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Tag Archives: friends

Meeting real people in real life: an adventure in Virginia

Much like Heather yesterday, I have stolen away like a thief in the night to quick like a bunny post something so you know that a., I have arrived safely in the land of Virginia (but, although Heather promises I was supposed to be assigned a lover per the state motto at the border, I was NOT assigned a lover, so what is up with THAT, Virginia? Seriously? WHERE IS MY LOVER. I am not enjoying your state as I should be in this loverless fashion) and that b., we are having a grand adventure, as promised.

The train on the way here was overheated and very crowded (props to the lady who realized if she put the tray-table down in the seat next to her it looked like someone was sitting there so no one bothered her, CRAFTY) but didn’t seem to take that long, surprisingly, and I’m not dreading the trip home so much. (I really do like the train better than driving, overheating issues notwithstanding. Seriously, Amtrak, make your trains cooler than you think people would like; people can always put layers ON, but people cannot strip down on public transportation. Well, they shouldn’t, anyway.)

sj‘s husband picked me up at the train station with a most excellent sign. I told him I wanted him to meet me with a sign. He threatened to have the sign say…well, see below. My dad was all, “HE WOULDN’T DARE! HA HA!”

He dared.

I laughed SO HARD when I saw this. The people around me coming out of the station were all “THIS IS A CRAZY PERSON” and edged away from me. I didn’t even care. It was an excellent start to my vacation.

(Just in case you’re wondering, I got in the car, bitch. Also, I took this photo of him, and texted sj all, “DO YOU KNOW THIS MAN?” and she was like, “NO!” Hee!)

Then I arrived at sj’s house! And GIGANTIC HUGS WERE HAD! And her kids seem to love me, because I am a whiz with children and animals! So far I have learned I’m awesome, and have long hair, and am very good at naming stuffed animals (what, “Sir Poppington the Third” is an excellent stuffed animal name) but also that I am “too loud and kind of boring” so really, you take the good with the bad. The child that said that was VERY APOLOGETIC afterward and I wasn’t even upset because I am, actually, very loud, and somewhat tedious. So I gave him a hug and a kiss on the head and told him I was not angry because how could anyone be angry at him? And all was well. I’m very good at this childrening thing. (I did make the youngest one cry yesterday for a VERY LONG TIME and I felt terrible and I kept saying “I BROKE HER” because I totally think I did but today she told me she loved me again so I think we’re cool, yo. Also, I changed a diaper yesterday, with tag-team assistance from other children. Are you so proud of me? I seriously felt like I’d won an Academy Award. I haven’t changed a diaper since high school. WHEN I WAS BABYSITTING. I was not a teen mom. Stop thinking that right now. I did put it on backwards but luckily the diapering recipient was very compliant and was like, “eh, I’ll lift my legs up again, this weird lady’s WEIRD, but she means well, yo.”)

TOTALLY IN THE SAME PLACE AT THE SAME TIME!!!

TOTALLY IN THE SAME PLACE AT THE SAME TIME!!!

Then the next day, we thought Heather would arrive around 7-ish, so we were kicking back and doing a little reading and BAM, Heather ARRIVED, and YAY!!!

Now we were THREE! (Plus sj’s family, of course. I am not discounting them.)

Much chatting and laughter and such was had until very late and then we all slept and had many zzzzs.


ALL OF US IN THE SAME PLACE AT THE SAME TIME! If you felt a disturbance in the force around 5-ish last night eastern standard time, it’s because all the awesome was in the same collective place. The rest of the world must have felt unbalanced.

Later today, Laura will arrive, and we will have MORE of a hootenanny. Well, we’ll watch The Amazing Race and chat and eat dinner, but that’s a total hootenanny, right? RIGHT.

Oh, you totally want me to talk smack about the ladies, right? Now that I’ve met them in person?

OK, here’s the lowdown. Pull up a chair.

sj…man. That sj. Get close so I can whisper, because that’s what good gossipers do. Ready?

sj is the same as she has been for the past year and a half-ish that we’ve been talking online.

I KNOW! SHOCK! AWE!

She is awesome and funny and intelligent and snarky and wise and honest.

Oh, now the dirt on Heather.

You’re going to want to tell ALL your friends this one.

Ready?

HEATHER IS ALSO THE SAME AS THE PERSON I’VE GOTTEN TO KNOW ONLINE.

It’s true!

Heather is kind and giving and patient and wacky and intelligent and warm.

Here’s the thing, guys. Heather mentioned this in her post last night, and I can’t do anything but concur most wholeheartedly.

The people you meet online aren’t always the people they are when you meet their faces.

It’s easy to slip into an online persona when you’re someone who lives online, like a lot of us do. Some people even make that their goal; their blog ISN’T them, it’s a persona they’re putting forth. Nothing against that; it works for them. I’m completely down with that.

However, it’s the people who are the same people online as they are in real life that interest me. The ones that are brave, maybe confident, enough to be themselves both in words and in life; those are the people I’m drawn to. Because when you meet them, you’re not trying to reconcile that person with the persona you’ve gotten to know. You’ve already done the work. You’ve met them through email or their blog or Twitter; they’re that same person. You’re really just in the same airspace, hearing the words come out of their mouths with their tone and inflection, seeing the emotions cross their faces. It’s really kind of awesome, seeing that, being with them for that.

The people I’ve met in person have been the same as they are online; I don’t know if I’m interested in meeting people who aren’t. I like reality and I like honesty and I like people who aren’t afraid to be themselves, warts and all, and who accept that they might be a little broken, and put it out there for all to see, and potentially judge, with a jutted jaw and maybe a little fear in their eyes.

That’s where friendship is. It’s in the “take me as I am, please; here’s me, here’s all of me, and if you can’t take that, I’m sorry, I can’t be someone else for you.”

I don’t have to be someone else for Heather and sj; they don’t have to be someone else for me. This is just as it should be. I love them for that.

Time to go be social. Enough hiding with a laptop. Love your faces. Hope you’re having the best holiday weekend. More soon upon the arrival of the luminous Laura. *smooch*

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The start of a very grand adventure

This is not a real post! Do not expect real postitude. DON’T, I SAID!

It is currently 8:15pm. Which is PAST MY BEDTIME. Because I need to get up tomorrow at FOUR A.M. Yes! You totally read that correctly. My train leaves just before 7am.

What train? Well! My train to New York City, of course!

But that’s not the exciting part. (Well, it’s SOMEWHAT exciting. I mean, it’s New York City. That’s ALWAYS exciting. But I don’t get to leave the train station, so not SO exciting.)

The EXCITING part is that, after about two hours, I get on ANOTHER train. And THAT train brings me to…

SJ!!!!

Yes, by the time you read this, I’ll be on that second train, on my way to the lovely state of Virginia. Which is apparently for lovers. (Do you think I am required to find a lover while I’m there? I’m only there for a few days. That’s kind of a time crunch. I suppose I could pick up some random at a gas station but I think that might be ill-advised. Because of the VD.)

WORRISOME.

WORRISOME.

We will have all the fun and adventure and talk and talk and laugh and eat foods and play with the kids and watch all the television and sometimes read and write because we totally know we need time to do that, too. That’s why this will be awesome. And then in just one day, Heather arrives! Oh, and then there is MORE hootenannying.

I will do my level best to a., take all the photos and b., let you know what’s going on in the state where I seem to be required to get a lover. (I suppose I will let you know how the quest for this southern lover is going. I’m going to guess it’s going to go poorly.)

Wish me all the train-luck (which means WINDOW-SEATS, which is all I ask for on the train. Oh, and also not a crazy seatmate, if I have to have a seatmate at all. Because a very long train trip with a crazy seatmate eating, say, red-hot Fritos, is not the best thing ever.)

*gag*

*gag*

Oh, and just so you know, Dad thinks I’m going to be mugged and then murdered in New York City, and Mom said “don’t talk to strangers!” and I said, “Huh. I’m actually going on this trip to MEET strangers” and she was all “Oh, no. Oh, no no. I don’t know about you. I just don’t know.” Then Dad and I were joking that we should tell her that I joined the zero mile high club in the train bathroom to see what her reaction would be and then I was like “No, but Dad, it’s so gross in there, like, it’s AWASH in urine” and he was like, “Oh, well, don’t do that, then.” I like that his only prerequisite to not boffing in the train bathroom was that I might get pee on me.

I have got to get to bed. Time for an adventure, folks. Here we go!


How to make a perfect birthday

It was a lovely birthday, and to cap it off I am going to bed early, because I think a good night’s sleep is important. Don’t you? Well, you SHOULD. (Mostly I just want to curl up with a book and read a little before I nod off, because that’s one of my favorite ways to fall asleep. I like to fall asleep with exquisite words in my brain. This book isn’t especially exquisite, but it’ll do.)

I had a kajillion good wishes today: from Facebook, Twitter, email, REAL mail, text, the phone…I really was surrounded by all the love today. Can anyone wish for more on their birthday? Some people might want fancy meals and dancing and drinking and all that flash and such. I really want for nothing more than people telling me they remember me and love me once a year. (Well, they can tell me ANYTIME. But it means just a little bit more on your birthday, doesn’t it?)

Best of all (and there was a lot of best) I got a card from The Nephew (and his mom) and The Nephew wrote MY name and HIS name and I’m telling you right now there were tears on that card when I opened it. What a smart kiddo. He’s going places, that nephew of mine. He’s only been in school for a month, and he can write his name! And apparently MY name! Get ready, world, kiddo’s going to take you over ANY DAY NOW.

And, then to top it all off, I got a call and guess who it was? THE NEPHEW! And he said “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” and he actually talked to me for a little while, which he never does!

Things The Nephew and I discussed:

How much I loved his card and how smart he was that he could write both of our names on it (“I know!”)
How he was liking school (“I do NOT like school!”)
WHY he was not liking school (“BORING BORING BORING”)
That school is often boring for very smart kids, and it will get better (“How do YOU know?” “I was a smart kid too, buddy.” “YOU WERE?”)
A strange thing (“I don’t think my daddy thinks I am smart.” “Oh, buddy! Of course he does!” “NO. My daddy never told you that.” “Of course he did. He thinks you are the smartest kid he knows.” “HA HA! No. Daddy didn’t say that to you!” This was all very curious, as I am quite sure his father has OFTEN told him how intelligent he is. We all remark on it regularly, because he amazes us with his super-quick brain. I asked his mom about it and she said, “I have no idea where he comes up with these things. Then he argues with you about them until he gets SO ANGRY. It’s a new thing he does.” I think he’s honing his speech and debate skills, maybe.)

Then the hung up on me, and called me right back (well, I assume his mom did) and I said, “Did you hang up on me?” and he said, “Yes, but not on PURPOSE” and then he said nothing else and I said, “Are we done with the phone now, buddy?” and he said, “Um. Yes!” and I said, “OK, does your mom want to talk to me?” and he said, “YES!” and I said, “OK. I love you so much! Bye!” and he said, “Bye! I love you!” and my whole heart lit up like a Lite Brite.

Kiddo’s got me wrapped all around his little finger, you know. It’s shameless, how much I adore him.

That was a very good birthday gift. The best.

It was, overall, just a perfect birthday.

Thank you for such a happy day. Onward into the next year! Soon it will be time for a very exciting trip south to have a very grand adventure! Only two more days of work! Which I’m sure will feel like seventeen years of work, because that’s how time works, isn’t it?

Happy rest of your week, people. The bed’s calling me, as is the book. Best way to finish a birthday I can think of at the moment; I’ll take advantage of it, I believe.


Birthday shenanigans and thoughts and…poison?

WHOO-HOO BIRTHDAY!

So I’m officially (of course) writing this BEFORE my birthday but we’re just going to pretend it’s actually my birthday right now because by the time you read this, I will have been a whole new age for almost 10 hours. Yes, my lucky mom had me right in the wee hours of the morning (and two weeks early) because I was in a HURRY to be born, dammit. THERE ARE ADVENTURES TO BE HAD, MOM! said wee, slightly-premature and totally-jaundiced Amy.

So far, and it’s not even my birthday yet, there have been happy surprises. I got presents from my mom and a couple of my aunts when my parents were here this weekend, and when I came home today I had cards waiting for me (THANK YOU R. and BFF!) and then…there was THIS!

Well! THIS is mysterious. You know what they say about taking candy from strangers. DON’T DO IT, is what they say.

Luckily, this was NOT from a stranger! It was from my most favorite Andreas!!! (The hint is the Åland Post at the top of the photo. Those are Andreas’ islands.)

So let’s see what surprises from the land of Finns arrived just in time for my very special day!

DELICIOUS CHOCOLATE! Milk chocolate and milk chocolate with cashews! (Cashews are my favorites. YUM.)

This is a very fancy box of chocolates that I neglected to take a photo of the inside of, but they’re like the prettiest kind that you don’t want to eat because they’re so pretty. But trust me. I’m going to eat them. Because, CHOCOLATES, yo. (Andreas knows my affection for all things chocolate.)

A MOST BEAUTIFUL NECKLACE! My guess is that Andreas’ super-talented fiancée made it, but he’s asleep right now so I can’t confirm this assumption. It is silver and purple and matches so many things I own and is so, so me. I can’t even describe. I am crazy in love with it. I opened it and my eyes went HUGE and I went “ooooh!” I can’t wait to wear it!

And…finally…

SWEDISH POISON!

OK, so this only MIGHT be Swedish poison. Other things I decided it might be: perfume, or some sort of foodstuff. See, as you can see, the tag is in Swedish. So I was like, “WHAT COULD THIS BE?”

So of course I tasted it.

Then I was like, “OMG, this immediate tasting of a thing that you have NO IDEA WHAT IT IS is proof of your complete and total love and trust of Andreas, you know, because there are very few people that you would just taste a mystery substance without thinking it could kill you. Or make you grow larger or smaller, like Alice.” Then I giggled.

(It tasted like lemons and sugar and…mapley? And it was very sticky. NOT A EUPHEMISM.)

So then I researched it and “granskott sirap” is some sort of spruce-needle syrup. And the site I checked (and translated with Google Translate, which makes me laugh like a moron because it makes so many mistakes) said it’s helpful as both a cough syrup AND an ice-cream topping, and I seriously laughed SO HARD and emailed Andreas all, “It cannot be both. They are so disparate. OR CAN IT?”

Also, how cool is that bottle? It looks like it’s from an old-timey apothecary, and it’s SO not allowed to be mailed. Whenever you go to the post office they’re all “ANYTHING LIQUID, PERISHABLE OR GLASS?” as if they’re about to take you away in chains if you say yes. BREAKIN’ THE LAW FOR MY BIRTHDAY! THAT’S MY ANDREAS!

Thank you so much, Andreas. I love it all so much, and you are the best of the best.

Also, I totally saved this from LAST year so we could talk about it THIS year. Am I a planner, or what?

LAST YEAR’S BIRTHDAY HOROSCOPE! Let’s see how well it did!

I am a Libra. We like balance and lie a lot. Also, we're PRETTY. *blush*

I am a Libra. We like balance and lie a lot. Also, we’re PRETTY. *blush*

…you are at some sort of a turning point in your life, in terms of personal growth. Events that occur this year act as catalysts that get you in touch with some important issues in your emotional life. Your emotions run high, and mood swings or identity crises are possible. There may be some kind of conflict in your life arising from a great urge to do something different. The year ahead promises to be a busy, dynamic, and significant period in your life.

Yeah, actually, that’s not bad. This year saw a lot of shit go down, and mood swings is kind of an understatement. Also, not only was there an URGE to do something different, I DID something different. So, right on, last year’s horoscope.

You are able to see your life in terms of the big picture this year, and thus you more easily manage stress and your enthusiasm is natural. Others tend to be helpful and supportive.

Maybe over the last few months of the year; not so much the first part. Meh on this one, birthday forecast. (Although others were QUITE helpful and supportive; I have amazing friends.)

Your social life will likely increase and bring you in contact with more influential, powerful, or simply happy and helpful people. Educational, publishing, freelance, and promotional efforts can thrive this year.

Ooh, this is nice. I totally met INFLUENTIAL and POWERFUL people. (Also happy and helpful people.) And I’m working in both publishing and doing some freelance writing this year, and wasn’t doing either at this point last year. BOO-YAH, HOROSCOPE!

There was a huge paragraph about love crap in here. I’m cutting that shit out. No time for love, Dr. Jones.

So, not bad, horoscope, not bad. Keep it up for the year ahead. Predict me a funny guy who knows how to wield a semicolon, more time to write, and all kinds of travelly adventures for the upcoming year, please.

So, this past year: it’s been up and down; unemployment and new employment (times three) and doing things that I love; it’s been heartbreak and depression and joy beyond imagining; it’s been meeting people I never thought I would, in person, and giving them furious hugs, and seeing long-lost friends and relatives again, and giving them equally furious hugs. It’s been both a year of the best things and a year of the worst things, all rolled up into one. I don’t know how to judge such a year. I suppose the best I can say is I am thankful for the good things, more so than I can say, and the bad things…well, if nothing else, they taught me their various lessons, and moved on, hopefully leaving me wiser, and none the worse for wear.

I’ve written a lot; I’ve read a lot; I’ve laughed a lot; I’ve cried a lot. Most of all, I learned a lot. And I loved people in my crazy way I have. And I tried to leave things better than I found them. I am hoping I was successful in that, if nothing else.

This is my last year of my thirties; I plan to live it to the fullest. Adventures and travel and laughing and loving and living and living and living. And then living a little more.

Thanks for coming along for the ride, people of the interwebs. Knowing you’re all out there makes for a very happy birthday indeed.


The cat who stole people’s BREATH

Lots of things going on in the world, right?

Whole damn U.S. government’s shut down. Someone shot at the White House or something, I don’t even know what the hell. People are very, VERY angry about the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare, if you like to call things by the wrong name in a sneering fashion, like my dad does, for example.) It’s October, but here in lovely New York, it feels like June.

IS IT THE APOCALYPSE?

Nah, probably not. Just Washington being especially childish. These are grown men and women who are playing a big old game of “I’m taking my ball and I’m GOING HOME” and they’re being stompy-stomp and it pisses me off that we elected them and they’re not doing their jobs and now basic things aren’t getting done and people aren’t getting paid and it’s all a problem.

Dad said, “WHY DO YOU WORRY ABOUT SUCH THINGS. THIS ISN’T GOING TO AFFECT YOU.” I replied, “It DOES affect me, as I am a human, with emotions and feelings, and I feel empathy” and he said, “UGH YOU ARE SO STRANGE.” Wouldn’t it be nice to have no emotions? I think maybe yes. (Oh, shush, Dad HAS emotions, I’m exaggerating, he’s just on the WRONG SIDE and thinks this government shutdown nonsense is a good idea. HOWEVER, in good news, he says – and he seems to be up on these things – that there’s some sort of thing that happens on – I think he said the 17th? something about the debt ceiling, I think? – and if the government isn’t up and running by then, it would be castrophic, and therefore, he thinks HIS PEOPLE will be forced to capitulate. I’m all for this, but of course I didn’t tell him this. So, if Dad’s right, we only have two more weeks of this to put up with.)

But surely there are better things going on in the world, right? We need some cheerfulness. This has been a crappy week.

Here in Amyland, things have been hellaciously busy. This past week has seen very little sleep, a lot of running around, and many adventures. Well, sort-of adventures. Busy-ness, at least. Two theater reviews, so far. (Both AMAZING shows. I love it when that happens.) Dinner with friend K. with delicious food and lots of talking and laughter. Haircut today, so for 24 hours I’ll look pretty and put-together, then I’ll be forced to do my own hair and it’s back to looking all frowzy and harried. Oh, and my car broke down so next week I have to bring it in for a billion dollars of repairs. SIGH.

Not actually me or actually my car. But close.

Not actually me or actually my car. But close.

Dumbcat is not pleased with all this running around. He would like more sitting around so he can curl up on me and sleep most sleepily; I have to admit, I miss that as well. Sorry, buddy. Very busy. Lots to do. Need to make money to buy your cat treats. The other morning he woke me up about ten minutes before my alarm with VERY LOUD SNORING because he was sleeping on my pillow right next to my face-area and snoring like a LITTLE FURRY CHAINSAW. I couldn’t decide whether it was more bothersome to be woken by him, or by the blaringly aloud alarm. He doesn’t MEAN to snore like a little furry chainsaw. It’s not his fault. He’s VERY TIRED. And snorey. And adorable.

Another play coming up, then hanging out with Mom and Dad this weekend, which should be fun-times. We will have food and shopping and presents. Because I am 4 days from a year older! Hooray!

Oh, also, I have STORIES which I have forgotten to tell you. From last weekend, when Cousin S. was visiting. She was all, “YOU NEED TO WRITE ABOUT THIS!” and I totally forgot because I was writing SO SO LATE and I was dying to read the new Stephen King book. (Which I finished. And it was AWESOME.)

So this past weekend, Cousin S. came to visit. Dad was CONVINCED we were going to get in trouble. I’m not sure that we were that much trouble as kids, but apparently Dad thought so? So he started saying, a few days before she got here, “you call me if you need bail money. I HAVE BAIL MONEY SET ASIDE. Those bail bondman, THEY ONLY TAKE CASH MONEY.” So all weekend, whenever we’d do anything, S. and I would say “Ooh, THIS is sure to make us need that bail money!” These things included eating sushi, going to the movies, and visiting the Empire State Plaza. (The last one of these is the only one that MIGHT have caused the need for bail money, because we decided we were walking somewhere maybe we weren’t supposed to when we were cruising around The Egg.) Dad seemed disappointed that we never needed that bail money.

The second thing is MUCH more worrisome.

Dumbcat tried to kill S.

I woke up one morning and walked quietly into the living room (where S. was sleeping) and was all, “where is that Dumbcat?” and looked and there was Dumbcat, ON HER CHEST, with his face all up in her face.

You know what that means, don’t you?

Dumbcat was totally stealing her breath.

Dad’s OBSESSED with cats stealing people’s breath. I think he heard it from my grandmother, and even though I explained to him it’s just a thing that people say because cats used to sleep in infants’ cribs because they were warm and smelled like milk, he STILL thinks one day, I will wake up dead (yes, he says that) with Dumbcat having stolen all my breath.

She woke up and said, “I cannot move THERE IS A CAT ON ME” and Dumbcat was all gleeful that TEH LAIDEY! TEH LAIDEY IS AWAYKE! and walked all over her with his mitten-paws most joyfully.

So I told Dad about this and he was all “I TOLD YOU!!! I TOLD YOU THAT CAT WOULD TRY TO STEAL SOMEONE’S BREATH! THAT CAT TRIED TO KILL YOUR COUSIN! WHAT WOULD I HAVE TOLD MY LITTLE BROTHER IF SHE HAD DIED BY CAT-BREATH-STEALING?”

Heh, Dad. I’m so pleased your theory came to fruition.

(Just so you’re all aware, Cousin S. is alive, well, and kicking back at home with her family now. She is not a victim of Dumbcat’s excessive love. Not even a little.)

Oh, ALSO, on a funny note, Cousin S. works in the medical field and we were talking about medication and apparently my current sleeping pill (my doctor’s constantly switching them up; she’s amazed I can’t sleep, and I’m quite sure soon I’ll be given horse tranquilizers) is also a CAT MEDICATION. I think for seizures. I am currently taking a cat seizure medication to help me sleep. Check me out, modern medicine, I AM A DAMN MIRACLE. MEEE-OW.

(SIDENOTE: cat seizure medication, which is probably sleeping pill number 5 or something, doesn’t work very well. Sometimes I sleep, sometimes I think of things like “OMG THE WEIGHT OF THE WORLD! IT IS ON MY SHOULDERS!” and then I just lie there staring at the ceiling and thinking about how most people can just sleep SO DAMN EASILY and thanks, genetics.)

Time for beddy-bye, kiddos.

Remember – per Dad, we don’t need to worry about the government shutting down. IT DOES NOT AFFECT US.

Except for those of us it DOES affect, and those of us who have empathy for the people who are affected.

If you’re one of those people, my thoughts are with you. No matter what Dad says.

And hey, government-people? Get your shit together, yo. We put you in office. WE TRUSTED YOU WITH THIS JOB. So DO your damn job. This is embarrassing. OTHER COUNTRIES ARE LAUGHING AT US.

Sigh.

Happy weekends, people of the blogiverse.


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