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Category Archives: driving

Every time I’m on the road it’s Special Driving Conditions, baby. I AM SPECIAL.

I was thinking today, as I was in traffic on my way home:

How many of these people would pass the New York State Learner’s Permit test, were they to take it today?

Now, in my defense, the drivers today were totally the worst. We had speed-em-up-slow-em-down Harry, who…well, did exactly what his name suggests. He was in front of me and he’d go normal speed, then putter along, then normal speed, then putter along again, and it was MAKING! ME! STABBY!

Then I had the guy who seemed new to town, and would hesitate at every single intersection. Do I want this one? No. How about this one? Nope, not this one. Oooh, this one? No, that one’s someone’s driveway. What about this one? Oh, shit, that’s the greenhouse’s back entrance. TURN OR PULL OVER I HAVE LAUNDRY TO DO!

Then there was the guy who kept coming to panicked stops for no reason. I feel like maybe he had something wrong with his foot. EEERK! Stop. EEEERK! Stop. Why are you DOING that? There’s not even a REASON!

My half-hour drive home became forty minutes and I was super-crabby by the time I got home.

Oh, is THAT what it is? Thanks, helpful graphic!

Oh, is THAT what it is? Thanks, helpful graphic!

So about halfway there, I started thinking. This isn’t the way we were taught to drive back when we were studying for our permits, was it? And we’re like, what, thirty years or something FROM getting those permits, more or less? Shouldn’t we be BETTER at this shit, not worse?

(Side note: I passed my written permit test without a hitch. I think I got one, maybe two questions wrong. I have always tested well. I tend to know, when there are multiple-choice questions, what’s being asked for. Or I can at least narrow it down to the two most likely answers and have a good track record of choosing the right answer. This is also why I would have been very good at that Who Wants to Be a Millionaire show. It was multiple-choice questions. I would have won that. Totally won.

However – this is a very long side-note – I did not pass my driver’s test the first time. The first time, I had a very mean old man who was SUCH A STICKLER. I couldn’t parallel park, but just not being able to parallel park doesn’t fail you. What failed me? I was driving – I am not even kidding – three miles an hour below the speed limit in a 25 or 30 mile-per-hour speed-limit zone. And he was so mean. He actually YELLED at me to speed up. Then said, “Not that it matters. It’s too late to pass this thing now.” I was CRUSHED.

The second time I went back, I wore a very short skirt – I was skinny then, it was my year I was skating the edge of an eating disorder – and a low-cut top and flirted my way to a passing grade with the younger instructor and the only thing he failed me on was parallel parking, because, per the instructor who was looking down my totally jailbaity top the whole time, “Eh, it’s a small town, you’ll never need to know how to parallel park, anyway. About a year later, I moved to Binghamton, New York – which is a city. Where you need to CONSTANTLY parallel park. I still can’t parallel park correctly. I’ve done it once correctly in my whole life. ONCE.

I am not proud of this passing-a-test-with-my-tits thing, but I really wanted that license.

END SIDE NOTE, which was just here to give a personal touch to this post. I did not start life as a very good driver, but I’m passable now. I’ve been in two accidents since I started driving, and wasn’t injured in either of them – just bodywork to the car(s). And the last one was 13 years ago. So I think I’m a decent driver, or at least know how to stay out of people’s way.)

ANYWAY. Where were we?

I thought it might be interesting to see, considering that it’s been 22 years since I took it, how I’d do on the NYS Learner’s Permit test if I were to take it now.

Did you know you could take the test, or at least a practice version, online? You totally can. Ain’t technology wonderful? I had to study from a smeary newsprinty booklet, if I remember correctly.

There are nine sections. Because I love tests, I took ’em ALL. With varying results.

We start with traffic control. Traffic control was a LOT of guessing. Why? Because it had questions like “What does a rectangular sign mean?”

Good grief. I don’t pay attention to the SHAPE of SIGNS! Unless they’re octagonal or triangular. I mean, sincerely. However, I somehow got all of those. (The answer to that rectangle question was “speed limit sign.” Hard, right?)

I actually got a 92% on this part so I was feeling pretty confident. I only got a couple of stupid things wrong because I overthought them (and, in my defense, one was worded oddly.) Also, were you aware if there’s a flashing red light, you’re supposed to stop? I have to wonder if I was on the road, I would know that, and I’m just not knowing that because I’m sitting on my couch, or if I really don’t know that and therefore am just seconds away from a multi-car pileup that kills a billion people.

Next! Intersections and turns! This’ll be good, right?

WRONG. I got a 69% on this. (Heh. 69.) I know, that’s ridiculous. I got 4/13 wrong. Two of them were hand-signals. I knew I was just guessing on those. I have no idea what the hand-signals mean. (I think they mean, “Get your turn signals fixed or take a cab, asshat.”) And again, two of them were oddly-worded, and one had me waiting in the center of an intersection to make a turn, which seems VERY unsafe to me.

Like I'm ever going to remember these. I'll just think you're car-dancing or something.

Like I’m ever going to remember these. I’ll just think you’re car-dancing or something.

Maybe I’m really a terrible driver after all.

Next! PASSING! Oh, I pass a lot of people. Because I am a speed demon. (There was not a section about speeding. If there was, I think I would have won the hell out of that section. Or lost, I suppose, depending on how you view it.) I totally got 100% on this section, which means I am excellent at passing. Get outta my way, yo, I AM PASSING YOU AND I AM VERY GOOD AT IT. I am 100% good at it, actually.

Parallel Parking! What do you think. Did I pass this part?

Noperoonie! I got a 56%. I FAIL AT PARALLEL PARKING. I am the WORST. I have no idea what the rules are; I hate parallel parking, and I will drive around for like half an hour to avoid having to do it. (Oddly, I got the parallel parking questions all right; it was the “no standing/no parking/no stopping” questions I got wrong. I don’t know what the difference is. I just don’t park there. Isn’t that the best way to handle something of that fashion? Just don’t park there?)

DEFENSIVE DRIVING! One hundred percent, baby! I apparently am excellent at both passing AND driving defensively. I think these are both important things to be good at. Better than STUPID PARALLEL PARKING.

I was pretty sure I was going to win Alcohol and Other Drugs, But I think I spaced out and missed one of the questions so did NOT get a perfect score. (The questions were hilarious. “Which of these will help you sober up? A., Running around the house, B., Drinking 14 pots of coffee, C., Drinking more alcohol, D., Time.” SO HARD! WHICH SHALL I CHOOSE?)

This is SMRT smart!

This is SMRT smart!

Next we have Special Driving Conditions. Hee! Special. I’m totally special. Will I win this one?

No. But close. 88%. There were a lot of “expressway” questions, and I don’t know what that means. Do we have expressways here? Is that the same as a highway or a freeway or whatever? Or is it like the Autobahn? VERY CONFUSING!

I got 100% on Sharing the Road, so anyone on a bicycle or walking should totally love me.

I also got one wrong on Road Signs, but it’s, again, because I got distracted and forgot to finish one of the questions. I kind of lose at attention-spanning, more than anything.

So I suppose, if this were the real thing, I probably would have passed, overall. (But I think I did better when I was a kid. However, I studied and studied back then; this was taken without any studying.)

As for the driving portion…well, here’s my thought. When you start driving, you’re all alert and paying attention to shit and nervous and you’re on your best behavior. Then you’ve been driving a while and you’re all “HO HUM OLD HAT” and then you stop paying as much attention. You don’t need to know what SHAPE the signs are. You know that’s a speed limit sign, or a railroad crossing sign, or whatever.

So most likely, if I were to take the driving portion of the test today, I’d pass – but I wouldn’t be driving like normal-Amy, I’d be driving like I do when I have a cop behind me. Checking all the signs and the speed limits and such.

However, there’s no hope for the asshats I was driving home behind today. NONE. There is no reason for driving like that. Maybe you people should have to re-take your driving tests once and a while or at least STAY AWAY FROM ME when I am ATTEMPTING TO DRIVE HOME because, as proven, I am very good at both passing and defensive driving so you should probably bow to my greatness and just let me around you because I have laundry to do, yo. And just because I win at sharing the road doesn’t mean I want to share it with YOU.

Go take some driving tests, you guys. I’m curious if you, too, win driving in New York State. (Also, some of the wording is kind of hilarious, I just have to say. And what else are you going to do today, work? PLEASE. Don’t even make me laugh.)

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Despairing for humanity: an adventure in theaterland.

Lots has been going on here in Football-land. As you probably can tell, since I’ve been SILENT AS A GHOST. Well, a silent ghost. I’m sure there are loud ghosts, too. Like those chain-rattly ghosts. I would hate those ghosts. They’d never let me sleep. And I sure do like sleeping.

Shh, Marley, you're being obnoxious.

Shh, Marley, you’re being obnoxious.

AND, I need to get this written in time for face-talking with Andreas tonight. That’s my favorite thing. I’ve been looking forward to that for WEEKS. We had plans for it last weekend, but Andreas contracted the Finnish Death Flu. Well, he SAYS it was just a cold, but I’m pretty sure it was the Finnish Death Flu. I mean, if you can’t exaggerate, why bother even existing, you know? Sheesh. But anyway, he totally lost his voice the day we were supposed to be chatting. LOST HIS VOICE! I mean, come on, if that’s not Finnish Death Flu, I don’t know what is! Also, it’s clearly a conspiracy. Finnish Death Flu did not WANT us to talk! But tonight we have rescheduled. Which is good, because I will be gone the next two Saturdays – in Poughkeepsie for one and in Baltimore for another. I know. I’m fancy. Don’t even be jealous.

(UPDATE! I spoke to Andreas with my face and he agrees that it was possibly some sort of Finnish flu but he said Finnish ZOMBIE Flu. Also, face-talking went very well and Andreas is the best. Google Chat only kicked us out two times. We decided it gets sick of us. “Surely you two are finished NOW?” Google Chat says, and makes our faces freeze. And then we log back in and start up again. That’ll teach you, Google Chat.)

SIDE NOTE! I totally bought luggage for my trip this week. LUGGAGE! I OWN LUGGAGE! Well, I always owned luggage but it was terrible and cheap and falling apart. This is NICE luggage. It is one of those wheely carryon bags with a popup handle that I’ve always wanted. AND it is TEAL BLUE. Why? Because it was the most whimsical color they had at the store. WHIMSY!!!

WHY DIDN'T THE STORE HAVE THIS ONE? OMG, I would TOTALLY have bought this one. It is MADE of whimsy!!!

WHY DIDN’T THE STORE HAVE THIS ONE? OMG, I would TOTALLY have bought this one. It is MADE of whimsy!!!

Anyway, so: I was going to give you two stories today, but in typical Amy fashion, the first story was so long. So I’ll save the second story for tomorrow. Today you get…

A FIELD TRIP TO REVIEW A PLAY!

So last night (which would be your Friday night, I suppose, as I am writing this IN THE PAST) I had to drive to Saratoga to see a play and review it. Saratoga is about half an hour away and is where the horses live. And where they RACE FOR MY ENJOYMENT in the summer! (I will totally be seeing the ponies this summer. I missed them last summer because of unemployment. Not this summer, buckaroos!) So I popped in the car and I drove to Saratoga and other than TomTom making me turn down a road with a totally shady tollbooth for no reason in the middle of it and a big sign that said “$8 toll now” (is TomTom in cahoots with some guy with a tollbooth in his yard? I find this suspect) I made it there with no problems.

Hee! Health, history, horses. I want to add h-words. Hilarity. Humans. Heartbreak. Homewreckers. Hopefulness.

Hee! Health, history, horses. I want to add h-words. Hilarity. Humans. Heartbreak. Homewreckers. Hopefulness.

SIDE NOTE! Although my radio plays it constantly and I’m sure most people are so overly tired of this song they want it to die in a large fire, I am madly in love with this song and it came on the radio THREE TIMES in my trip to and fro yesterday and that made me SO HAPPY. So here, you can listen to my new favorite thing. And if you hate Pink, TOO BAD. I strangely adore her. I like her voice. Mostly because it’s low, and people like me with no upper register in their voice can totally sing along without sounding like a weirdo.

That video is creepy. What’s with demon-teddy? *shudder*

So I got to the theater, I got my seat (which was at the end of an aisle, which I like, but the people on the other side of me kept needing to get in and out, and there’s no leg-room, so I was up and down and UP AND DOWN and that was annoying) and then the play happened.

Well, by the time you read this, the review will be out, so this won’t be a spoiler to anyone who gets the paper, I suppose.

Sometimes being a theater reviewer means you have to watch things that you hate more than you hate clowns. Or people jumping out at you and screaming “surprise!” into your face. Or BOTH of those things. CLOWNS screaming SURPRISE into your FACE.

SURPRISE! And then I am dead of a heart attack. Nice job, clown.

SURPRISE! And then I am dead of a heart attack. Nice job, clown.

I hated this play so much I wished I was scrubbing the bathtub all night long rather than be there.

See, here’s what I like in theater. Intelligent shows. Shows that make me think. Cool, innovative things done with sets or costumes or the theme of the show – anything that shows thought went into the process. Dark, truthful writing. I’m not immune to a good comedy now and then – I like to laugh, don’t think I don’t – but it has to be a GOOD comedy. I don’t like stupidity in theater. I find that lazy. And if there’s anything in theater I hate, it’s laziness. (I have a whole different set of rules for what I like in musicals. I know. I’m weird.)

This play was so lazy, it took fifty naps before the curtain even went up.

Before you start thinking, “BAD THEATER REVIEWER! You should have given it a chance!” I’ve gone into plenty of shows that I thought I would hate and left happy with them and given them a good review. In this case, I went in thinking I’d hate it, and left hating it A BILLION TIMES MORE THAN I THOUGHT I EVER WOULD. This is not an exaggeration.

The acting was fine; the set was pretty; the costumes were nice. But it was the laziest comedy to ever lazy. Seriously. Sloths ran circles around this play. It was Some Like it Hot for idiots. It was two men who cross-dressed to trick someone into giving them an inheritance. AND OH THE WACKY FOIBLES! Ugh, if there’s anything I hate, it’s wacky foibles. Also, I hate homophobia played for laughs? Especially in 2013? And this play was all ABOUT that. The men dressed as women had MALE ADMIRERS! And EW MEN LIKING MEN! HA HA! Ugh, please, I’m about to vomit in my purse.

Men are dressed as women! That is funny! BECAUSE THEY HAVE PENISES!!! HA HA!

Men are dressed as women! That is funny! BECAUSE THEY HAVE PENISES!!! HA HA!

Sadly, the audience LOVED this play. Like, one woman was laughing so hard that people kept shushing her. She was like in an ecstasy of laughter. Gasping and shouting laughter. And a woman in back of me decided to narrate it. To whom? Herself. She was sitting alone. “Oh, he loves her!” “Oh, they are wearing dresses!” “He is using the phone. That is SHADY.” You are not Morgan Freeman and this is not March of the Penguins, lady. Shush it up tight.

This made me so sad. This is why we put on something like The Shape of Things and no one comes, but we put on something like Rumors (which, granted, was a wonderful production, but still, comparatively, it was not even in the league of The Shape of Things) and we sell out the house. I know. “But Amy! It’s a sad scary world and people don’t want to go to dark shows!” Yes, but don’t people want to think? Don’t people want entertainment that they’re discussing for hours afterward? Don’t people want entertainment that opens them up to new ideas, that moves them to tears, that thrills their hearts? And if not – what the hell is wrong with me that it’s ALL that I want?

When it was done (TWO HOURS AND FORTY MINUTES LATER, the hell? What kind of comedy is that long? NOTHING should be that long. That’s longer than a damn QUENTIN TARANTINO movie. And those are GOOD) and curtain call started, I ran out the door like my tail was on fire. Only to encounter…ALL THE RAIN! Like, a monsoon. A TERRIBLE MONSOON. And there were no lights in the parking lot area. So I had to walk to my car in pitch-blackness with no umbrella or coat and there was like three inches of water everywhere and it was SO SO COLD and it had been 74 degrees that day. DAMN YOU NATURE!

How I got home* (*possibly an exaggeration)

How I got home* (*possibly an exaggeration)

So I got to the car all “shudder shudder shake cold brr drip drip” and then I had a half-hour drive home. And then had to write the review, because it’s due by 1pm the next day, only I’m at work that day, so can’t meet that deadline. So I attempted to clean off my water-drippy glasses (and just made them smeary, so THAT’S fun) and put the heater on high so the whole car smelled like wet Amy and drove home.

And then when I was about fifteen minutes away I hit the WORST ROADWORK EVER. Who does roadwork on the highway in a monsoon? New York State does, beeyotches! NOTHING STOPS OUR STATE WORKERS! (Seriously, how terrible of a job would that be? Ugh, you poor people, out in that bad rain.) So I got stuck behind those signal cars with all the lights that tell you to get over or whatever? And they were going 5 mph. So due to them? My half-hour trip home, dripping wet (oh, did I mention getting soaked with a gallon of freezing water made my bladder go on overdrive and I had to pee like at levels never before seen in humanity? IT IS TRUE!) was extended to FIFTY MINUTES.

Nooooooo!

Nooooooo!

AND AND AND, right behind me? Was a cop. And he/she/it decided to turn on their red flashy lights, so my first thought was, “oh, well, the po-po’s got me.” But it’s not like I could pull over. Where would I pull over? Into a concrete barrier? We were down to two lanes and we were all in a line and there was nowhere to pull over. Also, have you ever been in a terrible rainstorm and there were cop-lights? They make things go all bright and flickery in the car and make it VERY HARD TO SEE. But once we were done with the terrible twenty-minute roadblock of doom, the cop turned off his lights and pulled away all calm-like. WHAT THE HELL COP? That was inappropriate.

I didn’t get to bed until 1. And had to get up at 7. That’s not enough sleep for this delicate flower. Also, the review will be in the paper today, and I don’t think it will make any friends at the theater group. Sorry, guys. I was honest. I always am. I highlighted the good things. I also called you out for the bad choice of play. But I also said the audience was loving it, so hopefully it was clear to the readers that I’m just a snobby old theater snob and they’ll go and have a GREAT time. Sigh.

I am a snobby old theater snob. But at least this coming week I get to see In the Heights. And then the week after: Les Miserables. So this snobby theater snob has something to look forward to this week.

Oh, also, I told Dad about all the rain and he was all, “YOU COULD HAVE DIED.” Hee! Yes. Probably not, though.

Happy Sunday, jellybeans. Hope your weeks were lovely and your upcoming weeks are Miss-Kitty-Fantastico. Be back soon. With more things that are either fun or not fun or just rambly. We’ll see.

MISS KITTY FANTASTICO HAS ADVENTURES! Oh, this is the best.

MISS KITTY FANTASTICO HAS ADVENTURES! Oh, this is the best.


When your car uses shouty all-caps, you know it’s serious.

Just so you know I am not dead:

I made it through Tech Sunday. It wasn’t as long as they have been in the past. 7 hours and 45 minutes. Not that bad at all. The show looks amazing; I’m very proud of it. I can’t wait for people to see it this coming week. The crew and the director have done an amazing job with it and the audience is going to love it. And probably cry, if I’m any indication. I’ve seen the damn thing three times now and I’ve cried at various points every single time. It’s GOOD, you guys. I’m going to attempt to video some of it with my fancy-schmancy phone tomorrow, we’ll see what happens. If it works, I’ll let you see.

I might be alive; my car, however, is not doing well. If it was a patient in a hospital, it would be in the ICU. On the way to the theater today, it chugged (as it does, and the garage guy was all “just the catalytic converter”). Well, after a little chugging, it went “DING DING DING!!!” and I was all, “THIS can’t be good.” And it GAVE ME A MESSAGE. I know, WTF? THAT was freakish. Where the “miles til you need to fill up” display is, in ALL-CAPS (so you know it’s my car, I guess) it said: “CHECK YOUR TRANSMISSION!!!”

This light has been on for the past week. SIDE NOTE: the first time this happened, I was all, "Dad! What's the light on my dash that looks like a Muppet face?"

This light has been on for the past week. SIDE NOTE: the first time this happened, I was all, “Dad! What’s the light on my dash that looks like a Muppet face?”

Oh, well, this is not good.

Friend A., when I told him it was chugging, before the guy at the garage said catalytic converter, said “I hope it’s not the transmission. That costs like $2,000.”

This is a transmission, apparently. It is HUGE, it is like the size of the whole ENGINE. No wonder it's so expensive!

This is a transmission, apparently. It is HUGE, it is like the size of the whole ENGINE. No wonder it’s so expensive!

Also, I noticed a couple of times it looked like, when I pulled in somewhere and parked, it might be leaking? But then again, it might be melting, as it has like snowsicles under it? And also when I’m in it, sometimes I smell what I can only describe as a hot curling iron? But then again, one time I smelled celery in a whole parking lot, and there was no celery to be found. I am not to be olfactorially trusted. I DO NOT CARE IF THAT’S NOT A REAL WORD DAMMIT.

So I got to the theater, and went about my day, and the all-caps didn’t happen on the way home, and then I called Dad. The only reason I called Dad was to see if he thought I should a., go straight to the garage tomorrow, or b., could get the car to work, then go at lunch. I don’t know anything about cars or how serious this all-caps transmission situation might be.

Well! Choice tidbits of things Dad said to me on the phone:

“Apparently you don’t UNDERSTAND that CARS are for TRANSPORTATION” (um…I think I get THAT function of cars…it’s just how they WORK that befuddles me)

“Why were you hiding this transmission situation from me?” (Because I just found out about it now? Did you want me to call you from the theater this morning? How would that have helped, the garage isn’t even open on Sundays.)

“The car is LEAKING? Why didn’t you TELL me?” (Because I thought you would say “Stop making up leaking, you don’t know it’s really leaking”)

“IT SMELLS LIKE BURNING?!?!?!?” (This just made me laugh because it reminded me of Ralph Wiggum saying “I eated the purple berries, they taste like burning”)

Ralph would have eaten my car. It ALSO smelled like burning.

Ralph would have eaten my car. It ALSO smelled like burning.

“Go outside and check the transmission fluid level. WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO THAT.” (What the hell is confusing about this. I DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO THIS. It’s not like daily I’m all “la la la, let’s eat breakfast and check our daily transmission fluid levels” DAD.)

“You don’t have a FLASHLIGHT? OH MY GOD. IT IS LIKE DEALING WITH A CAVEMAN HERE. I CANNOT HELP YOU FROM A DISTANCE WITH THIS FLASHLIGHT SITUATION.” (I didn’t ask him to HELP, I just wanted to KNOW if I needed to go to the GARAGE at 8am or if I could WAIT.)

“NO, you cannot wrap a sweater around some magazines and light it on fire and use that for a flashlight. Do I sound like I’m in the mood for lightheartedness?” (No, but it was worth a shot.)

Dad became convinced that when I went to the Twilight Zone theater and ran over the wood in the road (remember that, all those weeks ago?) I damaged the transmission pan. That sounds like a made-up thing, but whatever. So he said I had to check the transmission fluid levels and call him back. It apparently is a thing that needs to be done when the car is warm and running. Opening a car hood while it’s running seems dangerous, but I’m a trooper. Or is that trouper? Both seem wrong, somehow.

OMG, it is a real thing, and look, this one looks like it's smiling.

OMG, it is a real thing, and look, this one looks like it’s smiling.

So I went outside. First hurdle: I didn’t know how to open the hood. I could POP the hood. But it was LATCHED. So I took out the flashlight (which I totally found; the maintenance men who were here last month totally accidentally left one behind, I WIN!) and saw the latch. I felt like the Queen of Smartness.

Then I tried to find the transmission dipstick. Do you find it as humorous as I do that dipstick is a real word? Fine, just me, whatever. Dad’s actual directions: “It is under the hood. Kind of directly in front of where you sit, sort of.” HELPFUL!

I couldn’t find it and couldn’t find it until I found it, and it was all tucked away far under some things and it was bright yellow. (When I told Dad this later, he said “Oh, maybe it would have helped had I told you it was bright yellow?” YES IT WOULD HAVE.)

BRIGHT YELLOW.

BRIGHT YELLOW.

I pulled out the (heh) dipstick. I wiped it off on a paper towel, per Dad’s instructions. “Note the color on the paper towel,” said Dad. The answer was: brownish. THIS is fun times. Then I put the dipstick (hee!) back in and pulled it back out (OMG, totally not a euphemism) and checked the end of it for, per Dad, “pink stuff.” The answer was: the end of it had pink stuff, but not up to the little line that said it was supposed to be up to there. So there was SOME “pink stuff” (the “pink stuff” is actually transmission fluid, apparently) in there, but not enough.

OMG, I found this online. Someone has a lot of time on their hands. A LOT.

OMG, I found this online. Someone has a lot of time on their hands. A LOT. Also, I think I have “internal probelms.” Hee, probelms.

So I came back upstairs and called Dad and gave him the news. He had calmed down some in the past ten minutes and was no longer shouty. He was VERY PLEASED there was some pink stuff and that I hadn’t run it to the ground, but not super-pleased that there was a transmission problem at all. “DID IT SMELL LIKE BURNING?” he said. “No, actually not at all, maybe I imagined the burning,” I said. “Grumble grumble grump,” said Dad. “This is what happens when you hit a tree.” “I didn’t hit a TREE, Dad,” I said. “I hit some WOOD. That was in the ROAD. For no REASON. When I had to drive to that weird town that was trying to kill me that time. I can hardly be blamed for that, now can I?” Dad doesn’t seem to agree. Somehow, Dad would have not hit the wood. (Dad, however, drives about 10 miles per hour all the time, so if he HAD hit the wood, the wood probably would have apologized to him. And he’d be going so slow he’d have had time to have a lengthy conversation with that wood. Heh. Wood.)

Dad said he thought it would be ok to drive it to the garage (which is very close) in the morning, and have them check it out and at the very least, dump some transmission fluid in it if they couldn’t find the time to fix it tomorrow. So I texted my boss all, “Um, I’m going to be late” and off to the garage tomorrow morning. New Job is going to think I’m a gadabout. I’m usually not late all the time. This car hardly ever screws up, dammit! As you can tell, because I haven’t had to open the hood since I got it!

And that was my day. Now I am off to bed so I can tackle tomorrow. With much enthusiasm. Rah rah RAH. And such.

What will happen NEXT in True Tales from Amy’s Car is Not Working Correctly? Only time will tell. ONLY TIME WILL TELL.


True adventures with wildlife, ZOMG

I have a very brief period of time to write this. FIRST I have a STORY and then I have a thing I stole from someone else’s blog because I’m like a pirate, yo. Arrr.

This is me, I guess. Arr, matey.

This is me, I guess. Arr, matey.

Here is a story called AMY’S INTERACTION WITH THE GLORY OF WILDLIFE.

This weekend, I went to the library. On the way home, I wanted to stop at a place to pick up some lunch, and I thought, hey, I know a back way to get there. So I turned down the back way all pioneer-like.

Well, like the pioneers that ended up in Utah or some such shit instead of California, I realized I had made a terrible mistake when the road, which the last time I went down it led me all twisty-turny to the road with all the restaurants on it, it just…dead-ended. I knew they’d done some construction, but a little sign saying “this is a dead end now” might have been helpful. To add insult to injury, the reason it was now a dead-end was because they’d put a little hill across the street. You could SEE the street right on the other side of the hill where I needed to be. I mean, there was no way to get OVER the hill, but you could SEE over the hill, and the street was TAUNTING me. Dammit.

Curses, foiled again.

Curses, foiled again.

So grumblingly, I turned around and went back up the same street I’d just gone down. Well, at least I now know you can’t go down that street to get anywhere. So I won’t do that again, I suppose. So, la la la, here I was, driving back the way I came.

When all of a SUDDEN, what was THIS?, something was in the road! Something somewhat large and…brown…and…

IT WAS A TURKEY A REAL LIVE WILD TURKEY (no, not the liquor) in the ROAD!

So I laughed and laughed! I’ve seen turkeys in the distance, like at the side of the road, but never up close! (I mean, I’ve also seen them dead and waiting to be roasted. And also I’ve eaten them. Because, delicious, you know?)

I turned down the radio and slowed WAYYYYYY down (and peeked in my rearview and there was a truck behind me and I was all “sorry dude, but TURKEY!” but of course it’s not like he heard me) and the turkey STOOD IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD! He did not move! That was one cheeky turkey! He made turkey noises (which I GUESS are like “gobble gobble” but are more like a weird underwatery blurbling noise, honestly) and just watched my car coming up and didn’t even move!

Well, I liked that turkey. That turkey had CHUTZPAH. So I watched him for a couple more moments and then felt bad for the truck in back of me so I really slowly went around the turkey and he went “blurble blurble!” and then I drove away. And the truck in back of me totally went around the turkey, too, so I decided he was a nice man who went out of his way for turkeys.

Wild turkeys (NOT THE LIQUOR!) are very funny and very prettily-feathered and this one totally had a wattle. And wise eyes. I liked this turkey very much. But not enough that I’m going to stop EATING turkey. I do very much like poultry. Both when it comes up all unexpected-like in the street, and also with some gravy and stuffing.

I told Dad this story and first he was all, “Maybe that turkey was rabid” which made me laugh, and then he said “Make that turkey noise again. Make it again.” Then he laughed and laughed because apparently I made a very funny turkey noise. Then he said, “Maybe that was a turkey vulture. Do you think it was a turkey vulture?” and I said, “No, Dad, I saw a turkey vulture once. We had one when I worked at the animal shelter. We had to keep it overnight for Fish and Game to come and pick it up and we fed it hamburger and it looked like a dinosaur and it was totally frightening but also fascinating? I kept looking at it in awe.” Dad said, “You are a wonder, daughter of mine. You are a wonder. You love all the animals, don’t you?” and I said, “Yes. But not monkeys or apes, though.” Dad understood because we went to the zoo together that time. He knows I don’t like the monkeys because I hid behind him at the monkey cage most of the time. I don’t trust those wily poo-flinging bastards.

This doesn't even LOOK like a turkey. It looks like a VULTURE. Also like an evil mastermind, a little, right?

This doesn’t even LOOK like a turkey. It looks like a VULTURE. Also like an evil mastermind, a little, right?

Here is part two. I am multitasking this post, yo.

So on Emma Wolf’s blog today (which is like your…um…two days ago or something), she did the Daily Prompt, which was to assume you had time to save five things from your home if it was on fire, assuming all animals and people were safe. What would you save?

Things like this make me think and think. (I don’t know that I’ve ever clicked on that Daily Prompt site. Is that something bloggers are supposed to do? Probably. I never follow the rules, do I? Dammit.)

When my apartment WAS actually on fire, I saved the cats and my purse, which had my phone (back before I had a real phone, it was just a crappy non-smart Tracfone, but at least it was a way to call out) and of course my wallet and things in it. It took a long time to round up the cats. They were all I cared about, to tell the truth. The purse could have stayed. But this is assuming Dumbcat is safe, so he’s out of the picture. Well, that sounded terrible. He’s SAFELY out of THIS picture. Let’s pretend my happy little place is on fire and Dumbcat is safely elsewhere. Where is he? Hell, I don’t know, probably in the car in his carrier or something, let’s not think too deeply about this.

OK, five things, quick like a bunny, I have to call Dad and explain Justified to him for the week.

  1. My purse. It has a lot of things in, my wallet, my cell would be in there, keys, etc. My purse is important. Having to replace all of those cards and such would be a colossal pain in the butt, yo.
  2. My laptop. It has a lot of writing on it. I’d hate to lose that. Yes, yes. I know. I should probably back that shit up on a thumb drive or whatever the kids have today, but I also love to TYPE on my laptop. The laptop has to come with.
  3. Photos. I’m not a huge decorator, but the main thing I have hanging on the walls here are a ton of photos. Most of them are irreplacable. Some of the people in them are long gone; some were gone before wee Amy made the scene. I’m going to assume I have a little bit of time to grab some photos off my wall. It’s my fire; I get to imagine it as I please.
  4. Clothes/shoes/outerwear/etc. I know I won’t have a billion years to be grabbing things, but at least a couple basic outfits. Once, a long time ago, I had to quickly leave my place of residence. I did not have time to grab clothing. Living in the same clothes for days while you try to get the money/time to get some more clothes is not really what you need to be worrying about when you’re dealing with a huge life issue, you know?
  5. My teddy bear. Shh, my house just burned down, I’m going to need my comfort object. Yes, I’m a grown-ass woman. You’re not even allowed to judge. I WAS JUST IN A CATASTROPHIC FIRE.
Yikes, don't do a search for "apartment fire" and expect to get any sleep for the night. Good grief.

Yikes, don’t do a search for “apartment fire” and expect to get any sleep for the night. Good grief.

I find this curious, because as I was doing this, I didn’t have many things I COULDN’T live without. Honestly, if I had to do without all of these things, I could. As long as Dumbcat is safe, I’m ok. There are a lot of things I need in life, but most of them are replacable. The two things I can’t replace are Dumbcat (I mean, he’s not going to live forever, I’m not insane, I know that, but as long as it’s within my power to do so, I’m going to keep him around) and my loved ones. Doing without the people I love…well, things are just things. You can replace things. Or if you can’t replace them, you can learn to live without them. But my people? Well, living without them is not something I want to contemplate. I’ve had to say goodbye to too many people in my life, and when you lose someone you love, that you truly love, the hole that’s left…well, some of you know what that’s like, and some of you, thankfully, don’t, but everyone eventually does, and will. That kind of loss, I don’t know if that ever leaves you. So, yes, fire, consume all my consumables, if you must. My cat and my people are safe? I’m good. I’m fine. They’re all I need.

For a short post, this is very long. Goodnight, internet. Wait, you’re reading this like at noon or something. Happy…um…lunch break, internet. I’m going to see Company of Thieves with one of my best friends tonight! Hooray!

COMPANY OF THIEVES!!!

COMPANY OF THIEVES!!!


I Thought It Would Be Funny: A Day of Adventure With The Nephew

I have actual real things to blog about. Real topics. I KNOW SHOCKING. Like, I have them all saved with notes and such. But my brain’s all scattery and I have a million other things bopping around in it so I can’t actually force myself to sit down and concentrate on them.

It’s a day off today for me, which is so nice, I can’t even tell you. Yesterday? I TOOK A NAP. I haven’t taken a nap, other than when I’ve been sick, in probably years. Because when I take a nap, it throws off my sleep schedule. But I didn’t have to get to bed overly early last night, and I was sleepy in the afternoon (even though I totally slept well the night before) and I thought, you know what? I’m going to take a decadent little siesta. And I DID. And it was GLORIOUS. And I still slept last night, too. And had trouble waking up when the alarm went off this morning. So apparently, this long weekend was for sleeping. All the sleeping. Every last bit of it. And it’s been GRAND. I only wish I could bank all that sleep for the days I’m not getting enough.

Aw, look, a little sleep bank. I like that.

Aw, look, a little sleep bank. I like that.

I also finally took down the Christmas decorations (yes, I’m aware Christmas was almost a month ago, I hadn’t gotten around to it yet) and cleaned up the house a little and wrote and watched television and paid bills and petted Dumbcat and baked cookies and talked to my parents and did all good things. It was a very productive day.

And TODAY, I woke up to an email with the best news EVER EVER, which I can’t go into detail about yet, but will as soon as I can (it’s good, it’s SO SO GOOD) and also in fifteen minutes I’m taking off to spend a few hours with The Nephew in his new house. I can’t wait to see him. The cookies referred to above were for him, by the way. I can’t bring him gifts EVERY time I see him, that’d be absurd, right? So in lieu of gifts, I’m bringing him and his mom some homemade chocolate-chip cookies. Not JUST cookies, but my SPECIAL chocolate-chip cookies, which are the best recipe I’ve ever tried and they’re utterly delicious. I think he’ll approve. (I mean, the kid loves his desserts. His face gets all excited when there are desserts involved. Apparently, the last time he was at my parents’ house, he opened the fridge and stuck his finger in a cherry pie “just to see what it tasted like.” Hee!)

So my house smells like baking right now. I’m pretty sure if a man were to come over here, I could woo ’em with the scent alone. Just saying.

And I have another busy week coming up – dinner with friends Wednesday, theater stuff Friday, work Tuesday-Saturday. Plus I really need to start reading those one-acts for the play festival we have in July. It is my job, after all. Sigh. Those aren’t going to be a fun read. They never are.

Also, for no apparent reason, my apartment is like a fridge right now, even though the heater keeps going off. So that’s perplexing. WARM UP, APARTMENT. I AM CHILLY. Like, I’m seriously thinking of purchasing a Snuggie.

ZOMG, look at all the uses. SO MANY USES!

ZOMG, look at all the uses. SO MANY USES!

Now, time has passed since I started this. I know, it’s like the magic of blogging, right? I am home from my adventure with The Nephew. And it was TOTALLY an adventure. Listen, even if things aren’t an adventure, I make them so. That’s the way I am.

So first, I’d never been to either The Nephew’s new house, or the town he currently resides in. So it was GPS time. I popped in the address. All was well! All was good! I got in the car! Yay, yay! I put on loud, cheerful music! Ba-BAM! Ready to go! The town is about half an hour away, so here we go!

About five minutes into the drive I realized something was terribly wrong. TomTom was giving me the silent treatment.

This is the face TomTom would have been making. Had TomTom a face. Which it doesn't. Because it is a machine, sheesh.

This is the face TomTom would have been making. Had TomTom a face. Which it doesn’t. Because it is a machine, sheesh.

I didn’t have it on mute. I had the volume turned all the way up. Everything else was working perfectly. TomTom was just not telling me where to turn. So I could SEE where to turn, but the whole point of TomTom is that you don’t have to take your eyes off the road much. You can mostly listen to it, and every once and a while when it gets confusing, you peek over briefly. Well, I had to peek over ALL THE TIME once I got off the highway, because the rest of the trip was all small roads and traffic circles and such, and TomTom was all “we’re playing the game of who can stay silent the longest” and THAT was disconcerting.

So I finally got there – while beseeching TomTom to please talk to me, what’d I do, baby, please talk to me, don’t do this, you’re only hurting YOURSELF, TomTom, I can’t lose you, DON’T DO THIS TO US, TOMTOM, think of the good times, don’t give up on us, baby! – and there was the house! And I knocked and no one came to the door and I was all, “Oh, well, this is bad, maybe it’s all a dream” but then K. came to the door because The Nephew had been in the bathroom.

AND THEN THERE WAS THE NEPHEW!

He ran into the hallway all happy-faced and big-eyed and said “Aunt Amy Aunt Amy HELLO!” and LAUNCHED himself up into my arms for a big hug and I picked him up and gave him that big hug and he said “I want to show you my room!” and I said, “I want to SEE your room!” and he said, “OK! Let’s go!”

So he gave me a kiddo-tour of his new place. “This is my KITCHEN! This is my LIVING ROOM! This is the BATHROOM! Where you PEE! This is MOMMY’S room! THIS IS MY ROOM! That is the basement, sometimes you have to go down those steps.” He gave that door a very mistrustful look. Can’t say as I blame him. Basements are a frightening affair.

I don't trust you, basement.

I don’t trust you, basement.

“Do you want to play with me?” he said. When your beloved nephew asks you such a thing, the answer is always yes. No other answer will do.

So we played with Thomas the Tank Engine trains, and some Toy Story 3 dolls (Lotso Bear was the badguy, and Buzz Lightyear and one of those little “the CLAW!” aliens were the good guys) and a wrestling playset that had a spinny circle in the middle that launched the wrestlers into the bouncy elastic side of the ring, and that made him laugh and laugh (there was a monster on the side of the ring, and he was very careful to tell me, “this isn’t a real monster, though. It’s just a TOY monster.” I get the feeling someone had to tell him that once or twice.) We also played with some Matchbox cars. Mostly this involved him driving them off the dresser and me catching them as they crashed. “Do they like crashing like that?” I said. “YES! They LOVE it!” he enthused. OK, then, well, it must be true. He also showed me his books (“You could read ALL of these to me!” he said) and his bed (“I sleep there!”) and his Wii (“You can’t bang on this, or it breaks, right, Mommy?”) and he kept running from room to room like a little Tasmanian Devil so I got dizzy. I think parenting might be exhausting. Why didn’t you people warn me parenting is exhausting? Kids don’t sit still very often, is what I learn whenever I see The Nephew. They are always go-go-going.

Lotso is TOTALLY a bad guy. The Nephew and I are in agreement on this one. "He put them in the FIRE!" The Nephew said, in a scowly way.

Lotso is TOTALLY a bad guy. The Nephew and I are in agreement on this one. “He put them in the FIRE!” The Nephew said, in a scowly way.

He also wanted me to participate in “Family Fun Night” which apparently entailed watching movies on Mommy’s bed. “But it’s day! Can we have Family Fun Night during the day?” I asked. “Yes we can!” he said. “Well, it’s like Family Fun Night has no rules!” I told him. He thought about this very seriously. “No, there are rules,” he said. “No hitting, no biting, no lying, and…um…no hitting.” “Those are very good rules, The Nephew,” I said. “I try to live by those rules every day, myself.”

(I didn’t tell him I’m not always successful. He’ll learn that soon enough, why burst his bubble now?)

Then he had one of the cookies I made. “These are EXCELLENT,” he told me. Hee! Excellent. Nice. Also he had some lunch, but mostly he didn’t want that lunch. He doesn’t like eating very much. So instead of eating, he dripped soup all over and put his sandwich in the soup and dripped THAT all over and nibbled his sandwich and apple like a baby bird.

Then he did a thing which made me realize for the billionth time I would be a terrible mother.

He, for no real reason, tore off a piece of sandwich and dropped it in his chocolate milk. Then he tried to retrieve it, but he couldn’t because it was too deep in the cup.

“Well, I can’t drink my milk now!” he announced.

“You shouldn’t have put sandwich in there. Do you want some water?” his mother said.

This was not the answer he wanted. I think he wanted her to replace it with a whole new cup of milk. He got the dangerous pouty lower lip.

“No. Maybe I could get it out with my fingers?” he said, tearfully and doubtfully.

“No, you already tried that. You know that doesn’t work. You could drink the milk with the sandwich in there. It’s ok,” his mom said.

This brought on a full-on toddler tearstorm. “NO I CANNOT!” he wailed.

“Well, The Son, why did you put your sandwich in your cup in the first place?” she asked. K. is a very good mom. She is the most patient. I was standing there trying not to giggle. Because he was SO SAD about that piece of sandwich in his milk. Good gracious.

SO SAD!!! *not The Nephew; dramatic re-enactment only

SO SAD!!! *not The Nephew; dramatic re-enactment only

“I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE FU-HU-HU-NEEEE!” he sobbed.

That’s when I totally lost it and had to turn away so he didn’t see his beloved aunt cracking up. He put a piece of sandwich in his milk because it had comedy potential; the joke backfired, and now he was left with chocolate milk that tasted of grilled cheese sandwich. ZOMG LIFE WAS SO HARD. Also, this seems an apt analogy for a lot of things I do in my life. I’ve had a lot of things backfire that I did because I thought they would be fu-hu-hu-neee.

K., with a totally straight face (I think if you’re a mom you have to probably practice keeping a poker face in the mirror, or something) said “What if I fished that out with a spoon?”

His tears IMMEDIATELY stopped. “I want to do it.”

“If you eat two bites of your sandwich, I’ll let you do it,” she said. TRICKY! And SMART!

He promptly ate two sandwich-bites and then fished the offensive sandwich-piece out of his cup and drained the rest of his chocolate milk. SUCCESS AND VICTORY FOR THE LITTLE GUY!

He also started punching his mom really hard in the leg. “I thought there was no hitting?” I said. “This is not HITTING,” he said. “This is MARKING. It’s like TAPPING but HARDER.” Then he did it a few more times. It sincerely looked like hitting to me. “Marking marking MARKING!” he said gleefully. “I think it’s time for a new rule,” his mom said, with painful-face. “No hitting, biting, lying, or marking.” The Nephew made a VERY sad face at this news. “It is just HARD TAPPING!” he wailed. Aw, kiddo. I think you might be a lawyer someday. You really have a very good answer for everything.

Then it was naptime and time for Aunt Amy to morph back into her alter-ego, “just plain old Amy” and go home.

I got one more launched-from-across-the-room hug and sandwichy kiss and I told him I loved him and I would see him soon. “OK!” he said gleefully. Aw, buddy. In the grand scheme of things and people, I love you more than anyone. Shh, don’t tell everyone else, they’ll get a complex. I also gave K. a hug, don’t even think I didn’t.

Then I got back in the car and guess what? TomTom apparently got over his snit and was talking to me again. What the hell? THAT was weird. When did my TomTom become like a passive-aggressive teen boyfriend?

And now I am back in my strangely freezing apartment and Dumbcat is keeping my legs warm because it’s like a fridge in here still. VERY MYSTERIOUS.

There was my Monday in a nutshell. A very large and long and probably rambly nutshell. Thanks for the day off, new job, you’re the best.

Hope you all had lovely long weekends! Real posts with real content soon. I hope. I think. We’ll see. I have topics and everything. I promise! Really! Would I lie to you? I can NOT lie to you. That would be breaking the rules of Family Fun Night, you see. That’s a total no-no.


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