An Open Letter to People Who Find my Blog Accidentally (Volume 34)

Dear People Who Find My Blog Accidentally:

Welcome to April, my little munchkins! I’ve had better months, truth be told. April’s not been my month, what with job-losing and all. But, strangely, I am in a fairly buoyant mood, for the crap that’s gone down this month. I have to assume that’s due to the fact that, in about a month, I’m LEAVING! on a JET PLANE! and going to EUROPE! (Well, actually, multiple jet planes. You have to transfer quite a bit to get to the land of the Finns.) So yes, I am job-hunting. Not fun. But I have a thing to look forward to, so that’s keeping my eyes all bright and my spirits all chipper.

I will NOT be going to all of these places. But I WILL be going to ONE of them. And I have BEEN to…let’s see…five more of them. I AM A WORLD TRAVELER!

I suppose, if nothing else, this is giving me more time for the writing of all the things. And watching all the television. Slowly but surely I’m catching up on my programs, which is nice. Someday I might actually be ALL caught up! Ha, yeah, right.

So many shooooooooows....

So many shooooooooows….

So, just in case you’re new (and if you’re new, the nametags are over by the door, along with your freshly-baked cookies and towels folded into the shapes of zoo animals), let me catch you up on this recurring post. I’m obsessed with my stats; I like to check what search terms drive people to my blog; then I feel REALLY BAD this isn’t what they were looking for. So I write them a letter of apology (as you can see, this is the 34th one. THIRTY-FOUR, you guys, can you even? I know. It’d be impressive if it wasn’t so damn insane. If you’re interested, search for the others; they’re stellar.) Why do I do this? It makes the voices in my head quiet for a little while? Sure. Let’s go with that.

I didn’t get many questions this month, but I got a lot of search terms. So, like last month, we’re just going to have a big old list of search terms. Look at me rolling with the punches. I’m amazing, yeah? Totally am.

Here we go, ladies, gentlemen, and yes, even you, Ding Dong Joe. Even you.

- well ken, if you ask me, there is too much to complain about being young. it can really be hard sometimes, especially when your patents hardly ever you leave alone – you’re telling me! i quite like my mom and dad, but they’re always ready to criticize me. “don’t do this! you can’t that!”/ it’s often really hard to put with – oh, it’s really that bad. frankly, i’m having a big argument with my  Well! This is a very long paragraph. I don’t really know why you’d put all of this into a search, to be honest. It sounds like something from a radio call-in show. I don’t think you’ve found the right place. I mean, sure, we know a Ken here, and he’s one of our favorite humans, but I don’t know that he wants to give you advice on how hard it is to be a youth. He’s a grown-up man-person. I suppose he can come back and give you advice if he’s so inclined. That’d be up to him, though.

bitches be like i’m not materialistic  Oh! Bitches! Bitches be like, “I don’t like to be called a bitch, so why don’t you stop calling me that or I’m going to break up with you, you misogynistic piece of garbage!” In my experience, that’s what bitches be like, yo.

bluerose frommetoyou signifies  Blue roses don’t exist in nature. Geneticists have created them artificially, but you’ll never find a natural blue rose. Isn’t that interesting? If you see a blue rose, it’s either been genetically modified, or it’s a white rose that’s been dyed. The internets tells me that they are a symbol of love and prosperity. I think they’re a symbol of someone thinking you’re not savvy enough to know they’re not real. I don’t want fake dyed flowers. I like tulips and daisies and sunflowers. Cheerful flowers are my favorites. I’m pretty low-maintenance.

FALSEHOOD!

FALSEHOOD!

dating website “do you have more photos?” code  Shit. It’s a CODE? I thought it was just the guy wanting to see if you were a fatty, or wanting nude photos of you. This is why I am terrible at online dating and no longer doing it. I tried twice, both times were disasters, I am officially out of the game. I will become a crazy cat lady. It is my fate.

finnish sexy girls  I’m not sure of Finnish ladies are sexier than other ladies, but I’ll let you know soon. SO SOON. Seriously, guys. The date for the Finland trip is coming up SO QUICKLY. I’ll be sure to keep you informed on the relative sexiness of the Finnish naiset. (That’s ladies. IN FINNISH!)

I think this is a sexy Finnish girl. She's cute as a button, right?

I think this is a sexy Finnish girl. She’s cute as a button, right?

fucking sex in football sport tumblr   Good grief, there’s a lot going on in this search string. I don’t know that I can help you with any of this. Well, I mean, I drop the eff bomb sometimes. And I know how the sexing works. And I have a Tumblr. But otherwise…no. Sorry.

funny names of clowns n how to pronounce them  OK, clowns aren’t funny, first off. And how hard is it to pronounce a clown-name? Boppy. Slappy. Stabby. Those aren’t that difficult. I am confused about you, searcher. Are you wearing a clown mask and waiting in people’s bushes? The non-euphemistic kind of bushes, I mean? You are, aren’t you? Dammit. STOP IT.

go back my dinner no i’m a 1040 dun the rest just got legs  No idea. None. Usually I can get a clue about what you want from these, but this is just gibberish. The only thing that might have gotten you here is 1040 because of the time I spent working at the tax firm, but dinner, and legs, and I don’t even know, dude. Have we ever figured out who these people are who are searching these weird things, and what their motive is? No? Sheesh.

how do i get rid of the “people you may know” banner from the top of my page? i already know what friends i might know and do not need suggestions. these suggestions are annoying.  This is a nice little search term. Sentences and sentences about this. OK, I was saving this, but I’m going to give this to you guys, because you keep coming here for this: I HAVE FOUND A WAY TO GET RID OF YOUR PEOPLE-YOU-MAY-KNOW ON FACEBOOK. No, I’m not kidding. I’m very serious. It’s called F.B. Purity. It’s a browser extension (I have Google Chrome, and I’m not sure how this works with other browsers…but it’s an easy add with Chrome.) With this extension, you can get rid of People You May Know, and you can get rid of all ads and trending topics in your feed, you can get rid of people’s checkins with FourSquare, you can get rid of Goodreads status updates, you can get rid of that annoying automated list of friends they auto-populate for you on the left, you can make it ALWAYS show you “most recent” (which is why I looked into this – I was so tired of Facebook re-sorting my feed into “top stories,” I can’t even tell you)…it’s kind of awesome. You can also choose NOT to get rid of these things. It’s totally customizable and very easy to use. I don’t advocate things here that much, but I’m using this myself, and it’s totally uncluttered my Facebook. Now if it could only show ALL of my friends’ updates, and pages I follow, which is my biggest complaint right now…but I’m not as weird about it as you all are. I get hundreds of searches a month for people wanting to get rid of the People You May Know. I HAVE FOUND YOU A SOLUTION. You are so welcome. I should have found a way to monetize this, right? Dammit. I’m always so late on the thinking.

i think u r real persin but u r slut quotation  OK, I tell you this whenever you search this, but STOP CALLING PEOPLE SLUTS. It’s a terribly derogatory term. Also, a person can be a “slut” and a “real person” AT THE SAME TIME, even though I truly believe there aren’t sluts. I think calling someone a slut is just a way of shaming them for their sexuality. Just ANOTHER way. So stop it. Whenever you want to call someone a slut or a whore, think twice. OK?

my lane bryant bra underwire is coming out, do they fix it?   Ha! Of course they don’t fix it. They want you to buy a new $30 bra. You can fix it – just find the hole and do some whip-stitches there, it’s not a big deal – or you can just buy a new bra. My thought is, almost every time the underwire starts popping out, the bra’s on its last legs, anyway, and it’s time for a new one. And even if you stitch up the hole, another one seems to show up not long after. So…yeah. You can make it limp along for a bit, but it’s probably best to buy some new undergarments, darlin’.

neice and nephew are exhausting  Goodness, aren’t they just? But, like, in the best of ways. I know I am SO TIRED after a day spent with The Nephew, but happy-tired. GOOD-tired. He’s a ball of energy, that little guy. “Aunt Amy! Let’s do this!” “Aunt Amy, NOW THIS!” “You’re not too tired, Aunt Amy, DO IT AGAIN!” And then I’m like a panting puddle of exhaustion in the corner after about an hour, but he’s still bopping around like a jumping bean. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, though. He’s my best thing.

pepe le pew in tight jeans I could not find Pepe Le Pew in jeans. (He’s a skunk. Why’s he wearing jeans?) But I found THESE sassy pants with Pepe Le Pew ON them! Nice, right? I know you totally want them. They’re on eBay, go get in a bidding war over them. It’s ok. Have a good time, chipmunk.

sexsi kek tarifleri  You guys. YOU GUYS! This means “sexs cake recipes” in Turkish! OK, the “sexs” part of it made me giggle like a child, and then I was all, “what the heck would a sex cake even BE?” And then I couldn’t decide if it was, like, a boob or penis cake, or something you’d eat either before, during, or after sex, or something witchcrafty that made people want to have sex with you. Either way, I find this utterly delightful. Thank you, Turkish searcher! Lucy’nin Futbol hoşgeldiniz! (That’s “welcome to Lucy’s Football” in Turkish. I’m nothing if not inclusive!)

May I suggest, instead of sexs cake, baklava? It's almost better than sex. ALMOST, I said. Don't get crazy, here.

May I suggest, instead of sexs cake, baklava? It’s almost better than sex. ALMOST, I said. Don’t get crazy, here.

show me the bratz the nora dressed as hell and i really pretty bad breath  Again. AGAIN. I don’t even know. I know what a “Bratz” is (those things worry me. Their heads are way too big, they wear way too much makeup, and they wear far too little clothing) but the rest of it, again, is word salad. “Dressed as hell” and “i really pretty bad breath” don’t even make sense together. Or apart. Man, but am I confused this month.

Seriously, don't they look like a teenage aging actress with too much Botox, or something? These worry me.

Seriously, don’t they look like a teenage aging actress with too much Botox, or something? These worry me.

snoring on Amtrak  Oh, this was so written by someone who sat next to me either to or from Maryland or Virginia last year. I can’t even help it, you guys. I fall asleep and 99% of the time, I snore like a chainsaw. I don’t have a deviated septum or anything. It’s this inherited thing. All the people on my dad’s side of the family snore. Even The Nephew snores. And he’s four, you guys. So: I apologize to whoever’s going to be sitting next to me on the plane to and from Europe next month. If there was a way to make it stop short of suffocating myself, I would.

When it keeps everyone else around you on public transportation awake, I'd wager.

When it keeps everyone else around you on public transportation awake, I’d wager.

stubborness does not pays images and pictures  Are you going to find an image of this, do you think? Because I don’t think you’ll find one. This isn’t a common saying. Also, stubbornness isn’t something you can overcome. Well, I guess you can TRY. But for those of us who are stubborn, it’s a constant struggle. We just dig our feet in and REFUSE. Sometimes even when it’s not in our best interest. Like, me? If someone tells me what to do, I immediate want to do the opposite. Even if that person would say something like, “this house is on fire, get out now.” My first reaction, when faced with an order, is to rebel against it. Now, with age, I’ve learned that you can’t always DO that…but I still do it more often than a sane person should. This has led to some adventures, sure…but it’s also led to some major problems. So, does stubbornness pay? If it does, my bank account doesn’t show any rewards from it, that’s for sure.

And here's me!

And here’s me!

this really who just philosophy would you dare give heart’s cages in, working heart.  Again, people! THIS IS JUST NONSENSE! Are you finding any actual results with these sorts of searches? I do like “heart’s cages” and “working heart,” though. Somewhat poetic, you gibberish-spouting weirdo. Bravo.

what kind of nose does eric balfour have?  A super-sexy kind! He’s DELICIOUS, that Balfour. Such a profile. I have a total crush on that man. I have for a long time. (I don’t know if he’s the best actor, to be honest, but I sure do like to look at him.)

Yes, I could have given you his profile. Sure I could. BUT LOOK AT THIS PHOTO. You're welcome!

Yes, I could have given you his profile. Sure I could. BUT LOOK AT THIS PHOTO. You’re welcome!

what will cheer up my sugar glider  GETTING ANOTHER SUGAR GLIDER. We’ve talked about this, you guys. Sugar gliders die of loneliness. You can’t have just one. They need contact. They also can’t be left alone, so if you have only one, you need to bring it places with you. They’re the cutest little fellas, but they’re high-maintenance pets. Like with any other pets, you need to research them before getting them and know what you’re getting into, ok? And if you can’t give them a good home, get Sea Monkeys, or something. There’s nothing that bothers me more than people who don’t take proper care of their pets.

Look how sad this little guy is. HE HAD TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH A PRINTER, YOU GUYS.

Look how sad this little guy is. HE HAD TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH A PRINTER, YOU GUYS.

why does joel mchale hate zak bagans  Oh, I don’t know that he hates him. I think he pokes fun at him. Because Bagans is a douche. Per Joel McHale, he’s The Ghostdouche. I know he has this whole gang of obsessive followers and such, but he’s an overly-gelled Ed-Hardy-wearing slimy douchebag. And come on, don’t even tell me you believe those “ghosts” he finds. I’ve personally seen two shows where his “ZOMG I FOUND A GHOST” overacting made me laugh so hard I almost ruptured MULTIPLE internal organs. But remember: Joel McHale is an comedian. Do I think he ACTUALLY hates Douchebag O’Bagans? Probably not. But he’s a good target to make fun of. And that’s what McHale does. For a living.

Oh, no, people have been TALKIG about him! Not TALKIG! That's the WORST!

Oh, no, people have been TALKIG about him! Not TALKIG! That’s the WORST!

you don’t sincerely think love will end up disagreeing; good; insane, do you? quoted from batman STOP TYPING WORD SALAD INTO GOOGLE IT IS NOT DOING YOU ANY GOOOOOOOODDDDD

джейме ланнистер   This one is Jaime Lannister in Ukranian! Even the UKRANIANS love my Jaime Lannister! Nice choice, Ukranians. Я люблю Хайме Lannister теж! Я радий, що ти тут! (This is supposed to say “I love Jaime Lannister, too! I’m glad you’re here!” but it makes me suspicious that the searcher’s “Lannister” and my “Lannister” are very different. Oh, Google Translate, why you gotta do me like that?)

There. This is a nice note to end this on, right? Right. Sigh.

There. This is a nice note to end this on, right? Right. Sigh.

There you go, sweet potatoes! All of April. All for you. April showers bring May flowers…and MAY TRIPS TO EUROPE. And by this time next month, I will be on European soil. This is not even a drill. THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING.

Until next month, my poor lost lambikins. May Google be kind in your searches.

Love, Me.

(As always, thank you to Mer for the inspiration for these posts!)

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It’s my party and I’ll glare if I want to

I don’t like surprises.

I have NEVER liked surprises.

I know most people say that, but they’re really ok with them. Like, if they woke up and found that their spouse had bought them a new car with one of those ridiculous huge bows on it, like in the Christmas car commercials, or if they showed up at work and right before lunch their coworkers threw a gigantic surprise baby shower for them, they’d maybe shriek a little, but deep down they’d think “oh, my. Am I ever loved” and they’d be secretly so happy.

Me? Nope. I’d shriek a little, then I’d furiously rearrange my face into what I think would pass for happiness because that’s what’s expected, then I’d go through the motions of whatever was required, like package-opening or little-meatball-eating and such, and when it was all over and I could escape from that, I would probably shake like my own private earthquake and be SO SO ANGRY.

"Do you think they know I'm mad? Do I look happy? I do, right?"

“Do you think they know I’m mad? Do I look happy? I do, right?”

I wouldn’t be thinking I was super-loved. I’d be thinking “THESE PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW ME AT ALL.”

This all sounds very petulant, doesn’t it? Yeah. Sorry. Can’t help it. I don’t like surprises. I don’t like people leaping out at me, and I don’t like people assuming they know what I’d like (unless they know me really well, in which case, they’d know me well enough to know NOT to leap out of a dark corner and trigger my PTSD) and I don’t like things I couldn’t think around corners about. I know that all seems very not-able-to-roll-with-the-punches of me. I’m not the kind of person that can’t go on a spur-of-the-moment trip, or something. I just don’t like that people were talking and planning and scheming behind my back and coming up with something.

This is a very long intro for what I can only deem THE WORST BIRTHDAY OF MY LIFE.

I don’t know how old I was. I’m thinking probably 6 or 7. Yes, it was a long time ago. Yes, I should probably be over this by now. No, I’m not.

It wasn’t my actual birthday. The weekend before, is my thought. I’m guessing a Saturday.

A thing you have to know about young-Amy is: there was nothing, nothing, NOTHING I loved more than running errands with my dad.

Running errands with my mom was a dull affair. You’d go buy groceries and she NEVER let you get a candy bar. You’d end up at K-Mart having to try on terrible dresses that were on clearance FOR A REASON and she got so mad if you hid in the middle of the clothes racks. (I had such a thing about hiding in the middle of those circular clothing racks. It was like my secret wonderland. Yeah, I don’t know, either.) You’d run into friends of hers and have to stand there and they’d talk about the MOST BORING THINGS. Like, clothes-shopping and grocery-shopping. WE JUST DID THAT. Can we go HOME now?

But! Running errands with Dad was the best best BEST. We went to the coolest places ever. Like NAPA Auto Parts which smelled like motor oil and had a gumball machine that he always gave me pennies for and the guys working there were always nice and funny and would cuss sometimes and say, “Sorry, kiddo!” Or to go buy a new car and we’d have to wear our old clothes and “act poor” so the guy would give us the lowest price. Or – possibly best – just driving around looking at things and and he’d tell me stories like “this is the bridge that your uncle told your grandmother I made him pee off, and he was so scared now he’s scared of all bridges, but if he ever tells you that, it’s not true. IT IS A LIE.”

That day, Dad said, “Amy! Do you want to go to the dump?”

DID I WANT TO GO TO THE DUMP? Boy howdy, did I want to go to the dump!

DUMP!!!

DUMP!!!

Now, the dump was AWESOME. Don’t even be turning up your nose. The dump smelled terrible, sure. This was long before you paid money and had to have things all neatly recycled. This was a pile of willy-nilly GARBAGE. Couches and dolls and food and dead animals and parts of cars and a million seagulls and everywhere you looked, there was a new thing. The dump was ADVENTURE. And Dad would drive in all fast and it was all hilly in there and the truck would bump all over and I would laugh and laugh.

Shush. I grew up in a small town. We took adventure where we could get it.

So Dad and I packed up into the dump-going truck and I put on my little red riding hood (it was the BEST red hoodie, so I was wearing hoodies before they were cool, yo) and we took off to the dump.

I don’t remember exactly what happened at the dump. I’m going to guess just dump-stuff. Dropping off garbage. Dad saying, “DON’T TOUCH THAT! IT IS FILTHY! WE DO NOT NEED THAT!” (I don’t know if I was ever really going to touch anything at the dump, but I wanted a closer look at it. It was like archaeology of castoffs. I was so fascinated.)

We went home. Now, the savvy grownup that I am would probably have picked up that something was going DOWN, you guys. But I was 6-or-7-year-old-Amy in my sassy red hoodie and a VERY successful trip to the dump on a happy October Saturday behind me, and I wasn’t much of a detective then.

I sincerely felt like Supergirl in my red hoodie. I need to get another one of these things.

I sincerely felt like Supergirl in my red hoodie. I need to get another one of these things.

Now, this is where, if I could find it, I would insert a photo that would make you laugh so, so hard, because it kind of perfectly sums up young-Amy in a single picture, but I have torn this place APART and it is not to be found. I have to assume that my mother has it, because I only have one album of young-Amy photos and it’s not in there.

Instead, I am going to include this very-well-executed internet drawing. YOU ARE WELCOME.

I'm pretty sure I'm the next Warhol, yo. Look right out.

I’m pretty sure I’m the next Warhol, yo. I especially like my red hoodie. It’s perplexingly terrible.

I opened the front door of my house and there was a deafening “SURPRISE!” and my whole family was crammed in there – I mean, all my cousins and aunts and uncles and my mom and my dad was all laughing behind me and you would THINK that would be such a happy surprise for a 6-or-7-year-old kiddo.

Nope.

I did the same thing I do now, when surprised. I froze, then I made the most fake smile ever, and ever single photo of me from that party – every one – is me with this terrible false frozen party-face on, but with gritted teeth and flared nostrils. I did not want to come home to a house full of people (albeit people I did then, and do now, love.) I did not want this terrible surprise. I did not want this thing that had been plotted behind my back.

My parents are totally apologetic now (even though they still think I’m weird.) They know better than to ever, ever have any sort of surprise function for me ever again, as long as I live, up to and including my funeral. (I have that planned to the LETTER. I just have to hope I die before my parents.)

And just so you know, it’s gotten worse – now, when people jump out at me from behind things, my first reaction has become to protect myself with whatever’s handy. Once it was a painbrush, pointy-side out. Once it was a pen. Once it was a cast-iron fireplace poker. So if you need further proof that maybe you should announce yourself before you get into my general vicinity, there’s that. I really don’t want to stab and/or bludgeon you. I have this fight-or-flight reaction…and it’s totally fighty.

So! Yes. I love birthdays. And Christmas. And, in general, all the holidays. And I will always be happy if you think of me!

Just please, for the love of Pete (and your own well-being) DO NOT LEAP OUT FROM BEHIND SOMETHING SHOUTING SURPRISE AT ME.

Thanks. Love your faces.

 

(This post was written for the lovely Emily’s Remember the Time blog hop! Have you visited Emily’s amazingness lately? You should! She’s one of my favorite humans!)


Curved like a road through mountains

What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it’s curved like a road through mountains.  –Tennessee Williams

This is a line.

(It was supposed to be a straight line, but listen, I cannot draw a straight line with what software is free on the interwebs, ok? So just ignore the fact that it squiggles a little. Pretend it’s totally straight. DO NOT JUDGE MY LINE-DRAWING ABILITIES!)

Most people’s lives follow this straight line, for the most part. They’re born, and they go to school, and then probably college, and they meet someone squishable and they marry that person, and buy a house with a porch swing, and maybe have some kiddos who are equally squishable, and get a job, and work that job for many many years and put money into their 401ks and buy cool things to play with that are shiny and pay their taxes and eventually they die.

This is very stable, isn’t it? It’s really nice. It’s nice to know you’ll wake up, and the same thing will happen, and you’ll have someone there to share things with, and maybe kids, and probably, oh, I don’t know, family picnics, or something. Vacations. Probably a dog.

This is ALSO a line.

However, it is squiggly and all over the damn place and sometimes backtracks upon itself and has strange valleys and peaks that kind of look like a man’s face and I think in one place it kind of might look like I tried to make a penis, and in another place a rabbit, to make you laugh, but I totally didn’t. (Again, please do not judge the line. There’s a reason I’m a writer and not an artist. It is not the nice line’s fault.)

This line is MY life.

There is nothing straight about this line. Like, it starts out kind of straight, but then it goes kind of haywire, and then KEEPS going haywire, because it does not know where it is going or what it is doing. It is a very confused line.

And sometimes, when you think it’s going straight (like, see where there are places where it SEEMS it’s going straight?) it decides “HA HA! I WILL GO JIGGEDY-JAGGEDY ON YOU!”

When, Lord?! When the hell do I get to see the goddamn sailboat?!

When, Lord?! When the hell do I get to see the goddamn sailboat?!

“Amy?”

I can hear you, you know, even though you’re using your most polite voice. It’s ok. You don’t have to be polite with me.

“Your line metaphor is very…nice…and SUPER-artistic…but…where are you going with this?”

Yeah, I probably should get to the point. I try to…but you saw that line up there, yeah? It has a mind of its own.

OK. So when your life is a crazy waggly line, there are good things and bad things. Like, you have a lot of experiences and stories and you meet some of the best people (whose lines are usually all over the place, too…us wacky-line people, we tend to flock together. Probably because our lines get all tangled like the last two skeins of yarn in the bottom of the bag and we can’t extricate ourselves…but that’s neither here nor there, really.)

It's easier to just stick together. We get all knotty if we try to split up.

It’s easier to just stick together. We get all knotty if we try to split up.

However, life with a wiggly line is also about making the most IMPRESSIVE mistakes (falling in love with the least-likely human beings who break your heart into a million pieces; losing your job repeatedly; crazy brain-chemistry; not being able to sleep for days; shall I go on?) and not ever knowing what’s coming up. You’ve heard about waiting for the other shoe to drop? Well, you’ve always got a big old workboot hanging over your head. At first, that boot comes as a surprise. You’re all, “what the hell? I JUST GOT BOPPED BY A BOOT! Where did that boot come from?” and you look up at the sky all suspiciously. Then the second boot falls, and you’re all, “another boot? WHAT IS HAPPENING.” But then another boot, and another boot, and you kind of get used to boots. You’re always on the lookout for boots. It’s not the easiest way to live, always having one eye out for gigantic metaphors falling from the sky. But if you know it’s probably coming, you don’t get so out-of-nowhere smacked.

Duck & cover. DUCK AND COVER, I SAID.

Duck & cover. DUCK AND COVER, I SAID.

This past Monday, I went into work. I do that, on Mondays. Most weekdays, actually. I worked. I went to lunch. After lunch, I came back to an email saying I had a meeting. I went to the conference room, and about ten other people trailed in, and we made some confused jokes about why, exactly, we were in this conference room, and there was this weird whistling noise and I was all, “huh, what’s that, I wonder, maybe the air conditioning?” and then the CFO and HR came in and told us all of our jobs had been eliminated and the BIGGEST BOOT EVER smashed me upside the head and I was all “SHIT that’s what that whistling noise was. It was coming from a really, really far distance, this time, is all. Breaking the sound barrier, far.”

Squiggly line! I had been so happy and comfortable with my amazing job with my awesome coworkers that paid ALL THE MONEY that I forgot about the squiggly line and (eep!) THE BOOT HANGING OVER MY HEAD AT ALL TIMES!

(Apparently I am to blame the economy. Any guesses who Dad thinks is to blame for this? Those of you who guessed “the government” win. What do you win? I don’t know. Nothing from me. I can’t afford to get you a prize. I don’t have a job right now, suckas!)

So here I am, yet again, friends and bloggonians, underemployed, waiting to hear from the unemployment people, waiting to hear from the food-stamp people, picking up a few hours as I can at the answering service (thank you again, answering service!), applying to a million billion jobs, networking with everyone I can think of in the hope I can maybe, just maybe, find a job that I actually really love, not just settle for because it puts money in my pocket but also sucks my soul out of my nose.

I'm not this serious yet. I can't guarantee you I won't get there, though.

I’m not this serious yet. I can’t guarantee you I won’t get there, though.

(Side note: I apparently am VERY equipped to sell insurance. I have, unsolicited, gotten four emails and a phone call from three different companies that want me to sell insurance. I assume they saw my resume on one of the job-searching sites. One was from the AFLAC duck, which was humorous, but I still don’t want to sell insurance, even if an anthromoporphic duck thinks it’s my calling. I also got an email from someone telling me I’d make an amazing realtor. I can’t think of anything I’d be worse at than selling homes or insurance. If I was living on commissions, I’d be eating out of dumpsters.)

Flattering, duck. But, no.

Flattering, duck. But, no.

Luckily, the upside of having a line o’squiggliness for a lifeline is that the ups always come. The downs are always right around the corner, but the ups are there, too. Sometimes you have to wait a little longer for them, but they’re there. The boot gets cranked back up to wherever it hangs in wait and things get rosy again, for a time.

And there’s a slight possibility that the boot WON’T fall again. That’s the thing about that boot. You can’t trust that it will or will not fall. You’re just always nervously waiting for it…but that doesn’t mean it’s a definite.

And shh…I’ll tell you a secret:

Even though it drives me insane at times, and even though there are times I mutter angrily “WHY CAN’T YOU JUST BE NORMAL LIKE EVERYONE ELSE, AMY!?!?”, I’ll take my squiggly line over a straight line any day. My squiggly life has brought me such joy. I just have to wait out the bad patches. And avoid those falling boots.

I wouldn’t know what to do with a normal life, anyway. I think you have to vaccuum and wear polo shirts or something, in a normal life. I’d be very unprepared for such things. I look terrible in polo shirts.

Time for the next leg of the adventure. Don’t fail me now, squiggly line. I have to believe you have some sort of plan.

(You do, right?)

*grin* (I knew it.)

*grin*
(I knew it.)


An Open Letter to People Who Find my Blog Accidentally (Volume 33)

Dear People Who Find My Blog Accidentally:

Here we are! End of March. Weather’s pretty much the same as it was in February. This is all very disheartening. I am very much ready for spring. I want mud and growing things and the smell of fresh newness and all this snow to melt so I don’t have to risk my life every time I pull out of a driveway onto a road, dammit. COME ON, EARTH. We’ve suffered through a bothersomely long and cold and snowy winter. Please give us our spring. We deserve it now, please. Pleeeeease.

I am trying very hard to stick to a writing schedule; I have it all written up and hung where I can see it and it tells me what to write when so I can get things out there. Some are for the blog and some are for the OTHER blog and some are for OTHER people’s blogs and some are for submissions for publication, because I’m trying to be fancy this year and stop procrastinating. I mean, I’m not getting any younger. I have a lot of words in me. I’d like more people to see them. I think this might be the time to do that.

Yep. Totally me. Only much less corsety and much more pajama-and-cat-hair-y.

Yep. Totally me. Only much less corsety and much more pajama-and-cat-hair-y.

So, just in case you’re new (and if so, hi hi hi! Welcome to the old Football. Sometimes I write things here. Sometimes I get busy and don’t have time. I’m thinking of you ALL THE TIME, though! Like a friendly stalker!), let me catch you up on this recurring post. I’m obsessed with my stats; I like to check what search terms drive people to my blog; then I feel REALLY BAD this isn’t what they were looking for. So I write them a letter of apology (as you can see, this is the 33th one. That is easily divisible by 11! In case you weren’t aware! That makes it a very good number! If you’re interested, search for the others; they’re stellar.) Why do I do this? Eh. Who knows. Good times, I guess. Good times and crazy search terms.

I didn’t get many questions this month, but I got a lot of search terms. I thought about splitting this into two posts, but I’m too damn lazy. So this is going to be one hellaciously long post. Hope you’re all up for the challenge.

Here we go, jellybeans. I called friend A. jellybean at work today, and he was all “WHO CALLS SOMEONE JELLYBEAN?” and that made me laugh. A lot. Because I do! I call people jellybean!

I only call the people I really, really love food-related nicknames. It's a thing with me.

I only call the people I really, really love food-related nicknames. It’s a thing with me.

are you brave enough to delete people you dont like from your facebook Am I brave enough? Is this a dare? Is this like how Marty in Back the Future couldn’t not get in a fight if someone challenged him? Well, if it’s a “brave” thing (which I would argue), then, yes, weirdo, I guess I can claim that. But mostly the people I unfriend and/or delete isn’t a dislike thing, it’s more of a “I no longer know/talk to this person” thing, so I start thinking, “do I really want them on my personal Facebook page?” and the answer is 99% of the time no, no I do not, so I unfriend them. I realize this is not what normal people do; I can only assume, per the sheer mass of friends most of you seem to have on Facebook, you never unfriend anyone, and are friends with everyone from your newspaper delivery boy to your 98-year-old Nonna, but I’m very weird about social media. As for deleting people, there are some people I’ve blocked, yes, for various reasons, some of them stalkery, some of them ex-friendy. None of this is really all that fascinating, dear. To answer your question: yep. I’m as brave as that sassy redhead from the Scottish Pixar bear movie. Rawr.

Merida would NEVER fear deleting someone from her Facebook!

Merida would NEVER fear deleting someone from her Facebook!

blogging etiquette for kids I’m curious. Is this about child-bloggers, or is this about “should I post my children’s photos on Facebook?” Are child-bloggers like sweatshop workers, and you force them to blog every night after school and they’re all “I DON’T WANT TO, MOMMY!” and you’re like “you’ll DO it, and you’ll LIKE it” and they cry and cry and you offer them an ice cream sandwich if they finish the damn thing? I’m not enjoying the idea of child bloggers at the moment. If it’s about putting children’s photos on the internet…well, you have to trust your gut on this one, and know that if you do it, there are weirdos that will most likely put your child’s photo on a porn site. The world is full of such nonsense. I am pretty selective about what photos of The Nephew I put on here. Like, I just did the zoo blog, and it needed at least a COUPLE photos of The Nephew, or you’d think I’d made him up and drove to Utica alone, but I made sure he was all bundled up, or behind a lion photo-thingy or something. Probably still pervs will find my blog, though. That’s what pervs are good at. Well, that and searching my blog for things like “literotica dogs and ladees.” STOP THAT.

bubble adult finnish necklace scientific articles worst of There’s a lot going on here, and I’m not 100% sure what it all means. I even did some variations of searches on this, and nothing. Andreas? Any ideas? There’s science here, but also necklaces, and since Andreas’ fiancée makes such gorgeous jewelry, maybe they can put their heads together and figure out what’s happening here, even though technically the two of them are Swedish, not Finnish, despite currently living in the land of the Finns. This is becoming very tangled so please enjoy this photo of a bubbly jeweled thong thing I found on the intertubes.

Yeah. This isn't at all ouchy-looking.

Yeah. This isn’t at all ouchy-looking.

coloring pages of eyes nose mouth of tim tebow Why would you WANT this? Only his eyes, nose, and mouth? I don’t…does anyone even talk about Tim Tebow anymore? Remember he was such a big deal? What happened to him? Is he no longer praying and causing everyone to have aneurisms over the separation of church and sportsball? HOLY CRAP IT’S A THING. It’s really a thing. WHAT IS HAPPENING. Who wants this? Kids? Adults? Women with crushes? Pastors? I am so confused, you guys. The internet never fails to amaze me. Sincerely.

This scares me. Kind of a lot.

This scares me. Kind of a lot.

facebook funny coworkers blocking you HA HA HA! That IS funny, your coworkers blocking you! Oh, wait, I think that means they hate you. I think that means you fail interpersonal relations. Not sending you a friend request is one thing…blocking you, that’s pretty serious. Dude, did someone tell you this is funny? They were lying.

i am not mad i just need sex Can I tell you a story? One of the things I hate most in the world is when you’re in a terrible mood, and someone (male, female, it doesn’t matter, both do such things) say something like “ugh, SOMEONE needs to get laid.” I usually say in response to that, “SOMEONE needs to get laid out” and then I make a move like I’m going to punch them in the neck, and also I say something totally inappropriate like “are you implying I don’t know how to masturbate?” because I have learned that there’s very little that shuts people up quicker than talking about female masturbation. Why is it that male masturbation is not only understood as something that happens and is normal and also a joke on all the sitcoms, but female masturbation NEVER gets talked about, and it makes people all freaked out as if it’s like sacrificing a virgin to a volcano? That probably has nothing to do with this search term, but why not take the opportunity to rant a bit, you know?

Why does this look like a child wrote it? *shudder*

Why does this look like a child wrote it? *shudder*

i hate it when people think your stupid quote images Oh. Sigh. Do we need to have this talk again? You’re = you are, your = possessive for something that belongs to you. “I hate it when people think YOU’RE stupid.” Not “your stupid.” I mean, go on and own your stupidITY, darlin’, that’s ok, but not in this format in this sentence. OK? And if you find an image with it spelled this way, don’t use it, because then people WILL think you’re stupid.

A whole SHIRT that's a grammatical nightmare. I kind of ironically want this.

A whole SHIRT that’s a grammatical nightmare. I kind of ironically want this.

i looked silver fillings brother’s mouth HOLY CRAP NO! NOT SILVER FILLINGS! (What does this mean? Anyone know?) My brother has no fillings. My brother and I have excellent oral hygiene due to fluoride pills as children. *curtseys*

i love you then i hate you. i wanna throw you from a cliff then I thought maybe this was a song (I’m not ruling that out – it might be, still, I just don’t know which one, if so.) But if it’s NOT a song…man, don’t be throwing people off cliffs. Did you read about that woman who got married, then right after took her husband up to the mountains and pushed him off a cliff? It’s all very salacious and who knows what happened there. I’m sure it’ll be on 20/20 soon enough. Or one of those Nightline: MURDER! shows and they’ll call it “The Newlywed Killer” or something. I get it: the people we love sometimes are extremely frustrating. But clench your fists or yell into a pillow or get therapy or something. Don’t murder them. Because then the next day, when you’re over it, they’ll still be dead, and you’ll be someone’s bitch in a prison cell. Do you want that? I don’t think you do.

i was the class clown but now i’m not that funny Yeah, that happens. Sometimes when you get older, you no longer have that forum in which to crack everyone up. I mean, you’re not in a classroom setting anymore, and you’re no longer all hormones and awkwardness, and you don’t NEED to be funny to survive…so your need to make loud fart noises when the teacher sits, or say things like “Jenny Jacobs is a tampon!” really loudly leaves you. It’s ok. Watch old standup videos and think about your long-lost glory. Take out the yearbook where you got voted Class Clown and cry a little on the signatures. Tell sad jokes into your shaving mirror and go off to your soul-crushing job as a stockbroker and think, “WHY ME? WHY LORD WHY ME?” You’re welcome, Crackup McGurk. Best of luck. Here’s a banana peel, go fall down and see if anyone laughs. (Bee tee dubs? Those of us the class clown were mocking back then are adults who are making people laugh on the regular now. Just an FYI. Hope you’re happy thinking about all those people you’re not making laugh now.)

Aw, the tears of the class clown. *sniff*

Aw, the tears of the class clown. *sniff*

if u r bad then say me ur dad What does this mean? It’s like a little textspeak rhyme. Let’s translate it into normal human English. “If you’re bad, then say I’m your father.” Is this an alternate way to say “Who’s your daddy?” or even “Who’s been a bad girl?” I’m completely befuddled. I refuse to use textspeak. It bothers me so much. I get it’s faster if you’re texting all fast, but it’s not that much faster. And why are we in such a race? I text everything the same way as I would write. It makes people laugh. They comment on it all the time. “You text and write the SAME!” Yes. I’m very old. It’s what I do.

im doing my paralelle parking on my 7th hour of driving . . . is this a good thing ? I don’t know because I’m confused by your question. You’ve only been driving for 7 hours and you’re learning parallel parking? I guess that’s good. I’ve been driving for 22 years and I’m still terrible at parallel parking. I’ll walk an extra ten minutes rather than parallel park. So if you can master it, you go, brave driver, you go. And don’t you let anyone tell you that you don’t need to know how to do it. You do. MASTER THAT SKILL. It’s one you’ll need as an adult, no matter what anyone tells you, and sometimes there’s no choice but parallel parking, and if you can’t do it, you’ll turn around and go home in tears. I mean. So they tell me.

i’m in my 20’s perhaps This, to me, seems to be something one should know. Are you in your 20s? Or are you NOT in your 20s? “Perhaps” is not the right answer to this question. Unless you were raised by wolves and don’t know your true date of birth. If that’s the case, awesome, can I meet your wolf-mom? I think wolves are neat.

it’s so hard not talking to you Ooh. Ouch. Yeah, I’ve had those people. Sorry, lost searcher. It gets better, one way or another. Either you and your person will find your way back to one another (it really does happen), or time will heal all wounds (or, if not heal them, at least make them easier to live with…time and distance do that) and you’ll breathe a little easier each day until one day you won’t realize until about halfway through the day that you haven’t thought about that person all day. Then you’ll get a little weepy, because it seems like you lost them all over again. It takes time, hon. I’m sorry. It’s one of the hardest parts of this whole human-gig we have going on here, and I’ve been there. Sending you much love. You will get through it. I promise.

lemurs happy birthday OMG! Is it the birthday of ALL THE LEMURS? Every last one? Why didn’t anyone tell me? I would have thrown SUCH A PARTY! Happiest of birthdays, lemurs! I hope you have the best year and are not eaten by the hyenas!

THE HAPPIEST BIRTHDAY LEMUR! He looks a little drunk, to be honest. Did someone serve this lemur too many free drinks on his birthday? Come on, people. Fess up.

THE HAPPIEST BIRTHDAY LEMUR! He looks a little drunk, to be honest. Did someone serve this lemur too many free drinks on his birthday? Come on, people. Fess up.

lucy is a person very especial Oh, sí. Muy especial. Especial en la cabeza. Muchas gracias, mi amigo.

maddest musicals ever Now, what are we talking, here. Mad-angry or mad-insane? I’m going to nominate Sweeney Todd for a little of both, for sure. The people in Les Misérables are pretty pissed. Cats is batshit insane. The cats talk and leap all through the audience and scare children, I mean, come on. The titular character in Phantom of the Opera is a lunatic. The characters in Assassins are both angry AND crazy. I could go on, but I feel I’d be boring someone. Or a lot of someones. But if you need a really specific list, I’m your lady. Let me know what you’re looking for, sweet potato.

people who.find friendship waste of time is not friendship Well, isn’t this a nice little adage. People who find that friendship is a waste of time are not your friends, I would assume would be the grammatically correct version of this? Well, good grief, why are you even hanging out with such people? What kind of person says, “I find this whole friendship gig a waste of my precious TIME” to you and yet you continue to hang with them? That’s really more on you than on them. Hit the road, Jack, if that’s happening. I’ve totally been culpable of not keeping in as good of touch with my friends as I should, especially when busy or when my head’s in a bad place (sorry, friends, I love you!) but I don’t know that I’ve ever said, “friendship, man. What a waste of ma TAHME.” If I ever say that, please take me outside of the barn, tell me to think of the rabbits, and put me down, George.

sexscarf I don’t have much to say here, other than this is a most excellent word, and would make a great band name or book title. Someone make it so. SEXSCARF! (You know you can just use regular scarves, right? Right.)

I Googled sexscarf and this came up. Does this look like a sexscarf to you guys?

I Googled sexscarf and this came up. Does this look like a sexscarf to you guys?

short romance stories for middle school Ooh, I love a challenge. “Today was the day! Morton would tell Penelope he loved her. But just as he approached her, he tripped over his too-low-hanging pants, and when she turned to see what the clatter was, her hair got caught in her braces. Better luck next time, Morton!” How’d I do? Pretty romantic, no?

the stupid smile when a person sends a message Yes. This. Sometimes this. That’s all I have to say about that. Thank you.

unipegaso animal OMG UNIPEGOSO. This is totally a Spanish unicorn-pegasus HYBRID. It would say things like “muy peligroso!” and it would also fly you off into the sunset most impressively. Can I have a unipegoso? (SIDE NOTE: there were Mexican wolves at the zoo last weekend and they wouldn’t howl back at The Nephew so I said, “maybe they don’t understand you, I’ll try it” and I said, “Ay yi yi! Muy caliente!” and THEN howled and the wolves STILL didn’t howl back. But The Nephew looked at me like I was insane and said, “Aunt Amy, those wolves don’t talk HUMAN. They speak WOLF.” And then I had a coughing fit that was also giggles.)

A BEAUTIFUL UNIPEGOSO!

A BEAUTIFUL UNIPEGOSO!

volue bases question- if you get a chance to become invisible then what will you do anything else? I have to say I don’t know what “volue bases” means and also I’m confused by this question. What will I do anything else. Like, anything else EVER? Well, yes, I would imagine I would continue to exist, wouldn’t I? Only I would become invisible, like at parties and also maybe if I saw someone I didn’t want to socially interact with. And if I had a wedgie in public. I would not use this power to spy on people. If you spy on people you just find out things you wish you didn’t know, like the fact that your friend is sleeping with the guy from work you’ve had a crush on for two years and hiding it from you because she secretly hates you. I mean, I hear you can find those things out. If you were to spy.

what does it mean if boyfriend rated most like ingo montoya OMG. Are you freaking out over one of those Buzzfeed quizzes? You seriously are, aren’t you? Yesterday it told me that the Breakfast Club character I was most like was John Bender, and I totally rejoiced. Although it’s wrong. I would sadly be most like Brian, the geek who blew up his locker. Also, it’s “Inigo” Montoya. Anyway. It means nothing, is what it means. It means your boyfriend answered enough questions that sorted him into the most-like-this-person category, per whoever made the quiz. Those quizzes are always wrong, by the way, and one of my friends online pointed out they’re a really good way for whoever’s sponsoring Buzzfeed to get marketing statistics out of you and you aren’t even aware they’re doing it. So I wouldn’t worry; your boyfriend probably isn’t prone to swordfights, piracy, or revenge plots. Probably. But if he starts rhyming, look out.

Even Inigo knows Buzzfeed is bullshit.

Even Inigo knows Buzzfeed is bullshit.

what is gasolining I’m really not sure. I was so worried it was going to be a sex thing, but it’s not even a thing-thing. I guess maybe it’s setting someone on fire with gasoline, but it could also be fueling something with gasoline. You could be on the cutting edge with this, searcher! Use it until it’s everywhere! It’s your day! Hoorah hooray!

when pan plays people listen radio I thought this is a Pandora marketing slogan – When Pandora plays, people listen – but apparently I made that up in my head. Nope. This is about Pan. The little goat-footed trickster. When he plays, man, people LISTEN. And also get into SHENANIGANS!

LISTEN, PEOPLE! It's Pan, dammit!

LISTEN, PEOPLE! It’s Pan, dammit!

why you always hating bitch you need a hug *sniff* It’s like you really know me. Come here, you big galoot. Gimme a squish.

wildpark poing plan WILDPARK POING! Listen. I have not yet given up my plan of seeing Wildpark Poing someday. I don’t believe in bucket lists, but if I did, I would totally have this on there. In like all-caps and with stars around it. SOMEDAY I WILL SEE WILDPARK POING! And you can all come, too. I’ll let you. Only, virtually, of course. We wouldn’t want to scare the animals.

I'm coming for you, Poing! I have not forgotten about you!

I’m coming for you, Poing! I have not forgotten about you!

ww.i.knowe.this.person.a.spell.to.let.him.know.i.love.him.com Is this a site? About magic and/or love? Don’t cast love spells. If they work, that person never loved you, and you are just seeing an illusion. How will you ever know if they would have loved you on their own? If they don’t work, you’ll feel stupid. Also, don’t you know the “and it harm none” warning? Controlling someone else’s thoughts, emotions and feelings is harming them. No love spells, darlin’. Find someone else and love them, ok? Oh, wait. A spell to LET him know you love him? I know a way to let him know you love him WITHOUT a spell. TELL HIM. Here, I’ll script it for you: “Hi, (name of person I love.) I know we (are just friends/don’t know each other at all/are Montagues and Capulets/are related by blood.) I just wanted to say I love you. No, no. Not friend-love. Love, love. I want to kiss your face and also let’s take all of our clothes off and just kind of revel in the nudity for a while until we do the naked be-bop. I want to spend the rest of my life making you happy, having you make me happy, and building this amazing world with the two of us together. What do you say?” If they say no, DO NOT GO HOME AND CAST SPELLS. What did I tell you about spells? But if they say yes…well, I’d expect your first kiddo to be named Lucy, of course. YOU ARE WELCOME! (They’ll never know you love them unless you tell them. TELL THEM. Is it the scariest thing ever? Sure it is. Just bite that bullet and do it, ok? What have you got to lose? What have you got to gain?)

Whoo-hoo, we made it through March! April’s chock-full-of-goodness…and then comes May! With trips to Europe! And the hugging of people I love! WHO LIVE FAR AWAY!

Until next month, my poor lost lambikins. May Google be kind in your searches.

Love, Me.

(As always, thank you to Mer for the inspiration for these posts!)


Why zoos aren’t usually open in the winter in the northeast

Last month, The Nephew, his mom and I went to the science museum in Schenectady to see butterflies and a planetarium show and also play with huge Lego blocks and train sets. It was very much enjoyed by all parties and the minute it was done, The Nephew’s mom and I started talking about our next adventure, but weren’t sure what it would be.

She sent me a message on Facebook not long after I’d gotten home saying that The Nephew had already planned our next adventure.

Your nephew wants our next adventure to be at the zoo! I told him it’s too cold for a zoo in the winter so we can go in the spring or summer. He said with his infinite wisdom “Mom, the animals don’t just disappear in the winter. Take me to wherever they put the zoo animals when it’s cold. Maybe Aunt Amy will know.” Impossible to argue with that!

Well, I have to agree. How can you argue with that? So I began to research local zoos.

At first, I thought of the Binghamton Zoo, which used to be open year-round when I was a student. I know this because friend R. and I used to go there, and once went the day after an ice storm and were the only ones in the zoo and it was just the best. The animals were all frolicking just for us, and I got a puma to come out of its home by saying “rrawr?” and it said, “RAWR” and came out and we had a happy talk through the wire. He seemed very engaged. He was probably lonely. Or wanted to eat my face. Debatable, I suppose.

But the Binghamton Zoo is no longer open year-round, and a lot of other zoos nearby are also closed for the winter, so I started to despair until I found…

THE UTICA ZOO!

Open year-round and a mere 90 minutes away. We would see our animals in the wintertime after all! AUNT AMY WINS!

So we packed ourselves into the car, and an hour and a half later, we arrived at…

The Utica Zoo!

Driving through Utica makes me sad. It was a grand town, once, and now it’s kind of falling apart, and the buildings have a lot of broken windows and are filled with lost grandeur. You can see how beautiful it must have been, once, though. The buildings are beautiful and stately in that old-fashioned way, and look like they’re waiting for the next act…but the next act isn’t coming, I don’t think. I think the show’s been cancelled. And things like that hurt me. I love history. I don’t like when things are thrown away like that.

On the drive there, mostly The Nephew played Angry Birds and said, “Aunt Amy! Play this level, it’s easy!” but they were never easy, and then he would sigh like I exhausted him and he would say, “Oh, just give it to ME” and then he’d solve it in a second. (I’m terrible at Angry Birds. Those pigs are WAY wily.) He also is fascinated with family relationships. “Aunt Amy, who is your mom?” he’ll ask me, and I’ll say, “Your grammy is my mom!” and he’ll laugh and say, “Oh!” and then he’ll say “Aunt Amy, who is your dad?” and I’ll say “My dad is your grampy!” and he’ll laugh and say “Oh!” and then finally he’ll say “Aunt Amy, did you know my daddy’s mom and dad are my grammy and grampy?” and I’ll say, “Yes, did you know your dad is my brother?” and he’ll say “OH!” and this always cracks him up and he laughs. To REALLY make him laugh, I call his dad my LITTLE brother. “No! He is a grown-up MAN!” he’ll say, then giggle and giggle. I enjoy that kids don’t understand that once, the GROWN-UPS were ALSO kids. This makes me smile, to think that in a child’s mind, we’ve always been this age.

So there were a few signs when you first entered the zoo saying “paths may be icy.” We were all, “pooh pooh! How icy can they be?”

The answer is…glare-icy.

Apparently, in order to stay open all winter, they had to cut back on grounds maintenance. None of the pathways had been cleared at all. There was ice and snow and SO MUCH ICE ZOMG, and of course The Nephew tramped along it merrily (and fell once, but picked himself right back up like he’s made of rubber and kept-on a’runnin’.) At one point, the path just STOPPED, and we had to tromp through the snow, and The Nephew was all “well, now we are lost in the WOODS!” and he was sort of right. But then the path started again, sort of. It got so bad I purposely walked through the snow instead of on the path because the path was slipperytown. Bad news, Utica Zoo! I realize salt wasn’t probably a good idea with all those animals. But sand? Maybe? Or don’t be open? Because you are COURTING DEATH with those paths, you guys.

Other than the DEATH-ICE, and how cold it was (we all had windburned faces and chilly legs and hands when we were done) and the fact that about half of the animals were gone (I don’t know where…I guess wherever animals go when it’s cold? Vacation? Florida, like retirees? Just inside in the groundskeeper’s buildings? Anyone know?) it was kind of an awesome zoo. You know how much I love zoos. It would take a lot more than a little ice to put me in a terrible mood.

What’s that?

You want to see photos of our day at the zoo?

Ha, it’s like you don’t even know me. I took a MILLION photos of the zoo. The whole time, I told The Nephew’s mom, “This is for a MOST IMPRESSIVE BLOG I will be writing about this adventure!” and she said, “Of course you will!” She totally knows about the bloggery. Most of my people do. It doesn’t even shock them anymore.

Let’s go to the zoo!

First we had to go to the bathrooms, and outside the bathrooms, randomly, was this loose peacock. The Nephew was all “LOOK AT THAT!” and wanted to I think either pet or ride the peacock, but the peacock was having none of that and booked it away from us. (Isn’t it pretty? I’ve never seen one up close!)

Here’s The Nephew chasing it as it walked away. He really wanted a pet peacock.

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It was all, “listen, dude, I am JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU” and The Nephew was all, “No, seriously, come back, I will play “In Your Eyes” to you on a boom box! YOU COMPLETE ME!”

Then we saw some goats. I know some people who like goats. I took a lot of photos of these fellas.

This one looked like a genetic abnormality. Therefore he was my favorite.

There were none of those little feeding stations at this zoo. I hear rumors that they all had to be removed because hooligans were breaking into the zoo to steal the money in them. This goat didn’t get the memo. He wanted me to feed him. I had no food. Only Tic Tacs. I don’t think the goat wanted Tic Tacs.

This goat looks like he knows a secret. Do you think it’s the secret of why they didn’t put any sand on the paths so we almost died like a hundred times?

This goat was chewing on a log. I don’t know why, either. But it made me laugh. He was SO FOCUSED on this. He didn’t even look up. Look at his funny pupils! This is why I love goats. They have curious eyes.

I think this is the genetic abnormality goat again. I was a fan of his.

ZOMG GOAT! Stop with the log, already, people are going to think you have a complex!

Next was a thing I loved, and I think I need to get it on a teeshirt.

I BITE! And there was NOTHING IN THE CAGE! So it was totally scary for no reason. I like that it’s in ALL-CAPS.

But then the bitey thing came out. What do you think it was? A cougar? A wolverine?

Nope.

This stork-thing. I would think he pecks and pinches more than bites. Just to be safe, though, in case his beak was hiding sharp teeth, we didn’t poke him.

This is his wanted poster. I BITE, DAMMIT!

Yes, I know. That’s a lot of snow. We’re really mired in this neverending winter up here.

Thought you’d like to see some adorableness. Here’s The Nephew taking a photo-op in front of the children’s zoo. He has many layers on. We were chilly, yo.

Yeah, I know. Worst photo ever. See, my nice camera totally died almost immediately and I had to use my phone for the rest of the day. This is a zebra. He was really far away and to get to him, you had to cross TREACHEROUS ICE. So I decided to zoom in as far in as I could and call it a day. HI, ZEBRA! (He totally finds me fascinating. Look at him checking me out.)

This is a camel I decided to call Spicoli. He seems to be stoned, and really laid-back. I think he would call you “dude” a lot and laugh inappropriately. Look, he totally has hay in his hair and he doesn’t even CARE. And he looks like he’s grinning at NOTHING. (Also, apparently in the winter, this kind of camel grows a lot of dreadlocks, and their humps droop randomly to one side or another. Just makes them look more like stoner-camels to me.)

This was some sort of peacock with a huge lacy tail. There was no sign on this exhibit so I can’t even tell you what kind. I liked how fancy it was. This peacock would ALWAYS get invited to the dance.

MERKA!

The Nephew didn’t see this eagle at first, then when he did, he was kind of tired, and said “That doesn’t even LOOK like an eagle” and I said, “No? What does it look like?” and he sighed and said, “A big bird with a yellow beak.” But later when we asked him what his favorite animal was, he said the eagle.

Oh, pretend there’s a photo of a sea lion here. They wouldn’t stay out of the water long enough for us to photograph them, but they were very cool. One popped up long enough to kind of clap his flippers at us, then disappeared again. I do so like sea lions.

Why does every zoo have Cotton-Topped Tamarins? These things freak me out, man. Where’s that stoner camel. He’d calm me down. I think he has something that’ll help me out with that.

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Snakes! This one’s pretty. I think it was a corn snake.

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I don’t remember what kind of snake this is, but the photo turned out well. Sometimes that happens.

These were gigantic pythons, and they would most definitely eat you and digest you. I even like snakes but I’m glad they were safely behind glass.

The website said there would be so many turtles and tortoises, and there was only this one. This is for Heather. She is my tortoise-friend and she said I would love this guy the most of all the turtles and tortoises. She was right, considering he was the only one. Sadly, this is not a very good photo. Good grief, why is it so RED? Sorry, Heather.

It is very hard to see, but up in the upper left-hand corner of this one is a beautiful owl. I love owls. I went “hoo! Hoo!” to him but he was all “I’m napping, lady, sheesh.”

This is not a helper mule, as much as I’d like it to be. This was just a donkey. He was pretty cute, though.

This was a HUGE Flemish rabbit. The sign says they can grow to 28 pounds. I was all “The Nephew! Come see this huge rabbit!” and he came over and said, “Aunt AMY, that rabbit isn’t that huge. He’s just really fat. I think he eats too much food” and that made me and The Nephew’s Mom giggle.

Look at this guy. He’s GORGEOUS. I sincerely want an owl. On the way home, we saw two hawks, too. It was a raptor-bird kind of day.

Look! He looked at us! He wanted to be our friend!

It’s hard to tell, because he’s very blending-into-the-landscapey, but this is a beautiful lynx. He watched us the whole time but not in a scary way. In a “bring me home!” way. The Nephew said I could bring him home, and he PROBABLY wouldn’t eat Dumbcat. I like them odds.

I saved the best for last. What do you think is best?

What’s that? You can’t see them very well? I CAN FIX THAT!

LIONS!

At first, The Nephew said, “I don’t think I want to see lions…” in a scared little voice, but then he realized they wouldn’t eat us and he was cool with the lions. This one was pacing the whole time we were standing by it. He wanted to eat our whole faces. I loved him.

I’m going to be obnoxious and show you a lot of photos of this lion. He was my best fella.

Isn’t he so PRETTY? I do love big cats.

And you know what you have to do when you’re around the lions.

You HAVE to make a lion face! (Those lions don’t even care.)

Then we discovered one of my favorite things at zoos…

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One of these “you are an animal” face-thingies! First The Nephew was a lion. You can also see Aunt Amy behind him holding him up so he didn’t fall on the little teeny-tiny piece of wood he was standing on in order to be a lion. I especially like the paws on this thing. Very realistic.

I am a scary lion! This is totally my Facebook cover photo right now, yo. This is like the best thing ever. RAWR I AM A SCARY LION (who is also holding a Utica Zoo sign, for some reason!)

Then we were cold and tired, so we hoofed it to the gift shop and The Nephew decided he wanted a scary lion thing that bit things and grabbed things but we convinced him that really he wanted a spelunker’s hat with a VERY cool flashlight built in (when I told him the word “spelunker” he repeated it and giggled – this kid LOVES learning, it is so good for my heart) and I got a NEW FRIEND!

His name is Trent. He is a very brave tortoise, and not at all afraid of Dumbcat. (Right after this photo was taken, Dumbcat randomly started purring and headbutted poor Trent right onto the floor. Oh, Dumbcat. That’s no way to treat your new housemate!) Don’t even mock my warm flannel PJs, yo. It’s going to be NINE DEGREES tonight. Where is my spring?!?!)

Then we all went to a diner and The Nephew had pancakes and french fries (which was an awesome combination, I thought) and I helped him clean up some spilled milk and I told him I was helping him because I loved him all the way to the moon and back, and he said “I love you TWO TIMES that!” and I kissed him on his little head because that made me have tears. Oh, do I love that child.

Then it was time to go home, and tonight I am ouchy from walking and ouchy from windburny but we had a lovely day. But I would recommend that you probably don’t go to a zoo in the winter that DOESN’T upkeep their paths, though. Total liability. Otherwise? Good times had at the zoo by all. Including the animals. They were probably so sad to see us go. We’re excellent zoo visitors. No one was as happy as we were. We won zooing!


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