Category Archives: trust

For an imaginary person, she totally seemed realistic. NICE JOB GOVERNMENT.

Happy Saturday! I SAID HAPPY SATURDAY. This is totally the time when you cheer or whoo-hoo or whatever it is you do to get pumped. Oh, fine, I’ll forgo the mandatory cheering. I mean, we don’t work at Walmart. We don’t have to do our team cheer. Shit, I don’t know your life, maybe some of you work at Walmart. I MEAN NO DISRESPECT TO YOU WALMART EMPLOYEES. You have a totally difficult job, that place must be the worst. SPEAKING OF WHICH. My dad used to work at Walmart? Right after he retired? Until he realized it was sucking out his soul through his pores to keep going to work there? And he had to participate in those? Only, well, he’s MY dad, and imagine how I’d respond to a group cheer, and then think about heredity, and you can imagine that totally went over like a lead balloon. He used to stand way off to the side, and when it came time to cheer or whatever they did, he’d stand behind a display so they wouldn’t see he wasn’t participating. I KNOW. Totally nefarious. I approve WHOLEHEARTEDLY.

OK, so as I’m sure the savvy among you have guessed (which, let’s just say it, that’s all of you, I don’t even have any non-savvy readers, I ONLY ATTRACT THE CREAM, BABY) (that totally sounded filthy-dirty, right? I didn’t mean cream like “cream your jeans” or something. I meant like the cream rises to the top. Man, but your minds are just the naughtiest!) I’m writing this Friday night for Saturday publication because I’m working all day Saturday with no internet access then I’m off to see Bebe Newirth and then, well, I’m going to get drunk and fall asleep, so really that doesn’t leave a lot of time for blogging. I know. I LOVE YOU ALL THAT MUCH. I’m totally giving you my Friday night. What’s that? What else was I going to do with it anyway? LISTEN SLAPPY. I could have done a LOT of things with it. Television shows to be watched, tweets to be tweeted, um…dishes to be…washed…FINE THIS WAS A REALLY GOOD OPTION.

I was going to do random-crap Saturday, but as I started writing I realized I totally had enough to say to make this a WHOLE POST. I really have a lot of words in my head. It’s a constant wonder to me that they don’t just run out.

So Friday, I had a very exciting thing happen. A VERY EXCITING THING! I know, right, you probably are thinking, “Pshaw, Amy lives like this totally exciting life, exciting things happen to her ALL THE TIME,” and, well, you’d be right, I mean, I can’t deny how rip-roaring outrageous it is being a very well-known blogger and all with the notoriety and such. I mean, just IMAGINE the exciting nights spent on the couch with my cat! Or PONDER the evenings where I’m tussling with my ancient computer trying to get it to work! IT IS MAGICAL.

Anyway! ANYWAY. So Friday, I was at the library. Speaking of which, I’m totally reading like a sloth lately. I’ve been stuck on the same book for like a MONTH. I am not even EXAGGERATING. And also reading all those horrible plays I mentioned earlier in the week. But the book I’m reading is very long and sometimes good but sometimes I just want to find the author and say, “YOU COULD HAVE CUT LIKE 500 PAGES DUDE” but I want to see what happens so yeah, A MONTH. And I’m like halfway through, I’m not even kidding. There goes my resolution to read more in 2012. But I keep reserving and taking books out of the library. Because someday I’ll finish this book. Right? I will, right? And in the meantime, those books just sit on my shelf. MOCKING ME. With their much-better book faces. DAMN YOU LONG BOOK. Although there was a somewhat-steamy scene with my favorite character today (whew, FINALLY, I love my taciturn Russian spy the most) so it might be looking up. Maybe.

And I checked into the library on Foursquare, because a., I’m totally affected and I think you all want to know what I’m doing like every second of every day because I’m JUST THAT INTERESTING and I know it’s going to either get me killed by a psychokiller or my house robbed one of these days but I JUST CAN’T STOP and b., I’m the frigging MAYOR of the library, I can’t just stop checking IN, who does that? I mean, I can’t lose my library mayorship. I’m the most proud of that. It’s like, you know how you people with children feel about your kids? That’s how I feel about my library mayorship. What? That’s sad and pathetic? SHUT IT JUDGEY. I won’t even tell you if I was being sarcastic about my mayorship equalling your children. I won’t even give you the SATISFACTION.

And then – THEN – (I know, you’re all, um, I was promised something exciting was going to happen? And so far…this kind of blows?) @RozinCP tweeted me that she was RIGHT NEXT DOOR to the library. Right next door! Well! That’s exciting, and look, see how handy Foursquare is, you Foursquare haters? How could she have done that if I hadn’t checked in? SHE COULDN’T SO SUCK IT. So I thought, that’s nice, and hey, listen, I love Roz.

OH! Side note. I totally love Roz? Because she is seriously the most positive person on Twitter. No, I’m totally serious. But not in that annoying, “ZOMG I saw a DOUBLE RAINBOW you guys I wish you were all here so I could give you DOUBLE HUGZZZ!” way, which makes me want to stab you with a protractor. No no no. She’s INTELLIGENT positive. She is supportive toward the people she follows; she is very intelligent; she reads and comments (beautifully, humorously, and grammatically!) on people’s blogs; and she’s just a joy. And listen, you know I hate like, oh, I don’t know, everyone, right? So this is totally a huge endorsement. Also, she approves of my wine addiction and sent me a song on John Lennon’s birthday because she knew I would love it. So if you’re a Twitter person, you should totally follow Roz. She’s the bomb.

So I thought, isn’t that nice, look, Roz is right next door! And I told her we should have lunch, because Roz is one of the Twitter people that I would like to meet in person. I mean, listen, there are Twitter people that should STAY on Twitter, like, ALL THE WAY OVER THERE PLEASE THANKS, then there are Twitter people that should become real life people? And Roz is the latter.

Oh, and also, I’ve mentioned this, but my dad’s convinced all the internet people are imaginary. I’m not sure if he thinks they’re all figments of MY imagination, or if some shadowy government agency has made them all up and is tweeting and texting and blog-commenting and such as them or what, but he’s always saying how you all aren’t real. So you know, there’s that to consider. AND there’s how my brother said you all had one hand.


So first I was a little scared, no, not of Roz, but because I’m kind of a weirdo and was afraid I would scare poor Roz, and also I have ALL THE SOCIAL ANXIETY OMGWTFBBQ, and then I thought, NO AMY YOU ARE AWESOME, so that was totally my pep talk. Listen, I’ll give you a pep talk for free if you need one, you know, if we’re friends. I’m very good at them. I cuss a lot in them, though. Just a warning.

She said she was going in and she was wearing a red coat and a red hat and so I ran out of my car and there was Roz! Ta da ta daaaa! I may or may not have scared her by saying, “RED COAT!” loudly as if I had Tourette’s but we moved past that. She’s very gracious. And we had a lovely but all-too-brief conversation in the lobby of the library (because I had to go back to work…grumble) and probably that was asshatty because I think you’re supposed to be quiet there. I mean, Roz was quiet. Well, that sounds weird. She wasn’t a low-talker. She was a NORMAL talker. I wasn’t quiet, though. I’m totally hyper. You know that, right? I have this one friend that is always shushing me. It’s like a knee-jerk response with her. Even when I’m not being loud. She’ll just go “shhh” when I start talking, like pre-emptively shush me. At first this annoyed me, then I realized, it was done with LOVE. Love for my loudness! Because for all the times she’s shushed me, I’ve never once toned it down. Yet we’re still friends! That’s love, people.

So! I met a real life internet person! And we had a nice chat and she is SO NICE, you guys! She wasn’t even a psychokiller even a LITTLE bit! She was just as nice in person as she is on the internet! I know, that never happens. This might be unprecedented. And listen, I gave her two hugs. TWO HUGS! So that kind of made me like the double-rainbow-hug-asshole above but I was so excited to meet a possibly-imaginary internet person that my default setting was “hug,” apparently. ALL THE HUGS. AND! Listen, Dad! SHE WASN’T IMAGINARY.

Also, when I talked to my dad about this tonight, here was our conversation:

Me: So, I met a Twitter person today. In real LIFE.
Dad: On purpose?
Me: Um…not by accident, how weird would that be? Yes. On purpose.
Dad: Were they a killer?
Me: Well, I can’t speak for everyone she’s ever met, but I’m obviously still alive.
Dad: You can’t just go meet internet people. They’ll murder you.
Me: I didn’t just go MEET her. We happened to be in the same place at the same time. And she wasn’t a killer. AND she wasn’t even imaginary.
Dad: Oh, I don’t know. The government can make you see what they want you to see.
Me: What does that even mean?
Dad: Shh. I think I’ve said too much.

I also totally told Roz I was going to blog about her and she said that was cool with her. So hi, Roz! And thank you for meeting me! I hope I wasn’t too scary! And my hair wasn’t too insane! And my eyes weren’t too crazy! But even if they were, thank you for not being scared of me in person!

Now I KNOW you are all totally jealous and want to meet me in person? And that’s so nice! But you cannot. Because I am a recluse. Yes, like a recluse spider. Only less eight-legged. I mean, local people, you can totally meet me if you come to my theater? For Rumors? Starting February 10th? At Albany Civic Theater? Because I will be stage managing and running the lights and the sound and if you come to my show I will TOTALLY give you AT LEAST two hugs because patrons of the arts deserve at least two hugs. NO NOT YOU DING DONG JOE. You’d just be there FOR the hugs, and listen, that’s totally creeptastic. You get ZERO hugs. And also maybe a restraining order. But the rest of you? Hug city. And you far-away people? Aw, sad pandas. If it makes you feel any better, I promise I’m totally exhausting after like half an hour and you’d wish you never met me at all because it’s like carrying on a conversation with a hamster with ADD. I mean, I SEEM awesome at first, like, oh, OK, here, it’s like, you know when you’re totally wanting something like mozzarella sticks and then you think about them and think about them and THINK about them and then you’re all “I WILL DIE IF I DON’T GET MOZZARELLA STICKS” so then you GORGE on mozzarella sticks and then you’re totally disgusted because they’re kind of greasy and you wonder what you were thinking to begin with? Yeah, I’m kind of like a mozzarella stick? I seem like a great idea at the time, and I can TOTALLY be delicious. Only in teeny, tiny doses. Also, I’m better with some spicy marinara.

Anyway, ROZ! Thank you for making my Friday a happy one and for making my first real life ZOMG Twitter meetup a total success whoo-hoo!

Happiest of weekends to you all! Oh, and remember! Not all the internet people are as awesome and normal and non-killery as Roz? SO USE CAUTION MY LITTLE HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOWS. I don’t want anyone psychokilled and their last words to be “But Amy at Lucy’s Football said meeting internet people was AWESOME so I met SirHumpsaLot in the abandoned parking lot where the Blockbuster used to be…cough…cough…ugh” because I would feel HORRIBLE. So be careful. Rule of thumb? Bring a weapon, unless you’re meeting Roz, or one of my friends, because, other than a few shady characters (contact me privately, I’ll totally give you a list of the assholes) my friends are TOP-NOTCH.

SMOOCHES. Happy day to you all!

You Knew What I Was When You Picked Me Up

This is the Deathstalker scorpion. It can kill a man. Also, "Deathstalker." Most awesome name of anything, EVER.

I try to remember the scorpion when I’m going about my daily business.

You all know the story, right? I wasn’t aware until I started looking into it, but apparently it’s really, really old. Like, third-century-B.C. old. So, back in the third century, before Jesus was all water-into-wining and whatnot, people were talking about the scorpion and the frog. Or sometimes, the scorpion and the turtle, but I’m going with frog, because frogs are softer and easier to injure.

And yet we never fucking learn.

In case you didn’t click above (and LISTEN YAHOOS, I look at my clicks, and I notice you are not clicking, and that is just SO SAD, are your clickers broken? Is it the fact that, like my brother says, you all have one hand? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?) I will tell you the story of the scorpion and the frog. But, Amy-style, because listen, what’s not better, Amy-style? Very little, is the answer.

Once upon a time in a kingdom nowhere near the sea, there lived a frog. The frog was a damn dirty hippie, all “peace love DOPE!” and shit, and hopping along all willy-nilly and probably dropping acid or whatever damn dirty hippie-frogs do, I don’t know, whatever, wearing frog peace-beads and stinking up the joint with frog-patchouli or some such nonsense. One day, Hippie Frog decided, “Duuuude, I think I’ll swim over this here river, see what’s on the other side, maybe they got some better grass, you dig?” So he got all ready to do so, and a scorpion came up to him.

“Dearest frog, with your lovely scent of, oh, what is that, patchouli? How utterly delightful,” said the scorpion. “I am a very poor swimmer, being a scorpion. Perhaps you, as a frog of many talents, one of which being superior aquaticism, would be willing to give me a ride on your back across this wild and woolly river?”

Hippie Frog, even through his dope-haze, was savvy to this jive. “Whoa, wait a minute, you’re a SCORPION,” he said. “I know what will happen. I’ll get halfway across the river, and you’ll sting me and I’ll die. You can’t fool ME, scorpion-dude. I wasn’t born YESTERDAY, you know.”

The scorpion nodded sagely. “Well-played, Sir Frog, well-played indeed. Yes, it is true. I, as a scorpion, am known for my fearsome stinger. Yet, it would not behoove me to sting you while we were crossing the river. We would both perish, if I were to do that; so, you can see, you have nothing to lose, and only my friendship to gain, by assisting me in my traveling task. I promise your safety, my good man, on our mutual river crossing. On that you have my word as a scorpion. My, but those are lovely beads, did you get them at that precious corner headshop run by that psychoactive toad?”

Well, Hippie Frog so wanted to be helpful. And the scorpion had a good point! And he had PROMISED! And what if, after the river crossing, he and the scorpion could become friends? It would be like a little project! He could win where everyone else had failed! It would be epic! Songs would be sung! Stories would be told!

“Hop on scorpion-friend,” the frog said. “Let’s get to swimmin’.”

So Hippie Frog started swimming, his head full of dreams: oh, the friendship he and his BFF the scorpion would have! The picnics they would go on together! The inside jokes they would crack! The double dates they would venture out upon! People would be so jealous of such a close friendship; even more so, because the frog had been brave, and had won over the scorpion. Hippie Frog knew that everyone said the scorpion was bad news, but that was just idle talk, nothing more. I mean, seriously, dude! This was going – pun most definitely intended – SWIMMINGLY!


“Um, scorpion-dude, did you just sting me?” Hippie Frog asked, his head starting to get fuzzy, his arms and legs starting to fail in their perfect froggy breaststroke. “Why? Why? You promised. YOU PROMISED!”

“Ah, yes, that I did,” the scorpion said, and Hippie Frog thought he even seemed a little sad as his eyesight started to go and they both started to go under. “But, Sir Frog, I’m a scorpion. You knew that, going into it. It’s in my nature.”

Now, this story’s been told in a variety of ways, and in a variety of places – the movie Natural Born Killers (LOVE), the movie The Crying Game (remember how we all tried not to spoil that for each other when it first came out? Aw, weren’t we all so cute, pre-interwebs?), the movie Skin Deep (no idea what this even is and don’t care enough to research it) and Star Trek: Voyager (sorry, not a Star Trek person, but I’m sure someone reading this is and remembers it from there.) I, oddly enough, first heard it in a sermon in church, so you know it was a long time ago, before me stepping foot into church would mean me going up in a pillar of flame. Yeah, I know. I have no idea what it was referring to, or how it tied into God or whatever. I just remember listening to the story and thinking shit, but that explains a lot, yo.

There’s also the snake/girl version, which I actually like even more:

A girl finds a viper freezing to death in the snow. “Please,” the snake says, with its last breath. “Please, pick me up and put me in your coat. If you do not, surely I will die.”

The girl is afraid, and rightfully so. I mean, she’s not a honey badger. Venom would kill her, not just make her take a brief nap.

“I can’t, you’ll bite me and I’ll die,” she says.

“No, I would never,” the snake says. “I’d be eternally grateful to you for saving my life. Please. Please help me. You’re my only hope.”

The girl, who wants to be a good girl, always and forever, and you know, like girls do, can’t turn down a plea for help, because that’s just BAD and that’s just WRONG, scoops up the snake and nestles it close to her heart, and begins to walk home, so proud of herself for how giving and kind and righteous she is.

After a bit, the snake begins to warm up. After a bit more, the snake opens its jaws and sinks its teeth into the girl’s breast.

As the girl sinks to her knees in the snow, she cries, “Why? I saved you. I saved you. Why would you do this to me?”

Simply, the snake says, “You knew what I was when you picked me up.”

I think of this story a lot.

I think of this story when someone tells me that the guy they’ve been living with for two years, who’s always been kind of a cock and always been kind of yelly is STILL a cock and is STILL yelly and it finally got to the point where they couldn’t take it anymore so they moved out and why didn’t he change? Why didn’t he stop being a cock? Why didn’t he stop being yelly?

Verdict: You knew he was a scorpion when you moved in with him.

I think of this story when someone says they were roped into an online scheme and got their entire bank account wiped out, and YES, it seemed like a really, really good deal, but they just thought, hey, I finally got lucky, for once! It’s my turn! It’s my time! And they heard horror stories from people who went through similar things, but they were all, IT WON’T HAPPEN TO ME!

Verdict: You knew it was a scorpion when you gave it your bank account information.

I think of this story when someone says they met someone who had a girlfriend, and they were the “other woman” for a while, and then he finally broke up with his girlfriend, and things were SO STELLAR ZOMG for a while, and they were SO HAPPY, and then he started being shady, and getting a lot of texts, and making these weird phone calls, and having to work late, and then he broke up with them for ANOTHER WOMAN.

Verdict: You knew he was a scorpion when you started sleeping with him behind his girlfriend’s back.

I think of this story when someone tells me that their heart is broken because they fell in love with someone who flat-out TOLD them they didn’t want a relationship, that it was just a friends-with-benefits thing, but they thought, “NO! It’ll CHANGE! He’ll fall in LOVE with me, once we’ve been doing this long enough! He’s just SAYING that! It’s what guys SAY!”

Verdict: You knew he was a scorpion when he straight-up told you his intentions for the relationship and you chose to ignore them.

Now, not every situation is a “you knew he was a scorpion” situation. Sometimes, the scorpions hide and lurk and they don’t announce themselves. Sometimes, you’re dating someone for a while and then BAM you find out they’ve had a girlfriend or wife the whole time. In that case, you DIDN’T know he was a scorpion. THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT. However, now that you KNOW he is a scorpion, you cannot blame anyone but yourself for sticking around waiting to get stung again.

Or sometimes, the person wasn’t a scorpion the whole time! Sometimes, the person just POW! BECOMES a scorpion! It is not predictable, and again, NOT YOUR FAULT. But now you know. And once you know, IT IS TIME TO GO. Don’t beat yourself up; just pack your bags and hit the road, Jack or Jacqueline, you don’t need to be hanging around there waiting for the stinger to drop. If you do, you’re going to be sinking to the bottom of the river like that dirty patchouli-reeking hippie-frog.

The problem, as I see it, is that we, as a species, both men and women, like to think we’re special. We’re brought up (more so now, not so much, say, in my parents’ generation) that we’re all such special damn snowflakes. And, when presented with a challenge, or a project, or a “climb every mountaaaiiiiinnnnn”, or whatever, we want to be the one. We want to say, “Yeah, Jimmy was a total player, until he met me. And then I was THE ONE! And he totally calmed right down, and now he’s just the best family man!” Or “Jane was all career and dating when I met her, but once we got together, she’s all about being a mom and I mean, seriously, smokin’-hot, too, am I right? She’s ALL MINE and I am WINNING.” We want to be the one who wins; we want to be the only one who could tame the scorpion. WE ARE INDIVIDUAL AND SPECIAL AND UNIQUE DAMMIT.

We like a project, we like a fixer-upper, because then we can say we did it, we fixed it up, we can take pride in having done that, we can be the winner, it is ours now. And we like to be the ONLY one who could do that.

Thing is, it blows up in our faces, more often than not. It’s an effing scorpion, you idiot. It’s not going to calm down. You’re not the Scorpion Whisperer. I mean, I suppose there’s a chance you MIGHT be, but that chance is pretty remote. Like, snowball-in-hell, melting-all-over, isn’t-this-just-like-the-worst-mess-you’ve-ever-seen remote.

I’m totally a victim of this. I’m not going to lie and tell you “I AM TOTALLY ABOVE ALL OF THIS SO LISTEN TO WHAT I SAY I AM THE BEST THING.” Nope. I’m not always the most SYMPATHETIC to the people who pick up scorpion after scorpion, but I’m a victim of it too, sorry to tell you. I’m not Superwoman. I like a project. I like to win. I get sucked into bringing the scorpion across the friggin’ river time and again, I’ll admit it right up front. Just when I think I recognize the scorpion right away, the scorpion changes and comes at me in a different scorpion-disguise and I’m all “HEADDESK! OH, YOU STUPID TRICKY-ASS SCORPION.”

But I try to remember the scorpion. I try to tell myself, listen, THAT IS A SCORPION. Because if you pick up a scorpion, there really is no one to blame but yourself. You can’t blame a scorpion; that’s its nature. Here, I’ll give it to you in all-caps, set apart from everything else:


Whether you’re a hippie-frog or a girl with a snake in her coat or a grown-ass woman, you’re going to get stung.

Solution: watch out for the scorpions. If you listen, they announce themselves. Then get the hell away from the scorpions.

Seems simple, but isn’t always. Your stupid heart often gets in the way. But I promise: you’re better off not carrying scorpions across the river or snakes in your coat. The outcome is kind of already determined for you.

I mean, except if you’re a hippie-frog, then maybe you deserved it. Patchouli is the worst.

Common Sense: Genius, Dressed Up in Its Working Clothes

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about common sense.

Like, some people have this in spades, and some people – well, they just don’t. And I guess sometimes, depending on the person, that’s cute. You know, like some people, you’re all, “Aw! That’s so Raven,” or whatever. And sometimes you want to kick them in the head and tell them to smarten up, because survival of the fittest, bucko, go for a long walk in the woods and don’t bring a compass and I hear there are bears because you’re really too dumb to live.

I think I kind of fall in the middle. About most things, I am eminently practical. I inherited a very common-sensical gene from both parents. They don’t see a lot of magic, my parents, in things. They see things as they are. If there is a problem: how can they solve it, or, if it can’t be solved, that is too bad about that problem. I got a lot of that from them.

Then somehow I got, also, this weird insane throwback hippie gene where some people would see a tree and I’d see a magic portal into another universe, and who knows where that came from. I can’t explain that one. No one on either side of my family is really all that prone to flights of fantasy. I blame too many books as a child. Well, not “blame.” It’s not a blame-thing. Can you even imagine how boring life would be if you DIDN’T look at a cat and imagine it wearing a little suit of clothing and a mustache every once and a while? SO boring, is the answer.

Now, I am not qualified to get all Heinakroon on you, because he’s a hell of a lot smarter than I am, and I think if I tried to get all sciency, I’d sound like I was speaking gibberish, but apparently, those of us (own horn, toot toot, sorry) with high IQ’s are predisposed to override our common sense when making decisions. There are those of us who are able to do both, but apparently we’re a “rare breed of genius.” I can only do both SOME of the time. I’m an OCCASIONAL rare breed of genius, I guess.

Now, that’s nice, and, in my life, having known a lot of very intelligent people (like calls to like, I think, and I really enjoy the company of intelligent people, because what the hell do I have to talk about with people who are dummies? Nothing, is what) I have to agree with this, for the most part – we do some really, really boneheaded things, from time to time. The statement “For such a smart person, that was a really dumb move” comes up a lot in reference to both myself and my friends. You know, like a “headdesk” moment, if you’re internet-savvy? It’s a total headdesk moment. I’m not saying we have them ALL THE TIME. Just more than you’d think a person should. It’s not that we’re dumb, I don’t think. It’s that we have a LOT ON OUR MINDS. And that we’re really busy using up those brain cells for other things, so we do things like fall down staircases, or drive into signposts, or file an entire cart of files incorrectly, or something along those lines. Not that any of those things have happened to me. Those were PURELY HYPOTHETICAL THINGS.

But not everyone is this absent-minded professor type. I mean, MOST people aren’t this absent-minded professor type, right? I mean, I looked this up, and the average person has an IQ of about 100, and that’s like, middle-of-the-road IQ. That’s like the normal-person IQ. That’s nothing to be ashamed of, people with this IQ! That’s perfectly acceptable! It is JUST A NUMBER! Anyway, so that’s the average person, and they’re not all brilliant and shit. So what the hell’s wrong with them and why don’t they have any common sense?

Things that have confused me lately that seem to be total common sense:

  • People not looking, like, at ALL, when they drive, so there are a lot of people getting hit and killed in crosswalks, and then they interview the driver and the driver’s all “I didn’t even SEE her!” and they interview a bystander and the bystander’s all “Um, the pedestrian was wearing hot pink and waving a huge flag, I don’t know how the driver missed her.” Common sense thing: LOOKING BEFORE YOU DRIVE THROUGH A CLEARLY MARKED CROSSWALK, you’re driving a CAR, for the love of Pete
  •  People being confused when their identity is stolen, but they say things like “but that person seemed totally trustworthy that I MET ONLINE so I gave them my Social Security number.” Common sense thing: Realizing that the internet is where liars live, and not trusting anyone there with anything too important, like your social security number, your home address, your date of birth, or the location of where you’ve buried your gold bricks.
  • Calling your doctor’s office/garage/HVAC technician’s office at 5:30 pm on a Saturday and being both confused AND upset they’re not open. Common sense thing: Have you heard the term “business hours?” Yep. So have BUSINESSES.
  • Getting really pissed at “the man” for things that are your fault: speeding tickets, parking tickets, tickets for not moving over for emergency vehicles, etc. Common sense thing: You know the damn law, and if you don’t, you shouldn’t be driving, really. You agreed to follow the law when you got behind the wheel. Who likes tickets? No one. But you played, so now you pay, Jackass Jones. That isn’t the cop’s fault, as much as they annoy me sometimes, too. They have a job to do, same as you do, whatever your job is, being entitled, or whatever. Your best revenge? Don’t give them a REASON to ticket you. Then they leave EMPTY-HANDED. Muah-hah-hah.
  • Getting to the register at a store after waiting in a long line and taking an hour to get out your money, your credit card, your store rewards card, your coupons, whatever. Common sense thing: YOU HAD SO MUCH TIME WHILE YOU WERE WAITING. Why didn’t you use your time productively? Listen, at any given time? I’m doing like SEVENTEEN THINGS. I don’t think I haven’t been multitasking once for the past YEAR. I’m usually even doing something while I SLEEP. You can’t be bothered to pull out your money while you wait in line? You know what that says to me? “You, people behind me, and you, person behind the register, your TIME, it means NOTHING to me. I am Oz! The Great and Terrible! And all you are is dust in the wind!” Eff you, babe.
  • And don’t even get me started about relationships. They’re tougher, because common sense totally goes out the window when sex gets thrown in the mix (see Heinakroon’s post about sexy monkeys if you want more information on this, because, as stated, he’s sciency and I’m just rambly) and I get it, it’s tough when your penis or vagina are doing the thinking for you. I get it. I do. They are LOUD TALKERS and use ANIMATED HAND GESTURES and it’s VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO IGNORE THEM. I am not exempt, my little tomatillos. But sometimes don’t you just want to shake someone – or, hell, YOURSELF, when it’s a relationshippy thing and it’s stupid and it’s common-effing-SENSE that it’s bad news or the same shit over and over and yet you or the person who’s come to you for advice or whoever the person in question is just keeps dorby-dorbing forward, ignoring the “caution!” and the “dropoff ahead” and the “DANGER WILL ROBINSON” signage? Common sense thing: Shit, I don’t know. Don’t get into relationships would seem to be the answer, but that’s just sad. Avoid assholes? How about avoid assholes. There. That’ll be easy, right? RIGHT. Sigh.

There are millions more. MILLIONS more. Like, more than I even care to THINK about, more. I mean, that’s what the Darwin Awards are about every year, right? Like, common sense things? And people dying because they don’t have any? Common sense, I mean?

So what’s going on, exactly? Is it that we all have a million things on our minds, and we’re all so distracty that common sense goes right out the window? Is it that we’re so all self-entitled that we just don’t give a shit about anyone else’s comfort, or time, or, in some extreme cases, people’s LIVES, so it’s not so much that we’re not using our common-sense-bones, it really has nothing to do with common sense at all, it’s just rudeness, pure and simple, we just don’t give a shit because it’s ALL ABOUT US ALL THE TIME? I’m completely serious. @heinakroon! You need to be sciency about this, because I don’t have that kind of brain. I’m not saying I was BAD in science, I was actually very GOOD in science, but this is already too long and it’s making my head hurt. You’re good at making things organize-y. ORGANIZE THIS FOR ME @HEINAKROON.

As for me, I’m going to be 85% practical and 15% seeing sparkly things in the clouds, which seems like a decent mix, overall? Because we all need a little magic. But also, I think we need some hard-headed practicality, because it’s the practical people who are getting shit done while the sparkly rainbow magic people are riding invisible unicorns, you know?

And I’m going to look out for signposts and try not to drive into them this year, because those things come out of NOWHERE sometimes. Damn, yo.

(Title from a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote. I’m on a poet kick! No, I do NOT recommend you kick a poet. STOP KICKING POETS.)

She/He/It’s Not There

A few weeks ago, I watched the movie Catfish for the first time. I know, I know, it came out over a year and a half ago. See, here’s the thing. I don’t go to the movies very often. There are a few reasons for this:

·    Movies are expensive, and I am poor. If I wait, I can get the DVD free from the library.
·    I have social anxiety, and going to the movies and sitting in a room with a bunch of strangers stresses me out. Also, once I went to the movies and sat next to a guy (and apparently, according to a friend who works in a theater, this is a whole subculture of people) who kept rubbing against my leg. He wouldn’t stop. The movie was sold out and there was nowhere for me to move and I really wanted to watch the movie. Finally I kicked him really, really hard and he stopped but he spent the rest of the film leering at me in the dark. Ever since, I’ve had a bit of an issue with the movie theater, so if I do go, I’m very picky about what I see, and I go after the movie’s been out for a while, at a showing where there won’t be many people.
·    People are rude in the theater. They text, talk on their phones, and talk loudly to their friends. If I paid that much money, I want the theater dark and quiet. I don’t have the right to shush everyone who makes a noise, so I’d rather watch the movie in my own apartment.
·    I have undiagnosed ADD and like to get up and roam around randomly. I also often miss dialogue. I like being able to pause and rewind if I need to. 

Therefore, a year and a half late, you get my thoughts on Catfish. Lucky you! 

Before I begin, this is going to be spoilerriffic. And if you haven’t seen the movie, and are planning to, it’s really better if you’re not spoiled. So stop reading now. Read someone else’s blog. I give you permission. Just come back tomorrow; I’m sure I’ll be complaining about something else then. 

The basic plot of the movie is this: a NYC photographer (Nev) whose brother is a filmmaker (the one making the documentary) starts getting paintings in the mail from a young girl (Abby) who is a fan of his photographs. He friends Abby on Facebook. Nev gets in deeper and deeper, eventually friending Abby’s entire family on Facebook, and falling in love with her older half-sister, Megan. They exchange steamy texts, emails and phone calls until he starts finding inconsistencies in her story. He and his brother go to Michigan to talk to Megan, where they find out that a. Angela, Abby and Megan’s mother, has been not only doing the paintings that Abby’s supposedly been doing, she’s been doing it all – all of the family Facebook pages, the emails, phone calls, and texts, everything. Abby exists, but she doesn’t even know that Nev exists and she doesn’t paint. Angela says she’s dying of cancer and that Megan is in rehab, but come to find out there’s no cancer and there’s no Megan. The photographs of Megan that Nev’s been drooling over are random photographs of someone who didn’t protect their Facebook account. 

Now, I watched this with a lot of thoughts in my head. Of course, my first thought was, “Is this REAL?” Research tells me – maybe. The filmmakers (of course) say it was, every bit of it. Well, their success hinges on that, so of course they’re going to say that. They could say it was a docudrama, but it’s a lot more affecting if they say it really happened. Many websites popped up refuting various points of the film. My personal thought? Probably not real, but not for the reasons others have brought up. I didn’t research my reason for deciding it was a fake, albeit a very entertaining one. 

The reason I decided it was fake? No savvy New Yorker in 2007 (I believe that’s when they said the events in the movie started taking place; I might be wrong about this, but it was approximately in that time frame) is so naïve that they don’t Google someone they’re falling in love with online. Someone without much access to the Internet – sure, it might happen. But a New Yorker, with an Iphone and a laptop and all kinds of technology, who doesn’t do his research? Completely rings false to me. 

Simply Melme talked about life online so much more eloquently than I could yesterday on her blog and touched on this, a bit – we don’t ever know who we’re talking to online. On Facebook, odds are good that the person that friended you is the person you know, so you feel a little more secure. Well, at least I do. But I’m weird about my Facebook account. I only friend people I’ve met in person at least once. I don’t have a single Facebook friend I haven’t met in person. I apparently am one of the only people that does this – and I know that doing this makes me a weirdo anal old-lady technophobe – and now that I’m active on Twitter, I am cautiously contemplating extending my Facebook network to Twitter friends (although, am I the only person who gets nervous about sending friend requests? I’m fairly new to Facebook – I know, it’s surprising, I’m a late-bloomer, technology-wise – so for the rest of you, it’s probably second nature, but I can’t help but feeling, every time I send a friend request, “wouldn’t this person have already sent me a friend request if they wanted to be my friend?” Then I think, “What if they’re thinking the same thing? Then we’d be at kind of a Mexican standoff, Facebook wise.” Then I send it, usually, but I wait nervously to see if it’s accepted. Are the rest of you as neurotic about it as I am? No? Just me? Fine. Moving on, then.) 

On Twitter, though, you don’t know who you’re talking to. I get that. And it’s ok, for the most part. I mean, what does it matter if I’m having a conversation about A Game of Thrones with someone who says they’re a young woman from Ohio who’s really an old man from Washington? I don’t talk about anything obscene – if anyone started that kind of conversation with me, they’d get blocked, because that’s rude and totally not what I’m there for, I’m way too old for pervy skanky sex-talk with strangers – so although yes, it’s nice to know who you’re talking to, and to believe that the person you’re talking to is telling you the truth, you go into the situation (as, honestly, I do with most situations – I’m as cautious about my life as a Vietnam vet with PTSD) with that in mind and one eye on the exit at all times. Is it sad you can’t ever completely relax? Yes. But that’s life, you know? It’s the way things are. I haven’t completely relaxed in years. I wouldn’t know how. 

Nev in Catfish (yes, I haven’t forgotten, I’m going back to it, just give me time), whether the movie was true or not, blindly trusted someone he met online. He had frank sexual talks with this person (um, Nev, you’ve seen To Catch a Predator, right? OK. Just checking. The person could have been 14, just to be clear, here. You wouldn’t know. YOU DIDN’T GOOGLE THEM.) For the love of Pete, I Google everything and everyone. I self-Google. I Googled the damn filmmakers after I finished the movie! Doesn’t everyone do this? Not only did he not, it was never even brought up as a possibility! 

However, this topic has been covered before. First by Armistead Maupin in The Night Listener in 2000 (and in the movie of the same name in 2006); then in Rosie O’Donnell’s book  Find Me from 2002. In both books, a similar situation occurs – someone claims to be someone they’re not and pulls the subject into a web of lies and deceit.  Both books are non-fiction; therefore, people more famous than Nev have been fooled by psychopaths (and didn’t do their Google homework.)  

I guess we’re a trusting people, overall? Maybe that’s my problem. I’m not. At all. Not even the tiniest bit.  I always score badly on those damn personality tests because I’m not in the least bit trusting. You give me a present and I want to know, immediately, what you want in return for it. I think those of us who have been burned badly in the past are like that – we’re like dogs who have been kicked too many times to ever trust that the hand coming at us wants to pet us this time, so we either cower or we attack. Fool me once, shame on you – you know the rest (even if Dubya doesn’t.) 

Apparently, at Sundance, when someone confronted the filmmakers about the film being false, they pulled a classic Shakespearean move and protested too much, whipping the crowd into a frenzy with “WELL! If it’s FAKE, then my brother Nev is the next MARLON BRANDO! Give it up for NEV!” and managed to drown out the critic’s voice with the attendant clapping.  

Make up your own mind, if you watch. I have. It’s an entertaining film, but I don’t think it’s real. Not in this day and age, not with these people, not with our use of technology and fear of the unknown. 

Also, you Google that shit. That is what you do. He was lucky Megan wasn’t real and a serial killer, for all the research he did.

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