Okay. Hot is one thing. Saturday was my ideal-- hot, not humid, sunny, with a breeze. But this week? Ninety-seven degrees on Wednesday, humid, feeling like 115? So hot that it's a severe weather alert? I think I'm going to kick out my window and force my air conditioner through. Surely my landlord will understand that it was an emergency situation.
Monday, July 31, 2006
As soon as I got out of the van at high noon in Rhode Island and almost immediately started itching my back from the two mosquito bites, I remembered why I live in the city. I hate bugs that bite, vermin that scurry, animals that are not on leashes and accompanied by a responsible adult. Why were mosquitoes out at noon? It was sunny and blazingly hot on Saturday, and my hungover ass, along with Missy and Steph, were at the beach. We'd driven around Narragansett in the minivan for half an hour, scouring for a parking spot on Route 1A. Missy and I lamented the fact that no one in Rhode Island can parallel park a car, since if a few cars had simply scooted forward the extra foot we could have easily parked the giant minivan. Instead, we drove down a side street that didn't forbid out-of-towners from parking, parked in a ditch, and began the mile-long hike to the beach.
It was worth it. The sun was hot, without a cloud or any haze to obstruct its rays from us. The waves were big, the water was cool but not numbing. The beach was crowded like the one in that Dunkin Donuts commercial, but we sat away from the water and had sand kicked on us only once. Missy had brought her radio, and we sat and people watched. Most of the people who visit Naragansett Town Beach are young, but I didn't realize how young. One girl, who had tanned her skin to an unnatural brown, walked by us wearing a Corona triangle bikini top and high-cut bottom. The three of us looked at each other.
"That's a tacky bathing suit," Steph said.
"She also doesn't look old enough to drink, so how is she wearing that?" Missy remarked.
"My Mom would have slapped me silly if I tried to leave the house like that. I think she still would," I clucked. My transformation into an old woman was complete.
We stayed at the beach until Missy feared getting a rash from the sun exposure. We packed up our things, shook the sand from our towels, and started the long walk back to the van. I got another two mosquito bites on the way, and we piled into the hot van to head to my aunt's house for a birthday cookout. My uncle's family has a small shack on a pond in Rhode Island, so what was going to be just cake at my grandmother's house turned into hot dogs and cake at my grandmother's house, which turned into an entire cookout at my aunt and uncle's shack. Knowing that dusk on a pond leads to massive clouds of mosquitoes and horse flies, we sprayed ourselves down with bug spray. It didn't really help. After we ate dinner, we piled back onto the screened in porch to avoid the bugs. My uncle lit a campfire, and my grandmother called for us to come back outside since the huge fire had incinerated all the bugs. It had not. While I opened my gifts, I swatted bugs. Beetles of some kind flew into my ears. I picked a bug out of the hair at the nape of my neck. Stephanie jumped a mile as a prehistoric-looking june bug an inch long crawled across her bare toe.
"You aren't really from New Hampshire, are you?" My grandmother asked, bemused by our panic.
We left early since we were exhausted and needed to drive back to Boston. I stomped over to the van, hoping that any furry wildlife waiting to pick through the trash would scare off. We got in and drove back. After dropping Missy and Steph off, I parked at the people I babysit for's house and decided that it was early enough and I should change the kitty litter, which was my only task for while they were away. I opened the door, petted the starved-for-attention felines, and went to the back stairs to change the litter.
Unfortunately, the cats had pooped all over the back staircase, in protest of their loneliness and dirty litterbox. Sighing, I grabbed the old slotted spoon and dustpan, slid the fossilized turds onto the dustpan, and threw them and the contents of the litterbox into the trash can. I tied up the bag, collected my things, and headed for the garbage cans behind the house. As I walked down the dark driveway, the image of the mother of the kids swam before me like a flashback in the movies, saying "We have skunks in the backyard." I opened my cell phone to toss off some light, rounded the corner of the house, and immediately saw something furry between the plastic garbage cans. Not even stopping to see what it was, I let out a "yeep" (trying my best not to scare their elderly neighbors-- it was 11:30) and high-tailed it back up the driveway, still holding the bag of stinky litter and fossil turds. The cats looked at me like I was insane as I dropped the bag back into the trash can in the house and said, "Fuck that. I'll come back tomorrow and take it out."
Last night, on my way home from Alicia's house, I walked up my street. A couple was walking toward me. Suddenly they stopped, and I watched in horror as a huge rat ran in front of them, got scared, ran up the side of a building for about two feet, and tossed himself over a wrought-iron fence and back into a yard. The rat couldn't have been two feet away from the woman, but she just stopped moving, and didn't move to the side. I was about ten feet from the giant rat, and I was tempted to run across the street in terror. It is my great fear that when I take my trash out to the cans behind my building a rat or mouse will either crawl across my foot or bite my toes, and seeing rats running all over the place and doing Jackie Chan-caliber aerial stunts did nothing to calm my fears. I gathered my trash and didn't even make it to the cans. I just tossed it in the heap of trash at the corner of the building and ran back inside.
I swear to God, if I see ANY rats in my apartment when the weather gets cold, I will immediately begin packing my things. I can deal with the spiders that seem to plague me, but if anything so big I can't smoosh it moves in, I am done. For a girl raised in the country, I am no good with nature.
Posted by Amy at 9:18 AM
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Well. That was a fast year.
Twenty-five? How did this happen? Well, logistically speaking, I know what went down. I was born and I have managed to stave off death for twenty-five years. Well, almost. I guess I have until about noon tomorrow to make it before I gloat too loudly, but I'm optimistic.
Most people expect me to be running around screaming, wearing clothes that are too young for me and fearing that I will die alone, or fearing I will find myself barren by the time I try to make babies. They ask the question, "So, you're twenty-five?" with the same hush at the end as if they'd asked, "So, you have herpes?" But it's really okay. Am I having the quarter-life crisis? Not any more of an existential crisis than I have on my birthday and New Year's every year. I'm relatively happy with the way my life is-- I have a job, a family that loves me, good friends, a place of my own to live, I'm not dating an asshole, I still get carded at bars so I can't look too busted, and in the grand scheme of life I'm comfortable financially-- but of course I want more. I want to travel. I want to get out of debt. I want to write professionally. I want to have a good relationship. But I can't force these things to happen before their time. It'll work out. I even think I will make a baby someday before all my eggs dry up. I am an optimist.
So, if you see a woman stumbling down the street tomorrow in wedge sandals and a sassy dress, screaming her damn fool head off about the eternal footman holding her coat and snickering, it's probably me. But I assure you, I'll be having a blast doing it.
Posted by Amy at 3:42 PM
You know, something's a little off when we're told that gas prices are high because of limited refining and that we simply must start drilling for oil in delicate underwater environments, or we must start fueling our vehicles with hate or corn oil or whatever, and then we find out that Exxon Mobil made a ten billion dollar profit in the second quarter alone. Let me express that in numeric form for you so you can wrap your mind around all those zeros:
Um. You guys. I think we're getting screwed here.
Posted by Amy at 10:26 AM
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
What, "Enter Sandman" isn't quite the chart-topper it once was? Is Lars Ulrich blowing through piles of money in his quest to be the biggest prick in the recording industry? What's made you change your mind to allow iTunes to sell your songs?
You guys ruined Napster. I loved Napster. Yes, copyright infringement is an icky subject, especially for a writer and creative-type person. But it's not like you lost bazillions of dollars from poor college kids downloading your songs. I still maintain that if someone likes an artist or an album enough, they will purchase it legally, either through iTunes or an actual store. I am still pissed you shut down Napster, which singlehandedly made my freshman year of college awesome.
I also see that Radiohead isn't selling their music on iTunes. While this has nothing to do with you, it allows me to keep up my hatred of Radiohead and Thom Yorke up unabated.
Posted by Amy at 3:43 PM
I'm sorry. But it's a story that Lance Bass is gay? I mean, come on. Just look at him.
That is a gay man. And this comes from the inspiration for Rachel Dratch's character for "The Girl with No Gaydar" on Saturday Night Live.
I'm still waiting for the verdict on Justin Timberlake. Methinks he doth protest to much with his pretty crappy new song, "SexyBack."
Posted by Amy at 12:36 PM
I love Verizon Wireless. Yes, they're a big, fake corporation with no interest in me whatsoever except my $65 a month for use of their service. But their service works just about everywhere I go (it doesn't work well at my Mom's house-- we're in a bit of a valley), most of my friends have it so it's free for me to call them and talk about my waxing needs, and my calls aren't dropped like they were when I had Cingular.
I also love their "New Every Two" program, which gives you a new cell phone for free every two years when you renew your contract. In the midst of my financial cleaning house, I realized I was long overdue to renew my plan and get a new phone, so last week I renewed the contract and ordered my new phone. I didn't get the Razr-- I read some terrible reviews of it online-- but the Motorola E815. All the Bluetoothy goodness of the Razr with none of the lemon accusations. I really don't need a super phone-- as long as I can text message, take drunken pictures and call people, I'm fine.
The new phone arrived yesterday, and I hastily activated it. So far, I love it. All it needs is a Kelly Clarkson ringtone to be my very own. But last night when I got home and took my old phone out of my gym bag, I got a little sentimental. I had that phone for about three years. I got it when I was at home in Rhode Island, taking care of my Mom after her first hip replacement. It was so shiny and new, and with the first form of a digital camera I'd ever owned. The kids I babysit took off-kilter pictures of each other with it. The ringtone that I had set as my default had to be changed once the Whatever and I broke up, because I always associated that ring with him calling. We had an hours-long discussion on that phone after a fight. I downloaded another tone that sounded like a phone, which was beginning to bum me out since I associated it with the most recent contestant in the Amy Dating Game. The "4" key was sticking because of my fast and furious text messaging skills. The connection between the phone and the charger was spotty. In short, it was time to say goodbye. It was a good phone, and I can only wonder what stories this new phone will have with it in two years.
Posted by Amy at 9:28 AM
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
I am no economist. Clearly. I don't balance my checkbook, my friend had to sit me down and show me that after I pay ALL my bills for a month, I am somehow flushing away $500. Nice. (No worries, I have a plan!) However, in my humble estimation, here are the things that are fucking our country up economically:
- Low wages
- Health care
My grandmother and grandfather were complaining about Plan D, the new Medicare plan that has confounded senior citizens from the get-go. My grandparents have BlueChip, which kind of helps supplement the coverage that Medicare gives them. My grandparents tried to get Plan D coverage through another company, but found out that unless they took Plan D with BlueShield as their provider, BlueChip would drop them from that coverage. BlueShield, according to my grandmother, charges much more than other providers for Plan D coverage. "That's not much of a choice, is it?" She asked.
It was interesting when I looked at this article, buried on Boston.com, saying that Medicare Plan D has brought "a sales windfall" to pharmaceutical companies.
In the first six months of 2006 , US sales of Lipitor rose 7 percent, to $3.83 billion, from a year earlier, the company reported last week. Pfizer said Part D contributed to nearly half of that sales gain.
While some fault Part D for slashing the rebates that drug manufacturers had paid, the industry's lobbyists call the program a success.
Well, of course the lobbyists for the pharmaceutical companies are going to be thrilled. They get treated to more DC hookers and great steak dinners because they're providing such a huge benefit to their bosses. It is sick to make billions of dollars off of elderly people who need medicine to have a good quality of life, to live as long as they can. The fact that I am scared to leave my job or be fired because I would lose healthcare is bullshit. We need another system in America that cares for everyone, not just the people who can afford medicine or the best plans. If you're an ace at solving the world's problems like my grandparents and I are, leave your healthcare plan in the comments section.
Posted by Amy at 9:46 AM
Monday, July 24, 2006
"The world is just so messed up and if I think about it too much I get upset, so I just have a drink and relax."
My grandmother stood in the kitchen slicing up peaches for dessert while my mother, grandfather and I sat in the dining room. I finished the remnants of the wine in my glass, and looked forlornly at the empty bottle sitting on the yellow tablecloth. The smell of coffee percolating filled the house and a cool breeze blew across the garden. It was hard to imagine anything could be wrong with the world, but we'd just discussed Israel, the inaptitude of the Bush family, the dismal state of healthcare, and how none of us has any money.
"I wish I could do that," my Mom lamented, "but I'm not a very good drinker. People tell me I probably should be, though."
"Hon, you just let me teach you how to drink," my grandmother said loudly, popping her head back into the dining room to make eye contact with my mother. "Here's my rules of drinking. Rule number one: Don't drink anything less than 100 proof."
I started to laugh as my grandfather shook his head. I thanked him again for donating the biggest bottle of Southern Comfort in the known world to Kristen's liquor cabinet.
"That's good stuff," my grandmother added from the kitchen. "But they watered it down. Now it's only 80 proof. I can't handle stuff less than 100 proof, because you start feeling waterlogged before you can even calm down enough to enjoy it."
I went into the bathroom, and I heard my Mom complain, again, about the amount of alcohol I drink. I rolled my eyes, and washed my hands. When I came back out of the bathroom, my grandmother was holding forth in the dining room again.
"The way I see it, drinking isn't harmful. I look at my sister, who is on every antidepressant, shoves a mess of pills down her throat every day, and I think that maybe if we all had a drink we'd all relax a little bit and not need all these pills that we can't even afford!"
Sometimes, my sedate and logical mother and brother make me wonder if I am a milkman's baby. Then I hang out with the women on my paternal side, and I realize I make complete sense.
Posted by Amy at 9:27 AM
Friday, July 21, 2006
A big Friday fuck-you to the Senate Appropriations Committee, who cut funding to programs such as Head Start.
The Senate Appropriations Committee voted Thursday to freeze funding for popular education programs such as Head Start and grants to schools for poor children and those with special needs.
Okay. We can somehow find the money to drop bombs on kids in the Middle East, but we can't pony up the dough to help poor kids with special needs in America? We've got endless pork projects in this country that we can't pare down to try and help disadvantaged kids? What the fuck is wrong with us?
The panel approved a bill providing $143 billion in funding for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education for the budget year beginning Oct. 1.
The panel also approved a $453 billion bill funding the Defense Department as it wrapped up its work on the 12 annual appropriations bills.
Do you want to know why Americans are stupid and aggressive? Look at the numbers in this article. We spend hundreds of billions of dollars more to fight than to educate children. We could maybe lower our defense budget if we educated a kid who could grow up and be a smart diplomat. Most of our great leaders came up from nothing. Lincoln grew up in a shack and had a natural appetite for books, which got him in to law school. Clinton wasn't rolling in dough either. Kids of all economic backgrounds have a natural curiosity and desire to learn new things, and politicians continually underfund programs that will keep them interested in learning and away from endless hours of Playstation, or, much worse, the streets. It could be argued that if we don't defend the country we won't have any kids left to educate. I'm not saying we should forsake defense, hold hands, and buy the world a Coke. I'm saying we need to find the means to get kids interested in learning while they're young.
Byrd noted that Bush's No Child Left Behind bill called for $25 billion in federal funding for local schools but that the measure approved Thursday provides just half of that.
What a dumb shit. Maybe Bush needed some Head Start action so he could figure out that half of $25 billion ain't gonna cut it.
Posted by Amy at 11:01 AM
Did you guys know that the library will let you read a book for free? I was surprised too.
One day I wandered into the Trident Cafe, bored, hungover, and desperate for some brain candy. As I wandered to the magazine racks, I spied a book written by Julia Child. And it wasn't a cookbook.
My Life in France is about, well, Julia Child's life in France as a newlywed. Before she went to France, Julia barely ever cooked, and grew up in white-bred, Republican Pasadena, California. Then her husband got a job in Paris after WWII, and Julia went with him and fell in love with France. She learned to cook, and thus began her career as the original Food Network Star. But on PBS.
I'm always interested to see what twists in people's lives make them who they are. If Julia had never married Paul Child, she never would have gone to France and encouraged a generation of women to cook. I always wonder where my life will take me-- if I'll have grand adventures like Julia and Paul-- or where I'll ultimately end up. The book (what I've read of it) is well-written and very entertaining. I love getting really excited to read a good book.
Posted by Amy at 9:25 AM
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Holy sweet Jesus. Stop the world, I want to get off.
Israel is about to invade Lebanon, apparently, which is adding more fuel to the "holy fucking shit" fire that runs through my head every morning when NPR does their daily "Lebanon and Israel are still fucking fighting, folks" report. George Bush is vetoing stem-cell research because it's "immoral." So is grabbing a woman who clearly doesn't want you to touch her, George. So is sending boys to die for your daddy while the parts of the Middle East with more weapons and more aggressive tendencies toward other countries with weapons are going fucko-bazoo. I can't keep a boyfriend, I can't go anywhere because I can't afford to spend a red cent, the city of Boston is actively falling apart around me, now a tropical storm is heading our way to finish the job Bechtel started, and I don't even have cable to keep me distracted anymore.
Somebody hold me. I am FREAKING OUT.
Posted by Amy at 11:46 AM
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Hi. Boston Massachusetts here. I'm a relatively small American city. You may have heard about the problems I've had recently with my transportation infrastructure. You may also be aware that I've had a water main break and a tractor-trailer overturn on one of my major highways today as well. I'm also playing host to a major league baseball team and two free events today. As you can imagine, this is a bit stressful for me. So can I ask a favor?
Stay the hell out.
No, seriously. Keep your cars parked. Come in on foot, bike, bobsled, pony, whatever the hell will get you here on a sidewalk and not in a giant space-taking, gas-guzzling, street-driving car. Seriously. Ride a horse. I've instructed the groundskeepers for the Boston Common not to cut the grass so the ponies can graze. Don't rely on the commuter rail, because that's fucked too.
In fact, if you don't live here, please stay out. I've got enough cranky people on my ground to take care of. Wouldn't you like to visit Providence, Rhode Island? Aside from the harbor fires, it's lovely. Maybe Newport? Go anyplace else, I'm begging you. I'll let you know when I'm ready for you to come back. But for now, I'm closed for business until things are running a little more smoothly again.
Thanks a bunch,
Posted by Amy at 4:59 PM
Hi. My name's Amy, and I'm in a lot of financial trouble.
It's not pretty, folks. And not in the "oh, I am carrying a balance on my credit card this month, how shameful" not pretty, but in the "I have no available credit left, can't make my minimum payment AND afford food" sense of not pretty. Between moving, my Italy trip which is still on my card and other things, I'm maxed out. My student loan payments are astronomical. My cellphone bill is huge since I was dating a guy who was out of network. (Never again!) My freelance work has dried up for the time being. It's really, really frightening me how broke I am.
I got myself into this. I know it. Just having a drink out turns into several drinks, appetizers, and cab fare if I'm not careful. Accepting invitations to everything my friends offer is another problem. I can't keep up with my friends because they make more money than I do, and have less student loan debt. But there is some disconnect when my friends say they want to get a hamburger and beer, because I almost always agree. I want to see them and do stuff with them and leave my house to mingle with my fellow Bostonians, but I can't afford to keep doing it like I have been.
I don't know why I am so stupid with money. I always have been. My brother would get his allowance and save it for a video game or a remote controlled car. I'd get my allowance, and it would be gone as soon as my Mom took me anywhere. I'd want a pair of jeans or a CD, anything that struck my fancy with money in my pocket would be mine. As a kid, that's all well and good since my Mom was still buying my groceries and paying for my housing. Now, it's a huge detriment, and I keep spending money and keep getting myself into maxed-out credit cards. What the hell is wrong with me? Why can't I be a normal person who doesn't spend money when she doesn't have it? Why can't I manage to not blow through a freelance check like Lindsay Lohan blows through coke?
All I want is to hand all my messily organized financial documents over to someone who understands the best way to do this stuff, and tell them to make a plan and I'll stick to it. Pay this much for credit cards, that much for student loans, save a little, and I have $40 a paycheck for fun. If somebody gave me a plan, I could stick to it. But I'm too fucking stupid to do this myself.
Posted by Amy at 9:33 AM
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Did you know it's hot out? Because it is. It's really hot. While I feel bad for people who work outside in the heat and may actually get sick, the rest of us need to sack up and quit complaining. Because do you know what's going to happen in a matter of months? Do you? Remember this?
Yeah. Snow. Cold. No sunshine, ever. Frostbite and boots and coats and heating bills and high oil prices. Misery and sadness and trudging to work on a crowded, slushy T. Me turning tricks in an effort to be able to afford cable since I won't want to leave my house for five months. (Which will make turning tricks harder, but I'm working out the logistics.)
Give me the rivers of sweat between my boobs and down the back of my ass. I'd rather have that than goosepimples and seeing my breath inside my own apartment.
Posted by Amy at 4:53 PM
Do I even bother with dating? It just sucks. I get all excited, believe every word that comes out of a guy's mouth, allow myself to imagine trips to forigen places. I fall hard. Then, before it's really gotten started it's over, and I'm left sitting someplace, head swimming and stunned. What? What happened this time? Did I snore? What?
I am fed the fuck up with the whole goddamn enterprise. I am sick of excuses and bullshit and lying when it ends. Just when I get happy with my status quo of me and my friends and that's all I need, some guy weasels in and adds something to my life I didn't even know was missing. Then, he's gone. I am sick of collecting stupid man breakup tricks to share with my friends like trading cards. Here's "it's raining, let's talk later." Here's "personal reasons." Here's just another guy with a pained face on the card, with his stats (packs left, dumps evasively).
Sorry to be cynical, and sorry I don't have anything meaningful to say about tunnel safety or Lebanon scaring the shit out of me on a daily basis. But I'm fed up with the shenanigans and can't even muster up some artistry about it.
Posted by Amy at 10:52 AM
Monday, July 17, 2006
Why are you all thinking so loudly? SHH.
Yesterday was the best day in the history of ever, pretty much. I got up early, and Steph and I went to the beach. It was hot and sandy and perfect. Then I came back into town, gathered up some provisions (read: beer) and headed to Great Woods with Alicia and Kristen to see La Clarkson.
We got to Great Woods at about 5pm, and the lot was already filling up. It was a much different crowd than the last time I was there, with mothers unloading minivans full of young girls wearing denim skirts, giggling and excited. On the left of our car were two young mothers with their six-year-old daughters. Each girl had a Britney Spears circa 1999 fake headset to pretend to sing into, and they sipped cans of Diet Coke while asking their mothers when they could have a beer. We guiltily poured our beers into Solo cups. I lost count around five beers. I made several trips to the Porta-Potty. I was hot and hammered. I love summer.
We stumbled into the gates, and found a spot on the lawn. Rooney was the opening act, and while I vaguely remember them from an episode of the O.C., but they sucked live. I got bored and went on a quest to find a doughboy. Shortly after I returned, Kelly took the stage.
I don't want to hear another thing from the media about Kelly being too fat. The girl is a peanut. Granted, she was dressed well last night-- her stylist took mercy-- with black cargo pants and a white wifebeater, without shoes. She sang her ass off on that stage. She played a couple songs off her new album, which I'd like to offer some commentary on, but the fifteen-year-old girls in front of me who were smoking and drinking (my God, I've become my mother) wouldn't shut up enough for me to hear well.
I sang my drunk fool head off to the stuff I knew, however, and I think Kristen has permanent hearing damage in her right ear from me yelling "WHOOOOO! KEEELLLEEEYYY!" between songs. But it was worth it. Remind me I said that when my boss fires me upon seeing me with my head on my desk, awash in a puddle of drool.
Posted by Amy at 8:55 AM
Friday, July 14, 2006
Two days, bitches!
I am not even going to front like I didn't nearly deafen myself with "Walk Away" on my way into work today. I forget that other people are on the street sometimes, and I sassily throw my head and sing along. If you've ever seen the video for "Walk Away" you know it's just a bunch of people singing along to the song in goofy ways. This is the only way to listen to this song.
Do you ever think back to the person you were in high school? Because the person I was in 1999 would probably want to kick the shit out of the person I am now in 2006. But that person was cranky and hated fun.
No time or mental capacity for an actual cohesive post. It's Friday, man. Let me off the hook a little.
Pete Bouchard was voted "Best Meterologist" in the Improper Bostionian. While the Improper Bostionian sucks nuts, I am glad they recognized the Pete excellence. I think they did most of their research on Pete Bouchard from this blog, since most of the tidbits they shared about Pete have been reported by me. But anyway, congratulations, Pete. It's well earned. Someplace, Todd Gross is planning a coup d'etat with his website.
The Red Sox hate me. Extra innings? Mark Loretta making errors? What the hell is all this?
It is going to be hotter than the surface of the sun this weekend. Time to put my air conditioner in the window after nearly two months of stalling. I am considering begging the woman I babysit for to allow me to take her children to the beach, despite the fact she doesn't want us to take an all-day excursion out of town with her husband on a business trip. "I will run them ragged! I will make them chase frisbees! They'll be asleep when we get back. PLEASE ALLOW ME TO DRIVE YOUR CAR TO THE BEACH!" I am also going to have to be drunk out of my mind on Sunday to tolerate the heat. Monday should be a hoot.
I don't really know who to put my faith in in regards to this whole tunnel flaw problem. I know Mitt Romney is gradually taking authority away from Matt Amorello, but yesterday Mitt Romney had returned to his vacation in New Hampshire with the assurance he would be "in constant contact." Okay. I'm just going to tell my boss that I'll be on Narragansett Town Beach, but I'll bring my phone with me and he can text me stuff that needs proofreading. Uh-huh. Totally the same thing. I still advocate that my grandmother would be a good candidate. She doesn't take shit from anybody, and she can stick to a budget.
I wish all of you a fantastic weekend filled with fun. Stay safe, and I'll see you on Monday, certainly with many tales to tell.
Posted by Amy at 9:05 AM
Thursday, July 13, 2006
You know, my birthday is coming up at the end of the month. And what better way to celebrate your favorite blogger's twenty-fifth year on this planet that by buying her her very own lighthouse?
And a boat so she can get there. But, come on. Where else can you go on the internet to get all your Pete Bouchard information?
Posted by Amy at 9:54 AM
I was just telling Annette last night that I don't watch very many sitcoms. I don't think that the sitcom has much to offer anymore. This is not to say I don't like funny shows-- last night's rerun of the Colbert Report had me in stitches ("Our Kids-- What the Hell is Wrong With Them?"). But I've found that, next to reality television, the sitcom has had the least evolution in recent television history. There are funny comedies-- The Office, My Name is Earl-- but they're not laugh-track, typical "guy and a wife" sitcom. There must be new material in that someplace.
I think of this, because sitcoms deal mainly in stereotypes. The guy-- usually a comedian who was an alcoholic doing standup in the '80s-- is a big fat oaf without anything to offer, in my opinion. The woman-- usually a smoking hot actress ten years the fat oaf's junior-- is smarter than him, but she stays home to take care of their whip-smart kids. The wife yells, the guy drinks beer and wonders why the woman yells, and usually blames it on PMS.
This isn't funny. It's also not funny when a guy suggests a woman is aggressive only when she is about to menstruate. Why do I bring this up, you may ask? When are you getting to the damn point, Amy? Well, here it is.
Ed Carpenter, who trails Patrick by four slots in the IRL IndyCar Series' points race, made the comment when asked how Patrick might handle NASCAR racing during a radio appearance to promote Saturday night's Firestone Indy 200.
"I think Danica's pretty aggressive in our cars," Carpenter said Wednesday on WGFX-FM in Nashville.
"I mean, you know especially if you catch her at the right time of the month, she might be trading plenty of paint out there," he said. "But I think she'll hold her own. Who's she's going to drive for is hard to say. I don't think she's leaving, so we'll see."
This is why I don't like racing. Not to mention it is not a goddamn sport (baseball, soccer, hockey, basketball, football, volleyball... bass fishing at least requires you to stand up), but the inherent amount of macho bullshit these drivers spew is unbelievable. I'm too lazy to search my own archives right now, but I know I've written about the shit Danica Patrick takes from these clowns before.
I'd like to send a memo to these men: Women can be aggressive, with or without the aid of their hormones. Us uppity bitches can scratch and claw to get what we want just because we've always had to. We had to fight for the right to wear pants (thanks, Katherine Hepburn!). We had to fight for the right to vote. We continue to have to fight for control over our own uteruses (uteri?). We have to fight for good pay and the basic respect from men in our professional lives that you take for granted. Maybe that's why we're so fucking aggressive, not because our uterus sheds its lining once a month when we're not home barefoot and pregnant like you'd apparently prefer.
To her credit, Danica took his assholery with good grace:
I like that little dig at the end. "Well, he's kind of a boring fucker, so I'm glad he's at least got the personality to say something inflammatory about women." I guess Danica likes watching Everybody Loves Raymond as well, since she finds the PMS joke funny. But she's sticking to racing, despite the shit she has to take from her fellow racers, so well done.
Patrick, a presenter at the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles on Wednesday night, didn't take offense when informed of Carpenter's comments.
"That sounds like a good joke to me, it's pretty funny to me," she said backstage. "No big deal. Ed is a really nice guy. There's no drama there. I think it's funny. I'm glad he's showing some personality."
Posted by Amy at 9:17 AM
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
I think my grandmother may be smarter than everyone.
My cousin lives in Revere. Or he did live in Revere-- I think he moved. In either case, she vowed that she would never go to visit him since she'd have to go through the tunnels. "I'm not going through that thing," she said. "I think I'd need a snorkel set to get through it it leaks so much. He can come home if he wants to see us." I laughed, thinking it was just typical old-woman paranoia.
Now, with the news that inspectors have found SIXTY additional structural problems in that one part of the tunnel? Like, six-zero, six groups of ten sixty? Holy shit. My grandmother should be running the Turnpike Authority. My grandfather could probably build a better tunnel with his knowledge of weatherstripping than the super-educated engineers made with millions of dollars.
It's times like this I'm glad I live in the Back Bay and can walk to my office. As long as there isn't an earthquake that makes my area of Boston slide into the Charles, I feel pretty safe. I still don't think my grandmother will be coming to visit me anytime soon.
Posted by Amy at 3:26 PM
Get the Solo Cups out. We're drinkin' in the parking lot in four days.
Okay, so, sometimes, I imagine the cool celebrity chicks I'd like to hang out with. Stacy London of TLC's What Not to Wear is one of them. Any woman who says that a quick fashion fix is "a great pair of high heels, a good shade of lipstick and a stiff drink" is a woman that I want to friend on MySpace. I'd like to hang out with Gwen Stefani because she would encourage me to try funky clothes and she'd let me hold her baby and maybe Gavin Rossdale would walk by without a shirt. But my favorite celebrity BFF? Kelly Clarkson.
Imagine it. She's a normal sized human woman, so she probably likes to drink. In my mind, Alicia, Kristen and I show up at Great Woods on Sunday really early and start drinking Gansett by the Tall Boy. Then the tour bus comes up, and Kelly's like, "Hey, y'all!" And we're like, "Hey, Kelly, we brought some tequila."
Flash forward two hours, and we're draped over Alicia's car, slurring our words and talking about boys.
"And I said, like, shut UP, Guarini, nobody ASKED YOU what you thought of this choreography in From Justin to Kelly. Like, just shutdafuckup and sing."
"Duuuude, Justin suuuucks."
"Hah. Yeah. And he cries during sex. OH MY GOD. DON'T TELL ANYBODY!"
"Kelly, you totally picked the wrong Justin."
"Y'all are SO RIGHT."
"JT is the Justin with a Grammy."
"DAMN! SNAP! Pour me another shot, please. My manager's gonna come for me like any second now. God, I hate work. But I love y'all."
This is going to be the best day OF MY LIFE. I can just tell.
Posted by Amy at 10:25 AM
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Dudes, this shit is BLOWING MY MIND.
"There is absolutely no reason these constants should be constant," says astronomer Michael Murphy of the University of Cambridge. "These are famous numbers in physics, but we have no real reason for why they are what they are."
The observed differences are small-roughly a few parts in a million-but the implications are huge: The laws of physics would have to be rewritten, not to mention we might need to make room for six more spatial dimensions than the three that we are used to.
Oh my God. They will have to rewrite all the sci-fi movies. Dudes. This is freaking me out. NOTHING IS FOR SURE. Nothing that we hold as true is necessarily true. Up is down. Left is right. Yankees is love.
MY GOD. WHAT IF THE YANKEES END UP BEING AWESOME? WHAT IF EVERYTHING WE HOLD TRUE IS TAKEN AWAY?
This is why I work in the liberal arts. An inaptitude with numbers and a flair for the histrionic.
Posted by Amy at 4:15 PM
Sometimes, life gets you down. The flies invade, you're out of money, and shit just generally goes wrong. In these trying times, sometimes, you just need a little something to perk you up and get you through. No, not crack. I mean David Ortiz.
Check out the most excellent website for Papi Says, which is the new D'Angelos ad campaign. It's even better than "there's a cookie!?"
Posted by Amy at 9:31 AM
This is not what the Ted Williams connecter should look like. It should be full of cars narrowly missing each other, tailgating, honking, throngs of people writhing in terror at the idea of missing a flight. The tunnel should not have huge chunks of it falling on top of cars and killing the passengers. It should not be empty. The Boston area should not be a giant clusterfuck of traffic since nobody can get to Logan via its main route in.
Also, it is a "there but for the grace of God" things. I drive in that tunnel fairly often (not as often as those of you in Eastie, but still) and I'm glad it didn't crush me, or anyone I babysit, as I usually drive them to the airport when they leave for vacation. But it shouldn't be crushing anyone. I think we're going to need some answers here, folks, because this is far beyond unacceptable.
Posted by Amy at 9:01 AM
Monday, July 10, 2006
Oh. My. God. YOU GUYS!!! We're looking at six days until I camp out in the Great Woods parking lot with Alicia and Kristen, drink my face off in a lot full of tweens and their Moms, and rock out to some Kelly Clarkson.
OhmyGodOhmyGodOhmyGod. Dudes. This is going to rule.
On any given day, there is a barometer of how I'm feeling, and it's called my iPod. If you turn on my iPod and an artist appears on the screen, you'll have an accurate representation of my frame of mind. For instance, Code Red is Bright Eyes or Tori Amos. This is the absolute, shittiest, ohmygodmakeitstop mood I can be in. Code Orange would be Nine Inch Nails. I am not so sad I have given up hope, but am still yelling at my problems and telling them I'd like to fuck them like an animal. Or something. Code Yellow would be Kelly Clarkson. My anger is well-produced, effervescencent, and at the teenage level where I know I should be mad at that guy I was dating yesterday for not talking to me today in the cafeteria but instead macking on my best friend, but I don't have the history of shitheads pulling this on me to really lose all hope. Code Blue is the Indigo Girls, because most of their songs are about eventually finding peace. Code Green is Rihanna or Madonna or all the poppy crap I listen to at the gym or when I'm dancing in my apartment in my underpants. Like you don't do that.
But, if this weren't enough fun for one week, Project Runway begins its third season on Bravo on Thursday. (EDIT: Wednesday. I was going to watch on Thursday.) I'm missing it because I don't have cable, but I'm still excited. I have a huge girl-crush on Heidi Klum. She's lovely, she is the prettiest pregnant woman on the planet, she has the best chirpy German schoolgirl voice, and she's married to Seal, who I also love. I also have a crush on Tim Gunn, who aids the SIX-TEEN DESIGNERS through their various tasks. He's gay, but he's honest without being nasty and can take a joke ("Whatever happened to Ahn-dray?"). I want him to come and take me under his wing and tell me how to live my life in his calm, erudite manner. ("Amy, it's make it work time. Calm down. Make it work.")
I'll be enjoying the pleasant pursuits my membership in the female gender offers this week. Mass-produced chick rock and a peek at the world of fashion with Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn. Oh, and vodka.
Posted by Amy at 3:28 PM
Grrr. If the physical beauty of Theo Epstein isn't enough, this chat transcript will certainly make your heart (and naughty bits) melt. Of note:
Soxfan81: Theo, what do you see in your future, maybe 10 or 15 years from now when you may have moved on from being a GM?
Theo_Epstein: I have no idea ... but I hope wherever I am I have more than one ring on my finger.
Really? I'm sensing a kind of Big Love vibe from this comment. I'll kind of be like Chloe Sevingy's character: deeply in debt, but maybe with less evil. And better clothes. Theo: I can share. Call me.
"Well, I grabbed her ass like this, right, then I picked her up, and I--"
Posted by Amy at 1:38 PM
Italy has won the World Cup. Hooray for you, Italy. You're a lovely country. And now that that's over, I can say what I really think about soccer.
Soccer is the hipster sport.
No, hear me out. I appreciate the physical strength that soccer players have. I appreciate that they run more than David Ortiz, there's more physical contact with less padding than American football. I appreciate David Beckham. I like Mia Hamm. But I do not like soccer.
Soccer is boring. Soccer is a lot of running without a lot of scoring. American sports media makes a half-assed attempt at covering soccer to convince Americans it's cool. American kids play soccer to keep them from obesity. The girl I babysit loves soccer. But some disconnect happens between childhood and adulthood, because American adults, on the whole, don't give a shit. We love the NFL and the NBA and MLB and occasionally the NHL, but not FIFA.
During the playoffs, NPR had a commentator ramble about how much he loves that guys at the gym were talking about soccer games that America had no stake in, how great it was to hear their opinions and their knowledge of soccer. It was when I heard the smug liberal intonation that I became aware that soccer is for hipsters. Hipsters tell you something is cool only because you don't know about it. Did you hear the new Death Cab for Cutie album? That Thom Yorke has a side project? Someone tosses out names of soccer players just to make you feel stupid for not knowing soccer, just like music hipsters toss out the names of bands you don't know, and give you the withering stare just because you like Kelly Clarkson and not whoever the fuck. Take your PBR and Buddy Holly glasses out of BeerWorks, hipster, and let me watch some damn baseball.
I don't like soccer. I resent ESPN trying to tell me I like soccer just because they're trying to fill the highlight reel at SportsCenter. If ESPN thought soccer was a viable sport, we'd see many more televised matches throughout the season. Instead, we get bass fishing with Mike Timlin or paintball playoffs, unless it's the World Cup. It's like Rolling Stone telling me I should listen to Radiohead when they're selling magazines because Mariah Carey is on the cover. Nobody cares-- if they did, we'd have a soccer channel. I, for one, am glad this stuff is over. Now we can get back to the business of David Ortiz playing home-run derby and trying to light Rudy Seanez on fire with only the collective power of our hate.
Posted by Amy at 9:16 AM
Friday, July 07, 2006
I write about fashion from time to time on this blog. I write about baseball from time to time on this blog. I shall now combine these interests of mine into one and tell you about the most excellent Blue Cats and Red Sox merchandise available on Cafepress. You know you want a "Shift This" and an "Eck-tastic" shirt. I know I do, and will purchase said items once I dig myself out of debt. But, if you'd like to buy a shirt before 2020, please check it out and help and encourage miss SamCat to higher heights of lunacy.
Posted by Amy at 9:34 AM
Last night I got home late, after stopping by the Esplanade to sit and contemplate for a while, and also to avoid what I feared would be a swarming mass of black flies. I opened the door, and, indeed, the place was crawling with flies. I took a half-assed swing at one of them, missed, and said, "Fuck this, I'm going to buy some Raid." I collected my things and walked to Walgreens, which did not have any Raid. I walked to CVS. They had one container of Raid, but the spray top was missing. So then, hungry and shooting looks so hateful that I nearly incinerated a baby, I walked into Shaws, used my overdrawn debit card, and headed back home.
I heated up some dinner, grabbed a plastic fork, and put my stuff in a bag. I began spraying the chemicals at the windows. I don't like killing things. The files are trying to live, just like I am. But I do not wish them to try to live in my apartment, so I had to hose them down. They dropped, one by one, wings humming furiously as the poison hit their system. It was a horrible sound.
I saturated the air with the mist (per manufacturer's instructions) and then left the apartment. I ate my dinner on the Comm Ave mall, uncomfortably close to a young couple that was making out. I called my Mom, who feared I had poisoned myself rather than the flies, since I took a huge coughing fit right after I said hello. I complained about my problems, and then went home.
Most of the flies were dead, but some of them flew crazily around the apartment. Their reaction time was poor, so I managed to skoosh them. I went to bed, not hearing anything. Around 6am, I awoke to the sound of a buzzing fly. I found a few more dead ones on the floor on the way to the shower, and saw a couple live ones bobbing around. I sprayed again before I left for work. I still fear I will find another fly family when I return home, which will probably send me running to the men in white coats, because this is the last kind of crap I need this week.
Posted by Amy at 9:21 AM
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Dear Boston Globe,
Until I read some articles about Tiger Woods' or Roger Federererrrrraaawrs' wardrobes, this whole "reporting on professional female athletes in respect to their sartorial choices alone" thing does not sit well with me.
The Globe has been peddling it's papers as of late primarily with talk of women in sports. Yesterday, it was the whole "do women who wear pink hats constitute baseball fans on par with men or women who wear blue hats" (I still maintain that unless it's a sanctioned Red Sox uniform color, no, so you have kelly green, red, white and blue to work with: wear the team colors) and today it's "how pretty is Michelle Wie?"
Sixteen-year-old golf phenom Michelle Wie may make it all look effortless -- her fashion sense, as well as her fluid swing -- but as for the former, she actually has a great deal of help.
Because, certainly, being an amazing golfer at age sixteen just happens for her, without hours of training. She's probably just a tad bit more focused on playing golf than if she looks like Sienna Miller in her ensemble. I know this article appears in the "Arts and Lifestyle" section and not the sports section, but it still sits uneasily with me. She's a freaking phenom. Her choice of skirt is not the issue here.
Posted by Amy at 3:35 PM
I sat in the company lunchroom today, reading about great restaurants to bring the kids (part-time job research) when three of my coworkers came in. I had my back to them, but their conversation was fascinating.
Coworker 1: Put some in a cup. I'm curious.
Coworker 2: You may not want to. It's nasty.
CW1: Yeah. But I'm interested.
(Sounds of liquid being poured; audible sniffing.)
CW1: The bouquet is not appealing. Ew.
Coworker 3: Take a sip.
At this point, I turned around. Coworker 2 was holding a bottle of Coke's new soda, Coke BlaK, which is the great brown carbonated liquid Coke combined with the great flat brown liquid coffee. I'd had a morbid fascination with this soda since I heard about it, so I watched the proceedings with interest. Coworker 1 took a sip, made a face, and swallowed.
"It's not good," she said. "Ew."
Apparently, someone was promoting this bad idea on the street and giving away bottles, hoping it would attract people who'd spend actual American currency on this slop.
"It tastes like someone poured coffee in my Coke," she continued.
"It's like Fear Factor in here," I said.
"Well, I may as well throw this out," said Coworker 2, holding the bottle between his forefinger and thumb like a gross towel, "unless you want some," he said to me.
I grabbed a Dixie cup, and watched as the liquid poured in. It looks like regular Coke. It's brown, it's not too dense, there are bubbles. I sniffed, and it did not smell good. The predominant smell is coffee, with a hint of flat, old Coke in the background. I took a sip.
As my Coworker said, it's not so bad that you'd spit it out, but you swallow it and wonder why. You first taste the sweetness of the Coke, then the taste of bottled coffee hits you after you swallow. Maybe it's just me, but all bottled coffee beverages (Frappuchino, I'm looking at you) have an odd metallic taste that fresh-made coffee lacks.
I'm not sure who the market is for this soda. I'd imagine video gamers who never sleep and live solely on hot dogs from 7-Eleven and Bagel Bites, because anyone who craves sleep (there is no indication of the caffeine content on the label, but it's got to rival Mountain Dew) and has a functioning taste bud in their mouth is going to realize this stuff tastes like high-octane ass. The stuff also costs about $2 for a small bottle, so wouldn't it be wiser to stock up on 2-liter Cokes for the same price as an itty bitty bottle of Coke BlaK? All the jittery alertness with none of the coffee flavor mucking up the Coke?
So, a thumbs-down from me on Coke BlaK. Maybe you'd like to try New Coke again?
Posted by Amy at 3:09 PM
Yesterday sucked. It sucked as soon as I woke up from a restful sleep feeling completely unrested, bags so big under my eyes I'd have to check them at the airport and pick them up at my final destination. It continued to suck as I forgot which Korea had nuclear capabilities. The suck was unabated when I went home and found about ten friends flying around my windows. By "friends" I mean giant, fuck-off flies.
I don't know what lead to the boom in the fly population in my apartment. I have two windows at my place, one large and dead facing the street, another smaller and facing the stairs of the apartment next to mine. When I moved in, many bugs came in through the big window, so I kept that one closed and left the little one open, which seemed to satisfy my need for air and also kept the bugs to a minimum. All that changed yesterday. Maybe it was something to do with the grass being mowed, or perhaps what must have been giant piles of trash from the fireworks. In either case, I was not pleased.
I came in, and heard them before I saw them. The sinister deep bzzzzzz of big black flies. I don't know their actual scientific name, but I have seen smaller hummingbirds at my Mom's house. I saw them, a gang of annoying motherfuckers, desperately thrashing themselves against the window trying to get back outside. I dropped my mail and bags on the floor, climbed onto my desk, and slammed the window shut, trapping about six flies between the screen and the glass. There were still a number of flies stuck inside. I slipped off a flip-flop, and starting smashing against the blinds.
Since they are big giant fucking flies, they seemed to have no fear of flying directly at my head as they flew from the swinging blinds toward my bathroom toward what they no doubt thought would be freedom. They flew at my knees on the return to the window. One of them landed on a mojito-soaked towel from my Motley-Crue-level of apartment trashing levels (swinging foot + almost-full mojito = big fucking mess and embarrassment) and I smooshed him. Another landed on my Chia herb garden I have yet to plant, and I killed him, his mangled corpse visible in the setting sun. I showed mercy and let one fly out my front door. It was like the storming of Normandy in my house last night, and big smooshy fly corpses littered my apartment. It was as gory as the first twenty minutes of Saving Private Ryan, but on a smaller scale.
I took a break from the battle, weary from my sucky day turned suckier by vermin, heated up some pasta salad (the flies resumed zooming at me when the smell of pesto filled the apartment) and watched some of the Chapelle Show DVD I got from Netflix. (Why had I not watched this before? It's hilarious.) A couple bold-ass flies headed toward my monitor, but I shooed them off. One fly landed on the inside of my water cup, leading me to curse since I wouldn't be able to drink water until I scrubbed it clean again.
Once I had eaten and filled my dirty dishes with water in the sink, I took up my weapon, and wandered around the apartment with one flip-flop on, one flip-flop my mighty sword, and continued slaying the seemingly computer-generated flies. As the night wore on and my creativity with foul language increased, I began to notice that if the flies weren't completely dead (read: gormy) when I hit them, they would start limping along again, so I think I was "killing" the same flies over and over again.
Around 9:30, I resigned myself to bed, figuring if I didn't get some sleep I'd probably have to commit myself this morning. I turned on the horrible fluorescent light above my bed to fume to my journal, I heard the sinister "bizz bzz bzz tink" of a fly on a light. Drawn and frustrated by the light, it buzzed and bounced around, desperately seeking a way to get out of the drop ceiling the light is encased in. I wrote a little, realized it was after ten, then turned off the light and fell fast asleep.
I woke up this morning, and didn't see any flies as I stumbled into the bathroom. When I came out, I saw two bastards sitting on the blinds, mocking me. I slipped off my flip-flop, smacked the blinds a couple of times, and headed to work. I hope that they don't reproduce while I am at work, leaving me another night of epic vermin fighting.
Posted by Amy at 9:03 AM
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Isn't it funny how we wait for the weekend, counting down the days and hours until our time is truly ours, then we end up back at work, bags under our eyes, wallets light, wondering what the fuck happened to us? Or is that just me? Because right now, I'd love it if somebody just put me out of my misery. It's like all the drinks I had this weekend (many) collected in my bloodstream and let loose a wave of misery at 7:30 this morning.
It was a good weekend, full of patriotism (fireworks! fuck yeah!), alcohol, and movies. But all that living got in the way of my sleeping. So I guess you can just forget a coherent post for the moment. I will say that I am genuinely afraid of North Korea now, and I do believe we should be turning our attention toward this situation. Like, now. No, now.
(EDIT: I am a moron. NORTH Korea. Clearly, I am not well.)
The Devil Wears Prada is fun and good times. Cars was excellent, as was Superman. Thanks to S for bringing up a loveseat so my guests are no longer sitting in a fold-out papasan chair or on plastic bins I used to move. Thanks to Kerri and Will for most excellent fun times in Rhode Island. Thanks to Lewis for coming with me, even though he was about to die of exhaustion himself. In a way, I am glad to be back at work since I won't need to move except to get coffee and lift a pencil. Which will be difficult enough, I think.
Posted by Amy at 9:27 AM