Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 in review

Happy New Year. I am still sick but on the road to recovery, I believe. I no longer feel as though I swallowed glass. More like safety glass (And no, I've never swallowed either but I think safety glass has to be less prickly than actual glass). Plus the swelling in my glands has gone down. They are no longer freakishly swollen. Yay me!

1. What did you do in 2007 that you'd never done before?
Turned 40. Started falling apart (body, not mentally).

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn’t make one. I am for 2008.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth or adopt?

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My Uncle Jerry. A friend of the family, Elaine.

5. What countries did you visit?
There’s this thing you need to have in order to travel. It’s called money. I stayed in Minnesota with the occasional detour to Wisconsin.

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
I’m not sure. I really don’t think I was lacking anything. Except maybe passionate kisses.

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Is it sad that I have to look through my blog to figure this out? I’ll get back to this question. Actually, I posted the year in review right below this.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting promoted.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Losing weight.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Hee. Let’s see. I am diabetic. I have a heel spur. Arthritis in my left knee. Too many literally crappy days to count. And, as I type this, the sore throat from Hell and a fevered brow.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Books. Books are our friends.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Why, Beth and Keem, of course. I adore them both.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
George “I am an idiot” W. Bush.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Probably books. And rent. My apartment is very pretty but expensive.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Going to the Mustard Museum in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin. And the House on the Rock in Spring Valley, Wisconsin. Taking a road trip to Wisconsin with Beth.

16. What song will always remind you of 2007?
I’m not sure why but “Oh, oh, oh, Staying Alive” just popped into my head. Could be my body’s way of saying “Cheer up, Dana. You’re not dead! Yet!”

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter?
c) richer or poorer?

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Getting sick. I hate being sick. And yes, this is the same answer as last year.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Well, it's after Christmas. Mainly I spent Christmas Eve with Eric, Kari and Josh at Rob and Betty's. Christmas Day I spent at home.

This is the same answer as last year. The only difference is that this year Keem stayed home on Christmas Day as well. That was fun. And I cooked!

21. Did you fall in love in 2007?
Nope. I discovered that I’d be better off with an android. Less mess emotionally.

22. How many one-night stands?
Hee. Yeah, that would be zero. Sex is not my thing lately (actually, lately isn’t exactly the right word since sex hasn’t been my thing since the 1990’s). I haven’t met anyone I want to shave my legs for. Which is why the android would be a plus.

23. What was your favorite TV program?
HEROES! Lost, How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory.

I’m so sad. Last year The Class was on here and they cancelled it. Bastards. But The Big Bang Theory is hi-larious!

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I don’t have the time to bother with hating anyone. That gives them too much importance. I’d rather just forget about them.

25. What was the best book you read?
I discovered Harlan Coben, he’s a fantastic author. I think my favorite by him was probably The Woods. I read so much that it is really hard to say any one book is the best. I tend to go by authors. So I’d say Harlan Coben and Nora Roberts.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Anna Nalick. Thanks for introducing her to me, Beth!

27. What did you want and get?
Books. I really, really like books.

28. What did you want and not get?
A million dollars.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Went to see The Mikado with Beth, Keem and my Mom. Told my Mom I was 40 and could do what I want. Then I went to the world’s best steakhouse (Manny’s) and had steak. Liz and James met my Mom and my sister and I was told that I turned out pretty good, considering (they meant my mother, not Kari).

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Same as last year. My life is good. I like it. I’m happy. Not even being diabetic is all that annoying. I guess having a cat that actually liked to cuddle with me would be good.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
I continuously expect for Stacy and Clinton from What Not to Wear to jump out at me. I am not what you’d call fashionable.

33. What kept you sane?
Beth. Keem. Effexor and Seraquel
Same as last year. Adding blogging to this.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
How long to you have? There’s many men that I wouldn’t mind being fashioned into androids. I saw the Italian Job again last night and I’ve been drooling over the War DVD previews so I’m thinking I’ve got to say Jason Statham right now. Martial arts and English? Yummy. Sorry, Rowan Atkinson, you’ve been replaced.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
I try to avoid politics. They depress me. But I’d have to say that I am against pretty much anything that George Bush says.

36. Who did you miss?
Thought of my grandmother a few times. She’s been gone for years but she was such a great woman.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
Betsy. My totally kick-ass niece. I met her at karaoke a couple of weeks ago. I’ve met her before, at my Dad’s funeral and also at various Vittum family events throughout the years but she is 12 (13?) years younger than me so these times do not stick out.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007:
Um, blog more? I seem to have written a lot less than normal.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
“I was tired of January. I was tired of July.” KT Tunstall. I don’t know why. Maybe because these are my least two favorite months.

In January, 2007 I:

Decorated my desk with political paraphenalia (I am very, very liberal)
Tried to write a mystery where the murder weapon is sausage gravy
Wrote an essay about Scooby Doo
Gave into the chicken conspiracy and was photographed with a chicken on my head

In February, 2007 I:

Met the perfect guy - at least until he dissed Captain Kirk

In March, 2007 I:

Turned 40 and told my mom I could do what I want
Turned 40 and my body started falling apart
Cut my hair without benefit of a mirror - yes, I am a dork.

In April, 2007 I:

Sang "Passionate Chickens" at karaoke (a "fun with drunk people" post!)
Decided I was possibly adopted
Was attacked by an egg roll and feared for my life (because of the soy sauce loving bees)
Made love to a microphone (a "fun with drunk people" post!)
Said goodbye to a dear friend
Wrote a love note for James (not to him, for him. The to was Craig)

In May, 2007 I:

Discovered my cat is really, really spoiled
Went to the Mustard Museum! The Mustard Museum!!!

In June, 2007 I:

Had a discussion about Star Trek: TNG that was overheard and a co-worker thought I was possibly a serial killer
Was amused about random, random things
Went to the zoo and took pictures (including a cat that plays Trivial Pursuit)
Got really upset about road signs

In July, 2007 I:

Discovered it is possible to suffer from karaoke rage (a "fun with drunk people" post!)
Sang about Smushy Faced Kittiiiiiieeeeesss (a "fun with insane people (that would be me)" post!

In August, 2007 I:

Wanted to stab someone with a fork and "met" my future boyfriend, the Numa Numa guy
Got hit on!!!! I know! And he was cute!
Had my purse invaded by Apricot Syrup
Discovered yet another thing I'm allergic to

In September, 2007 I:

Posted about a great trip to Wisconsin with Beth
Discovered how very bad I am at Geography
Was hijacked by a crazy woman

In October, 2007 I:

Went to Octoberfest and bought a wife for my piggy bank Pig
Got promoted

In November, 2007 I:

In December, 2007 I:

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Did I have a good Christmas? Yes.
Did I learn a valuable lesson? Yes.
Would that lesson be "Do not kiss your nephew multiple times when you know he's sick even though he is quite possibly the most adorable child in the Universe and has inherited your imagination?" Yes again.

I'm at work, with my fevered brow and throat that is apparently on fire. I want to crawl under my desk and sleep. Except I know perfectly well that if I manage to get onto the floor, I'm not ever getting up again.

Hope you all had a good Holiday. Much love. Do not kiss sick children! Do you know how ill I am? Mountain Dew doesn't taste like delicious ambrosia. It tastes yucky! This is obviously a sign of the apocoloypse.

Sigh. Only 6 hours to go before I can go home.

And it's snowing. Stupid winter.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

It made me laugh so I'm posting it

It's been busy at work this month. I have more calls to monitor than last month and I'm also responsible for helping with the updating of our internal web page resource so I'm torn. Monitor calls or update the resource where the reps are getting their information from. I'll learn how to juggle things soon, I hope.


I have a new Co-worker who sits by me. She's a very sweet girl and has been very nice to me (will massage my back when she can tell I'm extra stressed out, has bought me lunch a few times when I was between paychecks and she just happened to be headed over to Subway, has brought in a glazed donut that she picked out especially for me because she knows I love them (and then told me I couldn't have Mountain Dew because I had a donut and I can only have sugar in moderation)) and we're even joking that her unborn child will be Jamie and my grandchild (since I also have decided I want grandchildren without the trouble of having children) because she is young enough to be my daughter. I mentioned that she's very sweet, right? Really, really sweet.

She's driving me insane. She is, in a word, perky. Or peppy. Or, and this is my personal favorite, annoying as all fuck. Oh, wait, that's not one word? Too bad.

On Halloween she came over to my desk and expressed dismay that I had not dressed up.

I, being the cranky bitch that I am, responded with something along the lines that "I don't dress up."*

*When I told Beth, James and Liz this, they responded with a lot of "Hello, do you remember your Queen of the Universe costume?" and "What? You do!" until I had to say "I forgot, okay?" and then they responded with "Well, why didn't you just tell her that" and I finally said "Because I don't like her! She annoys me!"**

**It's not so much that she's annoying as that she is relentless in her cheeriness.

I like to delude myself that I am a upbeat person. I can be upbeat. I can be optimistic. Sometimes I even walk around and sing songs. They are usually random songs and may consist a lot of la's but still...they are songs.

Beth called me a cynic once & I was horribly insulted.

DM: I am not a cynic! I'm an optimist. I'm optimistic! I am!
Beth: Dana, your favorite website is

I like to maintain that this is not the point. How can you not like It's the best website ever! Some of my favorites - Motivation, Madness, Burnout, Bitterness, Pessimism, Power and Wishes. I own Motivation and Burnout in the attractive Desktopper. I also own the coffee mug that says "This glass is exactly half empty."

Hmm. Maybe I am a cynic.

Anyway, when I was promoted, part of the requirement was that I move to a new desk. This was exciting for me because, hello, new shiny desk! I like moving (I just hate the whole moving process). And, as much as I hate to admit it, moving is one of the things that will get me to clean (or throw a lot of crap into boxes at the last minute).

I found out where I was going to be sitting and liked the location. I'm close to Keem's new desk, right across the aisle from co-worker Jessica (she's the other QA person here) & close to a bunch of cool people.

Guess who is now sitting across the aisle from me on my left? Go ahead. Guess.

Why, yes, that is right. It's co-worker Viviacious (fake name but pretty close to her real name).

When she found out we were going to be row-mates, she was very excited.

V: Yay! And we can talk to each other and braid each other's hair and...
DM: I am going to kill you.

The next day, I was walking down the hall & she grabbed my arm and cuddled up against me.

V: Hi, neighbor! This is so exciting! We can have slumber parties and...
DM: Please stop touching me. I will have to kill you now.
V: Why?
DM: you're perky!

She finds this hilarious and starts saying things like this to drive me insane.

Our first day next to each other, she tells me about a dream she had.

V: So you, Alec Baldwin & I are running a race.
DM: I'm assuming I lost.
V: No, we both did. Surprisingly, Alec Baldwin is very fast.

I lost it. She was just so matter-of-fact about it.

Last month, I was complaining to Beth about this new seating arrangement and how she is driving me nuts (Vivacious, not Beth) and what am I going to do?

Beth: I hate to tell you this, Dana, but she sounds like a lot of fun.
DM: She is! But that's not the point!

Co-worker Eric is very amused by this. He wants emails about the struggles. He's expecting ones from her that are all "lalalalalala" and ones from me that are all "make her stop!!! Make her stop!!!"

It's been almost two months now. So far I've let her live. I even let her hug me.

Co-worker V: Lalalalala (I have no idea what she was saying, I was trying to ignore it).
DM: Do you ever shut up?
Keem: Dana! That's mean!
DM: What? I let her hug me. I get to be mean to her for the rest of the day. It's our rule.
Co-worker V: Yep.

You know what the worst part about this is? The fact that she reminds me of me and how I used to drive Former Boss Mike crazy with my random la's. I guess Karma really does get you in the end.


Co-worker Laurie sent this to me today, knowing I'd get a chuckle from it. And I did. So I'm posting it. Which is pretty much what my title says anyway but, hey, I am all about stating the obvious.

The pastor asked if any one in the congregation would like to express praise for answered prayers. A lady stood and walked to the podium. She said, 'I have a praise. Two months ago, my husband, Jim, had a terrible bicycle wreck and his scrotum was completely crushed. The pain was excruciating and the doctors didn't know if they could help him.'

You could hear an audible gasp from the men in the congregation as they imagined the pain that poor Jim experienced. She continued, 'Jim was unable to hold me or the children and every move caused him terrible pain. We prayed as the doctors performed a delicate operation. They
were able to piece together the crushed remnants of Jim's scrotum and wrap wire around it to hold it in place.'

Again, the men in the congregation squirmed uncomfortably as they imagined the horrible surgery performed on Jim.

She continued, 'Now, Jim is out of the hospital and the doctors say with time, his scrotum should recover completely.' All the men sighed with relief.

The pastor rose and tentatively asked if any one else had anything to say.

A man rose and walked to the podium. He said, 'I'm Jim and I want to tell my wife, ONCE AGAIN, the word is STERNUM.'


Monday, December 17, 2007

C is for Caroling

So many, many, many years ago, when I was quite young (probably around 13 or 14 because that's about the time I started remembering things about my childhood again (long story, might be handled under D is for Daddy Issues)), my sister and my next door neighbor friend Linda and I had gone to church (this was when I went to Saint Andrew's Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi and it was the best church in the world and I miss it but it is in Mahtomedi and I don't live there anymore (They had bagpipes on Christmas! It was awesome!)) one Sunday and, you know, I think I'm going to start this over because I tend to run on just a bit. In case you didn't notice.

Okay. Kari, Linda and I are walking home from church one Sunday in December. For some reason, Kari and Linda are up ahead of me. Anyway, this orange tabby cat walked up and started purring at me. I am a sucker for a cat, especially a friendly cat, so of course I started petting him. He rubbed up against me and then trotted off, heading after Kari and Linda.

When I got home, a few minutes after Kari, she was telling Mom that he followed her home. Could she keep him? He was the best cat ever and look how cuddly he was and he would be a great companion for Kitty (Real name Buttons. We did not name her. She was given to us by our half sister years before. And she was the best cat ever and I still miss her because she would let me cry into her fur while I was being an angsty teenager and purr at me. But this cat was a pretty close second).

Mom, being a mother, did her job properly and said that we needed to find out if he had a family. So the plan was put in place for Operation Pretend We Are Following Instructions. We decided that we would go caroling and we would take the cat with us but we would disguise him so no one would recognize him. For some reason, we decided the disguise should be a clown costume. Apparently my terror regarding clowns would not begin until years later, probably when I read It for the first time. I blame Stephen King for a lot of my fears. Clowns, the common cold, foggy days. Vampires in the freezer (although I'm not sure he has anything to do with that one).

Anyway, cat was dressed up. We needed a name. A good cat name. What should we name this cat that we weren't supposed to have? Hmm. I remembered reading my Bread for Children* magazine that day. The editor had written about how her husband had died. In honor of him, I decided to name the cat Clyde. It stuck.

*Religious magazine my mother decided I needed to read. It wasn't overly annoying and sometimes could be quite fun. Plus, I have rarely ever turned down reading material. Good messages for the most part. Although they thought ET was an evil movie. That's about the time I decided to quit reading them because I distinctly remember rolling my eyes over this.

We wandered around the neighborhood, finding that caroling was a great way to get treats (do I miss the mentality that it was okay for four young girls (our friend Molly came along) to wander the streets after dark and go up to houses of people they don't know? Yes, I do) and meet people. It was fun and oddly enough, I barely noticed the cold. Until my nose froze off.

It was at one house that Clyde decided to get into the act. We were singing Silent Night.

Girls: Round yon virgin, mother and chiiiillld.

Clyde sticks his head out of the blanket he is covered in (because, hey, can't find his home if no one can see him, right?)

Clyde: Mrrrrroooow.

No one ever claimed Clyde, we ended up keeping him. Mom was less than thrilled with this, since she is not a cat person (and wonders how she, a dog person, ended up raising two cat people). She was also less thrilled the following morning when Clyde, in a "Hey, welcome me to the family!" gesture decided to sleep on her pillow. This wouldn't probably be so bad except that Clyde had obviously been a fighter and part of his ear had been ripped. It looked as though it was starting to heel but the coldness of Minnesota in winter had ended up with the tip of his ear freezing. And falling off on Mom's pillow.

Clyde was an outdoor cat. I will never forget the time he decided that he had to feed us, these poor defenseless humans he protected, and came in one night clutching a mole in his mouth. Mom wasn't home and Kari and I, to put it lightly, freaked the heck out. We ran from room to room, screaming, while Clyde trotted along, his kill proudly displayed. Finally Kari and I locked ourselves in her room.

The next morning we woke to Mom screeching at the top of her lungs, wondering where her babies were. I suppose if you came home and found a dead mole on your daughter's pillow, you'd be a little worried about the serial killers grabbing them as well.

He was constantly on the table when he didn't belong there, driving Mom crazy. He seemed to enjoy the thrill of the water bottle spraying him when he jumped up there.

He scared the heck out of me again one night when I saw him fishing something out of the buffet drawer. Turned out it was the hair Mom had collected from my first official haircut when I was 13 and she had saved in a plastic bag for years. She was less than thrilled with Clyde for messing up her memory (she cried as she collected the hair. It was something I never understood until I started scrapbooking).

One night I had made myself a sandwich and was watching TV. As was his wont, Clyde jumped up on the couch behind me. I thought nothing of it until this little paw reached out, dragged the sandwich to him and took a bite. Apparently he was also fond of summer sausage and mayo. He also expressed a desire for Mountain Dew and would drink out of my glass.

He was spoiled and rambuctious and a pain in the ass. But we loved him. Even Mom grew to tolerate him.

When Kari was in high school, Clyde was diagnosed with cancer. There's a picture in my head, a memory of a real picture that was taken right before Clyde went to the vet. Kari is clutching him while he sits on her books for school, her eyes filled with unshed tears. It's a picture I will never forget, one that makes me teary-eyed even now. Clyde was Kari's cat just as Kitty was mine. And she had no idea what was going to happen. The vet told Mom that he would open Clyde up and try to save him. Unfortunately the cancer had spread and Clyde was put to sleep. The vet did not charge us for this and also sent us a Christmas card that year, wishing us well with dealing with the loss of a beloved pet. I've always remembered that kindness.

I think of Clyde every year, every time I hear Silent Night. The first time I hear it each year, I always hear "Round yon virgin, Mother and Chiiiillld...Mrrrowww."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

You are cordially invited to the Vittum-Jones wedding

Carol Vittum proudly announces the wedding of her daughter, Dana Marie Vittum, to Jamie Something or Another Jones (because he's too afraid to have his real name on here, in case someone Googles him. Wimp).

The couple work together at NABABNA and decided to get married when Ms. Vittum proposed (and I quote) by saying "Jamie, I have decided we should get married. I want to get married before I die. You can still date."

The couple will continue to reside in their separate domiciles since Ms. Vittum wishes to "be married but not actually live with someone (except Keem (and Eddy))". They will be married by Bryan McDonald, atheist preacher and karaoke host. Big ticket items such as Plasma televisions and El Caminos are requested as wedding gifts.

The date is set for sometime in the future. Perhaps at Como Zoo, even though Mr. Jones seems to think that because he is a bigwig at the Minnesota Zoo, the wedding should take place there. Ms. Vittum scoffs at this.

Please join us in our celebration of a marriage of convenience.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What's going on - past and present

Hanging out with Beth a few weeks ago

When I was over at Beth's a few weeks ago, I had brought over the Photo Stack 2. Those of you who do not scrapbook may not be aware of the incredible offerings in the Paper Industry. There are scrapbook pages that are pictures of stuff. This is so cool. Except sometimes, well, they are a little weird, the pages.

Not that you're really going to see the weirdness when you look at this picture but trust me. It's there.

DM: Well, I know I don't need burlap for Evora.
B: No, but it'll really come in handy when you win that 3 legged race.

DM: This is pretty (it's a picture of a softly lit, glowing forest).
B: Yeah, if you ever actually run into leprecauns and fairies.

B: I watched The Graduate recently.
DM: I've never actually seen that. Norman Fell was in it.
B: Who's Norman Fell?
DM: Mr. Roper.
B: Blank stare.
DM: Three's Company.
B: Pick something from my generation. Oh, that was mean. But damn funny.

We decided to drink some Sparkling Juice Beth had purchased when we had made our excursion to Ikea. Beth has a lot of different glasses from a company called Princess House. For a woman who doesn't drink, she seems to have many glasses you would serve alcohol in. We decided to live it up and drink out of wine glasses. Later, we decided to try the brandy snifter.

DM: God, that's great fake brandy.

I found some quotes I had purchased awhile ago.

DM (sarcastically): Oh. This is sooo sweet. Brothers by birth, friends by choice.
B: Are you ever going to use that?
DM: No. Do you have a use for it.
B: Yes.

I hand it to her. She takes it and starts shredding it. She hands the pieces to me.

B: There. Now you have confetti.
DM (sarcastically again): Oh, look. I tripped over your love & fell. Who writes this crap?
B: I...and your purse is fucking huge anyway.

And that's all she said. Completely apropos of anything.

It makes sense now. She's actually making a planner for 2008 and was wondering if people could carry it in their purse.

A quick update to Cat Watch '07.

It's over. Sebastian has been returned to his family.

I called them yesterday at about 4 PM.

Eric (the brother in law): Hey, Dana. How are you?
DM: I'm good. Happy birthday.
Eric: Thanks.
DM: I'm sorry I missed it but you were gone (his birthday was on the 3rd).
Eric: That's okay.
DM: Did you have a good time on vacation?
Eric: Yes.
DM: Great. Now come get your Devil Cat.
Eric: What did he do now?

What did he do now? I'll tell you what he did. He has decided that Eddy is now his bitch. Apparently on Saturday night, while I was over at Beth's scrapbooking, Sebastian decided to start licking Eddy in a private area. And then, he climbed on top of Eddy, bit him on the back of the neck to hold him in place and started, well, the most tactful way to describe this would be "moving his groin in a thrusting manner."

This wouldn't be so bad if Eddy was enjoying Sebastian's attention but no. There was yowling and what Keem described as the look of "Help me! Please help me!" She had to pick Sebastian up and move him away. Multiple times.

I got to witness this yesterday, a few minutes before I called Kari and Eric. Eddy was minding his own business, walking along, when Sebastian pounced. Eddy was not pleased. I managed to separate them and then had to chase Sebastian off to the other room while we petted Eddy in a soothing manner.

Eric found this amusing and called for Kari.

Eric: Sebastian thinks Eddy's a girl.
Kari: What?
DM: Come get your Devil Cat.
Kari: What is he doing?
DM: He has violated my baby.
Kari: He did not.
DM: Yes. Yes, he did. I saw him.
Kari: But he's neutered.
DM: So? I've seen this before.

I tell her about the cocker spaniel I once owned, Gabralynn (my friend's daughter couldn't pronounce Gabriel and the name stuck), and my cat Thomas. Apparently Gabers decided that Thomas was a small female dog. Thomas, on the other hand, decided Gabers was a large female cat. They would chase each other throughout the trailer, mounting each other whenever the urge struck them, usually in front of company. Both were neutered. And, since neither of them complained, we were fine with them expressing their love for each other. We would have been a lot more fine if they wouldn't do this when my friend's elderly and highly religious mother was over.

Elderly and Highly Religious Mother (EHRM): What are they doing?
Former friend (FF): They're playing, mother. They're just playing.
EHRM: I thought cats and dogs didn't like each other.
FF: Well, these two are, um, yeah, Dana, would you put the dog outside, please?

Just call me Captain Obvious

Keem and I met up with Co-worker Elaine this morning. She told Keem an item we had ordered from her was available (I am a sap for supporting co-workers. I've bought Pampered Chef, PartyLite candles and now Close to Home) and she was also carrying a bag of calendars (her daughter works for a company that makes them so they always have lots of samples). Keem and I followed Co-worker Elaine to her desk.

Co-worker Holly observed this.

Co-worker Holly: Are you moving to our row now?
Co-worker Lisa: Cute haircut!*

*I have received many compliments about my haircut. Apparently chopping my own hair off works for me.

DM: Thanks (to Lisa). She has calendars (to Holly).
Co-worker Elaine: I'll put these out later.

She sees me hovering.

Co-worker Elaine: Or I could put them out now.
DM: That would be good.
Keem: She can wait.
Co-worker Elaine: I'll do it now.
Keem: Dana!
DM: What? I like calendars. They are pretty and tell me what date it is.

Apparently my co-workers found that amusing. But I say that I speak the truth.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

B is for Broken

First - quick update on Cat Watch '07. Eddy and Sebastian are getting along now. There is carousing and frolicking throughout the apartment. Sebastian has toned down the yowling late at night and I am actually getting approximately 6 hours of sleep. Sebastian is a sweet and lovely cat (when he's not expressing everything at the top of his lungs) and quite cuddly. However, he does have a habit I'd like to break him of - that of the love bites. Picture it, if you will, our heroine picking up the grey cat and petting him. He starts purring, throws in a few head butts and then stops to look deeply into her eyes. Everything about him says "I adore you." And then he leans forward and bites the end of her nose.

May I just say ouch? Because seriously, that hurt. It was amusing, I'll give you that, but somewhat painful.

Anyway, on to our feature presentation:

B is for Broken

When I was 13, my parents got divorced (and, before you think, oh poor Dana, she came from a broken home, believe me, this was a good thing. My Dad, although I love him, was not a good husband or father when he was drinking (which was quite often)). When I was 14, Kari, my adorable but bratty little sister broke her foot.

Here's what happened. Dad has visitation and decides to take us camping. We go to William O'Brian State Park, a nice little campground we've been going to for years. It's between Stillwater and Taylor's Falls, right outside of Marine-on-Saint-Croix. Dad is dating a very nice woman at the time but I can't remember her name. She also has daughters (and why yes, I can't remember their names either. It was a long time ago, 27 years) who come along on the trip.

I had just learned how to ride a bike without training wheels either that summer or the summer before (or maybe the summer before the summer before) and so was very excited when Dad suggested we bring our bikes along. Kari and I, along with Other Daughters 1 & 2, start riding our bikes everywhere. William O'Brian is divided between the main campground (up the big hill) and the not-main campground (down the big hill and then the really biiiiiiggggg hill, by the lake) and we spend hours on our bikes, riding up and down the trails, having a great time.

One of the things I loved the most about this weekend was taking the bike trail - it was nicely paved and there were cute little signs that said stop and yield. Like regular stop signs and yield signs but much smaller. They were baby signs. And yes, I am amused easily.

Anyway, we told my dad and Dad's Girlfriend that we were going to go down to the beach. Kari, OD 1&2 and I took off, planning on traversing the biiiiigggg hill on bikes for the first time. This is a scary, scary hill. My mom always hated driving it because it seems like the road just drops away.

This was the summer of 1981 and it was normal to let your kids disappear for hours when camping. There was no fear of kidnappers or child molesters, people routinely left their doors unlocked. It was a simpler time and honestly, I really miss it. But the world has changed. And maybe, considering what ended up happening to Kari, we shouldn't have been off on our own.

If I remember correctly, I think OD#1 and I were closer in age and so we had left our annoying little sisters behind us. We weren't too far ahead of them but I couldn't see her. Kari and I did not get along when we were younger and I wanted to be the cool older sister. I remember OD#1 and I ran into these cute boys that were also at the campground. I'm not sure what happened but somehow we had alienated them or they had alienated us and I remember them biking past and making remarks about my weight.

OD#1 and I stopped by the non-swimming part of the lake and were admiring the scenery when OD#2 came screeching up to us.

OD#2: It's Kari! She's hurt!

The three of us rushed back up the road to Kari. She was not where OD#2 had left her. May I just state that I panicked? My little sister was missing. Somehow I did not think that my mother was going to accept the fact that Kari was a total brat as a good enough excuse.

We made it back to the campsite as I pondered the best way to tell my Dad that his baby girl had vanished. We got back and there, thank the Good Lord for all his mercy, was my sister. With a broken foot. Apparently a nurse just happened to be driving along, saw her and brought her back to the campsite.

We went to the Emergency Room and I remember asking OD#2 what had happened. She told us that the pack of boys had ridden by them, shouted some insults and then Kari had catapulted off of her bike onto the side of the road. Apparently one of the boys had used the "F" word.

DM: Oh no. Kari's never heard that word before. Maybe she was shocked and that's why she fell off her bike.
OD#2: Uh, no, she hit a rock.

Yes, I was concerned that my impressionable little sister had heard a bad word and got hurt because of it. Yes, I am aware that I was incredibly naive.

Kari's foot had been caught in the bike chain. She spent the rest of the summer in a cast and I spent the rest of the summer waiting on her hand and foot out of guilt. I'd like to say that this was when we became close and how she became one of my favorite people. I'd like to say that but I can't. She became even more of a pain in my ass than before. Not surprising, considering that we referred to her as Brat and she would respond to it.

The cast finally came off, Kari healed well and school started in September. I hated school. I was not a popular person, I was laughed at constantly and I just plain hated it. I didn't like any of my classes (not even English, which is surprising because I have had a love affair with books my entire life but not surprising because I had the worst teacher for 6th and 7th grade who made my life a living hell). But this was to change.

My English teacher was Mr. Wharton. He decided to have us write an essay on how we spent our summer vacation. Cheesy, of course. I wrote about Kari's accident but started out "In the Drama world, the term 'Break a leg' is used to wish actors good luck. Actually saying 'good luck' to someone is thought to bring bad luck. Unfortunately, for my sister, the term 'break a foot' was not good luck for her."

Mr. Wharton had handed back every one's papers except for mine. I was freaking out, wondering where my paper was. Did he hate it? Was he going to humiliate me in front of the entire class like evil teacher had? And then Mr. Wharton said "I'm going to read you an essay that I thought was the best out of this entire class."

And he started reading mine out loud.

And even better, someone laughed. And then someone else did. And then the entire class was roaring with laughter. And it was the most amazing experience of my life. I had made people laugh. Not at me. But because of something I had written. I was funny. And my teacher was telling everyone in the class.

And that, my dear friends, is why I blog. It all stems back to that class, to that realization that I had someone who believed in me. And it helped me begin to believe in myself. I write to make people laugh. That's my job. That's my purpose. That's my true love.

Thank you, Mr. Wharton. I have been truly lucky to have 4 great teachers I will never forget. You, Mr. O'Dean, Mrs. Roberts and Ms. Lambert.

Monday, December 03, 2007

A is for Adventure

So one of the great things about NaBloWhateverTheHellIt'sCalled was that I found a few new blogs to read. One of them is Sass Attack. Her name is Laurel and she's from Minnesota originally but now lives in New York. And she is funny and sweet and smart (but what do you expect from a Minnesotan? I mean, really, isn't it obvious?) so I've been enjoying this. Anyway, for NaBloThingNoOneCanPronounce, she came up with the Encyclopedia of Sass and I've enjoyed reading it. I especially loved her latest post - Y is for Young Love (although I almost typed Lounge. Not sure why).

And as we all know, if I enjoy something, I will gleefully steal the idea (but hey, not plagiarism if you credit your sources!) and post it myself. Since I'd like to write more, this is the perfect thing for me to work on doing just that.

Anyway, for our first entry in the Encyclopedia of Dana Marie, I bring you

A is for Adventure

I was talking to Beth last weekend about a song that we're both not very fond of. And, oddly enough, I can't remember what the song is. As we all know, Beth will comment sometime in the future and tell me what the song is. But for now, all you need to know is that it is kind of a remake of another song and it's about some guy who got killed, quite possibly because he was an idiot. And it may or may not have had something to do with drugs or gang warfare.

B: I hate this song.
DM: So do I. I think I first heard this song when I went to prison.
B: ... What?
DM: Didn't I ever tell you about that?
B: Uh, no. I think I would remember this.

So anyway, back, a really, really, really long time ago, I worked at a different bank, the bank I refer to as the Dark Side Bank. I worked with bonds (as opposed to stock now - funny how I ended up in the same industry, just on the different side). There was this woman that I worked with and we became friends.

As a friend, I was open for doing lots of fun stuff, including but not limited to, going to meet her father, step-mother and her half sisters, watching her daughter while she got a hair cut (this didn't work out well since the child decided to stick Tacy's (fake name) keys into an outlet when I glanced away for a moment (okay, yes, I was trying to read. Toddlers don't appreciate this!)) and last but not least, going to prison with her.

And no, I do not have a secret life of crime.

Tacy knew this guy that was in prison. I don't remember why. He did something stupid, which is, let's face it, what most people end up in prison for. Because breaking the law is wrong! Anyway, they had been communicating with each other and he wanted her to come visit him. Since this was a pretty long drive (about an hour and a half to two hours, it was near Hinckley (which is on the way to Duluth and no, I don't know how many miles that is)), Tacy asked if I would like to go with her. I am always in the mood for a road trip so sure.

We drove up there, laughing and singing along with the radio, talking, etc. It was a lot of fun. She would go inside for visiting hours and I would wait in the car, listening to the radio and reading. This may not sound like a lot of fun to you but I enjoyed it. My rule of thumb ever since I was very young was "Always have a book. If you have a book, you will never be bored." I can wait for hours for people if I am reading.

This came in handy one day when there was a lockdown at the prison. Apparently lockdowns were never scheduled and could take place at any time. I think this was a drill or something, not because someone had escaped. Everyone had to stay where they were so Tacy's hour of visiting turned into three hours. This wasn't exactly a problem except for the fact that I was wearing a sleeveless shirt, the window was down and my right arm became very, very burnt. I don't tan unless I burn and I had the weirdest farmer's tan for the entire summer. Plus it was incredibly gross with the peeling and all.

I eventually started overheating and wandered into the lobby where I struck up a conversation with the hottest prison guard ever (think Ving Rhames, big, black, bald and beautiful. Yummy) and he told me I could certainly wait in the lobby in the future. Which, hello, unlimited reading and air conditioning? I am all over that. Plus, he was a huge flirt so it was fun.

Then Tacy told Prison Boy about what had happened and he suggested that I start visiting with his friend or cell mate or random guy that was lonely. No biggie. I've corresponded with men in prison before. I thought of them as pen pals. They, unfortunately, usually started telling me about how we were going to have a wonderful life together when they finally got out of prison. Um, no. First of all, I am okay with the fact that people make mistakes and they pay the consequences for the mistakes but no, I am not going to date you. I do not know you. You are in prison. The only thing I know about you is what you have told me about yourself. Something tells me that you might be inclined to lie. Second of all, I don't date men who refer to me as woman and start telling me what to do.

Anyway, it was decided that sure, I would visit Prison Boy's friend. I filled out the application and presented it to Hot Security Guard. He, in turn, let me watch the video that probably wasn't titled "Why you should not be really, really, really stupid and smuggle drugs into a prison" but should have been. And this video was about (guess!) really, really, really stupid people who decided to smuggle drugs into prison. And it was divided up between the really, really stupid women and then the men who talked them into it.

One of the women put the drugs in her child's diaper. In the diaper! And then she was arrested in the prison and hey, surprise! She lost her kids! How did you think this would not happen?

Another woman talked about how the guy told her how much he loved her and how great this would be because he would get money and then they could be together, blah de blah blah. The very next scene is this guy who says "Yeah, I just tell them that I love them and they're stupid."
As I am watching this movie, I keep looking over at Hot Security Guard and saying "How? How can these people be so stupid? Don't they realize that this is against the law?" And he would laugh at me because, yes, I am somewhat naive and believe that people obey the law because it is a law and they should know better and what the hell were they thinking?*

*This, of course, was long after my rebellious, shop-lifting, drug using time. I have been bad.

Anyway, the time came when I had passed all the hoops with flying colors and was able to meet Prison Boy's Friend (or PBF, I guess we'll call him).

DM: Hi. I'm Dana.
PBF: I'm Prison Boy's Friend.

He smiles at me.

He is missing teeth. There is no chance of romance between us ever. He has a horrible gap/snaggly tooth and a mullet (while looks are not important to me, you should know that a mullet is not attractive. If you can't figure that out, well, dude, c'mon). Not gonna happen. Plus, he has terrible grammar and cannot spell. No sense of humor. Oh, and did I mention he was in prison? I may not have very high standards but I do have some.

Shortly after I met PBF, Prison Boy was released. He had told Tacy all the time she was coming up there how much he cared about her and loved her and wouldn't it be great when they were together? Oddly enough, he seemed to forget this when the time came for him to pay her back for some of the money she had lent to him. Or, you know, when he had the choice to sleep with another woman (or three).

I don't know what happened to PBF. I tried exchanging letters with him. I even gave him my phone call so he could call me on occasion. Then he started talking about our future relationship and how he would move in with me and life would be awesome. I stopped answering the phone and responding to his letters. I realize this was somewhat passive-aggressive but, hello, what part of "We will never be anything more than friends" did he not get?

Tacy and I drifted apart. I think some of it came from the fact that I just didn't get what she saw in Prison Boy or why she stuck by him for so long. Do I miss her? Not often. But when I think of her, I think of two women listening to the radio on a Spring day, singing at the top of their lungs, stopping at garage sales and craft shows and having a great time on an adventure. Not the most exciting adventure, perhaps, but how many times have you had the chance to go to prison?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Why am I up at 5:12 in the morning? That's a great question, do you mind holding while I check into that for you?

Why? I'll give you 3 guesses. Here's a couple of clues.

He's grey. He's a cat. His name is Sebastian.


Anyway, since it's my shift now during Cat Watch '07, here's a meme that I gleefully stole from the lovely Miss Melissa.

Unnamed Meme

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night?

It was actually yesterday morning. Keem and I had the following conversation after watching Eddy start throwing the smack down on Sebastian. Oh, I wish I would have had the camera nearby. Eddy rose up on his hind legs in a classic karate pose (well, classic cat karate pose, I guess) and started flailing his paw. He didn't actually connect with Sebastian's face but it was hilarious, 3 very well excuted slaps.

DM: It's Eddy and his paw of...paw of...

I try to think of something, anything, witty but I am so damn tired!

Keem: Justice.
DM: Hee! The paw of Justice!

This makes us laugh for approximately 15 minutes. All the way down to the car in the elevator. Into the car. On the way to work. It's not that funny but we are sleep deprived.

As Keem pulls out of the parking ramp, we are assaulted by the sunlight. You know, since we've been working this shift from November 1st, you'd think we'd be aware of the fact that the sun is gong to be out there, lurking, just waiting to catch us.

DM: Argh! Bright! Bright! Can't see!
Keem: Blind! Tears! Paw of Justice!

We dissolve into hysterical giggles again. Until I start coughing.

Keem: Don't die, Dana. I would be sad but I wouldn't be able to cry. Because of all the tears from laughing.

And that sets us off again.

2. What were you doing at 0800?

Well, since it is now 05:37, I'll have to say that yesterday at 8 AM, I was trying to sleep. And failing. Because of CATS!

3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?

Sleeping. The sleep of the just. Until Keem woke me up and told me it was my turn to deal with HIM (that would be Sebastian, just in case you've not noticed the running theme here).

4. What happened to you in 2006?

Um...let's see. Do I happen to have a handy post that talks about what happened in 2006? Why, yes, I do.

5. What was the last thing you said out loud?

SHUT UP, damn it! Do you understand that I have to sleep? Do you? Why are you torturing me like this? Why?*

*I bet you can't guess who I said it to.

6. How many beverages did you have today?

Lots of water. A can of Mountain Dew, a can of Diet Coke, a can of Squirt (I like to live on the edge). A thing of Mountain Dew with supper. Diet Coke would be a lot better if it tasted like Mountain Dew.* And before anyone tells me I shouldn't have Mountain Dew because I'm diabetic, let me just tell you this. I am too tired to not have lots and lots of caffiene. Caffiene is my friend right now.

*Don't recommend Diet Mountain Dew. It tastes horrible.

7. What colour is your hairbrush?

Yes, because my hairbrush color provides such deep and meaningful insight . But it's purple.

8. What was the last thing you paid for?

Dinner from Hot City Pizza. Yummy hoagies.

9. Where were you last night?

At home.

10. What colour is your front door?

It's door colored. Brown, I think.

11. Where do you keep your change?

In Pig. Or Pigette. Depending on whichever one of them looks the hungriest.

12. What’s the weather like today?

Dark. Cranky. Tired.

Oh, weather, not my mood. Um, dark? Cold. Possibly snowing today.

13. What’s the best ice-cream flavour?

Haagen Daz Light Mint Chocolate Chip. Yummy.

14. What excites you?

Right now, I would have to say sleep. Or it could be my upcoming marriage to Co-Worker Jaime.*

*I proposed to him yesterday. But he's allowed to date. I'm done with that stuff. And we're not going to live together. I just want to get married before I die.**

**Yes, it's a joke. Although he is amenable to Bryan marrying us.

DM: Bryan would have to marry us.
Jaime: Who's Bryan?
DM: My karaoke host. He's an athiest minister.
Amber: What exactly does an athiest minister talk about?
DM: Um, love? I guess?

Then I tried to explain about the Church of the Angry Frankensten Monsters. My co-workers think I'm weird now.

15. Do you want to cut your hair?

No. I already cut it. It looks okay.

16. Are you over the age of 25?

Uh, yeah. By 15 years.

17. Do you talk a lot?

Well, Keem tells me to use my inside my head voice a lot so I'd say yes.

18. Do you watch the O.C.?

No. I have enough shows to watch. Who else is excited that American Gladiators is coming back besides Keem and I?

19. Do you know anyone named Steven?

Not to my knowlege.

20. Do you make up your own words?

Yes. Mainly by combining words - shup (shut up), vant (vent/rant).

This amused me today.

21. Are you a jealous person?

Of what? People who are sleeping right now?

22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’


23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’


24. Who’s the first person on your received call list?

Unknown Caller

25. What does the last text message you received say

It was from the cell phone company.

26. Do you chew on your straw?

Why would I chew on my straw when there are perfectly good pens around here.

27. Do you have curly hair?

No. My hair hates me.

28. Where’s the next place you’re going to?

Hopefully bed.

29. Who’s the rudest person in your life?

Probably me. I can be bitchy and have no filter sometimes.

30. What was the last thing you ate?

Hoagie from Hot City.

31. Will you get married in the future?

Unless it is to Co-worker Jaime, probably not.

32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks?


33. Is there anyone you like right now?

How to you mean this like? Is this friendship like because I have tons of those people. If it's romantic like, been there, done that.

34. When was the last time you did the dishes?

The dishes are not on my chore list. Unloading the dishasher is. I'm a little behind on that.

35. Are you currently depressed?

Yes. That's what Effexor is for.

36. Did you cry today?

Not yet. I will if Sebastian doesn't shut up soon.

37. Why did you answer and post this?

Needed something to do while I tried to convince Sebastian to be quiet.

Cat Side Story

You know how I said in my last post about how Enchanted was a great movie if you believed in fairy tales & that people should burst into song and dance at any provocation?

Last night that happened to me. Not exactly people but suddenly there was a production of West Side Story taking place in my living room. Starring cats (in case the title didn't give it away). Eddy defending his turf, taking the role of the Jets. And Sebastian (my sister Kari's cat who is staying with us while she, Eric & Josh are visiting our mother in San Diego) aptly playing the Sharks.

It could be that I was very tired, having been dropped off by Beth at 3 AM this morning. It could be because I ran out of Seroquel on Friday night and Saturday night (technically Sunday morning at 7 AM) I relied on Tylenol PM which meant that I was up at 1:30 PM on Sunday. It could be because that I'm slightly insane.

But there was Eddy, lying in the middle of the living room, allowing me to pet him until he stalked off through his brown tuby thing (with pink trim (I've mentioned that I'm really fond of the brown/pink combinations, right?)). Maybe he was trying to hide but the tuby thing also makes a lot of crackling noise and Sebastian came into the living room. Eddy's movements became more dramatic as he stalked through the tube. I seriously thought he was going to start doing the dance to the Jet song.

Eddy and Sebastian circled around each other. There was some hissing. There was spitting. There was the flailing of paws in each other's directions (they didn't actually touch each other). I was waiting for Sebastian to start singing "Keem!!! I just met a girl named Keem!!!" but then I remembered that Sebastian was supposed to be the Sharks and so he couldn't be Tony.

I mentioned that I was really tired, right? I would try to sleep and then there would be a crash or a hiss or something. And Keem kept sleeping through it. I'd get up, go and lecture them. Tell them that they were cousins and needed to start getting along. Pet them an equal amount of time so they didn't get jealous of each other (please. Like that worked). So it's not that weird that I would start imagining a bunch of orange cats singing "Gee, Officer Krupke." Right?

At about 5 AM, I probably had been asleep for about 15 minutes (only because I put a blanket over my head) when Keem called my name.

Keem: Dana! Go deal with Sebastian!
DM: What's he doing?
Keem: Jumping on my bed, meowing piteously and then jumping off and walking away.
DM: Oh, yeah. He does that apparently. I told you he was a talker.
Keem: That's fine but I need to sleep!
DM: Please. You completely missed Cat Side Story.

I then demostrated Eddy's odd ballet like stalking motions. Keem told me I was insane. Sebastian finally shut up at about 6 AM when he found his way into Keem's closet. He likes closets.

I talked to Kari today (after I realized I let my entire immediate family go off to San Diego without finding out where they were staying. Fortunately they all have cell phones) and she said that Josh is already saying he doesn't have a kitty anymore. Kari told him that no, that wasn't true. Eddy and Sebastian are cousins and so they're just having a sleep over. I think it is very amusing that we both refer to the cats as being cousins (and Mom loves it when I refer to Eddy as her grandcat (not that she acknowledges him in any way. He is bereft of grandmotherly love)).

I mentioned I was tired, right? This post may have not made any sense.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Holy WTF, Batman!

A few days ago, Keem and I were in Target. I needed to get socks. As I was in the socks area, I saw something that I thought was a cute patterned pair of socks. As I got closer, I realized that it wasn't a cute patterned pair of socks. It was something horrible and disgusting and just completely wrong.

What was it? THIS! This travesty!

Leg warmers! Leg WARMERS! Oh my God. Have we gone back to the 80's suddenly? Will I suddenly see people using an entire can of hair spray to make their hair as big as possible? I hated the big hair fad. It required actually having skill with using a curling iron.

Today I walked into my office, intent only on heating up my beloved Jimmy Dean breakfast buscuits for breakfast. One of my co-workers approached the area. I noticed her outfit. White t-shirt, denim mini-skirt, red high heel shoes and ACK!! Cringe!

Red freakin' leg warmers.

DM: What are you wearing? How can you be wearing leg warmers? How?
Co-worker: They're back. They're back in style.

No. No, they are not back. They never should have been here in the first place. And they're back? I'm sorry, but I associate those words with Poltergeist or the Terminator (although Arnold actually said "I'll be back" but that's not the point).

And this was an email that somehow got past my spam detector at work. I was somewhat amused.

"Bad enough," noise said harm jump degree he; "hard work and not a kind word spoken." sin Now, then, I was again happy; I nail now spit took current only 1000 drops of laudanum per day; and what was that? A l spilt Without glass buy balance a grave, unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown." "Dear me, how spade sad! Do you search mind theory division telling me your age?"

It's almost poetic.

Have a good weekend, my lovelies. I am going to go scrapbook with Beth Saturday night. It'll be very fun.

Oh! And I saw the best movie ever yesterday. If you believe in fairy tales and that dreams can come true and that there should be the possibility of people just breaking into song and dance at the slightest provocation, then you will love Enchanted. It was very, very, very cute. And there was a big dance number in Central Park!

Keem (after big dance number): I want to press rewind.
DM: Me too.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I love my job

I love my job. I love my job. I love my job. I love my job. I love my job.
I love my job. I love my job. I love my job. I love my job. I love my job.
I love my job. I love my job. I love my job. I love my job. I love my job.
I love my job. I love my job. I love my job. I love my job. I love my job.

I am not overwhelmed and pulling my hair out by the roots. Really. No, really. Cutting my bangs (again) doesn't count. And yes, I did use a mirror this time. Unfortunately, if you are leaning over the desk to look in the mirror, it means that your bangs do not get cut evenly at eyebrow level. Try jagged and about 1-2 inches above eyebrow level. Matt (old boss) suggested that perhaps I should have learned my lesson the last time I did this. Apparently I did not. Right now my hand is inching towards the scissors so I can just cut the back so I don't look like I have a mullet anymore. But I'm really afraid of what would happen. Maybe if I just put it in a pony tail and I'll forget it is there, thwarting me. Or maybe I could just cut off the pony tail...hmm.

I think my hair needs an intervention. And, oops. The hands won. It's a lot shorter in the back now. Keem is going to kill me.

But really, I love my job. I do.*

*Yes, I really do but co-worker Jessica just told me that she's going to be out of the office from end of day on Wednesday until December 7th! Oh my God. I'm in charge of everything!!!!!! GAH! Where the heck is my inhaler??? Or a paper bag?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

How to torture a cat. A photo (and video!) essay.

A month or so, Keem and I were in Target. Super Target to be exact (cooler than regular Target, less evil than Wal-I don't get what happened to them, they used to be a decent company when I worked for them but then, apparently they became incredibly greedy-Mart (kind of a long name)). As we are wandering down the cat aisle (well, actually, I wander. Keem usually has a very specific agenda in mind. 8:15 PM Enter Target. 8:17 PM Drag Dana out of the scrapbook section. 8:19 PM Tell Dana that, no, she cannot buy a book. 8:20 PM Enter cat food aisle), something catches my eye.

DM: Keem! Keeeeeeem! Look!
Keem (long suffering tone): What?
DM: Look! It's a tie!

And it is. It's the most adorable collar ever, fashioned into the share of a tie.


Keem: Cute.

She is intrigued and decides to investigate the other great things in the cat aisle, the things that she misses because she's always in a hurry.

She finds the hat. It's fashioned like a lion's head. The perfect thing to make your cat wear on Halloween.


Yes, we bought them. What is the purpose of having a pet (or a small child for that matter) if you can't dress them up in stuff that they will hate?

We debate whether we should work up to the full torture (hat and tie on at the same time) slowly or do it all at once. After much decision (5 seconds), the unveiling ceremony takes place. This is done by convincing the cat to come and investigate the newest toy that has been bought for him (he is spoiled. But that could be because I can't actually walk down the cat aisle without buying him a new toy).

And then I grab him. Notice the laundry in the background of this picture. It was there for about a week.


First the hat must be applied.


Then the tie.


There! Doesn't he look absolutely adorable?


Video number 1. Keem is supposed to be taking his picture.

And now, the releasing of the lion kitty into the wild.

And the picture of how his collar and hat got completly reversed.


If you're wondering why my eyebrows are red and blue, it was because it was red and blue day during customer service week. Hey. There were prizes involved. I have no shame.

In other news, I found out my Uncle Jerry died on Monday morning. He was my mother's brother and I credit him for being partially responsible for my sense of humor. Between him and my father, I learned to really appreciate sarcasm. Rest in piece, Uncle Jerry. You were an awesome, awesome man and I'll always be thankful for knowing you. Apparently my Aunt Rita is not doing very well, she is ill and also just lost her husband of 53 years. Keem also has a friend of the family that was diagnosed with cancer recently. Any prayers or thoughts for them would be greatly appreciated.

I'm sorry. I couldn't resist

Your Native American Name Is...
Nukpana Chepi

Your name means: Evil Fairy

Sometimes Blogthings scares me. But, hey, an evil fairy has to be way cooler than an evil genius, right? Plus Beth has this crazy idea that evil geniuses have to understand how logic works in order to function.

Oh! And I love Overheard in the Office, especially for stuff like this.

Yeah, and Scrambling the Data. Nice Work!
By Djlindee on Dumb Employees

Sales rep #1: Here's that spreadsheet. I hid the columns you didn't need so it would fit on one page.
Sales rep #2: How did you do that? I have been cutting and pasting all this time!
Sales rep #1: Cutting and pasting?
Sales rep #2, pulling out three pieces of paper, cut and taped together to make one big spreadsheet: See? I cut and pasted!


Overheard by: What!?

I have worked with people like this. Seriously. Excel isn't hard!

Monday, November 12, 2007

NABLOPOMO officially kicked my ass and my cat is a total dork

I tried. I really, really did. But what it all comes down to is that I started running out of things to say. And then the things that I were saying just weren't funny. And since my purpose in life is to be funny, I had to let it go.

And speaking of funny, here is a conversation had with Keem this weekend.

Scene: Laundry Room
Characters: Keem, Dana and Janitor Lady (JL)

Keem: Dana!
DM: Yes?
Keem: The random cat toys in my laundry cart have to stop!
JL: Bwahahaha!
DM: What? You're kidding.
Keem: No. No, I am not.
DM: But how does he get it into the laundry cart?
Keem: I have no idea.
DM: Weird.
Keem: Last time it was the white fluffy one that he loves. I found it after I washed the clothes so I had to throw it away.
DM: You threw away the white fluffy one? How could you? No wonder he's been so forlorn lately.

Yes. Apparently the cat toys are not clean enough for his majesty, Edmund. It's bad enough that he demands the fresh ice water and the cat treats mixed properly but now the toys have a specific cleanliness standard.

Oh, and this morning? He was so trying to scam extra wet food from Keem by looking all sad and neglected by his dish (I feed him the wet food in the morning, Keem feeds him when we come home). Plus, he eats better than us because he gets Fancy Feast Elegant Medleys. Dang Cat.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Puzzle Updates

Last weekend wasn't overly exciting. Keem and I did make a trip to JoAnn's where I bought some scrapbooking paper and other crafty things. We were going to do laundry but both of us hate doing laundry and will usually put it off until the very last minute. Because, you know, if you hate doing something, you should just wait until you have a ton of it to do. That makes sense.

Sunday Beth picked me up and we tried to decide what we were going to do. Beth called James and he said he would call us if he and Liz decided they were going to go out. Meanwhile, Beth drove around and we talked. We decided to head to her apartment and scrapbook.

However, once we got there, the plans changed a little bit. Beth was drawn to an area in her apartment. An area so filled with trepidation and danger that I was a bit frightened. Yes, it was the card table and on the card table was a gigantic puzzle that Beth had been working on for awhile. She had made a lot of progress since I had been over the weekend before.

Unable to help herself, Beth took to moving the puzzle pieces around while I decided to go scrapbook. And that's when things got a little weird.

Beth: I found a piece.
DM: That's good.


Beth: Do you know how many pieces I've found since my last puzzle update?
DM: No.
Beth: One. One piece.


Beth: That's it. I've had it. Pieces, you will arrange yourself. I'm closing my eyes.

I look over. She has her eyes scrunched shut similar to Hiro on Heroes when he is trying to teleport.

DM: If the pieces start flying around in the air, I am going to be really freaked out.
Beth: I am opening my eyes.

The pieces, oddly enough, resisted Beth's exhortions and just laid there on the table.

Beth: Damn you!

The rest of the night was filled with laughter and many puzzle updates. I believe there may have been a total of 15. There was also the occasional curse.

Beth: So what did you do Sunday night? I worked on a puzzle. Wow.
DM: We have such exciting lives.

Disclaimer: This took place last Sunday and I have a hard enough time remembering what people said 5 minutes ago. I may not have quoted us properly. Sorry about that.

And you know, somehow this post is not as exciting as I thought it was going to be. Maybe you had to be there but the frustration in Beth's voice was hilarious. You know what else is hilarious? The fact that she organizes her puzzles pieces in little stacks based on color. Instead of just leaving them scatter all about the place like I do. Although that might explain why she actually finished the puzzle and I have yet to finish more than the border of one. Hmm. I may have to try this stacking thing.

You still have an opportunity to hit me up for a present this Holiday season.

Oh, Udge is doing this and I am all about peer pressure and giving things to people so
the first five commenters to sign up for the meme here and post the same promise on their blogs will receive a small present-like thing from me. It will help jumpstart the holiday spirit for me. You will have to provide me with your real name and address but please keep in mind that I don't drive and so probably would not be able to stalk you. Unless I am able to convince the Greyhound bus driver to circle around your house obsessively. I think that's unlikely. I have
no idea what the small present-like thing will be but I must warn you, there is the chance you could receive a monkey sitting in a chair. I can be very strange. Just ask Beth.

Leave me a comment. And you know, I think I'm okay if you've already done this with someone else. I like to give presents.

Oh, and if you are wondering just exactly a monkey sitting in a chair looks like,
click here. I maintain that it was a highly creative, non-boring gift. Beth maintains that I obviously go shopping while indulging in lots and lots of crack.*

*Beth has never said this. I like to exaggerate. I know you are all shocked at this.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Yesterday I was overwhelmed, today I am sick

Well, I have learned something today. I learned that I accidentally doubled my dosage of glusophage and I was taking 4000 MG instead of the 2000 MG I was supposed to take. Also, I thought, hey, maybe I should check the side effects of this stuff because I haven't been feeling well lately.

Side effects:

Low blood sugar (um, isn't that what I'm trying to go for?). Signs include anger, shaking, fast heartbeat, confusion or sweating - well, other than the sweating, this doesn't seem to be a problem.
Belly pain - check (although it rather feels like someone is trying to cut my stomach out with a very dull spoon)
Nausea or vomiting - Nausea, yes. Vomiting, thank the good Lord no.
Diarrhea - check (lucky, lucky me! This is fun! Everyone wants this!!! Oh, wait, no, they really don't)
Not hungry (please. I wish).
Metallic taste (no, but I usually associate the metallic taste with blood and fortunately I don't have any of that in my mouth).

I really want to go home. Just so you know. I have figured that most of this didn't start until I, like the big idiot that I am, started doubling the dosage (and that was only because the pills I had before were 500 MG and Deb suggested I take 1000 MG. Do not ask me why I thought that the big pills and the little pills were the same size. I do not understand it either). So hopefully this means that going to the correct dosage will alleviate my symptoms. Hopefully.

Oh and someone just told me that our insurance company has decided to stop covering Effexor. They'll only cover generics. There is no generic for Effexor. So I can either work with my doctor to find some happy pill substitutes or I can start paying full price. That doesn't suck at all.

Anyway, to stop complaining, I want to mention the meme from yesterday is still continuing.

Oh, Udge is doing this and I am all about peer pressure and giving things to people so
the first five commenters to sign up for the meme here and post the same promise on their blogs will receive a small present-like thing from me. It will help jumpstart the holiday spirit for me. You will have to provide me with your real name and address but please keep in mind that I don't drive and so probably would not be able to stalk you. Unless I am able to convince the Greyhound bus driver to circle around your house obsessively. I think that's unlikely. I have
no idea what the small present-like thing will be but I must warn you, there is the chance you could receive a monkey sitting in a chair. I can be very strange. Just ask Beth.

Leave me a comment. And you know, I think I'm okay if you've already done this with someone else. I like to give presents.

Oh, and if you are wondering just exactly a monkey sitting in a chair looks like, click here. I maintain that it was a highly creative, non-boring gift. Beth maintains that I obviously go shopping while indulging in lots and lots of crack.*

*Beth has never said this. I like to exaggerate. I know you are all shocked at this.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I am slightly overwhelmed BUT! I bring you a meme

I just sat down with my new boss Cheryl (formerly my old boss Cheryl but new boss Cheryl left the department and then I got promoted and am working for old boss Cheryl again. Try to keep up, people) and the other QA monitor, co-worker Jessica, to discuss what my responsibilities will be with my brand new, exciting position. Apparently cloning myself is involved because the list of tasks that I have is, well, more than one person can do in a 40 hour work week. Which is why Jessica was telling us that she goes home and works for another two hours each night. Um, yikes.

I am sure that once I actually learn how to do all the tasks, I'll be able to calm down. And I am excited that I get to work on exciting projects, involving working with Excel and Word. This is good. I like both of these things. But for now, I'm unable to formulate sentences that actually make sense so I will not be telling you about my exciting weekend and Beth's puzzle updates*. That will have to wait for tomorrow.

*Don't you just love it when I leave you hanging like that? I know you are avidly waiting to know what this is all about.

Oh, Udge is doing this and I am all about peer pressure and giving things to people so the first five commenters to sign up for the meme here and post the same promise on their blogs will receive a small present-like thing from me. It will help jumpstart the holiday spirit for me. You will have to provide me with your real name and address but please keep in mind that I don't drive and so probably would not be able to stalk you. Unless I am able to convince the Greyhound bus driver to circle around your house obsessively. I think that's unlikely. I have no idea what the small present-like thing will be but I must warn you, there is the chance you could receive a monkey sitting in a chair. I can be very strange. Just ask Beth.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I cannot believe I never posted this - thank God I obsessively save everything I ever write in Word

This is from awhile ago, during Tax Season, to be exact. Ah, Tax Season. How I do not miss you, let me count the ways. One - you're really, really annoying. Two - I hate you. The End.

From: Keem
Sent: Monday, February 05, 2007 9:45 AM
To: DM
Subject: RE: Argh!

Make the calls stop!

From: DM
Sent: Monday, February 05, 2007 10:02 AM
To: Keem
Subject: RE: Argh!

I would like to do so but unfortunately, your request cannot be completed because it is Tax Season, also known as Hell.

From: Keem
Sent: Monday, February 05, 2007 11:31 AM
To: DM
Subject: RE: Argh!

Make tax hell stop!

From: DM
Sent: Monday, February 05, 2007 11:33 AM
To: Keem
Subject: RE: Argh!

Um, last I checked, I was not the Princess of Darkness so I can't. As Queen of the Universe, unfortunately, I do not have any dominion over the Underworld.

From: Keem
Sent: Monday, February 05, 2007 11:46 AM
To: DM
Subject: RE: Argh!

You are not the queen of the universe. Never have been, never will be. So, you don't have any control whatsoever! :P

From: DM
Sent: Monday, February 05, 2007 12:33 PM
To: Keem
Subject: RE: Argh!

You are mean. You won't let me throw my Ninja Cranberries at you.*

*Ocean Spray has these awesome commercials where there’s an older guy and a younger guy standing in a cranberry bog. The younger guy is kind of goofy and, in my favorite commercial, says “I think Cranberries are the Ninjas of the Fruit World.” And then he does this high kick and makes a martial art sort of sound. Cracks me up every time. Keem had come over when I was eating some Craisins and I wanted to throw them at her and make a martial art sort of sound. I am partial to “Wa!”

From: Keem
Sent: Monday, February 05, 2007 12:34 PM
To: DM
Subject: RE: Argh!

I repel your ninja requests. You are not Ninja, therefore, you are unable to repel the Ninja cranberries. Besides wiich*, an inanimate object cannot be animate. It is an Oxymoron. Part oxy, part moron….wonder where the moron part comes from….

*that is an actual typo. It is not as fun as "You are igonring me" in which I replied "I do not know what an igon ring is or how to to igonring someone. As for ignoring you, no, I was in a call." Igonring is now in our weird Dana/Keem vocabulary (in which Keem (Kim) is a part of. And wuter (water). And many other words that come and go, mainly created by me because I am weird. In case you didn't know that.
From: DM
Sent: Monday, February 05, 2007 1:31 PM
To: Keem
Subject: RE: Argh!

Ha. Ha. Ha to your moron part. I am not trying to repel the Ninja cranberries. And, according to your statement here, if I am not Ninja, you are also not Ninja so therefore YOU can't repel the Ninja cranberries! Ha!

From: Keem
Sent: Monday, February 05, 2007 1:36 PM
To: DM
Subject: RE: Argh!

What part in what I said states that I will repel the ninja cranberries using some sort of ninja move? I have a notebook. I can swat the ninja cranberries. You are reading more into what I said and it is not implied that I would use some sort of ninja tactic to repel said ninja cranberries. I am resourceful and do not need special ninja abilities to repel something unwanted. Ha!

From: DM
Sent: Monday, February 05, 2007 1:38 PM
To: Keem
Subject: RE: Argh!

You said and I quote "I repel your ninja requests. You are not Ninja, therefore, you are unable to repel the Ninja cranberries." This indicates that you are repelling my Ninja requests. And that since I cannot repel the Ninja cranberries, therefore you cannot repel the Ninja Cranberries. It is simple logic.

From: Keem
Sent: Monday, February 05, 2007 1:59 PM
To: DM
Subject: HA!*

I can repel them if I wish. I have a protective, invisible force field that allows me to repel the ninja cranberries and any thing else ninjaish. So there!

*Notice how she changed the subject line? We do that a lot. We have been known to change the subject line five or six times in one email conversation. Sometimes we just send emails with no text, just subject lines. I do believe I mentioned we were weird, right?

From: DM
Sent: Monday, February 05, 2007 2:40 PM
To: Keem
Subject: RE: HA!

How did you get the protective, invisible force field? I don't have a force field. I want one.

Mr. Calitri* is not a ninja so you can not repel him.

Oh, I was thinking you should name your chicken Eggs and your pig Ham. So you would have Ham and Eggs. Or Hamon. I kind of like Hamon.

*Mr. Calitri is my chicken. In order to irritate Keem, sometimes I will thrust him at her and tell her that he wants to kees (kiss (I like ee's)) and peck at her. She hates that. If you were wondering just what exactly Mr. Calitri looks like, you can check my profile picture. And read this post, because it will explain a little more the oddness that is me.

From: Keem
Sent: Monday, February 05, 2007 3:07 PM
To: DM
Subject: RE: HA!

I like Ham and Eggs. That's pretty good. I'll consider it.

From: DM
Sent: Monday, February 05, 2007 3:16 PM
To: Keem
Subject: RE: HA!

Oooh! To really change it up, you could name your pig Eggs and the chicken Ham! That would be funny.

Sarah named her fish Chicken*.

*She did. Can you believe the length my friends will do to keep up the chicken conspiracy?

From: Keem
Sent: Monday, February 05, 2007 3:23 PM
To: DM
Subject: RE: HA!

That's funny too. How about fish and chips? Or white meat and the other white meat… hee hee.

From: DM
Sent: Monday, February 05, 2007 3:24 PM
To: Keem
Subject: RE: HA!

I want you to know that I had to miss a call because I was laughing over white meat and the other white meat. That is hilarious.

From: Keem
Sent: Monday, February 05, 2007 3:23 PM
To: DM
Subject: RE: HA!

Yeah, well I almost busted a gut in the call because of your email pop up about laughing.

It is good to have this type of insanity to take place during Tax Hell. Hopefully I won't have to actually take calls this year. New promotion and all and yet there's still that chance that it might be required. Grr.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Why I adore flea

As you may or may not know, I am not a parent. There's a really good reason for this. Namely, I'm not a kid person. Don't get me wrong, I can admire children from a distance. I find my nephew to be the most incredibly wonderful child in the Universe (I am only slightly biased). I even enjoy what is referred to as a "mommy blog" on occasion (which actually really drives me crazy. I read certain blogs because they are entertaining and edifying and enjoyable. The fact that the blogger also happens to have children doesn't mean they should be lumped into one category. Because believe me when I tell you that all "mommy blogs" are not created equally. If you're to go under that assumption, I should be lumped into the "cat owner blog" category. Which, actually, kind of sums it up but only if you put insane in from of cat).

Anyway, I actually had a point. Here is what it is.

This morning I pulled up a post written by flea at One Good Thing. Seeing a post by flea on bloglines is always very exciting for me. She's an incredibly talented author and can make anything interesting, including, but not limited to, a long battle between her and the most evil light bulb ever known to mankind.

Today's post made me cry. I'd like to suggest that you read this post because I feel that what she did was heroic. It also makes me want to travel to the Chicago area and kick some ass. I'd like to suggest that you read it because otherwise the rest of this post will make absolutely no sense.

I know there are people like this is the world. I know that there are bad parents and personally, I think that everyone should have to take a test before they are allowed to have children. There's a reason why I have chosen to be child-free and that is because I know my limitations. I know that I am impatient and moody and kind of a bitch sometimes. I know that I can lose my temper easily when I am tired and that I can get cranky. So it makes me angry to hear about these people who obviously didn't think the whole child thing through. If you don't want children, don't have them. If you get pregnant by accident, for God's sake, give the baby up for adoption. There are so many good people out there who want kids.

I hope that these people come across the post flea wrote and it makes them realize how pathetic they are. Maybe they'll learn to treat their child with respect. Or maybe, just maybe the system will work and he'll find a home where he is valued.

Okay, have to go back to work now. Sorry for venting but I just couldn't let this go by without saying something.