Que Sera Sera

I have no words of wisdom.

I am brokenhearted. I don’t know how to write about being brokenhearted, because everything I do write comes out like maudlin middle school poetry. Not knowing how to write about how I feel makes me feel even worse.

Whenever any of my friends have dealt with heartache, I have always given them advice that I genuinely believe: if something is meant to be, it will happen of its own accord, and if it doesn’t, that means something better is waiting for you.

I have yet to see this philosophy not come true, but it’s hard to tell it to yourself. Especially at bedtime.

Riddle me this:

After watching television last night, I have two questions:

Blue Monday:

It is only 9:34 in the morning, and so far every single encounter I have had with another human being today has made me hate everyone in the whole world.

I fell into a burnin’ ring of fire:

I finally saw the dragon movie this weekend. Not quite enough Christian Bale sans shirt to suit my tastes, but enough to get me to sleep at night, I suppose. I really hate that they capped his gorgeous British teeth for American Psycho. Now when he opens his mouth, there’s a freaky picket fence thing going on in there.

I like to think that I could overlook this, were Mr. Bale to suddenly divorce his lovely wife, cross the Atlantic, and seek refuge in my apartment for a few days. Or weeks. Whatever. I’m just that big-hearted, non-judgmental kind of girl.

Memory Lane:

After dropping my dad off at his office after lunch, I was behind an SUV, waiting for it to pull out of the 5 minute parking zone so I could follow. The people inside the SUV were having a difficult time saying goodbye, mostly because they couldn’t stop kissing. I was getting impatient and irritated watching them draw it out—how can any parting be that romantic in 100 degree heat?—and then out of nowhere, I recognized one of the silhouettes: Scott M., the very first boy I ever pictured naked. How I recognized him after all these years is beyond me, but when he finally climbed out of the passenger side door, my face turned pink and I had the exact same thought I had back when I’d spot him in the halls in fourth grade: hide, before he sees what I’m thinking!

I’m not talking about the music:

Last night, our ladies’ night conversation didn’t disintegrate into discussing 1) Julia Roberts’ hair, and 2) why Julia Roberts is a bitch, like it usually does. Last night, we began the evening talking about Benjamin Franklin and closed with a lively discussion on scat.


Emily has found that her unemployment frees up a lot of time to get reacquainted with her old soap operas from college. I have never been able to get into them myself, but this does not deter her from calling me at work to tell me what zany thing just happened that I would not believe.

“Julian is alive, and Theresa is haunting everyone, and Charity melted… not Zombie Charity, but Real Charity. Timmy was using this devil horn thing that looked like a wicker corn cob to try to kill Zombie Charity, but then Zombie Charity and Real Charity started in with the fisticuffs—”

“Was this before she melted?”

“No, after.”

“What, did somebody freeze her or something?”

“Wow, I didn’t know you knew about that!”

Dance for me, monkeys!

Emily and I spent lunch today discussing the horror that is Meet My Folks. (Don’t even get me started.) I can’t really get into to most of this reality TV. I’ve never seen Big Brother, and I half-heartedly watched the first season of Survivor. I went cold-turkey on Real World after the Seattle season. Sometimes I watch the show with Joe from News Radio where he makes the blonde girls eat cockroaches or whatever, but only if I’m at Emily’s house.

The only one that I loved was Love Cruise. Ah, Love Cruise. Emily and I watched every episode, holding our breath until the commerical breaks. We emailed back and forth about it while at work. We discussed the characters like they were… well, characters. It was perfect reality TV for me. I don’t want any time spent establishing motives or backgrounds or whatnot. I want the humiliation and the backstabbing to begin immediately. I want an entire cast of idiots, preferrably with fake hair and even faker breasts. I want there to be a Toni and a Tony and an Anthony. Screw this Temptation Island bullshit. I want Love Cruise 2.

Remember Turner and Hooch?

I saw Road to Perdition last night. Evidently Tom Hanks plays “bad guy” as “I haven’t slept for 16 hours, so I’m dazed and a little cranky.” They should have named the movie “Don’t Wake Daddy.”

Like the astronauts bravely flying in the sky*:

Today I had lunch with Tony, my best friend since third grade. We discussed our alma mater, Grissom Elementary, and how no one really knew about astronaut Virgil Grissom.

“Hell,” I said, “it wasn’t until fifth grade that anyone actually explained to me what had happened to him. I can see why, though. That story would probably freak a lot of little kids out.”

“Wait,” said Tony. “What did happen to him?”

“He burned up on the launchpad.”

“Wow. I guess that explains why we were never called the Grissom Fireballs or anything.”

* trivia = actual verse to the Grissom School Song, which, for some reason, I remember every single word to.

Hot pants:

Today I am wearing a pair of pants that makes everyone say, “Ooh, cute pants!” And they really are. They are the best-looking pair of pants I own. However, they aren’t quite the best-fitting.

When I tried them on at the store, they were undeniably cute, but about half a size too big. Not a full size! Not enough to actually deter me from buying them! Just a touch. I usually have the opposite frame of mind when buying clothes—maybe something is a tiny bit snug, so I play the “well, I’m going to lose 5 pounds” game as a reason to go ahead and buy it. This time, I convinced myself they were a feasible purchase by reasoning that most of my pants that fit in the morning always feel a little snug for about an hour after lunch. This way, they’ll fit even better in the afternoon! The pants that keep on giving.

Not so. Evidently I’d have to eat a much heartier lunch for this plan to work. As it is, everytime someone compliments them, I have to suppress the urge to grab hold of them from the inside on both sides and do a giant hoist.

I would never call myself a style maven, but I’m guessing that would be a big fashion don’t.


Laura is flourishing in Columbia. She already has no less than three suitors, although she’s very modest about the whole thing. One of the most charming is Oli, who is a German grad student. Oli speaks very good English, but sometimes he doesn’t know the correct word for something. When this happens, Oli doesn’t waste time with any of that “how do you say?” bullshit. He just makes a new name out of its definition, much like I did in college Spanish.

For instance, the other day Oli was telling Laura a story, and mentioned a nude snail.

“Hold up,” she said. “A what?”

“A nude snail,” Oli repeated, patiently. After several minutes, it was determined that he was referring to a slug. Makes perfect sense, if you think about it.

Oli also calls stingrays “flat sharks.” I have no idea why Laura and Oli are spending so much time discussing slimy invertebrates, but he has managed to pitch some woo as well.

“I have a compliment for you, ” he said. “Do want it?”

Charmed, Laura said yes.

“You have caught me,” he said, and smiled.

Oli is my favorite person I’ve never met.


Recently, no less than three people have walked past the full length mirror in my bedroom and said, “Oh, I love how your mirror makes me look so tall and skinny!”

This troubles me greatly.

Jack and Diane:

On Friday night, I went out for Thai food with my ex-boyfriend, who is moving to Portland next week.

It’s a nice feeling to realize you didn’t waste four years of your life.

They’re Everywhere:

In the elevator on my way to lunch, I think I’m hearing voices. Maybe it’s someone in the next elevator over on their cellphone? A Borrower trapped in the wall? I keep hearing the tiny, tinny “Hello? Hello?”

On a whim, I open the little emergency phone box on the wall and feeling foolish, say “Hello?”

“Hello! This is Matt with MCI, calling to offer you better night and weekend service—”

I started to laugh.

“Dude,” I said, “you’re calling an elevator.”

He went right on with his sales pitch, unfazed, until I hit the disconnect button.

I laugh in the face of your volumizing shampoo:

As I may have mentioned before, I have some really thick hair. It’s the kind of thick that causes people with thinner hair (which, to be honest, is most of the population) to say, “Oooh, you have such nice thick hair!”, and then I sound like an asshole if I say, “No, it’s really not.” I’m not being polite or modest or self-deprecating: my hair is a pain in the ass.

When I was in middle school and yearned for Julia-Roberts-in-Steel-Magnolia spiral waves, it was straight as a board. Now that I’m 25 and would kill for my middle school hair, it decided to up the ante this past year from sort of wavy to sort of curly—which would be acceptable, if not for the thickness. It curls underneath just as sweet as can be, but by the time it reaches the top layer, it’s just frizzy. The humidity in Tulsa during the summer doesn’t help.

Heather, my hair care professional who refers to it as “hella hair,” informed me on my last visit that our hair changes texture every seven years or so.

“Does that mean I’ve got another six years or so with this mess?” I asked.

“Well,” she paused, “you could always get pregnant. That usually changes it. But it might just make it curlier.”

Seeing how this is not an option, I’m still fighting the good fight every morning. I’ve bought special conditioners, shampoos, curling irons, straightening irons, hot rollers, velcro rollers, balms, Aveda’s Hang Straight, and some fantastic-smelling Bumble & Bumble products, but my hair just laughs. I’ll spend thirty minutes coaxing into semi-sleekness, only to walk out the front door and hear it frizz out. I’ve tried to work with the curl, but this is successful only if I have two and a half hours to let it hang dry. Diffusers make it look like a bad, crunchy perm.

I should just surrender to the ponytail from April to August.

Viggo, or, The Coolest Thing Ever:

Remember the Young Guns 2 Haiku Contest? Remember Jackie-O’s co-winning submission, about Viggo Mortensen? I recently received this email from her:


I thought you might appreciate this story. I attended this event last night where Viggo Mortensen would be reading (he has a book of poetry out). My friends and I decided it would be really funny if I showed Viggo my haiku about him. So I waited in line (you would not have BELIEVED some of the people in line—there were a ton of people who asked him to hug or kiss them, and the camera flashes were enough to blind a poor girl who just wanted her haiku signed). I told him about your Young Guns II haiku contest, which he thought was hilarious. Then I was like, so I was a co-winner, and this was the winning poem, inspired by him and told him I hoped he’d be amused. He took it from me and this grin spread across his face (all this while my friend is standing next to me trying not to burst out laughing), and then he asked me what my name was and signed it:

“Thanks, Amber! (little pen-drawn heart), Viggo.”

So that’s my story. Young Guns II Haiku spreading joy across the land.

Hope you have a good weekend,

Edited to add: Mrs. Kennedy, you’d best get cracking on James Coburn.

My mother’s response to my Morning News piece:

Mom: Honey, that’s great! You are so talented.

Me: Thanks, Mom.

Mom: However, I don’t think you should show this to any potential employers.

Me: What?

Mom: And don’t take anything from [my current place of business]!

Me: Mom! I exaggerated about the pens, if it helps you sleep at night.

Mom: I don’t remember the eraser incident.

Me: You don’t? Really?

Mom: No. I do remember Christie, though. She was a bitch.

Life of Crime:

The Morning News has published a story of mine.

And just to clarify: I quit sucking my thumb the summer after first grade.

Catch him while you can:

Him: You’re going to miss the trailer for your favorite movie!

Me: Only if you don’t move from in front of the TV.

Him: He’s only in it for a second, anyway.

Me: I know, but since I’ve seen it so many times, I just train my eyes to stay on that corner of the screen. That way I get more bang for my buck.

Him: Bang for your buck.

Me: He’s all sweaty!

Katie, this one’s for you:

My cell phone rings at work. It’s in my purse under my desk, and I forgot to turn it off after lunch. My computer and desk phone buzz like a bug zapper.

Me (trying to keep my voice down): Uh, hello?

My brother: Heeeeeyyyy!

Me: Hey. Can you call me back on my work number?

My brother: Uh, I don’t know it.

Me: It’s 555—
My brother: Wait. I don’t have anything to write it down on.

Me: Can’t you just remember it?

My brother (laughing): Nooooooo way.

Me: Where are you?

My brother: Chilling at the park with Kyle.

Me: What are you doing?

My brother: A little gin and juice. Sunny Deeeeeeee style.

Getting better all the time:

It amazes me how the memory of one horrible morning can be erased so easily by an extra long lunch hour filled with naps and grilled cheese sandwiches, and other things that are the polar opposites of naps and grilled cheese sandwiches.

Crazy Go Nuts:

I’m probably coming late to the party on this one, but for the love of God, if any of you have not yet pored over every single inch of homestarrunner.com, please leave immediately and do so. Brian sat me down the other night and schooled me in the ways of the Strong Bad emails and all the little videos (especially Marzipan’s Luau and the Halloween and Christmas episodes), and I laughed so hard I drooled.

Go! Now!


How old were you when you went skinnydipping for the first time?

I was twenty-five years and twenty-eight days.

Not Naming Names:

Some people refuse to go see the new dragon movie with me when it opens next weekend.

Some people scoff at all my attempts to explain how dragons are cool, and hip. How everybody likes dragons. See, look, that nice man has one on his arm. And look, there’s one in this 1980s movie on Showtime at 10:30 on a Sunday night, which is known in some circles as “the dragoning hour.”

Some people should not laugh when I say “dragoning hour.”

Some people refuse to see the new dragon movie because it features Christian Bale.

Some people, perhaps, see through my ruse of referring to it as “the new dragon movie” instead of “the new Christian Bale movie.”

Some people require reassurance that they are indeed foxier than Christian Bale, shirtless or no.

Some people really are.


Someone arrived at my site by searching for “Jessica Wakefield naked.”

You know she’s not a real person, right?

Pirates v. Vikings

Me: Dad, quick question: what’s better, pirates or vikings?

Dad: Easy. Vikings.

Me: Really? I can never decide.

Dad: Vikings. They’ve got the hats, the horns, the dragon ships.

Me: But pirate have hats, too. And the peg legs, and the rum, and the parrots, and the booty.

Dad: Vikings. No doubt about it.

Me: Mom, what about you? Pirates or vikings?

Mom: As a mother, I cannot answer that question.

Independence Day:

Last year’s Fourth of July sucked. I was sad and mad, and in a rough place, and I spent it holed up in my parents’ darkened living room with unwashed hair, watching The Godfather II and crying. My parents were not there. They went to watch the fireworks downtown, as they have done every year of my life. Last year was the first year I did not go. I wallowed instead. I was due for a good wallow, as everyone is now and then. Checks and balances. Cleans the system.

This year there will be no wallowing. This year I will go to Emily’s barbecue and Lauren’s party, and then walk down to the park with my friends. This year I will sit on the blanket and drink beers and talk to the families with babies and dogs next to us. This year I will lean back on my elbows and watch the fireworks and smile, because this year, you will be there.

I can’t wait.

Confidential to Christian Bale:

What were you thinking with this dragon movie shit? I mean, Matthew McConaughey? And then strutting around shirtless in the preview? Are you trying to break my heart?

Insert Whatchoo Talkin’ Bout joke here:

Does anyone else remember that ’80s Saturday morning cartoon featuring Gary Coleman as an angel? Its memory was horrifyingly summoned from my deep freeze earlier today, and now all I can think is how the fuck did that idea ever get past anyone?

It’s a sickness:

I was very disturbed to learn that the Olsen twins are taller than me by a good two inches.

You are probably disturbed to learn that I’m looking up the Olsen twins on imdb.com instead of actually working.

I’m going to level with you, America:

Frankly, I’m getting a little tired of Jack Black.

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