Nothing Compares To You… Or This.

I don’t know if it’s the song itself or if the uncanny memories that I’ve tied to the tune make it so wonderful. Either way, I love the song and nothing will ever compare to it.


I wish I could remember the first time the song entered my world. There’s a chance Bridget has a story of when it all began, she was present for basically all of the Nothing-Compares-To-YouFiascos. I’m sure you’re wondering how it’s possible to keep talking about it for even this long… but it’ll get better, promise.

When we first decided to try the adult game, like best friends do, Bridget and I made the mistake of renting an apartment together. I could tell ya the best and worst stories of that dwelling, but we’ll save that for another day; I know you’re eager to see where Sinead O’Conner fits in.

We ended up with a few people hanging out on the living room floor. One of those instances when an already kinda sketchy friend you don’t know that well brings an even sketchier friend of theirs into your apartment? For some reason (because we love it) Nothing Compares To You ends up playing on the old school boombox.

Sketchier friend of kinda sketchy friend says something along the lines of:

“This song makes me so sad……… It makes me think about my mom.”


Thinking about it now, I wish one of us would have had the courage to address how fucking weird that was. Instead, we just glanced around the room like a bunch of weirded out 19 and 20-year-olds.

Moving along…

This known heartbreak tune carried its way into my wedding. At that point in our lives, Bridget and I had allowed the song to become a significant part of our friendship. Obviously there was a need for us to have a moment with it – at my wedding. 

The combination of adult beverages and a perfectly timed request to the DJ allowed Bridget & I to give our rendition, interpretive dance included – while her husband gave his all on the air/blow up guitar. I want to go into a real wordy description, but I don’t know if that’s necessary when there were cameras.


Do you see her? Sinead was there. Upper right corner. [Best DJ EVER]
It was so amazing that I wish every single one of you could have witnessed it.

Moving along… the other day this happened:


…Later inspiring this (some may call pointless while I call it) stellar blog post.

If you don’t like Sinead’s version – this one may be your cup of tea. I dream of a time when everyone more people will love Nothing Compares To You as much as Bridget & I.

Flashback Friday: That One Friend

Everyone has that one friend, the one your parents hated and their parents hated you just as much.  The other one was such a bad influence.

267883_10150300792575452_2608530_nMy friend, shared my name & that’s how our story began.  Jenny & I met in 1996; Mr. Anderson’s 6th grade class in Richfield, Minnesota; Spartan Elementary.

Ah, the days of meeting half way to catch the bus, passing notebooks in class, secret code language & nicknames. She was Fur-Fur & I was Imp. [short for impatient – looking back, I’m not sure what I was so impatient for as a 12 year old].


As I decided which stories I wanted to share with you I relized I’m not entirely surprised our parents weren’t fond of our blossoming friendship. If I’m being honest, I’m still not sure if things we did were normal childhood liveliness, or if we were downright awful human beings.

I hope it’s closer to the first, but………………


The first mischievous thing I remember doing with Jenny H was skipping recess. Yes, it’s possible. You’re supposed to go outside with the rest of class… and we decided to sit in the stairwell instead.

Rebels without a cause; we received in school suspension for a week.

As I continue with this story, please keep in mind that we were very bitchy young.

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We used to pick on a girl named Sarah. She was the first chair flute and also played the piccolo.  For you non-band people out there, the chairs signify how good you are at said instrument.

Jenny & I also played the flute, we were the last & 2nd to last chair – and we did not care.

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We stole Sarah’s padlock from her locker more than once, which might seem innocent…but we took it to a different level when we found our band teacher in the phone book.

Mr. Fairweather; he was interesting.

He always wore a floppy cowboy hat on his way into work. Occasionally, the group of us sitting outside before school would bust into, “Where Did All The Cowboys Go” by  Paula Cole in decent harmony.

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But anyway… we called him.

“Hello? Mr. Fairweather?


This is Sarah.

I’m sorry to call you at home but I was wondering if you

could tutor me?”

Jenny, pretending to be Sarah basically begged him to reconsider every time he declined. The conversation ended  when she screamed:






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The dancing baby was big at the time…  so…

It wasn’t long before we threw our homeroom teacher, Mr. Anderson into the mix.  We ordered multiple pizzas, with lots of delicious toppings for him. Super nice of us. I wish a pizza would just show up at my door – even if I did have to pay for it.

I think there’s a chance he considered it a random act of kindness rather than a prank; it’s possible. Once that got old… we wanted to see our plan play out. We started ordering pizza for a girl in our class who lived up the road. We’d sit at the top of the hill & watch it get delivered.

Yeah…these are stickers. We stuck them all over the tennis courts in our neighborhood.

Prank calling was kind of a specialty of ours. We’d call random names from the white pages [oh the struggles before the intraweb] and conduct surveys on smoking Meritt Cigarettes.

The surveyor was, “Suzie Severson” & she had a terrible lisp. The survey always concluded with:

“Thank you for your time. Shhmoke on & have a shhmoke free life!”

Again, I like to imagine we gave people a good laugh, but…

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Gosh, to have this kind of time on our hands again would be amazing.

When we turned 14 we both got a job at the local drug store up the street. We’d give the cute boys discounts on disposable cameras and they’d buy us chocolates & the super romantic flowers you can buy at a drug store. We were kind of a big deal.

The Drug Store Days
The Drug Store Days

I moved out of Richfield my sophomore year of high school but when I got my driver’s license the shenanigans continued.

Actually… it was before I got my license. I had my learners permit the first time I decided to drive from Wisconsin to Minnesota in my step-dads black GrandAm, on a school day [I think it was a Tuesday].


Jenny…do you want to go to school today?


Me either… I’m coming to pick you up at your bus stop.

Pack us some lunch.

She brought us tuna sandwiches & I made her throw them out the window [sick]. 

No license… an hour drive [one way], Missy Elliot, Simple Plan, The Mall of America and a set of young-super-good-decision-making gals.

I got home roughly 20 minutes before my mom & step-dad. The day went off without a hitch, until my mother read my old journal.

“I TOLD YOU SO!” was directed at my mom more than once when she made me fess up……………6 years later.

Apparently I didn’t park the car correctly & it’s been weighing on my step-dad ever since.

“Jen would never do something like that!”

-My Mom [for 6 years].

We got through our braces & frizzy hair phase together.

We’ve recorded ourselves singing to Martina McBride…to hear how good we sound.

I cut her hair with a pair of kitchen scissors in her bedroom.

We’ve taken a cat on a joy ride through a corn field, which ended horribly, with lots of scratches & a terrified cat.

We made cosmos in her bedroom with her mom hanging out downstairs.

We went on a search for a real prostitute in Minneapolis…to see if they really exist [they do].

There are many stories I did not include. Some I believe you’ll judge us pretty harshly for, some I don’t think Jenny would appreciate me sharing & some things are better left to the imagination.

Moral of the story #1: All that mumbo-jumbo about your kids being 10x worse than you were… I really hope it’s not true.

Moral of the story #2: I hope my kid finds a friend like Jenny.

I know they’re contradicting but I mean them both.

Yes, we’re aware it’s a miracle we ended up looking as normal as we do

PS: Sarah, Mr. Fairweather, Mr. Anderson…and the other girl we sent Pizza to [Lisa]…

I speak for both Jenny & I:

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She sucks.

I’m kinda dumbstruck.

Don’t need her.

I’m being bitter.

Life will go on.

Maybe you’re just being withdrawn.

See ya, Bye.

I think I might cry.

I don’t feel bad.

Denial; She’s my comrade.

Friends… she has plenty.


I’m not sure, but it’s likely.

I suck.

She was kinda dumbstruck.

I need her.

Zero reason to be bitter.

Life will go on.

Let bygones be bygones.

Hey, Hi.

I think I might cry.

I feel bad.

You’re my comrade. 


Social Media & A Childhood Friend

Before social media sloppily exploded over everyone’s computer screen people actually had to attend high school reunions to ask (like, verbally…with their mouths) former friends what they’re doing with their lives.

In this day and age: I can tell you how many children, what they do for income, what they drive, who they’re married to, when their anniversary is…and what they wore to work yesterday (thanks to the selfie).  Social media makes it simple to be involved in people’s lives… even if you’re not an active part of their real life.

It’s kind of weird & unnatural, really.

real ife

Real Life : Noun
  1. life as it is lived in reality, involving unwelcome as well as welcome experiences, as distinct from a fictional world.

You might assume that I’m going to go off on a rant [I do that sometimes…] about social media, like I did here. Today, I’m going to surprise you by doing the opposite of a bitching.

I’m going to praise it.

We all had friends we bonded with as a kid that changed our lives for the better. It’s not hard to come up with memories when you think about these people; while some of your childhood memories might be foggy – the ones that include these people are never unclear & almost always fond. I have someone on my social media that comes to mind as I write this.

What is a friend? I will tell you…it is someone with whom you dare to be yourself. – Frank Crane

We jumped on her trampoline. We sang karaoke to stuffed animals. My mom would drop me off at her house in the morning to catch the bus… and I remember her all ‘sleepy-like’ slouching on the breakfast bar eating her cereal with 5 minutes left to catch the bus… but her mom never rushed her. Her house was always filled with happiness. I remember having sleepovers & waking up way before her…cause she always slept way later than me – I’d flop around hoping to wake her up “secretly” so we could continue the concert we started for the animals before crashing the night before.

[Sidenote: We were best being Ace of Base; she was blonder I always had to be the brunette. Oh, the troubles of a 8 year old girl]


I remember playing in her back yard… pretending there were witches behind trees we were hiding from. I remember her telling me the song that played at her Grandpa’s funeral that made her cry every time she heard it.

I have not seen her since childhood.

It’s absolutely normal for childhood friendships to move in different directions for no good reason other than  just growing up. These are the friendships that make me grateful for Social Media even for how much I complain about it.

I’ve seen bits of sadness in her life over the years & prayed for her. I get to see her little siblings who were nearly just babies when I was frequenting her household – and what awesome people they’ve appeared to turn into. I’ve watched from afar as she got married and had babies. I get to see her adorable little girls growing up with the same loving essence I watched her mom give to her day after day.

My largest hope is that my own child will be lucky enough to have this sort of special friendship in his life as he grows up.

Thanks for the memories, friend.  

amber bakke

This was written in response to a Daily Prompt – provided by The Daily Post. 

29 Short-Long Years

Now that my half birthday has passed, I’m officially less than 6 months away from the big 3-0. To be honest, the closer it comes, the less I fear it – which is pretty ideal.

Good News: I’ll survive turning 30 – I’ll live.

29 years is a very short-long time.

Short enough that I certainly do not know everything.

Long enough to have learned quite a bit.

29 Things I Have Learned In 29 Years 

(Many of these things will not be mind-blowing to anyone reading this. Many of them are ideas I’d known intellectually, but only recently have learned practically.)

1.)  The Beatles have the capability to cheer anyone up.

2.) The very worst things I’ve experienced completely blindsided me and there was no way to avoid it. If I could have, it wasn’t the worst thing.

3.) True friendship is not dependent on how often you talk to someone, or see someone – true friends will always be there no matter what & no matter where “there” is.

4.) Locksmiths are very expensive, and I have yet to find one that offers any sort of punch card or discount for people who repetitively lock their keys in their car.

5.) The true meaning of love & that marriage is so much more than “just a piece of paper” – like I had said on numerous occasions, I was very wrong – it’s so much more.

6.) There is power in apologizing and admitting when I am wrong. On the contrary, I have also learned the power of forgiveness & the importance of choosing my battles.

7.) There is a lot of [physical & emotional] muscle in a hug. A hug can say so much more than anyone could actually say.

8.) High-Fives are awesome & everyone should high-five more often…They are especially great when the other high-fiver is just as excited as you.

9.) Technology is the best & worst thing that has EVER happened. It’s possible that is more of a formed opinion rather than something I was actually taught – however…I still stand by it.

10.) It feels good to exercise and eat right. On that same note, I’ve learned the importance of my health & the sincere want to be around for as long as I possibly can.

11.) Sacrifice can and usually produces good. If I can sacrifice something in exchange for something I need or want…It’s worth it.

12.) To care about my reputation; not popularity – but reputation. That’s my name…I won’t dirty it up. I’ve learned that is called this thing called, “Pride”

13.) A little niceness can go a long way, and it makes me feel good. Holding the door for someone I don’t know (or do know), telling a stranger getting off the elevator to have a nice day, making a point to smile at people I pass…That stuff is so EASY, and it might brighten someone’s day.

14.) There is no feeling in the entire universe that trumps the love I have for my child. You have a baby and *BAM* : Love explodes all over you & it’s wonderful.

15.) Do not light a Fourth of July Sparkler upside down, it will explode in your hand and cause some nasty painful bubbly burns.

16.) Age truly is just a number. I still feel 22 (most days). Some days I feel 85 – but it remains just a number.

17.) People change and grow apart & that’s okay.

18.) Ghosts, spirits, angels…whatever you choose to call them…they exist. I will leave it at that.

19.) Own the truth, even if it will get me in trouble. If you speak nothing but the truth, you don’t need to keep your story straight. Imagine that.

20.) Karma is real. Choose to believe in it or not, but I am confident that everyone, everywhere at some point will believe in Karma.

21.) It’s important to choose my friends wisely. I refuse to surround myself with people who will bring me down or that continually make bad choices.  Some people are truly not worth your time & effort.

22.) Only I know what is best for me. I’ve learned to use my head, heart & gut to steer me – carefully choosing which one to listen to in different situations.

23.) Take a minute to have a mini dance party – whenever & wherever it takes place –Turn it up, shimmy it out.

24.) Hydrate. Wine makes for a pretty hefty hangover headache if you don’t consume it properly; especially boxed wine, especially red boxed wine.

25.) Not everyone is nice. Not everyone will like me. There are some nasty people in this world. It’s okay to just let them be nasty and rude…it’s not personal.

26.) Obviously this had to make the list…If I hadn’t learned this in my 29 years – there’d be something seriously wrong with me. Life is not fair. Complaining doesn’t get me ahead – Suck it up.

27.) Boxed hair dye is not always as it shows on the box. Egyptian Plum should actually be labeled, “Maroon.”

28.) “Thank You” is a powerful statement that I use as often as I can.  Appreciation & Gratitude are attributes I wish more people had.

29.) Never ever ever ever regret. In some way, shape or form, I wanted to do that stupid thing I did. In that moment it was my best idea ever, and exactly what I needed & I survived.