Jun 12, 2018

Trad's Journey

We catch Trad at the end of the first day of his journey. He's pushing a 15' pie chart down a lonely country road. We don't know where he came from, or where he's going, but we do know one thing: This is important to him.

Day 2: Trad's on a roll. He woke up feeling refreshed, it's a beautiful day, and he can take advantage of the highway's long gradual declines. He passes a woman pushing a similar (identical?) pie chart the opposite way. She's struggling (she's on the incline), but Trad doesn't have time to stop. Not now. Things are really moving along now.

Day 3: Trad's gone a very long way — he's now in the desert. Pie charts are very hard to push through sand and... did it get bigger since yesterday? Trad's really starting to rethink his life choices — his goals and his priorities — while he pushes this pie chart across the desert. There's lots of time to think in the desert.

Day 3, continued: Oh, no. This is the worst possible thing that could happen right now. Trad's pie chart broke! He's not sure how to fix it, and there's no way to call for help. If he could just brainstorm with some colleagues like he does back in the office, maybe he could figure this out! At least here, the pie chart seems to have gotten smaller.

Day 3, continued: Whew, Trad used his problem-solving skills and got the pie chart back together. He's on his way! Unfortunately, the pie chart is big again.

Day 18: Well, it took a lot of time and effort, personal determination and follow-through, but Trad has arrived. He loves his new pie chart. He's sure his boss will agree: It was all worth it in the end.

(The chart is quite a bit smaller than he remembered, but that's OK. It's the journey that counts.)

Sep 8, 2017

Amber's Guide to the 7 Deadly Sins

Take a listen. I done broke it down for ya real quick to keep ya outta hell:

  • Lust = Oglin
  • Greed = Moneygrubbin
  • Gluttony = Piggin out
  • Pride = Gettin all hoity toity
  • Wrath = Hootin an hollerin too much
  • Envy = Lookin over at somebody else n bein like "gimme that"
  • Sloth = Ain't doin shit


Jan 13, 2017

is this the illuminati?

i'm not sure what the illuminati IS but i DID just notice all these famous directors' names RHYME WITH FOOD:
  • Fresh Mandarin: Wes Anderson
  • Shrimp Gerkin: Tim Burton
  • Tortilla Coke (Cola): Sophia Coppola
  • Dead Apples Though: Judd Apatow
  • Lemon-Lime Lollipop: M. Night Shyamalan

if that's NOT the illuminati feel free to try to explain to me what it is.

Jan 6, 2017

Fun Mom

here's an example of the kind of fun thing i would do as a parent:

kid is 16 years old, it's christmas, there's no present under the tree. kid goes, "where's my present?" i go, "your present is too big to fit under the tree! why don't you go out to the garage and take it for a spin?" [knowing smile]

kid runs to the garage, opens the door, and this is what's in there...




and we laugh and laugh.

Jan 3, 2017

the strangest thing to happen to me in 2017

are you ready for a true-life mystery that will send a shiver up your spine, in one fluid motion not unlike the zipper on a coat? well have i got a story for you. it's about the zipper on my coat.

yesterday i was taking down my christmas tree, and i got my old coat out of the closet so i wouldn't get sap on my nice one. i haven't worn this coat in over a year. i went to go zip it up and discovered the zipper was UPSIDE DOWN. it UNZIPPED my coat, and only when i zipped it downward did the zipper stick together, kind of. i made this video to explain:

how could this happen? did the zipper get turned around in the wash? did someone replace my zipper in effort to pull off the world's stupidest prank? am i wearing the coat upside down? i don't remember the last time i was this confused. birth, maybe.

finally i sat down to text the video to my friend, to see if i could get any help solving this mystery and to confirm the world was still spinning and that i was still alive in it. that's when i looked over and noticed the top zipper, stuck at the collar, and remembered this coat has two zippers -- one that zips, one that unzips from the bottom -- and always has.

anyway, happy new year!

Nov 15, 2016

Buttwipes of Portland: #2 (Sustain Post Play Wipes)

Alright, time to switch it up on here. It's another installment of Buttwipes of Portland! ::cheers, applause, someone coughing::

I gotta say, I've been thrown for a loop with this one. I thought I was buying just another bag of buttwipes -- they came from the buttwipe section alongside all the other buttwipes -- but apparently I purchased a revolutionary new tool for solving a universal problem! I didn't know this when I bought them, and I haven't known it for the past month while using them, but I found out today when I googled them! (Caution: Only google them if you want to read a lot of people talking about sex but replacing the word "sex" with "play." ::shudder, another cough::)

Seriously I've just been using these to wet my whistle if you will, as part of my daily routine, and I thought like the last ones (Swipes Lovin' Wipes) the company just added a layer of marketing to let you know hey, you can also use these for post-sex cleanup. But no, these are specifically for post-sex cleanup! I mean they say it pretty clearly on the packaging but with all the cutesy plays on words, I just didn't believe them. Are people straight up storing these next to their beds and not on the backs of their toilets? Because I would argue that the only difference between these "post-play wipes" and buttwipes is where you store them.

Therefore I will continue my review of these BUTTWIPES. First, I don't remember how much they cost but it was under $5 for 48. You can buy them directly from the Sustain website for $10.99 per package if there's no New Seasons or Whole Foods in your area and if you think eleven dollars is a reasonable amount of money to spend on BUTTWIPES. Up to you.

So cost, whatever -- normal. The scent is mild and pleasant, like opening a window. One nice feature is 10% of the profits go to women somehow! That's what this little symbol tells me.

They are also made out of cotton instead of paper pulp, making them more durable. Personally I've not had an issue with the durability of my paper pulp wipes, but then again I'm quite a delicate lady. They're also free of bad stuff and full of good stuff instead, but that's kind of a given in this series.

But by far the best thing going for these wipes is the texture. Remember how everyone was satisfied with pancakes until waffles came along?? Total game-changer, and on that front I will agree these wipes are revolutionizing the industry. Without spelling it out, there are reasons why waffles are better than pancakes, and these wipes are waffles for your butt.

Major, MAJOR con though: They're not flushable. Honestly I would not normally buy a non-flushable wipe, but this is journalism and I wanted to see if I could handle it. I mostly can! And a couple times I forgot they're not flushable and flushed them anyway. Guess what? They went down! Listen I know this is Not Okay™ and I'm trying hard to do better. (I have also heard it's a bad idea to flush any wipes, whether they say flushable or not. I also heard Taco Bell is bad for you???) But IF you're wondering if flushing these ones will cause your toilet to volcanically erupt in your face, it won't. I tested it so you don't have to.

In conclusion, I feel spoiled by these wipes. It's been so lovely, but I don't think they're my wipes. I need a flushable wipe, and I may be willing to give up texture for disposability. (Turns out I might be a pancake girl after all!) I'm also still giving these the side-eye for claiming they serve a very specific purpose... I'm here to tell you they do it all. Just ask my butt.

Nov 9, 2016

ok update

the shop only offers store credit for returns so i have to keep my new clothes.

the morning after

aw cute, my last post about wanting a boyfriend.

well, life's taken on a new focus today. i went to bed last night with the words "president trump" pounded into my head like an octagon-shaped block of wood where i only have circle-shaped holes. i truly never thought this would be possible, so it took awhile for the reality to settle in. like i was still laughing when everyone around me was freaking out. i've always been a little slow to react to bad news, though. maybe as a defense mechanism.

i am deeply hurt, and discouraged, and afraid. i thought we'd be celebrating a totally different symbolic moment in history today. most upsetting, though, i thought i knew who i shared a country with -- i grew up in wyoming and lived in central florida for christ's sake! i saw some shit. but i had no idea. to be utterly clear: there is no good reason to support a man whose entire campaign was based on appealing to white nationalist sentiments, on fear and intolerance. even people who voted for trump "just to shake things up" or "as a lesser of two evils" are in the wrong, and participating in deeply disturbing trend against human progress.

but there's no giving up now. what can we do but make choices and take actions that contribute to the type of society we want to live in? i've been lazy up until now. i relied on my faith in the goodness of people. i was a passive participant in our political system -- it's no longer enough to vote in elections and sign online petitions and add some hashtags to your social media posts. here's what i'm doing:

  • not wasting any more time on unproductive media. i've signed off facebook, twitter, and instagram; i'm not reading the news and blogs all day long -- i'll listen to NPR in the morning and on my way home from work some days if i can take it, and otherwise i'm protecting my mental health by knowing what i need to know to help out, and blocking all the extra noise. i used to consume news as a way to fill gaps in time, but it wasn't purposeful knowledge-seeking, and it often didn't help anything. i can let those gaps just be space and i bet it will be more productive. i've enlisted my friends to keep me informed about movements and groups i need to know about, and otherwise i'll find out about them by being out in the community. i'll replace that wasted time with volunteering to protect those most vulnerable, and writing meaningful words. instead of watching netflix tonight, i'll listen to the podcast my friend jenna recommended on the judicial system. instead of scrolling through tweets, i'll meditate. when i post silly jokes, it'll be because i believe in the power of humor to heal, and not as a way to get likes.
  • not wasting any more money on superficial things. first i need to feel more financially secure -- i don't know what a trump economy looks like. second my money can go toward the same things i invest my time in. today i'm returning $130 worth of new clothes i just bought for work and canceling a $40 salon appointment. i even canceled my $2.50/paycheck contribution to the political action committee that supports the industry i work in, because i haven't been paying enough attention to how that money's used, and found out it goes to fund the campaigns of politicians i do not agree with. this morning, in the shower, i even became the person who waters down their bodywash instead of buying a new bottle. AND I LOVE BUYING NEW BODYWASH.
  • not wasting any more time messing with my skin. unrelated, but i spend too much of my life on this, and have wanted to quit for almost 20 years now. throw it in the bag with the rest of them!
  • cultivating my relationships. i do a lot of this already, but i wonder how much more connected we could be with fewer distractions and a common purpose beneath us. already i'm finding such comfort and inspiration from the conversations i'm having with my sister and friends. i won't let those fires burn out.
  • empowering myself. i started a self-defense class monday and nothing's ever felt more timely. i also signed up for a car care class so i can finally learn how to change my oil and fix a flat. i'm reading all sorts of books you'd find in the self-help section, but not the ones that say you need to change anything about yourself -- the ones that say "be yourself, in a real big way." i momentarily considered cutting my gym and bouldering memberships as a way to save money, but realized how important it is for me to feel strong and capable and physically fit. 
hey thanks for reading. writing stuff out solidifies it for me, and honestly i'll miss interacting with people on social media -- maybe this will be a space to do that in its absence. and i know everyone's in different places right now, and i'm going through phases myself, but i'm committed to being the friend who believes in progress and light. you can always find that here.

Oct 26, 2016

emo post written while sad, i don't give a crap

things i've done while single:

  • traveled abroad solo twice
  • got a new job when the old one wasn't working for me anymore
  • moved to a nice apartment
  • bought a new car
  • learned to climb and went to the gym regularly
  • took care of my cats
  • maintained my friendships
  • threw the baddest birthday ball
  • put on three friends talent shows
  • dated a bunch
  • paid all my bills on time
  • ate mostly healthy
  • got help when i was depressed
  • took improv classes and did some open mics
  • started contributing to my retirement
  • tweeted a bunch of jokes
  • learned how to make videos
  • read a lot of books and spent time with my book club
  • flossed consistently

i can do it alone. i can do the heck out of it alone. but i don't want to anymore. i want to be taken care of, and i want to take care of someone. i want life to be a little easier, and i want to share some of the moments that i've been spending alone.

i still want my own time and space and my own life -- i've grown very fond of those things -- but i want to let someone in a little closer. not yoked, just holding hands.

Sep 28, 2016

Amber's Lawn Soaps and Hedge Balm

You want the shiniest lawn and most luxurious hedges. Now you know.

And at $19.99 per bottle, you won't find a better deal anywhere else! You sit and think about that while you wait.

My pappy used to say I'd never make anything of myself. Well don't look now but my name is on several bottles.

You can look now.

I also know a guy who will do a "Brazilian Blowout" on your trees if you'll let him. I have some of his business cards and can get more at any time.

Amber's Lawn Soaps and Hedge Balm: Are you ready for it?

Sep 23, 2016

why i refuse to watch the debates

i cannot believe we're doing this as a country.

donald trump is a garbage troll, and hillary clinton is a qualified politician trying to be the first woman president of the united states, and we're putting them on the same stage like some kind of sick reality show.

how in the year 2016 are we handing a microphone and giving the national stage to a racist, sexist bigot who makes up lies when facts are so easy to google? how as a country are we saying, "yes, what you have to say is important, and worthy of our attention"?

like, imagine if you were interviewing for your dream job -- the one you've been working toward your whole life. and the people hiring you were like, "listen, we really like you for the job, but we're also considering this wet paper bag with some hair in it. does it have any qualifications or skills? no. is it even a sentient being? someone says they saw it move once. but the worst people in this company -- and there are plenty! -- really like the bag, so we have to be fair."

wouldn't ANYONE be like "ok, thank you for letting me know, because now never mind. i no longer wish to work for you." but hillary's actually going to get on that stage, and to me that says everything i need to know about her character and her commitment to the presidency and to the people of this country. all of them.

i wish this were like when god asked abraham to sacrifice his son isaac, and abraham was like "man, i don't get it, but i respect you, so ok." and he was about to do it and god swooped in like "omg i was just testing you! you passed, you're in you're in." i hope jon stewart swoops in and does the same thing to hillary the night of the debates, but since i'm pretty sure that's not going to happen, i will not participate.

plus i generally avoid things that make me vomit, which is why i will not spend one minute of my time listening to donald trump speak. or drink tequila.