30 July 2009

Brett and Cam = Awesome

Brett and Cam, two guys from Purdue, decided one day that they were going to give out free compliments. They made a sign, and they did just that. They simply stand on a street corner and compliment people. And they've been having so much fun just complimenting people that they're taking it nationwide with the Brightside Tour. It's Brett, Cam, a sign, and oodles of creativity. (And you can read more about them on their blog.)

I, of course, am too caustic and too full of hatred to be able to do this for more than about 3 minutes. What if Jillian Michaels or Sarah Palin or Heidi and Spencer walked by? I'd be at a loss.

But how about this? Next year, when I assign the ninth graders to detention, I should assign them lunch detentions during which they have to stand in the middle of the cafeteria with a sign, complimenting everyone who passes. I bet that'll make them sit down and be quiet! Brilliant!

(picture stolen from the Brightside Tour website)

Fizzy Milk?



Apparently Coca-Cola is coming out with a new beverage, fizzy carbonated milk. (You can read more about it here.)

The thought of drinking this makes me want to puke, but I'm neither a fan or milk nor am I an adventurous eater.

Also, it reminds me of the time I was with Best Friend during our flavored-milk phase in college. I bought some banana-flavored Nestle milk, and when I opened it, it started to fizz up and overflow. Without thinking, I started to drink the DISGUSTINGLY SOUR milk to prevent mess.

And I'm gagging now just thinking about that episode and the way my car reeked for weeks. Mmmmm, sour banana milk. Perhaps Yankee should make that a new candle scent?

Anyway, would you drink fizzy carbonated milk?

29 July 2009

Wild Tiger, Lion Heart

Above my dresser, next to the pair of jeans I hope to be wearing by the time I am 30 (damn you, cupcakes!), hangs one of the most hilarious pieces of writing I have ever read. It may be funnier than A Modest Proposal.

My take on this letter will likely reveal me to be mean or cruel, but I can't help it don't care. This thing is great.

On the Thursday before my wedding, my maid of honor, Caitie, and I stopped in Rite Aid because she needed a nail file. As we were walking toward the store, we passed a trash can that was overflowing, and papers were all over the ground around it. One of the papers had some writing on it.

I harbor evil curiosity, and can't resist reading the writing on random pieces of paper. So I picked up this pretty piece of blue paper that caught my eye.

As Caitie browsed Rite Aid's selection of nail files, I began to read it. It was golden. It was literature. I was laughing pretty hard, and Caitie wanted to know what it said. For fear that the author was herself in Rite Aid, I waited until we were back in the car to read it to Caitie.

Here are the contents of this literary masterpiece. It's some kind of journal entry, and it requires no literary analysis. It speaks for itself.

6-15-07
6:34

Called Irene.
Called Randy. Left message. So hard. What am I doing. Being honest & myself. Telling him I NEED HIM tonight. Just to hold me. And be there to keep me safe. And that I know how hard he's working, trying & succeding (SIC) in doing so much. But I know my needs & if he can't be there, I'm going out, going dancing, & I'm going to have a man's arms around me. Not going to be sleeping with him, but I need to be held. And that I still love him.
Called Irene. Told her I did it.

7:30
Randy, my wild tiger, my lion heart, called. He'll meet me at 9:30-9:45 at Safeway. He loves me and he responds to me. I love him so much. He said Don't worry, your man loves you and will take care of you.

It's probably catty and mean, but I can read this thing whenever I'm feeling down, and it will make me smile. Fortunately, Matt, my wild tiger, my lion heart, doesn't mind that I'm a little on the mean side. If he did, I'd be going out, going dancing. . .

28 July 2009

Blackout Monday

Matt and I were so excited for a quiet night at home last night. We'd been on vacation, we'd hosted Chloe, we'd gone to Augusta, we'd driven approximately 1.3 million miles. We were ready to relax, watch the news and Jeopardy!, cook dinner, and do very little otherwise.

Nature and Savannah's shitfest of a power grid had other plans. A huge thunderstorm came through and knocked out our power around 6:00 p.m., which crippled our plans for the evening. (Not to mention that the storm interrupted my viewing of a really dramatic episode of 90210, the one where Valerie pretends to be pregnant to make her married boyfriend give her $100,000.)

And Mitch isn't so much a fan of giant thunderstorms. Throughout the storm he nervously laid between Matt and me on the bed, pretty much being the cutest thing ever. Once it passed, he came out to inspect the damage.


There was no real damage caused to our house, but there was a pretty pretty rainbow.

And the sky looked pretty great.

We decided to go out for dinner with the hopes that the power would be back on when we returned. Yeah, right. This is Savannah. The power would be out for a long while.
Fortunately, I'm a candle freak. Years ago I bought these lanterns at IKEA. Since moving here, they've been quite handy. Go buy some if you're planning on moving to a city that hasn't updated the power grid in 300 years.

We played the most excruciating game of Scrabble of all time. I blame it on Matt, who started off our game with the word "oak." It was miserable, and he was winning handily before I decided that we should just quit. Matt is so much better at Scrabble than I am, and it sometimes makes me feel like I'm more stupid than Valerie's married boyfriend.

The really shitty part of the blackout was that the people two streets up from us and one street down still had power. Ours didn't come back until 8:30 this morning. I'm going to put this episode in the "Reasons to Leave Savannah" column.

Our power's been iffy today, and if it goes out again tonight, I'm writing my congressman!

Babies?

Chloe spent a week with us here in Savannah last summer. As soon as she left, I had a major revelation: I wanted to have kids. I announced to Matt that I wanted them, and he didn't take me all that seriously. I think he knew I was being a flake.

Of course, this phase in my life lasted approximately one week. I spent more time with babies and school started; very quickly I reverted to my previous stance, that I do not want a baby.

The decision about whether or not to have human babies is one I have struggled with for years. As a teenager, I repeatedly proclaimed that I was never having children (remember, I lived with a baby Chloe, who, although she was VERY cute, was a bit of a terror). Nearly everything about having kids sounds horrific to me.
  • I never want to be pregnant.
  • I never ever ever want to give birth (issue bag: I watched my mom birth my 11-pound brother at a hippie birthing center--no drugs, no nothing--when I was four years old).
  • Episiotomy.
  • I don't want a baby.
  • I don't want to pay for a baby with my money or my time.
  • I hate the sound of screaming children (in fact, I'm fairly sure that it causes my eggs to die).
  • I don't want to fight with Matt about who is taking care of the baby.
  • I don't want to drive a minivan.
  • I don't want to have to clean up after a baby/child/teenager.
  • I want to continue to take naps.
  • I am selfish.
  • I love my freedom.
  • I love my life the way it is.

Nothing has been able to convince me that children would make us happier. Although I'm sure that parenting would draw Matt and me closer in some ways, I believe that it would be terrible for our relationship in others. Plus, I honestly believe that Matt and I can do great things in our life and help our community in ways besides procreation. And I know that people always say that they can't imagine their life without their kids and blah blah, but I don't really find that as a reason to pop out some spawn.

I'm 89% sure that I do not want to have any kids. Perhaps this will change. Perhaps my body will turn some switch and suddenly I'll want a human child. But I'm 28, and it hasn't happened yet. I almost wish that it would. Here are my reasons for possibly wanting a child:

  • When I'm 60, I want to have had children. I just don't want to do any of the work involved.
  • Matt and I have some pretty cool names picked out.
  • I believe that we would be great parents.
  • I think Matt secretly wants them.

So, I think I've come up with a solution. I am going to steal Chloe. She's 13, she's great, she already looks like me, she's smart, she's witty. Done deal. This way, Chloe will get to play as much Wii Mario Kart as she wants, Matt will get to share great books and movies with her, and I'll get to have an adult child. Win, win, win.

Meet our new daughter, Chloe.




Time to pack your bags, sister.

Puppy IVF

This weekend we went to visit Hugh and Cassie in Augusta, where we met our nephew Fletcher for the first time.

I really do feel the way about puppies--particularly puppies who will grow into big dogs--the way that many women feel about babies. It hurts me on the inside, and I love all of his little puppy stuff. Tiny milk bones? Fat puppy bellies? Sweet stinky puppy breath?

Look at him! (Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, so I had to steal these from Cassie.)

Big awkward puppy feet. . .

And a sad puppy face.

If I've said it once, I've said it a billion times: Puppies are way better than babies. So, I'll be going to the doctor in the next few weeks to start the IVF treatments. Puppy birth, here I come!
(And it was great to hang out with Cassie and Hugh as well.)

26 July 2009

Go Tybee!

Tybee Island named America's healthiest beach.

Apparently they didn't try the sweet tea. . .

24 July 2009

Suckcake Emporium and Feelings of Superiority

Weeks ago, on a walk with Mitch, I spotted something downtown that was VERY exciting--the Cupcake Emporium. I'm obsessed with cupcakes (as evidenced here and here), I thought it would be a fun thing to do during Chloe's visit.

The Cupcake Emporium was a disappointment. The cupcakes looked nice enough, I suppose. Here's Chloe's carrot cupcake with cream cheese icing.

And here's my red velvet with cream cheese icing.

But the flavor and texture of these cupcakes was mediocre at best. The icing hardly tasted like cream cheese, and it had a gritty texture. The flavor of the cakes was just whatever and they were kind of dry. Blah.
It did seem like the Cupcake Emporium is actually more of a store than it is a cupcakery (nothing like Matty F's Frostings). Also, while we were eating ours we heard the cashier recommend the key lime cupcake to another customer, so it's possible that we just made poor choices during our visit.
The Suckcake Emporium did wet my appetite for cupcakes, though (like it takes a lot). So Chloe and I decided that we needed to spend an evening baking cupcakes that would be far superior. We made ourselves some carrot cupcakes and some strawberry cupcakes. Mmmm.
The carrot cupcake recipe is one from Martha Stewart. You can find it here.


During our night of baking, I also got to use one of my favorite new kitchen items, this pretty orange wisk. It makes me happy in my heart.

They are a million times tastier than the suckcakes.


We used this recipe for the strawberry cupcakes. If you're a strawberry cake fan, I'd highly recommend making these babies. We use cream cheese--smooth, cheesy cream cheese icing--on top of ours.



I do believe it's time for Porky Jean to make an appearance.

22 July 2009

This is Jeopardy!

Raymond: Course I got Jeopardy! at five o'clock. I watch Jeopardy!
Charlie: Don't start with that, Ray.

It's possible that I married Raymond Babbit, Dustin Hoffman's character from Rain Man. On weekdays Matt must--MUST!--watch Jeopardy!. If he is away from the house and thinks that he forgot to record it, he'll call me and ask me to check the DVR and make sure that it's recording.

Matt's love for Jeopardy! is rooted in his love for trivia (and the superiority he feels when competing against other people in any trivia-related activity). He knows a lot of useless stuff. He even knows the answers to the ballet and opera categories. WTF?

Not surprisingly, Matt owns me in anything trivia-related. I can usually beat him if the question is about: the Olympics, the Bible, or Beverly Hills 90210. One of the greatest moments in my life was when Matt and I were playing '90s Trivial Pursuit, and I ended up getting a shitload of questions about 90210, and they were always for pie. Finally, I received my final question. It, again, was about 90210, and asked what the name of the night club behind the Peach Pit was. Matt didn't think I would know the answer, but then I shouted out "PEACH PIT AFTER DARK!" and began to celebrate. He shook his head in shame, not because he lost the game, but because he was dating someone who was so knowledgable about 90210. Since I've sucked Matt into my world of inane television drama, he now knows the answers to many of the questions I would have monopolized in the past. Like this one:


We've created little games that we play whilst watching Jeopardy!. Back in college, we would play drinking Jeopardy, which was a fun and dangerous game. Basically, each of us would choose a contestant. When our contestant got an answer wrong, we had to drink. When either of the other contestants got an answer right, we had to drink. There was also some form of wagering on Daily Doubles and Final Jeopardy, but I can't remember. Now that we're mature adults who can't get college drunk every night, we no longer play drinking Jeopardy. (But apparently we're not too mature for the Friends drinking game, which has become a staple of our Thanksgiving celebration.)

We still pick contestants, and of course we shout out the answers. One of my favorite--and obnoxious--things to do is to repeat Matt's answers and pretend like I came up with them on my own. Matt will be all, "Stonewall Jackson!" and I'll wait about a half a second and with the same enthusiasm shout, "Stonewall Jackson!" I'll also celebrate when the answer is, indeed, Stonewall Jackson.

By far, though, the best part about watching Jeopardy! is what we do with the final answer. When Alex (with whom Matt has a love/hate relationship) reveals the final category, we try to predict what the answer will be. For example: if the final category is American Authors, Matt and I will select an author. If the author we selected actually ends up being the answer (or really question), then WE WIN IN LIFE. That's right, we win IN LIFE.

It was like Christmas for Matt when we returned home from vacation--7 episodes of Jeopardy! that we could watch back to back. It even ended up being a bit of a self-esteem boost for Chloe and me because the week we were gone Jeopardy! aired Kids Week.

Last night we watched about five episodes of Jeopardy!, and I'm happy to announce that I won in life TWICE! Chloe won in life once, and Matt did not win in life. He seemed disappointed to be the only one who was not winning in life, but maybe this picture of a shirtless Alex will help to ease the pain.

21 July 2009

Porky Jean

Oh, the delights of gluttony. . .

During my freshman year of college, I won a pie-eating contest. It was a sunny Saturday afternoon, and I was already stuffed with brunch from D-hall. Somehow my friends entered me in the contest, and I was against these giant football boys. My competitve drive kicked in, and I kicked ass. I beat them easily, and I even ate the crust when I didn't have to. I puked afterward. It was disgusting. Disgusting.

Also during college, when I worked at the beloved Buffalo Wild Wings, my coworkers and I would participate in what we coined "Tapeworm Tuesday." Tuesday was the day that the restaurant had a wing special, and since we got 50% off, we would order wings by the dozen, inhale them, and then do it all over again. It was disgusting. Disgusting.

And also during college, my roommate Caitie (who is still one of my best friends and was the maid of honor at my wedding) and I would compete in a very, very special competition: the Fattest of the Fat. Seriously. What was the Fattest of the Fat, you may ask? It's pretty simple, really. It was a competition to see who could eat the most in a single day. We would sometimes go to the Golden Corral to make the competition more interesting. And there was a default rule. If you had food on your face for more than an hour without realizing it, you automatically won. It was disgusting. Disgusting.

I'm starting to notice a pattern here, and it's disgusting. Disgusting.

A couple of years ago Matt and I came up with a name for my super fat alter ego: Porky Jean. (My name is Amanda Jean--it's iambic.) Oh, Porky Jean. She's so gross.

Porky Jean:
  • is so fat that her eyes are squinty
  • always, always, always has food on her face
  • only mumbles--her mouth is always so full of food and you can never understand what she is saying
  • has condescending older female relatives who all have Southern accents
  • is very fat

A typical exchange between Porky Jean and one of her female relatives:

Relative: Pawky Jeeean, you have ranch dressin' in yaw ahbraw.
Porky Jean: Mmm, bah, mmm, bah.

Also, Porky Jean has the mannerisms of a dinosaur. Enjoy the video. Sorry it's sideways; I can't figure out how to fix it.

video

If only I had a super skinny alter ego. . .

Harry is hairy!

I'm as big a Harry Potter fan as the next (but not as big a fan as, say, Chloe) but I couldn't help but be creeped out by Harry's (okay, Daniel's) chest hair on the most recent cover of Entertainment Weekly. What is he, twenty? How is he that hairy?

Zoom in if you must. There's a lot.

PS--the movie was great. I must admit that I love all of the Harry Potter movies, but have trouble differentiating them from one another. They all seem the same to me, but I love them.

Kind of like Hugh Grant characters in movies.

20 July 2009

M Cubed (+ C) Vacations: Lake House

The next stop on our tour of the East Coast was Matt's parents' lake house on Lake Gaston, North Carolina. Matt's parents have done an incredible job of creating a place that's relaxing but never boring, and a place where I often eat my body weight in cheese and crackers.

Mitch loves the lake house, too. And why wouldn't he? It's dog heaven. He doesn't have to be on a leash, there are lots of other dogs around, he is allowed on the couch, he gets to go for rides on the boat, he eats plenty of steak scraps, and he's spoiled even more than he is at home (a feat I wouldn't have thought possible). And the best thing about the lake house for Mitch--SWIMMING. I can't get enough of this cuteness.

First, he eases his way into the water. He prefers to use the stairs.

Going. . .

Going. . .

Gone!

When when he gets out, he has to do his big dog shakes.

But his favorite thing is to swim with his mom and dad.

"Um, Daddy, I want this noodle."

"Mama, I love you. You're the smartest and the prettiest and the funniest."


E.T. and Elliot, I tell you.

15 July 2009

M Cubed Vacations: Maryland

Though we only spent two days in Maryland, those two days were busy busy busy. We spent most of the time at Grandma's house. Grandma had recently upgraded her cell phone to a Blackberry, and Chloe was happy to introduce her to the glory of YouTube. As Chloe put it: Grandma's in the beginning stages of her YouTube obsession where she mostly just watches laughing babies. Grandma spent much more time enjoying her Blackberry than I would have expected from a 65-year old farmer's wife.


Mitch got to reunite with an old dog girlfriend: Doo Doo Brown. Seriously, the dog's name is Doo Doo.
And we got to see my brother Jordan, who is one of the funniest people I know (kind of Mitch Hedberg style) and does not like to have his picture taken.
Chloe also introduced us to Jim Bob, the lizard she won at the carnival. It grossed me out.

My dad, some of you know him as The Bruce, cooked up an incredible meal for all of us. He recreated the menu from the Matt and Mandy wedding extravaganza.
What is wrong with my sister? Doesn't she know that nature is out to get her? I'm pretty sure I saw that lizard spying on me from outside my window.

I've got more pictures to post and more to share about our trip, but I think I'm going to follow Mitch's lead and go to sleep instead.
Vacations make dogs and people tired.

12 July 2009

Vacation (a post from Mitch)

Apparently during vacations dogs [and people] are supposed to relax and sleep a lot. Something you might not know is that vacation will make you TIRED!

I mean, it's exciting and everything. I always get really excited when I see my mom packing up the car because I know that I will get to go on a really long car ride. Car rides are pretty much only fun for about an hour, and after that I just want to be sleeping on my big yellow couch.


I was so ready for this car ride because I haven't been out of town in a long time, and the last car ride I took was to the vet. I'm still mad at my mom for that. Also, I dressed up in my green bandana for the trip. I strongly support the protestors in Iran.

It's really fun to ride right in the middle of my mom and dad. Sometimes I'll give him kisses to remind him how cute I am.



I have two really cool cousins in Virginia. One is Kita. She's really really big and she scares me. She ate all of my food just to show me that she's the one in charge. It's cool, though. We've reached an understanding. Plus, I know that I'm way faster than she is.

My other cool cousin is Shayne. He's eight, and he and I have been pretty close since I was just a puppy. He got me this awesome stick and carved my name into it. Isn't that cool?


I've been having so much fun here in Virginia, but I am so tired. There's no bed for me to hide under here, so I've taken to hiding under this couch.

It's pretty much been a great vacation so far, even if I am super tired. I got to hang out with lots of old friends, and I even got to sleep in a bed with my Aunt Caitie! Tomorrow we're getting back in the car and driving to Maryland, which is this whole other state. I'm pretty much going to run and remind people of how cute I am. I mean, that's kind of what I do.

10 July 2009

"Is there a Mr. Gump, Mrs. Gump?"

"He's on vacation."

And so are we. Hopefully ours will be different from Mr. Gump's, though. We plan to come back.

Stay tuned for lots of pictures of Mitch swimming!

08 July 2009

Killing Me Softly, With Your Cute, Killing Me Softly


If babies were this cute, I'd have about a million and a half of them.
video

PS--Love you, Brad!

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