Category Archives: thank you

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.


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.


(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?
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.



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.



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.

Fact: making lists of facts is harder than it seems.

As you read this, I am hopefully either sleeping or eating waffles or hanging out with friend C. AND eating waffles, which really would be the best solution all-around.

Like a month and a half ago (sorry, I’m not…the most timely) Tony nominated me for a Liebster Award. Because I am curious like a cat, I had to look up what that means. And the ANSWER is that “liebster” means “dearest” in German. So I totally won a Dearest Award, yo. Aw, I like that, it makes me feel all cuddled, like I am a Dumbcat sleeping next to my own leg.

Anyway, so you know how I feel about awards. They always make you do things like nominate OTHER blogs. And I can’t DO that. Because then you’re leaving someone out, and then people’s feelings get hurt, and I’m totally kind of a bitch sometimes and I won’t even deny that, but I don’t LIKE to hurt people’s feelings. Like, sometimes I have to do it, but I don’t ENJOY it. So I always have to respectfully decline awards. Even adorable ones that are called dearest in a foreign language.

(I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you’re reading this on my site, look to your right. That’s my blogroll. If you want to read some of the things I read on a regular basis, please click on some of those links. They’re all the blogs I recommend, because I read them myself. I curate that list on a regular basis and I don’t like to lead you astray by recommending you read something I don’t, or written by someone I can’t recommend to you. I’m actually strangely anal about it. WHAT NO NOT YOU AMY! So, yeah. There. Read those people, they’re wonderful. Thank you thank you.)

Tony said some very nice things about me. I will return the favor. Tony is intelligent and wise; he writes beautifully, and thoughtfully. I’m so pleased to work with him at Insatiable Booksluts and I’m so glad we’ve gotten to know one another on Twitter. Thank you, Tony. I’m honored to have been awarded the award, even if I’m the jackass who can’t really accept it because of the feelings-hurting-thing.

Also, I’m supposed to tell eleven facts about myself. Eleven? Sheesh, I don’t know eleven facts. I can tell you eleven lies like they’re no big deal at all but FACTS, good GRIEF.

Fine, I’ll try to come up with eleven facts. You probably already know them, though, it’s not like I hide much around here.

  1. I once owned a boa constrictor. His name was Jack and he was a red-tailed boa. I gave him away when I moved back to New York. I fed him mice. NO NOT LIVE MICE. Little known fact: you don’t feed snakes live mice, because the mice could hurt your snake. You feed them FROZEN mice. Which you keep in the freezer. With your ice cream. And sometimes they scare your friends when they come over, so that’s funny.
  2. My first concert was New Kids on the Block. I was 15. I went with my first boyfriend, his mother, and his sister. He attempted to kiss me in the backseat on the way home and his mother was all “NO NO NO! NO KISSING! THAT IS NOT ALLOWED!” and so THAT was embarrassing. Also his mom was kind of crazy and one time asked me to tell her daughter about puberty and her daughter and I just stared at each other HORRIFIED at this prospect.
  3. I like board games. A lot. I just never get to play them, because Dumbcat isn’t very good at moving pieces around a board.
  4. I am boycotting Walmart and Price Chopper. They know what they did.
  5. If allowed, I would eat an avocado every single day. Unfortunately, they’re kind of expensive.
  6. I used to have a billion plants and lived in an apartment with a sunroom in the front of it and the whole place was sunny and cheerful. I now live in a dark cave of a place and have two plants that are on the way out. How the mighty have fallen. (Also, Dumbcat eats plants if I leave them low enough for him to nibble on. Hence the death of some of the plants. Sigh, sigh.)
  7. The other day, someone at work said I was really quiet, and that made me laugh in my head until I almost pretend-choked. FACT: I am not at all quiet, I just don’t like talking in work meetings. Because I feel like everyone’s looking at me and that makes me want to vomit on the industrial carpeting.
  8. When I was in high school, I was doing community theater as well as high-school theater. At the same time. Somehow, this didn’t seem insane to me. I think about it now and wonder how I didn’t either say the wrong lines on the wrong stage or break down weeping from stress.
  9. When I was young, my brother and I convinced my dad to let us bring a cat home that we found at my aunt’s house. Dad loved us so he let us. That cat stayed with us long enough to have kittens and then ran away, so we kept her kitten and had that cat forever and a day. He got as fat as a basketball with legs and when he slept his legs would all stick up in the air and that made me laugh because he was like a cartoon.
  10. One of my favorite places in the whole world is the ocean. I love where I live, and don’t ever plan on leaving, but oh, do I love the ocean. Can we move the ocean here, please?
  11. Making this list has exhausted me so I’m going to go to bed now. Oh, that’s not really a fact. FACT: I like to get as much sleep as possible because sleep is where I get to be an AMAZON WOMAN with NO WORRIES OR CARES.

Thank you, Tony! I appreciate the charmingly-named award, even if I can’t pass it on. Happy Saturday, everyone!

This is not a post. It is a thank-you disguised as a post. TRICKED YOU!

I wasn’t going to post at all today because, well, that’s the thing now, but I have a bit of time this morning and there are things that need to be said, so you get this little teeny-tiny post. Oooh, aaah, little tiny post!

OK, first, how are you reading this? Through a feed reader? NO. CAN THAT SHIT. For once, you feed reader people (and I am one of you, so I’m not at all judging you) I need you to click on through to my blog itself. Here. I’ll even link you. I promise I’m not doing this for clicks or to up my stats or anything. There’s a reason.


(The rest of you already know where this is going.)

OK, now that you’re there, what do you see?


It is GREEN and CREAM and has a new HEADER and is GORGEOUS!!!!

I’ve been teasing about this for a while, but it’s finally here! It happened while I was sleeping! Like that sappy Sandra Bullock movie only with less shenanigans and kissing!

Here’s the story:

I’ve been wanting to do something with the blog for a while, but didn’t know what. I mentioned this to Andreas. Did you all know that Andreas, on top of being a scientist and an amazing dad and an all-around top-notch human, does computer stuff for a living? It is true! However, that’s not why I mentioned it to him. We talk a lot, it just came up. (I believe it came up because he mentioned he’d been playing around with the fonts on his blog and I asked how a person would do that because I was thinking of doing something with my blog in the new year but I wasn’t sure how.)

Andreas said, “what are you thinking of doing?” and asked many questions and I answered them and he asked MORE questions and then he said, “you know, I do this for a living and would love to redesign your blog for you.”

WHAT? No. People don’t just DO THINGS to be NICE. Or DO they?

Yep. They totally do when they are Andreas.

(This is not an invitation for you all to inundate Andreas with favor-requests. If you want to pay him all the money to redesign your blog, cool, but don’t be hitting him up for free shit. I don’t think that’s what he’s there for.)

Sometimes people do things just to be nice. And because they love you. And someday I might actually not be blown away by that, but I don’t know if that’s ever going to happen, because I’m almost 40 and I still get all weepy at unexpected kindnesses. (And let’s face it, all kindnesses, to me, are unexpected, and probably always will be. Because I’m deeply broken.)

So for the past couple of weeks, we’ve been discussing options and color-schemes and leafy things and sidebars and ins and outs (and listen, I’m not the easiest to work with, because I have NO IDEA WHAT I WANT and NO EYE FOR DESIGN) and then last night, when I was sleeping, he implemented the redesign! AND IT IS GORGEOUS!!!

I love that it’s a design no one else has and no one else will EVER have (well, unless they copy it from me, and don’t be copying, you creepy stealing bastards.) I love that it was created for me by one of my most favorite people and most dear friends. I love that it represents me – the colors, the layout, everything. I LOVE IT IRRATIONALLY.

Andreas is going to be embarrassed about this post because he was all “YOU DO NOT HAVE TO THANK ME” but I’m doing it anyway. I don’t often do what I’m told.

So, new blog! It is pretty and shiny and green and very me, and I can’t stop looking at it. I love it so, so much.

Also, I love Andreas so, so much. He has proven himself one of the best people I know and a true friend time and time again over the past year and more specifically over the past few months since we started talking more and more which was one of the happiest occurences of 2012 for me; this is just another example of his expansive wonderfulness. Which he would deny having. Because he always denies how amazing he is. Superheroes always deny their secret identity, kiddos, that is a true fact from me to you.

Well, unless you're Tony Stark. All bets are off when you're Tony freaking Stark. Sigh. LOVE.

Well, unless you’re Tony Stark. All bets are off when you’re Tony freaking Stark. Sigh. LOVE.

Thank you, Andreas. Times a billion. You’re most sincerely awesome. Deny it if you want, I know the truth.

There was a big sign and a chain across across the dump saying, “Closed on Thanksgiving.”

Happy Thanksgiving, my little pumpkin pies! I hope you are all either stuffing your faces with all the deliciousness the holiday has to offer, or sitting around with your most loved ones, or doing something Thanksgiving-y. Volunteering. Sports-watching, or something. I don’t know, what do normal people do today?

I don’t Thanksgiving. Well, that’s misleading. I totally give THANKS, I just don’t do it with my FAMILY. I go home for Christmas (well, usually, that’s still to-be-decided around here this year) and it seems like a colossal waste of gas to go home two months in a row. Also, my family doesn’t do much for Thanksgiving. We do the same exact thing at Christmas, only there are gifts. So I choose Christmas. This year, Dad’s all jazzed because they’re eating the turkeys HE SLAUGHTERED HIS VERY OWN SELF and the last time I talked to him he was all “AMY AMY THEY ARE THAWING!!!” All hail the conquering hero! Also, Amy’s Brother and The Nephew might put in an appearance at the Thanksgiving table and everyone is all excited about that. (My brother also doesn’t believe in Thanksgiving. He usually sleeps through it.)

Aw, I always liked this Thanksgiving. TOAST AND POPCORN FOR ALL!

I will be working today because of ALL THE HOLIDAY PAY and also so my coworkers can spend the holiday with their families. I don’t mind. What else was I going to do, stay home and eat my TV dinner? (YES, I bought a turkey TV dinner, I’m not buying a whole turkey. Who’d eat it, the cat? There’s no way I can eat a whole turkey. I AM ONLY ONE PERSON.) Also, Thanksgiving is usually very slow at work. People are too busy digesting to bother the answering service, so that’s nice. I will be sitting at the supervisor’s desk and hopefully mentally plotting future blog posts or something, I don’t know. Something.

ANYWAY, it is THANKSGIVING, so you know what that means! GIVING ALL THE THANKS. I was thinking earlier, this has kind of been a really tough year. Not just for me, but for a lot of my loved ones. I think we’re all looking forward to putting 2012 in our rearviews and soldiering onto 2013. Only a little over a month left, chickadees. Also, I have to apologize, I assume the utter sucktacularness of 2012 has been my fault, because my 2011 was SO AMAZING I sucked all the goodness out of the upcoming year for everyone else so of course 2012 sucked because there was no goodness left. ALL MY FAULT. I send my most abject apologies for that. I’ll try not to bogart the goodness anymore, that’s totally rude of me. What an asshole I am.

BUT! Even though this year has really had its sucky pit-of-despair moments, there is a lot of thankfulness to be given. I’m not at all chipper-cheerful lady, but there is always a silver lining in almost everything. ALMOST everything. Not quite everything. I can think of a few things where there’s no silver lining at all. But this is THANKSGIVING and let’s not even talk about that right now.



  • My friends. I would not be where I am today without my friends,both the ones I can real-life smoosh and those of you that live in my computer. I have the best friends in the entire world. They send me tweets and email and texts and mail; they make me laugh and cry every day; they teach me new things; some of them OFFERED ME REAL-LIFE MONEY over the past four months, when they didn’t even have that much to spare; they are patient with how weird I can be; they are wonderful and funny and intelligent and I am the luckiest woman alive. Honestly, I have to wonder if I went so long without people because whoever’s pulling the strings in the world knew I wasn’t ready for these people until I got to the point in my life I’d be able to appreciate them, be the friend they deserved, and be ready to have them in my life. I’m not going to name them all; that’s poor form, and if you leave someone out, you hurt someone’s feelings. No feelings-hurting on Thanksgiving. Here’s the thing. If you’re my person, I tell you I love you. Often and repeatedly. Probably to the point where you’re like, “GAH AMY YOU ARE A SAPPY SAP.” So you know this paragraph is about you. I love you. Thank you for keeping me sane. Thank you for GETTING me. I owe absolutely everything good I have to you and would be nothing without you and couldn’t do this without you. You, you, you. Full stop.
  • Being let go from my job.I KNOW. This is not a normal thing that a person is thankful for. But as hard as I have to work to make ends meet right now, as stressed as I am, as worried as I am about making ends meet, as tired I am get – I never, ever, EVER have to go back to that place again. I never have to work with those people again. I never have to do another tax season again. I never have to sit in my car mentally psyching myself up to go back in by promising myself it’ll be Friday in only 4 more days, please don’t cry, Amy, only four more days. I NEVER HAVE TO DO THAT AGAIN. The relief in that feeling – it’s honestly immeasurable. When the first feeling you get when you get called into the conference room and are fired is not panic, but relief? You were at the wrong job. And it is not a curse, but a blessing. Also, had I not been out of that job, I never would have gotten the theater reviewing job, and the theater reviewing job is one of the best things in my life right now. So, old job, thank you. Thank you for letting me go. I only hope that someday, one of you sees me, and sees how happy I am to not be there, and that INFURATES you. (FINE. I’m thankful, doesn’t mean I’m not bitter at the way it was handled. I’m not a saint.)

    I never, ever, EVER have to be this person again. Can you imagine how free this makes me feel?

  • Having my part-time job to fall back on.Does it exhaust me? Do callers yell at me? Am I working weird crazy hours? Yes yes yes. But that job saved my life, sanity, and apartment. If not for that job, and how willing they’ve been since July to work with me (and work around any of my conflicts) and give me whatever hours I want/need, pretty much – I’d have had to move home with my parents, or borrow a ton of money from them, or maybe both. I’ve been able to retain my dignity because of that job. I’ve been able to pay my bills. I’ve been able to pay (MOST IMPORTANTLY!) my internet bill, because then how would I BLOG, you guys??? No, but seriously, if I ever find something else? That place is SO getting a huge floral arrangement delivered. (Also, thank you, coworkers. You make me laugh and are all kinds of awesome. Thank you for that.)

    Wish they did, but nope. I work. Hard. And pay ’em myself. Also, don’t hug me, I hate being touched.

  • My family. My family loves me even though I am insane and even though they don’t agree with…well…most of what I do or say. But they love me anyway. That’s nice, right? That there are people that love you no matter what? My dad makes me laugh harder than anyone; The Nephew is my absolute sunshine. I’m a lucky woman. I am very loved.
  • Having somewhere to live, enough food, a car, and the cat. These are basic things, but listen, a lot of people don’t HAVE these basic things. I am thankful for them. I am thankful for my teeny-tiny place that is just the right size for an Amy on her own, and I am thankful I have enough food that I don’t go to bed hungry (except when I eat at weird hours, but that’s no one’s fault but my own, it’s not like I’m STARVING), and I’m thankful for a car that goes when I need it to and stops when I need it to (and thankful for a father who bought it for me, because there’s no way in hell I could afford a car, or even the payments for a car, on my own), and I’m thankful that I have the world’s most amazing wonderful furry purry Dumbcat, who makes me laugh and cuddles me when I’m sad and has been just the best pet anyone could ever ask for over the past…shit, decade. Almost a decade with my little monster! Aw, yay!
  • Having amazing things happen this year, like the book and the theater gig. For all the weird upheaval and turmoil this year, it really has been an amazing year. I WROTE A BOOK. Which people seemed to enjoy, even! And it’s so damn PRETTY! It still makes me swoony, even three months later. I assume it will make me swoony YEARS later. And I am now getting PAID to write THEATER reviews. A newspaper is letting me see shows for free, then paying me to talk about what I thought of them and PUBLISHING them. In NEWSPRINT. These two things are just about the best, I can’t even lie. I might be kind of technically unemployed and tired and frazzly, but I’m a published author who writes for a newspaper. Sometimes I say that to myself and I giggle. And sometimes I say that to myself and I get tears.
  • Having theater in my life. Theater has saved my life since I was thirteen years old; it continues to do so. Theater brings such beautiful things into my life, often when I need them the most. Without it, life would be a dark void. Without even the slightest exaggeration. I am thankful for every single theater person that’s ever come into my life, ever production I’ve ever worked on, every theater group that’s ever embraced me and accepted me.
  • Where I live. I went a very long time living in places that just didn’t seem like home. Now I live somewhere that I love so, so passionately I can’t imagine living anywhere else, ever. It’s nice to not be looking over your shoulder for the next big thing so you can just live in the now, be happy where you are, put down roots. It’s a very nice feeling. A very settled one. I’ll never leave the Capital District. Well, I shouldn’t say never. Someday I’ll die, after all, and my grave isn’t here.
  • My sense of humor. I’ve been through some shit in my day, my little cranberries. However, for the most part, I’ve kept laughing. Even at things that were SO INAPPROPRIATE. I think it’s how I’ve kept my sanity. I’m a cat; I land on my feet. I might break a bone or two, but I land on my feet. And I land on my feet LAUGHING.
  • My (mostly) intact health and the health of my loved ones.I’m not the healthiest person in the world – I take a billion pills a day to ensure my continued not-dying – but I very seldom get colds, stomach bugs, and things of that nature, and I’ve only been to the ER four times in my life (once I was too little for it to count and once it was because it was Christmas and I forgot my pills four hours away and my dad was all “WE WILL GET SOME AT THE ER.”) My loved ones are, for the most parts, quite healthy as well. I am thankful for this. I am SO thankful for this. (Mostly because I’m a terrible sick person and I whine a lot.)

    TERRIBLE sick person. SO whiny.

  • Modern technology. My phone and my laptop allow me to keep in touch with my loved ones at speeds heretofore unknown; I can write things that people read almost immediately; I can see videos of The Nephew minutes after he’s done the thing; I can read what people are thinking about things from around the world as they happen. I know Andreas thinks we’ve all been cheated due to lack of flying cars, but I’m pretty down with this future, yo. Young-Amy would have LOVED this shit. (Young-Amy, however, would never have said “shit” on the interwebs.)
  • My big fat mostly awesome brain.For all of its quirks (MAYBE WE COULD STOP OBSESSING OVER NONSENSE ONCE AND A WHILE, AMY’S BRAIN!!!), I have an amazing brain. It’s smart, it retains knowledge, it makes weird arcane connections, it comes up with original ideas, it’s a quick learner, it loves words, it’s funny as hell. I like my brain a lot. Thanks, science, this brain was a good choice for me. Now, can we get it to stop the obsessery and also the worrying incessantly over shit? Thanks a billion.

    Pretty sure my brain glows like this. LIKE A NIGHTLIGHT IN MY SKULL!

  • The blog. This blog has been…well, don’t even get me started. When I started with this thing, I had no idea what would happen. What a monster it would become. What it would bring into my life: people, opportunities, laughter, love. I just thought, “Eh, this might be fun.” AND IT WAS. But it was also so much more. I am thankful for the blog, and for all of you for reading it, and reading all the other places my random things go up all over the internet. Without someone to read what we write, well, writing wouldn’t be all that much fun, now would it? Nope. Not at all.

Now I’m going to eat some turkey for lunch and a little teeny bit of pie (it’s not Thanksgiving without pie, yo) and listen to Arlo tell me about the shovels and rakes and implements of destruction, as I do every year, and then go off to work to make some money. Thankfully. Because I’m one hell of a lucky woman.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I hope your day is utterly stuffed with love and family and food and all good things; you deserve nothing but the best.

Failing at time zones. And also mathing.

Howdy, Tuesday, how YOU doin’? Good? Good, then.

This week is another week of craziness in Amy-town. Many many hours at work. But that’s good, because listen, even though I’m working like a maniac, when I got paid this week, I was able to pay almost every single bill this month and – AND, are you ready for this? – HAVE MONEY LEFT OVER. I know! It’s strange and exciting territory. I’m not 100% sure what I’ll do with that money. I should probably save it for Christmas. I think Christmas has officially been cancelled, though. There’s no way I can do it to the extent that I want to, and I’m not good at Christmas-lite. Christmas-lite seems like a lie. I’d rather boycott it altogether. Mom was all “AMY! I need a Christmas list from you PRONTO!” (yes, my family still does Christmas lists) and I told her she had to wait until the end of the month because that’s when I would decide what was happening with Christmas in Amy-land. Two more weeks to decide. Sometimes I put off decision-making for a very long time. It’s never a good idea but I’m a total procrastinator when it’s a hard decision I don’t want to make.

But there’s a nephew, and he still needs a Christmas. He’s too little to understand boycotting Christmas. So there might be only a Christmas for my one and only beloved nephew. That’ll be ok. The kid loves presents. His eyes get all big and he says, “For ME?” and you can’t even process the cute. You absolutely can’t.

Anyway, we have some catchall things to discuss today because I’ve been putting some things off and then tomorrow we’ll have some uproarious hilarity. Today I have the day off because today is your yesterday because I LIVE IN THE PAST or maybe the future, I don’t even know.

Oh, SPEAKING of not even knowing, I’m terrible at time zones? Like, the MOST terrible. Which sucks, because I have people living in other time zones. For a while, it was only BFF. And that was bad enough. But NOW I have people living on other CONTINENTS and they don’t even live in the same TIME ZONES as each OTHER so I’m constantly having to do mind-math to figure out what time it is there and if they’re sleeping or at work or, hell, I don’t know, eating a cookie, whatever it is they’re doing. Last night on The Amazing Race there was this whole TASK where the contestants had to figure out Russian time zones and sj and I were watching together as we like to do and we like to pretend that we’re competing in the Race together? We’d lose the racing part, we’ve decided, but we’d love the traveling and the thinking-parts. And checking in with Phil and his eyebrow.

So I was all “SJ. I would LOSE this. I NEVER KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS ANYWHERE.” And she was all, “I am the BEST at this. I would do this Roadblock for us so we would win.” And I was like “No, seriously, I’m constantly all ‘what time is it in Finland +7 SO MUCH MATH'” and then she laughed and laughed at me and said, “You know there’s this site called World Clock, right? I will make you one.”


LOOK LOOK! It has all my people I love on it! BFF and my own time zone (also sj and Susie’s) and Elaine and Ken and Andreas! NOW I ALWAYS KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS IN PLACES!!!

OK, listen, I know probably you’re better at mathing than I am (everyone is, even elementary-school children), but I can never ever remember what time it is ANYWHERE. And then time zones change or whatever and I am flat-footed lost and thinking it’s 4 when it’s 6 or whatever. THIS DOES MY MATHING FOR ME!!! And sj says that when Daylight Savings Time happens, THIS WILL CHANGE TO REFLECT THAT FOR ME!

This is like those fancy clocks you see in banks where you always know what time it is in major cities only it’s RIGHT ON MY LAPTOP and I am SO EXCITED I CAN’T EVEN.

Shh, it’s the little things, jellybeans. THANK YOU SJ I ADORE YOUR FACE.

OK, don’t you worry, I have more things to talk about than clocks. No, I totally do. NO I DO.

Today (I think it’s today? I hope so, I’ve been waiting til today to post this) friend R. moves away, and I am both happy and sad about this.

Happy because she is moving to something wonderful, and a whole new opportunity and a whole new life and onto something she will love so much, and sad because I JUST MET HER AND I LOVE HER SO MUCH AND WILL MISS HER LIKE A CRAZYPERSON.

Friend R. and I worked together until recently at the answering service, and at first I thought, I cannot be friends with friend R., because she is SO NICE and SO CALM and she will never want to be friends with me because I am the opposite of those things. But Friend R. was very very patient and kind and also very funny and warm and she TOTALLY wanted to be friends with me! Which was nice and always surprises me when that happens. (And probably always will.) Friend R. makes me want to freak out and cuss less because she is so calm and nice and sweet. (That makes her sound boring. SHE IS NOT BORING. She is WONDERFUL. She is a GOOD INFLUENCE.) It was nice to have her at work, especially on Saturdays when everything’s always so crazy, because when I started getting all frantic and freaked out and most people would be like “STAY AWAY FROM MT. ST. AMY! She’s about to BLOW!” Friend R. would just look at me and say, “Deep breaths, Amy. It’s ok.” And that’s all it would take. She would make me laugh at myself and things would be better. How many people do you know like that? I wish there were more of them. She is a good listener and gives wonderful advice and makes me laugh a lot and she’s super-intelligent and very good at her job and one of the hardest workers I know. And it makes me sad that she’s moving now, because I just got to know her, and we just did our first solo hanging-out thing, and other than I was super-tired so kind of cranky and had a mini-meltdown in the middle of it (SORRY R.!) I think it was not at all a bad time and if she was still living here we could do it again and we would have a good time and also have adventures and wouldn’t that be awesome? Yes, it would. So I will miss her so much. (And I was so hoping the paper would have run the photo of us at Wicked by now so I could show you, but apparently we didn’t make the cut. DAMMIT PAPER! That would have been an awesome photo here. Instead, here is a photo of a sad panda. R. leaving makes me sad panda.)

But she is going to continue working for us from a distance by using a laptop, so I will get to see her virtually that way, and also through the magic of the interwebs and email and Twitter and Facebook and texting and such. And she is moving to a wonderful opportunity to live with people she loves doing something she loves, so I am so, so happy for her and so proud of her, because she’s worked so hard for the past umpteen years to get herself to where she is now.

I will miss you, R.! Best of luck to you, and I can’t wait to hear all about your adventures, and Saturdays at work will not be the same without you there rolling your eyes with me at people’s shenanigans! Have the safest safe drive south and have the BEST BEST TIME in your new life! You deserve every wonderful thing!

And finally, I just want to say a gigantic thank you for everyone who voted for me in the Goodreads thingamabobber. I did not make it through to the final round, but the sole fact that I made it through to the round BEFORE the final round still fills me with all the glee. I love you all to pieces and cannot thank you enough. That my little old book made it to the top twenty poetry books of the year on Goodreads…well, that’s flabbergasting. It’s really amazing to me. Thank you so, so much. I’m not even disappointed. I didn’t think I’d make it as far as I did, anyway, you know? So, thank you. Thank you for getting me as far as you did. I mean it. ALL THE AIR-KISSES TO ALL OF YOU. (And pop on over and vote for The Bloggess’ book while you’re over there, because we want her to win in a landslide! But I am TORN because there’s also a Kevin Smith book in the same category. Sorry, Kevin Smith, I read The Bloggess’ book and have not read yours, I have to vote for her. I STILL LOVE YOU KEVIN SMITH!!!)

This was meant to be a thank you kitteh but this one was funnier. Please forgive.

Happy Tuesday, you beautiful people! Enjoy your day. Listen, it’s November and I’m totally in a t-shirt and jeans today. This weather is GORGEOUS. I love fall so much I want to marry it and have its BABIES.

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