Wednesday, April 30, 2008
"Our first softball game is next week!" My workmate, Athletic Annie, sang as she bounced into the lunchroom.
"Greeeaaaat." I replied, as I poured myself a cup of coffee before walking over to the table.
"It's going to be at 9 o'clock. We get to play a night game, under the big lights!"
"Woo!" I said, sarcastically, but threw her a playful smile so she didn't think I was being mean.
"Are we going to practice before the game?" Richard Regal asked.
"I don't know," Athletic Annie replied. "Do you guys think we should?"
I nodded fervently.
"Do you think other people will want to practice, too?"
"I think it might be a good idea to at least figure out who's going to play what. Like, bases and stuff."
"I want outfield!" demanded Richard Regal. I shot him a dirty look.
"How about you, Amber?" Athletic Annie asks, throwing the spotlight back over to me. "You know where you want to play?"
"I don't know...I used to play second. And don't get me wrong...seventeen years ago, I rocked that base like nobody's business. But, not so sure how I would do today." Visions of panic danced in my head: Teammates throwing me the ball, only to groan as I dropped it...or worse, watch me as I miss the catch, then have to run around trying to pick it up with my glove, awkwardly bending over and yelling "I got it! I got it, guys!" and then finally, seeing the ball land with a thud after I was only able to throw it a pathetic five feet. Trust me...I have a million more of these scenarios to impart. These are just the least-embarrassing ones that I'm somewhat comfortable airing in a semi-public forum.
I sank lower in my seat as the rest of the group chatted on in the game.
"We got cleats last night." John Jayhawk declared.
"You guys got cleats?!" I shot back up in my chair, now paying attention. "I thought this was just supposed to be just for fun?! And now you guys are getting cleats and getting all competitive and serious and stuff?!"
"We're not getting completive," Jay Jayhawk replied. "We just don't want to fall on our faces."
"Whatever. I'm out. Take me off the team."
"Oh, Amber. You'll be fine." Athletic Annie says, smiling and laughing at me.
"All right, Athletic Annie," I said, looking at her. "At the end of the season I'm going to remember you said that, after I end up being a total embarrassment and making all of us lose."
"Amber, why did you even sign up for softball if you don't want to play?" she replied, still laughing at me.
"Because I wanna be a trouper." I muttered, half under my breath. I helped Athletic Annie start the league, convinced other people to sign up, and caved under peer pressure and flattery when other people told me they wanted me to play, too. Flattery, apparently, will get you everywhere with me...even on a softball field. But I really don't want to play. As in, really, really, really don't want to play.
I'm a fairly confident girl. I'll public speak like a mo'fo, I'll strike up conversations with total strangers, and I'll be the first one to dance when the first song at the wedding dance begins to play. I'll say and do whatever I want without worrying about what other people will think of me. But I just don't want to look stupid in front of people, esp. my colleagues. And I really don't want to let people down. I have this huge hyperventilating-inducing fear that playing is going to be exactly like my nightmare-date of curling, or like getting up to sing karaoke and then realizing that you just want the song to be over right now (which has never happened to me because I never sing karaoke. Mainly because of that very fear). And that everyone else on that team is going to end up sitting in the dugout while watching me bat and be thinking, "Wow. I used to think that Amber was pretty cool/smart/funny/totally righteously cute. Now she just seems like a super loser."
But I'm playing tonight, because apparently no one wants to just leave me alone in my insecurity and let me be the towel/water/beer/bat girl like I've volunteered - time and time again - to be. I've also suckered myself into going by telling myself that, at the very least, it's an excuse to wear my beloved tube socks.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
And this one's not new, but it's my favorite, so...
Monday, April 28, 2008
1. I hope that someday I can take a Relationship Vacation, too, just like Heidi and Spencer. And then I can call it a "Relationship Vacation" constantly, just like them. I thought about making a new t-shirt around Relationship Vacation, but I couldn't think of anything that wasn't douche-y overkill.
2. Lo is a heinous bitch. Seriously. Audrina needs to get really, really drunk and kick her in the face with one of her stiletto heels.
3. I can't handle this shit with Lauren and Stephen anymore.
IT'S A SEX TAPE! SERENA AND GEORGINA MADE A SEX TAPE TOGETHER! THEY GOT DRUNK ON CHAMPAGNE, HIGH ON COKE, AND MADE A PORNO! THAT'S WHAT THE GIFTS FROM GEORGINA MEANT!
And I was kind of hoping for some Little-J and Nate action, but I'm totally digging the Nate and Dan's BFF-From-The-Block thing. They're totally cute together, even though it's going to cause major tension with Blair and Dan. Draaaamaaaa!
Sweet jesus I love this show.
Okay, so maybe you didn't hear it here first, but I have to mention that two years ago I posted something about this, only to be met with scoffs and eye-rolls.
Now there is (finally) a national investigation, as detailed on ABC's Good Morning America by KSTP's Kristi Piehl. The clip is fairly illuminating, as well.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
The other day, a couple of friends (we'll call them Silly Sally and Dirty Diana) and I were sitting around, bonding, answering questions from a question book.
Silly Sally: "Okay, Amber, your turn. Which character from a movie resembles you the most?"
Dirty Diana: "Ooh, I know! Sandra Bullock's character from "28 Days"!"
Silly Sally, almost spitting out her coffee: "OH MY GOD, I TOTALLY AGREE!"
Dirty Diana: "She reminds me of you every single time I watch that movie. It was just on this weekend, on WE."
Silly Sally: "I saw that, too!"
Me, staring at them: "She was an alcoholic."
Dirty Diana: "Yeah, but she was also a writer."
Me: "Yeah, a writer who was an alcoholic."
Silly Sally: "Yeah, but we're talking more about her personality traits. You're totally like her."
I continue to stare.
Dirty Diana: "Fine then, you're like Julia Roberts in "My Best Friend's Wedding."
Silly Sally: "I was going to say that one, too!"
Me: "Great. So now I'm an emotionally-unavailable chick who can't even get the guy in her own movie? Awesome."
Dirty Diana, exasperated: "Fine! Who do you want to be? Kate Winslet from "Titantic"?!
Me, as my face grows red: "That would be okay."
Dirty Diana: "Oh my god, you totally want to be Kate Winslet. You were just hoping we would say that from the beginning."
Me, rifling through my purse to hide the fact that my face is growing redder: "Well, at least she gets to do it with Leonardo DiCaprio."
Dirty Diana: "And then selfishly takes the raft and leaves Leonardo DiCaprio to freeze to death in the Atlantic ocean."
Silly Sally, smiling: "Yep, you're totally like her."
Me, applying a fresh coat of lip gloss: "Thanks, baby. I knew you would get it."
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
This is cool. I don't want to hear arguments about how people use regular mugs all the time to refill their drinks at coffee shops, or how this isn't any different from other travel mugs, or any of that shizznit. This design will appeal to the bulk of people who flock to this destination in part because of the certain cache the logo and cups signify. Let us not make assignations on their character. They are merely victims to the psychology of branding. And those people leave carbon footprints, too, so anything we can do to reduce the environmental waste those poor, shallow, materialistic, eager-for-affirmation-no-matter-how-fleeting souls spew out into the collective atmosphere is a step forward for our earth.
Plus, I really want one.
And now, a (NSFW) word from our sponsors:
Monday, April 21, 2008
Not so very long ago, a wonderful gentleman by the name of Stephen S. visited my Amazon Wish List. And because of him, my long sucky weekend of missing out on a Vegas wedding with the old skool crew, a Bauschy birthday trip to Iowa, a Saturday bakery tour with Aaron, an N.E. pub crawl with work homies, a beer-&-pizza-&-moving adventure with my Neumann's comrades, and my discovery that my roommate canceled Showtime without telling me or taking my feelings into account before doing so was made a little less sucky because I had the second season of The Office to watch.
You are much thanked, sir. Thank you for loving my blog - nay, me - so much that you would do such an amazing and radical thing.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
But I've got sour news for you: This video is nothing like "The Tudors", which I love. But you should watch it anyway, I guess.
You have the same birthday as my other BFF Kim
I think that’s a sign
that I have great taste in friends
Since you are both totally super fine
You wanna be in the party zone
like on KDWB.
That is why, Chelsea,
you are so special to me.
You like “Careless Whisper” by Wham!
As much as I do
Now, instead of mid-‘80's “We didn’t know he was gay” George Michael
When I hear that song
I think of you
You won’t let me take pictures of you
Which sometimes makes me mad
It’s okay though,
Cause imaginary pictures of you are just as rad
You use fun slang words
(That means pathetic)
That stuff is as fun as a new pair of Keds
Speaking of shoes, you have awesome boots
And I wish I did, too
But that’s only a little bit
of why I think you are so cool
You’re brutally honest
and you always do the right thing
Sometimes I don't wanna
And then I think, "Chelsea would."
You're the ethics beneath my wings
Or something like that.
So Happy Birthday Chelsea
I couldn't be there this weekend
Because I had Strep
But I was thinking of you the whole time
yep yep yep yep yep.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Lately, though, I have to admit I've become disenchanted with it. I was never under any illusions concerning the "reality" of this particular reality show...yet one wonders, when watching the drama, "Could ya at least try to make this conversation seem like it's happening off-the-cuff? Oh look, there's Heidi, fake-crying again. Weird."
The best, though, came today from Gawker, who summed up my feelings on Audrina -beautiful, painfully naive and ditzy Audrina - and the sweet pain I feel whenever I'm watching her (trying to) engage in a conversation: "Audrina didn't react much, she simply gazed off, like when babies are on TV shows and are obviously staring at their off-camera parents."
If anyone's perfected the deer-in-headlights look, it's Audrina. You can almost lick the panic off of her face when someone talks to her and then expects her to participate in that really difficult thing involving thinking, formulating, and verbalizing a response. And she's so sweet - to everyone - that I hate to say these things out loud, but goddamn. You would think that her one salvation would be that it's not all candid, that sometimes they do retakes. You gotta imagine some crew guy is at least trying to give some helpful feedback, something like, "Hey, Audrina, you wanna try that again? And this time, maybe act like you're paying attention to what's going on? Audrina? Audrina? Can you hear me? Hello?!"
Life is hard, Audrina. And someday, you're going to have to say something intelligent. Or at least look like you are. I know it's not going to have to be today, and probably not tomorrow, but someday...and there might be cameras there, so start practicing in front of the mirror.
This is the first time I've ever felt badly about saying something kind of mean on here about a celebrity.
Hey everybody! I think I'm growing a soul!
Monday, April 14, 2008
However, (most of) these pictures are of Hot Twins. There are not - nor will there ever be - any rules against posting pictures of Hot Twins on this blog.
My buddy Jeff and his twin brother, Mike, turned 29 last Friday. Thus, the Bauschy crew descended upon The Bulldog N.E. to celebrate -
This has fast become one of my favorite captures of Karah. I think she looks stunning. Despite or maybe because of the fact that she's sucking on a bottle (I haven't decided).I love Matt. He's just so...awesome.Chelsea never lets me take a picture of her. Or, if she does, she immediately deletes it from my camera. So, in honor of the fact that she was there that night and her presence was truly radical, here is an imaginary picture of her -
Drowning in a river of beer seems like a good way to die. Especially for a pig. Makes the pork tastier.And now, my dear chillr'n, I give you...HOT TWINS AND A BIRTHDAY CUPCAKE:
Saturday, April 12, 2008
And, I will go so far to say that C.J.'s column is valuable, too. Gossip columns in daily papers are kind of a deliciously retro treat, and so I think C.J.'s column is valuable. Even though she insists on gossiping about people that I could care less about. Even though she tries my patience with her ridiculously nit-picky "Grammar School" portion of the column, where she tears apart minor gaffs that "celebrities" make when they make the mistake of speaking publicly. Even though she exudes entitlement and can barely write one column without making glaringly clear that she hates and detests everyone she comes into contact with.
This, though, takes the cake. It rather delights me. Also, you can bet your Sunday paper that the next time she does her little grammar and spelling critiques of others, I will be writing in to cite every single error she made in these e-mails.
EVERY, sINGLe ONE.
"The ad agency for Milk deserves an award for drumming up something seriously bizarre with their latest White Gold campaign. Explore the website of the larger than life rock band White Gold and watch their music videos...except the music videos are actually just long form commercials for Milk. It's ridiculous and highly entertaining! Basically if The Darkness became obsessed with milk and had a giant budget to make a slew of videos it would likely be something like this whole campaign.
The lasers shooting out of White Gold's pearly whites are my fave."And it's true. I don't care if it's a marketing ploy or an advertising campaign. The entertainment value of the campy videos and website is tremendous, and indeed...it reminds one of a hybrid between The Darkness and Tenacious D.
And with saying that, those who know me well, know now why it 'tis so fantastic.
I've posted a sample video, but you really must go to the website to get an essence of the genius. Also, you must go forth to view the rock orgasm that is "Is It Me, Or Do You Love My Hair?"
Go! Be gone with you!
...Right after you watch my video treat -
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
How can I describe it, so that you'll think it's funny and will want to watch it? Let me see...let me see...well, it's about sex. And, it's about all the things you really think about sex. More than that, it's about all the things you think about sex when you're pretending that you're going to totally rock the sex boat but deep down inside you know the real truth. It's about real sex. Real sex that's also really funny when you don't say it out loud but write a song about it instead...
...I just totally killed that, didn't I? Shut up and watch the video.
Monday, April 07, 2008
Autistic License, named one of the 10 Best Plays of 2007 (Pioneer Press) and recently nominated for the national Theater Critics New Play Award, will be presented once again this month at locations all over the metro area. Several community performances are offered free of charge, sponsored by schools as well as incredible service providers (I have no idea who those incredible service providers are or who would possibly work at one of them).
"This play is based upon our experience of raising a child with autism - the things that happened in our family - that were tragic, surreal and funny. This is the kind of stuff you can't make up! I really think of this piece as a love story between a husband and wife, between a mother and a son and between a father and a son." - Stacey Dinner-Levin, playwright
Also, one of my personal favorites, HowWasTheShow.com, also gave it a stellar review. I will most likely be going to one of the showings in Minneapolis, so if any of you out there want to check it out with me, swing me a note. Or, you just might see me at a booth during a showing near you! But sorry...it's not a kissing booth. You should be going to become more enlightened about the trials and tribulations of autism, not to make out with me.
Just for the record.
* Friday, April 11, 7:00 pm - FREE TICKETS - Mpls. South High School Auditorium, 3131 19th Ave. South, Minneapolis
* Saturday, April 12, 7:00 pm - FREE TICKETS - Anoka High School Auditorium, 3939 Seventh Ave N., Anoka
* Sunday, April 13, 4:30 pm - Tickets $15 - Temple Israel, 2324 Emerson Ave. S., Minneapolis
* Tuesday, April 15, 7:00 pm - FREE TICKETS - Lakeville North High School Auditorium, 19600 Ipava Ave. W, Lakeville
* Friday, April 25 AND Saturday, April 26, 7:00 pm - Tickets $20 - Illusion Theater, 529 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis
* Sunday, April 27, 2:00 pm - FREE TICKETS - Shakopee Senior High Auditorium, 100 17th Ave. West, Shakopee
You can reserve your seats by calling 612-339-4944, or online.
Sunday, April 06, 2008
Thursday, April 03, 2008
If there is one thing I want you to do this month (other than read all of my fascinating insights and witticisms), it's this: Watch Autism: The Musical.
I watched this documentary last weekend on HBO, and I was stunned by how excellent it was. Let me say this - and know that I will probably say this a hundred more times this month - I am very, very protective of how autism is portrayed in the media as well as the information that the media puts out about autism (and have written untold numbers of "Letters to the Editor" to give substantial meat to that stance). We'll talk more about this later...but for now, all I really need to say is that this documentary is not only, in my humble opinion, the finest thing currently representing the autism community, but it's also in the Top 5 best documentaries I've ever seen (and I really love documentaries). If you don't know anything about autism, this is the most entertaining, fascinating way to learn not only about what autism is, but also what it's like to be autistic and/or love someone who is. If you know anyone who has been personally impacted by autism, you will bawl your eyes out...but in the best way possible, for the fact that this film so perfectly captures the profound beauty that autism lays on your worldview.
On HBO all this month.
The Backstreet Boys are playing at the Minnesota Street Fair this year!!!!
AND I'M GOING!
Fuck you guys: I didn't even start liking them until I was 20, and even then it was only because my two best camp friends Jamie and Nate liked them and we bonded over learning the video routines.
BUT - if the Boys are all too old and arthritic to break it down at this concert, then I'm out.
I'm not going for the beautiful voices.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
So April's Fools jokes aside, April really is Autism Awareness Month, and I really am planning on doing a slew of posts concerning the topic. To get us started, let me give you a little background as to how I came to work with this population of extraordinary people:
It was seven years ago. I was 22, living in my parent's guest house, and in the midst of my illustrious career as a gas station attendant. All of those factors were present due to my long-held plan of moving to England. One day, while working at one of two glamorous gas stations I would grace with my people skills during my pre-England* tenure, I spied an ad in the Classifieds. "Make a difference in a child's life!" The ad yelled at me, as if to admonish me for only making a difference in the lives of nervous and stuttering teenage boys who had the unlucky fortune of trying to procure condoms or Playboy magazines from a 22-yr old girl whose sole entertainment at work was carding them for their purchases just to make the experience even more humiliating and unbearable for them.
Here's what still interests me, to this day: Three main factors should have prevented me from answering that ad. First, I hated kids on principle. I wasn't planning on having any in the near or distant future, and I certainly didn't want to get to know yours. Second, the ad mentioned something about "behavioral therapy"...uh, no thanks. I was more of a "Liberal Arts" person as opposed to a science person, and happily so. Third, who wanted to make a difference in the lives of children in northwestern Wisconsin?! I was going to England to make a difference in the lives there, which was ultimately more glamorous and endearing. And, as a postscript factor...gas station perks. Hello...free coffee and new magazines, y'all, and I got paid for it.
But, I applied. If I'm anything, I'm a sucker for the whole altruistic angle of things. Some might call that just being a "sucker", but at least this time it worked out in my favor.
Within about two weeks after starting this particular job, I fell in love with it. It helped that I seemed to have a previously undiscovered knack for behavioral psychology and the practice of. It also helped that the child I was working with was totally cute and that we "got" each other right off the bat. That may have been because we shared the same poor social skills and stunted maturity, but whatever: I suddenly had a job I genuinely looked forward to every morning.
When I tell people that, in the beginning of my career, I had to basically teach myself everything I know, I'm not exaggerating. Besides a couple of 50-page pamphlets about behavioral psychology and autism that were handed to me the first day of work, there was very little in the way of training or education available at that time. So, I spent most of my weeknights in front of the computer, researching any information on autism I could find or checking psychology textbooks out of the nearby community college library. I picked up every magazine on autism or behavioral psychology and perused autism support group message boards. Some of what I found was embarrassingly poor: It's hard to believe, but I remember that back then it was still a common misconception that autism was caused by cold, "emotionally-distant" mothers or mothers who had suffered from postpartum depression.
I did all of this hunting and fishing because not only did I find the subject matter endlessly fascinating, but also because now I had this extraordinary little boy I wanted to help. I remember sitting at the library once, books spread out on the table, a notebook full of blue ink scribbles in front of me. An acquaintance walked up and asked me what I was doing. "Trying to work myself out of a job," I replied. I still feel that way. My goal, in my career as a behavior therapist, is to one day no longer have an "autistic" field in which to work in.
"People with autism live in a different world", I once heard a speaker say, in a hotel conference room somewhere in downtown Chicago. "The difference between someone who accepts them and someone who values them is this: Someone who accepts them seeks pull them out of their strange trippy world to help them function better in "our" world. Someone who values them seeks to understand what it's like to live in their world, so they can truly help them navigate the strange, trippy world we live in.
*I did go to England, but it ended up being a small interlude during the beginning of my career - I worked with my first client three months before I moved there, and continued working with him after I came back to the States.