General Nonsense

Camp Nano Challenge Day 2: Shelfie

I don’t think I’m sure what this even means. Am I supposed to take a picture of my books on a shelf? A selfie with my books on a shelf? Listen, two things prevent this from happening. First of all, I moved over the summer and Marie Kondoed my all my books. Also Kondoed my bookshelf. I do have a few books left but my phone is at CAPACITY and will not even let me check my mail much less take a picture so we’re stuck. Trust me, I see the irony.

I can tell you what I’ve recently read, though.

I just finished He Said She Said by Erin Kelly. That was a fun book and a pretty quick read. I have Tosh by Tosh Berman and In a Time Never Known by Kat Michels on deck and I’m very excited to read them both.

I don’t have a whole lot to talk about today but I made a promise to myself I would blog every day this month. I’m mostly just upset that someone had the NERVE to unfollow me on facebook of all places after I blogged yesterday about how great I am. I must have intimidated them but they could’ve at least had the nerve to fight me in the streets like a proper nemesis. Unfollowing is fool’s business. I will find them and I will fight them.

This whole post is boring and I blame the challenge. What is a “shelfie”???? And in the event of a showdown with the above new nemesis, I’m going to need a posse. Do I have anyone’s support? This is a very serious matter, I have been provoked! My name has been soiled.

Now that I think about it, the unfollow may or may not have just been that girl I knew from college that might have died. There was a weird facebook post in first person around Christmas insinuating she was in the afterlife and we don’t have any mutual friends I can get the scoop out of. So, if it was her account being deactivated, lowering my friend count, well then I stand down. RIP Benilda. If not, challenge accepted.

Do I Have To Do This All Over Again?

If anyone knows me at all, they know that I own the entire Monkees tv series on VHS that I spent a ridiculous fortune on when I was dumb and broke and 20. Not only that, I own their tv special 33 1/3 Revolutions per Monkee AND two copies of their masterpiece movie, Head PLUS a whole bunch of embarrassing stuff they did in the 80s. All of it on VHS tapes that I still own and will not part with even though can’t even watch them because I haven’t owned a VCR in 15 years. Sorry, Marie Kondo, but they do kind of bring me joy. I think. Not as much as if could actually watch them…

The Monkees was my favorite show on television, being rerun on MTV everyday after school at 4pm. I didn’t know they were reruns and I was planning to move to some beach in Southern California and marry a 19 year old Davy Jones. And while all my friends were obsessed with Madonna and Michael Jackson, I was learning the dance moves to She Hangs Out (probably around the same time Axl Rose was) and my sister, Julie and our neighbor, Kelly and I would go out and perform the Monkees’ dances for no one using the wooden frame of the house being built next door to us as our grand stage. In fairness, this was the 80s and no one seemed really that concerned about a bunch of preteen girls at a construction site dancing to The Monkees on unsecured plywood resting precariously 15 feet above a concrete basement hole. With rusty nails.

Best summer on record.

July 7, 1987. I was 10 years old for another week and a half and in my second concert experience ever, The Monkees (minus Mike) descended upon Red Rocks Amphitheatre and my mind was BLOWN, not only because Weird Al opened the show, not only because they rolled out in a bed, but a lot because Davy wasn’t 19. Like, WHAT???? I had been lied to!

My obsession for the Monkees didn’t die, but my marital plans changed a smidge when I discovered the Coreys and I started writing variations of “Amy Haim” in glitter gel pens on all my Pee Chee folders. (Spoiler alert: That “marriage” didn’t work out so well either).

Okay, skip ahead 10 years, I own about half of my above-mentioned Monkees’ tapes. It was a subscription service so I spent a literal fortune and got sent to collection several times over, ruining my credit because I was broke and subscription services don’t care if you pay them or not. They will send you to collections, ruining your life in overdraft fees but will continue sending you tapes. Thank god. Anyway, in the middle of all of this financial ruin, I packed up everything I had (mostly just Monkees tapes) into the back of an ’85 CRX and moved to Los Angeles, California where I see an ad in the local paper that they need audience members for a video shoot mini-concert of the Monkees at Universal CityWalk. “No Pay, but you get to attend the mini-concert and potentially be seen on camera”. Heck yes! 20 year old me and about 50 other people that were at least twice my age stood in the hot sun while Micky told jokes and Mike still wasn’t there and they played 2 songs over and over and over again and then they were done. And it was AWESOME.

I met another Monkees’ friend, Vanessa and once a week for the next 20 years we would get together and gossip and eat Jack and the Box and binge Monkees’ episodes. And once we went and saw a showing of Head at El Capitan Theatre (I think?) and Micky Dolenz was there and for some reason I can’t remember if we met him or not. You’d think I would remember this, we were so close to him and he was in a white hat and I just can’t remember. It must be stress induced amnesia or something.

And then Davy died and I cried for like a week. Probably longer. My heart was broken and then I got irrationally angry at Mike Nesmith when he decided that maybe now he would like to rejoin the band. Too late, Mike. (Insert “Atta boy, Mike” gif). And I never went to see the Monkees in concert again.

At that point, I thought I had emotionally detached from anything current that came from The Monkees, finally. And then I went on twitter today and saw “Peter Tork” trending and my stomach sank. And my heart broke again.

So today I’m going to just listen to Monkees’ songs all day and watch my Monkees’ dvds (I only have the first season, which is upsetting and I need to fix that) and, I don’t know, cry and be completely unproductive.

Maybe I’ll fire up a dance routine.

RIP Peter.

The Nineties

The husband and I started watching this series streaming on CNN (I think?) and it’s called The Nineties. The first couple episodes were about the television shows and how “the slackers of Generation X started driving what people watched, which is hilarious because I haven’t been called a Gen X slacker in awhile.

But then we got to the third episode; the music episode and I have several thoughts that I need to get down here somehow. I graduated high school in 1994. I remember when we got MTV. My generation, Generation X is the first generation that grew up with MTV. Generation X grew up with gaming systems. And computers in schools before we thought computers could be much more than a glorified typewriter that you could play video games on. Email was brought into homes when I was in highschool. But the most important thing to me and every single one of my friends was the music.

We grew up as the “slacker generation”. We were spoiled, latch-key kids, with no work ethic, raised on MTV, and ridiculed for losing, ridiculed for not having what past generations had (we did it first, Millenials. Stand down). And then we got older and got jobs and went to junior college and spent all our money on rent and concerts. Because music in the 90s was amazing and diverse and everywhere. And it was so accessible. And parents were trying to shut it all down. Nirvana and Green Day and weezer and Beck and Salt-n-Peppa and TLC, Kid N Play, Fresh Prince and No Doubt and BRIT POP!!! and now there’s this show on CNN of all places, documenting it all. And it doesn’t seem possible because it all happened so fast. Why would adults talk about 90’s music? Why are adults discussing Biggie and Tupac with sincerity?

And then you realize it’s because the adults talking about it with respect are us. The Gen X slackers. We kind of grew up when no one was looking. We somehow got wedged between the Baby Boomer/Millenial war with a little shelf talker that says “Reality Bites” on it as if that’s all we have to show that we existed. We were Reality Bites but we were also F*R*I*E*N*D*S and kids these days LOVE Friends. And that’s what we did. Instead of settling down and starting careers and having 2.5 kids, we hung out with our other single friends and worked crap jobs and laughed and listened to music. Oh and swing dancing. We did a lot of that too.

Anyway, watch this show! The forth episode is about the Clinton impeachment and if you don’t think you need to relive that now, in this day and age, you’re wrong. It’s horrifying to think that people that impeached Clinton are so…. relevant today. Anyway….

Amy P.I.

I figured out what my dream job is. Old Timey Private Eye Detective. Like the kind that spied on people from a tree and then flashed a mirror to your partner in the ice cream truck down the street when the subject enters a building. You’d get your own office, your own cigar, your own voice-over. There’d be telling shadows, cool clothes, rain. My own jazzy theme song??? I hate the saxophone normally, but it’s essential to the overall scope of my vision, so, cue the saxophone emotive background music.

She smoothed her gladrags down her getaway sticks, and then lit a cigarette. As she opened her cherry stained lips from the kiss of her drag, smoke billowed underneath her large hat, hiding her cold and calculating eyes. I’m assuming her lips are cherry, but we’re in black and white so it’s hard to tell. 

A jalopy horn honked in the distance and some Hard Boiled started yelled obscenities into the night. The rain beat down harder on the window pane as the dame wiped potential lipstick off her front tooth with with her polished, manicured pinky finger. 

 “Look, I need you to do somethin’ for me.” She sat back on the corner of the desk and swung her long gam back and forth like a child’s swing. “I need you to get down to the bottom of some crimes,” she says.

She tosses a manilla envelope on to the desk with the ease and grace that comes from no longer caring. Or maybe caring too much. I’m intrigued by these crimes. Seeking out and solving mysteries is my passion. I pick up the envelope and she gives me a smile. The moody saxophone swells in the room as she takes another drag off her cigarette.  

Or maybe I’m not a P.I. from the 30s. Maybe I’m from the 80s and I get to solve some mystery art theft in a fancy suit with big feathered hair like on Moonlighting or Miami Vice or that movie with Renee Russo and the brown haired James Bond. Oh I like a good truth hunt in a smart, knee-length pastel, pencil skirt with matching shoulder-padded suit jacket. Someone is snorting cocaine as the happening saxophone wails on the yacht. Our attention is taken off the boat as a crocodile briefly chomps and trashes in the waters below. That doesn’t seem right but we’re going to go with it because I’m pretty sure I saw a crocodile snap in the Phil Collins episode of Miami Vice

No matter what it is, as long as there are shoulder pads, cool clothes, and a saxophone to dictate my moods, and mysteries to unearth, and some shenanigans for me to make fun of, I’m sold. 

Day 23.

Does this mean there’s only a week left of NaNoWriMo???? Yikes! I am in serious trouble if I plan on finishing on top and on time. I was going to blame my laziness on Thanksgiving but really that was only one day and I’ve been behind most of the month. And it keeps getting worse. 

The problem is me and my procrastination and my love of looking things up on the internet in case someone challenges me to a battle of trivia wits. I need to be up on my conspiracy theories and pop culture and whatever is happening on TMZ at the moment. 

So now I’m 7 days out and 11,444 words behind goal. That’s a lot of words. I need to hunker down and get serious about this. According to the NaNo site, I need to bust out 4,000 words a day from this point out to finish on time. I can do this. I am currently pretty much immobile anyway because I fell down the stairs like a fool on Wednesday and my tailbone feels like it’s the one in charge of my entire life right now. I might as well use this time productively. I just need someone to bring me a mimosa and a string cheese. And an epidural.

Dramatic recreation

NaNoWriMo: The Halfway point?

Today is the 20th. Way past midway at this point and I might hit 25,000 words of the 50,000 word goal today. I mean I should, but I’m in a slump of epic proportions. 

Did I mention that I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year??? I am. 

Okay, see, I’ve been “writing a book” since I don’t know, forever. It’s changed form and content over the years but the main character is the same. The voice is telling the same basic story. And everyone I know has encouraged me to friggin’ finish already. I was manhandled into NaNoWriMo this year, which I’ve been scared to participate in for ages because I didn’t know how the whole thing worked and I thought I was writing in public and the thought of a rough draft out in the word for everyone to read makes me want to hide in a cave forever and hope everyone forgets they ever knew me. BUT! It’s not like that. At all. And I’m so happy that I’m doing it. HOWEVER, I’m struggling to hit goal. I’m in my head too much and instead of contributing to my word count over there, I’m here whining about it in a blog post.

But this is the actual plan. I’m going to blog about the nonsense in my head, get it all out here so that I can go into my novel clear headed and maybe encouraged or something. I don’t know. Also it will hold me accountable if I’m blasting my embarrassing word counts here which as of this very minute is 24,373 words. Ugh. 

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? How are you doing? Are you keeping up with your word counts? Are you suffering from a block because your story is supposed to be “satire/humor” and it’s the most boring story ever told? Like mine? 

If you want to be NaNo buddies, find me here

I Googled: Lifespan of a Squirrel

I did not like what I found.

I am in a continuous and contentious argument with a squirrel. Several times a day, he climbs up the back of my fence, perches himself on the corner post, yells at my cat, Marty, and then runs up the roof in a racket like he’s Chim Chim Cheree-ing up there with Dick Van Dyke. And I have had enough.

At first I thought the squirrel was cute, drinking from the birdbath, sunning himself on a rock, but as the summer months have turned into fall months, my indoor cat that likes to sun himself on the fenced-in patio (but only if the sliding door is left open) is obsessed with being outside now because of that menace squirrel, and it is chilly. And not in that Southern California fall way that I’m used to, where it’s like 68 degrees at 5 am and I might debate bringing a sweater to drop the kids off at school, no. It is currently 51 degrees outside at 10:45 am and I am chilly, and in several layers of clothes, and under a blanket and the cat is howling at the door to get out and yell at the squirrel. I don’t know how I’m going to survive the winter, to be honest.

All of this is fun and games but one major factor that plays into my squirrel feud is the potential for bloodshed. In all honesty, Marty is a scaredy cat chicken baby and probably won’t actually do anything but run if the squirrel got brave, HOWEVER, I can’t guarantee that and I am not cleaning up after any murders, I don’t want to touch a dead squirrel body, I wouldn’t even know where to dispose of a dead squirrel body so there’s that. And what if he didn’t kill the squirrel?? Then what do I do? Take the squirrel to a vet?? What if he bit me? What if he bites Marty? What if Marty gets rabies and I have to lock myself in the car and hope someone comes to rescue me? What if we both get rabies and we terrorize the town like zombies?

This is a real fear, not just “Amy’s overreacting again”. See, about 2 weeks ago I hear that squirrel doing that evil squirrel laugh that they do and I go out there to see him climbing down the fence slowly, looking right at Marty and he’s laughing at him. I go out and Marty runs in the house and that squirrel looks me in the eye, and goes, imagine a squirrel voice, he goes, “Hah!” right at me! I yelled, “Shoo!” cause I’m an old lady, and he didn’t move! He didn’t even break eye contact! I imagine this is what it was probably like in the Wild West just before a saloon fight broke out. So I did what any one of you would’ve done if you were looking down the nose of a brave squirrel. I ran as fast as I could back into the house and slammed the door. I lost a shoe and stubbed my toe and it’s that squirrel’s fault.

I’m pretty sure squirrels hibernate. I saw a Spongebob episode about it once. When do they do this? I’m a prisoner in my own home. That squirrel is going to come inside and then what do I do? He’s mad at me because I squirted him with a squirt gun the other day because he was teasing the cat again. He ran away the first couple times I had to squirt him, but the last time he looked at me and I think he was taking notes. So I googled how long these guys live. I need to know how long I have to look behind my back when I leave my front door. How long this squirrel has to plan an ambush.

10 years. Squirrels can harass people for 10 years! This is bad news. In other bad news, I also found out that they will take over a home and live in the walls. This isn’t your typical mouse or rat living in the walls that come out at night to eat your bread and poop in your cabinets. Squirrels are like little demons that laugh at you in the night and bite your face and give you rabies.

This is worse than that Cujo lady’s situation. Something must be done! I don’t want him to get swooped up by a hawk or anything, I just want him to go take a nap or something. He’s very aggressive and he’s crossed a lot of lines and it’s getting too chilly out to comfortably handle a squirt gun. I would imagine he would feel the same about this and yet, he’s out there now, cackling away, taunting and pestering.

I think my life is maybe just a Paulie Shore movie.

Hi. I have been quite absent from this blog and I have no excuse. Well, moving across 3 states over the summer. That’s an excuse. Also, I’m lazy.

As you may or may not know, I’m writing a book. I’m not sure how much I plan on talking about it yet because I don’t want to jinx it, and I’m battling that voice that is very loudly yelling at me that I’m a fraud and nobody likes me. That’s a fun demon with which to co-pilot this trainwreck. So I’m trying to overcome that voice by writing really bad blog posts. I’m sure that won’t make it all worse. Like at all.

So, a couple of months ago, I moved away from the love of my life, Los Angeles back to my hometown of Denver. It’s a bit of a lot of baggage to unpack. I went from feeling like Link (Brendan Fraser) in Encino Man where I’m the weird but super loved new guy to being Crawl (Paulie Shore) in Son-in-Law when he falls in pig poops at the farm and everyone hates him and he’s barely wearing pants. It has been a good move and my family seems to love it and it will be a great thing for our future. However, no matter how many movies, holiday-themed or not I’ve seen on this subject of moving home, I wasn’t prepared.  Sweet Home Alabama taught me nothing.

While there are a LOT of things (people) I’m glad to be away from, there is SOOOOO much more that hurts my heart to have left. Like a bunch of my favorite people. And I’m struggling to get my creativity back. I feel like I’ve fallen back into a vacuum.

Los Angeles has this reputation of being a vacuous wasteland of plastic beauty, soul-less egos, debauchery, and drugs, and gang members harassing old ladies. And while that does all exist, it is a city so rich in personality and friendships, and lost people and found people. And everyone you meet has something they want to share. And they want to support you in your nonsense and you want to support theirs. And they all hug hello. And whether sincere or not, everybody wants to be your friend and share a bottle or 7 of wine with you over gossip and dreams.

I don’t know if I’m going to find that here. People in Colorado are very polite yet reserved and no one wants none of my antics.

And I am, once again, an outsider looking in.

My oldest son came home from school the other day and says, “Kids just don’t think I’m that funny here,” and then he shrugged and went upstairs to play Fortnite.

God, kid I KNOW, RIGHT?

I sound very dramatic. I realize this. I’m going to go have a glass of wine by myself and try to get back to writing the book.

And in case you were wondering, sobbing it out on the internet didn’t shut the mean voice up at all.

And I do love living in Colorado. I’m just going to drop in weird on everybody like Mork from Ork and make them love me.

Maybe this is the same mentality I need to conjure when I’m writing.

Nanu Nanu.

30 Day Challenge

 

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I have 7 tabs open on my laptop (other than this one and tumblr):

Judging by my subconscious hoarding of websites, my life is clearly a disaster that I assume I can solve in 30 days. It takes me 30 days just to put the vacuum cleaner back after I use it, you’d think I’d be more realistic with my goals. I need to get my life in order, I really do. I also need to get my writing in order. I think I saw something for NaNoWriMo once that I might try, probably another 30 day challenge.

I know the 30 day lists seem gimmicky and ridiculous and they probably are, but the whole deal with the challenges thing for me is that I think it takes the thinking out of it which is really my biggest hurdle in life. The thinking. Also the clutter. And the procrastination. And the internet.

I started writing this on April 1st but I stopped because it felt like I was trying to subconsciously pull an April Fool’s joke on myself. It’s now April 27. lol.

I really need to get organized though because we’re moving in exactly 2 months and I am not packing 37 broken crayons, my bag of scrap fabric, the shoes that the sole fell off of three years ago, and whatever that thing is behind the sofa that I don’t want to touch but I’m hoping is a sock. So as much as I want to do the splits, I think a 30 day declutter challenge is probably a better way to spend a month. I have not given up on the splits though, so don’t put the Mary Lou Retton leotard away just yet.

I need to make this short because my husband is dragging me with him to our storage unit to get rid of stuff so I’ll probably be crying about stuffed animals, a broken bass guitar, and baby clothes in about 15 minutes. Wish me luck.

The Facebook Hiatus

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The husband and I have been binge watching Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and the Tina Fey episode was on. I’m in awe of Tina Fey. I don’t know how she has accomplished what she has while also somehow living with two small kids. I can’t even type this sentence with both hands because my 6 year old is currently hanging off my right arm, crying about his turn on the Xbox, and wiping his snot on my shirt. The main take-away from that episode, though, Tina Fey doesn’t use social media. I do. A lot. I’m going to assume that this is the only reason I am not as accomplished, and smart, and funny, and driven as Tina Fey. It’s the internet’s fault.

I don’t know if you’ve clued into the fact that I’m obsessed with the internet. I have been for years and years and years. It’s been a problem since high school and I graduated in 1994, so like, 7 years ago or something like that. My high school years were THE years that the internet started to take hold. It was real underground at the time and they charged you by the hour so we took the internet SERIOUSLY.

But my fascination with the internet has always been more specifically, on the social media wing of the mansion.  I think it started a million years ago with Prodigy, the online service provider that read all your emails, not to be confused with the guy with two mohawks, but I might also trust him to read my emails.

You know what? Anyone really can sign up for the job to be my email reader and email replier. Maybe then I can realistically pretend that I contribute to society.

Prodigy was amazing! There was nothing like it! I was OBSESSED with the Prodigy bulletin boards, most specifically, the Kids in the Hall bulletin boards. My moniker was Mr. Sizzler, or something.
Side note: I met two really amazing people on Prodigy and formed a comedy troupe with them, even though we lived thousands of miles away from each other. We wrote sketches via private Prodigy messages and emails, flew to each other and filmed sketches in snowstorms, and eventually we sent our best three sketches to MTV and Comedy Central which ended in us thisclose to being hired on as writers for a new comedy show for kids on Nickelodeon. We were Serious Artists so we said no. Ha! sigh, there went my beach house.

In the early 90’s, it was all about Prodigy. And then it wasn’t because everyone started jumping ship and going to AOL. So naturally, I too went to AOL because I need my internet attention!

All my online buddies were there!!!!! And we chatted and we danced. (we didn’t dance) And it was magical and wonderful.

I stayed up ALL. NIGHT. LONG. chattin’ up people. But this time it became weezer chat rooms.

I don’t even know what we chatted about but there was none of this looking stuff up on google crap. Google didn’t exist. You kind of had to know the web address, the whole http:// thing to get any info on the World Wide Web. So you’d talk to people that called themselves “paperface” who claimed to “bake cookies for the boys” (codeword weezer) and that’s how you got your info.  Because you were talking to people who KNEW weezer. Nobody lies on the internet.

I just realized that I was probably being catfished…

And then I moved from Denver to Los Angeles without a computer and the internet was ripped from my life. And for years I didn’t even care about it. And I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote. I wrote poems and stories and plays! It was the most productive I’ve ever been in my life. It was probably about 6 years before I got back online and the internet had me in its hold again.

Because MySpace.

I thought MySpace was the coolest thing EVER. I had my own webpage. Holy crap! I didn’t have to search for people, they could search for me. I became like the queen of the internet in my mind.

 

And then people stopped coming by my page because facebook officially arrived. I already had a facebook but I never used it because the only other person I knew on there was my sister-in-law who was in college at the time and I wasn’t in college anymore, I was like a 30 year old woman or something so no one wanted anything to do with me on the facebook and I didn’t want anything to do with them. And then a couple of years later, everybody flocked to facebook, so I adapted because, don’t leave me, guys.

Now I tweet. I tumblr. I pinterest. I instagram. And then there’s facebook. I hate facebook.

The internet for me has gone from always being fun times and meeting cool people that I think longingly about with a smile on my face to wanting to punch a handful of people I know in real life in the head. Making mental burn lists used to take up a great deal of my time and emotional space. Politics was finally the thing that helped me slowly back away from most of my facebook feed. My life vastly improved. I’m not inexplicably angry at someone I met at work 15 years ago because of her rants about chemtrails. I’m free from that baggage. I’m not totally gone, though. Something will pop into my head that I think is kind of funny and up it goes to facebook ’cause that’s the only place people pay attention to me anymore, and there I am. Back in the fray.  Every like and funny comment drags me back in like a sparkly vampire.

 

So here’s the thing. I’m not trying to make any promises because we both know me. But I think I’m going to attempt to stay off facebook for like, a couple of weeks or so. Because I need to write. I have like 7 novels rattling around my head.  All my dumb status updates will come here to my blog. Maybe I’ll actually get a lot more done if I’m not all caught up in the other nonsense. It’s completely terrifying at the same time because people will forget me! Won’t they? Whatever, a lot of the great people I know and want to keep up with either aren’t going anywhere, or aren’t even on facebook anymore anyway. They’re on Instagram. I’m bad at Instagram, too. I’m not a great photographer and I can’t tell my dumb jokes in the medium they require. I’m not an instagram influencer. And the feed is all over the place! but I’ll try to keep up.

Alright, I’ll focus it all here, on my blog. Think of this as myspace. Come visit my page! Look at my glitter gifs! Leave me a comment! I promise I won’t make you listen to music as my blog pulls up.

 

For now.