Category Archives: food

A not-so-sweet saga

Let me preface this by saying, there are a few things in the world I am very good at, and I *know* I am very good at them.

I think we all have these things. Like, your thing might be painting, or you always seem to pick the best books out of the library even though you know nothing about them like you have the best radar at it, or you just know which line in the grocery store will move most quickly even if it’s not the one with the fewest people in it.

We’re brought up to hide our lights under bushels. Bragging is seen as wrong and rude. Well, I say fie on that. If you have weird talents, CELEBRATE THEM. Sing your praises to the high heavens about your weird talents! It’s not like anyone else is going to do it!

I am passing average at a lot of things, I am downright terrible at MOST things, but I am very good at a few things. Those things are:

  • somehow winning people (and animals) over with my quirky charm and making them laugh even when I’m not trying to (ok, the laughing only applies to the humans, here, and I guess it might apply to hyenas but I don’t know any hyenas);
  • crocheting (I know, this is totally my apocalypse skill, I can make you all very warm blankets);
  • shopping for the best, most appropriate gifts for my loved ones for special occasions, and
  • baking cookies.

My mother taught me the crocheting and the baking when I was young and I randomly carried these skills over with me into adulthood. I think the winning-people-over thing came from Dad. We’re very good at being sociable, even though we don’t like it much. No idea where the shopping thing came from. Guess that’s all me.

I taught myself cookie-making tricks. There was a lot of trial-and-error. I learned things like good ingredients really do make all the difference, and that parchment paper saves the bottom of cookies and makes them look like restaurant cookies and you need to check on the cookies quite often to make sure you take them out of the oven at JUST THE RIGHT TIME! and refrigerating the dough beforehand stops them from spreading too much so you don’t have these weird flat crunchy too-thin cookies. There were a lot of fails. But sometimes, fails lead to wins.


I promise I never look like this. I'm usually covered in flour and/or chocolate and who has time to curl their hair? Good grief.

I promise I never look like this. I’m usually covered in flour and/or chocolate and who has time to curl their hair? Good grief.

I have a number of tried-and-true cookie recipes that I fall back on time and time again. Every now and then, I’ll find five more or so, and try them all, and if they work out, I’ll add one or two more to the repertoire, but mostly I make the following:

  • Chocolate Rads (these are the most labor-intensive cookies you can imagine, and involve melting chocolate and a double-boiler and letting the dough rest in the refrigerator until it’s a rock-hard chocolate block and making them into little balls by hand until you’re so covered with chocolate you look like maybe you’ve murdered someone that works at Hershey but it’s SO WORTH IT because they taste like brownies mixed with cookies and also have espresso in them so they make you VERY SPEEDY)
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies (but before you’re all “duh, who can’t make these, mine are like the ones you get in restaurants, only better, and involve many steps, very expensive chocolate, and Paula-Deen-esque levels of butter)
  • Rum Balls (I only make these for BFF, because he loves them to distraction, and even getting too close to them gives you a contact high, whoo!)
  • Maple Shortbread (imagine the butteriest shortbread ever, but it tastes like maple syrup. But not so much that it gives you a sugar high. Just enough that it’s like a hint of pancakes. AMAZINGNESS)
  • Anisette Toast (forget the Anisette Toast you can get in the store that’s all stale and crunchy; this is moist and licoricey and slightly sweet and very dense)
  • Peanut Butter Kisses (yeah, I know, boring, but they’re Dad’s favorite, and whenever I’m bringing cookies home, he says, “I wonder if there will be any of those cookies with the kisses in the middle because they’re really the only good ones,” so it’s not like I CAN’T make them)
  • Nutella Cupcakes (these things frost themselves with Nutella. They’re like magic. MAGIC, I TELL YOU!)
  • Gooey Butter Cookies (these are embarrassingly good and involve a ton of cream cheese and butter and a box of cake mix. Don’t ask. They are chemically delicious heart attacks.)

I know I can go back to these time and time again and they’ll work out well. I’ve made them over and over; I know the quirks of the recipes and I know they’re crowd-pleasers. (I like to be the one that brings the best thing to a potluck. I like people to say, “YOU MUST GIVE ME THIS RECIPE.” I like to hear from across a room “who made these cookies?” when their mouth is FULL of the cookies and it’s like they’re having a mouthgasm. These things are really pleasing to me. I like the plate to be empty when the night is over, even if it means I don’t get to bring home leftovers.)

This is all leading up to an EPIC FAIL. Stick with me.

So. In news of things that are out of the ordinary…I was invited to a party. A REAL PARTY THAT IS OUTSIDE OF MY HOUSE.

You know my theory about parties, right? That theory is no, hell no, OH hell no, and I think I have to wash my hair all night long sorry nope uh-uh nope nope NOOOOOPE.

To add to this, it is a SUPERBOWL PARTY. This is a party REVOLVING AROUND SPORTSBALL.

However, sometimes things happen that are out of your control, like, the party is being thrown by one of your most favorite humans, who has been so kind to you the entire time you’ve been new in town, and makes you laugh so hard you sometimes almost cry, and one time you yelled at this person because you were having a REALLY BAD MOMENT and it was forgiven, like, immediately? And some of your favorite work people will be at the party, so really, how bad can it be? And the fact that you were invited at all was SO, SO NICE? And there will be food there! Delicious snacky sportsballing food! And you’ll just have gotten out of work and you’ll be starving and all that delicious food will be there and your work friends will be there happy to see you!

So I grudgingly said, “So, I was thinking of going to your party” and got a “YES YOU SHOULD COME!” response so how could I not go, you know?

So we were all asked to bring something. Of course, cookies, I mean, it’s not like I’m going to bring a meatloaf. (Yes, I make a kickass meatloaf, but that’s not the point, because that’s not really the thing you bring to a party. It seems like an odd thing to bring along. “HEY HI THANKS FOR THE INVITE I BROUGHT THE LOAF OF MEAT,” you know?)

No, not YOU, Meatloaf. Put that madface away.

No, not YOU, Meatloaf. Put that madface away.

So! I got up early. I was out of baking soda, of all things. I ran to the store. OUT OF BAKING SODA. Another store. OUT OF BAKING SODA. (SIDE NOTE: is this a thing used to make the drugs? Why are so many stores out of baking soda, of all things? There’s a lot of meth being made here. Are people using baking soda to make meth? I suppose I could look that up, but then Time Warner might think I was a drug addict on top of a terrorist.)



So I finally got the baking soda and I came home and did a million things and then it was cookie-making time and I made the dough and and and…

…somehow, it did not work.

It wasn’t dough. It was sand. There was not enough liquid. I followed the recipe to the letter. I thought, oh, well, I will cook them. Maybe that will help. NO! They turned out like little rock-hard hockey pucks. Little chocolate-studded hockey pucks. I thought, “maybe they will be ok?” but after they cooled I’m pretty sure they could have been used as weapons if hurled at an intruder. You cannot bring these sorts of things to a party. Well, you could, but you’d get a lot of fake faces and “oh! Aren’t THESE good!” and I can’t even deal with such things.

I would take a photo but you can’t tell from looking at them that they are filling-destroying cookies. They just look like cookies. It’s misleading.

So. 9pm. ANOTHER BATCH OF COOKIES. The solution seemed to be COMPLETELY MELTING THE BUTTER. This has never been an issue before, I have no idea why this time the recipe decided to be so touchy.

You will be pleased to know the second batch is lovely and not at all too hard. Just right. Something I’ll be proud to arrive at the party with. (Whew.)

The moral of the story is: even if you are very, very good at something, sometimes you can fail.

Doesn’t mean you can’t shout from the rooftops how good you are at it. Just means that sometimes you have to scramble to do it over again when it fails.

(And you have an extra batch of VERY HARD, yet very chocolately and still edible, if you work at it, cookies, all for you. So, not a total loss, then.)

Wish me luck, jellybeans. Go go sportsball teams. Win kick run. Fully inflate your balls. Rah rah sis boom bah.

ME AT THE PARTY. Note that I'm not paying attention to the sportsballing. But I WILL be eating all the foods. YUM.

ME AT THE PARTY. Note that I’m not paying attention to the sportsballing. But I WILL be eating all the foods. YUM.

In which the blog gets a new, very fancy mascot

It’s been a busy weekend, my little pumpkin pies. Here and there and everywhere, I was. Whoo! However, after this weekend, things slow substantially to a crawl, which is nice. I mean, I still have THINGS, but they’re not CONSTANT things. Not like BAM BAM BAM THINGS. Which is nice. I might actually get to sit on my couch a little and have some hang-time with Dumbcat. I know he’d enjoy that. (He’s enjoying it as I type this, actually. All snuggled up to my leg and purring like a little furry motor.)

Friday I had to review a show. The show was…um…hard to sit through. Let’s just leave it at that. They can’t all be winners. (It’s nice to still get PAID when they’re not a winner, though. I like that part of it very much.) Then I got home and you would THINK a person would be like “write the review and go to bed, it’s so late” but instead I had about an hour left of a book I was obsessed with and so I decided it was a better idea to stay up mega-late and find out what happened. (I used to do this when I was younger, too. I guess you don’t grow out of things like this.) I told Dad this and he was all “THAT BOOK WOULD HAVE BEEN THERE WHEN YOU WOKE UP!” but I had to work on Saturday and I didn’t want to wait TWENTY-FOUR HOURS to find out the ending. I mean, seriously. (Review going up soon on Snobbery, promise.)

Then work all day Saturday (blergh) and talking to Andreas‘ face that night (ALWAYS a good thing, and even better, his most wonderful little girl made an appearance, so I got to see her, too!) and then Sunday…TOTALLY had an adventure, yo.

My wonderful cousin J. lives about 45 minutes away. She is a senior in high school and one of the most joyful people I know. She makes you feel pure happiness just being around her. And why wouldn’t you want to be around someone that makes you that happy? I predict the best of things for her in the world, I really do. She has the best outlook on life and she’s very grounded. She’s just fantastic.

So when I saw her last month, we made plans to see a play together this month. It was hard to find an appropriate show for a seventeen-year-old because I’m totally protective and didn’t want her to see anything naughty. Even though she’s probably reading this right now and laughing at me because I sound like an old lady. So I thought, Guys and Dolls is fun and bright and non-naughty would entertain her. Right? Right.

So cousin J. and her equally wonderful boyfriend D. came to visit (she just got her driver’s license. I have known this kid for a very long time. I remember when she was in footie pajamas coloring at her grandmother’s kitchen table. Her being able to drive is kind of amazing to me) and D. went to the mall to hang out and wait for us, and J. and I went to the theater.

The show was already mega-long, to start. I was worried poor D. was going to be bored out of his mind at the mall. He promised he wouldn’t, but we weren’t going to meet up with him for HOURS. That’s a very long time to hang out alone at the mall. Like, I get bored at the mall in about fifteen MINUTES. Then the play started late. REALLY late. (I feel there’s really no reason for that. It’s rude to your paying audience and it’s rude to your actors who are waiting for the show to start.) It was actually quite good (I’m a big Guys and Dolls fan; Adelaide makes me happy) but I think maybe it’s harder for other people to pay attention than it is for me. And the play was, as mentioned, VERY LONG. And J. leaned over and whispered that poor D. had gotten bored and was just taking a nap in the car. (I KNEW he wouldn’t want to be hanging out at the mall that long!) So I made an executive decision and asked her if she wanted to hoof it at intermission. She said “no, it’s ok” in a way that I could tell that meant “OMG YES PLEASE” so I knew it was an excellent decision on my end. (I filled her in on what would happen in Act II in the car. I was able to do this in 2 minutes. Act II was probably going to be about an hour or so. And I was able to explain it in TWO MINUTES. This may or may not be a flaw in the show, I decided.) I tried to encourage her to watch the movie (BRANDO! SINATRA! SIGH!) but I don’t know that I was successful. Aw, Brando and Sinatra are no longer a draw for kids today. This makes me sad.

Come on. These are some handome fellas, right?

Come on. These are some handome fellas, right?

Off to the mall to rescue D. from his car-based nappery we went!

J. and D. wanted to eat at Dave and Buster’s. I had never been in a Dave and Buster’s, but one just opened in our mall. For anyone who’s never been in this restaurant, let me explain: there is a restaurant (just kind of a basic burgers/chicken/bar food kind of restaurant) and then the rest of the place is UTTER CHAOS. Because it’s an ARCADE! With many games and Skee-ball machines and gigantic wheels of fortune and some weird game where you could play soccer against Homer Simpson and most of the machines spit out TICKETS!



And what could you win with the tickets?


Oh, it was just the best. SO MUCH WAS GOING ON.

So we had dinner and talked and laughed and then it was ON TO THE ARCADE!

I was not as good at the games as J. and D. were. I think it’s a youngster thing. They have better reflexes. I was good at games that required very little skill, like a random game where I got to harpoon sharks, and a game where I had to match up fruit. Anything where I had to have coordination – no no, Charlie. Terrible at that. I used to be good at Skee-ball. Apparently that left me with my ability to stay up all night and ride roller coasters (I totally can’t do that anymore. I get dizzy.) One of the employees apparently liked my uselessness and giggliness and was playing the harpooning sharks game and gave me all of HIS tickets so I was totally racking up the tickets. J. was good at large-size versions of games that were on her phone that I’d never heard of in my whole life because I am not good at games so I had to take them all off my phone or I get obsessed with them and don’t get work done I need to do, like blogging. D. was good at shooting-animals games. (Yes, this is totally a thing. At the end of it, he got eaten by a very realistic bear and it made me gasp in fear. Back in my day, kiddos, we played Mario Brothers, and there was nothing SCARY in Mario Brothers that JUMPED OUT AND ATE YOUR FACE. Well, there were those koopa things, but they weren’t SCARY.)

When we were done, it was time for me to get home and “go be a grownup,” said J., which made me laugh (I know, I’m totally a grownup sometimes) and cash in all my tickets for VERY IMPORTANT BOOTY. I had my eye on something totally special but didn’t think I had enough tickets.

Look at all my tickets. Are you so impressed? I thought you might be.

Look at all my tickets. Are you so impressed? I thought you might be.

Imagine my delight when I did.


YOLO HAMSTER! (And Dumbcat photobombing us while he looks for treats I threw on the carpet for him to keep him occupied.)

I have no idea what is happening here. This is a RANDOM HAMSTER with a YOLO HOODIE and it is TERRIBLE and I LOVE it. Seriously. This is like my blog mascot now. It has my least-favorite saying on it, and why is it a hamster? I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS THING. It was only a zillion tickets. (I’m exaggerating. A little.) I also got two Wacky Wall Walkers for The Nephew because I loved those things when I was little and I think he’ll dig them.

Did you guys get these in your cereal when you were little? I used to LOVE these things. They were the best.

Did you guys get these in your cereal when you were little? I used to LOVE these things. They were the best.

Yolo Hamster (I think I shall name him Harvey Hoodie Hamster) can also be a badass gangsta. Check it, yo.

This is how he wears his hood when he travels to THE hood. Ha! Get it?

Justin Bieber would totally dig Harvey Hoodie Hamster for his YOLO-ness but he’s all mine, Biebs. Don’t you even think of taking him. I worked HARD at those machines shooting sharks with harpoons to win Harvey Hoodie Hamster.

I was attempting to explain YOLO (don’t you feel like that should have an unneccessary exclamation point at the end of it? YOLO!) to Andreas and he said, “So that’s a hamster that only lives once? Like any other hamster, then?” and I think that’s really the best explanation of Harvey Hoodie Hamster there’s ever been. Harvey Hoodie Hamster will NOT be reincarnated. He really has to make the best of this one life he’s got. I would assume that would take the form of drinking a lot of Four Loko and knocking over convenience stores.

(You need to watch this, if you haven’t; it makes me laugh until I’m almost sick. EVERY TIME I WATCH IT. There are piranhas in saunas!)

J. and D. got a hippo and a box of Nerds with their tickets. That was with their tickets COMBINED. You really didn’t get much with your tickets. I tried to convince them to get another Hoodie Hamster but apparently, YOLO isn’t even COOL anymore. Who knew? (I did. I kind of knew. That’s why I love it. I love it in an ironic hate way.)

Isn’t she just sunshine? Sincerely. You cannot look at this girl’s face and not want to smile. She’s gorgeous AND she’s wonderful AND she’s kind and intelligent and funny. Good genetics in my family, you see.

I promise I did not take minors drinking. Those are our cups of many tickets. And YOLO HAMSTER! Seriously, he is just the best thing. (J. and D. are adorable, right? Totally are.)

Then it was time to go and there were all the hugs and J. totally texted me and asked when we could have ANOTHER adventure. Success! I am a very good partner in adventuring! (I think it’s because I haven’t quite accepted I’m an adult yet. Plus, these two are just the best.)

Time for bed for me. Adventuring makes one sleepy. Thank you, J. and D., for a most excellent day of fun. You are the best and I smiled so much my whole face was on smile overload. You are two of the most wonderful people and I loved playing all the games with you!

Off to sleepytime. Have a good week, people of the internet! I hope you aren’t too jealous of my YOLO hamster. Don’t break into my house to steal it. It’s MINE, and you just have to deal with that, yo.

Many and many a year ago, in a kingdom by the sea: Adventures in Baltimore, Part Three Point Five

This isn’t a REAL “adventures in Baltimore” post. It’s more of a continuation of yesterday’s post, which just got too crazy long. Plus I got really tired. I have to get normal amounts of sleep one of these days, yo. I’m in a weird walking-through-mud not-enough-sleep-space lately. That does not make for a cheery Amy.

OK! So if you’ll remember back to yesterday, we went to the zoo, then came home to see how A. did in his race. How did he do? JUST AS WELL AS HE WANTED TO, YAY! Also, he got a crazy sunburn. The best part of his sunburn was that he was wearing a biking outfit? They probably have a name, I don’t know what it is. You know, the spandex one-piece biking suit, like they wear in the Tour de France? And so where the suit was and his arms and legs came out was a VERY CRISP LINE where the sunburn started because those suits are tight. I fretted at him that he needed to wear sunscreen from now on. I think he ignored me. WEAR SUNSCREEN FROM NOW ON, A.!!! Look, I found this for you. It’s a spray, it dries DRY, not STICKY, so all the road-dirt will not get all over you, and please use it from now on because I like you very much and sunburns are scary.

See? Neutrogena is the good stuff! GET SOME OF THIS PLEASE!

See? Neutrogena is the good stuff! GET SOME OF THIS PLEASE!

So when we got home, A. was there, and A. was on Baby CeeVee duty for the evening, and R. and I got all ready for our NEXT adventure, which was…


R.’s friend S. met us at the house for our adventure. I did not change my clothes. R. and S. looked ADORABLE so probably I should have but I didn’t bring anything stylish so I told them I could be their country cousin who’d never been to the big city before. Also, S. had the cat-eye glasses that I covet, and also the most adorable stylish shoes and tights. I was kind of impressed with S.’s sense of style, yo. Want to know the secret of my sense of style? It is A., what is clean? and B., will these shoes be comfortable if I’m walking long distances? That’s it. That’s the entirety of it. Oh, also I like necklaces. That’s all. Fin.

So first, we went to a teeny-tiny tavern for dinner. What was it called? Well, it was Baltimore…and who do they love in Baltimore? Edgar Allen Poe…and so it was called…

The Annabel Lee Tavern!

I didn’t take photos at ALL that night. I’m totally ganking all of these from the internet. Sorry, world.

It was so perfect, this place. I was crazy in love.

Look how pretty! The walls were all this mauvey color, and it was all mismatched furniture and Poe quotes and candles and Poe-paintings and it was totally moody and amazing. Seriously, THIS is how you do a themed restaurant. I hope it makes all the money and stays open for years to come.

R. knew I am attempting to have The Year of Trying New Foods so with that in mind, we decided to have three appetizers and share them, rather than three meals, so we had:

  • Baked Brie en Cruet! This was brie in pastry with what seemed to be jam on it but the menu says it’s brown sugar and pecans. This was ok, but you’d think with all of these things, it would be AMAZING, right? I wasn’t sold on this. But I’m not a huge Brie fan (is Brie a capitalized thing? It looks weird if I don’t capitalize it) so that might be why I didn’t love it. It wasn’t BAD, it just wasn’t AMAZING.
  • Crab Dip Flatbread Pizza! R. said I couldn’t leave Baltimore without having SOMETHING with crab it in. This was good, but again, not amazing. I think it needed more crab. I’m very crab-oriented. I could eat crab, with crab topping, on a bed of crab, garnished with a little crab, and be happy, you see. But, again, I liked it.
  • Duck Fat Fries with Herbs de Provence! O.M.G., you guys. OH. EMM. GEE. WHY DIDN’T YOU PEOPLE TELL ME ABOUT SUCH A THING BEFORE NOW? OK, here’s the thing. I don’t like fries much. I could live the rest of my life without eating fries again and I wouldn’t miss them much. I know, a lot of you are gasping right now; fries are a thing that some people crave. Like pasta. I could live forever without pasta and would be a little sad, but ok. (Now, take away chocolate, or bread, and we’d have a fight, yo.) But THESE fries? They were perfectly crispy. The seasoning was salty and herby and just right. And I don’t know if the magic was in the duck fat, or what was going on there, but seriously, I wanted to put my face in the dish and just start chomping. I don’t know that I’ve had an appetizer EVER that has been this good. So, yes. Instead of crab, the thing I discovered that I am in love with while in Baltimore (other than, well, Baltimore, and Baby CeeVee) is DUCK FAT FRIES WITH HERBS DE PROVENCE FROM THE ANNABEL LEE TAVERN.
This is not them, but close. If you are not a vegetarian-type, get yourself some of these, yo.

This is not them, but close. If you are not a vegetarian-type, get yourself some of these, yo.

Next, it was off to the theater!

The theater area was GORGEOUS. It was totally a mini-Broadway. I was muy impressed. Our theater was called The Hippodrome.



It’s an old-timey theater. It looks a little like our Proctors here, maybe a little smaller. I am a sucker for a pretty theater.

Pretty inside, right? S. said it was like being on the Titanic. I liked that.

Pretty inside, right? S. said it was like being on the Titanic. I liked that.

Now, what do you think we saw at this theater? (Mom? Dad? If you are reading this, because I know you’ve been following adventures in Baltimore, you should stop now. Well, Dad, you can stay. Mom, please read something else. Maybe a nice book about kittens. Or the Bible. Dad, you know I’m vulgar. And it alternately makes you laugh and/or shake your head. So you can stick around, I suppose.)

Well, I don’t know if you remember, but last year around this time, I posted a review of what is possibly one of the worst books I’ve ever read. It remains one of my most-read posts. People apparently love reading about terrible books and me ripping them to pieces in a snarky way. Also, do you know what else people love? Bad porn.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen; we went to see…


Listen, this was a big theater. I should have been more worried when I realized it was completely full. Mostly of giggling women. Wearing inappropriate clothing like hooker-shoes and very low-cut tops. Here or there was a man, but the men did NOT look excited to be there. No they did not.

So we got to our seats, but not without trials and tribulations. Apparently the ushers were not sure where the seats were. Even when we showed them our tickets. (Well, I should say “ticket”. Or even “piece of paper,” because when R. went to the will-call window, apparently they were out of tickets so they gave her a piece of paper with our seats written on it.) One man told us to go to one door and another man sent us further on and a woman told us we were in the wrong place and SIGHINGLY led us over to OTHER seats. Sorry we’re bothering you, ushers! Whose job is to ush!

So. The show.

Well, in good news, it was a parody, which I didn’t know going into it. I was picturing that it was going to be actually a serious theatrical version of the worst book EVERRRR.

Here’s the plot in a nutshell: three book-club ladies, two married, one sad-sack whose husband just left her (everyone keeps saying “Oh, CAROL”) read 50 Shades of Grey as their monthly pick. They then daydream about certain scenes, and actors playing the characters come out. Oh, also they talk about sex and masturbation a lot. And fisting. There’s a lot of talk of fisting.

The actor playing Christian Grey was a short, overweight Asian man, which was supposed to be super-funny, especially when he came out and the actress playing Ana was all “HE WAS SO TALL AND HOT AND DREAMY!” There were songs like “I Don’t Make Love” (with lines like, “I don’t make love, I fuck”) and “There’s a Hole Inside of Me” (this song was FILLED with euphemism) and “Red Room of Pain” (this one had lots of props, like whips and dildos.)

The audience LOVED this show. I don’t know that I’ve heard laughter like that in ever. There was one guy who may or may not have been drunk who was loudly heckling. The actors had nice voices. And they were acting, and not badly. There were some dancers. Who danced well. No one got naked, and the dreaded tampon scene wasn’t represented (whoo) but there was some down-center doggy-style action, and some disturbingly animalistic cunnilingus which made me feel terrible for both of the actors involved.

I’m a terrible theater snob, you guys. I think it’s gotten to the point I can’t enjoy something like this. I know. I KNOW. I’m one of those snooty assholes who says things like “stage picture” and “believability of character” and such. I don’t know if it’s the show, or if it’s the book the show’s based on and my hatred of it, or the fact that the theater was FULL, and would the theater have been full for something like A Streetcar Named Desire or Fat Pig or A Midsummer Night’s Dream? My guess is no. No, it would not be. And should I just be glad that people are SEEING theater, or should I be upset that this is all the theater some people see? And should I be upset that this kind of thing tours, but good shows close all the time because they don’t have audiences?

And this is what I thought about for an hour and a half, while the actors mimed oral sex and put dog-collars on each other and talked about giving up all of your personal freedom to someone just for some really rough sex.

Is it a good or a bad thing that being a theater snob seems to have taken away my ability to enjoy something stupid for a couple of hours? Or HAS it taken that away? Was it just that I hated the book so I couldn’t force my brain to like the show? The whole audience was really digging it, yo. I was the only sourpuss.

R. and S. enjoyed it, though. And the theater was REALLY pretty. Also there was popcorn for sale, so I totally bought some and ate it while I was watching the show. You could also buy alcohol. I think they wanted you to be drunk to watch it. Although R. said the wine was terrible, and also it was like $9 for about 4 ounces. Not a good deal at all.

Here, I found you this so you don’t think I’m making this all up.

Then we went home and played CSI. Why was the dining room chair in the computer area? Why were there two water bottles on the stove? Why was there a half-eaten piece of pizza on the counter? We thought maybe A. and Baby CeeVee had been kidnapped by ne’er-do-wells, but no. They were asleep. It was just a very long night and A. got tired because he’d been racing in the sun all day long.

OH, also, I totally ALSO got a sunburn, even though I put on all the sunscreen. Guess where? The stupidest place ever. THE PART IN MY HAIR. Who would think to put sunscreen in their HAIR? Not me! And now my head hurts there. Nice. I’m going to be the first person to die from skin cancer of the scalp.

Off to bed, chicks and chicklettes. One more of these, but you might not get it until…um…Sunday? Monday? Big week coming up. Three plays to see! Dinner with friend N.! Work all day tomorrow and Saturday! A review to write! Hanging with The Nephew! Auditions for the next show at my theater! SO SO BUSY!!!

Until then, remember: duck fat fries, good. Anything 50 Shades of Grey related: no. Not good. Not at all.

Those were the reasons and that was New York: a day with Andreas (part four)

Whew, here we are again! Sorry for the absence yesterday, I had to review a musical that was based on Emma and was set in the late 60s in a newsroom and Emma was Dear Abby. It was surprisingly not as bad as that sentence makes it out to be. Also, Emma is one of my favorite Austens so I was predisposed to like it a little. And the actress playing Harriet was lovely.

It wasn't as good as this, though. This will always be my favorite "Emma." That was way harsh, Tai.

It wasn’t as good as this, though. This will always be my favorite “Emma.” That was way harsh, Tai.

ANYWAY, where were we? So I went to the city, met up with the glorious Andreas, we did a fancy gift exchange, had breakfast, and went to the zoo. I’d link all those posts, but I’m sleepy and you can scroll down and see them. So if you’re behind, scroll scroll scroll! You’ll want the WHOLE STORY! As it is a grand, grand tale with much glory and excitement.

So after the regular zoo, it was time to hit the CHILDREN’S Zoo. The Children’s Zoo is where you can touch things. You know I like to touch animals. (NOT IN A NAUGHTY WAY STOP THAT.) So we needed to go to the Children’s Zoo, for all the touchery.

I apologize in advance for not taking more photos in the Children’s Zoo but I was photoed out, plus also other reasons. Don’t question my reasons, that’s totally rude.

This is the entrance to the Children's Zoo plus also it's mentioned in "The Stand" so it's totally literary, yo.

This is the entrance to the Children’s Zoo plus also it’s mentioned in “The Stand” so it’s totally literary, yo.

On our way, I made Andreas stop at the squished-penny machine with me because I love those damn things and I don’t have a Central Park Zoo squished penny. The instructions on the squished-penny machine were overly intricate and confusing and poor Andreas got a penny he didn’t want before he got the one he DID want. Also, he does not appreciate that a., our quarters do not say twenty-five cents on them, and b., our money is all the same color. When I told Dad this, he said, “THAT’S WHAT ALL THE SOCIALISTS SAY!” and I asked what that had to do with the socialists and he said, “Stop playing dumb, Amy.” So I didn’t get the answer to that question.

Here is my squished penny (I’m sure these have a real name, but I don’t know what it is – souvenir penny, maybe?)



I don’t remember what Andreas got on his. One was something he didn’t want, like an ant or something, and one was something he DID want, but I don’t remember what. Andreas, what did you get?

Then it was time for CHILDREN’S ZOO!

Children’s Zoo was kind of a letdown, to be honest. There were – let’s see if I can remember. Goats and a llama and a bull and some sheep (which some weird man kept calling “llamas” and this made me despair for the intelligence of humans – SHEEP ARE NOT LLAMAS!) and some birds and, strangely, some goldfish. There was a weird stretchy web-thing that kids could bounce on but adults could NOT bounce on it. There was a sign and everything. It was kind of a letdown, zoo-wise.

Andreas totally got pecked by some bird and that made me laugh, and then a fun duck walked right in front of me and I said, “ooh, I wonder if I could touch this duck” and one of the zookeepers said, in a totally strident voice, “NO. It is that duck’s FEEDING TIME and he is ALLOWED to WALK wherever he WANTS and DO NOT TOUCH HIM.” Um. OK. I will not, but tone it down, Calamity Jones, it’s not like I was going to wring his neck and have me some duck l’orange for dinner, okay? Sheesh.

Then THIS happened, and listen, if one of these things pops up, you have to get your photo taken at it. YOU HAVE TO. It’s a zoo rule. A total zoo rule.

This is me as a bunny. As you can SEE, this was not meant for adults, and I am totally sticking out the side/back. Also, it was gross and kind of filthy in there. And I hate my glasses because they become sunglasses with the slightest light and it’s the worst, I look like a stoner.

Then THIS happened, mostly because I said, “please? Please? When are we going to get to do this again. PLEASE PLEASE?” and I think I wore him down.

Andreas is a bunny, too! He managed to squish himself in better back there. He’s much better at being a bunny in a children’s zoo than I am.

Then we were freezing so we decided it was time to go back to the hotel, get Andreas some warmer clothes, and go get lunch. So back to the hotel of fanciness we went!

When we went into the subway I saw the following sign, which I had to take a photo of for Dad. IT PROVES HIS POINT! I told Andreas he didn’t have to stand next to me while I was acting touristy in the subway. He walked away and then when I was done I walked over and said in a touristy voice, “HELLO TOTAL STRANGER CAN I TAKE THE SUBWAY WITH YOU SOMEWHERE?” and I think all the other boring commuters liked my little piece of performance art. It livened up their day.


I told him about this statistic and he thought the sign was lying and making it lower than it really was. Why? The government. (That’s his answer for everything.) Look at that guy in red there on the sign. He’s not being safe at ALL. Why’s he leaning all out over the tracks like that? I kind of feel like if he got hit by a train, it’d be survival of the fittest, wouldn’t it? The fittest would be the people NOT leaning out over the tracks like a drunken buffoon. Also, if only 55 died, 86 lived. There are 86 people walking around who can say, “BAM MOFO! I got hit by a SUBWAY TRAIN and LIVED! I’m a GOLDEN GOD!”

Back to the hotel for warming up and donning of more layers for Andreas. He was very worried I would be too cold as I did not have enough layers but I was not THAT cold. We were walking a lot. Also I had to fix my hair because it was very windy and my hair was a MESS. That meant I had to go into Andreas’ fancy hotel bathroom and do you know what was in the shower? A BENCH MADE OF WOOD.  We’re not sure why, either. I guess so you could rest while shampooing? Or for old people? I don’t know. It was kind of an Asian-feel hotel room so it might just have been for ambiance. I don’t know about such things, my apartment is decorated with cat hair and half-torn-apart mouse toys.

Then it was time for lunch. We decided to just walk and find a place that looked promising and eat at that place. Like fancy people do. We ended up at a place that we chose because it had Korean food, but once we got inside, it also had a billion other things like paninis and coffee and fries and burgers and sandwiches and I feel like maybe that was too many things since I have trouble choosing between TWO things. Andreas had a sandwich and a little salad and some chips and I was randomly not that hungry so I had a little dish of fries with things on them like cheese and fake bacon bits. They were called FANCY FRIES. How can I not get something called Fancy Fries? I AM FANCY!!! It’s like they were MADE for me!

Roastown Coffee! It was fun and eclectic. I approve.

Roastown Coffee! It was fun and eclectic. I approve.

Also, we had MORE coffee, because we totally hadn’t had enough yet, right? AND Andreas let me have his pickles from his salad because he’s the best. “I bet you love pickles and want those, right?” he said. HOW DID HE KNOW? I hadn’t told him. He’s filled with magic, that Andreas. I DID want those pickles. And I ATE them. We sat and talked and laughed and ate for so long that people were totally waiting for our table when we left. Sorry, people.

Then it was time for…ta dah ta DAH! SHOPPING IN NEW YORK! Andreas needed to buy gifts for his people. Gifts are important. I approve.

Earlier in the day, we’d walked by one of my favorite stores in all the land. It is a store it is very hard to get men to go into with you. I didn’t even plan on going to it on this trip, because I didn’t know Andreas’ stand on such a store. I’d made BFF go into it with me when we hit New York City six years ago, and he was not amused. (Although he totally stayed the whole time, because he’s the best sport. And he loves me.)

BUT, when we walked by ONE OF MY FAVORITE STORES, and I saw it and my heart went “ooh, aah!” and guess what?

Andreas saw it, too, and said “Oh, I love that place, we’ll have to stop there when we’re shopping later.”


(Fine, it’s not WHY he wins, he wins because he’s amazing and supportive and funny and kind and all superlatives, but it went pretty far with me.)

What store?


It is filled with soaps and bath things and lotions and perfumes and all things that make me go all girly and say squee, squee. I know, sorry to ruin your image of me being a total badass, but here’s the scoop – I love pampery things like soaps that smell good and scrubs to make me soft and perfumes that make me delicious. I know. I’m quite an enigma, don’t even try to figure me out.

OK, it is now officially hours past my bedtime, so the rest of our saga will have to wait until tomorrow. So stay tuned for: adventures in LUSH! and OTHER SHOPPING WE DID WITH MUCH GLEE! and THINGS WE SAW IN THE STREET! and DINNER! and such. I think we’ll reach an end to the tale of Amy and Andreas take New York City by storm tomorrow. Which is good because I have other things to blog about, you know! Something else exciting happened this week, and also I totally have stories on the back burner! But this story will not be stopped, no no no, we must bring it to its conclusion or wouldn’t that just be the rudest? It TOTALLY would!

We are all our own devil; we make this world our hell

It’s tech Sunday for me, so when you’re reading this, I’m over at the theater merrily running the sound for The Laramie Project. Well, maybe not “merrily.” It’s a pretty somber show. But I get to spend the day with some pretty kickass people, yo. So that’ll be nice. We’re running the show with lights and sound, breaking for lunch, then running it again. Then we’re going home. Some people are going home for the Superbowl. Some of us will NOT be watching the Superbowl, and will be…oh, I don’t know. Watching other things, or writing, or just crashing out on the couch from exhaustion or something. We’ll see how it goes.

I had a lovely time with friend C. this weekend. We had many adventures. First, we went out to dinner at a fancy Vietnamese restaurant. I had spring rolls and then this weird thing that was supposed to be crepes with shrimp and bean sprouts and mushrooms, but ended up being ONE HUGE CREPE with those things in it, but also a LOT of garlic. You know me and garlic. Luckily I could pick around the garlic. It was good, but kind of strange. But good. C. had…something curry-ey? With shrimp and noodles, I think?

This is totally what it looked like! Only BIGGER. And with more bean sprouts poking out.

This is totally what it looked like! Only BIGGER. And with more bean sprouts poking out.

Then we went to the concert. Which was…sadly, kind of terrible. Not the band – the band was great – but the venue. The venue was the worst. It was a bar – fine – but they seemed to sell more tickets than floor space. So by the time we got there, the place was packed. And more people were still coming in. More and more and more. Until the place was so full I started thinking of things like fire hazards and such. We couldn’t see the stage – we had to stand off in a side room behind a billion people, so I could kind of see the stage if I stood on my tiptoes and the people in front of me didn’t move. But they did, of course. People move. It’s a fact of life. So I could hear the band. Kind of. When the people in the bar weren’t talking. Which they were. Loudly. As if one of my favorite bands wasn’t on stage doing a very pretty acoustic set. (They totally covered “Don’t Let Me Down” and the lead singer was wearing a Beatles t-shirt so that made me happy. Then I couldn’t see her anymore, so that did NOT make me happy.)

Look, I even took a picture, I’m not even a liar.

So eventually, after all the pushing and shoving and not being able to see, I gave up. I utterly gave up. I went and sat in a corner booth and played with my phone for the last forty-five minutes or so. I could kind of hear the band. I could have heard them better if I was home listening to them on CD, though, so it was kind of a waste of ticket money. C. toughed it out but she really couldn’t see, either. And so I was sad, because I really wanted a happy night out watching one of my favorite bands. And when they played my two favorite songs of theirs (“Oscar Wilde” and “Won’t Go Quietly”) I was not HAPPY like I was supposed to be, but SAD, because I was right there, but I could not see them. So screw you, Bayou Cafe, for selling more tickets than floor space. That is a shitty thing to do, and you are money-grubbing assholes. And Company of Thieves, I love you, please come back soon, and tell them you’re popular enough to fill the smaller theater at The Egg, because a., you totally are, and b., you’d get people being quieter and more respectful there and you wouldn’t have to shush people.

Here is what I WANTED to see Friday night. Or at least a little of this.

Then C. and I stayed up super-late talking and talking and talking and TALKING and also petting and petting Dumbcat, because she used to be my roommate and he still remembers that (I know, right? he REMEMBERS something!) and he was loving that there were TWO people here to pay attention to him, aw! And then I made my couch into a comfy bed for her and there was sleeping. And sometime in the night Dumbcat jumped up on the top of the fridge and fell off because when I woke up in the morning, all the things were off the front of the fridge again which means he fell off the top of the fridge or skidded down it or something again, because if there’s anything my cat is, it’s ungainly. C. says it didn’t wake her up, so that’s good.

Then we went out for breakfast the next morning. We went to a happy diner that is shiny and cheerful and the menus have odd facts about the presidents on them, which I like. I totally had a waffle. I have been craving waffles for EVER. That was one longed-for waffle. And it was totally worth the wait. It was crisp outside and fluffy inside and absolutely perfect. Also there was bacon. And eggs. And so much decaf coffee. SO MUCH. That breakfast was amazing. I kind of want another one of those breakfasts, like, right now. And every day for the rest of my LIFE. Sigh.

Totally patriotic, yo.

Totally patriotic, yo.

And we talked and talked and talked and laughed and talked MORE and it was so nice to see her. And we made plans for later in the month, when I will see her and her boyfriend and we will all have dinner, and then NEXT month, oh the bon vivantery, I will go to see them and their new HOUSE! And we will see Spring Awakening! One of my favorite musicals ever ever, and C. has never seen it and I am so excited to see it with her the first time she’s seeing it! So many adventures! That will be AFTER I meet Andreas. Oh, March will be quite a month. QUITE a month.

Then C. had to go, and so we said our goodbyes and off she went and Dumbcat was bereft because C. is his LADYFRIEND. But now he’s all, “meh, I guess you’re ok, Mom, if I don’t have any other options” and he’s cuddling up to me again. I win!

Then I did laundry, dishes, made brownies, wrote THIS and ANOTHER blog post, and watched some television. Yep, I’m a wild woman, yo.

Happy Sunday, everyone! Wish me luck, crazy ten days of hell starts…now. (And if you live nearby, come see The Laramie Project, pay-what-you-will is Thursday, we open on Friday!)

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