It is selfish to believe that you have the right to own as many guns as you want at the expense of other people’s right to be alive. We as people clearly can’t handle this many guns in this level of proximity. People are literally dying. Forget your “rights.” Forget the idea that you need to protect yourself. There are too many guns. The idea that you need a gun to protect yourself from people with guns because there are so many guns is circular, illogical, and part of the problem. Yes, a large part of the problem is mental illness. Let’s definitely address that. But that’s a slower, more complicated problem to solve. People are dying all the time in huge quantities right now. So, in the future, we can limit gun access using our awesome, 100% accurate, mental illness detectors. But for now, we need a more rapid solution.

In Australia following a mass murder, “rapid-fire rifles and shotguns were banned, gun owner licensing was tightened and remaining firearms were registered to uniform national standards. In two nationwide, federally funded gun buybacks, plus large-scale voluntary surrenders and state gun amnesties … Australia collected and destroyed more than a million firearms, perhaps one-third of the national stock.” –

We have to do something like this. We cannot have this many guns in one country. We have to choose people’s lives over our wants. You might be a responsible gun owner, other people are not. That’s the reason we can’t bring bombs to school or own pet tigers in our backyards. YOU might have no intention of setting off the bomb, and know everything about how to keep the bomb from detonating. YOU might have a super-secure backyard so the tiger can’t escape. But not everyone else does. People bring guns to school to shoot people. People don’t keep their guns locked away in secure safes. They keep them in their glove compartments so when their cars get broken into, a criminal owns their gun. It’s all a matter of: THERE ARE TOO MANY GUNS.

We have to do something about it.

The belief that we have the right to own guns is largely cultural. 5 years ago, so was the wide-spread, socially acceptable belief that homosexuality was a law-enforceable sin. 50 years ago, it was the belief that Black people were biologically inferior to White people – to the point that they deserved fewer rights. We can change our culture in a big way. And we have to change our gun culture if we want more people to stay alive. And we have to do more than writing Facebook or blog posts. We have to write to our senators, stand up for gun-control among friends, and anything else. I don’t know what else! But we have to change, for the sake of those literally shot to death in a horrifying way while simply going about their day to day lives.


I knew him down
to the plaque between his teeth.

Tinder Adventures

While hanging out with some friends tonight, I decided to join the masses and join Tinder. I’ve had a lot of fun so far. But if I get murdered because of Tinder, please don’t press charges against my killer. It really was provoked.

Tinder_1 Tinder_2 Tinder_3 Tinder_4 Tinder_5 Tinder_6 Tinder_7 Tinder_8

Secrets of my roommate Maggie…the romance novelist

I recently moved in with my friend Maggie. We both like making friends with strangers, and we hate olives. It’s the perfect friendship.

This is Maggie and me hanging out on toilets at a bar designed to look like a mobile home. Maggie’s the one showing her approval:


We’ve known each other for almost a year now. Over time, we’ve come to learn a lot about each other. Maggie is about to find out that I’ve learned too much about her. When you tell good friends your secrets, there is usually an understanding that the information will remain confidential because of trust, love, and blah blahblah, but here’s the deal: on Wednesday, Maggie left me to visit her family in New Hampshire. I feel neglected and abandoned, so I either want to her to confront me for revealing her secrets, forcing her to come back, or, if she chooses to stay there, I want her to at least have a miserable time without me. So while Maggie is out of town, I plan to reveal aaaaalll the roomie-nighttime-talk secrets she’s trusted me with. And there is nothing she can do about it. I’m in Dallas. She’s in New Hampshire without a car. So if she has an issue with this, that’s a long, 1700 mile huffy-walk back here. Even if she does decide to make the trip, we still have a bare minimum of 24 days to have some secret revealing fun! I’m excited! Let’s start with the juiciest: Maggie’s favorite hobby is writing romance novels and featuring herself on the cover.

She has written a lot of novels under a lot of different pen names. With so many options, it was hard to choose, but here are my top 5 favorites.



Synopsis: When Maggie Goldberg was born, the evil witch, Geliliah, cast a spell leaving Maggie with a horrible choice. On the eve of her 18th birthday, Maggie will be forced to choose between a lifetime of eating any food her heart desires but without ever being allowed to experience the touch of  a man. Or she can choose a lifetime of passionate love, but be forced to eat nothing but Matzah bread for the remainder of her life. Maggie had yet to experience lust or desire, so as young Maggie’s decision day approaches, she is sure she will choose the delights of tasty meals for the rest of her life. But, unexpectedly, at her birthday party the night before she turns 18, a stunning, strong man named Jorge-Leonardo catches her eye. As soon as their eyes meet, both know they must have each other. But Maggie’s decision is fast approaching. Will she choose between the comforting satisfactions from food she’s known her whole life, or will she adventure into her heart’s desires with Jorge-Leonardo, leaving behind all the tasteful treats she knows and loves so well?



Synopsis: Years ago, Alberto’s father made a mistake that cost Margo’s father his life. The two families parted ways and vowed to never speak to each other again. Years later, fate brings Margo and Alberto together as the two meet on a walk along their favorite trail. Losing track of the time and the trail itself, the two spend a passionate night in the woods. When they return to the city and learn each other’s identities, they realize their paths were not meant to cross, despite their strongest desires. Margo must choose between love and loyalty to her family, while Alberto continues to pay for the mistake of his father. The two must learn to overcome the burdens of their families, while discovering more about the past…and each other.



Synopsis: Summer is a beautiful mute from Kansas. Josiah is a rugged translator from California. When Summer decides to move from her small Kansas hometown to Los Angeles, she hires him to speak for her in order to help her adjust to the big city. She quickly discovers that he speaks for her better than she ever could for herself, revealing the deepest layers of her heart. Meanwhile, Josiah finds himself quickly falling for Summer. His job forbids him from having a relationship with a client, but soon Josiah must decide if their love speaks louder than words.


Role reversal

Synopsis: Once fiery lovers, Luther and Margot find themselves getting older and drifting apart. As the threat of their relationship coming to an end looms, an act of magic causes them to switch bodies…but not heads! Now in addition to their emotional flaws, they must face each others physical flaws closer than ever. If Margo and Luther are to make it, they must learn to accept what makes each other imperfect and remember what brought them together in the first place, all while rediscovering their own, and each other’s, bodies in a whole new light.



Synopsis: Growing tired of city life, Leroy escaped to an inn nestled inside the Smoky Mountains for the weekend one Winter’s night. Although he planned to spend time alone, he immediately changed his mind when he set sights on the gorgeously delicate innkeeper, Cassandra. Determined to get to know her better, he asks her for a tour of the mountain range. Cassandra, infatuated with the handsome stranger, agrees. But when nightfall approaches, the two get lost together in the Tennessee woods, and that’s when Leroy finally gets to discover mountain ranges more intimately than he ever imagined. But when they return to the inn, Cassandra’s ex-lover, Dominic, is waiting for her, determined to get her back. Cassandra is forced to explore her own heart’s desires as she chooses between loves, new and old, while Dominic and Leroy desperately wait for their chance to go exploring through  her the mountains once again.


Those are my choices! What about you? Have you read any of Maggie’s novels? Which ones do you love that I didn’t put on the list? Let me know in the comments!

And remember, Maggie, you have the power to put this to an end. All you have to do is come back home and stop me yourself. Everyone else, you can find these books on the clearance shelf of your local bookstore or being used as a hobo’s pillow. Enjoy.

Last Friday Night

Last May I graduated from college and moved back home, which was a bit of an adjustment. The biggest challenge has been getting used to not having a group of friends to hang out with all the time like I had in college. I mean, I do have friends here, some great ones actually.  But some are older or married and others are scattered around Houston. I live just outside Houston, and some nights, I just don’t want to make the 30-40 minute drive into the city. I just want to have a chill, wine night close by. That’s how I felt last Friday, so I decided to call up my old friend Katy who was in town, and I’m SO glad I did!! I was expecting a relaxing night of chit-chat and banter, but MAN, it got CRaaAAzzZZZYY! And I even learned a few life lessons!

First, Katy came over to my house and it was JUST like old times. (She’s lives in Cali, but every time we see each other, it’s like we’ve never been apart!)

This is my friend Katy.  :)

We met at church camp when we were little and we’ve kept in touch all these years. Now she’s a singer and travels a lot, so when she’s in Texas, we always make time for each other to catch up.

Our night together started off calmly enough. First we took some classic webcam pics. Katy’s so silly!

Then she suggested we check out some of the local bars. At first I was all, nah, but eventually she talked me into it (by offering to get the first round, whatwhaaat!!)

She threw on her sexiest sweater dress, I tossed on my sequins & sparkles, and we headed over to my local, Moonlight Witch Hunt Cantina & Watershed. As promised, Katy got us some draaanks. After that, things got a bit hazy….

I remember we shared some drinks. I remember Katy hogged them, actually.

We did some dancing.

And we got wasted.

We even ate meat on a Friday during Lent!! At first, since I’m trying avoid the fiery pits of Hell, I resisted.

But you know what? Katy has a way of reminding me what living is all about. It’s about experiencing every moment, standing up when others are sitting, trusting that the jigsaw puzzle of life pieces together into a beautiful picture, and BELIEVING that YOU are the only one who can experience what it is to be YOU.

To be ALIVE means that you must be LIVING.


And it was delicious… ly SINFUL! That fajita chicken strip was so worth the eternal damnation I’m bound to face, because I lived in the moment.

You see, my friendship with Katy goes beyond just going out drinking. Sure, we have a blast together, but the bonds that hold our friendship together are so much stronger than that. Katy knows and gets my needs better than anyone. I LOVE her for it! Fun hangout buddies are great, but who needs a bunch of those when I have a true friend by my side? Friday night was the adventure of a lifetime. I wouldn’t trade it or Katy for anything.

OH but the night totally ended with Katy puking all over my shoe rack then passing out on the toilet LOL.

What a stupid skank!

I went to Evanston

(written on 2/4/12)

On Thursday, I went to Evanston. Today, I came back. Right now, I am depressed.
If you know me well or are friends with me on Facebook or have ever heard me speak, you probably know that I have an obsession with Chicago. My obsession makes no sense, even to me. I grew up in Tennessee and Texas longing to visit my family in the Dominican Republic and Miami dreaming of the beach and drinking virgin piña coladas.

At least I think they were virgin. Crazy eyes suggest otherwise

Cold weather made me cranky. Jackets and sweaters were a chore. And I’m pretty sure I spent 78% of January 2003 day dreaming about swimming pools. But in the summer of 2009, the improv comedy troupe Freudian Slip that I was a member of during college and I went to Chicago and it was love at first Bean touch. They spent most of the trip sight-seeing and watching improv shows. Physically, I did the same. Mentally, I spent most of the trip planning out my future life in the city. By the last day of the trip, I decided to make Chicago my home someday.

Spring 2011, we all went back to Chicago. I was reunited with the greatest love of my life. (Although with my love life history, there is hardly any competition). Saying goodbye was even harder the second time. In Fall 2011, I applied to graduate school at Northwestern University. It’s a great school, so my mother was supportive, but not encouraging.
“You want to live in Shee-cago?”
“Ay, Amanda, eets so cold.”
“Amanda, there’s gangsters there! And Al Capone…”
I think my mother thinks Chicago is stuck in a 1928 time warp.

This isn’t the first time she has reacted this way when I’ve planned on leaving home though. The entire month before I left for college, she chanted around the house in support of the community college closest to my home, “U-of-H, Cin-co Ranch! U-of-H, Cin-co Ranch! U-of-H, Cin-co Ranch!” It was the most terrifying month of my life.

But my decision to try to move to Chicago has been a long time coming, so by now, she has accepted the possibility of her cosita linda going far, far away. My dad thinks it’s hilarious to tease me about her following me to graduate school, but it genuinely stresses me out.
“Oh, Amanda, if you go to graduate school in Shee-cago, you can room with your mother.” Stop.
“I’ll pay for your mother to take trips up to visit you anyyyy time, you know.”
Please don’t.
“Maybe your mother would enjoy getting her PhD in Shee-cago too.”
This is my dad’s new favorite game and most effective torture device.

These things do nothing to diminish my love for Chicago and the research at Northwestern though, and when I learned I was invited for an interview, I literally got my period from excitement. That interview/recruitment visit happened this weekend. Fortunately, my body did a great job controlling all bodily functions and I have proudly remained period-free the entire weekend. Which is good because I want to make dirty exhibitionist love to Evanston, Chicago, and everywhere in between. In Evanston, tea shops and cute pubs gave me little lady boners all weekend, but my favorite place was Market Fresh Books. Why market fresh? Because they sell books by the pound. Doesn’t matter what books you’re getting. Throw those babies on a scale, and that’s your price. I bought three. If more would have fit in my luggage, I would have bought twenty. Also, Chicago being close to Evanston gets me so Pointer Sisters excited, but despite my efforts, I did not get a chance to go to into the city this weekend. The only time I saw an opportunity to do so was after a small party at a current graduate student’s apartment. So the last half of the party consisted of me creeping behind strangers asking, “Hey… wanna go to Chicago with me?” and getting blank stares and “Nooo, thannksssss” as responses. For the record, the first half of the party consisted of everyone making fun of me for my excessive peanut M&M consumption, so between that and my failed attempts to get people to hang out with me, I think I can safely assume that I am a pret-ty cool la-dy.

I don’t want to say too much about the interviews themselves except that overall, I think they went well. I had five interviews during the day, so it was tiring but I had a blast talking to so many brilliant psychologists in one day.

So it was a great weekend. I don’t want to go home. But I’m stuck on a plane so I kind of have to. But the second I get to Texas, I’ll want to go back so… umm… hey… anyone wanna go to Chicago with me?

Pleased to meet you.

Since we’re both new here, I thought it would be nice for me to introduce myself. I think the best way to really know somebody is to know their deep, dark secrets. So anonymous reader, let’s dive in. Here is a list of my confessions. Many of my closest friends do not know these things about me, although I doubt they will be surprised. I probably shouldn’t put this on the internet, but it’s too late now, isn’t it? LET’S GO!

I have recently become obsessed with Enrique Iglesias.

This is a very, very new obsession. It started just earlier today, in fact. The day started as any other. I sat at my computer and opened Spotify. But on the side of the screen was an advertisement for Enrique Iglesias’s upcoming Houston Rodeo appearance. And there he was with his glorious smolder. It set off such a giggle fit that I forgot what I was even going to listen to. Then I realized I had never seen Enrique with any other expression besides a smolder.

Look at him!!





His entire existence was already hilarious to me, but this just topped it off. The biggest mistake I made was Google Imaging him. I literally laughed out loud at the results page. Throughout the day, even in the middle of conversations, I would think of it and the rows of pictures of him and his puckered lips and giggle, giggle, giggle all over again.

I imagined him being in different scenarios, unable to make any other facial expression.


Enrique, it’s your mother…She’s dying.



Hey, Enrique, can you spot me?



Do you, Enrique Iglesias, solemnly swear that you will support and defend the Constitution of the United States…


"You fucking know it"

I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised that Enrique is the way he is considering it was this chesty man that provided the sperm that grew up into that smolder.

But at least he has various expressions. Julio Iglesias can:

Clap and smile

Point and smile

Pray and smile

And even wipe tears and smile

While Enrique just…

But I love him. I love Enrique Iglesias. I want to marry him. I want to take pictures of him and look at him smoldering all day. Not even out of romantic love. Just for my own sick amusement. Every year for his birthday, I’d have a cake made with his face printed on the icing. Our children would wear Enrique-face t-shirts. I would get a face tattoo of Enrique’s face.  And none of that would be creepy because we’d be married.

I pay too much attention to other people’s knees.

The worst was when I was in college, and everywhere I went, there were people walking to class in shorts. So many people. So many shorts. So many knees. They were everywhere! Bulgey ones, saggy ones, boney ones. SO MANY KNEES. And I started thinking about my own knees. Did I have weird knees? How would my knees be categorized? Are they fat knees? Scaley knees? Unusually pale knees? What about unusually tan knees? The few times I did wear shorts, I freaked out all day. Were other people noticing my knees? Did someone just snap a picture? What if I end up on the internet as some Weird-Kneed-College-Girl meme?

It was too much to bear. So I covered them. I wore pants even when it was 97 degrees outside for fear of exposing my knees to the world. Even when I kept them covered, I was comparing my knees to everyone else’s. It got so bad, other people started noticing me noticing their knees. My eyes locked on people’s knees as they walked by and I would look up and see them looking at me, clearly wondering why the hell I was staring down their knees. I would speed up with no explanation.

This is a personal issue I have yet to overcome. Please don’t judge my knees.

My archenemy is an elderly man at my local YMCA.

Oh my goodness, this man takes forever to do anything. I realize what a total asshole I am for thinking (and now saying) this by the way. This guy is tiny and fragile and at least 85 years old. But he’s so slow and uses all the same machines as I do. (Reader, please don’t dwell on the fact that I have the workout regimen of an 85 year old man). Whenever we see each other heading for the same machine, I intentionally avoid eye contact and don’t slow down. Because he’s incapable of speeding up, this means I win. And I’m such a dick and so impatient that I’m not willing to let him go first even once, and he haaaates me for it. He’ll pick a machine near me (facing me if he can) and glare at me until I’m done. He gets his revenge when he’s already at a machine that I want, and oh boy, does he take his sweet time. There are other people in the gym that I see frequently enough to give a little nod or a quick hello when we pass each other. But me and this man do not do these things. We don’t smile at each other. We don’t say hi. But we definitely recognize each other.

My relationship with this man genuinely bothers me. There are two groups of people in the world that I want to like me: children and old people. People my own age that don’t like me? I don’t give a shit. But if a kid doesn’t like me, I feel like it’s because they think I’m boring or mean or ugly. Kids especially do not like ugly people. If an old person doesn’t like me, I feel like they think I’m an idiot or a punky scumbag. In this case, I feel like a scumbag, and I don’t enjoy this feeling.

Someday, I do hope to remedy my relationship with this YMCA man. It’d be as easy as me not doing exactly what I want to do when I want to do it for once, but then that would mean I’m not doing exactly what I want to do when I want to do it, so I’m a bit torn right now.

I ran for class president in 4th grade. And lost. Horribly.

It still traumatizes me. I would have run for officer of StuCo in high school, but nope. Nope, nope. Too painful. Not doing it. I was the president of my student organization in college, but that wasn’t a real election. It was a bunch of guys sitting around trying to figure out who should do it and eventually I was like, “Hey, I can,” and they were like, “Okay, whatever,” and we went about our merry day. No. Trauma. Involved. 4th grade though? Worst experience of my life. HERE’S WHY.

I am pretty confident in most of my abilities. I’m probably too confident considering how often I get mocked by postal workers, cashiers, 2nd graders, and my father. Oddly enough, I am aware that I am overly confident but knowing this doesn’t make me any less confident. In 4th grade, I was even more confident. Not only that, I loved attention, being in front of people, talking, and feeling more important than everyone else. Running for president was perfect for me. The problem was that I wasn’t exactly the most popular girl in class. I think people liked me, and they seemed to think I was funny, but I was far too theatrical and way too goodie-goodie to be one of them so-called “cool” kids.  But one of the cool kids was running. I’ll call her Alicia Perez.

I was always extremely intimidated by Alicia. I didn’t really like her, but I still wanted her to think that I was cool. Everyone just looooved her. This girl did whatever she wanted and didn’t give a fuck. I could never be like that. Once when we were in the cafeteria waiting for the busses to pick us up after school, she started holding up her middle fingers. Right there in front of me with all the teachers around (but none of them saw her). When I freaked out and told her she was gonna get in trouuuble, all she said about it was, “It only means something bad because people make it mean something bad.” That’s some deep shit. Also, she used to go jogging in my neighborhood in a sports bra. I would like to emphasize: SHE WAS IN 4TH GRADE. While my best friend and I were racing bicycles as fast as we could downhill toward concrete basketball courts and digging up pet rocks, this girl was JOGGING. In a SPORTS BRA.  And all the teachers loved and adored her and everyone thought she was cool shit. This was my competition. If there were others running, whoops sry, don’t remember y’all.

I knew the competition was tough, so I campaigned hard. I made posters to put around the classroom, I met with my future constituency, I made terrible speeches. I was ready. I was ready for voting day. To prepare, my mom and I bought a pack of blank, rectangular stickers to act as campaign buttons. She and I decorated the front of each one in blue and red marker. “Vote for Amazing Amanda!” they said. “I’m going to traumatize you for life,” they probably whispered, only I didn’t hear.

When I got to school on voting day, I enthusiastically passed out my little campaign stickers while everyone was in the cubby area behind the classroom unpacking their backpacks. Some people refused them. Others ignored me. I was embarrassed. But then, one of my friends took a sticker from me and after that, others began to as well. I was satisfied. But it wasn’t long before they all turned on me: I don’t remember how, and I don’t remember why, but I’m pretty sure this is how Lord of the Flies type of shit starts. What I do remember is that as I knelt down to put my backpack into my cubby, one kid shouted “I’m not voting for Amaaaazing Amandaaaaa,” and the assault began.  One-by-one then two-by-two, then the whole mass began to stick my own campaign stickers all over my hair, arms, and back. When they were out of ammunition and satisfied with crushing my self-worth, they all ran away into the classroom, giggling, leaving me on the floor of the cubby room crying softly to myself.  Eventually I stood up, went to the bathroom, and cried loudly to myself.

Alicia won the election.

To this day, looking at cubbies still makes me a little sad.

And that’s it. That’s what you need to know about me. I hope we can still be friends.