Go @ See, or How I Learned to Love the Inside Joke

Let me say this: it’s a good thing that Portland has strict anti-polygamy laws and a dearth of 24-hour wedding chapels, because if it didn’t, I would’ve found myself smack dab in the thick of marital bliss with Brandon, Asia, and Vahid after my dinner on Wednesday. I laughed until I wept so many deadly tears, and when the ache in my side became too great to bear, I measured my breathing and wiped my eyes. But then a soft snicker would rise up and the cycle began again. It was a massacre of sorts.
The evening began as all good nights out should – at a posh, over-priced bar sipping bourbon and eating cornichons. It was the kind of place that made you wish you wore a monocle. I met up with Brandon, Vahid and Sibyl for a quick drink before we were to join Asia for dinner, and Brandon easily convinced me that one salted almond would cure me of my “drinking on an empty stomach” fears. Sibyl claimed that she couldn’t join us for dinner because she had roller derby practice, but I suspect it was actually because I made her uncomfortable when I kept asking if I could post a weekly photo of her on my site to drive traffic. This younger generation and their integrity really get my goat. She left me no choice but to repost this one from TequilaCon:
sibyl is a badass
Early on in the evening, I discovered a new talent, which is the ability to draw all conversation to a screeching and awkward halt through the introduction of inappropriate references to various sites I’ve found on the interweb.
I feel like it was apropos of something, although now I can’t imagine what, but at one point, I brought up this particularly disturbing viral internet phenomenon that I hadn’t actually seen myself, but had read about. Brandon just stared at me blankly and kept saying “goat cheese?” but fortunately, Vahid knew what I was talking about as he had seen it in gory detail with his own once innocent eyes.
I can’t actually link to what we were discussing because that might encourage the kind of visitors no one really wants at their site, and because you would have to pluck out your eyes if you saw it, but trust me when I say that this: nothing is ever truly gone from the internet. I told my companions that the site in question had long been taken down, but my persistent references nagged at their curiosity so much that several vodka gimlets, a bottle of Pinot Noir, and some Makers Mark manhattans later we all found ourselves in a lonely corner of a dark bar, crouched over Brandon’s shiny pocket pc.
PDX 014 a
Brandon and Asia are on a mission
PDX 020 a
Vahid tries to protect me
PDX 028 a
We can’t look away
PDX 026 a
Innocence lost
It was not unlike the one and only time I saw the movie Requiem for a Dream – I found myself transfixed and repulsed all at once, and wished I could erase the memories from my brain. Scenes from that movie flashed in my head for weeks later, much like the unintentional reminders of this image that would haunt the rest of my Portland visit.
But let me say this: I cannot think of anyone I would rather be emotionally scarred with than these three people. If Stockholm Syndrome is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.


On my flight back last night (this morning?), the man next to me appeared to be dead. He hadn’t moved in three hours and was kind of slumped over. I started to imagine what I would do if I had to fly next to a dead person on a completely full flight. Would the flight attendants let me sit in the jump seat? Would they put him in the jump seat? Maybe shove him in the bathroom?
It would be just my luck to get stuck next to a corpse on a four hour flight. Plus my headphones were all staticky (it’s a word), so I couldn’t watch the movie. Would it be wrong to take the headphones off a dead man?
Then we hit some turbulence on our descent into Chicago and he snorfled and shifted in his seat. So he was alive after all. Good thing I didn’t try to take his wallet.


Since apparently the giant Easter Bunny head is an acquired taste, and many people were severely traumatized by the images in my earlier post, I decided I’d better put up some new pictures. It is particularly important that I do this now since I am traveling for the rest of the week where it is quite possible that I will have MINIMAL TO NO INTERNET ACCESS! I know that you all understand how trying these times will be for me, and I appreciate your support in this, my hour of need.
And in case you were wondering, yes, it is possible that I might meet up with some bloggers while I’m traveling, but that’s not because all my friends are people I met online through blogging. I have all sorts of other friends, too, you know. Some of my friends are people I met online through Flickr, so there!
In fact, I just had my first official photo outing with my new Flickr crew, so I thought I would purge your mind of the bunny images with some photos from the Chicago Botanic Gardens.
It was a very educational trip for me, being a newcomer to the Gardens. In fact, I had such a good time there that I decided to write a poem about it.

A Day at the Gardens
by Jenny Amadeo
At the Chicago Botanic Gardens you will find sharp things.
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And soft things.
Little places where that one bird sings.
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Oh, here’s some other things with wings.
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But if someone tries to tell you this is a beaver,
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Don’t believe her.
It’s a rat.

Spring Cleaning

Spring 2007, Chicago, Illinois. An email arrives from my mother.

Jenny –

I’m on a spring cleaning rampage – do you want that black sweater with the hood back? Otherwise I’ll give it to the Goodwill.

What about your prom dress, bridesmaids dresses, shoes, etc? Your cap and gown?

Do you want that Easter Bunny head back?

Let me know.

Mom –

You cannot be serious. How can you even ask me that? Do I want that Easter Bunny head back?

How long have you known me? Were you actually considering throwing it out like yesterday’s trash? OF COURSE I WANT THAT EASTER BUNNY HEAD BACK!

Okay? Cool. I’ll pick it up next time I’m in town. Have fun with the spring cleaning!

– Jenny

PS – I never went to prom. That was my 8th grade formal dress, but it’s never too late to rub some salt on an old wound, so thanks.

Spring 1996, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Local costume shop has its annual clearance sale. Racks upon racks of pit-stained Superman costumes, frayed fairy dresses, and balding princess wigs cover every square inch of the store. The odor is reminiscent of an estate sale basement.

Dee-Dee and Vivian are elbowing their way through the Renaissance section when I see it – the mother lode of all mother lodes – an enormous dumpster overflowing with Easter Bunny heads. Taped to the side is a bright yellow hand-written sign that said, “Rabbit heads. $5 each.”

“Dee! Viv! I’m over here! Rabbit heads are $5!”

They set down their pointy cone hats and breastplates to join me as I struggle to crawl into the bin. There are no rabbit bodies, only heads. All shapes and sizes of heads. Some are dirt-stained furry ones, others are the hard plastic kind that make you inhale your own hot breath until the inside drips, but the ones we choose are glorious. Ours are all slightly irregular, handmade, papier-maché and tempera paint over chicken wire rabbit heads.

We have no idea what we are going to do with them, but we know without question that we need them.

As we sort through the bin, we quickly discover that these rabbits have seen better days. Some are missing an ear. Many have dented eyes. Most have teeth that look more like fangs than big square rabbit incisors. We find what we believe to be the best of the lot, pay our $5, and each walk out with a giant rabbit head tucked underneath our arms.

Spring 1998, Allentown, Pennsylvania. My sister-in-law gives birth to my first nephew. The nose on my rabbit head glows bright pink. “Patience, little one. Patience,” I say. I would have to wait another few years before I could fulfill my destiny, but I knew it was only a matter of time.

Spring 2001, Bristol, Wisconsin. The Easter Bunny makes his first public appearance. My youngest nephew, then only 1, is alternately terrified and thrilled. He reaches out to touch the giant rabbit ears, white paint cracked and chipped with age. He squeals. I, too, am alternately terrified and thrilled.

Spring 2003, Bristol, Wisconsin. My father crafts wooden muskets for my nephews so they can shoot the deer that keep eating grandma’s plants. Instead, they hunt the Easter Bunny. This will be the last year the Easter Bunny makes an appearance, mainly because my older nephew now understands that the real Easter Bunny does not wear a grey sweat suit and the same Reeboks his aunt was wearing earlier. Also, the real Easter Bunny’s head does not accidentally rotate a full 180˚ while he is hiding eggs. We all squeal.

Spring 2007, Bristol, Wisconsin. Toss out the emerald green bridesmaid dress and the dyed-to-match shoes. Set fire to the black hooded sweater. Use my cap and gown to polish shoes for all I care. But that giant Easter Bunny head is my heart, and it’s time for him to come home.




Rise and Shine

When the lovely and charming Jessica of Daughter of Opinion challenged her fellow bloggers to post a self-portrait taken immediately upon waking up, my initial thought was, “Watchoo talkin’ ‘bout, Jessica?”
Then I thought, “To the moon, Alice!”
After I calmed down a bit, I said to myself, “Oh, Archie!”
And then finally, a little voice inside me said, “Dyn-o-mite!”
I figured, if that ‘lil gal with the sugary drawl can do it, then so can I. Of course, even on her worst day, Jessica looks like a young Cheryl Ladd, so the rest of the blogging community was at a distinct disadvantage. But the gauntlet was thrown, and I’ve never been one to just walk past a gauntlet sitting on the ground without at least pausing for a minute and wondering who the hell wears gauntlets anymore, so this is me – about 8:00am this morning:
I had hoped to get a picture of one of my cats as well, since only moments earlier they were curled up on my chest, but as soon as the camera came out, they started clawing at the camera strap, and ultimately used my stomach as a launch pad to pounce on each other. Unfortunately, my arms weren’t long enough for me to capture the blood streaks across my abdomen in this photo. Another time.
And next time I’ll be sure to figure out the panoramic setting on my camera so that I can capture the rest of my hair…
So now I showed you mine… time to show us all yours! Rise and shine, people – don’t let Jessica down!

Opinion Poll/Mystery Photo Quiz

Okay, since I do whatever other bloggers tell me to do (except post pictures of myself in my new boy-cut underwear), I went back on my way home and took a photo of the alleged home pregnancy kit.
But upon closer inspection (and by closer, I mean a sneaky hip shot photo taken while hordes of dogwalkers strolled by), I’m really not so sure.
I once again look to you, internets, to help me determine what this is.
[click to enlarge]
So with this – the first ever combination Opinion Poll *and* Mystery Photo Quiz – I beg of you… tell me! What the heck is this?
A. Home pregnancy kit – pregnant
B. Home pregnancy kit – not pregnant
C. Broken oral thermometer case
D. Broken anal thermometer case
E. Toothbrush of some sort
F. Broken potato peeler
G. Kazoo
H. Other (please explain)


Walking to the train this morning, I saw a discarded pregnancy test on the ground and for a split second, thought about checking the results.
But then I remembered that it was covered in maybe-pregnant lady pee. So I kept walking.

True Love

So earlier this week I was listening to iTunes, reading blogs, and eating spoonfuls of Nutella when suddenly Escape (The Piña Colada Song) came on.
My first thought was: How the hell did The Piña Colada Song get on my iTunes? And then I remembered that Dr. Greene made me a particularly diverse mix CD for my birthday a couple years ago that included such hits as Escape, Push It, and Islands in the Stream.
My second thought was: Is that really what this song is about? I had never actually listened to the lyrics, and was somewhat shocked to find out that it’s about a guy who answers a personals ad, only to find out that it was placed by his “old lady.” Then they have a good laugh and go home together, having renewed their love for one another.
My third thought was: Yeah. Because that’s exactly how I would react if I found out my “old lady” was a cheating whore.
My final thought arrived in the form of this short play:
Guy: “Wait… so you wrote this personals ad? Ohmigosh, that’s so… trashy!”
Gal: “Look who’s talking! Why are you scouring the personals ads for single women, you lying sleazebag? We were in a committed relationship!”
Guy: “Now, I’m the liar? Oh, yeah… you’re one to talk. So now you like piña coladas? Who are you kidding? You vomited for 24 hours straight that time we went to Maui.”
Gal: “Is that right? Well, why don’t you tell me about the last time you made love at midnight with anyone other than your precious remote control? And I’d love to see you even attempt to find the dunes off the cape, Mr. God-Forbid-I-Should-Ever-Ask-For-Directions.”
Guy: “Well, I guess you were honest about one thing – you’re clearly not into yoga, or any other form of physical activity…”
Gal: “Oh, don’t even get me started! I should’ve known it was you when you suggested we meet at O’Malley’s at noon. Where else can you get $1 tap beers and half-price buffalo wings before 5:00pm? Cheap bastard.”
Guy: “Forget it. I knew this was a mistake.”
Gal: “Hey, can you give me a ride home? It’s starting to rain.”

Monday Undies

No, this won’t be a new weekly feature, but I figure if Dave2 is comfortable admitting that he wears women’s thongs, I can admit that I’m absolutely loving my new boy underwears. So, they’re not really boy’s underwears, but they’re boy cut.
And boy, does this cut make a difference. No matter how much I shift and shimmy, nothing’s falling out, nothing’s riding up. I’m actually doing lunge walks and dancing to Chaka Khan all around the apartment just to test them out. Once again, boys get everything cool.
Boy underwears for everyone in Jenstown!

Ye Olde Job Faire

It’s true, what they say. You just have to grab the bull by the horns. Opportunity only knocks once. And sometimes, that opportunity comes in the form of a block of homemade cheese. I’ve come to realize that my friends and I tend to have a lot of big ideas that rarely come to fruition. Business ventures, artistic endeavors, spiritual reawakenings – they are all brilliant in concept, but lack one fundamental thing: a clear plan.
Fail to plan and you plan to fail, as my 8th grade health teacher always said, and this time, I plan to succeed. This time, I’m not going to let anything get in the way of achieving my dream of creating a new community, unlike any we’ve ever seen. This community – Jenstown – will be founded on the core concepts of personal independence and self-reliance, wrapped in a shroud of blind faith and unquestioning devotion to one leader.
To that end, I am now looking for a few like-minded and dedicated individuals to get in on the ground floor of what will prove to be the most radical social concept since the creation of the flash mob.
All interested candidates should contact me directly, including the job title and brief description of your qualifications. No recruiters, please.
Open Positions:
Apprentice cheese-maker
Requirements: No experience necessary. On-the-job training provided.
Requirements: Professional presentation skills. Must be willing to travel 50% of time.
Child Bearer
Requirements: High standards of personal integrity and ethics, and fertile womb. Carrier of dominant curly-haired gene (preferred).
Requirements: 3-5 years experience in feeding and caring for birds of prey. Knowledge of bandaging and wrapping wounds a plus.
Town Whore
Requirements: Ability to simultaneously manage several projects while interacting with several different people from within and outside of our community. Potential for position to develop into part-time child bearer.
Gossip Monger (2 positions available)
Requirements: Keen observer and good listener. Excellent oral communication and interpersonal skills.