Friday, June 28, 2013

God wants to work in my life! Check this out!

A few weeks ago I was watching James Randi videos on Youtube while I did dishes.  (If you aren't familiar, check out his wiki entry:  Randi in a wiki-nutshell)   I watched one of the videos where Randi had investigated Christian evangelist Peter Popoff.  (Here's the link to Petey:  Halleujah! Pass the collection plate!)

I have a special interest in Peter Popoff because for many years he was based in my hometown of Upland, California.  My high school friend, Kristi, can remember her older sister babysat for the Popoff family.

I got interested and decided to send the good Mr. Popoff a prayer request via his website, just to see what I'd get in the mail.

And it arrived yesterday!  Check it out!

Okay, first I turned the envelop over to check the return address.  Look!  Upland!  Go Highlanders!

 I opened it up and found a very long letter about how Satan is controlling me with debt.  Peter wants to help me erase my debt.  The word erase is repeated quite a lot in the message sent to me.  As a matter of fact, it's used 24 times, usually in bold type and capitalized.  Anyway, the letter gives me specific instructions.  First, I don't open the little envelop that was included.  DON'T DO IT!  He instructs me firmly.  Then, I take the little envelope with the shadow of Jesus on it and put it on top of my checkbook and bills, just for tonight.  The next morning, I send the envelope back to him.  He will put it in his prayer altar and then he'll send it back with exact instructions on how to Erase My Debt!

Oh, and I have to send him $20 to sow the seed of prosperity.  If that's a hardship, I can send $12 and the rest when God provides.  Apparently, I'm not to come before God empty handed. I gotta give to get!

I'm to include the prayer slip that was also enclosed.  There is a space for me to write how much I am sending along with a check list of the hardships I am facing so they can help me with those too.  He thoughtfully included a postage paid envelope, but he asks if I have a stamp to put it on there to help save God's money for blessings. 

Here's the little envelope with Jesus on it.  It has a stain where it's been anointed with oil.  I'm not supposed to open it, but I do anyway.  There's something inside!  What is it?  

Oh my!.  Is it a cloth?  Is it a pad of small paper?  Is it a packet of holy salt?  What can it be?

It's an eraser.........    God sent me an eraser. 

Is he serious or is this performance art? 

Either way I'm not sending him any money.

I'm keeping the eraser though. 

Amanda's beauty tip of the day:  Sunscreen!  Sunscreen! Sunscreen sunscreen sunscreen!  Go put some on right now.  I'll wait here. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

That was fun.

My good friend Leashya and I went to see Cyndi Lauper live on Tuesday night.  It just so happens that it's the 30th anniversary of the release of her album She's So Unusual.  She's So Unusual  just so happens to be the first album I bought on vinyl. 

In 1983 we hadn't seen ANYTHING like Cyndi.  There was punk rock and new wave, but none of the music associated with it was this happy, bubbly, bouncy or poppy.  There she was in these crazy outfits that could only have been put together in New York with her crazy red hair all shaved off on one side telling us that girls just wanted to have fun.  She then gave us a time after time that made us all cry.  She assured us that every one bopped, SHE especially.  She was fun and safe and gave us permission to rebel against the earth tones of the late 70's/ early 80's with bright colors and a funny voice. 

There was no way we were going to miss this chance to hang out with a bunch of other people our age, including a large number of gay men.  Every concert of women pop singers or bands I've attended all have a healthy chunk of the audience made up of men who like men.  And they all jump up and down, singing along and being affectionate with their partners.  Or, maybe, it's because I live in Austin and that's all over the place.

We drove downtown in my car, parked in the lot I like and then started to wander down the street. 

As we were getting ready to cross 7th I turned to Leashya and said "This is that moment when I feel like one of the coolest people in the world.  If I could point this out to my 14 year old self, that I'm dressed up to go to a concert in this amazing city with my pierced, tattooed friend I wouldn't have been so goddamn depressed."

As we were approaching the venue, a woman came up behind us and asked if we were all headed to the same place.  We agreed we all were.

She slung her arms around both our shoulders and declared "My friend texted me to say that he told me to be here at 7!  I said 'Bitch, I was there at 6:45 and there was a long ass line so I went to get some DRINKS'.  "  And she hung out with us while we collected tickets from will-call then declared disappointment that she had to go find her friend.  Don't worry, she reappears later.

We hit the bar and staked out our spot. 

Cyndi came out with her red hair, like she'd sported in the mid-1980's.  And she played the album in order.  And I knew EXACTLY what was coming up next and I could still sing along!  I jumped up and down when she started She-Bop along with everyone else.  During Time After Time, I made Leashya dance with me the same way I danced with a guy named Eric at my 8th grade graduation dance.

As she swung into side 2 our new friend reappeared!  She was meandering around with her strapless dress getting ready to fall down.  I didn't want her to flash the crowd so I went up behind her and pulled her dress up.  She got excited when she saw it was us and got into a monologue about music, people, how old we were and was telling me some story and was hitting me with the heel of her hand.  After 12 or so hits I requested that she please stop hitting me. 

She talked about the fact that her friend supposedly had a beer for her and then asked us several times if we wanted any pot.  We'd say no, then she'd forget she asked us, ask again and we'd again decline. 

A female couple walked by holding hands and our friend yelled "I just want to hug all these lesbians!  I love that all these gay people are here and out and proud!"  And she ran off to hug some guys with their arms around each other and tell them how she loved them.  Leashya and I laughed heartily and then expressed concern that she find her friends and be driven home.

We popped out for the rest of the show and then waited for her encore.  For her encore she sang True Colors.  I almost cried.  And, due to our age, a lot of us had lighters.  We held them up and sang along, swaying and doing gospel hands.  At the very end, the last line because your true colors are beautiful Cyndi just stopped singing, didn't even hold her hand out and the audience sang like a raaaiiiinbooow.  And it was such a great, amazing moment.

Then the lights came up, it was hard curfew of 10:30 p.m.   I got my t-shirt and we joined the rest of our fellow fans heading back to their real life of work the next morning.

I want to be one of those women who go to concerts when she's 80 years old, trucking along in her walker with the seat for me to rest on.  I'll ask strangers to get me a beer.

Concerts, part of my life I love.  This one was great.

Amanda's beauty tip of the day:  During the summer you may have to switch your deodorant to an antiperspirant. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

If it's one thing I know about, it's etiquette. Prepare for my opinion

First, go over and check this out:

Rudeness at some of it's best

In a nutshell,  the above article is the back and forth between a new bride and one of the guests at her wedding.  She tells him that the gift basket he gave that contained various kids of candy, cookies and marshmallow fluff, isn't something they can eat and asks if he has the receipt.  He apologizes and then it dissolves into the bride explaining to the guest that people don't give gifts, people give money.  They give money to cover the cost of the wedding and to give the couple an opportunity to make money. 

My jaw dropped.  Are you frigging kidding me?  The point of wedding and shower gifts is to help the newly married couple set up housekeeping.  That's why one registers for towels and plates and glassware, so you can get your new digs as a married couple into a state where you don't have to drink out of empty jam jars.  (Although there is a certain romance to that.) 

It's like baby showers.  It's to help the parents to be get all the stuff the new bundle of expensive joy is going to need in those first several months, not so the parents can set up a trust fund. 

As someone who received a number of monetary gifts upon becoming a Missus, yes, it's nice.  However, it isn't anything but rude to tell people to give you money because that's how it's done now.  And it's downright nasty, ugly and makes me question your quality as a person to point out to someone you invited to your wedding that they got to eat food, drink booze and have a great venue to party in, therefore, they should have given the couple an envelope with enough cash in it to cover the cost of having them at the wedding, plus a little more. 

If you can't afford the wedding, then don't have it!  You are tossing yourself a party.  (In my case, my parents tossed me a great party)  If you decide to throw yourself a birthday party, as my friend Barb did for many years, most of them costumed and all of them with a margarita machine, then you don't charge a cover.  Well, maybe you do, but then I can't help you.  If friends bring you prezzies, that's wonderful, say thank you.  If they don't, hug them and thank them for being there to celebrate with you. 

Yeah, there is some stuff you return.  And yeah, there is some stuff you don't use.  And there is always at least one gift where you'll find the card inside of it from the person who gave it to someone else for THEIR wedding before they passed it off to you.  I think it would be fun to find someone who is going to regift a gift, then have the person who received it regift it again, just keep putting the wedding cards inside and see how far you can keep regifting. 

Greediness and outright lack of manners like this makes me nuts.  Here, allow me to assist you in eating this goddamn marshmallow fluff. 

Amanda's beauty tip of the day:  If you're going to be swimming a lot this summer, start double conditioning and using a deep conditioning treatment at least once a week as the chlorine will turn your hair into a mass of dry fibers resembling hair. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

After two months, a movie review!

I saw the movie The Purge last night with my friend Chris.  Chris is my movie buddy.  She and I both like thrillers and horror flicks.  We hide our eyes, scrunch down in our chairs and generally get really into it.

When we attended a screening of The Woman in Black we laughed at a girl behind us who actually screamed.  It was even funnier when I did the same thing. 

Anyway, The Purge is set in the year 2022.  For 12 hours, one night a year, anything is legal.  Emergency services are not available and people run amok in the streets killing the homeless, their bosses, people who annoy them or any random person.  For the rest of the year, everyone in America is much calmer, the economy is booming and unemployment is at 1%. 

Essentially, the movie shows that American's shut themselves up in their homes with elaborate security systems that turn your whole house into a panic room.  Those who don't are out in the streets either hunting the killers running amok or are the runners amok.  It's not safe to be outdoors.  Suburban people and college students fall under the sway of sociopaths who spend the whole year planning their Purge night. 

It had a good level of suspense and we were able to pick it apart afterwards.

We had questions about the practicality of such an event.  Wouldn't the inner cities just burn to the ground?  If you stole a car, did you get to keep it?  What if you bought a whole bunch of cocaine and sold it?  Would you still have to pay taxes on the big profit?  Insurance rates would skyrocket and would probably exclude any damage that occurred on Purge night.  Life insurance wouldn't pay out if someone died due to a Purge killing.  If you looted a store, did the store get to declare the items stolen?  If you were caught with the stuff would it still count as a crime if you tried to sell it while the Purge wasn't happening? 

And what about rules?  If you really didn't want to participate could you leave the country on holiday?  Cruise down to Mexico, or go to Canada for a little vaca?  What else could you do?  Rent a boat and be out on the ocean seems an option.  Or camping waaaaaaaaay out in the desert on top of a hill where you could see everything.  Wouldn't a group of families band together in the most secure house with their children, everyone bringing their guns and night vision goggles?  It would be potluck of course. How many people would commit crimes in order to be in jail when the Purge rolled around?  How were hospitals secured?

Then there was the conversation about how homes would be built differently.  The main character makes a ton of money selling Purge security systems. Wouldn't affluent areas have the security systems standard?  Or hired private security?  I'd think Blackwater would take that gig.  Wouldn't they set up the electric barbed wire around their homes, just for that night?  

We commented to each other that once all the poor people were killed off, a new level of poor would take their place.  First, the homeless are seen as leeches on society.  Pretty soon anyone who was renting would be offed, then those who lived in less than 3,000 square feet.  Old people, the disabled, and blah blah blah. 

I'd say it's worth Netflix-ing.  A solid 3 out of 5.  Because I know you want my opinion.

Amanda's beauty tip of the day:  If you are going to use benzoyl peroxide, don't use something over a 2.5% concentration.  It will just dry out your skin, 2.5% is plenty.