Category Archives: nostalgia

Feeling all nostalgic about Christmas traditions

crying santa

I was really not feeling this Santa.

In addition to being super grateful that I am not spending this year recovering from major surgery (I can walk around! And go places! And do things!), I’m feeling super nostalgic for all the Christmas Eve rituals that mom and dad and I used to participate in.

Santa photos took place from the time I was a(n ugly—according to mom) baby until I was 12 at the Frederick & Nelson downtown (Nordstrom now occupies that building. It’s a really beautiful building!), sometimes in outfits my mom made herself. When I was 10, I wanted to wear jeans instead of the skirt that went with the satin blouse mom made. I remember her being really upset about this, but I wouldn’t budge.  My favorite thing about the Santa pics was that it meant we were going to the F&N café for lunch, which involved Frango CAKE afterwards. That, and the awesome windows that you could place your hands on to control the trains (Macy’s STILL has these!).

Christmas Eve always involved cookie making in the morning (sugar cookies cut into Christmas shapes; butter spritz, jam-filled thumbprints) and wrapping the last of the gifts to place under the tree. And this was ALWAYS done to the same three holiday albums: Elvis Presley’s Blue Christmas and just his plain Christmas Album, and of course, Christmas with the Chipmunks—ALLLLVVVVINNNN!

We listened to them so much that whenever I hear a song from one of the Elvis albums, my brain immediately expects the next one on the album to come up and gets totally confused when it doesn’t.

 Christmas Eve also involved food, and lots of it. Traditionally baked ham, but without any of that pineapple slice bullshit; mashed potatoes; the ever-present 70s green bean casserole, white dinner rolls, and fruit salad (canned fruit salad mixed with COOL WHIP, fresh bananas added). Plus, pre-dinner snacks—lots and lots and lots of them. Continue reading


Why theme parks are wonderful and awful

My name is Amie. I am 41 years old, I don’t have kids, and I still LOVE to go to theme parks.

My grandparents used to live in Southern CA, and I visited them pretty much every other summer, so that meant I got a trip up to the magical happiest place on earth almost every time I went to see them. And also Universal Studios, SeaWorld (which makes me too sad now), and Knott’s Berry Farm.

Because of this, going to theme parks as an adult makes sense to me. They are wonderful! But they can be really awful too—depending on a variety of things, and the type of people who happen to be there when you are. I happened to be there recently, and loved-hated it, like usual.

 The awful
Sometimes, people are dicks. People are especially dicks when it’s 90+ degrees, because Disneyland doesn’t have much shade, and they don’t have those awesome misting cool down stations like Universal Studios has. And people are even bigger dicks when they want their kids to get on rides before adults, and complain loudly about it when they’re behind you in line.

I get it—you’re spending upwards of $80 per kid, per day, per park. That would make ANYONE crabby, not to mention the $200 you shelled out to dress your daughter up like a princess, $100 for food and drink, another couple $100 for toys, souvenirs, hats, etc. It costs a lot of fucking money to go to Disneyland, and I appreciate that you’re stressed about it, and then get pissed when your kid doesn’t want to wait in a 2-hour line to sail through the wondrous world of Peter Pan. But hey! I’m here to enjoy it too. I really am. I’m not here just to jam up your day, man. Continue reading


So this one time, on an airplane, I met Morris Day

(Unfortunately the only photo evidence I have of this encounter died with the harddrive it was on years ago, as it was pre-smartphone technology.) 

It is 9:30 in the morning and I’m on an Alaska Air flight from San Diego to Seattle with my aunt. Shortly after we take off, I notice that one of the flight attendants is bringing First Class goods back into the regular cabin. (My aunt and I are sitting in the third row back.) After the third total giggle fit, I look up and notice her smiling and flirting with a group of gentlemen—one of which looks insanely familiar. The flight attendant asks if they need drinks, and I hear the familiar-looking guy say, “Do you have any Courvoisier, sweetheart?” (I SWEAR TO YOU I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP). And that’s when I realize it. Holycrap. Is that? I think it is. THAT! Is! Morris! Day!

I turn to my aunt to whisper this exciting news, but of course, she doesn’t know who the hell I’m talking about it. Trying to keep it cool, so under my breath I’m like, “Morris Day! And the Time! You know, The Time? Jungle Love? The Oak Tree?? THE BIRD???  The motherfucking TIME. How do you not know this?” Continue reading


Remembering my first real kiss.

In my memory, I look WAY cooler. But this is what 13-year-old me had goin’ on.

I was 13, and I was wearing his Huey Lewis the News tee, cropped jeans, white Keds, and a red bandana tied around my neck. We drove around in his car for a while, Berlin’s Pleasure Victim cranked on the stereo. (Despite the obvious sexuality of the “Sex…I’m A” lyrics, nothing about this night was about sex. It was about romance.)

He stopped the car, we got out to look at the stars — and in one, magical movement, he swept me off my feet, sat me on top of the hood, and leaned in to kiss me. It seemed like it lasted forever. It was a perfect movie moment with someone special, and one of the last (and only) times I’d be with a boy who didn’t immediately push me for more.

Just a kiss. A really beautiful, unforgettable kiss.

If I knew where he was now, I’d thank him for that.

Thank you, Terry. For one of the only nice teenage memories I have. Thank you.    


ON feeling cool, aka: Why I hated school, always

So The Guild posted a hilarious video this week, “I’m the One Who’s Cool” and a million nerdy voices cried out “OMG YES” in unison. And I was one of them. The great thing about the song and video is that it can be applied to almost any bullying situation, because it truly captures the horror of being a teenage outcast.

It’s always funny to me when people refer to High School as “the best time of their lives”, because I so don’t feel that way. Actually, since I was tormented for pretty much my entire school career, I kinda hate all of it: grade school, junior high (THE WORST), and high school.

It all started in Kindergarten, when the other “Aimee” insisted that she was superior to me because her name was spelled better. Also, she had her grandmother craft the most amazing Wonder Woman costume for Halloween EVER because she knew it was my favorite show, and she told me straight up that I could never be a good WW because I had stupid blonde hair and she had the perfect length of shiny black hair. Even when I won the part of Juliet in our class play over her (I went to an “alternative” KG, which would take an entre other blog post to explain), she said that plays were stupid and she didn’t want to be in it anyway. Then she threw her Kool-Aid in my face.

I moved around to a few different primary schools, and at the first one I was involved in an advanced reading class, which I LOVED, and which the other kids so did not. Branded a “stupid brain” for actually wanting to go and read stuff, my books were frequently knocked off my desk, I received notes calling me all kinds of names, and during one specific incident wherein I raised my hand to remind the teacher that it was time for the advanced reading group to leave, I got pushed in the hallway and bombarded by spit balls at lunch. Continue reading


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