Sunday, December 31, 2006

Toned down Tenacious D?

I don't usually do this, but I am dedicating this post to whoever wrote The Holiday. Specifically, the Jack Black character. You deserve a post, if not some sort of freaking statue to put on your mantel.
First of all, you managed to write a character that gives us the essence of Jack Black. It's like Jack Black Lite. And that is in no way a bad thing. Second of all, you put that Diet Jack into a romantic comedy , which I did not think would work. Anyone familiar with Tenacious D knows that JB is one of the people in Hollywood you would first name if you were to make a list of "People Who Will Not Fit the Romantic Comedy Mold." (This is perhaps one of the reasons I love The D so much.) I take back my statements regarding that. I take them back and I am ashamed I even thought them, let alone put them out into the universe. Because he is a great romantic comedy character. Totally believable.
My third and most important point is this: you made me like a leading man in a romantic comedy. Do you know how hard that is? It is a very difficult task--one previously thought to be impossible! Well done, writer(s)! Well done indeed. If this Jack Black character existed, I would have a serious crush on him that would make my readers think I was a seventh grade girl hanging up posters of Orlando Bloom. You would be embarrassed to be seen with me; my love would be so great.

So this goes out to you, whoever you are. Job well done.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Mistletoe: friend or foe?

I bet you read the title of this post and guessed what I was going to write. I think you'll find yourself corrected, however.
Like religion and when to have sex, mistletoe is a personal decision that everyone has to make for themselves. Some people think it's a cute holiday tradition; others find it a detestable annoyance that clouds up an otherwise joyful holiday season. And however you feel is fine. What is not fine, however, is mistletoe peer pressure. Peer pressure is not a friend of mine, let me tell you!
That said, I support the overall goal of mistletoe. I'm sure it has origins in some lonely guy trying to get some love. Can you blame him, really? The holiday season is full of the message that couples have a better time. I say, no, we cannot blame that guy. Nor can I blame any other guy (or lady!) looking to do a little kissing. Rejection is a bitch, so sometimes you have to fall back on tradition. Thus, the mistletoe. And while I loathe the PDA, I will let mistletoe kisses slide. (To a certain degree, people. Let's not lose our heads. It's a privilege, so don't abuse it or I'll take it away.) Personally , I am more in the "mistletoe is evil" camp and am THAT PERSON who does a quick scan for it upon entering a holiday party. And I will avoid that area all night, unless it's somewhere key, like by the bathroom or the bar table. In that case (you bastards.) I try to make my time in that area minimal. That whole float like a butterfly thing, ignoring the boxing reference.
My concern lies in the potential. What mistletoe could morph into. Will we see mistletoe public service announcements, with the cast of Grey's Anatomy warning our youth that, "Just because someone tells you it's a tradition, that doesn't mean you have to do it"? A Lifetime movie? "Meet Me Under the Mistletoe...Or Else!" Will this harmless tradition turn into one more thing mothers shout as their daughters leave for a night out with friends? "Stay together, keep an eye on your drinks, and watch out for any mistletoe!!" I shudder to imagine such a reality.
And there you have it. Party on, mistletoe lovers. But make sure that your victims don't mind. No means no, even in the glowing lights of a Christmas tree.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Is nothing sacred?

Clearly I am a liar, since I left you hanging onto a promise I never fulfilled.

I was shopping in Target when we last spoke, and saw some new kind of chocolate product. Being human and only able to withstand so much temptation, I checked it out. It is called, disgustingly enough, Chocolove. Now, at first I thought that perhaps it was dedicated to the product within. You know, "I love chocolate so damn much I'm going to name this very chocolate AFTER my affection." sort of thing. I might be tempted to do the same thing if I, you know, made chocolate bars. (That would be tragically dangerous.) So I picked it up and was reading about the company. And this guy says he only uses the finest ingredients, etc. It's for the distinguished chocolate fan, I guess. Cool. I'm on board with that.
But THEN, I saw something that made me gasp. I was so distraught I started a rant right there in the aisle of Target, which, apparently for my sister, was embarrassing. So much so that she left me talking to myself...until I bumped into a girl I graduated from high school with and haven't seen since...high school graduation. Great. Awkward situations are my favorite!
What, you may ask, was so horrifying? A little bubble on the wrapper, telling me that the wrapper itself has a love poem on the inside!
Why must even the chocolate bar, that which is sacred and reserved for the single and alone (with the exception of Valentine's Day, when couples force us to share) be a vessel for words of love?

I understand that I may have overreacted. So I took a minute to look over the website when I got home. Maybe it just said "poem inside." That, I would like. You know, a little culture with my chocolate. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe...
"The package design would resemble a love letter sent from a distant land, and inside each wrapper - a classic romantic poem."
Honestly, chocolate company, why do you hate me? I do not want to open my candy and pretend that I have some boyfriend in a "distant land" who adores me and sends me poems. I want to eat my chocolate. Period. End of story.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

And the heavens opened.

Do you hear that? That, my friends, is the glorious sound of someone realizing what they were doing wrong and enabling commenting.
I really DON'T know much about computers. Ha.

I'm tired right now, but tomorrow I will be back to tell you a sad tale of one man taking away from single people what has rightfully been theirs since the beginning of time!

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Perfect Example

Remember that time I told you I don't really understand computers?

Well, here we go. Round 789 of The Computer vs. Amanda. I promise I'm trying to enable commenting on this blog, but for some reason blogger doesn't like that idea. No matter what I do, it tells me that only registered users will be able to comment. I'm sorry. Because even if whatever you say is stupid, I want you to be able to say it.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

"If" Version 2.0

I have long been criticized for my unwavering use of the word "boys." A great deal of my generation moved on to "guys" long ago, and the shift to "men" is increasingly noticeable. From the same people who are starting to get married and think about children in terms of something you give birth to, not a boyfriend you hope will not do anything gross in public. I, however, have remained loyal to "boys." I am known to occasionally pull out "gentlemen" when it seems appropriate--though this is rare. It's mostly an optimistic gesture.
The reason I am so resistant to change has been attributed to my women's college education. I disagree. I will allow that my sense of complete awe at once again being in a coed world is because I went to a (wonderful) women's college. That's totally fair--I feel like a visitor at the local zoo, pointing at the silly things penguins do and wondering why monkeys behave a certain way. Unfortunately for me, boys understand what I'm saying and aren't isolated in little habitats. They're interactive--more like a petting zoo, if you'll ignore the sexual undertones of what I've said.
But I digress. I'll tell you why I won't call you "guys" or "men." You don't deserve it! 97% of the time, you deserve "boys." AT BEST. When you prove that you can handle it, I'll call you a man. Rudyard Kipling wrote about this, but I don't necessarily trust his judgment, since he probably would have fought me on this issue too. So...

Make a move! Call us! Ask us out if you're interested! Don't ask for our screen name or MySpace address, go for it and ask for the number. We respect a "wanna hang out?" phone call so much more than the same sentiment in e-mail form. Stop making us call our girlfriends to analyze your latest lame-ass instant message! We overanalyze because you suck! You're making us do all the freaking work--we basically have to decide for ourselves if you're interested, then you make us plan something and that only leads to further analysis! And just like Twisted Sister, we're not gonna take it anymore.

So there you have it, future men of the world. When you stop acting like a boy, I'll stop calling you a boy.

You have to earn your "man" status.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Because 2001: A Space Odyssey had a point. Kind of.

Alright, so I don't really understand computers. I know how to do lots of things on them, and I can figure it out if I look around enough. But I don't get them.
My laptop is a man, which might have something to do with it. I learned about his gender during our first year together, in the spring of 2003. He began to do act strangely. Then one day he completely flipped out. I tried calling tech support, but it was all a mystery. After the first call, he worked again--sort of. It only did about half the things I expected of it--just enough to not call for help. He insisted he was fine. When I learned that it was a ridiculous virus, I turned to it and said, "Why wouldn't you just let me call a doctor?!?" Passerby thought I was talking to a boyfriend. I realized then and there that my computer was definitely male. There would be no checkup for this one--he was fine. He didn't need an expert's opinion. Suuuure. He brought home a present shortly thereafter--a NEW virus disguised as some sort of software, which I had declined when a pop-up offered it to me. He brought it home anyway, thinking himself a smart, kind computer. Bringing the little woman a nice gift--and not even on her birthday! Or is it? Oh well, either way. It reminded me of when my father brought home a puppy to my mother--when she had twin infants, an older child, an older dog, and a job to deal with. Nice idea, Dad, but now Mom just has one more thing to clean up after. (For the record, the puppy worked out remarkably well and was loved a great deal. Don't panic.) I appreciated my computer's thoughtfulness in bringing a gift, but it just meant more clean-up for me.
(You might think I named my laptop upon learning his gender and speaking to him as a real person. You would be wrong. A name was too good for him; too good for our love/hate rollercoaster relationship. I merely refer to him as The Bastard in times of hate and nothing at all in times of love.)
I worry that despite his occasional stupidity, my computer knows too much. It's really a trust issue, I suppose. I'm still trying to figure out the source of that. But I'm guessing it might have something to do with his affair with my first printer.

One day I'll tell you about her, and why she's dead now.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Well, we're arriving, but then we're departing.

Open letter to all airline patrons:

I was wrong in thinking that certain things were just common knowledge among those traveling by air. My, was I wrong.
To make my next travel experiences more pleasant, I'd like to give you all some blanket rules to follow.

1. An airplane is an enclosed place. You have to live peacefully with the other people inside from the time you fasten your seatbelt and start chewing your gum as the plane heads to the runway until the flight attendants say "buh-bye now" as you deplane. There is no place to GO during the flight, except the lavatory--and you can't stay there for very long. (First of all, you'd get bored, and second of all, a lot of people are depending on that tiny room.)
I know this seems like a simple idea. But a lot of people forget. Mainly, the people who apply perfume or cologne liberally before heading out to the airport. I hate those people.
We all have to breathe the same air. And your cologne is contaminating and polluting that air.

2. Learn to recognize the universal signals. There are certain things that, even when there is a language barrier, come across loud and clear. The number one airplane signal is headphones. Chatting with your neighbors is fine--I'm going to visit some family; oh, that's a lovely city you'll have a great time; I went to that college too! Awesome. Sometimes. Like, while we're taking off and reaching our cruising altitude. Or reaching our destination. But as soon as your seatmates put on their headphones, you should stop talking. Listening to music is a solitary thing--and I don't want to hear about your daughter's wedding anymore once I'm allowed to turn it on. End of story. And when I turn on my music, turn towards the window and shut my eyes? There is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY you should still be talking! Unless you're saying something important, like, "The plane is going down." or perhaps, "What would you like to drink? The flight attendant is here with the cart." That's it! Even then, keep it to the minimum. When I'm on a plane, I'm like the government--everything is on a need-to-know basis. And your wife's plan for retirement is not something I need to know. I'm not on this plane to make friends.

3. If I see that the sudoku in my in-flight magazine is filled in and you aren't doing yours, you damn well better let me have it. You aren't even looking at your magazine!

Thanks for your cooperation.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

"I'm gonna put you on hold one more time."

Tonight I discovered what it would feel like to be in Hell.
(I have to tell was so much worse than I had anticipated! I mean, I know what you're thinking. It's HELL, it's not supposed to be fun. But like I said--so. much. worse.)

After installing some programs on my computer, I had to call tech support. *scary organ music* I spent two hours on the phone, waiting and waiting and waiting because somehow, my computer came up with a problem that has never been seen before. And while she looked up yet another potential fix seventy-three or so times, I sat waiting, listening to horrible synthesized keyboard jazz on the edge of my chair since the phone cord only reaches so far and I was too stupid to think about the cordless phone. Meanwhile, my father, who worries endlessly about the computer, sat there slowly losing his mind, getting more and more frustrated, asking me questions every 6.7 seconds while I was trying to listen to the poor woman who took my call! After roughly an hour of zero progress, he began pacing the small computer area. Looking through every computer disc and manual we own, which totals somewhere in the low thousands, since we don't throw things away when we should and then forget which printer is the one we got rid of and which one is the one we actually use so let's just keep both CDs and books just in case. Since that was too simple, we reached the highlight of the night--Dad Wants One Specific Manual And Can't Find It So Let's Throw Others And Yell Upstairs To Mom Because She Might Know Where It Is Even Though She Spends Maybe 1.3 Minutes On The Computer Daily And Amanda Is On The Goddamn Phone Right Next To You.

(Yes, that did merit capital letters. It was very important--the highlight! Of the night!)

In the end, my problem isn't even with the company I called. It's someone entirely different! And you can bet your ass I am not volunteering to call about it. I'll be too busy picking up the habits of going to church and praying--because if Hell is anything like tonight, no thank you.

Saturday, October 28, 2006