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Tag Archives: weather

ZOMG SNOWQUADO

So there’s a saying. Shell-shocked. Which I think is a precursor for the more modern PTSD.

Is there a saying, “snow-shocked?” If there isn’t, can there be? Can it be a thing we institute? Because when I woke up this morning and saw that it was snowing again, I think “snow-shocked” might be the definition of how I felt. Not happy or sad or mad. Just cold and dead inside like a robot. “More snow. Yes. Shovel. Yes. Cold. Yes.”

I was warned (and I knew) when I moved here there would be snow. We’re right next to a lake, so we get lake-effect snow. But I don’t think I was prepared for this MUCH snow. I mean, I don’t know if you CAN be.

So far this year (this YEAR, which we are TWELVE DAYS INTO, mind you, so that’s not counting the two storms of over a foot each we got in November and December), this town has received a total of 49″ of snow.

That’s over four feet of snow in 12 days. Most of it arrived between Tuesday and Saturday this week. There is nowhere to PUT all this snow. Here. Look.

This is the view from my front porch. There's a road there. I think. Somewhere.

This is the view from my front porch. There’s a road there. I think. Somewhere.

I have snow removal people. They've stopped having anwhere to PUT the snow, so I've had to be creative with where to park. I'm kind of on the lawn here. Not that you can SEE the lawn.

I have snow removal people. They’ve stopped having anwhere to PUT the snow, so I’ve had to be creative with where to park. I’m kind of on the lawn here. Not that you can SEE the lawn.

Now, I grew up in a town where there was a lot of snow, and it was very cold. I’m a native New Yorker. This isn’t new to me. But, just for comparison, let’s look at the average snowfall for some of the places I’ve lived in my life.

Albany 59″ – OK, this is manageable. That’s about 5′ a year. And it’s not like it falls all at once, or anything. The roads are crappy and everyone forgets how to drive, but that’s fine.

The town where I grew up gets, on average, 74″ a year. OK, that’s a bit more. Plus it’s super-cold there. Lots of negative temperatures. It’s the frozen tundra up there. I was a kid when I lived there, though. I let my parents worry about the cold.

Binghamton 83″- Yeah, I’m not super-surprised about this. I went to college here, and it would start getting gray about October and last through May, and it would snow and snow and SNOW. I didn’t have a car, so I’d have to slog to the bus stops in all that snow and my feet would be FREEZING and I’d be one of those sad people you’d see waiting for the bus all bundled up and shivering and snow-covered. But I was, again, young. And I used to drink a lot then. Probably I was too tipsy to realize how much snow there was, who knows.

Flagstaff 100″ – So, funny story, when I moved to Arizona, I thought Flagstaff would be warm, because I didn’t do any research? But it was NOT always warm. It was pretty damn cold, actually. And it was in the mountains and it snowed. A LOT. Once I was at work and elk walked right up to the door. Because they thought it was their world and not human-world. BECAUSE ALL THAT SNOW. (It was pretty damn cool, though. Elk!)

Watertown – ok, what do you think the average snowfall is in Watertown? It kind of varies site by site, but here’s what I found, and I think it’s probably right. Ready?

112″. ONE HUNDRED TWELVE INCHES. This sounds like it might be right, considering it’s not even mid-January and we’ve already had approximately 73″. 112″ is over 9 feet a year. NINE FEET. I’m not even SIX feet.

I’m quite sure I moved to some sort of alternate snow planet, where this is ALL THAT HAPPENS. Everyone here keeps laughing that it won’t end until May. THEY ARE NOT KIDDING. We all have this hundred-yard stare going on.

All we write about at work lately seems to be snow. Coworker R. and I came up with the latest Syfy movie title: “SNOWQUADO!” Part snowstorm, part earthquake, part tornado. Since these movies have to star an 80s star, it will star both Milli AND Vanilli* (two’s better than one, right? And it’s not like they’re doing anything these days) and be QUITE a hit.

Want to swing on my porch swing? Just wear your snowpants.

Want to swing on my porch swing? Just wear your snowpants.

In good news, I work about 3 minutes from my house, so the drive isn’t that bad. And when I get out, it’s about 1am, so I can drive really slow in the middle of the street and no one much cares.

The snowbanks are as tall as I am. Today the garbage man put my garbage can on top of one and how the hell was I supposed to get that down? I mean, I DID, but not without it falling on me. Gross.

The snowbanks are as tall as I am. Today the garbage man put my garbage can on top of one and how the hell was I supposed to get that down? I mean, I DID, but not without it falling on me. Gross.

The cat’s loving this. This is weather meant for cuddling and sleeping in and purring all night long. Sadly, one of us has to go to work to pay for cat food and Pringles, so I can’t stay home and purr all day, as much as I’d like to.

My car's there. I can't get to the garage. (I can't park in there anyway; that's where the landlady keeps the lawnmowers. Don't ask.)

My car’s there. I can’t get to the garage. (I can’t park in there anyway; that’s where the landlady keeps the lawnmowers. Don’t ask.)

I keep expecting there to be penguins. So far, there have been no penguins. What good is this kind of weather without penguins?

One hundred and twelve inches. Heaven help me.

And I'm pretty sure these icicles are trying to kill me.

And I’m pretty sure these icicles are trying to kill me.

*I have been informed by a very kind reader that Rob Pilatus from Milli Vanilli killed himself in 1998, a fact about which I had no idea. So, that joke fizzled. Not in the least bit meant as an offense toward Mr. Pilatus or a slight on mental health issues, which you all know are very near and dear to my heart. My apologies, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention if you are struggling with mental health issues and feel like you’re going to do something final to yourself, please call someone for help – you matter too much and owe it to yourself to do this. Trust me, ok? If you’re not comfortable talking to someone you know, there are plenty of wonderful groups that are happy to talk to you anonymously, and are WAITING to talk to you, which you can find a list of here. Thank you for letting me know about this, B., and much love to you all.

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I’ll show YOU, Boreas!

Howdy! I hope you all had the best of Thanksgiving weekends. Well, those of you that do such things. Meaning, I suppose, MERKANS. The rest of you didn’t do Thanksgiving this weekend, right? Right.

Here we are back in the real world. Well, mostly that means a month of buying anything that isn’t tied down in order to wrap it in pretty paper and gift it to others. As one does in December. I am…oh, I don’t know, about 40% done with Christmas shopping? Maybe? I should be further along but sometimes you have to wait for paychecks to come in. However! Christmas cards are done, and as soon as I’m done writing this, Christmas DECORATING will be done. Baby steps, ladies and gentlemen, baby steps.

Let’s talk about bad decision-making!

Sometimes, you make poor decisions. No, not YOU, specifically, but yes, probably you. I mean, I don’t know too many people who haven’t made a poor decision now and then in their lives.

Me? I make those decisions on the regular. Hilariously, the good decisions I make are usually mistakes. The bad decisions are the ones I agonize over and finally decide “let’s do this” and then BAM! BAD DECISION HITS YOU UPSIDE THE HEAD YO!

I also have the added problem of decision-making while under the influence of stubbornness. I am a stubborn little thing. If someone tells me what to do, I immediately want to do the opposite. I don’t ALWAYS do the opposite – I can usually talk myself out of it – but sometimes my stubborn gene sets in and I’m all “YOU CAN’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO, ‘THE MAN!'” and then look out, world, I am not using any sort of common sense to navigate. Like, none. At all.

At the beginning of November, I told my mom, “Wouldn’t it be fun to come home for Thanksgiving and surprise Dad?” We decided it WOULD be fun. So we all secretly planned it all month. And then a week before Thanksgiving WINTER STORM BOREAS raised its evil head.

O NO BOREAS NOOOOO!

O NO BOREAS NOOOOO!

WINTER STORM BOREAS (because we name our winter storms now) was supposed to be like the WORST THING EVER and dump like 18″ of snow on my whole route home Wednesday night. And at first I was all, “eh, I’ll just not go.” But then my mom started telling me I COULDN’T go. “YOU WILL DIE!” said Mom. And Stubborn Amy kicked in. STUPID BOREAS! STUPID BEING TOLD I COULD NOT GO! STUPID RUINING OF THANKSGIVING! STUPID RUINING OF SURPRISING! DOWN! WITH! THE! MAN!

So when the weather reports started saying the storm wasn’t as bad as predicted, I was all, “I AM GOING SCREW THIS” and got in the car right after work and took off. People said things like “are you sure?” and “um…Boreas?” and “you will die, maybe?” and “maybe you should text me when you get there? IF you get there?” and I was all “I WILL BE FINE I AM PLATINUM!”

It was raining here. I could handle rain. Half an hour into the drive, traffic ground to a halt. We started seeing signs that said “right and middle lanes closed due to accident.” We all sloooowly merged over. Come to find out two tractor trailers had not only hit one another, they’d tipped over, spilling their contents all over the place. It was quite nervous-making.

But I sallied forth! I WAS SALLYING!

The night started to get colder. The winds picked up. This led to frozen roads and the car getting PUSHED to ONE SIDE. The winds were that bad. So I had to use BOTH hands on the wheel and pay super-close attention. I started thinking, “this might not have been the best idea.” But! Stubborn! Sallying, dammit, SO MUCH SALLYING!

I stopped at the rest stop I always stop at and did some deep breathing. Whew. At that rest stop, you have about an hour, an hour and fifteen minutes, until you reach my parents’ house. I could do this.

Went in. Rest-stopped. Came out. And it was snowing like hell. A woman was crying outside the door. “I DON’T WANT TO DRIVE IN THIS ANYMORE,” said the crying woman. A frat boy fell down in the parking lot because so icy.

Effffff.

So what does one do? Get back on the slippery windy highway and drive back to Albany where the weather was better, but drive through all that again? Or keep on a’truckin’ (or car-in’, I guess) and just deal with what was coming?

Stubborn, stubborn, stubborn.

I kept going.

The roads got worse as I drove. At least on the highway you could see the lines. Nothing seemed to have been plowed once you left the highway; the roads were all packed-down ice and snow and slick. Slick, slick, SLICK. And it was snowing hard enough that I couldn’t see.

I’d told Mom I’d be home by 8; that gave me an extra hour in case of traffic or weather.

8 came and went. I couldn’t call anyone; it was too slippery to not pay attention to the roads, and I didn’t want to ruin the surprise.

I almost went off the road, all-told, 4 times. I cussed (at the weather, at myself, at other drivers) too many times to count. My check engine light randomly came on. I couldn’t change my playlist so I listened to the same 20 songs over and over and OVER. (Luckily, I loved them, so I was ok with that. And now I know ALL THE WORDS.) I said, “THIS WAS A VERY STUPID DECISION!” repeatedly.

But I kept driving.

And I finally pulled into my parents’ driveway at 8:40pm. Five straight hours after I’d left. My mom came to the door and looked FRANTIC. My dad came, looking confused, saw me, got BIG HUGE SURPRISED EYES, and then opened the door. I thought he would yell out, “what are you doing here?” and it would be all a happy surprise but he ACTUALLY yelled “THIS IS NOT FUNNY! NOT FUNNY AT ALL!” and then SHUT THE DOOR ON ME! He did not even help me bring in my things in all the snow. So I went in with all my things and was all “OLD MAN I AM SURPRISING YOU FOR THANKSGIVING COME GIVE ME A HUG” and he stomped in all “BOREAS SO STUPID WHAT WERE YOU THINKING” and then gave me a hug and said “it is nice to see you” very quietly so I won Thanksgiving.

This is getting hellaciously long, so I will rush through the rest. We had a lovely Thanksgiving, including the following things:

  • napping
  • sleeping in
  • hanging with The Nephew
  • eating our weight in Thanksgiving foods
  • watching Kill Bill 2 with Dad and having to explain the plot to him and giggling
  • visiting my grandmother
  • helping my dad figure out how to turn his new cell phone onto vibrate
  • ordering things for Dad on Amazon (“what is this PRIME? No SHIPPING? This is AMAZING!”)
  • rolling my eyes until they almost ruptured at the constant stream of Fox News that happens in that house
  • looking at eleventy-billion photos of Mom’s trip to Rome (“AMY! The statues were NUDE! Can you IMAGINE?”)
ZOMG! COVER YOUR EYES!

ZOMG! COVER YOUR EYES!

Then on Friday morning, after my nephew cheerfully greeted my sleepy-eyed self with “Aunt Amy! You are awake! Do you want to race?” (I did not want to race, but I totally watched HIM race), I packed up leftovers and the car and Dad filled it with gas and wiper fluid and gave me many pretend-gruff hugs and off I went. And luckily the drive home was uneventful (except Dad didn’t close the hood all the way, and I didn’t realize that until a couple hours into the drive, so Dad was all, “YOU! COULD! HAVE! DIED!” but I didn’t die. Obviously.)

So: yep. Very, very stupid stubborn idea. If I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t. That was a terrible drive. I’m too old for that shit. But, overall: a very, very good Thanksgiving. Got to spend it with my family, for the first time in a decade; got to read with The Nephew; got to hang out with my dad; got to eat so much delicious food. NOM.

But if I try to do something ridiculous like that again, please slap me upside the head and tell my stupid, stubborn self that it’s better to be alone on the holiday and alive than dead on the side of the road trying to get some turkey and family hangtime. Good grief.

OK, not as stupid as this...which made me cackle like a moron...but still pretty stupid.

OK, not as stupid as this…which made me cackle like a moron…but still pretty stupid.


What they don’t tell you about walking on sunshine is that it is SO SO HOT.

It’s hot.

Like, heat-wave hot.

BEYOND hot.

Like, living on the surface of the SUN hot.

(Now is when Andreas tells me I am exaggerating.)

Today, I asked my boss if somehow we were living in Tucson and no one told us. She thought maybe.

I'm pretty sure if I looked outside today, I'd see this.

I’m pretty sure if I looked outside today, I’d see this.

It’s the kind of hot where everything’s making me cranky, and I don’t want to leave the house, and there just aren’t enough cool things like icy beverages and popsicles and cold showers in the world to make it better, and I just don’t want to do anything but sit around and sigh sadly.

SO CRANKY AND HOT.

SO CRANKY AND HOT.

(Don’t you even tell me, as my mom always does, “You’ll WISH it was this hot when WINTER gets here!” Because I will NOT think that. I NEVER wish it to be this hot. And even when it’s super-cold in the winter, I don’t get this lethargic and crabby. I’m much better at cold than I am at hot. I HATE HEAT.)

According to a map I saw of Merka, it’s hot all over the place, except in a few places it’s in the 70s. (Well, I suppose in Alaska it’s cooler, but also there are moose and such up there, so that barely counts.)

Welcome to Merka! MONSTER HEAT WAVE!

Welcome to Merka! MONSTER HEAT WAVE!

So, because a lot of my readers are living where it’s quite toasty at the moment, I thought we could look at a helpful list of tips I found on the internet for staying cool when it’s hot out. That’ll be good, right? Yep. Totally will. We’ll think cool thoughts together.

Here’s the list. Ready?

1. Have a water-drinking competition with your family. I don’t think drinking water is competitive, and I know I read somewhere that if you drink too much of it, you can actually get water intoxication. You feel drunk and it makes you sick and stuff. I don’t know the science and I’m too hot to look it up. Something about imbalancing your chemicals or something. I bet Andreas knows. Just drink enough water so you don’t get dehydrated and don’t dare each other to drink more. Also, it’ll make you pee. Like, a LOT.

2. Sit in front of the air conditioner and eat marshmallows (sort of the opposite of roasting marshmallows over a campfire…) What the hell? This is foolish. Just eat whatever you want in front of the air conditioner. Popsicles. Fried chicken. Oreos, I don’t care. Weirdo.

3. Put an ice cube on your skin and see how long it takes to melt. Ooh, is this like naughty-times? Because it’s too hot for naughty-times. Get off me. GET OFF ME, I SAID.

Is she SLEEPING on the ice cubes? What is happening here?

Is she SLEEPING on the ice cubes? What is happening here?

4. Use a fan to blow your hair around like a fashion model’s and take pictures. And you have to do this during a heat-wave why? You could do this anytime. Also, you’re going to look weird, not sexy. Just so you know.

Well, this dog looks pretty good. But dogs always do.

Well, this dog looks pretty good. But dogs always do.

5. Read that book you haven’t had time to read because you’re usually outside. Ha! “Usually outside.” It’s like you don’t know me at all. I avoid outside as if it’s filled with bugs, sun, and strangers. Oh. Wait. It is.

6. Call a neighbor and invite them over for ice cream. No, because a., I don’t know or want to know any of my neighbors, and b. none of my friends are going to want to drive across town in this kind of heat for something they could get from their own freezers.

And if they eat it like this, I TOTALLY don't want them to come over. This is just creepy-times.

And if they eat it like this, I TOTALLY don’t want them to come over. This is just creepy-times.

7. Spend the day wandering around your local air-conditioned mall (assuming you have an air-conditioned way to get there). I actually somewhat agree with this one. One summer it was so hot my roommate and I were dying so we went to the mall and we watched a movie in comfort (we didn’t have air conditioning in that place) and we so, so, SO didn’t want to go home. But we had to. Because you can’t live in the mall, as much as you want to. But I don’t suggest spending the DAY there. I mean, you might as well go to work. Work’s air-conditioned, right?

8. Have a movie marathon–of movies that take place in the winter. This isn’t going to make you feel cooler. But if you want to watch movies, go to, I guess. Also, did I mention eat popsicles? Do that.

Watch this movie if you have to watch a cool movie. This movie is the best thing. (Ang Lee's "The Ice Storm." Highly recommended.)

Watch this movie if you have to watch a cool movie. This movie is the best thing. (Ang Lee’s “The Ice Storm.” Highly recommended.)

9. Call an elderly friend or relative and make sure they’re doing all right. OMG, everyone always says this. Who are these lonely forgotten old people, and why must we all be reminded to check on them? I’m guessing they’re old people that have no one, and that makes my heart hurt. My old people are fine. Mostly that means my grandmother, because the rest of my old people have died of non-heat-related reasons.

10. Soak in a tub of lukewarm water. I don’t like tubs, because they seem filthy to me. Also, when it’s hot, I want cold water. Not lukewarm. Cold. So I’m freezing. Then that cold lasts for like twenty minutes when I get out and then I’m all hot again, but still. It’s better than nothing. Dad says that only crazy people take cold showers and that the SHOCK will KILL me but I’ve been doing it for years and I’m still kickin’, baby.

I'm rarely this HAPPY in the cold shower, though. Who the hell is? It's cold. You move fast or you freeze.

I’m rarely this HAPPY in the cold shower, though. Who the hell is? It’s cold. You move fast or you freeze.

11. Write a note to remind yourself not to complain about cold temperatures next winter. Then write a note to remind yourself to stop being a supercilious asshat.

12. Have a sub sandwich buffet for supper: set out rolls, meats, cheese, veggies, and condiments, and let your family put together their own sandwiches. I don’t have a family. Who’s going to eat this Subway shop I’ve set up in my house? Dumbcat? He doesn’t like human food. It makes him hide under the couch. What a waste of all those things. I mean, there are only so many sandwiches I can eat, you know?

13. Give yourself permission to be a little lazy; after all, in this kind of heat you shouldn’t try to do too much. Except work, grocery shopping, laundry, packing for vacation, hanging with Dumbcat, doing a million theater reviews…yeah. I don’t know that I have an option to kick back and be lazy, yo. Sorry, me.

These don’t seem to have been very helpful tips. Here are MY tips.

  • Sit in front of the air conditioning
  • Eat all icy things all the time
  • Tell Dumbcat to get off you because he’s so heavy and so furry and so hot, even though you love him
  • Try very hard not to get cranky over things that wouldn’t normally bother you because it’s really just the heat speaking
  • Go swimming if you like such things and can swim (I do not, and cannot)
  • Don’t do things that make you extra hot, like cleaning the house, moving heavy furniture, or riding the mechanical bull (one or more of these is a euphemism, you can decide which)

Stay cool, my little ice cubes. And if you are my real-life most-beloved, and I am snappy, please know I am not snapping at YOU, but at the HEAT, which is like WALKING INTO A DAMN OVEN.

RIGHT INTO AN OVEN.

RIGHT INTO AN OVEN.

Ahem.

Happy Tuesday.

HAPPY TUESDAY.

So…so…hot…


This week, I didn’t go to Oz, but I did go bowling, so…win, I guess?

It’s been quite a week, right? I don’t know what’s been going on in your part of the world, but here, it’s UTTER CRAZYTOWN.

So this week kind of kicked my ass six different ways, and then a seventh for good measure. SO MUCH ASS-KICKERY. But now it is the weekend. Well, kind of the weekend. I still have one more day of work and THEN I get my one day off. Watch out, one day off! I’m coming for you!

So here was my week in a nutshell. Ready for the craziness? I know you are. It’s going to be the most exciting.

So at the beginning of the week, I had TWO FULL DAYS OFF! I spent one of those two days cleaning the house. Not JUST cleaning. DEEP-cleaning. SEVEN FULL HOURS of cleaning. I threw away – are you ready for this? – SEVEN BAGS OF GARBAGE. Don’t ask too many questions about how exactly I had seven full bags of garbage in a very small place. NO, I am not a hoarder. I just haven’t done a huge purge in a while. Sometimes you just need to get rid of shit, you know?

Casualities in the great cleaning of 2013 = my lava lamp, which FLEW OFF THE TABLE and COMMITTED SUICIDE ON THE RUG (or maybe I smacked it with my hip, I never said I was graceful) and then all the lava juice started leaking out and I don’t know if that’s poison or not, so I had to throw it away. Sigh. Goodbye, purple lava lamp, you were just too cool for me. Also, I blew up my brand-new vaccuum, but my mom assures me that I didn’t really blow it up, I just probably clogged up the filters and I need to clean them and all will be well. I did find one of my favorite necklaces that I thought was lost to the ages; I didn’t, however, find a missing letter that I’ve been looking for, which was disheartening. Who knows where that ended up. Dumbcat hid for most of the day because there was just too much going on for him and things smelled like citrus. He HATES things that smell like citrus. Citrus makes him make cranky faces. Once I was done and he realized I’d found a lot of his favorite toys under the couch, though, he was VERY pleased. (And randomly, today, he somehow found a way to put one of those toys on the bookcase? I have no idea how he got that there. It was a feat of wonder.)

Then the OTHER day off, I did NOTHING. Well, no. I did lots of things, but they were all very relaxy. I wrote, I read, I watched television, I played on the internet, I ate a lot of popsicles. Oh, and also snowcones. I totally bought a snowcone maker. SUMMER YOU WILL NOT CONQUER ME THIS YEAR! Well, no. It’s not really a snowcone maker. It’s a shaved ice maker. Which is LIKE a snowcone maker only the ice is a lot finer. And I got delicious snowcone juice. But I think snowcone juice makers need to step it up for those of us who want things that are sugar-free because we don’t just want cherry and fruit punch flavors. I randomly found a blue raspberry flavor at Bed Bath and Beyond but SERIOUSLY, people, there are a BILLION flavors that are sugary, GET WITH IT, YO.

Seriously, best purchase ever.

Seriously, best purchase ever.

Anyway, my shaved ice maker is the best thing ever. It makes a gigantic bowl of shaved ice and then you dump all the flavoring over it and it is the MOST DELICIOUS and also the most cooling. It was a very good purchase. I don’t regret it in the least.

(Oh, I was shopping at Bed Bath and Beyond because I had to buy a bridal shower gift. Were you aware that when someone gets married you get them a shower gift AND a wedding gift? This is the best scam ever. I’m going to marry Dumbcat just for the gifts. Can I do that? You guys will give me gifts, right? TWO TIMES THE GIFTS? Anyway, I bought a good shower gift and then also bought myself some things like snowcone juice and a new Pyrex measuring cup since I dropped mine in the sink and glass went EVERYWHERE and I’m still finding it in random places and I go to use it at least once a week and curse the day I was born clumsy.)

Oh, measuring cup, I miss you. Why are you so shattery?

Oh, measuring cup, I miss you. Why are you so shattery?

OK, so anyway, then the week happened. Work was busy, blah blah blah, and there’s this thing happening that I can’t talk about because chicken-counting so I’ll just say it’s a thing that’s equal parts scary and exciting and leave it at that, and if you want to cross your fingers for me, or whatever you do to pass along the good vibes, it’d be appreciated.

THEN, ready for this? I don’t know if you are, because it’s terrible-awesome-scary.

WE HAD TWO TORNADOES!

Real photo of a real tornado here! Whoo!

Real photo of a real tornado here! Whoo!

Is that really how the plural of tornado is spelled? Goodness, that looks terrible. But then again, so does “tornados” and the internet says either are right but both look like I’m illiterate.

On Wednesday, the weathermen started creaming themselves. First they were all “thunderstorms coming, y’all.” Then they were all “SEVERE thunderstorms!” Then they started running around like weirdos. “POSSIBLE FLASH FLOODS!” “ZOMG MAYBE A TORNADO!!!!”

I thought they were full of shit. We never get tornadoes.

We totally got TWO tornadoes.

I went grocery shopping – no rain. No thunder. Nothing. Bleh. Got home. Put away the groceries. Called Mom and Dad. Dad was all, “It’s raining there!” (Dad always believes the weather channel rather than me.) “No, it’s not, Dad,” I said. “IT SAYS IT IS!” said Dad. I assured him I was actually IN the weather and there was NO RAIN. He sounded skeptical.

Then. THEN! Out of NOWHERE! BAM WENT THE THUNDER! WHOOSH WENT THE WIND! My phone made the emergency broadcast noise and told me to STAY IN THE HOUSE FLASH FLOODS ARE A’COMIN’! (Phones do that? Good grief, that scared the bejeebers out of me.)

We had about 45 minutes or so of the craziest storm ever. The windows rattled. I planted some things and put them on the porch this past weekend and one of them just blew RIGHT off the porch and down onto the lawn. It was a casualty of FORCES OF NATURE! No strawberries from THAT pot! I forgot the window was open in the bedroom and when I ran in to close it the curtains were SOAKED! The power went on and off and on and off! Dumbcat freaked out and attached himself to my leg!

Then everything settled down and I ventured out onto the porch and everything was weirdly golden outside and some aluminum came off one of my neighbors’ buildings and hit their car but other than the flying pot of strawberries, all was well here.

However, we actually had two tornadoes in the area (one picked up a man and THREW HIM THREW THE WALL OF A BUILDING!) and so many trees were down and someone on Facebook reported (so take it with a grain of salt) 25,000 people were without power when it was done. On my drives to and from work the past couple of days, I’ve seen lines down, a ton of National Grid trucks, and, in one case, a tree in the middle of someone’s roof.

Look at this! Seriously, that was one whopper of a storm, you guys.

Look at this! Seriously, that was one whopper of a storm, you guys.

As long as I’m safe, I’m totally invigorated by crazy weather. And other than being afraid I was going to lose ALL my plants I’d just planted from my porch, I was safe. Dumbcat didn’t think he was, but he was. Silly boy. I will not let the twister take you to Oz.

Then, FINALLY, on Thursday night, the whole office (give or take half of the office) went bowling. I like bowling, but I’m not very good at it. Dad tried to teach me how to bowl when I was younger and he yelled “FOLLOW THROUGH!” so loud I got upset and left the bowling  alley and sat in the car until they were done. (Dad says, “You always say I was yelling at you. You just weren’t listening, so I had to talk LOUDLY.”)

FOLLOW THROUGH!!!

FOLLOW THROUGH!!!

I was, as expected, not very good. We bowled two…what are they called, sets? Frames? I don’t even know. There were four of us on the team and we got to bowl two complete times twice. Sets, I think, but I could be wrong. The first time I didn’t do terribly and got two strikes and two spares and then totally got to bowl in the special bonus round at the end. (“That’s just the tenth frame,” Dad said. “No, the special bonus round! No one else got to! Because I got a strike, I got to go again!” “Yes. That’s the TENTH FRAME, that’s how that WORKS,” said Dad. “Well, no one else got to do it. It was therefore a bonus, and SPECIAL,” I said. This made Dad laugh until he choked a little. Dad used to be in a league. He has awards and everything.) I ended up in second place with a 113 which I think is very respectable since I don’t know that I’ve ever broken 100 before. I tried to take a photo but the screen was too bright so it didn’t work. The SECOND time I apparently broke my arm and every time I bowled it went to the left and I got a 76 which I think is what kids get who need those bumpers in the gutters. I told Dad I lost that round to make everyone else feel better. He agreed that was very nice of me.

I was telling Dad about bowling and he got VERY upset. Why? Because of this.

Me: So the lanes tell you how fast you’re bowling.
Dad: What? No they don’t.
Me: Yes they do. The screen says how many miles per hour you’re throwing the ball. A. was the winner of that. He threw it 20 miles per hour.
Dad: Is that all? I think I could throw it MORE than that.
Me: OK. Anyway, he was all, “I want to beat my record!” so he had one pin standing, and he just PITCHED that ball, because he didn’t think he had any chance of knocking down that one pin anyway. And guess what happened?
Dad: I can’t even guess. He killed someone.
Me: That’s a very terrible guess.
Dad: I told you I couldn’t even guess.
Me: His ball went in the gutter at the very end, and then POPPED OUT and knocked down the pin. SPARE!
Dad: No, that doesn’t count. That’s not a spare. Once the ball goes in the gutter, you’re done. He cheated.
Me: No, it is. The computer said it was.
Dad: What computer? You brought a computer?
Me: NO, Dad. The computer over the LANE. That keeps SCORE for you.


Dad: Wait. Wait a minute. What? Something that keeps SCORE for you? No. YOU keep score. With a pencil and paper.
Me: Where would you even GET a pencil and paper?
Dad: They give it to you with the shoes.
Me: No, they just give you the shoes. This isn’t 1977. A computer keeps score for you now. You put your name in it and it tracks your score. No one even KNOWS how to keep score anymore.
Dad: I can’t believe this. I. CAN. NOT. BELIEVE. THIS. I am never bowling again. I would bring my own pencil and paper and keep score. This is RIDICULOUS.
Me: Dad, I don’t think anyone’s kept score for themselves since…well, the last time I kept score for myself was probably the early 90s. That’s like 20 years ago.
Dad: I can’t believe this. WHAT HAS THE WORLD COME TO?
Me: It’s the relentless march of progress. You can’t stop it. It even comes to bowling alleys. There are also strobe lights and they play Katy Perry songs while you bowl.
Dad: I AM SO MAD RIGHT NOW. Who the hell is Katy Perry.

Now I am going to bed so I can deal with the billions of “MY AIR CONDITIONER IS BROKEN” and “WE HAVE NO POWER” calls I’m bound to get at work tomorrow. Happy Saturday, people of the bloggiverse. Hopefully you are somewhere a little cooler than here, where it is in the nineties. THE NINETIES. In MAY. Well, it’s June now, but it was in the nineties this week, and this week was May. I find this as upsetting as Dad finds computerized bowling.


Despairing for humanity: an adventure in theaterland.

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

Shh, Marley, you're being obnoxious.

Shh, Marley, you’re being obnoxious.

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

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

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

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

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

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

A FIELD TRIP TO REVIEW A PLAY!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How I got home* (*possibly an exaggeration)

How I got home* (*possibly an exaggeration)

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

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

Nooooooo!

Nooooooo!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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