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Category Archives: video

The Agony and The Ecstasy of Having a Very Popular Name, Part Two

Well, we learned a lot on Saturday.

  • I was supposed to be Amos. I would have been a hayseed with overalls, most likely. Driving a tractor.
  • There are a lot of songs with my name in the title; however, they are not all good. Or even slightly tolerable.
  • I like the name Ermentrude.
  • “Amy” is a very rah-rah-sis-boom-bah cheerleader name, and, as discussed, I am anything but rah-rah. I’m more growl-growl.

I meant to discuss what my CRITERIA were, in the last post, for what makes a very good Amy-song. But got distracted. Probably by that song where that guy said he was in a band, but it was just him, and he purported to have been making out with someone named Amy by the water but I think we can all agree no one ever made out with him willingly.

Criteria for a good Amy-song:

  • Catchy.
  • Extra points for it being romantic. (I’m a total sucker for sad songs.)
  • A song that, were someone to woo me with it, I would totally be wooed. TOTALLY be wooed. (Knowing an Amy-song is a total romantic coup with me.)
  • Says “Amy” not ONLY in the title, but in the lyrics as well.

Otherwise – well, it’s kind of nebulous. It’s tough to say what kind of song will work for me and what won’t.

So, let’s see what we have today! Ready for more Amy-songs? YAY! ME TOO!

“Amy’s Back in Austin” – Little Texas

This man has a most prodigious mullet.

This song is foolish, and I care not for it at all. It’s not good, and the story isn’t very interesting. A girl and a guy move away together but then they break up and she moves away and he misses her! Um. BORING.

Check out that mullet, though.

SIDE NOTE: I am quite desperate to visit Austin, Texas. I think Austin and I would get along very well.

Grade: C

“Amy’s Song” – Joshua Radin

(Side note: I have a huge crush on Joshua Radin. I love his voice and I think he’s utterly adorable. He was in the season finale of Cougar Town – YES, I watch that, SHUT UP, it is HILARIOUS – and he was just supposed to be some guy on the street, you weren’t supposed to RECOGNIZE him, and I was all “ZOMG JOSHUA RADIN!” and I played that part over and over about seven times.)

That being said, I don’t love this song. It’s only an Amy-song in the title, and it’s kind of annoying and a little whiny. That makes me sad. I had high hopes for this, being my man Joshua Radin and all. Sorry, Joshua Radin. I will, however, still listen to “You Got Growin’ Up to Do” over and over some days. It’s a thing I do.

Grade: B-

“Amie” – Pure Prairie League

(Side note: YOU ALL THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO LEAVE THIS ONE OFF! I was saving it for TODAY!)

This may well be my favorite Amy-song of all time. I discovered this on a road trip when I was in college. And I played it OVER AND OVER AND OVER. I love the twangy country of it; I love the repeated use of “Amie,” I love “I keep fallin’ in and out of love with you,” I love near the end where he sings “longer if I do, yeah, now.”

I have a friend who sings part of this to me whenever he sees me. A lot of people don’t like this person. I think possibly part of why I like him so much is that everytime I see him, I know he’s going to sing “I think I could stay with you, for a while, maybe longer if I do” to me.

I’m easily won over.

Grade: A+

“Amy’s Song” – Switchfoot

Oh, my goodness, this isn’t very good, is it? I don’t like these people’s voices and I don’t like the lyrics. I don’t know what it’s supposed to be saying. This Amy left and she left quite an impression? I guess? This is not a very good song. I’ve never heard of this band. Is anyone reading this a fan of this band? If so, can you explain to us why you’ve made this choice?

Grade: D

“Amy” – Paul Petersen

WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE. This is the kind of music a serial killer plays right before he slices your face into a permanent smile and dances around you wearing a kimono. This is…a song about a child in love with a grownup? Maybe? This singer seems to want Amy to go to jail for statutory rape. I DO NOT APPROVE OF THIS PAUL PETERSEN. Listen to how he moans “Amy” at the end. IT IS THE WORST.

(Also, check out his face on that album cover, and the titles of his other songs. “My Dad.” “She Can’t Find Her Keys.” I feel like he’s a joke singer on a Saturday Night Live skit.)

Grade: F

“Amie” – Damien Rice

(Side note: I am crazy for Damien Rice. CRAZY. I sometimes listen to his music on a continuous loop all day at work. Like, ALL DAY. If you want to woo me, play me Damien Rice. Sincerely. The love and pain and longing in this man’s voice just fills my whole chest up.)

I love this song. This is a beautiful, sad song. Like most Damien Rice songs, this is a love song where something is lost. I feel like all Damien Rice songs are about losing someone. When I’m sad over the end of something, I tend to listen to a LOT of Damien Rice. (Well, more than I usually do, which is a lot.) It’s not as good as some of his other songs – I can’t choose between “Rootless Tree,” “The Blower’s Daughter,” “Volcano,” and “9 Crimes” for my favorite Damien Rice song, because they’re all utterly the most brilliant things ever.

Grade: A

“Song for Amy” – Jack Ingram

This song is bland. If this song was a food, it would be cottage cheese. If this song was a weather, it would be sixty degrees. If this song was a television show, it would be a documentary about the production of cutlery.

Confession: I couldn’t even listen to all of this. It was putting me to sleep.

Grade: C-

“She’s No Amy” – Ryan Turner

I don’t like this very much, but it makes me sad. I feel bad for the not-Amy in this song. Because I’ve totally been the not-Amy, and I’ve been the person putting someone else through the not-Amy hoops, waiting for the Amy to come home.

Emotions are terrible things sometimes, aren’t they?

He has a nice enough voice, I suppose. And it’s not a TERRIBLE song. It’s just not the best written thing in the land. But whoo. Memories.

Grade: B-

“Amy” – Ryan Adams

(Side note: I adore Ryan Adams. He sings my favorite song of all time. There are a million billion songs in the world, and he sings the one I love most out of ALL of them. No, I can’t tell you what it is. It’s just for me. Also, he’s a talented singer and songwriter and gives an excellent concert and used to have just the best beard and you know my beard-thing.)

All of that being said, I don’t love this song. I think it’s because the BEST SONG IN THE WORLD has ruined all other Ryan Adams songs for me. This is ok, but I know he can do better, so I’m not blown away.

Grade: B+

“Once in Love with Amy” – Frank Sinatra

(Side note: A lot of other people have covered this over the years, too, but if there’s a version with my man Frank, we’re listening to it.)

This is my other favorite Amy-song. It makes me so happy. Even though it’s a little confusing. Because if you listen to the lyrics closely, it tells you all the things you can do with this Amy – kiss her and romance her and buy her things – but she’s still in love with the singer. So why is she letting these other beaus do these things with her? That seems whorey. Stop cheating on your singer, other-Amy.

Eh, no matter. I am in love with this. Sometimes I sing it to myself. Someday, someone will sing this to me, and I will be the happiest girl who ever happied.

Another side note: I found this one the YouTubes and couldn’t not post it. Because Muppets.

Grade: A+

WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED TODAY, BLOGGONIANS?

  • Winning today’s post are “One in Love with Amy” by Frank Sinatra, “Amie” by Pure Prairie League, and “Amie” by Damien Rice. Two out of the three of those, I’m head-over-heels for. I’m better with today’s choices than yesterday’s.
  • Losing today’s post are “Amy’s Back in Austin” by A Country Singer with a Very Impressive Mullet; “Amy’s Song,” by Some Band I’d Have Been Happy to Never Have Heard of Had I Not Done This Post, and “Amy” by The Man Who Wrote and Performed Music for Only Serial Killers.
  • If you are planning on wooing me, I’d bookmark this post for future consideration.

There we have it! That’s a lot of Amy songs. Some might say TOO many. Not me. Because I’m self-centered, you see. (What? I’d think as long as you can admit it, it’s ok, right? Right.)

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The Agony and The Ecstasy of Having a Very Popular Name, Part One

I was born in the mid-seventies. In the mid-seventies, the most popular – the VERY most popular – girl’s name was Amy.

It’s not that my parents weren’t creative; it’s that they didn’t name me. They were SURE I would come out with boy-bits, so only picked out a boy-name. (I’ve talked about this before. It was “Amos.” Go to the search box at the bottom of the blog and search “Amos” and you’ll get the whole sordid story. YES, I was going to be AMOS. Gack.) So when I came out sporting lady-bits, they were stumped.

Enter an unnamed nurse who was all, “Um. Amy kind of sounds like Amos?” and my parents were all, “Yeah, whatever, I suppose.”

From such humble beginnings, blah blah.

I don’t like my name. I’m not an Amy. Amy denotes cheer and goodwill toward man and possibly good deeds and lunatic smiles and forgiving one’s transgressors. I’m a lot more little-black-raincloud than that. I’m something stompier than Amy. I don’t want a name that goes up at the end with that cheerful “eeee” sound. Amy is a cheerleading wisp of a name that no one takes seriously. I want something solid, like a brick hitting a table.

Does this person look like an Amy to you? I thought not.

Does this person look like an Amy to you? I thought not.

However, I’ve had this name for almost 40 years. It’s not like anyone’s going to be down with me changing it to Ermentrude or Theresa or Florence now, right? Right.

(Side note: I have no interest in any of those names, but I do like the sound of “Ermentrude.” Ermentrude would take care of BUSINESS, yo. She would STAND NO GUFF.)

There were a number of Amys in my school, and one in my graduating class. The one in my graduating class had a very similar LAST name as me, as well, so that made things confusing. Even more so when the man of my dreams (well, he was 15 at the time, so the teen of my dreams), I found out through the gossip-mill, was in love with Amy. I WAS AMY! My heart was so light for about two days. Until the gossip-mill (consisting of my friend T.) shamefacedly skulked back to me reporting that it was the OTHER Amy, who joked with me about it at our lockers a couple days later. “Isn’t that FUNNY that A. would have a crush on me? I am SO not interested,” she said. I wanted to bean her over her cheerful curly head with my largest textbook. HE WAS UTTER PERFECTION WHAT WAS WRONG WITH HER. (Up until I stumbled onto his Facebook page, I still thought he was. Then I realized…well, we’d make a terrible match. I’d go into more detail, but if someone who knows me reads this, and it gets back to him, I’d feel terrible. He seems like he’s turned into a very nice man, and I truly do wish him all the best, even if Amy=oil and Amy’s high-school crush=water. Very, very conservative Merkan-all-the-way water.)

However, I did learn, as I grew up, there were perks to having a popular name.

  • I never had problems finding things that were personalized at souvenir shops. Pencils. Keychains. Ornaments. There were always a million “Amy” items. (I have a lot of friends who can’t say the same thing, and it makes them sadface.)
  • People don’t mispronounce my name. (Well, my first name, anyway. Strangely, they mispronounce my last name, which is NOT A HARD NAME TO SAY. I don’t get it. They put a strange emphasis and an incorrect vowel pronunciation on the first syllable and it makes me want to stab kittens in the face-area.)
  • There are a kabillion songs championing my glorious name.

It’s true! I am so vain that I think the songs are about me. So I did some research, and I found A MULTITUDE of songs with Amy in the title, not just the four that I knew. I know! It’s exciting, right? It totally is.

So I thought, let’s listen to them and discuss and rate them, because FUN. And because I’m self-centered and like to hear my own name over and over, who doesn’t like that.

Ready? (This is totally a two-day post. I’m not making you listen to twenty-some songs in one day. Even I’M not that insane. Part two might be tomorrow, but might be Monday. I have to go to Massachusetts after work tonight and won’t be home until many people are tucked safe in their beddy-byes.)

LET’S DO THIS!

“Amy” – Bobby Darin

This song is already putting me to sleep. Why is this so easy-listening? Blergh.

What the hell, “lovely as indigo?” I realize you were trying to make a rhyme with “snow” but that’s just lazy. There are a million words that have that long “o” in them. Also, you only want her to love you for a day? Why are you selling yourself short, Bobby Darin?

I do not approve of this Amy-song. I do not think this puts Amys in a good light. Also, I don’t like being compared to a color that’s only used when remembering the ROY G BIV thing.

Grade: C-

“Amy” – Elton John

(Side note: I detest Elton John. Not as a human. I just don’t like his music. Well, I guess some of his songs are ok – but I don’t like his voice, so they’re ruined for me. But I like some covers of his songs.)

This song is kind of fun. I like this Amy. This Amy is wild and fancy-free. This Amy seems to be somewhat of a whore, as well. But she’s apparently very well-thought-of in the Elton John community, where they wear “romper boots and jeans.” Hee, romper boots.

This song also has an excellent line: “But Amy, you’re the girl that wrecks my dreams.”

I would very much like to be the girl that wrecks someone’s dreams. I’m good at wrecking things. Mostly fine china and potential.

Grade: B+

“Amy, Amy, Amy” – Amy Winehouse

(Side note: when Amy Winehouse died I was at my part-time job and Twitter told me and I was on a break so I came back in and told people and they were all “NO!” and I really was surprised they were so shocked. Then someone actually said, “RIP, AMY!” in like this totally affected way and rolled their eyes up to the heavens and pointed a little and I got the giggles. No, it doesn’t mean I’m heartless. It means I have a low tolerance for people who do things in order to get attention.)

This song may have Amy in the title but it’s not about Amy. It’s about Amy Winehouse being unable to write music because all she wants to do is hump someone wearing Diesel jeans. I don’t know if I know anyone who owns Diesel jeans. Those things are EXPENSIVE, yo. Also, a tad douchey. I think I might be more attracted to men in khakis. Does this mean I’m getting old?

Grade: C

“Amy’s in the Attic” – Insane Clown Posse

(Side note: I knew from the band name this wasn’t going to go well.)

I think I deserve a medal for listening to this shit. First, it’s like rap but scarier. What is this. sj, you’d know. What kind of scary musical genre would this be called? Clowncore or some such shit? (OMG SIDE NOTE. Per sj: “They call themselves horrorcore, but they’re just shitty white rock-rappers.” THAT MADE ME LAUGH SO HARD I ALMOST PEED. Also, “horrorcore?” Bah. Clowncore is better. Clowns DENOTE horror. And insanity. And hiding-in-your-closet-ready-to-eat-your-face. It’s really a portmanteau of a word.) Anyway, this song is about a little boy who murders a little girl named Amy by accident on the playground and then hides her in the attic so NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW but it’s eleven years later and he’s haunted by her and her mouth is filled with maggots. This is terrible. Who listens to this band. If any of you listen to this band I think you need therapy. I don’t think this is a valid life choice.

Grade: F (and don’t you dare watch that video)

“Amy in the White Coat” – Bright Eyes

This is very pretty and very depressing and I think it’s about a girl who’s being abused at home and no one understands her at school. I like Bright Eyes. It’s not a CHEERFUL Amy song and it’s not an Amy song I can RELATE to and it never says Amy in the LYRICS but it’s totally pretty and sounds like he’s singing it in an abandoned warehouse and it’s all echoey. I like this a lot, even though it doesn’t fit my Amy-song criteria.

Grade: A-

“Amy” – Green Day

(Side note: I have always liked Green Day, but since I saw American Idiot earlier this year I’ve been in love with them. I have high hopes for this.)

This is pretty. I like this a lot. Also, it has nice lyrics. “No one really knows about your soul/And I barely really know your name” and “Amy don’t you go/I want you around” are very nice. This is a very good Amy-song. This gets high Amy-song marks. It’s also a little sad, though. I think it’s about a lost girl. I can relate to the lost girls. So that makes it even better.

Grade: A

“Chasin’ Amy” – The Steve Helms Band

(Side note: This song came out in 2011. The MOVIE came out in 1997. THIS IS A VERY UNORIGINAL SONG TITLE. Also, is it really a “band” if there’s only one guy? Does he have multiple personality disorder or something?)

I can’t take this guy seriously. He looks like a bloated Cheech Marin. No one made out with you by the water, especially someone named Amy. Also, where are you having this concert, the break room of an insurance company? Do they even WANT you to be having that concert there?

Grade: F

“If U Seek Amy” – Britney Spears

(Side note: I was confused by the grammar of this song for quite some time.)

So this song, for those of you who are as out of the loop about things as I am, is a TRICKY PLAY ON WORDS! It says, “All of the boys and all of the girls are begging to if you seek Amy” and if you’re a GROWNUP you might be all, “WTF? that doesn’t grammatically make sense” but then you’re supposed to say it SUPER-FAST and then the “if you seek Amy” part sounds like “F-U-C-K me” but really only if you have a speech impediment because no matter how I say it, it still sounds like “IF-U-C-K me” and that doesn’t make any sense.

Also, the song makes no sense. It’s about people looking for someone named Amy cause they LURVE her, but then there’s that grammatically weird tag line in the middle and the whole thing is ridiculous. I get that she was trying to be super-naughty but that’s no reason to write bad music.

Mostly what I got from this video is how pretty Britney Spears was before she had a break with reality. Also? I would totally dance around the house to this while cleaning.

Grade: B- (it’s got a good beat, shut up)

“Miami, My Amy” – Keith Whitley

Oh, well this is promising, look at that little play on words up there. Miami looks like My Amy!

No. No no no. This is awful and sounds like the music I grew up with because my parents loved 8-track country. Also, the song has the worst narrative. This guy falls for this chick and says “I love you!” and she says “go away and I’ll call you later” but she can’t even wait and calls him like immediately. Also, he sounds like easy-listening country threw up in his mouth.

Who the hell is Keith Whitley? I’ve never heard of this person. Look at his feathery hair.

Grade: F

“Saving Amy” – Brantley Gilbert

(Side note: Dad says never to trust a man with two first names. That is all.)

This is a Christian song. I was tricked into listening to this. I don’t feel this was a nice thing to do to me. Even worse: it’s not even terrible. This guy doesn’t have a bad voice. The song is pretty sappy-bad, though. And that’s saying a lot because I’m a total fan of sappy deathy country songs. (I am not a fan of Christian songs of trickery, though.)

Grade: D-

“Amy Hit the Atmosphere” – Counting Crows

(Side note: I still kind of like Counting Crows. Is that terrible? Shut up. “Anna Begins” is one of the most beautiful, saddest songs in the whole world.)

I don’t know what I think of this song. I feel like it’s being purposely vague, and I’m good at figuring shit out, usually. POETRY DEGREE, BABY. I’m meh on this song. I can take it or leave it. Sorry, Counting Crows.

Grade: B-

WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED TODAY, BLOGGONIANS?

  • Winning today’s post are “Amy” by Elton John, “Amy in the White Coat” by Bright Eyes, and “Amy” by Green Day. (However, I’m not in love with any of them. They’re GOOD, but they’re not STELLAR.)
  • Losing today’s post are “Amy’s in the Attic” by Scary Clowns Trying to Rap, “Chasin’ Amy” by A Man Who Says He Has a Band But I Think It’s Just Him, and “Miami, My Amy” by Some Country Singer Who Apparently Died Young So I Feel Kind of Bad Mocking Him.
  • None of these songs would win me over if you sang them to me in a wooing fashion.

Stay tuned, interwebs! We have MORE AMY SONGS coming up tomorrow! TEN MORE! (Possibly even MORE if I stumble upon them in my travels!) If you mention Amy songs in the comments, I will neither confirm or deny if they will be included! Because that will be spoily!

Happy Saturday to you! May your days be both merry AND bright. And may you find a song written about you that does not include you being murdered, stuffed in an attic, and then haunting your killer with a mouth filled with maggots. *shudder*


The dream girl of every 80s teen heartthrob everywhere

This will probably be brief(ish) but you get a surprise at the end so that’ll take that sting right outta there.

So, as stated yesterday, I had to go to the drugstore and get a mouthguard. The mouthguard is so I don’t continue grinding away on my teeth due to all the daytime stress that translates into nighttime stress and that, apparently, I am taking out on my poor jaw and teeth.

Hee! STRESS SHIELD! Yeah, I'm thinking this isn't going to work.

Hee! STRESS SHIELD! Yeah, I’m thinking this isn’t going to work.

(I think it’s lucky I’m not nighttime-punching or something. Poor Dumbcat. He’d get like a punch in the middle of the night and be all, “MOM WHY ME WHAT DID I DO?” and I wouldn’t even be awake to respond. So I suppose my nighttime destructiveness isn’t hurting anyone but me. Much like most of my daytime destructiveness, if we’re honest.)

This is a terrifying illustration. I don't care for this at all.

This is a terrifying illustration. I don’t care for this at all.

So I went to the drugstore and had four choices of mouthguards. One was the most expensive. It also seemed to have metal and springs involved. I was not too keen on putting metal and springs in my mouth. Doesn’t that seem like a mistake and also you’d wake up and have given yourself, like, LITERAL LOCKJAW or something? Also, I have a tongue ring, and I just KNOW that’d get all tangled in there. No thanks.

The next one down price-wise seemed very reasonable and had reassuring comments on the box.

The other two looked very cheap, and like they would slice my gums to ribbons with sharp plastic. I was not a fan of waking up all bloody-gummed. It didn’t seem like a better option than grinding my teeth to stumps.

So I got the second-most-expensive one and when I got it home, I took out the instruction sheet and HOLY CRAP was it detailed.

You had to boil water. Then put the mouthguard in a special plastic bracket. Then put the mouthguard in the boiling water for three minutes to soften it. Then dip it for NO MORE THAN TEN SECONDS ZOMG! in room-temperature water. Then RUN TO THE BATHROOM and insert (hee) the bracket containing the softened mouthguard in your mouth, being VERY SURE it lined up properly to your two front teeth. Then you had to CHOMP ALL DOWN AS HARD AS YOU COULD for TWO WHOLE MINUTES. This was not an easy task because I have TMJ so I can’t chomp down for longer than a few seconds or my jaw locks up. So I was standing there counting off seconds with my locky jaw radiating out ALL THE PAIN while I waited for this thing to settle into the shape of my teeth.

This is the thing I bought. FANCY SCHMANCY.

This is the thing I bought. FANCY SCHMANCY.

Then you ran it under cool water and made sure it fit your teeth.

IT DID!

But it makes me sound like an 80s nerd when I talk, which is kind of more hilarious than it need be. So I walked around saying things with my mouthguard in like a BOSS.

(Mom was all, “You know you’re not really obligated to TALK with that thing in, right? You’re just supposed to wear it to sleep. And you don’t TALK while you’re SLEEPING.” Well, most people don’t, Mom. I do. I’ve been told by both roommates AND romantic conquests that I’m QUITE chatty in my sleep about a BROAD variety of topics, none of which make much sense, thank you very much.)

So…I promised to show you all my pretty, pretty mouthguard, which will, undoubtedly, make me very popular with suitors.

So I made you a video. Because that’s how *I* roll, yo.

YOU ARE SO WELCOME.

(Yeah, I don’t know what the hell with the lighting in here, either. I promise it’s not as yellow in real life. And my hair usually doesn’t look THAT insane. I mean, INSANE, but a little LESS insane. And why in that picture does it look like my arm is growing out of my neck?)

Happy Friday, people of the blog. I hope you have the best weekends. I have a big weekend of work and running off to Massachusetts to review a murder mystery and then running home to write the review and then crashing out with my new boyfriend, Dentek the Mouthguard.

IT WILL BE HOT TIMES IN THE OLD LUCY’S FOOTBALL HOUSE LET ME TELL YOU.

(Side note: Dad says I’m not allowed to post this because if I DO, you all will start calling me “Bucketmouth.” I asked him to elaborate, and he said “You know, like people get called when they have things in their mouths.” I don’t know that anyone’s ever been called “Bucketmouth” in the history of, like, EVER, but it made me giggle. A LOT.)


Stars and Lily and the universal language: A day of random goodness, part one

We have a lot of random things to clean up here that are all loose-endy so let’s do that today, what do you say? Shh, that is RHETORICAL. You aren’t supposed to SAY anything. Sheesh, come on. Or, well, I guess you COULD. I can’t HEAR you, though.

I just made a list. I have SIX THINGS to discuss. ZOMG! That is a lot of things! We’re going to have to split this up over two days, because I just finished writing it and it’s about three days of words. That’s a lot of words, jellybeans. Speaking of jellybeans, I had something I had to do the minute I got home tonight and couldn’t go out and get half-price Easter candy. So that means the thing I had to do was more important than half-price Reese’s Eggs. You know something’s important when it’s more important than half-price chocolatey peanut-butter goodness, right?

It's true, sometimes things in life are more important than half-price seasonal goodness. It's all about priorities, people.

It’s true, sometimes things in life are more important than half-price seasonal goodness. It’s all about priorities, people.

This is going to be the most random, sincerely. But also fun. At least, hopefully fun. I try to infuse a little fun into all the things. I mean, what’s the point if you can’t have some fun with it? I even have fun at the DMV, yo.

We are all made of stars

So I mentioned the other day: I bought, and intended to eat, FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME, starfruit. I know. It’s humorous that I’m almost 40 and have not yet tried starfruit. There are a lot of things I have never tried. We grew up eating very basic things, and I have a really weird palate and don’t like many things at all. ESPECIALLY not fruit.

However, this is a fruit that looks like a STAR. And sj’s kiddos said it tasted like strawberries and apples and someone online said also maybe lemons and those are all things I like. And I’m trying to be more daring this year. I totally have tried Thai curry AND Korean food. I deserve a MEDAL.

So Sunday, when most people were having adventures in ham-eating and egg-dyeing, or whatever it is you were doing on Easter, I tried starfruit. Starfruit! For the first TIME!

Aren't they so pretty? It's a whole PLATE of stars!

Aren’t they so pretty? It’s a whole PLATE of stars! Yes, I have the best plates. They were a housewarming gift from friend C. Thank you, friend C.!

And because I’m awesome, I totally made a video of it. I know. I’m kind of the best.

After the video, I ate the rest of the starfruit, and it kind of made me have puckery drymouth, like if you eat too much pineapple. But it was just fine. I don’t know that I’ll buy ALL the starfruit and like eat it every DAY or anything, but I don’t eat a lot of fruit anyway. I did, however, buy a bunch of strawberries this week. I’m very predictable; spring comes, and I start craving fresh fruits and vegetables. I’m going to be craving zucchini any day now. (NOT AT ALL A EUPHEMISM.) And green beans. Yum.

Doing nice things for good people

You all know Jim, right? Jim is my friend and I care about him a great deal. He is one of my most favorite writers and also just an all-around wonderful human being. (Even though he is dead to Dad. DEAD TO HIM! And now Dad thinks Jim is creating cyborgs. More on this tomorrow. Dad thinks Jim is in cahoots. With whom? I’m not quite sure, but probably the government.)

Last year, Jim and his team did a walk for Highmark’s Walk for a Healthy Community. The proceeds go to ABOARD, which is Autism Connection of Pennsylvania.

Last year, I was not able to donate much, because I had a craptacular job. (Sorry, old job. What are you going to do, fire me again? No. No, you no longer have that option.) Jim, however, sent me a wonderful teeshirt anyway. Because he’s not even dead to me a little tiny bit, DAD.

Whoa, look how short my hair was a year ago. It's much longer now. And look how happy I was! Aw, me.

Whoa, look how short my hair was a year ago. It’s much longer now. And look how happy I was! Aw, me.

ANYWAY, this year they’re doing it again. And luckily, because I have an amazing job and have money to buy things and donate to good causes, I was able to donate a little more. Not as much as I’d like, or as much as they deserve, but a little more.

The walk this year is Saturday, May 18, so just about a month and a half from now. The goal is $2,500, and they still have a long way to go. It’s only at 23% right now.

I know times are tough and I know you have to buy things like food and gas and pay your rent, but I’m going to be totally relentless evil right now and show you the Lily that Team Lily is named after (and also her dad, because why not, he’s ok too, I suppose):

Come on, seriously? THE CUTENESS HERE IS OVERWHELMING. (Jim's ok, too, I suppose. Whatever.)

Come on, seriously? THE CUTENESS HERE IS OVERWHELMING. (Yeah, yeah, Jim’s ok, too.)

So if you would like to drop a little money their way, which goes to a wonderful organization that’s the most deserving, it would be so appreciated. Even a little would be great. Also, you could do worse than to read Jim’s blog, or follow him on Facebook. Jim’s kind of the bomb and makes me laugh so hard on a daily basis. (Don’t let that go to your head, Jim! Crap, you already did, didn’t you. I am SCREWED. Now you’re going to go around all, “Amy thinks I’m the BOMB!” and I won’t even be able to refute it. Sigh. The things I do for the people I love.)

I know the internet’s all about hitting you up for money on a regular basis, and I’m just as good as anyone as saying “Nope, sorry, can’t donate to everything all the time” but this is real people and this is a very good cause and this is my friend Jim, who has always been one of the most supportive internet people I know. Look at that kiddo up there and tell me you don’t want to donate a little money. You can’t do it! SHE IS JUST TOO DAMN ADORABLE!

Talking with FACES

So, one of the side effects of meeting my wonderful Andreas in person is that now I miss him. And, in a nice piece of coincidence, he misses me, too. Isn’t that nice how that works out? So what we like to do every couple of weeks is talk with our faces on the internets. First we used Skype, but Skype hates me and froze up constantly. So then we decided to try Google Hangout, and guess what? IT WINS! It only kicks me off every once and a while. So this weekend, I totally got to talk to Andreas’ face. It was the most wonderful. If you can talk to someone for two hours without even getting bored and only have to get off because it’s 1:30am and you’re the most exhausted because you’ve been up since 7am and worked all day, you know that person’s a keeper. (Andreas is totally a keeper. I’m not giving you back, Andreas!)

Also, Andreas makes me laugh the hardest, and sends me links so I can see what his town looks like so I’ll be PREPARED for FINLAND (which is totally only fifteen months away, really, so it’s RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER! Ok, even I can’t sell that one, sorry) and I get to see his kiddos, which makes my whole day. (The past two times, I got to see his son, who is teeny and wee but getting bigger all the time! And has the biggest blue eyes and gives me all the smiles! And THIS TIME, I got to see his DAUGHTER! I was so excited I totally bopped all around in my chair and clapped and smiled and smiled!) Although I’m pretty sure his daughter had to be wondering who the crazy lady who spoke no Swedish on the computer was. (In news of win, although at first she was the most shy, by the time we were done, I had coaxed a smile out of her by shamelessly playing peek-a-boo, which translates into ANY language. This is something to remember: if you are confronted by a child who does not speak your language, funny faces and peek-a-boo are universal.)

*Not Andreas' daughter. This kid's cute, but his daughter has my whole heart. She's wonderful.

*Not Andreas’ daughter. This kid’s cute, but his daughter has my whole heart. She’s wonderful.

Guess what I’m getting this month? My passport. Yep. I did the research to figure out what I needed to get it, and it’s seemingly easier than I thought it would be. So soon I shall be the proud owner of a passport with my beaming face in it. I might (MIGHT, because you know I hate counting chickens) be taking a wee out-of-country trip this year, so I’ll need it sooner than later. Then I’ll store it somewhere safe, because I will most definitely be needing it next year. Finland demands it, you see. (Also, I told Andreas that I would bring much joy to his islands, and the people there would NOT want me to leave. He agreed wholeheartedly. That made me smile.)

MERKA! PASSPORT! MERKA!!!!!!

MERKA! PASSPORT! MERKA!!!!!!

OK, there you have part one. Tomorrow, we will continue with cats and Dad-stories and sports. Happy Tuesday, internettians! May your days be full of starfruit and smiles as big as Lily’s up there. I can’t think of a better thing.


This blog is just like “Wild Kingdom” only with more unsatisfying bird-sex.

Today we’re going to talk about the glory of birds. (WE…DID IT ALL…FOR THE GLORY OF BIRRRRRDS!) (Shut up, when I was a teen-Amy, that song was my FAVORITE, because I was all into the Karate Kid movies. I didn’t always make the best choices. Still don’t.)

AMY! WE JUST TALKED ABOUT BIRDS! you are yelling at me. DINOSAUR BIRDS!

Well, yes, we did. But we’re totally not talking about dinosaur birds today. We’re talking about awesome REGULAR birds that exist on our OWN PLANET NOW. And did I mention they’re awesome? Because they ARE.

I have a weird history with birds. (That sounds terrible and naughty. It was not meant that way. I promise.) I had a pair of lovebirds when I was in high school. I was so excited because they were the first pets I got to own MYSELF and they were MY PETS and I got to NAME them and I was VERY EXCITED ZOMG. Only come to find out they did one thing, and that one thing was screech. Constantly. They didn’t stop. They started out in my bedroom but then I couldn’t sleep so we moved them to the laundry room and then the whole family couldn’t sleep so then we moved them to the BASEMENT and we STILL couldn’t sleep so we gave them away. SO LOUD. So pretty and green with pretty faces but so loud. And also they totally didn’t let me touch them. I wanted to touch their pretty feathers and snappy beaks.

They were peach-faced lovebirds so they were really the prettiest.

They were peach-faced lovebirds so they were really the prettiest.

Then in grad school I knew someone with a parrot that tried to eat my whole ear and I totally bled all over the place. That parrot was smart and could say things and was crafty but also super-mean. And we had a parakeet at the pet store where I worked that could say its name (“EGGY!” and no, I don’t know why its name was Eggy, I assume because it said something that sounded like Eggy, and someone who worked at the pet store before me said, “That must be his name!”) He also would ride around on your shoulder and he never pooped on your shirt. I liked Eggy very much.

There are no pictures of what Eggy looked like online. This is close.

There are no pictures of what Eggy looked like online. This is close.

I also had a pair of birds right after grad school but when I moved I gave them away because I decided I was not a bird person. They ALSO did not let me touch them, and also birds are messy and make a lot of noise. I’m better with cats that knock over things when they fall off the bookcase. Or fish. I’m very good with fish. I want fish again someday.

ANYWAY, after I blogged about dinosaur birds who used their dancy rumps to get all the ladies, I got TWO VIDEOS about OTHER AWESOME BIRDS from TWO PEOPLE I LOVE. See what a lucky woman I am? The luckiest, is how lucky.

First, the amazing Mer who I miss like CRAZY posted the following video to my Facebook page after she read about dinosaur rump-shakery:

This is the Vogelkop Bowerbird. I had never heard of this bird before. Now it is one of my favorite new feathered friends.

Look at my pleasing display, yo!

Look at my pleasing display, yo!

In case you decide not to watch this totally kickass video, I will tell you the highlights.

  • the Vogelkop Bowerbird is an interior decorator. He lives in a little thatchy thing. Which is, given his name, not surprisingly, called a bower. And he DECORATES it. With things like fungus, leaves, insects, and in one case, DEER DUNG. Heh. 
  • these birds also like color schemes. They’re like wedding planners. The deer dung bird liked nature colors so he chose browns. The other bird liked brighter colors. Also, his insect decor kept crawling away, and he kept running back to retrive the insects and put them back where they belonged and it was SO FUNNY AND AWESOME.
  • The deer dung bird didn’t want the fungus that was growing in his dung to mess up his all-brown color scheme so he spent a long time plucking all the fungus out of the dung. These birds crack my shit UP. No pun intended with the shit and the dung.
  • The reason these birds decorate their little bowers is because the lady-birds choose their mates depending on whose display pleases them the most. Sex knows no species boundaries, my friends. None at all.
  • Near the end of the video there’s some total birdie-style sexing, for those of you who like such things. I’m looking at you, Ding Dong Joe. (Also, apparently birds are QUICK. Whoo! I don’t feel that lady-bird’s needs were at all satisfied.)

This bird lives in Indonesia so the odds are good I will never ever see this bird. I don’t know that I’ll ever go to Indonesia.

According to Wikipedia, the Satin Bowerbird chooses items of ALL THE SAME COLOR, so that one’s even MORE fun. These birds are enjoyable as hell.

He likes blue the MOST. ALL THE BLUE THINGS!

He likes blue the MOST. ALL THE BLUE THINGS!

Also, when I was playing this video, Dumbcat stood in the middle of the living room and turned his head all around and said, “Merouuu?” because he thought there were birds in the house. Dumbcat wants to eat a bird very badly. Or make friends with a bird. I’m not quite sure of his motivations, bird-wise.

Then I tweeted Andreas, totally taking him to task for not telling me about this amazing bird. Because he’s all sciency, you see. Andreas should tell me about ALL the things. (It never crossed my mind he wouldn’t know about these birds. And as you will see, I was right in that assumption, even though you know what they say about making asses out of both you AND me.)

He responded with:

Andreas makes me laugh and also smile with happiness. He’s just the best.

He then told me about the bird that only likes blue (I’m going to assume that’s the Satin Bowerbird) and then sent me the link to the NEXT video, and listen, this one’s ALSO an awesome bird. Check THIS one out:

This is the lyrebird. The lyrebird can make ALL THE SOUNDS. Not just other bird sounds. Did you watch that video? You should. It’s not even very long. And it’s totally the most entertaining. That bird is pretty and also VERY TALENTED.

Tail of PRETTINESS!!!

Tail of PRETTINESS!!!

It can make the following noises:

  • other birds;
  • photography equipment;
  • logging equipment like chainsaws; and
  • car alarms.

And they TOTALLY SOUND LIKE WHAT THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO BE. This bird sounds like he has a tape recorder in his throat. It is AMAZING. Plus he has a pretty tail, like a little mini-peacock.

THIS time, when I watched THIS video, Dumbcat LEAPT up onto the couch, and proceeded to crowd up onto my lap where the laptop was. I was all, “bub, what are we doing right now OH HUH THAT’S WELL NO LET’S NOT…” because he then attempted to lick the screen.

Apparently lyrebirds were more tempting than bowerbirds. Dumbcat wants to eat a lyrebird. Even though all those tailfeathers would make him sneeze and the minute it started making car-alarm noises, he’d get scared and hide in the pots-and-pans cupboard. (When the windows are open in the spring/summer, he also licks the screens when birds are on the porch. He doesn’t attempt to go THROUGH the screens. He’s hefty and totally could, if he wanted to. No, he just licks the metal screens. Because he’s…well, he’s my Dumbcat, I suppose.)

Also, I loved this video the most, because when the lyrebird made kookaburra noises, he was SO CONVINCING, a kookaburra totally came to see what was up. A KOOKABURRA! My favorite bird of ALL THE TIMES! Now I want a lyrebird AND a kookaburra. They would be the best of friends. I would name them Fred and Jimmy. Why? I don’t know, I don’t question your life choices. RUDE.

I like kookaburras because a., they seem to get the joke, b., when I saw one at the zoo it laughed JUST FOR ME, and c., when I was little Dad sang the kookaburra song with me. That's a lot of reasons, yo.

I like kookaburras because a., they seem to get the joke, b., when I saw one at the zoo it laughed JUST FOR ME, and c., when I was little Dad sang the kookaburra song with me. That’s a lot of reasons, yo.

Lyrebirds live in Australia, mate. I’d totally go to Australia and meet all the lyrebirds. And also all the kookaburras. And meet a guy with a sexy accent. And meet Nemo. Those things all can happen in Australia, I saw it on my teevee.

P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney, Australia. IT WAS ON TEEVEE IT MUST BE TRUE!!!!

P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney, Australia. ELLEN DEGENERES WAS A BLUE FISH AND SHE SAID IT ON MY TEEVEE IT MUST BE TRUE!!!!

So what have we learned today?

  • Bowerbirds are the interior decorators of the avian world
  • Bowerbirds only have sex for like thirty seconds
  • Female bowerbirds are probably bitter and grumpy due to that last tidbit of information
  • SATIN bowerbirds seem to only like blue things, which is super-selective and pretty
  • But, since they are bowerbirds, I assume they still are all wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am (SAD)
  • Lyrebirds are the best mimics ever and remind me of that guy from the Police Academy movies, only prettier
  • Lyrebirds can EVEN FOOL KOOKABURRAS
  • Andreas knows about all the birds, every last one of them
  • Dumbcat wants to either eat or make friends with a bird (debatable)

This has been a very big day, blog-wise. We have learned MANY THINGS. I think you’ll all want to take a nap now, probably. I can’t blame you.

If anyone has a lyrebird or a kookaburra they’re looking to rehome, you let me know. Dumbcat and I would take very good care of them. Promise.


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