Category Archives: happiness

Hippos eat hippo bread: Christmas recap, Nephew-style.

I am finally at rest, after a day of running around like a crazy and doing all the things. Dinner is in the oven and there will soon be delicious ham and vegetables and rolls and chocolate, all provided by Mom (thanks, Mom!) and then I will go into a food coma. I have been attempting not to nap for a while. I have to work tomorrow, and I’m pretty sure if I fall asleep and nap at 5pm, sleeping tonight is going to be nigh-on impossible.

I hope you all had lovely Christmases (or Wednesdays, if Christmas isn’t your thing; I’m perfectly ok with you having a wonderful Wednesday.) Today worked out very well here in Amy and Dumbcat-land; it was a very good Christmas. Very happy all around.

This morning I went to visit The Nephew – and yes, as predicted, not a single photo was taken. Too busy hanging with my best little guy. I always do that. He greeted me at the door with an epic case of four-year-old bedhead and wearing the happiest pair of Christmas pajamas you’ve ever seen, with Santa and the reindeer in rocketships. “AUNT AMY!” he said. “Hey, buddy, Merry Christmas! Did Santa visit you today?” “YES!” he said. “Do you want to see my presents?” “Yes, I do, but I have to take my boots off first, ok?” He sighed, a long-suffering sigh. “Oh-KAY,” he said, and waited none-too-patiently for me to take off my outer layers so I could look at all of his Christmas goodies.

He got LEGOS! And an ANT FARM! And a TRUCK! And a SPIDERMAN THAT CLIMBS THE WALL! (That one confused me; I had utterly no idea how that thing was staying on the wall, to be honest. It was loud like a vacuum. Maybe it was vacuuming itself to the wall? No clue. It was pretty neat, though)…

This is the Spiderman that sounds like a vacuum. He also does sweet donuts on the wall which make Nephews laugh and laugh.

This is the Spiderman that sounds like a vacuum. He also does sweet donuts on the wall which make Nephews laugh and laugh.

…and some games and books and cars and a game for his LeapPad where he got to be a pirate and “get DOUBLOONS, Aunt Amy!” He wanted to make things with his gigantic Lego set, but it was time for brunch and that was going to be a whole thing. So we lured him away from Legos with the promise of cinnamon rolls, which he called “monkey bread” and said was his favorite food of ALL TIME! and then we had a conversation called “what animals eat.” “Do you think monkeys eat monkey bread?” “Yes!” “What do you think rhinoceroses eat?” “RHINOCEROUS bread!” “What about hippos?” “Hippo bread!” “What about nephews?” “NEPHEW bread! But also monkey bread, because it’s my favorite!”

This is The Nephew's FAVORITE! (Also universally enjoyed by monkeys, apparently.)

This is The Nephew’s FAVORITE! (Also universally enjoyed by monkeys, apparently.)

Then we opened presents. I got him books, which he was ok with, but then he was like, “Aunt Amy, is there anything else for me, do you think?” and I said, “Yes, I think there might be” and then he opened his remote-control plane and he was MOST excited and ran around driving it here, there and everywhere and laughing when it ran into people and his mom said I won because that was the longest he’d played with ANY of his toys that day. I WIN! (I do so like to win Christmas.)

This was a pretty neat plane, if I do say so myself. You could control it with your body AND a button. Very high-tech and swanky!

This was a pretty neat plane, if I do say so myself. You could control it with your body AND a button. Very high-tech and swanky!

I also got lovely presents like the most beautiful jewelry! The Nephew’s mom is very good as shopping. She has excellent taste!

Then we played Superhero Chutes and Ladders. I got to be Iron Man. (I kept saying, “I AM IRON MAN” in my best Robert Downey Jr. voice, which made me totally happy.) He wanted to be Ice Man, who was really Silver Surfer but when The Nephew says “NO! IT IS ICE MAN!” you listen to him, yo. So we Chuted and we Laddered and when The Nephew realized he wasn’t going to win he was like “I think I don’t want to play anymore” and then cheered for his mom, but then I SNUCK IN FROM BEHIND AND WON! Much like Iron Man would, I think. And then The Nephew said, “I wanted you to win all along, Aunt Amy” which was a very politician-like thing to say. Well-played, The Nephew. Well-played.

Damn you, chutes! DAMN YOU!!!

Damn you, chutes! DAMN YOU!!!

Then it was time for me to go home, so The Nephew could go to his other grandparents’ house for ANOTHER Christmas (he gets lots of Christmases!) and so I could open MY presents. YAY FOR PRESENTS! The Nephew told me he loved me and Merry Christmas AND thank you and gave me a heroic little hug with his cuddly pajamas and poky-uppy sleepy hair and my Grinch heart grew three sizes that day.

Then it was home for me, and I totally put off opening presents for another hour while I emailed and generally futzed around on the internet because a., I wanted to tell my people Merry Christmas, and b., because the longer I could put off opening gifts, the longer Christmas would last. I’m no fool!

But then it was opening gifts time. And whoo, was there a lot of opening gifts all up in here! I got money and an ornament shaped like sparkly bacon and gloves that are specially formulated for using your smartphone while staying warm, and sparkly nailpolish, and honey to put in tea (because for some reason my grocery store is hiding it, and I really wanted that while I was sick and was SO SAD I couldn’t find it) and gift cards and warm socks and super-cuddly pajama pants and lots of soap and pampering-myself things because I am obsessed with them and these solar light things that look like little frogs that I can put on my porch, and a toy for Dumbcat that’s supposed to be a mouse that runs around in a circle but he’s just confused about it and walks away from it whenever I turn it on, and a cookbook of bacon-related recipes called Fifty Shades of Bacon (hee!) and salt and pepper shakers that look like kissing penguins and lip gloss that smells delicious and pins to put in my hair to make me look like a lady and delicious chocolatey treats and all the orange Tic Tacs because I am obsessed with them and MANY MORE THINGS that I probably should have documented but I’m not the best at such things. In summation: I got all the things for Christmas. No one else got any things, apprently, because I got them ALL! (Thanks, Mom and Dad and BFF and Nanny and The Nephew’s Mom!)

Crappy photo of gifts, post-opening. I'm not the best at documenting things.

Crappy photo of gifts, post-opening. I’m not the best at documenting things.

Then I made a delicious meal, thanks to my mother, who provided all the items FOR that meal, and now I am completely all’s-well-with-the-world and watching television and lazily thinking about going to bed so I can be prepared to go back to work tomorrow. Work’s going to be quiet this week. Most people took the rest of the week off. Which was probably smart, but I’m planning on saving as many of my vacation days as I can for next year…because BAM, I’m going to need 10 of them for late May/early June, yo. You need a couple of weeks if you’re flying off to Europe to visit some of your favorite folks, you see. IN LESS THAN FIVE MONTHS NOW! I mean. Not that I’m at all psychotically excited about it or anything. NO NO NOT ME.

So. It’s been a wonderful Christmas. It made up for last year’s terrible Christmas. MORE than made up for it. Also, were you aware that sometimes, the best gifts you get for Christmas aren’t even something you can wrap? I got a few gifts over the days leading up to Christmas that weren’t the kind you wrap, or the kind you put in a gift bag – and you know what? Those gifts won Christmas. They were the kind that you can’t put a price on, because they’re priceless. Actions and deeds and kind gestures. So as much as I like winning Christmas (and I do, I SO do) – don’t underestimate the weight of a simple action, or word, or deed, especially around the holidays. They sometimes mean just as much, or more, than a gift you spent months shopping for, and wrapped in the prettiest of paper tied with a bow.

Huh. Guess you were right about this one, Grinch, you nasty, wasty wump!

Huh. Guess you were right about this one, Grinch, you nasty, wasty wump!

Hope you all had the best of Christmases, or Wednesdays. One more week until 2014. Can you even imagine? Come on, new year, let’s do this thing!

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The most wonderful time of the year to not repeat the mistakes of last year

The weather’s getting colder (and, although I’ve been resisting it, I think it’s about time I turn on the heat in here. The cat’s been all up in my business over the past few days, and although it’s flattering, I think it’s less “LOVE YOU, MOM!” and more “ZOMG WOMAN! I AM CHILLY!”) Thanksgiving’s just a few weeks away, and you know what THAT means. Christmas is right around the corner.

Haven’t decided what I’m doing about Thanksgiving this year. I get two days off, but have to be here Friday night for a theater review (and Saturday for work.) But since I’m not able to go home for Christmas again this year (sincerely, Christmas on a Wednesday? HIGHLY unhelpful, especially since we don’t get the day before or after off) it might be nice to jet home quickly, see my family, get some delicious foodstuffs, and then come back in time to review the show Friday night. I don’t usually go home for Thanksgiving, and my family’s not expecting me, but it might be a nice surprise. (And it’d be really nice to have home cooking one night. Thanksgiving dinner is the best.)

Yes, please. Thank you.

Yes, please. Thank you.

But since it’s Christmas alone again this year, I’m not going to fall into the trap of last year. Last year’s Christmas was just about the worst Christmas ever. I had the flu; I was super-depressed on TOP of the flu; I didn’t get to go home so my parents came to visit and gave me gifts but I was so sick with the flu I barely remembered their visit and after they left I fell asleep for 6 hours in the middle of the day; and once I opened presents on Christmas day I went back to bed for the rest of the day, pretty much, and also cried a little and took a lot of Nyquil hoping it would make the fever go away (it didn’t.) I also couldn’t do presents or cards, because I’d been unemployed for months leading up to the holiday and didn’t have enough money to do Christmas right. Or at all, actually.

YOU WILL NOT GET ME THIS YEAR, CHRISTMAS DEPRESSION!

YOU WILL NOT GET ME THIS YEAR, CHRISTMAS DEPRESSION!

THIS year, I have PLANS. First, I totally got my flu shot. BAM, FLU! Unless some weird flu not covered by the flu shot shows up, I am COVERED. I will not spend four days alternately freezing and sweating and eating and then vomiting toast. MERRY CHRISTMAS HERE’S THE FLU, said 2012.

(Also, this is the first year I’ve gotten a flu shot that I haven’t immediately gotten sick afterward. So either that was a flu shot that didn’t work or I’ve become titanium and IMPERVIOUS TO ILLNESS. I’m going to go with the latter. That’d be nice, right? Because last winter I had the flu and then like three random colds one on top of the other and I think I spent more on Dayquil and Kleenex than I did on anything else. They should have let me write those off on my tax return.)

I also have all the plans for Christmas. Lists have already been made. Some gifts have already been purchased; as soon as I write this, more will be purchased. (Can I just say thank goodness for the interwebs? I hate shopping in stores. I love shopping from the comfort of my couch. THANK YOU, INTERWEBS!) My Christmas card list is made. Addresses all in a little row. I know what I’m getting for everyone; I know how much delight everyone will have upon opening their gifts. I know what I’m baking and I know what I’m crafting. I have a plan for my free time between now and December 25. Decorating and baking and shopping and watching of Christmas movies and wrapping and mailing and totally making up for being an absentee human last Christmas.

I’m also not suffering the bigtime sadness I was last year; this is a little bit situation-based and a little bit pharmaceutical-based (PRESCRIPTION pharmaceuticals, I’m not sitting here taking ‘shrooms and licking the walls or something), but however it came about, I’ll take it. That’s a total Merry Christmas to ME, right there.

And when Christmas day comes, and I have the day off, I can sit back and open presents and turn on the tree lights and wear comfy pajamas and it will not at all be the saddest Christmas ever. I can make my own happiness, and I can share that with the people I love, which (surprise!) increases your own happiness beyond measure.

But until then: lots to do. Only 42 days left! Plotting and planning and scheming take time, my little candy canes! Time to go buy some presents! *whoosh*


How to make a perfect birthday

It was a lovely birthday, and to cap it off I am going to bed early, because I think a good night’s sleep is important. Don’t you? Well, you SHOULD. (Mostly I just want to curl up with a book and read a little before I nod off, because that’s one of my favorite ways to fall asleep. I like to fall asleep with exquisite words in my brain. This book isn’t especially exquisite, but it’ll do.)

I had a kajillion good wishes today: from Facebook, Twitter, email, REAL mail, text, the phone…I really was surrounded by all the love today. Can anyone wish for more on their birthday? Some people might want fancy meals and dancing and drinking and all that flash and such. I really want for nothing more than people telling me they remember me and love me once a year. (Well, they can tell me ANYTIME. But it means just a little bit more on your birthday, doesn’t it?)

Best of all (and there was a lot of best) I got a card from The Nephew (and his mom) and The Nephew wrote MY name and HIS name and I’m telling you right now there were tears on that card when I opened it. What a smart kiddo. He’s going places, that nephew of mine. He’s only been in school for a month, and he can write his name! And apparently MY name! Get ready, world, kiddo’s going to take you over ANY DAY NOW.

And, then to top it all off, I got a call and guess who it was? THE NEPHEW! And he said “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” and he actually talked to me for a little while, which he never does!

Things The Nephew and I discussed:

How much I loved his card and how smart he was that he could write both of our names on it (“I know!”)
How he was liking school (“I do NOT like school!”)
WHY he was not liking school (“BORING BORING BORING”)
That school is often boring for very smart kids, and it will get better (“How do YOU know?” “I was a smart kid too, buddy.” “YOU WERE?”)
A strange thing (“I don’t think my daddy thinks I am smart.” “Oh, buddy! Of course he does!” “NO. My daddy never told you that.” “Of course he did. He thinks you are the smartest kid he knows.” “HA HA! No. Daddy didn’t say that to you!” This was all very curious, as I am quite sure his father has OFTEN told him how intelligent he is. We all remark on it regularly, because he amazes us with his super-quick brain. I asked his mom about it and she said, “I have no idea where he comes up with these things. Then he argues with you about them until he gets SO ANGRY. It’s a new thing he does.” I think he’s honing his speech and debate skills, maybe.)

Then the hung up on me, and called me right back (well, I assume his mom did) and I said, “Did you hang up on me?” and he said, “Yes, but not on PURPOSE” and then he said nothing else and I said, “Are we done with the phone now, buddy?” and he said, “Um. Yes!” and I said, “OK, does your mom want to talk to me?” and he said, “YES!” and I said, “OK. I love you so much! Bye!” and he said, “Bye! I love you!” and my whole heart lit up like a Lite Brite.

Kiddo’s got me wrapped all around his little finger, you know. It’s shameless, how much I adore him.

That was a very good birthday gift. The best.

It was, overall, just a perfect birthday.

Thank you for such a happy day. Onward into the next year! Soon it will be time for a very exciting trip south to have a very grand adventure! Only two more days of work! Which I’m sure will feel like seventeen years of work, because that’s how time works, isn’t it?

Happy rest of your week, people. The bed’s calling me, as is the book. Best way to finish a birthday I can think of at the moment; I’ll take advantage of it, I believe.


Kicking the bucket list

I don’t believe in bucket lists. 

OK, back up. I believe they EXIST. And the idea of them is valid. I think it’s nice for some people to have a list of goals to progress toward; things that, if done, would make them happy. 

The idea of a bucket list, however, is creepy on one level and flawed on another. 

Creepy on the level that, once you’ve crossed everything on your list off, you’re ready for death, apparently. I saw the movie with that sassy Jack Nicholson. I know the score. You skydive, you climb a mountain, you make up with your estranged daughter and then you can die with a clean conscience and I need like a whole BOX of tissues because my ALLERGIES, damn, you know? 

DAMN YOU NICHOLSON!

DAMN YOU NICHOLSON!

Flawed in that the bucket list overlooks where, I believe, your true joy lives. 

Let’s say your bucket list has things on it like “visit Rome” and “walk along the Pacific coast” and “sing karaoke in a dive bar” or something. Sure, you can do those things. They’ll probably be fun, too. 

But I don’t know about you guys, but me? If I build something up in my mind too much, it reaches untouchable status. I make up mind-stories about it. And those castles in the air are SO ELABORATE that once I actually do the thing, it can’t live up to the story I’ve spun about it. Sometimes it still does, but sometimes I’m disappointed because, say, I’d imagined that once I got to Paris, I’d have a torrid Parisian love affair and really it was rainy and overpriced and the people sneered at my pitiful attempts at high-school français, you know? 

No love pour moi dans le city d'amour, non non non!

No love pour moi dans le city d’amour, non non non!

My best memories, my most bucket-listy memories, are the ones I didn’t plan. They’re the ones that I didn’t write on a list and didn’t expect to happen and didn’t check off when I was done, but that stay with me; the ones that glow warm inside me, the ones that I have folded and tucked away and when I revisit them they’re golden and they’re the kind of memories I’ll revisit when I’m really bucket-trending, (hopefully) many years from now. 

Watching fireworks over the Brooklyn Bridge. 

Being completely alone at the South Street Seaport, eating breakfast on a bench, reading the paper, watching the city wake up around me. 

Walking around a museum in Rouen with my headphones on, experiencing art and music at once, feeling at once both very adult and very young. 

Waking up for the first time with Dumbcat sleeping on my pillow, when he became brave enough to creep out from under the bed, and having him headbutt me in a tentative “you are mine now?” way. 

Holding my nephew for the first time, and having him scowl up at me, and knowing I’d do anything for this kid, and that I always would, for the rest of my life. That this kid I’d just met absolutely owned me. 

These aren’t things I planned. I didn’t write these things on a list; I didn’t say, “man, someday I really want to do the 4th of July in the City” and then work toward that goal. A few days before the 4th that year, my then-roommate said, “why don’t you come with me and the boyfriend to the City for our annual 4th thing we do?” and I was like “yes, that sounds like an adventure” so I did. Bam. I didn’t plan on going to Rouen; it was a last-minute decision when I was in Paris, and the museum was just there, and I had a few hours to kill before my train back to gay Paree. 

This is a lot of buildup to the main event, here. 

I did a non-bucket-list bucket-list thing last night. And I glowed like a little potbellied stove with the unplanned wonder of it. I’m still glowing the next day. I can’t imagine I won’t always be. 

Some (typically Amy-lengthy) background: 

I got assigned the review of Ghost the Musical this month. I remember being a fan of this movie back in the day. The jaded lady I am now thinks it’s a little cheesy. But I can still appreciate that its heart is in the right place. And I do so like “Unchained Melody.” And Demi Moore’s haircut was fierce. 

GHOOOOOST! Aw, this was a nice movie, right? Kind of, in a cheesy 90s way.

GHOOOOOST! Aw, this was a nice movie, right? Kind of, in a cheesy 90s way.

(Dad still can’t watch it. The black hell-ghosties scare him too much. “Those scary bastards!” he calls them, and has to leave the room. Dad’s not a fan of scary things.) 

So apparently someone in the UK made Ghost into a musical, which came to New York last year, and closed after 4 months, and now it’s on tour. We’re the first stop on the tour, actually, which is super-cool. The show’s been teching here for three weeks. We’re on the Wikipedia page for it and everything. And remember I met the lead girl when I was having lunch with David on Sunday? Yep. 

So friend N. (who doubles as Boss N. during work hours – having a boss who is also your friend? Total win) and I went to see Ghost the Musical last night. (Well, that’d be your Tuesday night, I suppose.) 

I’d heard mixed things going in. I knew it’d be tech-heavy (there are a lot of effects when your lead character spends 85% of the show dead) and that there had been some issues; the early reviews from people I knew were good, but the people I knew were biased in one way or another, so I took them with a grain of salt. (I try to go into shows I’m reviewing with as little prior knowledge as I can. I think it’s only fair. I mean, there’s baggage we go in with that we can’t ditch, but you don’t need to add traincases and hatboxes to that baggage, you know?) 

Effects like this happened. PEOPLE WALKED THROUGH DOORS. Only not really. IT'S THE MAGIC OF THEE-AY-TAH.

Effects like this happened. PEOPLE WALKED THROUGH DOORS. Only not really. IT’S THE MAGIC OF THEE-AY-TAH.

So N. and I settled in for the show. 

I realized about 15 minutes in I was not going to be able to give this show a good review. 

Now listen. I’m usually the sunshine and rainbows reviewer. Some of the reviewers in the area are often very negative. I’m usually not. I’m pretty easy to please. Honestly, the hardest part of this job for me is finding theaters I’ve never been to before when my GPS is being a dick and finding thesaurusy ways to say “amazing job.” 

The show was too tech-heavy. The plot was put to the side to concentrate on “ZOMG LOOK AT THIS EFFECT WE CAN DO!” The actors weren’t fantastic. (Luckily, the girl I’d met with David? One of the two watchable people onstage. WHEW.) The writing was TERRIBLE. The songs weren’t good. The band was too loud. Someone had the bright idea to have lights the wattage of the sun shining right AT the audience; it got so bad that a., I felt as if I was involuntarily trapped in a tanning booth and b. there was one whole song I covered my eyes for because OUCH and I was pretty sure I would need my retinas for driving home.  There was a random parasol being wielded in one number. There was a rapping Dr. Seuss ninja. Sam yelled “Mollyyyyyy!” much in the style of Rocky calling for Adrian. There was much too much use of projections; at one point, it got so silly I got the cry-giggles and N. was all “I CANNOT EVEN LOOK AT YOU OR I WILL LAUGH” so we studiously ignored one another. “Unchained Melody” was sung (poorly) like a BILLION DAMN TIMES. Once it was sob-sung while projections of a screaming Sam were all over the background. I can’t even. CAN. NOT. EVEN. 

This is Ninja Dr. Seuss, also known as "subway ghost."

This is Ninja Dr. Seuss, also known as “subway ghost.”

(This makes me sound like I was being obnoxious-loud. I promise I wasn’t. I’m a good theater-goer. I held in my noises to the point of almost exploding my eyeballs.) 

At intermission N. said, “You know what’s the worst?” and I said, “That there’s an Act II?” and we giggled all over again. 

This is not the bucket-listy thing, just in case you’re wondering. Not even a little. 

So a couple of weeks ago, the reviewers found out that the review date for Ghost the Musical had changed. It was supposed to be on opening night, Saturday, so that’s what we planned, with a run-date for the review in the paper of Monday, giving readers 5 days to see the show, if they were so inclined. The venue changed the review date due to it being so tech-heavy (it happens) so the review date was Tuesday. The show closes Friday. It usually takes two days for a review to post; mine wouldn’t post until Thursday, giving readers only two days to decide whether or not to see the show. 

My editor contacted me on Monday, concerned about the lateness of the review and that it would be useless to our readers. Could I file that night, as soon as I get home, so it could get in the Wednesday paper? (Usually our deadline is 1pm the following day.) 

Well, I always file the same night, for two reasons. One, because I have a terrible memory, so I like to write when it’s fresh in my mind, and two, because I (almost) always have to work the next day, so the night of is the only time I have to write. I wrote back to her and assured her it would be filed that night and to expect it by midnight. 

“In order to make the next day’s paper, it has to be filed by 11,” she said. 

Eek. 

“The show’s out at 10, and it takes me a half-hour to get home,” I said. “It usually takes me 45 minutes to an hour to write a review. I can try, but I can’t guarantee anything.” 

She wrote right back. 

“What if I had someone let you in the building, and you wrote it at the Gazette?” 

ZOMG ZOMG ZOMG 

See, the Gazette’s about 5-10 minutes or so from the theater. So I could get to work faster. 

But ALSO? 

IT IS A REAL NEWSROOM. 

I WOULD GET TO GO INTO A REAL NIGHTTIME NEWSROOM AT A REAL PAPER. 

I did not take this. I found this online. But this is totally what it looked like.

I did not take this. I found this online. But this is totally what it looked like.

I’ve been in three different television newsrooms. One on the NBC tour, one on a tour of our local NBC affiliate when I was a counselor at summer camp upstate as a teenager, and one when I interviewed to work at a news station (not on-camera, something in the office, and I didn’t get it. Sigh.) 

Television. Whatever. Fine. But NEWSPAPERS? You GUYS. You KNOW how keen I am on newspapers. I love them more than is even LOGICAL. And as a freelancer I NEVER get to GO to the BUILDING! I emailed all my people all “ZOMG Z!O!M!G! I need a fedora! And a press pass! EXTRA EXTRA I’M WITH THE PRESS I AM FANCY!!!1!!” 

Then I tried to be all professional emailing my editor back all, “Yes, that would work, thank you so much, cheerio, wot wot.” 

(She also was all, “I hope you have a laptop. And here’s our wireless password.” I WAS ONE OF THE ELITE, BABY!) 

So after the show, I did something I HATE (I think it’s so rude, seriously, but I needed those extra ten minutes) and I got up the MINUTE the curtain call started and ran out to get to the car to get over to the building to write the review. My normal top-secret easy-enter-easy-leave parking lot totally got found out and now is barricaded, so I had to park like a billion miles away and THAT was a bother. So I had to hoof it to the car. Also the show started late. And intermission ran late. So I was later than 10 even getting OUT of there, even leaving the MINUTE curtain call started. N. and I zipped up the aisle and of COURSE I got behind some old man who was all putt putt putt and N. was all “important lady coming through! REVIEW TO BE WRITTEN, PEOPLE!” but it didn’t even faze him. Kept on a’puttin’ along. Sigh. 

Race-walked to the car. Got in the car. GPSed the Gazette. ZOOMED to the Gazette. Almost missed the building because it didn’t have a sign by the street but it looked so newspapery that I was like, “This MUST be it.” IT WAS! 

Called the guy who was supposed to let me in. Waited in the dark outside A REAL LIVE NEWSPAPER. Imagined what the guy letting me in would look like. Decided probably Cary Grant. Rumply suit. Tired but ruggedly handsome. 

Yowza. YOWZA.

Yowza. YOWZA.

Not really Cary Grant, but I got the tired part right. He was a very nice man. 

“I AM AT A NEWSPAPER,” I said. 

“Yes,” he said, looking at me like I might be a looney. 

“How COOL is this?” I said. 

“Not so cool if this is your job every night,” he replied. 

“Oh, I don’t know. I can’t imagine that this would ever get old. NEWSPAPER!” I said. There may or may not have been jazz hands. He kind of laughed. I don’t think he quite knew what to make of me. No one does, really. When you’re faced with the full-on force of this kind of enthusiasm, you either go with the flow or it blows you away, really. Choose go with the flow. It’s a hell of a lot more fun. 

So he brought me upstairs and was all, “Let’s get you a desk and a computer” and I was like “DUDE I HAVE A LAPTOP AND THE SECRET CODE” and he was all, “Um.” And I said, “Ha. Wifi password, I have it” and he was like “’kay, let’s get you a desk, then, here you go, I’m right over here, come get me if you need me” and I WAS IN A NEWSROOM. 

Now, by the time all this happened, it was 10:30. I had to write a review in 30 minutes. Also, my laptop takes a long time to turn on, and I WANTED TO LOOK AROUND THE NEWSROOM BECAUSE YOU GUYS, NEWSROOM. 

But I had to write the review. I’d written the basic frame, like, show title/run dates/cost/etc. so I just had to write 500 words about it and I was DONE. Luckily, a bad review’s easier to write than a good one. 

I wrote like the wind, you guys. Any idea when I finished editing and proofreading that bad boy (and also I emailed three people just to say, “I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT TO MENTION I AM EMAILING YOU FROM THE GAZETTE I AM GEEKING OUT ZOMG?!?!”) 

10:49. I hit save at 10:49. I emailed it to the proper address where it goes at 10:51. 

I wrote that sucker in NINETEEN MINUTES.

I then surreptitiously peered around to report back to you about a real live newsroom. (I couldn’t take photos like I wanted because there were SO MANY PEOPLE IN THERE.) 

There are a ton of cubes and desks with computers. Not typewriters, but it is 2013. Everyone has all the fun flair on their desks like wacky stuffed animals and bumper stickers. It is all gray and industrial carpetinged. It is very busy, even that late. There are a lot of windows. There is a police scanner at one chick’s desk, I assume so they can write about or go to emergencies that are newsworthy. No one was wearing a fedora (sadtimes.) One lady said, “I’m going to add three sentences to this copy” and that made me smile because COPY is totally a newspaper term and I WAS IN THE KNOW!

Everyone was sleepy but also very alert at the same time and you could feel all the history and newspaperiness. Like, if a story happened, you could tell all these people would like RUMBLE into action like BEARS COME OUT OF HIBERNATION. I just sat there and thought about all the history of these people, and how this job went back and back and BACK, and what a proud job it was, to be someone who reports the news, who tells the people what’s happening, and I got all sniffly that I was IN THE NEWSROOM and then I was like “dumbass, you have to go to work tomorrow, yo, you need to get HOME” so I went over to the guy’s desk who let me in and made sure my article arrived to the place it was supposed to go (it did) and we joked a little bit about how bad the show was and he gave me quick directions to get out of the mazey newsroom and to the elevators and then I was leaving the newsroom. GOODBYE NEWSROOM. 

In my head, it was totally black and white and looked like this, by the way.

In my head, it was totally black and white and looked like this, by the way.

You guys. YOU GUYS. I want to work in a newsroom. Don’t you think I would be the best at this? Why do I have to be in love with a dying profession? Sigh. 

Then I drove home and the GPS hates Schenectady and was all TURN HERE and it was a one-way street and tried to get me killed. DAMMIT GPS YOU STOP THAT. So then I was driving through all these little towns with the knowledge I totally just got to be in a real live newsroom all bright in my chest and I kept grinning recklessly about it. 

And today I am SO SO TIRED because I couldn’t get to sleep because SUPER-EXCITED and Dad and I had this conversation:

Dad: You’re just like Jimmy Johnson.
Amy: Am I? Who’s that? Someone super-famous at writing?
Dad: Yes. He worked with Spiderman.
Amy: What? He did? Jimmy Johnson?
Dad: EXTRA EXTRA! Remember? With the hat? He was like a cub reporter. But not a BEAR cub.
Amy: No, I don’t…do you mean Jimmy Olsen?
Dad: Yes, that’s what I said.
Amy: He worked with Superman.
Dad: They’re all the same person. You can’t see their faces.
Amy: You can see Superman’s face.
Dad: Whoa, that’s a really good scoop, there, Jimmy Johnson. 

SUPERMAN'S PAL! Look at this cuckoo-bananas comic, yo.

SUPERMAN’S PAL! Look at this cuckoo-bananas comic, yo.

Usually you have to pay to read my reviews, and I can’t guarantee you won’t have to pay to read this by the time this posts, but as of THIS VERY MINUTE, the review I spent NINETEEN WHOLE MINUTES writing is FREE on the Gazette site (due to technical problems on their end, all their stuff is free until they fix the site) so you can actually read one of my reviews in its native environment where it belongs. I KNOW! (And in case you’re wondering, no, I didn’t write the title, the guy who let me in the building did. It makes me laugh. It’s a very good title.) 

Sometimes it seems like I’m living this weird velvet-rope high life. I assure you most of the time it’s me, the cat, and a plastic tumbler of grape Koolaid. 

Bucket list, my ass. I’ll keep blundering into these kickass situations. With my jazz-hands. Who needs a damn list when you’ve got shit like THIS going on, I ask you?


…mermaid dancing…is a little different. You usually start on the ground.

I have no time to blog this week. MY MOST ABJECT APOLOGIES MY FAVORITE PEOPLE.

Also next week is the worst. But after that I think I get to breathe again. Maybe.

Well, ok, not the WORST. They’re all things I WANT to do. There are just a LOT of things to do. Fun things, but a LOT of them. One that requires – are you ready for this – THE PURCHASING AND WEARING OF A DRESS.

I KNOW. Please stop gasping and fainting. I can wear dresses. I’m allowed. I am a lady, even if I really, really like wearing khakis. Like, so much, guys. SO MUCH. They are beyond comfortable.

So, without further ago, because I am running out of time and trying to write this while watching a movie and also emailing and also doing a million other things…

THINGS THAT HAVE MADE ME HAPPY THIS WEEK SO FAR

(What, you were expecting things that made me miserable this week? I COULD do that, but how depressing would THAT be to read? No. Let’s stick to things that made me happy. Thanks.)

SHOPPING SUCCESSFULLY!

Now, as you all know, I am not a good shopper. I often lose at shopping. QUITE often. And it makes me frustrated. And itchy. And a little sweaty.

HOWEVER, I had to go to the mall this week for a VERY EXCITING THING. Ready?

Here was me on Monday…

(Well, my hair didn’t look like that. My hair only looked likes like that when my hairdresser does it. This is only for a comparison.)

And here’s me NOW:

QUICK WHAT IS DIFFERENT?

No, not the hair. Or the clothes. Or the necklace. Or the makeup. YOU CAN DO BETTER THAN THAT!

What was that? Someone in the back?

YES! CORRECT!

I GOT NEW GLASSES!

I am crazy in love with them. They make me so much happier than the last ones, which were Transitions and scratched and an annoying shape and I hated them. These are flattering and pretty and stylish and ZOMG they are totally Dolce and Gabbana. I KNOW. (People say that’s a fancy thing, right? Like, they make purses or something, right? I don’t know such things. I think the fanciest name-brand of anything I own is like Fashion Bug brand or something.)

ALSO, I had an eye exam and the optometrist told me I was VERY PHOTOGENIC. He was talking about my eyes, but I took it as a total compliment. (He also told me I had EXTREMELY healthy eyes, and showed me some photos of NON-healthy eyes which were TOTES ICKY, you guys, and made me squeal disgustedly and delightedly. I liked him a lot. He told me gross stories about working in the hospital and was VERY entertaining. He won optometry.)

So after an epic win of glasses-buying (which was kind of expensive, despite my eyecare plan), I went dress-shopping. Gulp.

Now, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to find anything, because I have the WORST LUCK with shopping. But I have a wedding to go to on Friday. And it’s the wedding of friends K. and A.! And I would very much like to look like a pretty lady at said wedding!

So I tried on dresses. Trepidaciously.

AND YOU WILL NEVER GUESS WHAT OCCURRED!

I found THREE PRETTY DRESSES!

I had to narrow it down to two, because they were not CHEAP dresses. But I bought two dresses. One for the wedding and one for when Laura visits in September and we’re going to a fancy dinner and then to a play at the fancy theater like LAY-DEEZ.

This is the wedding dress (because it’s going to be HOT that day, yo, and the wedding’s outside):

SO CUTE. No, I’m not wearing heels with this. Don’t ask. I have shoes with a PRACTICAL SLIGHTLY-RAISED RUBBERY HEEL. That’s as good as you get from me. I would tip, otherwise.

And for my lady-date with Laura:

SUPER-SEXY. Also the cleavage in this dress is INSANE. Laura, we’re going to be the HOTTEST LADIES ON THE TOWN, sincerely.

Other things that have made me happy this week that are NOT spending-money-related (because there are some, I don’t JUST spend all the money all the time, just SOMETIMES):

  • Dad’s coming to visit next week! We’re totally spending the day together!
  • I get to have dinner with The Nephew and his mom next week! He starts school after Labor Day. Can you imagine? My best little guy is SCHOOL-AGED! Whoa!
  • Making Dad laugh until he dropped the phone by dropping a random (albeit, very funny, she says humbly) sexual innuendo in conversation (when Dad says “that’s a good one!” I feel like I won an Oscar)
  • Watching Pitch Perfect. SHUT UP. It is funny and quirky and heartwarming and A CAPELLA, you guys. I have all the love for a capella. Plus it stars this chick:

    This is Rebel Wilson, who I fell crazy in love with in Bridesmaids and she only had a LITTLE role, and look at her in THIS. She is WONDERFUL. She made me laugh SO SO HARD, you guys. She wins everything.She is CRAZY FIERCE.
    I have a total crush on her.

And I want to be her character in the movie. See? I even told Twitter last night.

(Her character in the movie’s name is Fat Amy. WATCH IT. Sincerely. I thought it might be awful, too, but it was so much fun. Except sometimes it was stupid and there was vomiting. I don’t care for stupid sketch-comedy vomiting.)

OK. I am going to bed because lately I have not been sleeping properly and also I’ve been gritting my teeth a lot which means I’m stressed so I think I need some downtime, yo. I’m going to go to bed early and see if that helps. Happy day, all! I hope all the things made you happy this week. If not, just stare a little at Rebel Wilson. She’s the most sensational.


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