Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Now with 100% more Jonas brother references.

Twin works in a library, so frequently brings home oddities she has checked in or out that I might enjoy. (Right now, for example, I have a book on drumstick spinning and an etiquette book by Emily Post's daughter--begging for a blog post.) Enter Disneymania. I don't know how many volumes of this exist, but they're essentially compilations of classic Disney songs reimagined by whatever artists are currently popular with the kids. It was Volume 3 that Twin delivered to me, along with the cryptic message, "You'll figure out why I got it."

Track 3. Ohhhh, track 3. "A Whole New World" from
Aladdin...sung by Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey. What a glorious example of Poor Life Choices in action. This album is from 2005, back when they were still together and we could watch their tv show about married life. Hearing them sing about love, knowing that things ended, was wonderfully uncomfortable. It reminds me of a phrase we used in college whenever people talked about hooking up with housemates: House booty is bad booty. We always encouraged people to look elsewhere, the idea being that you keep roommates separate from bedmates. "It will be super awkward," we used to say. "What if you break up? You still have to see her in the community bathroom!" This wisdom was handed down to the first years every September.

I think it's time to start passing this wisdom onto Hollywood. A duet with your boyfriend might seem super romantic and cute (but hello, obviously gross, stop bragging), but how will you feel once you break up? (Which, let's be honest...you will.) Sure, you can delete that song from your collection, you can throw away the CD. But what about everyone else who has it? That's on the internet forever. And it's not just music! My first graders were just talking about
Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam. They always refer to it by the full name, never a shortened version, which is why I know the full name without any help from google. (Thank you, first grade friends.) And that movie is another good example of this! That Jonas brother and his ex play the male and female lead, who happen to be dating. And now, post-breakup, that must not feel like the good decision they thought it was. Hollywood, I caution you: keep your on-screen bedmates separate from your off-screen bedmates! Let Nick and Jessica be a cautionary tale for all of us. (In oh so many ways...)

PS: In other Jonas brother news, I love those waterproof tattoo band-aids that Nexcare makes. Seriously, you can take a shower and they don't move at all. I usually have non-traditional band-aids hanging around, and last summer I found the tattoo ones on clearance at Target--Camp Rock band-aids. (Who would pass that up??) Today I got to lunch and realized I spent all morning teaching with a Jonas brother on my hand. Not my finest moment.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sometimes love is creepy.

I recently received a belated birthday package from Lisa, a friend who is both awesome and insanely talented. To find a present from Lisa on my doorstep is one of the more exciting things in my life. This one contained, among other surprises, an ice cube tray that makes princess wands and dinosaur shaped silly bandz. At the bottom of the box, I found a cellophane wrapped item with a note for Bitter Amanda.
Oh my.

Lisa found these while out shopping and couldn't decide whether these were a gift for someone you loved or someone you loathed. She bought these marshmallow friends and the dilemma was passed on to me.

This...is a challenge. I can see how the hearts would sway one into thinking they were a little "I love you" gift. Cute animals usually suggest love to poor saps looking to convince everyone of their feelings. (For the bargain price of $1.29.)
However. Let's take a closer look here. These animals all have crazy eyes--which comes across, let's face it, as creepy. These are creepy animals. And the pink and orange monkey (?) has a totally lopsided smile. Something about the way his gaze won't meet mine suggests a lazy eye or something. At least the bear and frog are making eye contact. Also, the monkey's heart? Isn't quite up to par. That amorphous red sugary blog looks more like a human heart than a valentine heart. Which. Is. Creepy. But allow me to direct your attention to the body language here. (Yes, I realize that "body language" is a bit of a stretch but go with me on this.) Those hearts? Are not a gift. Those squishy animals are clutching their hearts to their little corn syrup chests. They're saying, "This is mine thank you very much. Get your own!" And that's the kind of message you want to present to your beloved? Creepy, selfish love? I don't think so.

This, readers, is a gift for someone you loathe. Perhaps a breakup gift? (You can ask one of my readers about that idea.) Lisa, thanks for sending this mystery my way.
I ripped this out of my ex's chest...just for you.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Needs some work.

My BFF and her husband love to cook. I’ll tell you right now that they are good cooks. I was inspired by this on my recent visit to them…I want to be a good cook too! So when my BFF was getting rid of seldom-used cookbooks, I took her up on the offer. I came home with something called 20-Minute Meals. I thought to myself smugly, I have 20 minutes! Let’s do this!

Let’s see…what to make?
Sweet-and-Sour Chicken and Rice. Meat and Potatoes Skillet Dinner. Sure, ok. Those are options. Let's keep looking.

Dinner with Sand Between Your Toes…wait, what? Do I…have to…literally have sand between my toes to eat this? And what about my meal companions? Should I provide the sand, or tell them in advance that sand is a necessary component, according to my menu for the evening? This is complicated. Keep looking.

Supper for New Neighbors
. This won’t do at all! I don’t HAVE any new neighbors, cookbook! Just the same neighbors I have had for years! And what if the next ones are weird or crazy and I don't want to have them over for dinner? I guess your cauliflower soup will remain a mystery to me.

Romantic Celebration. Oh shut up.

Twilight Supper under Swaying Palm Trees
…twilight as in the time of day? Or twilight like...Twilight?
Ouch. Never mind. I can’t bring myself to set that table. And as for swaying palm trees? I live in Michigan, for heaven’s sake! Palm trees? This is the best I can do.
Uh...let’s move on. 2o Minutes ‘til Cocktails? I understand that the whole idea of this book is meals in 20 minutes, but this seems kind of specific. Let’s say I’m having cocktails at 7pm. Is it necessary that I wait until 6:40 to begin this meal? If I’m not ready to start until 6:45, will I be penalized? What about starting early? Will my food still be ok once my guests arrive at 7? And what if they are late and it ends up being 27 minutes until cocktails? What then, cookbook?? And that’s not even taking early guests into consideration. Doesn’t a party start when the first guest arrives? So if my first guest shows up at 6:56, that means I will have spent sixteen minutes on my meal and YOU TOLD ME TO ALLOT TWENTY. Should I keep the door locked and lights out until 7 sharp? Seems a little rude to me, and more than a little pompous to keep my friends waiting outside like my house is some exclusive destination.

Too much stress. I can’t make this meal! And
Dinner with Elbows on the Table seems like an odd request of my guests. And—I’ll say it—a boring theme! What about “dinner like t-rexes”? That might be more fun, anyway. Maybe the next edition?

Grecian Quail Fit for the Gods. Well..that’s a little confusing. Must my quail be Grecian? Do they even have quail in Greece? Will the poultry guy at the store know the roots of my quail? Can I maybe use the Grecian thing for myself and my guests? If we dress like gods/goddesses, can the quail be Grecian by association?
This seems like a fun theme! But I must say…the idea of quail…isn’t so appetizing. Also, seems tough for a beginner. Maybe I’ll keep looking?
Fireside High Tea. Hey, now there’s an idea! I think a high tea would be a lovely little thing to do. I love tea! Tea usually includes baked goods, which happen to be a specialty of mine. (I do not want to brag here but my baking? Is damn good.) These Welsh griddle cakes look like they might be yummy. But…hmm. I don’t have a fireplace or anything like that. Damn, and that sounded good.
I wonder…
Uh…that might get me gossiped about later. Too eccentric? Maybe.

Midsummer Sunday Lunch? No, I missed midsummer! I’ll mark the calendar for next year. Breakfast for Weekend Guests. I seldom have weekend guests..and have no plans to host them in the forseeable future. Man, this is bad luck! Menu for “Falling in Love Again” over Veal Cutlets…oh screw you cookbook. I don’t like veal anyway! KEEP LOOKING.
Trophy Winners’ Celebration Feast. I don't really have anything to celebrate at the moment. Hey, wait a second! There’s no reason that is has to be a NEW trophy! I won a trophy once…kindergarten ballet, you know that is where it’s at.
That’s not sad, is it? …It’s not not sad…

Oh, here we go! Bingo!
Mardi Gras Dinner Party. Everybody loves Mardi Gras! Party!! My guests will have an amazing time if I throw a dinner party like this!
Oh. Hmm.
You know what? Whatever. I’ll just watch Top Chef or something.