Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Is it possible to get homesick for a place you have never actually called home?

Since I am almost finished with my Las Vegas scrapbooks (you know, the trip that Beth and I took in 2004 (and when I say almost finished, I actually mean that I almost was finished until I found the four rolls of film that I have not yet developed from the trip. I have no idea what is on this film. Good Lord, could I be any more unorganized?)), I have started going through the pictures that Beth and I took when we went to Portugal to visit Johnny. It was almost a year ago.

I've been thinking about Portugal a lot lately. Matt, my boss, left last week to go to Europe. One of the spots he'll be going to is Portugal, stopping in Lisbon and Evora. My conversations and pictures of my trip helped him make this decision. Part of me hates him because I want to be there so badly I can taste the extremely wonderful veal that I had at the Fish Egg restaurant (Johnny loves the fish eggs at this restaurant. Beth and I were not as thrilled with them). The other part of me can't wait until he gets back and tells me about the trip and if he loved it as much as I did.

Talking to Matt and looking at these pictures bring back so much to me, the memories are flooding back. Look, there's the guy in the purple speedo that was lying on the beach. There is a series of pictures of Beth that has his crotch in the background. Joy.

There's the little girl that was in the Oceanario. I can remember her squeal when a fish swam up to look at her.

There's Pirate Jesus, of course, to go along with the Chapel of Bones. And the really cute waiter at the restaurant in Evora. I told Matt to be sure to stop there. Because of the food. He was less than thrilled about the cute waiter.

If I was rich, I would live part of the year in the United States and the other part in Portugal. I haven't decided how I'm going to get rich yet but it could happen.

I miss Portugal. I miss Johnny. I miss her pets and her beautiful flat and her handsome boyfriend that I've never officially met and the ocean and the food and Gulbenkian and the really cute little Smart cars. I miss everything about Portugal, even getting lost in Evora and being attacked by hungry little bugs.

I miss everything except for one thing.

I do not miss the hills. But I would put up with them just to be there again.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Why? For the love of God why?

Why am I allowed to talk to men? Well, not all men. I'm usually good at having a conversation with co-workers that are male. I can talk to Bryan without embarrassing myself completely. My brother-in-law Eric and I can have great conversations about a lot of different topics (although he is confused and thinks that he is right most of the time. Then I correct him. I figure it is my duty). Dan Lang and I can spend a good twenty minutes talking about our favorite movies. No problem.

But let there be someone that I have just the slightest attraction towards show up and sit next to me and I turn into the biggest idiot arround. Or I say things before I think them through.

Here's the latest example. Sunday. Karaoke. We have decided to go to the wheel (otherwise known as karaoke roulette). Dan is singing "With A Little Help From My Friends." Here is where we run into trouble (and when I say we, I mean I).

Background Vocalists: Do you need anybody?
Dan: I need somebody to love.
DM: Tell me about it.
Beth and Angie: (Start laughing)
Liz: What did she say?
DM: Did I say that out loud?
Beth and Angie (through their laughter): Yes.

Great. Wonderful. ARGH!

Then it was my turn at the wheel. Guess what I got to sing? Because my mean friends decided that they wanted to know what the last song was (1-1 is "Like A Virgin") and asked for 99-18.

It's "Whip It." Just in case you were wondering. I had to sing "Whip It." That is quite possibly the dumbest song in the world.

After I finished, I was mentioning how much I sucked at the song.

DM: That was horrible.
James: You whipped it good.

Sudden inappropriate thoughts swirl through my brain. Fortunately I do not say any of them.

It is brought up that my schedule has changed and that I am now starting at 7:30. I am informed that I am insane.

James: I do not understand this 7:30 that you speak of.

He sounds exactly like William Shatner. I love William Shatner (I may have mentioned this before).

DM: Shut up!

He is puzzled. Of course. How would he possibly know that, when he talks like this, I want to scream "Take me, Captain Kirk!"*

*Okay, I don't think I would actually scream that but I said to Beth the other day "Only I would fall for a guy that talks like Captain Kirk and thinks like Spock."

Sigh. I am such a dork.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Week 6

You'll notice I have a new ticker (Thanks, Teri!) up at the top. I was trying to come up with something that would help tracking my weight loss a bit easier and then I visited her site and there it was. She is so brilliant.

Anyway, today Keem and I went to Weight Watchers. I am down another pound. So this is eleven now. I am very happy about this. I've been trying to watch what I eat, got rid of those damn Girl Scout cookies and am trying to walk more. Hopefully next week, I'll be able to start the treadmill, my foot isn't hurting as much as it did earlier this week.

After Weight Watchers, we went to Fuddruckers. We have both noticed that we aren't able to eat as much food now as we once were able to do. This is a good thing, of course. I once ordered a pound burger at Fuddruckers. An entire pound of hamburger. And fries. And pop. And ate the entire damn thing. Amazing how I thought that was a good decision. Sheesh. We have been eating the 2/3 pound burger and getting fries and a pop but decided that this doesn't make sense. What is the point of stuffing yourself until you feel exhausted? Today we discovered that even a 1/2 pound burger with fries and a pop is getting to be too much.

I've always been the type of person who will eat everything on my plate if I like the way it tastes. It's nice to realize that I don't have to be that person anymore

Tomorrow Beth, Keem and I are going to see the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta Princess Ida. Beth's mom volunteers for the Gilbert and Sulivan very light something or another operetta company (I can't remember the entire title. I do this every year. (And apparently, Beth's mom has now become my mother because I started this sentence with Mom)) and Beth has been going to this for years. And she asked us to go one year and it started one of those great traditions we like to uphold. Last year we added to the tradition by deciding that we would go to Manny's (the best steakhouse in the world) and also drive around looking for Target and get lost (we had some time to kill and decided to go to Target. Three Targets later (or non-Targets because each one was gone (either closed or demolished to make way for a Super Target)), we were kind of lost). The plan this year is to keep Manny's but not get lost. But maybe go to Target. If we can find one.

Tomorrow I am going to have steak (or perhaps we should call it STEAK! because that how my stomach views it. This is the best STEAK! in the world) and a baked potato and some of the best damn bread in the world (seriously. There's this dark bread with raisins and this really great rye that is salty and has caraway seeds and if I could get the recipe I would bake them every day) and then I am going to go to karaoke and moan about the fact that I am never going to eat again. But I will be lying. Because there will be next year.

I guess my whole point to this is that I am going to have to be good next week because I am sure going to be bad tomorrow. But, dagnabit, it's going to be worth it.

Oh! And I am noticing results. I can actually zip my boots up all the way and my pants are feeling loose. Not fall down and embarrass me in front of all loose but in a discreetly tug them up every once in awhile loose. Yay!

Hoping you all have the opportunity to eat some really great STEAK! sometime soon. Unless, of course, you are a vegetarian. Because then I would feel bad for wishing you to do something you don't like so instead I hope you have some really great CELERY!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Open Mouth. Insert Heart.

So. You read the last post, right? You know that my body is divided up into four distinct parts, all with their own personality? Because, seriously, if you haven't, you're not going to have a clue about what I'm talking about (and it's a funny post. I promise. I spent lots of time working on it. Please go read it if you haven't. Yes, I'm begging. What's your point?).

So. Last night. Karaoke. Yeah. Where do I start?

First of all, Beth was taking notes last night so there will be a post about many odd things that happened and, believe you me, it will be amazing in its funniness. When one of us whips out the notebook, everyone around us asks "Are you going to blog this?" And we say "Oh, hell yeah."*

*Okay, we may not actually say "Oh, hell yeah" but I'm sure we say something very similar to that.

But I leave the telling of the craziness to Beth. Because, let's face it, the only thing I want to relate to you right now is that what happened between myself and the incredibly wondrous James. Whom I adore. In case you hadn't already figured that out.

So. Last night. Karaoke. He is there. Beth, Liz, James and I are talking. I have just provided him with a wallet insert that I bought for him when I was at Kmart (because he let me look through his wallet over, what, three months ago and I noticed that it was torn and picked up one for him and gave it to him as a token of my adoration (because nothing says "Hey, I like you a lot, please marry me now" than a wallet insert. I think it has something to do with being able to hold your business cards and not having them get all deformed that does it every time)). Last Sunday, on the crazy evening of karaoke (Beth wrote about it here), James was not there and I had given the wallet insert to Liz. She suggested that I give it to him last night and she then bet me five dollars that his response would be "Awesome" because that is a word he uses a lot.

His response was not "Awesome." He actually had switched the insert for one with another wallet. But he did thank me and then we laughed about how I was having financial difficulties and could I really afford this and does Kmart have a liberal return policy (Yeah, because now that I'm out that 78 cents, I'm really feeling the pinch)?

Beth then said something about how she really liked the word "Awesome" and that she uses it a lot. This would seem extremely random but Liz and I knew she was referring to the fact that Liz was convinced his response would be "Awesome." Liz said how she liked the word "Swell" and how she had a discussion with one of the dishwashers at the restaurant where she works about the difference between "Swell" and "Swell" (I'm doing just swell! My leg is starting to swell) and that English is a pretty tough language and how we're all glad that we grew up speaking it because, damn, it can get confusing.

This leads me to the part where James asked me another question and Heart, well, she wanted to respond a certain way.

James asked "Well, she (indicating Beth) loves the word awesome and she (indicating Liz) loves the word swell. What do you love?"

Fortunately, I had not been drinking* and Brain and Mouth were able to keep Heart from blurting out something she probably shouldn't.

*Joe, you asked about my declaring that "Oh my God, I am never drinking again." Yeah. I lied. As I said to James the Sunday of my semi-tipsy behavior, "I would never say no to...alcohol." I forgot to mention this in the last post. I came very close to saying "I would never say no to you." I should not be allowed to talk to him ever. EVER!

Guess what I wanted to say. Go on, guess. I bet you'll never figure it out.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Seriously. I think Shakespeare was right about this one

William Shakespeare (my favorite playwright, my 2nd favorite is Oscar Wilde for The Importance of Being Ernest) said in As You Like It that:

“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players…” (You have to love it when spell check tries to correct Shakespeare. According to spell check, this should be “the entire world’s a stage” which just doesn’t sound right).

Anyway, my point to this is that, sometimes I feel like I am starring in this really insane sitcom that is about this woman and her body that has these different personalities and it might be something like Herman’s Head (which, damn, I loved that show and had the biggest crush on William Raggsdale after seeing him in Fright Night (Of course, I also had a crush on Roddy McDowall after seeing Fright Night so I’m not sure what that says about me)).

Did I say that I had a point in that last paragraph? I think I did. Let me think…hmm. Oh, yeah, so what happened last Sunday? Good question.

As you know, James was there. Here’s my recap of what happened (which can be viewed by looking at Beth’s pictures from the evening).

Amy brought Becky and me balloons! I like balloons! I may have attempted to wear them. I’m not telling.

Steve (Angie’s boyfriend Steve) was there and he asked me to make gestures while singing. This was to mock Amy’s performance during her show where they did the whole Ain’t No Mountain High Enough with gestures. Char also came up for a little while and she seconded that. So, during Change the World (my warm up song usually), I started doing what we sometimes refer to as “interactive karaoke.”

If I could reach the stars (hold one hand up towards the ceiling),
Pull one down for you (make a pulling gesture as if I had grabbed a star).
Shine it on my heart (bring non-existent star to my heart).

It is at this point that Bryan says “If you don’t stop that now, I’m going to stab you.” I stop momentarily, still singing. He walks away. Steve and Char are laughing. Beth, Amy and Angie seem to have disappeared.

I continue. Heck. I’ve got an audience. Is anyone surprised by this?

So you could see the truth (shade my eyes).

Bryan walks out with a fork. I stop with the gestures, looking vaguely guilty. He leaves again.

Ha. Like a mere fork could stop me. Except that Bryan turns around quickly and looks at me. I smile, pure innocence radiating from my face.

If I could be Queen (mock crown on my head)…

Oh, shit. Bryan’s got a knife. He walks toward me in a mock menacing manner. I start backing into the corner, trying to hide under the speakers. He laughs and walks away again. I finish the song without the gestures.

After I finish, Amy, Angie and Beth walk out, carrying a cake that is ablaze with candles (as one of them put it, “We were going to combine your age in candles but didn’t want to have the sprinklers go off.” Or something like that. Ha. Ha ha ha. Aren’t they funny? The correct answer is no). Cake is good. We all have some and then it leads to a cake fight between Steve and Angie (Becky somehow gets plastered with cake as well. Poor Becky).

Craig and Marissa were there. Marissa (still very young and now very drunk) was wishing me a happy birthday but accidentally called me Donna. The look of horror on her face when she realized that was somewhat amusing. It was even funnier when she started babbling to Beth about how much she liked us and now she insulted me by calling me Donna and was I just going to hate her and oh my goodness, let’s pinky swear about this that she won’t hate her. Beth and I have some sort of telepathic bond and are usually able to communicate exactly what we want to say in a look. Beth’s look communicated the following – “Oh my God. Can you believe I just pinky swore? How old is this girl?” Then Marissa leaned forward and said to me “I can’t believe I did this. I like Dana so much. Can you believe I called her Donna? Do you think she’ll hate me?” My look to Beth summed up “Oh, good Lord. How drunk is she? Does she not realize she’s talking to me about me?”

Craig gave me a batman decal. That was very exciting. He also promised to sing “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” with us the next Sunday. The plan is that he would sing the Meat Loaf part and we would sing the girl’s part. Except we would change the words to “Do you love us? Will you love us forever?” And mock make out with him during the instrumental break. Although, as I write this now, I must tell you that Craig chickened out and did not sing. I could not even convince him to lip sync while I sang the Meat Loaf part. When he said “Well, that wouldn’t be any fun for you guys,” I replied “Uh, yeah it would. Because we get to make out with you.” And then I realized that I said it out loud and was somewhat embarrassed. But damn, the guy is hot. Who can blame me (Although I am stating for the record that James is much cuter than Craig. James is cuter than everyone)?

I had two drinks and I’m not sure how many shots. So I was somewhat tipsy but not a repeat of the “Oh my God, I am never drinking again” night.

Anyway, Liz and James appeared. James (sigh) handed me a card. Here is what it says (It might help to know that there is a picture of Barbie in a pink dress (with dark hair, not that sleazy looking blonde hussy Barbie) on the cover and the card is purple with glitter flowers all over it):


Pretty as a picture,
Pretty in pink.
Barbie’s lovely,
Don’t you think?

(The inside continues the poem)

She also thinks
Your name should be
“Her Royal Highness Majesty,”
For after all,
You’re Princess for the Day!

Happy Birthday,
Your Sweetness!

(And he signed his name with an exclamation point and underlined his name. Obviously this means something. I’m not sure what but that’s not the point)

It is about here where the night took on the insane sitcom like quality.

So, let’s call this sitcom “Dana’s Body” and introduce you to the characters.


Dana (That would be me)
Beth (That would be Beth)
James (Sigh. He’s so cute)
Liz (Friend of Dana, Beth and James)

Parts of Dana’s Body:

Brain (Condescending and yet panicky)
Mouth (Does not know when to keep her mouth shut)
Hand (Somewhat handy to have around)
Heart (Walks around in a constant James related haze. Imagine little hearts for eyes and you’ve got the idea)


Alcohol (Has an evil laugh. Wears a lot of black. Twirls mustache on occasion)

Pilot Episode – why Dana should not drink

James hands Dana card. She reads it.

Dana: That card is fuckin’ awesome (when she gets drunk, she swears. She also has a tendency to drop her g’s and has even been known to refer to things as “rockin’”). Fuckin’ awesome (She may repeat these words several times).

Brain: Oh, for the love of God! Who told her she could talk?
Mouth: What are you talking about? It’s Dana. She is our Queen and we must obey her.
Brain: What? You’re kidding me, right? She obviously has no clue about what she is saying. The next time she tries to say something, you clear it through me first. Is that understood?
Alcohol: Heh heh heh heh. Watch Mouth get a little mouthy.
Mouth: You’re not the boss of me.
Brain: Excuse me? I am the brains of this operation, you know.
Mouth: You know, that was funny the first time you said it. Now? Not so much after the 757th time. God, you’re boring. I’m going to go talk to Heart now.

Meanwhile, Dana has shown James the Batman decal.

James: Hey. You can put it on your non-existent car.
Dana: Exactly! On my non-existent El Camino!

Heart: Sigh. He remembered the non-existent car. And he gave us a card about us being a Princess (She does a little dance of adoration).
Mouth: He’s pretty cool. Perhaps I should tell him that.
Heart: Oh, yes! Please do!
Brain (overhears conversation): Absolutely not! No unauthorized conversation! My God, people, do you have any idea how hard it is to maintain our reputation of coolness if you keep running off at the mouth?
Mouth: Excuse me? Running off at the mouth? What exactly is that supposed to mean?

Meanwhile, Dana has noticed that The New Twilight Zone is playing and it is an episode featuring Jeremy Piven.

Dana: Ooh. Look. It’s Jeremy Piven.
Beth: I like him.
Dana: Me too. Ooh. Look. He isn’t wearing a shirt.

Dana and Beth go on a little Jeremy Piven riff (Hey, we don’t always find the same men attractive so it’s kind of nice when we agree. Jeremy Piven, David Duchovny, Vince Vaugh…I’m not sure who else. I know she doesn’t agree with me about Rowan Atkinson).

James: Bryan likes him as well but probably not as much as you two do.

Heart: Oh, no! Dana keeps talking about Jeremy Piven. Mouth! We must let him know that he’s so much better looking than Jeremy Piven.
Mouth: Well, that’s easy.

Dana: Jeremy Piven is cute but he’s no Batman.
Beth: No, he’s not.
Dana: It takes a special man to be Batman (She stares vaguely off into space, a goofy smile on her face).

Brain: Oh my God! Not the Batman thing again!
Alcohol: Heh heh heh heh. This is fun.
Brain: Mouth, she promised she wouldn’t compare him to Batman again. Just last week.
Mouth: Oh, fine. You’re such a wimp.

Dana: Oh. I wasn’t going to talk about that. Oops.

James offers to buy Dana a drink.

James: What do you need?
Dana: Uh…um…

Mouth: I’m going to tell him what she needs. She needs him.
Brain: NO! Don’t you dare!
Mouth: Look, you’re really boring and I’m truly enjoying visiting with Alcohol and he’s a lot more fun than you and he says that it’ll be a good idea for her to tell him that. So there.
Brain: NO! Hand! Hand! I need you.
Hand: Here I come to save the day!

Dana slaps her hand over her mouth. The urge to tell James what she needs passes.

Dana: A buttery nipple would be nice.

Brain: Thank God. Crisis averted.
Alcohol: Heh heh heh heh. She's going to drink some more of me.

James goes to get the drink. Dana drinks the drink.

Hand: I'm just going to go sit over here.

Dana's hand, seemingly of it's own accord, sneaks over to rest, ever so gently, on the back of James' chair.

Brain: What are you doing? Stop that now!
Hand: What? I'm just sitting down.
Brain: Get out of there. Next thing you know, you'll start touching his back or something.
Hand: Oh, that's a good idea.
Brain: Hand, I command you to leave that chair right now!
Hand: No.
Brain: That's it. I can override you, you know.

Dana's hand suddenly leaps back to her own chair. This internal struggle is repeated at least one other time.

Some more time goes by. James offers to buy Dana another drink.

James: What do you need?
Dana: Uh. Beth? What do I need?
Beth: A buttery nipple. A double shot would be good.

Heart: A double shot of my baby's love.
Mouth: Oh, I like that.

Dana: A double shot of my baby's love (She pauses). Where the heck did that come from?

Brain: Oh, that is it. I am out of here. Let's see how well you people function without me.
Alcohol: Woo-hoo! Party at Dana's!

At the end of the evening (since, oddly enough, Dana doesn't seem to remember much more), James is standing by the door. He hugs Dana.

Dana: Thanks for the card.
James: You're welcome. Granddaughter.

Heart: Oh, God. He smells so good. I adore him. Can I just tell him that?
Mouth: I'm not sure that's such a good idea. What do you think, Brain?
Brain: I'm on strike. You do what you want.
Mouth: Heart, I think I'm going to have to say no to telling him about the adoration. This week. But we'll talk about him later.

On the way back to Beth's, thanks to the influence of Heart and Mouth, Dana babbled about James the entire time. It is amazing that Beth did not strangle her.

Anyway, that's it. That is the the tale of the birthday celebration. And if you think that the idea of my body parts having different personalities is far fetched, take this into consideration. I decided that, when I get home from work, I am going to spend at least ten minutes on the treadmill each night. Suddenly my foot has decided to start acting up and it hurts to walk (although this could have something to do with the fact that I did use the treadmill on Saturday and maybe I did something to it). Obviously it is a conspiracy.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

With A Little Help From My Friends Lyrics

Joe Cocker
With A Little Help From My Friends

What would you think if I sang out of tune,
Would you stand up and walk out on me?
Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song
And I'll try not to sing out of key.

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends
Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends

What do I do when my love is away
(Does it worry you to be alone?)
How do I feel by the end of the day,
(Are you sad because you're on your own?)

No, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends
Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends

Do you need anybody
I need somebody to love
Could it be anybody
I want somebody to love.

Would you believe in a love at first sight
Yes, I'm certain that it happens all the time
What do you see when you turn out the light
I can't tell you but I know it's mine,

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends
Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends

Do you need anybody
I just need someone to love
Could it be anybody
I want somebody to love.

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
With a little help from my friends.

Week 5

Went to Weight Watchers yesterday. I was pretty sure that I had gained weight. You can't drink a ton of alcohol and eat cake and enjoy yourself immensely throughout the entire week without gaining weight.

And, when I stepped on the scale, I proved myself correct. I did gain some of the weight back. Exactly 2.2 pounds. I am at the ten pound mark right now.

You know what the great thing about this is? I wouldn't have changed anything that I did this week. It is amazing how much my attitude has changed. A few years ago I would have been beating myself up about what a stupid person I am for gaining the weight back. This time I smile and remember how much fun I had.

Yesterday Kari, Eric and Josh came over. They wanted to go swimming. We hung around the apartment for a little bit while Josh played with cat toys and tried to convince Eddy that he wanted to play with him. Eddy, however, is not used to small children and has a tendency to head very rapidly in the other direction when Josh comes over. There were a few moments when Eddy's sense of self-preservation deserted him and he approached Josh carefully, tempted by whatever toy Josh was flinging around at the time. Wish I would have had my camera on hand. Well, I have my camera but my battery charger seems to have disappeared and so the camera is empty of batteries (Did anyone else see "True Lies" and whenever your battery light starts flashing, think of that guy who is videotaping the crazy, fanatic guy and is scared to death when he has to tell crazy, fanatic guy that the batteries are dead? And, in your head, say "Batteries" in a quavery, Middle Eastern accent? Or is that just me?). Plus, my camera and I don't get along very well. It is bulky and does not have a stabilizer and I keep hoping that it will slim down and learn to deal with the fact that my hands shake whenever I take pictures. This never happens.

Anyway, we went swimming. Or, actually, Kari and Josh went swimming while I read my book (Birthday present to myself - Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett and how the hell did I miss this book because it is so damn funny) and take pictures of them with Kari's slim and stabilized camera. I would replace said camera with mine but I think she would notice the difference. And, since I wasn't able to swim (I'm sure you can all figure out why), I did spend the 10 longest minutes of my life on the treadmill. That was fun.

But where was Eric, you ask? Good question. Eric was upstairs watching "The Prince and I" with Keem. When they got there, she had only been watching it for a few minutes and he had to find out how it ended. He did come down later and was then lectured on all of the things that Kari had been telling Josh (No, Eric. There is no running. Take baby steps. No, Eric, you can't go into the hot tub. Josh wants to go into the hot tub and it is too hot for him). It was pretty funny.

We then went to Timber Lodge. It was my favorite restaurant and we always go there for my birthday. I say was my favorite restaurant because I think Manny's has spoiled me (for those of you who don't live in the area, Manny's is a restaurant in Minneapolis with fantastic food). I did enjoy the meal and the time spent with my family. I made good choices, no croutons on the salad, dressing on the side and I did the fork trick (dip your fork into the dressing and then stab your lettuce. You get the perfect amount of dressing each time and use a lot less). I asked for my butter and sour cream for the baked potato to be on the side as well and then added just what I needed to make it perfect, over half of the butter and sour cream remained in their containers. When I found that I was getting full, I asked for a box instead of continuing to eat what was in front of me. And then, I did get dessert but we shared it. And I only had enough of the dessert to satisfy my cravings (it helped that the oreo cheesecake was horribly bland, the apple crisp was fantastic).

All in all, it was a good day.

I promise I'll finish the birthday post soon. But I have to do five thousand loads of laundry right now.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me - Part Two, Poetry Friday Week 2 and Week 4 (of the weight loss)

Okay, one thing I forgot to mention in my first post is how Beth, Craig and I were sitting at a table at karaoke on Saturday night and somehow we decided that we were all going to sing opera style instead of talking. This might have something to do with the fact that I occasionally will break out in what my former boss Mike would refer to as "random las (You know, la-la-la etc.)" and occasionally this will be in an operatic fashion. Some people might question this but others, like Beth and Craig, will decide "Hey, wouldn't it be fun if we all sang opera style instead of using actual words?" At least I think that's what happened. Beth will probably remember better.

Anyway, my point to all of this is that, while we're amusing each other by singing silly things like "Iiiiiii haaave aaaaa glass of WAH-ter" (this is an example. I'm not sure what we actually sang. As I've asked Beth lately "What's that stuff that I should take but I never remember to take?" And she laughed and said "Ginko." This may give you a clue about how great my memory is. And I'm one year older! Woo-hoo. I forsee many memory cells dying), Angie walks up. She is eating something.

Beth sings "Whhhaat aaaare yoooooooou eaating?"

Then Craig sings "Whaaaat are yoooooooouuuu eaaating?"

And I sing "Whaaaaaat are yoooouuuu eaaaatinnnng?" after Craig.

Angie replies "Griiiiilllllllled Cheeeeesse."

Do I not have the coolest group of friends ever? The idea that we would all start singing operatically (and yes, I'm sure that's not a word and no, I don't really care) and that Angie would answer us the same way? This just reinforces my belief that my life is completely awesome.

Anyway, there has been some concern about the fact that I have not yet posted about what happened on Sunday. So here goes.

I went to karaoke. I saw James. He gave me a card. My God, I adore him. He hugged me. The end.

Yes, there is more to it than that but I am very tired and I have to go to Weight Watchers very early and do lots of running around and then maybe do laundry (I hate laundry) and so I am going to go to bed very soon. Hopefully I will get a chance to post more tomorrow.

Anyway, our poem today is my favorite Robert Frost poem.

Nothing Gold Can Stay
Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

I was in Speech in High School and I did Extemperaneous Poetry (I think that's how its spelled. I have no clue and I'm too tired to go to right now) which mainly meant that I drew the name of a poem a half hour before I was supposed to go on stage and read it to a bunch of people. It was fun. This was my favorite poem to read. Mending Wall is great but takes forever.

Week 4.

I lost .6 pounds. I am pleased with this. I had made some not so wise decisions last week and my belief is that there is no "only" in weight loss.

Tomorrow I go back to Weight Watchers after my birthday week and I'm pretty sure that I've gained some of the weight back. But I'm okay with that. I had an absolutely awesome week surrounded by great friends and I will be back on track next week.

Hopefully you are all doing well. I will get around to your blogs soon. Miss you all.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

We interrupt this tax season to bring you this special message


I hate tax season. Hate it. Hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. Hatie McHate Hate.

We are busy. I see no chance to finish my post about my birthday today. Please do not hate me.

I also see no chance to read any of the blogs I have neglected in the last week any time soon. Again, please do not hate me.

But I do bring you an exciting new quiz that reveals that I am, as we all knew, kind of a freak. Thanks to Beth for this (apparently she got this from Teri. Sorry, Teri. But really, do you expect me to remember these details? Don't answer that).

Mostly Calvin
You are 80% Calvin and 20% Hobbes
Your inner Calvin often prevails, but, as in the image below, you have a significant Hobbesian component. I'm going to try to stretch the visual metaphor here: you have a good head on your shoulders, but when you don't use it, your crazy body gets you in trouble? Does that work? Odds are you're impulsive and imaginative, but it's possible you've collected just enough wisdom to hold your most anti-social urges in check. Most of the time. It's a precarious balance, like a boy on one foot with a tiger head.

My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 95% on calvin

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 1% on hobbes
Link: The Calvin Or Hobbes Test written by gwendolynbooks on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Happy Birthday to me!

Thank you all for your lovely comments on my last post. Wasn't that one from my mother just absolutely beautiful? I thought so. All your comments made me a little teary eyed.

Beth has pictures from the weekend located here. You can see me in my birthday glory!

My celebration began on Thursday. Jodi (co-worker) brought me in a balloon, some absolutely wonderful chocolate and a small frog statue. Because I like frogs and have a collection of them at my desk. No one at work, other than Keem, knows that I call frogs green duckies. This is okay because they all think that I'm a freak already. I don't need to give them more fuel for the "Dana is odd" fire.

Thursday night, I met Beth at the Chalet and we had a lot of fun. Steve (Beth's team lead) was there with his roommate Katie and Sarah (on Beth's team. Not to be confused with Sara) also was there. We had fun laughing, talking and trying to get Steve to sing songs that we picked out for him. Unfortunately, Bryan backed him up when we called out the number for "It's Raining Men" because Steve used the (lame) excuse that he doesn't know the song. Liz came up a little earlier and James was with her. It was nice to see them.

We then headed over to the Perkins in Roseville so we could continue the laughter. Since I (wisely) took Friday and Monday off, I did not have to go home and try to cram eight hours of sleep into three hours. The waiter's name tag said David $$ and he was then given the new name of "D Money" because that is the nickname Beth's old boss gave me and it drives me insane when I am called that. Beth said that I couldn't get mad because they weren't calling me "D Money." This is good logic but there is something about the words "D Money" that just makes me cringe. It is akin to the way Beth feels about touching hologram material.

Friday, even though I had the day off, I headed into work. I had to make a deposit (long story short, my sister and brother-in-law came to my rescue when I made some very poor financial choices) and Keem and I were going to go to Target afterwards. I am working on my room still, mainly just organizing the chaos. It is much better than it used to be but now I'm actually putting things into a specific spot instead of just throwing it into a box. Well, sort of. I have gone through a lot of stuff and tossed things out - that is so not like me.

Friday night, Beth picked me up and we went to Wild Tymes to see Angie. Craig was also there, along with Marissa who he is dating. She is a very sweet girl (but young. Oh my God, she is young) and we like her. I was not feeling very well on Friday, not sure what was wrong but Beth and I turned down an invitation to come over to Craig's and sit outside by a fire. Beth ended up dropping me home.

Saturday I cleaned my room some more. Oh, the excitement. I also dyed my hair - very excited about finding Burgundy hair dye for $2.99 (I'm trying to budget. It is less than exciting but what are you going to do?), usually the cheaper hair dyes do not have the more exotic colors. Just because I'm a natural brunette (just don't ask me what shade) doesn't mean I have to dye my hair that color.

I tried to take a nap but received a phone call from Mom. We had a nice talk and then it was time for me to get ready. Beth and I were going to meet Angie, Steve (her boyfriend, not Beth's team lead), Craig and Becky up at Century College because Amy was participating in a show for her group, Harmonic Relief. It was great! I would find myself glancing over at Beth at times, wanting to share the excitement and fun that I was feeling with someone. She would grin back at me. Amy has a fantastic voice and it was nice seeing her showcased in several solos. And doing some basic dancing.

Such as the dance to "Ain't No Mountain High Enough."

Ain't no mountain high enough (right hand extended toward the ceiling),
Ain't no valley low enough (left hand extended toward the floor),
Ain't no river wide enough (hands cross and extend toward sides to indicate width)
To keep me away from you.

We had a great time teasing her about that. Because we are evil.

After the show, Beth and I met Craig and Becky up at Chipoltle. We then headed up to the Chalet because Angie was working there. I received many birthday wishes.

After the Chalet, Beth and I headed out to her apartment. I wasn't feeling good again and wasn't sure what the problem was. I soon figured out that it was an upset stomach. This discovery was made when I accidentally expelled air (some people would refer to this as a burp. But that is just not ladylike) and it helped relieve some of the uncomfortable feeling. I started drinking a Coke because that usually makes people expel air more rapidly.

DM: (Expels air) Oh, thank God.
B: Did you just thank God because you burped?
DM: I have got to be the only person in the world that gets excited when she burps. My life is so pathetic.

When Beth and I scrapbook, we get silly and giddy. Somewhere in her apartment is a piece of paper where I have written some of our conversation down.

Anyway, I have to go back to work so I'm going to publish this. I'll try to finish the rest of the weekend tomorrow.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Poetry Friday - Week 1

I am climbing on the bandwagon that is Poetry Friday. I'm not sure who started this but it is a good idea. Anyway, here is my selection for the week. I discovered this poem in High School and have always had a soft spot for it. I think it is beautiful. Matthew Arnold was able to make me hear the music that is the sea at night by his words. It reminds me of Monet and how he was able to take simple brush strokes and make you not only see but feel his paintings.

Dover Beach

by Matthew Arnold

The sea is calm to-night.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; -on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanch'd land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Aegean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furl'd.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,

Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I don't think anyone's going to be overly surprised by the results


At work or in school: I need to be
"hands on": I like to play games,
to compete, and to perform. I enjoy
flexibility, changes of pace, and variety. I
have difficulty with routine and structure.
My favorite subjects are music, art, theatre,
and crafts. I often excel in sports. I like
solving problems in active ways and
negotiating for what I want. I can be direct
and like immediate results.
With friends: Planning ahead bores me
because I never know what I want to do until
the moment arrives. I like to excite my
friends with new and different things, places
to go, and romantic moments.
With family: I need a lot of space and
freedom. I want everyone to have fun. It is
hard for me to follow rules, and I feel we
should all just enjoy one another.

What Color is Your Brain?
brought to you by Quizilla!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Week 3

There is no triumphant tale of weight loss for this last Saturday. Fortunately, there isn't a tale of woe instead. No, what happened was that Keem went out of town for the weekend and we did not go to Weight Watcher's. This is actually a good thing because it was a totally crappy week. I was stressed out over some financial difficulties (still am but not as much since I now have somewhat of a game plan), work has been extremely hectic and there is that dreaded birthday approaching. This may or may not have led to some creative calculating of calories (Mark, that alliteration is just for you). I am pretty sure that I may have gained some of the weight back.

We are going back this Saturday. I am not as stressed out, work is still hectic but Joe made me laugh about it with his comment about calculating his cost basis (Joe, I told Beth that if I ever meet you, I'm going to have to smack you for that. But gosh, it was funny) and the birthday blues seem to have passed on by. Amazing what actually taking my Effexor can do for me. Plus, Weight Watchers recommends that you take a multi-vitamin when dieting and I seem to have a bit more energy (case in point, maybe 3 hours of sleep last night but I have not yet fallen asleep on any of the stock owners). This is a good thing.

For those of you that are interested, here are the links to week one and week two. At last count, I have lost 11.6 pounds. In the spirit of complete and total honesty, which we all know that I am (except for the occasional exaggeration for comic effect), I will tell you that my goal is to get to 150 at the very least. That is exactly 209 pounds from my starting weight. Scary, huh? I have no idea how I managed to pack on 200+ pounds in 20+ years (my weight when I graduated from high school was 180) but I did and I have to deal with it.

I had mentioned to Beth that I wanted to do a scrapbook when this was all finished, documenting my weight loss and what I was feeling while it happened. This is one of the reasons for the blog posts. It's a great way to keep track of what is going on, what I'm thinking, how I'm feeling and it works so much better to do this than keeping a seperate blog did. Anyway, Beth has taken pictures of me each week.

Here is the picture taken right after I started Weight Watchers. When I learned that I weighed the most I ever had in my life (although this is the most that I ever knew about, Beth is pretty sure I was heavier in Portugal which is kind of scary).

Here is the picture from week one, after the 7 pound weight loss.

Here is the picture from week two, after the 4.6 pound weight loss - grand total 11.6 pounds! This is my favorite picture so far. I love the pig tails. Beth put them in for me at karaoke. She also gave herself braids and Bryan referred to her as the Swedish troublemaker (I think it was troublemaker. Now I don't remember).

Last night, Angie and James sang "Islands in the Stream." James had been picking songs for us last week and wanted Angie to try it. She informed him that she didn't know it very well and she would learn it but only if he sang it with her. We were very amused by this, especially at the look on his face when he realized that he had trapped himself. It may tell you about my incredible like for James when I say that I think he's a great singer. I know he really isn't but I'm biased. Apparently like is not only blind but tone deaf. Anyway, Beth took a picture of them and then realized that she didn't get one of me for this week.

I went up to the stage and asked Bryan for a microphone. He looked at me puzzled. "I just unplugged them," he said. "That's okay," I told him. "I just need to get my picture taken." He was even more puzzled and Beth explained we were documenting my weight loss. He thought that was a cool idea. So there will be a picture soon.

Anyway, after karaoke, while Beth and I were talking about the evening, I was yet again reminded of why I'm so glad that I didn't give into the suicidal impules from my past - I have a great bunch of friends. The people I hang out with in real life are so cool and fun and great to be around. They're very supportive of me and willing to listen to when I need someone to talk to. And the people that I have "met" through the blogging world are also cool and fun and great to be around on the internet. You guys all rock. Thank you for your support.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Counting down

I walked into work yesterday and overheard someone say to someone else "Today is March 1st."

What? Already? How is this possible?

I stopped in the middle of aisle and announced that I was going home. "In 11 days, I will be 39."

Everyone laughed, although there was one woman who was a bit symphathetic because she had been there.

This is probably the first year in a long time that I have not descended into a total and crippling depression right about the time of my birthday. It's been a crappy week for me, I've been extremely stressed out and I'm having a hard time getting up the energy to do anything (including going to work) but I am not just functioning, I'm living. Maybe not with my usual enthusiasm or the normal goofiness that seems to follow me around but I am alive.

Things I am looking forward to this week:

Watching Lost (taped last night so Kim and I could watch American Idol).

The results show for American Idol tonight. I don't really care about the results as long as my favorites stay but it's a chance to see that they are going to stay. I never thought I would become an American Idol fan but I'm starting to enjoy the show. I like music. I like people who sing well. I even (and I can't believe I'm saying this) am starting to like Simon Cowell. Because, yeah, he's kind of an ass (case in point, at one time he told someone that their performance was pure karaoke. What's wrong with karaoke, hmm? Although I knew exactly what he meant - the person singing pretty much just emulated the song. There was nothing original about it at all) but he's not sitting there telling these people that they're superstars. When he compliments someone, it seems more real than when Paula gushes over mundane performences. I also did the karaoke power salute when Elliot was singing last night. Because, yes, I am a dork.

Going to karaoke tonight. Yay karaoke! Seeing Beth. Yay Beth!

I have a $25 gift certificate to Barnes and Noble. I am going to purchase myself a book. I think I deserve it. More than likely it will be something by Neil Gaiman because I finished American Gods last night and I want more. Really, really good book. Have I mentioned that? I might have. Okay. I have checked out Barnes and Noble. $25 is not enough for all that I want. Sigh. I don't think $250 would be enough for what I want. Why do books have to be so good? Fortunately, I do have some reward points that I can redeem for a $10 gift certificate. That will be $35 and I might even be able to get two books! Woo-hoo!

Tomorrow is Friday. Meaning that there is only one day away from the weekend and no one will ask me what their cost basis is for two whole days.

On Saturday, I am going over to Beth's after work and am going to scrapbook. And then there will be karaoke on Sunday. I love Sundays. They are the best day of the week.

You know, doing this made me perk up. Perhaps I should do this more often. I hope you all have something exciting to look forward to this week.