Tag Archives: excitement

Kicking the bucket list

I don’t believe in bucket lists. 

OK, back up. I believe they EXIST. And the idea of them is valid. I think it’s nice for some people to have a list of goals to progress toward; things that, if done, would make them happy. 

The idea of a bucket list, however, is creepy on one level and flawed on another. 

Creepy on the level that, once you’ve crossed everything on your list off, you’re ready for death, apparently. I saw the movie with that sassy Jack Nicholson. I know the score. You skydive, you climb a mountain, you make up with your estranged daughter and then you can die with a clean conscience and I need like a whole BOX of tissues because my ALLERGIES, damn, you know? 



Flawed in that the bucket list overlooks where, I believe, your true joy lives. 

Let’s say your bucket list has things on it like “visit Rome” and “walk along the Pacific coast” and “sing karaoke in a dive bar” or something. Sure, you can do those things. They’ll probably be fun, too. 

But I don’t know about you guys, but me? If I build something up in my mind too much, it reaches untouchable status. I make up mind-stories about it. And those castles in the air are SO ELABORATE that once I actually do the thing, it can’t live up to the story I’ve spun about it. Sometimes it still does, but sometimes I’m disappointed because, say, I’d imagined that once I got to Paris, I’d have a torrid Parisian love affair and really it was rainy and overpriced and the people sneered at my pitiful attempts at high-school français, you know? 

No love pour moi dans le city d'amour, non non non!

No love pour moi dans le city d’amour, non non non!

My best memories, my most bucket-listy memories, are the ones I didn’t plan. They’re the ones that I didn’t write on a list and didn’t expect to happen and didn’t check off when I was done, but that stay with me; the ones that glow warm inside me, the ones that I have folded and tucked away and when I revisit them they’re golden and they’re the kind of memories I’ll revisit when I’m really bucket-trending, (hopefully) many years from now. 

Watching fireworks over the Brooklyn Bridge. 

Being completely alone at the South Street Seaport, eating breakfast on a bench, reading the paper, watching the city wake up around me. 

Walking around a museum in Rouen with my headphones on, experiencing art and music at once, feeling at once both very adult and very young. 

Waking up for the first time with Dumbcat sleeping on my pillow, when he became brave enough to creep out from under the bed, and having him headbutt me in a tentative “you are mine now?” way. 

Holding my nephew for the first time, and having him scowl up at me, and knowing I’d do anything for this kid, and that I always would, for the rest of my life. That this kid I’d just met absolutely owned me. 

These aren’t things I planned. I didn’t write these things on a list; I didn’t say, “man, someday I really want to do the 4th of July in the City” and then work toward that goal. A few days before the 4th that year, my then-roommate said, “why don’t you come with me and the boyfriend to the City for our annual 4th thing we do?” and I was like “yes, that sounds like an adventure” so I did. Bam. I didn’t plan on going to Rouen; it was a last-minute decision when I was in Paris, and the museum was just there, and I had a few hours to kill before my train back to gay Paree. 

This is a lot of buildup to the main event, here. 

I did a non-bucket-list bucket-list thing last night. And I glowed like a little potbellied stove with the unplanned wonder of it. I’m still glowing the next day. I can’t imagine I won’t always be. 

Some (typically Amy-lengthy) background: 

I got assigned the review of Ghost the Musical this month. I remember being a fan of this movie back in the day. The jaded lady I am now thinks it’s a little cheesy. But I can still appreciate that its heart is in the right place. And I do so like “Unchained Melody.” And Demi Moore’s haircut was fierce. 

GHOOOOOST! Aw, this was a nice movie, right? Kind of, in a cheesy 90s way.

GHOOOOOST! Aw, this was a nice movie, right? Kind of, in a cheesy 90s way.

(Dad still can’t watch it. The black hell-ghosties scare him too much. “Those scary bastards!” he calls them, and has to leave the room. Dad’s not a fan of scary things.) 

So apparently someone in the UK made Ghost into a musical, which came to New York last year, and closed after 4 months, and now it’s on tour. We’re the first stop on the tour, actually, which is super-cool. The show’s been teching here for three weeks. We’re on the Wikipedia page for it and everything. And remember I met the lead girl when I was having lunch with David on Sunday? Yep. 

So friend N. (who doubles as Boss N. during work hours – having a boss who is also your friend? Total win) and I went to see Ghost the Musical last night. (Well, that’d be your Tuesday night, I suppose.) 

I’d heard mixed things going in. I knew it’d be tech-heavy (there are a lot of effects when your lead character spends 85% of the show dead) and that there had been some issues; the early reviews from people I knew were good, but the people I knew were biased in one way or another, so I took them with a grain of salt. (I try to go into shows I’m reviewing with as little prior knowledge as I can. I think it’s only fair. I mean, there’s baggage we go in with that we can’t ditch, but you don’t need to add traincases and hatboxes to that baggage, you know?) 

Effects like this happened. PEOPLE WALKED THROUGH DOORS. Only not really. IT'S THE MAGIC OF THEE-AY-TAH.

Effects like this happened. PEOPLE WALKED THROUGH DOORS. Only not really. IT’S THE MAGIC OF THEE-AY-TAH.

So N. and I settled in for the show. 

I realized about 15 minutes in I was not going to be able to give this show a good review. 

Now listen. I’m usually the sunshine and rainbows reviewer. Some of the reviewers in the area are often very negative. I’m usually not. I’m pretty easy to please. Honestly, the hardest part of this job for me is finding theaters I’ve never been to before when my GPS is being a dick and finding thesaurusy ways to say “amazing job.” 

The show was too tech-heavy. The plot was put to the side to concentrate on “ZOMG LOOK AT THIS EFFECT WE CAN DO!” The actors weren’t fantastic. (Luckily, the girl I’d met with David? One of the two watchable people onstage. WHEW.) The writing was TERRIBLE. The songs weren’t good. The band was too loud. Someone had the bright idea to have lights the wattage of the sun shining right AT the audience; it got so bad that a., I felt as if I was involuntarily trapped in a tanning booth and b. there was one whole song I covered my eyes for because OUCH and I was pretty sure I would need my retinas for driving home.  There was a random parasol being wielded in one number. There was a rapping Dr. Seuss ninja. Sam yelled “Mollyyyyyy!” much in the style of Rocky calling for Adrian. There was much too much use of projections; at one point, it got so silly I got the cry-giggles and N. was all “I CANNOT EVEN LOOK AT YOU OR I WILL LAUGH” so we studiously ignored one another. “Unchained Melody” was sung (poorly) like a BILLION DAMN TIMES. Once it was sob-sung while projections of a screaming Sam were all over the background. I can’t even. CAN. NOT. EVEN. 

This is Ninja Dr. Seuss, also known as "subway ghost."

This is Ninja Dr. Seuss, also known as “subway ghost.”

(This makes me sound like I was being obnoxious-loud. I promise I wasn’t. I’m a good theater-goer. I held in my noises to the point of almost exploding my eyeballs.) 

At intermission N. said, “You know what’s the worst?” and I said, “That there’s an Act II?” and we giggled all over again. 

This is not the bucket-listy thing, just in case you’re wondering. Not even a little. 

So a couple of weeks ago, the reviewers found out that the review date for Ghost the Musical had changed. It was supposed to be on opening night, Saturday, so that’s what we planned, with a run-date for the review in the paper of Monday, giving readers 5 days to see the show, if they were so inclined. The venue changed the review date due to it being so tech-heavy (it happens) so the review date was Tuesday. The show closes Friday. It usually takes two days for a review to post; mine wouldn’t post until Thursday, giving readers only two days to decide whether or not to see the show. 

My editor contacted me on Monday, concerned about the lateness of the review and that it would be useless to our readers. Could I file that night, as soon as I get home, so it could get in the Wednesday paper? (Usually our deadline is 1pm the following day.) 

Well, I always file the same night, for two reasons. One, because I have a terrible memory, so I like to write when it’s fresh in my mind, and two, because I (almost) always have to work the next day, so the night of is the only time I have to write. I wrote back to her and assured her it would be filed that night and to expect it by midnight. 

“In order to make the next day’s paper, it has to be filed by 11,” she said. 


“The show’s out at 10, and it takes me a half-hour to get home,” I said. “It usually takes me 45 minutes to an hour to write a review. I can try, but I can’t guarantee anything.” 

She wrote right back. 

“What if I had someone let you in the building, and you wrote it at the Gazette?” 


See, the Gazette’s about 5-10 minutes or so from the theater. So I could get to work faster. 

But ALSO? 



I did not take this. I found this online. But this is totally what it looked like.

I did not take this. I found this online. But this is totally what it looked like.

I’ve been in three different television newsrooms. One on the NBC tour, one on a tour of our local NBC affiliate when I was a counselor at summer camp upstate as a teenager, and one when I interviewed to work at a news station (not on-camera, something in the office, and I didn’t get it. Sigh.) 

Television. Whatever. Fine. But NEWSPAPERS? You GUYS. You KNOW how keen I am on newspapers. I love them more than is even LOGICAL. And as a freelancer I NEVER get to GO to the BUILDING! I emailed all my people all “ZOMG Z!O!M!G! I need a fedora! And a press pass! EXTRA EXTRA I’M WITH THE PRESS I AM FANCY!!!1!!” 

Then I tried to be all professional emailing my editor back all, “Yes, that would work, thank you so much, cheerio, wot wot.” 

(She also was all, “I hope you have a laptop. And here’s our wireless password.” I WAS ONE OF THE ELITE, BABY!) 

So after the show, I did something I HATE (I think it’s so rude, seriously, but I needed those extra ten minutes) and I got up the MINUTE the curtain call started and ran out to get to the car to get over to the building to write the review. My normal top-secret easy-enter-easy-leave parking lot totally got found out and now is barricaded, so I had to park like a billion miles away and THAT was a bother. So I had to hoof it to the car. Also the show started late. And intermission ran late. So I was later than 10 even getting OUT of there, even leaving the MINUTE curtain call started. N. and I zipped up the aisle and of COURSE I got behind some old man who was all putt putt putt and N. was all “important lady coming through! REVIEW TO BE WRITTEN, PEOPLE!” but it didn’t even faze him. Kept on a’puttin’ along. Sigh. 

Race-walked to the car. Got in the car. GPSed the Gazette. ZOOMED to the Gazette. Almost missed the building because it didn’t have a sign by the street but it looked so newspapery that I was like, “This MUST be it.” IT WAS! 

Called the guy who was supposed to let me in. Waited in the dark outside A REAL LIVE NEWSPAPER. Imagined what the guy letting me in would look like. Decided probably Cary Grant. Rumply suit. Tired but ruggedly handsome. 

Yowza. YOWZA.

Yowza. YOWZA.

Not really Cary Grant, but I got the tired part right. He was a very nice man. 


“Yes,” he said, looking at me like I might be a looney. 

“How COOL is this?” I said. 

“Not so cool if this is your job every night,” he replied. 

“Oh, I don’t know. I can’t imagine that this would ever get old. NEWSPAPER!” I said. There may or may not have been jazz hands. He kind of laughed. I don’t think he quite knew what to make of me. No one does, really. When you’re faced with the full-on force of this kind of enthusiasm, you either go with the flow or it blows you away, really. Choose go with the flow. It’s a hell of a lot more fun. 

So he brought me upstairs and was all, “Let’s get you a desk and a computer” and I was like “DUDE I HAVE A LAPTOP AND THE SECRET CODE” and he was all, “Um.” And I said, “Ha. Wifi password, I have it” and he was like “’kay, let’s get you a desk, then, here you go, I’m right over here, come get me if you need me” and I WAS IN A NEWSROOM. 

Now, by the time all this happened, it was 10:30. I had to write a review in 30 minutes. Also, my laptop takes a long time to turn on, and I WANTED TO LOOK AROUND THE NEWSROOM BECAUSE YOU GUYS, NEWSROOM. 

But I had to write the review. I’d written the basic frame, like, show title/run dates/cost/etc. so I just had to write 500 words about it and I was DONE. Luckily, a bad review’s easier to write than a good one. 

I wrote like the wind, you guys. Any idea when I finished editing and proofreading that bad boy (and also I emailed three people just to say, “I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT TO MENTION I AM EMAILING YOU FROM THE GAZETTE I AM GEEKING OUT ZOMG?!?!”) 

10:49. I hit save at 10:49. I emailed it to the proper address where it goes at 10:51. 

I wrote that sucker in NINETEEN MINUTES.

I then surreptitiously peered around to report back to you about a real live newsroom. (I couldn’t take photos like I wanted because there were SO MANY PEOPLE IN THERE.) 

There are a ton of cubes and desks with computers. Not typewriters, but it is 2013. Everyone has all the fun flair on their desks like wacky stuffed animals and bumper stickers. It is all gray and industrial carpetinged. It is very busy, even that late. There are a lot of windows. There is a police scanner at one chick’s desk, I assume so they can write about or go to emergencies that are newsworthy. No one was wearing a fedora (sadtimes.) One lady said, “I’m going to add three sentences to this copy” and that made me smile because COPY is totally a newspaper term and I WAS IN THE KNOW!

Everyone was sleepy but also very alert at the same time and you could feel all the history and newspaperiness. Like, if a story happened, you could tell all these people would like RUMBLE into action like BEARS COME OUT OF HIBERNATION. I just sat there and thought about all the history of these people, and how this job went back and back and BACK, and what a proud job it was, to be someone who reports the news, who tells the people what’s happening, and I got all sniffly that I was IN THE NEWSROOM and then I was like “dumbass, you have to go to work tomorrow, yo, you need to get HOME” so I went over to the guy’s desk who let me in and made sure my article arrived to the place it was supposed to go (it did) and we joked a little bit about how bad the show was and he gave me quick directions to get out of the mazey newsroom and to the elevators and then I was leaving the newsroom. GOODBYE NEWSROOM. 

In my head, it was totally black and white and looked like this, by the way.

In my head, it was totally black and white and looked like this, by the way.

You guys. YOU GUYS. I want to work in a newsroom. Don’t you think I would be the best at this? Why do I have to be in love with a dying profession? Sigh. 

Then I drove home and the GPS hates Schenectady and was all TURN HERE and it was a one-way street and tried to get me killed. DAMMIT GPS YOU STOP THAT. So then I was driving through all these little towns with the knowledge I totally just got to be in a real live newsroom all bright in my chest and I kept grinning recklessly about it. 

And today I am SO SO TIRED because I couldn’t get to sleep because SUPER-EXCITED and Dad and I had this conversation:

Dad: You’re just like Jimmy Johnson.
Amy: Am I? Who’s that? Someone super-famous at writing?
Dad: Yes. He worked with Spiderman.
Amy: What? He did? Jimmy Johnson?
Dad: EXTRA EXTRA! Remember? With the hat? He was like a cub reporter. But not a BEAR cub.
Amy: No, I don’t…do you mean Jimmy Olsen?
Dad: Yes, that’s what I said.
Amy: He worked with Superman.
Dad: They’re all the same person. You can’t see their faces.
Amy: You can see Superman’s face.
Dad: Whoa, that’s a really good scoop, there, Jimmy Johnson. 

SUPERMAN'S PAL! Look at this cuckoo-bananas comic, yo.

SUPERMAN’S PAL! Look at this cuckoo-bananas comic, yo.

Usually you have to pay to read my reviews, and I can’t guarantee you won’t have to pay to read this by the time this posts, but as of THIS VERY MINUTE, the review I spent NINETEEN WHOLE MINUTES writing is FREE on the Gazette site (due to technical problems on their end, all their stuff is free until they fix the site) so you can actually read one of my reviews in its native environment where it belongs. I KNOW! (And in case you’re wondering, no, I didn’t write the title, the guy who let me in the building did. It makes me laugh. It’s a very good title.) 

Sometimes it seems like I’m living this weird velvet-rope high life. I assure you most of the time it’s me, the cat, and a plastic tumbler of grape Koolaid. 

Bucket list, my ass. I’ll keep blundering into these kickass situations. With my jazz-hands. Who needs a damn list when you’ve got shit like THIS going on, I ask you?

Murder house, terrapins, and near escapes with the po-po: weekend wrap-up!

Can I quickly tell you about my weekend of fun before I crash out in bed? Let’s see how I do. It’s been a wonderful and a long weekend and I’m so tired but I am watching Game of Thrones (it’s a VERY Jaime-heavy episode, so I can’t even half-pay attention, because whenever Jaime comes on, I have to watch it with my whole face, of course) and I still have to unpack and then crawl in bed like a half-dead person. But I want to quickly tell you about the most wonderful weekend away. I took PHOTOS! I totally thought of you guys the whole TIME!

OK, so I left work early Saturday and met C. in Rhinebeck. Rhinebeck is a pretty little town but it had a million of people walking around because it was most utterly the best weather in the whole world. Low 70s, but that nice spring 70s, before the humidity sets in? With a little breeze? And a clear sunny sky? Not too hot, but bright and warm. It was just the best day. The best weekend, honestly.

Also, look! It’s already spring down there! We already have some buds on the trees, but not as many as this tree! Whoa! So pretty!

On the drive down, there were a lot of light-up electronic signs on the highway that said “Cell phone in one hand…TICKET IN THE OTHER” and that made me giggle every time I saw one. SO DIRE! Also, if I had a cell phone in one hand and a ticket in the other, HOW WOULD I DRIVE?

C. and I went to Oblong Books in Rhinebeck, which is a wonderful little independent bookstore which I highly recommend if you are ever in the area. It’s beautiful and well-organized and has a great feel to it and the people seem so happy to work there and there’s a very intelligent children’s section. Oh, and there was this sign in the bathroom.

I don’t know if you can read this, but after it telling you not to flush anything weird, it says “George Bush’s Yale transcript?” Hee! This is graffiti I can stand behind.

So as C. and I were browsing, because we were there early, Owen King got there, and remember how I freeze the hell up when someone I admire a great deal is right near my face-area? C. was like, “You could talk to him now!” and I was all frozen like a deer in headlights. IMPRESSIVE WRITER PERSON I AM AFRAID!

So then there was the reading, which was very good (sincerely, you need to read Double Feature, I can’t recommend it highly enough) and Owen King gives a very good reading. He apparently is not stricken with the thing that happens to me when I get in front of people to read something I’ve written which is “Um um words coming out of me heh talk too quietly for anyone to hear mumble mumble scared bye.” Then he answered questions and I DID have a question but I did not ask it because it would have spoiled the whole end of the book for people who hadn’t yet read it and what kind of asshole would do that, I ask you? So I was well-behaved. (Also, no, I didn’t take a photo of him, that seems stalky. Sorry, bloggians, my love for you apparently only goes so far.)

But then I TOTALLY had to be brave and go up and get my book signed even though it was SCARYTIMES and C. was all, “Nope, I’m not going up with you” which was the right answer but I had to go up ALL ALONE but it wasn’t even at all like the time I met Kevin Smith and I was a complete dumbass! Mostly because I didn’t talk as much. I might have learned my lesson. He remembered me from the review I’d written, and thanked me, and signed my book and drew me a little drawing and he was very nice and very gracious and I was very proud I didn’t say something idiotic or perhaps trip on my way up. Here is my happy signed book!

Aw, best! (The book is heavily about films and filmmaking. Otherwise that picture wouldn’t make sense, now would it?)

Then we went to dinner at a restaurant called Terrapin that looked like a CASTLE. We tried to go elsewhere but there was a 45 minute wait and that wasn’t happening. HUNGRY. (Plus it was getting late.)

Also, how could I not eat somewhere called Terrapin? You know I'm obsessed with turtles.

Also, how could I not eat somewhere called Terrapin? You know I’m obsessed with turtles.

I totally took photos of my food like a hipster would. I know, right? I’m the best. I told you guys you were coming with me on my travels.

I even ate something I had never TRIED before!

First, TAPAS! I have never had tapas. Look at the happy little triangle plates! On the left, FRIED OYSTERS! I have never had oysters, fried or not. On the right is fried artichokes. My evaluation? The fried oysters weren’t great because all you could taste was the breading and so they tasted like cornbread. But the fried artichokes were AMAZING. The artichokey part was creamy and artichokey and the breading was very light and the sauce was zingy. I could have eaten a zillion of these things.

Then, something boring but delicious. I filled my quota of trying new things for the evening.

Fish tacos! (NOT A EUPHEMISM. I told C. I was going to say NOT A EUPHEMISM about fish tacos.) They were delicious and the tortillas were freshly made and the fish wasn’t battered, just crispy. My only total complaint was that there was A TON OF GARLIC IN THAT GUACAMOLE. Holy moly, to be punny and rhymey. And you know I hate garlic. C. had roasted garlic soup for her appetizer and she said there was so much garlic she almost died and on the way home she had to stop for Tums. They use a lot of garlic at Terrapin if you like such things. I do not.

Then it was time to go back to C.’s house for a sleepover! On the way there, I WAS STOPPED BY THE PO-PO!

Totally true. I was driving down a highway and a cop was coming the other way and he did a total U-turn with lights a’blazin’ and then got all up on my ass and I was like “um, should I pull over?” because at that point, he had turned off his lights? And that was unnerving. But then he turned them on and that makes your heart get cold. So I pulled over and I knew I wasn’t speeding and I don’t have warrants and all my insurance and registration is up to date so what the hell? And then the cop knocked on my car window with his flashlight like they do in the movies and I rolled down my window and he was SO HANDSOME in a blond severe way with very pretty eyes and he said “LICENSE AND REGISTRATION” and of COURSE I couldn’t find the damn registration because cops make me nervous but I gave him my license and he was all “Do you know why I pulled you over today” (and C. and I were joking today about do you think anyone ever screws that up for themselves? Like, they answer that with “oh, the dead body in my trunk?” or “all the weed, right?”) and I said, because it was the truth, “No?” but then I thought, “wait, maybe it was…” and he said, “you have a light out” and I HAD noticed one of my headlights was looking weird but sometimes they do that and then they come back on? Well, at least the signal lights do. I assume the headlights might, too, I don’t know. ANYWAY, I was all “it IS? Oh, crap, how embarrassing, I’m here from out of town for the night, I can get that fixed on Monday, WHERE IS THAT STUPID REGISTRATION” and he said, “Nah, it’s ok, you’re from____” (that’s the name of my town, you don’t get to know that, Stalker McStalkfaces) and I was all, “Yes!” and he apparently lived here once, so that was nice, and he said, “Do you have constant problems with that light?” and that was worded oddly so I said, “No?” and he told me to have a nice night and I was going to ask him on a date because that’s like speed-dating, right? Only better – but then he went back to his car and I got no ticket. I WIN! I think also we’re in love now.

So then C. and I had a sleepover and she had PRESENTS waiting for me and here are the best two things!

Half Magic! This was on sale at the bookstore and it’s one of my favorite children’s books and I don’t own it but I didn’t want to charge $3 and didn’t have any cash and C. totally sneaky-bought it for me! Aw! BEST!

A card with a frog on it! I love frogs! Well, let’s open it up and see what’s written inside!


This made me cringe then laugh like a moron.

Also there were Tic Tacs because I mentioned I ran out and soap that smells like maple syrup and a cat toy. Aw! C.! You are the best at presents!

So then we talked and played with the cats and then slept and the bed was the best and then it was the next day and there was diner food which I didn’t take a photo of because you’ve all seen French toast before but let’s just say I ate it all and it was delicious but then I was so full for the rest of the day, urgh.

Oh, also, there was this.

Oh, what’s this, I wonder? Could it be…MURDER HOUSE?!?!

Yes, it’s totally the murder house where Stinky the Serial Killer killed the women and put them in the attic. Only it’s been majorly overhauled since then and C. pulled up and let me take a photo and I was GOING to tell you that I didn’t TAKE the photo all crooked like this, IT CAME OUT THIS WAY, but I totally took it this way to make it look haunted. It’s just a nice brown house.

Then we went to see In the Heights and it was kind of entertaining. OK, first, I had never seen that show before, and I loved it. Most of the leads were excellent. Two of the dancers were AMAZING. Even more amazing – they were high school boys. So, so good. Some people were less than good. I’m not going to call them out here, because what if they accidentally found this through the wonder of the Googles, you know? Suffice it to say that a few things gave me the giggles. But overall, the pure joy these people had putting on this show was utterly contagious, most sincerely. I think maybe sometimes we don’t bring our joy onto the stage. We see it as a job and the joy is all sucked out by the time it hits the stage. But these people, screw-ups and all, were really the most joyous. And that was such a pleasure to see.

Then it was time to come home (after a quick pit stop to act out some of the things that made me giggle for C.’s boyfriend C., who stayed home because he does not like musicals and he wanted a nap.) And now I am home! And it is late! So I am going to bed!

Happy week, all! I only have two work days, then on Thursday, I get up at 3am to go to Baltimore! YAY! (Well, not yay 3am, but yay BALTIMORE!!!) Thank you C. and C. for the best weekend! Can’t wait to see you both again soon!

And now a break in our regularly-scheduled programming for a total geekout.

This is not a real post, mainly because it’s late, I spent most of the evening doing things that were not this, and I’d like to get some sleep tonight. And I KNOW, it’s supposed to be I-answer-all-your-questions-day, and trust me, that’s coming. Maybe tomorrow, or maybe Friday, because tonight I’m going to dinner with my theater ladies so we can have our monthly try-new-cuisines dinner. We’re trying Korean tonight. You know what Dad thinks about that, right?


Thanks, Dad.

I told him I was an emissary, like Dennis Rodman. He didn’t think that was funny at all.

Aw, BFFs!!!

Aw, BFFs!!!

So ANYWAY, we have some totally exciting geek-out news here at the Football. What could it BE, I wonder?

Some of you already know what it is because I emailed some people and I posted it on Facebook and also Twitter. I couldn’t help myself. I was so excited that I had to tell SOMEONE, dammit. Or a lot of someones.

OK, so, if you’re a blogger, you know about this (well, a WordPress blogger, anyway) but WordPress has this thing called Freshly Pressed. Freshly Pressed is where these people who work for WordPress read a bunch of posts, and choose ones that are their favorites and highlight them on the Freshly Pressed page. See, if you click there, you can see the ones they’ve chosen recently. Aren’t they pretty?

Here's the badge you get once you're Freshly Pressed. There are little hearts and EVERYTHING. Ooh! Ah!

Here’s the badge you get once you’re Freshly Pressed. There are little hearts and EVERYTHING. Ooh! Ah!

Being Freshly Pressed means that a lot of people see your blog. And read it. And comment on it. It also means your blog is probably not garbage, and someone at WordPress has actually read what you have to say, and approves. You probably will get more followers. It’s all very fancy. (Dad said, “What’s the prize?” and I told him “More recognition and followers?” and he harrumphed. Dad doesn’t get the blogging thing, yo.)

Now, how do you get Freshly Pressed? You write posts without too many cusses. You tag posts appropriately. You put in pretty photos. You don’t write insanely long posts. You don’t have typos all up in that bitch.

Well, I don’t cuss (much, ya bastards) and I use photos (some say TOO MANY photos) and you know I hate typos like some people hate spiders or maybe pine tar. OMG CAN YOU IMAGINE SPIDERS COVERED IN PINE TAR. Wouldn’t that just be the worst?!?!? Otherwise…um. Yeah. I don’t use tags. Because when I moved over here, I didn’t understand the tagging system, and then when I figured it out, it seemed like too much work to start it up, so I just put everything in categories, which was the lazy woman’s way out. Don’t ever let it be said I don’t like the lazy woman’s way out! And as for writing posts the length that someone might read…heh. Heh, heh. You’re all my loyal readers, you know my issues with editing. And yet you still love me! Aw, you GUYS!

So I thought, oh, well. No Freshly Pressed for me. That’s cool, I can live without that, I don’t care, I have the best followers ever, anyway.

Some of my favorite blogs have been Freshly Pressed. Some of my favorite PEOPLE have been Freshly Pressed. If you’re reading a WordPress blog and you see a little Freshly Pressed widget on the sidebar, like the one up there, you know they’re super-special and sparkly.

Well, last week I wrote the post about Steubenville. And I thought, this is something I’d like more people to read. This is something that could benefit from being Freshly Pressed. So I actually tagged it. And sj tweeted Freshly Pressed, and they responded that it was a powerful piece, but they’d already highlighted some Steubenville posts. So I figured that was a nice “too late, Charlie” and oh, well.

Then I got the itch to write the body-shaming post. Which was odd, following on the heels of the Steubenville post. Usually my rants are more spaced-out. But when an inspiration comes, I think you just go with it. So I wrote it. Oh, and I loved how it turned out. And if you know me at all, you know I don’t like ANYTHING. So for me to like how it turned out – that’s something.

So I tagged it and sent it out into the world. Fly free, little post.

It got read. And commented on. And shared. And I watched the stats rank up, and people mentioning that it should be Freshly Pressed, and I thought, nah. It won’t happen.

But shh, I wanted it to happen. Because I wanted more people to read it. Not ONLY because I wanted more people to read my blog (hell, can we all just be honest and admit we want that? Why else are we here?) but because – well, I assume most of you read that. Think of how that might have changed you, having read it as a kid. I sure as hell wish I’d read something like that as a kid. The thought that maybe, just maybe, someone might read that and share it with their kid…or react differently toward their child…or toward anyone’s body…well, that thought made me so, so…hopeful, I guess. Hopeful that maybe things could change, a little.

But nah. Me and Freshly Pressed? Nope.

I did a guest post at Black Box Warnings yesterday (which you all should read if you didn’t – I like how it turned out, and was so honored to be asked to be a guest, especially somewhere I admire this much) and the stats were racking up over there, as were the likes. I was having a good day. So many comments to reply to, both here and there. Lots to do. A blog to write when I got home.

Then I went to my salon to get my hair done (I needed a trim, I was getting frazzly) and got there much earlier than planned. So that meant extra time to play with the phone! Wrote some emails. Read some blog comments. Just about to go into the salon and BAM. Email with this subject heading:

Congrats, you’ve been Freshly Pressed!

Because I’m a weirdo, the first thing I thought was, “Which of my friends is screwing with me right now?” Then I thought, “Oh, maybe for the post at Black Box Warnings? That’s ok. That was a pretty good post. And the blog deserves it. Good.”


When I opened it up, it clearly was FROM WordPress. And stated that my post “You’re Gonna Carry That Weight; Carry That Weight a Long Time” had been chosen to be Freshly Pressed.


I cussed in that post!


I didn’t have any personal photos! I actually had less photos in that one than I normally use!


(Can we just revel for a minute that a post with a Beatles song lyric for a title got Freshly Pressed? I think my most beloved John Lennon, somewhere, wherever, is liking that very much. I know that I am.)

First I said (pardon my language please; in real life, sometimes I’m cussy) “No way. NO FUCKING WAY.” Then I reread it. Then I made a noise like a puppy if you accidentally step on its paw, which is kind of a yelp-whine. Then I started crying. Five minutes before my hair appointment, because THAT’S how you want to go into the salon.

I then forwarded the email to sj with the message “OH HOLY SHIT SJ WHAT THE HELL?” and to Eric with the message “I’m pretty sure you and Sara just got me Freshly Pressed” (they totally inspired me to write the post; I’m not even going to pretend that came out of the ether, they deserve the due credit for this one.) Then also I emailed more people because GEEKING OUT. Then I was late for my appointment so I had to run but she made me wait a half-hour so I emailed ALL THE PEOPLE with “I KNOW WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW” and “I’M PRETTY SURE THIS WAS SENT IN ERROR” and “I KNOW I AM CRYING IN THE SALON WAITING AREA.”

And now I am home and probably this would be a lot more effective were I to wait until it was actually UP on Freshly Pressed to geek out about it but here is my reasoning why I can’t do that:

  • if I had to hold off on this news, my head would explode.
  • I don’t know when it’s going up so how long would I have to wait, exactly? Good grief, this is like waiting for Christmas when you’re four years old. IT’S LIKE IT’S NEVER COMING. (Not a euphemism.)
  • Most of the people on Twitter and Facebook and here have read it already so it’s not like I’m ruining anything for new readers. (But if you want to read it again, go to, jellybeans. Plus read the comments. They are wonderful.)

So, once this happens, although Dad thinks there should be a monetary prize (sorry, Dad), I think this means there will be new readers. You GUYS! New READERS! We should be very nice to them and not scare them off, unless they are asshats, then we can totally scare them off, I don’t even care. Are we all so excited about the potential for our little tea social to become this gigantic rave? Wait, if it’s a rave, is it going to be like one of those foam parties I saw on 60 Minutes one time? Those look totally unsanitary and someone there is sure to get a yeast infection and my grandmother said “That looks like someone spilled the dish soap. AMY DO YOU THINK SOMEONE SPILLED THE DISH SOAP?” and I told her yeah, probably.

Don't do bad touch, you'll catch the herp.

Don’t do bad touch, you’ll catch the herp.

Also, that post? So many people will be reading that post. And maybe they’ll share it with other people. And maybe, just maybe, it’ll reach someone it’s supposed to reach. Like the equivalent of a young-me. Or a young-you. Someone who really needs it.

I can’t even pretend I’m too cool for school about this, you guys. It’s a total honor, and I’m so jazzed about it I keep bopping around the house like a Muppet.



No, seriously.

Holy hell.

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