Category Archives: nephew

I don’t have the breath for that

You know how I kind of sort of halfway resolved to take a breath and do more life-things? Well, today I did some life-things. OK, not *some*, I suppose, *a* life-thing, but it now leaves me with very little time before I have to hit the hay and get some sleep before work tomorrow. No, not actual hay. I don’t have any hay. Also, who’d want to sleep in hay? SCRATCHY.

So today was hang-out-with-The-Nephew day. His mom emailed me Monday and asked if I wanted to do something that day, but I was working. So she said, “how about the movies on Tuesday?” and I said YESIREE BOB. Well, no, I didn’t say Bob. I mean, she’d have been pretty confused about that since her name isn’t Bob. And also she’s not a man.

So today we met at the mall to see Monsters, Inc. It was not a mall I’d ever been to so I was kind of worried I’d be lost. Also, a billion people were at that mall today. I don’t know what they were doing. Seeing movies? Shopping? No idea. But the parking lot was super-full and I had to circle around a lot a lot and finally ended up all the miles away from the entry with the movie theater. SO MANY PEOPLE. And this is why I don’t go to the movies. HOWEVER, The Nephew was going to be there. I’d walk through fire to see The Nephew, you know.

The theater kind of looked like this, only more mall-like. And crowded. SO crowded.

The theater kind of looked like this, only more mall-like. And crowded. SO crowded.

So I went into the theater and waited and peered all around hoping I hadn’t missed them while circling for a spot for eleventy-kajillion years (which was really like five minutes) and then I saw them walking up from the opposite direction and K. said, “The Son! Do you see Aunt Amy?” and he DID! And his little face lit up and he ran toward me and gave me a big leg-hug and totally knew who I was like it hasn’t been five months since we’ve seen each other and I said, “Hello, The Nephew! How are you?” and he said, “Good!” in a very chipper tone and he’s much taller than the last time I saw him and his little winter hat had reindeer on it and my heart totally broke the Grinch measuring-meter. Seriously, I kind of would forgive this child anything. He’s my kryptonite. He makes me go all squishy. He’s my best thing.



So we got movie treats (per The Nephew, “we had to,” so how could we not, you know?) and The Nephew’s lemonade straw was MUCH too long, so he was MUY impressed that Aunt Amy had wee scissors on a Swiss Army knife in her purse so she could make it more manageable for a little three and a half year old. The lemonade was about the size of his head. He drank the ENTIRE THING. And didn’t have to pee. I think perhaps my nephew is a camel.

So The Nephew sat between me and his mom, and here are the things he did during the movie which most likely were naughty but I didn’t even care so I would be a terrible mother, probably:

  • talked in a normal voice, even when he was shushed
  • became entranced with the fact that his seat closed back up all on its OWN, so he popped it up and down a billion times
  • decided he didn’t like where we were sitting, so first asked if we could sit in the seats right near the screen (his mom headed that off at the pass by saying those were “closed,” nice quick thinking, K.! and then said he wanted to go sit up near the top of the theater and became OBSESSED with this so his mom said we could after the movie so he kept saying “is it over now? How about now. Is it over NOW?”
  • stuck out his tongue at me, so I stuck out my tongue at HIM (you know, like an adult does) and he said, really loudly, “WHY DO YOU HAVE CANDY IN YOUR MOUTH” and then I had to explain the ins and outs of a tongue ring with him in hushed tones while the movie played
  • Said, “WHY IS THIS SO LOUD RIGHT NOW?” at a particularly loud part of the movie. When his mom said, “so everyone can hear it, I guess,” he said, “Well, I don’t like that.” Hee!

When the credits started, he decided he wanted to race up the stairs and back down so first his mom raced him up the stairs, then he came back and crawled up on my lap and said it was MY turn and I said, “but I might fall, it’s dark up there” and he said, “no, it’s ok” and so then I had to race up the stairs with him.

(Please don’t think we ruined the movie for all the people. There were about six people in the theater and they weren’t sitting anywhere near us.)

Also, the movie made me cry. Like, actual tears happened. Stupid Pixar with your tear-jerking. You’ve seen this movie, right? It is SAD. Sully the monster falls in love with Boo the little human girl and risks his own life and limb to save her, and then has to send her back home with the understanding he’ll never see her again. Also at one point he accidentally scares her and realizes that’s what he’s been doing to children all these years and it’s a despicable thing and stupid brilliant Pixar makes that cross his monstery face and it’s HEARTBREAKING. It all ends well – it’s a children’s movie, for the most part, they aren’t going to make it end poorly – but I totally had tears twice. And I’ve seen it before. (Well, I rented it and watched the DVD years ago. I don’t remember it very well. It’s a whole different thing in a theater with a big screen.)



After the movie, K. said, “what restaurant do you want to go to, The Son?” and he said he wanted to eat at his HOUSE. So I said, because I am CRAFTY, “Well, The Nephew, do you know what I have in my car for you?” and he said, “Nooooo” and I said, “I have a late Christmas present, and I could give it to you at the restaurant!” and then THAT was ok with him, he was ok with going to a restaurant. I don’t know if this was an evil thing to do or not. Maybe. I think part of being a grownup around children is being TRICKY.

So then we went to Friendly’s. Friendly’s, for those of you who are not in an area with such things, has food like tuna melts and chicken fingers and soup and salads. And then, what they’re KNOWN for, ice cream. The Nephew wanted ice cream. So he was down with Friendly’s.

The Nephew was full of tomfoolery in the restaurant. For a lot of dinner, he pretended he had no bones and kept sliding out of his booth and saying “I need help getting up!” and probably that was annoying but mostly I thought it was intelligent and funny. (I think everything he does is pretty intelligent and funny, to be honest.) He had some soup; when his mom tried to get him to eat some more of it, he said – get this, it is the best, the utter best – “I can’t. I just can’t. I don’t have the breath for that.” I DON’T HAVE THE BREATH FOR THAT. Who even THINKS of such a thing? That is kind of the most brilliant. So then he had some little cheeseburgers that he decided he needed lots of ketchup and pepper on, but he really only wanted a couple of little bites of them. He eats like a little bird, this kid. And he ate a couple of bites of apple slices. And some of his mom’s french fries. And then he fed me his pickle slices one by one on the toothpick that came with his mom’s sandwich and giggled and giggled because THAT was the most funny.

He has my brother’s eyelashes. That made me a little teary. Is that weird? I mean, it’s not like my brother’s DEAD or anything. I just had never noticed that before. They’re beautiful. I have always envied my brother his eyelashes. And there they are on The Nephew. Genetics are a funny thing.

Also he got crayons and he LOVED the green crayon and told me very seriously that green was his favorite color. “Green is MY favorite color, too!” I said. He nodded very seriously. “Yes,” he said. It apparently didn’t surprise him at all. Green, after all, is the BEST color; why wouldn’t it be my favorite color?

Mine too, kiddo. Mine, too.

Mine too, kiddo. Mine, too.

He said he liked the movie. I told him it made me cry. “Why?” he said, very confused. I explained it was very said that Sully had to say goodbye to Boo. “Are you sad now?” he asked, curious. “No, because I am hanging out with you,” I said. “What about when I go home?” he said. “Well, I will be a little sad, then,” I said, “but then I will think about seeing you again and that will make me smile and smile.” He liked that. That made him grin a little Nephew-grin.

While we waited for ice cream (it was the only thing he was looking forward to throughout the meal) he opened the present I bought for him. He was VERY excited. I got him a Playdoh set with a truck so you could make Playdoh bricks and then SQUASH ‘EM with the truck tires and he sure does like to squash things. I showed him if you pushed a little button the truck talked so he merrily pushed that button. “I didn’t know that button was there!” he said. Aw, kiddo. I’ll always point things out to you. That’s what aunts are for, I think.

It was totally this one. Neat, right? I wanted to play with it, too. I used to love Playdoh.

It was totally this one. Neat, right? I wanted to play with it, too. I used to love Playdoh.

He wanted to open the truck right away but his mom told him he had to wait until he got home. He kept trying to all secretly open it anyway. “Not until we get home, The Son,” she said. “I’m just practicing for when we get home,” he said. SO SMART, this kid! VERY tricky!

The Nephew ate his sundae (which looked like a green monster with M&M eyes) with his face, not a spoon. Then he said, “IT IS SO COLD!” “Well, that’s why we usually eat ice cream with spoons,” his mom said, and laughed. He had a ring of ice cream and whipped cream and chocolate all around his mouth. It was adorableness. Sticky messy adorableness.

Rawr. I will eat you with my FACE.

Rawr. I will eat you with my FACE.

Then it was time to go home, and his mom said, “Tell Aunt Amy thank you! Give her a hug!” and he gave me a very hard, very abrupt knee-hug because he wanted to get back to looking at his truck. And K. said we could do it again sometime. OK I WOULD LOVE THAT THANK YOU YES PLEASE.

So far, my 2013 has been just wonderful, thank you. I got to spend part of the first day of it with my favorite little human. And despite not having seen him in 5 months, he remembered me. And was just utterly the most joyous best funniest little guy ever. Sorry, all the other people in the world.

Hope you all had the best new year’s day ever. Or, since I kind of did, maybe the second-best new year’s days ever. Back to work today, with a big old grin on my face. Here we go, 2013. Let’s do this.

Make glorious, amazing mistakes.

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.” 
― Neil Gaiman

(We’ve had a lot of Gaiman lately. He wins, really, I’m not even going to apologize for it.)

Welcome 2013! I am glad to see your shiny face. 2012 was kind of a long, hard slog through the Fire Swamp, right? What with the R.O.U.S.s and the Snow Sand and all. (You can also call it Lightning Sand like they did in the movie; I’m cool either way.) I have high hopes for you, 2013. HIGHEST OF HOPES!

This kind of perfectly sums up my 2012, really.

This kind of perfectly sums up my 2012, really.

I think I’m supposed to do resolutions today. But I don’t like resolutions. Resolutions do nothing but make you look back on them at the end of the year and say, “Nope, didn’t do that. Nope, didn’t do that. Oh, hey, forgot I even resolved to do that. WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME LAST YEAR.” So I try not to resolve. If something’s a good idea, I try to institute it immediately. If something’s a long-term goal, I write it on a post-it and I attempt not to lose that post-it. Then I find that post-it all crumply in the bottom of my purse a month later and say, “oh. Whoops, sorry, long-term goal.”

(SIDE NOTE SPEAKING OF POST-ITS. Guess who was put in charge of office supplies for her WHOLE DEPARTMENT last week? That’s right, me. If it was someone else, why would I even be telling you this side note? You don’t know anyone who works there and wouldn’t care if I said, “THE ANSWER IS MY BOSS N.”, now, would you? Anyway, I got to fill up one of my desk drawers with the overflow office supplies no one needs yet, and from now on, if anyone needs office supplies, they email me and say, “AMY! OFFICE SUPPLY ME UP!” A wonderful side-effect of this is that if I run out of post-its, I can just reach into the drawer and grab some. I don’t even have to ask anyone for them. Is that the best thing ever? Yes. Also, I am obsessed with office supplies? So really they couldn’t have chosen someone better for the ordering of them. I’m going to be very good at this.)



Anyway, instead of resolutions, I’m going to just list the things I’m PLANNING in 2013. I like plans and schemes. They might not come to fruition, but I’m still planning ‘em. If I don’t follow through, I won’t feel as bad as I would if I said, “I’m going to lose A HUNDRED POUNDS IN 2013!!!” and then didn’t, you know? Because then you feel like a big fat failure. No pun intended.

Travel. Now that I have enough money that I can actually DO things with it, one of the first things I plan on doing is blowing this pop-stand, baby. I promised R. & A. (and Baby CeeVee!) I would come see them last fall, but that fell through due to unemployment. Well, this year there is not only employment, there is money with which to GO places. And DO things. (And copious vacation time with which to do them.) So first: Baltimore to see R. and A. and Baby CeeVee, who is the most smiley happy beautiful child in all the LAND! I’m not even kidding, this kiddo’s got a smile that would melt a POLAR ICECAP. And she has her mom’s eyes! I can’t wait to see her in person! And to see R. and A., who I haven’t seen in a very long time and I love them to pieces! YAY TRAVEL!

I'm taking the train to see R. & A. I will feel VERY fancy.

I’m taking the train to see R. & A. I will feel VERY fancy.

There will also be a trip home this summer to spend a long, lazy week at my parents’ camp in the woods, if all goes according to plan, and THEN, if all ELSE goes according to plan, I’m going on a REAL trip in the late summer/early fall. It is a trip I am not talking about until it actually gets planned and such, but I will say it is somewhere in MERKA, it is to see someone I love a great deal, and will be VERY bon vivanty. AND THERE WILL BE ANIMALS. That’s all I can say. FOR NOW DUN DUN DUNNNNN.

Technology. My new Kindle (which, sadly, is being held hostage in the office here until Wednesday night, as the office is closed for the holiday, sigh) is just the first step in WORLD DOMINATION VIA TECHNOLOGY IN 2013. Next week, I’m getting a new phone, as the current phone is misbehaving quite spectacularly. The best part of the new-phone plan is that the carrier I’m getting works at my parents’ house, so when I visit my parents, I will finally have internet and phone service. VERY exciting. I am also planning on getting Netflix and that fancy box where I can watch Netflix on my television. I plan on entering the 21st century with a bang this year. It’s going to be very exciting. Well, for me. I have no idea if it’s going to be exciting for you or not, as I’m already online a lot and you’re not going to see MORE of me, or anything. I mean, come on, if you saw more of me, probably I’d live in the internet, and I’d imagine shrinking me down little so I could do that would be painful.

I'm going to enter the FEW-CHER. It's gonna be AWESOME, yo.

I’m going to enter the FEW-CHER. It’s gonna be AWESOME, yo.

Be more adventurous. This one’s kind of nebulous. I want to try and do new things this year. I always love it when I try new things, I always have a good time doing them, and I think if you stop doing new things, and trying new things, you start getting old. And your heart dies. WELL! I certainly don’t want that to happen. So as new opportunities arise this year, I’m going to say yes to them. And see where that takes me, dammit. Maybe sometimes they’ll be mistakes, but at least I’ll have tried them, you know? You never know what will be wonderful unless you are willing to make some mistakes.

And…along that vein…

Don’t be afraid to say no. I need to have a little more time to myself this year. I’ve been running myself ragged for a couple of years now and my cracks are starting to show. (EW NO NOT A EUPHEMISM.) I have to stop saying yes to everything; I have to start only saying yes to things that are amazing and be brave enough to say no to things that will not make my life a more awesome place and will just exhaust me and stretch me thinner than I already am. Guilt does not lead to a good time for anyone.

Don’t take things for granted. I don’t ever want to take for granted the wonderful things in my life. The people I love that love me back and support me every day; the wonderful things and opportunities I have and have been given. I want to remember to be consciously thankful for them all the time – especially my beloved friends and family, who I am so, so thankful for. I want them to always know how much I love them. Always. Every single day.

All the love. Every last smidgen.

All the love. Every last smidgen.

Nephew. 2o13 is going to be the year of The Nephew. I’ve missed the last 3.5 years of him growing up; if I’m making any sort of resolution, it’s to resolve to spend as much time with him this year (and going forward) as I possibly can. And in a “starting-the-year-off-right” way, guess what I’m doing today? Yup. Spending some time with the kiddo. His mom emailed me yesterday and asked when they could see me. I was so excited I bounced right in my chair. I think we’re going to the movies together today. I haven’t seen my little guy in five months, and I can’t – absolutely can’t – think of a better way to spend the first day of a new year than with my favorite person in the world. I’m just all butterflies thinking about it right now. Best first day of the year ever.

Worry less. I worry. A lot. About everything. To the point it’s kind of almost crippling. I don’t know exactly how one goes about cutting that down, or even out, but I’m going to attempt to do so in 2013. Even a tiny bit less would be an improvement, sincerely. It might be a process. This worrying thing’s been happening my whole life; it’s not going to stop happening overnight.

Read more. I need to chisel out little chunks of time each day for reading. I’m not sure how I’m going to do this, or where the time’s going to come from, but I’m going to do it. I have to get back to reading regularly. I miss it like a long-lost friend and there are so many amazing books I’m missing out on and I want to start book-blogging again and and and AND. I will start reading again this year, dammit. Regularly. Soon.

Aw, I also want to read with this puppy. PUPPY!

Aw, I also want to read with this puppy. PUPPY!

Change up the blog a little. The blog has been fairly the same since I started; it needs…I don’t know, something. Some plans are in the works for some changes to the look over here. I’m excited about a pretty new look over here. Something a little less what-everyone-else-has and a little more – well, me, I guess. Looking forward to this a great deal.

Relax more. I need a little more loungey-loungey time this year. Not writing; not effing around on the internet. Just RELAXING. Maybe with a book, maybe with friends, maybe just taking a walk, I don’t even know. But I need a little more time to BREATHE, you know?

Get more sleep. I’ve gotten much better about this in the past 6 months or so – I’ve gone from getting 4 to 5 hours sleep to getting a solid 6-8 hours every night, and it’s been really one of the best things in the world. I need to do this consistently, because those 8-hour nights are AMAZING. I wake up the next morning feeling like I could kick about fifteen people’s asses and not even break a sweat. And also solve mathematical equations. And possibly world hunger. In order to do this, I need to – GASP GASP – get off the damn internet in a timely fashion every night, get in my cuddly pjs, and conk the hell out. End of story.

Maybe like this. Except minus the sleep mask. I can't sleep with something on my face.

Maybe like this. Except minus the sleep mask. I can’t sleep with something on my face.

Be less ragey. I come from a loooooong line of ragemonsters. Much like The Hulk, no one likes me when I’m angry. I need to take some deep breaths in 2013. I need to take steps back. I need to react less and think more. I need to breaaaaaathe. In with the blue and out with the red. It’s not healthy for anyone else and it’s sure as hell not healthy for me.

Love myself more (NOT A EUPHEMISM). (No, seriously. NOT AT ALL A EUPHEMISM.) I need to stop beating myself up. I need to surround myself with positive people who love me (this also means people who love me enough to call me out on my bullshit; love isn’t all flowers and hearts and sunshine, it’s sometimes tears, but there’s always the love, that’s why it’s the best thing in the world.) I need to stop doing things that hurt myself; I need to do positive things that will build me up, not negative things that knock me down. I need to forgive and I need to move on and I need to laugh more and cry less (well, sad-cry, anyway, more happy-cries are A-OK with me.) And that forgiving? I need to forgive MYSELF. It’s funny how I’m harder on myself than anyone else I know. And that shit’s gotta stop, because listen, I’m pretty damn awesome. I wouldn’t put up with anyone else treating me like this, so why do I put up with it from myself? No. No, no, no. Be kinder to myself this year. I’m a resolution that’s worth sticking to, dammit.

Happy 2013, my most wonderful readers and friends and loved ones and…who else is reading this? MY MORTAL ENEMIES? Well, even happy 2013 to you, my most mortal of mortal enemies, I guess, if you’ve read all the way to the end of this. That shows SPIRIT. I approve.

I hope you all make your new years as amazing as you deserve; I hope your new years treat you well, and you kick ass and you take names. I hope you take this shiny new opportunity and you don’t waste a single minute of it. It’s a brand new year. It’s yours to do what you want with.

Don’t waste that. Go out and you just CONQUER the new year. You can do this. I have every faith in the world in you. Just be true to yourselves; it’s the only way you’ll make it through.

Love to you all. I wish you so much of all the best that my whole face aches with it.

Last year’s words belong to last year’s language

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.”
― T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

New Year’s Eve always makes me all reflective. Like those strips on your running shoes so cars don’t hit you in the dark.

Super-reflective and artsy as shit.

Super-reflective and artsy as shit.

Tomorrow is for looking forward; today is for looking back.

2012. What can we say about 2012?

2012 was a roller coaster of a year. And listen, it is a fact about old Lucy’s Football that she HATES roller coasters. They make your stomach hurt, they bounce your head all around, they dig your earrings into your neck and they make you dizzy. I’d rather walk through the animal barn at the fair or something, that’s less distressing and sometimes you get to pet some sheep with their warm fleecy wool and soft noses.

Aw, sheepers! *pet*

Aw, sheepers! *pet*

There were good things this year and there were bad things this year and I’m still not sure if I consider it a win or a loss, to be honest. I’d like to say it’s a wash, but I don’t know if that’s the case, even.

But let’s not make this TOO depressing right out of the gate, right? I mean, do you come here for total depressing navel-gazing? What’s that? Sometimes you do? FINE, never let it be said I don’t deliver.

Let’s go through the highs and lows of 2012, yeah? It’s the day for it if there ever was a day. Tomorrow we can optimistically opine about 2013 but today we can look back on the year that was.

Fired. There is really nothing like being called into a conference room with your boss and the HR rep and to be told you are not only being fired, you need to be out immediately. And then being escorted to the door because you’ve possibly become a scary liability who might cause some sort of scene. In this economy, it is one of the most frightening things ever. Especially when you totally kind of brought it upon yourself because the reason you were fired was ostensibly for too much internet usage and also blogging at work even though you kind of weren’t REALLY blogging at work, only writing the drafts there and setting them to publish during work hours once you got home at night, and the only reason you were using the internet at work at all was because there was very seldom enough for you to do and the days stretched out looooong in front of you.

However, when you hated the job – and I mean hated, hated, HATED, to the point you had to pep-talk yourself into going in every morning and not sit in the car weeping, you kind of think, huh, maybe this isn’t the worst thing that’s ever happened, on some level. Then the unemployment stretches for about four and a half months, and you spend a month of it sitting on the couch so depressed you can’t take a full breath or move and all you want to do is sleep, and the remaining three and a half months working 50-60 hours weeks just to pay the bills…well, you get tired. July to December was a very long stretch, and a good third of my year. It’s hard to look back on 2012 without thinking of it as the year I lost a third of it to working too hard and being technically unemployed and worrying. Constantly. From the minute I woke up to the minute I fell asleep.

It’s not all bad, though. If I hadn’t had that part-time job that became full-time when I needed it to, I would have been living in my car, or back home with my parents. I was lucky to have it. It saved my life and sanity.

Hired (x2). But for every bad, there’s a good. Finally, after months and months of worry and work and toil and trouble, I was lucky enough to find not only a full-time job, but a wonderful full-time job, with people I love, doing something I enjoy, at a location I really like, getting paid enough money to not only live on, but live on comfortably. I pinch myself daily. I’ll never think I deserve nice things, and when they happen, I always wait for the other shoe to drop. I still wait. I have one ear out for that other shoe at all times. I feel like it’s going to be a very loud, very clunky platform sandal of some sort.

Or a big ol' loafer.

Or a big ol’ loafer.

Not only did the amazing job come through (thanks to theater friends) but ANOTHER job came through thanks to theater friends and I now can say I write for the paper. And I get to see plays for free, and review them, and people can read what I’ve written, and how much that actually influences people, I don’t know, but it’s what I do that I love more than anything else. When you have a job that doesn’t at all seem like work…well, you might be the luckiest person alive. It’s what we all want, isn’t it? It’s what I always dreamed of for myself, a job that I loved, that I’d do even if they didn’t pay me. And I have one now, even if it’s very much part-time.

Friends. Any recap of 2012 would not be complete without mentioning the friends that have walked through it by my side. I’ve made friends this year (one of whom is, I’m quite sure, my sister separated at birth – sj, my love, what would I do without you? I can’t even imagine) and become closer than I ever thought possible to others (Andreas, my beloved Science Fellow from the land of the Finns, you are a blessing I will never stop being thankful for), both near and far. I know some of the best people in the world, both that I’ve met with my face and that I’ve yet to meet but talk to on a daily basis. I’ll never stop being grateful for this; I’ll never stop being a little tearful when I think of how lucky I am.

I have also lost friends this year. It’s the way of the world, I think. Life’s constantly changing; things happen, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the…well, not-better. People change. You change. Whether you want this to happen or not. Sometimes you can fight this; sometimes you can win. Sometimes it’s beyond your control and you lose, or you’re just so tired of fighting the inevitable you just give up. Sometimes the loss is a good thing. Sometimes the loss leaves you unable to breathe and with a heart so filled with sorrow and regret and memories that sneak-attack you when you least expect it that you don’t know how you’re going to pick yourself up from it because you never imagined a life without that person in it. But you do, of course. Pick yourself up from it. Of course you do. Life goes on. It’s what life does, right? No matter how shattered you are inside, life just keeps on truckin’. And every day things hurt a little less, until the most hurtful thing that’s left is how something that once mattered so much is now no more than a distant ghostly memory.

Sometimes being an adult is all eating chocolate for dinner and staying up past your bedtime and sometimes it’s the deepest sadness you can imagine. We don’t tell our children this when they’re little. Otherwise they wouldn’t want to grow up, now would they?

Book. For all of the other things it was, 2012 was the year I finally had a book I’d written published. It is possibly my proudest moment of not only the year, but of my entire life. Holding a book in my hands I’d written…hearing from people who’d read it, talking to them about words I’d written and labored over and worried about and lived…seeing reviews of it go up, seeing it hit number one in the Kindle store, even if for a very brief period of time…absolutely amazing. All of it. I’ll never get over that as long as I live. Thank you to all of you who bought it and told people about it and geeked out with me about it. You helped make a dream come true. Someday maybe I’ll do it again, who knows? Life’s a funny place, really. You never can tell what will happen.

That’s one big apple. It wasn’t a year of much bon vivantery, but the teeny amount I got to do was awesomeness. I got to go to my favorite city in the world and meet one of my favorite PEOPLE in the world, my wonderful Susie. And we had a day of adventure and walking and talking and shopping and eating and so many things. Say what you will about the interwebs, but if you do it correctly, you can meet the best people the world has to offer. My Susie is one of those people, and meeting her in person just proved that. Love you, Susie!

Blog. What would a year-in-review be without talking about what takes up a majority of my free time, this here thingamabobber? The day in 2011 when I decided, “what the hell, let’s start a blog, Ms. Amy, what have we got to lose, really?” will live in infamy as the day a very silly off-the-cuff decision led to rewards beyond imagining. Without the blog, where would all these words in my head go? Without the blog, how would I have met all you wonderful people? Without the blog, how would I be this person I am now? The answer to all of those questions is a big old, “I don’t know.” A lot can live in an “I don’t know.” A lot of emptiness and sadness. I love it here. I love what we’ve all built. I love every bit of this. Thank you all for being part of this. Without you, it’d be a lot less fun, now wouldn’t it?

Half an hour trumps three and a half hours. As of two days ago, The Nephew and his mom have officially moved half an hour away. Half an hour is much better than three and a half hours, visiting-my-favorite-person-in-the-world-wise. I’ll be polite. I’ll give them some time to settle. Then I’m going to show up like the magi bearing gifts and I’m going to read him books and play with him on the floor and giggle with him and tell him stories and big words that thrill him and I will be happier than all the things in all the land.

So if we weigh the good and the bad…well, I guess the year was a wash, all-told. But not the awesome kind of Wash like on Firefly.

More than ready for my 2013. Big plans for you, year. BIG OLD PLANS. Starting with a whole day off tomorrow in which I will do whatever the hell I want.

Hope you all had the best 2012s known to man, and that your 2013s are amazing wonderful sparkly affairs full of wonder, mystery and magic. It’s all I want for you, really. It’s not too much to ask, right? Right.

I have a magic brain.

I have news.

Oh, man. Have *I* got news.

No, not Dad news. That has to wait until later in the week, because right now, Dad’s friend B. is staying with him, and he can’t talk freely around friend B., so I can’t get the whole lowdown on the hunting situation until B. takes off for home. But as soon as friend B. leaves, Dad and I are going to talk and talk and talk, and then I will have MORE stories. Right now I only have bits and pieces of the hunting story.

FINE, I’ll give you parts of it.

YES, Dad got a moose. He got a mama-moose and friend B. got the baby moose. Before you get all sad about that, the baby moose weighed 400 pounds, so as I told sj, I think baby-moose was more of an angsty-teen moose, all black eyeliner and eye-rolling and shit.


The hunting camp was good and he had the best time and he loved Canada and he loved New Found Land and he loved the people and he thought it was so beautiful up there even though he got so tired.

He did NOT meet Dion who I mentioned in my post a few days ago who was all bullshitty and “shoot shoot shooty” because Dion was on vacation last week. His guide had a weird name that I have forgotten but I want to say it was something like Constantinople or some such shit. It totally wasn’t. But I can’t remember what it was.

He said “Grace was very pretty, but she wasn’t having sex with anyone but her husband, I don’t think. Why are you and your friends so WEIRD, Amy?” He didn’t notice anything in particular about her teeth, but he thinks that was some sort of weird Canadian euphemism for her being sexy.

Dad IMMEDIATELY asked about Ken. “How is that assassin? What’s that assassin doing now?” he asked. If I didn’t like Ken so much, I think I’d be hurt that Dad seems to like Ken more than he likes me. FINE, FINE, Ken’s life is pretty interesting. I think I’d ask about Ken, too, if I was Dad. I assured Dad that Ken was FINE and being VERY bon vivanty and Dad seemed satisfied with this.

That’s a lot of stories about Dad. Then politics came up and we started getting a little heated so we had to stop talking. I have missed that old curmudgeon. I told him he’s not allowed to go moose hunting for long periods of time again. He said that was ok, he didn’t want to anyway, he was done with his moose hunting.

Apparently there are more hunting-camp stories but I don’t get to know them until later in the week so stay tuned, jellybeans.

No, that’s not the story I wanted to tell you.

What could this BE, Amy?

Nope, not a job. I wish, but no. Someday, but not yet.


What’s better than a job and better than Dad-news?

Well, here. I’ll give you a hint.

What’s my favorite thing in the whole world?

No, not penguins. No, not Dumbcat. No, not turtles. No, not chocolate.

Those things are all peachy-keen, don’t get me wrong, but there’s one thing I love more than all of those things combined.

Well, no. Not a thing. A person. One person. One little, perfect person. One little, perfect person I’d throw myself in front of a horde of zombies for.

You win. The answer is: The Nephew.

Guess what’s next for The Nephew, in terms of young-life-bon-vivantery?

I can barely tell you this. I’m so excited. Earlier, there was crying here at the Lucy’s Football household. Happy crying. So much happy crying.


Kiddo and his mom are moving to Amy-land. At the end of the year. That’s less than two months from now. It’s a total go. I’ve been chatting with her all night.

You guys. YOU GUYS. I will get to see The Nephew MORE OFTEN THAN ONCE A YEAR. MUCH more often. His mom said I could take him to the THEATER. I can hang OUT with him. I can read to him and I can play with him and I can tell him stories and I can BE AROUND MY FAVORITE HUMAN BEING.

I can watch him grow up. Well, as long as they stay here; I can’t imagine they’ll stay FOREVER, but honestly, I’d count every day as a gift, were it to have the kiddo in it.

I never thought I’d live in the same town as he does. Believe me, I actually mentally debated it, and if I didn’t hate the town where I grew up so much, and if the thought of living there didn’t kill my soul, I would have considered moving back there, just to be in his life a little more. He’s just that magical. He makes my whole heart ache, he’s so great. You utterly cannot be sad around this child. You cannot.

Listen. I don’t really like people. I just don’t. I know you think I’m exaggerating but I really am not. They lie and they cheat and they let you down and just when you think you can count on them, they prove they’re not there for you, after all, and you wasted all this TIME on them. So how much I love this kid – it’s kind of unprecedented. It’s not a me-thing. If you’d told me a little over three years ago my entire heart would be walking around in this little wacky kid with the funniest little smile, I’d have laughed in your face.

As it is, I’ve been alternating between euphoria and leaking tears for the past four hours.


I have been wishing for this since I first saw his little face. (Well, not PARTICULARLY this, but living closer to him somehow.) So I think I might have brought this into being with the power of my THOUGHTS.


Holy hell. This is great. I’m going to go imagine MORE people I love move to my area now until the whole PLACE is filled with you people and then ALL MY DREAMS WILL COME TRUE YOU GUYS.

No, but seriously?

Best news. Best news ever.

Excuse me, I’m going to go sniffle a little now.

Per The Nephew: I am NOT cranky, I AM AUNT AMY.

This is going to be a post that I write when I have random time over the next three days because the next three days are going to be insane busy crazy nuts bad. Doubt I can get it done tonight like I planned. I am WRITTEN OUT. Too much writing in the past few days. My head’s all muddled up.

So you probably want to know how the panel thingy went, right? Um…well, sometimes you do a thing, and then it’s done, and then the nicest thing you can say is, “that’s done, and I never, ever have to do that again, ever?” So, yeah. That’s what I’m saying about that. I did it, it’s done, it…did not go well, and that’s that. There are reasons I do not leave my house and talk in front of people and live my life on the internet. Let’s just leave it at that, ok? OK. Good. It is done, and I never, EVER have to do that again. Not even one little time. I can now look back on this experience and say, “no, I think I will not choose to do that, because one time I did, and IT WAS A COMPLETE AND TOTAL DISASTER.” OK. There’s your vague and unhelpful update. And don’t even be nice and say, “oh, I’m sure it wasn’t that bad.” Because if there was EVEN the SLIGHTEST BIT OF HUMOR in what happened at that panel, I can promise you I’d be sharing it. IT WAS JUST THAT CRASH-AND-BURNY. No no no.

Just like this. EXACTLY LIKE THIS.

Anyway. ANYWAY. So that’s what I did today. And now THAT’S over. So this week I’m working at least 6 days in a row, so 48 hours, and maybe more if they decide they want me on Sunday. I’ll take it. Anything over 40 hours is overtime, baby. I do so like extra money, because it can be spent on wasty things like THE ELECTRIC BILL and even – wait, this is going to be good – FRESH FRUIT. So I don’t get scurvy. Arrr.

Why do all the fruit pictures have things in them I hate like melons and grapes and kiwi? GROSS. NO THANK YOU.

So tomorrow night: auditions. Then Tuesday night: auditions. Then Wednesday: I GET TO GO HOME AFTER WORK HOORAY! That’ll be nice, right? RIGHT. There’s a certain cat here who likes that plan a lot. He’s getting all kinds of separation anxiety. For Dumbcat, separation anxiety means he gets in and out and in and out and IN and OUT of bed with me a billion times a night and each time meows into my face when I’m sleeping and wants petting and headbutts me and I find it very hard to be mean to him, because I love him the most, but also I like sleeping so much, too. So I say “no no Dumbcat Mom is SLEEPIN'” and he is sad and gets down and then back he comes, like an hour later, thinking, “hmm. Perhaps she is not sleeping NOW!” because he is ETERNALLY HOPEFUL, this cat. You cannot dislike him for that. It’s charming.

Then Thursday it is Wicked time, hooray! And Friday I work late and then also Saturday. And also Friday I go straight to the theater to see The Shape of Things with K. and A. which is exciting because I love them AND I love the show. So I’m going to be a little missing this week. Sorry, people who care about such things. Someday things will get right back on track, I’d think.

Oh, I totally got to talk to The Nephew today. He has a toy train named Cranky, apparently. Which I thought was a very funny name for a train. (It is, right? Come on. That’s a funny name for a train.) So I told my mom, “That’s MY name. I’M Cranky.” So she told The Nephew that, and he was all, “NO NO!” and he actually WANTED THE PHONE, which is a first, because he NEVER wants the phone. So he got on the phone with his little Nephew-breathing and I said, “That’s MY name. I am Cranky.” And he said, “No no. You are Aunt Amy!” and I laughed and I said, “But, The Nephew! I am very cranky!” and he said, “Nooooo.” And since he’s always right, I said, “OK. I am Aunt Amy.” And he laughed and said, “OK. Bye!” and gave the phone back to my mom, because he was DONE with that conversation, because he’d won it. That’s ok. He can always win. I’ll let him. Other people can teach him how to be a graceful loser if they want. I’m the aunt. I get to provide moral support and snack foods and presents. Mom said he was laughing the whole time, so that’s an Aunt Amy win. I like that I can still make the kiddo laugh, even long-distance. I MISS YOU KIDDO! You have my whole heart!

Apparently this is Cranky the Crane. I make this face at LEAST 8 times a day. At least.

Oh, and tomorrow (well, days ago for you, I suppose) my next review will be in the paper! I’m going to try to buy a paper on the way home tomorrow night but I don’t know if I’ll be able to. Probably I’m wasting my money BUYING ALL MY REVIEWS but I really like to have hard copies of them all. I’ll make a scrapbook or something someday. Be all fancy. Or just make a huge pile of papers so that I’m like a hoarder and then I’ll get mice or something. Well, MORE mice. (Although I haven’t seen a mouse since Dumbcat did the mouse-slaughtering that time. Thanks, Dumbcat! Nice job, babe!) UPDATE UPDATE: I totally ran out of time to buy the paper. But here’s the link if you want to spend $2 reading me geek out about Hello, Dolly. Spoiler alert: I loved it so much.

Also, by now Dad is back! Soon I will get to talk to him and THAT will be exciting. I can’t wait. It’s been a long time since I talked to Dad. We will have MANY things to talk about. Hunting and traveling and LIFE and MOOSE. And what was up in that hunting cabin. ALSO AN UPDATE: totally talked to him tonight. I will have a Dad-post soon. I missed him like CRAZY. It was a good conversation until we started shouting about politics and then we decided to get off the phone.

OK, now it is bedtime. There are so not enough pictures in this post but it is so so late and I’m going to be a zombie tomorrow. I have to bed it up by 10 every night this week except Thursday. I am not the best at early-bedtiming, so we’ll see what happens with that. However, it’s gotten colder, and I sleep MUCH better when it’s colder. I can burrow under covers like a champ and get all cozy. It’s my favorite. Happy Wednesday, people! The week’s almost over! YAY FOR THE WEEK BEING ALMOST OVER!!!

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