Category Archives: Capital Region

I may not have gone in the direction that was intended when I said I’d mention this here. Whoops.

It’s Thursday! I’m on brain-fry! Yahoo!

It was one of our gajillion deadlines this week, so I’ve been a little scattery. Here is a quick demonstration of everyone I work with this week:

Asshat 1: I need this now. I have a deadline.

Me: OK.

Asshat 2, five minutes later: I need THIS now.

Me: OK, well, I’m working on this but as soon as I finish this I’ll do that.

Asshat 2: That’s not acceptable. I have a deadline.

Me: So does Asshat 1.

Asshat 2: Do I need to go to your boss about this?

Me: I…guess? I don’t really know the protocol, here. I’m just an underpaid peon. Possibly a lackey. Or a toady. It’s debatable, really.

Asshat Boss, five minutes later: Asshat 2 says you refused to work on his work and he has a deadline.

Me: Nope. Not really in the least bit of truth to that, actually. I told Asshat 2 I’d do it as soon as I finished Asshat 1’s work. Which is also under deadline.

Asshat Boss: This could all be rectified if you would work about twice as fast. Also, can you smile more? You seem…I don’t know. A little down. It would be nice if I came over to chastise you for something that’s not your fault at all and you greeted me with a smile. More bowing and scraping. Maybe some baked goods. Do you have any baked goods?

(Note: some of this conversation may have taken place in my head. But I think it subtextually totally happened. So, fair enough.)

There’s also been some yelling, an attempt to get me fired by Coworker-I’d-Be-Most-Likely-to-Throw-Under-An-Actual-Not-Metaphorical-Bus, and I may or may not have “dropped” a very heavy file in order to make a really satisfying loud noise to let off some steam, and then said oopsy. But it wasn’t an oopsy, no no, not at all. I needed to hear a bang.

BUT, because you KNOW I’m totally going to get fired if I talk about work, enough work talk. I mean, not that I haven’t whiled away the hours daydreaming how nice it would be NOT to have to come in here or anything but I kind of need the paycheck even though it’s not really tending my soul’s garden or whatever. I don’t think anyone’s job does that. IF YOUR JOB DOES THAT SHUT RIGHT UP. I DON’T WANT TO EVEN KNOW.

I promised my friend Patrick I’d mention this. I KNOW I TOTALLY SAID SOMEONE’S REAL NAME THAT I KNOW IN REAL LIFE. LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING RIGHT DOWN. I’m only saying his NAME because once you click the LINK I’m about to put in here you will SEE his name so it seems silly to give him a pseudonym, now doesn’t it.

(Oh, side note, London Bridge is totally in Arizona now and I HAVE SEEN IT. I know, right? How insane is that? But, true story.)

OK, before I explain the situation, let me tell you a little about Patrick and why he’s shiny and awesome. HA! A little. I’m fooling NO ONE right now. Like I’ve ever told you a little about anything ever.

Remember a few weeks ago I told you about when I started working at my theater, and I was totally daunted by the fancy actors and didn’t talk to them for like six months other than when I totally HAD to talk to them because they were REALLY BIG DEALS and I was country mouse and afraid?

Patrick is the fanciest of the fancy, no joke. Although that makes him sound like an asshole. And you know what, by all rights, someone as talented as he is? Probably should be an asshole. They usually are. However! It could NOT be further from the truth. Because Patrick is, without a doubt, one of the most genuinely amazing people I’ve ever met in my entire life.

Now listen, I don’t say this lightly. Most people I’m meh on. Like, I can take or leave them. I don’t want them to fall in a hole and die or anything, but I don’t care much either way. I have this small group of people that I’m VERY loyal toward. Probably to the point of being annoying. But that’s how I’ve always been. My dad said that to me the other night, actually. “You’ve always only liked about five people at a time and then REALLY liked them, since you were a little tiny kid,” he said. So that’s nice. I like consistency. (Heads up, I TOTALLY like more than five people with the intensity of a rabid dog now. I think I probably rabidly like…let’s see…I don’t know, that’s a lot of thinking. Let’s say 25. TWENTY-FIVE! That’s nice, right? That’s a total all-time high for me. I think that’s a good sign. You can imagine you’re one of the 25 if you want to. I’ll let you.)

No, anyway, SIDETRACKY, Patrick is, without a doubt, my favorite person to watch onstage. Ever. And I watch a LOT of theater. I’d watch him in ANYTHING. I’m going to watch him in something this weekend, actually, which is totally exciting. You can’t even imagine the talent this guy has, seriously. It makes you thrill, you guys. THRILL. But, even better – and I know this is going to shock and awe you, because there are probably, I don’t know, eight of these people left in the WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD, they are an ENDANGERED SPECIES like WHITE TIGERS – he’s A REALLY GOOD PERSON.

No, seriously. Like, a good person. I know. It’s hard to wrap your mind around that. Let it sink in for a minute. Like, the kind of person who goes OUT OF HIS WAY to do nice things for people, even if it puts HIM out. The kind of person who takes time out to support people he’s not even that CLOSE to. The kind of person who, when he comes into a room, the whole entire room lights right up.  The kind of person who is just so filled with this amazing zest for life that you can’t help but feel more excited about everything when you’re around him. And, when I was all scared-of-the-talent and hiding in the light booth or whatever? He could NOT have been nicer. He didn’t even ALLOW me to be scared in the booth. He just kept being friendly. And he was the whole reason I was volunteering there ! Because a show he was in there had been SO AMAZING and he’d been SO AMAZING that I wanted to work at THAT VERY THEATER FOREVER AND EVER! But not JUST nice, and all namby-pamby, or anything, so it would be un-fun to be around him! No no! ALSO fun and intelligent and with the best laugh in the history of laughs! I know! There aren’t many of those people out there. I don’t blame you for being confused. You may not have ever met one of these people before. They’re kind of like unicorns. Mythological, really. I ASSURE YOU THEY ARE REAL.

(Also, side note, he is an AMAZING WRITER and needs to be blogging, like, yesterday. So if you want to encourage him to do so in the comments, good. Peer pressure him. You would love a blog written by him, seriously. Can he ever write. Damn.)

ANYWAY. Patrick is our local theater scene’s biggest supporter. He’s not only always in a show – and this is something I totally admire about him, he follows the roles, and I love that, he doesn’t just stick to one theater group, but goes where the most interesting roles are for him, and challenges himself, and this makes him continue to grow as an actor – but he’s always attending a show when he’s not in rehearsal. I don’t know that there’s been a show in recent history that hasn’t had Patrick’s booming laugh in the audience. (Well, OBVIOUSLY, when it MERITS laughter. He’s not laughing at DRAMAS. Calm down.) And you should see the enjoyment he GETS from the shows! Once, I happened to be at a show when he was also there, so we sat together. And he was just so into the show. Which made me insanely furiously happy because that’s usually me, but then I feel like a huge goof because most people are not responding and just sitting there and being passive or whatever? Nope. His eyes were as lit up as mine and he was engaged and it just made me SO HAPPY. He cheers the casts and crews on via Facebook. He reads plays. He reads up on theater. He goes to the City to see shows. HE SENDS POSTCARDS THANKING YOU WHEN YOU ATTEND HIS SHOWS. No, I’m serious, this guy rocks. ROCKS. You WISH you were friends with Patrick. (Oh, what’s that? You wish you COULD be? Well, BAM, you can, he just joined Twitter. So go be friends with Patrick, if you want. There is no way having him in your life won’t make it a better place.)

I do have a point here, I’m GETTING to it, sheesh.

So a few days ago, Patrick started a petition to get our local area alternate newsweekly, Metroland, to cover local theater. They barely do. They cover a slight handful of the shows we have to offer. It’s not really understood why this is the case, well, at least by me – someone might understand it, I guess, I mean, the people WORKING there probably do, I don’t know – but it would be a huge deal if they started covering local theater. This paper is free. It goes everywhere. To everyone. And local theater being covered there means that more people would know about us, and might help us boost our audiences. I’m not even saying it from a “we need the cash” standpoint. A lot of our local theaters do a pay-what-you-will night. I’d just like to have more people SEEING the shows, you know? Let me get a wee bit soapboxy? There is no one’s life that is not made better by seeing a live theater production. I don’t believe in a lot of things completely and totally and utterly, but I believe that 100%. I’m not saying every show’s for everyone? But there’s at least one show out there that will make each and every person in the world laugh or cry or say, “hey, yes, THAT’S ME” and how can that not make your life a little better and a little richer and a little fuller? And who doesn’t want their lives to be that way?

The petition’s doing well – last check, 231 signatures – but he’d like more. And I’d like more, both for the capital region, and for Patrick, who is, seriously, have I said it enough? AMAZING. I mean, come on, you guys. How many people care this much about something? If everyone in the world cared even a FRACTION of this much about something, maybe things would be a little better? I don’t know.

So here’s the link. Yes, it would be nice if local people signed it. But I think it would be JUST as nice if EVERYONE signed it. So please, as a favor to me, as I know you don’t KNOW Patrick (but you would just love him, no joke), click the link, fill out the form (it is EASY, I’m serious, it’s like 8 boxes, it is NOTHING) and let’s get the numbers up. Then tell other people to sign it. It’ll take, at most, what, a couple minutes out of your day? And would be so appreciated, seriously.

Now that I have finished completely and totally embarrassing Patrick, who, I’m sure, thought, when I said, “hey, I’ll mention it on my blog” I was just going to put up a link, not put up the whole “THIS IS THE STORY OF PATRICK WHO IS SHINY” (but he IS shiny, why would you not want the world to know you know someone filled with awesome? Also, I was thinking today, maybe don’t embarrass Patrick with your outpouring of how much you just love and admire the shit out of him, but then I thought, what if you died tomorrow, wouldn’t you want people to know how awesome you think they are? YES YOU WOULD. Think about it, seriously. It’s a scary thought. What if you died and the people you thought you had all the time in the world to tell how much they meant to you didn’t ever get to hear it from you. Frightening, right? So, screw it, I’m posting this sucker) it is time for you to CLICK CLICK CLICK.

You’re all awesome and I adore you.

Oh! Here’s Patrick in a play. SEE? See how amazing?

This is one suave fella right here. ALSO, this play ("Faith Healer" - SO GOOD) made me just sob and sob, in case you were wondering. What? You WEREN'T wondering? Well, who asked you then?

(This is not the photo I wanted but the one I wanted is MISSING IN ACTION. I don’t know. I lose shit, what can I tell you.)

So help someone who is totally a unicorn in his singularity of awesomeness get a bajillion signatures? Two minutes out of your day. Which will mean a lot, lot, LOT to what I love to do more than anything, and to someone I care about a great deal.

Smooches to you all. Because I KNOW you’re going to sign. Those are PRE-EMPTIVE SMOOCHES. Don’t make me take back my pre-emptive smooches, you guys, how sad would that be? THE SADDEST, is how sad. Sign, please. Thank you so much.


Every exit is an entry somewhere else.

Well! Last night was a very auspicious night in Amy-land, because it was NEW THEATER SEASON VOTING NIGHT. This is kind of like Christmas for me. Well, also Christmas is like Christmas for me. I totally dig Christmas. Especially now with The Nephew in the mix. There is nothing more exciting than seeing a little kid dig into presents, seriously. It’s like seeing a starving man dig into dinner. YUM! Says The Nephew. MORE PRESENTS PLEASE!

Although, yes, it does mean that a season is ending, and I suppose endings are sad, it’s more happy and exciting, because it’s happy new just-out-of-the-box scented NEW SEASON! Not just for us, but for ALL THE THEATERS IN THE AREA! Huzzah!

So, here’s some behind-the-scenes magic for you all. I’ll totally let you all pay attention to the man behind the curtain for a little bit.

At our theater, we put out a call for submissions in the fall. We have a list of directors that can submit to direct for the upcoming season. These are directors who have directed with us before, or have otherwise proved their worth, possibly with feats of strength and speed. I made up that part. Please don’t attempt feats of strength and speed at home and expect to get a Golden Ticket next fall.

Then, once the deadline is over, we have a PILE OF SCRIPTS. The PILE OF SCRIPTS needs to be read, and discussed, at length. So we get together a committee, consisting of some board members, and non-board members who are theatery, the president of the board, and the Artistic Director, who just happens to have unruly hair and crazy eyes. And then we all read and read and read and READ.

We meet maybe four or five times, and we discuss what we’ve read, and we knock plays off the list, and eventually, with a lot of discussion (and hopefully, not much fighting, because fighting makes mommy want a drink) we come up with four shows that fit the following criteria for our upcoming season, in no particular order:

  1. The rights are available.
  2. They aren’t cuckoo-bananas and people might actually show up and want to watch them, because we’d like to make a little money.
  3. They are well-written, interesting, have good ideas in them, and (in the best-case scenario) make the Artistic Director get a little thrill just under her breastbone after having read them or just thinking about working for the theater that’s going to produce them.
  4. They haven’t been either done to death locally or are about to be done by another theater group in the upcoming season.
  5. The costumes and set won’t bankrupt us.
  6. There’s a nice mix – not all dramas, not all comedies. Because people tend to get bored otherwise.

(I also have a secret love for plays written in the past fifteen years or so, but can’t always get what I want. JUST LIKE THE ROLLING STONES YOU GUYS.)

Once we find four plays that meet the criteria above, and we can all AGREE on those four plays (and some years that’s harder than others, sometimes it’s totally fighty, sometimes not), we present the four plays to the board of directors, and give them a few weeks or so to read them, if they want to, then at the next board meeting upcoming (in this case, it was last night) the board votes.

I’ve been on the board for – let’s see. Seven years now holy hell SEVEN YEARS? How the time does fly. And only a few times has anyone on the board raised any concerns about the season. Usually it goes through smoothly.

SO! Now that it is OFFICIAL (and if anyone follows my theater on Facebook, you already know this, so you’re totally all ho-hum right now), I can talk about our upcoming season. UPCOMING SEASONNNNN! It’s like the New Year, when things are all shiny and new and anything is possible, you know? I love this time of year. It’s always the most exciting. It’s almost impossible to be grim, bitter, dark and twisty at the beginning of anything. I mean, I accomplish it, WITH VIGOR, but it is totally almost impossible.

First play!

Twelfth Night, by John Grisham. HA HA TOTALLY FOOLED YOU. By William Shakespeare, of course.

(SIDE NOTE: whenever I hear the name John Grisham, I hear it in Alyssa’s voice from Chasing Amy. I believe this will be the case until the day I die. I’m cool with that.)

I like Twelfth Night very much. Back in my ill-begotten youth, I spent a semester abroad. You remember. It was the time I caught Mad Cow Disease that probably is going to kill me any day now. And as part of our semester abroad, we took a theater class, where we saw at least one, if not two, professional London shows a week. Can you even imagine? It’s sad because I wasn’t old enough to appreciate the awesomeness of this. I mean, I was a theater person. I APPRECIATED it. I just didn’t appreciate it as much as I would have if, say, I was watching it now. I mean, I saw RALPH FIENNES as HAMLET, for the love of Pete. I don’t think 20-year-old me could appreciate the awesomeness of that.

Anyway, in London, I saw a wonderful production of Twelfth Night, and what I liked most about it was that the director chose to make Malvolio less of a blustering idiot and more of a sad, bullied target, so you actually felt sympathy for him. (That’s one of the things I love about Shakespeare – it’s open for so many valid interpretations. Invalid ones, too, sure, but so many opportunities for good ones. That’s a mark of wonderful writing, right there.) So when Malvolio gives his famous “I’ll be revenged on the whole pack of you” line at the end, it was truly chilling – not the parting line of a buffoon, but a warning from someone who’d been pushed one step too far. I thought of this adaptation while I watched the footage from Columbine, years later. So, yeah. This performance obviously worked for me. On a lot of levels.

I’m excited we’re doing another Shakespeare – we did A Midsummer Night’s Dream last season and it did well, and the play within a play was one of my favorite things to watch that we’ve done, I stopped what I was doing every night to catch it – and I’m excited to see what this director does with the show. Happy with this choice, and glad it’s kicking off the season.

Second play!

The Shape of Things, by Neil LaBute.

You know I’m dying over this, right? WE’RE DOING A LABUTE. I’ve mentioned before my complete and total love of LaBute. This is one of my favorite plays of his, directed by one of my favorite directors we work with. I have never seen a show this man has directed that hasn’t completely blown me away. He just has such an eye for the stage – where I’d look and say, “pretty!”, he looks and sees shapes and pictures and angles and lighting and the whole big picture. I’m always in awe.

This is a dark, twisted, bitter play. Which is why I’m head-over-heels for it. It’s about art and sex and the games people play with one another and relationships and ambiguity and seriously, you guys, SERIOUSLY, I couldn’t be more excited if you pinched me twice. (Please don’t pinch me twice, I’ll totally punch you in the neck.)

I want those of you who live locally to come and see this. I want those of you who DON’T to immediate go out and either buy the play and read it or Netflix the movie with Paul Rudd. It’s just that good. It’s not one of his Sex Panther movies. It’s serious. You’ll love it. It’s will make you think serious thoughts with your thinker.

Third play!

The Laramie Project, by Moisés Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project

I like plays about issues, if they’re done well. This particular play, about this particular issue, is one of my favorites. Yes, it’s been done locally, and not that long ago. But I believe it’s a play that needs to be done, and done well, and it needs to be seen.

In case you’re not a theater person, or in case you aren’t aware, this play is about Matthew Shepard. I’m pretty sure you haven’t been completely living under a rock for the past fourteen years, but in case you have, Matthew Shepard was the University of Wyoming student who was tortured and murdered in Laramie, Wyoming in 1998 for the heinous crime of being an openly gay man.

I have trouble talking about the Shepard case without crying. I’m actually a little teary right now, writing this. I was living in the southwest in 1998, and the morning it hit the news, the day before my birthday, I was getting ready for work. I sat, glued to the television, utterly devouring every bit of information about the case as it came out. Just completely, totally in shock. Unbelieving that something like this could happen. And when the doctor came out for the press conference the morning of October 12 to tell the world that Matthew Shepard had died of severe head trauma, after having been tied to a fence and left overnight in the cold to die, alone, that’s what killed me, ALONE, with NO ONE, after he hung on in the hospital for five full days, I bawled. I absolutely, snottily, weeping, making noises like a child wailed. My heart was utterly broken. That two men could do this to someone else – someone who, even after all this time, not a single negative thing has come out about? Just broke me in two.

Moisés Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project went to Laramie and conducted hundreds of interviews and came up with a documentary-type play which chronicles the story and the aftermath. It is utterly heartbreaking. If you can watch this play and not cry, your heart might be stone. Especially the monologue – the verbatim testimony – of Matthew Shepard’s father from the trial.

I’m lucky enough to be friends with the director, and lucky enough that he wants me to stage manage. I’m going to be one snotty, tear-soaked stage manager, but I think this is an important play. And I’m so very proud we’re putting it on. I don’t think Matthew Shepard should ever be allowed to be forgotten. That kind of hate shouldn’t ever be forgotten. Because when we forget it, it’s easy to think it couldn’t happen again, or it couldn’t happen here. And it could. It could happen anywhere. And it does. On small scales and on large scales. It happens every single day.

(Just for some additional sobby goodness, watch this:

One of my favorite performers, Hamell on Trial, and his song “Hail”. If you like him, let me know. I’ll point you in the direction of some of his other wonderful recordings.)

Fourth play!

The Oldest Profession by Paula Vogel

This is a lovely little dramedy about the oldest profession. Accountacy? you ask? No. NOT ACCOUNTACY. Prostitution. It’s totally about prostitution. Yes. We’re doing a play about whores. TWO YEARS IN A ROW, actually. Because last season we did Mrs. Warren’s Profession. We’re totally going to get a reputation.

It’s about five elderly prostitutes in their golden years, and their attempt to stay in the game, and their attempt to stay relevant. It’s funny and it’s touching and it’s got some salient points about the way we treat the elderly in our society as disposable and there’s totally – GET THIS ARE YOU READY – a PIANO on STAGE with a PIANO PLAYER. It is the closest we are coming to a musical at my theater ever. As you all know, I am a total musical theater whore so that’s very exciting to me. There will be SINGING. In the PLAY. I know, right? I KNOW.

We also have two showcases in the summer – a director’s showcase with two one-acts, and a playwright’s showcase with an unproduced play written by a local author.

WHOO. Are you totally spent? I know I am. Exciting, right? Wait, what’s that, peanut gallery? YOU WERE BORED AND WANT TO KNOW WHERE WAS THE FUNNY? Ugh, whatever. I AM NOT YOUR PERFORMING SEAL, BUCKO. Sometimes I have thoughts that are SERIOUS and FULL OF SERIOUSNESS and THEATER STUFF.

Fine, fine, whatever, I’ll totally play “Norwegian Wood” for you tomorrow on my seal-horns with my seal-nose, I HOPE YOU’RE HAPPY.

Yay, new season! Happy Wednesday!


Catching the conscience of the King

Happy Sunday, all! I am EXHAUSTED. I was totally supposed to sleep in today, but was unable to for no apparent reason. I really did try, but apparently my body was all NO NO NO  and decided that 8am was the time we wanted to both rise AND shine. Dammit. This is not awesome because I went to bed at 2am. NO, I was not mourning Whitney Houston. I know it probably makes me a horrible person, but I didn’t even care about Whitney Houston when she was popular, back when I was the target demographic for her music. So hearing the news of her death was a very big “eh, whatever, people die all the time” for me. I KNOW. I totally have no SOUL. Whatever, deal with it, I’ll mourn someone else some other time, ok? Great.

(Speaking of Whitney Houston, I totally laughed to tears over her death last night. I know. I’m going to hell. This probably isn’t going to be funny to anyone but me and the people involved, but last night at intermission, my friend K. and her friends J. and C. and I were all talking about Whitney Houston. C. was not aware that Whitney Houston had died. C.’s husband is in the play I’m working on, and she said, “We HAVE to tell him about this. He’s OBSESSED with celebrity deaths. We have a BOOK of them at home.” I was aware that probably the book she was referring to was most likely an actual BOOK, like, published and purchased and such, but in my mind I saw this book as a scrapbook that he keeps, with newspaper clippings and journalling and glitter and photo-corners and stickers and such, and this set me off on such a giggle fit that I couldn’t even function. So K. called upstairs to the greenroom where the actors hang out during intermission and said, “J.? We have some very serious news. WHITNEY HOUSTON IS DEAD.” And he was all, “WHOA. THANK YOU” in a very reverent voice and that set me off even more, imagining this imaginary journal and all the scrapbooking this newest celebrity death would set about – and J. isn’t even the scrapbooking TYPE, he’s like this burly GUY, which is even FUNNIER – and then someone came into the box office where I was wiping my eyes and trying to pull it together and asked what was up and K. was all, “Oh, it’s ok, Whitney Houston died” which made me look like a total monster that laughed like a weeping moron over the deaths of celebrities. My sides ached, I laughed so hard over the imaginary death scrapbook. IT WAS THE BEST.)

ANYWAY. So today, I was GOING to talk about something, but then I realized I probably don’t have the time and energy to do it justice, so I’m going to do it TOMORROW. Big plans for blogging this week, though, everyone, seriously. Teasers: murder-songs and a multi-blog event about sneaky sex. But TODAY,  I’m going to talk about how I got involved at my theater. WON’T THAT BE FUN. Fine, maybe just for me. I’m cool with that. Listen, don’t even judge, I have a matinee at 3 today and I haven’t even gotten DRESSED yet.

When I first moved to town, almost ten years ago, I settled in and then I started to get super-restless and thought, I need to get involved with a theater because I’m about to go stir-crazy and paint the apartment or something and we’re not even ALLOWED to paint this apartment and also my roommate is about to kill me if I don’t get out of the apartment once and a while.

We had been to one theater that was right around the corner from my apartment, and liked the show. So I called them, had a nice conversation with someone there, and they said they’d call me back. I was all, great! Then they did. But I didn’t have caller ID. Conversation:

Theater: Hello, is Jamie there, please?
Me: I’m sorry, I think you have the wrong number.
Theater: No, I don’t think I do.
Me: There’s no Jamie here.
Theater: There is. I talked to her just the other day.
Me: No, I’m sorry. There’s no Jamie here.
Theater: Please get Jamie to the phone.
Me: I’m sorry, you have the wrong NUMBER.
Theater: I don’t like when people waste my time. This is NOT the wrong number.
Me: There is no Jamie here.
Theater: Tell Jamie when she comes home that this is [Redacted] Theater and she should call us.

(At that point, I dumbassedly realized it was the theater group and they thought Jamie = Amy. But they were so effing RUDE! Who doesn’t accept it’s a wrong number when told so?)

Me: Wrong number bye.

Yeah, I hung up. I’ve had dealings with them again, but you know what? My original “what rude assholes” opinion? Totally right-on.

So! Back to square one.

I went to see a play at another theater group, about twenty minutes away. It was AMAZING. I’d seen the play before, but not for years, and this was a wonderful production of it. I laughed, I cried, and I was just utterly blown away by the performances. Totally star-struck. So much better than what you’d expect from community theater. I realized that yes, it was about twenty minutes away, but this was quality theater, and this was where I wanted to work. I have the self-esteem of an emo eyeliner teenager just dumped by her totally hot boyfriend, so I was all, “THEY ARE TOO COOL FOR ME THEY WILL NEVER WANT ME TO WORK FOR THEM.” BUT! On my way out of the theater, because I was cautiously optimistic, I signed up in the volunteer book, in case they needed volunteers to help with backstage stuff. Because even though I have bad self-esteem? I ROCK THE STAGE MANAGEMENT YO.

Not long after, I got a call from the theater. There might have been squeeing. I can neither confirm nor deny the squeeing. “It says here you have experience with light and sound boards,” the caller said. “I do,” I said. “I’ve stage managed and run the booths at a number of theaters for years.” The woman on the phone sounded like she was about to cry. “Would you be interested in running the lights and sound for a show that opens in about a month? We don’t have anyone else. NO ONE ever signs up that has experience with the booth. We can’t GET people with booth experience.” I said I would.

SUPER-COOL THEATER WANTED ME TO WORK WITH THEMMMMM

Now, I’m totally the most socially awkward, as discussed. So I showed up, and immediately, I realized, almost EVERYONE from the play I’d seen that had blown me away was in the play they called me to work on. And I was so star-struck by all of them that I didn’t talk to any of them. I was PETRIFIED. I hid in the booth and cowered. Pretty much for the entire show. Because they were FANCY. And TALENTED. Even though they were all SO NICE! And so happy I was there to run the booth for them! But I was totally in awe of all the talented people that I just sat quietly and did my job and read a book. I’m amazed they even invited me back, honestly. (And, PS, I still hide in the booth. But I don’t cower. I just like the booth. It’s quiet and I can read up there and also it’s nice to escape the drama once and a while in the quietness.)

It was totally about six months or more before I could even talk to a few of the most fancy people. I was the most star-struck. IT IS THE TRUTH. I know. I’m a weirdo reject. The best part is, they’re totally not even fancy. I mean, they’re FANCY, in that they are like some of the best actors in the area. But as humans, they’re just lovely and approachable and they hug you and talk to you and are the nicest. I’m fairly brave in most situations, but in the face of talent, I get petrified and tongue-tied. I am not 100% sure what that’s all about, either. It’s the reason I geek out when faced with the possibility of meeting some of my favorite authors or actors or directors or what-have-you. I GET SO DAUNTED.

Luckily, theater is full of weirdos and characters, so everyone accepts everyone else’s weirdness, unless it’s hurting someone else, I suppose. Like, everyone accepts that I’m socially inept and refuse to attend social functions outside of the theater with anyone. (When asked, my stock answer is, “Thanks, no. I hate people.” This usually makes people laugh. WHY ARE YOU LAUGHING IT’S TRUE.)

ANYWAY. So now, even though I am kind of still daunted by the talent, I pretend I am not daunted. I still don’t go to social functions, though. Including TGIFriday’s which is where everyone was going last night. Instead, I went grocery shopping at midnight. I KNOW. I am totally the MOST COOL. I don’t care for socially interacting with other humans, it makes me twitch.

So I ran the lights and sound for the first show, then my amazing friend K. moved to town and started volunteering at the theater, and she and I worked together on show after show after show, stage managing and set crew-ing and working the booth and whatever was needed (K. was on-stage, too, because she also acts – I’ve acted four times since I started there, but only once on purpose. The other three times it was totally a “Amy, there’s a tiny part and it would be stupid to get someone else in here for this, so be a cop, ok? Great” situation. NEWS FLASH. I am not a very good actress. I used to be; I haven’t flexed those muscles in a long time. Probably I could be again, but honestly, that seems like a lot of work and I have writing to do, dammit.)

Then they asked me to be on the BOARD OF DIRECTORS. I KNOW! I was totally going to be ONE OF THE FANCY PEOPLE. Once, I worked at a theater? And the board of directors would meet once a month and I would walk by the room all “SOMEDAY THAT WILL BE ME DAMN YOU” and now it WAS me.

Then I became a Vice President on the board. Then the WHOLE DAMN ARTISTIC DIRECTOR. I know. It’s kind of hard to take it all in.

See, here’s the thing. When I was a quiet little nerdy kid that everyone picked on and beat up and all those good things that have totally not warped me into the bitter, twisted human being you see before you today, I found theater. And it was seriously like the scene in The Wizard of Oz where everything turned to color, which is a total cliche but I’m sticking with it. So sometimes, I look at where I am now, with all the people swirling around me, and me running around to set the props and making sure the sound levels are all right and seating the patrons and checking on the actors and checking the stage blood and sitting through the board meetings and SO MANY THINGS and I just want a nap or to breathe in a paper bag for like five seconds, and I just think, quietly, about that little girl who one day saw an audition notice hanging on a board in the cafeteria and thought, “This might be fun.” And I like to think she’d be so proud of this. I like to think that I can reach back and show her what’s ahead, if she just sticks with it long enough. That it’s all going to be ok. That there’s a strong, capable woman ahead of her, who is the Artistic Director of one of the best community theater groups in the capital of the entire damn STATE. That someday, she will go to a play somewhere she’s never been before and one of the box office people will say her name in an awed tone and say “Wow, I can’t believe YOU came to OUR show! Thank you!” That people will come to her for advice on things, that people will take her advice seriously on things, that people will look up to her and she will part of something bigger than her. That she will find her people; that there is an entire community of people that feel the same way as she does about theater, that love it as much as she does, that get as excited about seeing it, discussing it, theorizing about it, as she does. An entire community of people who have been ostracized for their strangeness and differences and how loud they are and how eccentric; and these people will envelop her with so much love that she will explode with it upon leaving the building at the end of the day. That she will get to see all the plays she wants, whenever she wants to, because she will live in a town where there’s almost always a play happening. I want to take her hand and I want to sign her name with a flourish on that sign-up sheet, because it’s the road less traveled by, and it made all the difference.

Off to the theater – day five of my seven-day stretch. Happy Sunday to you all! Enjoy your day! I promise, death and sneakiness-blogging soon soon soon!


Work is what you do for others, liebchen. Art is what you do for yourself.

We haven’t had random crap day in a while. Did you totally miss it? Probably not, it’s pretty disjointed. TOO BAD CHARLIE. You’re getting it ANYWAY. Who’s Charlie? I don’t know. My dad used to randomly say Charlie when I was little so I say it now. It’s a thing. I DON’T HAVE TO EXPLAIN MY CHOICES TO YOU.

My internal time clock is all off this week because I’m attempting to be one day ahead with my posts because I know how busy I am this week. So when I write “today” I have to be sure I’m really meaning “today” and not “tomorrow” or “yesterday.” It’s totally like writing from the past. Or the future. I don’t know how time travelers do it, I really don’t. Poor Sam Beckett from Quantum Leap. If he blogged it would have been a mess. Oh boy.

Stephen Sondheim. STEPHEN EFFING SONDHEIM.

Doesn't he look like we could totally be BFFs? YES.

So the other night, I checked my feed reader (can I just give some love to my phone’s feed reader? I don’t have to ask your permission. I’M GOING TO. I mean, it’s buggy as hell and keeps shit unread that I’ve totally read but how much do I love that no matter where I am or what I’m doing, every hour, whatever blogs have been published pop up like magic on my phone, ready for my perusal when I am ready to read them? It’s the best, seriously) and All Over Albany (I totally am like their biggest cheerleader this week, rah, rah) had published a post so I was all “la la la what’s this” and I clicked and then I seriously died, then I revived, only to die AGAIN.

STEPHEN EFFING SONDHEIM IS COMING TO THE CAPITAL REGION IN SEPTEMBER.

OK, now, you probably know who Stephen Sondheim is. But you might not. I mean, you might not be a musical theater person. That’s fine. Well, no. It’s not FINE. It’s totally sad and what’s wrong with you, honestly. But I get it, not everyone knows who Stephen Sondheim is.

Stephen Sondheim is the Tony, Oscar, Pulitzer, and Grammy-award-winning composer and lyricist for such brilliant works of musical theater such as Sweeney Todd (see? You’ve heard of Sweeney Todd. I mean, come on. It was a movie. Johnny Depp was in the movie. YOU’VE HEARD OF JOHNNY DEPP YOU GUYS), West Side Story, Into the Woods, Company, Sunday in the Park with George, Gypsy, and, the musical that changed my entire life and made me love musicals more than anything in the entire world and remains, to this day, even though I’ve seen, and I’m not even exaggerating, probably at least 100 musicals over my lifetime, Assassins. He wrote a MUSICAL about REAL-LIFE PRESIDENTIAL ASSASSINS. And it is AWESOME. I’m not even kidding. NPH was in the revival recently. You’d love it, I’m serious. He’s also a wonderful author and wrote two annotated books about his works, Finishing the Hat and Look, I Made a Hat which have all the lyrics to all of his musicals, plus stories about his life in theater, his thought processes behind writing, and photos of the productions, which make a musical theater nut such as myself kind of squee all over when she reads them.

He’s also quite elderly (82 in March!), so the sheer fact that he’s coming to town is really the most awesome thing EVER. I have a list of people I want to see speak before I die. I’ve seen one of them – Kevin Smith (as mentioned, I actually got to meet him and geeked out embarrassingly) – and never, ever imagined I’d ever get to see the others. Stephen Sondheim is ON THE LIST. ON THE LIST, you guys. And the list is three people long. So really, if I get to see Stephen Sondheim in September, all I have to do is figure out how to finagle my way into seeing Stephen King someday and then I guess I can die? That’ll be nice, I could use the rest. I’m totally exhausted.

This is such recent news that the HVCC website doesn’t even have anything about it yet. And All Over Albany says that HVCC students (that’s Hudson Valley Community College, sorry, I’m kind of the most excited so not being explainy enough) get first dibs on tickets. What if they buy ALL the tickets? I don’t want to have to mug a community college student in a dark alley for their Sondheim ticket, but I’m saying right now I totally would if I had to. I TOTALLY WOULD. And I would use jazz-hands. I mean, if you’re mugging someone for their ticket to see the god of musical theater you have to mug them using musical theater dance moves. It’s a given.

So I really think it’s in everyone’s best interest if they just let me buy a ticket as soon as they go on sale, to ensure the safety of their student body. Thanks in advance.

The fun of live theater is that it’s LIVE.

This is totally me in the light booth at my theater, only female. And without an afro. And we can't afford a monitor, even one like this that seems to be from the 80s.

So we’re in tech week for Rumors this week. We had tech on Sunday, we had our first dress rehearsal Monday, then another last night, then tonight is the pay-what-you-will preview, which is also our final dress rehearsal. It’s coming together beautifully, and the show’s going to be great. Lots of laughs. Everyone’s going to be pleased. I’m proud of the cast and crew. It’s been a great experience so far, and listen, I’ve worked on a lot of shitstorms, let me tell you, so I know when something’s a good experience. All is well, my little boysenberries!

Except I totally effed up like every single cue in Act One on Monday.

I feel bad for the director, who is my lovely friend K. and sometimes we start giggling about shit because we can read each other’s facial expressions like we’re talking when we’re not even talking, like from across a damn ROOM, it is awesome. It’ll be fine when we have an audience, but I’m sure it’s not engendering a lot of confidence in my skills that I didn’t seem to be able to get a single cue right the whole first act.

First, instead of a phone ringing, I had a buzzer. This wasn’t 100% my fault, as the sound designer, who I love like a crazy person (LOVE YOU A.!) had been fixing the sound cues because on tech day, there was something wrong with the buzzer sound, and so he re-recorded it so it didn’t sound like a joy buzzer underwater and sounded like an actual intercom buzzer. But he accidentally inserted it into the list of cues where my phone ringing cue should be, and it was labeled “office phone buzzer” so I wasn’t sure – was this going to be a phone ringing, or a buzzer? Should I play it? Was it going to be right? A. wouldn’t lead me astray, would he? So I played it. Yep. Buzzing instead of ringing. The actors were awesome and pretended it was a phone ringing and now I know better but that was kind of embarrassing.

Also, it’s the first show I’m running from a laptop. Now, I’m getting a laptop for my own personal blogging uses soon, so I really should figure out how to USE a laptop. It’s like learning a new skill for me.  I kind of feel like a cavewoman mastering fire. THIS SHOULD NOT BE THIS DIFFICULT. Listen, THE MOUSE IS A PAD NOT A MOUSE. This is worrisome. And sometimes I click on things and it’s not clicky. And sometimes I just get overall confused by the setup. But! I soldier on. Because dammit I refuse to be conquered by a laptop. I mean, CHILDREN can use laptops. I’m a grown-ass WOMAN. I can figure this shit out.

Then I was supposed to make headlights happen so people could say, “I think a car is pulling up!” but I didn’t hear the cue line where I was supposed to walk over to the light board to get READY to do that so by the time I realized I was supposed to be over there, that had already come and gone. Embarrassing.

Also, the intercom system shit the bed about 10 minutes before the show, so when I gave them places, they didn’t hear me, and when we started the show, no one came out on stage, and they were all, “We didn’t know it was time to start the show” and then the whole show was thrown off because of the stupid intercom system.

It was kind of a gigantic mess.

In better news, last night it went much better, with only a couple little tweaks for me to make for the audience we’ll have tonight. WHEW. I’m sure K. is not as freaked out as she was when she left the theater Monday thinking “WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH AMY.” I don’t know. I was broken, I guess. It happens. ALL IS WELL NOW.

I’d be just about the best pimp. I’d rock a cane and big sexy velvet hat.

Alan Rickman, I love you truly, madly, AND deeply.

Just a quick pimp of something I wrote elsewhere in case you haven’t already read it – here’s my Reading Rage Tuesday article over at Insatiable Booksluts: How to Ruin Your Young Adult Fantasy Novel. People seem to have enjoyed it, and we’re having lively discussion. Some of this discussion is Twilight-bashy, and if you like Twilight, I apologize. I have officially stopped Twilight-bashing on that post, or even DISCUSSING Twilight on that post, because it was getting a lot like a political discussion with my dad and arguey and “I am right” and “NO I AM” and that makes me nervous and rock in the corner and I LIKE THINGS TO NOT BE LIKE THAT. I do so try not to bash people for their taste in literature, I really do, and try to just be happy they read at all? Twilight just makes me so irrationally upset. I’ll stop now before my head explodes. WAIT ONE MORE THING. I will just say, I can recommend you a number of other series you might like better than Twilight, if you’d like? I’d be happy to do that. Just let me know. I feel like it’s a public service I’d be doing, honestly. ALL FOR YOU DAMIEN.

I’m totally going to win German

As soon as I learn German, I'm sure I'll be sending out awesome cards JUST LIKE THIS ONE.

So Ken’s going to teach me German, so look out Germany, because I’m going to win your language.

OK, so maybe he didn’t really SAY he was going to teach me to SPEAK German, but I like to make shit up and also exaggerate for effect. He IS going to teach me random German WORDS and PHRASES. I’m very excited about this project.

SO FAR, I have learned the words for “gravestone” and “jelly doughnut” (“grabstein” and “krapfen,” Andreas taught me the jelly doughnut one VIA Ken, and aren’t they the most awesome words? Grabstein. Hee! And krapfen! I LOVE GERMAN) and how to ask for more mustard (“Ich will mehr Senf” which probably won’t come in the MOST handy since I don’t dig mustard all that much, but it’s a start) and an awesome phrase that I’m totally in love with – “Eine Krähe sticht der anderen kein Auge aus” – which means “One doesn’t peck out the eyes of a fellow crow,” how much does THAT rock as a phrase? the most, is how much – and from my dad’s time in Germany I know the word “scheiße” which I like to use because it’s naughty, and from being a musical theater nerd I know “Eine kleine Nachtmusik” which is A Little Night Music (ahem, ANOTHER SONDHEIM MUSICAL.)  Also, I’m in love with that squiggly-thing up there which I believe indicates two ss’s. Let’s look up what that’s called. Wikipedia tells me it is either called a “Eszett” or a “scharfes S.” I love both of those names. KEN. I suggest we work on this word next: “eichhoernchen.” This means SQUIRREL. Have you ever seen a more consonant-laden word in your LIFE? I am madly in love with it.

So it is only a matter of time before I am totally fluent in German, just like I am in French if by “fluent” you mean “I can say about fifty words and understand the alphabet if its spoken slowly”, and can say such amazing phrases as “Help! My grapefruit is on fire in the library!” which is a TOTALLY HANDY FRENCH PHRASE. I can also say “Stop! I don’t like bread!” in French. Which isn’t true, I love bread, who doesn’t love BREAD? but I can SAY it, so that’s kind of exciting, right? Ladies and gentlemen, 7 years of French education at work!

But Ken! I have to learn to SOUND German. Germans always sound very gruff. I assume even when they’re talking about rainbow kitten unicorns. We’re going to have to figure out a way for me to sound gruff. Mostly when you talk to me I sound like a cartoon character on speed so this might be an issue.

OK. That is a lot of random crap, and I think you’re all on crap overload, so I’ll stop now. Send out break-a-leg vibes to my gorgeous cast, have a wonderful shiny happy Thursday, and vermeiden Sie rasende Vielfrass. Babelfish tells me this is a VALID TRANSLATION. Except when I translated it BACK from German to English, it said it translated to “avoid racing much-ate.” Which is SO FUNNY TO ME that I totally spit-took. FINE. This is SUPPOSED to say, “avoid rabid wolverines.” I’m pretty sure I’m not winning German yet. GIVE ME TIME SHEESH I JUST STARTED. (Also, Ken, what’s up with the random capital letters in German? Or is that not really a thing and I shouldn’t be doing it? SO MUCH TO LEARN!)

HAPPY THURSDAY!!!

(Psst, the title is a Sondheim lyric quote – from Sunday in the Park with George – AND has some German in it. And relates to both my work at the theater and my writing for the blog. So THEREFORE, it ties in to ALL FOUR OF MY TOPICS TODAY. Are you suitably blown away? Yeah, I thought you might be.)


The Three Lives of Senorita Thomasina

Mondays = the worst arghhhhhhh

Sorry, just had to get that out of the way.

My co-workers have to work on Saturdays during tax season, so I have a full day’s worth of work waiting for me to do Monday morning when I get in, on top of Monday’s work which starts coming in the minute everyone gets here. Blargh, says I.

ANYWAY. I did manage, between tearing my hair out and trying not to weep, to do my taxes today. It’s one of the few perks we have here, getting to do our own taxes for free on our software, and if we have questions – well, I have fifty co-workers who are able to answer them for me, now don’t I. And – REFUNDS BABY. Both state AND Federal refunds! Enough to buy my laptop, even! If I save a teeny bit more, enough to buy a FANCY laptop! And only a teeny bit more, seriously. This is very exciting news. I like when I don’t owe the government anything. Because I am totally poor and I feel like they should pay me some money every year just for working six days a week and not just giving up and going to live under a bridge like a troll or something, right? RIGHT.

Also, I’m scrupulously honest on my taxes. Every year, this confuses people. I have a couple of jobs that pay me miniscule amounts of money – like, less than $100 a year, amounts. They’re like these online-survey jobs. They’re not REAL jobs or anything. But they’re income. Therefore, I claim them and input them. And every year, my co-workers that check over my taxes for me before I release them LAUGH AND LAUGH and say “No one but you would bother with something like this.” Well, maybe if MORE PEOPLE bothered with something like this, we wouldn’t be in such financial ruin, hmm? I made the money. It seems improper to lie about it. It probably takes a dollar or two off my refund, seriously. It’s not like it’s taking that much food out of my mouth (or, in my case, fanciness from my new computer) to tell the truth on my taxes. Am I the only person in the entire world who tells the truth on their taxes? That’s a totally disheartening thought. Even people who I think are very, very honest otherwise think it’s fine to lie on their taxes. I guess because they see it as sticking it to THE MAN? I don’t know if it’s so much STICKING IT TO THE MAN as it is STICKING IT TO EVERYONE ELSE, including yourself, because tax money helps with things like roads and social programs and the arts and things of that nature. I know, it’s weird I don’t have an issue with taxes, right? I totally don’t. I think we should all tell the truth and we should all pay them and we should all shut up about it, because you made that damn money, and it’s part of living in this country that you have to pay taxes on it. I mean, if we didn’t have taxes, wouldn’t we all be living in the wilderness eating roots and shit? I don’t know, I might be completely wrong about this. Anyway! I totally tell the truth about my taxes and this is, apparently, COMPLETELY BIZARRE TO PEOPLE.

Also, aren’t people scared of being audited? I mean, I don’t think the IRS will murder you, or anything, but it’s a HUGE hassle. Like, you have to show them all the paperwork for everything you input into every single box on your return, and hopefully you saved all that, and if you’re a liar, and they catch you, can’t they just say, “hey, we have documentation here that you received $97 from this one place, WHY DIDN’T YOU WRITE IT DOWN?” and there are fees and such, and if you tell the truth, odds are much slimmer that will happen to you, you know? Although one year, I totally got audited. Which was a hoot, because I am ANAL AS HELL about keeping EVERYTHING. I have my taxes going back TEN YEARS. Every W2. Everything. And they wanted 2005! Well, here it is, in the envelope marked 2005. Faxed it over, bing bam boom, and they sent me a very apologetic “whoopsie!” letter about two weeks later and that was the last I heard from them. Which was kind of sad, though, because why are you auditing ME, who’s like the only honest human, tax-wise, left in America, and I could totally give you NAMES and SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS of lying liars who lie, you guys, seriously? And you’re wasting money auditing me? I’m like in the poverty tax bracket. I open my Social Security statement every year and canned laughter drifts out.

I mean, think about all the time and energy people expend trying to get AROUND paying taxes. Like, we field hundreds of calls in December every year from people about how they can reduce their taxes before the year ends. How much they can give to charity, because it’s a write-off. We had a client once who was writing checks to charity in January and back-dating them to the year before because she realized she was going to have to pay a bunch of taxes in the current year. Then there are the “is this a write-off? What about THIS? And THIS?” questions. IT IS INSANE. PAY  YOUR TAXES. Also? It’s always rich people. Poor people don’t care. Mostly because they didn’t make enough money to have it matter, I guess. But the rich people DO NOT WANT THEIR MONEY GOING TO THE GOVERNMENT DAMMIT.

OK, enough about taxes, my head is full of taxes, it’s not a fun place to be right now, very dark and twisty.

OK, so I got a new GPS for Christmas? And it is muy fancier than my last GPS. My last GPS wouldn’t update anymore, so often, you would be driving along and there had been construction and the road had changed, only no one had informed my GPS, so you’d be DRIVING INTO WHITE SPACE. It was very unnerving. Tom Tom (that was the last GPS’s name) would be all “recalculating…RECALCULATING!” and going into a tizzy and you’d be like, “All is well, Tom Tom, I’m just going to keep driving along here until you get your head on straight, we’re not in outer space, all’s well.”

So my dad got the old GPS, because he didn’t have one, and I got a NEW GPS. Which is also a Tom Tom, but I couldn’t just name it Tom Tom, because there already WAS a Tom Tom out there in the world, that’s like naming your new cat the same name as your old cat when your old cat passes away, that’s totally uncreative and kind of rude.

So the first time I used it, I thought, hmm, what shall I name this GPS?

My choices for voices were slim – a couple of men and a couple of women – so I chose the one that made me the least stabby. She sounds vaguely British. Kind of like Madonna or Gwyneth. Like, she’s totally American, but she WANTS to be British. And this GPS is fancy, because it tells you street names. The last one didn’t tell you street names. This one’s the TOP OF THE LINE GPS.

So I decided, this one’s definitely a girl. So her name will be Thomasina! Because I like to keep it in the Tom family, you know?

BUT HOLY HELL THEN. So Thomasina decided to start telling me some street names? And it is HILARIOUS, you guys, no joke. I don’t know who programmed this thing, but the word recognition software was NOT built for an area where a lot of the names are old Dutch names, or even names that aren’t like “Main Street.” Listening to Thomasina trying to say “Schenectady” has me in TEARS. “Ske-ne-k-teh-deee.” With huge pauses and very hard vowels. “Turn right onto HIGHWAY I-SEVENEIGHTYSEVEN” every damn TIME has me laugh so hard I almost swerve off the road because it comes out so LOUD and so SQUISHED TOGETHER, like she forgot to take a breath. So Thomasina sounds like a person for whom English is NOT her first language. And also a robot. She kind of sounds like this really early software on the first computer my parents owned where you could type things in and it would say them, but really choppily and in a funny weird robot voice, and my brother and I used to (of course, you’d have done the same thing) type in ALL THE DIRTY CUSSES to hear the computer say “effooque” because that’s how it pronounced the eff word, and also, if you typed in the letter “x” over and over and over it would kind of hiss out “kisskisskisskisskisskisskiss” like an insane sex-obsessed snake and this entertained my brother and me for HOURS. Listen, don’t even judge. This was pre-interwebs. We took our entertainment where we could get it. ANYWAY, therefore, her new name is Senorita Thomasina. I am madly in love with Senorita Thomasina, because she is the second funniest person in my car. (If you have to ask who the funniest person is, you can just suck it, because OBVIOUSLY it is me. I AM HILARIOUS IN A CAR. You don’t even know. I provide the BEST running commentary. I crack MYSELF up.) I sometimes use Senorita Thomasina when I don’t even need to just because she is so effing hysterical.

OH! Also, on that ancient computer, we had this matching game where you had to match things up and whoever matched up the most won a prize, and the prizes and the things written on the matching tiles were all spelled wrong. One was “a pet squirriel” and this was so, so funny. I can still make my brother laugh if I tell him I want a pet squirriel. And one was “a used toupe” and we were never sure if that was supposed to be toupee or maybe taupe, but a used taupe wouldn’t make a lot of sense, really. So probably toupee? But who wins a used toupee? There was also a Clue-like game where you put in the names of the people in this house, and one of them would be murdered, and you had to solve which of the other people did it. Which was awesome, because you of course put all your friends’ names in, and then one of them would be murdered, and if you were lucky, it was one of them you weren’t that keen on that day. The smart thing to do was to put in ALL YOUR ENEMIES. Then you never minded who got murdered. Ha! Good times! …and now you can see why I’m a total weirdo, because these were totally my formative years, spent making fun of how things were spelled on bootleg computer disk games and and making a robot voice cuss and killing off my middle-school enemies in knock-off Clue.

I think it’s pretty obvious I don’t have a point today. GIVE ME A BREAK IT IS MONDAY. So far today I’ve accomplished more than a human really should. I’m doing my best.

Oh, a crazy person called the answering service this weekend and first he said a little man was living in his stomach, and then he said he wanted to sue someone for stealing his pudding. TRUE FACT. I kind of have to say, I’d be pretty pissed if I had delicious pudding and someone ganked it. Pudding’s pretty sacred, yo. Also, two people cussed me out, one because I wouldn’t give her medical advice over the phone (because I…have a medical degree? I don’t know) and the other because I wouldn’t get in my car and hand-deliver her message to the person on-call, whose office was only a few miles away from our answering service. Um. That is not how the answering service works? We are not a COURIER service. Or the Pony Express. Or Kevin Costner in that movie where he was a dirty raggedy mailman. If the on-call doesn’t call us back for his or her messages, YOU HAVE TO WAIT. Sorry, lady. SO MAD. Even madder when she was all, “I WANT TO TALK TO YOUR SUPERVISOR” and I put her on hold and realized while she was yelling at me, the supervisor had left, and guess who the supervisor is after he leaves? Me. So I had to get BACK on the phone and be all, “Well! I AM the supervisor. So…I guess you ARE talking to my supervisor. I AM MY OWN SUPERVISOR.” (That’s kind of like being your own grandpa, only less incestuous.) This did not go over well.

Alright. It is lunchtime! I am going to eat a PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH! Because I am FULL OF THE CLASSY! Also because I forgot to make a lunch today and had to run around like looney this morning and that was the fastest sandwich to make. Happy day to you all! DO YOUR TAXES, YOU YAHOOS!


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