Archive for April, 2007

Apr 30 2007

new banner

Published by under daily,random

I kind of missed a new banner for april. But here’s the May banner, in honor of Ethan’s birthday.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go fill out birthday party invitations.

may crazy mokes banner

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Apr 30 2007

picky picky little man

Published by under daily,kids

The other day I spotted a Jiffy pizza dough box in the pantry and deemed it pizza night. Ethan was busy constructing the world’s largest lego snow-speeder-fire-police-blaster ship, and so I enlisted Jocelyn’s help. She helped me “paint” on the pizza sauce and was not quite so helpful putting the cheese on (more went into her mouth when she thought I wasn’t looking. Toddler sneakiness is so cute though).

It made me remember when my mom had us make our own pizzas with english muffins. Talk about easy! And there has been a dearth of home meals that have not consisted of PBJs and chicken nuggets, so I picked up the stuff next time I was at the store.

It’s amazing the progress this child has made. The child I once spanked because I was so frustrated with his inability to taste ANYTHING new, not to mention his inability to NOT provide a running commentary on how yucky everything was and how no morsel would ever pass his lips, NOT EVER, I’M NOT GIVING UP EVER.

So it started out pretty predictably. I opened a jar of sauce and gloped a spoonful on each side of an english muffin half, and told them to “paint” on the sauce.

“Can’t we toast one with butter mommy?” Ethan said,
“No, we’re having little pizzas tonight.” If ONLY that was the end, but now, he kept asking again and again until I thought I would scream. That was not the worst though,

“This looks DISGUSTING,” he would state as he spread the sauce around. I didn’t bother to answer, except to tell him if he couldn’t say something nice, not to say anything.

“I’m not going to eat it!” he informed me in a sing song voice! Again, no comment from me. Instead, I think I told them both what good “painters” they were.

By the time cheese sprinkling came around, he was having fun, and then I popped them under the broiler and they both had to turn the oven light on and off and check them and recheck them.

I set them down in front of them both, and Ethan again stated that he wasn’t eating any.

I dug out my standard line. “You just have to have 1 bite. You don’t know if you don’t like something if you never try it.”

He tried it. I turned my back on him and finished emptying the dishwasher. By the time I turned back around, the innards of his english muffin pizza was gone, with just the bones (what we call the crusts) left. I debated making him eat the bones, told him he had to eat least eat 1 of the bones to get dessert. He complied pretty easily.

I couldn’t help it. I tried, but I couldn’t help but verbally poking at him a little,

“I thought you said you wouldn’t try it?”
“I was KIDDING mommy!”

I’ll take it 🙂

This sort of scenario happens more and more often. He will talk big about something being so revolting that he wouldn’t ever put it in his mouth, but then when it comes time to eat, he will at least try it. I knew with teh pizza, he would eat it all, but even with less kid-appealing food, he will at least try it out.

It would have made me cry with happiness at one point.. but in my experience the trick to getting your kids to eat is learning to give up caring whether he eats or not.. (and careful bribery!) It’s worked. Of course, I do care a little, enough to post this post, for example.. but not enough to cry with happiness over it 🙂

If he eats, great. If not… oh well.

Is this what zen feels like?

I’m exagerating the laissez-faire attitude, because I’m pretty sure if this happened again, I think I really would cry in happiness!

3 responses so far

Apr 27 2007

On Being Pink

Published by under amy's head,daily

So, while I’ve told you I dyed my hair pink, showed you pictures, told you HOW i did it, and how many times, I haven’t really talked about why I did it, or what it’s been like since.

First, a brief History of Amy’s Hair.

Primarily, it’s red. Dyed red. Dyed as brilliantly and as vibrantly red as I can get it. This is what I think of as it’s normal state, although my natural color is kind of a paper brown bag.

I have gone through some paper bag natural brown spells.. like when I was pregnant with my kids… like the time in college when my brother bet me $50 bucks that I couldn’t NOT do anything harmful to my hair for 1 year (hahaha, i showed him. Nothing harmful, took the $50 bucks and went out and bought a bottle of red dye.) I think I had somehow convinced myself to stop dying my hair for a while a year or so ago, I think I thought it was time to give it up and just highlight a lot. I think I thought that is what the Grown Up Amy should do. So I tried it out for a while. While not bad, I tossed in the no dying towel and went red.

Then I decided to go blonde for the winter last fall. that was kind of fun. I did it in a salon each time, and they never want to do anything drastic. Something about it being “too damaging” or some other hogwash. They just highlighted it each time with a light dye on the rest each time. So it took most of the winter to actually GET it blonde.

So of course, shortly after that I decided to go for the whole pink thing.

OK. Glad we got that out of the way. Now I feel like you know the actual hair backstory. Not much mindset backstory though. I guess the easiest way to fill you in on that is to say that I’ve always felt like a haircut/dye is kind of like a jolt out of personal hygiene inertia. I’m not a girly girl. I don’t love to buy makeup and paint my nails every other day. I like to shower, run a brush through my hair and go, but I know I need to spend more time on my appearance. A haircut or dye job is kind of like a shot of excitement that I use to propel myself into WANTING to do my hair up all fancy instead of prefering to use my blowdryer to heat my eyeballs until they explode rather than dry my hair with a round brush with it.

So pink was something I always kind of thought about doing but never really thought i could or would. Having a job usually precludes that sort of hair color, you know? I used to moan to James that I should have done it back when I stayed at home with the kids with no bosses or clients to be grumpy about it. Until one day last year I mentioned the pink thing to my boss, and she was totally fine, even encouraging about it. I think her exact words were, “DO IT, OOOOH, THAT WOULD BE SO COOL!”

So the thought grew more and more, like a little seed in my brain. As my hair got blonder and blonder throughout the winter, the thought of trying out pink put down roots and lifted little leaves (sorry it’s spring, i can’t help the gardening metaphors).

When someone I know sees the pink hair for the first time, they usually freak out for a bit. Then they always ask, “Why?”

My typical response is, “I thought it’d be fun.”

But if they actually seem to be more interested in my thought process, I will get into it a bit more.. I guess it all goes back to my feeling Not Grown Up. Not just FEELING Not Grown Up, but not WANTING to feel Grown Up. It’s a way to look at myself a little differently. I may be 33. I may be a surburban working mom and wife, but now when someone sees me, they can’t just stick me in that Suburban Wife & Working Mom slot and leave it at that. I’ve forced them to look at me in a different way, and I’m also forcing myself to look at me in a new way. Which leads to my second favorite answer to the question, “Why?”

“Oh.. just to prove to myself that I’m not dead.”

I’ve stopped using that one, because I’ve only once gotten the instant recognition to what that statement means. That was from a husband at the neighborhood ladies bunco gathering. He instantly knew what I meant. He motioned his thumb in the direction of his garage as he nodded and said, “Exactly the reason I bought a motorcycle.” He knew that what I meant was it’s a way to shake things up, get out of your usual routines, get out of the habit of counting the days to the weekend, to the payday, to the summer, to the holiday, to the birthday, to whatever day until one day you wake up and you’re 90 years old and about to die and you wonder why you spent all that time counting the days, and just did something TODAY.

I’ve had the pink hair for.. I think 2 weeks now? I need to check my own archives to check! As I mentioned, I went to my neighborhood bunco gathering last week. I can say that I know at least one woman who saw my hair and loved it. I am not sure how everyone else really took it.. I think that it very likely when I left there were a few, “What was she THINKING?” comments.

I suspected this, but then last night it was confirmed. I went to a Mary Kay affair for a friend in the bunco group just starting her own business. After the Mary Kay stuff ended, I stayed a while with her and 2 others, talking about anything and everything. Just before I was about to leave, one of them started to talk to me about my hair, and it wasn’t for a few moments that I realized that she thought I totally ruined my hair. she started by telling me that her mother was a hair dresser and how she did very vibrant red colors that would look awesome on me.

I first thought she was recommending me a hair dresser that does wild colors because I obviously like wild colors.. Then I realized that she was saying that her mother could help me ‘fix’ my hair.

My hair, apparently needs “fixing”.

She talked some more, and it was actually kind of sweet, she seemed to be worried about me, and while I can’t really remember what exactly she said, it was along the gist of, really, I can just be me, I don’t have to do weird extreme things, I can just be my sweet self and be happy with that, and she’s so worried about me, and i need to make sure i’m taking care of ME and finally I realized, hey! she hates my hair! a lot!

It was actually kind of shocking to hear it all and realize she thinks pink hair is some sort of desperate grab for attention. It was also refreshing to have someone just tell me right to my face what they thought, even though it was in a round about “concerned” sort of manner. The only other experiences I’ve had with STRONGLY disapproving people have been a couple of older women strangers, and they see me, and then steadfastly refuse to make eye contact, or refuse to use more than 1 word (or 1 syllable, if they can help it) answers when I speak to them. This was when I bought some fabric at the local JoAnn’s – the lady cutting the fabric would have rather cut out her tongue and gouge out her eyeballs than have to serve me, and I took a bit of evil glee in trying to get her to say more than one word to me. (“What do you think of this fabric?” etc.)

So anyway, back to the “i’m just worried about you your so sweet and you can just be YOU and OH MY GOD i don’t think you realize you’ve totally RUINED your hair I could go get you a mirror if you don’t see it OH MY GOD YOUR HAIR IS PINK you must really be depressed about something because it’s something *I* would never do, so obviously something is wrong with you!!”

OK. I’m reading a lot into this. But I thought of a lot of things I *could* have said AFTER I left, and I still have that remorseful burning feeling when you wish you had said THAT, and THAT, and boy, THAT response would have been a real zinger, and so I’m kind of using this as my venting place.

I came home and was still kind of processing my reactions to it all and kept blurting things out to james. I think the thing that made me actually angry(ish … because i wasn’t THAT angry.. actually not really angry at all. just DEFENSIVE) was the fact that she thought it was just a bid for attention.

but it got me thinking. I mean really. Who dyes their hair hot pink who is NOT looking for attention? Did I do this becuase I’m trying to get attention for some reason?

I thought about it long and hard, and aside from the normal attention that we all want on a regular basis (I mean, hello, everyone wants SOME attention or we wouldn’t say a word all day), I don’t think this is really true. When I’m walking through Target and get the OH MY GOD LOOK OVER THERE, SHE HAS PINK HAIR looks, I find it kind of tiring, and in my head, I wish that other people would dye THEIR hair an abnormal color just so it will be more NORMAL and there won’t be the head turns. I actually find myself rationalizing the color of my hair away, thinking \ things like, “It’s not like it’s not a color found IN NATURE. Haven’t these people ever seen flowers? My hair color is perfectly normal in nature!!” Yeah. I know. I talk a lot of sense while trying to get some shopping done, don’t I? –even as I acknowledge to myself that this is kind of crazy talk, OF COURSE people are going to look at the pink-haired lady, I still maintain that I didn’t do this in a depressed grab for attention.

So why DID I do it? I’ve already stated, but here goes again.

I did it to try to define myself in a new way.

I did it so that the definition of “surburban wife and mom” can no longer be applied to me with no other factors.

I did it because I always wanted to give it a try.

I did it because I didn’t want to wake up 90 years old one day and wonder how I got there. I wanted to remember the days when I had pink hair.. and maybe it’ll give me the nerve to do it again. At 90.

And.. I did it because it’s just hair. Just like I thought it’d be fun to go blonde for the winter.. I thought it’d be fun to go pink for the spring.

It’s just hair. It fucking grows back.

You’d never catch me getting a tattoo. HELLO! PERMANENT! I’m way too fickle for that.

Plus, Ow.

It’s just hair. what’s the big deal? You can find this color IN NATURE, PEOPLE.

– amy looks and looks ’til she can’t look no more.

2 responses so far

Apr 25 2007

oh craigslist… it’s been so long..

Published by under amy's head,daily

but i’m back! you knew i would be some day. and i just spent several hours looking through the best of, browsing through the rants and raves, missed encounters is always good for a hoot, and then of course I couldn’t help looking at the for sale ads. and I just have to say.. if wanting this sofa is wrong.. I don’t ever want to be right.

1971 charles pfister settee sofa

now if you’ll excuse me.. furniture purchasing is just not in my plans right now! … so I’ll see you again in 6-12 months. I just can’t handle it when you have so many things I want.. i’m sorry to say goodbye so soon after returning to you.. but the pain is just too much to bear.


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Apr 25 2007

ethan creations #4

Published by under daily,kids,photos

In the morning, Ethan often gets up, wanders into our room and pokes us with his pookie bear. If it’s the weekend, we grunt, murmur something about it being too early, and roll over.

Ethan then will go downstairs for some quiet play time by himself. We will often come down to see all of the brilliant things he has built/ drawn/ concocted/ orchestrated:

block castle, airplane runway, airplanes, drawing

Shall we look closer?

Block castle
block castle



WITH popsicle stick glued/taped to the bottom for a handy handle! For easy turning over to see the opposite side!
(He gets that ‘i must make a face when the camera is pointed at me’ from me)


And of course, the planes waiting by the runway. And don’t forget the gasoline truck, so they can tank up. And the toys r us truck, for… you know. Toys.

toy planes next to runway

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Apr 24 2007

mommy creations

Published by under crafty,daily,kids,photos

I’m looking back on the year of blogging and quite frankly, I suck. I used to at least post some photos several times a week which maybe kind of sort of made up for the not writing regularly. So, I’m going to try to remedy that. First up is some of the craftiness that’s been going on in our house.

Freezer stenciling on t-shirts. I have photos of the process for Jocelyn’s but only the finished product of Ethan’s. I used angry chicken’s freezer stencil tutorial to make these.

Here’s the stencil for Jocelyn’s shirt.

girls rock stencil

Next, I put the freezer paper over it, shiny side down, and traced it. Then I had to cut it out. This is probably the most time consuming part. Then, I ironed it onto Jocelyn’s blank t-shirt.

freezer paper stencil on shirt

Then Jocelyn and I got to painting. (This was taken several weeks ago. You can see how I caved to kid pressure and put a little pink streak in her hair. OK, I’m lying. I caved because I totally wanted to do it! However, you’ll see later, in the photo I took this morning, how it’s pretty much disappeared now. It gave her several weeks of pure bliss. You can also see in this picture how pink haired ladies should never wear orange shirts!)



After painting, I set the shirt aside to dry. By the next morning, it was dry and I tossed it in the dryer to heat set it, and she wore it that day.

I did Jocelyn’s shirt first, because I pretty much knew what we wanted. After hers was drying, I asked Ethan what we should put on a shirt for him. He gave me a blank look. Jocelyn has a shirt that says, “My daddy loves me,” so drawing for something, ANYTHING, I suggested, “How about ‘I love my daddy?'”

He shook his head, thought a minute, and then said, “I love TRUCKS!”

“Should we put that on your shirt?”


I thought that sounded a little boring, but then I got the idea to take one of his drawings of a truck, and use that as well.

ethan truck drawing

I took the purple truck, got rid of the line/road at the bottom, and made it part of the stencil.

i love trucks freezer stencil

So here is the finished results, of both shirts, taken this morning in front of their school (notice how the pink is now gone):


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Apr 23 2007

sunday evening conversation

Published by under daily,marriage

me: *cough, hack, cough, cough* *clutch at glass of water, guzzle guzzle*

james: are you feeling all right?

me: *stare* No! I’m not all right! That’s why I’ve been saying, for the past 2 hours, every 10 minutes, “boy, i don’t feel good. damn, my head is going to explode. jeez, i feel like crap. argh, i feel downright shitty.”

james: *grins a little*

me: Hi! I’m your wife! Do you EVER listen to me?! Do you ever pay attention to anything I’m saying?! My name is Amy, by the way!

james: Are you annoyed about something?

I stare at him and then we both break up laughing.

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Apr 16 2007

Our First Soccer Game (or, I Make A Lousy Soccer Mom)

Published by under daily,kids

We started Ethan in soccer this spring. When we first told him, a month or so before it started, he was adamantly opposed. He gave no reason why, but then one day he said, “No, mommy. I’m going to be A WORKER MAN.” ‘Worker man’ is always his preferred career path when discussing what he wants to be when he grows up. Somehow, I think he believed that we were picking his career path in life by enrolling him in soccer.

We were pretty sure that when he experienced soccer, he’d get straightened out and love it. Stubborn as he is, he adamantly insisted that he WAS NOT going to like soccer, and at his first practice, even though he ran around playing the soccer games his coach devised with glee, climbed into the car at practice’ end declaring that he had NO FUN WHATSOEVER. Until his daddy said, “oh, I guess you don’t want any cake then..” and which point he made an about face. He hasn’t looked back since.

James and I wondered aloud whether they actually knew which way to kick the ball. Ethan proved to me during last Tuesday’s practice that he at least knew this much of the game. His coach divided up the team and pitted them against each other. While not too interested in getting into the swarm of kids around the ball, he showed that he at least did not want the other side to score a goal. He ran over to his own goal which was marked by 2 cones, picked one cone up, and moved it much to close to the first cone, so that scoring a goal through that narrow space would be nigh impossible (for 4 and 5 year olds at least). I had to laugh, even as I called out a reprimand and an order to replace the cones.

Saturday’s game day dawned cold, but not nearly as cold, windy or rainy as the rest of the weekend would become. James climbed out of bed to check on the game time, 10:30am, and then returned and barked that we had to get up and get ready or we’d be late. I got up and got ready while James got the kids ready, shin guards, soccer uniform, water bottles, soccer balls, and then out the door, “we’d better take Daddy’s car! It’s FASTER!” without much breakfast for me or James, as we were running late late late.

I had printed out the map of the park where all the games take place, with each of the fields designated. I knew we were on field 7. We were supposed to arrive about 15 minutes early, but instead arrived right at game time. Ethan and I scrambed out of the car to run over to his field. Already feeling like a disorganized, bad mom, I felt even worse as I arrived at the fields to see all the games under way. There were 3 little fields all in a row, and #7 was supposedly the one in the middle.

I looked and looked and did not recognize a single person. I asked Ethan if that was his coach? How about that guy over there? I felt worse and worse as I stopped and started asking parents on the side of the fields what team was playing here? How about the other side? Do you know the team number? before walking to ANOTHER one of the fields, with little son in tow to ask someone over there. Maybe it wasn’t field 7 at all. Maybe it was field 10? Where was field 10? Why did I leave teh map with James in the car? Why had I not brought my phone so I could call him to tell him to bring the map? Why did I decide to dye my hair pink, so then not only was I a bad mom who didn’t know where her son’s game was, I was a bad PINK HAIRED mom who didn’t know where her son’s game was. I was so very fed up and didn’t know what to do and was feeling lower and lower by the second. When James and Jocelyn showed up, I was done asking people questions, and kept nudging James, “Go ask, go ask, go ask.”

I felt awful as I had to try to cushion Ethan for the worst, “Your game might be over, honey.”


Why? Because your mother is an idiot, that’s why. I had no good answer.

James was positive that it WAS field #7. I sadly noticed that the game seemed to be ending. “What time IS it?” I asked James. “10:40,” he replied. 10 minutes past Ethan’s game time, and it was over already?

I walked up to yet another parent, and went through the usual questions, “What team was playing? Do you know what the opposing team was?” The dad shifted uncomfortably, but not from the irresponsible pink haired mother interrogating him, but because he had no idea. He turned and called his wife, who evidently kept all the information, but was too far away/busy talking to someone else to hear. He turned back and said a little apologetically, “The game ran a little late, I don’t think the ref was really paying any attention to the time. We started late too.”

“When was your game time?” I asked, yet another question from the pink haired irresponsible mom.

“It was supposed to be 9am.”



These games were supposed to last a half hour. Nine am?

“9am? What time is it now?” I asked. He looked at his watch. Finally, a question he could answer and didn’t need to find out from his wife!”


I turned to James who had ambled up to us sometime during the discourse, and he frowned and looked at his watch. My first thought was, ‘James has an atomic watch, it can’t be wrong.’

But it was wrong.

He had hit some button in the night and set it to the wrong time zone.


Then came the laughter with the guy, “Oh, we are here a whole HOUR early! Thanks for your time,” etc. etc.

After the flood of initial relief, came the ANGER. I knew it wasn’t James’ fault. Hell, I was partly to blame. I have so many clocks that one can see the time from pretty much any position in the entire house, and yet I never noticed the hour. I wasn’t angry about the slowly freezing to death over the next half hour, I was angry about feeling like such a bad, irresponsible mom. Every time I walked up to someone to ask questions, I felt so horrible about myself for not having it all together. I reflected on the repeated feeling of inadequacy as I sat on the cold grass which slowly froze my ass off, and damn if I wasn’t pissed off, baby!

So my own self-loathing aside, Ethan’s first game was fantastic. The game itself did a lot for making me forget about being pissy. It was so cute and amusing and wonderful to see all those little kids running around, like a swarm of bees following around a little mobile flower, with a few bees not really caring about the flower and just running around for the hell of it. My son? One of the bees running around for the hell of it.

Right before the game started, Ethan actually spread his legs out wide to make what I instantly recognized as a tunnel. My son wanted the ball to go through his little self-made tunnel. I had to call out, “Ethan! No tunnel!” and then he hopped his legs together amiably. He was not overly concerned about the ball, or trying to get it through the goal, and I would have to think very hard on whether or not he actually made contact with the ball at all. …. No, I take it back. I am pretty sure he did. But for the most part, he had a blast just being out there and running around.

He played in the first half, and sat out the second half. He spent the first few minutes trying to convince me that we didn’t have to stay until the end, but could leave and go play on the playground. I finally had to put a stop to that by saying if he asked again, we wouldn’t go to the playground after the game at ALL, and then he shaped up.

We had fun hollering, “GO LIGHTNING!” (our team’s name, which Ethan suggested on their first practice) and nobody noticed when we lost, I think the score was 5-3.

We played on the playground, and then went out to lunch (James and I had had no breakfast, if you remember), but it wasn’t until I sank into a steaming hot bathtub after we got home and got the kids settled in for naptim, that I finally warmed up my cold frozen bones.

Before I finish this post, I have to say that Jocelyn cannot wait until she is old enough for soccer. At Ethan’s first practice, the coach called out, “Everyone line up!” and Jocelyn ran and lined up, ready to play. She can’t understand why SHE doesn’t get to play TOO! She’ll be old enough to play in the fall, and then we’ll get our superstar playing. Between the two of them, she is the one that is much more into it. For her age and motor skills, what she can do with a ball is pretty amazing. She’s the one who always wants to play soccer when we go outside to play. Ethan would much rather get out his trucks and dig in the flower beds. When James and I watch her, we both agree that she seems to be a natural athlete (biased much? probably). I can’t wait until I don’t have to stop her from running out onto the field to play too.

-amy doesn’t know about this soccer-mom gig

4 responses so far

Apr 15 2007

happy birthday James!

Published by under daily,marriage

My honey turned 34 on Saturday, and while we had a kick ass costco chocolate cake (not those birthday/party half sheet cakes, but the round, layer, ‘you’ll die from chocolate overdose’ cakes) it really wasn’t the greatest. Why? Well, because he got strep. Sucks, huh? He claimed to want a ‘do-over’ for his birthday, and I could relate, as my birthday was stuck in working overtime hell.

I hope the upcoming year is better than the actual day was, sweetheart. Happy birthday!

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Apr 11 2007

can i get a WHOOOT?!

Published by under amy's head,daily,project skinny

Jenny Craig visit this morning.

I have officially hit my -10 lbs mark.


Counseler-lady said I should do something to celebrate.

I must admit that chocolate cake popped into my head. Mmmm chocolate cake, how I would love to take you home and lick you all over…. mmmm… mmmmm..

Then she said it should be non-food related.

DAMN! She’s ON TO ME! The food-porn thoughts fled. Damnit.

What do you do to reward yourself? And if it’s with food, just keep it to yourself, would ya? She suggested a trashy gossip magazine. And I must admit that when I was recently standing in a checkout line, I was curious about those Brad and Angelina headlines, as well as the Tom and Katie headlines. Has Katie finally come to her senses? I have no idea. This trashy mag idea may have some merit. I usually could care less, but I must admit, the thought that Katie and Tom are separated is a pleasant one.

In other news, the cafe in the main level of my office building, the cafe I stop in sometimes 3 times a day to fill up on diet coke, the cafe in which I am on first name basis with the owners… THEIR SODA MACHINE IS DOWN! As I walked in (to fill up the Wendy’s super-big cup that I got after my JC visit), one of the owners spotted me and came over to break the sad news, quick to give me the updates on when exactly Coke is supposed to come out and fix it. So we’ll see.

A little tip from me to you. Diet coke with just a bit of root beer on top – deliciouso!

How will I live?

-amy is fueled by caffeine.

9 responses so far

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