily regimen of sitting on my ass and eating pizza. Ask Heather, she was there. Can you guess what happened next? That's right. I shoveled about 6 square feet of driveway and collapsed from exhaustion. And in my fragile mental state, I cracked. I sat down right in the middle of the driveway, sobbing, because I was SO PATHETIC I couldn't even SHOVEL THE FUCKING DRIVEWAY. Who was ever going to hire me? Or marry me? I was doomed, destined to live with my parents for the rest of my life, at least until they died, when hopefully I could find a nice cardboard box to live in so I wouldn't have to sleep out in the fucking snow.

So today, Mary and I went to Suzy's for some yummy tomato tortellini soup. As soon as we hit the doors we were nearly knocked over from the blast of horizontally traveling snow that was whipped at us. "HOLY FUCK!" I shrieked. "IT'S GOING RIGHT IN MY MOUTH!" Mary was laughing too hard to tell me that I could stop that by shutting my stupid mouth. We continued on, getting pelted by freezing white schrapnel. "AAAAAAGGGGGHHHHH! MOTHER FUCKER!" I was screaming at the top of my lungs.

"Amber, shut up, people are looking at us!"

"I DON'T CARE! SON OF A BITCH! THIS SUUUUCCKS!" A guy walking in the other direction started chuckling, sympathetically I'm sure. "I HATE THIS! AAAAAAGGGGHHHH!" A woman turned around and gave me a dirty look. I covered up my dumbo ears with my hands in an attempt to prevent them from flying right off. "AAAAGGGGHHHH! FUUUUCK!"

"Amber," Mary pointed out, "it's the first time it's really snowed. It's going to get worse before it gets better. You'd better get used to it."

She's right. Man, I hate snow.

Friday, December 10, 2004


When I spell checked that last post, I learned that the suggested spelling for "Blitzen" is "Bludgeon".

Christmas Cards

I love Christmas time. I love the trees and the lights and the cheap plastic glowing nativities with one of the wise men tipped over like a passed out drunk. I love stores crammed with people wearing wool coats sweating on me and I love irresponsible spending. I love Scotch tape. And I especially love Christmas cards.

The cards are just now starting to trickle in, and it looks like it's going to be a great year. The first card I got was from my evil aunt. Not content with her pre-Thanksgiving psychological torture, she continues the mind fuck by writing "Our conversation the week before Thanksgiving was a blessing!!! Someday you'll figure out that every instinct you have is wrong and then you'll change and become the mindless automaton we all want you to be. Then we can finally be proud of you and stop claiming that we found you under a bush. You are special (or will be someday)!" Ok, so she didn't say exactly that, but it's what she meant, and it had it's intended effect of making me feel lower than a discarded band-aid on a sewer grate. Gloria! Let the Christmas spirit begin!

I also got a great card from the CEO. He hasn't spoken to me since I tendered my resignation, although he did tell VP of Operations that he's disappointed that they didn't create an environment where I could see the value of the opportunity they were presenting me. I assume he meant my promotion sans raise. Hmm. Yup, I have no idea how I missed the value of that opportunity. But I did get a lovely card. It reads, "Amber - Consider staying! Merry Christmas." Well, geez when you put it that way, how can I resist? Oh wait, I remember how. Because you suck. What's even better is that he sent a card to another co-worker of mine, Sandi, who has been with the company for a ridiculous tenure of 13 years. Her card reads, "Sandy - Merry Christmas." You'd think that sometime during her 13 years of loyal service he'd learn to spell her name, but it seems otherwise. I thought it was funny and told her to frame it. She, however, found it insulting and threw it out.

We've been receiving some gems here at work as well. One card features the satanic drawings of someone's possessed 4-year-old, who has chosen a beheaded devil-snowman with one very prominent incisor and carrying a bloody pitchfork to represent the spirit of Christmas. Another one has a lovely photo of the entire staff lined up outdoors in neat little rows. Until you look closer and realize that several people in the photo have been super-imposed, apparently over top the the original employees who were shit-canned before the cards got printed. NICE.

I haven't sent my cards out yet, mostly because my friends won't give me their addresses for fear I'll come over and fuck up their lives as badly as I usually fuck up mine. Also, I'm too broke to afford postage stamps. And I'm never really sure what I want to say to my family. Maybe I should deliberately misspell my aunt's name and then write "Thanks for making me feel like a turd. Merry Fucking Christmas!" Or I could just send everyone a hand drawn picture of Santa holding up Blitzen's severed head, and say some little kid drew it and the proceeds from my purchase went to the Wee Little Serial Killers Children's Home. Ok, so maybe I was found under a bush...

Thursday, December 09, 2004

A Fragile Truce

Don't you just love it when you have a falling out with someone and you decide it's not worth maintaining a friendship anymore, so you write them off, and then 3 months later they come back and start acting like nothing ever happened? Of course you don't, because that's a dick thing to do, and it's annoying.

The Gander, my primary confidant-turned-arch nemesis has apparently decided I'm pretty darn neat after all. I had actually been debating calling a truce myself, not because I wanted to, but because I need some electrical work done in my kitchen and sometimes you just have to swallow your pride in order to sucker your friends into helping you out for free. But The Gander beat me to it.

His first overture was to offer me free Browns tickets. Out of the blue he walks into my office and says "One of the investment management firms we deal with rented out a suite for the Browns/Patriots game on Sunday. It's like a vendor meet-and-greet, of sorts. I have two extra tickets, I thought you and Mary might like to go. Open bar starting at 11."

"Wow," I said. "I'd LOVE to go. Thank you so much for thinking of me. I'm really flattered." I really was really flattered, the dude hadn't done anything but spit nails at me since August. It appeared to be one of the best olive branches ever.

"Well Jay, V-man, Brian and Tom are all going, and I already asked Tim and Dennis, and neither of them can go. So after that I thought of you." A-ha. So really what happened is he ran out of football fans in the office and, lest the tickets get wasted, was forced to offer them to me. A little bit of a let down, but he DID offer them to me and, hey, open bar starting at 11, who am I to complain? So that was nice.

Fast forward to yesterday. I'm at home last night watching a tape of Friday night's Star Trek: Enterprise episode (OK, I'm a GINORMOUS nerd, so sue me) and my phone starts ringing. Mind you, my phone doesn't ring much, largely because I have almost no friends, which may or may not be related to things such as the fact that I like Star Trek. So I'm a little startled, because I just paid all my bills so I don't owe anyone money and I can't think of another reason why someone would want to get in touch with me. But since I am a Star Trek nerd I ignore it because, damn it, I'm watching Star Trek right now! When it's over I grab my phone to see who called and am extremely surprised to see the words "1 missed call: Gander cell" blinking up at me like a beacon of confusion. I assume he's still at work and in the midst of a self-inflicted crisis, that he's lost something he Desperately Needs Right Now, and that he's calling to 1) ask me where the FUCK CHRIST the GODDAMN FUCKING thing is or 2) accuse me of never sending it to him. I decide I had better call him back before he has an aneurysm.


"Hey, it's Amber."

"Oh, hi."

Long pause.

"Um, I saw you called. Did you need something?"

"What? Oh. No. I was just out drinking with [007], and he really wanted to talk to you." 007 is one of our clients. One of our most demanding clients and our single biggest revenue source. I don't work on that account, and therefore I don't ever have any occasion to talk to him. What's more, I had been under the impression that he was only peripherally aware of my existence.

"He wants to talk to ME? What for?"

"I don't know. Here, let me put him on."


"Amber? Hey, it's [007]. I'm with one of your clients...?"

"Yes [007], I know that. How are you?"

"I'm real good, thanks. Listen, I was at your place today, and I was going to stop by your office and talk to you, but [The Gander] dragged me into another room for a conference call." The conference call was the only reason he was in our offices in the first place. "[The Gander] tells me you're leaving the company."

"Yes, I'm moving to Chicago."

"Wow, that's great for you. I know [The Gander] will be sorry to see you go. He thinks very highly of you, you know. You'll have to come back sometime and we'll all go out and have a drink." ?????????????????????????????????

"Sure, [007], that would be great. Thanks so much." Thanks for what? I'm reeling; I can't think of a single coherent thing to say.

"Ok, well I'm going to give you back to [The Gander], I know he really wanted to talk to you."




"Ok, I guess I'll see you in the morning then?"

"Sure." Right. What the fuck just happened? First of all, he has not mentioned to me once anything about my resignation. He has also spent the last 3 months meticulously explaining to me how very incompetent I am. But he's out telling a client how brilliant I am, and how my leaving is such a big blow to the company? And not only that, but apparently that I'm also a rip-roarin' good time at bars? I have no words.

Which brings us to today. The consultants all got new e-mail capable cell phones. The Gander is a total gadget-head, and must immediately drop whatever he's doing to try out each and every new feature. He comes tearing into my office. "We got new wireless devices! I just sent you an e-mail from it. Let's see how long it takes for it to get here!!!!" He's all fidgety, practically dancing as he stands beside my desk peering over my shoulder at my screen. He looks like a kid trying not to pee his pants. Twenty seconds later a little envelope pops up. "Open it!" he cries giddily.

I open it. "eat shit :)"

"Nice," I say.

"No, wait! Now you send me one and we'll see how long it takes to get to me!"

Exasperated sigh. "Alright." I type "you too" and hit send.

waiting....waiting...ding! He pokes the screen with his little stylus. "'You too.' Thanks a lot. HEHEHE!" He gives me his best Charlie Brown grin and skitters away like a chipmunk on crack.

Incidentally, I e-mailed Mary about the exchange and received the following reply: "It's kind of comical to think of how sometimes, that gadget will ding-ding some happy little tune, and then the little guy checking the corresponding email will turn red and his head will pop off." True that.
In the meantime, it appears I have my friend The Gander back. At least until some really minor thing goes wrong and he goes all "The Shining" on me. HEEEEERRE'S JOHNNY!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Weird Things I Find Erotic

Fabric Softener - I have a very very bizarre thing with fabric softener, especially Downy. It turns me on more than any cologne you could wear. If you walk by me and your clothes smell like Downy, I will immediately start to think you are the sexiest person on Earth, even if you look like a troll. I think this goes back to the days of pedo-George. He always smelled like Downy, and I think I started to associate Downy with sex because of it. Now I'm like one of Pavlov's dogs - I smell Downy, I start salivating. It's distracting. I can't have it in my house. I once bought a bottle of Downy to wash my own clothes with because I like it so much, but then I spent most of my time sniffing my sleeves and daydreaming about wild sex in a bed shaped like a laundry basket. I wasn't getting any work done. But my clothes were always clean from doing laundry every day.

Hair brushing - I love, love, love it when I can talk someone else into brushing my hair. The height of this weirdness was when I had really really long hair in high school and college. I had this insanely long hair that went all the way down my back, so when someone would brush my hair it was like a massage. It doesn't sound that weird on the surface, but just wait till you're in the heat of the moment and someone asks you what would turn you on, and you say "Mmmmm, brush my hair." See how they look at you. Go ahead, try it. Pretty weird now, ain't it? It's not that big of a deal now since I cut it all off right after college, but sitting here writing this and thinking about it makes me want to go out and get extensions put in...

Crying - or rather, my own crying. Don't you start crying; that would make me uncomfortable. Really, I hate when other people cry, especially people I care about, because I don't want them to ever be sad. But when I'm sad, whoa! Lookout! My theory is that this is an extreme of emotion thing, that I'm twisting around in my sick sick mind. But for me, despair = sex. When I'm crying so hard I can't speak, yeah, that's a good time to hit on me. Doesn't happen as much now since they put me on the happy drugs, but stick around. Bad luck follows me, so a disaster is bound to befall me sooner or later.

People I don't get along with - I have a very destructive habit of becoming attracted to people I generally can't stand. It reminds me of Banky's line in Chasing Amy about not being in love with every girl he's slept with, "Some of them I downright loathe." Yeah, that's me. This tends to work best with those of the gentlemanly persuasion, who seem in general to be less concerned about genuinely liking the people they sleep with (I don't mean to stereotype guys, but you've got to admit I have a point). I once had a torrid affair with a guy I worked with, who was the most ornery, antagonistic mother fucker I've ever had the displeasure to know. We had crazy monster sex that left me injured for about 12 days. To this day I can't stand the guy. But, damn. I mean...just...damn.

Supply closets - Actually, I don't really find supply closets erotic per se, I just seem to frequently end up inside of them in compromising positions. I was in a supply closet with a kid in the drama club with me in high school, the supply closet of my old house (before I had curtains), the supply closet at the pool when I was a lifeguard, the supply closet at the factory where I did the payroll (with that guy I hated) and several more that I can't think of off the top of my head. I have no idea what the deal is with this, but I think it may be a part of the reason I've never slept with anyone at my current job; we just don't have big enough supply closets. We do have a guy that always smells like fabric softener though, and a guy I don't get along with, so who knows? I am here another couple of months...

Monday, December 06, 2004


Is this thing on?

Short Conversations

Some brief snippets of conversation that have occurred in and around work lately and made me laugh (I'm too tired to write my own material today, sorry):

Tim: (randomly, at lunch) I have 50 cents!
Me: I have two boobies.

Me: (while driving around with Mary and Rob looking at Christmas lights) Look! There's a Santa on the roof! And one in the yard. Which makes no sense.
Rob: I always knew he was duplicitous.

Mary: Hey, wanna go see Big Bad Voodoo Daddy with Amber and me?
Dennis: I can't see voodoo; I'm Catholic.

Me: I need some chocolate.
Bia: (pointedly looking at my ass) Oh, no you don't!

Me: Kristen loves her mom.
Mary: Kristen's mom's a whore.
Me: She loves me anyway.
Rob: Yeah, everyone loves Kristen's mom.

Bia: You should talk to me more. I like it when you talk.
Mary: But you always tell me to shut up.
Bia: It's out of love.

Tim: Well, it's almost 5:00 on Friday and all yous are gonna see is the back of my heels walking out the door.
Me: The back of your heels? Will the rest of you be covered in a shroud?

Ticket scalper outside yesterday's Browns game: Who needs two upset tickets?
Mary: Did he just say "upset tickets"?
Me: I think he did. Those must not be for today's game. Those would be called "about to get our asses handed to us" tickets.

Me: How's that OCD treating you?
Mary: I have to go check...everything. And then die.

(Mary bought a magnet at HOB that reads "Be Nice or Leave" and hung it in her workspace)
Dennis: What's with the sign?
Mary: It's instructional.

Friday, December 03, 2004

How Not To Impress Me

I was going through my old posts today reading people's comments, and there seems to be an inordinate amount of nameless people wishing to get horizontal with me when I move to Chicago. I have to be honest, it's kind of a mystery to me as to why. Now some of my anonymous fans didn't start trying to woo me until after I posted my picture, so maybe they just think I'm hot. But a great many were writing some really bizarre stuff way before that. And while it does say in my profile that I like to be hit on (which is true so please don't stop), there are some guidelines you should probably follow if you intend to get anywhere. Let me give a few examples of what's not going to work:

Working With The Gander
Anonymous said...
Seems like we are both having the same thoughts: three girls.
I don't really see how it seems like I'm thinking of three girls. I said we used to talk about how we both liked her, not about how we'd like to enjoy her together. I assume that the Gander is a female? A gander is, in fact, a male version of a goose.
Or that would be a goose? I do find your writing to be so interesting. Fascinating. Romantic. Sexy. Please post more, I'm getting wet. You are getting wet over my fascinating writing? I just posted the word "angry" 66 times. If that's all it takes to turn you on, you need to get out more.

From The Desk of the CEO...
Anonymous said...
I read all of your blogs. Thank you. Do you work for a brokerage firm or a bank? No, but in the same industry. It sounds exciting. It's not. You sound really interesting. I can relate to you. I bet you are really cute, maybe a bit of a tramp? How do you deal with it? Deal with what? Being a tramp? I'm not sure that I am. Sure, I like sex as much as the next gal, but I'm not running around the city humping people's legs. Can you give me some advice? I work with a gander too. Only she's a "goose" and makes uncomfortable sexual suggestions to me. When she enters a "gander" spasm, she rubs her breasts against me. Let me get this straight: you work with a woman who walks up to you and starts rubbing her boobies on you at random moments? Where do you work, a strip club? This seems really unusual. I mean, I've slept with co-workers before (not at this company) but I never at any time walked up to them in the office and started giving them a lap dance. I don't know if I should touch her or just run and hide. Your call dude. I got nothin. I'm so confused.
That much is certainly clear.

Anonymous said...
Can you have meaningless sex with yourself? If it is worth the effort, then it must have meaning. Do you masturbate frequently? Does the CEO appear in your climactic thoughts? Could you love another woman who previously was a man? Even if she liked the taste of beer in a can?
I would not do it with this man, I would not do it in this can, I would not could not on a train, I would not could not in a plane....i.e. lay off the goofy rhymes when questioning my sexual tastes because I assure you, my sexual tastes do not include Dr. Seuss.

Ask and You Shall Receive
Anonymous said...
Big brother teaches little sister the birds and the bees. You ARE a kinky one, aren't you? Talk dirty to me so more, Amber.
Ok, first of all my brother is younger than me, and he reads this blog, so don't make me have him e-kick your ass. Second, incest is not kinky. It is gross and it is weird and it is...gross. And you are frightening me a wee bit.

MINI Cooper
Anonymous said...
You are the epitome of cool. Let me know when you're coming to Chicago. There are a few "meat packing" facilities I'd like to take you to...
Meat packing facilities? Are you serious? Have you ever actually pick up a girl with that line? EVER? And by picked up, I mean someone who is live, not inflatable, and you didn't have to give her any money. I might be totally off base here, but I'm guessing no.

Another fine example of what not to do is my buddy Norm Here. Mary and I met Norm Here at the Cake concert in Columbus. Norm Here was so busy chatting me up he ended up missing half the concert. Here is a sample of our conversation:

Norm Here: What do you do?
Me: I do performance analysis for a consulting firm.
NH: I sell car insurance.
Me: Really? That's interesting.
NH: I bet you make a lot more money than me.
Me: Uh, maybe. Tell me about the car insurance.
NH: What kind of music do you like?
Me: (after a brief pause to collect myself from the abrupt change in topic) Well, funny you should ask that, Normy, because I've recently added punk music to the list of music I like, after an encounter with a couple of really cool punks I met in Chicago.
NH: So who do you like?
Me: Oh I don't know, Blink-182 is good...
NH: They suck. If you like punk music, you should listen to the Violent Femmes.

Huh? 1) The Violent Femmes are NOT punk rock. 2) I think I'm going to take my advice on punk music from actual punks, such as my spiky-haired, Social Distortion t-shirt wearing bartender, not from a guy who I met at a Cake concert sporting a Hawaiian shirt and a cowboy hat.

So, what have we learned? If you're trying to pick me up you should avoid the following:

  • Bringing up your own sexual confusion.
  • Nursery rhymes.
  • Incest.
  • Corny-ass lines.
  • Subjects you know nothing about.
I hope you find this advice helpful. For other helpful hints, check out my pals Pronto and Eric, who seem to be able to hit on me and appear outwardly normal at the same time. Kudos to you guys. I'm going to go think up some voyeurism stories for Pronto now, as a reward for his ability to not creep me out.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Little Known Fact

Every year at my company we have a holiday outing. We used to go out for a fancy dinner, but a couple years ago when the budget was tightened we changed it to lunch. This actually works out better because since we all imbibe alcohol at these events, we are not required to go back to work that day. At these events there are a number of activities. The standard one is a Yankee swap gift exchange, which is very popular. Every year we forget how to do it and every year we make Dennis stand up and re-explain the rules. Other activities have varied in the past, from "Match the Team Member with their Baby Picture" to the CEO dressing up as Santa and reciting a poem he wrote making fun of everyone (it was surprisingly funny).

This year, the activity is "Getting to Know You." Our task is to come up with a fact that no one here knows about us and e-mail it to Chris, the party organizer. She will then compile the list and at the party we will try to guess who said what.

Anyone see the problem here? If it's not obvious to you already, I can't shut up about anything. I can't think of a single thing, not ONE, that at least five people here don't know about me. I have been combing through my life for a week now trying to come up with something. One thing that I thought would be a funny little known fact about me would be to make that my resignation. Picture it: room full of stunned employees trying to guess who goes with the little known fact of "I quit." But alas, I ruined that by resigning the proper way. But that got me thinking that what I'd really like to do is come up with something that would be funny for me, and maybe Mary, but totally uncomfortable for everyone else. I delight in other people's discomfort. It wouldn't have to even be something that nobody knows, just something that would startle everyone out of their revelry. Some possible candidates I've come up with:

I like pie.
I showered today.
My mom's dead.
The voices made me do it.
My dad is the mailman.
I killed my cactus through overwatering.
I eat paste.
I'm a Branch Davidian.
My ovary hurts.

Are they gonna miss me or what?!?

House of Blues

Today Mary and I went to lunch at the House of Blues. HOB just opened in Cleveland a few weeks back, so for those of you who are from actual cool places this story will probably not be very interesting. For months now, every time we'd walk past the construction site Mary would say, "I've GOT to get in there!" in this really intense voice, as though it were some sort of exclusive members-only club reserved for the Fabulous.

So today we finally got in.

Immediately upon walking through the door, a rather stout black woman with a sparkley t-shirt and the teeniest, tiniest nose ring ever walked up and started talking to us. "HI! WELCOME TO THE HOUSE OF BLUES!!!" she shouted. "ARE YOU HERE JUST TO LOOK AROUND OR FOR LUNCH?"

Mary took several steps back due to the force of the shockwaves from this woman's extremely loud speaking voice. "Uh, for lunch."


We gave our name to the hostess, who told us at a much more reasonable volume that the wait would be 20 minutes. Since lunch hour for us is really supposed to be an hour, Mary looked at me for guidance. "Twenty means ten," I said. This seems to be some kind of industry standard. For some reason they feel that if they lie to you and tell you the wait is twice as long as it actually is, that you'll somehow be grateful for the privilege of waiting.

To kill the next 20 (but really only 10) minutes, we headed over to the company store to check out the merch. In addition to the usual fare of t-shirts, magnets and keychains they also have some evil looking plushy cats, several varieties of hot sauce, and some cool and interesting art. Mary noticed the art before I did. "Oh! Look at the glittery chicken!" After Mary both started and completed her Christmas shopping at the merchandise store, we went back out to the lobby.

"Mary, party of two? Your table's ready." Nine minutes, 57 seconds.

We were seated in a room covered from floor to ceiling in really cool art. A sign on one wall read "Barristers Gallery/ Lien Adulteresses Whores/Keep Out No Lien Dopes Pushers". I have no idea what that means, but I want one for my house. Sitting next to us were three guys (two had goofy hats) all speaking in American Sign Language. For some reason, I just love to watch people sign in public. Don't know why, just one of my quirky things. Our waitress was named Tara. There was something just a smidge Kate Hudson about her. "Have you eaten at the House of Blues before?"

"Actually no. We just FINALLY got in here."

"Okay, well I've tried everything on the menu so if you have any questions I'd be happy to answer them."

"You tried everything on the menu? Does that come with the job? You have to eat everything?"

"Actually yes, it's part of the training. You have to at the very least put one bite of everything in your mouth and chew it. If you don't like it, you can spit it out, but you have to try at least one bite of everything. Unless you're allergic." I've never had a waitress discuss spitting out half chewed food with me right before I ordered ever before in my life. I liked her immediately.

Tara informed us that HOB Proudly Serves Pepsi Products, so Mary and I each ordered pan seared voodoo shrimp with rosemary cornbread and Dixie beer reduction and a Pepsi. This writer strongly recommends pan seared voodoo shrimp. It was excellent. But we were not yet sated. Dessert was in order.

We elected to split some white chocolate banana bread pudding. This is the best. Dessert. Ever. And it's huge. Halfway through I told Mary I couldn't eat anymore. She said "Yes you can!" and proceeded to divide what was left with her spoon and push half of it towards me. I use the term "half" loosely here. It was more like two thirds and she did it on purpose because she wants to make me fat.

"Oh no you don't!" I said, and proceeded to rearrange the sections with MY spoon so that the bigger portion was closer to her and the smaller one closer to me. This is funnier if you know that Mary is OCD, and having my spoon which has been in my mouth and has my spit on it touching her food is a special kind of torture for her. However, that shit was so good she ate it anyway.

Finally, when we had eaten every last crumb on the table and the check was paid, Mary looked at me. "I'm going to throw up," she said.

"Me too. Hey, since we ate the same thing, do you want to throw up in the same pile?"

"That is disgusting. How about you keep yelling about puke in a crowded restaurant for everyone to hear?"

Don't mind if I do. :) I'm so glad we got in there.

Compare & Contrast

Butch Davis
resigned under pressure
management insists he wasn't fired
is being replaced by interim coach Robiskie
left immediately
Browns fans are relieved
gets $12 million

resigned despite pressure
management insists I won't be fired
is irreplaceable (tee hee)
is being asked to stay through Feb. (not likely)
co-workers are sad
gets a handshake
All things being equal, while I am obviously the more beloved in my organization, I'm pretty sure Butch got the better deal overall.

Also, Holcomb has three cracked ribs, Garcia is still not throwing, and we're playing New England on Sunday. Would anyone care for some lube?