[And welcome to my little blog.]

I'm Amanda! So happy you are here. Grab a glass of wine, read along, and let's be friends.

Dear owner of The Max,

Sunday, August 28, 2011
Let me just start by saying that I have always been a huge fan of your club. You guys were established before gay bars were trendy. And all those late nights when I've gotten an itch to dance, you've been there. Strobe lights, diversity, and techno music, all tucked away discretely in our little corner of the Midwest. 

I've been out dancing at the Max more times than I can remember, but I've never had a night at The Max like I did last night.  Here's how it went:  A group of us were hanging out on the patio at Barry O's, enjoying casual conversations and the unusually nice weather, when someone threw out the idea of going to the Max.  I enthusiastically rallied behind the idea. 

It was midnight. Two hours to dance. The seven of us stood in line, paid our $10 cover charge, got some money out of the ATM, and headed over to the techno dance floor.  Before starting to dance, I decided to go to the bathroom.  I was washing my hands when a girl stumbled into the bathroom, one shoe on - one shoe off, bleeding profusely. She has a gash on her ankle.  If I had to guess I'd say it was three inches long at least half an inch wide. Regardless of the specifics, there was no way her night was ending without a trip to the emergency room and half a dozen stitches. I scrambled to look for paper towels for her, and helped her make her way back out of the bathroom.  A guy she was with rushed up and took one look at her ankle and frantically picked her up and said, "we're going to the emergency room." I walked back to the sink and finished washing my hands as I looked at the blood smeared all over the bathroom floor.

An eventful start of the night.  I joined my friends back on the dance floor. After about an hour into dancing, I took a step and suddenly felt a sharp stabbing pain in my left foot. It took me only a second to realize what happened.  With the image of the girl in the bathroom fresh in my mind, I momentarily panicked.  Shit.  There's glass in my foot.

I pulled off my shoe and used the light coming from the strobe lights to try to triage how bad it was. Blood everywhere. No clue where exactly it was coming from.  My husband, Kevin, picked me up and carried me out to where we could actually get some light on my foot and see how bad it was.

We asked the door man for some water to dump on my foot to try to figure out if the glass was still in there. The door man looked at us dumbfounded, then replied, "You can go to the bar and get some water."  At this point I'm thinking, "Oh great, thanks for your help buddy," but am too distracted by the blood to say anything.

I'm standing on one foot, bleeding profusely as people are filing in and out of the Max.  Finally somebody hands me a wet rag and I dab at it to make sure I don't have glass in my foot. I tell Kevin to look in my shoe to see if he sees anything. He finds a piece of glass inside.  Well that means it's probably not in my foot, so that's a good sign.  I finish wiping off my foot, and a friend helps me put on a band aid.

I'm a little shaken up, but relieved that I don't need stitches.  Before I leave, I realize that this little episode has ended our night, and I'm in pain, and I want our money back.

I go to the guy that's collecting the $10 cover and say,  I'd like our money back.  He calls over the manager, and my conversation with the manager went something like this: 

Me:  I love this place, and this has never happened to me before, but I just stepped on a piece of glass on the dance floor and would just like the money back that the seven of us just paid to get in here.
Derik the Manager:  I can't give you your money back.
Me:  A little surprised, I ask, "Did you see my foot, I was bleeding all over the place"?
Derik the Manager:   Yes, I saw your foot, but how do I know you had your shoes on?
Me:   You can see the hole where the glass punctured my shoe.  Also, you can see all the blood that is inside of my shoe, how could that happen if I didn't have my shoes on?
Derik the Manager: Well, I don't know how long you were here before this happened.
Me:  Why is it relevant how long I was dancing and having fun before I stepped on a piece of glass? 
Derik the Manger:  Fine, I'll give you your money back.
Me:   I want everyone's money back.  We all drove together and now everyone is having to leave.
Derik the Manager:  I'm only giving your money back.

Me, starting to get angry and realizing this conversation is going nowhere.

Me:  I don't think giving back our what we paid is too much to ask.  Not that I'm this type of person, but people sue people for things like this. 
Derik the Manger:  Sue us then. This happens to people all the time.
Me:  It doesn't make me feel better that it happens all the time.  It actually makes me more angry. Give me your card.

He goes into the back and returns with his card. 

At this point I am livid. Not that I had just stepped on glass, but at the way Derik the manager just treated me.  He gives me my $10 and doesn't help us with the door on our way out.  He acted like he was annoyed he had to deal with me and my bleeding foot, and treated me like it was somehow my fault that it had happened. 

But it was not my fault.  It was the combination of serving people drinks out of real glass, not preventing people from bringing them out on the dance floor, and drunk people dropping their glasses.  I understand, how this happens.  I have personally always liked that The Max lets you bring drinks on the dance floor. I like to drink and dance at the same time.  But, given my recent personal experience, I would like to recommend that you consider switching over to plastic disposable glasses when serving drinks where people are dancing.  The other thing I'd recommend: when someone steps on glass is to ask where they were when they stepped on it.  And then go clean it up.

All that aside, I have an even better recommendation.  When the circumstances your bar creates causes someone to get injured, please say you are sorry. 

The words I'm sorry don't cost your business anything.  And it would have cost Derrick the Manager nothing to utter them.  If he had uttered them once, I would not be writing you this letter right now.  If he had uttered them twice, I probably even be upset that I'm going to have to limp around for the next few days.

Maybe, I just caught your manager on a bad night. Maybe he is a bit jaded by the sight of blood, because it just happened earlier that night, and probably happens a lot.  Maybe he's treated a bunch of people this way, and nobody has ever told him how angry it made them.

Who knows.  What I do know is that I had plans to go for a jog today, but I got out of bed this morning and can't even step down on my foot. 

We're all human and shit happens.  And I love your bar and really don't want to have to boycott it forever.  So here is your opportunity for a do-over.  I hope to hear from you soon.

Your previously enthusiastic customer,


Sweet baby Alaina

Thursday, August 25, 2011
On Tuesday, our friends Karie and Kevin were nice enough to let us come over and check out their new little girl Alaina.  She is so tiny and sweet.  She has pretty hair and beautiful little hands with long skinny fingers.

When we were over there, Karie told me that this is the happiest she's ever been in her whole life.  Doesn't that just make your heart melt for their adorable little family?

In other news, on Tuesday, we got an offer on our condo!  Remember I posted way back in May that we were trying to sell.  We've had a good amount of interest but nobody had pulled the trigger.  We're in the process of counter-offering back and forth now.  Fingers crossed!

Dear Mom and Dad,

Monday, August 22, 2011
I've know I've tried to tell you before, but on the day of your 25th wedding anniversary, I want to take the opportunity to thank you again. Today I don't want to thank you for the books you showed me, or the places you took me, or the way you loved me, but I want to take this chance to thank you for the way you loved each other.

I was blow drying my hair this morning, one of the only times of day I'm not either on my computer, or reading, or talking.  :)  Ten minutes where I can do nothing but think.  And this morning I was thinking about you guys.  

I had a lot of good memories flashing through my mind this morning.  Mom, I remember the homemade Christmas ornament that you made Dad back when you guys were still dating, and how every year it is always the very first ornament you guys put on our Christmas tree.  Or all those Friday nights you'd get dressed up and kiss us kids goodbye when you went on your date nights.  I remember trying to be there for you Mom when Dad was working in South Korea for a year.  How you cried and told me that you missed your best friend.  And how you guys would talk to each other on the web cam every day.  Or how I've never heard either of you say a mean word about each other.  Ever.  Even in the middle of an argument.

There are so many things I've learned from watching you over the years.  I've learned that your marriage is more important then the house you live in.  It is more important then the state or country you are living in.  It is more important than your job.  And it is even more important than your kids.  It is the foundation of not only your family, but your life.  Watching you two I've learned how you keep a friendship alive.  I've learned about love.  I've learned what it means to be a family.

As I was leaving the house for work this morning, I was thinking how I can't help but wonder what the next 24 years will hold for Kevin and I.  Just as I was thinking this, I turned the corner in our condo to head out the front door to work and saw an umbrella lying in front of the door.  Kevin realized that it was drizzling outside, and that I would be too caught up in my own head to even notice the weather, let alone remember to bring an umbrella, so he had put it in front of the door so I wouldn't forget it.

It's these moments that I think we might be lucky enough to have a marriage like yours.  And I'm happy that I had such great parents to show me the way.

I love you both very much.

Happy 25th anniversary!


Want to live in a condo?

Sunday, August 21, 2011
Here's how:  Give me $850 a month and in return you get:

- A 700 foot condo in the heart of downtown Omaha
- Oversized windows
- GE profile stainless steal appliances
- Cherry word hardwood floors and cabinets
- No more apartment living - 90% of the building is owner occupied so people really respect the building
- Energy efficient living -  about $50 a month for utilities
- Granite countertops
- No dealing with yard work or snow in the driveway
- On-site building manager
- Workout facility
- Free secured garage parking downtown
-A very nice landlord :)

Kevin and I lived in this condo before we lived in our current condo.  It's a great space and perfect for someone that wants hassle free, downtown living.  We have a few people that came and looked at it today, so let me know asap if you or someone you know is interested.  It's available September 1st.  Thanks for checking it out!

Slept in a tent this weekend

So we crossed off number four from our pre-baby bucket list this weekend: Go camping, sleep in a tent, and build our own fire.  We went with three of my best friends and their husbands to Two Rivers campground in Waterloo, Nebraska (about 30 minutes away on 277th and F street).  Neither Kevin or I have been camping in years, and I've definitely never been camping as an "adult" where I was responsible for helping set up the tent and cooking the food.  We pulled up to the campsite and I was shocked by the sheer number of huge RV's crowded around our campground.  We were one of two people actually camping in tents... only in America do we "get back to nature" by bringing out our huge pick up trucks and ginormous RVs and parking them so close together you can't really see nature.

Aside from the surprise of the RVs, the camping was great.  We were right by the Platte river, which was actually really nice and there were a ton of trees.  Despite Kevin and I's obvious lack of outdoors skills we managed to get the tent assembled before it started raining.  After about ten minutes of drizzle I was beginning to think that all those people with the RV's might have had the right idea...  luckily, it cleared up after about 20 minutes and was beautiful for the rest of the weekend.

Saturday afternoon we spent about an hour trying to teach our friend to play Pitch, but after getting about halfway through the game, she declared that it was boring.  Ha!  Gotta love Steph.  We moved on to another game that Steph taught us called Golf, which turned out to be a lot of fun.  And of course it turned into a drinking game.  I won!

All in all, a great weekend.  There's talk of making this an annual trip.  We were glad that we got to experience of tent camping, but agreed that a cabin might be better for next year.  Anybody have any cabins within 2 hours of Omaha that they'd recommend?

Adorable baby Chesney

Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Our friends Joe and Sarah just had their baby girl last night.  So excited for them.  I just snapped some pictures of Sarah pregnant (click here) and can't believe this little baby is here already.  Sarah and brand new baby Chesney are doing great.  


Most of these pictures I liked in black and white best, but I was able to take a few pictures before it got too dark, and Chesney's blond hair and rosy little cheeks are just so freaking cute that I didn't want to turn this one into black and white.  Congrats Joe and Sarah on your beautiful baby girl!

So embarrassing...

Monday, August 15, 2011
Without knowing it, we turned into "those neighbors..."

After college, I bought an inexpensive 100 year old home near campus and lived in it for about a year before deciding to rent it out. The house has two separate units inside, one on the downstairs and one on the upstairs.  For the past six months we've been renting out the main floor to my two younger brothers:  Chris and Zack.

I've been asking my brother Chris how things are going at the house, how the grass is doing, etc, and he had said everything was going great.  He brings over the rent checks when we all go to my parents house on Sunday, and I hadn't thought much about it.  Kevin or I hadn't actually been over to the house in a month or two, but my brothers said everything was going well, and the yard was ok, we thought we were good to go.  When Kevin went over there on Friday, this is what he found....

What?!!  Yeah sure, maybe the grass wasn't overgrown, but the normally tame bushes around the house had turned into a complete jungle.  And not everyone is a fan of vines on the house, but I've always sort of liked them.  That being said, these things vines were totally out of control.  Oh, and notice that small tree on the left side of the picture.  Yeah... we haven't planted any trees.  The biggest weed I have ever seen.  Let's just say it took a saw to cut it down.

So after almost four hours of back breaking work by both Kevin and I, here's what we had:

Still a ton of work to be done, but at least the house doesn't look like it's getting taken over by a rainforest.  So embarrassing.  The neighbor next door pulled up to his house and saw us working.  I can only imagine what he was saying to himself.  I'm guessing it was something like, "...about time assholes."  We worked for about three and a half hours before I knocked on the door and asked my brother Chris for more trash bags.  I told him we were taking care of the yard, and he's like, "what's wrong with the yard?"  Note to self, Chris likes living in a jungle.

We ended up cutting back a bunch of the hostas that were growing on the side of the house, but I felt bad about taking out so many flowers, so I saved a few to bring home.  My back is killing me, but on the bright side I have some pretty flowers to look at.


Saturday, August 13, 2011
Our Friday night in pictures:

Tomatoes filled with goat cheese and fresh basil - so yummy.  Once again from allrecipes.com (here's the recipe).  Kevin asked me where I got the recipe, and I'm like, "allrecipes.com."  He proceeded to say, "I know I've said it before, but I freakin love allrecipes.com!!!"  That little sucker was quoting my last blog and poking fun at me.  Last time I make him an appetizer!

We headed up to the roof to do a little steak and potato grilling and of course some wine drinking.  The weather was amazing.  Perfect temperature, no wind, and beautiful sky.  We were the only ones on the roof... so peaceful.

Happy Friday everyone!

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