Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Thursday 13 - #2

Okay, I’m a bit early but that’s okay. We’ll deal with it. I had to post this today because today is Keem’s birthday and we are awfully fond of her. Well, I’m assuming that all of you are fond of her as well. I’m really not using the royal “we” here. I try to avoid that. People think I am daft enough as it is. Someday, they’ll recognize me for my great and awesome powers but for now, I’m willing to just sit back and observe. Who of you will be in my court when I come into my powers? Who of you will be banned from my presence forever? I’m watching you. Mwahahaha.

It’s probably not a good idea to do the evil laugh when you’re trying to convince people that you’d be a good Queen of the Universe, huh? Pretend you didn’t see that.

Thirteen Reasons Why Keem is Great byDana, Queen of the Universe

    1. She is very funny and makes me laugh. Lots.
    2. She convinced me to apply for the job at Stock Owner Services and has agreed to have the same schedule as me so I don’t have to take the stupid bus.
    3. She will (usually) listen to me whine (or, as I like to refer to it, creatively complain). She does draw the line at the following items – I am not allowed to say “Keem, I am dying” when I have a cold and I am not allowed to say that I am tired on Mondays and Fridays because I chose to go to karaoke and therefore did it to myself.
    4. She will remind me when my shows come on and can even be persuaded to tape them for me. Plus, we watch a lot of the same shows and it is fun to discuss the outcome.
    5. She is very helpful at reminding me that I have a budget and there are things I should not spend money on. She is the voice of reason.
    6. If not for her (and Beth), my life would be Chaos. Instead it is organized Chaos.
    7. She is the best cook ever. Even better is that she actually likes to cook and that is why I do not exist on an all Ramen noodles diet (I like Ramen noodles but 3 times a day would be excessive). Even better is that she understands that tomatoes are evil and I never end up having to worry about finding them scattered willy-nilly throughout my food.
    8. She likes movies just as much as me and often suggests that we partake in double features. And the occasional triple feature.
    9. We like to read a lot of the same authors so we’ll share books and avidly wait until the other person finishes to book so we can discuss it with each other.
    10. She remembers the practical things like laundry detergent and dishwashing liquid and cat food when we go to the store (I remember the more fun things like ice cream. Ice cream is very important). She also understands that I cannot live in a mustard free household and reminds me when we are running low. Or reminds me that we already have mustard and I don’t need to buy a new bottle (Sometimes I panic over the possibility of being mustard free). She also understands that Plochman’s mustard is the best and French’s is a close second and that, under any circumstance, never will I eat Heinz’s mustard (although I prefer their ketchup).
    11. She will share her ice cream with me when I only bought a pint of ice cream and she bought two boxes of ice cream bars and I am jealous over her plethora of frozen treats.
    12. She loves my cat. My cat loves her. Maybe a little too much since he seems to spend more time with her. But it is fun having someone to discuss your cat with and all of his little idiosyncrasies (and understand when you panic because he is sitting in Jeff’s former room in the dark, silently mrowing to himself and will come to the room and talk to him with you about how it’ll all be okay).
    13. She will humor me when I say things like “Keem! Keem! The birds! Did you see the birds, Keem? Did you? They were flying! (Or hopping or sitting around thinking bird thoughts)” Usually her response is “Yes, Dana, those were birds (or squirrels or BALLOONS!).” And when I say “I like birds” she will say “Really? I never would have known.”

    There are many other reasons why Keem is one of the best friends ever but these are the top 13. I could keep going but I’ll stop.

    Happy birthday, Keem! For your birthday, I will buy you Monk Season Two and you will receive it around the same time that you get Monk Season One which I am buying for your last birthday (yet another reason she is awesome. She won’t let me buy it for her because it’s not in my budget).

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Super Hiro

I don't usually go on and on about television. While I'm fond of it, I'm not completely obsessed with it. Granted, I have my shows that I love to watch but I also gave up on a few of them because of a karaoke conflict (CSI is on Thursdays. I have to nap before karaoke. Therefore I can't watch it. Grey's Anatomy was on Sundays but has now moved to Thursdays so I only have a general idea of what's going on with the show) but I'm not a gusher. Well, except about Lost, but that's mainly with Beth and James.

I have to tell you that I've found a show that has changed that.

Last night, I watched Heroes. I have been waiting for Heroes for FREAKIN' ever, ever since I saw one of the first previews. And I must tell you now that I think I am a little bit in love with one of the male characters. I'll give you a brief description of them, guess which one it is.

  • Sensitive male nurse. Cute.
  • His hot older brother who is running for Congress and is an arrogant jerk.
  • Somewhat attractive addict painter who is trying to overcome his addiction.
  • Intelligent attractive Indian professor who is driving a taxi cab in New York to solve the mystery of his father’s death and complete his research
  • Man who wears glasses who is more than likely an evil Government tool. Generically attractive in that “I’m hiding behind my mask of dedicated family man but I’d just as soon kill you as look at you if you cross me” way.
  • Another man who wears glasses, wants to be different and routinely quotes from Star Trek and comic books and also hangs out in a karaoke bar. Geeky cute.

Have you guessed? Have you?

His name is Hiro. He is Japanese and sweet and sensitive and I love him. He is sitting in the karaoke bar with his non-believing friend, talking about how time and space can be bent and his friend asks “How do you know this?” And Hiro says “X-Men something something (Sorry, I didn’t catch all of it). When Kitty Pryde time travels for the first time.”


And, as I was watching the previews for the upcoming weeks, they have revealed that Isaac (the painter) is predicting the future when he paints and his paintings are laid out in comic book fashion. And Hiro sees a comic book that shows when he teleports from Japan to New York.

I LOVE this show. LOVE IT! It is awesome, man. Like the plums.

If you missed it, there is a special encore showing tonight. You should really watch it and then I will have someone to call when the show is over because I'm not comfortable enough to call James and say "Oh my God, did you watch it?" yet (Or even Little Matt. Because I'm sure he watched it. Actually, I am comfortable enough to call Little Matt. I just don't have his phone number) like I really, really wanted to last night.

And, oh, I also really like "The Class" as well but you're not required to listen to me talk about that. Keem watches it with me.

Friday, September 22, 2006

You got the right stuff, baby

Beth is going to laugh herself silly over the fact that I'm quoting the New Kids On The Block but it works for this post.

So this really, really, really cute guy came into the office today. I was helping him with his transfer and we got to talking about the fact that he lives in North Hollywood and is a dancer and has been in some movies and videos (and stupid me, forgot to ask what movies) and he was fun to talk to and I had a great time working with him.

He leaves the office. I turn to Co-worker John.

DM: John? Let's pretend that you're a girl.

Co-worker John pauses for a moment.

Co-worker John: Okay.
DM: He was really cute (in somewhat high school like tone, accompanied with sigh).

Co-worker John pauses for another moment.

Co-worker John: Dana?
DM: Yes.
Co-worker John: Let's imagine where that would not be a good thing to say. Such as if we were in prison.

I stare at him blankly.

Co-worker John: If we were in prison and I heard someone say 'Let's pretend that you're a girl,' I would be frightened.
DM: Oh! Oh, yeah, that could be bad.
Co-worker John: On another note, I wish I could pull off that hair cut.
DM: Yeah, that was cool. And he's got that dancer's build. But he's masculine. Unlike Justin Timberlake.
Co-worker John: Okay.

He gives me that "Dana, you are a complete and total freak" look. Of course, that might also have been because I told him about the Fish Hook Saga today.

While I enjoy working with Co-worker John and Co-worker Rykken a lot, sometimes it would be nice if they were girls. But it is also nice to get a male perspective sometimes. Unless I don't like what they have to say (such as "Dana, it's just a shirt. It doesn't mean anything." And I will reply "But it's Batman! Adam West Batman!" And then they laugh at me).

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Thursday 13 - #1

I have decided to jump on the bandwagon that is Thursday 13. Because I can. And, quite frankly, I am bored. Because lately work has been the opposite of incredibly busy and please, someone gauge out my eyes because I don't want to have to answer the phone anymore (although I suppose that would be gauge out my ears, really, for it to be practical).

Thirteen Things that confuse, puzzle or annoy Dana, Queen of the Universe

  1. Why isn't surprise spelled like surprize? It makes more sense. And, quite frankly, I like it better. Because usually surprises are like prizes.
  2. Working in the Stock Transfer department of NABABNA, we sometimes participate in what is called a reorganization when companies decide to merge, etc. So we send out forms for them to fill out, along with a list of instructions. What gets me is that the list of instructions will typically have a piece of paper that is completely blank except for a line of type through the middle that says "This page left intentionally blank." This bugs the heck out of me. Technically, if the line of type is there, the page isn't blank anymore so you can't say, in all honesty, that the page has been left intentionally blank. Shouldn't they write "We decided not to print anything on this page but realized that you're all a bunch of idiots and would call and pester the people working in the Stock Transfer department of NABABNA about why the page was blank so we're writing this statement here to help you figure it out."
  3. Do people not understand that the function of a turning lane is that you're supposed to turn from it instead of sort of straddling it so you're blocking everyone behind you from being able to pass you and get to their destination?
  4. Just who decided how we were going to pronounce words anyway? Why can't it be super-fluous and lay-pels if I want it to be that way?
  5. Why is it that, because some idiots decided to play on the internet while taking calls, I (well, the whole department now) have just been told that I can't blog in between calls. This bites. Big time. But it does inspire me to get my computer fixed very soon.
  6. Why has my TMJ picked now to start acting up? I go weeks, months, years, without any problems but this week (starting Saturday), it has been very painful. Stupid TMJ. I curse you with a thousand curses.
  7. There was a woman who came in today and got all mad at Co-worker John because the price of her stock went up and she received more money than she thought she would for her stock sale. Um, hello? Isn't that a good thing?
  8. Why doesn't Keem want to go to the library? Why? Books are our friends.
  9. Speaking of books, now that I have to pack things in preparation of the move, I have come to the realization that I may actually own too many books. Although that is somewhat sacrilegious so I take it back. I do not own too many books. I own too many stupid books that I will never read again and so I must weed through them in preparation of the day that I will have money again and can increase my beautiful book collection. I love books. They are our friends. I may have mentioned that.
  10. Why is it that I will avoid drama movies, the type that I refer to as tear jerkers, but find myself avidly seeing out an author that I know will make me cry? Her name is Jodi Picoult and she is trying to kill me (by making me cry myself to death (Beth is trying to kill me by making me laugh myself to death (She is the slowest assassin in the world) so they cancel each other out). So far I have read Vanishing Acts (about a woman who was kidnapped by her father when she was a child), My Sister's Keeper (about a 13 year old girl who was conceived to be a genetic match for her older sister and decides to sue her parents for medical emancipation) and The Pact (about a girl and her boyfriend who make a suicide pact (not exactly but I can't write more without giving away the entire plot (and I know it sounds incredibly dark and horrible but it was so very moving))) and I highly recommend that you check her out. When I tell you that I like her as much as I like Nora Roberts but for completely different ways, that is a huge compliment because Nora Roberts is my favorite author. But Jodi Picoult is on her way to second favorite.
  11. Why am I so tired? I'm taking my Seraquel and going to bed at a decent hour. Maybe I'm actually bored. But I am excited about karaoke tonight! Karaoke, karaoke, karaoke!
  12. How is it that I can't actually think of 13 things? I had a whole bunch of them yesterday. Sheesh.
  13. Why is it raining right now? Sheesh again.

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Quite possibly the best night of my entire life

On Sunday night, Beth and I made the journey to celebrate the birthday of James, who is quite possibly one of the greatest men in the world. I know you think I am prone to exaggeration but I'm sorry, there's no other way to describe him. I know some pretty awesome men and he is one of them. I include in this list of great men (that I know personally) the following (in no particular order) - my co-worker John, Bryan, James, my brother-in-law Eric, my roommate Jeff, my former boss Mike and Beth's Dad*. I would like to include Adam West in this list but, unfortunately, we have never met. It is very sad. Oh, and William Shatner. I am fond of him as well. But no, I never met him either. Sigh.

*And Andy (Beth's former boss) and Steve (her current team lead).

Anyway, before I go off on a tangent about the relative hotness of Adam West and William Shatner, I was going to tell you about the party.

We arrived at about 10 o'clock. Now, here's something you may not know. Beth and I are shy. We are not really good at meeting new people. So, on our walk up to his house, we are arguing over who is going to proceed first. I do not know why I bother arguing with Beth, it is futile. She always wins. I am not sure what stunning logical argument she presented to me because, let's face it, I was a nervous wreck ("New people. Oh my God. What will I say? These are all cool people that know Bryan and Liz and James. What if they hate us? What if they think we're the biggest dorks ever? Oh my God.")

We saw James, I presented him with his present of a bar of Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Apparently he eats this like a candy bar. I am somewhat disturbed by this. This is a man who gets completely grossed out if you mention mustard but he will eat cream cheese without benefit of bagels or Cheez-its. Mmm. Cheez-its.*

*I have also found out that he eats herring. HERRING! From the jar. Blech.

We scan the garage, looking for someone we know. There is Matt. Yay! Matt! Woo-hoo! We are somewhat more enthusiastic than Matt usually rates but what are you going to do? We can't cluster around James or Liz the entire night.

First fascinating conversation of the evening:

DM or Beth (To random people by Matt): Hi. What's your name?
Male random person: Mumble-er.
DM: Peter?
Male random person: No. Peder.
DM: Oh. Cool. Dutch?
Peder: No, Scandinavian (okay, he told me the name of the country but I can't remember it now). My brother is Bjorn (mentions person Beth and I have met a few times).
DM & Beth: Oh! We know Bjorn (see! We're cool! Really we are!).
DM: Well, if you would told me Bjorn's your brother, I would have figured out you were Scandinavian right away.
Peder: Smiles faintly. His wife never really opens her mouth.

Wow. That was fascinating, wasn't it? We all stand around. There is a dead silence. Finally, I turn to Beth. "I'm going to go sit down." I point to a chair a few feet away. She follows me. We start talking about something else, probably scrapbooking or something like that. Anything to keep that dead silence from following us.

Matt comes over. Yay! It's Matt! We're very enthusiastic about seeing Matt. I become even more enthusiastic when I see what he is wearing. Oh my GOD! Where did he find this? This is the coolest thing ever. Picture, if you will, black Converse high tops. Those are cool enough (I own a pair of red ones and also pink. Beth has orange. I envy her). BUT! There is a logo on the shoes. Guess what logo it is? Guess!

YES! He has BATMAN shoes! How cool is that?


Except his only has one logo in the back. Beth took pictures. They are very cool pictures. Eventually she will have time to post them. This will probably be after she is done with her finance class and not plotting the murder of the idiots in her work group (Direct quote: "I hate them all"). Except I think she has a finance 2 class after this one. While I have nothing but respect for Beth and her patience and her brain, I do not envy her at all for going back to school. Well, that's not true. I'm sure if she was taking an English class or something about Mythology, I'd be extremely jealous. Unfortunately, mythic Gods and Goddesses are not normally found when studying Business Management. Dang it.

Anyway, Matt's shoes are very cool and I want them (although now I want the above shoes even more because what could possibly be better than shoes with one logo on them? Shoes with multiple logos!).

DM: AH! I want those (I may also have used the words "Those are f*cking awesome)!
Matt: Hot Topic on clearance. They don't have any more though.
DM: Oh (sad tone).
Matt: You could try online.
DM: Or you could just give them to me. I like that idea better.

Later on, Matt is sitting next to me. I reach over and start untying his shoes, trying to pull them off. Eventually Beth and Shawn start helping me with this and it becomes a wrestling match between the three of them.

The shoe is ripped off his foot and handed to me. I hug it to my chest in ecstasy.

DM: I love Batman (sappy tone).

Shawn tries to take the shoe from me.

DM: No! Don't take it!
Shawn: It's okay. I'm not going to give it back.

He takes the shoe and puts it up on top of the open garage door.

DM: No! Too high! Give it back!

He laughs and hands it back. I hug it again. Beth starts taking pictures of us. The shoe gets handed around to Shawn and Kevin. There is also a picture of Matt looking sad.

Shawn takes the shoe (after much protest from me) and hides it when Matt wanders off somewhere. Matt comes back.

Matt: Where's my shoe?
Beth: She ate it.
DM: It tasted like chicken.
Matt: What? She ate my shoe?

He sits down in the chair across from me and looks upset.

DM: Matt...
Matt: Screw you, shoe eater!

This, of course, makes us laugh hysterically. This may be our new phrase. It is awesome. Like the plums, man.

Later on, we introduce ourselves to a woman who is sitting near us.

Dar: My name's Dar.
DM: Oh! Wait! Is it short for Darling?
Dar: Yes.
DM: And your husband's name is Stacy?
Dar: Yes.
DM & Beth: We know you!

We also start talking to Chris who works with Dar and James at the theater. As the evening progresses, we start relaxing and having a great time. Chris and Dar are new to us so we start entertaining them with some tried but true stupid customer stories (I listed the third one because it's close to the one Beth did tell but I can't figure out if we ever posted it. Short and simple - woman calls NABABNA and wants to know where she should put her deposit. She is banking online and feels that she should be able to insert the money into her computer). We love meeting new people. Well, once we get over the terror of actually meeting them.

Chris starts drinking rum and gets a little, well, intoxicated. Then he steals Matt's beer and starts drinking that. Matt declares it is now his beer.

Chris: No, I don't want the whole beer. I just wanted a sip.
Matt: Too bad. It's yours now.
Chris: But...
Matt: I've been wanting to see you drunk for a long time.
Chris: Why?
Matt: Because you're the most pessimistic person I know.
Chris: What? I'm not pessimistic!
Matt: Yes, you are.
Chris: No, I'm not.
DM & Beth: No, he's not, Matt. What are you talking about (because, you know, we met Chris that evening and have suddenly learned everything about him)?

The evening progresses. We begin talking about Star Trek and it's various incarnations. I re-enact my description (video! Of me! How fun is that?) of one of my favorite Star Trek: The Next Generation shows. We all agree that Star Trek: TNG is the best show but there is some discussion about the hotness of William Shatner as Captain Kirk. Yes, the majority of this discussion did come from me. Also, Dean brings up the interesting tidbit that Matt Damon will be playing Captain Kirk in the newest Star Trek movie. What? Where is William Shatner? How can they do this to me?*

*Do not, under any circumstances, decide that it would be a good idea to check out IMDB's message boards. You may think that you might get more information about an upcoming film but, instead, you will get to read a bunch of posts about stupid, immature people that have nothing better to do than call each other names under the pretense of a serious discussion about racism and whether or not Shatner will return for the movie.

There is so much else that happened this night and, unfortunately, I left my notes at Beth's and she was unable to find them (quite possibly because I decided, oh, ten minutes before she was going to drive me home, that I absolutely had to organize my stickers. Said stickers are spread all over the scrapbooking area. It is a true test of Beth's affection for me as a friend that she has not yet killed me) and I'm not sure if I'm remembering everything.

Bryan wandered over, after karaoke was over, and was telling us how insane the night had been (Beth told me later, that while she had a great time, it drove her crazy not to be at karaoke. I expressed surprise at this. "Really? It didn't bother me at all." Her response? "Yeah. I wonder why. You just spent 6 1/2 hours with James.") Somehow we started talking about, according to Bryan "The best worst movie ever." This movie is called "Gymkata" and is about a completely new style of martial arts, gymkata, the combination of gymnastics and karate. After listening to his description, which included dramatic hand gestures, Beth and I have decided that we never have to watch another movie again. We can just let Bryan explain it to us and that would be more fun.

DM (laughing hysterically): God. Beth? Why don't we have a tape recorder? Why? We so need one.
Bryan: Yeah. If there's a tape recorder, all you'd get would be me saying 'Gymkata?' Oh, yeah. Good movie.

At one point, we were talking about scary movies and Bryan started telling us about a television show that he watched a few times. All I really know about it is that Shannon Doherty is one of the co-hosts (hosts?) and the whole idea of the program was to scare people out of their wits. Okay. It was called "Scare Tactics" and I love IMDB for helping me remember the name of the show. I forgive them for the horrid message boards. Just so you know.

He tells us about two episodes. The first one is about some guy who gets locked into a dark area and all you can hear is this small shuffling sound in the background and he is just freaking out. Turns out they have some small guy dressed up like a rat monster and the man goes completely nuts when he sees him. Also, according to Bryan, he is one of the most flamboyant men Bryan has ever seen, so, when he sees the rat monster, he is extra dramatic. I found it on Youtube here.

The other episode involves a meteor and the guy who is being scared is the type you want to have in your corner when there is a crisis. Bryan said he reacted very calmly throughout the whole episode. The first thing that happened was his friend says "Hey, did you hear that?"

Calm Guy (CG): No.

Then, apparently, the mobile home they are in tips over or something and they wander outside to find a meteor pulsing in the ground. Freaked Out Guy (FOG) is in on the whole thing so he reaches out and touches the meteor. Because, yeah, that's absolutely brilliant. Every one knows that leads to trouble. All dialouge here is based on what Bryan told us, not because I watched the clip (found here). I will watch the clip one of these days, I just want to wait until it is much slower and there's no chance of a stock owner wandering in and seeing me rolling on the floor with laughter.

FOG (pulls back his hand): Oh! It's really cold.
CG (reaches out and touches him): Are you okay?
FOG: Look at my chest! Oh my goodness.

He has been in make-up before this show starts and is covered with fake boils or something like that.

CG: Oh. I touched you. That's probably not good.

The next thing that happens, according to Bryan, is that two "FBI" agents come in. They show their identification quickly and start asking a lot of questions. Did you touch the meteor? Did you hear anything? Blah, blah, blah.

FOG gets led outside after he admits to touching the meteor. CG, true to his nature, remains calm but stares off, thinking.

CG: I'm going to f*cking die here tonight.

That's all he says. Extremely calm and collected. Not lying on the ground in the fetal position like I probably would be.

Suddenly there are gunshots from outside. The "FBI" agents come back inside, without FOG. They start questioning CG again. And now, finally, Calm Guy isn't so calm anymore.

FBI Agent: Mr. CG, we need to ask you...
CG: No. No more questions! Show me your ID.
FBI Agent: We already showed you our identification.
CG: No! No! If you're going to shoot me in the head then just shoot me in the head already or show me your f*cking ID!

Apparently the episode came to an abrupt halt. I have to wonder just how they broke it to him that this was all a plot to scare him.

Later on, when it was just Bryan, Liz, Dean, James, Beth and I, we ended up talking about a multitude of different topics. Such as Bryan's reaction to local celebrities like newscasters (which, in my opinion, doesn't make you a celebrity. This is apparently Bryan's thought as well and he must have expressed this viewpoint at one time since Don Shelby was signing autographs at the State Fair, saw Bryan and immediately got up and walked away), certain musicians that he has run into and aggravated and then Liz starts telling us about a plan Bryan has about how you have to dress up like a famous person on your birthday but the catch is, they have to have been born on your birthday. Liz has Bob Dole. She is less than pleased. Bryan has Tycho Brahe. Tycho Brahe is a famous astronomer but he also is known for the following things:

  • Getting into a duel when he was younger and having his nose cut off. He then made a prosthetic nose out of silver and gold.
  • Having a pet dwarf named Jepp who would run under the table at banquets and tickle everyone's privates.
  • Having a pet elk that died in a freak accident - apparently the elk became intoxicated and fell down a flight of stairs.

I just checked mine and I have Dorothy Gish, Lawrence Welk, Douglas Adams and Johnny Knoxville. Well, there's a lot more but these are the ones that I think are the coolest. And yes, I did like Lawrence Welk. I know that makes me a nerd but I don't care. I think it might have been the bubbles.

Anyway, I know that there a lot more things that happened. Beth and I were there until 4:20 AM or so. It was a great time and I had so much fun. I can't believe it took me this long to finish writing the post but we have been busy. I have a few short karaoke posts that I'll probably combine into one.

What's new with you? My roommate Jeff is moving to Denver on Saturday. I'm really going to miss him but Keem and I will be moving into a two bedroom apartment on or around December 1st so that is exciting.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Tribute to Godwin Ajala

There is a website called The 2,996 Project. It is a project to honor those who died in the 9/11 Attack by assigning the name of a victim to a blogger when you sign up. I read about this on 63 Days and decided to sign up for this myself. This is the name of the person that I was assigned.

Godwin Ajala, age 33.
Place killed: World Trade Center. Resident of New York, N.Y. (USA).
Godwin Ajala will be honored by Dana Marie Vittum at the blog Green Duckies. This was the 3381th blogger to sign up for the 2,996 Tribute project.

It seems so stark on the screen, doesn't it? Just 15 words. Godwin Ajala, age 33.
Place killed: World Trade Center. Resident of New York, N.Y. (USA).

There is a picture of Godwin along with these words.

By viewing this picture, I knew one thing about Godwin. He was a barrister. You do not get to be as big of an Anglophile as I am without recognizing the usual trappings.

I did a search through Google to see what else I could learn about him and I have to tell you, what I learned about him took my breath away.

Godwin Ajala is a hero. Plain and simple.

Here's what I learned about him (at this website and this one).

Godwin was from Nigeria. He was a barrister there and was studying to become one in the United States. According to his friend, Christopher Iwuanyanwu, all he wanted to do was become a lawyer in the US and spent most of his time reading and studying. Godwin's plans were to take the bar and then apply for US citizenship.

On September 11, 2001, Godwin Ajala was patrolling the outside of the World Trade Center when the explosion first hit. His first thought was to race inside and try to get people out. According to Christopher Iwuanayanwu, people remember seeing him and asking why he was there, why didn't he leave? His response was "Why are you running? Why aren't you helping people out?"

In a world where so many people are looking out for their selves, this man risked his life for others. Who knows how many were saved because of him?

When the towers collapsed, Godwin disappeared. Christopher Iwuanayanwu received a call from a hospital on September 14th. Godwin was there, in a coma. Twenty-four hours later, he was gone. Another victim of a senseless act.

I believe strongly in a higher power, I have to believe that there was a reason for Godwin being there that day. I have heard people say "How can I believe in God when things like this happen?" I ask "Why do we blame God?" I believed that there is a fight between Good and Evil and Godwin was a major combatant in the fight for Good. And here is why I believe that.

Godwin's wife and three children were still living in Nigeria. Godwin came to America to work to support them and every year, around September 10th, he would fly home to be with them. He had planned on leaving on September 10, 2001 but didn't have enough money to go home. So, instead, he decided to work to the end of September and then go home. He never made it.

Godwin was survived by his wife Victoria and his three small children, Onyinyechi, Uchechukwu and Ugochi. My prayers are with them.

Today, whenever I see a flag or hear someone speak about 9/11/01, I will think of all those who died.

And I will think of all those who survived because of men and women like Godwin Ajala.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Conspiracy Theory - Updated to ramble about other stuff

Okay. Sometimes I say things that, well, make other people think that I am insane. But I am not. Not really insane like stabbing people to frame my younger sister for murder because my husband raped her and therefore it is all her fault that I had to kill these people and also my husband (Keem watches "As The World Turns" and I have managed to get somewhat sucked into it) or murdering people in the shower while dressed as my mother ("Psycho" (which I have never actually seen but know the entire plot to and, quite frankly, black and white scary movies are terrifying. They seem extra suspenseful)) or even murdering young women with "afflictions" because they are imperfect and I can't bear to see imperfections ("The Spiral Staircase" (another black and white movie that freaked me out for days after seeing it)). No, I'm not really insane. No, no, seriously, I'm not. Why are you backing away like that? Why?

Anyway, there's this movie that I am somewhat fond of, even though I don't think Julia Roberts is a good actress and it could have been so much better without her but hey, what do I know? I'm not a big Hollywood producer who thinks that Julia Roberts is completely wonderful (I'll stop now but don't ever get me started on Helen Hunt (I hate her)). This movie is called "Conspiracy Theory." Beth likes to have me watch movies I've never seen before and she had me watch this and I was glad because I really, really like it and have a tendency to quote from it (or freak out when I see black helicopters but that's another story (I also think one of the reasons that I always buy "The Stand" whenever I see a copy of it at a garage sale or thrift shop is because there's a very good chance that I was programmed to be an assassin by the government and they are watching me and this is how they keep track of me (okay, I really don't think that but I have at least 5 copies of "The Stand" now and, while it is a great book, that's fairly excessive))).

Um, I was writing this to prove that I wasn't insane. How's that working out? Not well? Yeah. Let's try this. This will prove I am not insane.

Okay. I hate tomatoes. I think they are evil and wrong and I am quite sure that they are responsibile for the deaths of kittens and puppies and rainbows and everything good in life. They are too red and too smushy and too disgusting. Once, when I worked for a small Mexican restaurant, I had to cut tomatoes. To get me through this, I would take a largish tomato, carve a face in it (jack o'lantern tomato) and prop it up on an overturned sour cream container. And then I would chop the tomatoes with great pleasure because I was sacrificing them to their tomato god and that was fun.

So Tuesday I go to work and I decide to order lunch and I think "Hmm. I am craving a JJBLT from Jimmy John's. I think I will order from them." And I do this. I call and place my order.

Guy from Jimmy John's (GFJJ): So that's extra bacon?
DM: Yes (thinking "Mmm. Bacon."). And I'd like cheese on that.
GFJJ: Cheese?
DM: Yes (thinking "Mmm. Cheese."). And no tomatoes.
GFJJ: No tomatoes?
DM: Tomatoes are evil.
GFJJ (in that tone that says "You are a freak."): Okay.

Some time goes by, I receive my sub (and pickle! Life is always better if there is a pickle) from the incredibly hot Jimmy John's driver (Mmm. Hot Jimmy John's driver). I open the wrapper. My sandwich is exposed in all of it's glory. Except, except...what is this? What is this red stuff? Ewww. There are tomatoes! Yuck. I can pick off the tomatoes but there are still tomato seeds and those are just gross.

DM: What part of 'Tomatoes are evil' did he not understand?
Co-worker John: Laughs.

Co-worker John laughs at me a lot. But that is okay. He is very nice and just had a new baby (which makes me cry when I look at the pictures of his baby (not sure why because I am not a baby person but she is very cute and adorable)) and he has a very dry sense of humor. I was telling Beth it is like he is the male version of her. He is that cool.

Yesterday I ordered from Jimmy John's again. I ordered the same sandwich (well, Keem actually placed the order but she knows how I feel about tomatoes) with the same requests. And I received my sandwich but unfortunately it was not the hot Jimmy John's driver who delivered it. And I opened my sandwich and yay, I did not behold any tomatoes.

I enjoyed my sandwich greatly, each yummy bite of bacon and mayonaise and provolone cheese (which normally I hate but it is awesome with bacon) and lettuce and really good bread. And then I got to the last little portion of the sandwich which is both exciting and depressing to eat. Exciting because the end of the sandwich has more crust on the bread and I like that and depressing because the sandwich is almost over and then you will have no more yummy goodness. Except you still have the pickle. Let's not forget about the pickle. Which you save for last. Because that is awesome. Like the plums, man.

And then my tooth sliced through something other than bacon or lettuce or really good bread. It was soft and smushy. My brain said "Huh? What's that?" And then my tastebuds started tasting the soft and smushy item and my brain screamed in agony "It's a tomato! Oh my GOD! There's a tomato on my sandwich! I ate a tomato!"

And I said, after spitting out tomato remains, the following:

DM: There was a tomato on my sandwich.
Co-worker John: There was?
DM: Yes. And they hid it. There is obviously a tomato conspiracy.
Co-worker John: What?
DM: I looked at the sandwich. There were no tomatoes. It was hiding in the lettuce. They did this deliberately to torture me.
Co-worker John: You are a freak.

He probably didn't tell me I was a freak but I am sure that is what he was thinking.

Today I read Udge's post about disappointment and I laughed and nodded because I knew exactly what he meant. Disappointment for me is biting into a perfect sandwich and finding a tomato. No matter what I did, the rest of that sandwich is ruined.

I also gave Jimmy John's another chance. I ordered today. The sandwich arrived (again, not by hot Jimmy John's driver, dang it, but I did get my fix later when he made another delivery). I opened it. I scoured it for tomatoes but there was nary a tomato seed. And I ate the sandwich and it was good.

And this, my dears, is why I am not insane. And why you should really go read Udge's post (because it is damn funny and I know funny. I love funny. I would marry funny if I could).

Oh and just because I'm counting down until 2008:

You Are a Liberal for Life
You've got a bleeding heart - and you're proud of it.For you, liberal means being compassionate, pro-government, and anti-business.You believe in equality for every person, and you consider yourself universally empathetic.Helping others is not just political for you ... it's very personal too.

Should I be able to recognize that guy? I'm going to be really embarrassed that I don't know him, aren't I?

And also, if you go here, you will find a post by Holly Burns from Nothing But Bonfires about Vietnamese karaoke and how she was on a boat (in Viet Nam) where she got to listen to said Vietnamese karaoke and there is even a video. Of Vietnamese karaoke. And it is pathetic but funny and makes me wish that we would have videotaped the guy that stripped to "Ghostbusters" and killed the disco ball.

And also, I went to karaoke last night and then I came home and talked to Beth in my parking ramp until 3ish and then I went upstairs and played Spider Solitaire until approximately 4:15ish but I was also petting Eddy at the same time which is good because he is rarely ever affectionate with me and then I tried to sleep but I couldn't because I kept hearing Keem's alarm which is the loudest alarm in the world and she sets it for 4:15ish and then she hits the snooze alarm every 10 minutes for about an hour so I laid there and listened and wanted to kill the alarm clock and then she took a shower and told me to get up because she wasn't going to work and then I decided to set my alarm for ten minutes from then and I hit my snooze alarm 3 times (my alarm, by the way, is my cell phone because I can't afford to buy minutes for it, it has been transformed into a handy-dandy alarm clock that doesn't work worth a damn if Keem doesn't tell me to get up first because I will sleep right through it and it only rings a few times) and then I wrapped a sheet around myself and wandered into Keem's beedroom, sorry, bedroom and said "Keem, I really want to be bad" and she said "Do you mean stay home?" and I said yes and she said "No! You are going to work" and I said fine in a sulky tone and she said "You better get moving or you are going to be late" and I said I know and she said "You can take money from my purse and my Check Card" and then I went and took the world's fastest shower and was leaving when Keem said "Do you know my PIN" and I said no and she said "1234 (not really her PIN because that would be stupid)" and I repeated "1234, 1234, 1234" as I was walking away and she said "Write it on your hand" and that made me giggle but I didn't do it and I was downstairs (with breakfast this time) in seven minutes and caught the bus and came to work and bought four cans of Mountain Dew with the money she gave me and then I told Co-workers John and Rykken and Joe that it was a 4 can Mountain Dew day and they were afraid. As they should be.

And so far today I have referred to myself as a freak twice to a broker I've been assisting on an account (once because I thought her secretary must have thought I was a freak because I called to leave a message and changed the message twice halfway through the call because I first thought I knew who she was and then it turned out it was someone else and then I called back two minutes later and said "Could you just have her call me back?" because I figured out it was someone else from the someone else I thought she was. And once because she said she was going to Kansas City for work next week and I said "Sweet. Road trip. You can scrapbook it" and she laughed at me. But it was good laughter. Not that I'm really scared of you laughter) and spent 20 minutes helping Co-worker John with stocking the Stock Transfer information accordion file (and making him laugh as I informed him that we had to put the Queen company information into the P/Q file because we didn't want the Q to feel bad (and also telling him about the plums and how they are awesome, man and he is awesome, like the plums)) and also argued with him, in front of a witness in the mail room about whether or not we should charge a woman to overnight her check to her and I said, in a most logical manner, "I don't want to charge her. I talked to her and she was nice and I liked her. So there" and then the mail room woman said "Okay, we're shipping this at our expense" and I said "Yay! I won" and John laughed at me again.

And I ordered Jimmy John's today. And there were tomatoes on the damn sub. I told you. It's a conspiracy!

Updated again - I called Jimmy John's and I talked to a manager and I told him about the tomato conspiracy and he tried very hard not to laugh at me and he offered me a free sub. So I am going to give them another chance. But I will be watching them. And Co-worker Jason overheard me and he agrees with me about the tomato conspiracy because it happened to him as well and he also agrees with me that there is a difference between eating salsa and salsa juice.

Why are all the co-workers surrounding me male? I bet that's a conspiracy as well. You would think that would keep me from babbling about James but it does not. Co-worker Rykken asked me on Tuesday if I had karaoked (it's a verb!) my heart out on Sunday and I said "No because I went to a birthday party for the most wonderful man in the world" and he said "Is that the comic book fan?" and I said "Yeah, I'm probably talking about him way too much" and he laughed. Because he laughs at me as well. They all do.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Things I have learned - The Beverage Edition

AKA - Things I have learned, besides the fact that trying to do an outline in Blogger is pretty much a joke - The Beverage Edition (I knew this title sounded familiar. Sheryl did a kitchen edition recently).

1) Buying a bottle of water because you are strangely fascinated with the shape of the bottle is not exactly practical.
a) Oh, let’s be honest. I picked the bottle up because of the shape. I ended up buying it because it is OGO. Oxygen Water. Water with 35% more oxygen in it. And that fascinated me even more than the shape.
b)Telling your friend why you bought the bottle of water will provoke the comment “Dana. Water has oxygen in it. That’s why it’s called H2O.” And then you have to explain about the 35% more oxygen and get the look that says “My God, when PT Barnum said ‘There’s a sucker born every minute,’ he was talking about you.” Except PT Barnum actually never said that. So the look actually says “My God, when PT Barnum’s competitor said ‘There’s a sucker born every minute,’ he was talking about you.”
c) Beth’s looks are capable of saying a lot. I bet you didn’t know that.
d) Water with extra oxygen still just tastes like water. I am not exactly sure why I expected it to taste differently but it doesn’t.

2) Carbonated water tastes the same as mineral water. Not like regular water. Do not be fooled!
a) I don’t like mineral water. Therefore I do not like carbonated water.
b) There are not enough citruses doing the twist in the world to make me like this water. I want to like the water but I can’t. I think it might only be because the thought of citruses doing the twist amuses me.
c) Is the plural of citrus actually citruses? Or am I making that up? Spell check has not rejected it.

3) Sobe Elixir (Cranberry-Grapefruit flavored) is quite possibly the most perfect juice beverage ever. Even though it only actually has 3% juice and therefore is only a juice beverage by a small technicality.
a) It has carnitine, chromium & Vitamin C in it. The only thing I really recognize there is Vitamin C. Carnitine could be some horrible poison and I wouldn’t know. And is chromium related to chrome?
b) Last night I listened to a song called “Aluminum” and it amused me.
c) I only thought about that now because it kind of rhymes with chromium.
d) I am disturbed that the back of the Sobe bottle says “Shake the lizard. Refrigerate after opening. Recycle the lizard.” What does this mean? Why is the bottle called a lizard? Why? It is not lizard shaped!

4) While Mountain Dew is quite possibly the most perfect soda in the world, there is probably not enough caffeine in the world to make my brain work today. Well, at least in a logical manner.
a) I cannot believe I just used the word soda. It’s pop, damn it! It is obvious that I am hanging around Beth much too much.
b) I cannot believe I just used the word logical in conjunction with my brain. My brain doesn’t normally function in a logical manner. Why do I think caffeine would make any difference?

And, just because it is there and I have to wait for a stupid bus because I can't convince Keem to pick me up, I bring you this meme.

You Are From Pluto

You are a dark, mysterious soul, full of magic and the secrets of the universe.
You can get the scoop on anything, but you keep your own secrets locked in your heart.
You love change and you use it to your advantage, whether by choice or chance.
You don't like to compromise, to the point of being self-destructive with your stubborness.
Live life with love, and your deep powers will open the world to you.

Except, of course, according to this post Udge had last week, Pluto isn't a planet anymore. I am going to protest. Except that the post isn't there anymore. Did I imagine that Pluto is no longer a planet? I appear to have imagined that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes broke up. I swear to God someone was telling me that last week but, after extensive Googling, have determined it may actually have been a dream.

Friday, September 01, 2006

How to guarantee you will never ever get me into bed. Ever.

So. This guy named Stubes. I've mentioned him before, right? I've mentioned the fact that he has expressed some interest in me. He is fascinated with my nickname Hurricane Dana and has even gone as far as to insert it into songs he has sung at karaoke, including "Honkeytonk Badonkadonk (and if this is spelled wrong I could care less because it is, quite possibly one of the most annoying songs ever sang. Not quite as bad as "Picture" but close enough. Why would anyone think a song about slapping your grandmother because some woman has a nice ass would be romantic? Why?) which is, to quote Beth, the country version of "Baby Got Back."

Now no one really calls me Hurricane Dana that often. It has morphed into Slurricane Dana or just Slurricane since the night I got really, really drunk. But Stubes doesn't know that. Because he just sort of hangs around our table and makes annoying off color remarks and you know that someone is really starting to tick me off when I am more excited to see Craig (not hot Craig either. Suspenders Craig). Honestly, I would rather go on a date with Pete...okay, wait, no, that's not even close to true. Stubes at least seems to have a personality, I just don't like it all that much.

Anyway. So last Thursday, James was sitting across the table from me. Stubes was up singing the Bar Buttocks song.

DM (to James): If I leap across the table and kiss you, don't take it personally.
James: Okay.
DM: He (indicating Stubes) is not getting the hint.
James: Says something but I couldn't hear him over the Saloon Ass song.
Beth: Listen to the song. He'll insert her name into it at least once.

Which, of course, he didn't. The one time I want him to sing my name in the stupid song, he doesn't. And no, I didn't leap over the table to kiss James. I am not that coordinated. I would fall over and it would be embarrassing.

I've posted about this last Sunday and how Stubes was irritating both Beth and myself. Well, now he has completely clinched that he is not the man for me and never will be (okay, I didn't really have any problems figuring this out already but it is a nice segue).

Beth and I arrive at the Chalet last night. The parking lot is surprisingly empty. Hmm. Thursday nights are usually quite crowded. We walk in. The place is jam pack full of people.

B: There must have been a caravan or something.
DM: Yeah, I guess so.
B: We have two options. Sit at that table (closest to the wall nearest the stage) or sit at the bar.
DM: Do you want to sit at the table?
B: No. Let's sit at the bar.
DM: Okay.

We go and sit at the bar, in the back. It is somewhat quiet there. I use the word somewhat in this case to mean "really freakin' loud but not the chaos that is the actual bar." We are sitting next to the cigarette machine. One thing to know about the cigarette machine is that you need to have the bartender turn it on in order to get your cigarettes out of the machine. I do not know why there isn't a sign posted on the machine about this but Beth and I were more than happy to tell the many people who tried to buy smokes this fact.

Stubes walks into the bar.

B: There's Stubes.
DM: Oh, God.
B: Maybe he won't see us.
DM: This might work.

I take my purse and hold it in front of my face. This way, if he looks in our direction, he will see Beth and my purse. It is a subtle disguise. No, I do not spend the evening holding my purse in front of my face. That would just be silly. I do try ducking behind the bar for a little bit. It doesn't work overly well. Not very comfortable.

Stubes does eventually find us. Oh, joy. He comes over and says hello. He has this guy with him. The guy is somewhat cute.

Stubes: This is Dan. Dan, this is Beth and Dana.
Dan: Beth.

Shakes Beth's hand.

Dan: Dana.

Shakes my hand.

Stubes: Hurricane Dana.
Dan: Hurricane Dana? That's a cold-hearted nickname.

Later, Dan comes over to buy a pack of cigarettes. He, of course, can't get the cigarettes because he didn't ask Annie to turn on the machine. We let him know this.

Stubes comes over again.

Dan: Who do you need to fuck around here to get a pack of cigarettes?

Classy. Wow. You know how I said he was kind of cute? Yeah. Take it back.

Stubes: Dana.

Uh, excuse me? Beth and I exchange a look. You may be familliar with this look. It is the look that says "Oh my God! Could this guy be anymore of an ass?"

Not that he ever had a chance of succeeding with me but that was the last straw. The really drunk guy that asked me for an ice cube and then told me he loved me, twice, had a better chance of experiencing the chaotic joy that is Hurricane Dana, Class 5 Love Hurricane that she is (I'm not sure why I decided to refer to myself in the 3rd person there but what the heck). Tom Cruise Crazy has a better chance with me. Hell, Tom Cruise himself has a better chance and I HATE Tom Cruise.

I am not sure what I'm going to say to Stubes when I see him again. I may ask Matt to be my fake boyfriend again. Any suggestions? I am leaning towards hitting him over the head with a chair. That might get the point across.

Oh, to add to the excitement of the evening, there's a fight about something going on in the main part of the bar. Something to do with some guy not being pleased that another guy has looked in the direction of his "baby's mama." Yes. He actually used those words. Personally, I would dump him. To add to the tension, he may be a member of the Black Hat Mafia (to change things up, they are back wearing the black hats. Perhaps they are in disguise as well) and the person he is angry with is black. Because we can't just fight about karaoke all the time. Sometimes we have to add racial tension to the mix.

Liz was there and we talked a little bit about James' party and how we should get him cream cheese squares. Apparently, when he was younger, his friends would buy candy and he would get cream cheese. I am both confused and amused by this.

The evening ended with a whole bunch of people in the parking lot screaming at each other while Bryan and Andrew tried to reason with them or at least make sure that no one killed each other.

DM: You know, sometimes I just want to say to these people Hey, there's a big lake right across the street. Why don't you try to drown each other and stay away from the Chalet?
B: Sometimes I just want to say to them that they should grow up and is it really worth this?

While Beth's answer is the more mature one, I like to imagine the rumble escalating into a splashing fight. It makes me giggle.

Hope you all have a great weekend. I am going to Beth's tomorrow to scrapbook and then to James' for the party (yay!) and I have Monday off so I am very excited about this!