Saturday, April 26, 2008

1,321,851,888 people can't be wrong

One of my brother's bosom buddies spent a summer working in China and kindly sent me this photo. I think it was intended to assuage my fears about bat-eating. This was the accompanying email:

"I already did this. This picture was taken on the mountain that trev, brit and i climbed in China. I think skinned, roasted bats are the way to go."

Pithy, but I got the message: China thinks bats are edible. Sorry, Mutie, but 1.3 billion people can't be more wrong than your bridge compadres.

Speaking of Mutie, she left me a very earnest voicemail which I thought someone (mainly my siblings) might enjoy:

"Amy, I'm going out to dinner now with Gail Hill, over to my club, and then when I get home I'm going to try to get you again because I just think you have got to stop this nonsense about the bat. You're gonna kill yourself! You know, Sarah said, they eat bats in other countries, they eat them, but you don't know how many live! You've got to get that bat thing out of your head. So tell Mr. Lee that the nineteen thousand dollars will come from someplace but it won't come from the bat. Byebye."

Gotta love the intensity. I feel genuinely bad for putting her through this much stress, but do I feel bad enough to turn down my Golden Ticket? Would you? Didn't think so.

The thing is, the Club Mutie references in her message is none other than McDonald's. Not a joke. This woman will proudly eat burgers slathered in e coli and boiled in hydrogenated oil, but she is going, if you will excuse me, bat-shit over eating a bat! Bless her heart. I think we'll all feel a lot better when this is over.

Friday, April 25, 2008


It would almost be worth getting pregnant to be able to use this site. If y'all are knocked up or otherwise planning to introduce unnamed innocents into y'all's life, look no further! Auntie Amy to the rescue!

Monday, April 21, 2008


When I was born, the first words my father exclaimed were "We got a girl!"

The remark that immediately followed was "She's got Marty's [his brother] ears."

Nearly twenty five years later, on our honeymoon, Ryan and I stopped in the Bay Area on our way from Lake Tahoe to the Redwoods. We stayed in his parents' house (I know, lame to be a frugal honeymooner). I came bounding, pony-tailed, down the stairs of my in-laws' house and Ryan's mother, never having had a direct view before, squeaked "Ryan! She's got lee-tle ears!"

Indeed I do. They have won me the affection of many a female, as we are all trained to respond squealingly to anything smaller-than-usual from our first days of life. Miniature shampoo bottles, tiny muffins, and my ears all transport us back to our dollhouse days. On a few occasions, the ladies have requested to fondle my tiny ears; who was I to deny them?

Yesterday, Jacki and Adri, my sister-in-law and niece, came over to stave off boredom while the men in our lives studied for finals. We played and chatted and peek-a-boo'ed for awhile and then Jacki noticed something worth noticing. Have a close look at the ears part of this picture:

That's right, friends. My ears are the same size as this toddler's. This eighteen-month-old human. I have always maintained that my ears were not so much cute as syndromey...but I may have to reassess my position.

Now here's another picture of Adri so you can pass out upon beholding this, the Ultimate Cute:

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Online Temperament Assessment

Ryan and I were trying to figure out what we wanted to be when we grew up and he somehow discovered this online temperament assessment that he accessed through his University's Career Services website. He took the quiz first, with my input, and the results determined that he was The Helper.

I, of course eager to turn the focus to myself, asked if he would help me fill out the assessment for myself. When we were finished his eyes grew wide and he sort of gulped.

"The Bitch."

I'm The Bitch? You've got to be kidding! That's even an option? I can't believe it!

Turns out I'm The Gullible. Oh, and The Stabilizer.

My Mutie

If my grandmother were a bat, this is what her face would have looked like when she called me today.

Mutie: "Amy, have you been getting my messages? About this bat? I just want you to know I don't want you to eat this bat. I think you're insane. I think you're nuts"

Note name-calling. 'Member what I said about being in therapy? Yeah.

Me: "I can tell you don't want me to eat the bat. You have made it abundantly clear."


Me: "I suppose I could. In fact, most people end up dead. It's very likely I will die. But have you actually looked into the potential risks of eating bats?"

Mutie: "Everyone I know agrees with me. You're nuts. And your father-in-law, he's a little nutty, too".

At this point, I am imagining my poor Mutie at a bridge game with her bridge pals, eating cucumber sandwiches and bemoaning her insane granddaughter to all the hens. The hens agree with her, making them experts. I, on the other hand, have consulted Google using a number of strategic keyword searches. Who's the expert now? Huh?!?!

Me: "I know I'm nuts. I know he's nuts. Tell me something I don't know. Like your actual reason for thinking I will die if I eat one measly bat."

Mutie: "They're full of rabies! [Yes, she actually said it again]. They are DISEASED! They have every disease on the face of the earth!"

Me: ...

Mutie: "Well, you can tell your father-in-law that if anything happens to you, I'll never forgive him."

Me: "Ok?"

Mutie: "In fact, you can tell him if you die I'll...what is it? Lookit, what is it?"

Me "Press charges?"

Mutie [laughing]: "Yeah. That's it, I'll press charges!"

Me: "Well, Mutie, I'm glad to know you care about me..."

Mutie: "You bet I care. I care if you're dead. Let me tell you, Amy, nineteen thousand dollars won't seem like anything in a few years...if you're not dead!"

Me: ...

Mutie: "I guess it won't seem like much if you are dead either."

Me: "No, I suppose it won't"

Mutie: "Well, lookit, I'll let you go. But I think you are out of your mind if you even think about considering this bat deal."

Me: "Mutie, you had a hysterical fit when I wanted to go to Uganda because you said I would get kidnapped. And going to Uganda was about the best thing I ever did. You cried wolf!"

Mutie: "If you eat this bat, you are an idiot. I love you. Talk to you later."

Me: "Bye, Mutie."

Mutie: "BYE BYE."

Nothing undermines a good cause like a bad argument against it. The only reason not to eat a bat is...did you see that picture?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Lives of Quiet Desperation

Why vacuum when you can pick up all the flotsam and jetsam that has been accumulating on the living room floor over the last four months with your own two hands? Much more satisfying this way. Vacuums are for the weak.

If this encourages any of you to buy me this Swivel Sweeper, object of my unfettered affection, I'm not going to be the one to stop you.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Holy strong familial opinions, Batman!

I am amazed by the strength of others' opinions about Project Eat-a-Bat. It seems like Ryan and I are the most laissez-faire about the whole thing. My family, in particular, have very strong feelings about the subject.

My grandmother called me yesterday to inform me of her opinion, the strongest one I've received.

"Well, I've been thinking about this bat thing, and I think it's nuts! You can't eat a bat! They have rabies, you know! Bats! They're full of rabies! You shouldn't do it. I don't think you should do it! You should call NIH!" (As in, the National Institutes of Heath. Evidently NIH employs operators to stand by waiting to assist anyone who wants to find out whether bats are, in fact, full of rabies. I have to cut her a break. She probably doesn't use 'Google' as a verb).

"I appreciate your concern, but did you know that there are lots of places in the world where people just eat bats? It's not really uncommon."

"WHERE?!?!", she asked accusingly. I think it offended her sensibilities too greatly to continue a discussion about people in their right minds eating bats as though they were food when they could be eating normal things! Like pigs! Things that are normal to eat!I steered the conversation to more neutral turf, sensing that I was not going to convince this highly-concerned woman that eating bats is, really, no big deal. She ended up telling me about how her mother (the source of the "bed, beautiful bed" song I recited in the last post) was afraid of nothing but bats. One time a bat got in the house and the woman locked herself in the bathroom until her son-in-law, my grandfather, and a friend of his had beaten the bat to death with a broom. Another time, long after my great-grandmother's passing, a bat got into the house again and this time it was my father who had the desirable task of eradicating it. Which he did, wearing a ski mask and wielding a tennis racket. I should really post more often about my dad.

At any rate, out of respect for this grandmother of mine, I will give the internet a solid consultation to make sure I am not likely to get rabies from ingesting a bat. Otherwise, we will sally forth.

On the other hand, I spoke with my mother on the phone last week and she informed me, through intensifying gales of giggles, that she thinks the situation is the funniest thing she has ever heard of. However, later in the conversation she referred to my blog as "the highlight of [her] life", which may mean she is just insane and prone to giddiness.

My siblings came up for Sunday dinner (brave of them, really, to come join the vegan parade), and were there informed of my most recent Primary Objective in Life. Neither of them had read about it here, so it seems my blog is not the highlight of their lives; perhaps I will have to make some changes if I am ever going to make this a primary income source. Anyways. The kids were so gung-ho about the bat-hunting that they both started screaming out suggestions and making offers of their friends' bat-hunting gear. "My boyfriend's co-worker has a shotgun!", "I will drive to Washington with you to see this!", "My roommate has a video camera he'd probly let us use... he might even want to come along too!", "I know a bat scientist! I had a friend freshman year whose dad was a bat scientist!", "etc.!". Team Little Sibling is rallying high and this summer it is just us and the bats.

And what else could I ask for?

Monday, April 14, 2008

My People

Sometimes I am so proud of my heritage.

My Bed

Legend has it that my great-grandmother used to sing a little lullaby that goes like this:

Bed, bed, beautiful bed
Somewhere to lay your fat head
Get in it, flop in it
Lie in it, drop in it
Don't say good-bye to your bed

In addition to laying a solid foundation for years of therapy learning to love my fat head and get out of bed already, this sort of ethic produced in me a sincere and abiding love of my bed. I have always taken care to have strong opinions about where I spent 8-10 hours a day, and I think it has been a wise investment. If you hate having a flat sheet mummify you in the night, lose the sheet, get yerself a duvet with a cover, and get on with your life (I recommend this particular suggestion highly; you will find sleep is more comfortable and bed-making a breeze).

My current bed may be the best I've ever known. Although sharing it with another person causes all of my neurotic hackles to rise up in violent alert and accusation ("What does a person have to DO to get the comforter to rotate 180 degrees while one is asleep, pray tell? How does one manage to get a fitted sheet designed to accommodate one of those massive pillow-top jumbos to unfurl from the edge of our slimmer-than-average mattress? And what's it gonna take to get you to KNOCK IT THE HELL OFF??? Oh, and you're messing up the pillows."), I still enjoy it more than any other bed I have had in my adult life. Childhood beds are laced with memories of happy dreams and (admittedly highly neurotic) sleep-0vers, so they are in another category.

I like our bed because it was the fruit of a great many labors. Ryan and I spent our first months sleeping on a bed that I feel certain caused us both adult-onset scoliosis while we shopped (and shopped...and shopped...and shopped) for the perfect mattress. A certain connection was able to get us a deal on the mattress of our choosing, and we didn't even have to eat a flying rodent, so we figured, since bed handouts don't come very often, we better choose wisely. We alerted our benefactor to the mattresses we found most appealing, to see if any of them might be available to us.

A few weeks later, something very strange happened. A huge moving van arrived; it's contents a dual-adjustable hospital-type bed. It arrived in four parts (two mattresses and two seriously serious metal frames) and was deposited in our living room. It in no way resembled the mattresses we described, and it came without warning.

We gave it a shot, but quickly learned that a canyon in the bed does not facilitate sleep or anything else. Something had to be done, and craigslist was the guy for the job.

We sold the bed to a fellow whose chronic back pain relegated him to sleeping on a reclining chair, and took the money straight to the mattress store and bought one of the beds we had been coveting. We sold the original spine-grinder, too, for three times what we paid for it, which still wasn't much, and bought a nice low-profile platform frame to put our new treasure on. Life was looking up.

A few months later, I rediscovered a duvet I had purchased at Ikea a few years back and had never unwrapped, since I found another one on sale. We decided to return it and then, armed with a gift card worth $161.43, set out to see if we were buying what Ikea was selling. It turned out that we were, because they were selling bedsheets and ours looked like swiss cheese following an incident involving me and a gallon of Clorox. Ryan liked the magenta best; I heartily agreed.
This morning as I stood in the bathroom watching Ryan brush his teeth (I consider this entertainment), I began to wax on about our bed. I love the billowy duvet, I love the pink sheets that get softer every time I wash them but never seem to lose an ounce of pigment. I love the nice small mattress so I don't need a ladder or pole vault to get into bed. I love the low frame, and how it can accommodate as many suitcases and plastic bins as I care to shove under there. I went on and on."I mean, honey, it's just, like, such a great storage area!" (Watching someone brush his teeth does not seem to incite my cleverest speaking).

Ryan spit out his rinse-water that instant, stood, and caught me into a bear hug. He said, all cozy-like, "MAN! I am going to kiss your brain off! You are so great!"

Huh? Because I like the bed? What? I mean, I'll take the hug, but I'm a little confused.

"Why am I so great again? Remind me?"

"The bed is a great story fairytale?!?! I have no idea what it means, but you are so cute!"

"Um, Ryan...I didn't say that cute thing."

"You didn't?"

"Well, no. I said that under the bed was a great storage area."

"Oh. I still love you."

Saturday, April 12, 2008


I think Wikihow got in over its head on this one.

I was particularly horrified by the following reassurances:

1) If you like the clothes you wear but the guy doesn't you can keep some of the ones that are really important to you.

2) Don't change everything about yourself, just build on what you have.


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Bat snax continued

I must say, I am overwhelmed by y'all's votes of confidence. It seems like if I want to snack on a bat, I can at least expect a good amount of moral support.

I included this diagram so everyone could have a good look and see if any of the bat parts exhibited look like they could be eaten. I don't know about you, but I don't think those drumsticks are worth fighting over. Perhaps the cutaneous muscles of the arm membrane are more succulent than they look.

I thought I better do a little research to make sure I wasn't likely to get rabies from eating a bat. I didn't find any rabies warnings, but I did come across this site, which we will discount for the time being. I have never thought the Weekly World News was credible, but I may be eating my words when I die of mad-bat disease.

If it is safe and it is possible, I must do it; I'd be a complete idiot not to. So the next question is the obvious How?

Perhaps this nice Filipino lady can give me some tips (please do yourself a favor and watch the entire video-- the end is by far the best part).

Maybe I'll just make a nice soup?

I still have a few details to work out. I was under the impression that I just had to shoot and eat the bat, making the plan Kelsey proposed a perfectly viable one, but Ryan seems to have understood that the Dad had to witness the shooting and eating. Jacki, if you were there, your insights would be welcome. I am also not sure how much of the bat I have to consume. Can I just pick off the meat and make a stir-fry, or are we talking about eating the vitals, bowels and (shudder) head of the little beastie?

Anyway, thanks to one and all for the resounding support of this gross gross thing I am going to attempt. If you have more ideas, keep 'em coming. Until then , I'll be planning a road trip to Seattle, where Kelsey's mom will behead my kill so I can eat it.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


I have the best in-laws a person could hope for (I don't think they know I have a blog, so you can be assured of my sincerity). They are lots of fun, easy-going, and, really, tend to get all the in-lawwing right. I'm sure that you will hear stories about all of them as time waxes on, but, for now, I would like to share a little story about Ryan's dad.

One evening during our spring break at the cabin, Ryan picked up a bb gun that was resting next to the porch doors and asked me if I had ever shot any kind of gun before (I responded in the negative; I think Bethesda, MD, where I was born and raised, is a largely gun-free zone). Ryan's dad joined in, describing a favorite pastime of his and one of the adolescent brothers-in-law: trying, in futility, to shoot the bats that come around during the summer. I'm sad to say I can't remember how the conversation progressed as it did. We were pretty much just shooting the breeze until Ryan's father offered to pay for my graduate studies.

If I could shoot and eat a bat.


Ryan's father is a man of his word. When Ryan and his sister Jacki were kids, the dad offered them each $1000 (that is the correct number of zeroes) to eat a garden snail. They both were awarded the money, although poor Jacki had to ingest her snail twice; on the first try, she barfed it back up.

At any rate, since the man meant business, I haughtily proclaimed that I would do whatever it took and provide photo documentation posthaste. A simple snag n' snack, flying rodent style. I was in. Duh. We are talking about a significant sum of money.

So yesterday I began planning my bat-attack. Naturally, I turned to Google and entered the keywords "bat hunting". (Incidentally, when Ryan got home and saw those keywords still present in the toolbar he truly laughed harder than I have ever seen him laugh). What I turned up involved this:

I mean, seriously though. I have no chance. That wily old man called my bluff, and right he was. No culinary technique could turn this little varmint into something ingestible. NO way.

And it's a damn shame.

P.S. If anyone has any great ideas about how to find, shoot, and eat a bat successfully, pass them along. This is not a joke.