Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Today on BYT, a link to this site was posted.

I typically see teen parents and wonder that a lot myself. And upon looking at all the pictures I couldn't help but think of a girl I took Cosmetology with. I'll call her Ashley. Ashley was a pretty cool, if not self-loathing chick. She was the type of girl you would look at and label "goth" or the exact opposite of me. She was also the stereotype that kept my parents from supporting my decision to take Cosmetology instead of other elective courses.

One week towards the end of my first year in Cosmetology, our teacher had us read over some letters that the second-year-students had written for the upcoming crop the next year. All the letters said the same things, "Mrs. Burchell is strict, but she cares about you," "do your theory," "it gets easier," "a lot of people will drop out," and the most notably prophetic, "at least three girls will get pregnant."

Ashley was one of at least three girls to get pregnant (not to mention those that had abortions and miscarriages), but her's wasn't an accident. It was completely planned. She and her boyfriend felt that they loved each other enough to bring another person into the world. And while that may have been true, that didn't make it at all responsible. She figured that she'd be able to support a kid on her salary from the Haircuttery and with whatever her boyfriend made at Costco. In theory this could work, but certainly not in Northern Virginia.

I have since had lunch with her and her beautiful baby girl. Everything about their situation is stereotypical. They live with his family, he's enlisting in the Army and they're engaged. I could not do that. She's not the only person I know who's having kids and getting married that's my age. I'm nineteen! I couldn't want to not have kids more than I do now, I certainly do not want kids before I'm thirty.

So when I see teenage girls with babies on their hips and meet guys who have gotten multiple girls pregnant and meet people that don't know where to get free condoms, or cheap contraception - I'm in awe. I just don't get it. And it's not so much "why the fuck do you have a kid?" it more "why the fuck did you decide to have sex without any sort of contraception and when you found out that you were pregnant why did you decide to have the child and how are you content living this life that limits you in every way possible?" I don't mean to sound so negative because I don't believe that children are simply mistakes and ruin peoples lives if born at the wrong time, but I do see pictures like these and think, "fuck, how could they have not known?"

While I can appreciate the humor of this website, the fact that it exists I feel defines what is missing in our education system. Sex education, and not just the kind that explains the various forms of contraception and sexually related diseases and infections, but the kind that says "hey, don't you want to be able to give your kids everything? Don't you want a great life for yourself and for them? Because if you have a kid now your life, and their life is going to be hard and life's already complicated enough."

Monday, March 30, 2009

let's pretend that this is totally legal

On the Monday after Thanksgiving I was driving back to Richmond in an effort to be on time for my 10 AM class (I have since given up on 10 AM classes). In Hanover, Virginia I was pulled over for speeding at about a quarter after nine. I'll admit, I was not nice to this officer, and when I couldn't make myself cry I resorted to being bitter. Pathetic, I know. He ended up giving me a ticket and I ended up telling him what a horrible person he was/is.

In January I went to court to try and get out the ticket, or at least get it reduced in some way. I was very polite and smiled a lot and the judge admitted that he shouldn't, but allowed me to go to a driving clinic rather than get more points on my driving record. Apparently you're not supposed to be allowed to go twice with in a year, especially when you've gotten four tickets in two years.

If you've ever been to a driver's clinic before you know how awful they are. I mean, really awful. The first time I went was in Alexandria to some place my friend Sam had been to. It was a room about the size of my dorm filled with about twenty people and a TV. It was hot and the instructor was a very irate Pakistani guy. We sat and watched videos and did busy-work for eight hours.

This time around I thought I'd check the DMV website. I looked for the one closest to me, called, made an appointment (or thought I did) and didn't think too much of it. There were several locations listed and when I had talked to the guy about it he didn't specify a location. This was a huge mistake, I assumed, wrongly (as I usually do) that because the location was listed on the DMV website, that it met weekly. I showed up on Saturday, almost on time, and would have been on time had it not been for the marathon trapping me in the Fan. I asked the concierge about the class and she had no idea what I was talking about. After that I borrowed the computer in the lobby and called all the loctions listed until I found the one that was hosting the class that week. It was too late at that point to attend, so I called the company's number and left a lengthy message about them needing to be more specific as to their hours, locations, etc.

I have never responded to messages like the one that I left. I usually assumed that the patient was angry and would call back or come in at some point, and I was usually right. I never called and left an equally "obnoxious" voicemail. Obnoxious was the word that the driving-school-dude used. The fact that he responded to my message at all makes me hate his southern drawl all the more.

After hanging out in the hotel lobby and calling every driving school listed on the DMV website, I finally found one that offered classes on weekdays. I have to have my class finished and reported to the DMV by Friday. I made a reservation, and went today. The class was supposed to two days, four hours each day. I got there at five-thirty and was out by nine AND I don't have to go back tomorrow!

There was next to no instruction and the only other person in the class was this high school chick. We spent the majority of the time discussing how much police officer's in the area suck, and the best ways to get out of tickets. He called that part "Knowing Your Rights" - slick. I got an eight hour course done in three and a half hours. I may have missed Gossip Girl, but I don't have to go back tomorrow and it was so worth it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Dog Days are Over

I chatted with my sister for a bit tonight. She's sick and I'm going throught the exact same thing that I went through last week but with a different person. I may like the lime light, but I don't like for small to blow up in my face the amount that they do - i.e. ALL THE TIME!

I will do everything possible to maintain the relationships that I have, if I feel that the other person is willing to put in the same effort.

And then I actually listened to the words, then read them, of Florence and the Machine's (who's song I linked earlier this week) song Dog Days (are over).

Happiness hit her like a train on a track
Coming towards her stuck still no turning back
She hid around corners and she hid under beds
She killed it with kisses and from it she fled
With every bubble she sank with her drink
And washed it away down the kitchen sink

The dog days are over
The dog days are done
The horses are coming
So you better run

Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father
Run for your children, for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your loving, your loving behind
You cant carry it with you if you want to survive

The dog days are over
The dog days are done
Can you hear the horses?
'Cause here they come

And i never wanted anything from you
Except everything you had and what was left after that too, oh
Happiness hit her like a bullet in the head
Struck from a great height by someone who should know better than that

The dog days are over
The dog days are done
Can you hear the horses?
'Cause here they come

Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father
Run for your children, for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your loving, your loving behind
You cant carry it with you if you want to survive

The dog days are over
The dog days are done
Can you hear the horses?
'Cause here they come

The dog days are over
The dog days are done
The horses are coming
So you better run

I know that love doesn't solve anything. It doesn't mean shit unless they're compromise and understanding. So, maybe I should just drop it. I do want to survive.

I was once told that I was the girl that walked around with two giant bags of melancholy and this I fail to check them at the door. I hate that description, but I suppose that at times it's true. So, I've decided tonight that the dog days are over. And if I'm going to survive, and be happy - something I haven't been since I've been in Richmond - I may have to leave all that loving behind. I'm sure I can consider my happiness first, I can totally stop worrying about other people not talking about what's bothering them: hell, I may even be able to give up wanting to fix all of my relationships because it has become apparent that if the other person isn't in it, then maybe it's just not worth it. Though those that do have put forth the effort know that that part of me will never change.

So, for those of you who think that I'm going to change, that is only partially true.

This is a journal entry from two days before my sixteenth birthday.

Dear Amanda,
Even though life is sucking right now, things will get better. Just remember to aim high for yourself. Parents and teachers don't count ad it is impossible to make and keep everyone happy. Just keep yourself happy. Bue we know that's easier said than done. With everyone bringing you down it's really hard. You really need to develop more self-discipline to things done, especially in school If you figure out what's most important, obligation wise, then everything else will fall into place. It's okay to feel sad and be depressed. We all have those phases, and it's okay, everything is going to be okay.

And because I went through all of my journals and found this poem that I wrote when I was fourteen. It's not very good, but it kept coming to mind:

Risks, confusion
Lust, confusion
Friends, confusion
More confusion

Rolling, laughing
in and out
over, under
up and down
smiles, secrets
back and forth

in between, this thing
it's catching breath
the surface
are you in or out?
for tumbles and falls
laughs, withdrawal
in it for us?
if not, get out.

(I know that the grammar is awful, but I was fourteen...)

For those that don't feel it deep enough.

Before I meet someone, I assume that they are going to suck at life. This makes it much easier when they do, because I didn't get my hopes up. I like to avoid getting my hopes up about anyone and have yet to meet anyone where it would have been justified. BUT! I do always give them the benefit of a doubt. I always remember that first impression, but usually give people a second chance that involves a lengthy conversation where we can relay a couple of stories bwtween the two of us. It can't be a group, it must be one on one because I don't think people get an idea of who I really am in group situtaions. It's only after this that I feel I can make an accurate judgment of someone.

At this stage people are thrown into various categories, usually the acquaintance category. I do however do my best to be a friend to these people. Whether they define our relationship as a friendship is up to them. If someone makes it to the friend range, I assume that they are going to be around for awhile. Friends are worth fighting for, after all.

My friends have seen me cry, laugh, talked with me about poop, know about my family - where they live, what they do, how I communicate with them - and most importantly have been allowed to hear me read something from my journals. Blogs don't count, these are superficial, and very rarely mean much. Though I am capable of being very cathartic in which case everything will be written in code.

My best friend and I have been best friends since we were 4/5. Since then I've accumulated other friends, and lost others, but each one has endured the crazy that is Amanda Jewell Pittman, and each one is aware of how much I care about them. And for those that are no longer a part of my life, they may as well have died. I don't mean that in a bitter way, I mean that when we "broke up" if you will, I mourned the death of that relationship.

So, that being said, I've started to realize how disposable people are to others. I don't understand this at all. Once someone has become a part of my life, that's it. I'll do everything for that person, and it may be incessant and obnoxious, but it's only because I care. The idea of writing someone out of my life forever is almost incomprehensible. Even if I never talk to them again, I still hope for the best on their behalf. I am incapable of not caring. And for people to tell me that if someone pisses them off enough they'll never talk to them again is bizarre. It seems to me that if you're capable of doing that then it must not have meant much in the first place. And for these people, I am sorry, because if someone if you're friend, I would assume that you love them, and that is certainly something worth fighting for.

Say what you will about my being nineteen, immature, irrational, naive, inexperienced, etc. But you haven't seen me cry, and if you have then you haven't read my journal, and if you have then you must emotionally detached, which is common these days. I am sorry for your loss.

Monkey Chair v. Roomate pt. 1

I woke up realtively early this morning in hopes of taking a quiz that I didn't get to take yesterday because when I went to take it the internet decided to start having issues with the internet. And my computer is still having issues. And I'm typing this on my roommates computer and I'm not going to my ten am class, and I would work more on my bibliography - I really just needed to add length, but I suppose that will have to wait also, because all that stuff is bookmarked on my computer. Fuck. Usually when one's internet doesn't work, both don't work and then they both start working later, usually at the same time. Today that's not the case and I'm typing on a keyboard that has a loose space-bar that is making the usual sound of tying very irritating. I'm surprised I haven't noticed it before.

I have started and restarted my computer about five times in the last hour and I think I may lodge it across the room if it doesn't start working within the next half hour. I hate technology for this reason. My generation is the generation of instance and this has contributed to my being the most impatient person ever. If I can't get something done when I want to I don't understand waiting. What is that? Time? Time that I could be using to do something else that I have to do this one thing first in order to do those other five things because that's how I planned it in my head when I made my list this morning.

Anyway, I suppose while I'm waiting I can try to focus on something else, something more pleasant.

Yesterday, Jessica and I woke up late-ish. Wait, I'll start on Saturday. On Saturday I came home from work and had planned on taking a nap, but I didn't end up falling asleep until nine. So I missed watching The Holiday on TBS (this is what I have resorted to doing on the weekend when I'm in Richmond) and I woke up around midnight, or one, or something - my roommate was still awake and watching Oklahoma! on TNT or something. I rolled over and went back to sleep. I woke up again around ten Sunday morning. I got almost tweleve hours of sleep! (MY COMPUTER IS STILL NOT WORKING!) Jessica eventually woke up and after I showered and danced for awhile, I convinced her to get breakfast at Cafe 821.

I've ordered food from there regularly for a couple of months now, but before Sunday had not ever stepped inside. It's cute. It has artwork for sale on the walls. I'm fairly certain that we were the only ones there without any tattoos or expressive piercings. Jessica has her ears pierced, that's it. I have yet to get anything bad from there and it's cheap, and the waitstaff are polite.

After a very filling breakfast we headed to Diversity Thrift. It's kind of out of the way, but it's one of Richmond's best not-so-secrets. Jessica and I have been looking at furniture and apartments on Craigslist for weeks. We've been to see several apartment and think we've found one that we love. It has a balcony and a fairly large fire escape. We're going to see it again with my dad on Wednesday, and hopefully will be signing some papers - because we're under 25 this particular company requires us to have a cosigner. Yesterday we bought our first piece of furniture, a teal loveseat. It was thirty-five bucks, and the more I think about it the more I feel we paid too much, but it is really darling, and will kind of match my monkey chair.

Jessica hates my monkey chair. It's terracota and has various shades of pink, green, purple and yellow on it in the shapes of flowers and fish and birds and leaves and monkeys. It's a desk chair from the 1950's. It was originally an awful brown vinyl with a huge melted spot on the seat. My mom got it for me from an empty warehouse she was cleaning and told me she's have it reupholstered for me. And thus the monkey chair was born. It's nothing short of fabulous. Most people that have seen it giggle and tell me how great it is. Not in complete seriousness though, I mean it is a monkey chair. She does not appreciate and seems to think that it's going to go in my room and not the living room. I do not see how that is going to happen, mostly because I don't think there will be room for anything in my room except my bed and maybe my dresser.

This is the biggest difference between she and I. I love bold patterns and shapes, but in moderation. I would never pair that chair with other patterns of the same sort. And the only reason I could deal with it and a teal loveseat is because the teal is a very dark teal, and solid. From here on out we may have to stick to more neutral colors, which is fine with Jess. She likes everything the opposite of me. For example our bedspreads. Both are down, but mine is brown with small white polkadots all over it - neutral, but interesting. Her's is pale pink. Her sheets are pale pink and green stripes. I kind of hate pastels. Growing up my room was yellow, but it was not pastel, it was the color of margerine and dubbed "lemon drop" by the pain company, and it may very well appear in our apartment seeing as there are still two cans of it at my parents house. We may also have a purple something because there is a can of purple paint left over from when I repainted the hallway bathroom for mother's day four years ago.

Jessica is okay with blank, white walls. I hate them. I find them creepy. They remind me too much of a hospital. So, I'm okay with painting, and repainting, if it means maintianing what little sanity I have left. Jessica has vowed to hire someone else to do everything when she eventually lives on her own and has the money to do so. I grew up with a mother who had/has a cleaning business and I resent the fact that she is employed by lazy people who don't clean up after themselves. I see no need for cleaning people, painters, interior designers, personal chefs, gardening companies, etc.

I have all these ideas, and they're relatively cheap, but I have difficutly explaining them and Jessica is weary of anything I am capable of explaining. Just know it will be neat, and clean, and oraganized and nothing at all like my mother's beige walls and Monet prints.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


On Monday, I woke up after crashing at a friend's place (I'm really starting to resent needing to crash with people, seriously, I need an apartment - but I will post about that later), had some toast and left, but not without stopping to get hot chocolate.

My car does not have any cup holders. And traffic was awful leaving the city. The car in front of me at one point stopped abruptly. My beloved hot chocolate was between my legs, luckily the lid stayed firmly on, but some spilled onto the floor of my car anyway.

I was late leaving because of traffic, and I knew I was going to be late, or miss my ten a.m. class and I was starting to get tense. When the car stopped, I stopped in turn, the cup fell, and as I picked it up I screamed. At the top of my lungs out of frustration. When I looked up there was a handful of Govvies starring at me.

This is pretty much this week in a nutshell and today I almost completely cracked as I was leaving work, so I've taken tomorrow off. Thank God!

And because I've taken tomorrow off I've spent the last five hours writing and listening to Ida Maria and Florence and the Machine. Today (morning?) I want to be a singer. Or something. Because if I don't hurry up, I may very well end up becoming one of those kids who gets stuck in Richmond forever and wastes away at house shows. But, thankfully, I am at least motivated to get out of here. I need to stop talking so much, and maybe stop giving myself so much free time, if for no other reason so that I can do something with the potential I criticize other people for not using. This is my attempt at correcting some of my hypocrisy, and while I do it I'll wallow and listen to soul.

(You've all heard Ida Maria's, Oh My God on all those Gossip Girl commercials, and at Mousetrap last Saturday, but it's so perfect.)
Find a cure find a cure for my life Put a price put a price on my soul Oh my god oh you think I´m in control Oh my god oh you think it´s all for fun Find a cure find a cure for her life Put a price put a price on her soul Oh my god oh you think I´m in control Oh my god oh you think it´s all for fun Find a cure find a cure for my life Put a price put a price on my soul Build a wall Build a fortress around my heart Oh my god oh you think I´m in control Oh my god oh you think it´s all for fun Is this fun for you?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Practicing Self-Discipline

It is Spring Break and I got kicked out of the dorms. Most kids went home or on some trip that their parents paid for, but I am crashing at my friend's house while they are camping so that I can work. I was kind of excited about it because the house is nice and big and has multiple rooms with rugs and couches and barstools, but I'm one of those people that likes everything exactly their way. And nothing here is my way.

The house is owned by some single dude who used to live here and rent out a condo, but then he couldn't afford to live here so he now lives in the condo and rents out the house. It is fully furnished and cluttered with horrible picture arrangements and Civil War paraphernalia. He has a framed doily hanging next to the side door and a collection of antique baking utensils and pans on another wall. The dining room is full of things that "could be sold" but haven't, and Mike (my friend who lives here and is basically the house manager) has not taken any initiative to make it better.

It's not that everything in it is awful, it's just the way it's been set up. I hate plain walls, but that doesn't mean I'm going to plaster horrible groupings of shit in horrible frames all over them. Okay, it's not all shit, some of them actually have pictures of his family and friends, but mostly it's shit.

One day, hopefully within the next year or two when I have my own reality TV show where I fix people and introduce them to clean, enjoyable living, I will take places like this and the people that live in them and make it all better.

Seriously, the dude owns FOUR coffee makers, FOUR! I just don't get it.

I do believe that all of this stem from my upbringing and how as a child I used to hoard things and then when my mother would come in with a black garbage bag I would flip out and then, when she was napping, I would remove the bag from the bin outside and hide it in my closet. Why? Because those were MY THINGS! And of course after a month it would start to smell and I would throw it out myself. It wasn't until my sisters introduced me to containers that I started to enjoy organizing and as a result I love throwing things away, cleaning out drawers, cleaning out closets, cleaning out everything.

When I was thirteen I babysat for this family who lived in an exceptionally messy house. I thought I'd do them a favor and organize their kitchen after I put the kids to bed and discovered that they had fifteen skillets, and gave up. The kitchen in the house now is much larger but needs just as much help. And the garbage disposal doesn't work, but MIKE DIDN'T TELL ME! And I had to find out the hard way when the sink backed up and took hours to drain.

Only two more days, and then I will return to my cage.

My Parents are Cute.

While watching French Kiss with my dad:



"If any boy ever does that to you, you let me know..."

"Okay, Dad."

"No, really, if any boy does that to you, you know what I'll do?"

"Comfort me?"

"Well, yeah, but I'll say 'Hey, Jerk!' and I'll punch him in the nose and kick him when he's down."

"Okay, thanks."

Today my mom called:

"Amanda, you know you're dad and I worry about you."


"Because, Amanda, you're crazy!"

Monday, March 2, 2009

It's snowing again

It snowed a tonw yesterday. Classes got canceled. I don't have work. And because I live on the MCV campus I am far away from everyone. So, I am watching The Royal Tenanbaums for the third time in two days, downloading all those CD's that I need to review, and catching up on everything - reading, writing, studying, etc.

I had a most eventful weekend, though not a happy one. I'm pretty sure that I ruined my social life in Richmond, not that it was much of one, but I'm fairly certain that there are a handful of people who I will never talk to again. I'm also content knowing that I hate Richmond, and it hates me right back.

I could really go for a Carmen Miranda right now, and the cute boy behind the counter (the only straight one). He finally called me this week and I'll be seeing him the next time I'm in DC. That's something good that happened this week. And after this weekend happened it looks like I'll be able to give him a fair chance, because you know I'll be pretending that I'm totally not interested in anyone else, and since those people are obviously not interested in me and this kid is, all the better for me, right?

Also, I've wanted to talk to someone who doesn't know any of these other people, but as usual no one knows how to operate their fucking telephones.

I miss DC, and having a living room, and a dining room, and a kitchen.