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I missed two blog days because my schedule is all off. When I was in Oregon, I was writing about my day at the end of the day when everything was quiet and I had pictures to add to posts and the only worry I had was if I was wearing enough socks.  Now that I’m back in California, I have dinner to make, dishes to do, children to bathe, bedtime stories to tell, and a cat that’s been waking me up at 5:00 in the morning. So when it’s time to put my 6 year old to bed, I end up falling asleep right next to him and waking up at 3 in the morning with my glasses still on my face, a full bladder, and teeth that haven’t been brushed and a full glass of wine next to me on the nightstand. I’m a disaster. And when you fall asleep at 8:30 pm, 5:00 am is EIGHT AND A HALF HOURS LATER.  I have to force myself to go back to sleep when I wake up at 3am because my body only really wants 6 hours of sleep. I’m turning into night people, but like the opposite way from when I was a cool 23 year old.

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I have no idea where this picture was stolen from originally but I stole it from a dude on tumblr who stole it first.

This year has already gone off the rails. I’ve spent the majority of 2018 not home and in someone else’s space, living someone else’s schedule. And not showering because it was too cold to be wet.

But I’m home now, I’m warm, and I’m buckling back down.

I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness or contentment or whatever that is. That place. The Calm. And I think I’ve discovered it. All of it comes down to living your own life and allowing other people to live theirs. Live and let live. Like when you were young and your heart was an open book.

It’s not healthy or peaceful to comb through everyone else’s business looking for things to be mad about. Negativity breeds negativity. It just does. New rule! Ignore it. In this great year that is The Year of Me™️**, I think this is my official tagline: Ignore and move on.  No more unsolicited advice. I’m a notorious advice giver. I wish I could shut up, but the pull of the demons in me that wants to advise others is too strong. But facts are, advice is annoying. No one wants advice, advice is the worst and it makes you want to punch the know-it-all in the mouth. I officially ignore everyone from here on out. Except in the case of NextDoor. Those people are asking for judgement.

New year, new me equals butting out of people’s business. I’ll still probably have something to say, but I will keep it to myself from here on out to the best of my abilities. I mean, still give me the gossip, I love the gossip, you know this, but I need to be done with the acting like I know everything part. I’ll still know everything, obviously, but I’ll keep my mouth shut about it.

I’m still going to blog everyday.

I’m still not going to exercise.

**is the trademark meme out? Is it too 2017? Let me know, I can’t look out of touch with the youth

The Last Day

We leave Oregon tomorrow. It’s been a good trip but I’m pretty sure I’ve worn out my welcome. That happens to me a lot. Thankfully, I wasn’t thrown off a cliff when we went hiking today.

I’m writing this distracted. I’m rewatching the Golden Globes because I missed Oprah and I’m also really focused on finding out who the lady in the purple dress was and how out of place she must’ve felt. Her stylist has been probably fired and and someone should’ve given that woman a dinner jacket. How embarrassing. How do you make that kind of mistake?

Anyway, today we hiked somewhere where you could see Washington State, a bunch of volcanoes, and some really amazing trees with moss all over them that look like they belong in an arty film about loss and rediscovery that may involve ghosts.

And then we came back to the house where my brother-in-law brought out some wine he made with grapes from the garden that were smashed up by someone’s feet ( I don’t want to know ANY more details) and fermented with wood chips in tubs in the garage for 6 months. It was pretty sour but super impressive.  Fingers crossed we don’t all get diarrhea from it tomorrow on the plane ride home.

This is short because I need to go pack. After I see Oprah.

Where the heck is Oprah??

Until next time, Oregon. If we’re invited back.

The City

I have heard people here joke that no one shaves or showers in Oregon. I can get behind that motto as it’s become my own personal motto as well. I haven’t smelled any stinks yet so, I can’t vouch for the authenticity of the showering part, however the shaving thing seems legit. As for the showering thing, the humidity was at 92% before we drove into the city of Portland and my hair would never dry at that rate had I washed it before we left. Add to that it’s chilly (have I mentioned that it’s chilly here?) and to be outside in 39 degree weather with wet hair sounds like the pits! Therefore, ergo, concluded, etcetera, showering here loses some points for me, not that taking a shower ever had a whole lot of them to begin with.

The city of Portland was really cute. It sort of reminded me of San Francisco a little bit, maybe a little bit of San Diego thrown in there. But with a WHOLE lot less people. And I still didn’t see anything weird. Where is the weird I keep hearing about? Maybe all the weird took a shower day and their hair was all collectively too wet to go outside.

Maybe I’m looking at this all wrong. Maybe “weird” isn’t something to see? Is it a vibe? From what I saw of Portland, it’s cool and trendy but I’m not getting “weird”. Is “Keep Portland Weird” just some propaganda branding by the tourism board? Like when Valencia, California tried to call itself “Awesometown” and put it all over buses and stuff? Where/what is the weird?? I want to see the weird!

It was a good day! The weather was very nice and the sun was out for a little bit. We went to Powell’s which is a bookstore that takes up an entire city block.

I know that this picture is super blurry but I got rushed across the street as I started taking it and well, this is what you get for rushing me. Pretend it’s capturing a ghost that is interfering with transmissions or something.

This is the only other picture I took today. It’s a Doc Marten’s store. This has become a running theme.

One more full day of Oregon trip left. We’re going hiking!

Oregon Day 3. Don’t Read This.

Today we drove through places that looked like they could be in a movie or a book or an episode of Dateline. I have a lot of thoughts about this place that I want to fully formulate because I want to do this place justice. I have a LOT of thoughts.

We went to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry today. The kids loved it and honestly they could’ve stayed there all day.

I think we’re going back into the city tomorrow and I can’t wait to finally get a feel on the “magic and weirdness” that Portland has to offer.

I wish I had more to say right now. I DO but it’s not necessarily my thoughts yet? Basically there are a lot of white people and a lot of churches and I need to see more of Oregon to make a final call on this but… sunrise at 7:51 am. Sunset at 4:45 or something? That is seriously messing with my sleep cycle.

I’m tired. I have thoughts that I’ll put together eventually but I made a point of blogging everyday and I have FULFILLED this thus far, as bad as it has been. Oregon people, reading this, don’t get on me yet, I admit I have biases being from both Colorado and Los Angeles, and I haven’t seen Portland yet officially. However, I still have yet to see a person of color. I have seen 27 churches and several guns. That’s a bad combo, statistically.

Every place we’ve been has had a play area for kids, and while cool theoretically, I have thoughts on that as well. Because, of course I do.

Tomorrow we’ll talk. Possibly. Depends on how riled up I feel. Oregon folk, please don’t take this as a challenge. I’m from Colorado, it’s real hard to impress me on outdoors and for 2, I’m from L.A., show me weird. I have some biases. I admit them. Please don’t take this as Anti- Portland. I haven’t been there yet. I’m from Colorado. My children LOVE Oregon. I’m trying really hard to not be from Colorado or Los Angeles. I’m trying to feel the draw.

Guide me. Show me the way. I love you.

Horses, Hops, and Mt. Hood

Portland. Day 2.

Before I begin, I’m just gonna panic attack for a minute and say OH MY GOD as I sit here in silence, in a dimly lit room, at night, and suddenly realize that there is a huge glass door behind me leading to the back yard and now I can’t stop imagining I’m about to have my Scream debut (and death).

Is this because I said that I was going to go all 90’s chokers and mini skirts and Doc Martens the other day?? Listen up, Mask Guy who is reading this over my shoulder, I have seen this movie, I know your game, I don’t care if you’ve set-up some elaborate scene to make me open the door, I will not look out that window. This is what Dua Lipa was warning me about, and I do not like scary movies so go bug someone else.

Was I tough enough on him?

See, this is precisely why I’m a city person. The Great Outdoors really isn’t that great, we’ve discussed this previously, AND  there’s murderers. Yes, I know murders happen in the city but every scary movie, other than like Child’s Play, takes places in rural areas. You know this is true. I am now going to think about this every night that we’re here. Fabulous.

Anyway, Portland, day 2! I don’t know how that’s even possible, because we’ve done SO much and it’s been very nice, and VERY cold (that part hasn’t been my favorite part).

This is going to be picture heavy and word light because it’s late and now I’m scared of demons and serial killers.

So our day started off meeting a horse named Angel, who I’m told might’ve been not as much of an angel as her name would suggest. She tried to eat my older son’s hood off of his jacket but she was also super cute and fluffy so, jury is still out.

Then we drove up to Mt. Hood and the boys went sledding and saw snow for the second time of their lives ever which makes me, as a Coloradan feel like I may be failing my children.

In theory.

Snow is friggin cold and if you notice by the MASSIVE amounts of broken sleds, dangerous.

It was fun, the kids had a blast I was cold and complained a lot. And then we went to dinner at a place called Hopworks or something which is a cool restaurant on top of a brewery.

I am wrapping this up in a really choppy way because

  1. Don’t pick up the phone
  2. Cold
  3. Tired
  4. Not even looking at that door behind me again as long as I’m on vacation.

Maybe Angel will eat the masked guy’s hood off and he will be exposed like this is some kind of Scooby Doo episode.

Until tomorrow.

Portland

Okay so here I am in front of the fire, freezing all parts of my Southern California buns off, drinking Oregon beer and watching Jeopardy and realizing that I nearly forgot to blog today.

But guess what? Day 3, in the books!! And I read to page like, 27 in my book so, that’s better than yesterday, still not good enough to not get me beaten up by the book club, but I have a plan. Reading. I don’t know exactly when, but until I get my audible on, this is where we’re at, me complaining.

I am blogging from my phone because I’m too cozy to get up and find my laptop right now, but I promise all one of you reading this that tomorrow, I will take cool pictures and blog something interesting, but as of now, I have beer to drink.

Cheers!

Does This Book Come as a Podcast?

I made a New Year’s resolution to write a blog everyday. Here I am, Day 2 and I’m at a loss of interesting thoughts. My brain has had “Never Gonna Give You Up” on repeat for around 3 hours now and nothing else. My brain would rather rickroll me than help me become an upstanding member of society. I’m doing great at this. 

I’m also supposed to be reading a book. I joined a book club a few months ago and have read maybe eleven pages total. There have been 2 books. I’ve read ELEVEN (11) pages. How am I so bad at this? On the downlow, how morally reprehensible would it be, really, to CliffsNotes this bad boy? I’m so going to get kicked out of book club, aren’t I? I don’t want that! This feels like high school all over again but with a lot less 90210 to watch.

I love book club. Not only am I the youngest by a couple of decades which makes me feel super young but the other people in the book club are such interesting and smart people! I have so much to learn from them. And I’ll never get the chance because they’re going to kick me to the curb soon because I can’t stop researching conspiracy theories on the internet, thereby giving me no time for reading actual books. 

I need to make the time. I’m pretty sure that’s how resolutions work. Ugh. This feels so restrictive and unfair. Who decided we need to be better people?? Whose hair-brained idea was it to decide everyone needs to be healthier and nicer and more cultured just because it’s a new year? That was asking for trouble right out of the gate because I was a bit drunk on champagne when I thought of this dumb list and hungover when I decided to publicly announce that I was a “New Me” so now I feel obligated to whine loudly to anyone who happens to be in the vicinity of my online tantrums. You’ve brought this upon yourselves.

If you’re keeping score on my resolution revolution, then you should know that I have showered, you’re welcome. I have gone outside, because I had to take out the trash and that counts, it should count twice because it was the trash. I’m currently blogging, and I don’t actually remember the rest of my list but I’m sure the exercising part is going to be the catalyst that will drag this whole lifestyle change into the gutter so we’re not going to mention it.  So see? I’m doing great! I just need to read my book. After checking in on my social medias. And googling “hauntings”.

Wish me luck! I’m on page 7. I want to get to at least page 34 tonight. Think I can do it? I need someone to be my conspiracy and celeb gossip looker-into-er, though. Who wants that job?? It’s for the greater good so I don’t get kicked out of Fight Club. Oh my god, what if they beat me up?? This is exactly like high school, time to bust out the chokers, plaid mini-skirts, and Doc Martins. I’ve got reading to do.

New Year, New Me (but likely the same me but hopefully I’m a little less lazy about it)

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I spent New Year’s Eve laughing and drinking with neighbors and my husband and kids. The kids weren’t drinking, obviously, but I did my part anyway and drank what they couldn’t. We had fun and drank too much and sang Beatles’ songs at the top of our lungs really late into the night. It was the perfect catapult into what I think is going to be a fun year. And then I was awoken from a peaceful dream about swimming in the clearest, bluest, warmest, sharkless ocean by a champagne headache and a cat with a death wish.

I have made grand plans to have a “Me” year, though. Around this time 2 years ago, I vowed to have a Mariah Carey year full of me being my diva self and not caring who knew. Well I had that year and it was exactly like I’d imagined but without the money or the shoes or the personal assistants or the Yes Men. No one cleaned for me. No one made sure my mimosas were filled.

What’s a girl have to do to be seen as a diva and not “Amy, put on pants”?

I’m still on the ultimate quest of living my “Mariah Carey Year” which may or may not have already panned out depending on how liberal we are with the rules. For example, sitting around drinking wine without pants on and talking about myself while everyone else around me does everything I didn’t get around to doing, we’ve probably had similar years, hers is probably a lot more gold plated and sparkly and she has someone to do her hair and stuff. I just look like an episode of Roseanne. (Speaking of Roseanne, did I really see that that show is coming back??? Please tell me it wasn’t a champagne fueled hallucination and it’s really really really happening.)

I am going to have my year this year. I’m doing it.  I say this every year and as a matter of fact, my 2018 so far has been me sitting on the couch juggling mimosas, napping, eating pizza and Doritos, and scrolling the internet all day so, exactly where I left 2017 off. Although, I have showered, gone outside, and am blogging, which, if you’ll notice on the forthcoming list, I’m not doing too shabby.

My RESOLUTIONS are as follows.

  • Try to go outside everyday
  • Exercise for 30 minutes everyday
  • Read for 30 minutes everyday
  • Shower. Everyday.
  • um, Eat an apple or something that grew out of the ground?
  • Blog. Everyday.

Once again, this list looks like a cry for help. But I do intend to blog everyday which is fitting as I leave town for several days soon and the idea of bringing my laptop will probably be met with eyerolls and “Come on, like you’re really going to write everyday. You’re not even going to open that thing once. Leave it here,” which sounds like I’m vacationing with my parent but no, just the husband. But I will be sitting in front of a cozy fire, probably super inspired by my new Oregon surroundings, it’ll be like Funny Farm only hopefully I won’t throw the whole thing into the fire when super husband, Ward Cleaver over here writes a best selling kids’ book about squirrels.

Ooh! Very important side-note: I just remembered that I had a baked potato for dinner so add that to the list of accomplishments because it grew from the ground. It counts. See? I’m doing even better than you thought I was.

There I go, fulfilling resolution list things right and left. Tonight’s supermoon is making me a super human. Or a werewolf. We’ll see what happens when I go outside. If you see me running around Encino naked and howling, you’ll know where we’re at but you have to let me go for at least a half an hour so I’ll be able to add another checkmark to my resolution list.

The Elf on the Shelf

I’m re-gifting this post like a holiday basket of meats and crackers. Grab a beverage and enjoy this Christmas tale as old as time. Or two years. Whatever.

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Christmas time means that houses around the nation are flooded with all these naughty little elf faces doing all these naughty little elf things while reporting back to Santa on whether you washed your hands after you peed or not. The elf knows. He was watching you while he left mint poops in the toilet. And now we all know because your mom posted a picture of it on Facebook.

Now if you know anything about me, you know that setting up tableaux of espionage and wicked tomfoolery to mimic something I saw on Pinterest and then posting it on Instagram for status elevation is right up in my wheelhouse, and yet there is something about those cherry-cheeked little rats and their clandestine operations that sets my alarms to “Nope”.

When my oldest child, or Wally as I like to refer to him on the web because it subconsciously plants the “Amy’s like Donna Reed and totally has her life together!” seed in all your minds, well when Wally was around 2 years old, everyone kept asking me when I was going to hop on the Elf Express and invite one of these smiley spies into my home for the month of December. Intrigued, I did the natural thing and hit up my local Pinterest to check what these little rascals were about. Oh my eyes how they twinkled at all the glittery laughs and innocent fun!

“I’ll do it!”, I exclaimed to no one with a wink and one of those jaunty cross-body punches the kids do.

All that drunken Pinterest spirit fizzled, though when I saw that the toy store was selling those things for like $40 a pop. Forty dollars. For a stuffed elf. Plus those elves are kind of creepy looking, anyway. I don’t need that thing going all Chucky on me and slicing my Achilles tendon as I step out of bed one morning. It is not worth $40 to invite a demon into my home when I’m fairly certain I can do that for free with some red paint and carefully placed candles. Plus I don’t think that real demons can even hold knives so, cheaper AND safer.

Needless to say, the elf remained on the store shelf and I lived vicariously through my Facebook friends and their ever-increasing elf scenery that showed up on my tiny iPhone screen.

Still, the need to over-do everything nags at me to this very day and every year I wonder if I should either break down and buy an elf, pose some dinosaurs in festive ways, or just give in full stop and dress as the elf myself. The only problem with this plan is that I would have no photography assistance. My husband not only can’t manage to take a clear photo, but he also stays far away from my grand schemes and nonsense, so he’s out. Then there’s Wally who only takes selfies or really close up, arty shots of action figures doing strange things.

 

Source: my son

 

Source: my son

That just leaves The Beav and he’s 6. He’ll just take my phone, walk away and start playing Bubble Witch with it.

Also, the manipulation of this elf stunt is a whole different matter in that Wally, while incredibly imaginative, is also very scientifically biased; if he can’t see, touch, hear, or smell it, it doesn’t exist. For example, Wally informs me one Easter that “haha, the kids at school think the Easter Bunny is real, Mom! When it’s clearly just a man in a suit that comes into our house. Hahah fools,” and two years after that it was “Fairies don’t exist! Mom, please. It’s a man in a pink dress that comes in my room in the middle of the night and takes my tooth and leaves me money. Hahahah tooth fairies. Please.”. Because apparently a man in various costumes breaking into the house in the middle of the night, isn’t the weird part. I wonder if he thinks they’re all the same guy. So no matter how elaborate my lies about the elf menagerie become, he’s still going to know they’re not really spying on him and his brother and reporting back to Santa, and I don’t really need my kid being THAT kid that spoils it for the rest of the Christmas celebrating believers at the elementary school.

He would appreciate a James Bond themed elf set-up…. hmm…still no.

The more I think about these elves, the more I feel like sad, lonely business man, Michael Douglas who has just signed his life away by cashing in a gift certificate that my drifter brother, played by Sean Penn, gave me for a birthday gift, but I don’t know that anything is weird, yet, until the creepy clown, (elf), that I almost run over in my fancy, rich people driveway, (toy store), and decide to bring into the living room with me for some reason, (Pinterest and Facebook likes), starts to talk through the tv and vandalize my house while Jefferson Airplane blasts in the background as depicted in David Fincher’s 1997 film, The Game, that nobody wants to talk about with me anymore because, “Amy, that movie is like 20 years old. We’ve seen it. It’s good, but let it go!”. I hate everyone that I know.

Quite obviously, my desire to The Game everything is still in tact and I’m creeped out by inanimate things smiling at me. Put your smug face away, Elf, and tell me what you think you know. And don’t kill me please. Or tattle on me to Santa. Just, you know what? I’m just going to watch you ratting out all the other families this year on Facebook from the comfy position of not wearing pants and slouching on my couch.

 

Happy Holidays!

The Doppelganger

“AMY!! Your doppelganger is here at Best Buy! I just walked up to her and said hello. It wasn’t you”

My friend texted this to me HOURS ago and despite my many demands for a picture, a description of her outfit, if she was wearing pants, if she was as nice as me, nicer???? If she was out there ruining my reputation in the community, I have been ignored. Left on read.

Let’s examine this for a minute. If I had an actual twin out there, what would be the ethical restrictions about actually having her stand-in for me like a stunt double? Would I have to pay her? I’m not paying her. I mean, it wouldn’t require inhumane things, just some things I don’t want to do. Some things that stand in the way of me looking up the latest drama in the One Direction fandom. It would be like the plot to an innocent 60’s sit-com episode. The typical motivation behind most of my big ideas.

She could go to the PTO meetings at school for me, she could go outside with my family so I could stay at home on the internet in peace. I mean, let’s face it, if she’s at Best Buy today anyway, there’s a good chance she goes outside. She’s already done better than me. Well, no I did go outside today. We went to the library. It smelled like poop in there. I was very uncomfortable the whole time and tried not to breathe. See? Maybe she could’ve gone in my place.

Maybe this lady would be a good stand-in for all those dinners with the ladies that I keep RSVPing for and then flaking out on because I’m awkward and I hate all my clothes. She WOULD have to have some grasp on my interests though or she would be caught out a fraud. We’d both be caught and if The Brady Bunch taught me anything, it’s that there’s gonna be a snag and it’ll be something dumb and we’ll both get caught and have to apologize and emerge better people. This is not what I’m trying to do. I’m going to make her wear a wire and and an ear-piece and I would communicate with her from a van parked down an alley, although this defeats my whole plan of being lazy at home without pants on. Okay, she’s just going to have to study my ways and wing it.

I would have to teach her to have a mild obsession with the paranormal and celebrity gossip. And when she has too much wine, she has to start talking about boybands and TMZ. And ghosts. She’ll have to start talking about ghosts. She would also have to report back on all dramatics that go down. I need to know who said what to who, who got mad, did anyone fight? I need to know about fights. Very important.

Do you think she would sift through and answer my emails for me? No, that actually doesn’t have to be her. I can have someone else do that. Or, realistically, my emails will eventually get so full that they’ll just stop. I will be cut off from receiving any new emails and I will be free. This is the better option.

Would she be willing to cook dinners? Get my children sandwiches every 20-23 minutes and listen attentively to hours long tutorials on Minecraft and Roblox? And grocery shopping! I need her to do that because a lot of times in the middle of a grocery trip,  I just want to lay down in the frozen foods aisle and somehow arrive home in my bed with a mug of tea. Maybe I’m carried off in a fancy stretcher by hot firemen, no one is even aware of how bad at shopping I am because the refrigerator is stocked with everything on the list, coupons were used so effectively, the store owed us money, everyone is happy with me, the house is cleaned, I have showered, Etc.

This is actually starting to sound like a cry for help.

Listen. I don’t even know that this Best Buy woman looks like me, to be honest. She could be Joanna’s version of me, and who knows what that is. She could be a monster. Plus, Joanna still hasn’t texted me back and for all I know, my monster twin killed her and the authorities now think I did it because of the doppelganger thing. Now, while this has the potential to get me out of all the activities that brought me to this double life fantasy, I wouldn’t have a whole lot of fun in prison. I’m kind of not that tough. I know I talk a big game but, I’m actually very fragile and it’s just not going to be a good fit. Plus, I don’t really want my friend to die. HOWEVER, house arrest. Okay, if doppelganger monster commits a crime, it has to be low level enough to not get me beat up or in prison and the punishment is just “House Arrest”.

The perfect excuse to sit around in my jammies and watch 60’s sit-coms while I scan the internet in peace.