Sunday, December 30, 2012

don't let the door hit your ass on the way out, 2012.

You know what? 2012 wasn't my favorite year, for all sorts of reasons. It wasn't all bad, not even close, but I know I can do better. I'm excited to flip the calendar to a fresh new month, a whole new year. I have high hopes for you, 2013. I really do. Ridiculously high. It's a big year for me. I will turn FORTY in 2013. God, that sentence looks weird. Anyway, we have nine months to worry about that. I want this year to be awesome in all of the ways, and I am going to work as hard as I can to make that happen.

Until then, I want to wish you all a Happy New Year. Be safe. Be good. I'll see you on the flip side.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


I find myself so relieved that Christmas is over today. I am sitting here right now in my kitchen, listening to Jane read one of her new books to herself in the other room...and am so grateful for the peace and quiet. We went to the awesome new Connecticut Science Center with Heather and her kids this morning, and it was great, but I'm just beat right now. We had a good holiday for sure, and had lots of fun with our families, but it's time for the madness of this month to wrap up, I think. And although you've probably already seen this pic elsewhere, I must post it here on the blog forevermore, as it is my favorite pic from Christmas 2012:

Jane with the (moving, neighing) horse Auntie Chrissey got her. She loves/is terrified of it.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

to you and yours

And now, on Christmas Eve Eve, may I present to you the actual pictures we used for this year's card. I wish all of you who celebrate a wonderful, peaceful and oh-so-merry Christmas.


Friday, December 21, 2012

it's beginning to look a lot like something, anyway.

So for this year's Christmas card, I dragged the family down to the beach on the Sunday after Thanksgiving for some picture-taking shenanigans. I don't know if you remember Thanksgiving weekend, but it was warmer than normal - gorgeous, really. Oh - except for Sunday. Sunday was freeeeezing and wiiiiiiiindy and I forced my canine and young human loved ones to SMILE and DON'T MOVE JIMMY DON'T MOVE JUNIOR DON'T MOVE SMILE JANE JUST SMILE I'LL GET YOUR COAT IN A MINUTE.

I'll post the pictures we actually used on the card soon. For now, some outtakes.



Tuesday, December 18, 2012


This morning, before I even really opened my eyes, Jane was in my room, on my bed, filling me in on the latest drama of the day.

"Mommy, you're not going to believe when I tell you what they were saying on the bus yesterday," she said.

Every nerve in my body woke up. This is it, I thought, trying to remember what all the emails and websites I've read over the past few days told me about talking to a 5-year-old about the horrible thing that happened.

"So-and-so said that yesterday was her daddy's birthday. And then so-and-so said it WASN'T TRUE. And so then I said...."

Let her drama always be this. Always.

Monday, December 17, 2012


This weekend was tough, you guys.

After grabbing Jane at school the moment I could on Friday, I spent the weekend going back and forth from watching and reading the most tragic possible news to trying to be a decent parent and pretending everything is OK for Jane. Not only OK, but festive. Because to oblivious children, it was a fun, almost-holiday weekend.

We bought and put up and decorated our Christmas tree. We went to a family birthday party. We did homework. I figured out my new iPhone. We did Christmas shopping. I went to book club. All the normal stuff.

But my mind was a blurry, painful mess. I had a constant lump in my throat, and could be brought to tears in less than a moment. As expected, once the images of those poor children were released, it all got so much worse. The front page of the Hartford Courant today (my local paper) looked like it could have been a fun class picture. It could have been Jane's class picture. But it wasn't. It so, so wasn't.

And on we march towards Christmas.

Friday, December 14, 2012


There is, of course, no need to tell you what happened in Newtown, CT today. I need not link to anything, post any awful pictures. You've heard. You know. You've probably watched hours of relentless horrifying news today, like I did. It's hard to watch. It's hard to not watch - if that makes any sense. When something terrible happens, I feel like my absorbing the news of it is helping in some way - acknowledging the loss, at the very least - when it obviously isn't really helpful at all.

Two things make this tragedy particularly incomprehensible. One: Newtown is 45 minutes away from me. Two: Kindergarteners. Elementary school kids. I have one of those. And I cannot stop thinking what if....what if.....what if it were her school?

I can't process this right now much less write anything eloquent about it. They told parents to turn off the TV. That was the first bit of advice we received. So it's off. Or, rather, right now it's on, with an absolutely awful Barbie movie playing.

I've never been so grateful to be watching a Barbie movie in my life.

Love to Newtown. To the children. To the brave teachers and staff of Sandy Hook Elementary School. To the families and friends who are enduring the most unimaginable loss tonight.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

in which I can't wait for vacation.

You guys, I feel like I have senioritis or something. I feel like a kid on the brink of a week off of school. I feel tired, and a little burned out. I feel extremely, super, very, mega, extraordinarily ready for a break.
I know I’ve already said it, but I just can’t wait for my 11 days off coming up. And it’s not like I want a break from any one particular thing – it’s just that the rush rush rush of every day – breakfast, doing an activity with Jane in the mornings so she’s not watching TV, homework, lunch, bus stop, work, pick up at school, dinner, bath, reading bed, chores, collapse, etc until eternity – gets a little monotonous and it will be NICE to not have to have one eye on the clock at all times to make sure we’re not running late for the next thing (spoiler alert: we always are).
And I’m just so excited to have a five-year-old at Christmas this year. It’s the perfect Christmas age. It’s hard not to get caught up in her anticipation of the holiday.
My weekend starts today. I took tomorrow off to go shopping and to lunch with my girl Heather – but that may be canceled because one of her kids is sick. No matter – I can certainly shop and lunch on my own, although I do love my friend time. Luckily, I have a bunch of that planned this weekend in the form of happy hour tomorrow night, coffee with Beth on Saturday morning, and book club holiday good times on Saturday night.
And a tree! We need to get a Christmas tree. And if I’m not 95% done with my Christmas shopping by the end of this weekend, I don’t even know what anymore.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

things that are happening.

Howdy friends. Just a quick little check-in on the ol' blog. I was just sitting here at my kitchen table thinking, eh, I don't really have anything to report to my (5? 4? Maybe?) devoted readers, so I'll ignore posting for yet another day. But in the interest of not letting tumbleweeds fill up this space yet again, here are some random things going on in my life.

*I had a doctor's appointment today, and while there, I mentioned that my nose has been so incredibly itchy lately that I want to rip it off. The lovely (and altogether too young) nurse practitioner suggested it may be allergies, which I (and everyone I complained to about this, which includes everyone in my life, including, most likely, you) suspected. So in January I am going to go in for allergy testing, which sounds like an epic amount of fun. Apparently they put a bunch of concoctions on your back and see what you react to. Happy New Year to me!

*I am finishing up my book club book - The Stupidest Angel - and think I will finally read Gone Girl, which a friend lent to me months ago. I know there is a twist in the middle, and I know it disgusted a whole lot of people, so I'm anxious to find out whether I love love love or hate hate hate this book.

*I'm pretty sure I'm never going to be done with Christmas shopping. Although I have bragged here and there about being 90% done, I still have that 10% hanging over my head, just waiting for my next paycheck. Most pressing is a  grab bag gift for my theater board of directors holiday party, which takes place in, like, 24 hours.

*Speaking of holiday parties there are more coming up too: I have my book club holiday-themed meeting on Saturday night (I AM A NERD), my daycare moms holiday happy hour on Friday, and my work party next Tuesday, with a joint birthday party for my niece and nephew squeezed in on Sunday. I freaking love party season.

*I am trying extremely very hard to cut my carbs big time this week and next (except for party days, of course). I have no interest in beginning the new year with yet ANOTHER resolution to lose weight, so I'm trying to keep my shit together around the cookies as much as possible. hahahahahaaa yeah I know.

*I kind of like Glee again. Shut up.

*I owe this guy a guest post like nobody's business. I am such an asshole for not having done it yet. I'm surprised he hasn't unfriended me yet.

*I have big plans for 2013 being the best year of my life. Stay tuned.

Whassup with you?

Saturday, December 08, 2012


Important notice, for those of you who appreciate the fact that deep down, I am a 12-year-old girl who has crushes on many, many celebrities:

I have decided to add Jonny Lee Miller to my all important LIST. You know the list - the five celebrities you are allowed to get romantical with if the opportunity presents itself. Topping my list for many, many years in a row is my beloved Mark Ruffalo. Others have come and gone, and frankly, I'm going to need to do some serious thought as to who else is on the list these days (are you finally off, Johnny Depp? Nah) and who I have to kick off, but right now I've decided, based on how delicious he is in Elementary, to add Mr. Miller to my list.

You may now go back to your regularly scheduled weekend.

 Because I never miss a chance to post this pic of me and my boyfriend Mark Ruffalo

 My new list-maker

Friday, December 07, 2012

weekend update.

And a happy Friday to all of you.

I am sitting here at my kitchen table with Jane as she does homework. She is practicing writing upper and lowercase Js, as well as the number 9 ("make a loop and add a line, that's the way you make a nine"). She is also working on "less than" and "taller than" and "shorter than." And that's what kindergarten homework is like, for those of you who have asked. After this, she'll do her 20 minutes of her online reading program. And then she'll go to school. Such is the life of a half-day kindergartener.

That aside - here's what's up for the weekend: very little! I'm not even going to break it down into days, that's how little we have planned. Tomorrow I am taking Jane to a birthday party for one of her school peeps. I'll go to my mother's on Sunday. We may put up our Christmas tree, but I'd like to delay it a week, so the thing isn't dried up and dead by Christmas day. I'm sure the days will fill up with other stuff, but it's not all scheduled out like it usually is. Which is a very good thing indeed. Hoping to get some much-needed Amanda alone time. I just need my brain to be quiet for an hour.

In other news, work has started on the next show I'm helping out with. I'll be doing a small amount of stage managing and crewing for a production of Li'l Abner. I'm excited because a bunch of my friends are in it, and I can't wait to see them do their thang.

What are you up to this weekend?

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

five things I'm loving today

In no particular order, here are five things that I am loving today:
The fact that tonight I have nowhere I have to be. It’s the first evening in my own house in what feels like a very long time! Elementary, you’re on my list. I also need to start reading my book club book. And maybe put up some Christmas decorations. And probably clean up a bit. And and and.
I am going to the movies tomorrow with some of my friends! We’re going to see Lincoln, which frankly I could have just rented in a couple of months and been happy, but I JUST WANT TO GO TO THE MOVIES. I swear, the only thing I’ve seen in the theater this year is Brave, and that ain’t right. And I am BEYOND excited to see this in the theater at least three or four times. Trying to figure out a way to get out on Christmas night, but I really don’t see that happening. (ETA: I just got sucked into watching the trailer a couple of more times when linking to the site. CHILLS.)
It is December in Connecticut and it’s been in the 50s for the past two days. I don’t even care that it’s raining today. Love.
Christmas is three weeks from today and I am more prepared than I have ever been this far out. I still have a decent amount of shopping to do but it’s mostly gift cards at this point. Now if only someone would do my wrapping for me….Santa, where are you??
I have 11 days off coming up at the end of the month and I. Cannot. Wait. Already making all sorts of plans. Haven’t had a week off since July!
What do you love today?

Sunday, December 02, 2012

something about a picture and a thousand words.

People will ask me why I do theater - it takes up so much time, energy, and scheduling, and it can be incredibly stressful and frustrating. But the real reason why has nothing to do with the spotlight or applause or people telling you how great you were.

It is because of people like the ones in the pictures below that I do theater. I've known all of them for nearly two decades at this point. They are uber talented, fabulous, ridiculously fun, and part of my tribe of crazy theater dorks. I admire and stand in awe of each and every one of them, and it was an extreme pleasure having them all together in/at the show last night.

pics stolen from Lindsey, who is on the left in the pic above

Saturday, December 01, 2012

weekend update. (belated)

Sorry for the silence here this week....been busy going to rehearsals and getting ready for tonight's variety show that I am co-directing. What I love about this particular show is the fact that it has brought back some people I haven't done theater with for a very, very long time. What I have not loved is trying to keep track of 30+ people with insane schedules...let me put it this way. Tonight will be the first - and only - time we will have all of our acts on that stage. That is more than slightly alarming for a control freak like me. Always an adventure, this theater thing....

I am, like, 80% done with my Christmas shopping. WHAT?? It's true. This is so, so unlike me. And most of what I have to get from here on out are gift cards. So easy. Of course, I have to wait for my next paycheck to finish up, but I am epically proud of myself. This, of course, does not mean that I won't be sweating it out on Christmas Eve actually wrapping all of the presents, because you can teach an old dog only so many new tricks.

After spending last night and this morning cleaning my house, shopping and doing homework with Jane, I truly plan to only focus on fun for the rest of the weekend. Show tonight, birthday party tomorrow...good times. Right now I think I'll light a fire and do some reading, before I have to go get clean for tonight.

Happy weekend, everyone : )

Monday, November 26, 2012

back to reality.

Well I hope everyone had a simply awesome Thanksgiving (if you celebrate) and weekend (if you don’t), or both, or whatever. It was back to reality for me today after an excellent five-day weekend. I had to get the permanent crown put on my tooth that needed a root canal a few weeks ago, so that was a tremendously excellent way to kick off the week, as I’m sure you can imagine. Then work, then dance class, all mixed in with a healthy dose of show-related texts, emails, and phone calls. (Remember that variety show thing I’m co-directing? Yeah, it’s this weekend.)
I did some Black Friday shopping at about 6 a.m. at the mall on Friday. It really wasn’t bad, and I saved tons o’ cash. I also only bought myself ONE thing (a sweater from Gap, of course), which I think shows enormous restraint, yes? As long as you go into Black Friday shopping with the right attitude – that you will have to wait in long lines, and you will have to deal with overly zealous Disney employees (oh wait, was that just me? I mean, seriously dude, I don't want to play trivia games at 7 a.m., is all I'm saying) – it can be downright festive. Oh, it’s also important to avoid the places with the highest incidence of insanity/tramplings/death (see: Walmart).
Yesterday the whole fam went down to the beach for the annual Christmas card picture-taking. It was So. Effing. Cold. And. Windy. OMG. Poor Jane looks like she’s in physical pain in some of the pictures. She was a trooper though! And the dogs were douchebags, per usual. As it gets closer to the holidays, I’ll post some outtakes.
So many of our neighbors are fully decked out for Christmas with tons of lights and lawn decorations. We need to get our shit together at our house (I really do love Christmas lights) but first – I’ve gotta get this show done this weekend. Then it’s officially the holidays.
Happy Monday!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving (have you heard?), and this holiday is quickly becoming one of my favorites. Christmas has become completely overwhelming, although this year I am actually doing some shopping way ahead of time (shopping in November is WAY ahead of time for me). Thanksgiving is all about watching the parade, hanging with family, eating a bunch of food, and hopefully winning a ton of cash playing LCR (a very stupid and random dice game that I get absolutely insanely into like a crazy person). I look forward to it all.

But I quickly wanted to just say thanks to you who have stuck with reading this silly blog. I have struggled with posting this year - I believe I will rack up the least amount of posts this year than ever before, unless I go hog wild crazy in December - and I can't imagine that it is even remotely entertaining, but still. I thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

This post is part of the #30DaysofThanks project. Check it out.

Monday, November 19, 2012

could this be more random and boring? no.

Ah, friends. The relaxing weekend I wanted to have didn't transpire as I hoped it would. Which makes me extra extra thankful that after tomorrow, I have five days off. Whoop! I just feel so incredibly shot these days. I have a feeling it has a lot to do with a complete lack of exercise for the past two months. I also think I've been getting up too late. See, now that I work/Jane goes to school in the afternoon, I don't roll out of bed until around 7:15-7:30. It used to be at least an hour earlier. So, yup, I am going to try to work in getting up earlier and getting exercise before Greg goes off to work. Bug me about this, yes?

Per my new rule about blogging re: Jane, I will not go into detail about the parent/teacher conference I had today. But I WILL say that it was good. And, look, I was about to say more, but I won't.

Oh my God, most boring blog post ever. Here, let me entertain you with a pic of me with my homegirls Heather and Shelly, when we were out Saturday night for Heather's 40th. Yeah, yeah, half of you saw this on Facebook already, but it's all I got.

Friday, November 16, 2012

weekend update: 30 Days of Thanks

Friday Friday Friday! Once again, there mere fact that today is FINALLY the last day of this everlasting work/school week is enough to earn the #30DaysofThanks hashtag. And yes, you shouldn’t really hashtag within blog posts but whatever, this is my blog and I make the rules. As my twitter peep @Tartydiva said today, “This has got to be at least the 10th day of the week.” WORD TO THAT.
Here’s what up this weekend:
Friday: Blessedly nothing. Might go to the mall with Jane tonight (ETA: this happened. Also we ate at Rainforest Cafe. Screaming gorillas is just what I needed tonight. This place is an epic nightmare.). Have a whole bunch of TV shows sitting in my DVR queue. Life is good.
Saturday: Going to my favorite new Panera with Jane to meet up with our homegirls Beth and Ava. Mess and chaos and fun will ensue. Saturday night we’ll be going out to dinner to celebrate my best friend’s 40th birthday, because apparently we’re all getting old now. Jane will be home with her sitter, who is a former teacher at her old daycare. What she DOESN’T know is that two of her other former teachers (who are friends with her babysitter, since they all used to work together) are also coming over, because they want to see Jane. Jane is going to Lose. Her. Mind. With. Joy.
Sunday: Speaking of peeps from daycare, some of her old pals and their moms will be coming to our house Sunday morning for breakfast treats and good times.
That’s all that is officially on the docket for this weekend. Next week is super-weird because Jane has three half days in a row (which works out to exactly TWO hours of school a day for her – thank God the after school program is still running), Greg and I have to go to her parent/teacher conference on Monday, I’ll be going to her Thanksgiving party in her classroom on Wednesday, and then it’s THANKSGIVING. WHOOO!
What are you up to this weekend?
This post is part of the #30DaysofThanks project. Check it out.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

programming note

I had Jane just over a year after I started this blog (6.5 years ago OMG), and she has been the topic of many, many MANY posts. I always knew a time would come when I wouldn't - shouldn't -  write about her so much. That her privacy would come first, no matter what the entertainment value of the story was. And I think I've hit that point.

There's some stuff going on with school that I'd love to hash out here. But I realize that the things I write about her now could easily be found by some of the people she goes to school with right now, in 10 years, when they are all a bunch of pubescent jerks. And sure, these same people could find the stuff I wrote about her previously, but for some reason kindergarten and age 5 seems like a perfect time to slow down.

It's not that I won't EVER write about the girl, or post pictures (I mean, please. Some things are just impossible to resist sharing), but I need realize that although she doesn't realize it, she has a right to privacy, and to air out her whole life here wouldn't be fair.

What the hell am I going to write about?  Maybe it's time to visit the archives and see what I used to go on and on about. Because if there's one thing I know about myself - I like to go on and on. And on.

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

forward: 30 Days of Thanks

What am I thankful for today? I mean, duh. Also, duh.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

vote: 30 Days of Thanks

So yesterday I told Jane she didn’t have school today, and she asked why.
So I told her it was Election Day, and that we were voting for the President of the United States.
“The President of the United States, huh,” she said. “Does this mean you’re going to get all crazy, Mommy?”
From the mouths of babes.
It’s Election Day in America. I love this day so hard. I’ll be camping out in front of the television tonight, laptop fired up, waiting with a nauseous stomach for the results to come in, hoping and praying this guy wins again.
We may not always – or ever – agree on what the outcome should be, but the freedom to vote and speak our minds? I’m thankful for that.
Jane on Election Day in 2008. I didn't take her this year as I was running off to work right after.
This post is part of the #30DaysofThanks project. Check it out.


Monday, November 05, 2012

busy: 30 Days of Thanks

This is today:

This morning Jane and I went to pick up my ailing computer, did a Target run, worked on an art project and went off to school and work.

We are now headed to her dance class and dinner with our dance buddies.

After I bring her home I will go to my friend Chris' house around 8 so we can do some production work on the show we're doing.

Today I'm grateful for the busy. One of the most important things I've realized about myself is, although I bitch and moan with the best of them, I thrive on being busy.

What are you thankful for today?

This post is part of the #30DaysofThanks project. Check it out.

Friday, November 02, 2012

weekend update/30 Days of Thanks

Yeah, yeah, I know it was only a three-day workweek with the storm and all, but LORD ALMIGHTY I am thankful it’s the weekend! Here’s what’s up:

Friday: Getting my hairs cut tonight. I think, for the first time EVAH, I am going to let my bangs grow out. This will probably make me (more) cranky but hey, you only live once, and I think I’m going to incorporate a new look into my ongoing midlife crisis. Then I’m meeting up with my daycare moms for drinks. Hey,  you don’t want to waste a haircut and blow dry, right?

Saturday: It’s Jane’s turn to get a trim on Saturday morning, and then I think we’re going to the library and then to the AT&T store so I can deal with some &*(!^&*(!^*!*()!*(!)&!^^!^ problems with my wretched mother*()&!()*!)&(*)&^&&*&*^ Blackberry. And that’s all I’ll say about that. Unless I see you in person, in which case, I will talk your ear off about my PHONE PROBLEMS HOLY *(!&*(& I HATE THAT THING.  Saturday night I’m getting together with some theater friends for dinner. We’ve been trying to get together for months and it’s very very much about time we made it happen.

Sunday: Nothing on the docket as of yet, except for someprep work for a show I’m doing.

So, in conclusion, I am SO THANKFUL IT’S FRIDAY. What are you up to this weekend?

This post is part of the #30DaysofThanks project. Check it out.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

safe and sound: 30 Days of Thanks

I remember this time last year when I decided to start up this 30 Days of Thanks blog/Twitter challenge – it was just before the massive storm we’ve since named Snowtober hit, rendering many of us in CT powerless for a week and buried in snow two months before it is acceptable. In those first few days of the challenge, I thought it would be hard to come up with things that I was thankful for, but actually, it was easier. We had a place to stay at my in-laws’ house. I had an employer that was reasonable about canceling work. Jane went to a daycare that miraculously retained power and remained open, giving her days some level of normalcy. Mostly I was thankful for spotting a Connecticut Light and Power truck in our neighborhood after several days in the dark.

And now that the project is starting up again, we are recovering from Hurricane Sandy, another freak, massive storm that has absolutely wrecked our neighbors in southern Connecticut, New York City and New Jersey. We were incredibly lucky this time – although it was the scariest storm I’ve ever experienced in terms of wind and rattling windows and bending trees, we never lost power (I think this has something to do with the fact that we bought an expensive generator and argued all day Sunday while Greg was setting it up. We have a theory that the power will never go out again – and if this is true, it was the best money we ever spent.). We were safe, we were warm, we had running water, lights, and a diet of Halloween candy and the scary-ass news we could watch on TV that day (I clocked in about 15 hours of news on Monday. I think my heart is STILL pounding from the nerves.).

My in-laws’ house, which is right on the water, miraculously was not damaged – which is amazing, since so many homes and businesses in their area were flooded out, including a cottage they own right down the street. Our boat is just fine, as Greg moved it from the marina it is docked at during the summer to its winter home. Lucky for that, too, because our summer marina in Old Saybrook took a beating.

My friends in New Jersey and New York are safe. Powerless, but safe.

It’s easy to say what I’m thankful on this first of 30 Days of Thanks.  Of course I am grateful our STUFF made it through this storm OK, but far more importantly I am so thankful WE did. Me, and my East Coast family and friends. We’re OK. We’re good.

What are you thankful for today? If you're tweeting, don't forget to hashtag #30DaysofThanks : )

This post is part of the #30DaysofThanks project. Check it out.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

30 days of thanks: a November challenge (2012 style!)

So while I've been fretting on Twitter and everywhere else about the upcoming FRANKENSTORM OF DOOM (but seriously, this is really the first time I've ever been actually scared of a storm), my girl Brandee reminded me of a little challenge I headed up last November - 30 days of thanks. Click on the link to read about this simple challenge to look around and take stock of what you're thankful for - whether it be a good stash of library books to keep you entertained when the power goes out (check), a roof over your head to keep you safe (check), or a bottle of wine to keep you sane (double check).

The challenge begins November 1. It can be as simple as a tweet, a picture, or a long blog post. Join us, won't you? And spread the word!

Oh, if you're tweeting, let's hashtag this #30daysofthanks.


Friday, October 26, 2012

it's the end of the world as we know it/weekend update.

Holla holla it’s the weekend! After the great root canal debacle this week, I am so ready for the weekend. Amidst preparing for the GREATEST FRANKENSTORM HURRICANE NOR’EASTER HALLOWEEN STORMPACALYPSE (if you haven’t heard about this storm yet – and how haven’t you? – we are poised to be hit with a storm like none ever seen, for real. A nor’easter with a delicious hurricane center.) we have other stuff to do. Here’s what’s up:
In just a bit, I am heading out to Jane’s school, where I am volunteering at the Halloween Bingo party tonight. Greg is bringing Jane a little bit later. Considering there’s a very good chance that Halloween will be canceled again this year (oh, didn’t I mention? This storm will land on the one year anniversary of Snowtober last year.) this may be her only chance to dress up in her costume. What is she going to be, you ask? Why, a butterfly fairy princess. What is that, you say? Ummm….I’ll let you know later. She seems to think she’s prepared, so I’m following her lead.
ETA: Apparently this is what a butterfly fairy princess looks like. Also - the bingo was super-fun.
Tomorrow Jane and I will be attending one of her besties’ birthday party. It is a Pinkalicious party, and I have it on good authority that there will be pink cupcakes so I am thrilled. Tomorrow night, I’m driving about two hours to go see a friend in Rocky Horror Picture Show. I’ve never seen this show or movie, can you believe it? I’m not sure I’ll like it, but I sure do like my friend, so I’ll be there. I plan to entertain myself with frightening weather forecasts on the ride there and back. Stories of destruction and mayhem are sure to keep me awake!
Sunday we will root around the state for any leftover batteries, candles, water and non-perishable food items in the stores. You may think I’m joking but I am already hearing about major grocery stores being out of water. THE GROCERY STORE DOESN’T HAVE WATER.
Hopefully they’ll still have beer.
What are you up to this weekend?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

today sucked, and then someone said I look like a movie star

So, today really sucked. And then something awesome happened. But mostly it sucked.

Jane had a field trip at school today, which meant that after I dropped her off in the morning, I actually had a couple of free hours before work. Like any masochist, I decided to use that time to get a cavity filled.

A couple of weeks ago when I went for my cleaning, the dentist told me I really really needed to get a cavity filled that had formed under a filling and was, apparently, really close to the nerve. I didn't have any pain, and he was quite surprised about that. When I went in today for the filling, he told me not to be surprised if it turned out I needed a root canal, so if I wanted to postpone the whole thing until I felt pain, that was an option. I asked if there was any chance it would just be a regular filling. He said there was a small chance, so I decided to go for it.

So, yeah, after much drilling and, yes, eventual pain, it turned out I needed a root canal. Motherfucker, I hate going to the dentist as it is, and root canals are a nightmare - I had another one eight years ago, a mere four weeks before my wedding, when one of my teeth decided to fall apart in a blaze of glory. I was able to get into an endodontics office this afternoon, so I called in sick, cried for a while in my car because I don't want to deal with this in any way and went in for that hellish appointment.

It was just as pleasant and fun as your typical major dental work, and super-expensive to boot. And that's before I even have the crown work done, which will happen soon. I don't usually say "FML," but FML, you know?

Oh, I need to add in the part where they used so much novocaine the right side of my face was (and continues to be, 6 hours later) completely numb from my chin to my eye. MY EYE. My eye has never been numb before. I cannot move the right side of my face at all.

This afternoon also happens to be when I planned to meet up with my friends Beth and Lisa. Lisa's poor pup and beloved friend of us all, Molly, had to be put down last week, and I wanted to do a check-in with Lisa, so we planned to meet at Starbucks at 4. My face was nowhere near moving at that point, but I went anyway, because this was a special meeting. Luckily enough for Lisa, I also forgot my wallet/bag thingy, so I let her buy me coffee too.

Yeah, that's right:my friend WHO IS MOURNING HER DOG had to buy me coffee. God, I suck.

BUT THEN: As we were waiting for our coffees, the most amazing thing happened. The barista dude looks at me and says, for real, "you look like Sandra Bullock." He sincerely said this. For real. Out of his mouth.

So me and my half-face laughed and laughed in a really creepy way no doubt, and it was awesome.

And how's your Wednesday?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I am ridiculous, and other adventures in NYC.

So yeah. The NYC trip was ridiculous and amazing, as always. Every time I go to New York I get super hyped up, and then I think, “maybe it just won’t be as fun this time.” And then it is. And more.

Beth, Lisa and I were on the train early on Saturday morning, and after a Metro-North train, subway, PATH train and light rail train, we were in Lisa’s new apartment in NJ. Oh – there was a little bit of a hike with our bags too, but we won’t get into that. An hour or so later, we were back in the city and met up with the one and only Bryan.
You may be wondering to yourself why a young NYU theater student would want to hang out with some old biddies like us. Bryan was an intern for Beth and myself back when I used to work with Beth at my old job. So when we visit the NYC, we make him hang out with us. Somehow, he seems to sincerely enjoy it, and laughs at everything we say. I wish I could carry him around in my pocket, but 1) he’s too tall and 2) he’s got a theater world to conquer.
Anyway, by this point I was so hungry I was ready to gnaw off my arm, so we found this sports bar and ate all manner of fried appetizers for lunch, and it was awesome.. After that we went to Molly's Cupcakes and I’ll tell you this – they are the best cupcakes I’ve ever had in New York. Perhaps anywhere? Magnolia and Crumbs can shove it, for all I care. This time I had a pumpkin spice cupcake and I wanted to marry it. Bryan had three cupcakes, by the way.
After that we went to Washington Square Park and took some of the insane photos you see below. Many were recreations of previous pics we took the last time we were all together. Because we are JUST THAT COOL. I think it’s important to note that we were all 100% sober at the time. You wouldn’t think so, right?
After THAT, we parted ways with Bryan and headed to Hell’s Kitchen area for drinking and eating fun. Beth, Lisa and I stopped for a drink (I can’t remember where…things get increasingly fuzzy at this point) (ETA: Beth remembered. It was Vlada.) and then had a glorious reunion with our friends Justin (who lives in LA), Shawn (who lives in Astoria) and new friend Brent (who also lives in Astoria) at Vynl. We ate and drank and acted stupid and then carried on to Therapy where we drank more and reunited with MORE friends like Leah and Melissa and Bryan again and it was just great. I mean, seriously great.
Around midnight we high-tailed it back to the PATH station to start our commute back to Lisa’s before the trains shut down for the night. Along the way something SO RIDICULOUS happened to me that the first thing I said was “please don’t post this on Facebook!!!’” This means it’s really insane because I’ll post pretty much anything on Facebook as many of you well know. And if you think I’m re-telling the story here, you’re crazy. But suffice to say, I am an enormous, enormous ass, and there is photographic evidence of this. But oh, it was so so so so so funny and I don’t think Bryan will ever, not ever, stop laughing about it.
After we handled THAT escapade, we headed back to Lisa’s and had a sleepover. The next morning we went to breakfast in Hoboken, and it was back home to CT. Ten minutes after I walked in the door, Greg, Jane and I were back in the car, headed to my friends’ house for a thoroughly delicious and entertaining Canadian Thanksgiving celebration.
What a whirlwind this weekend was. Relaxing? Not even a little bit. Can I wait to do it again? Nope.

Friday, October 19, 2012

weekend update.

Being a half-time stay-at-home-mom in the mornings with Jane, and a half-time member of the professional marketing/PR workforce in the afternoon, has rendered me FULLY exhausted this rainy Friday. So this is just a quick hello and happy weekend wish to you.

My weekend will hopefully be awesome, as I am headed to the New York City with my friends Beth and Lisa, and we will be meeting up with the one and only Austermania for cupcakes and hijinks, and then going out with other friends from our theater world at night, one who is in town from Los Angeles. I'm completely psyched.

And then the cherry on top of my weekend will be a delicious belated Canadian Thansgiving dinner with my friends Todd and Alan and a bunch of their other friends on Sunday evening. Alan has finally bid auf Wiedersehen to Germany, as I've mentioned before, and I'm super-excited to see his face.

What are you up to? Details, please - I'm incredibly nosy!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

wednesday wrap-up.

Did you guys watch the debate last night? Whoa nelly, that was a stressful one. I promised myself my bleeding heart and I wouldn’t get obsessed with the presidential election this year, and of course I ignored my promise and obsessed anyway, and now I am (like mostly everyone else) ready for it to be over because I can’t stand the anxiety anymore. I get so emotionally involved to the point where I can’t even really talk about it with anyone or I’ll start crying or something. I rarely post anything political on Facebook anymore so as not to incite fights among my friends, although I do a little more so on Twitter, because I find myself unable to stop retweeting people who are far more clever than I am. And, let’s face it, my tweets are much more stream-of-consciousness than my Facebook statuses are. Or, God forbid, my oft-neglected blog.
But, anyway, I hate hate hate watching debates because they are so incredibly stressful and I don’t like people yelling at each other but I was happy with how my team did. And I feel like there is such a lack of respect for women from the other team and there I go again…I am NOT getting into this now.
So Jane decided to give herself a haircut this morning. I was brushing her hair for school when I noticed a chunk of hair came out. Like…healthy hair, not snarled hair (or hair with glue in it, which was also something we had to deal with today). And I worried right away that she had some sort of disease that would make all her hair fall out, of course, because that’s how my hypochondriatic brain rolls. But the hair looked….freshly cut, you know? LIGHTBULB. I asked Jane if she cut her hair. And she nodded. And then I asked if she cut her hair with scissors (you really have to clarify things with kids sometimes). And she nodded again. And I asked where on her head she cut, and she pointed to the front left side of her hair. And then I went out into the living room and saw little chunks of hair sitting next to her scissors she uses for her “arting.”
THANKFULLY she didn’t attack her bangs. What she did is noticeable if you’re looking, and I’ll have to have a hairdresser do something with it, but her hair is usually all over the place anyway, like any typical kid, so unless it’s all brushed straight it’s hard to tell. But if it is brushed straight you will see that it is slightly mullet-ish on the front left. New trend: Half-mullets. Watch for it.
Oh oh oh, one more thing. So last night I was sitting on my bed with my laptop. All of the sudden, the bed started shaking. Naturally I called Greg and told him our house was haunted. Really - I did this. And he said it was probably the wind but I said it wasn’t windy and it was either an earthquake or probably a ghost and he said a haunting would be kind of exciting. And I laughed, but between you and me, a part of me was really concerned because I AM FOR REAL SCARED OF GHOSTS.
Lucky for me, it was an earthquake! My first ever. Very exciting, especially since it only lasted a few seconds and wasn’t deadly or anything.
How’s your week going?

Monday, October 15, 2012


So Saturday night’s super-secret surprise party was for my sister’s 50th birthday.
My sister Sue is so cool. I’m serious. She’s 11 years older than me but I’ve always looked up to her and really idolized her when I was a kid. She was a glamorous college girl in California when I was going through my most awkward and wretched pre-teen years, and I absolutely loved when she came home for holidays and vacation – it felt like a celebrity was visiting, it really did. And she’s still so pretty and fun and awesome and so much cooler than I could ever hope to be.
Her life (like everyone’s) hasn’t always been easy, but her attitude is so positive and infectious it’s really hard not to have a great time when you’re with her. If you think I’M loud and outgoing, well, then, you haven’t spent time with my sister.
So I was really excited about her party this weekend, especially since she’s always the one planning the parties and celebrations for everyone else. Greg and I had a great time (sans Jane) with 55 of my sister's closest friends and family members. Something I learned: when your 22-year-old niece peer pressures you to go shot-for-shot with her, don’t give in. I did, and uggggghhhhhhh is all I can say to that. Who do I think I am? AMANDA YOU ARE NOT IN YOUR EARLY TWENTIES ANYMORE AND NEITHER IS YOUR ALCOHOL TOLERANCE.
Side note: it’s so weird to have a niece and nephew (22 and 25, both children of my other, non-birthday-girl sister) who can legally drink. OMG, I babysat these kids! But I was a very young aunt. Thankfully my other niece (Sue’s daughter) still has five years to go before I can run into her at a bar.
Please do enjoy these shitty pictures, courtesy of my Blackberry (apologies to those who already saw these on Facebook). ETA: I realize now that I am in all of these pictures. Sorry bout that.
 Just say no, Amanda.
Me and my bro. 
 Me and the Greg.
 Me and the sisters.
 Me and the birthday sister.

The siblings and mom.
The nieces.


Friday, October 12, 2012

weekend update.

Has anyone noticed that I am desperately trying to post more often around here? Because even though I would rate all of my posts a D- this week, at least I slapped them up here, and that’s half the battle. Go me! With that, it’s time for the weekend update:

To which I say, I don’t have a weekend update right now. Or, I do, but I can’t share it here, because there is a surprise party involved and shhhhhhh. Other than that, this weekend we have to get a pumpkin and wings for Jane’s Halloween costume (she’s going to be a princess fairy ballerina, obvs) , do homework with Jane, and continue to celebrate my everlasting 39th birthday, this time with my in-laws. I like to keep the party going for at least a month, you know? And who am I to refuse lunch and cake and presents? I may be many things, but I am not rude.
What are you up to?
SIDE NOTE HAVING NOTHING TO DO WITH WEEKEND STUFF BUT NOT WORTHY OF ITS OWN POST:Get this - I was just looking at Jane's school notices this week, and saw that she has November 6, 12, 22 and 23 off, and early dismissal November 19, 20 and 21. OMG. I had no idea that when she started school, she'd barely be going to school. Do you think they'd notice if I stuffed her in my purse and brought her to work? Working moms for the win, once again!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

save the date.

When I was younger, I used to always make sure I had something to look forward to. A vacation, a day trip, a show…something on the calendar that I was really psyched about, that had me counting down the days. Easy enough, right? But it’s also very easy to slide into a schedule of day-to-day drudgery - work, kid stuff, chores, appointments -you know the drill. And I'm realizing that’s just not acceptable, you know?

With that, I present my list of epic things I’m looking forward to over the next month:
*Trip to NYC in a couple of weeks. Haven’t been there since my tweet up with these three! And I miss it big time.
*A belated Canadian Thanksgiving dinner hosted by two of my favorite friends, Todd and Alan. Alan is making his triumphant return back to the States after six months working in Germany. Yay Alan!
*A surprise party I’m going to this weekend, and although I’m certain the guest of honor doesn’t read this blog, that’s all I’ll say about that.
*Halloween! Because, duh.
*Election Day! Nerdy to the maximum extreme, I know, but even though I find this race gut-wrenching and acid reflux-inducing, election day is super-exciting to me.
What good stuff is on your calendar?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

what (not) to wear.

At the end of every season, like clockwork, I get the urge to burn every last item of my clothing. I get so incredibly sick of everything in my closet and drawers. So I paw through everything, and do a major purge. I just did this the other day, and I have two giant garbage bags full of clothes ready to drop off at Goodwill in my car right now.
I’m pretty harsh with my (fairly pathetic) inventory of clothes. At this point, if I haven’t worn it once during the season, it’s going to Goodwill. Even if it still has the tags on it. I impulse buy cheap clothes a lot, and end up with lots of things that never looked right on me in the first place. Add in the fact that a large percentage of my current inventory fit me before losing 20 pounds this spring, and I’m pretty much screwed at the moment in terms of what (or what not) to wear.
Weekends are easy. I have my uniform of jeans and sweaters or whatever. Let’s be real – I don’t live a fancy life. Nearly 100% of the time, jeans are just fine for my weekends, and Fridays during the work week. I actually do have a party to go to this weekend that is requiring a little bit more than that, and it’s sent me into a little bit of a tailspin.
But right now I barely have anything to wear to work. I have a total of one (1) (ONE) pair of pants that fit decently. I have a couple of dresses that can be transitioned from summer to fall with tights and boots, like I’m wearing today. But I definitely need some more choices – or I will literally be wearing the same exact outfits week after week.
As I get older (knock, knock, knockin’ on forty's door), I find myself wanting more quality than quantity in terms of what I wear. I haven’t put this into action yet, but I do have some money to spend on clothes that Greg gave me for my birthday (that I can FINALLY spend because TD Bank FINALLY OFFICIALLY gave me my stolen money back today! Whoo!!). And I think, this time around, I’m going to get a couple of really good quality items (boots, new pants, possibly a new coat) rather than a whole bunch of new things from, say, Old Navy, which never look that great and, frankly, are a little bit young for me at this point. I rarely buy anything decent for myself because most of my money goes towards Target trips and stuff for Jane and grocery shopping and BORING. It is extremely rare that I splurge on myself.
At the end of the day, I think I’m aiming for a really reduced wardrobe, but one that actually looks good and lasts. And doesn’t look like I’m trying to fit in with the college crowd (was it my wrinkles or my 5-year-old that gave me away??).
What are you wanting to add to your closet these days? Links, please!

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

apparently I like writing about fall.

It is so definitely fall here these days. After a several-days-long standoff with Greg, I finally turned on the heat yesterday. He was very determined not to turn it on until November 1, but when we woke up to a 55-degree house on Monday, he caved. I’ve been hearing the winter ahead is going to be a rough one, and I am so very extremely happy that we bought a generator after the Great Snowpocalypse of Snowtober 2011. I can’t believe it was just under a year ago that we had 2 feet of snow on the ground and we were out of power for a week. God, that sucked.
And I, a lover of summer and all things hot and sandy and beachy and sunny, dare admit that I’m happy fall is here. Last week was so humid and GROSS and wet I felt like my whole house smelled like dog because humidity has such a wonderful way of bringing out the delicate scents of Jimmy and Junior (and by “delicate” I mean “DOG with CAPITAL LETTERS”). I mean, it’s October. I shouldn’t be contemplating putting the air conditioning on, you know?
Today I’m wearing a new sweater from Banana Republic that my mom got me for my birthday and now that it looks like I will FINALLY be refunded the money that was stolen from me two weeks ago, I plan on buying some new black boots this week and maybe some other new things. I’m ready for scarves and boots and sweaters, I believe. I think.
But I am not – repeat – NOT ready for snow. No repeats this October, OK, Mother Nature?
Note: I know this is kind of a shitty blog post, but I’m trying to get back into it and just putting up whatever is in my head at the moment. Bear with me!

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

and now it's October, just like I wanted.

In August, as kindergarten loomed closer and closer, I remember saying, “I just want it to be October.”
Not because I wanted to rush the end of summer – or my BIRTHDAY – but I wanted Jane’s first month of school and my new flipped work schedule to have already happened, so we’d be fully immersed in our new schedule so I could stop worrying about it. I wanted a better idea of what our new reality is, at least until summer (don’t ask me what our schedule will look like then; I have absolutely no idea. And you would think, DUH, of course not, it’s only October, but I already have parents asking me what camps Jane is going to do next summer and it’s enough to make your head explode.)
And here we are. The month is over. We are immersed. And so far, so good. But what a change. Daycare was such a wonderful thing – if I had a doctor’s appointment, or just wanted to run quick to Target after work, or I had to help my mom with something, or I didn’t feel good, I could just leave Jane there for a little bit longer. No biggie. But school doesn’t let you do that, see. School is very particular about you not leaving your kid there for longer than they are supposed to be there, lest you hear from the Department of Children and Families. So now Jane comes with me everywhere, pretty much. (Except the doctor. I will not let this happen. I know there are other mothers who take their kids to all of their personal appointments, but I am not one of them. I would like to have my EKG or lady exam or what have you IN PEACE. That’s AMANDA TIME. Sad but true.)
So our mornings are full of chores, usually. Cleaning, library, shopping – things like that. I need to get her fed with lunch and out the door to the bus stop by 11:15. After the bus comes I drive off to work – I basically trail the bus for about a mile or so until it turns one way and I turn the other. Once I’m out of work, I’m right back to school to pick Jane up from her after-school program. Then it’s general mayhem, dinner, bath, TV, books, bed.
There’s not much me time these days (save for the doctor’s visits, of course). It’s something to get used to. I’m not saying it’s bad – we all know how I like to be busy - it’s just different. It’s also sometimes hard to feel like my brain isn’t all melty by the time I get to work at 11:45, after parenting for the previous six hours. Tylenol is my friend.
ETA: This next paragraph is super-random.
September ramped up other things as well – theater, dance class, PTO. I volunteered to co-chair the PR committee for Jane’s school. The variety show my theater group was going to put up in October has now been moved to December. I don’t have Jane’s Halloween costume yet (she will be a butterfly fairy princess. You heard right.) I’m off to NYC for the weekend in a couple of weeks. I miss it. I just plowed through my book club book over the past two days because we have a meeting on Friday. We read The Financial Lives of the Poets. Loved. I’m trying to exercise again – totally got off track after vacation in July. I need a pre-holiday detox, need to get healthy so I can eat all of the cookies I want come December.
How’s your October looking?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

fall, in bullet points.

Well, I am clearly having a case of the old writer’s block over here. I hate that shit. There are a few things I’d love to hash out on the blog, but it’s not really public consumption stuff. So what to say, what to say…I guess the only thing to do is approach this like I would do a writing project at work. My first step, always, is bullet points!
Today we’ll keep it light (which is what I choose to do instead of glopping on about shit I don’t want to talk about anymore) (like the $500 someone stole from my checking account at an ATM with my pin number and I won’t get it back until the bank straightens it all out OMG I NEED MY MONEY) (and how I’m PMS’ing hardcore and sad and think I’m simultaneously going through perimenopause) (not really) (but maybe) (TMI?).
With that, I give you the things I most love about early fall:
  • The fact that it’s still close to summer, so there are warm days but we (usually, not this week) get rid of the nasty humidity and extreme temps
  • My birthday, naturally.
  • Fall festival season! There is a big fall festival in my hometown that I love love love going to, most especially for the delicious apple fritters. There are none better in all of the lands. Ever.
  • The fact that hot coffee is cheaper than iced coffee (why is this?).
  • Candy corn – I think I’m the only adult who could easily eat and enjoy a whole bag of this
  • Lovely leaves
  • Halloween!! (see: my love of candy and the fact I now have a kid who I can steal candy from. No seriously. I do this.)
  • Fall television. Additional thoughts on new shows: Love Ben and Kate. Lucy Punch is gold on that show. Partners – terrible, which is extra sad because I loved Michael Urie on Ugly Betty and I wanted to love him in this. Alas. Also: did you know this is the first season of Survivor that I haven't watched since it premiered in 2000, 20+ seasons ago? The tribe has spoken, I suppose. Tonight I shall check out Elementary.
  • All things apple, pumpkin and cinnamon, in particular today the pumpkin munchkins I got from Dunkin Donuts. Yes, I will have more, please.
  • Buying new fall clothes with my birthday gift certificates/cash. I cannot wait for this.
Do you love early fall? Why?

Friday, September 21, 2012

weekend update, and other random things.

Hello, hello. Sooo happy it’s Friday. Now that Jane’s in school the weekdays are so crazy – I was out doing things Monday (dance class), Tuesday (PTO meeting), and Wednesday (theater meeting) nights, and on Thursday my old friend acid reflux decided to rear its ugly head. Gross.
I’m co-directing a fundraiser/variety show for my theater group, and a lot of this week has been about solidifying a cast. We had to reschedule the show from October to December, but I think things are in pretty decent shape, for the time being. This was supposed to be an easy project – not so much. Not so much AT ALL.
I actually liked my first PTO meeting! I’m such a nerdy joiner. I’m pretty sure I volunteered to be the public liaison for the PTO. I figure the only way I’ll know what is going on at Jane’s school is to get involved. And she’s too young to be embarrassed by me – for now, anyway.
Have you been watching any of the new shows this fall? My tally right now:
Shows I love: The New Normal (and I especially love love love Andrew Rannells, who I saw inThe Book of Mormon)
Shows I like, and will continue watching for now: The Mindy Project, Go On
Shows that get one more watch and if it doesn’t get better, DELETE: Revolution
Shows I couldn’t make it 10 minutes through: Men with Kids. Or Guys with Kids? Whatever it’s called. Sucked. So hard.
So this weekend we’re shaking it up by not being at the boat the entire time. We just got home from the back to school picnic at Jane’s school. Tomorrow night we have a 30th birthday party to go to for a friend of mine. Sunday is my birthday – and yes, I believe we’ll be at the boat. Hoping to take a trip over here. And Greg’s making me a cake. And I plan to eat an indecent amount of it.
I hope you have a magnificent weekend, all y’all!
PS My friend Bryan, who is a theater student at NYU, has started up a fancy blog (which I named). Please go check out AusterMania.

Monday, September 17, 2012

scenes from the weekend.

We spent the majority of our time this weekend at the boat. This big group picture is from the Dock 10 end of summer party - you'll see me in the middle wearing a purple sweatshirt and looking particularly hottt in an unshowered sort of way. Jane and I went to one of her peeps' birthday party, and took a little detour to check out the Farmington River for a few minutes (second picture), until a random dude approached us and I realized I had set us up to be murdered in the wilderness. Things didn't get that exciting though; he gave Jane a cool rock he found and left. But don't think I thought, "excellent, he gave us a weapon" when he handed her the stone. (I read too many murder mysteries.)