amanda7454's Blog

This site is the cat’s pajamas


Leave a comment

Old man

Denial can be a saving grace, like a door allowing the slightest sliver of sunlight to pass through. Hope still lives in that fading glimpse of happiness. 

I’ve battled the logical side of my brain, denied the cold hard facts of my dad’s health. He’s been an alcoholic for years, smoked like a chimney, broken his bones several times over in accidents, falls, fights, you name it. He is a man larger than life in my memory and now smaller than me in reality. His skeletal frame is on the brink of closing that door, closeting his secrets forever. 

My dad. There are incredible stories, amazing laughs, outrageous fights, indescribable sorrow. And now it all comes down to this. His body is failing and his doctor has stated that it is now a matter of how much we can prolong his life. It’s unfair! He is 61! He has lost so many, he’s suffered so much, he deserves peace and old age! I want to simultaneously cradle his head and protect him while crying on his lap like a child. 

Denial. It’s been a gift, but the door is closing. I’ve seen the signs and joked them away with him, making light of it all in hopes that his problems were all pretend. Silly doctors! Forgetful dad! Daddys are made to be strong and live forever. 

I’m scared about the possibilities. I don’t want to know he is in pain, I don’t want his body to shrivel to nothing, I don’t want to hear his bold laughter become rusty hinges creaking to a close.

I’m not ready to lose my dad. 

 Old man

Leave a comment

New respect for Edward Cullen

Never in my life did I think those words would come out of me, but then New Year’s Eve 2015 happened. 

It all began innocently enough. My night began with picking out a cute outfit, glittering up my face to represent the sparkle of each new possibility in 2016 or some bullshit like that. I was excited to dance my face off…a seemingly benign thought that would turn all too real right after midnight. 

Now part of my super cute outfit were some killer high heels. Not terrible to walk in while sober, but after the fourth or fifth shot they felt as high as Lindsey Lohan circa 2007. Flirting with disaster? Hell, I was gonna get married to it.

At some point my memory blacked out. Next thing I knew I was being held by a friend and felt something strange- my own teeth piercing my lip. During this blackout, I was turned into a glitter-covered crazy ass vampire face. Welcome to the dark side, idiot. 

I’ve already got the pale skin and scary bitch face thing down. I’m getting better at darting behind things, hiding my face and moaning into the night about how nobody understands me. No matter how bad it gets though, I never see myself falling for Kristen Stewart. 

Thankfully, I’ve found the cure. His name is Dr. Cho and he is going to return my face to normal, but not until Monday (damn you holiday weekends!). If I’ve learned anything from this experience, it’s that you should never get your New Year’s kiss from the pavement in a dark alley outside of the club.  


Leave a comment

Reading all the books

As work and family try to vampire munch my energy levels, books continue to be a source of knowledge and escape. Let me tell you the story of awesome books I love. Note- I will add as I go through my collection. I brilliantly started this post at 1 am, limiting my ability to make a comprehensive surveillance of my favorites. 

A Problem From Hell by Samantha Power

Well, let’s just talk about the evolution of the word GENOCIDE, nbd. Though this books is dense, it is entirely engrossing and gives the perfect balance of urgency and facts. I am now looking at this Syrian refugee crisis through the lense of history. Try to turn a blind eye to the world after this scathing and brutal assessment of America’s involvement (or lack thereof) in times of global massacres. 

Half the sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

Take a journey through the lives of women around the world. Experience the plight of third world countries and hear stories of change through education and outreach. I love how inspiring this book is and how accessible they make helping for those who read it and want to do something

The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin

I love the cultural perspective of an African writer, telling the stories of people you would fail to meet elsewhere. The characters are unique and hold extreme depth, keeping the book moving at a quick pace. The secrets aren’t fully revealed until the end, resolving in a way that feels genuine.

Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho

I’m one of those readers who feels Coelho can do no wrong. I’ve loved everything I’ve read of his and always come away with a sense of learning a bit more about myself and the world. This book tackles apathy, suicide, rebirth of love, passion, and redemption. Parts of it truly resonated with me because of my own experiences as an artist, a crazy person, an inmate in a mental facility following an overdose. Perhaps my affinity for this book stems from it being a mirror, but others can surely recognize the need to live their passion and rediscover what makes their own life worth living. 

Leave a comment

So my sister had a secret.

It seems that some people draw the shit stick in life. My little sister must be one of them.

She was a toddler when our parents divorced, leaving her to see the broken alcoholic shell of the man who used to be Dad.

She sat by her high school boyfriend while his face was stapled up after retrieving a bullet from his head, then watched as he went on trial and eventually to jail for murder.

She suffered migraines for years, plus she had a difficult time eating without feeling ill. She underwent surgery last year to untwist her intestines and continued to live in pain.

She endured an abusive husband who physically and emotionally abused her, though they are thankfully separated right now.

…so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I guess the signs were there- the mishandling of money, stopping work, losing touch with her old friends, lying to family. When I stepped back and thought about it, her behavior was familiar. Much like my ex who overdosed.

I got the call that my sister ended up in the hospital after getting beaten up and robbed by a male acquaintance. He took the last belonging of value she had- her phone- which is the second time in a month that she has had her phone stolen. Probably because she owes money to the guy dealing her heroin.

Yeah. My baby sister somehow ended up on heroin. I feel like I’m writing the words to a book about someone else’s family, someone else’s life.

Being a few states away from her is brutal. I want to take her out of the hell-hole town full of either Christian wanna-be, ex-football hero homeboys or dirty, lying, skinny snakes peddling meth (and heroin I guess). I want to get her in a program as fast as possible…but how do we afford that?! I want to beat the shit out of her stupid husband who no doubt got her started. I want to protect her from ending up a week dead in a dirty, lonely apartment like my ex.

Do you know what the hospital did when she came in? They gave her pamphlets. Pamphlets about getting off heroin. I want to take a survey and see how many people were saved by pamphlets. Pamphlets! Fuck.

I keep flashing back to the adorable gap-toothed kid who scowled as we stole her Monopoly money, the kid who loved to draw, the animal lover, the “shrink dance” she’d do when her big sisters got new clothes she wanted.

I’m afraid I don’t know her. I’m afraid of what to say. I’m afraid I’ll lose her completely.

Leave a comment


Nothing like browsing through your Facebook friends to decide who to invite to your birthday. My upcoming anniversary of life has opened up a large flow of emotions and realizations, an awakening to the isolation that has been slowly setting in.

I’ve been without a serious boyfriend for about a year and a half. I’ve dated a few people for short periods in there, but nothing that lasted. My friends have been sequestering themselves in the warm embraces of significant others, leaving our conversations and social interactions few and far between. I get that. It’s life. It’s natural to couple off and weave your time with another. I’ve done that most of my twenties.

I’ve got some single friends, too. There are some who are down to party, who are tons of fun. There are guys who I can occasionally lose time with in brief snippets of romance. There are work friends and acquaintances and the “oh yeah, that guy” of the world. My mom tells me how gregarious I am, which I know to be true to a certain extent, in short bursts of energy.

With all of these people I know, who do I want at my birthday? Who actually wants to come?

I made the sad realization that I am nobody’s best friend. I don’t even know if I have a best friend. There have been moments with people I know where real emotions bubble under my lips, but the words pop into a meaningless laugh and deflecting question. The loneliness is sometimes bitter and uncomfortable, but I’ve learned to manage. I would rather feel that than enter a relationship just to appease the feeling. I do wish that I had someone I felt like I could call when a life event happens. I wish I had someone who I could discuss real fears, hopes, experiences with.

I’m stuck on my own private island right now, but I know how to survive. It will be okay, I’m sure.

Leave a comment

No good deed…

No good deed goes unpunished, right? I got a taste of that after volunteering at a church I was invited to. I’ve never been hugely into institutionalized religion. I’ve done my stint. Not really something that feels comfortable to me. However, I like helping and volunteering and churches provide those opportunities.

So I work all the freaking time. Like 12 hour days, six days a week. I had just come off a day sort of like that and happened to have $115 in cash, an oddity for my wallet. My gas tank called out to me before making it to the church, so I stopped and pulled out $20 in cash, leaving the remaining $95 safely in my zipped wallet.

I went to the church. I sang. I wrapped gifts for underprivileged kids. It was fun and rewarding, if not slightly awkward with the forced merriment and back patting. After a few hours of this, I drove to Target to pick up a few things I needed. It was at that point I noticed the money missing from my wallet.

Now, despite my crazy working hours, I am not rich by any stretch of the imagination. This missing money made me first feel a bit numb and shocked, then confused, but as I pieced together the day I became sad. I know without a doubt that someone at the church stole it. It’s the only thing that fits in the timeline.

This violation of my private property and the theft of something I desperately need right now caused me a lot of worry. I contacted the pastor to see if I could reach out to the group and make a plea for it to be returned, no questions asked. Imagine my surprise as his call turned ever more condescending and accusatory toward me. I was the other in this situation and his flock would never perpetrate such a “high level of criminal activity.” Let me be clear. I have a pretty decent idea of who stole my money. A 12 year old girl had been sitting almost on top of my bag the whole time. My wallet was easily reached in my bag. I don’t feel like it was stolen with malice, just a bit of greed. The pastor then went on to insinuate that I was trying to leach money from him. Of course that was not my intent- I just wanted to give the person who stole my money the chance to return it.

This experience has reminded me some things in life. I’ve met “criminals” who are good people. I’ve met “God fearing Christians” who are some of the douchiest self righteous sinners. Morals and religion are not the same thing. They can exist quite separately from each other. Guess it’s time to find a nice group of atheists who want to do good deeds simply to be good.


Darren Wilson should be on trial

I sat in my car, patiently waiting to hear the announcement whether Darren Wilson would go to trial for the murder of Michael Brown. My body almost vibrated in anticipation, hoping that there was some chance of justice prevailing in what seemed a pretty clear case of excessive force. As the steady voice droned through my speakers, his words sunk in and I realized we hadn’t turned that corner. It is still okay for cops to gun down unarmed people of color.

Darren Wilson clearly has no remorse for what he has done, evidenced by his television appearance. Even in self defense, shouldn’t you have a modicum of feeling for ending someone else’s life? He also has the benefit of time to rehearse how he tells his story, to fine tune his wording to insist he felt imminent threat on his own life. That’s the trouble. All we have are his verbal statements, but we cannot get into his state of mind. We have to take his word on it. And if he was afraid, was his fear racially motivated? Did his own bigoted ideas influence his decision to act with his weapon? That’s not justification.

As for Wilson’s assertion that Brown beat him severely, evidence photos showed he had no bruising and just a slight pinkness to his cheek. He also said Brown tried to grab his gun. If Brown was so physically assuming and powerful, why didn’t he get the gun?

So what about the forensics. Michael Brown had one close wound in his hand. Everything else was from a distance because he was running away. How is it okay to shoot him to death when he is running away? Where is your imminent fear for your own life in that moment, Darren? Wilson claims Brown turned and started charging him, claiming Brown looked like a “demon.” Brown’s family insists that is ludicrous. Who would charge at the person shooting?

I know not to expect a guilty verdict, but I was hoping to at least see this case go to trial. There must be some consequence of killing an unarmed teenager. If Wilson was afraid of an unarmed 18 year old, maybe he never should have been a cop in the first place. If his natural reaction was to shoot, maybe he never should have been a cop in the first place. Police are meant to serve and protect their communities, not gun down its residents. With all the evidence that has come out, the only thing that seems to make it justified is Wilson saying he feared for his life. How do we disprove his claim? The forensics don’t paint a picture of imminent threat, but the grand jury felt inclined to believe the four hours of testimony from Wilson. Too bad dead boys don’t talk.

There are too many loose ends for this to be considered a closed book. My hope is that a civil case will take the money given to Wilson by the KKK. He is not the person who lost something that day and he certainly doesn’t deserve to profit from his deadly action.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.