Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Don't I feel salty...

Do you see it?

How about there?


I have a sweat issue. Thankfully, today was cool, dry-pitt weather. Unthankfully, I forgot that the last time I wore this pink shirt, it had been in the 90's and I was stuck in a stuffy conference room for hours on end.

Unthankfully, I forgot about the subsequent salt ring on my shirt.

Unthankfully, I saw the ring while in the bathroom at work, AFTER I had completed a meeting with a client and AFTER I had put more than half the day behind me.

How many times had I raised my arms in public that day? How often had I placed my hands on my hips? How frequently had I reached for something in front of someone else? HOW OFTEN HAD I MORTIFIED EVERYONE WITHIN TWENTY FEET OF MY SALT RINGS??

The Burden of Technology

Must . . . clean out . . . inbox . . .
574 . . . unread . . . messages . . .
Must delete . . . Must read . . . Must unsubscribe . . .
Must revert to postal mail . . .
Must write hate letter to . . . Al . . . Gore . . .

". . . No thanks . . . for the . . . internet . . . "

Monday, June 29, 2009

Word Games

Amanda's Dictionary

Word Barnacle: a player in scrabble who alters existing words just enough to collect a substantial reward. The most well-known Barnacle is Joshua B. Hornbarger.

Building Dweller: a player in Call of Duty or Halo or any shooting game who sits in buildings and shoots the poor souls below. I hate these players.

Shooting Game: a video game in which players shoot each other.

Origins Game Convention: a yearly event that draws gamers from their basements and prompts them to walk around in leather corsetts while purchasing overpriced games. This is Tad's favorite summer event.


Tonight, Tad and I tried out a few of his games. One was called "Word on the Street" and was a favorite of mine because it eliminates the possibility of having Word Barnacles. Players must choose a word that allows them to pull as many letters as possible to their side of the board....funny sounding, yes, but really fun.

During the second round, Tad starting doing poorly. He couldn't spell words like "lettuce" and was having a hard time coming up with word ideas.

Finally, I said something.

"Do you just want to quit?"

"No, you're about to win. Let's just finish."

"I don't want you to have to play if you're frustrated."

"I just can't think right!"

"I know, what's going on?"

"This one word has been stuck in my head for the past three rounds and it's all I can think of."

"What is it."

He paused, and then almost shyly as if offering me a most precious gem, said, "Marmalade."

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday Musings: MahJong, Mah-long Lost Love

In high school I had a problem with an addiction to Minesweeper. I'd fall asleep thinking up different and difficult scenarios and how I'd click my way out. I'd go over and over what it mean if a number 3 was surrounded by 5 blocks and adjacent to a number 2. Over and over until my top scores looked something like:

10 seconds Beginner
40 seconds Intermediate
170 seconds Expert

I knew the game and the math behind it like the back of my hand. And now, when I sleep, I see this:

Fortunately, there's not as much math behind this and the sheer number of differing tiles makes it hard to imagine game scenarios. Yet, the obsession is just as bad. I simply HAVE to get a game or 2 in before bed . . . after a run . . . while making dinner . . . during blogging . . .

And I find myself racing home from work to try out the Dragon or Turtle (pictured above).

Believe it or not, though, I didn't check to see whether MahJong Solitaire was on my work laptop until Tad asked earlier this week.

It's not. Looks as though I'll be keeping my job.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened at the Gas Station

For the uninformed:

Diesel spickets (the ones you stick inside your gas tank to pump gas) at gas stations are bigger than regular gasoline spickets. This prevents dumb people from putting diesel fuel into regular unleaded cars.

Now you are informed.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Color Critics

One of the best part about weddings is seeing all of the bride's 'likes' come to life--and then gossiping about it afterword.

  • I KNEW she'd have a traditional wedding, Canon in D and all!
  • I surely didn't expect bridesmaids to wear halters . . . I was thinking more of a full-length strapless.
  • Can you believe she didn't have a veil?!
  • I always thought her dress would be more frilly.
  • Sweet Home Alabama at the reception? That was totally not her.

Such musings can also take place before the wedding, as friends and guests predict or comment upon what they expect to experience and what they already know to be true.
Such a conversation between friends who are headed out to a wedding is going on now. Let's listen in . . .

Amanda: Her colors are pink and purple. I'm just not seeing it.
Ashlee: Well Andrew's wearing yellow, so I expect that to be there too.
Amanda: Pink and purple and yellow?
Ashlee: That's what Andrew said.
Amanda: I suppose that will make it all come together. I was wondering about just the pink and purple because they were so rich.
Ashlee: Where'd you see them?
Amanda: On the invitations. It was like a magenta-like pink and a deep, royal purple.
Ashlee: Well the yellow is light.
Amanda: I just don't see those colors working well together.
Ashlee: I don't know...
Amanda: I mean, pink and purple? I could see having pink or purple. But both? And they seem to be really rich . . . really rich like this pink color here on my dress. *points to dress*
Ashlee: Ooohhh.
Amanda: And this purple here on my dress. *points to dress*
Ashlee: Ooohhh.
Amanda: Just don't see those colors working. Oh, wait, there's light yellow on my dress too!
Ashlee: OOOHHH.
Amanda: Well, THAT'S embarassing.

Word to the wedding-gossip-wise: Never wear the exact color combination that you're about to critique.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday Musings: The Ice Cream Man

Generally, when a middle-aged, shirtless, shaggy haired, white (or occasionally Hispanic) male drives by an okay-looking girl between the ages of 17 and 30, jogging steadily down the sidewalk, his natural inclination is to slow down.... just.enough....so.that.he.can.take.it.all.in...without....being....creepy.......slower....slower...

Sometimes, these creepers brake just slightly, as to not appear perverted. Other times, they crawl by at a pace so sluggish that the running girl must also slow down just to get them to pass by. And still other times, after they've passed the poor girl, their slowing will bring them to a complete stop at an intersection . . . even though the light is green and even though the runner is a hundred feet behind them . . . it's like you can see them thinking . . .

"If I wait here long enough, she'll eventually catch up. Then, I can harass her with my devilish charm. Or just follow her until she gives me her phone number and begs me to call. OR! I could take a right here, go around the block, and come up behind her AGAIN!" And so, the right turn is made. Yes, I have actually experienced someone drive around the block only to pass me even more slowly than they did the first time.

Today, as I ran in the sun-scorched neighborhood of Southwood Park, I kind-of sort-of had one of these experiences, only it involved an Ice Cream Man. Let's just say I finally realized why some men are willing to give their summers to driving crappy vans and selling overpriced ice cream to middle and lower class citizens:

It gives them an excuse to drive slowly.

As I ran and as the Ice Cream Man passed me at a rate that would make a grandma in a Buick look good, there was nothing I could do. He was, after all, just doing his job. It's not like he knew our paths would cross. And it's not like he suddenly put the brakes on when I appeared up the road. No, he was doing what he was paid to do....drive as slowly as a snail scoots. It just so happened that for that brief minute on Beaver Avenue, the scenery changed and he had a little more to think about than whether the children would be enticed by his totally awesome and loud song. It was probably no different than watching old couples taking a stroll, squirrels dashing up trees, dads cleaning out garages...

Then, once he passed me, I heard him speed up.

What a sick, creep.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Nicknaming Bad Guys

Brad: "Did you guys hear about what's happening in Iran?"

Us: "What? No."

Brad: "No?!"

Us: "Nope."

Brad: "WELL . . . they just had elections and Ma-hi-ma Azh-er-min-a-jad-or-whatever-it-is, you know the really evil president of Iran?"

Us: "Yeah."

Brad: "Well he was up for re-election, but Mi-mir Hu-ssein Mu-sa-va-vay-or-whatever-it-is was predicted to win. I mean this guy came out of nowhere. Now, Mi-mir Hu-ssein Mu-sa-va-vay-or-whatever-it-is is pretty evil too. Maybe not as evil as Ma-hi-ma Azh-er-min-a-jad-or-whatever-it-is but still. Mi-mir Hu-ssein Mu-sa-va-vay-or-whatever-it-is is pretty evil. WELL, they don't have any computers, and after they tallied the votes they Ma-hi-ma Azh-er-min-a-jad-or-whatever-it-is won by a landslide and now there's rioting because they think it was staged because Mi-mir Hu-ssein Mu-sa-va-vay-or-whatever-it-is . . ."

Tad: "OKAY STOP! How about we refer to them as Super Evil Guy and Kind Of Evil Guy?"

Brad: "Okay."

Me: "Good."

Brad: "Okay, so what happened was....Kind Of Evil Guy was predicted to overtake Super Evil Guy but didn't. He didn't even win his own province. So now they're saying that it was rigged and that Kind Of Evil Guy wasn't given a chance. So now Iranians are rioting and getting killed. But they don't even care. They're tired of being bullied by Super Evil Guy."

Us: "Mmmmm."

Bathroom Conundrum

What do you do when you're at work and you're going to the bathroom and you realize that your underwear are on inside out but you've already been in there long enough to cause people to suspect that you're doing more than just a polite bathroom break and are going to come out of there with the fan on full blast and your finger prints all over a half-empty can of Glade Lavender Meadows?

You leave them be. Leave the underpants be.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How many days would I survive a Zombie apocalypse?

I took a facebook quiz today, and . . .

You've survived the entire Zombie Apocalypse!!


You are the ultimate zombie killing deity. You kill them by the thousands, with strategic traps and land mines. Not to mention all of the weapons you've stored in your closet in case of a zombie invasion. The only cost is all of your friends and family. You spend so much time locked in your house you never see them. When the invasion happens you send one of your friends to get food, but you know what your really did. You used him/her to lure zombies away from the house. You smirk as you watch him/her get devoured.

Good to know. Good to know.

I think the problem here, is that while I may know how to survive, there's no guarantee I'm going to have an M16 on hand with a zillion land mines AND the guts to sacrifice my friend.

Better get working on that before the Swine Flu gets any worse. Seriously, people. We're at PHASE 6. That means PANDEMIC. look here

And pandemic means zombies. It's happened before. Think Black Death.

I would invite you all to chill with me, but as one of the quiz questions made me realize, I'd rather hole up alone . . . one other person max. Can't risk having too much stupid present when it's life and death.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Point at Which My Former Fat Self Takes Over

"Welcome to Penn Station, can I help you?"

Instantaneously, I smiled. "Yes, I'd like a small Italian no tomato and a small fry."
Absolute heaven.

"And you, sir?" she asked Tad.

"A medium club, no tomato."

"Any fries with that?"


What? No fries? This could only mean one thing.

"Why didn't you order any fries?" I asked as we made our way to the register, my voice sharp.

"I'll just have some of yours," he said.

My absolute heaven disappeared. My former fat self took over.

"Some of mine?" I snapped.

"Yeah, just a little bit."

"I specifically ordered a small sandwich so that I could have the entire order of fries to myself," I said through clenched teeth.

"I'm only going to have a little bit, really. I don't want that many."

"But a little bit always turns into half." My tone was accusatory, my intent was to hurt. There was no way I was sharing my fries. MY fries. MY FRIES.

"No, not this time," he tried. "I only want a few."

But I was unreasonable. "A few? Like how many?"

"Just a few."

"How many?"

"I don't know. . . like five."


"Yeah. Five."

I thought about it, my inner fat beast subsiding.

"Okay, then."

And I acutely watched as he selected five fries out of my basket.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Hodgepodge of Funny

Weekend Recap

It isn't everyday you see grown men in Lederhosen do this:

I realize it's hard to see, so allow me to frame the picture more thoroughly . . . 6 men congregate backstage at Germanfest (in front of the bathrooms) to practice their upcoming show-stopper: a traditional German polka dance. The dance involves lots of leg-smacking and over and unders. I don't know how to explain it any better. I was able to capture this moment, as we were seated a mere 10 yards from the excited entertainers.

Also, I'm feeling quite popular these days, as suddenly all these straight-faced lawyers are graveling for my attention. If you're a daytime TV-watching Fort Wayne resident, you may recall the shifty-eyed Dr. Kelso look-alike with Glaser and Ebbs? Or, the hard-nosed gangster from Blackburn & Green? Or perhaps the comfortable down-to-business McNally?

Yeah, they all want me.

They want to make sure to turn wrongs into my rights! I mean, there's "thousands" in claims I'm overlooking! Laws I cannot even fathom! Sleep I'm missing out on! A settlement that isn't in my best interest! AND I'm being given the "runaround"!

Well, it's a good thing my initial call and consultation won't cost a thing. Now, who to call . . .

Well these guys know about a secret law that passed July 1, 1991 . . . wonder what that is . . .

Oooh! This one has supplied me with a 29 question quiz to test whether they're legit . . . wonder if they can pass . . .

And these people went to prestigious law schools and graduated top in their class . . .

Aha! Here's a plastic business card from Glaser and Ebbs that already has my name on it! (see photo above)

No one else put in that much TLC!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Diagnosis: Diaphragm Arrhythmia

When I get excited, I shake. . .

I also, apparently, hiccup.

One day in the midst of a hiccup attack, Tad, in a quasi-aggravated way, said, "You always hiccup!"

"What?" was my reaction.

"You hiccup way more than the average person. Like, all the time!"

"I don't think . . ."

"Yes. You do."

"But you . . ."

"Not as much as you."

From that point on my self-radar tuned in to the music of my diaphragm. And sure enough. Once or twice or thrice every week I experienced an attack. They would last anywhere from 1 second to 15 minutes.

I argued with Tad, saying other people hiccuped a lot too, but it was futile. I'm a hiccup freak. But why?

Initially, I blamed it on a floppy diaphragm. Makes sense, right? It was probably just loose from how I used to have great breath support back in my singing days and now, since I never ever sing, it's all stretched out and floppy.


Here is what embarassingproblems.com says:
Hiccups can be triggered by:
  • sudden expansion of the stomach by swallowing air while eating
  • sudden expansion of the stomach by excessive eating or drinking
  • fizzy drinks
  • sudden excitement or emotional stress
  • acid reflux from the stomach.
Aha! Bullet #4. (Please ignore everything else hinting that I'm unable to eat like a normal person).

I am a freak who manifests excitement in the form of diaphragm contractions (or diaphragm arrhythmia) . Also known as 'hiccups'.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

With Age Comes Lameness

I'll never forget the first time I realized that I'd officially become 'old'. It happened some years ago. A certain guy had caught my eye and it wasn't until I actually thought about it that I realized he had one trait that would have sent me packing had he come into my life a few months prior.

He was balding.

And because I was 'old', it didn't matter. In fact, it was almost attractive.

It was at this point that I crossed into a certain level of maturity and 'oldness' that has left me hopelessly fighting for a way out ever since. But there's no escape. Once old, always old.

And that is why I'm sitting here blogging instead of having a brat with kraut at Germanfest. Because my age and lameness has gotten the best of me. Because heading out for some polka at 9pm suddenly seems like a death wish. Because I'd rather stay at home with a sick Tad than socialize, take pictures, and act silly.

I hate getting old. But I can't stop. I am compelled to choose what can only age me more.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Rehab? I said no, no, no!

I'm trying to break a very bad habit. Well, trying to lessen a very bad habit.

Each day goes something like this:

8:45am -- 16oz coffee (mostly decaf)
10:00am--16oz coffee (not as mostly as before but still mostly decaf)
2:30pm--14oz coffee (half caf)

End of day total: 46oz coffee

This is not healthy no matter how much of it is decaf.

My new days are going like this:

8:45am -- 16oz coffee (mostly decaf)
10:00am--16oz water
2:30pm--14oz coffee (half caf)

End of day total: 30oz coffee, 16oz water (on top of normal water drinkage).

This looks better. I hope it's something I can build on. Because you know there's a problem when you go through a pregnancy scare and the most you can do is cut it down to 30oz a day. Yes, you heard me. I was not willing to give up coffee when I was 99% sure I was preggo.

And that, my friends, is what you call an addiction.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Povitica, french roast, Feist, and utter laziness.

Tad is off playing airsoft, and I've been pleasantly surprised by how much I'm enjoying being alone.

For the first time since we married, I've been able to:

1) Watch exactly what I want on television whenever I want and for however long I want. First, I chose Roger Federer, then Billy Elliot.
2) Hold the remote control myself the entire time.
3) Utilize the PS3 as a CD player and not a gaming console. Feist was the artist of choice.
4) Enjoy hours upon end in my living room without the sound of gunfire and pending doom.
5) Go back to sleep without being followed or questioned.
6) Read in perfect and perpetual silence.
7) Eat povitica, drink french roast coffee and sit at the computer WHILE having the television on the channel of MY choosing. (This is special, because generally, Tad gets one machine and I the other).
8) Pretend like I'm a rockstar in front of the mirror with the bathroom door open.
9) Seriously contemplate working on one of my novels or scripts without wondering if the noise around me will be too distracting.
10) Sit at Tad's desk and write at his computer without feeling like the 'rude' roommate who always uses stuff that doesn't belong to me.

Yes, I've been lazy all day long.

With that being said, I don't quite know what to make of today. I had been worried all week long of pending loneliness. 9 hours? What would I do? Who would I talk to? I can only play so many rounds of MahJong solitaire! Don't go, Tad. Don't go!

But now I'm happy he went.

I think it's healthy on both levels . . . to dread the thought of his absense but enjoy the opportunity to be with myself.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Alec Baldwin, Circa 1992

Watching Prelude to a Kiss right now, and:

Alec Baldwin used to be handsome? What?!

Seventeen years can be oh, so bad.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Icy, then Hot.

I have whiplash.

To celebrate, Tad offered to apply IcyHot to the sore muscles. Never having a reason to try the substance, I eagerly accepted.

It felt just as I thought it would. Icy, then hot.

My favorite part, however, was and is the way it smells. Think delicous spearmint bubblegum candy. Or, more specifically, think spearmint breathmint lifesavers only less like hard candy and more like gummy, gell-like heaven.

It smelled so good and felt so IcyHot, I had to touch it.

So I did.

Then, I smelled my hand.


Put my fingers near my tongue.

Lick. . . . lick, lick . . . .lick.

Tad's eyes popped out of his head. "Don't eat it! Your tongue will go IcyHot!"

"Uh oh. Too late."


"My tongue AND lips are IcyHot!"

"I hope it's not toxic." He grabbed the box. "External use only."

"If there's no directions on how to flush it out, then it can't hurt me," I reasoned, silently.

"Told you not to eat it," he said.


Moments later, while my lips were numb and my tongue swollen, my eye itched.

I raised my hand.

"No!" Tad yelled.

But it was too late. My eyeball had become IcyHot as well.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

11 Tips for when you or someone behind you takes their eyes off the road.

Mary Jane has been compromised. A young man rear-ended her today and now she has scratches on her butt. Silver scratches.

In this fiasco, I found out a few helpful things:

1) If someone hits you and then suggests that you both 'pull over wherever', make sure that they lead the way. The last thing you want is for them to take off and leave you with a broken car. (This did not happen to me, but there was a definite panic moment in which I realized it was very stupid of me to assume he'd follow me into the parking lot).

2) Saying "I got screwed over once" is a perfectly good way to let the other person know that although they may not want you to call the police, you simply HAVE to do it and it has nothing to do with them personally.

3) It IS possible to do the whole "Hello? He- Hello? Can you hear me? Hello? Is anyone there?" when calling 9-1-1. Just stay on the line, they'll start talking eventually.

4) Approaching the police officer by saying "Ok, you're probably going to mad at me" when handing off your identification items isn't the best idea because they don't think in normal people terms and they DEFINITELY don't detect lightheartedness. Everything's business. (Why did I say that to them? See #4 and #5 below).

5) While it may seem shady to be operating under two names, it's totally okay! My drivers license has me as Amanda Luedeke while my insurance card has me as Amanda Heinsch. The officer didn't reprimand me one bit. (There's some kind of 30 day wedding window that saved my butt . . . and, having done the name change thing herself, she understood my laziness).

6) Don't freak out if your insurance card is expired. It doesn't seem to matter. (A citation COULD show up in the mail, but I'm doubtful).

7) It's possible to be hit by a person who doesn't try to weasel out of it and instead tips you off that you're looking at receiving a fat check from your insurance company. And then they tell you to pocket it.

8) Volkswagon Jetta's are indestructable tanks. Would Hitler construct anything less? The radio didn't go whack, the glove box stayed shut, and the bumper said "Hey! If you're gonna hit me, fool, then I'm gonna steal some of your paint!"

9) You can order a copy of the police report online. How technologically advanced of them.

10) Some female police officers have flawless skin.

11) While it's nice to get to know your assailant, it's best to keep talk superficial. Next thing you know, they'll be telling you about how their dad's been divorced 5 times and how they just gave up drinking a month and a half ago and how they wished they'd have gone to school and still think about going every now and then and how again did you say your friend gave up drinking? Cuz it's hard, man. Real hard.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Brangelina vs Bramanda vs Tadmanda

Classic and hilarious.

Last night, I dreamed that:

- I met and married Brad Pitt.
- Within seconds we were the proud parents of sextuplets.
- I almost dropped one (exactly like this) while handing it to my mother to hold. My babies were extremely top heavy (i.e. they had large heads).
- People gawked and whispered when Brad and I strolled through Eicher Dining Commons.
- Brad wore a leather jacked and looked pretty much like this.
- When Brad wasn't watching and the kids were with the nanny, I would sneak off to be with Tad.

Then, I woke up.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Honeymoon's Over: Day 42

Three weeks earlier . . .

Husband: What are you doing?
Wife: I have to do laundry.
Husband: Oh! Well, how about I go with you.
Wife: Really?
Husband: Yeah. I want to.

Saturday evening . . .

Husband: What are you doing?
Wife: I really have to do laundry (scoff scoff, scowl scowl).
Husband: Oh.

Husband turns away and fires up Metal Gear Solid 4 on the PS3.