amanda meets book

Book Review: House of Secrets by Ned Vizzini & Chris Columbus

About a month ago, I won an advanced reading copy of House of Secrets by Ned Vizzini & Chris Columbus. As any literature nerd will tell you, the combination of these two writers is to bookworms and YA novels as crack is to your weird third cousin and his scary girlfriend. Vizzini is a hero amongst angsty, misunderstood book-loving teens everywhere while Columbus is the man, the myth, the legend behind the Harry Potter films, spearheading every Muggle’s fantasy of seeing Harry, Ron and Hermione on the big screen.

It’s basically the best nerd-cocktail to grace bookshelves since Tales of Beedle the Bard.

Yeah. I said it.

That being said, it should come as no surprise that even though I had a free copy of the House of Secrets in my possession, I purchased the super shiny important official copy from my local Barnes & Noble yesterday because I’m crazy. Crazy like a fox. Crazy like a fox that loves books.

It also doesn’t hurt that I’m unemployed right now and therefore have even more time to devote to the awesome story (again).

Let me start this “review” (with the term being used loosely as I have nothing to recommend me as a “reviewer” other than my MA in English Literature and a life-long love of the written word) with a statement to qualify my deep affection and connection to this book: I have depression which I am currently on medication for, but which still has the annoying symptom of making it difficult to concentrate on one thing for longer than about 30 minutes. Sadly, this lack of focus includes books and, as you can imagine, is a very frustrating component of this whole depression thing. In the last year I have had a very start/stop relationship with books and other projects that has been very hard to get control of and as a result I had not finished one book for a very long time by my standards. To give you an idea of said standards: before the depression symptoms took full hold of my life, I was reading a novel a week and loving it.

And then House of Secrets came along. I finished the book in less than a week. In fact, I couldn’t put it down. I came home from work and immediately plopped onto my stomach, head at the foot of the bed, legs spread and feet swinging in the air taking on Reader’s Pose – the lesser known of the yoga poses – to read for two or three hours at a time, unaware of time passing around me and ecstatic when I rose from the pages of the book to discover just how much time had vanished in the joy of reading. It was like being awake after too long a sleep.

So, I suppose this “review” is more of a “thank you” letter than anything else.

However, there are still some important and wonderful things you should know about the book that will no doubt encourage you, fellow book-lover, to buy the book and enjoy as I have enjoyed.

First, JK Rowling, JK Rowling, said this about the book, “A breakneck, jam-packed roller coaster of an adventure about the secret power of books, House of Secrets comes complete with three resourceful sibling heroes, a seriously creepy villainess, and barrel loads of fantasy and fear.” So, there’s that.

Secondly, fans of Inkheart will love House of Secrets because it hits all the important points that Inkheart missed, either due to a bad translation from German or just poor plot structuring, while still a great tale Inkheart leaves something to be desired from both the characters and the telling of the story, while House of Secrets gives you parts of the story you didn’t know you wanted and rich character development, making it an easy and desirable read. There are so many plot turns and great moments to endear the reader to either Cordelia, Brendan, Eleanor Walker or all three that even when they make rash decisions or do things that seem farfetched it doesn’t matter because Vizzini and Columbus resolve it all in one way or another. And don’t mistake “resolve” for “elimination of conflict” in this case; the conflict is never truly eliminated in House of Secrets, rather it is just made less frightening by the determination of the Walker siblings and their refusal to be beaten by an insane witch, incredibly aggressive warriors and bumbling supernatural pirates. This may not sound attractive, but it adds a complexity to the story that other YA novels do not possess.

Vizzini and Columbus waste no time getting right into the adventure with an absolutely shocking event that spins the action into overdrive by page 54. And this book has it all, adventure, the supernatural, family conflict, comedy, romance, great heroes and terrifying villains. One of the ironic joys of reading a YA novel as an adult is being able to exclaim, “What the fuck?!” to oneself while reading, which I am not ashamed to say happened to me every 20 pages or so in this book, with each surprise being better than the last.

And that’s about all I can say. I don’t want to reveal too much, and with this book, I feel like an in-depth review (at least from me) would give it all away.

If you’re interested in the book and want to learn more, here are links!:

“Like” House of Secrets on Facebook: facebook.com/houseofsecretsbooks

Stay up-to-date on Ned Vizzini’s awesomeness: nedvizzini.com/

Click here to purchase the book!

. . . or you can Tweet to win a copy of House of Secrets! Click here for details.

And if you would like to read some stellar YA book reviews from an up and coming YA author, check out the blog of my fellow book-lover friend, Aubrey Cann.

amanda meets depression

Someecards I Hate Mondays Through Sundays

Accurate.

Funny thing happened in October – I was diagnosed with severe depression. So severe that I was bumped to the top of a 80 person waiting list to see a therapist and a psychiatrist. So severe, my doctor almost started crying when I handed her the list of thoughts that had been on constant rotation in my head for the past two weeks. So severe, that I really, truly, honest-to-god thought I was going to crumble into nothing and die. The scariest part was that I didn’t care. In fact, I was looking forward to that moment of oblivion. 

What I have learned since then is that for the majority of my life, I’ve probably never really been sad, but depressed. Apparently, my brain looks at sad and says, “Fuck this! Let’s go the extra mile!”

Another thing I have learned is to not drink alcohol like a sorority girl when you’re on your first month of Zoloft. Present Amanda is trying to reach through a hole in spacetime to past Amanda to give her the following message:

  • DO NOT under any circumstances drink that whole margarita. You will drink another, then one more, then two glasses of champagne (three?) swiftly and with an ease that would embarrass Ernest Hemingway. 
  • DO NOT wear what you like to call your “Classy Dress.” It will be neither classy nor dressy by the time the night is through.
  • For god’s sake, DO NOT eat the green chile enchiladas and a strawberry cream cake in rapid succession only moments after you’ve consumed alcohol noted above. 
  • Move your hand away from your mouth when you begin to vomit so as to prevent any barftastic essence from spilling onto your “Classy Dress.”
  • Listen to your boyfriend when he says, “Stop drinking. Now.”
  • Listen to your doctor when she says, “Don’t drink alcohol with this medication.”
  • Listen to your future self who will have to write about this in blog form. Idiot. 

For the record, it’s funny now, but I really did black out for a moment and then puked into an adjacent pitcher that was, thankfully, free of any and all beverage. Jeff acted with speed and precision to ensure that most of my vomit was projected into something rather than onto my person. I did fill that pitcher with vomit, by the way. And we’re talking to the brim, people. Jeff was proud of me in a weird way – somehow all five feet of me puked up a pitcher full of puke. 

Now, I tell this story not to warn against the dangers of drinking with medications and the whole thing, you guys know that. I tell this story to illustrate what I like to call “My Darkest Hour.” In hindsight, it’s pretty hilarious, but when you’re there and puking green enchilada with strawberry cream on yourself, it all becomes very dark very quickly. The point is though, that I’m here now writing about it. Things got better. I no longer puke into pitchers. Believe it or not, that’s a good thing. I’m making sure I don’t puke into pitchers just like I’m making sure I don’t get caught up in the negative thoughts my chemically imbalanced brain spits outs. 

So, the long and short of it is this – I know I’ve been gone for a while, and I know there are some of you out there who genuinely like this blog; you leave great comments and you keep coming back here even when I’m not posting. I want to thank you for being such a constant while I was, and am, going through such a difficult time. There might be more posts from here on out about my depression, but I promise I will try to put a good spin on it. The posts might not be as scheduled as they were before, but I’ll try. I just want to say thanks, guys. There’s more to come, it will just take time.

Also, tell your friends that have depression or anxiety to COME ON OVER. Let’s talk this shit out. Let’s help each other and try to make sure no one else pukes on themselves.

Autumn: The Season of Unassigned Reading!

Autumn has finally hit Northern California, and I couldn’t be happier. However; when it becomes fall around here, yours truly loses any and all desire to do schoolwork. All I want to do is curl up with my British edition of Harry Potter, drink chai and snuggle with Jeff (the boyfriend), Hermione(the cat) and Zelda(the dog). The last thing I want to do is do assigned reading. Anyone who has ever majored in Literature knows what I’m talking about – it’s a problem that is unique to us. Anyone who has never been a Lit major doesn’t understand how you could take courses where all you do is read novels and somehow find time to procrastinate due to your own reading.

I didn’t used to be like this. I remember in junior high I used to kill my school reading before I did anything else. The first time I ever picked up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, I couldn’t get through my schoolwork fast enough. Study hall with Harry Potter and Hermione Granger? Yes, please! While everyone else was out at recess or lunch, I stayed behind to do my reading so that by the time school was over I had my book pulled out of my backpack and was there with Harry in Potions before I even reached my grandmother’s old Chrysler. I would devour books, and I would always finish my homework first.

But now? Now I have this weird problem where I’ll really jam on an assigned reading for school, but then I’ll get bored with the next book and do my own reading for pleasure. I also have, and always have had, an issue with assigned reading. I just think it’s shit. I always wanted to be a part of the class where a teacher just got the students stoked as hell on something they wanted to read.

Why is this so important? Because not enough people are exited about reading and I think it’s because “literature” is shoved down our throats before we are even cognitively aware enough to know just what the hell it is we are doing in a classroom full of other eight-year-olds!  Because teachers teach to tests and because some of them became teachers just to get weekends and holidays off. Because you are told that if you don’t read (insert novel here) then you will be punished. Who wants to read anything under those conditions?

I’m also just a hippie about reading. Read what you want as long as you are reading! Read the hell out of that Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey, as long as you’re reading.

When you aren’t reading, just do what I do and look at photos of autumn-ish things on Shutterstock. Like this:

Shutterstock Autumn

Relaxing beauty!

Shutterstock Autumn

Peaceful. Majestic.

Shutterstock Autumn Books

Look at how happy she is! I bet she’s reading something whimsical as fuck!

Shutterstock Autumn Books

Poor assigned reading . . . it got left behind.

Now, excuse me while I go to the used bookstore and buy books that won’t further my education.

amandameetsbook:

My friend and coworker, Courtney, has a blog. She was recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Believe it or not, she found a way to be positive about the whole thing.

Read her blog and be inspired! I know I am.

Originally posted on ceejones:

My mom (and someone…we’re not sure who ;)) could not have said it better,
“Life is no dress rehearsal”.

I guess Drake says it pretty well too…

Ha…but really.
Sometimes life throws you the unexpected, and you really start to think about these quotes (and maybe sing them too).

Three days ago I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
It feels really weird typing that out…

Those of you who know me well have probably heard me mention my ‘weird, tingly leg’, but I will explain…

Around 7 years ago, I woke up with my left leg asleep. I didn’t think much of it until it didn’t seem to go away. An hour or two later, I called my mom, not really knowing what to say besides “Umm…my leg is asleep…and it’s not waking up”!

Tests, an x-ray, nerve conduction study & an MRI later, the doctors found nothing. The…

View original 402 more words

Crazyface Rush Limbaugh

Feminists – We Love to Shrink Dicks!

Today, The Huffington Post has an article about Rush Limbaugh and another one of his brilliant world theories.

According to the article, Limbaugh discussed a study done in Italy about the shrinking of the male genitalia over the last 50 years. The study attributes this shrink in size to pollution.

But Limbaugh sure doesn’t!

His thoughts (as quoted from the article):

Limbaugh said that he did not believe that air pollution and global warming could have such an impact. “I don’t buy this. I think it’s feminism. I think if it’s tied to the last fifty years, the average size of a member is ten percent smaller…it has to be the feminazis,” Limbaugh said.

Never have I been accused of shrinking the size of the male penis due to my feminist beliefs! How flattering! Truly, the idea that all feminists, excuse me, feminazis, possess such magical powers as to shrink penises around the world is making me feel all warm and fuzzy.

The idea that we possess such powers, but the only thing we do with them is shrink dicks is even more insulting. But, logically, who really wants equality when we could just shrink dicks?

Limbaugh is obviously ignoring the fact that there are male feminists in the world and they probably aren’t shrinking their own dicks.

I’m not making any threats, nor am I endorsing the death of Rush Limbaugh, but how the fuck, and I mean just how the fuck has this asshole not been killed or seriously injured yet? Tell me someone at least throws trash at him every morning before he leaves for “work.”

That must be why he’s in such a miserable mood. Maybe, since the age of nine, Limbaugh has been the victim of consistent trashing. A mysterious stranger has been throwing trash at Rush Limbaugh every morning for the past 52 years. Nailed it. Mystery solved.

Read the full article here - and give it up to the creative people at The Huffington Post for including a hilarious poll at the end of the article.

Fuck Limbaugh. Have a great weekend!

Monday Pubes

I don’t have a whole lot of time to write a post this week, but I figure something is better than nothing. So, I wrote you guys a haiku. I’m not even sure if it’s a legit haiku, but here it is:

A True Story

Trimming my pubes now

A breeze catches a loose one

In my eye it goes

I have very little time for the awesome things in life right now, so that’s why this post is so short. No matter what I do, time escapes me lately. For example, this morning I woke up totally on time and ready to go. I put on a new dress I bought last weekend, walked all the way down to my car in my crazy stripper heels, looked down and realized my dress was crazy-see-through. Like vulva-see-through. Awesome, but not work appropriate. Will I wear it to the casino on Thursday nights for karaoke? Yes. Will I wear it to my new grown-up job? Maybe not so much. So, I run back upstairs (really, it was more of a trot hobble due to my crazy shoes. I trobbled.) and tried to find a different outfit. I was taking clothes on and off so fast that I got sweaty. Then I almost started crying because I was bloated, on my period and sweaty – all by 8:30 AM.

It’s only Monday.

In other news, I started a “book club” with my mom. We are reading Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, and because of my busy school schedule and her busy work schedule we are trying to read it at a steady but easy pace. If you would like to join us in our reading adventure we plan to have one part read a week. There are four parts and the epilogue so that’s five weeks.

If you haven’t heard of the book here is a warning: it’s based off of real life events and it’s about a serial killer. If you are even kind of squeamish or get scared easily this may not be the book for you. Let me know in the comments if you’ve read the book before (no spoilers! You will be shunned!).

I love all of you.

Happy Monday!

Diarrhea: An Opportunity for Multitasking!

I’m sorry. I still haven’t mailed out any awesomeness.

Here’s why:

I’m still getting used to having weekends. That sounds counterintuitive, I know, but it’s really messing with my head to suddenly have a real grown-up job with real grown-up weekends after working retail for the past six years. My schedule just feels . . . funky. Honestly, it feels like I’m getting away with something. Like the Weekend Police are going to knock down my door, waltz in and say, “Excuse us, ma’am. Are you taking a weekend? That is simply not allowed.” Like Brazil. Have you guys seen that movie? It’s a trip. Don’t watch it. I mean, do watch it because it’s weird, but you shouldn’t feel good about it.

I’ve been having nightmares about working retail again. I’m not kidding. I wake up in a cold sweat mumbling about candles. It’s exhausting.

In addition to this new fangled weekend thing, I also just started my final semester of coursework before I can (eep!) start my thesis. You can imagine that I’ve had a lot on my mind, and I’ve just been in a generally weird wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey sort of situation. (Tell me in the comments if you know what that’s from! Without clicking the link, smartass!)

This probably seems sort of whiny, but I really am grateful for the gift of weekends. I just don’t know what to do with them yet. I’ve had such an odd schedule for so long that to have the same one as almost everyone else is really messing up my groove.

With that being said, I found a reprieve from all the madness this weekend and it took the form of diarrhea. Really violent, watery, noisy diarrhea. It hit me on Friday (sorry co-workers, but that’s what I was doing when I wasn’t at my desk. I was shitting big scary shit bombs in the bathroom) and continued until, well, Monday. Really, it wasn’t that bad, it wasn’t a constant flow (I’d be in the hospital) but more of a daily surprise. My thoughts were: When will it hit? How long will I be in the bathroom? Should I bring homework with me when I go?

Yes. The answer, as I found out, should always be YES.

Being stuck on the toilet is a wonderful opportunity for multitasking! On Monday, for example, I did the following things while shitting my face off:

  • Painted my toe nails.
  • Brushed up on Irish history.
  • Read a little James Joyce.
  • Planned a barbecue with Jeff (through the closed bathroom door).
  • Caught up on my Craftgawker.
Woman Poo

See this bitch? She’s happy because she decided to multitask while she has the shits.

Photo Source

See what I mean? Diarrhea can be a very productive situation! I will admit, and freely so, that I am a self-proclaimed Toilet Texter. Listen, there are conversations to be had and plans to be made. I will not let a little hot-molten-lava-poo stop me. Now, don’t confuse me with a Toilet Talker – those are the people who talk on their phone when they walk into a public bathroom, or they just don’t get off the phone when they take a shit.

That’s wrong. Don’t do that.

I write a lot about shit, don’t I? Those of you that sent me your addresses are probably starting to wonder if I’m going to send you a stool sample.

In addition to the poo, I have also been PMSing, which is another reason why this post didn’t get put up on Monday. You may have noticed that it’s Thursday night. Yikes.

I’m really sleepy. Period sleepy. Women know what I’m talking about – I’m going to get my period on Saturday (one of the wonders of the pill, I know right when I’ll get my period) and this whole week has been a snooze fest. I sat down to do reading for my Modern Irish Fiction class and I fell asleep at 8PM, drooled all over the article I had been reading, woke up at 1AM and couldn’t go back to sleep until 3AM. That was just Tuesday.

This past Saturday, when my PMS kicked in, Jeff and I took a nap. A four-hour nap. We were making the bed and didn’t even get the pillows on. We drooled on each other – it was nice. (He isn’t PMSing, he’s just a dude who likes naps with his lady.)

Speaking of periods, I want to bring up a new saying I think us gals should try to make happen: I’m draining the lasagna.

Stay with me.

You know how people still say shit like, “Aunt Flo’s in town” or “I’m on the rag”? I hate that shit. Fuck Aunt Flo, and I don’t use “rags” anymore – I alternate between light tampons or the Softcup depending on my mood.

The way “I’m draining the lasagna” came about was this: on Saturday night, my lady friends and I were cleaning up after dinner. One of them had made a paleo lasagna that was delicious, and also very juicy (in a good way). Before she packed up the lasagna to take it home, she drained the juice into the sink. The other lady friend said, “Are you draining your lasagna?” One thing lead to another and I suggested that it sounded like a way to refer to one’s period.

Hense – I’m draining the lasagna.

Now I could go into details about why this is funny, but it would defeat the purpose. Anyone who has ever really looked up close at a vulva knows what I’m talking about. It isn’t that much unlike a lasagna.

Or you can always just say you’re on your period. That works too.

You’re draining the lasagna – what book do you read?

My Ántonia by Willa Cather. I always feel really cooped up when I’m on my period (especially when I have period diarrhea, which is another beast entirely) and I like to read Cather because she depicts these huge open spaces, and dammit if that woman doesn’t write nature in a way that you can see every single blade of grass. She makes me feel peaceful as fuck.

How’s your period? Do you have diarrhea? Tell me about it in the comments! Take a picture! Let’s make this exciting!

Get Engorged!

Let’s start (end) this Monday off right, shall we?

First things first – I am sorry for not posting last Monday, but some shit went down. My car basically, um, broke. It was a rather time sensitive issue (I start school this week and I commute) that I needed to get figured out pronto. So, I bought a new car. A new used car from CarMax, that is. And I literally bought and paid for it. No car payments for this gal! I gotta say, it feels pretty great. I highly recommend it. Anyone who has ever truly needed to buy a car in a short amount of time knows that there isn’t much else on your mind while you’re looking for a new car. So, I do apologize for no post, but I’m sure you understand.

On another note, those of you who sent me emails concerning the post Amanda Meets You will be getting your item-o-coolness very soon. I will be mailing out stuff this week, so get ready! I might not get to all (five) of you this week, but everything will for sure be mailed out by Friday of next week. No later. Promise! And thanks to everyone who did send me an email! I’m actually really excited about this!

Now to the juicy bits. I thought I would give you guys an idea of just how disgusting I actually am and tell you a little story about what I did on Sunday.

I drank a lot of booze.

I ate some meat.

I’m pretty sure I embarrassed my friend who was totally trying to score with a dude.

I definitely said something along the lines of “I bet her pussy is engorged as fuck!” This was said within range of both her and the guy who was, presumably, making her pussy engorged as fuck.

I say this kind of shit when I’m drunk. Terrible drunk friend. Right here.

So, lets address what’s going on right now and get real deep into this shit: chicks get super into other chicks when they’re drunk. That means we say things like what I said to my poor friend. Then we say things like:

  • Yeah. I’d grab them titties. I’d rub my face all up in them titties.
  • I fingered a chick once.
  • I got fingered by a chick once.
  • Who doesn’t love a good, passionate fingering?
  • I wouldn’t mind a finger in my butt. (You can see a theme developing.)
  • Who haven’t I fucked? (Lot’s of people. For the record.)
  • No. No. You should try my vibrator. Seriously. Come over.
  • Do I have anything on the nape of my neck that you need to lick off?
  • Lick it off. Lick it.
  • Vulvas are fucking magical. If you don’t think they are fucking magical, then you’re a motherfucker. (I really said that last night. To five people. My female friends agreed whole-heartedly. Whole-vulvadly?)

You’re thinking: Amanda! You’re so filthy!

Nuh-uh! Tell me you haven’t said that shit with your chick friends and I’ll tell you . . . well, you’re probably incredibly religious. Or you have some kind of hold-up. That’s fine! I don’t judge!

Except I do. And you should say this stuff with your girlfriends. And you should feel like you can and you shouldn’t let anything hold you back. Women need to be in touch with their bodies and we need to be in touch with other women’s bodies as well. It doesn’t always have to be as filthy and extreme as what I’ve shown here, but we need to be honest with each other and embrace the fact that our bodies are absolutely fascinating.

And pretty fun, too. Who doesn’t enjoy the female form? It’s all squishy and round and bouncy and . . . yup.

See what I mean? Tell me you didn’t get a little blood flow thinking about some hot chick you know?!

So, let’s do some clarification real quick before we wrap this bad boy up: by no means do I think women should be objectified or thought of only as sexual objects. What I want to get across with this post is that women should be comfortable enough around each other, or at least have a tight enough circle of girlfriends that you can say your version of the stuff I said to my friends last night. You’re missing out if you don’t. It’s so amazing and freeing, and I only wish more women felt comfortable enough to get crazy and talk about the magical properties of the vulva and vagina!

Since this did get a little porno-y, I’m going to recommend one of my favorite children’s books just to even things out: Matilda by Roald Dahl is one of those books that features a main bitch who knows how to get shit done. Any Roald Dahl book is really a good choice, but Matilda in particular is quite an invigorating read for the young girl. A strong young woman who doesn’t take any abuse from anyone, but instead uses her wit and intelligence to succeed? Yeah. That’s a great story.

Go on, ladies. Tell your friend you wouldn’t mind licking her pussy. It’s like a high-five with words.

Tell me in the comments about your favorite homoerotic moment with your girlfriends!

Happy Monday, everybody!

 

Get Positive as Fuck

Or, How to Stay Normal When Your Period is Making You Insane

I may or may not have had a period induced breakdown this weekend.

It all started on Thursday.

Jeff and I decided we wanted to go to the North Fork of the American River because it was hotter than balls outside, and what better day to go play in the river? Correction: what a bad day to have your car break down at the river. After a joyous romp in the cool mountain water, we got to my car and hopped in only to hear a click, click when I turned the key.

I said FUCK more times than you would like to know. And then I cried in a way I haven’t cried in a really long time. I punched my steering wheel, and cried so hard I drooled all over my lap. I cried-drooled, you guys.

After we get the car towed to my grandparents’ house, Jeff went to my mom’s house at which point our dog threw-up on her floor. I was not there for this event, but Jeff told me about it later that evening after I had recovered from my car psychosis and was preparing for a hopefully fun-filled night out on the town (drinking). I had been looking for my favorite pair of underwear for the past five minutes when he sat me down and said, “I wasn’t going to tell you this because you’ve had such a hard day, but I don’t want you to get frustrated looking for the underwear – when Zelda threw-up at your mom’s house, there were little bits of blue and white polka-dotted cloth. I’m sorry babe. She ate your underwear.”

Here’s where it gets hilarious.

At this moment, I had this really intense hyper self aware sensation where I knew, just knew, that it really wasn’t that big of a deal. That it was just underwear, and that the day hadn’t really been that bad – I was just emotional from being on my period. That self aware feeling didn’t prevent me from breaking down again. I went into the bathroom and sat on the edge of the tub to cry my face off of my face.

Did I mention I was naked? I look like a mole rat when I’m naked. I’m pink, white and Irish, and I look like a mole rat. Or a hairless cat. I have bright pink nipples. I don’t care who knows this. I’m trying to paint a picture.

Jeff comes into the bathroom while I’m cry-drooling-snotting all over myself and comforts the hell out of me and I say, “I’m naked and awkward and snotty!” to which he replies, “I don’t care. I love you. You’ll feel better soon.”

Side note for the ladies: a man who loves you will do this kind of shit. You got that? A man who loves you won’t give a shit that you look like a mole rat who fell in mucus. Remember that when a bag of dicks won’t call you back after a shitty date. Motherfucker ain’t worth it.

Moving on.

We went out. I put on my hot dress. I got drunk. I danced to bad karaoke and stayed out too late.

One more thing: Jeff doesn’t want me to leave out the part where I started crying when he told me that On The Border’s was going to start an hour later than I thought it did. I was crying in the shower and he got in with me in his clothes and everything. Just to give me a hug.

The next day, I was still feeling sort of ho-hum, so I watched the videos below and decided that I should put my favorite feel-good videos all in one place for you to enjoy when you’re having a shit day.

Some of these videos might make you cry if you’re feeling even slightly emotional. Take it from me and just let it happen.

What he tells you in this video is to just be yourself; be creative and express your creativity; love yourself. Dude was all about doing what made him happy and just trying to share that with other people. And that’s a pretty amazing thing to do.

Next up we have a Minecraft video which might be lost on some of you folks who don’t play Minecraft. But it’s still awesome. To my mom (because I know you’re reading this) next time you come over, I’ll explain Minecraft. You still won’t get it, but that’s ok. We’ll bond.

I like this video because it’s all about people coming together and doing something they love. It’s a massive nerd-out! What’s not to love?! Nerds are awesome and I’ll tell you why: they fully embrace what they love without any shame or hesitation. That sounds like a great life to me.

If you haven’t seen this video, prepare to cry your face off in a good way. If you don’t want children, it will fool you into thinking you want children. Just embrace everything this video makes you feel or you’ll get a weird sweaty feeling from resisting happiness.

Now wasn’t that grand?

I don’t know what else to say about this video other than it has Weezer and The Muppets together in one place, and that my love for both is like the fiery hot intensity of a thousand suns.

I hope you feel better if you were feeling sad. And I hope you feel even happier if you were feeling happy. And I hope you’re feeling happy if you were just feeling so-so.

Still not convinced? Check out these YouTube channels and prepare to be so stoked about life you’ll just fall asleep because your body can’t handle the overload of awesome.

Rhett & Link

Internet Killed Television

Wheezy Waiter

Jenna Marbles

Toby Games

Got any positive videos you would like to share with the class? Put them in the comments!

And the next time you’re feeling not 100%, excuse yourself from the room and say, “Excuse me, I need to go and get positive as fuck,” because life is too short to not get positive as fuck. 

What book gets me positive as fuck? Harry Potter. There. I said it. Make fun of me all you want, muggles. I’m happy.

Sacramento, California – It Sucks

I hate Sacramento. OK, maybe this is because I got to spend a relaxing week in Santa Cruz, but still. I’m not happy about my return home y’all.

Seriously – when you enter Sacramento there should by a sign that says, “If You Lived Here, You’d be Miserable by Now.”

My downstairs neighbors are adolescent meth users.

Everyone has allergies.

People are always sweaty because there is a constant, dry heat from the end of May to the end of September.

Everyone drives like shit. And I can say that because I have been on a few road trips and I swear to god, people actually know how to merge the moment you make it out of Sacramento. It’s like being freed from an enchantment of bad driving.

The level of unhappiness amongst Sacramentans is through the roof.

Actually, wealthy people are usually pretty happy here. That’s because they can afford big houses sans neighbors, great allergy meds, a really nice pool and a driver so they don’t have to worry about the traffic – they can just hire someone else to do it for them.

What is awesome about coming home from Santa Cruz? Well I got a sweet job that allows me to (gulp) leave my job at the mall.

I made this face when they told me:

ermahgerd dog

The job is the tennis ball. It’s a metaphor.

This means I will have nights and weekends and a job that I truly enjoy doing. But I think the picture says it all.

We also got a dog:

Rescue Dog

Scarlett Divine – Mistress of the Underworld (Rapist Killer)

For anyone who is wondering: we have her in a crate because her previous owner trained her that way and it makes her a little more chill in her new environment. We want her out of the crate and solving crime throughout Sacramento as soon as possible, but it’s all about baby steps.

Also, apologies for not posting yesterday. I had to go to the doctor and get put on some meds and then I slept for 14 hours. Any post I would have produced in my brief moments of lucidity would have been not just awful, but unintelligible. So, really what I should say is, you’re welcome.

And what about books, Amanda?

Well, to be quite honest, I’m not reading any fucking books right now. Between being sick and taking care of the new dog I feel like my brain is going to melt out of my head. I’m serious – last night I watched three hours of TobyGames on Youtube. My brain is not in the mood for reading. Shit happens, you guys.

And if I had to pick a book to read it sure as shit wouldn’t be this one:

Catching Fire Book

Awarded Best Sequel in the World by No One.

I tried reading this. I really did. It’s the only book I’ve ever gotten more than halfway through and then quit. Why did I do this? Because it’s the first book all over again. Here’s the deal – it starts off all original and I was all, “Shit Katniss, how you gonna get out of this, girl?” And then I was all, “Oh, because you’ll just go back in the arena and do the first book over again.” I would have given a heads-up about spoilers, but it isn’t a spoiler because if you’ve read the first book it already happened. So, I gave up on the series, and listen, I’ve had about a million people tell me I need to finish reading the damn thing and I’m just not going to do it. You fucked up, Suzanne Collins. You have fucked up.

And to be clear, I still stand by the fact that even though I think Catching Fire is shitty, if you love it and it gets you reading, well that’s awesome. Keep on reading and read what you want. I’m just a bitch with an opinion.

Bet you have a book you hate! Tell me about it in the comments and we can have a healthy discussion about terrible reads!

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