Category Archives: local

If absolute power corrupts absolutely, then a small amount of power must make you a tinpot despot.

I have been advised by four separate people I should wait at least 24 hours before making any sort of decisions about whether or not to write about this. It’s been 22, is that close enough? And this won’t post for like 48 hours after it happened, how about that? Good? Does that work?

OK, listen. I’d like to tell you all that I’m like this calm, cool and collected chick, and that when shit does down I’m the proverbial duck and I let it roll off my back and I move on to more sunshine and rainbows and kittens and what-have-you. I really would. I have been making a concerted effort to be calmer and less angry over the past six months or so. And, for the most part? It’s working. You all have Ken to thank for that. Take a moment to give Ken a round of applause, most sincerely. He’s an excellent influence and one of the calmest and most relaxed people I know. He doesn’t get all bent out of shape about nonsense. I aspire to be that calm, I truly do. Because I think if I was, I’d worry less and I’d sleep better and all good things.

This is for Andreas. I know it will make him smile.

However, I’ve got genetics and history to fight with. Genetics, in that I’ve got half my DNA from one of the angriest human beings alive. Does anyone remember that Simpsons episode where Bart drew that cartoon “Angry Dad?”

It’s Amy’s Dad! Hi, Amy’s Dad!

Yeah, that’s my dad. I love him to pieces, and sure, he’s really, really funny, too, but he goes through life furious. About EVERYTHING. We spent ten minutes on the phone the other day with him shouting about how much he hated this bird that’s been dive-bombing him at his wood lot. SHOUTING. HATRED. BIRDS. Also, history. I spent a long, long time being bullied, and not saying a word about it. That kind of anger being pushed down for so long festers, don’t you even let anyone tell you it doesn’t. Now I realize I don’t have to put up with assholes, and they usually back down if you stand your ground, because deep down they’re huge cowards. And sometimes that means being an asshole right back to them. And listen. I’m GOOD at it. I can get shouty with the best of them. I was brought up that you push down your anger, down down down DOWN, and then it EXPLODES, and you SCREAM, and then the person forgives you because you’re totally the most charismatic. Plus they should understand it’s all their fault, because they pushed you to the point of screaming. So really, I’m doomed before I begin. Both nature AND nurture, I’ve got the anger from.

Me, if I don’t take a step back and a few cleansing breaths. ALL THE TIME. (No, this isn’t really me. I don’t have blue eyes. And I have a tongue ring. Come on, people.)

So, this weekend, a really, really shitty thing happened. I’m going to do something kind of ground-breaking here. I’m going to tell you what happened EXACTLY as it happened. I’m not going to embellish. I’m going to be completely straight and just-the-facts-ma’am-y. Because I don’t want to be accused of lying. I’m pretty sure I was being accused of lying this weekend? So I’m going to be most definitely and completely straight with you here. This is what happened. How do you know? Well, you don’t. But I guess you’ll just have to trust me. Also, maybe you’ll be able to tell it’s not embellished because it’ll be BORING. Because not putting the pretty party clothes on stories makes them, in my opinion, as boring as watching old people screw. Not that I ever have, but I assume it would be pretty boring, right? I mean, that’s a saying, isn’t it? It wouldn’t be a saying if it wasn’t a thing. Or is it as GROSS as watching old people screw? I don’t know, what do I look like, the saying dictionary?

I also debated putting the names of those involved in here. I wanted to. OH, how I wanted to. But that’s probably a bad idea. Because people can get sued for things like that, can’t they? And also, it’s about things that I’m involved in, so it could come back on me, I suppose. Although I’m 110% in the right on this. More. More than 110%. Like, all the percent PLUS percents. So, I suppose, if you wanted to be all Sherlock Holmesey, you could easily figure out the names of the major participants here. But you didn’t get them from me. I’m trying to deep-breathe. I’m trying to be calm.

I went to a play this weekend. How was the play? It was actually really excellent. But I couldn’t enjoy it. Because right before it started, I was asked to leave the theater. I didn’t leave, but I spent the entire show in such a state of righteous fury that I’m pretty sure, had someone touched me, they would have pulled their hand away from me with third-degree burns. I was HOT.

OK. No embellishments. This is against everything I stand for, I’ll have you know. I’m all ABOUT the embellishments. I accessorize like a BOSS. But just the facts, just the facts.

I arrived at the theater. An usher showed me to my seat. I was in the front row. The front row was set up in this way:

XX                                                                                                                            XXXXX

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

STAGE

That’s not the best diagram, but it works. (I did find a seating chart online, and was GOING to insert it here, but decided it was way too obvious what theater I’d been to, for those of you who don’t already know. Some of you do. For example: I ran into one of my readers at intermission. HE knows.) The front row kind of curves around the stage, and where there are breaks in it on the left and right, those are the aisles. I was in the italicized red seat on your far left. Right on the aisle. It was a good seat, if a little off-center. I like front row. It’s my thing. I like center front best, but I’ll take what I can get. And it was a sold-out house, and the closing performance.

As we were seated, the seat beside me and to the right of me was removed (they’re not bolted to the floor, they’re just loose chairs) and a woman in a wheelchair sat there. Right behind me was another man in a wheelchair. The foot-area of his wheelchair was extended and right against the back right leg of my chair. I only noticed this when I went to put my purse on the floor, and I only noticed this to make a mental note for myself not to kick his feet.

Please note: at no point did I change where my chair was located. I did not move it up, back, or into the aisle. Where it was when I sat down was where it remained. It was easy to see that it was where it belonged, as it was in a pretty diagonal line with the chairs behind it.

About twenty minutes before the show, an usher came up to the woman sitting directly across the aisle from me in the front row. He informed her that, since actors would be entering through the aisle, she could not have any of her person in the aisle at any time. She said, “OK.” He then said, “Why is your seat here?” She expressed confusion. He said he didn’t like where her seat was, as actors entered through the aisle. She said that’s where she’d been seated. (It was. I saw her when she sat. She also didn’t move her chair at all.) He said again he didn’t like where her seat was, and that he had no idea why her seat would be there. He then left. I did not like that he seemed to be chastising the patron for where her seat was positioned when it was not her fault the seat was there, but it’s not my theater, and he wasn’t talking to me, so I went back to playing with my phone.

I couldn’t find a good graphic for an angry usher. And this cracked my shit up. I think it’s something animatronic or whatever. Pretend this is the usher, it’s making my day.

Please note he did not speak to me. I heard the conversation because he was standing close to me and I’m a terrible eavesdropper and he was not speaking quietly, but the conversation was not directed to me in the least.

About five minutes later, the same usher came back and positioned himself in front of me. “You can’t be in the aisle,” he said. “Actors use this as an entrance.”

I told him I’d heard him telling the other patron that, and thanked him.

“You can’t be in the AISLE,” he said again. This was confusing. Had he thought I didn’t hear him the first time?

“I will be sure to stay out of the aisle,” I said, a little louder, in the off chance he was hard of hearing.

“Because ACTORS use it,” he said. Now I was truly befuddled. Did he think I wasn’t understanding him?

“Yes, I understand. I’ll stay out of the aisle. I won’t get in their way. Thank you,” I said. He stood there for a few moments more, watching me. I maintained eye contact. I learned on Animal Planet that’s what you do when threatened by an alpha dog, unless you want them to rip out your tender throat-area. He walked away. Back to playing with my phone and reading the program.

I’m not rolling over and showing my throat for any officious usher. Or anyone, actually. I’m stubborn as shit, no joke.

Time passed. The show was about to start. The lights dimmed. Announcements were made; a man came onstage and talked a little about the show and had us applaud for some patrons. All normal things, especially at the end of a season (this is the end of the season for most of our community theaters.)

Then another man came over to my seat.

Now, here’s the thing. I know this guy. He doesn’t KNOW I know him, but I know him. When I first moved to town, he was a client of the firm I worked for. And he was rude, and he was officious. He was one of those people who saw an administrative staff member and immediately thought, “lesser human being!” and spoke to them as if they were mentally deficient. I see him around town now and then. I don’t like him. But he doesn’t know who I am. Hell, he didn’t know who I was when he was seeing me on a daily basis since admin staff didn’t register on his people-who-matter-scale, he certainly doesn’t know who I am ten years later.

He leaned in to me. He was smiling, but it was a very used-car-salesman smile. A politician’s smile. A very “this pains me” smile. Very false.

Maybe he was trying to put me in a nice pre-owned Volvo and I misread the situation. What? It’s possible.

“We’re going to have to ask you to leave,” he said. “If you’re unwilling to move your seat one foot to the right to accommodate the actors, you’ll have to leave. We’re willing to refund your ticket price, but you’ll have to come with me.”

“Excuse me?” I said. “I haven’t been asked to move. I would have gladly moved, had I been asked.”

He stood up, looking at me as if I was a problem to be solved. A disgusting problem. That smelled. Very nostril-flarey. “I was told you’ve been asked to move your seat three times.”

“That didn’t happen,” I said. “I wasn’t asked to move once, let alone three  times.”

He looked at me. I looked back. I was getting red. It’s what I do when I’m embarrassed; it’s what I do when I’m angry. I’m very pale. I get red easily. I was both embarrassed and angry. Therefore, I was the color of a tomato, I’m sure.

“You WEREN’T asked to move your seat?” he said.

“No, I was NOT,” I replied.

He continued to stare at me. I realized something: he thought I was lying. It was obvious from the way he was looking at me; it was obvious from his body language. “Well, why don’t you move your seat on over, then,” he said. Then he patronizingly patted me on the back, like I was a child who’d learned a good, hard lesson today, and walked away.

Well, as mentioned: I was kind of blocked in by the wheelchair guy. I couldn’t move my seat. I attempted it, without thinking, because I was kind of caught flat-footed and wasn’t thinking. Then when I hit the wheelchair I realized, well, shit, I can’t move my seat, even if I HAD been asked, which I WASN’T.

OK. That’s all that happened. I didn’t have other encounters with him or with the original usher (other than seeing them in the lobby at intermission, and I can tell you, the death glare I gave the two of them probably has rendered them unable to spawn devil-children), but other than that, nothing.

Me, inside. Outside, mostly just all glarey, though.

(You can tell I’m telling the truth about this, by the way, because if I was embellishing, I would have had myself saying some more impressive things to him than I did. I’m one of those people who thinks of good comebacks hours later. On the drive home, I thought of three things I could have said to him, and said them, out LOUD, ANGRILY, in my car. So, I’m obviously telling you the truth, because I don’t come across as silvertongued as you’ve come to expect from your dear ol’ Amy.)

Here are my thoughts on the matter.

First: if you knew those seats (mine and the woman across the aisle from me) were going to be a problem with the actor’s movement, remove the seats. Completely. And don’t sell them. I know the theater’s new; I know it was a sold-out house; I know you need the money. But if you don’t want us sitting there, don’t sell us the seats. And if you DO sell us the seats, for the love of Pete, before we get there, POSITION THE SEATS WHERE YOU WANT THEM. Don’t make it OUR FAULT the seats are not where you want them, and don’t blame US for not sitting precisely where you want us. We are not mind-readers. We don’t know where you want our seats.

(Also, side note, and even MORE perplexing, at the intermission? The first usher brought over another seat and placed it on the aisle right behind the woman he’d spoken to first. It was jutting out in the aisle. Very dangerous for the actors. He then seated a handicapped man in it. He did not yell at the handicapped man. He PURPOSELY put the man in a seat that was MUCH more in the way than EITHER of the seats that were getting him all knicker-twisty was. I was completely flummoxed.)

Second: Your patrons are your money.

And, as a very poor person, you’d better RESPECT my dollar signs, yo. I don’t have many of them to pass around all freewheelin’ like.

As such, they are always right. You’ve heard the “the customer is always right” thing before, correct? Well, as much as patrons can be a pain in the ass sometimes (and listen, I’m a theater person, they can, they SO can) they have something we need. Money. And if we don’t get their money? We’re not going to be performing much longer, you know? So, what exactly made you decide, both original usher and Mr. Fancypants second guy, that you were going to come over and give me attitude? Let’s put aside for the moment that I work in community theater. Because you didn’t know that, and at that moment, I was just a patron, anyway. A PAYING patron. Who put down the same amount of money as everyone else in the theater. You really thought it was not only a good idea to come over the first time and give me attitude, but then to go back to your usher smoking circle or whatever, LIE about what we talked about, and be all, “this’ll teach her, I’ll send the big guns over?” Really? You thought this was, what, how we treat people who PAID MONEY TO WATCH YOUR SHOW?

Third: An apology was called for and not given. Am I wrong in thinking that? I’m guessing you think I was lying and you believe that the usher was telling the truth in that he told me THREE TIMES to move my seat (which you can see is not able to be moved, had you even looked at it at all?) But since when do we assume our patrons are lying? And what kind of weird-ass patron would refuse to move their seat a foot to the right? It’s not like you asked me to sit elsewhere, or strip naked and get onstage and dance the Chicken Dance, for the love of all that’s holy.

OK, so, my precious minions, here’s my question for you.

Am I overreacting? Would this have pissed you off? What would you have done? Ignored? Left? Caused a scene? Went and found the original usher and forced him to call you a liar to your face?

And, what would you do now?

I’m thinking my best course of action is a letter to the president of the Board of Directors of the theater. I know, I know. I should be all, whatever, and let it go, and what am I even hoping the outcome will be, if I send it? Probably nothing. But listen, I don’t think it SHOULD be let go. Our patrons should not be treated this way. I kind of feel like I’m speaking up for every patron that’s been treated poorly by every officious little bastard usher ever. We give these people the tiniest bit of power and they abuse the hell out of it. I’ve seen it at my theater and I’ve seen it at other theaters and it makes me furious. I paid for my effing ticket. I’m not saying you need to fan me with a palm leaf while feeding me grapes, but you can at least treat me like it’s not a burden to have me in your building.

(To be clear: the second person was not an usher. Research tells me he is part of the administrative “staff” – unpaid, I assume, as it’s a community theater – of the theater. So he works there. I work at a theater, too. And have never once treated a patron – even the one who called me a liar to my face, even the homeless man who stole all our toilet paper, even the one who started screaming we were oppressing her when she sat in someone else’s seat and refused to move to her ticketed seat, even the drunk one who started screaming during a show – the way I was treated this weekend.)

And I will repeat, as I told my dad like three times when telling him this story last night: I DID NOTHING WRONG HERE. I sat where I was told; I did not move my chair; I didn’t even put my elbows or knees in the aisle all willy-nilly. Why the HELL was I treated like some sort of theater ne’er-do-well? I felt like I should be twirling my moustache and chuckling evilly or something.

Also, if I see any of our ushers treating any of our patrons like this, I’m going to blow my top. I mean it. If a patron is acting like a looney, send them to me, I’ll deal with that shit. I’ve done it before. But don’t you DARE take it upon yourself, ushers, to yell at a patron.

I’m completely serious. Let me know in the comments. Or on Facebook. Or on Twitter. Hell, send me smoke signals, I don’t care. Am I blowing this all out of proportion? (I promise you’re not going to hurt my feelings if you tell me I am. My father is convinced I am. I still love him.) Would you do something (a letter to the board president  or something else?) Or would you let it go, all, “meh, mistakes happen?” I’m honestly curious if I’m reading the whole situation wrong or something.

That’s it. Shoo, fly, shoo. As you were. I’m all civil liberties woman with the not wanting to be moved today, seriously. LET’S MARCH ON WASHINGTON WITH LARGE PLACARDS RIGHT NOW.

I’d be the worst protester, I’d get very hot and exhausted after about five minutes and need a nap and some shade and a cool drink. Sorry, all the important causes.


Just the bare necessities. Bear necessities? Both. Either. Whatever.

Happy Friday! It’s going to be local news day today. Sometimes it needs to be local news day, because the weird shit starts piling up, and I need to tell someone about it. I HAVE HUNDREDS OF SOMEONES.

Here’s a funny thing and not at all on topic ARE YOU AT ALL SURPRISED. Even though I’ve mentioned this blog on Facebook a number of times, most of the people I know in real life apparently don’t pay any attention to what I say on Facebook (which is actually really telling, don’t you think? My Twitter people know if I’m in a bad mood based on the nothing but the tone of a 140-character tweet while my Facebook people, who know me in really real life, don’t even know what I’m up to even if I SPELL IT OUT FOR THEM? Just an observation) so when I mention something about my blog to them, they look at me like I’m insane or maybe making it up.

Typical conversation (please note, I don’t often bring UP the blog, unless the conversation has organically steered itself to it; it’s a huge part of my life, but I don’t want to be THAT GIRL, who’s all I HAVE A BLOG MOMMA LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME, you know?):

Friend: Your what?
Me: Blog. I have a blog. That people read. And comment on.
Friend: YOU DO?
Me: Yes.
Friend: Strangers read it?
Me: Yes.
Friend: Like, more than five?
Me: Yes.
Friend: How many. How many strangers.
Me: I don’t know. A few hundred?
Friend: Total? Like, ever?
Me: Daily.
Friend: WHAT? Why do you have a double life?
Me: Because I’m Maxwell Smart, or maybe Superman? I don’t know. I’ve mentioned this on Facebook a number of times.
Friend: YOU HAVE?
Me: Yep.
Friend: WHAT?

This sometimes goes on for a very long time and makes me a little squirmy. I’m not sure if the squirminess is because they don’t believe someone like ME would have that many people reading my blog, or because I’m not comfortable bragging. I have a very old-timey “we don’t brag about ourselves” ethic going on. Like, it’s ok to be PROUD of oneself, especially if you did a lot of work for something. But BRAGGING about it is in bad taste. If someone compliments you, it’s ok to take the compliment, but then you change the subject because that’s skating into bragging territory. I know. I’m a throwback, especially in this day and age. It’s just uncomfortable. And it smacks of needing attention. If you DON’T beg for it, and you get applause for something, it means a lot more. Think about it. What compliments mean more, the ones you get organically, or the ones you had to pry out of someone? Well, obviously the former, right? The unsolicited ones? This is a tangent within a tangent. Are you so so frustrated right now?

I’m not really going anywhere with this, other than every time this happens, it never fails to be awkward. I feel like I’ve been hiding this secret identity from people when I really haven’t. I promise I’m not hiding my top-secret blogging identity from you, people. And if I didn’t think you all would get totally bored and annoyed, I’d post my posts to my personal page. I don’t know, it just seems weird to mix my real life and my blog life that much. Does that make me a total weirdo? It’s ok if it does. It wouldn’t be the first time.

NOW BACK ON TRACK.

OK, there’s a lot of craziness happening here in the ol’ Capital District lately. Let’s talk about two things. What do you want first, naked ladies or bears falling from the sky?

Probably you want naked ladies but you have to wait for those. Bears come first.

The Albany bear! Or, at least, one of them. (All photos totally ganked from the Albany Times Union. I AM NOT A THIEF. Don’t arrest me, Times Union.)

OK, so! Starting on May 1, we started seeing all the black bears here. We live in a nice area that’s got both city and country, so sometimes we see wildlife. It’s not uncommon. I see deer in the parking lot at work sometimes because the parking lot abuts some trees. I always smile when I see those deer. Wildlife make me happy. I also see a lot of squished wildlife. Raccoons. Things that I think are woodchucks but after they’re squished just look like brown piles of ick. Skunks.

But we don’t see a lot of bears.

Since May 1, there have been four black bear sightings in the areas surrounding my town. No one’s quite sure if these are four separate bears, or if these are the same bear and he just travels, or what’s up with the bears. Bears have been in Albany, Schenectady, North Greenbush, and Guilderland. None of these are my town, specifically, but they’re all within 15-20 minutes away.

THIS IS VERY EXCITING. I’ve never seen a wild bear! Only ZOO bears. I want to see a bear!

According to the news, bears are on the move because these are adolescent bears and their moms have kicked them out of their basement and told them to get a job, slacker. So they’re looking to stake a claim of their own and maybe find a lady-bear of their very own to do their laundry and let them come home drunk at 2am and get some nooky. (When I told my dad this story, he said “that’s typical liberal behavior. Of COURSE those bears are heading for Albany. THOSE ARE LIBERAL BEARS.”)

So the most recent bear was in a tree in someone’s back yard, and at first, the DEC was all, leave him ALONE, he’ll come down when he’s READY, only he was as lazy as Dumbcat and he wasn’t going ANYWHERE. He was all napping and shit. He was stretching out all long and yawning and being adorable and he was totally the dirty hippie of bears. So the DEC decided, once all the people showed up to rubberneck and take photos, that it was time to tranquilizer dart that bear and move him along to somewhere less peopled.

He’s saying, “Where’s Amy? I want to hang with Amy. I WAS PROMISED AMY.”

So they shot him and once he fell out of the tree there were many mid-air photos of that bear falling like a sack of wet hair. FLOP. Sleeping bears fall HARD, you guys. But don’t worry! That bear was FINE. He fell in the leaves. The DEC was all, “DON’T WORRY WE DID NOT HURT THE LAZY BEAR.”

Look at him flop out of that tree! He’s like a sack of laundry, that bear. FLOP.

Here, if you want to see all the photos, you can click. Also, you can follow the Capital Region Bear on Twitter.

Now, after I had written the majority of this post, a NEW article went up on the Times Union site. It was the SADDEST. So, this one bear (not THIS bear, another bear) was captured and released far away. Then, like the cat, it came back. Then, captured. Sent farther away. IT CAME BACK AGAIN. Guess where it showed up? The campus at the University at Albany. THAT BEAR WANTED AN EDUCATION, YOU GUYS. But the DEC was all, NO, BEAR, you DON’T NEED NO EDUCATION! YOU DON’T NEED NO THOUGHT CONTROL! And the DEC killed it because it was not able to be rehabilitated. They said was one naughty bad-news bear. Aw! Bear! I’m going to drink a 40 tonight and pour a little out on the ground for you. All you wanted was an education. And maybe to join a fraternity, and drink too much out of red Solo cups, and eat Denny’s at 3am. It’s ok, bear. We all wanted that, at that age. Well, not the fraternity part, I can’t help you with that, bear. That’s just bad decision-making skills. But you didn’t need to DIE for it, bear. I’m sad about this. That poor bear, yearning for book-learning.

Listen, bears! I am not far from where you’ve been hanging out, and I have MANY TREES in my back parking area. They are TOTALLY BEAR FRIENDLY TREES. Please come and visit! I will give you bear-things! Like…um…honey? And I have some berries in my freezer I will thaw for you. And…shit, what else do bears like. Fish? I WILL BUY SOME FISH FOR YOU, BEARS. I think we will be the best of friends. Also, I won’t tell anyone you’re here, because otherwise, the DEC will either relocate or kill you. I’ll hide you, bears. This will be like a Disney movie only with more cussing and there won’t be a princess or a love interest because those things are stupid. Just me and my bear, yo, hanging out and having some berries.

OK, bear time is over. Now it’s time for BARE time. Bare NAKED time, that is. Like that? That’s how you know I’m a really truly serious writer, with the segues like that. You can’t buy THOSE in a store. (Like that? That’d be my new catchphrase if I had a kicky single-gal comedy.)

Yesterday, a woman in Ballston Spa (that’s up by Saratoga, where the pretty ponies race in the summer) walked into the Curtis Lumber (which is exactly what it sounds like, a hardware store/lumberyard) and she was bucky-ass naked, yo.

This is security footage from the Curtis Lumber with her jiggly bits blurred out. I told my dad about this and he was SO MAD her jiggly bits were blurred out. He thought it was a government conspiracy.

She walked around like it was fine, and asked people what time it was, and told people to have a nice day as she left.

“’No one wanted to say much to her,’ (Curtis Lumber manager Bob Eakin) said. ‘It’s not a situation you want to be involved in.’”

Aw, poor Bob Eakin. You come to work at your job, which is probably not great, let’s face it, you manage a lumberyard/hardware store where the logo is a weird anthropomorphic house, and then a lady walks in and she’s all naked. What do you DO? Well, Bob Eakin decided, NOT TODAY, LADY. And ignored the situation. He didn’t even kick her out. He just let the naked lady wander around all naked until she was done shopping.

Anthromorphic things like this are a little creepy, yeah? Yeah.

Here’s my question. If you’re going shopping naked, is a lumberyard/hardware store really your best choice? I guess you thought either more men would be there to see you, or you’d stand less of a chance of being kicked out? Or maybe she just really, really needed a hammer, like one of my my Facebook friends said today? I don’t know what is happening with this decision process.

Then she went across the street to Stewart’s. Stewart’s is a local gas station/convenience store chain. I like Stewart’s. They are friendly and have good ice cream and iced coffee.

See? Cute, right? IT DOESN’T NEED NAKED LADIES IN IT.

While at the Stewart’s, one of the employees chose to engage the naked lady in conversation.

“’The manager said, Ma’am, are you aware you have no clothes on? She was kosher and cool about it, and the manager told her she needed to leave,’ said a Stewart’s employee, who only identified himself as Terry.”

This conversation is one that I would pay COLD CASH MONEY to have been privy to.

“Ma’am? Are you aware you have no clothes on?”
“WHAT? ZOMG! HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?”

“Ma’am? Are you aware you have no clothes on?”
“*I* have no clothes on? *You* have no clothes on. This whole *Stewart’s* has no clothes on!”

“Ma’am? Are you aware you have no clothes on?”
“Yes. And are YOU aware you have TOO MANY clothes on?”

Also, “she was kosher?” People still say that? I wasn’t aware. It sounds so silly. Stop saying that, people who still think this is a thing. STOP TRYING TO MAKE FETCH HAPPEN. FETCH IS NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN.

So then she left the Stewart’s (two things: a., I like to call it “THE Stewart’s,” much as I like to call Kmart “THE Kmart” or Walmart “THE Walmart” because it makes me sound like a hillbilly, and b., I hope she got one of their iced coffees, they really are stellar) and the cops picked her up (I don’t know, were they following her car? How’d they know where to find her?) and questioned her to see if she’d lost her mind or was off her meds or whatever. Here. I’ll let the Times Union tell you the rest, it’s the best.

“By the time the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office picked her up, she had her clothes back on, Eakin said.

“Murphy said she is charged with public lewdness, a misdemeanor.

“‘While the defendant claimed she was merely expressing her freedom to be fully liberated by walking nude into Stewart’s and Curtis Lumber, this alleged conduct is actually a crime under the penal law,’ said Murphy in a statement. ‘Surprisingly, mental health found no psychiatric issues whatsoever.’

“Lafleur was released pending a future court appearance in Ballston Spa and could face a maximum of 90 days in jail if convicted, Murphy said.”

OK. Let’s take this one step at a time.

I like the word “lewd” because it sounds like what it’s describing. You have to draw it out for maximum effect, though. Lewwwwwwwd.

I know someone with the last name Lafleur. He’s like the least crazy person ever. I certainly hope he’s not related to this person. Or, if he is, I hope he talks to her and gets more info on this situation, because I AM SO EFFING CURIOUS WHAT IS UP. No, that is NOT a euphemism.

“…expressing her freedom to be fully liberated by walking nude into Stewart’s and Curtis Lumber” makes me laugh so hard I snorted a little. THAT’S how you celebrate your freedom? Don’t you listen to country music? Freedom isn’t FREE, lady. Also, it’s not even the fourth of July yet. Yes, it was hot as balls Tuesday and sticky and disgusting, but wear a damn tank top and some shorts or something, come on.

“Surprisingly, mental health found no psychiatric issues whatsoever.” You know when that statement was made, the words “surprisingly” and “whatsoever” were emphasized to the maximum. Possibly with ALL CAPS. She wasn’t looney. Just naked. SHOCKING.

Also, Jim makes me laugh like a moron.

I was going to mention the irony of “penal code” being in this article, but Jim did it for me. Thanks for doing the heavy lifting today, Jim. Much appreciated.

So we’re all about bares and bears here in the Capital Region! We like both animals and nudity, apparently. Oh, and homophones.

(Oh, psst, Ken made it to Merka all in one piece. I don’t know about you all, but I’m pretty jazzed about this development. It’s like you could feel the awesome quotient of the country go up about 90 kabillion percent late yesterday afternoon. Welcome back to Merka, Ken. I’m so excited you’re here. Have so much fun bon vivanting.)

Happy Friday, beautiful people! Have a fantastic weekend. Oh, and keep your clothes on if you need lumber or iced coffees. You can take them off for other reasons. Gallivanting. Tomfoolery. Flimflammery. We’ve discussed this on Twitter and decided it was alright. And hey, watch out for falling bears? Great. Love your faces. Bye bye bye.


Let’s get rich and give everybody nice sweaters, and teach them how to dance

Whew! Busy week. Lots going on.

Seeing Ingrid Michaelson tonight. Very excited. Well, by the time you read this, I’ll have seen her already, but since I’m TOTALLY PROACTIVE ZOMG, no, NOT the weird acne medication that’s always being promoted by “celebrities” who I think already had nice skin to begin with, I’m writing this early because there’s no way I’ll have time to write it tonight. Because I’ll be concerting. I don’t concert much. Like how I verbified that? I know, I’m pretty fast and loose, English-language-wise. Concerts aren’t usually my cup of tea, but I do make exceptions here and there. I like Ingrid Michaelson a lot.

Aw, is she not the cutest? Sure she is!

She’s got a beautiful, clear voice, she graduated from my alma mater (she started the year I graduated, I believe, so I didn’t know her, but I still appreciate that we went to the same school and have the same degree and knew some of my people and had the same professors) and her music is melancholy and soaring and sometimes gives me chills, and that’s my favorite kind of music.

She started to get famous with a song in an Old Navy commercial. Which everyone called “The Sweater Song” but it’s really called  “The Way I Am.” Here. Watch. Maybe you remember it:

When this commercial came on, I was still living with my roommate, C. I used to get SO BOPPY when this commercial came on. It made me SO HAPPY. But I’m bad at remembering things. C. is not. She is a music person. So that Christmas, she surprised me with Ingrid Michaelson’s album and said, “Look, it’s the Old Navy sweater song you like so much! Plus other songs! And she went to our college!” C.’s the best.

Our opening act is Scars on 45, and I know I’ve heard them on the radio but can’t think of what they sing. I’m sure I’ll recognize them when they start singing, though.

Aren’t we so excited about my outing? I know I am. I’ve had this ticket for months. The show’s sold out, too. I’m kind of sitting in nosebleed seats, but it’s ok. It’s not a big theater. So, they’re not really nosebleed seats, I suppose. Maybe they’re bang-your-elbow seats or something. Give-yourself-a-charlie-horse seats. Oh, and the show’s at The Egg. Here, I promised Ken once I’d show him The Egg because it’s my favorite building in the area and it’s a building filled with concrete whimsy and I know I showed it to you before but that was BEFORE I knew Ken. I know. Isn’t that sad that there was a before-Ken-time? Totally is. Here you go, Ken. I know you’ll love it, even though you’d want to climb it if you visited, and you can’t. That’s not allowed. You’d slide right off. You’d have to have grappling hooks or something, and you’d probably be arrested.

WHIMSY!!!

Fun, right? I don’t know what they were thinking, either, but it just makes me grin every time I see it. Inside it’s kind of industrial-governmental, because it is a state building, but you still know you’re inside a big squashed egg-thing. I love it so. Some architect had a sense of humor. I like that a lot.

OK, I was GOING to write you all another post talking about the concert, but then had so much fun I thought I’d combine it all into one squished-together post. Awesome, right? Sure it is.

OK, so when I showed up, there were a kabillion people there. The Egg doesn’t usually sell out. The audience was a strange mix of people in their fifties and people in their late teens/early twenties. The younger people I get, sort of. The older people were a little perplexing, because I didn’t think that either Scars on 45 or Ingrid Michaelson would have a big baby-boomer-type following. Oh, wait, maybe they’re not baby boomers. Probably baby boomers are super-old now. I guess fifty-year-olds are, what, aging hippies, or something? Cripes.

So I got there and the usher-dude insisted on telling me where my seat was. Fine, fine. He’s all, “See that woman standing down there? She’s in row J. You’re in K. So you’re one row up from her, about 2/3 of the way in.” That seemed very specific and like he knew what he was doing, right? So I followed his instructions but he was TOTALLY WRONG and I was actually on the aisle and had to make the rude little childlings sitting next to me take their rude little feet off the seats in front of them twice to get by. Why do you already have your feet up on the seats? People aren’t even seated yet. You’re going to have to move like 47 times, childlings.

Scars on 45 started, and they were absolutely adorable. They’re a British band and they had lots of energy and kicky accents. And I knew three of their songs! And the one girl in the band’s name was Amy, and she made me laugh when she was introducing the band, because she introduced herself as Amy, only with a British accent so it sounded much cooler, then said, “Or, if that’s confusing, here’s the way you Yanks would say it: AY-MEEE.” And I giggled. After they were done playing, they walked around the audience and took photos and sold albums. They were infectiously energetic. I enjoyed them a great deal.

Here’s my favorite Scars on 45 song they played last night, so you can play along at home.

“Give Me Something”:

Also, the lead singer was extremely easy on the eyes.

Yes, he’s probably about 21. But, British accent! And a musician! My Kryponite!

Then we had a long break in-between acts so Ingrid Michaelson’s people could set up, and so people could buy merchandise and pee. That meant it was “Amy plays with her phone” time. And guess what! One of my people was there!

Tim, also known as @DecisiveReflex, was AT THE CONCERT! Only he’s quite fancy, so he had superstar seats right down front. So we were tweeting each other, and I was attempting to find him with only the knowledge of his teeny tiny Twitter avatar photo. Which was fairly useless, considering I could only see the back of people’s heads that were sitting in the pit area.

BUT, he’d tweeted a photo of adorable Amy from Scars on 45 (remember the time I almost got kicked out of The Egg for attempting to take a photo of Warren from Buffy? No one seemed to be policing this rule last night. How come when I tried to produce photographic evidence of awesomeness I got cracked down upon by the propriety cops?) so I could kind of figure out where he was sitting. AND I TOTALLY FOUND HIM YO. I am the winner at stalking from a distance. I’m pretty sure that freaked him right the hell out but I was not scary about it. I mean, it’s not like I tweeted him “You look pretty I want to lick your hair” or something. I just told him I was the winner of The Egg. And I totally let him stalk me back. I told him where I was sitting and everything. Then I waved like a goober. It was a nice moment, brought to us by Twitter meeting real life. Also, he didn’t even look in the least bit murdery! Isn’t that nice? NO, I didn’t go down and see him. I know I probably should have. I’m socially awkward and I thought it would be weird and I didn’t want to bother him and he was with people. I KNOW, normal people would have gone and said hi. Sorry to disappoint you. There is nothing “normal people” about me.

Oh, wait, I made a thing so you can see the WHOLE STORY OF STALKING PEOPLE AT THE EGG. It’s totally fun! Look, I win Storify. You will love it. A whole other place for me to be awesome. Here here here, go check it out, see how much fun it is. I would love to embed it like Storify SWEARS I EASILY can, but WordPress is all “no no no you can’t embed JavaScript you asshole!” so apparently it’s not allowed, even though the Storify website clearly says I can? I have no idea, what do I look like, Nick Burns, Your Company Computer Guy?

Then it was time for Ingrid Michaelson. Who was ADORABLE, you guys. She was wacky and random and non-sequitory and has just the prettiest voice ever. However, here is how I know I am much too old to attend a concert.

The minute she came out, people started SHRIEKING. This isn’t an Aerosmith concert, for the love of Pete. She’s like a quiet singer/songwriter, mostly. With a few faster songs. Like, the shrieking was eardrum-shattering shrieking. The kind that only DOGS could hear. And people all stood up and started that insane trance-dancing that you see at Dave Matthews concerts. WHAT THE HELL. This isn’t a Dave Matthews concert. We’re not all stoned on a lawn. I AM SO EFFING OLD.

The children next to me seemed to think they were at a Lady Gaga concert. They not ONLY did that insane trance-dancing nonsense, they did it with that little-monsters-put-your-paws-up craziness that Lady Gaga followers do. You know, like claw-hands? THE WHOLE TIME. Did I miss a memo? Is Ingrid Michaelson Lady Gaga’s understudy or something?

ALL NIGHT WITH THE PAWS UP, THESE KIDS. GRR.

However, because I am a grownup, I was well-behaved, and still managed to enjoy the concert, and didn’t even yell at the little monsters next to me even once, even when they bopped me in the head when they were trance-dancing with their effing paws up. I didn’t even yell when Ingrid Michaelson covered “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” and one of them shouted to the other, “I like this one! It sounds kind of old!” BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T KNOW IT WAS A COVER AND PROBABLY DON’T KNOW WHO ELVIS IS. I AM SO OLD.

Here is an Ingrid Michaelson song from last night, so you, too, can enjoy. And you will fall in love with her and want to see her, too. And you CAN! She is TOURING right now! She is awesome, you’ll love. Go, go. At one point, she made up new lyrics to “Freebird” that made one of her backup singers laugh so hard she couldn’t sing anymore.

“You and I” (I like this one because it’s just so adorable. I want a house in the south of France!):

Oh, and and AND, additional proof I am old: she sang a song and I was all, I LOVE THIS I MUST FIND IT AND OWN IT FOR MY VERY OWWWNNNN, and it’s a Rihanna cover. I AM THE OLDEST YO. (Also, why do I suddenly dig Rihanna? What the hell? This isn’t the first time this has happened to me. Why am I a secret Rihanna fan?)

“We Found Love” (from someone’s YouTube video I found online, not mine, obviously, because I FOLLOWED THE RULES OF NO RECORDING, THE EGG! GIMME A DAMN AWARD!):

Then it was getting super-duper late and I was getting tired and crotchety but she hadn’t played my favorite song of hers yet. And I was SO HOPING this wasn’t going to be an Indigo Girls concert situation where she DIDN’T play my favorite song and I would be heartbroken because it’s really, really pretty and it makes me cry, even though I knew everyone would be trance-dancing all through it because people didn’t seem to realize you don’t need to trance-dance even through the slow songs. But YAY, she played it! Even though she played it last and I was so so tired. And yeah, I might have teared up a little. I love it that much.

What, you want to hear it? You can. I’ll let you. There’s no video, but you can at least listen.

“The Chain”:

Aren’t the harmonies gorgeous? It’s even better live. Even though I’m about as cranky as anyone can possibly be today, I’m glad I stayed for it. So, so beautiful.

Then I went to the bathroom and had to listen to people complaining while I waited that “GAH! The people in back of me were SO MAD I was STANDING UP and DANCING during the SHOW! Don’t they KNOW that’s what you DO during a CONCERT? They said they couldn’t SEE! So I told them to MOVE! HA HA HA!” Stay classy, Teen Angel.

So, what did we learn about concerts today?

  • I am too old to attend concerts
  • People stand up and dance around a lot in concerts, even the kind with seats
  • Ingrid Michaelson and Scars on 45 are the awesome
  • “Paws up” transcends all performers, apparently
  • Screaming “woooo!” really loud is what you do at concerts, especially in the quiet bits
  • People still yell “Freebird!” at concerts (really? That wasn’t even funny when “Freebird” was a thing)
  • I’m super-tired today and apparently need about 76 hours of sleep a night to survive because I am a delicate flower

Happy Wednesday! I am going to dinner with a friend tonight, won’t that be fun? Yes it will! It’s a week of adventure here in Amy-ville!


I may well have sent a package to Narnia today? It’s debatable where it will end up.

Day two of my eight days of hell: complete. I CAN DO THIS. I totally did NOT punch a certain person I will not go into detail about because I would be fired RIGHT IN HIS PIEHOLE like I wanted to. This took a major amount of restraint; I am expecting my award to be mailed to me any day now. One of my favorite coworkers did say he would bring in pistols, and when I asked him if we were going to have a duel at dawn with them, he said that was up to me. That I could CHOOSE what I wanted to do with those pistols. Well. I like that. I like that VERY MUCH.

They'll look like this, right? I don't want them unless they do.

Also, some of my people sent me encouraging emails. To those of you who sent me encouraging emails: I love your faces, and if you ever have a really hellish week, I promise I will return the favor. And I will not shoot you ever with my fancy new dueling pistols that I have been promised. You win IMMUNITY from the dueling pistols! Isn’t that so nice?

I have very little time tonight to write this and catch up on all the blogging goodness all my people did today and comment and such and retweet the hell out things and respond to all of your lovely comments from today and then watch Justified because I think it’s the season finale and I suppose that means lots of shooting and excitement and maybe Raylan will take his shirt off at some point. I always like those episodes. They’re just so aesthetically pleasing.

This is what I want. ALL OF THIS. I've had a long week already; I don't think this is too much to ask.

So listen, today I caused SUCH A FUROR at my post office.

I made up a package for Andreas. Because I adore him and he is moving. Shut up, sometimes I can be very nice. I CAN. Whatever, I’ll smack your face area if you keep up with the insults. Now, do you all remember where Andreas lives? The ISLE OF MAN.

So Andreas sent me his address, which I wrote on the package, and I ran away from work and off to the post office on my lunch break.

My first indication there might be an issue was that the line was so long it went to the doors. This was not encouraging. I only have an hour for lunch, and I also had to go to the library and drop off some books that were minutes from being overdue and pick up a hold that was about to expire. Then I had to get back to work before someone noticed their indentured servant had taken French leave. Is that a thing, French leave? I feel like I used that incorrectly. I don’t really have time to go back and fix it. If it’s not a thing, pretend I just made it be a thing.

So I filled out the little customs form (and LISTEN, I don’t like that customs form. Because what if you have a surprise in there? Then you write it on the form, and the person who gets the package knows what it is before he opens it? I totally didn’t tell the truth on that customs form. Am I arrested right now? And also, there were two customs forms, a short one and a long one, and no indication which I should fill out, so I chose the short one because the long one looked like maybe also I was signing up for the draft in Micronesia and it worried me) and waited in line, sandwiched between a woman with a palsy who I was quite worried was going to drop her package on the floor and a woman who kept coughing a phlegmy cough into my hair. COVER YOUR MOUTH WENCH.

I realized the problem was that the post office was understaffed. Two people were working; one was efficient, and one was a young guy being trained by a DRAGON HARPY. DRAGON HARPY was very snarly at the trainee, the people in line, and pretty much everyone around her.

I started sending good vibes out that I would get the efficient lady and not the trainee kid. He seemed nice, but he was slooooowwwww. And I wasn’t sure I filled out the right form, and from past experience, sending overseas packages is like telling people, “I might be a terrorist!” so you have to be careful.

Of course, I got the trainee kid.

“Hi, how can I help you?” he said, very nervous. Aw, kiddo. Look at your valiant attempt to grow a manly chinbeard! I just want to buy you a Lunchable and send you out to play kickball at recess.

“I have this package. It’s going to the Isle of Man. I’m not sure if I filled out the correct customs form,” I said.

“WE’LL BE ABLE TO TELL YOU THAT IN A MINUTE,” Dragon Harpy hissed.

The next ten minutes were extremely painful, and I wanted to beat my head against the desk.

The problem was, neither Trainee Kiddo or Dragon Harpy thought the Isle of Man was a real place. They thought maybe I was sending the package to a made-up place. Like Narnia. Or Atlantis.

It is RIGHT THERE IN THE MIDDLE. I ASSURE you it is a thing. It is NOT LIKE CANDYLAND or NARNIA.

“Where is this?” Dragon Harpy said, scrutinizing the package like it was highly suspect.

“The British Isles? That’s what the address says,” I said.

“We need to be able to FIND it, in the COMPUTER,” she said. “Is this ENGLAND?”

Wondering why she couldn’t just have Trainee Kiddo look it up under “Isle of Man” in the computer, I replied, “Well, I did ask him, and he said it’s not considered England. So I’m not sure. Can you look it up under British Isles?”

Here are the things Dragon Harpy had Trainee Kiddo look poor Andreas’s address up under:

England
British Isles
THE British Isles
Island of Man (when I told her that’s not the name of it, she SHUSHED me)
“Man Island” (I tried so hard not to laugh…and was not successful)
“Island Man” (seriously, it was like they were DARING me not to laugh)
“just type in ISLAND, this is TAKING too long!” “there are a LOT of islands in the world, should I just choose any of them?” –actual conversation held by post office workers today
Ireland (because “try that, it SOUNDS like island, maybe this is addressed wrong”)

Finally, Trainee Kiddo said, “what about Great Britain?” and I said, “YES. That is an EXCELLENT idea. Try Great Britain,” and Dragon Harpy was all “huff huff” but he was SO CUTELY EXCITED. “Hey! Look! There it is! It’s a thing! Isle of Man! Right here! Under Great Britain!”

Yes. Yes, Trainee Kiddo. The Isle of Man IS a thing. I promise. Even though every time I mention it, my dad says, “That’s where that spy SAYS he lives. It’s a likely story.”

“FOR FUTURE REFERENCE,” Dragon Harpy spit at me, “this is in GREAT BRITAIN.”

“Thank you,” I said. “But I will not need that for future reference, because he is moving to FIN-LAYND.” Then I nodded, like Ken did at the end of his very impressive YouTube fast food video. You know, for emphasis. So she knew what I was talking about. I think it really sealed the deal.

I’m pretty sure if I ever send Andreas a present in Finland it will be easier for them to look it up in their computer. I think they could probably find it under Iceland. Or maybe Land Fin.

Then she got all suspicious-face about the package.

“What’s in here?” she said.

“I wrote it on the customs form,” I said. “CDs?”

She then SHOOK THE PACKAGE VERY VIOLENTLY. I have never wished I placed a bomb in a package to the Isle of Man that was set off by jostling so much in my life.

“Um…there’s nothing liquid in there,” I said.

“What about FLAMMABLE. Is there anything FLAMMABLE?”

At this point, Trainee Kiddo was giving me apologetic eyes. Poor Trainee Kiddo. If he was old enough to drink, he totally would have deserved a beer.

“I don’t know,” I said. “Do you consider CDs to be flammable?”

This was not amusing to her, but apparently was enough to let the package pass.

Then Trainee Kiddo  told me the prices, and some of them were ridiculous. Like, the most expensive option could have paid my monthly gas bill.

“If I pay for that option, does someone let me come along for the ride so I can hand-deliver the package?” I asked. Trainee Kiddo looked confused; Dragon Harpy frowned frownily.

FINALLY we found an option that assured I could put gas in my car today AND get the package to Andreas before he leaves for Finland, and after the package was stamped VERY officially MANY times (STAMP STAMP STAMP!) it is NOW ON THE WAY TO THE POTENTIALLY IMAGINARY ISLE OF MAN.

YAY FOR MAILING A PACKAGE!

Whoo, it’s exciting when you have an adventure when you weren’t even planning on it.

OK, I’m off to do a million things before Justified. Send good thoughts for shirtless Raylan. I need some happy tonight.


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.


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