Mother on the Orient Express: Part Seven (The Train)

(I broke the train into two parts. The first part of the train (part six of the story) is here.)

We take the long walk toward dinner. Now we’re a little less sure on our feet. Mom’s getting tired, and I’m a little tired, and it’s darker. We make it to the bar car, which we have to go through to get to our dinner car.

We open the door. It’s different in the dark, more mysterious, more like a lounge, like you’d imagine. The piano abruptly stops and — “Sentimental Journey” begins playing. And Mom’s crying again, but this time she can’t sit because we’re on our way to dinner, so she kind of sits at this stool near the head of the piano, perched like she’s about to launch into song. But she’s crying and smiling and nodding, and I’m rubbing her back and it really must have looked like she was here on a Make A Wish. Continue reading

No! Noo! Nooo! Noooo!

Try to pick which of the following dumb-ass moves I made in the past twenty-four hours:

1. In looking for a beloved earring, I managed to smash it underneath my shoe. Even over my own sobbing, I was able to hear my grandmother’s shrieks of horror from the afterlife.

2. While clearing space on the counter for the coffee pot, I managed to knock my beloved Samantha Who? coffee mug into the sink, shattering the handle.

3. Somehow managed to wash all of my white sheets and towels with a black ink pen. I’ve run them three times with bleach and Oxyclean and yet: I’m still the miserable new owner of zebra tie-dyed linens.

4. Managed to change out of pajamas in order to run an errand. Victory is brief! Upon returning, I then managed to drop an entire iced latte all over the front of my new skirt… and splattered coffee Exorcist-style all across the entryway to my apartment.

5. All of the above, because this is not the first entry you’ve ever read here.

If you picked Number Five, congrats! You’re having a much better day than I am.

[Other items jacked in the past week or so include: my iPhone case, my digital camera, a pair of shoes, my elbow.]

Wow, It’s Finally Happening.

This Thursday on ABC, 8:30/7:30c, watch Samantha Who?, episode: “THE DOG,” because I wrote it, which means it’s the only time my name’s in the credits at the front of the episode — the only time my family feels confident in telling people I write on the show. (“Well, otherwise your name goes so fast at the end, and they don’t see it, and I look like a liar!”)

And now you can point at my name and shout, “That’s my friend!” Or some of you will go, “I used to know this girl!” And maybe some of you will be all, “Man, I really should call her instead of just reading about her. I miss her.” And then some of you will be like, “I know this girl! Well, I mean, I kind of know her. I read her journal. Blog. I used to read it when it was a journal, and it was way funnier back then, and she talked about her life and stuff, but now she kind of doesn’t really do that, I guess because she’s too good for blogging or whatever, and if I’m being honest, I’m just not into blogs like I used to be, once I got the promotion and the baby was born, it’s just like–” and then the other person on the couch will say, “Are you done? Because now I have to rewind and watch this entire scene again so I can find out what happened.”

I remember I was writing various drafts of the outline for this episode through September of last year, in like, seriously a variety of cities and forms of transportation, including I think maybe even at one point on a boat. Then finished the first draft of the script the same afternoon I had company from all over the country arriving for the Baby Doll Brawl, which was that weekend (I just saw that picture of me taking a picture of my bruises and even I winced. No wonder people kept trying to talk me out of it back then. These days I don’t look nearly that beat-up, I promise. I don’t fall nearly as much as I used to.) Obama got elected during the bajillion rewrites. We shot it in… December, I think? I don’t remember; by then I was kind of melting down. It feels like I worked on this episode for about four months straight a million years ago, and now here it finally is. Like a weird little time capsule packed with memories.

Watch it, buy it, stream it… whatever makes you happy. And thanks. I never forget that I wouldn’t have this job if it weren’t for this site right here, back when blogs were journals, when I got lucky enough to find you.

Making Friday Feel Like Sunday

Someone said to me recently, “If I were in your situation right now, where I was totally unemployed? I would spend my entire morning in my robe, drinking coffee and reading, until it was time to sit outside in the sun, drinking champagne and reading. Perhaps still in my robe. That’s what I’d do every day.”

I can’t do that every day, because I’m pretty sure I’d like it enough to do it every day for the rest of my life. But: I’m giving to give that a try for today. Me being me though, I have to nerd it up a little. Coffee is brewing while I stream last night’s Samantha Who?. I will add watching The Office and 30 Rock to that time between robe-wearing (I don’t have a robe, so I’m going to stay in what I wore to bed) and champagne-sipping. And I know at one point I’m going to end up watching my last Netflix that’s here, because it’s Helvetica, and I’m the only geek on this planet yet to see it. What I’m saying is: about to have a wonderful Friday, wish you were here.

Have a good weekend, everybody. Hope you didn’t get fired for watching yesterday’s video. But if you did, at least now you know how to enjoy the free time. Wait… oh, man. Did I just put myself on a “Stay-cation”?!

Using Your Internet Powers for Good.

I already mentioned Samantha Who? is back on the air tomorrow night on ABC at 8:30/7:30c. But it turns out we’re up against the NCAA playoffs and the American Idol results show, so you know, we’re totally gonna win the time slot.

…Which is where you come in. Remember that strike we went on, where there was some question as to whether or not people watch television online? Well, apparently now the Powers That Be know that you do. (I don’t know if they know we know they know.) So since they already know we probably aren’t going to get good numbers that day, they will be monitoring our Internet downloads for the next day. That means we have two days to prove that people watch Samantha Who?; especially you tech-savvy, writer-supporting, Internet-streaming, iPod-slinging, beloved demo-sporting, lovely fans of The network is tracking full-episode streams from, (Updated post-cancellation to say: How ’bout Hulu?) and will report them to Neilsen. [Update edit: Then. Now: residuals. In theory. Because of this strike.] That means every computer that watches a full episode helps our ratings, and you get to be a Neilsen family without having your privacy invaded. So, you know, maybe you can watch it on Friday, or load it up on every computer at your office when you all go to your hated Friday meeting.


Did you know it’s World Water Week? The Tap Project supports UNICEF water, sanitation and hygiene programs. Donations raised during last year’s Tap Project funded lifesaving programs in Cote D’Ivoire, Nicaragua, Iraq, Belize and similar water and sanitation projects around the globe. Donations raised this year will fund projects in Haiti, Togo, the Central African Republic, Sudan and a variety of programs throughout the world. For every dollar raised, a child will have 40 days of clean drinking water. Here’s how you can help.


Lastly, here’s the latest Derby Dolls promo, letting you know exactly why this weekend’s bout is going to rule. If you’re planning on coming, buy your tickets online now, because we should be sold out by the week’s end. (Good luck, RAGE! Witch-Slap forever!)

Look, it’s Choppy! Hi, Choppy. Thanks for kicking my ass last week, and for not giving me shit when I came to practice having forgotten my skates.

Samantha Who? Returns: March 26th, 8:30/7:30c

Oh, thank God, we are back on the air. But only for like, six weeks. So, tell your friends! Tell everybody. Please. Aren’t you sick of my constant twittering and my sad youtube posts yet? Save me from unemployment. Please put us all back to work with lovely, lovely ratings.

I’m embedding the promo, which I never do because I don’t ask you to watch commercials, but I was so excited to see so many little clips from the episode I wrote (“THE DOG,” airing April 2nd), including that “record-scratch” moment where the talented Jean Smart talks about Samantha’s biological clock. I wrote that joke! It somehow lasted from first draft! That never happens! Seriously!

[Future Pam editing this page says: “Aw. This is sad, how you can’t even see the old promo anymore.”]

Some of you are like, “Dude, weren’t you working on that joke like, a million years ago?”


Ain’t Hollywood fun?

[Oh, and my friend David was published in Nature, which is way cooler and much more important than anything I’ll ever do in my entire life. He’s awesome.]

Activating Niya: One More Time

Niya’s back by popular demand!

Shot just before the season wrapped (before Eyesplosion ’09), Niya let me know she still had something to say about stay-at-home mothers. Watch me grow increasingly uncomfortable until I’m reduced to just stuttering. Also: secret babies, and other horrible nightmares.

(Watch it in High Quality. And there’s a little bit of cursing. Just warning those of you trying to watch this at work.)

Activating Melanie

The Case for Settling: Melanie really, really loves romantic comedies. No, like, really. But it’s causing some inner turmoil now that she’s noticed some romantic comedies say she’s not the kind of girl you’re supposed to choose in the end. Click the cute little “HQ” in the lower right hand corner of the clip to watch in High Quality.

(Topics include: love, movies, loving movies, adult acne, Kate Hudson, and a goodbye to Samantha Who?, Season Two.)