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Gnomes and creepy dolls and mountains and missing restaurants: a day of adventure!

So! Sunday was a day of ADVENTURE!

(I think it bears noting that the cat apparently does not want me to write this post. He keeps putting his paw on my hand so I’m finding it hard to type. YOU STOP THAT, CAT! You are being PESKY!)

How close Dumbcat is to my typin'-hand. Look at him being a creeper. I think he wants to start his own blog.

How close Dumbcat is to my typin’-hand. Look at him being a creeper. I think he wants to start his own blog.

So, Sunday. Sunday was a day a little over TWO YEARS in the making!

I joined Twitter out of utter boredom (and the acquisition of a smartphone) in May 2011, and the lovely Bronwyn was one of my first Twitter friends. We were both members (still are, actually, no need for the past tense) of the Geek Girls Book Club, and chatted on Twitter, which moved to us becoming Facebook friends and her being a loyal (and hilarious) reader of my blog (and sharing it with all of her coworkers, which I love…the idea of the whole office reading my ramblings makes me smile. HI, BRONWYN’S OFFICE!)

When she told me that she and her boyfriend Steve would be only an hour and a half from me for a wedding in August, well, THAT was exciting! I have a car! I am willing to travel an hour and a half to visit one of my most long-term internet people who I enjoy so, so much! Eeeee!

So top-secret plans were made, and squeeing was done, and then it was Sunday! So off I went for the Catskills, which I had driven through, and come CLOSE to, but never all up into. I was about to get all up into the Catskills’ business, yo.

You know what’s in the Catskills, right?

RIP VAN WINKLE! I was keeping an eye out for little men playing ninepins in the mountains, but did not see any. They are pretty good at hiding, however. They might have been there THE WHOLE TIME.

The trip to the Catskills goes like this:

Highway
Highway
Highway
Driving through a very curious town called Catskill
CRAZY TWISTY ROAD WITH FALLING ROCKS AND HAIRPIN TURNS ZOMG
Small town with way too many dolls in the store windows
HUNTER MOUNTAIN!

The highway part was boring. You’ve all been on a highway. If I have to explain a highway to you, you’re probably Amish, and what are you doing reading a blog?

Catskill was a hoot. It was like a town from back in the day, and the companies had VERY FUNNY NAMES.

First, there was…

BEER WORLD!

(When I saw this coming up, I thought it said “Beef World” and I giggled, then I was all, “OMG BEER WORLD. That’s even BETTER! A whole WORLD of beer!”)

Then there was…

HOEBOWL!

OMG, you guys. HoeBowl. This made me laugh so hard. Even funnier, it’s kiddy-corner from Beer World, so you could go to the World of Beer, then go get your Hoe on.

Then there was a sign I didn’t get to take a picture of, because driving, but someone was selling rabbits? And the sign was all hand-lettered and it said:

RABITS FOR SALE

And I seriously was DELIGHTED and said, “RAY-BITS!” and kept saying it for like ten miles. “I sure would like to buy me some ray-bits! George, tell about the ray-bits again! TELL IT, GEORGE! Oh, Lennie. You’ve heard about them ray-bits like a million times.”

This just made me laugh until I cried. This kid was PISSED. And decided to ruin it for everyone, apparently.

This just made me laugh until I cried. This kid was PISSED. And decided to ruin it for everyone, apparently.

Then it was time for the twisty-turny roads. Seriously, once? I had to drive through the Colorado Switchbacks? And it was the scariest drive of my life, because sometimes a moving truck would be coming at you and there wasn’t a guardrail and so therefore there was nothing between you and a plummet down a very steep scary mountain? (Granted, it was gorgeous, though. I was able to enjoy some of the pretty in-between weeping and gnashing of teeth and praying.)

Pretty! BUT SO SCARY.

Pretty! BUT SO SCARY.

This drive wasn’t THAT scary, but it was similarly hairpin-turny. Drive a little TURN! Drive a little more TURN! NARROW ROADS! Other drivers CLIMBING ALL UP YOUR ASS-AREA!

At one point, we all had to stop, and once they let us go, there were a lot of cops and such and it seemed maybe someone had gone off a bridge or something, so that was reassuring.

But then you get views like this? So...kind of worthwhile.

But then you get views like this? So…kind of worthwhile.

So, finally I got to the town of Hunter, where there are a ton of little shops, and then took a turn for Hunter Mountain, where Steve and Bronwyn were…AND THERE THEY WERE! Right in the parking lot! The timing couldn’t have been better!

There was much huggery (I totally even hugged Steve, but he was ok with it, so that won him points – I mean, if you let someone who’s pretty much a total stranger hug you, you’re a winner in my book) and we decided to go to dinner at a place called Happy Asia, until we realized it was really called YUMMY Asia, at which point I of COURSE didn’t want to go there because I was SO looking forward to being happy, and this place was no longer going to make me HAPPY, it was only going to be YUMMY, but Bronwyn assured me that with how YUMMY it would be, it would MAKE us happy! Smart lady, that Bronwyn.

However, apparently Yummy Asia no longer existed. (I promised Steve and Bronwyn I would research this Yummy Asia situation, and I’ve got nothing, other than there’s only one Yelp review, and it’s from a year ago. I guess they closed all middle-of-the-night secretly? Sadtimes.)

We walked around, and there were SO MANY DEAD-EYED CREEPY DOLLS in the store windows. We were all, “Those are definitely there to steal your soul.” Also there were a lot of creepy masks. Not FUN masks, but CREEPY ones. This town might have been haunted.

So we went to a place that promised MUCH CHEESE on the sign (listen, if a place promises a lot of cheese, you go there, I think) and we ate and ate and talked and ate and laughed and talked and ate more and had a great time. (Yes, there was cheese. We didn’t order ALL the cheese, but we could have, had we wanted to.)

Do you know what I like?

I like when a person is who they are online. You know, like you get to know someone online, and then you meet them in person, and you think, yes! That is that person. That person didn’t pretend to be anyone they’re not.

Bronwyn is TOTALLY the person she is online. Only – and this is awesome – even BETTER. Because you actually get to talk to her FACE. She’s beautiful and funny and fierce and intelligent and she is, and I say this without the slightest hint of sarcasm, a total ray of sunshine. She absolutely radiates positivity. She makes you feel special just hanging out with her. She’s got this amazing energy. She’s a rare and beautiful spirit. Do you know anyone like that? And how, when you meet them, there’s just this bright light in the room? That’s Bronwyn. She’s a very bright light. She lights up everything she touches. She utterly glows.

Steve is…well, listen, I was totally ready to be judgey. Anyone who knows me at all knows I am VERY HARSH on a., new people, and b., people who are dating people I care about, because I want the loved ones of MY loved ones to be as fantastic as they deserve. And the verdict is…STEVE WINS! (Hee, if Steve’s reading this, I probably scared him. SORRY, STEVE! I was building up DRAMATIC TENSION!) Steve is funny and personable and handsome and intelligent and thoughtful, and Steve and Bronwyn together are really a fantastic couple. They play off each other well; they really, really like each other. It’s kind of joyous to watch them together. It makes your heart happy. And to see one of my friends happy – that makes ME happy. Steve! You are aces with me. I highly approve.

So we ate and laughed and talked about things both fun and serious, and life and mutual friends and blogging and romance and such, and got to know each other even more, and it was really a wonderful time. I was so, so glad I got to do it. Say what you will about the inclusive or divisive nature of the interwebz, it brings amazing, like-minded people into your life, and I love it for that.

On our way back to the car, we found some strange paintings which might have been the little men playing ninepins in the mountains. So, as you do, we molested them.

I think he liked our attention. He was probably lonely. (He totally looks like he’s molesting poor Bronwyn here.)

Steve! Steve is an excellent goofy-photo poser. You know I like a good goofy photo op.

DO NOT MOLEST THE GNOME. (Isn’t Bronwyn FABULOUS?)

Shush, you would have done the same thing if this guy was crotch-level to you. I mean, look at his shocked facial expression. It’s like if you turned down this photo-op, you’d be CURSED.

Then it was back to the hotel so Steve and Bronwyn could get on the road (they had a long trip ahead of them, and it was getting late) and it was time for me to get back on the road for home!

Again, many hugs and goodbyes and it was sad to leave. BUT! We are now face-friends, which is even better. And hopefully we can do it again someday!

It was a VERY SUCCESSFUL DAY! Thank you, village of Tannersville, for putting up with our shenanigans!

It was so nice to meet you in person, finally, my lovely Bronwyn! You are an absolute joy and I adore you. And Steve, you are fantastic, and listen, I don’t like ANYONE. So you win!

(Oh, AND, on the way home, I entered a time warp? Some asshole was creepin’ up on my ass on the twisty road, so I pulled off at a hiker’s parking spot to let him and his belligerent truck by, and my GPS said I would be home at 8:57, but when I pulled BACK on the road, it said I would be home at 8:52. WHAT THE HELL? It’s those little men in the mountains, I know it.)

YAY FOR ADVENTURES! (Guess what? I’m going on another one! THIS COMING SUNDAY! It’s going to be even FARTHER away! Ooh! Aah!)

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Have an adventure. I DECREE IT THUS.

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Every time I’m on the road it’s Special Driving Conditions, baby. I AM SPECIAL.

I was thinking today, as I was in traffic on my way home:

How many of these people would pass the New York State Learner’s Permit test, were they to take it today?

Now, in my defense, the drivers today were totally the worst. We had speed-em-up-slow-em-down Harry, who…well, did exactly what his name suggests. He was in front of me and he’d go normal speed, then putter along, then normal speed, then putter along again, and it was MAKING! ME! STABBY!

Then I had the guy who seemed new to town, and would hesitate at every single intersection. Do I want this one? No. How about this one? Nope, not this one. Oooh, this one? No, that one’s someone’s driveway. What about this one? Oh, shit, that’s the greenhouse’s back entrance. TURN OR PULL OVER I HAVE LAUNDRY TO DO!

Then there was the guy who kept coming to panicked stops for no reason. I feel like maybe he had something wrong with his foot. EEERK! Stop. EEEERK! Stop. Why are you DOING that? There’s not even a REASON!

My half-hour drive home became forty minutes and I was super-crabby by the time I got home.

Oh, is THAT what it is? Thanks, helpful graphic!

Oh, is THAT what it is? Thanks, helpful graphic!

So about halfway there, I started thinking. This isn’t the way we were taught to drive back when we were studying for our permits, was it? And we’re like, what, thirty years or something FROM getting those permits, more or less? Shouldn’t we be BETTER at this shit, not worse?

(Side note: I passed my written permit test without a hitch. I think I got one, maybe two questions wrong. I have always tested well. I tend to know, when there are multiple-choice questions, what’s being asked for. Or I can at least narrow it down to the two most likely answers and have a good track record of choosing the right answer. This is also why I would have been very good at that Who Wants to Be a Millionaire show. It was multiple-choice questions. I would have won that. Totally won.

However – this is a very long side-note – I did not pass my driver’s test the first time. The first time, I had a very mean old man who was SUCH A STICKLER. I couldn’t parallel park, but just not being able to parallel park doesn’t fail you. What failed me? I was driving – I am not even kidding – three miles an hour below the speed limit in a 25 or 30 mile-per-hour speed-limit zone. And he was so mean. He actually YELLED at me to speed up. Then said, “Not that it matters. It’s too late to pass this thing now.” I was CRUSHED.

The second time I went back, I wore a very short skirt – I was skinny then, it was my year I was skating the edge of an eating disorder – and a low-cut top and flirted my way to a passing grade with the younger instructor and the only thing he failed me on was parallel parking, because, per the instructor who was looking down my totally jailbaity top the whole time, “Eh, it’s a small town, you’ll never need to know how to parallel park, anyway. About a year later, I moved to Binghamton, New York – which is a city. Where you need to CONSTANTLY parallel park. I still can’t parallel park correctly. I’ve done it once correctly in my whole life. ONCE.

I am not proud of this passing-a-test-with-my-tits thing, but I really wanted that license.

END SIDE NOTE, which was just here to give a personal touch to this post. I did not start life as a very good driver, but I’m passable now. I’ve been in two accidents since I started driving, and wasn’t injured in either of them – just bodywork to the car(s). And the last one was 13 years ago. So I think I’m a decent driver, or at least know how to stay out of people’s way.)

ANYWAY. Where were we?

I thought it might be interesting to see, considering that it’s been 22 years since I took it, how I’d do on the NYS Learner’s Permit test if I were to take it now.

Did you know you could take the test, or at least a practice version, online? You totally can. Ain’t technology wonderful? I had to study from a smeary newsprinty booklet, if I remember correctly.

There are nine sections. Because I love tests, I took ’em ALL. With varying results.

We start with traffic control. Traffic control was a LOT of guessing. Why? Because it had questions like “What does a rectangular sign mean?”

Good grief. I don’t pay attention to the SHAPE of SIGNS! Unless they’re octagonal or triangular. I mean, sincerely. However, I somehow got all of those. (The answer to that rectangle question was “speed limit sign.” Hard, right?)

I actually got a 92% on this part so I was feeling pretty confident. I only got a couple of stupid things wrong because I overthought them (and, in my defense, one was worded oddly.) Also, were you aware if there’s a flashing red light, you’re supposed to stop? I have to wonder if I was on the road, I would know that, and I’m just not knowing that because I’m sitting on my couch, or if I really don’t know that and therefore am just seconds away from a multi-car pileup that kills a billion people.

Next! Intersections and turns! This’ll be good, right?

WRONG. I got a 69% on this. (Heh. 69.) I know, that’s ridiculous. I got 4/13 wrong. Two of them were hand-signals. I knew I was just guessing on those. I have no idea what the hand-signals mean. (I think they mean, “Get your turn signals fixed or take a cab, asshat.”) And again, two of them were oddly-worded, and one had me waiting in the center of an intersection to make a turn, which seems VERY unsafe to me.

Like I'm ever going to remember these. I'll just think you're car-dancing or something.

Like I’m ever going to remember these. I’ll just think you’re car-dancing or something.

Maybe I’m really a terrible driver after all.

Next! PASSING! Oh, I pass a lot of people. Because I am a speed demon. (There was not a section about speeding. If there was, I think I would have won the hell out of that section. Or lost, I suppose, depending on how you view it.) I totally got 100% on this section, which means I am excellent at passing. Get outta my way, yo, I AM PASSING YOU AND I AM VERY GOOD AT IT. I am 100% good at it, actually.

Parallel Parking! What do you think. Did I pass this part?

Noperoonie! I got a 56%. I FAIL AT PARALLEL PARKING. I am the WORST. I have no idea what the rules are; I hate parallel parking, and I will drive around for like half an hour to avoid having to do it. (Oddly, I got the parallel parking questions all right; it was the “no standing/no parking/no stopping” questions I got wrong. I don’t know what the difference is. I just don’t park there. Isn’t that the best way to handle something of that fashion? Just don’t park there?)

DEFENSIVE DRIVING! One hundred percent, baby! I apparently am excellent at both passing AND driving defensively. I think these are both important things to be good at. Better than STUPID PARALLEL PARKING.

I was pretty sure I was going to win Alcohol and Other Drugs, But I think I spaced out and missed one of the questions so did NOT get a perfect score. (The questions were hilarious. “Which of these will help you sober up? A., Running around the house, B., Drinking 14 pots of coffee, C., Drinking more alcohol, D., Time.” SO HARD! WHICH SHALL I CHOOSE?)

This is SMRT smart!

This is SMRT smart!

Next we have Special Driving Conditions. Hee! Special. I’m totally special. Will I win this one?

No. But close. 88%. There were a lot of “expressway” questions, and I don’t know what that means. Do we have expressways here? Is that the same as a highway or a freeway or whatever? Or is it like the Autobahn? VERY CONFUSING!

I got 100% on Sharing the Road, so anyone on a bicycle or walking should totally love me.

I also got one wrong on Road Signs, but it’s, again, because I got distracted and forgot to finish one of the questions. I kind of lose at attention-spanning, more than anything.

So I suppose, if this were the real thing, I probably would have passed, overall. (But I think I did better when I was a kid. However, I studied and studied back then; this was taken without any studying.)

As for the driving portion…well, here’s my thought. When you start driving, you’re all alert and paying attention to shit and nervous and you’re on your best behavior. Then you’ve been driving a while and you’re all “HO HUM OLD HAT” and then you stop paying as much attention. You don’t need to know what SHAPE the signs are. You know that’s a speed limit sign, or a railroad crossing sign, or whatever.

So most likely, if I were to take the driving portion of the test today, I’d pass – but I wouldn’t be driving like normal-Amy, I’d be driving like I do when I have a cop behind me. Checking all the signs and the speed limits and such.

However, there’s no hope for the asshats I was driving home behind today. NONE. There is no reason for driving like that. Maybe you people should have to re-take your driving tests once and a while or at least STAY AWAY FROM ME when I am ATTEMPTING TO DRIVE HOME because, as proven, I am very good at both passing and defensive driving so you should probably bow to my greatness and just let me around you because I have laundry to do, yo. And just because I win at sharing the road doesn’t mean I want to share it with YOU.

Go take some driving tests, you guys. I’m curious if you, too, win driving in New York State. (Also, some of the wording is kind of hilarious, I just have to say. And what else are you going to do today, work? PLEASE. Don’t even make me laugh.)


Things you cram into a weekend

  • When one of your coworkers at the newspaper emails you at 7am asking if you’re free to cover a review for him that night in Massachusetts, even though the show starts at 8:30pm and it’s over an hour away and you have to write the review when you get home in order to make the deadline and then get up for work the next morning at 7:30am at latest, you say yes. Because you’ve never been to Massachusetts, you’ve never been to this theater and you hear it’s one of the best in the area, and you really like the playwright and haven’t seen this particular play of his yet.
  • Sometimes, you just need an adventure all on your own, even if it’s a little scary, because it’s something you have to prove to yourself you can do.
  • The drive to Lenox, Massachusetts from Albany is very pretty. First it’s all city city city, then it’s all highway highway boring blah, then it starts to be very green and rural and the air smells nice and clean.
  • There’s a huge “Massachusetts Welcomes You” sign once you cross the border on I-90. You’re totally allowed to cheer and say “THANK YOU I FEEL VERY WELCOMED, MASSACHUSETTS!” and bop around in your seat a little.
  • When you cross the border into Massachusetts, it looks very much like New York. You might think there would be unicorns or something along those lines, but you would be wrong. It’s the same. Which is a little disappointing.
  • Having a billion songs (give or take a billion) on your phone is the best thing ever. It totally beats having to bring a bunch of CDs and change the CDs and almost drive off the road every time you do it. You just put the phone on shuffle and you’re good to go. Added bonus: you know all the songs so you can sing along loudly and off-key. Especially since you’re alone in the car so you’re not bothering your passenger.
  • There are a lot of tollbooths between Albany and Lenox. Another awesome bit of technology: the EZ Pass. Which even works in other states. You may not be aware of this and think you’re in trouble because you don’t have any cash on you. Nope! EZ Pass is accepted all over the land. (“Of course it is, Amy, SIGH,” said Dad. Sorry, Dad, I’m not much of a world traveler.)
  • Once you get off the highway, Lenox is a lovely little town. It looks old-fashionedy and pretty and there are a lot of trees and old stores and houses. It was utterly charming.
  • Your GPS will sometimes take you down roads that look like no one’s driven on them in a billion years. “Why are you trying to kill me, GPS?” you might say to it. I mean, if you were the type to talk to inanimate objects. Which of course I am. “This is where killers live in the trees, GPS. I don’t know what I’ve done to you to deserve this kind of Texas Chainsaw Massacre death, really.”
  • Suddenly, you will come upon a little road with a sign for the theater and you will apologize profusely to your GPS for doubting it.
  • Shakespeare & Company is not just a theater. It is a THEATER COMPLEX. It is a NUMBER of theaters all on what seems to be an old farm. There are signs pointing to each of the theaters telling you what’s playing at each one. It’s all landscaped and there are trees and water and little fairy lights in the trees and it might well be one of the most beautiful, magical places for theater to happen you’ve ever seen in your life. You might drive around with your mouth open like a gigantic country rube. Hypothetically.
  • The theater was beautiful, the show was amazing, the employees were very nice without being weird about it (sometimes theater employees are overly solicitous to reviewers, and it’s a little off-putting) and there were a LOT of rich people there. Apparently, Lenox is rich-people land. Whoa. You may be a little underdressed amongst all the snazzy people since it was dress-down day at work and you are wearing jeans and a shirt that started the day nice enough, but ended the day a little wilted.
  • On the drive home, the night was as clear as could be, and without all the ambient light from the city, the stars were so bright they were the stars from every poem ever. They were FIRMAMENT stars. And the moon started out as a light orangey-red and slowly morphed to an almost coppery-amber, and it was a perfect crescent moon. It is completely allowed to marvel in the night.
  • You can make it to Massachusetts and back and see a very fancy play all by yourself even if you are completely directionally challenged. You will feel very good about this. Very proud of yourself. And very happy you have such a job that allows you to do such things.
  • You will not, however, feel so proud of yourself the next morning since you stayed up until 2am finishing the review and it is a very long day of work and a LOT of crazy people will call needing your attention and you don’t have a lot of it to give. You will yawn a lot. A WHOLE lot. You also have to grocery shop after work because you are out of milk and cheese, and dairy is really kind of a staple food group. I mean, it’s on the food pyramid and everything.
  • You may have plans to stay up late and talk to Andreas with your face between 11pm and 12am Saturday night but when he emails you right after 11pm you will sadly beg off because you are falling asleep over your laptop. You are sad about this because Andreas is one of your most favorite humans. He does, however, understand, and tells you to get a good night’s sleep because he is, without a doubt, one of the most caring people you know. You are very tired, and someone caring about your sleep this much makes you cry a little, which is a thing you do when you are very tired. You make plans to talk to him tomorrow when you wake up. This seems like a very good plan.
  • You collapse into bed and sleep for EIGHT STRAIGHT HOURS. You would have slept longer, but for some reason, your beloved but mentally deficient cat decides to leap on your face after you’ve slept for 8 hours. Apparently, he thought that was enough. He didn’t need food or water. Just attention. That was what precipitated the early-morning face-leap.
  • You realize you cannot talk to Andreas until you put yourself together, because not only did you sleep for 8 hours, you slept HARD. You look like you’ve been hit by a truck. A truck full of cast-iron pans. And in just a few hours you have to go BACK to Massachusetts to see ANOTHER play and also meet friend C. for lunch.
  • You put yourself together so you look less like a highway accident victim and more like a human being. (Note: Andreas probably wouldn’t have cared. Sometimes you talk to Andreas in your pajamas. Andreas is very understanding and doesn’t care if you look like a weirdo. Or, if he does, he’s too nice to mention it.)
  • You talk to Andreas for an hour. His family all make an appearance, including the dog, and you cannot stop smiling. Andreas is a balm that cures many ills.
  • You attempt to get some things done but fail miserably because the internets keep distracting you from your goal. It’s a thing that happens more often than you’re willing to admit.
  • You take off for Pittsfield. Pittsfield is not an easy of a drive as Lenox, because you can’t take the highway all the way. You have to take a lot of little tiny roads where the speed limit is 30 and, randomly, there are a lot of cops. You sigh a lot.
  • You make it to Pittsfield and your GPS hates one-way streets and refuses to help you find the theater. You instead find the restaurant and go in and almost cry all over the bartender telling her you can’t find the theater where you’re supposed to meet friend C. She is more scared of you than understanding, to be honest. She gives you directions to the theater, which is randomly a couple blocks away. When you leave to go to your car, Friend C. is outside. She is also unable to find the theater. Her GPS has also refused to bring her there. However, since you are at the restaurant, you decide to eat.
  • The food is kind of meh, but the company couldn’t be better, so it all balances out. When you have known someone for almost twenty years, you are never really at a loss for conversation.
  • You take off for the theater and are kind of embarrassed at how easy it is to find when you know where it is. You mentally apologize for almost crying on the bartender.
  • The show is good. Quite good. It’s just not your thing. However, some people like pretty, brainless musicals, so if that’s their thing, they will like this show very much. There are a couple people in the show that are very good, so you watch them with the most joy. And randomly, one of the songs makes you think of something that it wasn’t even supposed to make you think of, and it wasn’t even especially sad, and you might start leaking at the eyes a little bit. Then you have a moment where you think about how memories sometimes ninja sneak-attack you and make a completely benign song suddenly the most tear-inducing thing you’ve ever listened to.
  • You say goodbye to friend C. and make plans to do it all over again at the end of the month which will be the most fun because you weren’t sure when you would see her again and drive home through all the teeny-tiny streets past all the cops.
  • You make it home in time for True Blood and half-watch while writing your review. Even half-watching True Blood is enough to know it is still quite terrible. However, Eric is still the prettiness.
  • You quickly write sj an email recapping True Blood which is the best part of True Blood and collapse in bed because it is now almost Monday and time for the week ahead which has even MORE things to do in it.
  • You have weird dreams for no apparently reason other than your brain runs like a hamster on a wheel sometimes and you wake up enough times that the cat gets fed up with you and goes to sleep elsewhere.
  • Suddenly, bam, it is Monday, and your weekend is over. And look at all the things you have done! You are a ROCK STAR. You went to a new state! You went to two new theaters! You saw two shows you’ve never seen! You got to hang out with friend C.! You got to talk to Andreas with your face!
  • You can now rest. Until the next adventure. Which, knowing you, will be any minute now.
  • You are most definitely queen of all the adventures.
  • MOST definitely.

    Well, maybe not this particular adventure.

    Well, maybe not this particular adventure.


Despairing for humanity: an adventure in theaterland.

Lots has been going on here in Football-land. As you probably can tell, since I’ve been SILENT AS A GHOST. Well, a silent ghost. I’m sure there are loud ghosts, too. Like those chain-rattly ghosts. I would hate those ghosts. They’d never let me sleep. And I sure do like sleeping.

Shh, Marley, you're being obnoxious.

Shh, Marley, you’re being obnoxious.

AND, I need to get this written in time for face-talking with Andreas tonight. That’s my favorite thing. I’ve been looking forward to that for WEEKS. We had plans for it last weekend, but Andreas contracted the Finnish Death Flu. Well, he SAYS it was just a cold, but I’m pretty sure it was the Finnish Death Flu. I mean, if you can’t exaggerate, why bother even existing, you know? Sheesh. But anyway, he totally lost his voice the day we were supposed to be chatting. LOST HIS VOICE! I mean, come on, if that’s not Finnish Death Flu, I don’t know what is! Also, it’s clearly a conspiracy. Finnish Death Flu did not WANT us to talk! But tonight we have rescheduled. Which is good, because I will be gone the next two Saturdays – in Poughkeepsie for one and in Baltimore for another. I know. I’m fancy. Don’t even be jealous.

(UPDATE! I spoke to Andreas with my face and he agrees that it was possibly some sort of Finnish flu but he said Finnish ZOMBIE Flu. Also, face-talking went very well and Andreas is the best. Google Chat only kicked us out two times. We decided it gets sick of us. “Surely you two are finished NOW?” Google Chat says, and makes our faces freeze. And then we log back in and start up again. That’ll teach you, Google Chat.)

SIDE NOTE! I totally bought luggage for my trip this week. LUGGAGE! I OWN LUGGAGE! Well, I always owned luggage but it was terrible and cheap and falling apart. This is NICE luggage. It is one of those wheely carryon bags with a popup handle that I’ve always wanted. AND it is TEAL BLUE. Why? Because it was the most whimsical color they had at the store. WHIMSY!!!

WHY DIDN'T THE STORE HAVE THIS ONE? OMG, I would TOTALLY have bought this one. It is MADE of whimsy!!!

WHY DIDN’T THE STORE HAVE THIS ONE? OMG, I would TOTALLY have bought this one. It is MADE of whimsy!!!

Anyway, so: I was going to give you two stories today, but in typical Amy fashion, the first story was so long. So I’ll save the second story for tomorrow. Today you get…

A FIELD TRIP TO REVIEW A PLAY!

So last night (which would be your Friday night, I suppose, as I am writing this IN THE PAST) I had to drive to Saratoga to see a play and review it. Saratoga is about half an hour away and is where the horses live. And where they RACE FOR MY ENJOYMENT in the summer! (I will totally be seeing the ponies this summer. I missed them last summer because of unemployment. Not this summer, buckaroos!) So I popped in the car and I drove to Saratoga and other than TomTom making me turn down a road with a totally shady tollbooth for no reason in the middle of it and a big sign that said “$8 toll now” (is TomTom in cahoots with some guy with a tollbooth in his yard? I find this suspect) I made it there with no problems.

Hee! Health, history, horses. I want to add h-words. Hilarity. Humans. Heartbreak. Homewreckers. Hopefulness.

Hee! Health, history, horses. I want to add h-words. Hilarity. Humans. Heartbreak. Homewreckers. Hopefulness.

SIDE NOTE! Although my radio plays it constantly and I’m sure most people are so overly tired of this song they want it to die in a large fire, I am madly in love with this song and it came on the radio THREE TIMES in my trip to and fro yesterday and that made me SO HAPPY. So here, you can listen to my new favorite thing. And if you hate Pink, TOO BAD. I strangely adore her. I like her voice. Mostly because it’s low, and people like me with no upper register in their voice can totally sing along without sounding like a weirdo.

That video is creepy. What’s with demon-teddy? *shudder*

So I got to the theater, I got my seat (which was at the end of an aisle, which I like, but the people on the other side of me kept needing to get in and out, and there’s no leg-room, so I was up and down and UP AND DOWN and that was annoying) and then the play happened.

Well, by the time you read this, the review will be out, so this won’t be a spoiler to anyone who gets the paper, I suppose.

Sometimes being a theater reviewer means you have to watch things that you hate more than you hate clowns. Or people jumping out at you and screaming “surprise!” into your face. Or BOTH of those things. CLOWNS screaming SURPRISE into your FACE.

SURPRISE! And then I am dead of a heart attack. Nice job, clown.

SURPRISE! And then I am dead of a heart attack. Nice job, clown.

I hated this play so much I wished I was scrubbing the bathtub all night long rather than be there.

See, here’s what I like in theater. Intelligent shows. Shows that make me think. Cool, innovative things done with sets or costumes or the theme of the show – anything that shows thought went into the process. Dark, truthful writing. I’m not immune to a good comedy now and then – I like to laugh, don’t think I don’t – but it has to be a GOOD comedy. I don’t like stupidity in theater. I find that lazy. And if there’s anything in theater I hate, it’s laziness. (I have a whole different set of rules for what I like in musicals. I know. I’m weird.)

This play was so lazy, it took fifty naps before the curtain even went up.

Before you start thinking, “BAD THEATER REVIEWER! You should have given it a chance!” I’ve gone into plenty of shows that I thought I would hate and left happy with them and given them a good review. In this case, I went in thinking I’d hate it, and left hating it A BILLION TIMES MORE THAN I THOUGHT I EVER WOULD. This is not an exaggeration.

The acting was fine; the set was pretty; the costumes were nice. But it was the laziest comedy to ever lazy. Seriously. Sloths ran circles around this play. It was Some Like it Hot for idiots. It was two men who cross-dressed to trick someone into giving them an inheritance. AND OH THE WACKY FOIBLES! Ugh, if there’s anything I hate, it’s wacky foibles. Also, I hate homophobia played for laughs? Especially in 2013? And this play was all ABOUT that. The men dressed as women had MALE ADMIRERS! And EW MEN LIKING MEN! HA HA! Ugh, please, I’m about to vomit in my purse.

Men are dressed as women! That is funny! BECAUSE THEY HAVE PENISES!!! HA HA!

Men are dressed as women! That is funny! BECAUSE THEY HAVE PENISES!!! HA HA!

Sadly, the audience LOVED this play. Like, one woman was laughing so hard that people kept shushing her. She was like in an ecstasy of laughter. Gasping and shouting laughter. And a woman in back of me decided to narrate it. To whom? Herself. She was sitting alone. “Oh, he loves her!” “Oh, they are wearing dresses!” “He is using the phone. That is SHADY.” You are not Morgan Freeman and this is not March of the Penguins, lady. Shush it up tight.

This made me so sad. This is why we put on something like The Shape of Things and no one comes, but we put on something like Rumors (which, granted, was a wonderful production, but still, comparatively, it was not even in the league of The Shape of Things) and we sell out the house. I know. “But Amy! It’s a sad scary world and people don’t want to go to dark shows!” Yes, but don’t people want to think? Don’t people want entertainment that they’re discussing for hours afterward? Don’t people want entertainment that opens them up to new ideas, that moves them to tears, that thrills their hearts? And if not – what the hell is wrong with me that it’s ALL that I want?

When it was done (TWO HOURS AND FORTY MINUTES LATER, the hell? What kind of comedy is that long? NOTHING should be that long. That’s longer than a damn QUENTIN TARANTINO movie. And those are GOOD) and curtain call started, I ran out the door like my tail was on fire. Only to encounter…ALL THE RAIN! Like, a monsoon. A TERRIBLE MONSOON. And there were no lights in the parking lot area. So I had to walk to my car in pitch-blackness with no umbrella or coat and there was like three inches of water everywhere and it was SO SO COLD and it had been 74 degrees that day. DAMN YOU NATURE!

How I got home* (*possibly an exaggeration)

How I got home* (*possibly an exaggeration)

So I got to the car all “shudder shudder shake cold brr drip drip” and then I had a half-hour drive home. And then had to write the review, because it’s due by 1pm the next day, only I’m at work that day, so can’t meet that deadline. So I attempted to clean off my water-drippy glasses (and just made them smeary, so THAT’S fun) and put the heater on high so the whole car smelled like wet Amy and drove home.

And then when I was about fifteen minutes away I hit the WORST ROADWORK EVER. Who does roadwork on the highway in a monsoon? New York State does, beeyotches! NOTHING STOPS OUR STATE WORKERS! (Seriously, how terrible of a job would that be? Ugh, you poor people, out in that bad rain.) So I got stuck behind those signal cars with all the lights that tell you to get over or whatever? And they were going 5 mph. So due to them? My half-hour trip home, dripping wet (oh, did I mention getting soaked with a gallon of freezing water made my bladder go on overdrive and I had to pee like at levels never before seen in humanity? IT IS TRUE!) was extended to FIFTY MINUTES.

Nooooooo!

Nooooooo!

AND AND AND, right behind me? Was a cop. And he/she/it decided to turn on their red flashy lights, so my first thought was, “oh, well, the po-po’s got me.” But it’s not like I could pull over. Where would I pull over? Into a concrete barrier? We were down to two lanes and we were all in a line and there was nowhere to pull over. Also, have you ever been in a terrible rainstorm and there were cop-lights? They make things go all bright and flickery in the car and make it VERY HARD TO SEE. But once we were done with the terrible twenty-minute roadblock of doom, the cop turned off his lights and pulled away all calm-like. WHAT THE HELL COP? That was inappropriate.

I didn’t get to bed until 1. And had to get up at 7. That’s not enough sleep for this delicate flower. Also, the review will be in the paper today, and I don’t think it will make any friends at the theater group. Sorry, guys. I was honest. I always am. I highlighted the good things. I also called you out for the bad choice of play. But I also said the audience was loving it, so hopefully it was clear to the readers that I’m just a snobby old theater snob and they’ll go and have a GREAT time. Sigh.

I am a snobby old theater snob. But at least this coming week I get to see In the Heights. And then the week after: Les Miserables. So this snobby theater snob has something to look forward to this week.

Oh, also, I told Dad about all the rain and he was all, “YOU COULD HAVE DIED.” Hee! Yes. Probably not, though.

Happy Sunday, jellybeans. Hope your weeks were lovely and your upcoming weeks are Miss-Kitty-Fantastico. Be back soon. With more things that are either fun or not fun or just rambly. We’ll see.

MISS KITTY FANTASTICO HAS ADVENTURES! Oh, this is the best.

MISS KITTY FANTASTICO HAS ADVENTURES! Oh, this is the best.


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