Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Just Because

So I've decided to come out of the blogger closet. My last name is not Jones (I know you are all shocked by this). It is Vittum. If you meet a Vittum, they are probably related to me. The name was shortened from Vieuxtemps (pronounced phonetically View Tem) at Ellis Island. Apparently Vieuxtemps was difficult to say. Yeah, like Vittum is any easier to pronounce (pronounced phonetically Vit (rhymes with Bit) Tum). It is usually pronounced (especially by telemarketers) as Bittum, Vytum.

On another note, I've decided to set up an Amazon wish list at the request of someone. If you are interested in seeing what makes my heart go pitter-patter in the world of books and DVDs, click here.

Monday, May 30, 2005

At Last

At Last - Etta James

At last
my love has come along
my lonely days over
and life is like a song

Ooh At last
the skies above are blue
well my heart was wrapped up in clover
the night I looked at you

I found a dream
that I could speak to
a dream that I could call my own
I found a thrill
to press my cheek to
a thrill that I have never known

When I liked the Cream Puff Man but was trying to convince myself (and everyone else) that I didn't, I told Beth that it was impossible. That I knew, knew without a doubt in my heart, that when I met The Guy, The One, I would hear At Last playing in my head. So that was how I knew without a doubt that Puffy was not the one. Do you know what she kept doing? Do you? Oh, I'll bet you'll never guess.

Yeah. She started singing At Last. It was horrible. Let me rephrase, she sang it very well but it was messing with my mind. And that is just wrong. But fortunately, I came to my senses and the crack I was smoking left my system and all was good again.

I have a theory (Buffy fans, every time you use this phrase, do you flash back to the musical and remember Anya singing "I've got a theory! It could be bunnies! Bunnies aren't just cute like everybody supposes! They've got them hoppy legs and twitchy little noses! And what's with all the carrots? What do they need such good eyesight for anyway? Bunnies! Bunnies! It must be bunnies! (Pyrotechnics.) ...Or maybe midgets." Or is that just me?).

Okay, I have a theory that I am someday going to meet The Guy, The One but I'm either going to be 90 or he's out there now but he lives 2000 miles away. In fact, Larry and I just had a conversation about this on MSN Messenger the other day. This is not a very pleasant theory but I am cynical and yeah, kind of bitter about how my romantic life has been going lately the last 8 years.

Last night at karaoke, one of the semi-regulars was in and was mentioning to Angie that he had a girlfriend now. I overheard this conversation and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Not that I like this guy. That's not it at all. No, I was more, shall we say, shocked and/or stunned that he had a girlfriend (I am a bitch. I have never said otherwise). My viewpoints on it were something like this:

DM: Beth, there is no God.
B (somewhat shocked to hear me say this because I am rather spiritual): What? Why?
DM: Semi-regular (can't even give him a good fake name, sorry, but it'll give away who I'm talking about and I may be a bitch but I'm not a BITCH. We'll call him Gary) Gary has a girlfriend.
B: Oh, my God (look of horror as she imagines the impossibility of this).
DM: I know! And yet, I am still single.

As those of you who have been reading faithfully, you do know that there is a guy that I do like (who I have titled as Gil (short for Guy I like)) up at karaoke. However, he is not aware that I am a female. This post, titled At Last, is not about him. No, something really weird happened last night shortly after I made my comment about there being no God.

God said "Oh, yeah?" And proved me wrong.

Bryan called this guy up, named Quagna or Quarta or Quota (probably not Quota). He asked Quogna how to pronouce his name and Quagna stood up on the stage and said "It's Quagna (lots of other syllables) from South Africa. I have come here, to The Chalet, from 2000 miles away."

Hello? 2000 miles away? Hmm. I am somewhat intrigued. Plus, the accent is hot.

Quagna and his friend are standing on the stage. His friend looks at me. He gestures with two fingers, pointing at me and then pointing to Quagna and then pointing at his eyes, conveying eye contact. Or that he is really special. One of the two.

Quagna then begins to sing. No, let me rephrase that. Quagna begins to sing to me. Directly to me. Staring into my eyes. Beth looks at him and leans forward.

B: Hey, Dana?
DM: Yeah (not breaking eye contact with Quagna)?
B: There is a God.
DM: Oh, my God. Yeeeeaaaaaahhhh (said it a drawl as I am realizing that Quagna is a) hot and b) singing directly to me and c) did I mention hot?).

Beth gets up and says something to Bryan about this after Quagna finishes singing. Something like "That guy was totally staring at Dana when he was singing." Bryan, who has no romance in his soul (well, that's not true, he was actually in another part of the bar), says "I didn't notice it." However, Angie and Amy and Beth all did notice it. I had witnesses.

Later, it is my turn to sing. I have no idea what I'm going to sing and I give my list to Beth. She tells Bryan the number. It's Black Velvet. I have sung Black Velvet before. And all immodesty aside, I'm pretty good at it. I am really getting into the song, putting my heart and soul into it.

Then Quagna walks up, looks at me, smiles and pulls out a chair directly in front of me. He sits down and stares at me the entire time I am singing. I end up singing to him. We maintain eye contact through the rest of the song. Even when I get completely nervous and completely fuck up the rest of the song by going completely flat.

After I finish, Quagna walks away, smiling at me. I am a wreck. This does not happen to me, people of the Internet. EVER. Maybe I didn't emphasize that enough. Things like this do not happen to me. EVER. This could be construed as romantic. There is no romance in my life at all. What the hell is going on?

Then God, who has a very odd sense of humor, decides to throw a twist into the night. When Quagna gets up to sing again (and now Angie, Amy and Beth are referring to him as my boyfriend), he calls for his friend Johann (the guy who was up there before with him) to come up. He needs Johann to be there because Johann is his dancing partner. Um, what?

Quagna begins singing, Johann behind him. Johann starts making slight thrusting movements with his hips towards Quagna. Quagna is still singing to me but his friend is practically humping him on the stage. At this point, we are all very confused.

Quagna finishes singing, Johann wanders off. Quagna smiles at me and walks away again. A little later, Beth says "Yeah, you know your boyfriend? He's probably gay." Ya think? She goes on to tell me that he just went into the bathroom with his friend. Which is not what led us to think he might be gay, there was a whole lot of other stuff going on that led us to this conclusion.

Then God's sense of humor runs towards the demented. There is this whole weird scene that I didn't catch much of but Angie and Amy witnessed. They had gone out to the parking lot and seen Johann lying on the ground, a broken beer bottle by his head. They, concerned, responible people that they are, walked up to him and asked if he was okay. He mumbles something.

Johann: My friend...my friend is a good guy. But something happened to my head.

Angie and Amy turn around and see Quagna come out, fist cocked, about ready to punch Johann, when he sees them and turns his "I'm going to kick your ass" stance into "Oh, my friend, what happened to you?" They hug. Angie is telling us about this and I tell her about my theory of how The Guy probably lives 2000 miles away from me and when someone who could be The Guy shows up, he's probably gay. We laugh about this because let's face it, it's pretty damn funny. They are still referring to him as my boyfriend. Who may or may not be gay. The rest of the night, Quagna is hitting on every woman in the bar except those at our table. He does not come near me again.

Liz comes in, we tell her the whole saga about how there is no God and about Quagna and what the fuck is going on here? She, bless her, has brought me books and we talk about Gary and his girlfriend and how I should not use this as a barometer for my love life because it's Gary and he's just weird. The last few songs of the night are sung and I get to sing because I promised Liz and James last week that I would sing "Leaving on a Jet Plane" for them.

After the bar closes, people leave, as they should because hello, the bar has closed. Except for the table of the two drunken blonde girls sitting behind us. With Quagna. He is hitting on Drunken Blonde Girl #1 (who is wearing a very tactful pink t-shirt that says "I need a stiff one." It goes lovely with the blue thong that you cannot help but see because her pants barely cover her thighs, let alone her ass). The three of them finally leave together. Goodbye, possible The Guy who may or may not be gay.

Liz, James, Beth and I have a great conversation about management and James tells us a very amusing story about an incredibly stupid employee that he has working for him. James needs a blog. So do Liz and Bryan. They are funny and brilliant and amusing people and we like them a lot. And, no, I'm not just saying this because I gave Liz the links to Beth and my blogs last night.

I, possibly in atonement for saying that there is no God, got in a cleaning mood and asked Bobby for a clean towel so I could wipe down the tables. He laughed at me but did comply. After bussing most of the tables (Andrew did beat me to one or two) and wiping them down, I asked Bobby if I could have a job. He said sure, I could come in every night at two and clean down the tables. Beth and I laugh over the fact that I'd have to take a bus to get there and then take a cab home. It would not be worth it.

Then the best part of the night happened. Beth and I were invited over to Bryan and Liz's house. We got to meet their adorable dog and see their beautiful house and I got to have a Diet Coke with Lime and we sat in the backyard and talked about stuff with them and James while Bryan tried to create a bonfire. And then he gave us fireworks and scared the crap out of us with things we thought would sparkle but instead they exploded in the fire.

It was a great evening, even though God is playing a serious joke on me with the whole Quagna thing. Oh, and this morning, sitting in Beth's apartment, we had an interesting conversation about this:

DM: How the hell did you pronouce his name anyway?
B (tries to say it): I'm not sure. How the hell would you scream that in bed anyway?
DM: I'm thinking it would have to be Q!

We laugh.

DM: Which brings back Star Trek: TNG memories. I could say "Call me Captain Kirk."
B: Yeah, because they're completely different series.
DM: I know. But hey, it might work.

Hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend, people of the Internet. May your love lives not be as complicated as mine.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Language Lessons

I was reading a post by Diana the other day. One of the things I like to do, once I discover a new blog, is start reading the archives. So, as I was scrolling along the page, I found a post she wrote about her son and how he was asking her questions about what the F-word was. And suddenly I was propelled back into time and remembering my experiences with learning certain words. Let's all give Diana props for breaking the hold the dreaded writer's block had over me.


Picture it, if you will, a young Dana (quite adorable, if I do say myself. This was before glasses, before weight gain and when my hair was long and loved me) coming home from kindergarten one day (I was five). My mother was outside, feeding the rabbits (we raised rabbits for a little while).

DM: Mom, what does fuck mean?
M: What?
DM: What does fuck mean?
M: Where did you hear that word?
DM: At school.

I must give my mom credit. She handled this very well.

M: It's what rabbits do when they are married.
DM: Oh (yeah, I had no clue).
M: But it's not a nice word. So please don't use it again.
DM: Okay.

That was it. I, of course, eventually learned what fuck meant. But did not use it much in front of my mother. Until I became a teenager and massive mood swings turned her into the enemy. Poor Mom. It's amazing how much better our relationship became after she a) moved to Arizona and b) I went back on Effexor. Too bad my happy pills weren't invented when I was a teenager, my life would probably been a hell of a lot better. Ah, well. Since I'm on Effexor, I don't even care about the hell that being a teenager was.

Abandoned By the Tooth Fairy

When I lost my last tooth (Carol, I didn't forget your question about things I believed as a child that I don't believe now, this is actually from it. This is pretty much the only thing I don't believe in anymore), I put it under my pillow as you are supposed to do. Now, I was pretty sure that the Tooth Fairy (Santa Claus/Easter Bunny) was Mom and/or Dad but I wasn't sure. Because, let's face it, parents are sneaky. They will go as long as they can to help us sustain belief in fictional characters and I, for one, love them for it.

The next morning, I woke up and lifted up my pillow, eager to see how much the Tooth Fairy had brought me. You can imagine my disappointment when there was nothing there. I went to my Mom and shared with her my tale of woe.

DM: Mom, the Tooth Fairy didn't come last night.
M: She didn't? That silly Tooth Fairy. I know. Why don't you go lay back in bed and close your eyes. I'll bet she'll come to see you then.
DM: Okay.

I get back into bed, cover up and close my eyes. I hear some rustling in the background.

Rustle, rustle, rustle. Some more rustling.

M: Shit.

My pillow lifts up. My pillow is set down. A few seconds pass.

M: Dana! I think the Tooth Fairy came! Let's check!

I lift up my pillow. There is, instead of the usual shiny two or three quarters, a shiny five dollar bill. Huh. Well, that's not normal. Gee, I wonder if Mom didn't have any quarters or even dollar bills. Well, I'm not going to complain. What, you think I'm stupid? Don't answer that.

Why, Grandma, what a big potty mouth you have

So Kari and I are over at Grandma's. This, obviously, was before she died. I think I was about 11 and Kari was 9. Mom had to borrow Grandma's car so there was Grandma, trapped visiting with her hellion lovely grandchildren (thank you Johnny for showing me how to do this! I HEART YOU) when she discovered that she was out of cigarettes. This is not good. I don't think there was a convenience store anywhere near her house at the time and she didn't want to drag us out walking a couple of miles.

So she started scouring the house, looking for an ashtray that might possibly have a cigarette butt in it long enough for her to get a few hits of precious, precious nicotine. We followed her from room to room. Unfortunately, Grandma was a fairly clean woman and so her ashtrays pratically sparkled. I really think she cleaned them after every cigarette.

Then, a bright light bulb went off over her head! What about the basement? There were probably cigarettes down there! We scurried down the stairs quickly. Ooh, sweet nicotine was in her grasp!

Grandma is practically trembling as she walked up to the ashtray. She looks into the cavernous ashtray, nearly empty...except for one cigarette. Only smoked about halfway through. It was a wonderful bonus for this slightly stressed out lady.

She clasped the cigarette in one hand, put it into her mouth and with her shaking hands, brought the lighter to the tip of the cigarette. Just as the lighter touched the cigarette, I saw something unusual.

DM: Um, Grandma, the cigarette is...

The filter catches on fire and flares. The sickly sweet smell of a burning filter fills the room.

DM: Backwards.
G: Shit!

We then spent the next two hours watching Grandma go through nicotine withdrawal until my Mom got back. This was long before cell phones so it's not like Grandma could have called her and asked her to bring a pack of smokes home.

The worst part about this story? There was a pack of cigarettes in the freezer the entire time. Grandma found it after she got home with her new carton.

Anyway, these are the tales of my exposure to the dreaded f and s words. What was your first swear word?

Friday, May 27, 2005

Bored, bored, bored, bored

Okay, I’m kind of bored. Plus, I have writer’s block which is never, ever good. Do you know how blocked I am? I am still working on my “100 Things About Me” that I started on April 9th. How hard is it to come up with 100 things? I’m stuck on 38. That’s so pathetic. So, in order to stave off guilt that I should be writing SOMETHING, I bring you back the music meme.

Using only the music of one of your favorite musical artists, answer these questions:
1. Are you male or female?: Not Your Girl
2. Describe yourself: Cheap and Evil Girl
3. How do some people feel about you?: Everything Feels Wrong
4. How do you feel about yourself?: Fool’s Gold
5. Describe your girlfriend/boyfriend/interest: Boys of Summer
6. Where would you rather be?: Galaxy Song
7. Describe what you want to be: Fallen
8. Describe how you live: Faster, Faster
9. Describe how you love: Smitten
10. Share a few words of wisdom: Show Me

Those songs are by Bree Sharp who (whom? I can never remember which is correct) I never would have discovered if not for Beth. Everyone say “Yay, Beth!” because Bree Sharp rocks and rolls.

Using only the music of one of your favorite musical artists, answer these questions:
1. Are you male or female?: Belle
2. Describe yourself: Flake
3. How do some people feel about you?: Fortunate Fool
4. How do you feel about yourself?: Good People
5. Describe your girlfriend/boyfriend/interest: Wasting Time
6. Where would you rather be?: Holes to Heaven
7. Describe what you want to be: Cupid
8. Describe how you live: Dreams Be Dreams
9. Describe how you love: Losing Hope
10. Share a few words of wisdom: Staple It Together

These songs are by Jack Johnson. I discovered Jack Johnson in one of two ways. Either by watching VH1 one night with Beth during a scrapbook marathon or by Bryan singing “Flake” at karaoke. Whatever. I’m just glad I did discover him. He has a very haunting voice and I like his music (although Bryan’s better at “Flake”). And thankfully he has a new album out this year or I never would have been able to answer number 1.

I am avidly looking forward to Sunday. My entire week has revolved around “Is it Sunday yet?” I think I need help. Perhaps there is a Karaoke Anonymous that I could start joining. Perhaps it’s not just the karaoke and the hanging with Beth that I am looking forward to but the fact that there might be someone at karaoke but I am not saying anything about that because that would be admitting that I like him and I don’t. Nope. Not at all. Just excited about karaoke and seeing Beth. That’s it.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Ten Things I've Never Done

Mark tagged me for this. I don’t think I’m going to be quite as creative as he was (check his post out here) but I think it’ll be fun.

1. I have never petted a cougar. I wanted to, once when I was at the Como Zoo; it was lying very close to the bars and looked quite cuddly. Fortunately, my mother squashed that idea by dragging me quite firmly the other way.

2. I have never had a driver’s license. I have had my driver’s permit twice. Once when I was 18 and once when I was 36 or 37. Ask Beth. She would know. I don’t remember these things.

3. I have never killed anyone. Even though my New Year’s Resolution this year was to not kill anyone, it was mainly a joke. I am not particularly a violent person. I mean, sure, I make vague threatening gestures with a fork when people irritate me but that doesn’t mean I’ll actually stab them or anything.

4. I have never been in love. I have been in like and in lust and in infatuation but never in love. I’m not sure I regret this, especially when I consider the men I have dated in the past. But, hey, better bruised pride than a broken heart, right?

5. I have also never been married (but I was engaged once) or been pregnant. I’m very thankful about the not having children. I do not think I would be a good mother because I am distracted easily and am not overly fond of small children under the age of six. Except for Josh, of course. And that’s not just because I’m afraid of my sister.

6. I have never been arrested. I was, however, stopped by the police a couple of times. Both times took place when I worked for the Sub Shoppe and was on my way home from work. The first time, one of my co-workers was walking me home since my ride had cancelled on me. As we walked down the street, a police officer stopped us and demanded to know our names. He wanted us to give them in a particular order and told us to give him our first names. I provide him with mine and he writes it down. Then my co-worker gives him her name and he almost blew a gasket.

Police Officer (PO): What is your first name?
Co-worker (CW): Sandymae (fake name).
PO: No. Don’t give me your middle name! I want your first name! What is your first name?
CW: Sandymae.
PO: NO! I said give me your first name! Quit messing around! What is your first name?
CW: My first name is Sandymae. Would you like to see my driver’s license?

The police officer snatched the license out of her hand and was dismayed to see that, yes, Sandymae was her first name. She had not been “messing around.” After he finally gets our names written down correctly, he tells us that two boys were seen breaking into a restaurant and stealing cigarette packs from the vending machine. Did we have anything to do with this? Uh, no. Since we’re not boys and weren’t coming from the direction of the restaurant.

The second time I was stopped was when my ride had forgotten to pick me up; I had to call home and was waiting outside of the building when I saw my ride go by. I crossed the street but got trapped on the median by all of the cars passing by. The police officer that stopped me was wondering what I was doing. I explained to him that I was waiting for my ride since I had just left work. When my ride pulled up, the police officer started interrogating him, wanting to know if we had been in a fight. The Putz (as I affectionately called my roommate’s boyfriend), said “No. I fell asleep.”

7. I’ve never been to the United Kingdom. Two months ago, I would have written that I’ve never been to Europe but that was before Beth and I went to see Johnny last month. However, the plan is to visit the UK in a few years, after we go to Italy in 2007. Note to Beth, I spoke to Larry last night through Windows Messenger and he is possibly making a trip out to the Mall of America in October or November. His goal is to end up on your list of “In Real Life” friends.

8. I have never finished a novel. I have problems with this, I have a tendency to write a chapter and then overanalyze it and edit until there’s almost nothing left. It’s quite irritating. I have, however, published a poem in an anthology through www.poetry.com. I have the book. It’s very exciting (not really). One of these days I should start posting the novel I sort of am working on now and see what you all think. Maybe you could help me get over my need to critique myself.

9. I have never physically been in a movie. I did a voice over once with other students for Lakewood Community College but they had another people pretend to be us. I did do a lot of acting in high school and at my church and I miss it. I think that’s why I like karaoke so much. I get to be on stage again.

10. I have never run a marathon. Thanks to Rachel for helping me think of this. She’s looking at a muscle and fitness magazine right now because she thinks she needs to lose weight. Dear Internet, if you could see her, you would join me in laughing at her because she is gorgeous and the type of person I would hate if she wasn’t so damn nice.

This was fun. I feel no need to tag anyone to do this but if any of you wanted to, I would be happy to read it!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

I am a dork

So I get off work at 4:30. Every day. I start at 8. I leave at 4:30.

Today I send Keem an email, telling her I was logging off. I read a magazine, finished that, talked to Rachel, started reading a book and can't figure out why Keem is still on the phone. What's going on?

And then Rachel asked me if I got off work early today. I look at the clock. It's 3:50.

I had to go to my boss and ask if I could use the hour of paid time off I won last month for having great quality in my calls. While he laughed at me. A lot.

Oh, well. At least I got time to catch up on my blog reading.

My Weekend O'Excitement

Yeah, it's long but it's about karaoke! That's always exciting!

On Saturday, Keem and I were going to clean my room. Believe me when I say it needs it. Keem keeps threatening to take pictures of it and blackmail me but, as I told her, that would be wrong. I was going to bring home a whole bunch of boxes that I’ve been collecting from work so I could a) put things away, b) go through boxes that have not been opened since we moved into our apartment (July 4, 2002) and c) throw some stuff out.

This did not happen. Why, you ask? Well, that’s because I am lazy. I hate to clean. I actually paid Jeff $200 (I think) to clean my room once. And he earned every penny. But, obviously, I did not keep it clean. I am not sure why I am so cleaning challenged, other than the fact that I find it extremely boring and I HATE to be bored, but I am. My greatest dream is that someday I will have enough money that I can afford a live-in housekeeper and cook. Oh, and a chauffeur because I’m probably not going to get a driver’s license anytime soon. And, hopefully, they will all be extremely good looking, buff, young men. Unless, of course, I have finally met my true love and have transcended above my need for the occasional eye candy.

Instead, Keem and I decided that we were craving hamburgers and drove out to Fuddruckers in Roseville. It was a nice day, so, after our meal, we decided to drive around. We headed down Grand Avenue where Keem resisted my urgings to stop at Restoration Hardware. Which is just as well, I am broke and I know I easily would have found something to spend money I couldn’t afford there. We eventually ended up at Rainbow Foods and went grocery shopping. I have not yet been able to figure out how we spent over $100, since we were just going “for a few things.”

After we got home and I took a nap, Beth came and got me and I went over to her place to scrapbook. I love scrapbooking with Beth; it’s a lot of fun. We listen to music, talk about random things and admire each other’s pages. After awhile, close to about 5 or 6, we decided to take a break and went to the living room. Beth began playing this horribly addictive game called “Same Game” which I fortunately do not have on my computer or would never accomplish anything. I continued reading my purse book (I also have a home book), the newest Mary Higgins Clark. We spent some time talking and finally, at about 7 or so, Beth decided she had tortured me enough and let me go to sleep. Beth and I work different shifts so it is difficult for me to adjust to her schedule on the weekends. I’m getting up for work about an hour after she goes to bed.

I slept on the “couch” in the living room (a trundle bed) and had a bizarre dream. I didn’t even recognize that I was dreaming. All I really remember is that I was trying to sleep and someone was in the bed with me, pushing me off. I landed on the floor and this person was on top of me, trying to smother me with a pillow. While trying to knock him off of me, I felt the top of his head and, from the horns I found, I was able to deduce that this was The Devil. Now, why The Devil wants me dead, I’m not sure. I thought he was quite happy being my fake boyfriend. After I don’t know how many minutes of terror, I opened my eyes and realized that I had been dreaming, was still on top of the bed and The Devil was not there at all. Whether or not we’re still fake dating, however, is another story.

Sunday, there was more scrapbooking and then the joyful, wonderfulness that is karaoke. Ah, karaoke, how we love you. I should seriously write an ode to karaoke someday. I’ll have to think about it. Part of the whole greatness that is karaoke is not about the singing. Yes, I like to sing. Yes, I like to try new songs and listen to other people sing. But the main part of the greatness that is karaoke is the regulars.

Anyway, Beth and I got there around the usual time but, since it’s starting to get brighter earlier, we were shocked to see that The Chalet sign is green! Green? What kind of color is that? Usually it’s dark when we get there so we had thought it was black. Then, proving that we’re all kinds of observant, I looked across the street and said “Hey, did you know there was a park over there?” Seriously. We had no idea. We knew Lake McCarren was there but a park as well? Bobby laughed at us when we told him these observations and warned us against the park, apparently it is a high crime area.

While waiting for Bryan to arrive, Beth and I killed time by listening to the music playing, watching the silent commercials on the televisions (which were weird and kind of funny but dang it, I can’t think of any of them now), cleaning out my purse (well, just me) and talking about random stuff. Bryan arrived and we started making fun of NASCAR. When Bryan started his vant about the flow chart used to decide what type of subject can be in your back window of your pick-up truck (apparently the choices are American Eagle (with or without tears), US Flag and Racing Flag), Beth and I both agreed he needs a blog. Bryan is a very laid-back, funny, intelligent man and it’s great counting him as a friend.

Since the day had been so nice, the thought was that karaoke would be slow. It wasn’t. A group of softball players showed up and filled up several tables. They were in the mood to sing and we had a good time watching and listening. Several of the women in this group thought it was imperative that they share with everyone at The Chalet their interpretive dance for many of the songs. My, this was enjoyable. At one point, Beth was hunched in her chair, trying to avoid the flailing arms and legs.

I glanced over and saw Ryan, one of the regulars but non-singer, make fun of the dancing girls by making a motion with his body in a Z-like formation. I started laughing and Beth wanted to know why. I demonstrated the motion for her but; unfortunately, one of the dancing girls saw me and told me to get out on the floor since I could move. I declined her kind request since a) I don’t dance and b) I was mocking them (or as Beth says, I was imitating someone who was mocking them).

Two guys who have been at karaoke a few times, Jason and Nick (I’m guessing that Nick is his name), were there again. They sang “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” together. They’re really quite good and I remember Nick telling me that they were in a band. Jason later sang “Piano Man,” probably the only Billy Joel song I don’t care for since it’s usually a popular choice for drunks to sing. Jason, fortunately, was not drunk and did a great job with the song.

And then we come to the worst part of the evening. Remember my vant about the song “Picture?” Remember how much I hate this song? Well, Bryan betrayed us. This couple got up and completely butchered the song (because yeah, Picture isn’t bad enough). And after they finished, Bryan, looking mildly sheepish, allowed another couple to get up and sing it again. We had to listen to “Picture” twice! Twice! It was horrible.

Liz, Dean, James and Barry all came in, followed by Cassie and her husband (who we weren’t actually introduced to because it was loud and crazy and crowded). Beth and I tried the techniques flea mentioned on her blog (note, she was making fun of articles in O magazine) out on Dean. Here was the conversation.

B: Dean, that is a manly sweater you are wearing.
D (puzzled look): Thank you.
DM: Have I mentioned that you are brilliant in everything you say? Quite like John Wayne.
D: I’m not sure how to take that.
B: You are 100% correct.
D: Okay. I’m not supposed to know how to take that.
DM: Dean! Dean, I have a problem! I need your assistance! I have a problem… (I turn to Beth) I have no idea what my problem is.
B (Jumping to the rescue): We don’t know how to remove this cap from the pen.

Dean looks at us oddly, takes the pen and removes the cap. Beth and I fawn over him, telling him how strong and manly he is. He tells us that we are weird, or something to that nature. We then tell him about flea’s blog. He still probably thinks we’re weird but at least now he knows why.

Later that night, someone gets up to sing “Luck Be a Lady.” He is quite good, reminiscent of Frank Sinatra. The dancing girls are out in full force. I watch them for a moment and say to both Dean and James that this is not what I remembered from the musical (Guys and Dolls). We laugh about it, watching the dancing girls express themselves (if they were trying to express themselves as cheap, slut-like girls, they did a great job) to the music.

Michael stopped in to pay a visit. We were very excited since we rarely get to see him now. He works as a karaoke host on Sundays. I have tried to convince Beth that we should become karaoke hosts but she just laughs at me.

As always, the evening came to an end too quickly. The next thing we knew, Bryan was telling everyone to have a good night and to not drive drunk. Then he asked James to stand up and announced to everyone that he was getting married the next day (Monday). The softball crowd exploded with applause and hoots and hollers. James did a slight bow, a smile on his face. Beth and I were somewhat confused while the rest of our table also was smiling.

After the explosion of applause died down, I leaned forward and asked Liz “Who gets married on a Monday?” She laughs and said “It’s a joke. He isn’t even seeing anyone.” Apparently Bryan has done this before to mess with the crowds.

The majority of the people left, we stayed behind and got into a conversation with Liz about “The Profiler” and marriage. I’d only seen a few episodes of the show but I liked it so Liz volunteered to lend me the First Season of the show. I also asked when Liz and Bryan are getting married so I can do a wedding scrapbook. Liz told me I should ask Bryan if he liked “The Profiler” since apparently this is the only thing he tries to control. He hates the show and keeps trying to convince her not to watch it. I was also supposed to ask him when they were getting married because, as Liz said, not until he proposes.

Talk about evil looks. I was scared for a moment. Beth told him that she had never watched “The Profiler” and he told her that she got to sing either first or second next week, what ever she preferred. When I asked the question about them getting married, I told him I needed to do a wedding album. Liz told him that was the perfect reason and that’s what they could tell everyone when asked why they got married; because their friend Dana needed to do a wedding album (it is very cool having Liz call me one of their friends. Allow me to have a giddy moment here). That and so their dog wouldn’t be a bastard anymore and could hold his head up high in the neighborhood.

The night ended with Bryan telling us stories of things he has done to his friends who have gotten married in the past. It included kidnapping, forcing someone to stand on a street corner in camouflage with two left boots on and sing “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins. While we were extremely amused by his stories, in the car on the way home, Beth remarked “If I ever get married, Bryan’s not meeting him until the actual wedding.”

It was a great weekend and I hope you all had as much fun as I did. I’m not sure how you could though, since you weren’t at The Chalet with us. At one point, Beth and I sat there and thought about how great it would be if Johnny was there and calling us “Bloody Anglos” for liking karaoke so much. We miss Johnny.

Speaking of Johnny, we’re up to $44.80 in the BJTM fund. And I think Beth said she was up to almost $20. Keep up the clicking, folks, we’re getting there. Maybe not by this August but next year…well, there are pigs and cows and horses and crap-on-a-stick just waiting for Johnny to see them.

Monday, May 23, 2005

It All Started Because Someone Hated NABABNA

So I mentioned that today is my one year anniversary for blogging. Here’s how I got started.

As you know, I work for NABABNA (fake name for the large bank I work for). One Saturday night at work in the main call center, I was bored. Bored, bored, bored. I had remembered stumbling across a website a few weeks before that talked about how the website owner absolutely despised NABABNA (Put us on the same level as the Anti-Christ. I would link to their website but, of course, that would reveal what company we work for and that would just be wrong). In my boredom, I decided to see if I could pull up the website again so I could send the link to Beth (not that we would ever look at the website when we were working. That would be wrong). As I was searching through the results http://www.google.com/ pulled up, I stumbled across something that looked even more interesting.

I can’t remember why the site caught my eye. I can’t even remember whose site it was. But it was a list. Well, we’ve determined that I like lists and memes so I pulled up the site. If I remember right, the post (although I didn’t know that was what it was called at the time) was titled “An A-Z list of things I hate.”

I was intrigued. Here was some random guy writing about stuff. Anything that caught his attention. I started reading his archives. It was amusing. It made me start thinking that “Hey, I a) am really, really funny (and extremely modest) and b) love attention. What better thing to do than start a blog of my own?”

So that’s how I started blogging. This has been a great year and I’ve really enjoyed “meeting” new people and finding new blogs. It’s a lot of fun when Beth and I can have a conversation about someone who we have never officially met but express concern for something they are going through or find ourselves talking to our IRL friends about their blogs. Beth and I also had the joy and excitement of actually traveling to Portugal and meeting Johnny in real life.

And, hey, just for fun, here are some posts for you to read. Some of you are new readers and may not have had the great pleasure of reading them (hey, I was being sarcastic when I said I was modest).

My first post explained why my site is called Green Duckies and Other Tales of Dana.

Why I refer to myself as the Queen of the Universe.

A post about blueberries.

Two of my favorite karaoke posts, Beer Goggles 1 and 2

The vant about the song “Midnight At The Oasis.”

I hope you enjoy them! It’s been a great year, everyone. Thanks for being a part of it.

The links have been fixed. Thanks, Carol, for pointing out that there was a problem.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Lists (Thanks Mark)

I asked Mark for something to blog about as well. I love the lists he comes up with; they are a lot of fun to read. I had left the following comment on his blog:

Mark, I'm bored. I have nothing to write about. Challenge me. Tell me to come up with a list. Anything. I have to come up with something or else I'm going to start a rumble in the parking lot just for a story.

Here is his response:

Dana - since you have the most urgent need, I offer the following suggestions for lists...
People you most want to rumble with in parking lot.
People who most irritate you.
Book Titles I would like to see.
If Pamela Anderson were President...: (think of the possibilities with that list!)

If any of you have anything you’d like to know, or lists you’d like to see, please leave me a comment or send me an email.

People I would most like to rumble with in the parking lot. I’m going to combine this with people who most irritate me as well.

Now I am assuming that this will be a Jets vs. the Sharks type rumble (plus I have The Songs of West Side Story on iTunes and randomly hear the rumble song (which is just fun to sing to yourself)) and that I will get to have my gang with me (Beth, Keem, Matt, did you know we were a gang?).

I can picture it now. Beth will kick people in the head (she can kick high), I will weight one of Eddy’s toys (the bungee toy that I am using as a headband in my new profile picture) and use it as a chain, Keem will send Eddy after them (he loves her so much that he will be an attack cat) and Matt will…well, Matt’s kind of crazy. I’m not sure what he’ll do. Quite possibly he will throw them into Jell-O.

Anyway, the people I would most like to rumble with are as follows:

Ann Coulter. I hate her. I hate her with a passion. If you have ever read her column or website or even one of the transcripts of speeches she has given, you will realize that she is a) completely insane, b) a total bitch and c) she obviously hates women since she insists on saying that women are stupid and need men.

George W. Bush. Do we even have to ask why? Seriously? I support gay rights, he doesn’t. I believe that being a Christian doesn’t mean you get to judge everyone different from you, he does. I believe that it’s ridiculous that people are dying in Iraq; he continues to lie about our reasons for being there.

Anyway, I did not plan in turning this in to a political rumble so let’s move on.

Jennifer Lopez. I think she would be able to bring a challenge to the rumble, what with all of her dance moves and everything. Maybe she could bring her gang of annoying celebrities, Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson. I can see the choreography now!

Internet trolls – Those who think it’s okay to call someone names just because they don’t like someone’s political beliefs or their lifestyle. If you don’t like someone’s blog, don’t read it. Since I’ve been blogging, I’ve seen people called names for mourning the loss of their best friend, for being a lesbian, for being pro-choice and in my case, for being fat (and stupid since I wrote a post about not liking George W. Bush)). However, since most of the trolls are cowards and hide behind their anonymity, I’m not sure that there would be many to rumble with.

Matt’s ex-girlfriend, affectionately known as "The Twat." Known child abuser, manipulative bitch, all around loser. She should be smushed. And smushed good.

Okay, let’s move on to a lighter subject:

Book titles I would like to see:

Dana, Queen of the Universe – How she rose to power.
Any volunteers to write it?

How to lose weight merely by watching TV and blogging – No exercise, dieting, surgery or pills involved (Wouldn’t that be nice?).

I don’t care what they name the books, I just want to read them:

Carol’s book
Mark’s book
Johnny’s book about Uzi
Beth’s murder mystery that she has not finished
Anything written by flea

And the last list, If Pamela Anderson were President:

Our national anthem would be changed to "I’m A Blonde" by Julie Brown.
Mandatory viewing of all of her movies and television shows would be required or we would be jailed for treason.

Oh, hell, I can’t think of anything else. Oh well. This helped break the slump though. Thanks again, Mark!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

What a man really wants

One of my favorite bloggers is flea. She is a brilliant and humorous writer. If you've never read her site, I recommend that you visit, if only for this post. She recently bought Oprah's magazine, O, and brings its wisdom to us, as only she can do. She also tried some of the suggestions on her husband.

I enjoyed this post so much that I have figured out a way to win the affections of Gil (Guy I like). I am trying to be subtle about the fact that I like him. But it is difficult since certain people (hmm, I wonder who could that be) keep bringing up the fact that "Oh, look, Dana has dressed up tonight" or "Oh, look, Dana did her hair" when there are perfectly logical reasons for me dressing up (Keem is doing laundry and I don't have any casual clothes to wear) or doing my hair (since I am trying to grow my hair long and it wants to grow wide instead of long, I have to blow dry it or try pinning it back or it looks horrible) that have nothing to do with the fact that I might possibly find this person interesting.

Here is the comment I left on flea's blog, my plan to convince Gil I'm the girl for him. Do you think it will work (if you haven't read flea's post, this will not mean anything to you. You should probably go read the post first)?

I see what my problem is, why I'm so single. Apparently I haven't been complimenting the guy I like on his manly sweater.

I can actually imagine the conversation now.

DM: Why hello, Gil, have I mentioned how powerful and moving in the way that you speak. Quite like John Wayne.
Gil: Some major movie mogul is a really bad guy (he's a nerd. Okay? I like a nerd)*.
DM: You are 100% correct (hoping he will forget that I hate the movie mogul's movies that he is referring to and could care less about how he is a really bad guy).
Gil: Okay.
DM: May I compliment you on your manly sweater?
Gil: Are you on drugs?

Yes! I can see it now! Why, I bet I'll be married next week! All thanks to W. Bruce Cameron and Oprah! And to you, of course, flea, for bringing their wonderful words to my attention.

*Thank you to Beth for pointing out that I completely gave myself away and had to edit creatively.

In answer to Johnny's question

Johnny asked how I got my hair to stick up like that in my newest profile picture but she went offline before I had the chance to answer her. So, I give you new pictures that will help explain.

I've been posting all my new pictures to What Is The Meaning Of Life. I may not have any new poems but I figure that my pictures are also my way of expressing myself.

So, in this picture, you will see my beloved cat Eddy playing with his beloved Keem.

And in this picture, you will see how I got my hair to stick up. Or is that my hair? You tell me.

Yes, I am a dork. Here's another picture to prove it.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Another Music Meme

Found this on frog’s blog.

Using only the music of one of your favorite musical artists, answer these questions:

1. Are you male or female?: Good Girls Go to Heaven (Bad Girls Go Everywhere)
2. Describe yourself: What You See is What You Get
3. How do some people feel about you?: Bad Attitude
4. How do you feel about yourself?: All Revved Up With Nowhere to Go
5. Describe your girlfriend/boyfriend/interest: More Than You Deserve
6. Where would you rather be?: The Promised Land
7. Describe what you want to be: Dead Ringer For Love
8. Describe how you live: Running For the Red Light
9. Describe how you love: Standing On the Outside
10. Share a few words of wisdom: Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad

The artist (if you can’t guess) is Meat Loaf. I like a lot of different musicians but I’ve been listening to him the longest so he won.

Happy anniversary (ies) to me

Monday, May 23rd, is my 1 year anniversary for blogging. Wow. One full year of regaling you all with the insanity that makes me me. That's pretty damn cool, if you ask me.

Tuesday, May 31st, is my 20 year anniversary of graduating from high school. Wow. 20 years since I left high school, planning on conquering the world of something or another (I think I wanted to teach English but who remembers that long ago?). That's pretty damn depressing, if you ask me.

No, I am not going to my 20th year reunion. I am not fabulously thin, married to Keanu Reeves (or Rowan Atkinson for that matter) and world-famous. Maybe the 25th year reunion.

Five questions (and answers) about me!

Thank you, Carol, for recognizing my desperate cry for something to blog about. I appreciate it. I accept your 5 questions willingly.

1. If your house was burning down but you had time enough to take just three items with you (even if they're huge, but assume animals and people are already safely out), what would the items be?

Thank you for adding the animals and people are safely out. That would have been a tough one to answer. Okay. Three items.

Well, thankfully, most of my scrapbooking stuff is at Beth’s but I would need to grab my Vegas scrapbook album. It contains the pictures of my sister’s wedding and I would be horrified if that was destroyed. I would toss it into my wheelie tote with the rest of my scrapbooking stuff.

I would also need to take Hippo. As much as I would miss Frug (a frog) and Kit (newest addition to the Jones family, a pink and black cat shaped pillow bought in Portugal), Hippo has been part of my sleeping routine for years and I don’t think he could be replaced easily.

My purse. It has my identification, my banking paraphanelia, my make-up bag (which even has toothpaste and deodorant), a week’s supply of Effexor (thankfully, I keep my main supply at work), my blogger notebook, my karaoke list, and whatever book I am reading (currently Mary Higgins Clark’s newest, No Place Like Home). That way, while I’m waiting for the fire trucks, I could read.

I am assuming that the insurance company would replace my CPAP machine, otherwise I would have to include that on the list and forget about the scrapbooking stuff.

2. Think of the color you hate most. If you found an outfit that fit you perfectly and was way affordable, would you still purchase it if it was your most hated color?

There really aren’t any colors that I hate. Except maybe chartreuse which is, if I remember correctly, a yellowish-green color. If the outfit fit AND looked good on me, then yeah, I probably would purchase it. If it doesn’t look good against my skin and hair color, then there’s no point in buying it.

3. Have you ever done something extra special for someone but they never appreciated it one bit? (no fair using bosses)

Actually, yes. Probably about six or seven years ago, I decided to move in with a “friend” because she was having financial difficulties. I was going to help her get out of debt (which is pretty funny, actually, I’m not the best with a budget). I’m pretty sure I’ve posted the story before, I’ll have to find it.

4. Has a tree ever hugged you back?

Not literally. The trees don’t wrap their branches around me or anything. But there is such a peace that comes over you when you embrace Nature through a tree. And hugging makes you happy! It's a proven fact! Since the trees don't run away from me, I'm going to keep hugging them.

5. You suddenly find yourself having to totally change careers. You can't work in anything that is bank- or numbers-related. What path do you choose to pursue?

Oh, that’s easy. First of all, I hate math. I am in banking because I love customer service. I could easily find work in a large corporation as an administrative assistance or secretary since I have excellent phone skills, type approximately 80 words per minute and have 10,000 keystrokes per hour on a 10 key pad. As long as I work with Microsoft Word and Excel, I’ll be happy.

But if I suddenly won a ton of money and didn't have to work anymore, I'd try to finish my stupid novel.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Yes, that is a pork head. This picture was taken at the grocery store in Portugal (where I was being Bond, Dana Bond with my handy digital camera).  Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Bored. Bored, bored, bored. I am bored.

It is very slow at work today. I can’t think of anything to write about. Even the Star Trek: TNG scripts are less than exciting today.

So here is a brief litany of complaints:

This weather is driving me crazy. It makes me sleepy and also is causing my joints to ache. So it is constantly snap, crackle, pop in my cubicle. Makes me wonder what it’s going to be like when I hit 50 or 60 if 38 is so miserable due to the rain.

My stupid cold is driving me nuts. I keep sneezing through the day and then, at night, when wearing my CPAP machine, I’m having difficulties sleeping. The mask fits right over my nose so the air shoots up my nostrils and then meets an inpentreble barrier. It’s very uncomfortable and I’m not getting enough sleep because of it.

My hair is driving me insane. I am trying to grow it long and it is in the in between stage. Right now it flops. That’s it. The problem is that my hair doesn’t like to grow long, it likes to grow out. It’s very frustrating. I want to chop it off but that would defeat the whole growing it out purpose. Sigh.

You know, for someone who doesn’t drive, I’ve used the phrase “is driving me” 3 times. Hmm. Perhaps it is my subconscious speaking to me and telling me to get my liscense.

Anyway, things aren’t that bad. I did finally break down and take my 4 horse pills this morning to cure my embarrassing condition. After a few minutes of utter nausea and dizziness, I feel better knowing that I am working to resolve the situation. Even though I am bitterly protesting having this condition.

I am really having a problem coming up with anything to write about today, though. I have been reading frog’s blog on and off and she asked her readers to ask her five questions that they would like answered. She also gave them the option of having her ask them five questions.

So, anyone up for the challenge? It could be fun.

Oh, and to make up for the complaints, I bring you an email from my boss and a meme (of course).

-----Original Message-----
From: Matt (the boss)
Sent: Tuesday, May 17, 2005 11:13 AM
To: DM
Subject: Welcome back

Welcome back to the Internet Over Users Club. We were starting to wonder if you would ever come back to us. This email is to show our appreciation for renewing your membership.

All joking aside, last week was pretty bad. I can usually stick up for you when you are only on during your breaks and before/after work. Monday was our busiest day on the phones and I'm worried because it was your busiest day on the internet. There were four and a half pages of sites on Monday and you were on the internet at least one time for every hour that day.

You Romulan's (not sure of the spelling) are always trying to push my buttons with this stuff. It just isn't logical in my opinion.

-----Original Message-----
From: DM
Sent: Tuesday, May 17, 2005 11:36 AM
To: Matt (the boss)
Subject: RE: Welcome back

Wait. Aren't Romulans evil? I would think I'm more of a Betazed/Human mix.

Okay, I agree with that. I was clicking on a site that gives proceeds every time you click a link. It's for charity. I was not actually looking at any of the pages, just clicking them. But I am not doing that anymore, I just do it at home. I figured that would probably look bad if I kept it up. Wish I would have thought of that before I did it though.

Mainly the most you'll see me doing now is reading the occasional blog and commenting during my breaks and lunch or reading Star Trek transcripts in between calls.

I am sorry about this.

-----Original Message-----
From: Matt (the boss)
Sent: Tuesday, May 17, 2005 11:42 AM
To: DM
Subject: RE: Welcome back

No worries. Like I said before, I can usually pick out more defined time frames, but this was the first report where you actually looked like you were on all day.

We work later on trying to find your Star Trek ethnicity. I'm sure that there has to be some kind of Star Trek personality test that can tell you what race you are. I mean they have Klingon Dictionarys for crying out loud.

-----Original Message-----
From: DM
Sent: Tuesday, May 17, 2005 11:43 AM
To: Matt (the boss)
Subject: RE: Welcome back

I'm a slacker. The sooner you know it the better.

You know I'm going to obsessively search the internet until I find the Star Trek personality test. Fortunately I'm on lunch right now.

And, of course, I found one. It’s based on the Myers/Briggs test but it is in Star Trek Lingo! How fun is that? It is super fun!

Here's the link.

Myers-Briggs would say that you are an ENFP (Extrovert, Intuitive, Feeler, Perceiver). In Star Trek language, you share a basic personality configuration with James Kirk and Julian Bashir.
People like you are generally great problem-solvers. You're highly innovative, creative and unique. You're optimistic by nature, which may make others believe you're naive, but actually you're full of energy, very clever, and determined not to be stopped. You're outgoing, curious, and extremely playful. Others are sometimes taken aback by your enthusiasm, but it keeps you going after others have dropped.

You're deeply caring, sensitive and gentle, which, combined with your need to solve problems, may make you a little too eager to give others advice. You also process information very quickly, which may make others believe you're not listening to them. Before you share your feelings, you have to have time to process them.

You're adaptive and resourceful, but sometimes highly disorganized. You dream of having the perfect assistant. You respond best to people who encourage your unique viewpoints and insights, help you maintain harmony, and want to play and explore with you. You don't respond well when you're overwhelmed with details or when you're in a rigid situation.

Your primary goal in life is freedom to see possibilities, make connections, and be with a variety of people. Your reward is having spontaneous adventures.

Good careers for your type include being an advertising account executive, starship captain, career counselor, developer of educational software, actor, graphics designer, corporate team trainer, psychologist, inventor, medical pioneer, and child welfare counselor.

Is anyone really surprised that I am like Captain Kirk? Not me!

Monday, May 16, 2005

Proof that Johnny is always right

Both Johnny and Beth left the comment that Johnny is right when she said I was delightfully and refreshingly mad. I think I might have some proof regarding that.

Tree Hugger Alert!

I have mentioned before that Spring and Fall are my favorite times of year. This is because I am not overly fond of either cold or hot weather and temperatures in Minnesota during these seasons are anywhere from 55 to 75 degrees. I love this. I am usually even okay if it rains during this time because I normally like rain. If it is warm rain, which we have not been having lately. Instead we are being drenched with cold, wet rain that hates me and is driving its icy fingers into my soul.

However, there are some days when we pull out of the parking lot or are on the road and I am overwhelmed with all of the beauty that is Spring. My eyes are constantly drawn to the greenness and the flowering trees and the smell of the newly blooming lilacs. I watch birds fly through the sky or squirrels scamper through the trees (and try very hard to restrain from crying “Bird!” or “Squirrel!” since apparently that’s kind of distracting). My mouth falls open in awe, that’s the only way I can explain it.

Last week, Keem and I were driving what we refer to as the “scenic route” (we avoid 94W or 94E (depending on which way we are going) by taking Mounds Boulevard. We drive by Mounds Park (it may not actually be called Mounds Park. It may be Indian Mound Park) in which there are (you guessed it) Indian Burial Mounds. There are also lots and lots of trees. Keem and I had the following conversation.

DM: Keem! Keem! There is a tree.
Keem (K): Yes, Dana. That is a tree.
DM: Pull over.
K: Why?
DM: The tree wants me to hug it.
K: No. I am not pulling over.
DM: But Keem! The tree is sad and needs me to hug it.
K: The tree is not sad. It is a happy tree.

We drive a little further. I see another tree, one that is small and looks like it has just been planted recently.

DM: Keem! That tree is small! It needs to be hugged. Let me hug the tree.
K: No.
DM: But Keem! Hugging is good for the tree!
K: You are not hugging the tree, Dana.
DM: You never let me do anything fun. Why won’t you let me hug the tree?
K: You are a dork.

Today I said hello to a tree on my way to work. Keem thinks I'm weird. I don't understand why. It's not like I hugged the tree (although I was very tempted because it was beautiful and green and I think it was smiling at me in its tree-like way).

Trying to rationalize this

DeAnn did a post about JournalCon which is taking place in October. I am seriously trying to convince myself not to ask for the time off right now. There is no way I can justify going. I’m down to a whopping 5 days of vacation, I am broke and will be broke for awhile while I try to adjust to a lessened income (long story involving taxes and how I made a slight error in judgement and owed the IRS some money (don’t ask)) and still owe my sister money and she is broke because Eric broke his foot so he will not be working for awhile, I don’t drive and don’t fly very well so I would have to somehow convince Beth to go and I can hear her laughing as I type this.

And then I pulled up the sightseeing link at JournalCon’s website and scared my co-workers with my cries of “They have pandas! They have pandas!” Since JournalCon is taking place in San Diego, they mentioned that the San Diego Zoo is nearby. The San Diego Zoo has pandas. I HEART PANDAS! Even more than I love frogs.

Pandas, Beth! Pandas! Please can we go? Please? And we could maybe meet DeAnn because she might go. The money situation will resolve itself because I will marry someone very rich and indulgent in the next few months. I mean, yeah, my love life is non-existant but now that there are pandas, I am sure that I could just snap my fingers and men will be running to date me because of the Panda Glow I will be emitting.

Okay, that last sentenence was just weird. Please strike that from the record.

Punch Drunk

Last night there was karaoke. And it was good. I love karaoke. I have mentioned this before.

I now know I am completely over my slight obsession for Bobby because, when he provided me with my Diet Coke with slice of lime and there was only one slice of lime, I said “Hey! Only one slice of lime? Do you hate me now?” And he laughed and told me to grab more lime. Bobby is still Bobby and still has great hands but he’s also the father of a small not yet born child that will be here in possibly 10 weeks if I did the calculations correctly. Isn’t that cute? He and his girlfriend are having a little girl. Isn’t that sweet? Awwwwww!

Anyway, Beth and I were kind of giggly last night. It could have been from the Buffalo Wings. I will blame them. I was terribly stuffy last night and thought “Hey, Buffalo wings! That will clean up my sinuses!” And it did! Beth had one wing and her sinuses cleared up and she didn’t even have a stuffy nose! Behold the power of Buffalo wings! I had three or four wings and then had the remaining wings boxed up and I would occasionally sniff the box when my nose started getting stuffy again and it would kind of work. But then the Buffalo wings decided that they hated me and got their revenge in a most disgusting way and I was in the bathroom for awhile (which there will not be any detail about because I am not that kind of girl) and missed part of karaoke. It was sad.

I told Liz that, when Beth had sent the picture of the pork head to Bryan when we were in Portugal (which I am surprised to realize that I don’t think we posted this. What was I thinking?) that we giggled a little because we were so excited that we had her and Bryan’s email. And that we’re not just stalking Bryan, we’re stalking her as well.

And last night, Liz brought me a book! A book to read! One from her personal collection! And she gave us her phone number! And she took Beth and my phone number! So that set off giggles on the way home because Beth and I are so part of the cool crowd now! Barry automatically comes and sits with us now when he gets to karaoke. We don’t even have to ask. And we have more people that sit at our table automatically now! There is Amy and Angie and Katie (who brought in a copy of her wedding album last night so there was karaoke and a scrapbook. Nothing could top that!). Last night, we were Dean and James free, however, so that was sad. But we did survive because Nate was there and I threatened to lick him and offered to pay money to watch him and Big Wayne mud wrestle. Or maybe it was Jello. I don’t remember now.
It was New Song Sunday, which is always both fun and terrifying. It was hard for me to tell how I really did since I couldn’t breathe through my nose and breathing through your mouth and singing at the same time is really, really hard. Beth tried new songs and so did Bryan. He also sang Short People which was hilarious. And Nate tried Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty. Which was really good except he was having problems with the Free part and Beth and I were talking about it on the way back to my place and I started laughing like I was stoned (this is my stoned laugh: heeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheehee (which is really hard to demonstrate in a blog but believe me, it is funny to hear)).

Okay, I am tired and am going out to eat with Keem and Katie (not Katie from karaoke Katie but Katie from work) and possibly Jeff. So I must leave you now. While you wonder if a) could I use anymore exclamation points (of course!!) and b) could I be even bigger of a dork (of course!!).

Good night all. May your days be full of trees and squirrels and beauty everywhere you turn. And may you find something you love as much as I love karaoke! And PANDAS!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Quite possibly the best description of me. Ever.

Talked to Johnny this morning on Windows Messenger (which I love because how great is it that I can talk to someone who lives in Portugal without it costing a ton of money?) . Anyway, she told me this:

Johnny says:
you are delightfuly and refreshingly mad
Johnny says:
but still mad

I think she may be right.

A post about life and death and comedy

If you are not familiar with Johnny's writing (aka The Lioness), you will not be aware of the pain she has been going through for quite some time. Her best friend, Uzi Saghi, was killed in the tsunami. Because of Johnny's writing and Uzi's character, Uzi became extremely real for me and many others. If you are interested in finding out more of this wonderful, beautiful man with an amazing sense of humor, I would suggest clicking on this link here. It leads you to the archive that she set up for all of her posts about him.

Her latest post is about him and her pets and about Israel. It makes you laugh and cry at the same time. While I was reading it and laughing about the antics of her pets, I could almost feel Uzi laughing with me. Johnny's been surrounded by butterflies lately and we believe that they are sent from Uzi to remind her that he still around, even though she can't see him, he's still there.

I've always believed that those we love continue to stay around to watch over us. I believe in angels. I believe that dying doesn't mean you lose your sense of humor. And I have two experiences that I'm going to share with you.

High School

Back in 1984-1985, when I was going to school in Mahtomedi, there was a young man who was in my class. His name was Doug. He killed himself. This was a shock to the entire school since Mahtomedi was very small and this was the 80's and stuff like this just didn't happen, even though the year before another student had killed himself. It was a devastating time for all of us, including me. Even though Doug and I were not close at all, a part of me felt that I should have known what was going on, should have been able to stop him, should have been able to help him find help, since I was also suicidal at the time.

After he died, I remembered seeing him walk by me in the hallway shortly before he killed himself. I berated myself for not saying hello to him or stopping to talk to him or doing something. I suppose this is not uncommon for people after a death. I became even more depressed and blamed myself for everything that went wrong.

Two things changed this. On the day of Doug's funeral, we were allowed to take the day off and attend the funeral if we chose. My friends and I (Kathy and Sue) piled into Kathy's car after the funeral to go to the gravesite. Those of you from America know that when a funeral procession goes by, it is customary to have the lights on during the middle of the day and drive extremely slow. I'm not sure if this custom is observed in any other countries. Well, apparently, someone decided that he didn't care that we were on our way to a gravesite and decided to cut in front of the car two cars before us.

Well, you guessed it. Car A cut in front of Car B, Car B tried to slam on their brakes, Car C ended up rear-ending Car B. Car DM (oh, like I could resist it) managed to stop in time. There were no injuries. However, the accident took some time, checking to make sure everyone was okay, was there any damage, etc. By the time we got back into the car and started driving again, we realized something...we had lost the funeral procession.

The next 15-20 minutes was a comedy of errors. Trying to find the grave yard (because no one paid attention when they told us where it was), driving through Lakewood Cemetary, losing Car B and Car C because they went the opposite way of us, catching up with Car B, exchanging glances of "How many cemetaries are there in this area anyway?" while we drove around. At one point, I started giggling uncontrollably and said I knew this had something to do with Doug. If he was watching, and I was sure he was, he was probably either laughing or had been responsible for the whole mix-up in the first place. Kathy and Sue agreed and we had a moment of laughter, as opposed to a moment of silence. It was nice.

Finally, finally, we ran (not literally) into one of the motorcycle cops on his way back from the graveyard. He stopped when he saw us and waved his hand, motioning for us to follow him as he turned around and led us to the cemetary. Where we had to explain to our teachers that, no, we did not ditch out of the funeral procession, we had been involved in an accident.

The next thing that happened that helped me break through the depression and realize that there was nothing I could have done to prevent Doug's suicide was a dream I had one night. I dreamt that I was walking through the cemetary where Doug was buried and came across his grave stone. There he was, sitting on top of it. We had a conversation about how I wasn't responsible for his death, it was his choice and I should go on with my life and that suicide was definitely not the answer. I woke up, feeling refreshed for the first time in a long time. I think that dream is one of the reasons why I am still here. There have been times when the depression overwhelms and I seriously think life is too hard and it would be better if it was all over. And then I remember this dream and decide to carry on. Which, now that I've found Effexor, is something I'm really glad for.


I've posted about this before. Here is the link about my memories of my Dad from last Father's Day. But, if you don't want to go there, here is the part I wanted to bring up, quoted exactly from my post.

Dad died on April 10, 1994. Exactly one month shy of his 70th birthday. He was cremated and my brothers, sisters, and I visited the park where his parents were married to release his ashes. As we said our goodbyes to him, we each took a handful of ashes and tossed him into the wind. Suddenly, this wind changed direction and Dad’s ashes came flying back into our faces! For a brief few moments, all you heard was the “ptoo-ptoo” sound as we tried to get the taste of our father out of our mouths. Then one of us (not sure who) said, “Dad always had a good sense of humor.” Another one said “Yes and he’s kind of salty.” Well, what are you going to do but laugh?

I know he was there. I know he was laughing. He had a bizarre sense of humor that he passed on to me. Here are some examples of how he warped...I mean molded me.

Anyway, my point to all of this is that I do believe in Life After Death. I do believe in Heaven. I also believe in Reincarnation (don't ask. I can't reconcile it with being a Christian but I do). And I believe that there are ways that those we love reach out to us to say "Hey! I'm not gone. I'm still here. I still love you."

Uzi, I'll never forget you. I regret that I never met you in real life. But I'm really glad that I know you now. You're pretty damn cool.

Okay, Jeff wants the computer. I am off to find some sort of food and read for awhile.

BJTM Update

Remember when I did the first post about bringing Johnny to America in August and how I said that we had $3.59 towards Bringing Johnny To Minnesota? That was on May 5th.

Today is May 15th (really, really early in the morning because I can't sleep and am sick and am hoping to wear myself out so I can freakin' sleep already!). Ten days since we started this whole thing (well, 10 days since I first posted about it, I think). Do you know what you people have done? Do you?

I just checked the report for Adsense. We are at $34.72. In 10 days. We are making an average of 3.113. This is very exciting!

Also, Beth now has the ads up as well on her blog so go and click on them as well. You know what's really fun? Open up her blog on two or three seperate web pages and then go through her past archives and click the ads that show up for each one. I have probably clicked over 50 ads tonight (this morning? Oh, I don't know). I would click on mine as well but unfortunately that won't count. Darn. But! I can click from work obsessively on my breaks and lunch!

In unrelated BJTM news, Jeff, Keem and I watched National Treasure tonight (last night?). I enjoyed it. There was a cute bad guy and henchmen with accents and history (possibly made up but who cares) and Jeff entertained us with his lust for the guy that played Riley, Nicolas Cage's sidekick. Which I totally get because the guy was pretty cute. But I liked the bad guy better (like that's a shock (like Dylan Sanders (Drew Barrymore) in Charlie's Angels, I always think the bad guy is hot)), even though he was blond.

Ooh, that was a yawn! I think it's time for bed. Good night all.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Kill time when you can't sleep

This is weird. I'm not sure how it does it but it's pretty cool. Virtual 20 questions.



Okay, should I be frightened that I could be a Satanist before I could be Jewish? I don't know about you but I think I will be just a tad worried.

You scored as Christianity. Your views are most similar to those of Christianity. Do more research on Christianity and possibly consider being baptized and accepting Jesus, if you aren't already Christian.

Christianity is the second of the Abrahamic faiths; it follows Judaism and is followed by Islam. It differs in its belief of Jesus, as not a prophet nor historical figure, but as God in human form. The Holy Trinity is the concept that God takes three forms: the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Ghost (sometimes called Holy Spirit). Jesus taught the idea of instead of seeking revenge, one should love his or her neighbors and enemies. Christians believe that Jesus died on the cross to save humankind and forgive people's sins.



















Which religion is the right one for you? (new version)
created with QuizFarm.com

I'm bored and don't feel good. So I bring you memes

You scored as Loner.



Drama nerd












Ghetto gangsta


What's Your High School Stereotype?
created with QuizFarm.com

What's your world view?

I found this very interesting. It is accurate. Surprisingly so. Found this at Bitch Ph.D who I found through flea.

You scored as Cultural Creative. Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational.

Cultural Creative
















What is Your World View?
created with QuizFarm.com

Friday, May 13, 2005

Another meme.

Beth posted this meme that she found on a site, thedailymeme.com about movies. She also added to the end of it.

The first part is the movies listed on IMDB as the top 100 movies up through May 2004. All the movies I have seen are in bold.

1. Godfather, The (1972)
2. Shawshank Redemption, The (1994)
3. Godfather: Part II, The (1974)
4. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The (2003)
5. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The (2002)
6. Schindler's List (1993)
7. Shichinin no samurai (1954)
8. Casablanca (1942)
9. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)
10. Star Wars (1977)
11. Citizen Kane (1941)
12. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
13. Dr. Strangelove (1964)
14. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
15. Rear Window (1954)
16. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
17. Pulp Fiction (1994)
18. Usual Suspects, The (1995)
19. Memento (2000)
20. North by Northwest (1959)
21. 12 Angry Men (1957)
22. Buono, il brutto, il cattivo, Il (1966)
23. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
24. Psycho (1960)
25. Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain, Le (2001)
26. Silence of the Lambs, The (1991)
27. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
28. Goodfellas (1990)
29. American Beauty (1999)
30. Sunset Blvd. (1950)
31. Vertigo (1958)
32. Matrix, The (1999)
33. Cidade de Deus (2002)
34. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
35. C'era una volta il West (1968)
36. Apocalypse Now (1979)
37. Pianist, The (2002)
38. Third Man, The (1949)
39. Paths of Glory (1957)
40. Taxi Driver (1976)
41. Fight Club (1999)
42. Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (2001)
43. Some Like It Hot (1959)
44. Double Indemnity (1944)
45. Boot, Das (1981)
46. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
47. Singin' in the Rain (1952)
48. Chinatown (1974)
49. L.A. Confidential (1997)
50. Maltese Falcon, The (1941)
51. Requiem for a Dream (2000)
52. All About Eve (1950)
53. M (1931)
54. Bridge on the River Kwai, The (1957)
55. Se7en (1995)
56. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
57. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
58. Rashômon (1950)
59. Raging Bull (1980)
60. Wizard of Oz, The (1939)
61. Alien (1979)
62. American History X (1998)
63. Sting, The (1973)
64. Léon (1994)
65. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
66. Manchurian Candidate, The (1962)
67. Vita è bella, La (1997)
68. Touch of Evil (1958)
69. Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The (1948)
70. Finding Nemo (2003)
71. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
72. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
73. Great Escape, The (1963)
74. Modern Times (1936)
75. Clockwork Orange, A (1971)
76. Amadeus (1984)
77. On the Waterfront (1954)
78. Ran (1985)
79. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
80. Annie Hall (1977)
81. Wo hu cang long (2000)
82. Jaws (1975)
83. Apartment, The (1960)
84. Braveheart (1995)
85. High Noon (1952)
86. Aliens (1986)
87. Fargo (1996)
88. Strangers on a Train (1951)
89. Shining, The (1980)
90. Metropolis (1927)
91. Blade Runner (1982)
92. Sixth Sense, The (1999)

93. City Lights (1931)
94. Donnie Darko (2001)
95. Duck Soup (1933)
96. Great Dictator, The (1940)
97. General, The (1927)
98. Sjunde inseglet, Det (1957)
99. Princess Bride, The (1987)
100. Dogville (2003)

I've seen 29 of the movies that IMDB lists as the Top 100. Here’s what I want to know – how come the stupid Star War movies are on here and there isn’t a single Star Trek movie? Hmm? What the heck is that? Stupid George Lucas.

Beth added the following, by picking her Top 50 Favorite Movies. As she put it in her own words “These may not all be the classics or fit every taste; they are the movies that I either felt left an impression on me (like Schindler's List, would I want to watch it every day? No. But did I think really hard during and after the movie? Yes. Do I feel like it was worth the emotions? Yes.) Or just made me feel good and I could watch over and over again. Sometimes the movies on my list are just ones that I felt pushed the boundaries of the silver screen. I do not, unfortunately, have enough energy to link to all the movies. If you want to know more about them, ask in the comments or check them out on IMDB. If you have a question about why I picked a certain movie, ask me. I don't mind.”

I, however, don’t care if they had a great meaning or pushed boundaries. These are just my favorite movies, ones that I can watch over and over. Which is weird that Hitchhiker’s is on here since I’ve only seen it once. But I just know I will see it a lot. They are not in any particular order.

1. The Imposters
2. So I Married An Axe Murderer
3. Torch Song Trilogy
4. About a Boy
5. The Ref
6. Operation Petticoat
7. The Dirty Dozen
8. With Six, You Get Eggroll
9. Yours, Mine and Ours
10. Singin’ In The Rain
11. Independence Day
12. The Princess Bride
13. Love, Actually
14. In & Out
15. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
16. Sleeping Beauty
17. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
18. Midnight Lace
19. Hitch
20. Johnny English
21. Big Trouble
22. Undercover Blues (mainly because of Stanley Tucci)
23. My Cousin Vinny
24. Chocolat
25. Never Been Kissed
26. Married to the Mob
27. A Time to Kill (also my favorite novel by John Grisham)
28. Dangerous Beauty
29. The Truman Show
30. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe
31. Enemy of the State
32. I, Robot (did I mention I have a thing for Will Smith?)
33. The Italian Job (the remake)
34. Ocean’s 11 (remake)
35. Ella Enchanted
36. Bend It Like Beckham
37. Pirates of the Caribbean
38. Star Trek: Generations
39. Phenomenon
40. Conspiracy Theory
41. The Mummy
42. The Mummy Returns
43. The Rundown
44. Get Shorty
45. Die Hard
46. True Lies
47. The 5th Element
48. The Rock
49. Con Air
50. Bandits

If you haven’t guessed, I like comedy and action movies. In fact, I often judge how good a movie is by how many car chases or explosions there are.
Are any of my favorites on your list?

8 Mile? Try 8 Years!

Okay, I’m going to tell you something that you may not want to know. But, as we know, I am really open about my life* and only want to bring joy and laughter to your dreary days. This is my job as your Queen of the Universe. This following story will make you laugh. I promise. You wouldn’t think this would be funny but, unfortunately, it is.

*Except about my last name. My last name is not really Jones. But I am not quite ready to come out of the secret identity closet.

Anyway, you remember how I said I had gone to the doctor? So I come home on Wednesday and realize that there is a message for me. I play it and listen to my doctor tell me that she would like me to call her.

Hmm. Something tells me there might be a problem since, if your test results come back normal, you usually get something in the mail. It’s only when they want you to call them that there’s something to be concerned about.

On Thursday (yesterday), I call her. She is not available and I leave a message. She calls back while I am on the phone with a stock holder and leaves a message.

Deb: Hi. This is Deb. Please call me back as soon as possible. If I am with a patient, have me interrupted. I need to give you the results of your test.

Hmm. Again. Slight panic sets in. It is not good when the doctor says “If I am with a patient, have me interrupted.”

I call. I am placed on hold. A few minutes go by in which I decide to start biting my nails again (and I had been doing so well) since I’m a bit nervous.

This is our conversation:

Deb: Hi, Dana.
DM: Hi.
Deb: I got the results of your pap smear.

Let’s pause for a moment. At this point in time, I am freaked out. The last time I had a pap smear, over 2 years ago, it came back abnormal. This was during what I affectionately refer to as The Cancer Scare, Act Two. Act One was when, during the same physical that resulted in the abnormal pap smear, I heard Deb say “I found a lump.” So, having Deb say “I got the results of your pap smear” is a little frightening.

DM: Okay.
Deb: You have trichomonas. It’s a sexually transmitted disease.
DM: What?
Deb: It’s a sexually transmitted disease.
DM: I heard you! How? How is this even possible?
Deb: I don’t know.

Those of you who may not have read my blog very much may not be aware of the fact that I have been celibate for many years. Both my doctor and I are aware of this, however, so that’s why she said she didn’t know. Normally she would probably have said “It’s a sexually transmitted disease. That would mean it was transmitted by sex.”

Deb: I had to meet with my partners yesterday before I called you and asked them how it was possible that a woman who had not had sex for a long time…
DM (interrupting, a bit panicked): Eight years! Eight!
Deb: …Could have an STD. Apparently, this is very rare but there are cases of women in their 90’s getting this 20 years after their husbands died. It can take awhile to incubate.
DM (laughing hysterically): Well, I guess so. Eight years! Of course, there was the virgin birth.* Is it treatable?
Deb: Yes. Of course. You just take some antibiotics.
DM: Oh. Okay.

*Apparently God liked Mary better than me. She gets to carry his child. I get an STD. Gee, thanks, God. You shouldn’t have.

We spend the next few minutes talking about some other things, such as that I still have a mild case of anemia and then say goodbye.

I spend the rest of the day, shaking my head in disbelief and randomly saying “Eight! Eight years!”

Last night, Beth and I decided to go to karaoke. This is the first time that we’ve been able to go to karaoke on a night other than Sunday so it was very exciting (even though I am kicking myself this morning. Well, I would be kicking myself, if I wasn’t so damn tired). She had been having kind of a rough day so I told her my news in an attempt to cheer her up. It worked. She did laugh. Very hard. So did Bryan and Michael, when I told them.

This is my life, folks. Go ahead. Laugh. You know you want to. It is hard not to laugh over this and I guess I would rather laugh than cry. Because, honestly, the fact that I got an STD when I haven’t had sex in EIGHT YEARS could be extremely depressing, if it wasn’t so damn funny.*

*Or, as I told Johnny in an email yesterday, eight fucking years. Oh, wait, no, sorry. Eight NON fucking years!