National Kazoo Day

Today’s the big day! Happy National Kazoo Day, friends!

I made a video to honour such a prestigious and emotion-filled event. I hope you thoroughly enjoy it.

I sincerely apologize to my neighbours who had to endure all of the rigorous hours of kazoo practice. I’d say it won’t happen again, but I can’t make any promises. Still, I’m sorry.

Please check out some other National Kazoo Day videos courtesy of some friends of mine.
The Moyers (This video accurately explains the Moyer family better than I ever could)
Ricky Anderson (Thanks for letting me in on the fun, Ricky!)
Ricky Anderson (2011)

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How it all began

“So I’ve been thinking. Who doesn’t love babies? The answer is no one. Everyone loves babies. And I’m pretty good with this camera, so I thought, why not take pictures? Of babies. I know, right? It’s a good idea. But then I got to thinking more. What else do people like? Cute animals, flowers, bumblebees. That’s a universal list of things people like. They’re all such cute things. So since babies are really cute, and other things are really cute, we’ll dress the babies like other cute things. So it’s double the cute.

The babies will probably cry, but really, who cares? Continue reading

Friday Mish Mash

Normally I’d leave you with some Field Notes from my week, or some weird personality assessment. But this week, I’m a little low on notes (sometimes kids are just normal). Instead, I give you some Mish Mash (which does include a few Field Notes).

Mish Mash:

– I’ve got some exciting news to share, but I’m not leaking it quite yet. You’ll have to wait. I can tell you, however, that it involves TV Asylum.

– Yesterday was a pretty cloud day:

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– Have you listened to The Courtesy Laugh podcast? It’s FUNNY. I may be a little biased, but these four are among my favourite internet people and some of the funniest guys I know. Give it a listen.

– It’s fertilizer season, which means our whole neighbourhood smells like poo. We’ve started calling it “banure” this year.

– Speaking of Mennonites, I haven’t forgotten about your questions. I’m taking so long with those posts because it’s turning into a bit of a research project for me. I’m learning as I write.

– Last week I had the pleasure of hearing a British ginger kid say “rumply bits”.

– Have you liked my Facebook page yet?

– I taught a Character Development/Improv workshop this week. It was great fun, and just reminds me of how much I’d love to teach improv to for a living. Is that a thing? It’s probably not a thing. Let me know if it’s a thing.

– You probably already know that I despise Comic Sans font. Today I came across by far the worst use of this wretched font I have ever seen:

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– Please picture Luna Lovegood saying the following: “Miss B, TWO things. One, my pinkies are STRONG. And two, we have to use the phone clock because the regular clock is slow.”

– The Bachelorette starts on Monday. The reason that is exciting has nothing to do with the show, and everything to do with the recaps. If you watch it, or are forced to watch it, Knox’s Tuesday recaps will make it more than worth your while. TRUST ME.

– Today marks the end of Heinous Profile Picture Week. I do hope that you participated. If you missed out this year, you can jump on board next year (2nd week of May!). This was my best (worst?) of the week:

Thanks, community theater!

-My friend told me a story about a hipster trying to impress her by telling her that he had almost 8 GBs of music on his iPod

What’s the most ridiculous thing you heard someone say this week?

Kookaburra

While I was in Jackson, I somehow convinced THE Joseph Craven to take me to the zoo.

It cost us $9.00 and it took about an hour to see all of the animals. And we took our time. I was warned ahead of time that the Jackson Zoo wasn’t spectacular, but I didn’t care. I probably should have cared. It wasn’t that spectacular and most of the animals were sleeping. We avoided the snake house and saw some otters, so all in all, it was a pleasant day afternoon hour.

We did find some Kookaburras, which we both would agree were the stars of the zoo. Mainly because they weren’t sleeping. It doesn’t take much to be a star in the Jackson Zoo.

When I walked up to the cage, I immediately began singing the song (it’s only natural). I was quickly horrified to find the Kookaburra was having a little….snack. It wasn’t pleasant, but like a train wreck, we couldn’t look away. I took a short video for you to enjoy and be traumatized in the process. You’re welcome!

That gasp at 0:19? Totally and completely genuine terror. Along with snakes, I am also afraid of Kookaburras. Apparently.

Six Degrees of Separation

Someone once said that everyone in the world is six steps away from any other person on the planet. I don’t know what I think of that, but I seem to find myself knowing someone that knows someone who knows someone else. I love playing the six degrees of separation game, especially when it makes the world seem a little bit smaller.

In my city, we also call this “The Mennonite Game” but instead of figuring out if you know someone famous, you try to figure out if you are related.

Since you’re probably not Mennonite, I now present you with my six degrees of separation to several people you may have heard of, or a list of things that makes me seem cooler than I actually am.

1. My friend is second cousins with Matthew Thiessen, lead singer of Relient K.

2. My friend graduated from the same theater program as Rachel McAdams and has consequently had telephone conversations with her about acting and such.

3. I was the flower girl in the wedding of a guy whose best friend was best friends with Steven Page (formally of the Barenaked Ladies) in grades 4 through 6.

4. My sister in law’s uncle is the Simon Cowell of Argentina. He attended Michael Buble’s wedding.

5. My sister in law’s family is friends with the “Mista! Mista!” lady in Happy Gilmore..

6. My friend’s friend (who is now my friend….wink) ate Derek Webb’s macaroni and cheese while she was babysitting his kids.

7. My aunt and uncle live in Africa. That’s got to count for something, right?


That’s it. My list is short. Please help me add to it.

What makes you sound cooler than you actually are?

Vague and Mysterious

Urban Dictionary defines Vaguebooking as the following:

1. An intentionally vague Facebook status update, that prompts friends to ask what’s going on, or is possibly a cry for help.
2. An intentionally vague Facebook status update, that prompts friends to “Hide” future updates by the perpetrator.
3. Intentional or unintentional vague or ambiguous facebook status message, which people have no clue as to what the heck you are talking about. Also included is posting fragmented song lyrics without stating the artist.

You know the status updates I’m talking about. Everyone has at least one friend on their list that is a professional Vaguebooker. You sign on, and your home page is riddled with some variation of the following:

Wondering if it was all worth it…
That was probably a mistake.
I wonder if he knows?
Ooh I want you I don’t know if I need you but I’d die to find out*
Can’t believe this is happening!
Life sucks!
This too shall pass.

It’s likely that friend who spends way too much time on the interwebs and feels it necessary to post things about themselves in hopes of getting an affirming response. Maybe it’s an attempt to be mysterious. Maybe it’s an attempt to be clever. I don’t know what your intention is because you are being VAGUE. Vaguebooking is like vanity license plates for your car. You understand your angle, thinking that other people will too, but they won’t. And they probably don’t care. You just wasted your money on something vague.

I have a confession, internets.

Last night I strayed from my usual nonsensical (yet delightfully hilarious) updates and I Vaguebooked. I changed my status to “No wonder I’m singing!” I was not being intentionally vague. I had been listening to Hillsong’s Sovereign Hands in which one line says “No wonder I call you Saviour/ No wonder I’m singing!” That was my goal, but I was certainly not clear. Fortunately, I have great friends who called me on my error and made me see the light. Thanks, women. I, Amanda Marie, Vaguebooked, and I apologize.

I now realize how easy it can be to drown in the murky waters of Vaguebooking.

However, all is not lost. I have an idea. Let’s start a revolution of sorts, internets. Let’s call out our Vaguebook friends. Let us not stand for anything less than clarity. Let us rise above the confused masses and reclaim the art of clear and concise status updates. The next time you encounter a vague status update, do not ask what they mean. Do not inquire as to how you can help. Simply post the link to the following video and let this glorious man do all the talking.

What’s the best or most vague update you’ve read recently?

*100 internet points to the person who can name the song without using Google.

>The Frog Effect

>I never went to summer camp because we were (and still are) a cottage family. We didn’t need organized activities to have fun. We made our own.

Most of my cottage memories were forged with my neighbours. They’re the kind of neighbours that everyone wishes they had. Certain aspects of my life are sitcom-y , and this is no exception. We met our neighbours when I was nine and instantly felt like we’d known each other forever. We share a driveway opening. We have a little path from one property to another. We used to have a homemade basketball court between our two properties. We have a firepit that is exactly halfway between grass (them) and sand (us). We share tools. We share toys. We get groceries for each other. We accompany each other to the dump and the hardware store. We have coffee every afternoon. Even our dogs (the original golden retrievers and now their new retriever and our little black evil thing) are friends. But that’s really not the point of this post.

One of our favourite cottage past times was frog catching. It was never an activity that we planned to do; it was always one that started when someone happened across a frog. And then another. And another. Before we knew it, the neighbour girls and I had a huge bucket of frogs with which we taunted my squeamish older brothers. I’m not going to tell you exactly what we did with the frogs so as not to upset some of my more uh, sensitive readers, but I can assure you that the frogs loved flying through the air us.

For my birthday one summer, my neighbours gave me a pair of frog earrings wrapped in a new frog catcher net. It was silly and I loved it. It was our little summer inside joke. The next summer I got something else froggy. Somewhere in there my family gave me a few frog items. The frog theme started to catch on*. My friends started getting me frog stuff. My family bought more. I started buying more. Pretty soon everything I owned was green or had a frog on it.

The debacle reached its breaking point on my 16th birthday. A boy who liked me bought me a frog statue. A  foot-tall-flecked-with-gold-and-pretending-to-be-a-ballerina STATUE. It was in a position that looked like it required chiropractic assistance. The thing was hideous. It lasted two days on display until it retired to my closet. Needless to say, he was off my list of potential suitors. Another gentleman in high school went the frog route as well. I wasn’t impressed. Frogs do not pass the gift test**.

I did not want frog things anymore. Nor did I like frog things all that much. Sure they were cute and silly at first, but now I couldn’t go into my room without feeling their beady little froggy eyes staring me down. It was unsettling. My room, once a safe haven dotted with a frog here and there had become something straight out of Exodus 7.

I call this the Frog Effect.

The FE is never intentional. It’s usually innocent. Harmless, really. It starts off slow, gradually building up speed until somewhere along the track it races out of control and completely derails at your 16th birthday party. You will know that the FE has taken hold of you when you’re in a situation that requires pleasantries, but all you can think about is whether or not you remembered to pick up Listerine at the grocery store today because you’ll need its taste bud burning power after throwing up in your mouth a little bit. It’s wretched, I know.

Consider this your warning. Don’t let the Frog Effect take hold of you and your loved ones.


Have you ever experienced the Frog Effect?

*oh how pun!
**If that hint was too subtle for you, here’s another: DON’T GIVE ME FROG CRAP.

>What I Don’t Get About Dudes

>I grew up with older brothers and a father who are by definition “dudes”. They’re men. And manly men, too. As a result, I usually get why dudes do what they do. I get why flatulence is hilarious. I get why they need things said straight up. I get that they don’t understand mind games that women like to play. I get why punching is sometimes better than talking. I even get that when a guy is staring off into space and a woman asks him what he’s thinking about and he responds with, “Nothing,” that it is the truth and a completely valid response. Dudes can idle. Like a car. Turn their thinking mechanism off while still sit there and look like they’re running. It’s miraculous.

Last night as a bunch of us 20somethings were playing some “friendly” dodgeball, I realized something about dudes that I don’t understand.

Dudes can’t take it easy when they’re playing sports.

As I watched all of these strapping young men (and one old brown dude*) whip rubber balls at each other (and at me) I noticed their intensity. I noticed their focus. And I noticed that not one of them had a smile on their face.

It was terrifying.

I’ve taught many a gym class and have seen this on a smaller scale. Sweet little boys suddenly turned into competitive monsters as soon as you put an elephant skin ball in their hands. When they’re tiny, it’s still cute, watching them struggle to get the ball to the other side of the gym. But once they grow a couple of feet, add a bunch of muscle and some facial hair and their voices drop an octave or so, it suddenly turns from cute to startling. These men, whom I spend time with on a regular basis, whom I trust, whom I know are gushy little teddy bears inside did not even notice me writhing in pain on the ground. They thought my bruises were kind of funny. They lost any bit of sweetness that I know they have as soon as we put them in the gym with some balls.

I don’t get it.

Gentlemen, please explain this transformation to me. As I ice my bruises today, I’d really love an explanation.

*you’ll hear from him in the next few weeks