Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Someone told me... It's all happening at the zoo...

Things are incredibly busy and none too pleasant in my part of the world (end of school craziness + work + moving + crazy landlord situation). Luckily, I get a reprieve for Thanksgiving. I don't think I'll be posting until after then, but I wanted to provide this, one of my favorite internet videos that I find never gets old.

I want all of y'all to have a just plain lovely holiday, and I'll do the same. Kiss kiss.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Trips out of town: One good reason for living

I suppose with the upcoming holidays, I haven't had time to start getting excited about the fact that we're going to the inauguration in January. Yes! We have a pair of lovely friends, Roger & Vivian, who we hung out with a bit before they relocated to D.C. in the late summer, with the usual "If you ever want to visit, just call..." and, in this case, we did. Shameless, huh? But they're sweetasses and even though they're being invaded by several friends that weekend, they told us to come on as well, so we will. Today I started my research of food in the area, which is Priority One for me when visiting a new city. So far, my major discovery is Ben's Chili Bowl (whose site, for some reason, my work browser won't allow me to visit, declaring it "Malicious," WTF). Behold!

I feel the rarity in which I eat sulfide-ridden hot dogs robs me of any shame that might be attached to the act. I love tube steak, I have to admit. I get particularly excited when I realize a special devoted to unique and/or extraordinarily popular hot dog joints is airing on television, and I watch them again and again. Hopefully Mr. Dill and I will have the time to someday crisscross the nation eating the best dogs it has to offer.

The last time I visited Washington, D.C. I was on a 6th grade field trip, which would've been approximately 1993, and all us kids wore those hideous shiny track suits that were so popular in that era. I remember having a purple one that I wore with a matching Mickey Mouse baseball cap from Wal-Mart; I had a looooong (Pentecostal length, mind you) spiral perm and VERY fat face. I wish I had pics to scan, I really do... I'd feel like I was telling you a very special secret if I showed you 6th grade Amanda. Anyway, we visited all the monuments but all anyone cared about was getting back to the hotel so we could go swimming in the pool. Except for me, who was a) chubby & self-conscious; b) not a good swimmer. I still have a "Cherry Blossoms of Washington D.C." shot glass that I bought as a memento, being unaware that it was meant for booze consumption. Oh, the charm of naivete!

ETA: If y'all have any good restaurant or any other recommendations for D.C., let me know. We'll be there a few days before the inauguration. I'm hellbent on getting a visit to at least one Smithsonian in.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

oldie but goodie

As of yesterday, I am officially *off* the hormonal birth control. First stop, VCF. The package has a cute little sexually active cartoon woman on it. She wants to talk to me frankly about contraception. I will not let you know how the VCF is, probably, because that's TMI, and although my middle name could be TMI, I have to draw the line somewhere. It seems like I do, anyway, but why is that again? Oh yes, because it'd rather embarrassing for everyone, because I'd mention:

a. queefs
b. menstrual blood
c. that thing that happens sometimes when a dude's balls slip up inside his body
d. all of the above!!!!

Maybe this game gets tired for y'all, but I'll tell you, IT NEVER DOES FOR ME, SUCKERS!

School is fast coming to a close, and for me, it is forever. Or at least for now. I have decided that this whole graduate school thing is definitely not for me at this point in time. I know people who have had very successful forays into advanced degrees but for a variety of reasons, I'm not going to continue with my master's. We are making other plans, and although, at first, I felt the dread of failure welling up when I thought about quitting, it was soon surpassed by the idea of how stupid it is to continue something when you know that you shouldn't, and one thing keeping you going is the dread of others' judgement. I say "Fuck that shit," so I'm quitting and I'm not ashamed, world.

Last night, in the course of searching for a recipe for wilted lettuce, a dish my mother makes in the springtime when her greens & radishes are ripe in the garden, I cruised through old Myspace blog entries. I am really happy that I was blogging often there in '06, because it means I have these pretty honest-sounding, well-constructed accounts of my summer -- daddy's sickness and the very beginning of my relationship with my husband. Like this classic! From September 30, 2006!

"I'm living in East Nashville with Brandon -- we will steal your lawnmower. Our apartment is really incredible, a deal we stumbled upon after a stressful breakfast at the Knife & Fork. I can see downtown from my kitchen window. We are so busy loving each other that everything else seems like half-time until we can get together again, and I feel like things are so much better now that I am older. Knowing what I want to hold onto is so much easier, and I'm certain he feels the same thing. We just want to have a good happy life with one another for as long as the momentum lasts -- and I think, I hope -- the momentum can last for as long as you choose for it to, as long as you keep gas on the fire. We laid in bed the other night watching a Metro helicopter spotlighting, trying to track down some criminal, safe in our sleeping nook with the cats stomping on our heads. I don't know how life can be so happy and sad at the same time, honestly. It makes you feel heavy with guilt and light with the ease of love and freedom. I'm like a science experiment in which you float an object in the middle of a glass of water."

Hmm, I can't help but think "Why can't anything I write these days be as perfect as that is?" Maybe because now my life is pretty normal , and back then it was so tumultuous, in the best and worst ways.

It's a ridiculously busy couple of weeks coming up -- moving & the end of school, which means papers & test, not to mention Thanksgiving, which we'll spend at my mom's house, joined by Brandon's brother & his girlfriend, which is awfully terrific. I've made the resolution that the holidays spent with my family will be exponentially more fun if at least somewhat under the influence, so I must remember to buy wine and/or liquor before leaving Shelby county each time. God, it would be so much easier if drinking around my brothers/their wives & children wasn't so fucking taboo. Do you know how many people I know whose entire families cannot make it through a gathering without a liberal helping of liquid courage? I don't want anyone to get smashed, I'd just like it if we could relax together in the best way: under the influence.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I'm gone tomorrow... baby, follow me down

As I was driving to work this morning, a rather frenetic sense of just fucking being alive washed over me, and I filled up with a certain kind of energy that you feel when you are very lucky. It's much better than caffeine. The only problem is that I have to come waste it here, and although I'm very willing to shill food stamps to people because Lord, everybody wants to eat, I can help but selfishly wish that I was either a) sitting on the banks of the Mississippi River, drinking a 40; 2) sipping a galao with my husband in a small cafe in Porto, Portugal; or 3) lounging naked on springtime clover eating a Tomboy cupcake. Instead, I guess I'll try to hang on to some sense of vitality until 4:30, which I am telling myself is NOT a long time away.

I am feeding my mood with the Avett Brothers this morning because they are like the best band ever ever ever. Seriously. If anyone needs to know, I can burn you a copy of my "Amanda's Ultimate Avetts Mix," some of my favorites. I have every CD of theirs in my catalog now, thanks to my lovely brother in law:

It makes me particularly proud because I turned him onto them. I'm kind of like a Christian missionary, see? But instead of forcing my religious beliefs on indigenous peoples, I'm just spreading the gospel of music holy music.

Yesterday I discovered a seller on Etsy that just knocked my socks off, and made me consider papercutting, which, I am ashamed to say, I never had before. A few examples of her gorgeous, intricate work:

Aren't those incredible? She has a whole blog devoted to her papercuts here, and you can find her Etsy shop here. I think I will get my mom & niece a couple of her smaller storybook character prints to frame for Xmas presents, and I really really want one of the larger ones for myself. I bookmarked it on our computer, we will see if Mr. Dill remembers that I did so. Time will tell. I want to just order one for myself right this minute but I'll have some self control.

What else, what else? Oh yes, inspired by posts by Mrs. Lies, and the experiences of other married friends I have who have gone off the pills and been pleased with the results, I have decided to ditch the hormones. Liz has been induced into reading Henry Miller by this, for God's sakes, how can I ignore that? So now I have to decide what alternative I want to use. I wish I could just go to Walgreens and buy a sampler platter, like appetizers at T.G.I. Friday's. I have experiences with condoms, but that's it, so I believe I'll weigh my options. Since I'm a child/young adult of the 1990s, I feel the impulse to try the Today sponge, in a nod to Elaine on Seinfeld, but I don't know if contraception choice based on a sitcom is wise.

Monday, November 10, 2008

so I'm going back to the place where we met, I'm going to find the beer bottle we left

The hatches have officially been battened; I am sitting under our huge down comforter, nestled on top of the electric mattress pad, or as I like to refer it's "Mama's Gift from Heaven." We inherited my parents' king sized bed and all its accessories, and my mother had invested a lot in the past few years. It has a couple of nice memory foam pads as well as the lifesaving warm-up-your-cold-ass mattress snuggle. Boy, it's nice. 

B & Toby are watching The Fall in the office, but it is too cold for me in there. I really, really want to watch this movie, but I'll do it tomorrow since it's VETERAN'S DAY!! Hooray veterans! Thanks to your sacrifice, I get to sleep in on a Tuesday. Why don't y'all honor me by taking tomorrow off killing Iraqi and/or Afghani and/or Pakistani civilians?? And I'll go buy some outerwear at Goldsmith's. Do you see how everyone wins?? 

I have to do homework & start packing tomorrow. We did the application process today for an apartment in Cooper Young, which is slightly old & busted, but quite a bit cheaper than our current place, and has a washer/dryer. And... drumroll please... heat that (supposedly!) works. Works well, even. Time will tell, but I feel all right about it. The dangerous part is that it is within eyeshot of Black Lodge and I feel that our movie rental bills could possibly sky rocket. 

All in all, we had a really nice weekend. On Saturday I met my mom in Jackson, and we watched The Secret Life of Bees, which I thought was worth the $5.50. Well worth, possibly. My mom and I had both read the book not long after it came out, and meeting her in Jackson for a movie has been something I've meant to do for a long time. It's about 1/2 way for both of us, and it's nice for us to spend a couple of hours together. The movie portrayed the South in the way it should be: slow, sweet, & golden. Oh yes, and pervasive racism, and hate crimes! (Nervous laughter!) That night we first went to Ashley & Will's, then to Leslie & Mark's. God I'm hotlinking like a whore. I'm all "Look at the people I know! Behold their internet presences!" At the end of the evening I realized a) we weren't totally wasted; b) we hadn't offended anyone; c) no one had offended us. All in all, a success. It is weird to consider yourself mature simply because the thought of spending time with others that you may or may not know very well doesn't fill you with incredible fear & revulsion. 

For some reason, every night by 9:00 p.m., my back seizes up with this weird stiff pain that makes it tough to bend over. What in the hell will become of me if I'm having back pain of this sort at 27? I carry every bit of tension around in my neck, and when Brandon touches it to feel the muscles, drawn taunt in the manner of rubber bands, he wrinkles his nose with disbelief. I don't know what could ever fix that. Are chiropractors just a big screw?? In Decatur County, there was one, and my daddy used to call him "The Rubbing Doctor." I'll leave you on that note. 

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dobamanuts for Democracy

I'm back at work today after waking up on Wednesday morning with a splitting headache and calling in sick. I'm sure it's a brain tumor, not the Franzia. Yes, I'm absolutely chockful of class. From what David told me the other day, the husband and I share sophisticated drinking tastes with one Ms. Janice Fullilove. I don't know about Ms. Fullilove, but I have great appreciation for the "Chianti" variety.

Election night turned out to be really awesome. I made spring rolls, and Brandon cooked up some dumplings from the Viet Hoa and we gorged ourselves while listening to NPR. I had fallen victim to the liberal paranoia, which I'm pretty sure sprang from flashbacks to 2004, and B and I agreed that we wouldn't go out until it was looking good for Obama. I prefer not to let others see me when I'm suffering, that's all. Anyway, after Ohio was in the pot, we threw the wine & leftover rolls in the car and headed to Mr. Whitten's, where there were a lot of merrymaking and excitement and happy voters. Part of us were sitting in the living room, some people were out on the porch, and B was in the bedroom on the phone with Simon in Chicago when the banner popped up on the television naming Obama the winner, and we all just erupted with screaming and laughing and motherfucking relief. It was quite beautiful, and I was really happy to be in a group of people to share it, it made it all the more poignant. When John McCain made his concession speech, there was a cut to a teary-eyed Sarah Palin, and I couldn't help but yell "SUCK IT CLEAN, BITCH" even though everyone was supposed to be quiet.

Like I said the other day, my country making me a little bit proud doesn't happen very often, because I'm an ungrateful socialist, I suppose, and although I don't think Obama's gonna cure AIDS or anything, I'm just happy that a majority of my fellow Americans voted the most liberal of all U.S. Senators to be our Commander in Chief, and an African-American to boot.

It was noted on Jezebel today that Michelle Obama played Barack the Mariah Carey song "Hero" when they were waiting to hear the results, and I was quite touched, as this is a song that I learned in chorus my freshman year in high school, that I punish my husband with at least once a week. He tries to smother me with a pillow when I do it, but I'm tough and I'd never let anything like a pillow-smothering keep me from singing this very very special song to him, especially.

I am officially bored with work entirely, and although my inbox is filling with alarming rapidity, I am finding it hard to give a fuck.

After I recovered enough to go out into the sunlight yesterday, we went apartment hunting. Although B is quite grumpy about it, I refuse to spend another winter in ice house. Due to the delightful combination of high ceilings, complete lack of insulation, and the presence of only two wall-mounted pitiful ass gas heaters in our house, it was pretty much like we didn't have heat last winter. If you put on two pairs of pants and sat directly in front of the teeny heater in the living room, you wouldn't die. Otherwise it was total misery. I'd usually come home from work, turn on the dryer & the stove in the kitchen, and just hang out in between them until it was time to go crawl under the electric blanket, which needed to preheat for a minimum of 30 minutes. Yes, my life was a hell. If anyone sees anything that looks good around Midtown, please let me know. I am looking for a place that's less than $600/mo., I'm totally tired of throwing away money on rent that we could put towards something real & sustaining. But no, we're not going to buy a house here.

According to the ladies in the cube next to me, government cheese was really something, but I'll never know because you haven't been able to get it for 20 years. I wonder about it. Was it processed cheese food? Surely it wasn't, like, cheddar. That seems to swank for the gov't to provide. What's up with American cheese anyway??? I'm sure that gov't cheese was American, and in my humble opinion, American sucks. I'll eat it on a cheeseburger, but that is for tradition's sake only.


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