journal

Good Thing About The Exercise

I just realized that for the past two weeks, I haven’t technically been eating a dinner but rather a mishmosh of frozen yogurt covered in chocolate sauce and sprinkles, graham crackers dipped and swirled in Nutella, cloud-like wisps of marshmallows and some delicious frozen chicken nuggets made gourmet by a secret sprinkling of spices.

. . . how wonderful!

 

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.

amanda meets depression

Someecards I Hate Mondays Through Sundays

Accurate.

Funny thing happened in October – I was diagnosed with severe depression. So severe that I was bumped to the top of a 80 person waiting list to see a therapist and a psychiatrist. So severe, my doctor almost started crying when I handed her the list of thoughts that had been on constant rotation in my head for the past two weeks. So severe, that I really, truly, honest-to-god thought I was going to crumble into nothing and die. The scariest part was that I didn’t care. In fact, I was looking forward to that moment of oblivion. 

What I have learned since then is that for the majority of my life, I’ve probably never really been sad, but depressed. Apparently, my brain looks at sad and says, “Fuck this! Let’s go the extra mile!”

Another thing I have learned is to not drink alcohol like a sorority girl when you’re on your first month of Zoloft. Present Amanda is trying to reach through a hole in spacetime to past Amanda to give her the following message:

  • DO NOT under any circumstances drink that whole margarita. You will drink another, then one more, then two glasses of champagne (three?) swiftly and with an ease that would embarrass Ernest Hemingway. 
  • DO NOT wear what you like to call your “Classy Dress.” It will be neither classy nor dressy by the time the night is through.
  • For god’s sake, DO NOT eat the green chile enchiladas and a strawberry cream cake in rapid succession only moments after you’ve consumed alcohol noted above. 
  • Move your hand away from your mouth when you begin to vomit so as to prevent any barftastic essence from spilling onto your “Classy Dress.”
  • Listen to your boyfriend when he says, “Stop drinking. Now.”
  • Listen to your doctor when she says, “Don’t drink alcohol with this medication.”
  • Listen to your future self who will have to write about this in blog form. Idiot. 

For the record, it’s funny now, but I really did black out for a moment and then puked into an adjacent pitcher that was, thankfully, free of any and all beverage. Jeff acted with speed and precision to ensure that most of my vomit was projected into something rather than onto my person. I did fill that pitcher with vomit, by the way. And we’re talking to the brim, people. Jeff was proud of me in a weird way – somehow all five feet of me puked up a pitcher full of puke. 

Now, I tell this story not to warn against the dangers of drinking with medications and the whole thing, you guys know that. I tell this story to illustrate what I like to call “My Darkest Hour.” In hindsight, it’s pretty hilarious, but when you’re there and puking green enchilada with strawberry cream on yourself, it all becomes very dark very quickly. The point is though, that I’m here now writing about it. Things got better. I no longer puke into pitchers. Believe it or not, that’s a good thing. I’m making sure I don’t puke into pitchers just like I’m making sure I don’t get caught up in the negative thoughts my chemically imbalanced brain spits outs. 

So, the long and short of it is this – I know I’ve been gone for a while, and I know there are some of you out there who genuinely like this blog; you leave great comments and you keep coming back here even when I’m not posting. I want to thank you for being such a constant while I was, and am, going through such a difficult time. There might be more posts from here on out about my depression, but I promise I will try to put a good spin on it. The posts might not be as scheduled as they were before, but I’ll try. I just want to say thanks, guys. There’s more to come, it will just take time.

Also, tell your friends that have depression or anxiety to COME ON OVER. Let’s talk this shit out. Let’s help each other and try to make sure no one else pukes on themselves.

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.

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!

How to be Neurotic

After How to be Inappropriate, I realized that I have a lot of How To advice that I can offer. Some of the How To ideas that I have played around with are:

  • How to fart like a lady.
  • How to make fun of horrible people without them realizing it.
  • How to compliment someone and accidentally make it seem like an insult.
  • How to have awkward sex.
  • How to change a tampon in front of your significant other.
  • Guest post from Jeff: How to watch your significant other change their tampon.
  • How to have anal sex  – which is a post that might actually come to fruition pretty soon. There’s a lot of -ahem- shit that needs to be said about anal sex that the ladies don’t know and should know if they want to put a penis in their butt. I’m talking about pornos that make things unrealistic, son.

The list goes on.

However, I decided to go with How to be Neurotic because I’m really fucking good at it. That’s it. That’s my reason. I hope you like it. And whether you do or not, I will sit here waiting for validation until I get it. Then when I get validation, I will still think that you were just being nice to spare my feelings and wonder what you really think of me.

That was step one, folks.

Here we go – a list of the things that should be on the neurotic (female) mind during various activities.

During Sex

Did I just fart?

Did he just fart?

I’m gonna poop.

I have to pee?

Shit. I queefed.

I’m pregnant. I can tell.

Is the front door locked?

If we ever leave the front door unlocked that will be the one time someone shows up to rob us. They will rape me and kill Jeff and I will have to spend years learning karate to avenge him.

Yeast infection?

What time is it? I need to wake up at seven.

Where’s the cat?

While Cooking

How much do I like this shirt? Enough to wear an apron? I’ll just go for it.

Fuck. My shirt.

Is this bad? I can’t tell. I’ll just make it into soup.

Will my soup make everyone sick?

Was I supposed to put the flour in first?

Will Jeff like this?

If he doesn’t like it, will he stop loving me?

Does he like any of my food?

He really hates all of my food but keeps it a secret because he loves me so much.

Tapeworms.

Is that a hair?

While Shopping

I’m fat.

I wish I was fatter so I could fit into this.

My boobs are too big.

Nope, they’re too small.

The person who tried this on before me had ringworm, didn’t they?

Yeast infection?

I have back fat.

I have armpit fat.

I’m not the problem! Clothes are the problem!

Nope. I’m the problem.

I’m going to the thrift store.

Body lice?

Book

If you want to read a book about a girl who does her best to handle the various neurotic episodes that fill the lives of young girls entering womanhood, then read I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith. It’s one of my favorite books of all time. If you have a female in your life of any age, get her this book! The main character is a wonderful role model for women everywhere and the book is filled with some of the better beautiful prose in this world.

Let me know what you think of this post in the comments!

Go on, validate me.

Beauty Makeover

I recently had a not so great experience at a certain store in the mall that sells all sorts of various body creams, serums and fantastical scented oils. What happened was this: I walked into the store with the idea that I was going to treat myself to a bunch of expensive shit. I had $100 to spend and I wanted to spend it there. Immediately upon walking in, I chose my three items that I wanted fo’ sho’, and put them in a basket. The cost of each item was $18, but they were buy two get one free. Now, when a salesperson sees someone walk into their store and immediately fill up a basket with items, the salesperson should promptly try to get that customer to spend more money: they are clearly in the mood to buy and that mood should be exploited.

Common retail move. 

But, this girl did not come up to me and try to help. In fact, she ignored me. This made me angry. There was no one in the store besides myself and the young woman, so she did not have the excuse of “ohmygodthestoreissobusy” nor did she have the excuse of “I’m helping this person, but I’ll be right with you in just a sec, kay?”

Nope. Bitch just ignored me.

Why does this bother you so much, Amanda? At least she was ignoring you and not trying to sell you a ton of crap you don’t need. At least she wasn’t being pushy. At least you could just shop alone and in peace. Why so grumpy?

Because it was the one time I wanted help and advice from another girl about what was going to smell good and make me look pretty, dammit. And because there are a million people out there who would kill, kill, just to have her shitass retail job in the mall. To be as ignorant and selfish as she was in that moment is to disregard the customer and anyone else who could have had her job, that nasty little shit.

She didn’t just ignore me, she was rude to me when I asked her a question. She seemed inconvenienced by my existence, and I was torn because I didn’t want to buy anything from her, but I did really want to buy things for myself. So, I just spent $70 instead of $100.

I really stuck it to her.

Then what happened? Well, I called and made a complaint, and the manager I spoke to offered me a free beauty makeover for my troubles. So I went in there today and this happened:

Beauty Make Over

daaaamn.

You might not think this looks that bad. Jeff said, “It doesn’t look that bad.” But let me draw your attention to the finer details of this beauty makeover. Notice, if you will, the subtle difference between the pasty white skin of my shoulders and my face, it is something akin to Snowflakes VS. Miami Beach. Gaze into my eyes, tearing up with a vast quantity of eye shadow and liner. Look at my cheeks, bruised with the delicate glow of bronzer. And look at my lips, pink with the rosy gloss of disappointment. Actually, I’m happy about the lips. Those look nice. And you see that smirk on my face? That’s because I’m a smart ass and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with this picture the moment Jeff took it.

To be fair to the girl who did my make-up:

  • She did it for free.
  • I was 20 minutes late because I’m an asshole.
  • I told her to “have at it.”
  • She took time out of her day and tried to make me look pretty. That’s neat.
  • If she was trying to get back at me for making a complaint and being 20 minutes late, then she did a fine job, and her bitchiness should be commended. I really couldn’t have done it better myself.
  • She was nice. Even if she was faking it, she still faked it. And that’s sort of what retail is all about.

On the bright side, I’m just about done with In Cold Blood, I’m watching The Adams Family and having fun with my whore-face on. I’m also staring at my used copy of Lonesome Dove that I’m pretty stoked about starting as soon as I get this Truman Capote off my back.

Actually, after watching a few minutes of The Adams Family, I’m realizing how similar my beauty makeover is to Morticia Adams’s everyday make-up.

Rad.

Unicorn Tears

I’m feeling pretty pumped right now. Today, I gave a killer presentation on my Emily Dickinson paper. I’m reading Dracula for my Victorian Literature class. My boyfriend and I just got done watching two hours of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia plus watching an hour of cast interviews on YouTube. AND, just now, right this second, I found out it was not 1:30 AM, but 12:47 AM. I was reading the paused microwave timer instead of the clock. Jeff discovered this and I just about died with stokedness. I have been given the gift of time, you guys. That shit’s for real.

Overall, this week is going pretty well.

This week. 

Now, I don’t know if you have noticed, but I have been more or less absent for the past few days. Basically, I’ve just been busy with school. Non-stop. It’s annoying. I can’t read The Hunger Games as often as I like and this bothers me. By the way, I don’t even care who knows that I’ve been reading The Hunger Games. It’s a great book, OK?!

What has really been getting me down is work. I’m a little sick of selling candles to assholes.

There. I said it.

Last weekend, I went a little off my rocker while I was at work. A woman came in with long, blonde hair and as she was shopping around I was doing some stuff behind the counter when all of a sudden I zoned out real hard on her hair, and my thoughts went something like this:

She has so much hair. God, look at that hair. What is hair, anyway? Hair is toenails and teeth. It’s all the same. Doesn’t she realize she has toenails and teeth growing out of her head? She grooms that stuff. She flat irons it, dyes it, brushes it. Why? We’re just animals. Why do we even try to take care of our hair? Why is it even attractive to other people? It gets in food, on clothing, in drains. That’s why I cut all of my hair off. I’m not like you people. I’m not like any of you people. Oh my god. We are all animals. All we do is consume. I work in a candle store where people come to spend thirty dollars on a single candle. We’re animals. We’re just animals. All the hair on your head is dead by the time it comes out. Wait. Did I just go crazy for a second?

That’s pretty much what happened. I went a little cuckoo bananas.

Every once and a while, this happens to me while I’m working at the mall and I fantasize about moving to an island and living in a hut with Jeff where we grow our lovely lumberjack children who never have to face the terrors of the world. Then, I wonder what would happen if we died and I remember The Blue Lagoon and I freak out a little more.

But I can’t get down too hard. There have been good moments in retail for me. In fact, there have been great moments in retail.

My favorite moment goes like this:

A few years ago, I was the manager on duty, all alone in the store and bored out of my mind. It was the middle of summer when people don’t want to buy candles because of the whole fire=hot thing. Finally, a couple comes in, and I flip out (in my head) because the man looked just like a real life Peter Griffin. You know. Family GuyWe’re talking same outfit, same build, you name it, he had it. The green pants. The tucked in, white shirt, the glasses, the hair. Needless to say, I was fascinated and wanted to know more, so I schmoozed it up with the couple. The wife was nice, really into the candles, but Pete wasn’t feeling it so much. He asked the prices and, of course, when I told him the candle cost $25.99, he looked at me and said, “Jesus! What the hell is in these things?” To which I replied, “Unicorn tears.”

This moment could have gone one of two ways: terrible or awesome.

It went awesome.

Mr. Griffin didn’t miss a beat before he said, “Well shit, I’ll take three.” And if you can believe it, he actually did. He bought three candles for his wife. Then, he shook my hand and said, “I like you.”

And I swear to gawd, even though it was indoors sometime around 2 PM, that man carried those candles into the sweetest red sunset I’ve ever seen.

Who else could possibly understand my love/hate relationship with retail? Why, David Sedaris, of course! Holidays On Ice, though it is in part about a retail job during the Christmas season, is exactly what retail is like. It’s odd that you see the worst in people when you’re serving them. You’d think that people would just be happy to be getting help, but that’s just not the way it goes. People are more suspicious than anything when you’re nice to them. They think you’re up to no good. Or that you are working on commission, even after you tell them, “No. I do not work on commission.” Or they don’t listen when you say, “These candles are buy two, get one free. But just these ones. Right here. This table. Only this table.” And then they bring a bunch of non-sale candles up front and tell you that you told them they were on sale, when they know good goddamn well that’s not what the fuck just happened.

Dick.

Anyway. Read Holidays On Ice. I know a lot of people hate David Sedaris, and I don’t care. He’s funny, dammit.

Man, I missed you guys.

John Cusack Insanity

Today was a rough day at work. One of those days where nothing really happens, no one is really mean or really nice, so I have plenty of time to dwell on all the real assholes that have bothered me in the past. So, when I got home tonight I was really pumped about how I’m going to just go bugfuckcrazy on someone someday, then I smelled incense burning in one of my neighbors apartments which really pisses me off.

And then I thought of this:

In that moment, John Cusack and the genius minds behind High Fidelity succinctly describe my feelings about retail and every terrible person that decides they should come shop in my store.

On that note, High Fidelity is a book, too. And a pretty good one if I remember correctly. It’s been a while since I read it, so it goes on the When-I’m-Out-Of-School-This-Summer-And-Have-Some-Free-Time Reading List.

I will also being doing the Insanity Workout this summer. In my fantasies, I get really tone really fast, but in reality I will probably work out too much, get dehydrated and pass out.

Happy Friday Night!

Who gives a sweet hot damn about the Easter Bunny?

I was perusing the internetz today and came across this little gem: an Easter Egg hunt was cancelled in Colorado due to “helicopter parents.” I was intrigued but not surprised and here’s why – you guys all know I work in the mall and that the store is located directly above the mall’s center where, you guessed it, magical beings such as Santa and the Easter Bunny come to play and bestow the children of the Roseville area with their fantastical greatness.

I’m OK with Santa, they always get a good one who looks like he is worth every penny they pay him. The Easter Bunny on the other hand, well he just drives me bug fucking crazy. I don’t think there is any way to make an Easter Bunny costume not creepy as all get out. The head is always too big for the body, the pastel colors are all wrong (this year he is orange and blue, blargh) and he has those demon eyes that look into my pitiful human soul. He makes me feel dirty. Like I’m walking around naked. Or like I forgot to put in a tampon.

And what really gets me is that every year, without fail, these “helicopter moms” come in with their chocolate covered children, and while they are shopping for candles, the kid is complaining about how long it is taking and saying things like, “I don’t want to see the Easter Bunny. He scares me. I want to go home. My stomach hurts. Why don’t you show me affection cold, cold, witch mother?” To which the mother replies, “We’re seeing the Easter Bunny whether you like it or not.”

WHY? What is so important about the goddamn Easter Bunny? Is it your mother-in-law? Does she demand pictures of her grandchild(ren) with the mythical beast? If so, why doesn’t she take the little bastards herself? Is it your husband? Or are you just so determined to make your kid happy that you are willing to make them miserable to do it?

There is the alternate version in which the child that will stop at nothing to see The Bunny. While his mother shops for candles, he tugs at her tube top dress that she wears as an everyday dress when it’s really a bathing suit cover up that you can clearly see all of her underwear and stretch marks through (nothing is wrong with stretch marks by the way, this is an insult I reserve only for terrible people. I gots stretch marks too, yo. Juicy bitches always gots some stretch marks). He cries, pouts on the floor, tries to wipe his chocolate covered hands on my white work shirt, and is eventually victorious when his mother finally caves and they depart to a world of sugar infused magic. Again, WHY? I know this is played out, but when I was little enough to be stoked about the Easter Bunny, I would never have acted like such an asshole for fear of punishment, i.e. not getting to see said bunny.

In fact, my grandparents only took me to see Santa once or twice. They quit going because bitches up in the mall be crazy. They never took me to see the Easter Bunny because, and this is what I am really trying to say here, WHO GIVES A SHIT ABOUT MEETING THE EASTER BUNNY? I didn’t give a shit and do you know why? My grandparents made sure to tell me that Mall Santa and Mall Easter Bunny and Mall Whoever were just fakes assigned to appease the public and get them to buy stuff. I wasn’t supposed to meet either one of them – they were too magic for my little mortal brain to even comprehend were I to meet them in person. I would watch Christmas movies and when the little kid met Santa, I would laugh and say something like, “Fools! One cannot just meet Santa!” My grandparents would laugh and agree.

Geniuses.

If you want some straight up real magic fit for Easter, you need to read this book: Rumo and his Miraculous Adventures by Walter Moers. This book is filled with the misadventures of a magical little dude called Rumo. Rumo is a special creature called a Wolperting. Way more magical than the Easter Bunny. He gets shit done, too.