Letter to my 20-year-old self


Posted on : 28-Sep-2014 | By : Amber | In : Rambling rambles, So...

The lovely Carrie Hope Fletcher recently wrote a letter to her younger self, and I thought to myself, “Self, you should do that”. Now that someone has been taking it upon themselves to be sure I understand just how insignificant I am, I’ve decided that it’s no longer a good idea, it’s a necessity.  Partly because I’m obstinate to the core, and if you tell me I’m homely and self-absorbed, I’ll do my best to flaunt both of those things in your face as loudly as possible, but also because maybe there’s a person out there who might need to pick up some of the things I’m gonna be putting down. Who knows? Like I keep saying, it’s my blog, and I’ll write what I want.

Dear 20-year-old Amber,

Well.  I’m writing us from 26 years down the road, and there’s good news and bad news. Isn’t that always the way? Which do you want first, the good or the bad?

Ok, here goes.

We’re still, shall we say, eccentric, still finding beauty in odd places and being bored by the things that interest 90% of the rest of the population. The thought of the zombie apocalypse still makes us kind of giggly, and we have even less of a “brain to mouth” filter than we had at 20.  Our hair got curly, which is kind of cool, but now living with it is less about styling and more about not angering the beast, so take that as you will.  Still have breasts that are way bigger than we’d like, still Irish pale, still not tall, not thin, not striking.

Thing is, you’ve been through some tough stuff recently, and you’re feeling pretty beaten up by the world. I want you to know that you’re  – that WE’RE – going to be ok. As a matter of fact, we’re going to be more than ok.

By the time you’re me,  we’re going to have some things going on in our lives that are really pretty cool.

We’re going to have not one, but TWO incredible daughters. Smart, beautiful, talented, and even more important than all that, caring and strong young women that will make us proud every single day. Oh, they’ll drive us nuts at times, but our parents say that’s just because there’s justice in the world.

And we wonder where the snark came from.


We’re gonna have people in our lives that love us for all our weirdness and not only do they love us, they GET us, and isn’t that freaking amazing??

We’ll reach 46 never having done the “walk of shame”, and be pretty proud of the fact – not because we didn’t have the opportunity for one night stands, but because we valued ourselves more than to just give it away for a night. We were worth more, and we waited until someone was worthy of all that we are. Don’t forget it.

I know you’re feeling pretty unexceptional right now, and pretty battered, but the road you’re gonna walk is gonna be full of as much beauty as it is ugliness, and here’s where that tendency to see the beautiful in the odd and weird is going to serve us well, because when others around us are going to be at a loss to find anything good in what’s going on around them, WE’RE gonna be able to do just that.

We’re going to – get this – WRITE THINGS DOWN AND GET PAID TO DO IT. Seriously!! Oh, you’re going to take your share of crappy retail and secretarial jobs along the way, but you’ll find that, eventually, you hold actual money in your hand that people gave you in exchange for your words!  We’re not wealthy, but we’re actually doing what we love, and apparently we don’t suck at it. Who knew??

So, yeah. Things can get pretty unpleasant, and I’d be lying if I said that the next 26 years were going to be all skittles and sweet tea, but to be honest, I think we turn out ok, and it’s the mountains that we’re going to climb that give us the endurance to keep going. Room for improvement?  Yeah, but at least that gives us something to keep working for.

Keep your head high, Amber.




Myself and my reasons NOT to listen to the opinions of anonymous mud-slingers.


If You’re Trying to Insult Me, You’ll Have To Try Harder


Posted on : 26-Sep-2014 | By : Amber | In : Complaints and such, Rambling rambles

It’s funny how posting about douchecanoes brings them out in droves, innit?

Apparently – and this is funny as heck to me, considering exactly where the jumpstart for my last post came from – someone thinks I’ve got my panties all in a twist because someone isn’t being communicative with ME.  That’s a lot of assumptions, not the least of which is that I actually wear panties in the first place. They accused me of all sorts of things, including chasing someone “out of my league” and being an “average, middle-aged woman”.

First things first – I’m chasing exactly no one. I’m off the market, and quite happy to be that way. Too bad you’re obviously so insecure in YOUR relationship that a blog post from that “average, middle-aged woman” discombobulated you to the point that you needed to make a nasty – anonymous – comment.

However, and this is a big one, it’s the fact that in someone’s mind “average middle-aged woman” was an insult.  I did a little research, ’cause I’m anal like that, and found out some things about that elusive beast, the AMAW.

The AMAW is educated beyond the high school level, more likely to have an advanced degree, and has had success in at least one career (not just a job, mind you) and often more. We’ve achieved a lot of things on our bucket lists, and are much more likely to be able to say “I’m doing exactly what I want to do with my life”.  We’ve had the incredible joy of not only becoming mothers but of seeing at least one of our children begin to step out into their own lives, though most of us have at least one child still at home.

We AMAWs are experienced in life in ways you younger girls (yep, girls) haven’t even begun to approach yet. We’ve learned how to do more with less, make things work when it looked like there was no way in Hades it was possible, had relationships thrive, had relationships fail, learned what our strengths really are, and learned that there were a whole hell of a lot more of those strengths than we thought possible when we were 30.  We’ve learned that it’s ok to fall apart, and that we don’t need anyone else to pick up the pieces. On the opposite side of that coin – we’ve also learned that sometimes the people in our lives NEED to pick up those pieces for us, and that letting them isn’t acknowledging weakness, it’s acknowledging love.  We don’t need a man to take care of us, but we’ve learned to revel in it when he wants to.

The AMAW knows what she wants sexually, knows her body and her desires, and knows what her lover wants and needs.  She’s less inhibited, more creative, and a LOT more experienced in the bedroom than a younger woman.  Unless the younger woman is a slut, and then, really, do you want to go there??

The AMAW is more confident, less drama prone, more creative, less flaky, and if we’ve traded in perfectly flat bellies for those with a gentle curve and some stretch marks, trust me when I say that when our lover’s eyes are rolled back in his head, he can’t see them.

I could go on, but I’ll end it with this, and I was reminded of this last comment by someone who has a way of cutting through the BS and saying truth straight out.  You know who you are, and I heart you with big fluffy hearts.

I am what you’ll become.  I’m your future.  You’ve got a long way to go, baby.  Better get cracking.



EDIT: Wow, the amount of time someone is spending to both reinforce my “averageness” and make sure I understand my lowly place in society is amusing. So, cupcake, to reply, since once again it’s my  blog and I can…

I’ve never once claimed to be anything but “average-looking”.  I don’t base my worth on my looks.  It still to this day amazes me that my daughters are so beautiful when they are, in fact, half mine. Must get it from their father.

You’re the one assuming that I’m saying “men are the problem”. The friend who inspired the post is, in fact,  male; the douchecanoe in his world is decidedly female.

I also have never said that you can’t, or shouldn’t, refuse or end a friendship that is not enhancing your life. However, if you can’t be bothered to use your words and tell a person that…if you use passive aggressive techniques such as never being the one to make contact first but once you’re speaking to someone you continue to “string them along”, for lack of a better term…then I’m standing by my douchebag claim.  Too many people get off on knowing they’ve got “options”, and forget that those options are human.

I have to wonder, here…what, exactly, is so personal  about this to you, and it has to be personal, because the amount of time you’ve put into both attempting to hurt me and prove me wrong is not insignificant.  I’m assuredly not after anything you’ve got (and since I’m so average looking I wouldn’t be a threat anyway), so I wonder, why have the words of one insignificant blogger hit such a raw nerve?


You Might Be A Douchecanoe If:


Posted on : 20-Sep-2014 | By : Amber | In : Complaints and such, Rambling rambles, Stuff I care about and you should, Very Important Things, zombies

I’m in a mood. Ok, so really, that’s not all that unusual, but suck it up and deal with it, buttercup.  You know where the back button is on your browser.  You’re probably only here because you were looking for Zombie Apocalypse Survival Tips, and I really only have a few of those. I might put them at the end of this post.  Or in the middle, so you have to actually read it to find them.  You should totally keep reading, ’cause those tips are the ish.




So, I was thinking, what exactly makes someone a good friend, and what makes them a douchecanoe? This train of thought made me sad, then angry, then disgusted with humanity in general and then the cravings set in and next thing I knew I was wondering Walmart at midnight looking for red wine and chocolate, so I figured I’d better just write it down or I’d end up drunk and/or fat(ter).  <Tip #1 – Never pass a chance to stockpile ammo, coffee, or toilet paper.  Hoard that stuff like gold.> I came up with these signs that, if you find they fit, you might, in fact, be a douchecanoe. Wow, that’s a lot of commas.  (Disclaimer: I know all of us do these things sometimes.  That makes you a human with a life. If, however, there’s a pattern there…yeah.)

  • If you talk to someone a lot, but THEY’RE always the one starting the text convos or initiating the calls, you might be a douchecanoe.
  • If it’s obvious that someone is upset, or sad, or depressed, or facing down a horde of hungry zombies, and you don’t at least try to offer comfort and/or ammo, you might be a douchecanoe.  Nobody is expecting you to solve all their problems, or at least sane people aren’t, but they’d like to know they aren’t fighting their battle alone.
  • If you have told a friend a bunch of big ole lies, and then assume that EVERYONE ELSE IS A LIAR, TOO, and get all bent out of shape about those imaginary lies – you’re definitely a douchecanoe.  You don’t even get a might tacked onto this one. It’s one thing to have baggage, another one entirely to assume everyone else is as totally screwed up as you.
  • <Tip #2 – Trip the more annoying members of your group.  The zombies will get them first, stopping to feed and both giving you time to get away and ridding you of a serious nuisance.>

So, what do you do if it turns out that you are, in fact, a whole canoe’s worth of douche?

Well, you could try NOT being a douchecanoe. You know, actually let people know that they’re important to you by making an effort now and then. Initiate a text conversation.  It won’t kill you. Surprise them with a phone call.  SHOW them that they mean something to you, if they do.  If they don’t, maybe it’d just be better to let them know that they mean about as much to you as one of those freebie newspapers that get thrown on your porch now and then, you know, the ones with the expired coupons and outdated movie listings. At least then they’ll learn what sort of person (and I use the term loosely) you really are and they’ll bestow their energy on someone who might actually deserve it. Unless they’re a douchecanoe, too, and in that case aren’t you made for each other,  life is too short to turn down a good friendship when it presents itself.

My Best Zombie Apocalypse Survival Tip:  Don’t be a douchecanoe. People are less likely to feed you to the undead hordes just to get rid of you then.  Just saying.

EDIT:  You might be an incredibly huge douchecanoe if you think this post was inspired by YOUR interactions with ME. It was inspired, in actuality, by something I’m watching a dear friend deal with (who isn’t, in fact, a douchecanoe). But if it makes you feel important, go right ahead and call me names in comments that I won’t post, ’cause it’s my blog and I can do whatever I want here.





Let’s get a few things straight


Posted on : 05-Sep-2014 | By : Amber | In : Rambling rambles, Stuff I care about and you should, Very Important Things

Yeah, I know, this wasn’t supposed to end up being a political sort of blog, and it still mostly isn’t, but you know, if I can’t say what I want to say here, then I might as well just pack it up and head on home. Or head to the bedroom, since I’m already home on my sofa, because laptop and mobile computing and stuff.


See? Work at home! No pants required! Don’t I look excited?

I figure myself a pretty independent woman.  I have a college degree. I had a career as a teacher before I left to school my own children and do this nifty writing thing, which pays just as poorly but I can do at home in pajamas.  I can even do minor home repairs and I’m very, very good with a gun. I don’t call myself a feminist, but that’s an entirely other blog post that I’m not sure I can tackle without medication, but I’m quite capable of carrying on my life on my own.

Have I encountered sexism in the workplace?  You betcha.  Do I think there is a “War on Women” in this country?

Not just no, but H**L NO, pardon my language.

Oh, there’s a war on women happening in this world, all right, but folks, it ain’t here, and I’m about to drop a little knowledge on you that might sting a bit.

Having to buy your own tampons every month isn’t war.  Having to cover your entire body, including your eyes, before you dare venture into public, because you’re a woman, is war.

Having to pay for your own contraception isn’t war.  Being banned from any education at all because you’re a woman is war.

Getting whistled at by some guy on the street isn’t war.  It isn’t rape, either, by the way, so just shut up about that right now. Being sold into sexual slavery for the princely sum of $25 when you’re 9 years old is war.  That’s rape, too, in case you were unclear about it.

Women in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, even the UK are being maimed in acid attacks, gang raped, sometimes killed because they besmirched a family’s “honor” by GETTING raped or refusing to marry someone repugnant to them – THAT IS WAR ON WOMEN, FOLKS.  Having their clitoris removed, usually without anesthesia to top it off – THAT IS WAR ON WOMEN.  That is radical Islam’s plan for every female on the planet, and if that doesn’t fit your definition of a war on women, you need to fix yourself.

Call me crazy, but I’m just not bothered by having to pay for my own tampons, or my own birth control, and I have to admit it raises my spirits when I get whistled at on the street.  I can hear feminists having the vapors from here.  Attempt to wage a REAL war on women against me and mine? You’ll find out just exactly how good I am with that gun.