The Kindness of Internet Strangers

When we last checked in on Ezra's beloved Hobbes, he was not doing so great. SHOCKINGLY, his condition has not improved over time. He is worn and threadbare, his body covered in holes and his painted eyeballs faded into plain white plastic cataracts. Considering he's like, a 25-cent toy from a Dave & Buster's claw machine that Ezra takes everywhere, it's probably a miracle he's held on for this long. But still, I asked if anyone knew where I could procure a replacement Hobbes-like tiger. Well look what just showed up, right in time to go trick-or-treating tonight with Calvinz and his red wagon: Everybody say hi to Hobbes II! Thank you so so SO MUCH to reader Michelle for kindly and generously donating her time and mad sewing skills to make this adorable Hobbes for Ezra. (WHO IS SO THRILLED TWO HOBBES THAT'S TWICE AS MANY HOBBES GUYS!) He carefully packed him in his backpack last night for today's school parade, then snuck back downstairs to retrieve him because "Hobbes I is having trouble sleeping without his buddy." (Also last night: "Hobbes I is staying home tomorrow because he says he's too old for parades.") (Also this morning: I... Read more →


The Dorks Awaken

At some point after Ike was born, I took a pretty big step back from the "blogosphere community." It was partly deliberate (newsflash: some people be crazy, or at least crazy exhausting, also I hate Twitter with the fire of All Of The Suns). But mostly I just didn't have the emotional or practical bandwidth for a ton of long-distance virtual friendships or conference hopping, and all the online gossip/cliquish-ness that occasionally plagues both. Too many kids and freelance gigs and loads of laundry to worry about imaginary Internet reputation points any more. So while once upon a time, 99% of my friends were people I'd met via some Internet-related connection, I'd say the opposite is true these days. Most of my friends never heard of my blog until we've gotten to know each other and I have to awkwardly explain what it is that I "do." None of them give a shit about how many Instagram or Twitter followers I have/had, and as a result of this shift I like to think I do a better job of reaching out in person these days (rather than just posting shit on the blog/social media and letting life events dribble out... Read more →


There Is a Tire at the End of This Post

So a small handful of people expressed concerns (or rather hopes, dreams) that this blog was the source of the Stress That Is Eating Amy's Skin Alive, and that I was perhaps vagueblogging about its imminent demise/shutdown. To which I say: Sorry, Internet. You're still not getting rid of this ol' dinosaur just yet. I mean, honestly, you guys are pretty great. You are funny and kind and also I SUPER APPRECIATE how understanding and engaged you've been with the recent uptick in sponsored posts. (Which wasn't exactly planned for, and I doubt will continue much longer; it's more a result of typical feast/famine on that sort of thing.) I will continue to post here as much as a can and to also do my best to make the sponsored stuff as amusing as possible, or at least seem like something I would write about regardless. (Speaking of: Attention winemakers of the world. I have upcoming sponsored posting spots available on my editorial calendar. Please to send me some alcohol.) (Ha ha ha "editorial calendar." Like this shitshow is that organized.) If anything, I still want to follow-through on that whole "posting/writing more" thing, even without the ads/sponsorships/whatever. Those sure... Read more →


Back! Back! The Blog is Back!

Is...this working? I think it's working. Poor little blog. Are you okay? So. Hi! Sorry about that. Starting last Friday, Typepad (my blogging service and host) was hit with a seemingly endless string of DDoS attacks that wiped out...well, everything. All Typepad blogs went poof, nothing would load and nobody could post. Typepad would get one part of the service back up and then another attack would come and knock it all back down again. Domain-mapped blogs like mine (amalah.com instead of amalah.typepad.com) were basically the last thing to get back online last night. In hindsight, I should have been much better and "out there" on all the other social media thingamaccounts, letting people know what was happening (I think some folks thought I'd been hacked or domain-ganked or maybe just bahbleeted the whole thing in an epic, mysterious flounce), but the truth is I just kept assuming everything would be fixed ANY MINUTE THERE. I'll just give them a couple more hours! I'll check back tomorrow morning! I didn't really have anything all that great to blog about today anyway! Man, The Simpsons Tapped Out Easter update sure is addictive, right? Tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap... Read more →


Monkey v. 3.0

Two things! First, this happened: I decided Ike's Doc Brown costume might be a little too high maintenance to send into preschool ("Dear Teachers, Please put band-aids on his forehead and use the attached teasing comb on his hair. I would like to see at least three inches of volume in all directions."), so this morning I raided the hand-me-down costume box and dug out our trusty Old Navy Monkey suit. Despite Serious Ike's Serious Face, he actually really likes the costume and refused to take it off once we got home — I believe his expression in these pictures is directed more at the whole "Halloween Parade" business, which was little more than a cluster of costumed toddlers being led around the parking lot by a rope, while three times as many adults shuffled behind them with cameras and phones and a lot of overzealous waving. For the record, no, the "is that a banana in your pocket" joke does NOT ever get old. Okay, maybe a little. For compare/contrast purposes, here's Noah the Old Navy Monkey and Ezra the Old Navy Monkey. Funny how Noah is the only kid I could ever document SMILING in the monkey suit,... Read more →


AB Chao Design Camp DC: Hoarding, Crying & Other Assorted Awesomeness

So remind me to tell you about the time AB Chao bought me a shot of bourbon and drunk-dialed Heather Armstrong. And then promptly shoved the phone at my drunken ass while I shrieked in panic. I JUST WANTED A PICTURE. YOU CAN'T DISAPPOINT A PICTURE. Later, I burst into drunken tears at the table while explaining to all the other lovely DC Design Camp attendees how AB and I know each other because you guys. You guyyyyyyssss. This. This right here. This lady and you people and the Internet and blogging and the ENTIRE PATH OF MY LIFE, plus also the universe and everything. Yes. I am very fun at parties. Always bring a towel, mostly because I will definitely spill something. (Yesterday it was coffee. I got up mid-session to refill my coffee and unscrewed the lid on an apparently still very full to-go container and coffee just fucking erupted out of the thing, all over me and the floor and like, inside drawers and cabinets and shit. And once again, I stood there doing little else besides PANICKED SHRIEKING because I have no coping skills.) LAY OFF ME I'M TRYING. My point is that I had a... Read more →


Every Which Way But Good

I. The Genetics of Crud-Covered Scrunchface Me, circa the days when metal cabinets with sharp rusty edges ruled the earth. Ike, circa last week. It's awesome how they only look like me when they're acting like goofball weirdos. Awesome and telling. II. No, But Seriously, He's Huge Now And all day long he's like "Shhzz? Go? Shhzz? Go?" which roughly translates to "Put my shoes on, woman, and let's bust this joint." One of these doors has to take me outside. Or at least protect somethng dangerous and perfectly sized for my mouth. III. Call Me Maybe Hello? OMG YOU GOT TICKETS TO THE WIGGLES NO FREAKING WAY. I'll be right there. Just gotta find my shhzz. I posted that last photo to Instagram, and the comments immediately all focused on Ike's spiffy little underroos, which is actually a gDiaper, which I actually bartered in exchange for writing a post for the gDiapers blog. (Which I still have to, you know, actually do. Coming soon! Hold please!) Yes, I requested and received payment for writing in the form of cloth diapers and was thrilled out of my goddamned mind over the arrangement. Mommyblogging! What a country! Get a real job,... Read more →


While You Were Sparkling

So I was going to write about Sparklecorn today and how it all went down. Picture nine straight hours of rolling anxiety attacks...several honest-to-God crying jags alongside the ladies of the CheeseburgHer party... the prospect of partying in the equivalent of a flourescent-lit produce aisle at Wal-Mart...begging for decorating help via text, email, Twitter, a bullhorn on Times Square...a cake that got stuck in traffic...missing keys to electrical boxes...getting personally singled out and screamed at by the first irate party guest who walked in the door (because we started late) and crying again because oh my God I'm all sore muscles and exposed nerve endings, stop yelling at me, YOU KNOW THE USUAL. But then I looked at the first batch of photos and all that bullshit up and fell right out of my brain. I can barely remember a minute of it now. You guys are just that pretty, I guess. *** This bullshit, on the other hand: I don't know what this child ate while we were away, but look at him. Standing there, reorganizing the spice rack. On his LEGS. BOY LEGS. With kneecaps and shit, instead of gnocchi-chub-pillows. He's walking everywhere now, officially, picking up more... Read more →


My Winning Formula: Talk Ramble Talkyspeak Unrelated Baby Picture

Man. Did I really only post two times this week? Did I really have that little say about the ENDLESSLY FASCINATING SUBJECT that is myself? Damn, I am losing my narcissistic grip, or something. It's the week before BlogHer (and even more importantly, one week before SPARKLECORN 2012 OH HELL YEAH), and I'm doing my yearly routine of running around like a newly headless chicken trying to get everything done. It's REALLY HARD to get everything done when you have no head, guys. I really don't recommend it. I have so much to do! So many feelings about things that I feel! Like: My Other Job is consuming my life, but in a good way. (And I'm not trying to be all secretive about it, for the record. I mean, find me on LinkedIn and it's all right there. It's more that it would probably bore y'all to tears, unless maybe you're in the IT field and super geeked about Azure and SharePoint development and hybrid cloud scenarios. Not that there's anything wrong with being geeked about those things. Those things are awesome, frankly. Fuck yeah hybrid cloud! Somebody start me a Tumblr!) So it's weird to suddenly ditch all... Read more →


On Getting 611 Comments On The Huffington Post

A few weeks ago, the lovely and talented Lisa Belkin asked if she could republish my "20 Things Nobody Told Me About Little Boys" entry on The Huffington Post. I said sure! And damn! I probably should have spent more than 20 minutes on it. Another 10 minutes and I could have come up with at least 10 more Things Related To Pee, surely. Anyway. I said yes and then promptly forgot all about it. Occasionally I'd remember and go look for it, and eventually assumed it had perhaps appeared briefly and been met with a deafening army of crickets, then promptly pushed back into the morass of the HuffPo archives by the approximately 14 million things that get published there on a daily basis. Not so much. It actually didn't go live until Monday, and Lisa was kind enough to make sure it was treated nicely and highly visible. BOOM! I checked in on my little listicle right after it went live and had a weird reaction of being completely embarrassed, like OMG DON'T LOOK AT IT, NOBODY LOOK AT IT. OR ME. I closed the browser window and basically hid from my own damn blog post all week.... Read more →