Amy and Jamie Take California

I want to share with you all a story of a magical week which was surrounded by glorious events that still make me jealous I can’t go back in time and live it again. There is adventure, travel, donuts, rum and peacocks…what more could you want?

Let me give you a little background on me and my friend, Jamie. We went to high school together and were friends, but never hung out outside of school much. I lost touch with her after graduation as I did a lot of people when I moved to California. I moved back after a year and a half though. Skip ahead to the night of my 21st birthday back in NY. I was of course two hours late and already delightfully drunk. I pulled up with my boyfriend in his jeep and I looked to my right and saw Jamie. I looked like a crazed mime, pounding on the window of the car freaking out in shock. Amy and Jamie were reunited, and I had to make a drunken confession to her: Jamie was my girl crush. We recalled stories from high school and admitted we were indeed girlfriend soul mates. It was pretty special. Our boyfriends didn’t seem to mind. She remains in my phone as ‘Jamie My Girlfriend’. Well, that’s a lie. On her birthday a couple years ago I changed it to ‘Jamie My Girlfriend The Birthday Girl’ and never changed it back. So congratulations Jamie, it is your birthday every day in my phone.

Onto our adventure: We planned a last minute trip to California for about a week. I got to Los Angeles a couple days before Jamie. I went to pick up the rental car and did my usual: You book the cheapest car, but you search for anything possible that could be wrong with it after leaving the lot. If anything doesn’t work or even is just slightly inconvenient for you, take it back about an hour later. Complain saying you will never use their company again and boom: free upgrade. Or you can just flirt with the guy at the desk, either way works. So anyways, I picked her up at LAX with my brand new Mustang and we were ready for the week. By the way, one of the first things she saw in California was a “men working in trees” sign. Seeing such a ridiculous road work sign is in itself a sign; a sign of very ridiculous things to come.

We were heading down to San Diego to stay with my aunt for the majority of the trip and then we would head back up to LA for the last couple days to catch a show at The Groundlings before heading home. Before heading to San Diego, we decided to take a drive through Malibu and just enjoy the day. We drove up into the mountains on some roads with some amazing views. A little too amazing, seeing as how I almost drove us off of a cliff one or six times. After almost killing Jamie I figured I should pay her back by taking her to lunch. Its common courtesy; when you almost cause death, you buy lunch. So we went to this great Mexican place at the end of Santa Monica pier. They were shooting a commercial at the pier which we kept walking through accidentally. They didn’t seem to appreciate it. Jamie and I apparently cannot take direction from anyone. A deaf / blind 3 year old would have understood better than we did. They seemed to just give up on us after a while and allowed us to walk through eventually. So if you see a commercial at the Santa Monica pier and two confused girls wandering around aimlessly in the background; yes I will be signing autographs. As we ate, the birds decided to begin kamikaze bombing Jamie as she attempted eating. She hovered over her food holding her knife like a serial killer looking like a paranoid crack head who had just sat down to her first meal in 8 years. She was not about to let one of those birds get at her Chimichanga. We escaped from dinner with no food having been eaten by the birds, and no birds having been slain by Jamie. I would say it was a success. Then we headed to San Diego, where somehow within 20 minutes of getting there I already had 2 parking tickets. San Diego must have little parking ticket nymphs that float around ruining people’s day. Either that or I just have a severe lack of an ability to read street signs. My money is on the nymphs.

Over the next few days we laid in the sun, we drank, we ate, we drank, we napped, we swam…we drank. One of the nights after some drinks was where we discovered Jamie’s Russian Rodney Dangerfield impression which I will hereon refer to as R.R.D. After a few too many cocktails I decided I would enjoy some outdoor play time, being the 5 year old that I am. I found a short brick wall in the yard where I would walk across like a balance beam which took some insanely intense concentration. I started to get cocky here and there and try little tricks like I was one of those crazy talented Chinese midget gymnasts. But I was quickly reminded that I am instead, just a crazy clumsy Italian average height idiot. Jamie was sitting in a tent outside in the yard and after each round on the beam I would walk back to the tent to peak in on her. She would be eagerly awaiting my return and every time I looked in the tent she seemed more and more excited to see me. We were both obviously having a blast with this little ritual because it went on for a good 30 minutes I would say. (It’s the little things) And then it happened; In her newly discovered R.R.D voice Jamie said “wool”. Yes, wool. I do not know why she said it, where it came from, or where she intended on going with it, but she just said it. And she said it just like a Russian Rodney Dangerfield would. I can’t explain how much I love to this day that I got to hear what Rodney Dangerfield would sound like if he came from Russia and was a sheep shearer.

The next day we went out for groceries for a bon fire we were going to have that night and we wanted to find donuts, headlights to be specific. Apparently they did not exist in San Diego though. We looked forever and it became one of those battles that is no longer even about the task at hand. I don’t know that we even wanted the donuts anymore; we just couldn’t let the donut gods win. But after two hours we had succumbed to defeat. We got a variety box of donuts and headed back for the fire. That nights’ honorable mention goes to Jamie yelling at our neighboring fire pit friends because they had used our donuts to put them on the end of sticks and put them in the fire. Who does that? She let them have it, and rightfully so. They’re not marsh mellows people, get your snack foods straight.

(Parking ticket update: 1 more, totaling 3 so far. Damn parking ticket nymphs)

The next day we headed to the zoo. There is always a peacock wandering around the zoo and I always try to pet him, but he is tricky! Also, I’m about as graceful as Shaquille O Neal would be attempting Swan Lake in figure skates so it never goes well. Aside from the visual of me chasing a peacock around the zoo knocking shit over the whole time; add in the audio of me yelling, “Jamie! I’m gonna get him! I almost got him! Jamie! Look! I almost got him! Jamie! Loooooook!” You would have thought I was that 5 year old kid with ADHD trying to get my mom’s attention and that Jamie was the neglective mom who was off somewhere smoking cigarettes flirting with the zoo maintenance guy. Needless to say, it was a great day and we took a ton of pictures. Now that I think of it I still haven’t sent her the pictures she asked for from that day. (Keep in mind this trip happened roughly 2 years ago. My bad Jamie. I promise I will send them…soonish.)

After an excellent few days in San Diego it was time to head back up to LA. The hotel was amazing that we were staying at. It was a huge room, a couple of TV’s, big kitchen, mini bar; it was great. We did some power drinking as we were running late, called a cab and headed to the show at The Groundlings. The show was amazing as it always is there. (Now that I’m a student there I will suck up a bit) After it was over we decided we were close enough to the hotel to walk. We were not. Well, maybe we were, but we got so lost who knows where we were. We made the logical decision to find a liquor store before we go any further and buy a bottle of rum. (Rule to live by: When lost and in despair, locate nearest liquor store and the world will once again be ok) So we brown bagged it until we finally called a cab. The cab asked where to and when we told him he laughed at us and literally drove us around the corner and we were there. See, rum will always lead you home. Jamie tipped the cabbie which infuriated me that she would tip for such a short ride. Sorry for yelling, Jamie, I have some rage issues when it comes to tipping cab drivers apparently.

(Parking ticket update: I lost count after 3.)

The next morning I woke up to the sound of the blow dryer coming from the bathroom. Jamie was in the process of trying to dry off her phone which she had dropped in the toilet. It was a sad morning. She had killed her phone, and we were packing up to leave this beautiful hotel room and also leave California. We spent the day around LA and then headed to the airport for a red eye. We were exhausted from a crazy trip and just wanted to get on that plane and sleep. But of course, we had one last obstacle. This obstacle happened to come in the form of a giant Mexican lady who was in one of our seats on the plane. She spoke no English (or so she said…I’m on to you!) and when I told her it was my seat she just kept shaking her head saying “Nooooo”, acting confused. Finally a flight attendant came over after my attempt at translation didn’t work. She didn’t seem to respond to me saying “You in my seat-o. Move before I have you kicked off the plane-o.” She reluctantly moved to her seat and Jamie and I took the window and middle seats. I took the middle one; I had pissed off the old Mexican mule so I might as well have to deal with sitting next to it. None the less, off we went, back to New York. (Although Jamie and I were convinced for a solid 15 minutes they were going the wrong way and we would be in Japan when we woke up.) Thankfully when we woke we were still in America. The pilots apparently knew better than we did. Weird…I know.

I can honestly say this was the best trip I have ever been on. Now, as I leave you, I will ask that you play me out with a theme song. Imagine in your heads ‘Paper Planes’ by MIA, as it was our theme song for the trip which we listened to roughly 13,006 times. (I also just really like the idea of exiting or entering things with a theme song.) Jamie was a specialist at the chorus doing the gun shots perfectly and always spitting clear across the car while doing so. So hit that beat and do the gun shots in the chorus with me while you practice your very own R.R.D.

Wool.

 

Are You There Ellen DeGeneres? It’s Me, Amy

Dear Ellen-

Let’s dive right in here. I am a huge fan. I am a comedian. I bleed for US women’s soccer. If you add all of these things together what do you get? (Said as an overly eager and slightly obnoxious cheerleader) You get me, being your official correspondent to Women’s Professional Soccer next season and also the Olympics next summer to cover the US Women’s National Soccer Team! (Feel free to do some cheer kicks and spirit fingers in excitement over this idea. I’ll give you a moment, read on once you’re done.)

Ok, welcome back. I loved that you got into this Women’s World Cup and were tweeting your support for the team. I have loved and played soccer since I was 4. I started writing and performing comedy when I was 14. Those are the only two things in my life that I can honestly say I have ever been passionate about. There is nothing I love more than putting a smile on someone’s face and making people laugh. I always debate if I should have stuck with soccer, but I know in my heart I was meant to make people laugh and bring smiles and laughter to people’s lives. Well, that, and also play with puppies. I love puppies.

So Ellen, I am going to try in every form possible to contact you. I have a writing packet I would love to get to you as well. If you would like to read on to more of my blog entries, to get a better feel for my writing and general lack of good decision making, please do. My dream is to be successful in comedy and someday work for you and learn from you. If I could start that dream by covering women’s soccer for you, I might actually explode from excitement. Literally. But don’t let that sway you from contacting me; I will risk combustion for this. I have so many ideas for different skits, interviews, and coverage that would all be funny, entertaining, and helpful to promoting the sport and the amazing female athletes we have here playing soccer. Your show would be perfect for this idea as a brief segment from time to time covering the WPS league and possibly something for your website for the Olympics next summer. WPS needs all the support it can get and I want to help in the effort. Also, once the Olympics come I suppose I could cover some of those other sports they do there as well. I tend to forget there are other sports happening there, other than soccer. But for you, I would cover anything and everything. Except maybe pole vaulting, that looks terrifying to me.

So please have your people contact my people. I’m sorry, that’s a lie. I don’t have people. If you could get me people, that would be awesome. But I won’t push it, we can talk details later. I hope you get to see this and you see something in me and in this idea.

Thanks for inspiring comedians like me every day.

-Amy

PS: Tell Portia I am super excited for the Arrested Development movie. We want the Bluth’s back!!! And also let her know she had the best chicken dance…hands down.

My First Job

My first job was at a convenience store / gas station.  I was 16 and wanted to start saving money to move to California after high school.  My interview was what you would expect from a first interview for a 16 year old.  The manager there was young and pretty hot so I flirted with him the entire time, asked no questions that related to the job itself, asked how much I would get paid, made it clear my weekends were very important to me, and said I refuse to wear a hair net while serving ice cream or making pizza.  And when I say flirting, it was 16 year old flirting, which in fact isn’t really flirting at all.  Looking back you realize all you were doing was smiling to the point that made you look crazy, saying “like” a lot, attempting your sophisticated laugh if you thought he was telling a joke, and trying to do a seductive look which gave off the impression you must have a tick.  Ok, so maybe that was just me.  But somehow I still got the job.

I would be working at the cash register, serving ice cream, and stocking the fridge occasionally.  I am not one for manual labor so I immediately figured the ice cream and the register would be my favorites.  But I soon realized as much as I hated manual labor, I hated customers even more.  When you are a 16 year old girl the last thing you want to do is be working at the cash register in a convenience store around the corner from 4 construction companies.  You knew when it was break time for them because they would all be in there buying food and doing their best to uphold their stereotype of being dirty creepers.  So I would normally ask to work the ice cream stand or stock the fridge.  Working ice cream was the best because it was fun, easy, and you could get tips.  Well technically, you couldn’t get tips.  But who was I to stop someone from dropping me a few extra dollars just because they wanted to after I tell them, “We take tips by the way.”  I was really good at it too, but some of my co workers weren’t always the best.  One guy, who I will refer to as Scruffy Tubs due to his scruffy face and voice and his obese tubby stomach, was pure entertainment to watch.  He was incapable of keeping his jeans up, he walked at a pace that would make my 87 year old grandmother tell him to hurry it up, and he was bat shit crazy.  So when he was working ice cream a typical customer scenario would normally play out like this.  He would greet them by saying “Hi what do you want?” while leaning over the counter with his crack severely hanging out and take their order.  This order was normally needed to be repeated to Scruffy Tubs 3 times before he got it straight.  He would then turn to start making his masterpiece.  It would again take around 3 times for him to make the order correctly.  After he would screw it up he would mumble an obscenity, throw the failed effort away, pull his pants up which were now showing almost all of his ass, and start again.  Once he had successfully made the order he would give it to the customer and then the real fun began; watching him try to figure out the register.  This consisted of him smacking random buttons unsure of what they did, grunting, mumbling more obscenities, grunting some more, and then having someone come ring it up for him saying he had to go take care of something in the back.  Whoever went to ring it out was always screwed, because after ringing it out they would look around and realize it looked like a tornado hit the ice cream area.  He would somehow even make a mess of ingredients he wasn’t even using.  He could be making a medium vanilla soft serve and somehow there would be nuts, sprinkles, hard cotton candy ice cream, and marshmallow fluff everywhere.  It was actually impressive.  I miss Scruffy Tubs.

After I was working there for awhile the manager hired another younger girl who went to my school.  She was a year or two younger than me and I decided to take her under my wing.  Between the construction guys coming in and Scruffy Tubs mooning everyone in the store on a minute to minute basis, I decided as long as I liked her I would help her.  Our manager had me teach her the ice cream stand.  So I started showing her everything and as I asked her to try to do something I saw her just frozen staring into the distance like there was a train coming at her full speed ahead and she knew death was near.  I looked to the same direction and saw nothing else, but Scruffy Tubs almost full bare ass up in the air as he cleaned a spill.  Once she could get over the shock of it she made some smart ass remark and started laughing.  Ok, she definitely passes, we’re going to be friends.  Her name was Jojo which was another plus because that is one of the best names to say when you’re drunk, on a side note.  Working with her was a lot of fun and we became friends outside of work.  Our manager at first liked how we worked together thinking we were being very productive and getting a lot done and I was a good teacher for her.  In fact we were normally just hanging out in the cooler talking or “cleaning the back room”.  This was always fun because it basically meant we would just be climbing around on all the structures and unwrapping boxes of supplies which would inevitably end up in styrofoam cup wars and more of a mess then when we started.  The cooler was also fun, especially on delivery days.  Again, because it meant we got to climb around on all the crates and cases of beer.  It was like that entire store was our fort.  We were like little kids again playing in forts that we made.  Only now we were making them out of cases of beer.  Which we were also drinking from time to time.  Just like kids…drunk destructive kids who steal beer.  How I miss innocent youth.

Everyone we worked with were all characters.  It’s like the universe knew someday I would be writing comedy and just perfectly placed these people around me.  Here’s a quick rundown of the rest of the cast.  The woman who worked the overnight shift was a witch.  She practiced witchcraft with her husband, who just so happened to be a substitute teacher at my school where everyone assumed he was certifiably insane.  Her engagement ring from him was a giant teal colored fake rock looking thing that she bragged to everyone cost $23.  Next is a girl who I’m really not even sure how to begin explaining.  She was a lesbian, but talked about all of her boyfriends all the time, but said she wasn’t bi.  If you understand that please let me know and explain, thanks.  She was kind of spazzy and I just never knew what to expect with her.  My friend and I had a video project for government class in school where we had a law to do a report on.  The laws we had to show being enforced were underage drinking and stealing.  I couldn’t have chosen better ones.  I think we were supposed to do more than just show it being enforced, but our teacher loved when we would do our video projects so I am pretty sure we never actually did what was asked, but it worked out.  Whenever we had to do a project we would just get high and shoot a video roughly based around the topic she gave us and she always loved it.  So we went to my work and explained we were going to be shooting the video there and I would be a teen trying to buy alcohol and when I get turned down I would steal it.  We had the idea that I would run to the door acting like it was in slow motion as I stole the bottle of booze and Crazypants (the girl I am talking about) would chase me down and act like she tackles me and take the booze back.  Everything was running smoothly, I was doing a stellar slow motion run for the door, she was slow motion chasing me, but then she went to full speed out of nowhere, laid out horizontally in the air and straight up superman dive tackled me to the ground.  Crazypants was crazy.  So after such an ordeal, I of course took it upon myself to in fact steal the bottle after all was said and done.  I was just tackled!  I needed a drink.  Last but not least was the “mom” of the crew.  She was in fact a mom of two kids who were near my age also.  She was a teacher but wanted to pick up an extra job with her oldest going to college soon.  She was another whiz at the ice cream stand.  It would take her 5 minutes just to get the gloves on, which still wouldn’t be on by the end of the struggle anyways.  And just like Scruffy Tubs, would create a post tornado atmosphere when done.  She wore glasses which I never knew how she was able to see out of because after she was done making the ice cream she would keep the gloves on and always be touching her glasses so they were constantly fogged by blue raspberry and butter pecan.  There was nothing better than watching the two of them work together on a busy Friday night.  Jojo and I were really good working ice cream together.  We worked well together, customers liked us, and we could make a milkshake in less than 10 minutes, so that helped.  But I think everyone always wanted to see Scruffy Tubs and Pecan Glasses work together more just because of the entertainment factor.  Screw being profitable, we want to see some Scruffy Tub butt!

All in all I loved working there.  The stories I have from there are endless, so I’ll have to revisit it sometime.  Until then farewell Scruffy Tub, Pecan Glasses, Crazypants, Hot Boss, Witchcraft and Jojo.

Final Experiences in New York

Before moving to Los Angeles I was living in Syracuse, New York where I am from originally.  I have lots of great memories from there, and I’d like to share some of my last epic moments with you.

Moments With Friends:
On my last night out with my crew from Utica, NY I really out did myself.  We all did.  This is a group of people who I lived about an hour from but became very close to.  I have been friends with them for a few years now and love them all like the crazy drunken extended family of lunatics that they are.  We went to the bar we always go to, on the weeknight we always go, did shots of things we always do, danced around like the waste case white girls we always are, and stole things from people we don’t know.  Obviously, it was an excellent and very classy evening for us.  After drinking all of the alcohol Utica had to offer, I left the bar with my two girlfriends to go to an after party with three guys.  Basically as soon as we got to the house we decided we no longer had any interest in being there.  The guys were all kind of creepers.  How does that always happen?  When you’re at the bar, the guy seems totally normal and then as soon as you are away from the bar setting you realize he has an extremely high chance of being a future pedophile.  I do have a theory that may be a little crazy, but here me out.  It may, just may have to do with the alcohol.  It’s up to you if you’d like to believe this crazy theory of mine or not.  So, we started calling friends for a ride.  In the mean time it was only right that we seize the moment and cause as much destruction as possible.  It was a house of a bunch of guys in their 20’s and they had plastic fruit everywhere.  What guys have plastic fruit as décor around their house?  I couldn’t let that be so we obviously had to destroy all plastic fruit in sight.  It was like someone had just smacked open a piñata filled with plastic red grapes in that kitchen once we were done.  What is it about alcohol that just makes people destructive?  I’m normally not one to destroy though.  I’m more of your happy, dancing, fist pumping and occasionally stealing from strangers type of drunk.  So going with my usual drunken characteristics I moved onto stealing.  We were basically quarantining ourselves to the kitchen because we didn’t want to socialize with anyone.  So we did what any wasted, hungry, and bored girls would do; started stealing all of their food.  While doing this we found a camera on the counter and started taking pictures of ourselves destroying their corny decorations and stealing their food.  Yes, we are indeed the greatest criminals around.  We destroy, we steal, we give you the photographic evidence. Our ride finally got there and we left.  I consider this night an extreme success.  Not only because of the fun events that lead us through the night but also that I’m able to recall this much of the story.  I normally come up with a blank slate after approximately 12 midnight when I’m with that crew.  Thanks for a memorable last night in Utica, girls.  Cheers.


Last Moments Of A Crazy Person:
I might be alone on this one, but do you ever imagine yourself in a movie setting or a TV show where you are having what you think is a major life moment?  Like if it were happening in a movie there would be a slight breeze blowing your hair as the sun sets, and Coldplay is on in the background.  I had lots of these moments before moving.  Trying to be sentimental, you know?  See, I am emotionally stunted so when I want to have an emotionally epic moment I need to picture it as a movie.  But it never works like it does in the movie.  As I was leaving my room for the last time in my parent’s house where I had grown up; I decided it should be a movie moment.  I would take one last walk around remembering great childhood moments, look out the window and see reflections of my childhood below, walk to the door, take one last look, and then close the door perfectly in unison with the climax of the The Fray song playing in my head as I shed a single tear.  Perfect movie scene exit.  Instead; the reality was – I walked around, noticed the giant hole in the wall I had been covering with posters for years that my parents would inevitably make me pay for, looked out the window and saw a dog taking a shit by our mailbox, walked to the door, took one last look and slammed my finger in the door while closing it and screamed bloody murder before turning around and tripping over my suitcase.  I shouldn’t be allowed out in public.

I Fear I May Be A Hot Mess

I’m sleep deprived and haven’t eaten anything since yesterday afternoon when I had a glass of $4 champagne for lunch and a slice of cheese. I think now is a good time to write.

I’m not sure yet what I want to write about though. I’m recently unemployed and being unemployed has been ok so far. I am working out much more, getting outside more, it’s been nice. Also, I think being unemployed has helped my writing immensely. My sanity, I’m not so sure. The other day I laughed at my own Facebook status for a solid 5 minutes while sitting on my couch in my pajamas at 3 in the afternoon on a Thursday. And by pajamas, yes I do mean one of my soccer t shirts from when I was 9 and a pair of comfy shorts I have had for 10 years and the elastic no longer helps whatsoever in the effort to keep them above a PG 13 level on me. I think this experience has been good for me though. When you have this much time to just think and reflect you go deep within yourself and do a lot of self revision. I for one have discovered I do not like working. But I also do not like having no money. I think I just don’t like what I used to do for a living. If I was doing something I loved, that would be a different story of course. But the only two things I love are comedy and soccer. Although I am working out much more now that I have the time to, ever since I went on my champagne and cheese diet I am pretty sure I am just not in playing shape for soccer anymore. So that’s probably out. Hopefully comedy pans out. If not, I may need a new pair of comfy shorts to hang out in because these things just do not want to stay up.

My sister just called me and we got into a random series of conversations. One of which lead us to my computer illiterate family. So now I would like to take you down a little tangent with me. My sister and I are no computer geniuses, far from it. But we both have a pretty decent knowledge. When you look at my parents’ ability to understand technology it’s a wonder either of us are able to operate a window fan. They weren’t bad when we were younger. Mom and Dad seemed to have a good grasp on the home video player and the video recorder. We got a word processor when those were big, then a computer, it seemed like they were on top of it. It might just be because I was too young to see their severe illiteracy or maybe they actually were on top of their game back then. My Dad is tricky though you see. My Mom acknowledges she knows nothing about computers and is ok with it. When you put her in front of the computer she looks like she’s terrified of it. I also feel like she has watched too many 90’s sitcoms where people would hit one button and delete everything on the computer. That seems to be a fear of hers and as a result, every time she hits a button she cringes like it is about to explode. Her cell phone isn’t much better. Her voicemail message that she recorded for herself sounds like someone is holding a gun to her head forcing her to even have the thing in the first place. But at least she is not in denial. She admits it. My Dad, though gets tricky. He seems like he has a good grasp on things on the surface. But when you dig deeper you realize he is not much better off. When you get down to it he is still trying to figure out how to forward an email, but he spends hours on the computer at times. This is now, and will always be one of life’s great mysteries to me. I can’t understand what he does for hours when he in fact has no idea what he is doing on it. I’m fairly certain half the time is spent just staring at the screen trying to figure out what the glowing box is trying to say to him. I swear one day I am going to walk into the den at my parent’s house and see him pounding the computer monitor like a caveman grunting at it. I used the computer last time I was visiting home though, and man was it slow. So there is a good chance that’s just how long it takes him to post one of his responses to an article telling everyone what a jackass he thinks Rush Limbaugh is.

My Mom definitely gave me what I call “sitcom-idous”. It’s where I say things out loud that should be kept to myself, but I picture myself in a sitcom where it would be hilarious. When in fact when said in real life, will just make you look like a total jack ass. She doesn’t have that part of the syndrome, but she does have the part where she just gets herself into situations where you feel like it should be in a sitcom. Again, her technology skills playing a major role. My sister has tried convincing her that the DVR is not hard to operate, especially compared to the 1000 steps you had to go through on the old VCR’s to record and play back things which she always did just fine with. But she still won’t budge and insists she can’t do it. I think my sister finally believes her now though. They were watching Brothers and Sisters on the DVR one day when my sister had to go to the bathroom. She gave the remote to my Mom during the commercial and said you can just pause it when it comes back if I’m not back in time. Mom insisted she would screw it up, to which my sister laughed it off and said all you have to do is hit pause, you’ll be fine. When my sister came back my Mom was enthralled with the TV watching the screen intently. My sister sat down and looked up to see a black and white film of Eisenhower’s farewell speech that had aired on CSPAN 6 months ago. You really can’t make that stuff up. Of all things she could have done, she put on the most random opposite thing from what they were watching. She really out did herself. She could have just stopped it instead of pausing it, or hit fast forward by mistake, but no…she pulled out the big guns and somehow got an Eisenhower special on. Sitcom-idous at its finest my friends. My sister just asked my Mom what happened to which my Mom didn’t have much to say. She was obviously still shell shocked by the series of events which lead her to this program when her only instructions were to hit pause. We still don’t know what happened that day, but one this was clear; Mom could no longer be trusted with the DVR.

Tangent: complete. New tangent: begin.

I am beginning to get anxious to get a new place. I have already been here for 6 months. For a commit-aphobe like me that is basically a life time. I’m surprised I haven’t started breaking out in rashes yet. To start, I am 99% sure I live next to nocturnal deaf mutes who have the need to move furniture every night at 2 am. I never heard voices, just furniture sliding around and being moved all over the place. I feel like I’m one Mexican riding a forklift around away from living at an Ikea warehouse. Next, I am female and Caucasian and quite obviously the minority here. One of the only other white people I have met at my apartment has been the token drunk 50 year old woman who always smells of stale Newports and cheap whiskey and says things…wait, no yells things like “everyone wears tennis shoes!” for no apparent reason at me in the elevator. I fear if I stay here much longer that is my future. It has a community laundry room which I am always scared to go to. I have only lived one other place that had a shared laundry room. All of my other places had ones in the unit or the house. Community laundry creeps me out in general but it’s all made much worse by the eerie maintenance lady who always seems to be there, but never seems to be doing anything. She mainly stands in the corner fumbling with her keys and acting like she is getting cleaning supplies from the closet while staring at you out of the corner of her eye. Speaking of laundry mats too, you know what bugs me about a lot of movies? I don’t know where they get this stuff in movies where people meet and fall in love in a laundry mat. How many times has that happened in movies and TV? All the time! Two young, attractive, clean, sane singles meet at the laundry mat, and they flirt and talk and then end up dating and falling in love. No! That doesn’t happen. Anyone I have ever met at a community laundry facility either makes me want to shower in bleach immediately after or they scare me to the point that I avoid it all together and end up wearing my back up “last possible option” 12 year old Space Jam t-shirt when I go out because that is all I have left of clean laundry. If I ever fall in love at a laundry mat, kill me.

Well, I think that might be it for me right now. I always feel so cleansed after writing aimlessly. It’s like a spiritual experience. Or maybe it’s just me feeling light headed since I haven’t eaten since my slice of cheese yesterday. I felt very French, very European while doing it. You know Champagne and cheese on a nice Wednesday afternoon, so classy. But then I remembered it was $4.95 Champagne from Rite Aid and a Kraft single, the wrapper of which was stuck to the bottom of my thigh for most of the day which I didn’t realize. Life is good.

How It All Started

Teacher: Amy, you are talking too much. Go sit in the time out chair.

The teacher soon notices Amy has moved the little red plastic time out chair back to her friends.

Teacher: Amy, what are you doing? I told you to go sit in time out.

Amy: No, you told me to sit in the time out chair. You didn’t tell me where to sit in it.

That was kindergarten, and it was all down hill from there.

I was born in Syracuse, NY as Amy Marie Maestri. I have an older sister, Laurinda. Her name is a mix between my Aunts, Laura and Linda. So after coming up with that my parents were obviously exhausted and just said, screw it…Amy. Short and sweet. I grew up thinking I would someday be a professional soccer player. But then I realized how much I loved making people laugh. And also, it seemed like a bit of a long shot and I decided I needed something more dependable and solid. So I moved on from that dream and landed on comedian / actress. I figured that obviously I would have better chances with this because no one is trying to break into show business.

My first experience in show business was home made videos with my two best friends. We created such classic shows as Painting With Francis, Casino Night, and various news programs and commercials. It was like if SNL was made by 8 year olds who had ADD and a budget of $4 and whatever wigs and dress up clothes my mother had for us. I also wrote my first movie when I was 10. It was a “who done it” comedy that I was convinced would secure me a place in Hollywood as a celebrity. When in fact the only place it got me was after school cleaning chalkboards and erasers because I tried holding casting calls during classes.

After 14 years of torturing my teachers and parents for the sole reason of wanting to get a reaction and a laugh I decided it was time to put that skill to good use. I was watching Comedy Central and decided, yes I will do that. I started writing there and then and one week later I auditioned for the school talent show. The auditions were in a classroom in front of about 8 people. Even just doing it in that atmosphere, I was already hooked. The drama teacher told me it was refreshing to hear original material from a 14 year old and not something R rated copied from an HBO special. My reply, “That’s fuckin right.”

The night of the talent show I was nothing but excited. Everyone thought I would be nervous but I’ll be honest. I’m an attention whore so if you tell me you’re putting me in front of 300 people with a spotlight, I will definitely be excited, not nervous. I went up there and did 6 minutes of material about my big Italian family, cheerleaders, and looking forward to the day I would be able to drive. The 6 minutes felt like 6 seconds and I did not want to get off the stage. With every laugh I felt higher and higher. Once I was done they went nuts and I wanted that feeling forever.

The next day I told my parents what every parent just loves to hear. “I am going to be a famous comedian.” They knew I was good, but they also knew I fucked up a lot. So it was a 50 / 50 toss up for them but they ended up supporting me.

From there I started writing all the time. I carried a little blue note book with me that became notorious around school as “Amy’s little blue notebook”. That’s right; I went to school with a real clever bunch. Everyone would always try to sneak a peek at the note book and what I was writing but I never let anyone. Once one of my friends got it but they soon realized it was pointless. All I would write were a few little words that would remind me of what I wanted to write about that no one else ever understood. Things like “baby ski pots.” And “mouthwash roses stage”. Yeah, I was obviously either a genius or illiterate. I like to think genius but the jury is still out.

I had a birthday party at a karaoke place and everyone made me get up and do some stand up. Yes, I was my own entertainment at my birthday party. So I did about 10 minutes and immediately returned to my kick ass Genie in A Bottle rendition. After the party the owner of the joint came up and offered a full length show slot. So I refined my show, added a couple more jokes and I was ready to go. I went up there with my bright yellow YMCA kids t-shirt that I had stolen from the Thrifty Shopper and rocked that audience for 60 minutes. I could never ask for a better feeling. My drama teacher came and sat in the back in the shadows the whole time. Every time I saw her she was not laughing. I don’t know if this was planned or not but it kept me in check and also made me want to piss my pants a little.

I was at the homecoming football game was when I got some really big news. My parents came to the game and called me out of the crowd to come talk to them. I thought, ok I’m done. I don’t know what I did this time, but they came all the way here. I must have stolen something and forgotten. Turns out they had just gotten a call from the college where my sister went to school, SUNY New Paltz, telling me they got my demo and would like to invite me to be the opening, opening act for professional comedian Mark Curry. I was 16 and couldn’t believe I would be performing with “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper”.

I picked out some of my best material to fill the 5 minutes they gave me and headed down to New Paltz with my family. It was a crowd of about 700 people and I couldn’t wait. I got some good laughs during my set and sat back down after and watched the show. Afterwards I got to meet Mark and he was amazing. Tall as shit, and amazing. He gave me the advice to never stop writing, to just write, write and write. So I followed his advice.

Next was a call to go down to NYC and perform at an invite only open mic night at Stand Up New York. I was 16 years old still, and I was sitting in a bar in NYC with a bunch of comedians that had been doing this since I was trading pudding cups for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in 3rd grade. I made friends with the next youngest comedian there, who was 25. As he drank his bottle of Bud Light and I drank my sippy cup of 1% milk we talked about where we had performed. I definitely felt out of my league. The first show ran way over until around 11pm so I was left sitting in the bar area with the other comedians. I was getting a little tired of watching all these older comedians drink beer while I couldn’t. So I decided to go for the stronger stuff. “Bartender, I’m done with this kid stuff…get me a glass of whole milk.” Once our show started and I got called up by the MC I went out there and immediately found a person right up front who was really digging my act and was really vocal and into it. So I fed off of her for my set and loved every second of it. I couldn’t have asked for a better first time experience in NYC. I didn’t kill, but I didn’t bomb. They got me. They got what I was about and they liked it. I was satisfied.

I was about to turn 18 and I wanted to do another full solo performance. I sent my demo and resume to a local coffee shop / bar / café downtown and they invited me to do a show there. In the last show I had done I introduced my guitar into my act and planned on bringing it back for this show. I had a parody of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin” ready to go that I turned into a song about cheerleaders. (When I see that on paper I see how ridiculous it sounds. I would say it makes more sense once you hear the song, but that would be a lie.) I really did have a lot of material that I liked, but I seemed to have lost focus half way through writing for that show. I was signed on to do an hour and somehow neglected to notice I only prepared about 35 minutes. It was the night before my birthday and the first half of the show was great, I was killing it. I took a 10 minute intermission and retreated to my dressing room which was in fact the basement of the coffee shop where they stored all the drinks. My friend who was introducing me that night came down and asked if I was ready. I looked down at my notes realizing I only had about 5 minutes left if I was lucky. I couldn’t tell you what in the hell I talked about for that 25 minutes. I went back and forth between using old material that I would change a little on the spot, using the 5 minutes of new material I did have left, and scanning the audience to get ideas of what I could talk about based off of anything that I saw. I got through it though, I made it 30 minutes. A few friends came down and said how much they loved the show. I asked how they liked the second half and it was apparent that no one had noticed anything and they said it was great. Whew. Ok, time to party. So I did what any self respecting, about-to-turn-18 year old comedian would do and stole a 6 pack of beer from the basement and went on my way to my party.

After that show I started writing much more. But I noticed a difference in my writing and how I looked at things. I had always had an interest in sketch comedy and improv and loved performing both. But I had never taken writing seriously in anything other than stand up until that point. It was exciting to be viewing things a little differently but a little frustrating at the same time that I couldn’t seem to write stand up as frequently as I once had. But now I know it doesn’t matter what form I write things in, I just do what Mark Curry told me to do…I just write.

I moved to San Diego the winter after graduating high school with an intent on working, saving money, and eventually moving up to LA. I did not concentrate on work and saving money for LA. Who would have thought, an 18 year old, 3000 miles from home, living alone for the first time didn’t save money? When I wasn’t working I was partying on the beach and crowning myself the self proclaimed “night surfing champion of the world and most of the universe.”

I moved back to Syracuse just before turning 20. Apparently the ‘night surfing champion of the world and most of the universe’ had spent all of her money. I unfortunately lost focus at that point and was not writing or performing for awhile. I started writing again though and got that itch back. I missed writing, I missed forming ideas, and I really missed being on stage. Like I said, I’m an attention whore.

So currently, I am writing more then I ever have and taking classes in LA. I’m older, wiser, and am already the night surfing champion of most of the universe so that won’t distract me this time around.

As much as I would love to keep writing right now I’m thirsty, so I’m going to grab my sippy cup of whole milk, toss a few back, and brush up on my ‘Painting With Francis’ impression. But keep an eye out for me…I’ll be the girl holding the little red plastic time out chair going wherever the hell I want to with it.

Your Porch…Is My Porch

“Officer, my friend Mollie is still at the bar. I am 77% sure of this. If you take me there I can probably find her if you let me go back into the bar.”

This is not how I planned on spending the end of my Friday night. But hey, when buy one get one drink specials are involved you never know. The night started at my before mentioned friend, Mollie’s house. Quietly enough we had a few beers with friends before going to a bar I had never heard of before. We were supposed to be doing a bar hop about an hour away but decided we wanted to be lazy alcoholics that night, not ambitious ones, so we stayed close by. The bar was only about a mile or so down the street from her house.

From the outside it looked like someplace I would go in a dream if I wanted to hang out with Roseanne Barr and a drunken fisherman who would take me out on his boat after for some PBR and sushi he bought at a gas station. On the inside it was surprisingly not bad. There were still plenty of women resembling Roseanne in certain lights. Which obviously only meant one thing; I would have a much better chance of leaving with a guy who’s not eating $1.99 sushi and offering me PBR because they were all already taken by the various Roseannes. Little did I know, that by the end of the night the only guy I would be with would be the officer putting me in the back of his cop car. Maybe I should have just hit on him. Maybe I did. Your guess is as good as mine. It turned out it was a decent spot inside with a pool table I could lose on, a dart board I could win on, and a dance floor I could make a fool of myself on. I fully intended to take advantage.

My drink of choice at that time was Captain and Coke. My drink of choice that specific night was double Captain and Coke. Along with every other drink anyone wanted to buy me. We all headed to the back to play darts.  Perhaps one or seven shots were mixed in there somewhere as well. As we were playing darts that feeling hit me. We have all experienced it. “I wonder if I am standing straight. I am pretty sure I’m swaying wildly right now. I should try to act normal. Wow, I’m fucked up. No, no I’m not. Come on, just act normal or everyone will know I’m already drunk.” Because of course at this point no one could tell I was drunk from the fact that I had already downed enough alcohol to make David Hasselhoff say “slow down”. But of course, we all still try at this point to blend in and be normal. This is when you start leaning on things to try and stabilize yourself, laugh when other people are laughing even though you’re not even involved in the conversation, start focusing way too hard on how you’re walking to the point that everyone can see the concentration on your face, (and you still don’t walk that good) and over enunciating everything to sound not drunk. Which of course all of these things do nothing other than make you look even more drunk than before.

I can’t tell you exactly what occurred after darts. I can tell you that once I get an idea in my head there is no stopping me. Once I get an idea in my head when I have been drinking, you might as well go home; there is definitely no stopping me. I can also tell you I like wandering from time to time. I will just get something into my head that makes me think, “Yeah, I should leave and go do that.” Whatever that is…I never know.

Mollie helped fill me in a little on her side of the story. Around midnight she started asking everyone if they had seen me; no one had. She looked around and couldn’t find me, and assumed I had left. As she started to really wonder what had happened to me someone came up and asked if she was Mollie. “Who’s asking?” was her response. They responded with the unfortunate, “Your friend Amy is in the back of a cop car out front.”

Soon before that, I had apparently decided it was about that time, that time for me to leave and conquer whatever it is that needed attending to immediately. I vaguely remember concentrating on walking in a straight line. I did this by focusing on the white line on the side of the road. It wasn’t going well. You know it’s bad when even you are laughing at yourself because of what a drunk asshole you look like. But then you quickly stop laughing because you realize what a drunk asshole you look like.

After that it’s a little blurry and the next glimmer of insight I had on the night was lying down on some sort of bench. It was extremely uncomfortable and I wasn’t quite sure where I was, how I had gotten there, or why I had gotten there. This bench just so happened to be on a porch…belonging to a person…that I did not know. I had left a bar that I was having a great time at, with people I know and like hanging out with, to walk away and find a bench that wasn’t comfortable and was on someone’s porch who I didn’t know. The next thing I remember is a cop waking me up. The people who own the house found me outside sleeping. I can only imagine some of the things going through their heads. I only regret one thing about this entire night, and it is that I didn’t get to see the look on their faces when they discovered me. Let’s fast forward to once I am in the back of the car.

“Where you coming from tonight?”

“That hick bar.”

“What bar is it?”

“I don’t know, I’ve never been there before. It’s right down the street.”

“Do you even know where you are right now?”

“Touché. We may not be down the street anymore. Wait, my friend lives on Lake road, or Lake something. I know we’re by a lake…right?” I said extremely proud of myself.

“Lakeshore Road?”

“Sure, that works.”

“Are your friends still there?”

“My friend Mollie is still at the bar. I am almost 77% sure of this. If you just take me there I can probably find her if you let me go back into the bar.”

“You are not going back in the bar.”

“But I have a tab open.”

He didn’t find this amusing. We figured out where the bar was and when we got to the bar he told me to sit there and wait. So I sat and waited and looked to my right to see Mollie standing there, arms in the air laughing and shaking her head in utter confusion. I flashed my pearly whites and gave her a “Hi Mom!! Look at what I’m doing!” smile and wave from the back of the cop car.

The officer let me out of the car and told Mollie to take me home. I then told him not so fast, I still have a tab and I am not letting Roseanne mooch off of my MasterCard.  No tickets, no handcuffs, just a good old ride back to the bar from the cop. I have to assume he just didn’t feel like filling out the paper work for “dumb drunk girl sleeping on bench on stranger’s porch”. I was obviously harmless. A hot mess, but harmless.

We went back into the bar to get my tab. I was greeted by a dozen people who I didn’t know, giving me high fives and offering to buy me drinks. This excited me because that cop totally ruined my buzz. Mollie convinced me it wasn’t the best idea to stay which I agree with now, but at the time I really couldn’t understand her logic. So I got a few more hugs and high fives from fellow drunken strangers and then we were off.

We got back to Mollie’s she shared with me that she was offered a job there as a bartender, which she took. I didn’t know how to take this. I wasn’t sure if it was good news or bad news after the night I just had. And then I came to my senses and said of course its good news.

The next morning Mollie came out to the couch where I was sleeping and could do nothing but smile, laugh a little, and shake her head as she sat down next to me. I only had one thing to say with a goofy hung over smile on my face with smeared make up and bench head.

“You’re working tonight….right?”