Category Archives: annoying

Breaking out is hard to do

I am in an abusive relationship, and I need it to stop.

We’ve been together for a long time. It showed up when I was about twelve, all excited about life and ready to start my teenagerdom, which I would, without a doubt, totally win. I was very much looking forward to this new adventure, which, I was sure, would bring a boyfriend, and the ability to fill out a tank top like no one’s business, and a new cutting-edge teenage attitude.

However, I woke up one morning with a huge red swelling to the right of my mouth. I’m not talking about some cute little blemish. No, sir! Not me! Everything about me has always been very go-big-or-go-home. So I’m talking about – well, have you seen those photoshopped photos, the “before” photos in the late-night acne product commercials? I mean, you can tell they’re photoshopped. The eyes always look like they’re on the wrong level, and the acne looks cartoonish. Well, I looked like one of the cartoonish acne before-photos on late-night television.

I have my doubts about Proactiv. I think if you need to market on television at 3 am, you probably aren't very good.

I have my doubts about Proactiv. I think if you need to market on television at 3 am, you probably aren’t very good.

Mom and Dad were all “uh-oh, sorry for the genetics, kiddo” because there are very few photos of them from high school, but the ones there are show a couple of pretty miserable teenagers with really rocky complexions.

Well! This was not acne’s only appearance. Oh, no! It decided once it arrived, it’d set up shop. It was like those disgusting phlegm-monsters in that cough medicine commercial that makes me disgusted. It packed little greasy suitcases and moved on in. My face was its resort town, and it decided to live it on up. No part of my face was exempt, either! Forehead and nose and chin and cheeks! Once, close enough to my lip so it swelled up as if I’d been stung by a bee! Sometimes, right on TOP of each other, like it was living in little apartment buildings! Sometimes? In my ears, so my ears would swell up like a boxer’s! And sometimes it’d take little vacations and move onto my back or chest! And it HURT. Imagine huge swellings on your face and back and chest, sometimes more than one in the same place, as if you’ve been stung by a number of angry wasps. OUCH.

Ugh, seriously, I hate these commercials. STOP MAKING MUCUS TALK.

Ugh, seriously, I hate these commercials. STOP MAKING MUCUS TALK.

It got so bad at one point, someone stopped me in the hallway at school and asked me what had happened. “With what?” I asked. “Were you in a fire?” he asked, in a hushed tone. In a fire! Well. Isn’t that nice! YOU MADE ME LOOK LIKE A THIRD-DEGREE BURN VICTIM, ACNE. What the hell did I ever do to you?

Thanks for the reminder, helpful sign!

Thanks for the reminder, helpful sign!

My parents, who’d suffered through the same thing, finally were grossed out enough that they brought me to a dermatologist, who visibly recoiled when I walked through the door. Nothing ups the self-esteem like having a doctor who DEALS with such things for a LIVING recoil as if you’re Frankenstein’s MONSTER.

BACK! BACK I SAY CHILD OF SATAN! Oh, it's my next patient, come on in, then.

BACK! BACK I SAY CHILD OF SATAN! Oh, it’s my next patient, come on in, then.

Back in the late 80s, if you had terrible skin, they prescribed you Retin-A. I don’t know if they still do such a thing. (Apparently they do, but don’t have babies while using it, or their skulls will be too soft, and I assume babies with Play-Doh skulls are bad. Also don’t get waxed, or it will PULL YOUR TOP LAYER OF SKIN OFF. Good grief.) I also got this…I don’t know, alcohol solution I had to dab onto my face. These things had to happen every morning and every night after I washed my face. Also, I wasn’t allowed to go out in the sun, or if I HAD to go out in the sun, I had to wear like SPF 1,000 sunscreen. (Retin-A thins the top layer of your skin. Somehow this stops your acne. I am not a doctor. I don’t know how that works. But this skin-thinning thing also makes you burn in the sun, and you can’t get waxed, and your face gets really, really red when you first start using it.)

Good grief, it still looks the same 20 years later. Who's your PR person, Retin-A? Time for a packaging overhaul!

Good grief, it still looks the same 20 years later. Who’s your PR person, Retin-A? Time for a packaging overhaul!

I was somewhat skeptical, but at that point, I would pretty much try anything.

Well! Come to find out, RETIN-A WAS MADE OF MAGIC. I don’t remember how long it took, but one day I woke up and although my face was a little red (and I had to hide in the shadows like a vampire-person) I HAD NO ACNE. All the acne had taken off for sunnier climes. I LOOKED LIKE A HUMAN AGAIN. At one point, I even got a – GASP! – BOYFRIEND. (A few of them, actually. Well, not at the same TIME, I wasn’t a teenage WHORE. They were nothing to write home about, in retrospect, but at the time I felt like this was the BEST THING EVER.) One of my mom’s friends, when she and my mom were talking about my skin problems one day, said, “Amy has skin problems? You’d never know! I was just saying to my husband the other day she has just the most beautiful complexion!”


Yes, I looked JUST LIKE THIS! Oh, wait, no, Retin-A doesn't turn you into a model. Sorry. Sorry.

Yes, I looked JUST LIKE THIS! Oh, wait, no, Retin-A doesn’t turn you into a model. Sorry. Sorry.

I stopped using the medication in college – my doctor didn’t think I needed it anymore, and it was very expensive on our prescription plan – and all was well for quite some time.

Until probably four or five years ago.

Acne! YOU TRICKED ME! What IS this shit?

Apparently, what this shit is, is ADULT acne. It is ACNE that appears when you are an ADULT. It is the ghost of terrible complexions past COMING BACK TO HAUNT YOU.

Oh, stop. I had to.

Oh, stop. I had to.

It’s not as bad as it was when I was younger – oh, thank goodness – but it’s very hard to be almost 40 years old and have the occasional breakouts of a teenage face. It’s very embarrassing. I mean, yes. Odds are good that people aren’t going to make fun of you now (what kind of asshole mocks you for breakouts when you’re an adult? we know better now) and you know (hopefully, at least, if you’re female, although I’m sure men can use cover stick if they want to) tricks with makeup to downplay the fact you’ve got a gigantic blemish on your chin or your cheek or whatever.

And NOW, adult acne, you complete wanker, you have decided to pop up OVER ONE OF MY EYES and I’m waking up with ONE EYE SWOLLEN SHUT EVERY MORNING BECAUSE OF YOU and it takes like TWO HOURS for that swelling to go down and I LOOK LIKE SOMEONE BEAT ME UP or maybe THE ELEPHANT MAN. Dude, I have to go out in PUBLIC like this. SOMEONE IS GOING TO ASK ME WHAT IS WRONG. “Oh, just a gigantic pimple above my eye, like normal almost-middle-aged women get all the time,” is a thing I will not love to say at all.

I look a little like Rick from the Walking Dead after he got all beat up, which is nice, right? Very classy.

I look a little like Rick from the Walking Dead after he got all beat up, which is nice, right? Very classy.

My mother’s still getting you adult acne. SHE IS IN HER 60s. THIS IS NOT RIGHT. Somehow, my dad avoided this and his torment ended when he was in his late teens, but me and my mom? We’re still sporting the skin of teens. Sad, sad teens who don’t get asked to the prom.

Acne, you’re going to have to take a hike. I think I’m too old for Retin-A (and at this point in my life, if I don’t get waxed, I’d have a whole other problem to deal with, called My Eyebrows Have a Mind of Their Own and Would Make Me Look Like a Yeti) but there must be another solution. And I’m calling a dermatologist. Tomorrow.

You don’t get to win, bub. I have an excellent prescription plan this time, and I’m a lot angrier than I was when I was a teenager. If you’re not going to leave, I’m going to kick you out. I’m changing the damn LOCKS this time, acne! I am not going to my grave with you still in my life!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go figure out the best eyeshadow to go with one normal eye, and one eye swollen 3/4 of the way shut. I’m thinking a kicky bejeweled eyepatch. Arr, matey. Walk the plank.

Pretty sure everyone would just think it was a fashion statement and not ask me what was going on, right? Right.

Pretty sure everyone would just think it was a fashion statement and not ask me what was going on, right? Right.

About these ads

…the status is not quo. The world is a mess and I just need to rule it.

sj alerted me to this and I do not approve. (Of the story, not of sj. I approve of sj most wholeheartedly.)

Apparently, there is a website called WND. I didn’t know it existed, either. Don’t feel bad. “WND” stands for World Net Daily. They find news and then tell you about it from a conservative viewpoint. Oh, I know about this! It’s called Fox News. Dad fills me in on this every day. I’m totally up on the conservative viewpoint and the mockery thereof. It’s both fair AND balanced, you guys.

So WND (I keep wanting to call it WWD and wonder where the fashion is, yo) decided the latest person they hated is – ready for this? Neil Patrick Harris.


See, I don’t know if you’re aware? But NPH is gay. YES IT IS TRUE FACTS! He is married to a lovely man and they have adorable twins.

He’s also a talented actor, onstage and in movies and on television, and seems, in interviews, to be a very well-spoken, intelligent, and interesting person. He also sings and dances beautifully and is very, very funny. Seriously, his hosting stint on Saturday Night Live made me laugh until I almost choked. If stupid played nice with WordPress I would show you. Instead, here’s a link. And another. (First link is NPH doing this Doogie Howser musical thing – I can’t even explain. Roommate C. and I were in TEARS of laughter. And second link is NPH doing a Broadway skit. Both are worth the click, promise.)

PLUS, come ON, how many actors are happy to make fun of themselves in a stoner movie?

“Yeah. It was a total dick move on my part. That’s why I’m paying for your burgers.”


“Did you notice that he threw you in the garbage?”


So anyway, NPH did the following ad for the Superbowl:


I have nothing against Tim Tebow, but apparently the Christian right has decided he’s their spokesperson? Worrisome. I think you already HAVE a spokesperson. JESUS. My mom told me that and I have to believe her, as she is my mom.

So! By wearing this crap on his face with the dates on it (apparently this is called “eyeblack”, who knew) NPH is “…pushing a gay agenda …and…mocking Christians at the same time.”

OH! Is THAT what he’s doing! Well. Isn’t THAT a whole bunch of things to be doing all at once like that, how very multitasky!

(Also, if you want to see a cross-section of super-awesome humans? Read the comments on the WND post. OH MY OH NO. “REPENT REPENT!” says the very first one. Um. You repent for gaybashing, I’ll repent for whatever it is you’re judging me for, bub.)

Shit. Well, if NPH is too gay for the Superbowl, then so am I. I AM SPARTACUS. I’m totally boycotting it this year.

What’s that? I boycott it every year because I refuse to watch it because it’s sports and I hate sports and this is really not a BOYCOTT, per se, if I’m doing something I would do ANYWAY and just SAYING it’s a political statement?

Well. Aren’t YOU judgey. That’s very rude of you. Huff, huff.

(For the record, guess who can enjoy sports? Gay people. Straight people. People with no legs. People with two heads. People with red hair. People who wear too many gold chains. People who like their pizza with black olives. People with penises. People without penises. People with both penises AND vaginas. Tall people. Short people. Fat people. Skinny people. People who wear sweaters with kittens on the front. People who like dairy. People who are lactose-intolerant. In short: ANYONE AT ALL.)

There’s no gay agenda. Well, no, I take that back. There’s totally a gay agenda. The gays (yes, I’ve talked to all of them) would like the following:

  • to be treated like productive members of society, no matter who they love
  • to be given the same rights as everyone else
  • to not be beaten up for who they love (or called names on the street, or given dirty looks, or be made to feel unsafe in any way)

That’s pretty much it. I don’t know if three bullet points make an “agenda.” I mean, I’m on a board of directors. We have more bullet points than that on our monthly board meeting agendas.

Listen. I don’t care about a lot of things. But if you don’t like NPH, at least a little, I think your heart might be dead. He is just pure joy, this guy. He isn’t furthering ANYTHING. He’s the star of one of the biggest shows on his network. I bet half or more of the people who watch his show don’t even KNOW he’s gay. He doesn’t even play someone gay ON the show. And the photo above is from a promo clip on his network, who would be stupid not to use one of their most recognizable faces for publicity purposes.

That’s it. That’s the agenda. His network wants people to watch the Superbowl; they used one of their resources to get people to do so. I don’t think they were mocking Tebow. Little known fact: people were using that eyeblack shit before Tebow came along. IT IS TRUE.

Dear WND: please to be getting a life. You make me sad and also angry. You are small-minded and hateful people and at some point you have forgotten that we’re all human on this rock in space and there’s no room for that kind of thinking because it’s 2013 and we don’t need to put up with it anymore.

In short, WND, feel most free to bite me. Grow the hell up.

Dumbcat is a Luddite and other revelations

I have three things to say and then I have to go because I got my new Kindle and all I want to do is behold it. It is GORGEOUS, you guys. And so much bigger than I thought it would be. And so SHINY. And I want to add all the apps to it and see if it really plays TV shows and start reading books on it because sj showed me how to use my laptop to put books on it (seriously, she is like a GURU, if I ever have questions, I just say, “sj, how do I do…” and she ALWAYS KNOWS and she never even laughs at me when the questions are foolish, and I love her the most) and I have ALL THE BOOKS waiting for me and I am SO EFFING EXCITED and I feel like I am a Jetson. Right now it is charging and also looking at me like, “why aren’t you playing with me why? I am so pretty. I want you to play with me right now, because of my prettiness.”

So let’s talk about three things and then I’m going to tap tap tap away on my pretty screen. Also I totally got a burnt orange cover for it and it was a very good choice. It’s both flashy and retro. I love it irrationally.

Amazon calls this "persimmon" but it's orange, yo, don't be gettin' fancy on me, Amazon.

Amazon calls this “persimmon” but it’s orange, yo, don’t be gettin’ fancy on me, Amazon.

First: the mystery of the cable and the phone.

So I still have a house phone. If all goes well and I get my new phone later in the week and it has unlimited minutes and I get good coverage in my house and I can change my home number to my cell number (because I’ve had the same home number for ten years, I don’t want to change it, I don’t like change, I FEAR IT) then maybe I’ll think about getting rid of the home number. ANYWAY, my cable and my phone are controlled by the same little box under my television set. My internet is controlled by a different box, that one’s in my bedroom. Anyway, last night when I got home from hangin’ with The Nephew, I noticed that the merry green lights (there are usually 6) were down to two, and they were flashing all irregularly on the cable box. Sometimes my cable goes all wonky, and I wasn’t planning on watching television last night anyway. My phone was still working. So I was all, meh, it’ll be fine tomorrow.

It looks like this, but longer and skinnier. I don't know what it is. I'm not a cable tech, sheesh.

It looks like this, but longer and skinnier. I don’t know what it is. I’m not a cable tech, sheesh.

When I got home TONIGHT, there were NO GREEN LIGHTS. And my phone didn’t work so I had to call Dad on my cell phone and he HATES that because he doesn’t recognize the number in his caller ID so he thinks I’m a killer or a telemarketer. So then I called the cable company and apparently they were having problems with the cable guide. “If you are experiencing problems with your cable guide, please be patient, it’ll be back soon,” said the recorded lady. “If you have ANOTHER problem, please hold. The current wait time is TEN TO FIFTEEN MINUTES.” Eff. EFF. That was annoying. So I settled in for a long winter’s wait and decided for the hell of it I’d unplug the cable box and then plug it back in because one time that worked and I’m a sucker for doing things that worked one time.

I went behind the cable box and unplugged the phone cord thingy and plugged it back in. Nothing. Unscrewed the thick cord, no idea what that’s called, screwed it back in. Nothing. Sighed deeply. Then I thought, wait a minute, where’s the power in this thing coming from?

Yeah. From the power cord. That was sticking up behind it. Unplugged from it.



I plugged it back in and all the green lights immediately came back and now I have cable and phone again and I hung up on the cable company where I still had at least 10-12 minutes of wait time left.

Who’s the culprit? I mean, cords don’t just come unplugged.

The answer is, DUMBCAT.

He loves to sleep on top of the cable box. LOVES. It’s warm and it’s a little space because my TV stand is an old desk so the cable box and related things are in the little hidey-hole that goes to the right of your legs if you’re sitting at a desk. There’s JUST enough room above them for a chubby cat if he squeezes himself in there and then he’s all warm and secure and purry. A couple of days ago, he fell out of there. His claws got caught on the top of the cable box. So he tumbled out and gave that hidey-hole a very dirty look for tricking him like that. The cable box was poking out of the hole when he was done. I poked it back in and laughed a little.

ZOMG radiator-bed. Dumbcat would LOVE this. Although he would squish out the ends. He's a chubby little monkey.

ZOMG radiator-bed. Dumbcat would LOVE this. Although he would squish out the ends. He’s a chubby little monkey.

Apparently when he did that, he unplugged the cable box.

Oh, Dumbcat. You plus electronics = not compatible. I still love you the most, though. (He is currently curled up on my leg purring like a maniac. He doesn’t even care that he turned off the cable and phone. DOES. NOT. CARE. He’s like a furry kind unintelligent honey badger in that way. He also might hate technology.)

Story the second: the mystery package.

So I got my Kindle, and in a separate package (because Amazon is nothing if not wasteful) I got the charger (that I had to buy separately – way to make extra money, there, Amazon, because you KNOW people are going to buy chargers, otherwise, their Kindles won’t work) and something else I bought separately in another box. When I got to my door, there was ANOTHER package. “Huh,” said I. “I didn’t order anything else.” (Well, I DID, but it’s not coming until next Wednesday.) So I manhandled all these packages upstairs (the third package was HEAVY) and when I got it upstairs and looked at it, it was for someone named Brad who lives in another building and another apartment which is NOWHERE NEAR MINE and not even CLOSE and nothing about his address has anything to do with mine. Way to GO, UPS! This poor guy is waiting for his package (it’s some sort of electronics; if I wasn’t such an honest person, I’d totally open it up and steal it, wouldn’t I?) and I have it. I don’t know this guy, or even where his building is, to be honest – this is a big place – so I’m going to bring it to the office tomorrow night and let them take care of this situation, I’m sure they have a phone number for him or something. But listen! This poor guy! He’s probably waiting for whatever this heavy thing is, and if he tracks it, it’ll say it was delivered, and it WAS, but not to HIM, to ME. And also, what if I was a thief? This makes me nervous about ordering things, honestly, UPS. You should be more careful.

Have theft problem made me giggle. THEFT PROBLEM!

Have theft prob made me giggle. THEFT PROB!

Finally: let’s talk about my hatred of acronyms for a minute.

I don’t mind NORMAL acronyms. Like, if someone were to say “I went SCUBA diving” I wouldn’t want to stab with with a knitting needle. But the texting acronyms that have become pervasive in modern society make me want to punch someone in the brain-area.

I refuse to use LOL. UTTERLY REFUSE. If something makes me laugh out loud, I will tell them, “that made me laugh out loud.” I will SPELL THAT SHIT OUT. LOL annoys the PISS out of me. I know EVERYONE uses it, and it doesn’t bother me SO much when others use it, but I just won’t. Won’t won’t won’t. I worked with a guy who SAID it to me once. “That’s so funny, LOL,” he said. “Did you just say LOL to me? Instead of LAUGHING?” I said, with a disgusted look on my face. “Well, duh,” he replied. “If you think you’re saving time, you’re not. Laughing would have taken you like a second. And also you’d have looked like less of a tool.” He rolled his eyes. “You’re so old,” he said. “All the kids say LOL.” “They don’t SAY LOL, they WRITE LOL,” I said. He LOLed again only this time with his mouth. He was a good kid. I couldn’t hate him. He was a big goof. He meant no harm.

The latest ones that make me insane are “FML,” “SMH,” and “YOLO.” All three of these are the stupidest. Some of the sweetest people I know use FML quite often. And don’t seem to understand that it’s SO STUPID AND EMO AND OVER THE TOP. I always read it as the person is saying it with the back of their hand on their forehead like they’re swooning. “OH, EFF EMM ELL!” I imagine them gritting out, all sad and whiny. Listen. Are you breathing? Do you have food and a roof and a job and such? Then no. No, don’t say FML. It makes you sound like an asshole. The things they put in front of FML are never good enough to warrant it, either. “I can’t believe I have to get out of my warm bed today, FML.” “Ugh, mom’s serving mashed potatoes again, FML.” SERIOUSLY? Just once, I want someone to post “Oh, there are parasites in my drinking water again, I have to walk a mile each way to the well for fresh water today, FML” or something, because THEN it would be WARRANTED, dammit.

Yes. Eff your Ell, my dear. Eff it right in the A.

Yes. Eff your Ell, my dear. Eff it right in the A.

SMH just annoys me. (By the way, I didn’t know what any of these meant and had to look them all up online. I think probably the only one I use is BTW. Maybe others, I can’t think of any off the top of my head.) Again, people way overuse this. “Just saw someone paying for their purchase with pennies, SMH.” MAYBE HE WAS POOR AND IT WAS THE ONLY MONEY HE HAD AVAILABLE TO HIM, SERIOUSLY. Stop SYH and start being less of an asshole about shit.

Oh, good, look, you can get it as a button. In case you wanted to tell EVERYONE you're a goober.

Oh, good, look, you can get it as a button. In case you wanted to tell EVERYONE you’re a goober.

And YOLO? People are getting TATTOOS of this. You only live once, huh? Well, maybe try to make this life count, then, and stop effing it up with things like YOLOing. Also, this one reminds me of Rolos and I hate those, the caramel’s too chewy. I think I read somewhere that YOLO won the most hated word of the year award or something. GOOD. Let’s stop USING it, then. YOLO! And I’m going to cut it short because you keep SAYING YOLO! By stabbing you with nail scissors in the uvula!

Oh, Efron. Aren't YOU so cutting-edge? Sigh.

Oh, Efron. Aren’t YOU so cutting-edge? Sigh.

OK, that’s it, chickadees, I’ve got a Kindle that’s not going to play with itself. (NOT A EUPHEMISM.) Have a happy Thursday and I hope your aren’t SYH and nothing happens to make you say FML because YOLO, you know? LOL.

UGH. I want to cut my fingers off with pinking shears for typing that shit.

A comedy of errors, Christmas-style

Busy weekend coming up, jellybeans! Listen, I so haven’t even decorated for Christmas yet. I got out the Christmas box o’ stuff. That’s a whole thing in itself, really. It’s this HUGE CRATE. Like, you could put a dead person in this thing. (Or a live person, I suppose, if you want to be less morbid and more Christmassy or whatever.) It’s GIGANTIC. I have a lot of Christmas stuff. The tree isn’t even in there, either. The tree is elsewhere. THERE IS NO ROOM IN THERE FOR THE TREE. That’s how much stuff I have.

It looks very much like this. Very festive, yes?

It looks very much like this. Very festive, yes?

But I have a very very small place. There’s really no room for a body-locker of Christmas-stuff in here. So I have to put it way behind the bed in the corner for most of the year because there’s nowhere else to put it. But then when December rolls around, I have to get it OUT from behind the bed. This takes the following steps, which if someone were to videotape them, I’m quite sure would make it onto YouTube and I would be a SENSATION, I tell you:

  • First, I have to take the crate off from the top of the Christmas crate. That’s another crate. With other things in it. That has to go on the bed; there’s nowhere else to put it.

    And this is the smaller one on TOP of the bigger one. It's like a wee bebeh crate. But full of stuff. So HEAVY.

    And this is the smaller one on TOP of the bigger one. It’s like a wee bebeh crate. But full of stuff. So HEAVY.

  • Then I have to jimmy out the Christmas crate which is jammed between the bed and the wall. There might well be some cussing when this happens. OK FINE. There’s some cussing. Some definite cussing.
  • Once I get the Christmas crate out, I have to make room for THAT on the bed. It’s not like I have a big bed, yo. Why would I have a big bed? Dumbcat and I only need so much room.

    I have no idea what size mattress I have. Twin? Full? Which according to this is double? Maybe? No idea. I need a new one, though. This one's getting all weird and old.

    I have no idea what size mattress I have. Twin? Full? Which according to this is double? Maybe? No idea. I need a new one, though. This one’s getting all weird and old.

  • Then I have to throw the other crate in the place the Christmas crate evacuated. I might throw it a little more vehemently than necessary. And say things like “every YEAR I hate this shit.”
  • Then comes the fun part. There’s a huge armoire and bookcase blocking my bedroom door. Why? Because there’s nowhere else in my insanely small bedroom to put that armoire and bookcase and they’re where I keep things like bedding and pajamas and books and all the perfumes. The armoire and bookcase stop me from just carrying out the crate and bringing it into the living room where it belongs.

    The armoire kind of looks like this, only less stable. It's kind of falling apart. It's a hand-me-down, give me a break.

    The armoire kind of looks like this, only less stable. It’s kind of falling apart. It’s a hand-me-down, give me a break.

  • SO, what I have to DO, is lift up the Christmas crate and put it on TOP of the armoire. The armoire is about 6 feet tall. The crate weighs a kajillion pounds. (FINE, it doesn’t weigh that much. I can lift it over my head. But not without making noises like one of those Russian weightlifters on the Olympics.) So I HOIST it up over my head and put it on top of the armoire. There is more cussing. Out-of-breath cussing.
  • Then I take a break and think about my life and how things have gotten to this point and why EVERY YEAR I put myself through this and do I need a tree? Do I really? Am I SURE? And I sigh DEEPLY.

    ZOMG WHY DON'T I HAVE THIS TREE!?!?!?! A purple tree??? Come on. How awesome is THIS?

    ZOMG WHY DON’T I HAVE THIS TREE!?!?!?! A purple tree??? Come on. How awesome is THIS?

  • Then I get into the hallway and lever down the Christmas crate so that it pins me to the wall like a butterfly in that horrifying yet beautifully-written book about the man who keeps the girl in his basement. Then I have to kind of throw it OFF myself and onto the hallway floor and then clamber over it into the bathroom and then shove it back so I can get around it. It’s about the same width as the hallway, you see.

    Just like this, only less basement-confinement. I don't even have a basement.

    Just like this, only less basement-confinement. I don’t even have a basement.

  • Then I drag it into the dining room. Sorry, “dining room.” I don’t have a formal dining room, what am I, the Queen of England? I have a part of the living room where the table is, is what I have.
  • Then, because there’s no room to get it around the couch (have I not TOLD you guys I live in a place as small as one of those storage areas off the highway where they keep freezers full of shady meat and creepy dolls and rusty farm equipment and such?) I have to lift it up AGAIN and hoist it over the back of the couch and flop it onto the couch cushions. This is where Dumbcat usually is; if I don’t see him or warn him soon enough, he makes a noise like “MEEPMRRR!” because he sees something INCOMING!
  • Then I have to take another breather. This is not for the faint-of-heart, you guys. If you aren’t up to it, maybe you need to move into a bigger apartment and/or make more money and/or not decorate for Christmas.
  • Then I have to come around the couch, move the crate onto the floor in front of couch where it will live for a month or so, and collapse on the couch in a puddle of exhaustion and Christmas-fatigue.

Usually after all this I start decorating, but I haven’t had time yet this year. So the crate has been mocking me. I did open it to get out some wrapping paper earlier in the week, but that’s about it. I HAVE GOT TO GET THIS PLACE DECORATED. There are less than two weeks until Christmas and I have nothing hanging up in here. It’s really shameful.

Then – THEN – once Christmas is over – guess what I get to do?


I get to do all those steps up there? But in REVERSE. I know. I KNOW. Even THINKING about it is making me tired. And angry. And a little sweaty. Pre-sweaty. Sweaty in advance. SIGH SIGH.

Does anyone want to come over here and decorate for Christmas for me and then when I come home tomorrow it’ll be all done? I really like to have the house all decorated but have no time to do it this year. It’s really the worst.

Ok, off I go – it’s what, Friday? Friday. I got last-minute asked to review a show tonight, so I’m off to the thee-ay-tah. The FANCY theater! A FANCY production! I know. I am kind of amazed and confused as to whose life I might be leading at the moment. I’m fairly sure it’s not mine. It can’t be mine, right?

Happy weekend, everyone! Hope you have the best weekends. Full of all the best things. You deserve it. Promise.

An Open Letter to Facebook’s “People You May Know” Feature

Dear Facebook’s “People You May Know” Feature:

Stop screwing with me.

Every time I open my Facebook page, you’re all cheery. “PEOPLE YOU MAY KNOW!” you tell me. And you show me their picture and how many mutual friends we have. That’s nice, right? So nice. So helpful.

Here’s the thing, though.

These people fall under a few categories:

  1. People who are dead to me;
  2. People who I am dead to;
  3. People I have never met but are friends of friends so I would never send them a friend request because they have no idea who I am;
  4. People who are too cool to be my friend so I am daunted;
  5. People who, whenever I see their face, I get very upset at you, Facebook.

Now, I get it, Facebook “People You May Know” feature. You just want me to have like a billion friends, and you’re confused why, after having been a member for a couple of years, my number is still only in the low two hundreds. Honestly, I’m stunned it’s that high, because I have weird criteria for who can be my Facebook friend. It’s only as high as it is because I’m friends with everyone I was ever in a show in, because at the time of the show we all friended each other because we would talk about the show on Facebook, and when the show ended it seemed an asshole move to UNFRIEND them, even if we didn’t stay friends. Also, it’s nice for networking when you’re a theater person. And theater people are awesome on Facebook, for the most part. What? You want to know my weird Facebook friend criteria? Fine, wait, I will tell you. There are a lot of lists in this post and I haven’t even gotten started yet. Huh.

  1. I have to know them in real life (and hopefully like them) OR
  2. I have to know them online long enough to know I love them and trust them with my personal life OR
  3. It would be too awkward to turn down their friend request for one reason or another.

Now, I know a lot of people friend others all willy-nilly, and that’s fine for them, but I keep The Nephew on Facebook, and also my family, and I don’t want strangers being able to see that. Also, didn’t you all see that report that most people on Facebook that friend people all willy-nilly have at least one fake friend? Someone that doesn’t really EXIST? I don’t want a friend that doesn’t EXIST. That is WORRISOME. Who is behind that imaginary person? It could be ANYONE. It could be a PSYCHOKILLER. No thank you.

Also, I am WEIRD about Facebook. After I’d known Ken for like a kajillion years (oh, fine, it’d been like, I don’t know, 4 months or something, but we hit it off like gangbusters, me and secret-sibling Ken, I most honestly feel like I’ve known him for a kajillion years, does that count?) I SO wanted to send him a Facebook friend request? But was worried that would be weird. So I totally stressed out about it for like a YEAR. (A week.) And then I was all, “Ken. Um. Hi. Can I. Um. Send you? A Facebook friend request? Unless that’s annoying? Then I won’t? Send that. Ha. Ha ha.” And he was all, “You jackass. What the hell is wrong with you? OF COURSE YOU CAN.” (No, of course he didn’t say that. He was nicer. He always is.) Anyway, I’m neurotic as hell about Facebook so I assume everyone is as neurotic as I am. NEWSFLASH: Pretty much no one is and pretty much no one cares about who they friend on Facebook at ALL, Amy. SIGH.

FAKE PEOPLE! This makes me so nervous.

Anyway, in the past few months, Facebook “People You May Know” Feature, you have suggested the following people. This time, let’s bullet the list.

  • the guy who stalked me in high school and part of college and every now and then pops back up, ACK;
  • the guy in college I was in love with for over a year but he didn’t love me back and it ended badly;
  • an ex who…um, let’s go with the last one and just say it ended badly;
  • the wife of an ex and I don’t think I want to be friends with someone I’ve never met AND who got the guy;
  • the mean girls from high school who made my childhood and young adulthood a nightmare;
  • ex-coworkers I have no interest in ever talking to or even thinking about again;
  • and for some reason, Mandy Patinkin.

I don’t want to be friends with any of these people. If I DID, probably I’d already BE friends with them. (Well, I kind of totally want to be friends with Mandy Patinkin, but I assume that one’s a mistake.)

This is his “be my BFF face” and I have to be all, “No, Mandy. I cannot. I already HAVE a BFF” and aw. He’s going to be so sad.

One of these people (the second one) as a side note that’s totally not funny but kind of, I suppose, in that not-funny gallows-humor kind of way, ended up moving to another state because I was in love with him. No, seriously. HE MOVED TO FLORIDA. This was…um…I want to say almost 20 years ago now, so I guess I’m allowed to talk about it now? Eh, who cares if I’m not, I’m gonna. Yeah, so I went to his house because we were friends and we did that and his roommate was all, “Oh, yeah, he moved to Florida and I can’t tell you where he is because HE DOES NOT LOVE YOU.” (He didn’t really say that. He was more tactful than that.)

ALSO, Guy Who Moved to Florida, just as a side note to YOU, once I finally stopped all the weepery and could look at the whole thing CLEARLY, you were much too short and thin for me. And also you felt way too sorry for yourself all the time. I’m sorry I made you move to Florida and work at a TGIFriday’s washing dishes.


(SERIOUSLY DUDE? That’s all kinds of screwed up. Who the hell DROPS OUT OF COLLEGE and MOVES TO FLORIDA rather than just say, “Angsty young-adult Amy, I do not love you that way! Stop this now! We are too good of friends for this to be a thing!” Also, I suspect I was not the reason you moved to Florida, because I started hearing rumors you were flunking your classes, but that’s really kind of a moot point right now, isn’t it? Since we’re all almost 40 at this point in our lives?) But, Guy Who Moved to Florida, you were one of the best poets I’ve ever known, and that made (and still makes) me swoony as hell. Sigh, Guy Who Moved to Florida. SIGH.

That was a very long side note. I suspect I might have unresolved issues with Guy Who Moved to Florida who is now Happy Family Man Who Seems to Live in the City and Works Somewhere Reputable that is Not the TGIFriday’s Not That I’ve Stalked What I Can See of His Facebook Profile or Anything Ha Ha. I really, really, REALLY like closure. Even if closure is someone telling me “leave me the hell alone.” Closure is so much better than just NOTHING. Ugh. So much can live in nothing. Nothing can go on FOREVER. As is evidenced by Guy Who Moved to Florida, apparently.

So sometimes I am lured by the friends feature and I wander on over there and then I RUN AWAY because argh. That’s a minefield, Facebook. Why do you do that to me? That’s like a graveyard of dead friendships over there. And people I wish were dead. I’M KIDDING! I don’t wish they were DEAD. Just…um…missing. In a swamp. Filled with alligators. Bitey ones.

(Also, sometimes people send me friend requests and I can’t accept them. Sometimes the reason is benign – I’m neurotic and I don’t know them well enough, sorry, people, I’m sure you’re lovely! – or because THEY ARE DEAD TO ME.)

Here’s my thought, Facebook’s “People You May Know” Feature. First, you need a new name. They’re not only people you may know; they’re people who will probably give you PTSD. So let’s start calling this section “People You Probably Have Not Friended For a Reason.”

Second: you need to get a little psychic. Because I’m going to need you to know who I never, ever want to see again. I’m seeing those people a lot in your section and their faces are MOCKING me and I don’t WANT to and ARGH. MAKE IT STOP.

Third: there are two people who don’t exist on Facebook. Make them exist. Those people are friend P. from high school and I want to know that he’s ok but he disappeared and friend C. who I grew up with and he was like a brother to me and once we graduated I never saw him again and I’d like to catch up with him and see what’s up. Who the hell doesn’t have a Facebook page in this day and age? FIX THIS FACEBOOK. I want THEM to pop up in my “People You May Know” section. Because I DO know them. Why don’t they pop up? Dammit, Facebook. MAKE THEM POP UP.

Thanks, Facebook’s “People You May Know” feature. I can tell you’re trying REALLY HARD. And I appreciate it, I do. You’re just doing it WRONG. Luckily, you have me to help. And I’m VERY helpful. Just ask anyone. Except not anyone in your section. THEY ARE NOT MY PEOPLE. They are NO ONE’S people.

Love love love,


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