Tuesday, September 30, 2008

early reviewer book time!

i just finished reading A Map of Home, by Randa Jarrar. being sick means i had a lot of time to just lie in bed reading, and i took full advantage of it. out of all the books i've gotten through the early reviewer program, i believe i liked this one best. how can you resist a book with a smart-assed, foul-mouthed heroine? here's the review i posted on library thing:
A Map of Home tells the story of Nidali, a girl born of a Palestinian father and an Egyptian mother sometime in the late 1970's--early 80's. Through the book her family moves to various places in the middle east, and Nidali tells the story of her own childhood as well as the history of her family and country. The story is mainly centered on Nidali and her family; the way war has shaped it in the past as well as the present, as well as exploring what it means for her to grow up all around the world, sandwiched between cultures and homelands.

The writing is lovely and lyrical, interspersed with Arabic poetry and quotes from the Koran. In later chapters, hip hop exerts its own influence. What I enjoyed about the book was how even the tragic and unsavory parts of the story were written about with the same care. Nidali is unblinking when she recounts beatings at her father's hand, yet she never paints him as a stereotypical angry Arab male. She's as quick to point out that her father never tries to marry her off early, he's far more concerned with her education and future as a great professor. All the characters in Jarrar's book receive similar treatment; never are they reduced to mere cultural stereotypes; all are fleshed out, three-dimensional characters.

Nidali is a smart, funny girl who is easy to like, and her family and history make a compelling read. She's sassy and a bit of a smart-alek, and at the books end I wanted to know what was going to happen to her. Based on the small author bio on the back of the book, I wonder how much of Jarrar is built into Nidali. It doesn't really matter; I found the book a delightful read, the characters moving, and would definitely recommend this book to friends.
do you think you'd like it? let me know, and i'll send it off to you.


i took a shower, got dressed in real clothes (bra included!) and went into town. all i did was go to the library and exchange some movies for new ones, but still. i left the house. and wasn't a total greasebag doing it.

i feel better today than yesterday, and hopefully this last night of sleep and heavy medication will kick what's left of my cold out of my lungs and life.

i really want a donut

but i don't think they're on the list of "things you should eat while sick." juice is on that list, and i bought a ton of it last night, much to my wallet's chagrin. juice is not cheap. i never buy it, so i didn't realize, but damn. orange growers must be living in mansions made of gold! either that, or they are scraping by like the rest of us, thanks to a shitty economy. there's no middle ground anymore, is there?

yesterday i was awake for four or five hours, max. today i'm hoping for longer. i was given the day off work today due to my delightfully mellifluous cough, so i don't even need to call in sick. then i get my two days off, making me out of work for four days straight, plus i only worked half a day on sunday. what sucks about this scenario though, is that i can't get sick pay because i wasn't out for three consecutive days; instead i have to use my vacation pay.

being sick makes me crabby and fussy and all i can do is think about how i have to quit my job, look at other job openings, and make sinister plans for the future. okay, maybe not sinister, per se, but i like the way that sounds.

Monday, September 29, 2008

called in sick to work

and all i've done today is SLEEP. well, i also talked to anne for about fifteen minutes, then went back to bed. now i'm drinking more tea, thinking hard about a shower and doing some knitting while watching cartoons on the internet. i will also cough up and dislodge the contents of my lungs about five hundred times, but that's neither here nor there.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

someone get this midget off my chest

good lord, whatever it is i have is trying to kill me. what started as a mild sore throat, and a stuffy nose is now fully lodged in my chest. i feel like i'm being squeezed by a big old snake, or like someone small is sitting on my chest, occasionally stabbing it with something small and sharp. i have a bit of a cough, but it's more of a hack, and incredibly unpleasant. not bringing up a lot of mucus, not excruciating, but painful nonetheless.

The Boy came over and made me soup on his way home. he didn't stay, because he doesn't want to get sick and i have a tiny bed, but he did baby me a bit and make me a hot toddy. now my chest feels all warm and tight, and i'm sleepy again.

i felt lousy enough that i went home early, and will probably have to call out all day tomorrow. if the tightness in my chest doesn't ease up or my breathing get easier i'm also going to go into the urgent care clinic. or something. i feel like this can't be normal. while i don't have a fever, nothing i've done has helped ease up the pressure in my chest. hot baths, hot showers, hot toddys all felt better for a while, but once i'm done it back to shitsville.

bleh. The boy totally gets points for coming over, and making me soup and making me eat hot mustard (with chinese barbequed pork!) and drink juice. hopefully after a good night's sleep i'll feel better.

also, i totally have to get this off my chest, but i really fucking hate my roommate's current boyfriend situation. she's dating a total douchebag who totally fucking rubs me the wrong way. when i found out he was here this afternoon i really, seriously didn't want to get out of the bath. seeing him in my house pisses me off. i know she likes him, and she's always telling me he cracks her up and they have a good time, but he's a mean jerk and really, seriously not funny at all. he creeps me out. we have the same talk about him every time he's here, too, because she's always so fucking wasted she forgets we had it before. i need to find a new place to live. true story.

good morning, sunshine

i'm up way earlier than i would normally be on a sunday, because i went to bed crazy early last night. i have what is most likely a nice, fall head-cold, but i'm refusing to admit it and am insisting it's just a bad allergy attack. yesterday at work i filled out the paperwork for sudafed, which is pretty detailed (they need your driver's license for that shit!), and last night i had the sort of crazy dreams that you only get while high.

i don't work until noon, so i'm debating what to do this morning. re-red my hair? laundry? cartoons? knitting? going back to bed? it all sounds so tempting.

last but not least, i met someone who reads my blog the other night. for reasons unknown to me, i always feel slightly mortified when someone figures out who i am. it feels a lot like being caught in your underwear when you least expect it. at the same time, i've never met a person who was anything other than lovely and delightful, so if you have to get caught in your skivvies, i'm thankful it's by them. everyone say hi to jen! hi jen!

Friday, September 26, 2008

fairly full of rage

the 12 year old i live with has a problem with taking my stuff. first it started that she ate my food, so i started writing my name on everything so she couldn't do the whole, "oh, i thought it was my mom's." then the other day i found one of my bangle bracelets in her bedroom. i found it by walking by; it was right there in the middle of her floor, door wide open. i noticed all my make-up brushes gummy with her make-up, i confronted her and told her under no uncertain terms was she to use my make-up brushes; it's not a very hygienic habit, and i wouldn't stand for it. then this morning i was in the shower, finished washing my hair and went to wash my face. guess who's face wash was missing? and hidden under her mom's bathroom sink?

part of me wants to pen a very angry letter, especially since i specifically told her yesterday that she is not to use my bathroom at any time because she takes my stuff. i made a point of being firm but not jackass-y, just laid down the law and said, "if you do X, Y will be the resulting action." take my stuff, get banned from my bathroom. at the same time, she's only 12 and i don't want to sink to her level. she isn't a real "roommate" since this situation isn't of her own choosing. i understand that she's going through some shit right now with her dad's family (her fifteen year old step-sister is five months pregnant! no one knows who the baby daddy is!), and can sympathize with her need for attention. it's just very, very hard for me to figure out what to do without feeling angry and upset that she constantly goes through my shit.

i've tried confronting her directly, i've tried involving her mom, i've taken things away from her (like my bathroom privileges), i've even given her stuff of her own so that she won't have an excuse to take what's mine. none of it is working and i tell you, it makes living here very difficult.

does anyone have any suggestions? aside from moving? which to be frank, sounds good to me. i think what i'm going to do today is just leave a small note letting her know that i found what she took, and am going to talk about it with her mom at work this afternoon. let her stew a bit after she gets home from school, maybe worry her a little. although i'm sure it won't work, she doesn't seem to care when she gets caught, or else she turns on the crocodile tears for her mom's benefit. grrr!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

i'm already jinxed

i may as well blog about dating, especially since lately all i do is work and see The Boy. he needs a clever name, no? you can think of one for him and leave me a comment if you are so inclined! :-) i'm always thinking that blogging about boys jinxes the relationship, but i'm pretty sure it's other stuff that ruins it. honestly, even if things with The Boy do not work out (and there's always that chance!) there are enough interesting and fun things about him to make him worthwhile blog-fodder.

let's see, here are a few things about him, in no particular order; he's got a tween daughter, has never been married, makes fucking amazing salsa, wears a sweater vest under his shirt at all times*, reads a lot, plays the drums, likes to ride his bike, drinks his bourbon straight but with one tiny ice cube, has sort of a stoner laugh, makes me coffee in the morning even though he's not a big coffee drinker, works in a restaurant, goes to college for business stuff, loves football and heavy metal music. i like spending time with him. i feel both comfortable and totally nervous around him, and his roommate is a nice guy who made us both breakfast this morning. he says he likes my hair and my dark eyes, i tell him i like the dimple on his left cheek. he'll sleep on either side, or either end, of the bed. he's very laid back, and knows a ridiculous amount of interesting people.

i am probably spending too much time with him, lately, but i don't feel like i've overdosed on him yet. dating is nice. it's actually sort of fun. i was freaked out by his long-term relationship prior to me, but lately, not so much. i mean, what's going to happen will happen. the important thing now is to have a little fun, enjoy his good cooking and going out, and just see what happens.

*ooh! he's crazy hairy. i mean, it really looks like there's a sweater vest under his wifebeater. he's cute fuzzy, though, kind of like a blue heeler.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

yeah, i might have over-reacted

however, four years seems like an awful long time to me. thinking about it makes me tense, talking about it even more so. at the same time, he is a grown-up and grown-ups sometimes have long-term relationships (or so i've been told). while i was all "why the hell didn't you tell me sooner?" at first, now i kind of realize that telling someone that you just got out of a big old long relationship maybe isn't the easiest thing to do. in short, i am cutting the boy some slack and working on not being freaked out. we spent some time together last night and it was fun, and it's nice to know he took my outburst with aplomb.

i also dyed my hair. but only on one side! and in stripes. it's very 1995 and i'm loving it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


i should always, always, always keep my piehole shut. i should know that by now!

last night, the new guy and i were out and having a grand time, when i find out that the last girlfriend he had he was with for four years.

four years. is. a. long. time.

the other night he tried to tell me that they'd been broken up for "a while" but i called him out on that, because he's still got photos of her on his fridge, and he 'fessed up to them being officially over for about a month and a half. kids, we all know that i am not a newbie and am prone to saying exactly what i think. i woke him up early this morning, rolled him over and said "i refuse to be your rebound. i'm not saying we have to be all serious and shit, but i am no one's fling." later i explained that i have a good time when i'm with him, i like spending time with him, but the moment i feel like he's using me to get over something (someone) or treating me like a process and not a person, then i'm out.

it might seem like i got all crazy on him, and perhaps i did a bit, but omitting that you were in a serious relationship with a woman for over four years and you have, in fact, recently broken up seems fishy to me. like i told him, i am not in the mood to be anyone's relationship palate cleanser. i don't want to be his housewife or baby-maker either, so we're going to have to work out some middle ground. personally, i'd like to take a small break from seeing him for a few days, but i already invited him out tonight and can't seem to shake him. what i'm going to do is relax, enjoy the time i get to spend with him, enjoy his friends and their crazy art projects, and keep my eyes open. the end.

hi, my name is amanda and my middle name is "neurotic."

Monday, September 15, 2008

how would you feel about an update?

i am still seeing the boy i met last weekend. of course, he isn't really a boy; he's a grown-up with a real job, a car, and a kid, but i can't shake that habit of calling them all boys. it's been a super fun week, to be perfectly honest. not to jinx things by talking about it, i will say i am having a grand time and feeling very cute and perky. plus, he lets me play his drums, which is crazy fun. o-m-g, you can really beat the shit out of those things. whoo!

other than that, i am getting ready to officiate a friend's wedding next weekend (this weekend, really), watching lots of bizarro foreign films and secretly enjoying a shit-ton of rooney. i know, i know, they're all teeny-booper tween, but I LOVE THEM. and not just because they have a cute schwartzman in the band. no, i love them because they feel like ben folds five and the lemonheads had a baby that was raised entirely on ELO.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

bad dream

i had a horrible dream last night that i was looking for my passport for a trip i was taking to france, and was searching and searching through all my stuff and couldn't find it. all of my belongings were in bags or boxes, piled high in some crazy room that i knew wasn't exactly mine, and i tore that place up looking for the passport. in the meantime i came across other various things that made me sad; a full bag of open and very stale pretzels, an old bunny doll with a bell around it's neck, a stack of photos and a box of letters. it was all very distressing and i admit i didn't want to get up this morning. i had to remind myself that it was just a dream, that my passport expired last year and that not all my stuff is still in boxes and unaccounted for.

i still feel strange though, like i'm forgetting something important.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

early up!

i had to get up at five this morning to work. i NEVER see five a.m., unless by chance i am just falling asleep or having some wicked insomnia. it was very strange and quiet and kind of smelled pretty. very green and new and fresh, with a subtle hint of autumn. good times.

i really do need to quit my job. i hate to say it, because i say it or think it pretty much constantly, but it's true. i hate it. i hate that i don't get paid shit, that i have more responsibility than i should, and get pulled around every which way from corporate. ugh. my benefits aren't even that amazing to put up with this. if i moved i could totally get a better job, right?

also every time i hear anyone mention palin or see her on tv i want to scream. amazingly, until this time i was able to keep my crazy liberal mouth shut at work, but today when someone was all, "oh, i just love her," i said, "yeah, she's great! she promotes abstinence only sex-education and her 17 year old daughter is knocked up! she's awesome!" i got the stink eye, but you know what? it's funny 'cause it's true, and that stink eye was delicious.

Monday, September 01, 2008

my plans for the day

in list form, so that i may look back later and say, "oh damn, i totally pissed the day away."
  • finish laundry.
  • return painfully overdue books to the library.
  • finish painting on deck and start one as a present for my newly married friends.
  • work on my space needle drawing.
  • fold clothes and put them away.
  • either unpack last two boxes in the middle of my room, or put them in the garage. i can ignore them just as well out there as i do here.
  • lament the end of summer. secretly enjoy the crisp fall smell creeping into the air.
  • drink coffee. (check that one off, baby!)
  • go grocery shopping.
  • read more of from hell, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite graphic novels ev-ah. the things is so dense and gorgeous and freaky and delightful. i devoured great chunks of it camping, but i still have more left.
  • clean up my grody bathroom. dude, you would think a boy lived in there.

mas fuerte! or, how to actually get me excited about a date.

i am very tired and should be sleeping, but i'm trying my hardest to stay up. tomorrow is my only day off this week, thanks to yet another quitter at work, and while the overtime will be awesome, i'm dreading that seven day stretch. not only that, but next weekend (this next sunday) is inventory YET AGAIN, meaning another overnight work shift. it all culminates in my dreading going to bed because that's just going to start the cycle of crap my life has become.

i'm in a foul mood, thanks to the work situation and a visit from my monthly female friend. when PMS rears it's ugly head i always swear up and down that this never happens to me, that my being pissy and fussy and grumpy and frumpy is a rare occurrence, but i wonder if i just do that so i don't feel so doomed about it. bleh.

oh, and i got asked out on a date, in a proper sort of way. "proper" as in, "hey, we should go see a movie or something together sometime" and while it's nice in theory, the execution leaves something to be desired. is that strange? i mean, i haven't even gone out with the guy and already i'm critiquing his moves. all day at work i had this discussion with josh about what i have termed the mas fuerte* scale; 1 being a guy who is a crazy, lame pushover, and 10 being the guy who is so macho, so alpha male that it makes you sick, and five being mr. average. a 5 guy's got some mas fuerte moments, but knows when to tone it back. personally, i'm looking for a man who scores a 7. (maybe an 8 at times.) this guy who asked me out, his approach thus far has him at a 3 or 4. is this indicative of what's to come? would going to a movie with a normal, nice guy be such an awful thing? am i nit-picking because i am a bitter old hag? who knows. perhaps i should sleep on it, do some tinkering on the mas fuerte scale, and maybe, just maybe, try to reel in my hyper-critical inner bitch.

*my pidgin spanish for "most strong" or "not a weak-ass-talk-about-my-feelings-man." i might be a feminist, but that doesn't mean i want to date a man who acts like a woman.