Friday, July 19, 2013

TMI Fridays: Amy's Real Life

Amy is one of the sweetest bloggers I've never met. She is a writer, an educator, an avid hiker and a mother of a whole herd of kids. Seriously, I think she has four or fourteen or something.

Amy writes at two blogs, My Real Life and Bozza Writes. She also penned "The Poop Diaries" in the popular and hilarious anthology I Just Want to Pee Alone. She's precious and angelic and if you don't believe me you should read this story that she wrote. Seriously, this is the kind of person that you pray is your child's teacher. I am not this kind of person, which is why I write a humor blog instead of teaching. I would throw all your kids on ponies (quite possibly without helmets), tell the crying ones, "You're fine" and watch the clock until you came to pick them up. Then I would make myself a giant cocktail and cry into Brock's hairy man arm.

Maybe if Amy and I could hang out in person, she could change me. We do both love hiking. We could hike to the top of a mountain and look for some Zen for me there. That's settles it, Amy needs to come here for a visit. Colorado has good mountains. And if that fails, at least we have a crap ton of craft breweries to ease the sting.

Without further ado...May I present... the lovely, the talented, the patient, the kind.... AMY BOZZA!

Johi: When did you start writing?

Amy:  I've always written.  Even as a kid, I had journals and notebooks strewn about the house with poems and stories and things that popped into my head.  My favorite Christmas, when I was a kid, was the year my Grandparents gave me a typewriter.  My guess is it was probably my parents least favorite Christmas because it was an old, original typewriter with all the dings and clickety-clacks and awesome return carriage noises.  I've actually been looking for a typewriter at garage sales, because I feel like it's time to annoy a new generation with my typewriter noises.

Johi: Who/what inspires you and why?

Amy:  Since much of my writing centers around my family, obviously, they inspire me.  However, with regards to my writing as a passion, not just writing for the blog, great writers inspire me.  I love to read and re-read passages out of books that strike a chord with me and they always inspire me to write better.  However, let's be honest...bad writers inspire me, too.  I recently read a book and it was so bad that all I could think was, "Seriously?  Someone agreed to publish this book?  I could write something way better than this!" And then I sat right down to do it.

Johi: Are you an adventure hunter or a peace seeker?

Amy:  I'm a bit of both.  I think there is peace to be found at the end of a really good adventure.  Hiking to the top of a really tall mountain that you've never climbed before is the adventure.  Getting to the top and appreciating the view is the peace.  I love to try new things and completely embrace new adventures, but at the same time, I am a complete and utter homebody.  This can make me a terrible parent, at least with regards to social things because I forget to have friends over for the kids to play with, which winds up making them social outcasts.  That being said, on my bucket list, aside from traveling the world is: bungee jumping, skydiving, and learning to surf.

Johi: What was your most embarrassing moment?

Amy:  I was not a cool kid.  In 4th grade, I won a chorus award.  As I walked up to the stage, in front of the entire school, to receive my award, one of the cool kids, Joe Morelli, stuck his foot in the aisle and tripped me.  I fell flat on my face.  Really hard.  I. Was. Mortified.  I forgave and Joe and I actually became good friends in high school and beyond, but I never forgot.  As an adult, I've learned not to be easily embarrassed, and actually embrace potentially embarrassing situations, but that one moment in my life still makes me cringe.

Johi: I believe that each of us looks sort of like an animal. What animal do you think you most closely resemble?

Amy: Hmmm...well, when I was in middle school, the cool boys would throw pieces of bread at me in the cafeteria and quack because they said I look like a duck.  I'm not sure I wanna go with "duck" though.  My husband just said "A fox," but I'm going to guess there could be ulterior motives behind that answer.  I get told, frequently, that I look like Reese Witherspoon, but she's not an animal...well, at least she's not an animal unless her husband gets pulled over for drunk driving.  So, Grimace, from McDonald's, an animal?  No?  I really don't know.  My Dad and I used to have a thing where we would categorize people into those with pig faces and those with fox faces, and I fell into the pig face category.  I don't think I look any more like a pig that I do like a duck, so I guess it would have to be an animal with a round face.  A panda?  Maybe I look like a panda.  Sure.  A panda.

Johi: What animal would you like to see on the Extinction list?

Amy:  I have a few.  As a former science teacher, I get the whole "everything has its position in the circle of life" thing, but as a wife and mother, here is my list:  1.  Spiders - I think I spend a good 25% of my time at home dealing with enormous, scary (read so small I can barely even see them) spiders that my children find around the house.  Should spiders go extinct, think of all the time I'd have to myself!  2.  Groundhogs - We have a groundhog and his girlfriend living under our deck.  They've been there for a year and we can't seem to get rid of them.  Quite frankly, they aren't hurting anyone and they are kinda cute, but my husband is obsessed with this groundhog.  Sometimes, I feel like I'm living a few scenes out of Caddyshack.  (Am I the only person on the internet old enough to remember that movie?)  We'll be in the middle of a conversation, in the kitchen, and he'll suddenly stop talking and race out the sliding glass doors and start stomping around on the deck like a madman.  The kids and I just look at each other and say "Groundhog."  So, if it meant I could keep 100% of my husbands attention, I'd see the groundhogs added to the list.

Johi: What is your favorite food/beverage?

Amy:  It's a combo.  Peanut butter and chocolate.  Together.  Because why would you even bother to eat them separately.  This poses a bit of a problem for me, as I have Type II diabetes, but my motto is, everything in moderation.  Okay, my motto is really eat veggies all day in order to prepare for an evening of dipping Hershey bars into jars of peanut butter, but it's kinda the same thing.

Favorite beverage is Vanilla Coke.  Have you ever tasted anything so perfect?  However, once again, stupid diabetes puts a big dent in my Vanilla Coke consumption.  So, I drink a lot of green tea.  It's not as much fun.

Johi: What is the most annoying thing your husband does? What is the most annoying thing that you do?

Amy:  When he sleeps on his back, he makes these noises with his mouth that drive me insane.  It's a chomping, smacking sound and just thinking about it is giving me a bit of rage.  When it happens, I could literally scream out loud "Stop it! Stop making that noise!"  If it wouldn't wake up our four kids, I just might do it.  It drives me that crazy.

The most annoying thing that I do?  I don't know.  I think I'm pretty easy to live with, so I went to my husband with this one, and the thing that annoys him the most is that I record so many shows on our DVR, that there are times when he wants to watch something (ala the Stanley Cup Finals) but the DVR won't let him because you can't record two shows and watch a third.  It's not my fault that a lot of my favorite shows are on the same night at the same time.  For example, tonight I'm recording Royal Pains and Franklin and Bash at 9:00.  If that means that no one else in the house can watch anything at 9:00, so be it.  I'm kinda like the tv dictator.

Johi: What moment of your life do you wish you could have on repeat?

Amy: There are four.  The moments when I held each of my four babies in my arms for the first time.  Most amazing four moments of my life. 

Johi: Marry, Kiss or Leave by the Side of the Road (You all know this is NOT the game I play- we are keeping this PG)- Here are your choices:

Michael Moore, Cliff Claven and Kid Rock. GO!

Amy:  Seriously, Johi?  I've read all of your TMI Fridays and THESE are my choices?  It's almost impossible to pick one of these three to marry because I would have to leave Cliff Claven by the side of the road because I doubt I could even spend five minutes with him without wanting to punch him.  Know it alls are not my cup of tea.  But, both Michael Moore and Kid Rock look messy and dirty and I wouldn't want to marry either of them.  So, which is the lesser of two evils?  I think I'd have to marry Kid Rock because I love music and it would allow me to be around music all the time and I'd make sure he let me sing with him and it would fulfill my lifelong dream of being a rockstar.  So, I guess I'd just give Michael Moore a quick kiss on the cheek and run away before he spun the kiss into some kind of conspiracy theory.

Johi: What is your guilty pleasure?

Amy: Television.  I know, I know...technically, television isn't a guilty pleasure because everyone watches it.  However, I don't think everyone watches television to the extent that I watch television.  My DVR is on overload on a constant basis because I love tv.  Dramas, doesn't matter.  To my credit, I watch most of my shows after the kids are asleep, but I watch it all.  I've recently discovered the BBC and now I'm in a really bad spot because I have British tv to add into my American tv lineup, and that's just not a good thing.  

Johi: Describe your perfect day.

Amy: Given my last answer, you'd think that I'd say to spend the day on the couch watching tv, but the truth is, it would start out with a quiet morning of tea and Facebook.  Once I'd scrolled my way through and caught up, I'd do some writing.  By the time that was finished, Real Man and the kids would be up and we'd have some breakfast and then head out for a good, long, strenuous hike.  When we were done, we'd probably go get some Dairy Queen ice cream, then head home where everyone would happily sit on the couch and read for a few hours.  We'd play a board game or a card game and then we'd have some dinner (prepared by someone else) and after dinner, we'd go to a movie, then come home, relax and go to bed.  

Now, that's a realistic perfect day.  If I was being unrealistic, it would involve waking up in Scotland and exploring the moors.  However, since Tiny is 2, the way I see it, I've got a good 16 years before that's a possibility.

Johi: What is your favorite essay in I Just Want to Pee Alone and why? 

Amy: I absolutely loved Meredith Spiedel's essay about how she and her family dealt with the death and subsequent burial of her mother.  I'm an only child of two only children and my father and I wound up hanging out like siblings at family funerals and making jokes and laughing in the corner, which was completely inappropriate, but it was how we dealt with it and were able to move on.  Seeing how her family was able to find some sort of humor in some of the situations that surrounded that sad time reminded me so much of my father and I, it made me both laugh, as I connected to the narrative, and cry, as I began to think about the mortality of my own parents.

Amy Bozza, author of the blog, My Real Life, lives in NJ with her husband and four children. Amy is a middle school administrator, piano teacher, writer, and blogger who was recently published as a contributor in the best-selling book I Just Want to Pee Alone. You can find Amy at and


  1. I remember Caddyshack, but I'm drinking white wine while yanking white hair out of my scalp, so I'm not one to make you feel young.

    Great interview ladies!

  2. Love this! And I am also a TV Dictator, blame the networks I say, not me. So maybe they are the real dictators? hmm....

    1. Yeah, yeah...not's the networks!

  3. Aww.. another TMI Fridays that makes me wish we all lived in the same neighborhood.
    And 1) I LOVED Caddyshack when I was a kid (I win for oldest I believe...which I'm super proud of) and 2) Amy's husband and the groundhog is like me and the damn squirrels in the fall. I'll drop everything and bolt out the deck door yelling shit and waving my arms when I see one anywhere NEAR my planters.

    1. Too funny, Michelle...we were begging for squirrels in our old house because we had such an influx of acorns!

    2. I'm with Michelle on the squirrels. They are total a-holes.

  4. Isn't Amy the cutest?? She must be terrified of me. I know I am. I'm not sure I've ever seen a real groundhog. I don't think we have those in these here parts! I would enjoy seeing the Caddyshack-style showdown. (Yes, I, too am old.) Great TMI, Johi!

    1. Rach, I think stories of my cuteness and sweetness have been greatly exaggerated, but I'll take it! :) Thanks, Rach!

    2. We have groundhogs here. I think they carry some kind of death plague or something. They are super fat and cute though.

  5. What a find! Thanks for the intro & heading to her site now!

  6. Another fabulous interview and I love this Panda gal! She's so sweet you don't have to dip her in chocolate OR PB. I agree with that other fav writer of mine (I'm too hungover to scroll up to see who wrote this) I wish we all lived closer together! You both rock!!

    1. I'm pretty sure that if we all lived in the same place, said place would spontaneously combust from the sheer awesome of all of us- sort of like the drummer in This Is Spinal Tap.

  7. Ahhhh. She's from NJ. Totally explains why she so awesome. And I don't say that because I'm from there or anything...