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Month: October 2008

Think About This As You Go To The Polls…

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Because of my mania over the election, and also probably because of weird pregnancy hormones, I’ve been having dreams about Barack Obama nigh on nightly. No, not those kinds of dreams, you perv. But really, really strange dreams. Bronwyn Green has ordered me to make a blog post about them, probably because my sporadic blogging makes it appear as though I have run out of things to talk about. You’d think that, but you’d be wrong.

Anyway, please do not take these as a pushy political statement. Accept them in the spirit of non-partisan WTFitude that they are intended.

The most notable one, I think, is the dream I had wherein Barry and I were going to buy a used car. Not together, the car was for him, he just wanted my advice on it. He wanted a family car that wasn’t too flashy, and opted for a Dodge Caravan. But the lot only had white ones with red interiors, and he wanted white with a gray interior. We argued back and forth for a while about the car– I thought maybe he could use it as a sticking point to haggle a lower price, but he was adamant about the gray– and then were interrupted by the sudden appearance of two elderly gentlemen in tattered Victorian dress. Coats, hats, you name it. They were actually pretty creepy, but they handed Barack a treasure map indicating that just over the hill from the car dealership, there was buried treasure.

Well, Barry and I, we got right on it. We headed up the hill, to find two palm trees at the top, crossed in the shape of an X, like in that movie “It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World,” although I think that was a W and not an X. I don’t know, it’s been a long time and I’m not about to sit through that movie again to find out.

Anyhoo, under the arch there is a bank, like a big, Wall Street, modern glass and steel type bank, and the two little Victorian men, riding around on tricycles. When they see us, they yell, “Congratulations, you found the missing government surplus!”

And then I woke up really confused.

Just a few nights ago, I had another dream in which Barry and I got to pal around. This time, under much more serious circumstances. You see, during a campaign speech, Obama made some inflammatory comments about the planet Saturn. This deeply offended a large portion of the voting public (somehow), and the campaign called me in for damage control. See, somewhere some signals got mixed, and the campaign advisers mistook me for a brilliant space scientist instead of an author of genre fiction. They wanted me to write a report about Saturn, the power of which would somehow turn public favor back towards Obama. I tried to explain that they’d made a mistake, but they wouldn’t listen, and they locked me on my Grandma’s porch with a whole bunch of paper and astronomy tools and said they’d be in later to check up on me.

In a panic, I start working on my Saturn report. But I know nothing about Saturn! I start going through all the drawers and the toy box and the bookshelves on the porch, but come up with nothing about space at all, let alone Saturn specifically. I’m doomed, I’m going to lose the whole campaign for him.

Then, Barack shows up. And he’s in a really good mood, and he brought me popcorn. I try to explain the mix up to him– I am not a space scientist!– but he won’t listen. He gives me a bowl of popcorn, pats me on the back, and says, “Whatever you come up with will be just fine.”


I woke up and, to my husband’s confusion, cried out, “Joe, tell me everything about Saturn! I have to help Barack!”

And my husband, God bless him, said, “Wait, are you having the used car dream again?”

The Day That Facebook Ate My Soul

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As you might have been able to tell from the list of links just over there —->, I have a Facebook account. I’ll be honest, I have never really used it all that much. I think I have thirteen friends or something. But I could never really understand the interface, I always felt like I was doing something wrong, and it seemed like this huge hassle because every time I got on my account, I got bitten by zombies or spanked by vampires or someone wanted me to plant something in my little green patch (and I’m pretty sure that’s not a euphemism, right?) Basically, the whole thing just seemed like a really good way to waste the day on the internet and get nothing accomplished IRL.

Well, Sir, I have a blog for that, thank you very much.

But two days ago, I received a curious email, stating that my Aunt Mary had sent me a friend request. Now, my Aunt Mary is a hip kind of person. She’s not like, a knitting auntie, or a cookie baking auntie. She’s young, as are all of my aunts and uncles. But I’ll be perfectly honest, I always viewed the internet as the refuge of MY generation, not theirs. So, imagine my surprise when I find that A TON of my family members, the ones who are at least fifteen years older than me, are chatting it up and sharing photos and biting each other with zombies on Facebook.

I was deeply shamed, and sought to correct the error of my technophobic ways immediately.

So, it is with deep pleasure and personal pride that I announce: “I, Jennifer Armintrout, have figured out how to use Facebook!”

Also, Jill Monroe sent me a friend request, and it made me feel famous.

In other news (and you may have seen this on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, but I don’t care, because when I saw this over the weekend on the PlayStation Network I totally flipped out and thought it must be shared on my blog), David Hasselhoff, the Hoff, El Hoff, Hoffski, is now downloadable content for the game “Pain” on the PS3.

What does this mean, dear readers? It means that when he is released as a playable character in November, players of “Pain” can purchase a Hoffski of their own, and launch him from a giant slingshot.

You see, the entire point of the game is to launch a character from a giant slingshot, aiming their body for things that will cause the most satisfying collision and destruction. Propane tanks, for example, or an old lady waiting for a bus. Sometimes, there are mimes that you can hit. Points are awarded based on how much damage you cause the person you just launched into free fall, and how much damage they cause the city scene.

Sounds like something I just made up, doesn’t it? I wish I had, for, if I had helmed this grandiose project, the Hoff would have been included from the very beginning.

Check out this video to see what I mean, and pay particular attention to the not one, but THREE different outfits available for your Hoff enjoyment.

Literal Videos

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A very long time ago, my husband and I had a conversation about Billy Joel’s song “Piano Man” and how it’s super funny if you take the lyrics literally.

This isn’t exactly the same concept, but it’s close, and it is hilarious:

Because of these, the phrase, “This guy’s going to get an ass full of pipe wrench,” has become disturbingly common in our home.

Do they get that I can still, like, vote, even if they take my yard sign?

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I wasn’t going to post anything political in my blog. I just wasn’t going to, because I don’t like arguing about my political choices with people, or trying to tell people why their choices are wrong, because no one ever changes their way of thinking in those conversations, and, let’s be honest, I don’t want anyone to not buy my books because I didn’t support their candidate. So, don’t think of this as a political post. Think of this as a JEN IS MAD AS HELL AND SHE IS NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE post.

On Monday, I put out my brand spankin’ new Obama/Biden yard sign. Today is Thursday. Today, my sign was stolen.

Mine was not the first sign to be stolen in town. Another house has put out replacement signs that say, “Obama was stolen from this spot,” whenever their signs are lifted, and then they replace them with another, official sign.

Someone else in town had an unsavory word scrawled across their Obama sign. I’m sure that you can guess what the word is, based on the candidate’s race and the fact that there are an alarming number of Confederate flags in this town despite being located in one of the northern-most states in the country.

I loathe, and I mean, loathe, the fact that my neighbors have had McCain/Palin signs, two of them, proudly displayed in their lawn for the last month and those signs have gone completely unmolested. I don’t WANT their signs to get stolen, I just want to know why their political yard signs are a-okay and mine are totes steal worthy.

So, with rage and spray paint, I concocted my own solution to this problem:

This is the part I do not understand, dear readers: what do political sign thieves think they’re going to accomplish? Was the goal to make me go out to get the mail, see the missing sign and say, “Damn, my sign is gone. Guess I have to vote for McCain.” BECAUSE THAT IS EXACTLY HOW IT WORKS.

The Scariest Thing In Kalamazoo

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I have a great friend. His name is Keith, but he likes to be called Raven, and so that is what I call him. Because Raven is a much cooler name that Keith, if you really think about it.

This cool friend decided to hang out with me a couple of weeks ago and, being the cool friend his is, show me the coolest place in Kalamazoo:

This is the Goodie Shop. They have a truly staggering array of candies and soda pop of all kinds, but they specialize in nostalgia candy. I happily skipped out of there with a bottle of grape Nehi and an Abba-Zaba. It was heavenly.

To access this wonder of childhood indulgences all grown-up, you must first go by the single most scary and confusing thing in Kalamazoo. The mural on the side of the hippie co-op grocery.

Now, I had driven past this building many a time, and never really paid much attention to it. But on this day, we parked directly in front of the thing, and that really makes you stop and pay attention to it, the way that parking directly in front of a live T-Rex would make you pay attention. There was no way to avoid it, so to speak.

Luckily, I had my trusty camera on me and was able to capture the truly freakiest parts of this thing to share with you:

Freaky thing #1: Giant Cyclops Baby

Because of this mural’s age, there are places where the paint is cracking and peeling. That’s to be expected. But look at the weird absence of paint over the baby’s eyes, and shape it takes. I’m not kidding, this was the first thing I noticed about this mural… the baby looks like it’s wearing Cyclops glasses to keep from firing his mutant laser beams everywhere. Which leads me to an important issue I suddenly have with the X-Men comics… if Cyclops couldn’t open his eyes or risk blasting people away with his laser vision, what happened in the womb? Babies open their eyes in utero at like, twenty-something weeks. Did his mom have a mutant-laser-resistant womb? I must call a comic geek immediately and get this sorted out.

Freaky Thing #2: Baking At The Beach For No Apparent Reason

Here’s the deal: this whole mural is depicting all different types of people doing all different types of things… but the setting is a sand dune. So, this guy, who looks creepily like the dude from Disneyworld’s “Carousel of Progress,” is standing out at the beach, mixing up something delicious to bake. Somewhere. Because there is not an oven around. In fact, there is no kitchen. One can only assume that he put all the ingredients in the bowl, grabbed his spoon and jumped into the car. “These cookies will only be complete if they have seen the ocean!” some concept-mad part of his artist’s brain commands. He cannot rest until the dough has been bathed in the warm rays of the sun, has felt the embrace of the hot sand and heard the lapping of the tide against the shore. Only then can one truly understand that these cookies are not just oven warmed lumps of dough. These cookies are all of creation!

Freaky Thing #3: The Literal Hoverround

See the guy in the wheel chair? See anything odd about him?

Look closer:

He is hovering off the ground! His wheelchair is magic!

Freaky Thing #4: The bastard child of Joey Ramone and Howard Stern makes uncomfortable small talk with tiny Ron Jeremy

“Would you like to play what appears to be my out-of-proportion guitar, Tiny Ron Jeremy?”
“No, thank you, for I am tiny, and getting a bit lost in all of this vegetation.”

This is the textbook definition of surrealism, my friends.

Freaky Thing #5: The guy in the mural who is just as flabbergasted at all of this as I am.

I have a theory about this tiny man. I think he was probably on vacation at the beach, probably filming his kids frolicking in the surf, when he spotted this enormous bean stalk. And he was all, “Honey… you watch the kids a minute. I’m going to go check this out.” So, he goes toward the giant bean stalk. He’s curious, but it’s a curiosity mixed with fear that is fueled by disaster movies. You know the ones. They always start out with some clueless tourist on vacation who decides to check out this ancient ruin or dormant volcano. And when they do, their death is the first in a long line of tragedies that spur the hero to action. Now, this tiny man with the video camera doesn’t want to be a plot device. But he just can’t help himself. He creeps through the giant leaves and what does he see? This clusterfuck of random imagery just begging to be filmed.

And so, he waits. He waits to see the gargantuan Joey/Howard hybrid come to a loving accord with Tiny Ron Jeremy. He wants to know how the Dadaist baker’s cookies turn out. He wonders if he can sell the patent on granddad’s hovering wheelchair, or if the huge baby with laser vision will blast him to pieces before he can properly examine it.

Aren’t those questions we’re asking ourselves every day? Maybe not in those exact words, but I have a feeling you understand my general sentiment.

Or maybe there is a gas leak in here.