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Tag Archives: internet

I’m coming back home tomorrow, to 14th Street

There are a few things they don’t tell you when you start working in a newsroom.

First off, it looks NOTHING like this. NO ONE WEARS TIES!

First off, it looks NOTHING like this. NO ONE WEARS TIES!

They don’t tell you you’ll probably be scraping by, pay-wise.

They don’t tell you that your work doesn’t exactly end when you leave the building.

They don’t tell you your news-brain will get turned on and you are always thinking news news NEWS. Do we need this? If so, only on the website, or in the paper? Does it need to hit social media immediately or can it wait a bit? Is it going to cause a rash of insane comments on social media, and do we have someone who can police those for the next few hours? Did we already have this yesterday? What do you MEAN, we covered this last week? Are you sure? Then why does the local news have it today as if it’s new? Is this on one of the feeds we can use? No, Buzzfeed isn’t reputable. No, we can’t use that. No, seriously, I mean it, stop that.

They don’t tell you that you’ll be really, REALLY tired. Like, almost all the time. It’s amazing any newsing gets done with how tired the staff of our news organizations are.

They also don’t tell you, however, you will love this job so much you don’t MIND the above. That you’ll work those extra minutes that add up to extra hours and not even notice you’ve done it. That you work through the exhaustion. (Especially on election night, which never, ever ends. I might still be working last election night, is how long that night lasts.) That the news part of your brain being turned on all the time is actually something you’ll like. That your teeny-tiny paycheck’s tough to handle, but since you’re working insane hours, when would you have time to spend that money, anyway? Mostly you’re spending it on fast food and your cell phone bill anyway.

You kind of put your head down and work and work and work, and then on your days off sometimes you work from a distance and try to run a few errands and sleep and sleep and sleeeeep. You kind of forget there’s an outside world except you see it a little on television. It looks nice. There’s sunshine and people seem to fall in love a lot there. How do they find the time? It’s utterly perplexing.

HOWEVER! Sometimes a magical thing comes up that reminds me that there is, surprisingly enough, life outside of work! And I can take advantage of it! Yes! IT IS TRUE!

Many moons ago, when I was just a baby blogger, I came across the lovely Lisa, who was (and remains) one of the funniest people I’d ever (virtually) met. She introduced me to many other amazing bloggers and we were quite the little blogging community, for a while, until the world moved on (as it does, especially on the internet, which tends to move faster than you’d think.)

However, we have kept in touch and have had many good times over on Twitter and on the Book of Faces and I did warn her once that I was going to come visit her in Texas via hopping a train, as if I was a hobo, with a bindle over one shoulder and probably a hat with a patch on it. I have always wanted to visit Texas, where things are supposedly bigger, and in some places weirder, even though sometimes the politics there scare me.

Me & my hobo lifestyle, yo.

Last week, Lisa sent me a message that she’d be in New York City soon. Well! This is MUCH better and less-likely to end in me being stabmurdered than me hopping a hobo train! So after some finagling (ok, finagling really just involved me asking my wonderful supervisor, “Can I have this date off?” and her saying, “You got it!” because my coworkers are the best EVER) I am set and prepared to meet Lisa in REALLY REAL LIFE. Eeee!

I have, stupidly, moved a zillion miles away from New York City. I moved in exactly the wrong direction. It used to take me a little under 3 hours to get there; now it will take me about 6. My options are a long drive and a reasonable train ride or a short drive and a VERY LONG bus ride. There are pros and cons to each of these options. I have about a month to decide which of them I’ll choose, so I’m not rushing that yet. It’s not like it matters, because at the end will be Lisa!

We have already decided there will be many shenanigans, no matter what we decide to do while we are there. We’ve known each other virtually for…oh, almost three and a half years now? It’s high time for some face-time shenanigans. We will be bringing Andreas along in spirit, because the only thing that could make this trip better would be having Andreas along for the ride. Lisa thought maybe he could create a wormhole and travel to New York to be with us with that since he is, after all, Lucy’s Football’s Science Fellow, but I’ve asked and he said it wasn’t feasable. SIGH, SCIENCE! Letting us all down!

One should never go too far without one's Science Fellow. Who knows when you'd need to science? Without him there, you'd be bereft!

One should never go too far without one’s Science Fellow. Who knows when you’d need to science? Without him there, you’d be bereft! (Also, having spent substantial time with Andreas over the last couple of years, I can tell you he is one of the best humans in the world…but he’ll deny that because he is also VERY humble.)

So: yes. For the most part, I couldn’t be happier to be an underpaid, overworked employee of the best newspaper in Northern New York* (*fine, I might be a little biased, but I’m also right.) But it’s also nice (better than nice) to have a little life to look forward to after this very long, very slow-death winter is close to over with. New York City in the spring is filled with singular magic. It couldn’t be more perfect for meeting one of the most magical people I know.

Happy weekend, people. May you all have happy thoughts and wonderful friends and favorite places to pull you through long, gray, seemingly endless winters.

Oh – and shenanigans. May you always, always have shenanigans. Or what’s it all about, otherwise?

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How to make enemies and alienate people

We’ve discussed here before how to win social media, both on Facebook and Twitter. Most of the advice boils down to Wheaton’s Law, which is:

Surprisingly, this is very, very difficult for a lot of people. I’m not sure if this is because they truly like being dickish, or they don’t REALIZE they’re being dickish, or it’s too hard to think, so therefore they just say whatever crosses their minds the minute they sit down at a keyboard…but whatever the reason is, the dicks seem to outnumber the people with something real and helpful to say online, most specifically in the comment sections.

Most people I know are, for good reason, aware that if you read an article online, you don’t, under any circumstances, read the comment section. Why? Well. Because here be dragons, of course.

For every kind, helpful and relevant comment online, you have to wade through people being racist, sexist, or just downright weird, and it starts to turn your stomach and despair for the human race.

But what about if you CAN’T avoid the comments? What if it’s your job to be the one to POLICE the comments?

I will never not love this guy. FAVORITE POLTICIAN EVER!

I will never not love this guy. FAVORITE POLITICIAN EVER!

One of the aspects of my current job is social media. Five days a week, I’m in charge of the work Facebook page and Twitter account (along with my other multitudinous tasks, of course. I’m a busy bee. But I am a HAPPY busy bee, so there’s that, then.) I not only schedule the posts our readers see, I’m in charge of reading their comments for a few reasons – to see what they’re saying (it might come in handy in the future); to see if there are problems (sometimes they tell us about typos/errors in the article or on the site, which we can hopefully quickly fix); and to make sure things aren’t getting off-topic or squirrelly.

Things often get off-topic and squirrelly.

Twitter isn’t bad, only because people in this area don’t use Twitter as much as I wish they did. (It’s a great resource for a newspaper – we can get the news out almost immediately and have a constant stream of it going to our readers. It just hasn’t taken off around here like it has in more populated regions. I think it will, eventually; we’re just late adopters.) The people who follow us on Twitter are respectful and polite, for the most part, and I never feel like I’m wading into The Princess Bride‘s Fire Swamp when I check our Twitter page.

fireswamp

The Facebook page, however, is a very different beast.

Now, please don’t go into this thinking I don’t appreciate – and even enjoy – a vast majority of our commenters. We’d be nowhere without our readers, and I love that they’re out there and paying attention.

It’s the fringe contingent that worries me. And keep me busy hiding their comments. And sometimes shaking my head and thinking, “oh, I don’t…oh, oh no.”

SO. For those people, I’d like to give you a quick list of pointers. You are very quick to complain when your comments disappear, vocally and angrily; you are very quick to shout “CENSORSHIP!” and “THANKS, OBAMA!” when you think you’ve been silenced. Hopefully, this will help you navigate the waters of our social media more successfully.

HOW TO NOT BE A DICK ON PUBLIC SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES

  • Watch your language. I don’t know if you’re aware, but Facebook has a helpful function for those of us that moderate a public page. We can choose to have comments with swear words immediately hidden, so only we can see them. We very much utilize this function, as we have every intention of being a public page, and the last thing we want is some hapless child stumbling upon you cussing the hell out of a news story. Also, you kiss your mother with that mouth? Good grief, yo.
  • Stay on topic. Of course, there’s leeway here. I’m not saying there’s one path to greatness, people. But if we put up a post about, say, a fundraiser picnic, and you start rambling on about how angry you are that there are so many mosquitoes this year and there’s no global warming because of that LIAR AL GORE!, that’s just confusing and you might be a conspiracy-crazy. I’m not saying I’m blocking it, but people are going to think you’re a looney.

    Except for you, Mulder. You can comment any old time.

    Except for you, Mulder. You can comment any old time.

  • Remember: since it’s a public page, everyone on your timeline, as well as anyone in the world, can see what you’ve said, and hover over your icon and see your profile. It’s just the way Facebook is set up, my little chickadees. You give up your anonymity when you comment on a public page. If you’ve got your page locked down, when they go to look at you, they won’t see much…but you’re still not anonymous. Your name is there. EVERYONE NOW KNOWS YOUR NAME. And your comment shows up in your friends’ newsfeed. I have a friend of a friend who’s very involved with commenting on social media sites. Every time he comments on our paper, my friend says, “I see So-and-So commented on your work Facebook page again!” Everyone’s seeing what you say. Keep that in mind when you comment. If you’re not being a jerk, you have nothing to worry about. If you are, however…well, your mom’s probably seeing that (assuming your mom has Facebook. My mom doesn’t. I’m one of the lucky few.) Do you want your mom seeing that? Are you sure?
  • Personal insults? Really? What grade are you in? We have had to take down entire posts because people randomly started insulting the other commenters, the people in the article, random politicians (seriously, if I never see another non-ironic “THANKS, OBAMA!” it’ll be too soon), and, in one weird thread, God. (Yes, some guy started really insulting God, like, over and over. SO MAD AT GOD.) That counts as off-topic, and it counts as just downright mean, people. STOP IT. I get it. You are filled with all of the hatred. You are ready to explode like a hatred volcano. Sometimes *I* am the target of the hatred volcano. Sometimes my beloved coworkers who wrote the articles are (and it takes every bit of my precarious self-control to not respond with a very biting “WE ARE RUBBER YOU ARE GLUE!” rebuttal, because when it comes to my coworkers, I am such a Momma Bear.) But if you go too far, I’m hiding your comments, buckaroo. I don’t like meanness. I don’t like the idea that people are walking around with a stomachache because someone was mean to them for no reason on our social media. Make a new plan, Stan, and screw off home.

    Oh, is THIS who's to blame. UGH THANKS OBAMA

    Oh, is THIS who’s to blame. UGH THANKS OBAMA

  • Why you gotta be so dirty? SO MUCH NAUGHTINESS. I’m immediately hiding your comments saying female politicians got to where they are “on their knees” or that the local taco place sells “fish tacos that remind me of my ex-girlfriend.” Seriously? What are you hoping to accomplish with this comment? Like, cracking up your friends with a “HEE HEE DIRTY COMMENT ON A PUBLIC SITE?” or “UNGH I AM SO SEXY THIS IS LIKE AN OBSCENE PHONE CALL FOR *EVERYONE*!” I don’t even know. I have ALMOST the least tolerance for this. The LEAST tolerance is saved for…
  • On my watch? No racist, sexist, homophobic comments. Not going to happen. Don’t even try. And if they happen when the other people I work with are on social media, I’ll sometimes randomly check and hide your comments EVEN THOUGH I AM NOT WORKING. Yeah, you heard me right. I FEEL SO STRONGLY ABOUT THIS, I DO THAT SHIT FOR FREE, YO. You don’t get to have a public forum to spew your hatred. Sorry. I know, right, FREE SPEECH? Well, we run the page, and you lost your right to free speech when you commented on it. We have the right to moderate. And until the day my fingers fall off, I will not allow you to put hate speech on our site.
  • Acting too cool for school is actually the stupidest thing ever. We get a lot of “who cares?” or “slow news day” comments. Did you really take time out of your day to write that? Actual time you could have been spending on something else? YOU obviously care, because you took that time out of your day. And no, it’s not a “slow news day.” There’s no such thing. If we posted the article, we think someone can benefit from reading it; if it doesn’t resonate with you, maybe…oh, I don’t know, don’t feel like you have to comment? It’s not like you have to comment on everything. No! Really! You don’t have to! I know, freeing, right?
  • Maybe spell/grammar check? I’m a little more stringent about this than others. I hate ALL typos. It’s what I do for a living; you can’t really blame me. Most people don’t care if you make a few. But I’m talking about the people who write a comment like “For teh all people eat fodo there waffles, good yunger.” I don’t…what does this mean? Do you even know what it means? Is it a puzzle? If I solve it, what do I win? (Is it waffles? That’s a worthy prize. I’ll take it.)
  • Don’t try to sell me a car. We randomly get a Ugandan businessman who spams about 15 of our posts with a huge long “CARS FOR SALE!” comment. We block him; he comes back in another incarnation about a month later. We’re going to keep blocking you, buddy. No one wants your used Buicks. And how would they even GET here from Uganda? Logistical nightmare.

These all seem common sense, right? Yeah, you’d be surprised. If you’re looking at the comment section of a public site, know that most likely, even though your blood pressure is up? Most of the worst comments HAVE ALREADY BEEN TAKEN DOWN. I know. Humbling, right?

So the next time you’re going to comment on a public page, take a deep breath, think, “Is this a dick move? Should I do this? Am I building someone up, or knocking someone down? Do I have a valid point? Is there even any REASON for me to make this comment?” If you can answer all of your questions and still look yourself in the eye in the mirror…you are welcome! Comment away! If not…maybe start a blog where you can say what you want, with no fear of The Powers That Be shutting you down.

...or you'll make Ron Swanson annoyed. You don't want to make Ron Swanson annoyed. Trust me.

…or you’ll make Ron Swanson annoyed. You don’t want to make Ron Swanson annoyed. Trust me.

And, to those of you with actual, helpful, intelligent comments to make? THANK YOU. You make my day/month/year. Keep on keepin’ on, you guys. You make what we do worthwhile.


Life as a wanted woman

This is the story of how I became Public Enemy #1.

Ok, that’s a little bit of an exaggeration: I think probably I’m lower on the list. Maybe Public Enemy #14, or something.

And a warning: just so you know, I am apparently a very suspicious character, and there’s a good chance, just in reading this, you might be exposing yourself to radical thoughts and ideas. I wouldn’t want to get anyone involved in whatever I’ve gotten myself into, so you have been warned! Turn back now!

Ok, what? You’re still here? You’re very brave. Total bravery points for you. Ding ding!

Here we go! The story of a social miscreant. One bad apple, if you will. And that bad apple is ME. (Can I be a Granny Smith? I really like those.)

On Wednesday afternoon, I noticed my wifi wasn’t working. Well, it was KIND of working, but not well. So I thought maybe it was just one of those things and I thought I’d check it that night when I got home. (It was working fine in the office, so I knew it was just my house.)

Now, I work nights and weekends, so I get home between 12:30am-1:15am most weeknights. I’ve gotten used to it. No worries. Don’t cry for me, Argentina. (I’ve always been a night owl. I’m ok with it. I love that I get to sleep in.)

When I got home, it still wasn’t working, and my cable company (good old Time Warner, voted least likely to satisfy anyone in the most recent American Customer Satisfaction index) has 24-hour customer service (that should probably be in sarcasm-quotes – “customer service.”) I wasn’t SO tired, so I thought I’d call them. I do so rely on my wifi.

First, I talked to…oh, I don’t remember anyone’s names. Let’s say Ben. I explained what was up to Ben. Ben kept me on the phone for about 45 minutes, trying this and that. One of the things he tried, fo no reason I could ascertain, was to reset my cable box. My cable has nothing to do with my wifi, other than the same company charges me an exorbitant charge to have them. When my cable box came back online, it was 4 hours off. So it said it was 5-something am. I don’t know why, either.

Ben was at a loss, and said “I guess the problem is that you’re going to have to have a code input into your modem, and I can’t do that, so I’m going to transfer you to someone the next level up.” At this point, I was exhausted and annoyed, but not SO mad.

Then I got transferred to…again, who knows what his name was. Claude. We’ll call him Claude. Claude looked over my file and said, “What did you and Maria discuss when she called you on December 20?”

“I’m sorry,” I replied, “I didn’t speak to anyone named Maria from your company on December 20. I haven’t spoken to anyone in your company since August, when you screwed up my move so prodigiously that I have discounted services and free HBO from your company for the next two years.”

(Side note: this is a true story. I have deeply discounted Time Warner services and free HBO for two years because the company so deeply botched my move from Albany to Watertown that it took two full weeks to get things up and running here again. I don’t like being screwed with, and I made my displeasure very vocally known. They replied with discounts. I kind of wanted them to flog themselves in Public Square while crying “I HAVE FORGOTTEN THE FACE OF MY FATHER,” but you take what you can get, I suppose.)

“No,” replied Claude, “it says here you spoke to Maria on December 20 and she marked your account for suspicious activity.”

“OK, there are a lot of things here to reply to,” I said. “First, as I said, I haven’t spoken to anyone at your company since August, maybe early September. Second, ‘suspicious activity’? What does that mean?”

“Well…um…you know…suspicious…like…activity that is…suspicious…and indicates the user and their account need to be flagged…” he said, very carefully.

“Sir, are you telling me this Maria person thinks I’m a terrorist?” I asked Claude.

“We don’t like to use the word ‘terrorist,'” he replied.

“But are you SAYING Maria thinks I’m a terrorist?” I said.

“We really don’t like to refer to people in this situation as ‘terrorists,'” he said, very nervously.

“Um. OK. So you think I’m a terrorist, then, but you’re just using ‘suspicious activity’ instead. OK. Well. That’s fantastic. Claude, how exactly do I get off this watch list that Maria seems to have put me on?”

“I can’t take you off this list. Maria should have discussed your options with you when she talked to you.”

“And, as earlier mentioned, this conversation with Maria never occurred.”

“It’s all really strange,” said Claude. “Usually, there are detailed notes saying what exactly occured with the suspect. But all I have here is that Maria flagged your account, talked to you, and her phone number and extension are here. She wrote ‘December 20’ and a shut-off date of today.”

“Well, this suspect would like to know her options, Claude. Could you let me know if I get a phone call, or will I be read my Miranda rights, or…”

Claude wasn’t amused.

Eventually, Claude told me he would MOST DILIGENTLY continue working on the problem while I slept (and if I believed that, he probably had a bridge in Brooklyn he wanted to sell me, and I have always wanted to own real estate) and gave me a number BOTH for his supervisor the next day, and for the mysterious Maria. He also assured me that this wasn’t done in error; I was most definitely on some sort of watch list and a suspect in something. But he didn’t like to use the term “terrorist.” No, no, no. Well, who does? It’s such a loaded term.

I cannot confirm or deny that this is me.

I cannot confirm or deny that this is me.

So I slept, and the next day I awoke to many messages from my friends (yes, of course I told Facebook I was a potential terrorist, wouldn’t you?) either saying “what?” or “ha ha!” or, my favorite, “I KNEW IT!”

First, I called Maria. Surprise! Maria’s phone went directly to voicemail.

Then I called the supervisor, who was very rude once he reviewed my file. “There’s nothing I can do until you talk to Maria,” said the supervisor. “Maria will call you back.”

Now. I used to work a phone-based job; I know it’s the worst when people get mad at the operator when it’s not their fault. But Time Warner makes it really, really hard to be Miss Merry Sunshine. They hold the area in a total monopoly and just don’t care about their customers. Oh, you have no internet? Yeah, you have to keep paying for that, but we’ll fix it when we get around to it. Oh, your cable’s broken? Same deal.

“I’m sure she will, but it doesn’t seem a priority to her. I need the internet in my home; I use it for my job. My job at a newspaper. We’ve written quite a few articles recently about Time Warner and its low customer satisfaction rating and the alternatives people have in the area. I’ll want to talk to Maria to get to the bottom of this; I think they’ll find it very interesting over there that one of their employees was flagged for potential terrorist activities, don’t you?”

Rude McSnotterson got very quiet, and said, “I’ll have Maria call you back.”

You mention you work for a newspaper, apparently.

You mention you work for a newspaper, apparently.

I waited half an hour, then I called the Land of Maria and got her voicemail again. This time I was tricky. I waited on the line and got transferred to the first available agent in Marialand. I explained my situation to him; he, again, told me I had to talk to Maria. He then checked and saw Maria was “out of the office…yeah, there’s no indication when she’ll return” (MARIA IS TOTALLY CIA, RIGHT?) and he was able to input this secret code to get my wifi back online. I guess he didn’t think I was a terrorist, I don’t know. Or maybe he doesn’t love MERKA! as much as Maria does.

Then he realized that both my modem and my cable box had blown up. Yes, that’s the technical term: “blown up.” So I’d have to take them to the Time Warner store and swap them out. “So,” I said, “first this mysterious Maria puts me on a watchlist, then both my cable box and my modem choose this exact day to blow up?”

He agreed, what are the odds? Hmm.

So. Off to the cable company. In blizzard white-out conditions. (Yeah, I had to run some other errands anyway…but I was pretty pissed I had to go all the way over there on the slipperiest roads ever to swap out boxes that just 24 hours ago were working fine. Even the sassy lady I like in the office over there was all, “BOTH stopped working? Girl, who’d YOU piss off?” I wanted to tell her Homeland Security, but I wisely kept my mouth shut.)

Then I almost died getting groceries and random other things (but DUDE did I get some clearance deals at the drugstore…sorry, sorry, tangent) and got home. Reinstalled everything. Crossed my fingers.

Nope. Nothing worked. Not the cable box, not the modem.

Called the help line again. This time, I got my man Dwayne. I don’t remember if this was his name, but he was from Maine and that rhymes. Dwayne had the most prodigious cold, and kept apologizing for his coughing. I apologized for being a terrorist, but I don’t think he was amused. He was polite enough, though; I didn’t even snap at him once.

Dwayne got my cable working. There was a dicey moment where the only channels I was getting were The Weather Channel, every sports channel known to man, and all the home shopping networks. I was all, “Dwayne, THIS WILL NOT STAND” and Dwayne agreed and set things to rights. Even with a cold, Dwayne was damn good at his job.

So, cable’s up and running. However, the modem? STILL FRIED. Come to find out, I have TWO MODEMS. The other one was what one of the millions of people told me was my router, so I didn’t bring it to swap it out. It was the second router that “blew up.” I looked outside. WORSE white out. Nope.

One of the people I’d talked to in the wee hours had a tech coming to my house Friday between 11-12, so I told Dwayne, “can you make sure the tech coming Friday brings a new modem?” and Dwayne said, “oh, I hate to add bad news to your bad news, but there’s no tech scheduled for Friday.”

WHAT IS HAPPENING OVER AT TIME WARNER.

Dwayne set up a tech for me for Friday afternoon who will be bringing me a modem in the NEXT snowstorm (we’re predicted to get 36″ by the end of the day on Saturday, and we already have 24″ or so on the ground from our last storm. Yeah, Watertown is…intense. The man on the news just said an “Alberta Clipper” is headed our way. AN ALBERTA CLIPPER! Well, what do you know about that? That’s like a ship FULL of snow, right? LOOK OUT!)

Look out! SHIP FULL OF SNOW!

Look out! SHIP FULL OF SNOW!

In the meantime, Dwayne and I figured out that I could hook up an Ethernet cable to my modem and I could have internet again. AND I DO. Only it’s crazy-slow. But it’s only until tomorrow. I can handle that.

So. Here’s my mystery.

Why, exactly, am I a terrorist?

This mysterious Maria wrote I’d been flagged December 20. So what was I doing December 20? (I think it only matters what I was doing online, right? That’s what Maria seems to have taken objection to?)

It was a Saturday. So I was at work from 9:30am-8pm. (Yes, I have crazy weekend hours.)

I wrote two emails; one talking about a song I’d heard that I liked, one talking about a possible job for a friend to keep an eye on. (It probably bears mentioning that both of these emails were to people outside of the country. Dad’s quite sure that’s why I’m a terrorist. I have all these “Communist” friends, you see.) I wrote one Facebook message, to someone I used to work with, just checking in. I posted on Facebook about someone in my office listening to something that sounded very much like porn on his work computer (but it probably wasn’t…right? Urgh. DON’T DO THAT AT WORK.) Became Facebook friends with someone at work (but he’s like this all-American guy. He’s totally not terroristy.) Posted a bunch of things to our work Facebook account and work Twitter account, but if she’s going to call me a terrorist for reporting local news, I think probably something’s wrong here. Did one internet search – for my paper I work for, in the morning. (I have to post one post before I get in in the morning, which is why I did that.)

That was all I did ALL DAY online. Most of the day I was at work, so I wasn’t even using this account, and usually on the weekends when I get home, I’m wiped out and can barely do anything online (and hardly want to – so tired. And have been online all day, so the last thing I want to do when I get home is be MORE online.)

So, let’s guess, ladies and gentlemen. Dad thinks it’s my very shady ties to foreign countries that have made this woman flag me. Also, the blogging; he’s sure I’m on a government watch list for bloggery. (And it bears mentioning that my friend Chris tried to visit my blog on Wednesday and was told he could not, because it had “adult content.” Hee! “Doctor Who” was MUCH too adult for his computer!) What do YOU think has been my big transgression?

I suppose she could have flagged me for something I’d done BEFORE December 20, but what made December 20, a day I worked a 10.5 hour shift and came home and crashed because I had to be back at work the next morning at 9:30am, the day she decided I was Bonnie (or maybe Clyde?) And why did it take them almost three weeks to stop my subversive activities? I could have been doing ANYTHING in those three weeks. Causing a ruckus. Fomenting a revolution. Staging a sit-in.

I kind of feel like Arlo Guthrie in “Alice’s Restaurant.” I feel like maybe I’m going to be arrested for littering and this Maria person is Officer Obie.

Obie, didja think I was going to hang myself for litterin'?

Obie, didja think I was going to hang myself for litterin’?

Stay tuned, ladies and gentlemen. I plan on calling our girl Maria a few more times in the next couple of weeks, see what’s going on. Would really like a glimpse into the world of Maria and how she internetually profiles those of us who are very terrory terror suspects.

UPDATE: I HAVE SPOKEN TO MARIA!

Sadly, the answer (which I have to wonder about) is a total letdown.

Maria actually picked up her phone right away, and when I said, “Hi, Maria, it’s me! Amy! Why’m I a terrorist, yo?” she looked into it and asked me to spell my name about 47 times and finally said, “Oh, I SEE” and I said, “you DO?” and she said my account number was one away from someone else with my exact name who lives on the east coast, and THAT Amy is a TOTAL TERRORIST! (No, ok, fine, she didn’t say that, she said that person was “the real problem.”) So my account was accidentally flagged. “But I don’t know why all of your boxes blew up,” she said. “I had nothing to do with that.”

“So that was a coincidence, this all happened at the same time?” I said.

“Ha ha!” said Maria. “Yes, just a total coincidence!”

I don’t know how much of that I believe.

Also, the tech was here. I have wifi again, and my cable’s fine, but he unhooked a bunch of other things like DVD players and such and now I can’t figure out how to hook them back up and I have a call in for him to come back, but nope. No one’s coming. So that’s nice, then. Thanks, Time Warner!

I guess now the moral of this story is, don’t have the same name as anyone else, and don’t be a very terroristy terrorist, and if you have an option to choose another cable company, I’d say choose anyone but Time Warner. Unless you like torture. I mean, who am I to judge, right?

Sayonara, my little jellybeans.


An Open Letter to People Who Find my Blog Accidentally (Volume 34)

Dear People Who Find My Blog Accidentally:

Welcome to April, my little munchkins! I’ve had better months, truth be told. April’s not been my month, what with job-losing and all. But, strangely, I am in a fairly buoyant mood, for the crap that’s gone down this month. I have to assume that’s due to the fact that, in about a month, I’m LEAVING! on a JET PLANE! and going to EUROPE! (Well, actually, multiple jet planes. You have to transfer quite a bit to get to the land of the Finns.) So yes, I am job-hunting. Not fun. But I have a thing to look forward to, so that’s keeping my eyes all bright and my spirits all chipper.

I will NOT be going to all of these places. But I WILL be going to ONE of them. And I have BEEN to…let’s see…five more of them. I AM A WORLD TRAVELER!

I suppose, if nothing else, this is giving me more time for the writing of all the things. And watching all the television. Slowly but surely I’m catching up on my programs, which is nice. Someday I might actually be ALL caught up! Ha, yeah, right.

So many shooooooooows....

So many shooooooooows….

So, just in case you’re new (and if you’re new, the nametags are over by the door, along with your freshly-baked cookies and towels folded into the shapes of zoo animals), let me catch you up on this recurring post. I’m obsessed with my stats; I like to check what search terms drive people to my blog; then I feel REALLY BAD this isn’t what they were looking for. So I write them a letter of apology (as you can see, this is the 34th one. THIRTY-FOUR, you guys, can you even? I know. It’d be impressive if it wasn’t so damn insane. If you’re interested, search for the others; they’re stellar.) Why do I do this? It makes the voices in my head quiet for a little while? Sure. Let’s go with that.

I didn’t get many questions this month, but I got a lot of search terms. So, like last month, we’re just going to have a big old list of search terms. Look at me rolling with the punches. I’m amazing, yeah? Totally am.

Here we go, ladies, gentlemen, and yes, even you, Ding Dong Joe. Even you.

– well ken, if you ask me, there is too much to complain about being young. it can really be hard sometimes, especially when your patents hardly ever you leave alone – you’re telling me! i quite like my mom and dad, but they’re always ready to criticize me. “don’t do this! you can’t that!”/ it’s often really hard to put with – oh, it’s really that bad. frankly, i’m having a big argument with my  Well! This is a very long paragraph. I don’t really know why you’d put all of this into a search, to be honest. It sounds like something from a radio call-in show. I don’t think you’ve found the right place. I mean, sure, we know a Ken here, and he’s one of our favorite humans, but I don’t know that he wants to give you advice on how hard it is to be a youth. He’s a grown-up man-person. I suppose he can come back and give you advice if he’s so inclined. That’d be up to him, though.

bitches be like i’m not materialistic  Oh! Bitches! Bitches be like, “I don’t like to be called a bitch, so why don’t you stop calling me that or I’m going to break up with you, you misogynistic piece of garbage!” In my experience, that’s what bitches be like, yo.

bluerose frommetoyou signifies  Blue roses don’t exist in nature. Geneticists have created them artificially, but you’ll never find a natural blue rose. Isn’t that interesting? If you see a blue rose, it’s either been genetically modified, or it’s a white rose that’s been dyed. The internets tells me that they are a symbol of love and prosperity. I think they’re a symbol of someone thinking you’re not savvy enough to know they’re not real. I don’t want fake dyed flowers. I like tulips and daisies and sunflowers. Cheerful flowers are my favorites. I’m pretty low-maintenance.

FALSEHOOD!

FALSEHOOD!

dating website “do you have more photos?” code  Shit. It’s a CODE? I thought it was just the guy wanting to see if you were a fatty, or wanting nude photos of you. This is why I am terrible at online dating and no longer doing it. I tried twice, both times were disasters, I am officially out of the game. I will become a crazy cat lady. It is my fate.

finnish sexy girls  I’m not sure of Finnish ladies are sexier than other ladies, but I’ll let you know soon. SO SOON. Seriously, guys. The date for the Finland trip is coming up SO QUICKLY. I’ll be sure to keep you informed on the relative sexiness of the Finnish naiset. (That’s ladies. IN FINNISH!)

I think this is a sexy Finnish girl. She's cute as a button, right?

I think this is a sexy Finnish girl. She’s cute as a button, right?

fucking sex in football sport tumblr   Good grief, there’s a lot going on in this search string. I don’t know that I can help you with any of this. Well, I mean, I drop the eff bomb sometimes. And I know how the sexing works. And I have a Tumblr. But otherwise…no. Sorry.

funny names of clowns n how to pronounce them  OK, clowns aren’t funny, first off. And how hard is it to pronounce a clown-name? Boppy. Slappy. Stabby. Those aren’t that difficult. I am confused about you, searcher. Are you wearing a clown mask and waiting in people’s bushes? The non-euphemistic kind of bushes, I mean? You are, aren’t you? Dammit. STOP IT.

go back my dinner no i’m a 1040 dun the rest just got legs  No idea. None. Usually I can get a clue about what you want from these, but this is just gibberish. The only thing that might have gotten you here is 1040 because of the time I spent working at the tax firm, but dinner, and legs, and I don’t even know, dude. Have we ever figured out who these people are who are searching these weird things, and what their motive is? No? Sheesh.

how do i get rid of the “people you may know” banner from the top of my page? i already know what friends i might know and do not need suggestions. these suggestions are annoying.  This is a nice little search term. Sentences and sentences about this. OK, I was saving this, but I’m going to give this to you guys, because you keep coming here for this: I HAVE FOUND A WAY TO GET RID OF YOUR PEOPLE-YOU-MAY-KNOW ON FACEBOOK. No, I’m not kidding. I’m very serious. It’s called F.B. Purity. It’s a browser extension (I have Google Chrome, and I’m not sure how this works with other browsers…but it’s an easy add with Chrome.) With this extension, you can get rid of People You May Know, and you can get rid of all ads and trending topics in your feed, you can get rid of people’s checkins with FourSquare, you can get rid of Goodreads status updates, you can get rid of that annoying automated list of friends they auto-populate for you on the left, you can make it ALWAYS show you “most recent” (which is why I looked into this – I was so tired of Facebook re-sorting my feed into “top stories,” I can’t even tell you)…it’s kind of awesome. You can also choose NOT to get rid of these things. It’s totally customizable and very easy to use. I don’t advocate things here that much, but I’m using this myself, and it’s totally uncluttered my Facebook. Now if it could only show ALL of my friends’ updates, and pages I follow, which is my biggest complaint right now…but I’m not as weird about it as you all are. I get hundreds of searches a month for people wanting to get rid of the People You May Know. I HAVE FOUND YOU A SOLUTION. You are so welcome. I should have found a way to monetize this, right? Dammit. I’m always so late on the thinking.

i think u r real persin but u r slut quotation  OK, I tell you this whenever you search this, but STOP CALLING PEOPLE SLUTS. It’s a terribly derogatory term. Also, a person can be a “slut” and a “real person” AT THE SAME TIME, even though I truly believe there aren’t sluts. I think calling someone a slut is just a way of shaming them for their sexuality. Just ANOTHER way. So stop it. Whenever you want to call someone a slut or a whore, think twice. OK?

my lane bryant bra underwire is coming out, do they fix it?   Ha! Of course they don’t fix it. They want you to buy a new $30 bra. You can fix it – just find the hole and do some whip-stitches there, it’s not a big deal – or you can just buy a new bra. My thought is, almost every time the underwire starts popping out, the bra’s on its last legs, anyway, and it’s time for a new one. And even if you stitch up the hole, another one seems to show up not long after. So…yeah. You can make it limp along for a bit, but it’s probably best to buy some new undergarments, darlin’.

neice and nephew are exhausting  Goodness, aren’t they just? But, like, in the best of ways. I know I am SO TIRED after a day spent with The Nephew, but happy-tired. GOOD-tired. He’s a ball of energy, that little guy. “Aunt Amy! Let’s do this!” “Aunt Amy, NOW THIS!” “You’re not too tired, Aunt Amy, DO IT AGAIN!” And then I’m like a panting puddle of exhaustion in the corner after about an hour, but he’s still bopping around like a jumping bean. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, though. He’s my best thing.

pepe le pew in tight jeans I could not find Pepe Le Pew in jeans. (He’s a skunk. Why’s he wearing jeans?) But I found THESE sassy pants with Pepe Le Pew ON them! Nice, right? I know you totally want them. They’re on eBay, go get in a bidding war over them. It’s ok. Have a good time, chipmunk.

sexsi kek tarifleri  You guys. YOU GUYS! This means “sexs cake recipes” in Turkish! OK, the “sexs” part of it made me giggle like a child, and then I was all, “what the heck would a sex cake even BE?” And then I couldn’t decide if it was, like, a boob or penis cake, or something you’d eat either before, during, or after sex, or something witchcrafty that made people want to have sex with you. Either way, I find this utterly delightful. Thank you, Turkish searcher! Lucy’nin Futbol hoşgeldiniz! (That’s “welcome to Lucy’s Football” in Turkish. I’m nothing if not inclusive!)

May I suggest, instead of sexs cake, baklava? It's almost better than sex. ALMOST, I said. Don't get crazy, here.

May I suggest, instead of sexs cake, baklava? It’s almost better than sex. ALMOST, I said. Don’t get crazy, here.

show me the bratz the nora dressed as hell and i really pretty bad breath  Again. AGAIN. I don’t even know. I know what a “Bratz” is (those things worry me. Their heads are way too big, they wear way too much makeup, and they wear far too little clothing) but the rest of it, again, is word salad. “Dressed as hell” and “i really pretty bad breath” don’t even make sense together. Or apart. Man, but am I confused this month.

Seriously, don't they look like a teenage aging actress with too much Botox, or something? These worry me.

Seriously, don’t they look like a teenage aging actress with too much Botox, or something? These worry me.

snoring on Amtrak  Oh, this was so written by someone who sat next to me either to or from Maryland or Virginia last year. I can’t even help it, you guys. I fall asleep and 99% of the time, I snore like a chainsaw. I don’t have a deviated septum or anything. It’s this inherited thing. All the people on my dad’s side of the family snore. Even The Nephew snores. And he’s four, you guys. So: I apologize to whoever’s going to be sitting next to me on the plane to and from Europe next month. If there was a way to make it stop short of suffocating myself, I would.

When it keeps everyone else around you on public transportation awake, I'd wager.

When it keeps everyone else around you on public transportation awake, I’d wager.

stubborness does not pays images and pictures  Are you going to find an image of this, do you think? Because I don’t think you’ll find one. This isn’t a common saying. Also, stubbornness isn’t something you can overcome. Well, I guess you can TRY. But for those of us who are stubborn, it’s a constant struggle. We just dig our feet in and REFUSE. Sometimes even when it’s not in our best interest. Like, me? If someone tells me what to do, I immediate want to do the opposite. Even if that person would say something like, “this house is on fire, get out now.” My first reaction, when faced with an order, is to rebel against it. Now, with age, I’ve learned that you can’t always DO that…but I still do it more often than a sane person should. This has led to some adventures, sure…but it’s also led to some major problems. So, does stubbornness pay? If it does, my bank account doesn’t show any rewards from it, that’s for sure.

And here's me!

And here’s me!

this really who just philosophy would you dare give heart’s cages in, working heart.  Again, people! THIS IS JUST NONSENSE! Are you finding any actual results with these sorts of searches? I do like “heart’s cages” and “working heart,” though. Somewhat poetic, you gibberish-spouting weirdo. Bravo.

what kind of nose does eric balfour have?  A super-sexy kind! He’s DELICIOUS, that Balfour. Such a profile. I have a total crush on that man. I have for a long time. (I don’t know if he’s the best actor, to be honest, but I sure do like to look at him.)

Yes, I could have given you his profile. Sure I could. BUT LOOK AT THIS PHOTO. You're welcome!

Yes, I could have given you his profile. Sure I could. BUT LOOK AT THIS PHOTO. You’re welcome!

what will cheer up my sugar glider  GETTING ANOTHER SUGAR GLIDER. We’ve talked about this, you guys. Sugar gliders die of loneliness. You can’t have just one. They need contact. They also can’t be left alone, so if you have only one, you need to bring it places with you. They’re the cutest little fellas, but they’re high-maintenance pets. Like with any other pets, you need to research them before getting them and know what you’re getting into, ok? And if you can’t give them a good home, get Sea Monkeys, or something. There’s nothing that bothers me more than people who don’t take proper care of their pets.

Look how sad this little guy is. HE HAD TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH A PRINTER, YOU GUYS.

Look how sad this little guy is. HE HAD TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH A PRINTER, YOU GUYS.

why does joel mchale hate zak bagans  Oh, I don’t know that he hates him. I think he pokes fun at him. Because Bagans is a douche. Per Joel McHale, he’s The Ghostdouche. I know he has this whole gang of obsessive followers and such, but he’s an overly-gelled Ed-Hardy-wearing slimy douchebag. And come on, don’t even tell me you believe those “ghosts” he finds. I’ve personally seen two shows where his “ZOMG I FOUND A GHOST” overacting made me laugh so hard I almost ruptured MULTIPLE internal organs. But remember: Joel McHale is an comedian. Do I think he ACTUALLY hates Douchebag O’Bagans? Probably not. But he’s a good target to make fun of. And that’s what McHale does. For a living.

Oh, no, people have been TALKIG about him! Not TALKIG! That's the WORST!

Oh, no, people have been TALKIG about him! Not TALKIG! That’s the WORST!

you don’t sincerely think love will end up disagreeing; good; insane, do you? quoted from batman STOP TYPING WORD SALAD INTO GOOGLE IT IS NOT DOING YOU ANY GOOOOOOOODDDDD

джейме ланнистер   This one is Jaime Lannister in Ukranian! Even the UKRANIANS love my Jaime Lannister! Nice choice, Ukranians. Я люблю Хайме Lannister теж! Я радий, що ти тут! (This is supposed to say “I love Jaime Lannister, too! I’m glad you’re here!” but it makes me suspicious that the searcher’s “Lannister” and my “Lannister” are very different. Oh, Google Translate, why you gotta do me like that?)

There. This is a nice note to end this on, right? Right. Sigh.

There. This is a nice note to end this on, right? Right. Sigh.

There you go, sweet potatoes! All of April. All for you. April showers bring May flowers…and MAY TRIPS TO EUROPE. And by this time next month, I will be on European soil. This is not even a drill. THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING.

Until next month, my poor lost lambikins. May Google be kind in your searches.

Love, Me.

(As always, thank you to Mer for the inspiration for these posts!)


An Open Letter to People Who Find my Blog Accidentally (Volume 33)

Dear People Who Find My Blog Accidentally:

Here we are! End of March. Weather’s pretty much the same as it was in February. This is all very disheartening. I am very much ready for spring. I want mud and growing things and the smell of fresh newness and all this snow to melt so I don’t have to risk my life every time I pull out of a driveway onto a road, dammit. COME ON, EARTH. We’ve suffered through a bothersomely long and cold and snowy winter. Please give us our spring. We deserve it now, please. Pleeeeease.

I am trying very hard to stick to a writing schedule; I have it all written up and hung where I can see it and it tells me what to write when so I can get things out there. Some are for the blog and some are for the OTHER blog and some are for OTHER people’s blogs and some are for submissions for publication, because I’m trying to be fancy this year and stop procrastinating. I mean, I’m not getting any younger. I have a lot of words in me. I’d like more people to see them. I think this might be the time to do that.

Yep. Totally me. Only much less corsety and much more pajama-and-cat-hair-y.

Yep. Totally me. Only much less corsety and much more pajama-and-cat-hair-y.

So, just in case you’re new (and if so, hi hi hi! Welcome to the old Football. Sometimes I write things here. Sometimes I get busy and don’t have time. I’m thinking of you ALL THE TIME, though! Like a friendly stalker!), let me catch you up on this recurring post. I’m obsessed with my stats; I like to check what search terms drive people to my blog; then I feel REALLY BAD this isn’t what they were looking for. So I write them a letter of apology (as you can see, this is the 33th one. That is easily divisible by 11! In case you weren’t aware! That makes it a very good number! If you’re interested, search for the others; they’re stellar.) Why do I do this? Eh. Who knows. Good times, I guess. Good times and crazy search terms.

I didn’t get many questions this month, but I got a lot of search terms. I thought about splitting this into two posts, but I’m too damn lazy. So this is going to be one hellaciously long post. Hope you’re all up for the challenge.

Here we go, jellybeans. I called friend A. jellybean at work today, and he was all “WHO CALLS SOMEONE JELLYBEAN?” and that made me laugh. A lot. Because I do! I call people jellybean!

I only call the people I really, really love food-related nicknames. It's a thing with me.

I only call the people I really, really love food-related nicknames. It’s a thing with me.

are you brave enough to delete people you dont like from your facebook Am I brave enough? Is this a dare? Is this like how Marty in Back the Future couldn’t not get in a fight if someone challenged him? Well, if it’s a “brave” thing (which I would argue), then, yes, weirdo, I guess I can claim that. But mostly the people I unfriend and/or delete isn’t a dislike thing, it’s more of a “I no longer know/talk to this person” thing, so I start thinking, “do I really want them on my personal Facebook page?” and the answer is 99% of the time no, no I do not, so I unfriend them. I realize this is not what normal people do; I can only assume, per the sheer mass of friends most of you seem to have on Facebook, you never unfriend anyone, and are friends with everyone from your newspaper delivery boy to your 98-year-old Nonna, but I’m very weird about social media. As for deleting people, there are some people I’ve blocked, yes, for various reasons, some of them stalkery, some of them ex-friendy. None of this is really all that fascinating, dear. To answer your question: yep. I’m as brave as that sassy redhead from the Scottish Pixar bear movie. Rawr.

Merida would NEVER fear deleting someone from her Facebook!

Merida would NEVER fear deleting someone from her Facebook!

blogging etiquette for kids I’m curious. Is this about child-bloggers, or is this about “should I post my children’s photos on Facebook?” Are child-bloggers like sweatshop workers, and you force them to blog every night after school and they’re all “I DON’T WANT TO, MOMMY!” and you’re like “you’ll DO it, and you’ll LIKE it” and they cry and cry and you offer them an ice cream sandwich if they finish the damn thing? I’m not enjoying the idea of child bloggers at the moment. If it’s about putting children’s photos on the internet…well, you have to trust your gut on this one, and know that if you do it, there are weirdos that will most likely put your child’s photo on a porn site. The world is full of such nonsense. I am pretty selective about what photos of The Nephew I put on here. Like, I just did the zoo blog, and it needed at least a COUPLE photos of The Nephew, or you’d think I’d made him up and drove to Utica alone, but I made sure he was all bundled up, or behind a lion photo-thingy or something. Probably still pervs will find my blog, though. That’s what pervs are good at. Well, that and searching my blog for things like “literotica dogs and ladees.” STOP THAT.

bubble adult finnish necklace scientific articles worst of There’s a lot going on here, and I’m not 100% sure what it all means. I even did some variations of searches on this, and nothing. Andreas? Any ideas? There’s science here, but also necklaces, and since Andreas’ fiancée makes such gorgeous jewelry, maybe they can put their heads together and figure out what’s happening here, even though technically the two of them are Swedish, not Finnish, despite currently living in the land of the Finns. This is becoming very tangled so please enjoy this photo of a bubbly jeweled thong thing I found on the intertubes.

Yeah. This isn't at all ouchy-looking.

Yeah. This isn’t at all ouchy-looking.

coloring pages of eyes nose mouth of tim tebow Why would you WANT this? Only his eyes, nose, and mouth? I don’t…does anyone even talk about Tim Tebow anymore? Remember he was such a big deal? What happened to him? Is he no longer praying and causing everyone to have aneurisms over the separation of church and sportsball? HOLY CRAP IT’S A THING. It’s really a thing. WHAT IS HAPPENING. Who wants this? Kids? Adults? Women with crushes? Pastors? I am so confused, you guys. The internet never fails to amaze me. Sincerely.

This scares me. Kind of a lot.

This scares me. Kind of a lot.

facebook funny coworkers blocking you HA HA HA! That IS funny, your coworkers blocking you! Oh, wait, I think that means they hate you. I think that means you fail interpersonal relations. Not sending you a friend request is one thing…blocking you, that’s pretty serious. Dude, did someone tell you this is funny? They were lying.

i am not mad i just need sex Can I tell you a story? One of the things I hate most in the world is when you’re in a terrible mood, and someone (male, female, it doesn’t matter, both do such things) say something like “ugh, SOMEONE needs to get laid.” I usually say in response to that, “SOMEONE needs to get laid out” and then I make a move like I’m going to punch them in the neck, and also I say something totally inappropriate like “are you implying I don’t know how to masturbate?” because I have learned that there’s very little that shuts people up quicker than talking about female masturbation. Why is it that male masturbation is not only understood as something that happens and is normal and also a joke on all the sitcoms, but female masturbation NEVER gets talked about, and it makes people all freaked out as if it’s like sacrificing a virgin to a volcano? That probably has nothing to do with this search term, but why not take the opportunity to rant a bit, you know?

Why does this look like a child wrote it? *shudder*

Why does this look like a child wrote it? *shudder*

i hate it when people think your stupid quote images Oh. Sigh. Do we need to have this talk again? You’re = you are, your = possessive for something that belongs to you. “I hate it when people think YOU’RE stupid.” Not “your stupid.” I mean, go on and own your stupidITY, darlin’, that’s ok, but not in this format in this sentence. OK? And if you find an image with it spelled this way, don’t use it, because then people WILL think you’re stupid.

A whole SHIRT that's a grammatical nightmare. I kind of ironically want this.

A whole SHIRT that’s a grammatical nightmare. I kind of ironically want this.

i looked silver fillings brother’s mouth HOLY CRAP NO! NOT SILVER FILLINGS! (What does this mean? Anyone know?) My brother has no fillings. My brother and I have excellent oral hygiene due to fluoride pills as children. *curtseys*

i love you then i hate you. i wanna throw you from a cliff then I thought maybe this was a song (I’m not ruling that out – it might be, still, I just don’t know which one, if so.) But if it’s NOT a song…man, don’t be throwing people off cliffs. Did you read about that woman who got married, then right after took her husband up to the mountains and pushed him off a cliff? It’s all very salacious and who knows what happened there. I’m sure it’ll be on 20/20 soon enough. Or one of those Nightline: MURDER! shows and they’ll call it “The Newlywed Killer” or something. I get it: the people we love sometimes are extremely frustrating. But clench your fists or yell into a pillow or get therapy or something. Don’t murder them. Because then the next day, when you’re over it, they’ll still be dead, and you’ll be someone’s bitch in a prison cell. Do you want that? I don’t think you do.

i was the class clown but now i’m not that funny Yeah, that happens. Sometimes when you get older, you no longer have that forum in which to crack everyone up. I mean, you’re not in a classroom setting anymore, and you’re no longer all hormones and awkwardness, and you don’t NEED to be funny to survive…so your need to make loud fart noises when the teacher sits, or say things like “Jenny Jacobs is a tampon!” really loudly leaves you. It’s ok. Watch old standup videos and think about your long-lost glory. Take out the yearbook where you got voted Class Clown and cry a little on the signatures. Tell sad jokes into your shaving mirror and go off to your soul-crushing job as a stockbroker and think, “WHY ME? WHY LORD WHY ME?” You’re welcome, Crackup McGurk. Best of luck. Here’s a banana peel, go fall down and see if anyone laughs. (Bee tee dubs? Those of us the class clown were mocking back then are adults who are making people laugh on the regular now. Just an FYI. Hope you’re happy thinking about all those people you’re not making laugh now.)

Aw, the tears of the class clown. *sniff*

Aw, the tears of the class clown. *sniff*

if u r bad then say me ur dad What does this mean? It’s like a little textspeak rhyme. Let’s translate it into normal human English. “If you’re bad, then say I’m your father.” Is this an alternate way to say “Who’s your daddy?” or even “Who’s been a bad girl?” I’m completely befuddled. I refuse to use textspeak. It bothers me so much. I get it’s faster if you’re texting all fast, but it’s not that much faster. And why are we in such a race? I text everything the same way as I would write. It makes people laugh. They comment on it all the time. “You text and write the SAME!” Yes. I’m very old. It’s what I do.

im doing my paralelle parking on my 7th hour of driving . . . is this a good thing ? I don’t know because I’m confused by your question. You’ve only been driving for 7 hours and you’re learning parallel parking? I guess that’s good. I’ve been driving for 22 years and I’m still terrible at parallel parking. I’ll walk an extra ten minutes rather than parallel park. So if you can master it, you go, brave driver, you go. And don’t you let anyone tell you that you don’t need to know how to do it. You do. MASTER THAT SKILL. It’s one you’ll need as an adult, no matter what anyone tells you, and sometimes there’s no choice but parallel parking, and if you can’t do it, you’ll turn around and go home in tears. I mean. So they tell me.

i’m in my 20’s perhaps This, to me, seems to be something one should know. Are you in your 20s? Or are you NOT in your 20s? “Perhaps” is not the right answer to this question. Unless you were raised by wolves and don’t know your true date of birth. If that’s the case, awesome, can I meet your wolf-mom? I think wolves are neat.

it’s so hard not talking to you Ooh. Ouch. Yeah, I’ve had those people. Sorry, lost searcher. It gets better, one way or another. Either you and your person will find your way back to one another (it really does happen), or time will heal all wounds (or, if not heal them, at least make them easier to live with…time and distance do that) and you’ll breathe a little easier each day until one day you won’t realize until about halfway through the day that you haven’t thought about that person all day. Then you’ll get a little weepy, because it seems like you lost them all over again. It takes time, hon. I’m sorry. It’s one of the hardest parts of this whole human-gig we have going on here, and I’ve been there. Sending you much love. You will get through it. I promise.

lemurs happy birthday OMG! Is it the birthday of ALL THE LEMURS? Every last one? Why didn’t anyone tell me? I would have thrown SUCH A PARTY! Happiest of birthdays, lemurs! I hope you have the best year and are not eaten by the hyenas!

THE HAPPIEST BIRTHDAY LEMUR! He looks a little drunk, to be honest. Did someone serve this lemur too many free drinks on his birthday? Come on, people. Fess up.

THE HAPPIEST BIRTHDAY LEMUR! He looks a little drunk, to be honest. Did someone serve this lemur too many free drinks on his birthday? Come on, people. Fess up.

lucy is a person very especial Oh, sí. Muy especial. Especial en la cabeza. Muchas gracias, mi amigo.

maddest musicals ever Now, what are we talking, here. Mad-angry or mad-insane? I’m going to nominate Sweeney Todd for a little of both, for sure. The people in Les Misérables are pretty pissed. Cats is batshit insane. The cats talk and leap all through the audience and scare children, I mean, come on. The titular character in Phantom of the Opera is a lunatic. The characters in Assassins are both angry AND crazy. I could go on, but I feel I’d be boring someone. Or a lot of someones. But if you need a really specific list, I’m your lady. Let me know what you’re looking for, sweet potato.

people who.find friendship waste of time is not friendship Well, isn’t this a nice little adage. People who find that friendship is a waste of time are not your friends, I would assume would be the grammatically correct version of this? Well, good grief, why are you even hanging out with such people? What kind of person says, “I find this whole friendship gig a waste of my precious TIME” to you and yet you continue to hang with them? That’s really more on you than on them. Hit the road, Jack, if that’s happening. I’ve totally been culpable of not keeping in as good of touch with my friends as I should, especially when busy or when my head’s in a bad place (sorry, friends, I love you!) but I don’t know that I’ve ever said, “friendship, man. What a waste of ma TAHME.” If I ever say that, please take me outside of the barn, tell me to think of the rabbits, and put me down, George.

sexscarf I don’t have much to say here, other than this is a most excellent word, and would make a great band name or book title. Someone make it so. SEXSCARF! (You know you can just use regular scarves, right? Right.)

I Googled sexscarf and this came up. Does this look like a sexscarf to you guys?

I Googled sexscarf and this came up. Does this look like a sexscarf to you guys?

short romance stories for middle school Ooh, I love a challenge. “Today was the day! Morton would tell Penelope he loved her. But just as he approached her, he tripped over his too-low-hanging pants, and when she turned to see what the clatter was, her hair got caught in her braces. Better luck next time, Morton!” How’d I do? Pretty romantic, no?

the stupid smile when a person sends a message Yes. This. Sometimes this. That’s all I have to say about that. Thank you.

unipegaso animal OMG UNIPEGOSO. This is totally a Spanish unicorn-pegasus HYBRID. It would say things like “muy peligroso!” and it would also fly you off into the sunset most impressively. Can I have a unipegoso? (SIDE NOTE: there were Mexican wolves at the zoo last weekend and they wouldn’t howl back at The Nephew so I said, “maybe they don’t understand you, I’ll try it” and I said, “Ay yi yi! Muy caliente!” and THEN howled and the wolves STILL didn’t howl back. But The Nephew looked at me like I was insane and said, “Aunt Amy, those wolves don’t talk HUMAN. They speak WOLF.” And then I had a coughing fit that was also giggles.)

A BEAUTIFUL UNIPEGOSO!

A BEAUTIFUL UNIPEGOSO!

volue bases question- if you get a chance to become invisible then what will you do anything else? I have to say I don’t know what “volue bases” means and also I’m confused by this question. What will I do anything else. Like, anything else EVER? Well, yes, I would imagine I would continue to exist, wouldn’t I? Only I would become invisible, like at parties and also maybe if I saw someone I didn’t want to socially interact with. And if I had a wedgie in public. I would not use this power to spy on people. If you spy on people you just find out things you wish you didn’t know, like the fact that your friend is sleeping with the guy from work you’ve had a crush on for two years and hiding it from you because she secretly hates you. I mean, I hear you can find those things out. If you were to spy.

what does it mean if boyfriend rated most like ingo montoya OMG. Are you freaking out over one of those Buzzfeed quizzes? You seriously are, aren’t you? Yesterday it told me that the Breakfast Club character I was most like was John Bender, and I totally rejoiced. Although it’s wrong. I would sadly be most like Brian, the geek who blew up his locker. Also, it’s “Inigo” Montoya. Anyway. It means nothing, is what it means. It means your boyfriend answered enough questions that sorted him into the most-like-this-person category, per whoever made the quiz. Those quizzes are always wrong, by the way, and one of my friends online pointed out they’re a really good way for whoever’s sponsoring Buzzfeed to get marketing statistics out of you and you aren’t even aware they’re doing it. So I wouldn’t worry; your boyfriend probably isn’t prone to swordfights, piracy, or revenge plots. Probably. But if he starts rhyming, look out.

Even Inigo knows Buzzfeed is bullshit.

Even Inigo knows Buzzfeed is bullshit.

what is gasolining I’m really not sure. I was so worried it was going to be a sex thing, but it’s not even a thing-thing. I guess maybe it’s setting someone on fire with gasoline, but it could also be fueling something with gasoline. You could be on the cutting edge with this, searcher! Use it until it’s everywhere! It’s your day! Hoorah hooray!

when pan plays people listen radio I thought this is a Pandora marketing slogan – When Pandora plays, people listen – but apparently I made that up in my head. Nope. This is about Pan. The little goat-footed trickster. When he plays, man, people LISTEN. And also get into SHENANIGANS!

LISTEN, PEOPLE! It's Pan, dammit!

LISTEN, PEOPLE! It’s Pan, dammit!

why you always hating bitch you need a hug *sniff* It’s like you really know me. Come here, you big galoot. Gimme a squish.

wildpark poing plan WILDPARK POING! Listen. I have not yet given up my plan of seeing Wildpark Poing someday. I don’t believe in bucket lists, but if I did, I would totally have this on there. In like all-caps and with stars around it. SOMEDAY I WILL SEE WILDPARK POING! And you can all come, too. I’ll let you. Only, virtually, of course. We wouldn’t want to scare the animals.

I'm coming for you, Poing! I have not forgotten about you!

I’m coming for you, Poing! I have not forgotten about you!

ww.i.knowe.this.person.a.spell.to.let.him.know.i.love.him.com Is this a site? About magic and/or love? Don’t cast love spells. If they work, that person never loved you, and you are just seeing an illusion. How will you ever know if they would have loved you on their own? If they don’t work, you’ll feel stupid. Also, don’t you know the “and it harm none” warning? Controlling someone else’s thoughts, emotions and feelings is harming them. No love spells, darlin’. Find someone else and love them, ok? Oh, wait. A spell to LET him know you love him? I know a way to let him know you love him WITHOUT a spell. TELL HIM. Here, I’ll script it for you: “Hi, (name of person I love.) I know we (are just friends/don’t know each other at all/are Montagues and Capulets/are related by blood.) I just wanted to say I love you. No, no. Not friend-love. Love, love. I want to kiss your face and also let’s take all of our clothes off and just kind of revel in the nudity for a while until we do the naked be-bop. I want to spend the rest of my life making you happy, having you make me happy, and building this amazing world with the two of us together. What do you say?” If they say no, DO NOT GO HOME AND CAST SPELLS. What did I tell you about spells? But if they say yes…well, I’d expect your first kiddo to be named Lucy, of course. YOU ARE WELCOME! (They’ll never know you love them unless you tell them. TELL THEM. Is it the scariest thing ever? Sure it is. Just bite that bullet and do it, ok? What have you got to lose? What have you got to gain?)

Whoo-hoo, we made it through March! April’s chock-full-of-goodness…and then comes May! With trips to Europe! And the hugging of people I love! WHO LIVE FAR AWAY!

Until next month, my poor lost lambikins. May Google be kind in your searches.

Love, Me.

(As always, thank you to Mer for the inspiration for these posts!)


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