Wednesday, July 28, 2010

And no, I wasn't on there when "Rex was here" and even though I know he's a very lovely person, I really don't care.

Back in the day, when I was getting ready to move from northwest Wisconsin to Minneapolis, MN, I wanted to get an insider view of Minneapolis/St. Paul before I moved there, so I started visting various local blogs and websites. One of the sites happened to be MNSpeak.

I LOVED MNSpeak. Over the years there's been various articles and blurbs about it in papers and magazines, local and otherwise, about the stimulating conversation and illuminating opinions one can find on there. That was occasionally a nice way to say that if you wandered on there unawares, a kinder soul could get killed. You couldn't be an idiot, and you had to know that there were people lurking in the background just waiting for the chance to stomp on someone's ego. But if you knew how to string a basic sentence together, didn't take yourself too seriously, and knew how to stand up for yourself when need be, you were pretty safe. Sometimes.

The thing about MNSpeak was that it was a community. It was before the inception of Twitter, and those of us who were a part of it were a part of it every single day, usually all day. The conversations and topics on there were alternately smart, challenging, hilarious, and infuriating. And I met so many people from MNSpeak - the majority of my current internetting friends were once fellow MNSpeakers - and I even got the opportunity to take part in Chasing Windmills via MNSpeak. The people on there can be harsh and I got my knocks a time or two, but that only helped me hone a thicker skin and a quicker mouth, so I'm actually pretty appreciative for it.

I don't have much opportunity to go on there these days, being that I work for a living at a place where we don't get to hang out on the internet all day, and the majority of the people that delighted me back in the days are no longer hanging out on the forums, either. Twitter, as it has with a bulk of other former internetting habits, has taken a larger place in the internet lives of those of us who used to be on MNSpeak everyday.

But I was still beyond delighted when I saw that MNSpeak had a post up about Holiday Chick this morning. A little scared, kind of nervous - I know how you tawk - but still delighted at the unexpected surprise.

Thanks, MNSpeak. Love you sometimes.

In other news, I'm still not dating anyone, I'm pretty sure God still hates me, and John Mayer still won't reply to my Twitter hollas. So even though it's been an incredibly fun month, the ego and head are still at standard size.

But if John Mayer starts to talking to me, I'm totally done with you guys.

Good morning!

So this a.m. I got up at 5 to head to Katykin's house in Woodbury to watch Jason DeRusha talk about this blog on the WCCO morning show during the 5:42 slot. But then I discovered that the ramps to 94 in Uptown were - surprise! - closed this a.m. (because why wouldn't they be?) so I had to detour my way to Woodbury. You and the Minnesota Sheriff's Dept. will be happy to know that I broke every speed limit on the way there, but still made it just 3 minutes shy of 5:42.

But fear not! For Jason hath written about thy blog - and about how you should join TEAM Hunger - on Thy WCCO Wire.

Thanks, Jason. YOU'RE very entertaining and brilliant. Also, the best.

Monday, July 26, 2010

"Holiday Chick" now at Common Good Books in St. Paul!

Common Good Books in St. Paul is now carrying Holiday Chick, just in time for you to pick up a copy for the Book Signing/Reading Rager on August 4th! Their first stock of the book arrived on Friday and was sold out by closing on Saturday (!), so grab your passport, drive as quickly as you can to the foreign land of St. Paul (I know it's scary to go to such a far-off and strange place. If we were closer and knew each other better, I would hold you right now and tell you everything is going to be alright) and get yours now in case they end up selling out again (which they will, because I will personally make sure of it. Nothing says I can't buy my own books in a bookstore, and besides, they have a cute little "local author!" sticker on the front cover that I kind of want so I can wave it in front of people's faces on dates and high school reunions and stuff). Or, you could just call a billion times each day and ask them if they still have copies of the book (and if they don't, when they'll get more in) so they'll think it's a super in-demand book and will place a really big, amazing order next time. That could be cool, too.

Please support my dreams to be able to sit in coffee shops all day and write about the things I hate.

Also in the news: At least two of my ex-boyfriends are showing up the Reading Rager, including one WHO IS ACTUALLY A CHARACTER IN THE BOOK.

So. Should be really good times. You should show up.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Do something awesome with your lives - besides reading this blog, of course - and fight hunger!

So Jason DeRusha - my favorite news person, social media maven (can you call a guy a "maven"? Well, tough, because I'm gonna), and pretty much the most popular person on Twitter and Facebook (I liked him first, just for the record. I also liked bacon and cupcakes before everyone else, too, but am usually too cool to bring that up. NOT TODAY, THOUGH) is in a battle royale to raise money for something great - fighting hunger through the United Way.

For every person who joins, United Way will donate $1 to fight hunger in our community. Let me break that down for you - you click this link, you join the team, and United Way coughs up bucks to help fight hunger in your neighborhood. How easy is that? You're going to be clicking a bunch of links today, anyway, to see the new Tron: Legacy trailer and to read about Lindsay Lohan hanging out in jail, and while those will make you happy, this one will actually make you feel like you did something worthy. And it puts Jason one person closer to whooping some charitable ass, which is another worthy cause I think we can all agree on.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Weekend Video Treats: That's such a cute top. That's a cute top. I wanna borrow it. Lemme borrow the top.

Thanks to @nicycle who tweeted about this and thus led me to what is most definitely The Best Weekend Video Treat in a long, long time. I mean, it's got Margaret fucking Cho in it, dudes.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Weekend Video Treats - "Madame I'm Adam"

So Diablo Cody, who once loved this blog*, too (see, you're not the only cool one around here) and who once hilariously taught your old friend Amber how to shake it around a pole for this action-packed video-treat and whom I will always love and admire and gladly fork over my hard-earned money towards her books, movies, and shows in order help support a L.A. lifestyle of birthday pool parties with former N'Sync kids, is now doing a fantastically fun video series called Red Band Trailer.

Seriously, you have to watch it. Not only is the chick still as funny as she ever was, she has the magical tendency to bring out the funny in everyone else.

There is also a new episode with Chelsea Handler now up, as well, but I don't want to overwhelm you. Why you want to move so fast?

*In an effort to prove this to some of you new readers - even though I totally don't have to, since you should just believe everything I have to say since I'm a totally awesome person - I went trolling for the blogging evidence from a few years back that would serve up the street cred. But then I realized that was kind of gross in that whole "let's use someone I used to occasionally hang out with as a way to impress other people" self-promoting way. Which I'm totally not above - I've got a book I'm trying to sell, after all, and I can't reach my I-hang-out-in-coffeeshops-and-blog-all-day-when-I'm-not-world-traveling lifestyle by being all humble and shit - I just prefer to let other people do it for me**.

**The comments on this post are absolutely insane. God, this blogging thing has been fun over the years, hasn't it?

"Did she go to college?"

Perez posted a video today of People On Street* doing readings of Amanda Bynes' Twitter feed.

Now, we all know that Lindsay Lohan is just straight up batshit crazy. Almost to the point where reading her feed makes one sad and fully aware of the struggles that the mentally ill must face (I still follow her, though, because, I mean, I wanna be there for her and stuff). And even though Miley Cyrus quit Twitter because her fully-formed 17-year-old sophisticate mind was just too above all that Twitter nonsense, she was freaking crazy, too - but in that way that makes me so mad that I know that, if I could give the world one wish, it would be to rip out the vocal cords of both her and Paris Hilton so that the world would no longer hate America so much anymore. (Think about it - if we didn't have the incredibly stupid ramblings of two unbelieveably vapid and spoiled American girls, who offer nothing of value to the world or the furtherment of their gender, spewing out into the universe as a representation of our culture, don't you think people would be like, "Hey, that America is alright now that Amber got rid of those girls' vocal cords! Thank you, America! Thank you for making the world a better place! I think-a I will-a make-a pizza pie!").

But Amanda Bynes? Sweet Amanda Bynes? How could she be crazy? She's never up in da clurrb. I haven't had the misfortune of having to click through a maze of NSFW pictures just to see a shot of her "I'm climbing out of an SUV and here's my va-j-j!" yet. There's been no coke meltdowns, no DUI's, no shoplifting sprees, nothing. And yet. When you watch this video, you can clearly see that the chick is straight-up crazy. OR just really, really stupid.

But since it's for my amusement and yours, I'm totally okay with it. Also, the people on the video reading her Twitter feeds? HI-LAR-IOUS.

@chicky and the city from Mondock Entertainment on Vimeo.

Friday, July 16, 2010


It's hot out. The white Christmas lights framing my bedroom window are on, the ceiling fan is rotating, and I'm hardly dressed. Quiet. I always want to carry my hot tea to bed, but it only ends up sitting on my nightstand table, cooling in the night as I have no comfortable way of sitting up in bed so I can drink it while I read or write. I need it tonight, though. My throat is sore, the gift my body has given back to me after I've abused it all weekend. "Oh yeah? Well TAKE THIS, THEN!" I could practically hear it yell at me this morning. Too little sleep, too much alcohol, the occasional cigarette, and here we are. I want a hot bath to read in, I want to stay up and write, I want to lift weights and dance to Top 40 hits, I want to watch "The L Word" and sigh about wanting to move to West Hollywood so I can hang out with a bunch of cool, attractive, successful lesbians. Instead I've taken to my bed to listen to Teagan and Sara before I put my headphones in and go to sleep. I have to rest, so I can get up tomorrow and do good work, I tell myself. I have to rest, so I'll have enough energy to create my new life tomorrow.

"My cat taught me how to love," an old friend told me a couple of weeks ago. Pooks, the new perfect match, has taken the easy rhythm of sleeping on my bed when she wants to be alone, and meowing and batting at my legs and/or face with her paws when she wants attention. Hearing those words in my head, I try to give it to her when she asks for it. Even when I'm writing. Even when I'm busy doing something else. She'll sit up and meow at me, her golden green eyes following me around the room, and I'll walk up to her and gather her soft black body up into my arms. Yesterday she was curled up, sleeping, in the most perfectly adorable way, and I actually stopped in the middle of my dressing just to stare at her. I didn't really think that I needed to be taught how to love, but this is different. This is caretaking. This is being responsible for something - someone - else. This is not being able to just walk away when things get annoying.

I feel old sometimes, and I wonder if I'm ever going to have a family. Not just a boyfriend, not just a husband, but...a family. This morning Pooks and I woke up in a tumble of white sheets and sunshine, and as I padded out to the kitchen to fill her dish with food, I wondered if it is always going to be like this. "It is not good for man to be alone." The words from Genesis 2:18 always float through my mind as a counterpoint whenever I catch myself sifting through these kinds of thoughts. And I want it. It's taken me a long time to get to that point. To even think about it, again. And I'm happy about that. That I want it. If you asked me if I was ready for it, though, I honestly don't know what I would say to you. Yes, I want it, I want to be ready. But there are things to do.

Pooks would look good in Oregon, I think, as I pet her before I leave for work. She'd fit in well in Bayfield, Wisconsin. She might find better mice in Washington. And I have a whole book I need to finish before I can even think of anything else. That's it, then, isn't it, I told myself the other day. All of these things I've been holding on to. I had to keep them, so I could make something of worth out of them, someday, now. It's almost done. Just a couple more endings, just a couple more craftings, and I can let it go. I can hold it in my hands and say that this is the way I used to be, and can have it, because I don't need these scenes anymore.

Seven years. My friend Ashley posted on her Facebook that it was her seventh year wedding anniversary today, and I gasped and almost dropped my coffee cup. We were there, I remembered. We were at her wedding. And what had started out as a fun and happy weekend of hotels, drinks, dancing, and old friends had ended with a roadtrip of tears. Why can't that be us, you wanted to know. Why can't I just be happy in our little town and get married like them and just stay. I remember shaking my head, gripping the steering wheel as tears fell down my cheeks, trying to figure out how to tell you that I wanted to, or at least I wished that I did, but I just couldn't. At least not then. Not now, I told you. And you knew that, I told you when you kept arguing and I finally got angry. You knew that when you met me, that I had things I wanted to do, things that meant something to my life, to my whole basic existence. It was what you had liked most about me, then, when we first met. That I wasn't happy just staying, being a small town girl, married with three kids by the time I was 30. And now - then - I was starting to see the beauty in that kind of life, but it still wasn't the kind that I wanted. If you want that, I finally told you, then you don't want it with me. You rolled your eyes, leaned back in the seat, and we rode the rest of the way home in silence.

Sometimes it was easier, to get caught up in it and pretend that it was what I did want. Because I did want you. And there were so many things about you and that life that I wanted to keep forever. It's funny, how I always seem to find myself in this exact same place. I want to stay, because it's easier, and there are some good things, great things, here. The thought of moving out of this space - it's just simply exhausting. It's just so much work. Sometimes I find myself clutching at it with my figurative fists, thinking that I can't let it go, this is my life now, fuck all of it if it can't just come to me like this. And then I wake up in the morning and I know that it's worth more to work for happiness, for that place I can see in my far-off vision, than to just sink down and stay here.

"It's been a long time, since you felt like you could have a life of your own," Susan said to me, as I sat enveloped in her soft brown leather couch. I stared out the window at her beautiful green garden and nodded. A life of my own, where I didn't feel like I still needed to make up something to someone, where I didn't feel like I had to be someone else to fit what they expected, where I didn't feel like I had to hurt myself to keep them from hurting. A life. All my own. To do whatever I want with. It's terrifying.

So I'm taking the Dream Catchers and stringing them into plans. I need something to pinch and roll between my fingers when that early-morning feeling begins to overwhelm. I don't want this to be all there is. And I want that more fervently now than before because, now, I can finally admit that it doesn't have to be that way, that there are no dark specters hiding behind a door somewhere that will jump out and shout, "NO! You don't deserve anything more." Rejection came today, and I felt sad about it for about a minute, and then I got right back out there and renegotiated, thinking to myself, I will give you this, because you asked for it.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Holiday Chick Book Signing/Reading Rager

Please come out to the U Otter Stop Inn (617 Central Ave SE) on Wednesday night, August 4th, from 6-9 to help celebrate the publication and release of Holiday Chick!

I will sign your book with wonderfully personalized messages such as "I'll never forget you", "Don't ever change", "Your Friend Forever", and "Keep rockin'!", and I might even do a little skit to bring the characters of Holiday Chick magically alive right before your very eyes! (just kidding - I won't do a skit. Unless you beg me to. She likes it when people beg me to do stuff.)

If you have been blissfully ignorant of my shameless self-promotion and book whoring thus far on a variety of social networks and have not yet purchased Holiday Chick, you can order it here this very second, or you can wait a couple of weeks and pick up a copy at Common Good Books. There will also be copies for purchase at the event (I will only be able to take your cold, hard-earned cash, but I feel like the magically transcendent and oddly fulfilling act of you passing your cold, hard-earned cash into my grubby little hands is totally worth the inconvenience of not being able to write a check or swipe your debit card. You agree, yes?).

Anyway, it should be a really fun party full of life-changing self-discoveries, meaningful glances shared with attractive and mysterious strangers, and possibly one of those super fun dancing things where everyone stands around in a circle and takes turns moving to the middle of said circle to show off their sweet dance moves. It should also be noted that even though the party "technically" ends at 9, that's only because THAT'S WHEN THE KARAOKE STARTS.

Bring all of your Facebook friends, your real friends, your coworkers, spouses, brothers and sisters, awkward acquaintances, secret lovers (I don't wanna know about it, though. I don't like getting into your personal business), and maybe even your mom and dad if they're really super cool. It's a public event, so everyone's invited. Even the people I don't like.

That might be you. We can talk about it after you buy my book, though.

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Except that I will never, ever, EVER listen to the band Betty. It's like the lesbian version of the Hold Steady.

So I have a confession to make: Sometimes I fantasize about being a lesbian. But not just any lesbian...a really cool lesbian. You know, the kind that lives in West Hollywood, and hangs out at this great coffeehouse-by-day/clubby-bar-by-night joint in her neighborhood with all of her really attractive, fun, smart, and hip lesbian friends and lives in this great neighborhood that seems really homey and cozy even though it's technically in LA and at the end of the day, even though she probably wouldn't really engage in any sexual activity with her really hot lesbian friends because she doesn't really think she'd be a giver in that sense and that doesn't seem fair, there's still a super hot lesbian named Shane who will make her question every last bit of her sexuality.

And yes, I have been receiving my season DVD's of "The L Word" from Netflix this month.

That's why I thought it was so hilarious when I went on Funny or Die today and immediately saw this video.

If you're really lucky, you might even get a couple of super cute ones. Not that I would ever care about that, since I'm 31 and they're, like, 19.

I'm just saying that, you know...sometimes it's nice to have something nice to look at when you're moving to make the whole process a little bit more, um...nice.

Okay, so not only were College Muscle Movers incredibly friendly, helpful, prompt, fast (what could have been a three hour move took them 45 minutes), and professional, but they also sent me a handwritten Thank You card thanking me for my business.

Seriously. If anyone is thinking of moving and really wants to hire a moving company (oh my god, it makes moving so much less stressful) but thinks they can't afford one, you have to look into College Muscle Movers. Not only do they give you completely reasonable and competitive estimates, but they actually ended up saving me money because the movers worked so fast (they're college athletes, so they look at the move as a workout - aka, let's lift this bookcase onto my back and literally run up the stairs with it).

You might be reading this and thinking to yourself, "But wait, Amber, didn't you move in May?" I did, indeed. And this Thank You card has been sitting on my desk under a mountain of papers since then, but I found it today and remembered how I promised myself I would write a blog post about College Muscle Movers, and so I'm doing it, even if it's 2 months later.

You're welcome, Amber of Two Months Ago. I finally finished what you couldn't even start.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

I guess what I'm trying to say is, U2 continues to suck, and always will. Forever.

So I promised myself last night that I would stop writing self-promoting, book-whoring posts for a minute and get back to the stuff that really matters: Talking about movies with vampires in them.

Here's my deal: I know that it's fun and cool to hate on the Twilight movies. Right? I mean, we're adults. Super cool adults. And books about eternal love, especially written from a girl's perspective, and especially about her infatuation with a beautiful boy? NOT COOL.

But it's kind of old, you know? Like, when the first Twilight movie came out, I got it. I mean, the books were fun and fast reads, but I hated the first movie. It was everything I didn't want it to be, and everything everyone said it would be - cheesy, over-the-top melodrama, trite romantic fluff. But then the second one came out, and while it had its flaws, it was actually...good. I know it didn't wow the cinema geeks out there - but let's face it, when you're sitting in your basement all night surrounded by your loving cans of Mountain Dew and your "I-love-it-ironically" copy of "Evil Death 2", what is going to impress you, Coolbotron? - but it was action-packed in some parts and pretty hot in other parts and kind of tense in some other ones and that one "Let's Catch Victoria!" part with "Hearing Damage" by Thom Yorke as the serenading soundtrack (I mean, they deliberately put a scene in there that shows you that she's running faster than a crow can flap it's wings)?! THAT WAS FUCKING COOL AND YOU KNOW IT.

And I get it - it's super fun to hate on a movie that millions of other people like. For instance, I love to hate on U2, and there are millions of people out there who, for reasons that are inexplicable, love them. Of course, they are an old, played-out, arrogant, and past-their-prime band and we are talking about a phenomenally successful movie franchise that started out as a phenomenally successful book series that got millions of young adults reading again.

You lose again, U2.

But there was a moment last week when I remember reaching the Roll My Eyes point. That point that comes after someone states for the millionth time that the book didn't have "not even that great of writing", and someone else states for the billionth time that the special effects were "laughable" and then someone else states for the trillionth time that plot is "soo unrealistic." (Really? Really?! You're going to make that point? It's a story about fucking vampires and werewolves. Where in the description of this did you think, "Gee, I hope this is based on a real and true story! My mama don't like fiction, she says that's it's just like readin' a pack-a lies!"). My point is that, to me, hating on Twilight to sound cool just became the uncool. It's reached the Jaded Hipster Crucial Mass. Yes, we all know that you're very smart. Yes, yes, we are all aware that you're very discerning in your tastes. But now, you're just starting to sound like that asshole who sniffs his nose at boxed wine and chain restaurants and "things that are not of the urban center." You know who wants to hang out with that guy? No one, that's who. Fucking relax, loosen up, toss your cool points out the window, and open yourself up to something that may not make your Pretentious Douchebag Win List but just might be a little fun anyway (or because). Maybe go eat at a Ruby Tuesdays. They have a great salad bar.

And just to prove my point, here's a song from The Eclipse soundtrack - "My Love" by Sia, whose song alone is worth the whole damn cost of the entire album.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Officially the best compliment I've gotten on the book so far.

"I'm on page 378 and so far I enjoy it as much as I enjoyed Lost. I hope this ending doesn't suck as much." - Kevin Watterson (follow him on Twitter - @kwatt)

You heard it here first: The next "Lost" is Holiday Chick. So buy it, whydontcha.

Thursday, July 01, 2010


I took a half day off of work to donate blood and see "Eclipse" with my chick friends.

Keep your cool points. I don't need 'em.

Speaking of cool points: Doesn't the above poster kind of remind you of this?


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