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Category Archives: sports

Bracketology 101 (with help from Amy’s Dad)

Quickly: thank you so much for your reads, shares, comments, tweets, and altogether amazing response to yesterday’s post. It was not an easy post to write; I’ve been agonizing over what I wanted to say and how to word it and how to express myself about this for quite some time now. When the verdict came down this week and the public response was…well, unexpected, to say the least, I was in utter shock. sj was the one who told me, after a series of emails, that a letter to Jane Doe was my angle. sj was also there for me when I doubted I could write it, and when it proved almost too triggery for me to continue with. So for every thank you I got for writing that, half of those thanks (or more) should go to sj, who in the whole grand scheme of things is that cheerleader you want in your corner and that intelligent friend who operates as both the angel on your shoulder and that other set of eyes you need sometimes AND the most hilarious woman you know who can make you laugh until you both cry AND snort. Love you, chica. Thank you for being amazing.

This will be a quick one today, as I am kind of drained, but I think we need to lighten up a little today, right? And as a thank you for being so amazing, and reading me no matter if I’m serious or if I’m goofy? You’re all fantastic, seriously. And how better to do that than with DAD STORIES?

I have TWO.

One is very, very brief, and one is a peek into the world of Amy and Dad, every March, for the past 5 years or so.

DAD MISTRUSTS POISON

Me: So when I went to C. and C.’s house, guess what they have outside their front door? Roses!


Dad: Well, that’s weird. Since it’s winter.
Me: Sigh, sigh. NOT NOW. They WILL have roses. Right now it’s just the PROMISE of roses. Thorny branches that will HAVE roses on them, once it warms up.
Dad: Oh, well, if there are thorns, there will be roses. You know what they say about thorns and roses, right?
Me: Yes, I do. Every rose has its thorn.
Dad: Yep, that’s it.
Me: Just like every night has its dawn.
Dad: No, I don’t think they say that.
Me: Just like every cowboy sings a sad, sad song.
Dad: What? Cowboys? No. No one says that. Cowboys don’t have roses. Roses don’t grow in the desert.
Me: Every rose has its thorn.
Dad: Now you’re just repeating yourself. No one says those other things, Amy. You’re just making things up.

DAD AND THE BIG DANCE

(Backstory: every year, Dad and I pick our brackets for the NCAA playoffs and have the best time watching the games together over the phone and shouting gleefully and laughing at each other and calling each other losers and sharing our thing. It is our favorite. Dad and my brother have car racing, Dad and I have basketball. I love watching the playoffs the most, but mostly because I know I get to share them with him. Picking our teams is hilarity-filled every year, because he takes it VERY SERIOUSLY and pays attention to statistics and coaches and what players are strong and things like that. Me? Um. Well, you know how when I go to the racetrack and I pick my horses based on what color silks they have, or if they have some permutation of the word “cat” in their name? That’s kind of how I pick my bracket. Surprisingly, I beat him about half of the time using this method. MAGIC VS. SCIENCE! IT IS A TIE!) (Don’t get worried, Andreas, I know it’s not a tie.)

This year, Dad and I are doing two sets of brackets. One against each other – whoever wins buys the other one a meal at McDonalds, and it’s a GOOD meal, per Dad, not the dollar menu, either, BIG MACS IF WE WANT THEM!, and the other set are against Jim. Now, Dad says Jim is dead to him, because we were supposed to meet Jim in Florida last year but Jim blew us off. Dad has blown this up to EPIC proportions and tonight said “That guy was about 10 minutes away from us and treated us like we were garbage. JUST. LIKE. GARBAGE. If that’s not dead to us, I don’t know what is.” I’m pretty sure he was like an hour away, and plans just didn’t work out, not that he treated us like refuse, but Dad’s never let a vendetta pass him by, no siree Bob. So if Dad wins, I think maybe Jim stays dead to us, and if Jim wins…um…well, probably he’s still dead to us. (Jim’s not dead to me. I like Jim a lot. Dad finds this suspicious and thinks I should ALSO think Jim is dead to us but it takes a lot more than that for someone to be dead to me. Hell, I’ve had people completely devastate me and break my heart into a million billion shattery pieces and I’d still stand in front of a train for ’em. I’m not as hard-core as I seem on the outside, my little marshmallow peeps.)

Dad: OK, we have to hurry up and do this because I have to yell at Prost soon.
Me: You know his name is really Probst, right? (This is Jeff Probst from Survivor; Dad thinks he’s the devil incarnate.)
Dad: Yes, but I don’t think he deserves that extra letter because he’s annoying.
Me: FINE. Let’s do mine first.
Dad: OK. Then mine, they’ll be faster. I researched them and everything. Then, PROST-YELLING!
Me: Hee, ok, good, I bet Mom’s really looking forward to that.
Dad: Your mother doesn’t even hate Prost. She doesn’t think his dimples are surgically implanted or anything. Something’s wrong with that woman. (Mom in the background: “He yells so loud I can’t even HEAR the show! It is ANNOYING!”)
Me: I already picked the ones for Jim.
Dad: Who do you have winning that one?
Me: GONZAGA.
Dad: Gonzaga cannot win. That’s foolish.
Me: No, they’re going to win, and I’ll tell you why. Because of three reasons. A., their name sounds like garbanzo beans; B., they have a ‘z’ in their name, and I like letters at the end of the alphabet the most because they give you the most points in Scrabble, and C., their nickname is the ZAGS. So they will zig and zag and WIN. It is THEIR YEAR.


Dad: I can see you’ve really thought about this in a scientific manner.
Me: YES.
Dad: OK, well that bracket is already pre-busted, let’s work on your real one with me.
Me: Fine. I’m picking Colorado because one time I went there and it had twisty mountains and so therefore those players are used to being all running around and avoiding obstacles. But they won’t go too far, because they’ll get tired from all that dodging.

TWISTY!

TWISTY!

Dad: Hmm. OK.
Me: I’m also picking Duke, because Blue Devils. I think the Lord of the Underworld would want them to go pretty far. But good always wins out over bad, so they won’t win it all.
Dad: Yeah, they’re not doing the best this year. That’s a good call.


Me: And on this one I don’t have the Zags winning it all, even though I feel like I’m selling them out. I do love the Zags.
Dad: People are saying they’re only #1 this year because they played teams that were easy to beat.
Me: People are jerky and mean. Stop maligning my Zags.
Dad: They can’t win, Amy.
Me: ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN. Remember that year that like the #8 team won everything and everyone’s brackets were busted and people were like SOBBING in the STREETS?
Dad: Well, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but yes, things like that have been known to happen.
Me: In the south section, I totally picked all the losing teams to win. Because sometimes that happens and I like the underdogs. I picked Villanova because they have a ‘v’ in their name and then I ALSO picked VCU because they ALSO have a ‘v’ and when they play each other it would be V vs. V and wouldn’t THAT be exciting?
Dad: Well, for some people it might, I suppose.
Me: Also I picked Georgetown because I think their mascot is a cranky bulldog.
Dad: Aren’t they the Hoyas? I don’t think a hoya is a cranky bulldog.

I TOLD YOU IT WAS A CRANKY BULLDOG, DAD!!!

I TOLD YOU IT WAS A CRANKY BULLDOG, DAD!!!

Me: In my head they are. I knocked Syracuse out early because every year I pick them to win and every year they break my heart. They are evil, those Orangemen. They are heartbreakers. NO MORE, ORANGEMEN! I refuse to have my heart broken again this year! It’s already been bumped around enough lately, dammit!

That'sone heartbreaky orange.

That’s one heartbreaky orange.

Dad: Did this just stop being about basketball just now?
Me: Maybe. I can neither confirm nor deny that.
Dad: Fine. Do you need me to get your mother?
Me: No. She doesn’t know about basketball or heartbreak.
Dad: You are correct about both of those things.
Me: Also, I have Marquette going to the final four. Do you know why?
Dad: I can’t even begin to imagine.
Me: Because they have a ‘q’ in their name. Q! I like ‘q’s.
Dad: Of course you do. Who do you have winning the whole thing?
Me: I played it safe and picked Louisville, even though they’re known for baseball and not basketball.
Dad: Well, their basketball team is probably known for basketball. And they’re heavily favorited to win it all, so that was a good choice.
Me: I’m so going to win that McDonalds meal, right? I’m getting a hot fudge sundae if I do.


Dad: Wait, DESSERTS are included? You never said DESSERTS were included.
Me: Oh, whatever we WANT is included.
Dad: I don’t like desserts. Can I have two Big Macs?
Me: If you win, you can. If you lose – and you WILL, because none of your teams have ‘z’s or ‘q’s or ‘v’s – then I guess you can have whatever you want, but it will all taste like TEARS and LOSS.
Dad: This is really the best thing.
Me: I KNOW. I love March Madness. It’s the most mad. PLUS ALSO EXCITING.

Time for sleep, pumpkins. Have the best Thursdays filled with excitement and joy and all the happiness the world has to offer. Also maybe a little madness. We all go a little mad sometimes, you know? Worse things can happen.

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Don’t be hanging ‘round old Catfish John

We haven’t talked about current events in a while, have we? Shame on me. Shaaaaaame.

We could talk about Lance Armstrong but honestly, I just don’t care. I think it’s shitty he spent years saying “no no no I DON’T DO DRUGS” and all along he was doing drugs. That’s shady. But I didn’t watch the Oprah interview, because honestly, just don’t care. Mostly I feel bad for Dad. He LURVED Lance Armstrong. He thought the whole thing was a government conspiracy. (I just asked him about it, and he said “I was duped by a dope.” He sounded SO SAD. I felt terrible. I’m totally mad at Lance Armstrong. See, Dad doesn’t like many people at all. At ALL, at all. Because he thinks everyone is tricky and trying to fool him. And he constantly tells me not to love people. “THEY WILL BREAK YOUR HEART!” he says. Then, when someone does break my heart, he says “I TOLD YOU! Never love anyone! Ever!” But he LOVED Lance Armstrong. He stuck up for Lance Armstrong all through this and now he’s just crushed. I feel SO BAD about this. I mean, I have a long and storied history with heartbreak. Poor Dad, he’s a newbie here. I want to punch Lance Armstrong in his remaining testicle for hurting my Dad’s feelings.)

You SHOULD be ashamed, Lance. YOU UPSET AMY'S DAD.

You SHOULD be ashamed, Lance. YOU UPSET AMY’S DAD.

Nope, we’re not going to talk about Lance Armstrong, he makes me angry. I don’t like cheating.

Let’s talk about this whole football-player-Catfish-thing, because I find this fascinating.

OK, so in case you’ve been living under a rock (I totally just found out about this yesterday, so I’m kind  of one of those “living under a rock” people) apparently what happened is this:

There is a football player for Notre Dame named Manti Te’o. (That’s kind of a kickass name, yo.) He is apparently quite good. He’s gotten a lot of media coverage because earlier in the year, within days of each other, his beloved grandmother and girlfriend died. And he threw himself into the game and won all these things (shut up, I know nothing about football) and people were pushing for him to get the Heisman Trophy because oh, poor Manti Te’o. There’s nothing the media loves more than a sob story.

See? He's all footbally and shit.

See? He’s all footbally and shit.

Well, there’s this website called Deadspin, which I’ve never heard of in my life ever, but like I said, I live under a rock. Apparently it’s like a gossipy sports site? From what I can tell? Deadspin did a little digging into this dead-girlfriend story.

And there was no dead girlfriend. Or even a girlfriend.

This is where things get confusing. There are a lot of lies going on here. And it’s not 100% at this point who’s doing the lying.

Apparently through a combination of news reports and reports from Te’o and such, he met this girlfriend in 2009. Her name was Lennay Kekua. They were just friends for years; they became a couple in early 2012. In mid-2012, she was in a terrible car accident and almost died. When she was recovering, the doctors said, “oh, you have leukemia, too, by the way.” She died in September 2012. Te’o would stay on the phone with her for hours while she was in comas; his voice would make her vital signs get better. (Um. I don’t know about this. But I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on television.) This all sounds very soap-opera-y.

Various people in his life said they met her, including Te’o. Or the media reported this, anyway; it’s a little convoluted whether or not anyone actually SAID they met her.

Deadspin investigated this, because they thought something was hinky. I like to think of the Deadspin staff as the Scooby gang, right? Anyway, they found out that the photos being used on Lennay’s Twitter site were some horrified girl who was all “OMG NO WHAT THE HELL?” and that Te’o didn’t meet her at a game, as reported in the media, but on Twitter. The girl whose face became the face of a fake dead girlfriend was all, “wait a minute, I gave this photo to this guy I know” and she called him and he started acting all weird.

Come to find out, this guy (Ronaiah Tuiasosopo) was friends with Te’o and seems to be behind the Lennay accounts, but has gone all mum. Hmm. Wonder why.

This is Ronaiah. Shady, right? I think it's the weird hair-point going on there.

This is Ronaiah. Shady, right? I think it’s the weird hair-point going on there.

So the story broke. And all the people in Te’o’s life who were quoted as saying they’d met her said now, “Um, no, we never did.” So who knows if they were lying THEN or NOW or the media was lying, really. And Te’o came out and said, “I WAS CATFISHED.”

But more and more people are coming out and saying he knew about this all along, and he and Tuiasosopo were in it together and it was all for the sympathy and the media coverage and the attention.

Notre Dame is standing behind him and saying he came to them a while ago and told them he’d been Catfished (which begs the question why they didn’t come out and tell anyone, but any press is good press, right? And Te’o was getting a LOT of press.)

You all remember Catfish, right? The movie that might or might not have been a documentary about the guy who fell in love with a chica online and decided to go meet her with camera-crew in tow and she ended up being a 40-some year old housewife with a husband and she was kind of a crazy-person? And for those of us who live online it was TERRIFYING?

Here's the guy that got Catfished. Spoiler alert: I find him very pretty.

Here’s the guy that got Catfished. Spoiler alert: I find him very pretty.

Now there’s a Catfish television show which I just discovered when I was researching this. So because I’m completely thorough, I am watching repeated episodes of the Catfish television show while I’m writing this. WHAT? Some of you have BETTER things to do with your Friday nights? Well, aren’t YOU fancy.

The Catfish television show is about people who contact the guy who was catfished in the Catfish movie and want to know if the person they’ve fallen in love with online is all they’re cracked up to be. All that and a bag of chips, if you will. The first episode I watched, the internet boyfriend ended up being a transgender woman. (SPOILER ALERT, the girl still loved him even though he lied to her and they are still very much in love, aw, well, good for them!) The one I’m watching now, this adorable college lacrosse player is being catfished by some trickster-woman who is catfishing a whole bunch of OTHER guys as WELL and I don’t know what will happen because it’s not over yet. I’ll get back to you on this.

(I think I will probably be obsessed with this show and watch it a lot. I can see this happening. DAMMIT MTV AND YOUR ADDICTIVE PROGRAMMING!)

Anyway, back to the Te’o situation.

Do I think he was catfished for three years? I don’t know. It’s all very suspicious. It’s all kind of falling apart like a house of cards, now, isn’t it? And the media jumped all over that dead-girlfriend story and didn’t even check on it. It took a weird gossipy sports blog to break the story. This is all very mysterious and shady.

(OMG SIDE NOTE. The girl that the lacrosse player – and all the other fellas – were talking to was totally NOT EVEN A GIRL but a very sad, shy young gay man. And the lacrosse player looked so sad and so broken. But he wasn’t punchy, which was nice. He seems like a very nice boy and I approve of him. The sad little gay man said he was catfishing OVER 100 MEN. And being the online catfish girl got him KICKED OUT OF COLLEGE BY HIS R.A. BECAUSE HE ACCIDENTALLY CATFISHED HIS R.A. This is all very distressing and terrible and he actually said, “Being Amanda feels better than being myself” and I totally just want to give him a hug. That poor, poor kid. Also the poor, poor lacrosse player. This show is making me sad. Yet I plan on still watching it. BECAUSE IT IS FASCINATING.)

OK, so the Te’o thing. My dad thinks this is RIDICULOUS. “That is a LIAR,” Dad said. “Don’t you write about that on your blog. HE LIED ABOUT THAT GIRL EXISTING. FOR ATTENTION!”

Dad hates people that need a lot of attention. As do I. We are in agreement on this.

Apparently Notre Dame has some sort of ultra-strict no-lying policy? And this could all be a lot of trouble for this guy? But he’s kind of out of the news because his team lost some sort of big game? As I said, ironically, since the name of my blog has football IN it, I know nothing about football other than it runs long and constantly makes The Amazing Race run late.

If he really was catfished, well, that’s sad. But I highly doubt it. I’m very suspicious about such things. I assume most people are lying all the time. Which is why I only trust and love like a handful of people. Part of this is me being broken, part of this is my dad yelling at me not to love anyone because THEY WILL BREAK YOUR HEART, AMY!!!, and part of this is because, well, honestly, when I love someone, I give it like 247%. I don’t have time to give everyone in the world 247%, I’d die in like a week, yo. (Which is why, when I lose someone I love, it hurts 247% more than it would hurt a normal person. Please see above re. “broken.”)

So I’m guessing this was all a scam for publicity, which makes me sad. Who invents a dead girlfriend for attention? Seriously? That’s something a high-school kid would do. If this is what happened, this is very distressing. You don’t invent a cancer-patient girlfriend.

Then again, you don’t lie to my dad, either, LANCE ARMSTRONG. You are so dead to us right now.

OK, now it’s time for more Catfish the tv show. Some guy thinks he’s online dating Miss Teen USA. Well, from like years ago. She’s not a teen anymore, that’d be more To Catch a Predator than Catfish, I think. (Again, spoiler alert, it wasn’t Miss Teen USA, it was his platonic friend and she’s a pathological liar. This show is terrible-awful and I CANNOT STOP WATCHING IT.)

I’d say I was watching this for research but at this point I’ve totally gotten obsessed, yo, I’m not even too proud to admit it. Happy weekend, internets. Don’t sext with strangers, they might not be who you think they are. What’s that? You already knew that? Oh, well, that’s ok, then. Nice job, you guys.


…the status is not quo. The world is a mess and I just need to rule it.

sj alerted me to this and I do not approve. (Of the story, not of sj. I approve of sj most wholeheartedly.)

Apparently, there is a website called WND. I didn’t know it existed, either. Don’t feel bad. “WND” stands for World Net Daily. They find news and then tell you about it from a conservative viewpoint. Oh, I know about this! It’s called Fox News. Dad fills me in on this every day. I’m totally up on the conservative viewpoint and the mockery thereof. It’s both fair AND balanced, you guys.

So WND (I keep wanting to call it WWD and wonder where the fashion is, yo) decided the latest person they hated is – ready for this? Neil Patrick Harris.

NO NO NO. That is NOT ALLOWED.

See, I don’t know if you’re aware? But NPH is gay. YES IT IS TRUE FACTS! He is married to a lovely man and they have adorable twins.

He’s also a talented actor, onstage and in movies and on television, and seems, in interviews, to be a very well-spoken, intelligent, and interesting person. He also sings and dances beautifully and is very, very funny. Seriously, his hosting stint on Saturday Night Live made me laugh until I almost choked. If stupid nbc.com played nice with WordPress I would show you. Instead, here’s a link. And another. (First link is NPH doing this Doogie Howser musical thing – I can’t even explain. Roommate C. and I were in TEARS of laughter. And second link is NPH doing a Broadway skit. Both are worth the click, promise.)

PLUS, come ON, how many actors are happy to make fun of themselves in a stoner movie?

“Yeah. It was a total dick move on my part. That’s why I’m paying for your burgers.”

AND AND AND! Come on. JUST COME ON. He was in the BEST INTERNET MUSICAL EVER!

“Did you notice that he threw you in the garbage?”

THE MAN IS A NATIONAL TREASURE.

So anyway, NPH did the following ad for the Superbowl:

And WND said NO NO NO! This is EVIL! HE IS MOCKING OUR HERO, LORD, and SAVIOR!

I have nothing against Tim Tebow, but apparently the Christian right has decided he’s their spokesperson? Worrisome. I think you already HAVE a spokesperson. JESUS. My mom told me that and I have to believe her, as she is my mom.

So! By wearing this crap on his face with the dates on it (apparently this is called “eyeblack”, who knew) NPH is “…pushing a gay agenda …and…mocking Christians at the same time.”

OH! Is THAT what he’s doing! Well. Isn’t THAT a whole bunch of things to be doing all at once like that, how very multitasky!

(Also, if you want to see a cross-section of super-awesome humans? Read the comments on the WND post. OH MY OH NO. “REPENT REPENT!” says the very first one. Um. You repent for gaybashing, I’ll repent for whatever it is you’re judging me for, bub.)

Shit. Well, if NPH is too gay for the Superbowl, then so am I. I AM SPARTACUS. I’m totally boycotting it this year.

What’s that? I boycott it every year because I refuse to watch it because it’s sports and I hate sports and this is really not a BOYCOTT, per se, if I’m doing something I would do ANYWAY and just SAYING it’s a political statement?

Well. Aren’t YOU judgey. That’s very rude of you. Huff, huff.

(For the record, guess who can enjoy sports? Gay people. Straight people. People with no legs. People with two heads. People with red hair. People who wear too many gold chains. People who like their pizza with black olives. People with penises. People without penises. People with both penises AND vaginas. Tall people. Short people. Fat people. Skinny people. People who wear sweaters with kittens on the front. People who like dairy. People who are lactose-intolerant. In short: ANYONE AT ALL.)

There’s no gay agenda. Well, no, I take that back. There’s totally a gay agenda. The gays (yes, I’ve talked to all of them) would like the following:

  • to be treated like productive members of society, no matter who they love
  • to be given the same rights as everyone else
  • to not be beaten up for who they love (or called names on the street, or given dirty looks, or be made to feel unsafe in any way)

That’s pretty much it. I don’t know if three bullet points make an “agenda.” I mean, I’m on a board of directors. We have more bullet points than that on our monthly board meeting agendas.

Listen. I don’t care about a lot of things. But if you don’t like NPH, at least a little, I think your heart might be dead. He is just pure joy, this guy. He isn’t furthering ANYTHING. He’s the star of one of the biggest shows on his network. I bet half or more of the people who watch his show don’t even KNOW he’s gay. He doesn’t even play someone gay ON the show. And the photo above is from a promo clip on his network, who would be stupid not to use one of their most recognizable faces for publicity purposes.

That’s it. That’s the agenda. His network wants people to watch the Superbowl; they used one of their resources to get people to do so. I don’t think they were mocking Tebow. Little known fact: people were using that eyeblack shit before Tebow came along. IT IS TRUE.

Dear WND: please to be getting a life. You make me sad and also angry. You are small-minded and hateful people and at some point you have forgotten that we’re all human on this rock in space and there’s no room for that kind of thinking because it’s 2013 and we don’t need to put up with it anymore.

In short, WND, feel most free to bite me. Grow the hell up.


Stolen pantyhose and baseball movies

This is going to be super-short. No, seriously. I have two hours. That is not long enough. I have to get to bed. Job interview tomorrow which I JUST GOT like a couple of hours ago and I am not prepared. I’m not 100% sure what they do there. Their website is confusing. So when they ask me, “what do you know about our company?” I’m going to be all, “ah duh” and that always makes a super-good impression. Also, I think I have no more pantyhose. I lost a pair in the laundry room (HOW THE HELL DOES THAT HAPPEN? they went IN the machine but did not come OUT. Did someone sneakyfuck my pantyhose? If so, EW, I hope you waited until they were at least CLEAN, you gross bastard) and I put a hole in the other pair so I think I have none. Which means I have to find nice slacks somewhere in my closet because I’m pretty sure my ripped cargo pants that I pretty much live in aren’t what you wear for an interview. Well, at least the weather’s gotten cooler so I won’t be the hottest.

Gimme back ma pantyhose, gross creepers. Sheesh.

SPEAKING OF! This weather is GLORIOUS. It’s totally fall-like. Fall-esque. It’s supposed to get to between 30-40 degrees tonight. Oh, wait, let me put that in Celsius for my non-MERKAN readers. That’s how I roll. I’m all-inclusive. Ready? TRANSLATED FOR MY FRIENDS WHO ARE NOT HERE! “Tonight, it is supposed to get between -1 and 4 degrees Celsius here.” (That’s what Google tells me. How’d I do? Celsius confuses me, and I even grew up right next to Canada so always heard both versions of the temperature on the news every night.) Isn’t that the best temperature ever? It’s so crisp and cool and it makes me want pumpkin-flavored things and apples and cinnamon and to watch shows about ghosts and to kick piles of crunchy leaves.

Aw, beagle! Younger Brother’s dog is a beagle. And we had beagles when I was growing up. I am a beagle fan, yo. They are the HAPPIEST dog. So goofy!

I am having cable issues in Casa del Amy and cussing at the television. I find it distressing that the television can work fine ALL DAY LONG until I want to watch a program. DAMN YOU TELEVISION. Oh, and I called to cancel HBO today, because a., I’m not using it now that True Blood and Game of Thrones are over (for now, anyway), and b., it’s expensive, and the cable company does NOT like you to cancel channels, no no Charlie.

Not anymore, it’s not. Not here, anyway.

Me: I’d like to cancel HBO, please.
Rep: Oh! Well, let’s discuss what’s best for your cable needs at this juncture.
Me: What’s best is cancelling HBO, please.
Rep: Is there nothing on HBO you might like? They have many excellent programs on HBO!
Me: I would like to cancel HBO, please.
Rep: Why would you like to do that?
Me: It’s expensive and the show I was watching on it is over.
Rep: True Blood fan, were ya?
Me: Yes. (Why so folksy all of a sudden, is she from Bon Temps?)
Rep: Have you considered watching Boardwalk Empire? It’s about GAMBLERS.
Me: Ma’am, I’ve just lost my job. Please cancel HBO.
Rep: Would you like me to look into ways we can lower your cable bill so you can keep HBO?
Me: I’d like you to look into ways I can lower my cable bill AND cancel HBO.
Rep: Oh. No. We don’t do that. If you cancel HBO and Cinemax your bill goes down $20 a month.
Me: I still have Cinemax? Good grief, I thought that was some sort of free promo like months ago. Have I been PAYING for that?
Rep: …aaaaand thank you for calling Time Warner Cable.

The moral of this story is: read your cable bill line items, ladies and gentlemen. If nothing else, you’ll know you have Cinemax. I could have been watching soft-core porn for MONTHS!

I did a search for “Skinemax” but AH MY EYES MY EYES so instead here is a befuddled hedgehog. YOU ARE WELCOME.

I’m 17 flavors of cranky about that stupid Clint Eastwood baseball movie. WHAT BASEBALL MOVIE AMY? I don’t know. There are a million commercials for it whenever I turn on the television. Here’s my issue. I love Clint Eastwood in a tearjerker. Clint Eastwood makes me BAWL. Million Dollar Baby? Effing Gran Torino? LOVED. Listen, there is very little I love more in the world than a good cleansing cry. And I like him because he’s all gruff and reminds me of my dad. And I REALLY liked him before a couple weeks ago when he decided he was going to talk to a chair. I DON’T KNOW WHAT WAS HAPPENING THERE. See, up until a couple of weeks ago, I was totally cool with Clint, because he even made a “get-offa-my-lawn” quote about gay marriage in GQ last year: “These people who are making a big deal about gay marriage? I don’t give a fuck about who wants to get married to anybody else! Why not?! We’re making a big deal out of things we shouldn’t be making a deal out of … Just give everybody the chance to have the life they want.” Yeah, so it’s not SO SO SO in-favor, but he’s an old guy, and he’s crotchety. I was all “you go, old crusty Clint.”

Oh, I can’t even. I’m not even allowed to watch this movie again. It KILLED me the first time around. SO MUCH CRYING.

Then he started talking to a chair? That I guess was supposed to be Obama? I don’t know. I can’t imagine anyone thought that was a good idea. Was that scripted? Did he just start blabbering? He’s not going senile, is he? I think the Republicans realized  it was a mistake because no one (except my dad…oh, dad) thought that was a rousing success.

Anyway, so the baseball movie trailers started coming out. It’s got Eastwood, it’s got a father/adult child thing (TOTAL weakness of mine) and it’s got baseball. DAMMIT EASTWOOD. It’s like someone sat down and was all, “what would make Amy cry and cry? Ooh, ooh! I know! Eastwood, baseball, and dads and their daughters! Shit, throw in that cute chick from Julie and Julia, Amy loves her and has ever since she saw her in that goofy movie where she went to Ireland and fell in love with a man named Declan and Amy LOVES people named Declan with accents and Amy swooned and EVERYONE hates that movie but not Amy! No no not Amy no sir! Because she is a gigantic sap sap sapperton!”

This is Matthew Goode. He played Declan. He is PERFECTION.

I am a SUCKER for baseball movies. Stupid baseball movies. Stupid Field of Dreams. Stupid The Natural. (NO NO, I don’t mean it, Field of Dreams and The Natural! I love you!) You give me a baseball movie and I am DONE. All the crying. Every last bit of it. I am totally kind of the most mad at Clint at the moment, but DAMN if I don’t want to see that stupid movie. (And now I want to see Field of Dreams again. I want a chance to finally meet my grandfather so, so young in a field in Iowa. I want my dad to have a catch with him again.)

If you can watch the “Why don’t you introduce him to his granddaughter” scene without getting even a little emotional, your heart is a black lump of snowman-eye coal. Sincerely.

This is longer than I even thought I could get done and I still have time for a popsicle. Go go gadget typing. Happy day, you guys!


The Time the Otters Saved the World

I somehow have the day off today, and am waiting for an important phone call. The person who is supposed to call me only has my home phone number. So I cannot leave the house. I have a million billion errands to run and I CANNOT LEAVE THE HOUSE. This is killing me. In a little while if they have not called me, I’m going to have to call them and leave my cell phone number on their voice mail, which I think is probably unprofessional because it’s a very important phone call and that’s going to make me look like a fool (and also when I left the original voice mail DAYS ago it was all DO NOT LEAVE MULTIPLE VOICE MAILS but at the TIME I did not anticipate they would be SO SLOW ABOUT CALLING ME BACK DAMMIT), a fool I tell you, but I don’t get a day off very often and if I don’t get my shit done, I may not have another chance to do it this week, which means I will be eating toast for days. And I’m almost out of bread. In related news, I’m still the most impatient person on the face of the earth, and waiting – for ANYTHING – makes me itchy like I have hives. Somehow, when the patience genes were being handed out, I was not in the correct line. I’m sure I was in the line for hair that sticks up all over the place or crazy eyes or something along those lines. BAD CHOICE IN LINES, AMY.

No, my phone doesn’t look like this, goofy. It’s like a cheap Walmart cordless or something, I don’t know.

I know you’re getting a lot of random posts lately. Sorry. I have to write these in-between times and my brain’s kind of scattery. It’s the way things will be for a bit. Someday we’ll get back to normal here in Amy-land. Well, at least I hope we will. I can’t promise we will, but no one can promise anything, can they? Nope. They can try, but they’re liars, all.

I’d be remiss not to mention what today is. You all know what today is. I won’t go all “NEVER FORGET ALWAYS REMEMBER” on you. I’ll just say, I hate today because it makes me random-weepy and I assume that will happen until I am an old, old Amy with a million cats. I’m going to attempt to avoid the weepery today but I think we all know how that’s going to go. OK FINE. There will be a LITTLE weepery. I’m only human. Shush, today’s a hard day that brings back a lot of bad memories. I don’t want to talk about this anymore.

HOWEVER! In much much happier news, it’s Jim and Mrs. Jim’s anniversary. Happy anniversary, Jim and Mrs. Jim!

In additional fantastic happy news, our Science Fellow, Andreas, is expecting a new baby!

Well, HE isn’t. That’d be super-sciency, wouldn’t it? GROUNDBREAKINGLY sciency. Tabloid-newspaper sciency. No no no. His fiancée is obviously the one who will be giving birth, of course. But he AND his fiancée are expecting their second baby in just a few weeks! Their first child is (and I am admittedly biased) absolutely wonderful and adorable and funny and also one of the most beautiful children to ever exist, and Baby Andreas the Second* (*probably not what they will name him, I mean, MAYBE, but odds aren’t good) will ALSO be wonderful amazing perfection, of this I have no doubt. YAY ANDREAS! Congratulations to you and The Fiancée! The world can only be a better place with more baby Andreases running around in it. This is TRUE FACTS.

In news of wonderful animals and science, guess who’s going to save the world?

Yes, that’s right. OTTERS!

Here’s how it goes down: the world needs kelp. Kelp is a good thing. Kelp can absorb twelve percent of the CO2 from the atmosphere. TWELVE PERCENT! That’s a lot of percent, yo. We have too much CO2 in the atmosphere because we’re dirty polluters and therefore we need kelp.

Also, it’s pretty! But I bet if you drive your boat into it your motor would get all tangled up.

Sea urchins like to nom on kelp. Now, I can’t hate on the sea urchins. Sea urchins are pretty kickass. They’re all spiny and pretty and someday I’m going to eat somewhere fancy so I can taste one because before I die I want to try ALL the seafood, all of it. But, because sea urchins are eating the kelp, and we need the kelp, this is a bad thing. This is where OTTERS come in!

Otters eat sea urchins! So by eating sea urchins, otters are protecting the kelp, and therefore SAVING  THE PLANET. So the next time you’re recycling your laundry detergent bottles or whatever, think what you COULD be doing. SAVING THE WORLD BY BEING AN OTTER. Wouldn’t that be so much better? Yes. I want to be an otter. They are adorable and fun, and they always play and frolic. And they’re saving the woooooorrrrlllldddd. Al Gore! Check it out, the otters are saving the WORLD. As it should be. I always knew we’d be saved by adorable animals. I mean, has Disney taught us nothing?

Look! This otter has a little buffet all set up on his belleh. I like this otter. He has style. And panache. He’s a bon vivanty otter.

Oh, I wanted to tell you about the egg situation at the theater I hinted about a few posts back. So I’ve worked on two shows where we had to have eggs onstage. Both were ick. Totally ick.

Listen, I like eggs a great deal. Especially with cheese. But not on a stage. Or in a box or on a fox, Sam I Am.

The first show was cooked eggs. The actor had to eat eggs in a breakfast scene. So I found these frozen scrambled eggs. If you cooked them in the microwave before the show, they were ok. I mean, they were cold by the time he got them, but they were palatable. He never ate much of them, but he wanted real eggs so they looked real (and if I remember correctly, eggs were mentioned in the script so it wasn’t like we could make him a fruit plate or something.) We’d refrigerate (or leave in the freezer) the eggs inbetween shows that he didn’t eat and warm them up and they smelled kind of sulfury and we were all, “P., maybe don’t really eat those eggs. P., we’re worried those are poison eggs. P., just pretend to eat the eggs. NO ONE WILL CARE, P.” and he still ate the eggs. (Only our kitchen smelled, though. Luckily the theater didn’t smell of weird sulfur-eggs.) We were so worried we were going to kill him with those stupid eggs. And they smelled TERRIBLE. I don’t remember what name-brand those frozen breakfast meals were, but I don’t recommend you get them because they were suspect.

It was something like this. But microwaved bacon is disgusting so we threw it away. I don’t think there was a hashbrown.

I know what you’re thinking. “Maybe it’s COOKED eggs that are the problem, Amy. Maybe you need to do a show with RAW eggs!” Well! I am here to tell you that we HAVE done that and IT IS NO BETTER. We did another show (P. was also in that one! but he was not involved in the egg-incident this time, HI, P.!) and in that show (one of my favorites I’ve ever worked on) the characters had to have a raw egg fight. Well, not so much a fight – there was no THROWING of eggs – but they had to smash eggs over each other’s heads. So there was the scene with the egg-smashery (and aw, those poor actors, they had to run offstage, clean egg out of their hair and change their clothing and run RIGHT BACK ONSTAGE, and they are very much in love and moved to New York together now, how cute is that?) and then, in the dark (well, I think there was a slight light, like a tiny bit of light) K. and I had to run out, also in costume (not FULL costume, just long skirts and long-sleeved shirts to fit in with the period of the show) and as quick as possible, with multiple towels, a mop, and a bucket of water, clean that stage up as much as possible in about three minutes so the next scene could go on as if nothing had happened. It was Keystone Kops up there on that stage. We were all muttering “eggshell over here” and “SO MUCH EGG OVER HERE!” under our breath to one another in the gloom and cleaning like house-elves on speed and tripping over one another and trying not to slip on the combination of egg and water. Which, if you didn’t get it all in the dark (and listen, we never did) it turned to glue, so the next day before the show when I had to sweep and mop the stage, I couldn’t get it off the stage. At least it never really started to smell, which is surprising. Even with all of that, oh, I loved that show. One of the best I’ve done in all my years in theater. I was so sad when it was over. I loved the cast, I loved the script, I loved the set, I loved the director, I loved working with K. We had so much fun.

Finally, let’s talk about a happy. Well, a happy thing to come from an asshatty situation. So apparently, there is a football team (don’t start with me, I don’t care about sports) named the Baltimore Ravens. I’d cheer for a team called the Ravens because it reminds me of Poe. In Maryland, there’s a ballot initiative to legalize gay marriage (GO MARYLAND!) A player on the Ravens came out vocally in support of that initiative. Why? Well, shit, who cares why? Because he’s a human and it’s the right thing to do? Whatever. His name is Brendon Ayanbadejo. I like that last name. It has a lot of character. After he did, Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. contacted the owner of the team (teams have owners? shut UP, I TOLD you I don’t know anything about sports, really? People OWN teams? What, can they invite them over to like, mow their lawn whenever they have a whim, or something?) and told the owner to “inhibit such expressions from his employee.”

“My name is Mr. Burns, and I hate gays. I HATE THE GAYS SO SCARY SO SO SCARY MAKE ‘EM GO AWAY MOMMA.”

WHOA NELLY. Is anyone else imagining Emmett C. Burns Jr. as Mr. Burns, all “release the hounds?” I am.

Anyway, so ANOTHER player, on ANOTHER team (the Minnesota Vikings) named Chris Kluwe wrote a letter to Mr. “Exxxxxcellent” Burns, and it is VERY VERY AWESOME. If you don’t care for cussing, well, probably don’t click on it. But if you don’t care about profanity, and you like people who aren’t afraid to stand up for something they believe in even though they’re aware it will probably piss some people off, I recommend you click on the link.

Some highlights:

“Your vitriolic hatred and bigotry make me ashamed and disgusted to think that you are in any way responsible for shaping policy at any level. The views you espouse neglect to consider several fundamental key points, which I will outline in great detail (you may want to hire an intern to help you with the longer words…)”

“What on earth would possess you to be so mind-boggingly stupid? It baffles me that a man such as yourself, a man who relies on that same First Amendment to pursue your own religious studies without fear of persecution from the state, could somehow justify stifling another person’s right to speech. To call that hypocritical would be to do a disservice to the word.”

“As recently as 1962 the NFL still had segregation, which was only done away with by brave athletes and coaches daring to speak their mind and do the right thing, and you’re going to say that political views have ‘no place in a sport’?”

“This is more a personal quibble of mine, but why do you hate freedom? Why do you hate the fact that other people want a chance to live their lives and be happy, even though they may believe in something different than you, or act different than you? How does gay marriage, in any way shape or form, affect your life? If gay marriage becomes legal, are you worried that all of a sudden you’ll start thinking about penis?” (WHY DO YOU HATE FREEDOM? This made me laugh so hard I spit-took. Because it is a thing DAD SAYS. And MEANS. To ME. It is usually in this sentence: “Why do you Dumbocrats hate freedom so much?”)

And…best paragraph of them all:

“I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life. They won’t come into your house and steal your children. They won’t magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster. They won’t even overthrow the government in an orgy of hedonistic debauchery because all of a sudden they have the same legal rights as the other 90 percent of our population—rights like Social Security benefits, child care tax credits, Family and Medical Leave to take care of loved ones, and COBRA healthcare for spouses and children. You know what having these rights will make gays? Full-fledged American citizens just like everyone else, with the freedom to pursue happiness and all that entails. Do the civil-rights struggles of the past 200 years mean absolutely nothing to you?”

Yes, you can totally get a Lustful Cockmonster t-shirt, here you go.

I don’t care in the least about sports, but I now have a major crush on Chris Kluwe. I did research. He is 30 so it’s not SO creepy. Research tells me he’s an MMORPG nerd and plays bass in a band (sigh, I do love me a bass player.) He unfortunately is married (…dammit) but that doesn’t mean I can’t crush on him from afar. I promise I won’t actually TOUCH him. Or lick him. Or anything to him. Just crush. Nicely. From afar.

I think we (by “we” I mean “I” because sorry, I have problems with this) might mistakenly assume football players to be unintelligent meatheads. I’m quite pleased to discover this is not the case.

NEW SECRET CRUSH!

OK, this is LONG. And guess what, the phone never rang. Well, it did, but it was only my job calling with hours for the week. Spoiler alert, there are a lot of them and they involve me waking up before the sun. I’m going to leave the house. The minute I do this phone is going to ring. You know it is, right? Sigh.


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