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Tag Archives: writing

A new year post on the actual day. Go me.

Happy new year, people of the interwebs! OK, so I missed New Year’s day for some of you. I know. I’m the worst at thinking in a timely fashion for other time zones. Please forgive me, other time zones. Here is a photo of Dumbcat looking pensive to make up for my transgression.

Hapey Noo Yere, peeple of bloge. I had a birfday this weeke adn am nowe fifeteene. In humaene yeers that is 76 yeers old. I shoulde reetire.

Hapey Noo Yere, peeple of bloge. I had a birfday this weeke adn am nowe fifeteene. In humaene yeers that is 76 yeers old. I shoulde reetire and get soceel securtee so Momee can stay homee and pet my furrs all the dayys.

A couple weeks ago at work, one of my most favorite coworkers (there are a lot of them…I kind of work with the best people in all the land) and I were talking about blogging. Here, I’ll give you our conversation. If he happens to read this (and I suppose he might, the internet’s a very small place sometimes), apologies in advance for stealing your words and putting them on the internets for all to read, one of my most favorite coworkers whose name I will not put on the blog because I’m about 99% sure it would embarrass the pants right off of you and I enjoy you so much I would never want to do that to you. Plus, also, workplace harassment, yo, I can’t be taking work-people’s pants off. I think there’s a seminar or something about that.

I seriously just snorted orange soda up my nose at this. This was NOT the image I went looking for, but look at the chick's face. It's like she's oblivious to the butt-groping. Or she's looking at a really funny kitten-GIF. Or maybe she just really likes the groping, I don't even know. Either way, it is my best thing of the day.

I seriously just snorted orange soda up my nose at this. This was NOT the image I went looking for, but look at the chick’s face. It’s like she’s oblivious to the butt-groping. Or she’s looking at a really funny kitten-GIF. Or maybe she just really likes the groping, I don’t even know. Either way, it is my best thing of the day.

Impressive Reporter Coworker: So I noticed the other day you’re a tweetaholic. You have over 20,000 tweets!
Me: Oh. Yeah. I used to tweet a lot. I don’t do that anymore.
IRC: Why?
Me: Oh, kind of a long story. I used to blog? And then tweet a lot, kind of in relation to that? I kind of fell out of practice.
IRC: You had a blog?
Me: Yeah. I kind of still do, I guess, but it just sits there.
IRC: What was it about?
Me: Um. Mostly me ranting about some things and making fun of other things? Also I talked about zoos a lot.

By the way, this happened a couple months ago in Syracuse. I like it because it looks like I Munchausen-by-Proxyed my penguin-baby and have gone cheerfully insane.

By the way, this happened a couple months ago in Syracuse. I like it because it looks like I Munchausen-by-proxyed my penguin-baby and have gone cheerfully insane.

IRC: And people would read it?
Me: Heh. Yeah. Lots of people would read it. I won some awards. And I met amazing people. And I went to Finland last year. Got to stay with people I met through blogging, actually. It was fantastic.
IRC: So…what happened?

And I didn’t have an answer for him. Not really.

What happened? Oh, I don’t know. Life, I guess. Andreas and I have spent copious amounts of time discussing that. Priorities change. Things change. People come in and out of your life. Moods rise and fall. Jobs come and go. I can most sincerely say that the person I was three and a half years ago when I started blogging isn’t the person I am now. I think back on that person and she seems like a complete stranger to me. It’s not that I’m embarrassed of her; it’s that I don’t know her at all, and I don’t know how I ever was her. I have a record that I was, I can look back on old posts and I know I wrote them, but as for remembering it, it’s kind of fuzzy. Too much water under the bridge.

So I’ve been doing a lot of thinking…and I realize there’s this itchy little part of me that wants to start writing again, and writing more. Otherwise I’m going to probably self-destruct.

I’m not juvenile enough to think resolutions ever stick. The first day of the year always seems so shiny and new, doesn’t it? Like you can accomplish anything. Like you have 365 days of newness (ooh, 366 this year, yeah?) to tackle and make your own. But I don’t know about you…but every resolution I’ve ever made has fizzled around February once you realize “oh, look, this shiny new year is very much like last year, what are the odds, yo.”

Instead, I’m going to be kind to myself, and promise myself I’ll do things that are good for me – and writing’s good for me. So writing here? Good for me. Writing poetry, essays, maybe even some short fiction? Good for me. And it’s good for my mind, because I need it to stop being so itchy. An itchy mind never did anyone any good.

(Side note: I have an amazing job, and every now and then I get to write. I got to write part of an article – FOR THE ACTUAL PAPER! – a couple months ago, and then got asked to write a LONG article for one of our related publications. A three-page article about traveling to Albany and all the things you can do there. It’s not online yet – will be eventually, and then you can read it, if you’re so inclined – but long story short, I get to write for work. I also get to do our social media, copyedit, proofread, and sometimes there’s totally a STOP THE PRESSES! moment with late-breaking news which makes me jump around in my chair because I feel like I’m in a 40s film with very impressive fedoras. My coworkers are fantastic, because they’ve totally accepted me even though I’m the biggest goofball. And I can say, with 100% certainty, I’ve never had a job where I can be more myself, and where I’ve felt more immediately at home with the people, than this one. Ever. When you can completely dork out about something three days in and no one even bats an eye? You have won employment.)

Sometimes I like to imagine that I'm in "His Girl Friday" only there's a lot less sexism (and also a lot fewer typewriters, ashtrays, and, sadly, fedoras.)

Sometimes I like to imagine that I’m in “His Girl Friday” only there’s a lot less sexism (and also a lot fewer typewriters, ashtrays, and, sadly, fedoras.)

I’m kind of rambling, here.

Anyway: I have a couple of people I’m going to encourage to blog, and they’re going to, in turn, encourage ME to blog, this year, so we’re responsible to one another as well as being cheerleady. And this will, hopefully, stop the brain-itching and get me back writing and being creative.

Happy New Year, internets. I hope your 2014s weren’t as fraught with weirdness as mine was (and most people I know had a TERRIBLE 2014, what’s going on, 2014, why were you so cursed?) and your 2015 looks like 366 (or 365, sorry, people of other time zones, I really meant to do this earlier in the day but I was too busy painting a unicorn head to go over my new fireplace…YES THAT IS REALLY A THING I DID TODAY, WHY ARE YOU ASKING) new and shiny days of awesome that you can tackle and wrestle into submission and make yours, all yours.

This is my unicorn head that is hanging over my fireplace. I don't have a name for him yet, but I'm leaning toward Reginald von Sparklenstein.

This is my new unicorn head that is hanging over my fireplace. I don’t have a name for him yet, but I’m leaning toward Baron Reginald von Sparklenstein.

Much love to your shiny little new-year faces. *smooch*

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I have a fancy nametag and EVERYTHING.

You’re totally right, anthropomorphic computer equipment. Thanks for the reminder. Stop talking about me behind my back, though, you’ll give me a complex and scare the cat.

Things have been a bit upended thisaway. Completely upended, actually. To the point that I have to reschedule the time I sleep and eat and such. Plus a gigantic move to a new town, and a whole new apartment, and a new town to learn, and a new JOB to learn, and and and…

I’m a bit chicken-head-cut-off here.

Overall, all’s well. I miss Albany, and I really miss my people there, but am learning my new home. My job makes it worthwhile; it’s a fantastic job. I love my coworkers, who are intelligent and sarcastic and make me laugh until I snort pretty much daily. I love the work, because it’s never the same and I get to be all crack-the-whippy about grammar issues and I get to be the night-and-weekend social media person, things I love doing AND I GET PAID FOR THEM. How often do you get to do things that you like, and get paid for them? I love the building, which is old and historic and filled with the best of newspapery ghosts whispering “extra, extra.” I like that my apartment is literally four minutes from my job, which will be fantastic when the snow falls (and that could be any day now…it’s getting chilly here.) I like that I know the news because I have to proofread all the stories so I’m all knowledgeable about what’s going on in the world. (Some days, I wish I wasn’t as knowledgeable. There’s a lotta shit going down right now, yo.) I like when the phone rings I get to answer it with “Newsdesk, Amy speaking.” I like that I had a hand in 5/7 of the newspapers that come out in this city every week. (5/7 only because I get two days off each week, not because I’m a slacker.) I like that when people ask what I do, and I say “I work for the paper,” they get an impressed look on their faces for the first time in my LIFE. I like that I look forward to going to work every day. Every single damn day. They even gave me a nametag with my PHOTO on it so I am all OFFICIAL.

This is NOT from my paper, but from my beloved cousin S.'s paper. I asked her if perhaps a tutor was revived IN the Tudor; the answer was no, sadly.

This is NOT from my paper, but from my beloved cousin S.’s paper. I asked her if perhaps a tutor was revived IN the Tudor; the answer was no, sadly.

I’m getting used to a nights-and-weekends schedule; there are pros and cons to it. Nice to only have to set the alarm a couple times a week, but working until the wee hours still makes me a little loopy. I assume I’ll get used to it eventually and stop being so yawny all the time.

My new place is amazing. Roomy and beautiful and old. Dumbcat and I have moved right in. This morning, he realized if he sleeps right on a register grate, the hot air from the furnace is ALL HIS. I walked by and laughed so hard I hurt my stomach. He had a look on his face as if he’d discovered pirate gold. “ALL HEET! ALL MYNE! MOM, IS SO GUDE!” My birthday present from my parents this year was – are you ready? – MY OWN WASHER-DRYER. I don’t have to leave the house to wash my clothes! I FEEL LIKE A MILLIONAIRE!!!

Random apartment photos! Ignore the cat-hairy floor. LOOK AT ALL THE ROOM I HAVE!

Random apartment photos! Ignore the cat-hairy floor. LOOK AT ALL THE ROOM I HAVE!

Bookcase! Bedroom! All the space!

Bookcase! Bedroom! All the space!

Kitchen! Frog-thing hanging on the wall! SO MUCH SPACE OMG!

Kitchen! Frog-thing hanging on the wall! Random Amy-shoes on the floor! SO MUCH SPACE OMG!

I have also purchased many bookcases and filled them with many books. And there is room for MORE books (which is secretly why I purchased VERY tall bookcases.) Gigantic book sale going on at the library starting next week, yo. Guess who’ll be there? ME ME ME. (Dude, fifty-cent paperbacks and dollar hardcovers? Like I’d NOT be there. Please.)

Two of my 6 bookcases. The guy at the store where I bought bookcases was all "are these for books? YOU OWN THIS MANY BOOKS?" Heh. Yeah, kind of.

Two of my six bookcases. The guy at the store where I bought bookcases was all “are these for books? YOU OWN THIS MANY BOOKS?” Heh. Yeah, kind of more than that many.

SIDE NOTE: I haven’t had time to read a single book since I moved. Not one. I KNOW. It’s kind of a travesty, yeah? I’m hoping to chisel out a little more time for that sometime soon. I also haven’t written a single poem. NOT ONE. Another thing I need to get a move on. I have scraps of phrasing scribbled on a million post-its all over this place. I need to turn them into something.

Very little theater here (at least compared to what I’m used to in Albany) but a decent amount if I make a bit of a drive. Went to a concert in Potsdam last night – about an hour and a half away – which was totally worth the trip. (Postmodern Jukebox – if you live on the internet like I do, you’re sure to have heard of them. They’re the ones that take pop songs and make them all swing-y or blues-y or big-band-y. They’re fantastic live, and they’re on tour, so I highly recommend if they come by you, go see them!)

Terribly actiony shot. They were very move-y. Such a wonderful show.

Terribly actiony shot. They were very move-y. Such a wonderful show.

This was my favorite song they played:

(Also, we totally had a singalong to a “Baby’s Got Back” mashup that made me laugh and laugh. And YES, I sang along. Of course I did.)

All in all – all’s well. Some sadnesses, sure. When are there not? Those weigh heavy on my mind. It’s funny how the little sads weigh so much more than the big happys, isn’t it? Relatively-speaking, they should all weigh the same, like the pound of feathers and the pound of lead in that oft-repeated brain teaser.

So: yes. Alive: check. Well: check. In the middle of a billion things, most of them completely different than anything I’ve ever done or dealt with before: check. Mostly remaining upright throughout all of them and not collapsing into a pool of puddly tears: check (mostly, so I’m counting it as a win.)

I keep thinking of things I should blog, like things you learn working at a newspaper, and things you learn running a newspaper’s Facebook page, and I think Dumbcat wants to talk to you about how it is living in the new apartment, and I want to tell you about the new town, and the new library, and all the local fauna here (holy crap with the fauna that seem to live in my backyard exclusively!) but it’ll have to wait for another day. Hoping that’ll happen sooner than later.

Here is a teaser of local fauna. A GIGANTIC SKUNK WAS LIVING IN MY BACK YARD FOR A WHILE, YOU GUYS HOLY HELL.

Here is a teaser of local fauna. A GIGANTIC SKUNK WAS LIVING IN MY BACK YARD FOR A WHILE, YOU GUYS. HOLY HELL.

Happy Wednesday, people of the blog. Hope you’re all happy and healthy and wise. Wealthy would be nice, too, but let’s not push it. How about JUST wealthy enough to afford delicious HoHos. There you go, then.


The doing of all the things

Yo, people, s’up. I have been doing a million billion things, and have been attempting to put together a coherent post, but my brain’s not cooperating. So instead, I’ll give you a recap of what’s up around the old Lucy’s Football homestead, which might be interesting to…I don’t know, no one? Maybe no one. But it’s about all I can do, sadly; larger topics and/or themes seem beyond me at the moment.

I went on a my first internetty date. I am not going to go into detail, because that seems rude. Let’s just say that we weren’t a match, and that seeing one another will not be repeated. But, in more cheerful news: I now know I am capable of going on a date, like a normal human being, and carry on what is mostly a normal human conversation, and eat food without spilling it all over my top. All of this without dying of an anxiety attack. So, although it was far from a win romantically, it was a win personally. Will I be attempting this again? Um. Let’s just say that’s up in the air for the moment? There might be more craziness out there in the world than I’m prepared to take on at this particular moment. Or ever, actually. But we’ll see.

Do not like. Do. Not. Like.

Do not like. Do. Not. Like.

I saw the Book of Mormon. It was one of the best musicals I’ve ever experienced, and I can’t stop singing the music at inopportune times. Which is…well, most of the times, because if you know the songs, you know they’re kind of vulgar, in the most cheery way. It was an amazing musical, and had a great story, and the production was flawless (but of course it was, it was one of the touring companies coming through town, they don’t do shoddy work, and if I told you how much I paid for my ticket, you’d probably choke on whatever foodstuffs you’re currently consuming) and it made me smile so much my teeth dried out at one point. There was a rude asshat in front of me who insulted the nice retired teacher sitting next to him, and I wanted to punch him in the smug American-Psycho-lookalike face, but other than that, just a perfect evening. The show’s worth all the hype, but if you don’t like cussing, don’t go (or you’ll end up like the people at intermission I heard talking in the hallway, all “This is so VULGAR! Did you know it would be so VULGAR? It’s just so VULGAR!” Yes. Yes, it is. The South Park guys wrote it. Did you think it would be about rainbow kittens? Come on now.)

Here, this will make you happy. “I Believe” from the 2012 Tony Awards. (Don’t worry. This isn’t one of the naughty songs. Totally safe for both work and more easily-embarrassed ears.)

I got to see meet Christopher Durang. If you don’t know who this is, you’re probably 99% of the population, so don’t be upset. Christopher Durang is a playwright who was very popular in the late 80s/early 90s (although he is experiencing a resurgence and won the Tony for Best New Play this year) and I was in two of his shows in college (and did a scene from a third in acting class.) He’s absurd, and sarcastic, and hilarious, and intelligent, and remains one of my favorite playwrights to this day. He came to one of our local colleges to give a talk, and I got to see him talk, and then he did a book signing afterward – and I didn’t even freak out. Well, inside. Inside I was freaking out. But I was calm and charming outside, and that is a TOTAL win. That’s the first time I didn’t freak out and make one of my idols think I wanted to wear their skin as a suit. I’ll blog more about it on the book blog one of these days.

He totally looked just like a normal, ordinary guy. I like that when you meet a hero in real life they can masquerade as a typical human.

I went to a science museum with The Nephew. We saw a planetarium, where the presenter was asking questions none of the kids could answer, so she opened it up to the adults, and all the adults were afraid to answer, so I totally answered, because I like being a smartypants and I have no shame (and The Nephew was SO IMPRESSED with me – “you knew that!” he said. Yep, kiddo, I totally did. I am a nerd. We know all the things) and we saw many exhibits about how light and sound and waves and energy work, and a butterfly house (but The Nephew was not impressed because the butterflies weren’t landing on him, so he was like, “I’m done with this now!” and ran out) and gigantic Lego pieces so you could build a life-size house, and many train sets to play with, and one of those machines that makes your hair stand up if you touch it but it didn’t work on me because my hair was already a mess but it did make me all static electric so I was shocking people if I touched them. We had a day of adventure.

Me & my best little guy being beautiful butterflies. He LOVED this thing. Something about putting his face in a butterfly face entertained the heck out of him. He's a blogger's dream.

Me & my best little guy being beautiful butterflies. He LOVED this thing. Something about putting his face in a butterfly face entertained the heck out of him. He’s a blogger’s dream.

I am living through a winter apocalypse. This is the strangest winter ever. GIGANTIC SNOWFALLS! ICE STORMS! POLAR VORTEXES! (Vortices? I don’t ever remember the correct plural of that, and I’m too tired to hit the Googles at the moment.) Yesterday it was 45 degrees here. today it’s 20. It’s enough to give one whiplash. I’m so ready for spring. (And in funny news, I’m hearing from some of my friends who live in places that usually get a lot of snow that they DIDN’T get snow this year. I think we got all their snow. Awesome. Of course we did. Dumb snow. Dumb ice. I couldn’t even get in my car to go to work Thursday. It was iced shut. Took until about noon or one to even thaw enough to get in. SO ANNOYING.)

OK, it wasn't this bad...

OK, it wasn’t this bad…

For the first time in, eek, I don’t even know…almost ten years?…I submitted a piece for publication, and am working on others. I’m attempting to do some writing this year. If it works out, awesome. If not, I’ve written some things I’m proud of. I forgot how much fun it is to write things for potential publication. Fun and scary, all at once, actually. I’ve decided 2014 will be the year for trying things that are a little scary. So far, so good.

Dumbcat has been up to shenanigans – his latest thing is that he jumps on the bed at random hours like 2:21 am and 4:32 am and says “MEOW! MOM MOM MEOW!” and I say “oh, no no, Dumbcat, it is not time for this at all, Mom’s sleeping” and he said “meooooow” and I say “no no no” and he kind of sad-meows like “meoooooooow Mom you are the worst meoooooow” and then goes away for a little while and then comes back a couple hours later and we do it all over again. I’m not quite sure what this is all about. I think he just needs some attention, but it’s not so much fun when a person is attempting to sleep. Also, the other night my throw-rug in the living room was all rucked up and I went to straighten it and there was a dead mole under it. A dead mole! OK, a., how’d that mole get in my home? And b., why’d Dumbcat kill a mole and then hide it like a serial-killer trophy under a rug? (Also, moles are really kind of cool. They have velvety fur and you can’t see their eyes and they have little chubby paws and short tails. No, I didn’t touch it, but I had to pick it up with a paper towel to send it to its final resting place over the porch railing into the snow and so I took the chance to look at it, because how often does one get a chance to look at a mole?) So I’m somewhat impressed with his murdering prowess but also kind of sad about this poor little soft-looking mole who somehow got lost on his way to finding, I don’t know, grubs to eat, or whatever.

Clearly is wasn't THIS mole. This is a cheerful mole; my mole was a DEAD mole.

Clearly is wasn’t THIS mole. This is a cheerful mole; my mole was a DEAD mole.

I’m going to the zoo! After the science museum, The Nephew told his mom, “I want to go to a zoo with Aunt Amy next” and she said, “maybe in the spring, the zoos are closed now” and he said, “no, the animals aren’t gone for the winter. Call Aunt Amy. She can find us a zoo. I know she can” and you know, that kind of blind faith in me, that’s amazing stuff. So did I find a zoo? Bet your bottom dollar I did. We’re heading out of town to visit one next Sunday. There will be lions, and owls, and zebras, and sea lions, and ZOMG A HEDGEHOG!, and many tortoises, and SUGAR GLIDERS!, and teeny pygmy goats, and lemurs! The Nephew has never been to a zoo. So that means I got to take him to his first play AND get to take him to his first zoo. I’m pretty jazzed about this. Don’t worry, I’ve promised there will be many photos of us making animal-faces, and if I promise it, I’ll deliver. You know how much I love zoos and animal-faces.

Oh, I hope it's this one! This is a FANCY hedger! Look at her bling!

Oh, I hope it’s this one! This is a FANCY hedger! Look at her bling!

There have also been other things, like dinners with friends, and all the working, and various projects I’ve been working on, and this, that and other things. Busy, busy me. But it’s good-busy, for the most part, you know? Just busy. Happy-busy. And with all this busy-ness, the winter’s flying by…which means spring’s almost here, and you know what spring means. TRIP TO EUROPE! I’m only 69 days away from my trip now (from the time of me writing this, I mean.) That’s like nothing. Just a little over two months from now! I AM ALMOST THERE!

HERE I COME, MAGICAL FINNISH ISLANDS!!!

HERE I COME, MAGICAL FINNISH ISLANDS!!!

Happy week, you guys. Hope you’re all in the midst of grand adventures. The best kind of adventures at all. Hope to be back soon.


Where do we go from here?

I know. You’re probably wondering, what has happened to Amy? Is she dead? Has she forgotten about us? Does she think she is too good for us? IS SHE TOO GOOD FOR HER HOME?!?!? 

Nothing this shocking, my little tater tots. Nothing this gossip-worthy at all. The answer’s a lot more mundane, promise. 

Total and complete case of what seems to be some sort of writer’s block. Well, no. Not WRITER’S block, per se: blogger’s block, I guess.

I have nothing whatsoever to write about. Nothing in my head; no ideas to write about; nothing at all noteworthy in my life to share. I’ll sit down to write something for you all and nothing at all comes to mind. 

I have plenty of things to write about in other arenas; I can email/text my friends all day long, I can write about books, I can review plays, I can write poetry, I can do work-related writing. None of this has suffered at all. 

But when I sit down to write HERE…nope. Nada. Nothing big, nothing small, nothing at all. (That was strangely Dr. Seussian, no?) Not even a little post making fun of a ridiculous thing I read in the news. Nothing seems right and nothing seems worth the bother. 

I have three posts planned for next week, possible four; I know exactly what they’ll be about, so that’s something. I have ideas for five posts for December. I’m working on a separate project that’s writing related that I can share sometime in the next couple of weeks. Other than that? Don’t know. Might be a few more posts, depending on what comes across my radar that I think needs to be shared; might not. 

But AMY! What does this MEAN? Are you OK? 

Here’s the funniest thing? I’m just about as ok as I’ve been since I started writing here. So I have to wonder if this was my free therapy, and maybe at the moment, I don’t need it as much? Not really sure. I’m more stressed about the fact that I’m randomly letting the interwebs down than I am about not having a multitude of words at my beck and call. (Now, if I didn’t have any words at ALL, like, to say or email or use at WORK, I’d be worried. But they’re still there. They’re just not there for the blogging, is all.) 

ALL THE WORDS! Except when I sit down to blog.

ALL THE WORDS! Except when I sit down to blog.

As for what it means? Well, it means the updates here are going to come less frequently. I’m not leaving altogether; I like it here too much to run away like Brave Sir Robin.

I like the community we’ve made here, and I like the things that blogging’s brought into my life (and the people.) Blogging’s become such an innate part of who I am that it seems so strange to not be doing it. But another thing is – I’ve kind of (against my better judgment) developed some sort of a life. With actual people in it. People who want to see me! And do things with me! And add to that my part-time jobs, and the time I’d like to spend with myself just recharging, reading or watching endless episodes of Catfish (sincerely, WHO SENDS SOMEONE THEY DON’T KNOW THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS, I CAN’T EVEN) and planning for the holidays and and and…the endless hours I used to spend blogging seem…sort of decadent, to me. Like something from long-ago. I don’t know where I found the time, and I don’t know that I’ll ever have that kind of time again, or that drive, or all those pretty, pretty words, all lined up at my beck and call, ready to make you laugh, or cry, depending on the day. 

See, Nev and Max know how shocking "Catfish" can be and HOW IMPORTANT IT IS I WATCH EVERY LAST EPISODE, DAMMIT.

See, Max and Nev know how shocking “Catfish” can be and HOW IMPORTANT IT IS I WATCH EVERY LAST EPISODE, DAMMIT.

I will, of course, still be around. I will still be reading and commenting on blogs; I will still be lurking on Twitter and Facebook (I’ve become just terrible about tweeting and Facebookery; I think they’re things I need to get back into practice of, but, again, there are all those episodes of Catfish to watch.) I will still be updating social media here and there. You know how to reach me, should you feel the need to do so. I’m not DYING. I’m just going to not be around HERE as much. 

I suppose we could see it as an “absence makes the heart grow fonder” thing, right? “Oh! THERE IS A NEW LUCY’S FOOTBALL POST! It is a FRABJOUS day! CALLOO CALLAY!” Right? Right. 

And there are things to look forward to. You will get all the bloggery come next spring; you’re all coming with me to the land of Finns, because tickets have been purchased for my grand European adventure to visit my beloved Andreas and his most wonderful family.

Look at Andreas' beautiful islands I will be visiting! I AM SO EXCITED!!!

Look at Andreas’ beautiful islands I will be visiting! I AM SO EXCITED!!!

Plans are being made as we speak for this. I will be spending two weeks on the continent of Yerp, adventuring and chatting and traveling and eating fancy foreign foods and using my hard-won new Swedish vocabulary. Ready? I will share it with you. “Hej.” I CAN NOW SAY HI IN SWEDISH. I know you’re impressed. You really should be. Even better: “hej” is pronounced “hey” so it’s SUPER-hard to remember, I mean, seriously. I will also be in a couple of other countries while I am there and I think you’ll need to hear all about those, too. I mean, it’s not like I can’t share that with you guys. Who better to represent Merka in Yerp than me, I ask you? I will be the MOST excited. (Side note: Andreas says Finns are a very stoic people, and my natural ebullience will make them think I am either mentally ill or on the drugs. I CANNOT WAIT TO GO TO A COUNTRY WHERE PEOPLE THINK THAT, JUST BY BEING ME, I AM MENTALLY ILL OR ON THE DRUGS, YOU GUYS!) There is a little countdown clock thingy on the right over there so I can look at it and grin about how close it’s getting. Less than 200 days to go, now! 

So really, I’m just here using all the words to tell you I have no words and you won’t be seeing me so much, which seems a very confusing thing to do to you all. Sorry about that. 

I’ll be around, here and there, which makes me sound like I’m watching you like Sting or Santa or a stalker (those are very alliterative, whoo.) Love your faces, and thank you for being here, you know? You’re the best part of the bloggery. Most sincerely.


Kicking the bucket list

I don’t believe in bucket lists. 

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

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

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

DAMN YOU NICHOLSON!

DAMN YOU NICHOLSON!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Watching fireworks over the Brooklyn Bridge. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some (typically Amy-lengthy) background: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So N. and I settled in for the show. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eek. 

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

She wrote right back. 

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

ZOMG ZOMG ZOMG 

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

But ALSO? 

IT IS A REAL NEWSROOM. 

I WOULD GET TO GO INTO A REAL NIGHTTIME NEWSROOM AT A REAL PAPER. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yowza. YOWZA.

Yowza. YOWZA.

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

“I AM AT A NEWSPAPER,” I said. 

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

“How COOL is this?” I said. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I wrote that sucker in NINETEEN MINUTES.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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