California

Oddly Specific

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Don’t I look like a teen from the Midwest who wishes she was from Iceland? And think about everything that has to go into that – I’m not even “exotic” enough to think that I look like what I would imagine some hip chick from Iceland looks like. I’m so unexotic that I have to reduce my look to the ridiculous point of Midwest teen trying to look like she’s from Iceland.

Explanation: my face and lips were really swollen last night and I thought it looked interesting, so I took a picture and now here we are.

Mission Statement, Revised

Last night I was sitting in my bathtub taking notes on how I wanted to write this blog post. I have a few drafts and they will probably never be good enough, so, do you mind if we just move forward and pretend that this is a brilliant beginning?

When I started this blog it was meant to be my own, private, and a pleasure – the goal was to encourage myself to do what I love (writing) and get better at it. Eventually, it became a chore and I felt like I was required to follow so many blogs and talk to the “right” people and get advertisers and open an online shop and make money and so on. So, I backed off the blogging for a while and now I’m back and will not be doing any tedious blogger networking unless I am genuinely interested in that blogger and they are interested in me. Writing will not be my career or a thing I do for any reason besides my own joy, because I do not have the mental fortitude to mix business with, what I feel, defines me.

To Do

Exercise More, i.e. exercise = endorphins = good.bye.depression

Bake More. You’re good at it and it makes you happy. No brainer.

Write More (obviously)

Read The Bible, see: “doing-things-because-you-want-to”

To Remember

Ned is gone and that’s ok.

 

Anyway – hello again! And thanks for sticking around. I missed you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn: The Season of Unassigned Reading!

Autumn has finally hit Northern California, and I couldn’t be happier. However; when it becomes fall around here, yours truly loses any and all desire to do schoolwork. All I want to do is curl up with my British edition of Harry Potter, drink chai and snuggle with Jeff (the boyfriend), Hermione(the cat) and Zelda(the dog). The last thing I want to do is do assigned reading. Anyone who has ever majored in Literature knows what I’m talking about – it’s a problem that is unique to us. Anyone who has never been a Lit major doesn’t understand how you could take courses where all you do is read novels and somehow find time to procrastinate due to your own reading.

I didn’t used to be like this. I remember in junior high I used to kill my school reading before I did anything else. The first time I ever picked up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, I couldn’t get through my schoolwork fast enough. Study hall with Harry Potter and Hermione Granger? Yes, please! While everyone else was out at recess or lunch, I stayed behind to do my reading so that by the time school was over I had my book pulled out of my backpack and was there with Harry in Potions before I even reached my grandmother’s old Chrysler. I would devour books, and I would always finish my homework first.

But now? Now I have this weird problem where I’ll really jam on an assigned reading for school, but then I’ll get bored with the next book and do my own reading for pleasure. I also have, and always have had, an issue with assigned reading. I just think it’s shit. I always wanted to be a part of the class where a teacher just got the students stoked as hell on something they wanted to read.

Why is this so important? Because not enough people are exited about reading and I think it’s because “literature” is shoved down our throats before we are even cognitively aware enough to know just what the hell it is we are doing in a classroom full of other eight-year-olds!  Because teachers teach to tests and because some of them became teachers just to get weekends and holidays off. Because you are told that if you don’t read (insert novel here) then you will be punished. Who wants to read anything under those conditions?

I’m also just a hippie about reading. Read what you want as long as you are reading! Read the hell out of that Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey, as long as you’re reading.

When you aren’t reading, just do what I do and look at photos of autumn-ish things on Shutterstock. Like this:

Shutterstock Autumn

Relaxing beauty!

Shutterstock Autumn

Peaceful. Majestic.

Shutterstock Autumn Books

Look at how happy she is! I bet she’s reading something whimsical as fuck!

Shutterstock Autumn Books

Poor assigned reading . . . it got left behind.

Now, excuse me while I go to the used bookstore and buy books that won’t further my education.

Sacramento, California – It Sucks

I hate Sacramento. OK, maybe this is because I got to spend a relaxing week in Santa Cruz, but still. I’m not happy about my return home y’all.

Seriously – when you enter Sacramento there should by a sign that says, “If You Lived Here, You’d be Miserable by Now.”

My downstairs neighbors are adolescent meth users.

Everyone has allergies.

People are always sweaty because there is a constant, dry heat from the end of May to the end of September.

Everyone drives like shit. And I can say that because I have been on a few road trips and I swear to god, people actually know how to merge the moment you make it out of Sacramento. It’s like being freed from an enchantment of bad driving.

The level of unhappiness amongst Sacramentans is through the roof.

Actually, wealthy people are usually pretty happy here. That’s because they can afford big houses sans neighbors, great allergy meds, a really nice pool and a driver so they don’t have to worry about the traffic – they can just hire someone else to do it for them.

What is awesome about coming home from Santa Cruz? Well I got a sweet job that allows me to (gulp) leave my job at the mall.

I made this face when they told me:

ermahgerd dog

The job is the tennis ball. It’s a metaphor.

This means I will have nights and weekends and a job that I truly enjoy doing. But I think the picture says it all.

We also got a dog:

Rescue Dog

Scarlett Divine – Mistress of the Underworld (Rapist Killer)

For anyone who is wondering: we have her in a crate because her previous owner trained her that way and it makes her a little more chill in her new environment. We want her out of the crate and solving crime throughout Sacramento as soon as possible, but it’s all about baby steps.

Also, apologies for not posting yesterday. I had to go to the doctor and get put on some meds and then I slept for 14 hours. Any post I would have produced in my brief moments of lucidity would have been not just awful, but unintelligible. So, really what I should say is, you’re welcome.

And what about books, Amanda?

Well, to be quite honest, I’m not reading any fucking books right now. Between being sick and taking care of the new dog I feel like my brain is going to melt out of my head. I’m serious – last night I watched three hours of TobyGames on Youtube. My brain is not in the mood for reading. Shit happens, you guys.

And if I had to pick a book to read it sure as shit wouldn’t be this one:

Catching Fire Book

Awarded Best Sequel in the World by No One.

I tried reading this. I really did. It’s the only book I’ve ever gotten more than halfway through and then quit. Why did I do this? Because it’s the first book all over again. Here’s the deal – it starts off all original and I was all, “Shit Katniss, how you gonna get out of this, girl?” And then I was all, “Oh, because you’ll just go back in the arena and do the first book over again.” I would have given a heads-up about spoilers, but it isn’t a spoiler because if you’ve read the first book it already happened. So, I gave up on the series, and listen, I’ve had about a million people tell me I need to finish reading the damn thing and I’m just not going to do it. You fucked up, Suzanne Collins. You have fucked up.

And to be clear, I still stand by the fact that even though I think Catching Fire is shitty, if you love it and it gets you reading, well that’s awesome. Keep on reading and read what you want. I’m just a bitch with an opinion.

Bet you have a book you hate! Tell me about it in the comments and we can have a healthy discussion about terrible reads!

Girls Poop 2: Shitting in Nature

This weekend, Jeff and I went backpacking into Desolation Wilderness.

Here are some features of the trip at a glance:

  • 5 mile uphill hike to the campsite. 5 mile downhill hike back.
  • Secluded lake where we could get freaky in nature if we felt so inclined (hint: we did feel so inclined).
  • Back breaking tent camping, i.e. we only brought one sleeping bag and an inflatable mat that we found out no longer inflated only after we had completed our three-hour hike into camp. Hooray.
  • Really scary crotch smells.
  • Nature shits.

Let me say one thing about this post before you go any further: I use the word “shit” a lot. I could have used “poop” or “crap” or “dump” or any other word that describes a bowel movement, but I chose “shit” because it has a certain sort of pizzazz that really pinpoints the feeling I’m going for.

Now, for those of you who aren’t familiar with shitting in nature, it’s quite a process. First, you have to find a spot far enough away from the camp so that you, literally, aren’t shitting where you eat. Then, when you do find a spot, you have to dig a hole at least six inches deep, shit into said hole and use biodegradable toilet paper. IF you don’t have biodegradable toilet paper, you have to take your shitty toilet paper and put it into a paper bag and cart it around with you for the rest of the trip because, and I don’t know if you knew this or not, there isn’t really any trash pick-up in Desolation Wilderness.

This is a good process. It keeps the Eldorado National Forest beautiful and clean, and it’s really not that hard to do. Inconvenient? Slightly. Difficult? No way. There is a problem with the whole notion of having to travel to shit, however, and it’s that sometimes you just don’t have enough time to get to where you’re going.

Let me illustrate with a story, shall I?

Jeff and I were already a little over halfway done with our hike when I started to get the shit-sweats. This is when you don’t have to poop right then, but you know it’s going to be a rager when you do. I gave Jeff the heads up, with the thought that I would be able to make it to camp, but just in case to “Please, please help me shit in nature.” Up until that point in my life, I had never shat in nature, so I was a little nervous about the whole process. There are so many fantastical mountain creatures that I imagine would love to bite my asshole while I’m squatting over a rock releasing my bowels. There is also the inherent fear that women have of something being/getting in your vagina without your knowing it, so that came into play, too. I’m getting chills just thinking about it.

Then, suddenly, it happened. I felt absolutely sure that I was going to shit my pants. I threw my pack off, yelled at Jeff “Toilet paper, toilet paper!” and ran as far as I could in the short amount of time my body had given me – and there I was, shitting on a rock with beautiful Lake Tahoe behind me, sweating and moaning into my hands.

It is funny, so go ahead and laugh.

After a few moments alone with my thoughts, I told Jeff to come over and hand me the toilet paper, but “Dear God don’t look at the shit-baby I created.”

But then we both looked at it anyway.

I felt sort of proud.

I created . . . that?

I said that it was, “At least six cupcakes worth of shit.” Then we high-fived (with my clean hand) and marched on for another hour and a half to our campsite.

So, what did I learn from this adventure? Well, I learned that a man who loves you will stand by your side while you shit your face off and congratulate you after you’ve survived the scariest nature shit of your life. I learned that scenic shits are the best shits. And most importantly, I learned that if you do backpack up a mountain for an hour and a half without stopping, and you’ve never done said activity before in your life, your body will react in some exciting, new way, and that way will probably be something close to explosive diarrhea.

But what book did you read while you were camping, Amanda? Who gives a shit about your shit?

I started reading a romance novel (eek!) but it’s really pretty damn good. I didn’t think I would ever enjoy a romance novel, but Diana Gabaldon really has it together with Outlander. So far, the protagonist is a rockin’ babe who doesn’t allow herself to be bossed around by anyone, even after she is transported back to the 18th century from 1945 . . . after touching a magical boulder? What? I know, I know, sounds stupid, but it isn’t!

I’ll let you know what happens when I finish the book, but apparently it’s a series and a really great one at that. The girl who rang me up at Barnes and Noble got all hot and bothered just from seeing the book on the counter and couldn’t shut up about it. I’ve never heard any of the people at Barnes and Noble get that excited about a book. They usually just tell you about how the book they are writing will be better than any of the books you could buy in the store.

But now, my friends I must leave you. I’m going to go take a shit on the toilet. And I’m bringing Outlander with me.

Let me know your crazy shit stories in the comments! Sharing is caring!

Ryan Gosling Circle Jerk

Tonight, I watched the movie Drive. It was so awful, I didn’t even want to masturbate to Ryan Gosling afterwards. If you want to watch a movie with Ryan Gosling, go to the classic, The Notebook, because that movie is good, dammit. In fact, I think we have that on DVD and I’m going to search for it after this. And then I will cry while I watch it because Jeff is gone. He’s camping in Bishop, California with a bunch of other dudes.

I know what you’re asking yourselves, “Did Amanda make as many circle-jerk jokes as I think she did?” and the answer is yes. Yes I did. I made several jokes, loudly and in public, about how they were all going to sit around a campfire, rub their balls together, cry and say “no homo.”

So, you can all sleep easy tonight.

What am I going to do with my free time? Well, apparently I do stuff like take $300 out of my savings to buy myself pretty things. My reason? I finished a tough semester and I deserve it. I also got Mom-Approval for the event, so that means it’s valid. The other thing I do is go to my friend’s house and eat until I get the meat-sweats from the brisket her husband smoked for nine hours. And then I stay at their house until 3 in the morning because they are the kind of people who can stay up until 6 AM and have get-up-and-go four hours later. The problem? I am not one of those people, so when I woke up this morning at 10 AM to hang out with my mom, I felt a little hung-over which was unfortunate in that I was already hung-over all of last weekend after I drank too much booze.

I have a thing for gin.

Why did I drink so much deliciously poisonous boozey booze? I was celebrating the end of the semester. Jeff thinks it’s the funniest damn thing in the world when I get drunk because I do a few different things:

  • Speak Spanish.
  • Talk about ancient philosophers sodomizing each other.
  • Whisper dirty things into his ear and make-out with him in front of lots of people.

These are all things he enjoys and cherishes. What makes it even better is that I don’t really like being under the influence of any substance because I enjoy having my wits about me in case I need to argue a point and make some terrible person cry, so when I’m drunk, I’m actually lucid the whole time, but just impaired. Basically, no matter how drunk I get, I can constantly say, “I wish I wasn’t drunk so I could keep reading In Cold Blood,” which is something I really said this week.

Exciting. I know.

I did feel up my friend’s boobs. I was trying to convince her she had such nice boobs that I couldn’t even resist them, but instead it came off weird, and one of the bartenders was staring at us, most likely with a rager that he was trying to hide behind the counter.

When I haven’t been drunk or watching disappointing films, I’ve been reading In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. I didn’t think a book about a true crime could be beautifully written, but this one is. If you don’t like anything even slightly scary, you should not read this book. Because the murders in the book actually happened, there is no way to do the “at least this is just a work of fiction” thing to try and un-terrify yourself.

What have we learned, everyone? Don’t watch Drive, do watch The Notebook, and read In Cold Blood, but not when you’re alone.

Solid.