Tag Archives: weekend

In which the blog gets a new, very fancy mascot

It’s been a busy weekend, my little pumpkin pies. Here and there and everywhere, I was. Whoo! However, after this weekend, things slow substantially to a crawl, which is nice. I mean, I still have THINGS, but they’re not CONSTANT things. Not like BAM BAM BAM THINGS. Which is nice. I might actually get to sit on my couch a little and have some hang-time with Dumbcat. I know he’d enjoy that. (He’s enjoying it as I type this, actually. All snuggled up to my leg and purring like a little furry motor.)

Friday I had to review a show. The show was…um…hard to sit through. Let’s just leave it at that. They can’t all be winners. (It’s nice to still get PAID when they’re not a winner, though. I like that part of it very much.) Then I got home and you would THINK a person would be like “write the review and go to bed, it’s so late” but instead I had about an hour left of a book I was obsessed with and so I decided it was a better idea to stay up mega-late and find out what happened. (I used to do this when I was younger, too. I guess you don’t grow out of things like this.) I told Dad this and he was all “THAT BOOK WOULD HAVE BEEN THERE WHEN YOU WOKE UP!” but I had to work on Saturday and I didn’t want to wait TWENTY-FOUR HOURS to find out the ending. I mean, seriously. (Review going up soon on Snobbery, promise.)

Then work all day Saturday (blergh) and talking to Andreas‘ face that night (ALWAYS a good thing, and even better, his most wonderful little girl made an appearance, so I got to see her, too!) and then Sunday…TOTALLY had an adventure, yo.

My wonderful cousin J. lives about 45 minutes away. She is a senior in high school and one of the most joyful people I know. She makes you feel pure happiness just being around her. And why wouldn’t you want to be around someone that makes you that happy? I predict the best of things for her in the world, I really do. She has the best outlook on life and she’s very grounded. She’s just fantastic.

So when I saw her last month, we made plans to see a play together this month. It was hard to find an appropriate show for a seventeen-year-old because I’m totally protective and didn’t want her to see anything naughty. Even though she’s probably reading this right now and laughing at me because I sound like an old lady. So I thought, Guys and Dolls is fun and bright and non-naughty would entertain her. Right? Right.

So cousin J. and her equally wonderful boyfriend D. came to visit (she just got her driver’s license. I have known this kid for a very long time. I remember when she was in footie pajamas coloring at her grandmother’s kitchen table. Her being able to drive is kind of amazing to me) and D. went to the mall to hang out and wait for us, and J. and I went to the theater.

The show was already mega-long, to start. I was worried poor D. was going to be bored out of his mind at the mall. He promised he wouldn’t, but we weren’t going to meet up with him for HOURS. That’s a very long time to hang out alone at the mall. Like, I get bored at the mall in about fifteen MINUTES. Then the play started late. REALLY late. (I feel there’s really no reason for that. It’s rude to your paying audience and it’s rude to your actors who are waiting for the show to start.) It was actually quite good (I’m a big Guys and Dolls fan; Adelaide makes me happy) but I think maybe it’s harder for other people to pay attention than it is for me. And the play was, as mentioned, VERY LONG. And J. leaned over and whispered that poor D. had gotten bored and was just taking a nap in the car. (I KNEW he wouldn’t want to be hanging out at the mall that long!) So I made an executive decision and asked her if she wanted to hoof it at intermission. She said “no, it’s ok” in a way that I could tell that meant “OMG YES PLEASE” so I knew it was an excellent decision on my end. (I filled her in on what would happen in Act II in the car. I was able to do this in 2 minutes. Act II was probably going to be about an hour or so. And I was able to explain it in TWO MINUTES. This may or may not be a flaw in the show, I decided.) I tried to encourage her to watch the movie (BRANDO! SINATRA! SIGH!) but I don’t know that I was successful. Aw, Brando and Sinatra are no longer a draw for kids today. This makes me sad.

Come on. These are some handome fellas, right?

Come on. These are some handome fellas, right?

Off to the mall to rescue D. from his car-based nappery we went!

J. and D. wanted to eat at Dave and Buster’s. I had never been in a Dave and Buster’s, but one just opened in our mall. For anyone who’s never been in this restaurant, let me explain: there is a restaurant (just kind of a basic burgers/chicken/bar food kind of restaurant) and then the rest of the place is UTTER CHAOS. Because it’s an ARCADE! With many games and Skee-ball machines and gigantic wheels of fortune and some weird game where you could play soccer against Homer Simpson and most of the machines spit out TICKETS!



And what could you win with the tickets?


Oh, it was just the best. SO MUCH WAS GOING ON.

So we had dinner and talked and laughed and then it was ON TO THE ARCADE!

I was not as good at the games as J. and D. were. I think it’s a youngster thing. They have better reflexes. I was good at games that required very little skill, like a random game where I got to harpoon sharks, and a game where I had to match up fruit. Anything where I had to have coordination – no no, Charlie. Terrible at that. I used to be good at Skee-ball. Apparently that left me with my ability to stay up all night and ride roller coasters (I totally can’t do that anymore. I get dizzy.) One of the employees apparently liked my uselessness and giggliness and was playing the harpooning sharks game and gave me all of HIS tickets so I was totally racking up the tickets. J. was good at large-size versions of games that were on her phone that I’d never heard of in my whole life because I am not good at games so I had to take them all off my phone or I get obsessed with them and don’t get work done I need to do, like blogging. D. was good at shooting-animals games. (Yes, this is totally a thing. At the end of it, he got eaten by a very realistic bear and it made me gasp in fear. Back in my day, kiddos, we played Mario Brothers, and there was nothing SCARY in Mario Brothers that JUMPED OUT AND ATE YOUR FACE. Well, there were those koopa things, but they weren’t SCARY.)

When we were done, it was time for me to get home and “go be a grownup,” said J., which made me laugh (I know, I’m totally a grownup sometimes) and cash in all my tickets for VERY IMPORTANT BOOTY. I had my eye on something totally special but didn’t think I had enough tickets.

Look at all my tickets. Are you so impressed? I thought you might be.

Look at all my tickets. Are you so impressed? I thought you might be.

Imagine my delight when I did.


YOLO HAMSTER! (And Dumbcat photobombing us while he looks for treats I threw on the carpet for him to keep him occupied.)

I have no idea what is happening here. This is a RANDOM HAMSTER with a YOLO HOODIE and it is TERRIBLE and I LOVE it. Seriously. This is like my blog mascot now. It has my least-favorite saying on it, and why is it a hamster? I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS THING. It was only a zillion tickets. (I’m exaggerating. A little.) I also got two Wacky Wall Walkers for The Nephew because I loved those things when I was little and I think he’ll dig them.

Did you guys get these in your cereal when you were little? I used to LOVE these things. They were the best.

Did you guys get these in your cereal when you were little? I used to LOVE these things. They were the best.

Yolo Hamster (I think I shall name him Harvey Hoodie Hamster) can also be a badass gangsta. Check it, yo.

This is how he wears his hood when he travels to THE hood. Ha! Get it?

Justin Bieber would totally dig Harvey Hoodie Hamster for his YOLO-ness but he’s all mine, Biebs. Don’t you even think of taking him. I worked HARD at those machines shooting sharks with harpoons to win Harvey Hoodie Hamster.

I was attempting to explain YOLO (don’t you feel like that should have an unneccessary exclamation point at the end of it? YOLO!) to Andreas and he said, “So that’s a hamster that only lives once? Like any other hamster, then?” and I think that’s really the best explanation of Harvey Hoodie Hamster there’s ever been. Harvey Hoodie Hamster will NOT be reincarnated. He really has to make the best of this one life he’s got. I would assume that would take the form of drinking a lot of Four Loko and knocking over convenience stores.

(You need to watch this, if you haven’t; it makes me laugh until I’m almost sick. EVERY TIME I WATCH IT. There are piranhas in saunas!)

J. and D. got a hippo and a box of Nerds with their tickets. That was with their tickets COMBINED. You really didn’t get much with your tickets. I tried to convince them to get another Hoodie Hamster but apparently, YOLO isn’t even COOL anymore. Who knew? (I did. I kind of knew. That’s why I love it. I love it in an ironic hate way.)

Isn’t she just sunshine? Sincerely. You cannot look at this girl’s face and not want to smile. She’s gorgeous AND she’s wonderful AND she’s kind and intelligent and funny. Good genetics in my family, you see.

I promise I did not take minors drinking. Those are our cups of many tickets. And YOLO HAMSTER! Seriously, he is just the best thing. (J. and D. are adorable, right? Totally are.)

Then it was time to go and there were all the hugs and J. totally texted me and asked when we could have ANOTHER adventure. Success! I am a very good partner in adventuring! (I think it’s because I haven’t quite accepted I’m an adult yet. Plus, these two are just the best.)

Time for bed for me. Adventuring makes one sleepy. Thank you, J. and D., for a most excellent day of fun. You are the best and I smiled so much my whole face was on smile overload. You are two of the most wonderful people and I loved playing all the games with you!

Off to sleepytime. Have a good week, people of the internet! I hope you aren’t too jealous of my YOLO hamster. Don’t break into my house to steal it. It’s MINE, and you just have to deal with that, yo.

I have not been kidnapped by pirates. I promise.

This is a brief check-in so you don’t think I’m dead.


Nope, not dead.

Maybe MOSTLY dead. But not all the way!

Maybe MOSTLY dead. But not all the way!

It’s a busy couple of weeks here, which just kicked off on Thursday. I might be running around like a crazyperson until mid-October, so I can’t plan anything (including blogging, sadly.) They’re all good things, and fun things, and things I’m very much looking forward to, but there are a LOT of things.

So, this past week, I reviewed a show (and had a very nice dinner with my friend K., in which we caught up and laughed and ate and solved all the world’s problems. YOU ARE WELCOME, WORLD. Expect my invoice in the mail in the next 2-4 weeks.) The paper I write for is still having technical difficulties, so you can read my review for free. I saw Les Mis. It wasn’t a flawless production (but it wasn’t the worst production I’ve ever seen, either…so not a complete waste of time. I do so enjoy “On My Own.” And hearing “to love another person is to see the face of God” always gives me chills.)

Then Friday, Cousin S. came to visit! We had a weekend of ADVENTURE and TALKING and MORE ADVENTURE. We ate all the food (sushi and popcorn and Cheesecake Factory and waffles!) and toured Albany and saw a movie (Don Jon, which was really very good, if you like naughtiness and Joseph Gordon Levitt, both of which we do) and I introduced her to Veronica Mars (which she loved, yay! Excellent taste, that woman. It must be hereditary.) And we talked and talked and talked. We had many years of talking to catch up with. I think we did that admirably. Then, after she left, I took a three-hour nap. WHO DOES SUCH A THING. It was not planned to be that long. I had a headache and I was like, let’s just curl up for a bit, see if we can get this to back off! and then the next thing I knew, it was dinnertime. What the hell?

I don't like cheesecake. I got this thing called Blackout Cake. One slice was the size of my damn head. I could not even finish it. True story.

I don’t like cheesecake. I got this thing called Blackout Cake. One slice was the size of my damn head. I could not even finish it. True story.

And ALSO, this weekend, I was Freshly Pressed for the second (I KNOW!) time! So the phone went off and off and OFF with comments and likes and reblogs and such and Cousin S. was like YOUR PHONE! IT IS BLOWING UP! and I was like, yes, blogging, it is a strange and demanding mistress. The WordPress people contacted me on Monday to tell me they were Freshly Pressing the blog I wrote last week about meeting up with Josh last weekend, and I could not have been more pleased. What a great post to choose, and what an honor for them to choose me again. So! Some of you are most likely new people. Hello, new people! I am so pleased you are here. Please always feel free to comment, and if you are confused and would like to know what the hell’s going on here (I don’t know what’s going on here a lot of the time, to be honest) you can check out my About page, or the Frequently Asked Questions page. And just a warning, usually I’m goofy. SOMETIMES I’m serious, but seriously, usually I’m very random and goofy. So if you hate such things, no harm, no foul, I suppose.



This week is INSANE. I’m seeing three plays (and reviewing two), going to dinner with friends, working 6 days, getting a haircut, bringing the car to the garage because I think it’s about to die, and Mom and Dad are coming to visit because I AM ALMOST A YEAR OLDER. Yes! It is true! With the advent of October, it is almost AMY-MONTH! Shush, I totally get a whole month, don’t you get a whole month when it’s YOUR birthday? Well, if you don’t, you should, sheesh. We are officially 8 days from my birthday. This year I sadly have to work on my birthday, because later in the week I’ll be taking six days off to take a trip to Virginia! IT IS ALMOST VIRGINIA-TIME!!!



Now it is bedtime, because I have a Stephen King book that is crying out “Amy! READ ME!” and you know, I kind of want to do that. This is the longest I’ve gone without having my nose stuck in a new Stephen King book in my whole LIFE. If I don’t hurry up, I just know some internet asshat is going to spoil it for me, and then I will have to go POSTAL on them and who wants THAT to happen? No one. I mean, sincerely.

Happy Monday, all. I hope your weekends were full of adventure and mystery and wonder and joy. If they weren’t, there’s always next weekend, right? Right.

Old friends and new friends and adventures and SO MUCH FOOD ZOMG

I am far too tired to function at the moment. However, I really want to blog about the weekend of adventure, preferably before I FORGET about the weekend of adventure, so I’m going to soldier on. I’m intrepid, I am.

This weekend was crammed full of things. SO MANY THINGS. I don’t know if I’ve had a busier weekend in ever. HAPPY busy, but INTENSELY busy. I don’t know if you know this about me, but I’m honestly quite lazy. When I’m not doing things (and let’s be honest; I’m quite often doing things) I am sitting around blogging or watching television. I’m not much of an adventurer, for the most part.

This weekend? SO MUCH ADVENTURE. Sincerely.

So on Friday, I left work early and went to the doctor and then ran a bunch of errands. Because that night…that very night…it was LAURA NIGHT!

Yes, Laura came to visit for a whole weekend! This was a plan we hatched a while back when talking about shopping. See, the lovely Laura is a thrift store shopper extraordinaire. And we have a LOT of thrift stores here. So we came up with a plan for her to come visit and we would do all the shopping, plus I would show her around Albany and we would have a grand adventure.

So I went to the train station! And waited most (im)patiently! And then like 47 trains came in at once! (OK, fine, two. Two trains came in at once.) And I was afraid I would not see Laura, but then there she was! And she was ADORABLE and she was IN MY CITY!



(This is kind of unprecedented. I usually go TO people. People do not usually come to ME. This felt very grownup and fancy.)

We decided the first night we would chill out and just hang out at my place. So back to Casa del Futbol we went!

The first bit of surprise: DUMBCAT LOVED LAURA!

I mean, he likes people EVENTUALLY. But he doesn’t usually love people right AWAY. So I warned Laura he would probably run away RUN AWAY, as he does, and maybe hide under the bed, or in the pots and pans cupboard. But NO! She came in, and he didn’t run away at all! He actually was all “PET ME, WOMAN!” and headbutted her for MORE petting and was all filled with purrs! Now, this is unprecedented. He runs away from EVERYONE. (Well, except me, unless I’m trying to clip his nails or touch him when he’s not in the mood for such nonsense.) This made me very happy.

I actually made FOOD. Like, real live food. With INGREDIENTS in it. I didn’t even warm it up in the microwave. Like, there was COOKING, In the OVEN. True facts!

This doesn’t look as good as it turned out. I made enchiladas! With chicken and beans and much cheese and spiciness! (Because I’m a freak, I got all the things to make them, then was like “ZOMG WHAT IF LAURA’S A VEGETERIAN OR HATES BEANS OR MEXICAN FOOD” and then had to text her and say, “Um. Is this ok? Will you eat this?” and she WOULD. Whew.)

Enchiladas are not the PRETTIEST food but they are DELICIOUS. These were super-good. And I have leftovers for two more days, so that’s nice.

So we ate and ate and talked and ate and laughed and talked MORE and finally went to bed kind of late because all the talking. I do so like talking to Laura. She’s the best of talkers.

The next day was DAY OF ADVENTURE!

We woke up and first went to my favoritest of diners where DELICIOUS WAFFLES WERE CONSUMED! The best part of this (well, other than waffles) was that Laura was trying to find out what kind of sausage came with her breakfast. “Is it patties, or is it, you know…” she said, and then mimed something that looked very much like either a hand- or blowjob. Without missing a beat, the waitress said “They’re sausage links. Are you a teacher?” and it was SO PERPLEXING. How did she get teacher from that? When Laura asked, she said, “Oh, you explained that like a teacher.” WHAT KIND OF TEACHERS DID THIS WOMAN HAVE. This made us giggle. A lot.

My favorite diner YAY! Seriously, I'd been dreaming of waffles for WEEKS.

My favorite diner YAY! Seriously, I’d been dreaming of waffles for WEEKS.

Then we went to our FIRST thrift store, which was the Salvation Army. It is a big Salvation Army and it is pleasingly arrayed in color order. We saw many things there, like a jar opener (if you are very weak?), and one orthopedic shoe for sale (I guess if you only have one foot), and a framed mirrored piece of artwork with Eminem in it. Thrift stores make me wonder about the people who dropped off these things. Why did they EVER have them, and why did they get RID of them?



Laura found a couple of things, and even I found some things, which NEVER happens! I found a few shirts and a very cute skirt and a nice picture frame with beading all over it (because I have photos I want framed but don’t have the frames for them.) We also found a million copies of the Twilight saga in the book section. That made me irresponsibly happy.

Then, on to thrift store #2! This one is more expensive but has more clothes straight from stores with tags on them and everything. I tried on so many clothes that I think I might have started a minor riot outside the two dressing rooms. SORRY HUMANS. But I bought SIX new shirts that I am VERY excited about and a very cute nightgown. No, you can’t see it, not even a little.

Goodwill! It is mega-huge,  yo.

Goodwill! It is mega-huge, yo.

Then it was time for lunch. Because we eat balanced meals, we had…

ICE CREAM! Kurver Cream was right across the street and is closing for the season soon and I was excited to bring Laura to my favorite ice cream stand. These cones were DRIPPY, you guys. We got MESSY.

Then it was time to take a quick tour of Albany. We were running out of time and had things to do that evening. So I planned a little excursion to my favorite place in all of Albany when you want to show someone the fantasticness.

The Empire State Plaza!

Laura seemed VERY happy with the beauty that is the Empire State Plaza. Weird shit was going down there this weekend. I have no idea what it was, but there was loud music and all the streets were closed and we had to hike across the Capitol lawn and we saw two wedding parties which was nice.

Laura at The Egg! Those ducks were cool. But we kept getting attacked by cheeky weird pigeons.

We then jetted home and got all dolled up for our ladydate. We totally forgot to take photos of ourselves all fancy, but we were wearing dresses and had pretty hair and makeup and we were the PRETTIEST. People were impressed.

First, we went to dinner at one of my favorite local restaurants, which is New World Bistro Bar. It’s where I take people when I want to show them the coolness. It’s got fun delicious food and a wonderful atmosphere and we were very impressed with the sexiness of all of the employees. We ate until our faces almost fell off.

We wanted dessert and even though the waitress was like “I warn you, that thing, it is HUGE” we totally ordered this ice cream sandwich which was rootbeer ice cream and rootbeer whipped cream and rootbeer cookies and listen. That waitress wasn’t lying.

I know, right? They weren’t screwing around about how huge. My word. We couldn’t finish this. We gave it a good try, though.

Then it was time for the theater! Originally, I was supposed to review a show that night, but that got moved to another night. So instead we went to my old theater to see Big Maggie, which I really wanted to see anyway, and was glad I could bring Laura to for many reasons, some of which were that she could meet my friends, and that some of my favorite local actors were working on this show.

And it was a total hit. We were IMPRESSED. The acting and the set and the direction – all of it was fantastic. And I saw so many people and got to introduce Laura to so many people and it was just the best time.

But THEN, a very bad thing happened which was the little headache I’d had all day got worse and worse and WORSE and then I was like, huh, it seems this is turning into a migraine. And by the time I got home, it was bad news bears. I took some aspirin, and the aspirin was the last straw and my head told my stomach “nope, we’re not accepting that” and then I had to go to the bathroom and fight the urge to vomit for many minutes because if there’s anything I hate it’s throwing up. Yuck.

So then it was time for early bedtime, which meant I went to bed but couldn’t fall asleep for a while because OUCH OUCH OUCH and then finally fell asleep and then when I woke up I felt all hollow like I had no brain, so that’s nice. But at least my head didn’t hurt anymore. Because it was HOLLOW, you see.

Then it was time to rush around and get ready to bring Laura back to the train station so she could go home. Sniff.

Back to the train station! Many hugs! Sad goodbyes! Laura was the best visitor. I don’t have many overnight guests. This was an excellent experiment in visitations. If it always went this well I would always have visitors. I MISS YOU ALREADY, LAURA!

Then it was time for the SECOND adventure of the weekend. I mean, with the second PERSON.

Not too long ago, one of my oldest friends contacted me and said he was coming to town for a few hours on Sunday, and did I want to get together for lunch? Yes. Yes, I did.

I have known David since the first week of college. So therefore, we have known each other since we were 17. SEVENTEEN. Can you imagine? That is a very long time ago. I barely remember that girl. I remember David, though, and I remember meeting him that day, when I was scared and homesick and a very nice boy smiled at me and held the door of the dining hall and told me I looked pretty that day, and then I ran into him again a few days later when visiting a friend at his dorm and we were friends from that point on. I’ve known David longer than I’ve known almost anyone. It’s funny, when you have that much history with someone. They know all of your things, and you know theirs, but then when you move away from each other, you still know those things…but then there are all new things you DON’T know, so that person’s still in there, but it’s also a new person. It really is a funny thing.

As you can see, this train station wasn't as awesome. (Obviously I did not take this photo today.)

As you can see, this train station wasn’t as awesome. (Obviously I did not take this photo today.)

So I then went to ANOTHER train station to get David, who was coming in about an hour later, and hung out in the parking lot like a creeper and wrote email and made phone calls and such. Then when the train was coming in I waited outside my car and I heard “AMY!” and there was David. And he looked like my David, even though I hadn’t seen him in ten years in person. (I thought it was just five years or something, but we figured out it had actually been ten. That’s a very long time.)

So we went to the restaurant, and talked and talked and waited for the restaurant to open, and David was in town because he is a very fancy talent agent and was there to surprise one of his clients who was starring in the tour of Ghost, but we ruined the surprise because she saw us on the street and she was so cute and surprised to see him and then she gave me a HUGE hug and she was teeny-tiny and full of all the excitement and I liked her very much. So I got to meet the star of Ghost! Which I am reviewing on Tuesday! So I certainly hope she’s good because how awkward will it be if she’s terrible and she was so adorable and filled with hugs? (Damn, but it’s tough being honest sometimes. Let’s just cross our fingers she’s wonderful.)

Then we went to lunch, only the restaurant wasn’t ready for us even though we had a reservation. “Can you come back in an hour? We’re cleaning up from a party last night,” said the man at the door. “Um. No? Because of theater reservations?” we said. After much sighing, he agreed to let us sit outside. So we had lunch and talked and talked and caught up and it was just nice, you know? If you’ve known someone that long, catching up with them is a nice thing. (And behind us, the people kept bringing trash and ice sculptures and such out of the restaurant. The whole thing was very strange. I don’t know that I’d go back there.)

Then we walked around town a little and then it was time for David to go to the show and for me to go home and crash out because WHOO WHAT A WEEKEND but we totally took some photos which I do not have explicit permission to post here but I’m doing it anyway.

This is us being…shocked, I guess? We are making FACES here, yo. Also I like how the Ghost poster looks like it’s telling David a secret.

Now we look happy and relaxed and beautiful. This is one of my most favorite photos of my whole life. Seriously. This makes me beyond happy. This is a photo of two people who have had a very good day and love each other.

And when I got home I had blogging and a weekends’ worth of internet things to catch up on and emails to write and a freelance job to do and now I am GOING TO BED, dammit. SO SO TIRED.

Best weekend. Just the best. And more wonderful things upcoming. So many things happening. So happy.

Hope you all had the best weekends filled with adventure, and all the delicious foods and friends and laughter.

Things you cram into a weekend

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

    Well, maybe not this particular adventure.

    Well, maybe not this particular adventure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I even ate something I had never TRIED before!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


This made me cringe then laugh like a moron.

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

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

Oh, also, there was this.

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

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

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

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

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

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