Lately, there have been a lot of strange coincidences for me. It's like the world has come together and said, "Lets surround Amanda with sailorly things, they make her giggle like an idiot, come on, it will be funny...."

Last night's dancing with the stars, featuring Lance and Lacey.

I love sailors, lol. Although, having thoroughly inspected Gordon's dress blues, I can tell Lance's are a costume. And Lance salutes like he's lost a war. But he doesn't know. And he HAD lost his shoe. What a trooper. ;) Now all I need is that little sailor girl dress.... -grimaces-

Let me remind you that I simply ADORE *NSYNC, I'm a ginormous fan of them, still, so this just made my day. And then, after receiving two 10s from the judges, Lance says, "This is the best day ever!" He was right: About an hour after the show, guess who called me..... :) That's right! Gordon! -giggle.dance-

So yes, the powers that be are coming together to shower me with the things I love. Next Harry Potter will walk in dressed as a newsie and try to sell me the Daily Prophet, a penny a pape, Merry, Pippin, and the Cullens will throw me a crazy Alice-party at which Jack Sparrow shall show up drunk and wobbly, and Will Turner will hand me the most delicious rum and coke I've ever tasted, all before Gordon comes in in his dress blues....


That is what will happen next.

A girl can dream, no?



No, really, I am coping.

By making fan videos of my own boyfriend.

I love him.

And truly, it helps.



Gordon is so handsome in his dress blues. I about exploded with pride. I admit, I thought he was nuts for joining the Navy, but it turns out it was the perfect thing for him. I'm so proud of my Sailor! We went to the store on the base and I got a sticker for my car that says I Love My Sailor!


The Phillies and the Degradation of Detroit

Yeah, don't talk to me.

My poor Rays, after their split game, lost the World Series.

I'm sorry, Rays. I think I may have cursed you. Everyone I root for seems to come SO CLOSE, but never make it. Case in point: 2006 Tigers.


But still, I guess it was nice for the Phillies to win in their hometown, and it's always fun to watch teams celebrate no matter who they are. My ultimate fantasy would be to get a baseball team for Grand Rapids, and then celebrate with them as they win the World Series. One day, before Gordon left for basic training, we were going through team names. Here are a few that I can remember, good, bad, ridiculous, plausible, some from Grand Rapids's reputation as a growing medical area, its history as a furniture manufacturing city, and the Grand River that is the namesake:

  1. Grand Rapids Gators
  2. Grand Rapids Geriatrics
  3. Grand Rapids Groovers
  4. Grand Rapids Rovers
  5. Grand Rapids River Rats
  6. The Grand Rapids River
  7. Grand Rapids Grands
  8. Grand Rapids Glands
  9. Grand Rapids Rectum
  10. Grand Rapids Rectal Thermometer
  11. Grand Rapids Recession
  12. Grand Rapids Gamma Rays
  13. Grand Rapids Genesis
  14. Grand Rapids Radiation

Okay, so I totally googled medical terms, but still.

(Grand Rapids, MI)

Also, it would kind of make me nervous. Grand Rapids is growing, and quickly. Our downtown is being redone block by block, and it's coming out gorgeous. People are flocking here in droves, and very few people who are born here leave. Or if they do, they come back here to have families. If you put a major sports team here, and if our Grand Rapids Genesis or whoever become popular, suddenly the Detroit Tigers lose half (or more) of their fandom, and therefore, their income. The Lions are doing next to nothing (Last Sunday's game was the first game not sold out since Ford Field opened, and was blacked out all the way to Lansing,) the Red Wings are popular as far as hockey itself is popular, and if you take even half the fans of even one sports team out of Detroit, Detroits shaking foundations get downright unstable.

Detroit is not a very successful city. The last time I was there, it was like a ghost town if you got any more than a couple blocks away from Comerica Park. You're not fooling anyone, Detroit. You're standing strong on your sports teams, and that's it. Detroit is dying, and it's sad. It's got a pretty colorful history. And I love Grand Rapids, but I'm sitting over here on the western side of the state, watching the east side of the state stumble about, and I feel bad about it all. Come on Detroit. Get with it. Clean it up. Get back to work. Get back into your city. It could be such a great city. Man, I don't want to be ashamed of a city that is the first thing Canadians see when they come across from Windsor. I swear, Canadians, the rest of the state is much nicer!


Tampa Bay


The Phillies just got another home run and made this game a 10-2 game.

It may not be anyone's game anymore, but it's still anyone's series.


Carlos Pena, pictured above, is one of the reasons I'm rooting for the Rays this World Series. Other reasons include:

1. Carlos used to be a Tiger, and I kind of feel like he's still a Tiger, and Tampa Bay is just borrowing him. I feel the same way about Pudge Rodriguez, even though he went to the Yankees, who I thumb my nose at.

2. My mom has a bat signed by Carlos Pena. It was cool when he wasn't doing well, now that he IS, it's pretty freaking awesome.

3. Tampa Bay has never won a World Series, and I'm a sucker for the underdog.

4. Evan Longoria is awesome.

5. My cousin, Zach, and his wife moved to Florida last year, so I've got family who are also rooting for the Rays.

6. The Rays are an American League team, and I just can't bear to have a team whose pitchers bat win the World Series.

7. Rayhawks are awesome: I'm all about fandom.

8. 9=8 is pretty much the most awesome math ever.
The meaning of this slogan that Maddon relayed to his team was this; nine players playing hard for nine innings would be enough to gain one of the eight playoff berths by the end of the regular season.

Joe Maddon also established three goals for the Rays using his theory of nines.

1) Nine more wins from the defense
2) Nine more wins from the offense
3) Nine more wins from the pitchers

Stringing the extra team wins together added up to 27 more wins, and adding those to last years' record amounted to 93, which Maddon figured to be good enough to be one of the eight playoff teams.
From For the Tampa Bay Rays, How Nine Equals Eight by Craig Castille

9. Rocco Baldelli is in almost constant pain when he plays. He has a mitochondrial disease and says that sometimes by the end of the game, his legs are shaking. He has learned to play outfield and bat while his legs are shaking (kind of shuts me up about my little aches and pains from Kung Fu....) And if that wasn't enough awesomeness for one guy, he has my same birthday, September 25. YEAH.

So, even though they've lost the game tonight and are trailing 3 games to 1 in the series, I have faith in the Rays, who deserve the win, and I am pulling for them!!!! GO RAYS!


The Burning

Earlier this month, while driving around in my big ole SUV (which I love and inherited from my cousin, who is off in Germany being a good little wifey-poo) I noticed that the the tops of many of the trees were a gut-wrenching orange-yellow-crimson cocktail of fall color. It's been a while since I've experienced a West Michigan fall, and I think I actually moaned at how pretty it was.

Of course, my Great Escape, the fantasy story I'm writing, was hovering over my shoulder. I turned to it, and said, "You know, Torin's from a tropical area. When he gets farther north, I bet it's fall. I bet the people there call it 'The Burning' and have really wild harvest festivals. I bet they have death rituals and lilting dances to haunting melodies."

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how ideas come.

A few days ago, my dad locked his keys in his car at a Meijer in Lowell. I'd never been out to Lowell, and on the way back, we took back roads along farms carved out of the woods. It was about 6pm, and had that nice honey-colored late afternoon sun that seems to last all day in the fall. I took out my phone and took a video of the drive. And now here it is, for you!


Ring-Around-The-Rosie Traffic

This is an accurate representation of how I feel lately. Like a storm of despair with a shot of beauty running through it. If I concentrate hard enough on the rainbow, I don't feel the fear of the storm.

Even the idea of life as a road that I'm following, though cliche, is quite accurate.

Driving and traffic, I've noticed lately, have their own strange beauty to them. I recently got my own car, so I'm driving much more than I ever have before. It occurred to me yesterday, as I rushed on to the expressway on my way to kung fu, that it would be hard to program a computer to simulate traffic. For example, I merged on to 131-South behind a slow semi and in front of a Fed Ex van. Usually, I'm terrified around semis, but my big old (1993) Ford Explorer can't accelerate fast enough to pass the thing quickly, so I slowed down and left it some room and it pulled away from me. I moved a lane to the left. The Fed Ex Van stayed in the lane to my right, and then jumped into my lane, one more lane left, sped past me, and then crossed over again to exit. At first, I thought, "Did you have to ring-around-the-rosie me before you exited?" But then I noticed, as I got closer in to town, that many cars, vans, and even a pick-up truck with a trailer, all do similar seemingly pointless (and dangerous!) manouverings. I supposed that I did them too. I mean, we've all had that conversation with ourselves: "Okay, better pass this guy...isn't that lane closed up ahead? Well, let me squeak in here. Oh shoot, the exit's on the left!" and zip-sip-slip, we're jogging all over the highway, playing ring-around-the-rosie with all the other drivers on the road. It's like a well choreographed dance, except none of us know it. It's a natural kind of chaos, and I suppose it has its own patterns.

I find it, sometimes, a strange coincidence that everyone I see on the road near me is on the road at exactly the same time I am, going the same direction! What are the odds, if you really think about it, that a particular person will be in a particular place at a particular time? And as one by one, each car peels away from me and heads in its own direction, its driver thinking his own thoughts, I am left alone on my route. All of us, maybe six or seven cars, came from different places, converged for a while on a road, and then scattered off again. I wonder, if you watched from above, if these convergings happen noticably, or repeatedly.

I'm sure some civil engineer somewhere knows exactly how these traffic things play out, and all of my new discoveries are in fact old, but traffic and patterns are a safe place for my mind to wander. And it never hurts to see a little beauty in a mundane thing.