Tuesday, May 30, 2006

What should I write about, Beth?

Beth's reply was "Chicken!"

Beth says chicken a lot. She's weird like that. But, hey, I hug trees so I guess I shouldn't talk too much, huh?

Anyway, we were joking around about this last night, on our way back to my place, and she said I should write a fan letter to chicken. Since she suggested the last fan letter as well, I decided to go along with it.

So, here we go:

Random fan letter number 2 - Chicken*

Dear Chicken,

I am quite fond of you. You are delicious. Especially when Keem takes you and cooks you with a little olive oil and Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle Seasoning. Yum. I especially like it when there is bacon. Did you know that bacon is the same in Portuguese as it is in English? That is very cool. Bacon does not come from chickens, though. It comes from pigs.

Beth likes to say your name a lot. Either she expresses it as Chicken! or sometimes Kurka! That is Ukranian for chicken. She does not like to eat you as much as I like to eat you. That is okay. She likes to eat tomatoes and I think they are horrible.

Thank you for being yummy!

Dana Marie Vittum

*As we were sitting in the car, I protested "I am not writing a fan letter to chicken" and Beth said something along the lines as "You've already written half of it right now so shut up already."

Back to the more normal insanity that is my life. Now that the "chicken is great" letter is out of the way.

Saturday night, Beth picked me up and we headed back to her place so we could scrapbook. I had Monday off so we were thinking we were going to accomplish a lot. After a quick stop at SA, we arrived at her apartment. Minnesota has decided to break some records and get extremely hot. It was midnight and 91 degrees. This is just wrong. Excessive sweating seems to take a lot out of me and I was content to work on my cross stitch while Beth played on the computer.

Sunday, we headed off to karaoke. Dan Lang and his neighbor, Zach, were there already. Angie was also there with her brother and some other people we didn't recognize. Bryan came in a little later. Beth had mentioned, on our way to the Chalet, that, since it was Memorial Day weekend, it should be pretty busy and more than likely insane. She was right but we didn't realize it when we first got there.

When we first entered the Chalet and stopped to talk to Bobby and pick up our drinks, he mentioned that the air conditioning wasn't working. It was 79 degrees inside. After walking in from the 95 degree hell hole known as the great outdoors, we mentioned that it felt nice. Apparently we had forgot the principle rule - the more people in an enclosed space, the warmer it feels.

We decided to get a pizza. Both Beth and I love to put the little pepper flakes on our pizza. Beth walked up to sing and I took a bite of my pizza and started choking. I had inhaled a pepper flake and started choking on it. Dan was rather concerned and asked if I was okay. Unfortunately, the choking turned into a coughing fit and I rather abruptly jumped up from the table and raced to the bathroom.

It was there, while hacking up the pepper flake and some of my life blood along with it (not a lot of blood but still, that's always fun to see), that my life briefly flashed before my eyes. My throat had locked up and I couldn't breathe because I was straining so hard to expel the pepper flake. I felt as though I was going to pass out and had a horrifying moment where I thought "I am 39 years old. I am a good person. I do not want to die in the Chalet bathroom. And dang it, God, when am I going to find romance?" Because, hey, instead of trying to, oh, I don't know, let someone know I was choking to death, let's be more concerned about my lack of romance. That's sensible.

God must have been listening because the coughing fit calmed and I was soon able to start regulating my breathing. Beth came in while this was happening to find out if I was okay and I told her what happened. I was soon out and it was then that God decided to bring to me some romance.

But, as we've all discovered before, God has a sense of humor. Remember Quagna (Suz, if you haven't read this, you should. It is rather hilarious, if I do say so myself)? Remember how he started singing to me? Well, it happened again. Except this time the guy singing to me was not hot and with an intriguing accent. Unless, of course, you consider old men with crooked teeth and a drunken slur to be attractive. Sean Connery he was not.

Anyway, he was singing the song that goes like this - "Have you happened to see the most beautiful girl in the world? And if you did, was she crying?" At least I think that was what he was singing.

Beth: I don't like him.
DM: Why not?
Beth: When we came in, he walked right into me.
DM: Yeah but he apologized.
Beth: I think it was deliberate.
DM: Oh (sometimes men will, in an attempt to be subtle, bump into women as a way to draw attention to themselves or brush up against soft body parts). Eww.

A few moments go by.

Beth: Dana. He's singing to you.
DM: No. No, he's not.
Beth: Yes, he is.
DM: Oh God, why? Why? I'm a good person.
Beth: You are.
DM: Is he still singing at me?
Beth: Yes.

The song mercifully came to an end and Tony (or Creepy Crazy Guy as he later was named) started walking toward me.

DM: Oh, no.
Beth: Giggles.

CCG continues to walk past us and to a back table where he begins talking to a woman and her boyfriend (?).

Beth: Oh. Maybe he wasn't singing to you.
DM: Thank God.

After a few minutes, CCG walks by our table and bumps into me.

CCG: Excuse me.
DM: Sorry.
CCG: I've got a big ass.
DM (to self): Okay. Freak.

After Angie leaves, CCG winds his way up to the front, sitting at the table where Angie had been sitting. He starts talking to Angie's brother and some other people. At one point, we do overhear what he says to some of the women and it is very crass but I can't remember what it was. When Dan and Zach leave, CCG comes and sits on the other side of the table, near me.

Beth gets up to sing. CCG starts talking to me. It is hard to understand what he says because he is drunk and, well, crazy and creepy. Plus I am trying to watch Beth sing and he keeps interrupting me, leaning into my point of view. Believe me when I tell you that I wanted to jump and scream every time he did it.

CCG: You're a great singer.
DM: Thank you.
CCG: You have a gift.
DM: Okay. Thanks.
CCG: Don't let anyone ever hold you back.
DM: Uh...
CCG: You just get up there and sing.
DM: Uh huh.

Then he kept doing that bump thing that drunken men seem to insist on doing. You know, the making a fist and tapping the other person's fist. None of the sober men I know insist on doing this. They're not even really sure what it means. Does anyone know what it means?

Beth finished singing and came and sat down. CCG didn't let that deter him. He kept telling me how great I was and how I should sing all the time. I would love it if James would tell me this but no, apparently my singing voice only appeals to the insane.

Why is it that, when in a situation like this, neither Beth or I can say "Dude, I'm not interested" or "Hey, Crazy, Creepy Guy, you're freaking me out" or even "Stop touching me, you wacko?" Why is it that we just smile politely and hope that they'll eventually go away? I am hoping that if I am ever confronted by a mad scientist or a vampire, I will do more than smile politely. I am hoping that I will smack them about the head with my purse.

After a few minutes of this, Beth ran over and told Benny what was happening. He, without a moment of hesitation, said "Let's go" and came over to sit next to me.

Benny is my hero. He made a big production of sitting between me and CCG.

Benny: Oh, yeah. This is the best spot here.
CCG (ignoring Benny): You gotta sing, girl.
Benny: Oh, gee, I'm feeling kind of gassy. I've got the farts.
CCG: You better not fart on me.
Benny: I had some White Castles. I'm just farting in the chair.
CCG: She's my girl! She's my girl!

CCG reaches over to touch me behind Benny's back. Benny blocks him by pretending to stretch. CCG reaches across Benny to try and touch me. Benny leans forward and pretends to sneeze.

James walks in the bar. All at once, Beth, Benny, Stephanie and I all call out "JAMES!" He turns and looks at us, puzzled. In retrospect, I would have run up to him and asked him to save me from the attentions of CCG but I didn't think of it until too late.

CCG (to Bryan): You gotta call her up there so she can sing (indicating me)!
Bryan: I'll call her up when it is her turn.

My hero!

Bryan: Dana!

Dang him!

Beth: Sing "Different Drum!"

Beth has sung this song a few times to deter unwanted admirers. I sing the song. It doesn't seem to have any effect on CCG. He is staring at me.

When the song finishes, I see Matt walk in. I have never been so happy to see him in my life. I cry his name and throw my arms around him. I can see the puzzled look in his eyes.

Matt: Hi.
DM: Help me. There is a crazy, creepy guy who keeps hitting on me.
Matt: Oh. Okay. Let's go.

He escorts me to the table and was going to sit on the left but Beth and Stephanie quickly tell him to sit where Benny was sitting. Benny leaves. Goodbye Benny. Thank you for saving me. You smell nice.

Every time CCG looks at me or moves in my direction, I snuggle up to Matt. He is very nice to be helping me in this manner. Why is he not James? Why?

James sits next to Beth and Dean is on her other side. The five of us start talking about Lost and how frustrating the season finale is and what the heck is going on (I do not mention my theory that Sayid is incredibly sexy. I'm pretty sure Beth already knows that and Dean, James and Matt probably don't care).

James looks somewhat surprised that Matt and I are sitting so close to one another. Because, yes, I went from being absolutely crazy over him to suddenly liking Matt, who, at one drunken time, told me that he would like to do things to Beth. When there is a lull in the conversation, I fill him in on CCG and why Matt is being helpful. He then smiles and looks less perplexed. Maybe it is only hopeful, wishful, crazy thinking on my part but he might possibly have been just a tiny little bit jealous of Matt. Maybe. Oh, shut up. I can dream.

After awhile, CCG has decided to move up to the bar. Perhaps he was overwhelmed by the amount of people now sitting at our table. Not only were James, Dean and Matt there but we were also joined by Dustin and his girlfriend (I want to call her Laura but I'm not sure if that's right), Liz and also Darling and her husband Stacy (is her name not the coolest ever? And she was so nice and, well, absolutely darling) were sitting with us.

It was my last time to sing for the night and I have decided to try singing Drift Away (I forgot my list over at Beth's so I was trying all new stuff).

Bryan: What do you have?
DM: I'm trying something new. It'll probably suck. But apparently I have a gift.
Bryan: A gift for what?
DM: For singing. According to the Crazy Creepy Guy up at the bar.
Bryan: That's great. You've been endorsed by the Crazy Creepy Guy! You must be proud.
DM: Oh, I am.

I sang the song, it wasn't horrible but it does need work. Apparently Beth got pictures of CCG watching me sing, thinking such thoughts as "She's my girl" and "I want to lock her up in my basement and make her sing only to me." I was able to avoid him for the rest of the night, Matt even escorted me to the bathroom and waited for me. Nice guy, that Matt. He's no Batman but he's still a nice guy.

I gave Liz lots and lots of books to read and she was very excited. She is going to bring in some books for me.

There were two highlights to the evening. One, I got to watch James and Stacy argue about comic books. It was fascinating. I have always loved watching debates, especially when the people in the discussion are very passionate about what they are debating. The fact that it was comic books made it even more thrilling for me (I know. I'm such a geek). That and the fact that James is just brilliant and I like him a lot (I know. You're all sitting around going "Duh, Dana. I think we figured that out").

The second highlight was, after the after karaoke (where we all sit around and talk), some of us were still standing around. I noticed that James was standing in the door way and walked over. We went outside and were talking for a few minutes (where I reiterated the fact that Matt was only hugged because he was saving me from CCG) and then it happened. He hugged me. A big swooping hug for many seconds.

Conversation back to Beth's place revolved around the night and this:

DM: He hugged me.
B: Yes, he did hug you.
DM: We're going to see him tomorrow. Maybe (we talked about going to see X-Men 3).
B: Yes, we might.
DM: I like him a lot.
B: I know you do.
DM: He hugged me.

I may have giggled. I'm not sure. I do know that Beth is very patient and did not kill me. She is a good friend.

I saw him for a few minutes on Monday when we went to see X-Men 3. He let us in to see the movie for free. He also mentioned that he would be gone when the movie was over because he was done at 6 and thought we were going to go to the 4 PM movie. Unfortunately, we overslept and had to drive like the weend to get to the theater in time for the 5 PM movie. But it gave me my James fix, seeing him for those few minutes. I adore him. Have I mentioned that?

Different Drum - Linda Ronstandt

You and I travel to the beat of a different drum
Oh can't you tell by the way I run
Every time you make eyes at me

You cry and moan and say it will work out
But honey child I've got my doubts
You can't see the forest for the trees

Oh don't get me wrong
It's not that I knock it
It's just that I am not in the market
For a boy who wants to love only me

Yes, and I ain't saying you ain't pretty
All I'm saying is I'm not ready
For any person place or thing
To try and pull the reins in on me

So good-bye I'll be leaving
I see no sense in this crying and grieving
We'll both live a lot longer
If you live without me

Oh don't get me wrong
It's not that I knock it
It's just that I am not in the market
For a boy who wants to love only me

Yes, and I ain't saying you ain't pretty
All I'm saying is I'm not ready
For any person place or thing
To try and pull the reins in on me

So good-bye I'll be leaving
I see no sense in this crying and grieving
We'll both live a lot longer
If you live without me

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Random fan letters - Jonny Lang

Disclaimer - No, I am not going to send this to Jonny Lang. What? You think I'm insane? Don't answer that.

Dear Jonny Lang,

I am writing this letter to tell you how I am quite probably your number 1 fan. Even though I have never met you or even listen to your music all that much (except when I'm over at Beth's. By the by, the song "Good morning, little schoolgirl"? Good song. Kind of creepy. But still a good song), I adore you.

I have heard that you are married. This leads me to believe that you believe in love (unless, of course, you married for money and then you can completely disregard what I'm going to write next. But I feel that I know you, Jonny Lang, and have faith in your heart).

I also believe in love. Or, well, extreme Like. This is because I met James. And meeting James could not have happened without you. You've never actually met James so don't rack your brain too hard trying to figure out who he is. Let me describe him for you. He's like Batman.

This is the series of events that led to me meeting James.

  • In 19something or another, you participated in a contest. A singing contest. You won this contest.
  • The runner up was a man named Bryan McDonald.
  • You went off to gain stardom and acclaim.
  • Bryan got a job working at the Chalet on Rice Street hosting karaoke.
  • You make lots and lots of money.
  • Part of Bryan's income is paid to him in the form of alcoholic beverages.
Working at the Chalet led to Bryan meeting Liz. They are quite possibly the world's most perfect couple (More of that love connection that you, Jonny Lang, are indirectly responsible for. You must be very proud).

When we (Beth and I) first started going up to the Chalet, we would see Liz and knew that she was Bryan's girlfriend. A few of Bryan and Liz's friends would join her at what Beth and I referred to as the Cool Table. One of the Cool Table's inhabitants was a man named Dean. We actually knew Dean from a bar named Wild Tymes which is where we first met Bryan. We followed Bryan (okay, not literally because that would be creepy) from Wild Tymes to the Chalet. We joked that we were Bryan's stalkers.

After Beth and I had been going to the Chalet for awhile, one night Liz came and sat with us. This was very exciting for us. When the rest of the Cool Table came in, they joined us and we were introduced to people that we had just seen from afar (well, as afar as you can get from a fairly small bar but you get the point). One of these men was Barry (hot but quite possibly a serial killer) and James (remember James? He is like Batman).

James is not what most people would call traditionally handsome. He is a self-proclaimed comic book geek, has OCD, may be slightly autistic (well, no, that's more of a joke), talks like William Shatner and thinks like Mr. Spock (extremely logical. I am not a logical person but many of my friends are. It is my cross to bear). The minute I met him, I fell head over heels into Like. Although I denied it for a long period of time.

Although he has not yet realized that I am the one for him or even that I could love him like that, our relationship has made great strides. In fact, in January, a year after I first fell in Like with him, I proceeded to get very drunk and then tell him how I felt.

My professions of Like included telling him the following:
  • I like him. A lot.
  • He is like Batman (Batman is my favorite superhero, in case you haven't guessed that yet).
  • But not just Batman. Adam West Batman (which he didn't seem to find very complimentary until I mentioned that Adam West was hot. Then he liked it).
  • He is like the captain of the football team (remember that he is a comic book geek).
  • I also kissed him. And licked him on the neck. Twice.

Nothing much has happened between us since then but I have hope. And at least I got addicted to the television show Lost out of the deal (James spent a lot of time telling us how great the show was and we needed to watch it so we did). Which will lead to my next fan letter to Naveen Andrews, also known as Sayid, he of the succulent man breasts (man boobies are not sexy. Man breasts are extremely tight and hot pectoral muscles. What Naveen Andrews does to a tank top has to be seen to be believed).

So, thank you, Jonny Lang. Thank you for winning that contest and bringing to me my true Like. Because, let's face it, Bryan would probably never had worked at either Wild Tymes or the Chalet if he had won and then he never would have met Liz. And more important, I would never have met James. And that would be horrible in so many ways.

Yours truly,

Dana Marie Vittum
Self proclaimed Queen of the Universe

P.S. I am not insane.

P.P.S. Really. I'm not insane. Call off your body guards.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Degrees of Insanity

Over my vacation, I made the following observation to Beth:

D: You know, I may hug the occasional tree*, I may be reading a book about Death and giggling hysterically over it** but I have never carried around a shrunken head in a baseball cap***. I'm crazy but I'm not shrunken head crazy****.
B: You know what you're getting for your birthday now, don't you?

*One of my latest tree hugging pictures - snapped by Beth in Cananda.

Beth asked me why I hug trees and I tried to give her an explanation but failed miserably. All I can tell you is that when you hug a tree, actually let yourself go and forget about the fact that there might be people around you looking at you like you are the biggest freak in the world, it is the greatest feeling. You slough off all of your concerns and concentrate only on the sun and the smell of the tree bark and the moment becomes not about you and your worries but about you and Nature and all the things that are good in your life. Maybe it is like meditation? I don't know.

**Seriously. You must read this book. It is so great. The name of it is A Dirty Job and it is by Christopher Moore and I have no idea how I went this long without reading anything by him. Think Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy meets Good Omens meets everything else funny in the world. But, keep in mind that I am crazy and my sense of humor is, well, a little weird. Click here for some of the plot details.

***If you have not yet read Beth's post about Shrunken Head Guy, you have no idea what I am talking about. Quick. Go here now.

****I used to say "I'm crazy but I'm not Prozac crazy. I'm Effexor crazy." But shrunken head crazy is even more fun.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


I am back after a wondrous vacation. 6 glorious days away from work. Unfortunately, that also means no Internet access (well, not technically, I did have access to Beth's computer but I was lazy and played games) and that means that, when I pulled up my Bloglines account today, there are 488 unread posts waiting for me*. I am overwhelmed but also excited about all the new and fun things for me to read. And I promise I will read them, it just might take awhile since my home computer is broken. Stupid computer.

*Update - it's now 460. I have to stop reading until tomorrow or I am going to get into so much trouble.

Anyway, a funny thing happened at karaoke last night.

Donny (an attractive individual but total player) is singing. Instead of his usual version of Prince's Kiss, he decides to sing Neil Diamond's Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show. When he gets about halfway through the song, he deviates from the usual lyrics and asks us "Have you met Jesus? I met Jesus. I was at the Taco Bell down the road (on the corner of Rice and Larpenteur) and Jesus was at the counter. I knew he was Jesus because that's what his name tag said. His hair was long (and something I didn't catch). And when Jesus asked me for my order, I wanted Peace on Earth but I got a Taco Supreme instead."

It was, in the words of Johnny, "Hi-larious."

Here are a few pictures of Donny. Thanks so much to Beth that uploaded my pictures this week to flickr or I would be devoid of pictures. She's so great, isn't she?

Dana WI 122

Dana WI 120

Demon Donny

Dana WI 121

Dana WI 119

Dancing Donny

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Did you miss me? I missed me.

I am back. I am weak and ineffectual, the dreaded bronchitis monster has attacked me (I'm assuming it is bronchitis because I feel like someone put a fifty pound weight on my chest) and I want to crawl into bed forever but that would be wrong. So I'm at work right now, on my break, wondering where 2 1/2 hours went and watching people watch me, waiting for me to keel over at any moment.

I was going to participate in the day in the life thing that Sheryl and others do. It was supposed to be on Saturday but I only have a vague idea of what I did on Saturday. Here is Saturday and the rest of the week so far, to the best of my knowledge.

8:00 AM Wake up. Curse the fates that have woken me up this early on a Saturday. Go sit out in the living room and cross stitch while watching Oscar.

9:30 AM Keem yells at me to get ready. I tell her I am ready. She says "You are not going out like that." Jeff laughs and says she is mean. I look at him and say "I don't match and my hair is a mess. I'm not going out like this." I was wearing a purple tank top with green and blue flowered capri pants. It doesn't match. Plus, haven't shaved my legs in awhile. I tie my hair up, change to jeans and brush my teeth.

11:00 AM Go to Weight Watchers. Weigh in. I am down 1.8 pounds, a total of 12.4. Can I get a woo-hoo? Keem is also down a pound. We are pleased.

11:15 AM We are on our way to go to a movie. The movie of choice today is RV, Keem has wanted to see it for awhile.

11:30 AM Arrive at movie theater, Keem buys tickets, I purchase refreshing beverages and popcorn.

12:45 PM Movie is over, it was funny. We both enjoyed it. Jeff Daniels is in it as well so that was a nice suprise, you don't see him in the previews. Just Robin Williams.

1:00 PM My whining has paid off, we are going to Jo-Ann's so I can buy fun and exciting cross stitch things to work on while at work and while watching TV. It seriously helps cut down the snacking a lot.

Random conversation I have had with Keem to convince her she should start cross stitching again.

DM: Keem. You should get a fun project to work on.
Keem: I may. I don't know yet.
DM: And then we would be stitch buddies!
Keem: If you ever refer to us as stitch buddies again, I won't start cross stitching again.
DM: You don't want to be stitch buddies?
Keem: Enough with the stitch buddies!

2:00 PM I have been dragged out of Jo-Ann's and we are going to get food. We decide to go to Culver's. This was probably a mistake.

2:30 PM We arrive at home and eat Culver's. Yummy Wisconsin Swiss Melt with yummy cheese and cheese curds on the side and my, I am full now.

3:00 PM We decide to watch lots and lots of movies. The DVD player decides it is broken. It is holding Keem's copy of Dungeons and Dragons hostage.

The next few days pass in a blur because I am sick. All I know is that Saturday night, I had heart burn. Heart burn turned into acid reflux. The acid reflux made me phlegmy (sp?). The phlegm inhabited my lungs and turned into bronchitis. All I pretty much did was sit in the chair, stare at the television and want to die.

Fortunately I did not die. I am back at work. We could say woo-hoo about this but it is not very sincere. I could have stayed home today but, if I did, that would mean I would quickly run out of vacation time. As it is, with the planned trip next week and some time off around Beth's birthday, I have only 4 days unplanned vacation time left. Hmm. This does not bode well.

I am still working my way around to your sites. Sorry it's taking so long. Stupid computer is still broken. Which is stupid. And I was banned from Keem's computer while I was sick. Keem says "If you are too sick to go to work, you are too sick to use my computer."