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Category Archives: opinion

Mom always told me my big mouth would get me in trouble someday.

“When a man gives his opinion, he’s a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she’s a bitch.” –Bette Davis

This week, I was VERY controversial.

I met with friends for dinner early in the week. When I arrived, J. said “I don’t know, should we be having dinner with such a controversial person?” and I was all, “Whaaa?” and they all giggled and then got serious faces because they assumed I’d heard and now they were tasked with letting me know what was up.

Heard what, you may ask? What exactly WAS up?

Well! Apparently, I angered some people with a review I wrote a couple of weeks ago. Angered them enough that I got two – count ’em, two – letters to the editor written about me, and a comment on the review itself, and a private message on Facebook.

Whoo! Look at me go! Angering people all OVER the region!

A little background, I suppose, is in order.

I went to the show. It starred some of the area’s best actors. The kind of actors that, when you say their names around here, people take notice. The set was gorgeous. The costumes were perfect. The acting was quite good; the direction couldn’t be faulted.

That having been said, it was the second-worst show I’ve seen all year. And I’ve seen a LOT of shows.

It was the show itself that was the problem. It was extremely dated; it had very little to do with anything contemporary, so it was very hard to relate to. It was abnormally long; almost three hours, including intermission. It was extremely talky; a good hour could have been cut from that script and not sacrificed a single bit of the action. Sorry – “action.” That needs ironic air-quotes. Nothing that could be described as action happened in this show. Like, at all. It was painful. I wanted to leave at intermission but I was getting paid to review it so that wasn’t an option.

VERY close to me during Act II. Not quite, but almost.

VERY close to me during Act II. Not quite, but almost.

I’m not saying I need, like, a shoot-out scene or a huge sex scene or anything. (Well, not EVERY time.) But something needs to HAPPEN, dammit. And nothing happened in this play. There were some scenes that I think were supposed to be shocking, but they were just yawn-inducing. Maybe they were shocking in the 30s when this was written, I don’t know. The characters were written so flimsily and ridiculously that only a couple of them were at all believable.

It was a TERRIBLE show. It wasn’t terribly acted, directed, set designed, or costumed (or even lit or sound designed); it was just a poorly-chosen show, and poorly-written, and it was so hard to watch.

Now, I realize this is just my opinion…and you know what they say about opinions, right? Yep. Just like…elbows. Yeah, that’s it. Elbows. Everyone has one. (Or two, really, if you’re going with the elbow thing.) Thing is, I get paid for my opinion.

I don’t like to be mean. I really think there’s something to be celebrated in every piece of work, no matter how much I dislike it. I wrote a review saying how much I liked and admired the actors, set, and costumes; I even gave the director kudos (although I did say he could have cut some of the script, for our sake.) I did, however, excoriate the script. Listen, I’ve read a lot of plays. I have a decent handle on what’s out there; I have a somewhat informed opinion. That’s why the paper hired me, and not some yahoo who’s never been to the theater before.

I ended the review with the following, which I think I can share without being fired for sharing something that you’re all supposed to pay for:

“It’s a shame that, with such powerful actors on stage, their talent is being wasted in such a lackluster play. With so many shows in the area currently in production, audiences are — and I say this with regret, as these actors alone are worth the ticket price — advised to give this one a pass.”

I’ve ended a number of reviews with a similar sentiment (as have other area reviewers) – either that I recommend the show, or I don’t. It’s usually clear, from my review, whether or not I actually SAY I recommend it or not, whether or not I do. (I think that’s the point of a review, isn’t it?)

Apparently, it’s this last paragraph that upset people.

The comment on the review said they “felt (my) review was unfair-especially your final comment” because it “probably kept many people from attending.”

The first letter to the editor said the author took “exception to one of (my) comments” because “(e)veryone has the right to their own opinion; however, to come out and tell people not to see a show is going too far. People should be able to read a review if they need to, and decide for themselves…a comment (like this is) hurtful and detrimental to the company.”

The other letter to the editor said (in short; it was a VERY long letter) “Amy…advises potential patrons to give it a pass. I disagree with that.” (She then went on and on about how flawed the script was, but that the show was so relatable, and then broke down my review point by point to say why she was right in her opinion and I was wrong.)

Oh, and I also got a private message from an aquaintance on Facebook, asking me to explain myself – why did I advise people to not attend a show he’d PERSONALLY enjoyed very much?

OK. Here’s the thing.

First: I didn’t write that review to hurt anyone. I actually went out of my way to NOT hurt anyone. The only one at fault was whoever chose the show, and a lot of factors go into choosing a show. I’m not going to pick those apart; I wasn’t part of that selection process.

I stand by that last paragraph. I couldn’t recommend the show. (And I’m not naming names, but I spoke to a number of theater friends who saw the show over the couple weeks it was playing. Not a single one recommended it, either. And I got thanks – thanks for writing a review of a terrible show in such a way that it highlighted the positive, and didn’t hurt anyone. I take their praise over these letters any day. They matter to me. A great deal. These letters? Meh.)

When you read a review – a movie review, a theater review, a book review – do you read it thinking it’s an encyclopedia entry? Or do you (as you should) read it thinking it’s the author’s opinion, and when you see/read what’s being reviewed, your opinion might differ? As it’s an opinion? And what worked for one person might not work for another?

As I said, I’ve said “I do recommend this show” or “I don’t recommend this show” before. As have other reviewers. (And I don’t want to play the sexism card, here, but I’ve seen a lot more Letters to the Editor/mean comments on the reviews written by the female reviewers in the area than on the reviews of the male reviewers – and there are two, maybe three, female reviewers in the WHOLE AREA and, oh, I don’t know, maybe a dozen or more male reviewers – I just have to think that maybe men having opinions, that’s ok, but women? GAH WHAT DO STUPID CHICKS KNOW WITH THEIR STUPID CHICK BRAINS.) I don’t see anyone complaining when I DO recommend a show. So I’m allowed to recommend a show – because that INCREASES their box office – but I can’t NOT recommend a show, because that would DECREASE their box office. Because people are JUST THAT STUPID. They will read my review and walk, all zombie-like, to the theater…or they will STAY FAR AWAY.

Listen. I worked at a local theater for 8 years. We weathered both good and bad reviews. Did they have an effect our box office? Sometimes, yes. An excellent review got more people in; a bad review did tend to keep some people away. But that’s just the way the game is played. Sometimes the reviewer has an axe to grind; sometimes the reviewer only likes comedies or dramas; sometimes the reviewer is just extremely negative all the time; sometimes you luck out, and the reviewer loves the show, and you read it and you just grin. It’s just a review, in the grand scheme of things, really. It’s a quick flame of either helpful or hurtful.

But these letters and comments and private messages…

Listen, people. It was my opinion. As I say, I stand by this opinion. If I had it to do all over again? I’d write it exactly the same. (And, just so you know, my editor read that review, and ran it exactly as I wrote it. She had no problem with it, either.) Amy the reviewer couldn’t recommend that show; Amy the PERSON couldn’t recommend that show. If I’d just seen it for fun, I wouldn’t have recommended it to people. To be honest, I texted a friend while the show was in intermission who I knew was trying to find a way to squeeze it into his schedule with “DO NOT SEE THIS. DO NOT DO THIS TO YOURSELF. TALK TO YOU MORE ABOUT IT WHEN I SEE YOU ON MONDAY. DO NOT DO NOT DOOOO NOOOOOT.” And that was Amy the person, not Amy the reviewer.

I could have left that last paragraph out. Sure I could have. Thing is? Not to be too horn-tooty, people, but I’m a decent writer, and from the rest of the review, you’d know exactly where I stood. I came out and said I couldn’t recommend the show, but without saying it, I said it all through the rest of the review. That last paragraph was really just a summation of what came before. Take umbrage with it if you must, but the rest of the review said the same thing. Also? If you want a rainbows and sunshine review, and the show’s not (in my, as stated, OPINION) good? You’re not getting that from me. I don’t lie. Even if I have people I care about in the show, which has happened in the past. I will not lie in my reviews. It’s a promise I made to myself when I started, and it’s a promise I have vowed to keep to myself. I wouldn’t be able to look myself in the eye if there was something published in the paper I didn’t 100% stand behind.

And, much as I have the right to my opinion, those people all have a right to theirs. I’m so very glad they enjoyed the show; I have to say I can’t exactly understand HOW they did, but I do understand that everyone’s respective cranks are turned in different ways, and this show turned theirs, and it left mine completely frozen in place. (THE CRANK IS NOT A EUPHEMISM.)

However: I do believe I’m completely in the right, as a reviewer, to say IN THE REVIEW that I recommend or don’t recommend a show. How this affects your ticket sales is not on my shoulders. As a friend who will not be named said when I told him this story: “If you don’t want bad reviews? STOP PRODUCING CRAP.”

Also, I’m pretty sure once you start getting hate mail, you’ve totally made it, right? I’m a wicked big deal now, yo. Look out, world, I’m like the next Michiko Kakutani. It’s only upward from here. Today hate mail, tomorrow LETTER BOMBS. Whoo-hoo!

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Rude? RUDE? Call me rude again, I’ll punch you right in the neck.

I keep meaning to talk about this thing but then other things happen and I want to talk about THEM and I keep forgetting. I know. I’m the worst. How do you even STAND me.

So! Finally! Let’s talk about this totally illustrious thing!

A few weeks ago, some site called The Business Insider that I’ve never heard of, because I don’t care about business, I guess, did this survey where they polled Merkans about what they thought about other states. They asked them questions like “who has the weirdest accent” and such.

NEW YORK WON MANY OF THESE POLLS.

Ready? Want to know what New York is best at?

We have one of the weirdest accents! (Massachusetts won this one.)

We have the best food!

We are one of America’s favorite states! (California won this one.)

We are one of the craziest states! (California ALSO won this one.)

We are one of the drunkest states! (Louisiana won this one.)

We are the most arrogant state!

We are the rudest state!

We are one of the smartest states! (Massachusetts won this one.)

We have the best sports fans!

We apparently also have the WORST sports fans!

We are one of the most overrated states! (California won this one, too.)

So! What does this tell us about my most beloved state?

Yup, there we are! Right there!

Yup, there we are! Right there!

Honestly, I think this tells us more about the people taking the poll than the states, to be frank. The states that consistently got the most votes (people weren’t allowed to vote for their own states) were the biggest, most well-known states. California, New York, Texas, and Florida tended to factor in pretty heavily every time. I think if people didn’t know who to vote for, they were like “eh, I’ll vote for one of the big states that I’m familiar with.”

The weird accent one, I have to assume, is New York City and Long Island. I don’t know if the rest of the state qualifies as “weird.” People from Buffalo have a distinctive way of talking, as do people from upstate, where I’m from. (We have a distinctive Canadian accent. I had to break myself of it when I got to college to stop people from making fun of me.) I’m sure the other bigger cities have a “tell” as well, but I don’t know many people from those places. But I don’t know that people from all of Merka know about our smaller regional dialects. I think they think of New York, they think of either New Yawkas or Lon Guylanders. (I don’t know if they’re “weird,” though. I think they’re wonderful. I adore accents.)

THE BEST FOOD! Do we really? Well, that’s pleasing, right? THANK YOU, PEOPLE WHO WERE POLLED! (I don’t know about the best food. We have excellent food, but I’ve been to a lot of places in other states and have had excellent food…so it’s really subjective, right?)

Aw, we’re one of your favorites. As we SHOULD be. We’re really fantastic. We have Broadway and we have the Adirondack Park and we have Niagara Falls and we have ALBANY. I mean, seriously. We have all the things. (California also has many things. I’m cool with California being a winner here. I very much enjoyed my time in your fine state when I visited, California. Your ocean was lovely. And your people were very friendly.)

We’re apparently both crazy and drunk? This seems suspect. How are we more crazy and drunk than so many other states? By sheer population density? I mean, we didn’t WIN these categories (Dad’s always saying California’s crazy…he calls it “the land of fruits and nuts”…and I guess Louisiana won the drunk competition because of Mardi Gras?) but we were one of the top contenders. I don’t know about crazy. I mean, we HAVE crazies, but what state doesn’t? And as for drunk, again, I don’t know what state doesn’t. These are silly categories.

Well. We’re the most arrogant and most rude state. Again, I have to assume the people taking this poll are judging us on New York City (because let’s face it, people who don’t live here think the state’s one big New York City, sometimes. “Oh, you’re from New York? Did you go to Broadway a lot as a kid?” No. Since it was ALL THE WAY AT THE BOTTOM OF MY STATE, I did not attend a show on Broadway until I was 18, but thank you for assuming I lived on the Great White Way as a toddler.)

Here’s the thing. New Yorkers (I AM talking about the city now) aren’t much more arrogant or rude than any group of people living in a large city. They’re busy, and they’re very often in a hurry, and they don’t like stupidity or things that slow them down or dumb tourists, but they’re actually quite kind. I’ve had New Yorkers be very helpful when I’ve asked for directions; I’ve had people hold doors for me; I’ve seen many genuine smiles and small kindnesses in my trips to my favorite city in the world.

YES. It is things like this that make New Yorkers get rude. STOP BEING BAD TOURISTS WHILE IN THE CITY!!!

YES. It is things like this that make New Yorkers get rude. STOP BEING BAD TOURISTS WHILE IN THE CITY!!!

People seem to ASSUME New York City is rude, and the people arrogant. My mother was PETRIFIED to visit for the first time. She thought she’d get lost and people would laugh at her, possibly while spitting on her, and that she’d get psychomugged like a billion times. (When she got home, she said “Huh. It was nothing like I thought. Mostly just crowded. And the buildings were really tall.”)

This is what made me saddest about this poll. I wish everyone could visit New York City and see the place I do when I visit, and how wonderful it is. I also wish people would stop judging my entire state on New York City. WE ARE A VERY BIG STATE WITH A LOT OF OTHER PLACES IN IT.

See the City? Way down there? And ALL THE REST OF US UP HERE? Sigh.

See the City? Way down there? And ALL THE REST OF US UP HERE? Sigh.

Back to the poll. We are one of the smartest states! I assume Massachusetts won this because of all their colleges. That’s ok. We ARE very intelligent. She says humbly. The people I know here are very bright. I have such intelligent conversations with people. They genuinely love to learn. This makes me so happy. So YES. This one’s valid. We’re smarties, we are.

I don’t know anything about this best/worst sports fan thing. It seems like a stupid question to ask and answer and what makes a good/bad sports fan, really? Silly silly silly.

We are one of the most overrated states? Huh. I’d say there’s no WAY we are rated highly ENOUGH, yo. Because we are the BEST. THE! BEST! Fine, I might be a little biased, here. But I’m also RIGHT. (Why you hatin’ on my state, yo? I don’t say mean things about YOUR state!)

What have we learned today, bloggonians?

  • New York is apparently one of the states people think of when there are polls about things.
  • People seem to think we’re rude and arrogant but also have delicious noms and are super-smart so SUCK IT!
  • Polls are silly. And oddy biased. And sometimes ask weird questions that make no sense.
  • NEW YORK IS THE BEST STATE EVERRRRRRR. (What? We didn’t learn that? Fine, I’m cheating. But it’s with LOVE. I’m cheating with LOVE.)

Happy Monday, internet. I hope you had weekends of adventure and your weeks ahead are the best of the best. Here in Amy-land it is COUNTDOWN TO LAURA WEEK. Laura will be here on FRIDAY! I cleaned the house so she doesn’t arrive to a messy cat-fur wonderland! IT IS ALL VERY EXCITING!


“‘You want to grow up to be a lady, don’t you?’ I said not particularly.”

It’s Banned Books Week! The THIRTIETH ANNIVERSARY of Banned Books Week! We here at Lucy’s Football can not let this pass without mentioning this oh-so-important week. By we, I of course mean me. And I suppose Dumbcat. He’s kind of hitched his wagon to my star. I’ll let him. He’s my fella. But Dumbcat doesn’t care so much about Banned Books Week, to be honest. Mostly books are things that Dumbcat likes to sleep on, or things that I read that take time away from me being able to pet him. (If a book is good, I get all wrapped up in it and forget the pettings. Much to his dismay.)

Yes, books are still getting banned left and right (and, well, I guess up and down, and sideways, or whatever.) Yes, we live in 2012. In good news, it’s easier for people to get their hands on banned books now than it used to be. There’s this thing called the interwebs? And many places you can purchase ALL the books on said interwebs? So it’s not like back in the day when if a book was banned and you were shit out of luck, so sorry, Charlie. But that’s kind of beside the point. Books are still getting banned, and for the same old stupid reasons.

Let’s talk about the top ten banned books of 2011 (the top ten books of 2012 aren’t compiled yet – or, if they are, I can only find them in one place, and that website ANNOYED me, and had a VIDEO I COULD NOT TURN OFF, so we’re talking about the books of 2011.) This is fine, last year we talked about the top books of 2010 so it’s like a thing, I guess.

Out of the top ten banned books of the year, yours truly has read two. That is because a lot of these look…well, unlike something I would enjoy. Sorry. I don’t think they should be BANNED, no no no, I just think – hey, kids, there are better books out there for you, is my thought about this situation.

According to the ALA, the top ten banned books of 2011 were:

  1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle (Reasons: offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group)
  2. The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa (Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group)
  3. The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins (Reasons: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence)
  4. My Mom’s Having A Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler (Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group)
  5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie (Reasons: offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group)
  6. Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (Reasons: nudity; offensive language; religious viewpoint)
  7. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley (Reasons: insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit)
  8. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones (Reasons: nudity; offensive language; sexually explicit)
  9. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar (Reasons: drugs; offensive language; sexually explicit)
  10. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee (Reasons: offensive language; racism)

Those ttyl books look silly to me. They’re the “Internet Girls” series and apparently they’re all written as a series of IMs and texts and such but they’re also DIRTY. But, you know what? If I was 16, I would probably want to be reading these. I liked titillating stuff back then. And if I was 16 now, I’d be all into the internettin’ so they’d probably speak to me, you know?

Hey, book banners. I’m going to give you a tip. If you BAN A BOOK? It makes people WANT IT MORE. It’s like reverse psychology. Tell someone they can’t have something and it makes them WANT that thing. It works with people – isn’t the forbidden fruit always the sweetest? Tell me you haven’t ever had a crush on someone who’s taken and I’ll call you a flat-out liar – and it works with things like consumer goods (people ALWAYS want things that are limited-run and limited-release) and it works with books. Tell kids they’re not supposed to be reading this and tell them why – IT IS TOO SCANDALOUS! – and they’re going to be on this like white on rice. Like…like teens on the interweb. Like bad decisions on the Romney/Ryan campaign.

This is what you turn people into when you ban books. Veruca Salt. Is this what you want? A whole generation of Veruca Salts? I can’t possibly imagine it is.

The Color of Earth looks interesting. It’s about life in rural Korea. And apparently there’s sex. And GIRLS learning about their BODIES ZOMG. I’d read this book. I’d read it when I was a teen and I’d read it now. But HEAVENS FORFEND we let GIRLS KNOW ABOUT HOW THEIR BODIES WORK! That is SEKRIT INFORMASHUNS.

The Hunger Games trilogy! I’ve READ this one! And I’d be totally comfortable with my teen reading it. Or my intelligent pre-teen (as long as I could have a discussion with him or her afterward – but let’s be clear, were I a parent, we’d be discussing most of their reads together. I think one of the best parts of a read is the post-read discussion, and I’d want any child of mine to be able to discuss anything that came up with me. I have a billion reasons NOT to become a mom; missing out on seeing a kid of mine’s face after reading Fahrenheit 451 or Lord of the Flies for the first time, that kind of kills my soul a little. I’m not going to lie.) I think it opens up some good discussions about government and entertainment and reality television and friendship and cruelty. All things that would be good discussions to have with a kid, no? (Also, there was Satanism in The Hunger Games? What’d I miss?)

My Mom’s Having a Baby. I don’t even…seriously? THIS IS A GUIDE SO KIDS UNDERSTAND CHILDBIRTH. Why are we so scared about kids understanding how human bodies work? They’re already having babies. Maybe if they UNDERSTOOD better how bodies worked, they wouldn’t be HAVING so many babies? The banning of this makes me embarrassed for the human race.

“It makes the man and woman want to get even closer to each other.” OK, yeah, let’s ban this, it made me giggle. (SIDE NOTE DON’T REALLY BAN THIS. I’m just a 5-year-old child with the inappropriate giggling, is all.)

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is supposed to be fantastic. I haven’t read it but intelligent people I know say it’s brilliant. I take their word for it. I assume this “racism” of which they speak is that it shows how poorly Native Americans are treated. OH NO NO NO we don’t want people seeing THAT! A lot of books, just a tip, are banned because they are TRUE. People are scared by true things. We don’t want our children knowing the truth! It is TOO TOO SCARY! (Psst, it’s not that scary. I grew up reading pretty much whatever the hell I wanted, including SCARY BANNED BOOKS, and I’m fine. SHUT UP I TOTALLY AM.)

I researched the Alice series and from what I can tell, there are a billion books about a girl named Alice and her life as she grows up. UGH. Let girls have something to READ that is about REAL GIRLS. We were all sneaking Judy Blume books when I was a kid with their shocking masturbation scenes and you know what? WE DIDN’T END UP BROKEN, WORLD.

Brave New World is a sci-fi novel from the 30s. We’re still banning this? HOW SHOCKING CAN THIS EVEN BE? It’s like you people aren’t even trying hard enough. A., how many kids are still reading this, and B., I’m sure that whatever Huxley wrote almost 100 years ago isn’t as bad as you think it is. I think Gramma Bookbanner told you this was naughty and you just assumed it was. Have you even read this? Seriously?

What My Mother Doesn’t Know sounds like something that would make me commit hara-kiri but that teen girls would like. It’s a teen girl and there is dating and all the sex and such. DON’T LET OUR KIDS READ ABOUT THE SEX! (Side note: my wonderful friend R. said she heard someone on TV say “the sex” the other day and she thought, “AMY SAYS THAT!” and I couldn’t be more pleased. I HAVE A LEGACY!)

I’m sure the Gossip Girl books are terrible. The television show isn’t great. I keep watching it, though. I LIKE THE CLOTHES SHUT UP. And Chuck. I like Chuck. But teen girls like these things. Has anyone but me noticed that we’re banning all the books for teen girls, but no books for teen boys? What does THAT mean, I wonder?

Sigh. YES I know he’s young enough to be my kid. I like broody, leave me be.

And, of course, I’d be disappointed if it wasn’t included: To Kill a Mockingbird. Because we wouldn’t want our children learning about right and wrong and racism and the best male role model in the history of the world, Mr. Atticus Finch. Can any of you who’ve read the book even say that name without a little thrill? “Jean Louise, stand up. Your father’s passin’.” I have tears just WRITING that line. Or how about “Thank you for my children, Arthur.” TEARS. One of the best books of my life; a book that taught me important things about life; a book that taught me important things about writing. Yes. Yes, please. Let’s ban that. Let’s ban the shit out of that. Wouldn’t want our kids reading THAT.

And side note, seriously, I kind of want to marry Atticus Finch. I think maybe I haven’t found my Atticus Finch yet. I’m pretty sure he’s out there, though. I know a lot of people grew up wanting to marry rockstars or movie stars or whatever, but I wanted (and still want) to marry Atticus Finch. That’s not asking too much, right? So, if there’s an Atticus Finch out there (who doesn’t necessarily have to be a lawyer, of course – it’s not the lawyer I want, it’s the calm, and the deep, enduring sense of knowing what’s right, and the conviction to follow through with it, even when it’s the hardest possible road you can take; it’s a man who will say “The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience,” and mean it, you know?) you give me a call.

Happy Banned Books Week, my little licorice nibs. Read something scandalous, will you? If for no other reason than IT MAKES THE SMALL-MINDED ASSHOLES FURIOUS.

(The title is from my beloved To Kill a Mockingbird. If you haven’t read it in a while, check out the Goodreads quote page. I’ve been re-reading the quotes for twenty minutes and BAWLING. Yeah. Ban this book. Because something this powerful – you wouldn’t want that in the hands of our children, now would you?)


Next week, on a very special “Glee,” the club covers The Murmurs’ “You Suck.” Cheerfully.

I got out of work today (my today, not yours, don’t get confused, I know, I’m all over the place here) and it wasn’t even dark yet. It was all very confusing. Hours! I get hours before I have to go to bed! WHAT WILL I DO WITH MYSELF? Oh, blog. That’s what I’ll do, of course. Silly.

So I’m catching up on the shows I missed this week and is everyone (wait, is anyone other than me still watching this?) aware that somehow, a Hole song ended up on Glee? I was in the kitchen and it was playing in the background and I was all, oh. Oh, no. That can’t be…no. Please, no. Please tell me the kids on Glee aren’t singing “Celebrity Skin.” Wait, they are. THEY ARE. And then I was sad. Because that means a., someone thought that was a good idea, and b., Courtney Love (I’d assume she has the rights to the songs? Or maybe she and the other bandmembers? I have no idea how such things work, please forgive, what do I look like, a record exec?) sold the rights to “Celebrity Skin” so that the Glee kids could sing it (cheerfully) while doing makeovers (cheerfully) for a run for class presidency (cheerfully.) I KNOW. Please bow your heads for a moment for the death of my misbegotten, angsty 20s, which have now been co-opted by clean-cut prime-time teenagers in letter-sweaters.

Oh, Courtney! NOT ALL PUBLICITY IS GOOD PUBLICITY. Sigh.

I am only posting this because it is EMBARRASSING. Not because I like it.

Then they won me back by showing me the preview for next week and they’ll be playing Coldplay’s “The Scientist” and SHUT RIGHT UP, I don’t care if you think Coldplay’s terrible and overplayed and sellouty and blah blah blah, that song gives me chills. “Questions of science, science and progress/Do not speak as loud as my heart” and “No one ever said it would be so hard/I’m going back to the start” make me all tingly. Sorry. I like a sad song, me. I heard this song the first time driving late at night and I was all, “what is this. What is this. WHAT IS THIS?” because I (shut up, I don’t know about popular things, especially music) had never heard Coldplay before. And it’s the perfect sad song. It’s moody and it’s mournful and it’s the song I want to be listening to when I’m driving in the middle of the night on an abandoned road. (I’m actually not a huge Coldplay fan, overall. I really like “Fix You” and “Yellow” – “for you I’d bleed myself dry” is a fantastic line, as is “lights will guide you home/and ignite your bones” – but otherwise, meh. I have other bands I like more. I’d see them for probably $40 or something but I wouldn’t pay the prices people tell me Coldplay tickets go for. Exorbitant ticket prices make me sad, because you don’t have anything to show for what you spent but memories, and you can’t eat/live in/type on/make calls with/wear memories. I’m quite practical about large purchases. I like to have something to show for purchases over, say, $20.)

Let’s get the bad taste of that Hole cover out of our mouths.

Also, you’ve all heard this, right? It makes me happy. Well, and sad. But isn’t it lovely? (Yes, I am confused by the fact that this seems to be a video made by Chipotle to support…shit, sustainable farming, or something? Just listen to the song. It’s Willie Nelson! Singing Coldplay! It is SO GOOD!)

So, anyway, what’s next, Glee? Are you going to sing, shit, I don’t know, Martha Wainwright’s “Bloody Motherfucking Asshole” or Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer?” Listen, I would pay to see that. I would pay ALL THE MONIES to see that. All those cheery kids grinning through wanting to feel each other from the inside? Yes. Yes, please, Glee. Please do this. Much appreciated.

This somehow became about music and I don’t know how that happened but, meh, whatever, let’s go with it. I feel bad that we have a master musicologist but we never get to use her because I am so far removed from the realm of music I never talk about it. SORRY SJ! I love you and I love your face!

When I was driving home tonight, a song I enjoyed came on the radio so I (look away, cops) used my fancy-schmancy Shazam app (YES WHILE DRIVING I KNOW I KNOW DON’T HATE ME I WAS AT A RED LIGHT) which I love more than almost anything in the world and the Shazam app told me it was Katy Perry. What is up with my obsession with terrible pop singers? I really like Katy Perry. I embarrassingly seem to really enjoy Christina Perri. (NO, I do not like that terrible Carly Rae Jepsen person. I’m not that far gone.) Here’s the thing – I don’t know who the people singing these songs are. So I’m in the car, and I’m all, “this is nice! Who is this?” and I use Shazam and I’m all “AMY! You are EMBARRASSING, what is WITH you and your love of the popstars?” (However, my talent for not knowing who’s singing a song also works for GOOD, not just EVIL, because I also have Shazamed Ingrid Michaelson songs repeatedly over the past few months because I just can’t realize who’s singing a song but I know I like something, so I keep being all, “I LIKE THIS WHO IS IT?” and it’s Ingrid Michaelson over and over and over. So, I’m not all bad.) Anyway, apparently I love Katy Perry. That “Firework” song makes me bounce all around. Sorry. You already know I have heathenistic taste in music; I don’t suppose this is going to make that supposition any worse.

Yes. I am duly embarrassed. I know. I KNOW.

This is the Katy Perry song. Shut up, I liked it. Leave me and my bad taste in things alone. (I can take or leave Katy Perry herself. Just don’t care. I like her music. It’s enjoyable. Just to be clear.)

Hey! I have a VERY IMPORTANT MUSIC QUESTION. Why do we all hate Lana Del Rey? I didn’t realize hating Lana Del Rey was a thing until she was on Saturday Night Live a while back and then the following week people were all “WE HATE LANA DEL REY WORST THING TO EVER HAPPEN TO SNL” and now she’s in some commercial or something, I don’t watch commercials, I don’t know, and everyone’s all “GAH WE HATE HER WORST THING TO EVER HAPPEN TO COMMERCIALS” and I don’t get it. I like that song “Video Games.” Am I wrong? I can’t be the only person who likes this song. It’s on the radio here a lot. What say you, minions? Does she murder puppies or something? Stab grammas? What am I missing?

She takes a lot of boudoir-type shots, I find in my research. Also, she seems to like Botox-mouth. Otherwise, harmless? Or am I missing something?

See? I like this. This is kind of nice. She has a nice old-timey voice. No? What am I missing (other than her duckface, but all the lay-deez have that now, I think. It’s like a THING.)

Oh! Oh, I totally have fallen in love with TWO songs. That are NOT embarrassing! Look, I am not always cringe-inducing! I will even share them with you. Because I LOVE YOUR FACES.

One is happy and makes me bounce and one is sad and made me cry real TEARS from my EYEHOLES.

The happy one is confusing. I don’t usually like happy. I like moody and dark and broody and then this thing comes on and I’m all “HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY BOUNCE!” and it’s kind of embarrassing to all involved.

(Well, ok, it’s got a LITTLE sad in it. But mostly it’s kind of weirdly triumphant and happy and joyous to me. I like “I belong with you, you belong with me, you’re my sweetheart.” How adorable is that? SO adorable. SUPER-TREACLY-SWEET. I think I might need to test my blood sugar after listening to this song. I LOVE IT SO MUCH.)

The second song is the latest Mumford & Sons song and I heard it for the first time on Saturday Night Live last weekend and I was all “I LOVE THIS! SO SAD!” and there were totally tears. I’m a huge sap. Don’t even let anyone tell you I’m not.

“And I came home/Like a stone/And I fell heavy into your arms.” SIGH.

Nice, right? This has been on constant laptop-repeat for a week. I love Mumford & Sons SO MUCH. I even wrote myself a note to buy the album. I NEVER buy albums. I KNOW! Mumford & Sons gets huge credit. I haven’t purchased an entire album of anything non-showtune-related in YEARS.

OK, that’s all I got, folks. I’m going to go listen to something thrashy and non-Glee-ified. DAMMIT GLEE.


Is that a blank in your pocket or are you…oh, it IS a blank. Huh.

Well, here we are. What day is this? Let me count on my fingers like a toddler. Thursday! It is Thursday. Huh. Look at this week fly by all willy-nilly. Lots going on this week. Three job interviews (which, by the time you are reading this, I am probably done – or at least finishing up.) One more lined up for next week. One of these people is going to hire me. THEY ARE. Even if I have to get that stupid The Secret book and get all mystical on the Universe’s ass.

I don’t like secrets. ONLY ASSHOLES KEEP SECRETS, BOOK.

(What IS the secret, anyway? Isn’t it just that you believe in it really, really hard and it comes true? Well, sigh. Just, sigh. THAT DOESN’T WORK. If it did, I’d be married to the boy I had a crush on in high school, a multi-million dollar writer, and have a whole menagerie of animals living in my backyard. Luckily, the things you wish don’t always come true, because the boy I had a crush on in high school, although still a handsome, handsome man, was NOT the correct choice for me, romantically. So sayeth his profile pictures on Facebook, where he is posing with things such as a tractor, a toilet, and a stand-up cut-out of Dubya. No, I’m not at all kidding. As you can see, we would have made it about three months before we’d have killed one another.)

But, yes. Interviews are happening. Slowly but surely. Most of them say it’ll be a couple of weeks before I hear anything more from them (and two of them have said that, and I’ve never heard from them at all – kind of rude, no? You never WRITE, you never CALL, I won’t be IGNORED, Dan) so I wait and wait and waiiiiit and time she keeps a’rollin’ on. In news of the unemployed, I am watching a LOT of television and reading a lot of books. I am a well-informed gadabout, if nothing else. Well, if by well-informed, you mean I know a lot about television shows that happened last season, which I’m catching up on, and also whatever books catch my fancy.

Important news stories I read today! Filled with chicanery!

Are you aware that there are totally National Scrabble Championships? There are! It’s true! I had no idea. Did you all know this already? I mean, I knew there were big championships for things like chess and I think I read about a Monopoly one, once, and I think there’s one for Magic: The Gathering. But Scrabble! No idea. That seems like fun. That would be a whole bunch of word nerds in one place. I’d enjoy that a great deal, I think.

I couldn’t win that. I like Scrabble, and I’m decent at it, but I don’t know all the words and I don’t have a strategy and I never can seem to get my words on those secret triple-word-score spots. I think to be good at Scrabble you have to have memorized arcane two- and three-letter words and you have to also see where they’d fit on the board and how you can beat the pants off the other person. Mostly I’m just jazzed I can find a place to put my letters and that there’s a game that celebrates vocabulary. I think I like to play Scrabble-type games online where you don’t have to compete with anyone more than I like to play against someone. I don’t like competition. I’m really a hippie, aren’t I? Seriously. I like that stupid Book Worm game you can play for free online because you don’t have to compete with anyone and if you win or lose, you have no one but yourself to blame (or cheer on, I suppose.) Also, the worm is cheerful. I like that a lot. I do NOT like that sometimes your tiles catch on fire because it makes me NERVOUS like a CAT. What, I have too much free time? You’re just noticing this now?

Oh, I’d win this Scrabble. I’d win this Scrabble SO HARD.

Anyway, yes. There is an annual Scrabble Championship. That’s fun! That’s totally fun. The winner gets some undetermined amount of money, depending on how many people enter, and there are random other prizes like board games and dictionaries. This all sounds like fun, right? Well, except for the competition part. That wouldn’t be all the fun. That would be nervous-making. You know everyone would be taking it all seriously and getting all shouty and maybe smacking tiles down all angrily and I can’t think straight when someone’s getting all crotchety like that. No, thanks. You can have your win, I concede.

Hee! Booyah, losers!

This year’s tournament was in Orlando. Guess what happened there? ALL THE CHEATING!

An adolescent boy was ejected from the the tournament for palming blanks. PALMING BLANKS! ZOMG THE HORRORZZZZ!

Nah, this isn’t shady at all. Happens all the time.

The article doesn’t say how old the kid was. I’m going to assume between – oh, shit, I don’t know, probably 15 and 19, right? He can’t be a KID. He wouldn’t have made it all the way to a tournament if he was a CHILD. Those words are HARD, yo.

Everyone was kind of suspicious-faced about this kid, because he came out of nowhere and he was doing VERY WELL. I think maybe they’re kind of Scrabble-snobs over there. If you haven’t paid your SCRABBLE DUES then they don’t trust you. Also I assume they looked askance because he was a kiddo. How can kiddos know all the awesome words? I don’t know all the awesome words and I’m a grownup lady. I mean, sure, I haven’t STUDIED them, but I’m still old and I don’t know them. I’ve had more exposure to them.

SCRABBLE SNOB!

Anyway, apparently when they were picking letters out of Heidi Klum’s magic button bag (FINE, that’s a whole different thing) the person this kid got matched against thought, SOMETHING IS HINKY HERE YO. So he started watching all seriously. And he noticed the kid was holding his hand all weird, and there were tiles tucked in his hand. HOLDING BACK TILES! FROM HIS LAST ROUND!

So then Suspicious Sam was all, “Judge! JUDGE! I CALL FOUL SIR!” and a judge came over all officiously and he said, “This young man is PALMING TILES.” The kid was all “Uh uh NO I AM NOT!” and a guy at another table was all, “Dude, that kid just threw two tiles on the floor.” Yep. The two blanks he’d palmed, apparently. WHOA! WHAT A SCANDAL!

He DID pick. All nefariously. Damn dirty trickster.

So the kid was escorted out and his opponents he’d beaten were given the wins and it was all probably super-embarrassing for the kid who was caught blank-handed. Guess he got what he deserved, though.

Why are you cheating at a Scrabble tournament? That seems all kinds of shady. It’s not like it’s the Superbowl or something high-stakes.  (Not that I’m denigrating these people – they probably work really hard. I’m not mocking you, Scrabble tournamenters!) But if you’re playing in something mental-based, you’re going to cheat? Really? That seems asshatty. And you’re not even cheating for anything but bragging rights, really. A pittance of money and maybe a donated board game. That’s like, nothing. And now you can never play again, and you’ve embarrassed yourself in front of everyone. Sad! You are sad. Also, is having two blanks sure to make you win? I don’t think it is. I mean, it gives you an advantage, but it doesn’t GUARANTEE you a win.

This is why I don’t like to compete in things! Competition makes me itchy, and then you have people who get way too competitive and shouty and then I shut down mentally, and then you have CHEATERS! Listen, I’m weird about cheating. I don’t care for it one little bit. Not one little bit! I think if you have to cheat you are sad, and also small. If you know you can’t win without cheating, then either deal with losing, or don’t play. There you go. Why does everyone always have to win? You should lose sometimes. It teaches you humility. It’s an important lesson to learn. If you go through life winning all the time, you aren’t prepared for the times you’ll lose. And you’re going to lose! No one wins every time. No one at all.

Maybe he thought he was a CHEETAH? No? Listen, I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt.

So there you go! Cheating. HIGH PROFILE CHEATING. Scrabble cheating! It is quite shocking and head-shakey, and we here at Lucy’s Football do NOT give it our stamp of approval. No stamp stamp stamp for you, Cheaty McGurk!


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