Monday, June 30, 2008

D'oh, a deer revisited

Nothing really exciting going around here but I thought it would be fun to revisit some old posts.

We've moved to the new building at work.  It's good.  I like it.  That's pretty much it for new stuff in my life. 

Old post called D'oh, a deer

When I lived in Madison, back so many years ago, my roommate Becky and I would try to come back to Minnesota as often as possible. It wasn’t that we didn’t make friends in Madison or enjoy some of the time there, it was just that after awhile, after so many things went bad (not a lot of money, roommates bailing on us, etc), we would flee back to our familiar friends and familiar hang-outs and just relax for that brief amount of time.

This was back in the early 90’s when I was in my late 20’s and went to the bar every night and drank like a fish and would sleep with strange men when I was drunk or stoned (every Queen has her sordid past) and pretty much thought that I would be young and thin(ner) forever so it didn’t matter what I abused my body with. Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and steal the body I used to have. I was cute, dammit.

Anyway, back to the story at hand. I have a slight problem. I fall asleep very easily when I’m in a car. Beth and Keem will vouch for this. There are pictures of me in a backseat, my head tilted back, snoring, in at least two scrapbooks. This drives people crazy, especially if they are tired themselves. And they all have their own way of dealing with the situation. Becky would roll down the window in the middle of winter (Brr). Beth will slam on the brakes (I should mention that this is done only if there is no one traveling too close behind us).

But of these three, Keem is the evilest of all. Keem has the elbow. Imagine, if you will, that you are joyfully snoozing. You are upright so there is none of the pain that comes when you try to sleep on your bed (bad back, knots in my shoulders so it hurts to sleep on either my right or left shoulder (yes, I know I should go to the doctor but I am resisting. I could spend that $30 co-pay on so much more fun things)), perhaps you are dreaming of something sweet and romantic and then BAM! The elbow strikes. Right in your left arm which hurts because of the whole shoulder thing. Which is just horribly wrong.

You may counter with “Well, what the heck are you do falling asleep?” To which I will say, “Why are you always taking Keem’s side?” And then we’ll have this huge fight and it will be very sad and I will cry. Then I’d have to give back the Friends Forever bracelet and vow to never talk to you again. We don’t want that, do we? Don’t make me cry, Internet.

But I digress (yeah and you’re really shocked by that, aren’t you?). So the particular weekend of this story, Becky and I were headed back to Madison. It was late and there weren’t a lot of cars on the road. Since it was dark and the heat was on (this was in November, I think), I started falling asleep. If it had been daytime, I may have been able to stay awake, since I would have been looking for landmarks, such as the dancing trees. The dancing trees were what I named these two trees on a bluff on the side of the road. The way the branches of one tree had grown toward the other made me think of a couple that were dancing together. I found it highly romantic and it amused me. Those of you who know me IRL will not be surprised by that. Those of you who don’t know me IRL are missing a lot. Think of the excitement of driving around with someone who will, at random times, yell out such fascinating facts as SQUIRREL! Or BALLOON! And then I will clap and giggle. Because I am five.

Boy, I sure get distracted easily. Okay, it was dark, the heat was on, I was falling asleep. All the elements of an exciting story. What could be happening up ahead? What awaits our heroine, Becky, as she drives through the night? There are barely any cars around. It’s the perfect opportunity for something horrible to happen. Ooh. What could it be? Is it a chainsaw carrying psycho pacing down the highway? An axe murderer cavorting in the woods? Vicious vampires vanquishing villains (I really like alliteration so I apologize right now for this)?

No. No, it’s none of these things.

I, deep in my sleep, hear something disturbing. It is Becky screaming my name. I open my eyes slowly and what I see in front of me is darkness.

Dark night, dark road, dark lump in the middle of the road.

I have enough time to think “Huh?” I don’t even get to finish with “Why is there a garbage bag in the middle of the road?” The next thing I know, we’ve driven over the garbage bag with a thump.

The car is swerving back and forth, I see a van over to the right to us as we go by. Becky is cursing as she tries to bring the car back into control.

I turn to her. “Why did those people leave a garbage bag in the middle of the road?”

“They didn’t. That was a deer.”

“A deer?” I am horrified. “We ran over a deer? Did we kill it?”

“I am assuming it was already dead because it was hit by that van.”

“Oh. Yuck.”

We drive in silence for a little while. Becky is concerned with the way that the car is responding and decides to pull over and check underneath the car. I stay within the confines of the car and watch her do this. She walks forward, facing me, and slowly leans to look underneath. Suddenly she jumps back, her eyes wide. She runs back to the car and jumps in.

“Oh, my God, oh, my God, oh, my God,” she keeps saying.

“What? What? What is it?”

“I saw eyes.”
Apparently when we ran over the deer, we took a piece of it with us. Becky wants me to look under the car to confirm her sighting. I am quite reluctant to do this but eventually I do get out of the car and look underneath it. And there I see eyes glittering at me. I hurry back to the car and stare at Becky. What are we going to do?

Well, neither of us are willing to crawl under the car and release the head, there are no large sticks to poke at it, so we do the next best thing. We drive along the shoulder, half on the shoulder, half on the dirt on the side of the road, scraping the bottom of the car, hoping to shake off our unwanted passenger.

After a few minutes of this, we think that everything is okay. Time to keep driving. The car seems to be handling a bit better so everything is fine. Everything is just wonderful. It was just a bad experience and it is all over. Right?

Wrong. Suddenly all we can smell is burning flesh and hair. This is the worst thing I have ever smelled in my life. It is worse than mold (I’m allergic), paint (I break into hives), and is probably tied with Clorox and Lime Away mixed together (I had an employee try to kill me once). It is awful, horrible and made our eyes water with the acrid smell.

No longer able to handle the smell or the imminent feeling that we were going to throw up any minute, we pulled into a gas station. We both breathed a sigh of relief when we saw that the lone clerk working there was a man (well, male. He was probably 17 or 18. And pimply. And his voice cracked when he said hello to us (Becky usually had that effect on men)). I believe that women are capable of doing anything they want to do. I believe we should be paid the same as men when performing the same job. I believe that a woman does not need a man to be happy (well, now, I do. 7 years of celibacy will do that to you). What I do not believe is that this particular woman, myself, should have to deal with messy, disgusting, yucky things. Deer heads come into that category.

After the argument about who was going to talk to him (I lost), I approached him and put on my most winning smile. “Hi,” I said casually. “We were wondering if you could help us. We sort of ran over a deer and think the deer head is stuck under the car and we were hoping you might have a broom or something that we can poke underneath the car.”

He stares at us blankly. “Huh?”

I start into my spiel again. As I’m explaining this to him, we see a semi pull up to the gas pumps in the diesel section. A truck driver walks in or I should say swaggers in. He heads over to the coffee pot. As I’m going through my explanation a second time, I notice that the truck driver is listening. The pimply boy (compared to the truck driver, a real MAN (rugged and bearded and wearing flannel (and I’m not sure why this is kind of a turn on since I’m usually attracted to smooth shaven men in fitted suits)) stammers a refusal, there’s no way that he’s going to help us.

The trucker saunters over. “Ran over a deer, did ya?” We nod. He gives that half smile that real manly men give when they see women in distress. He looks at the boy and gives a disdainful sniff, indicating without words that he is completely worthless as a man.

Author’s Note: I know this is wrong. I know that the fact that he had the attitude that we were helpless women completely incapable of taking care of ourselves was sexist and wrong on so many levels and he should have been strung up by his toes. Or even better, I should be strung up by my toes for sighing slightly over his aggressively masculine demeanor. But there are some things that I will just not handle and if that means I have to pretend to be weak and ineffectual and flutter my eyes and say “Oh, you’re such a big strong man,” I’ll do it. I don’t do blood, I don’t do vomit (except for Eddy’s and that’s only because Keem makes me because he’s supposedly my cat (even though he loves only her and she’s the one that insists on feeding him wet cat food)) and I don’t do deer parts (Lioness, I know you’re just shaking your head over this and I apologize but I have always been a little in awe of you, especially when you start talking about cadavers and stuff).

At the time of this experience, I had a list of what men were good for (I don’t have this list anymore because it is wrong to think this way and I should not bash men because most of my friends are men and I adore them). This was my list:

1. Dealing with icky things (bugs, blood, deer parts, you name it).
2. Lifting/Carrying/Opening Jars
3. Sex
4. Hmm, I keep forgetting what that 4th thing is

This would usually get a laugh but it is terrible and wrong and oh so not politically correct. Bad Dana! Bad! That why I don’t have the list anymore. Especially since number 3 is no longer being fulfilled. Damn men.

The trucker leans under the car, fiddles around for a little bit and then backs up, carrying something with him. Becky and I exchange a wordless “Oooh” of dismay (Oooh technically isn’t a word). The trucker brandishes the deer leg at us and says “Got caught in the wheel well (or something like that. I don’t know. Do I drive? No). You should be fine now.” He tosses the leg onto the ground and wanders off into the night, off to show how macho he is to other women.

The clerk looks at the deer leg. He looks at us. He starts to say “You’re going to have to…” We are in the car and on our way out of the parking lot before he finishes his sentence. No way in hell are we touching that thing.

The car smelt of burnt deer hair and fat for about a month. It was awful.

I sometimes wonder what happened when the store manager came in the next day and saw a deer leg lying on the ground. Sometimes I think about the deer and hope that she is in Deer Heaven, with all of her legs, running around, frolicking. There’s a Deer Heaven, right?

Thursday, June 26, 2008


I found my keys!  Only been missing for about a week.

Guess where they were.  Go ahead, guess.

Yeah.  On my desk.  The entire time. 

Perhaps I'm not as organized as I like to think I am.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday, Monday, you sure are a pain in my tuckus!

I hate Mondays.  A bullet point reason why:

  • It is approximately 300 degrees inside my building.
  • Okay, yes, that is a slight exaggeration.  Not much of one but still, it is not quite that hot.
  • However, it is 80 degrees outside and that feels better than being inside.  That's not good.
    • Although, thankfully my department is moving on Friday to a new building, a new state of the art building where we will have many new and exciting things.
    • Including, but not limited to, air conditioning that ACTUALLY works!
  • I came into work to find out that hey, once again, my computer has spyware on it.  Oh, yay!
  • Now I have to get a brand new system. 
  • So I'll probably lose everything that I have.  Hmm, should perhaps start moving things to the shared drive so I can move it all back.
  • I seem to have lost my keys. 
  • I am tired and cranky and slowly melting in a puddle of sweat.

That's pretty much it for the cranky bullet points.  How about some happy ones?

  • Keem and my old roommate Jeff was in town this weekend and he came over to visit yesterday. 
  • We had a cook out on our deck. It was a lot of fun.
  • Even when the rain came pouring down.
  • There's an overhang off the side of the building so we moved the table underneath it. 
  • Before the rain started, the umbrella over our table shot straight up into the air because of the wind.
  • It just hovered for a good five seconds and then crashed off to the side.
  • Mike, Jeff's best friend, caught it.
  • Did Jeff, who was using my camera, manage to get one picture of this?  Of course not.
  • Kari, Eric and Josh were there as well.  Josh decided Mike was his new best friend.
  • We went swimming later.  That was also fun.
  • After Jeff and Mike left, we watched A Bug's Life.  Love that movie.
  • Even with 300 questions from Josh, it was still fun ("What did he say?"  "Why did he do that?" "Is he the bad guy?").
  • Today is my sister's birthday.  She is 39.  And has today off. 
  • I get to babysit on Thursday.  The first time that I have been trusted alone with the child for more than 15 minutes.  This should be interesting.
  • I watched Little Miss Sunshine this weekend.  Very cute movie. 

Okay, I think that's it.  I know I am behind on blogs.  That's because I have been reading Buffy the Vampire Slayer transcripts again at work.  Since someone noticed that I was actually blogging when it is verboten.  I'm going to try to be good again.  Hopefully I'll be able to get caught up in the next few days.

Friday, June 13, 2008

This is seriously cool!

NancyPearlWannabe (or NPW as we cool kids like to call her) posted this photo meme and I thought it was very cool and had to do it myself.

Here are the rules if you also think it is very cool.
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into flickr search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into
fd’s mosaic maker.
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.

And yes, I am aware that I used the word cool 4 times in one (very short) post. I can't help it. I'm a product of my generation.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Why I will never ever go "clubbing" again. Unless it involves the DJ and beating him over the head with an actual club

What did you do this weekend, dear Internet?  Was it filled with excitement?  I certainly hope so.

I had an interesting weekend.  Well, let me rephrase that.  I had an interesting Friday night.  The rest of the weekend was rather tame (although I did go see Chronicles of Narnia, Prince Caspian on Sunday and that was good).

Friday night, Beth picked me up and we journeyed to the wilds of Maplewood for my niece's graduation party.  To give you an idea of how small the world is*, about 3 years ago or so, Beth called me and asked me if I knew an Elizabeth Vittum.  I said I wasn't sure but knew she was related to me somehow, since anyone with the last name Vittum is related to me somehow.  I also said maybe she was Bruce's daughter (Bruce is my youngest half-brother, 10 years older than me (my dad was married two times (possibly 3, depending who is telling the story))) because I was pretty sure Scott didn't have any daughters (Scott is my oldest half-brother.  And apparently he does have two daughters). 

*It's also a good example of how bad my "keeping in touch with my family" skills are.

Anyway, long story short (too late), Betsy is Bruce's daughter and she meets us up at the Chalet on Thursday nights.  We've become friends and I was really pleased to be invited to her graduation party.  Beth was also invited, the only non-family member. 

It was nice seeing Bruce again.  The last time I saw him was at my Dad's funeral in 1994.  I recognized him right away.  He looks very much like my father.  I also met (re-met?) my former sister-in-law Kathy and Bruce's girlfriend.  I felt welcomed and not out of place at all.  Which is definitely not normal for me at family reunions!  Actually, I used to spend most family reunions in the corner, reading, so this is a vast improvement.

I really need to load pictures one of these days.  I got some great ones of the goslings (the party was at Casey Lake) and two of Betsy's cousins rolling down the hill, a small child running with a balloon.  I also have some of Bruce and Scott who was also there.

Here's another example of how bad I am at staying in touch with my family - While Beth and I are sitting at one of the picnic tables, this attractive older man comes up and says "Hi, babe."

DM:  Um, hi.
Beth (sotto voce):  That's Scott.
DM:  Oh my GOD!  Hi!

Beth later explained she heard Bruce call him Scott and that's how she knew who he was.  It's a good thing I have my friends around to remind me of important things, such as who the heck my brother is…don't know what I'd do without her.

Scott and his wife sat down with Beth and I.  When I get nervous, I babble.  When I babble, I lose all sense of whatever I'm saying.  I don't even really remember what we talked about.  Later on, Beth and I were talking.

DM:  Hi!  My name is Dana!  And I babble.  Babble, babble, babble.  Blah, blah, blah.  Hello!  Would you like to hear about my tattoos since I just flashed you, sister-in-law whose name I didn't catch?  Babble, babble, babble!  God.  I flashed my sister-in-law.

Beth:  Yes, you did.  I was going to say something but then you started talking and wouldn't stop.
DM:  I am a babbler.

I think I'm going to ask Co-worker Christy if she can do something with the shirt I was wearing.  It's just a tad too big.  I love it but I don't need to go around exposing various parts of my body to my FAMILY!

It was a good afternoon.  Even with the mosquito bites (that I still have and that are driving me nuts still).  Then things got weird.

Betsy, Nick (Betsy's brother), Bob and Angie (Betsy's cousins on her mother's side) and Beth wanted to go play pool after the party.  I don't necessarily play pool (only when forced) but I enjoy watching it.  The plan was to go to the dive bar.  So, I'm thinking hole in the wall, right?  Not a lot of people, feet sticking to the floor because of the beer, etc.  In other words, not a club.  I don't like clubs.  I am not a club type of person.  Guess what this place was?  Guess.

Yes.  It was a club.  Apparently it's not the dive bar, it's Dive Bar.  Why do you use the word Dive in your title?  Why?

We walk up to the bouncer and he cards Beth.  I ask if he needs to see my ID.

Bouncer:  Sure.

I dig through my purse.  Of course I can't find it.

Bouncer:  Don't bother.  I just asked to make you feel good. 

Thanks, dude.  That doesn't make me feel good at all!

There are flashing lights, loud music that I've never heard before, scantily clad women all over the place.  Oh, joy.

Beth pays the cover and we find our way to the back where Nick is waiting by the pool tables.  We happen to be by the woman's bathroom.  This just adds to the fun since I am now able to view what passes for fashion nowadays (tube tops, tight, tight pants or skirts, etc.  The more of your boobs on display, the better, apparently).

Two girls walk up to the men's room. 

Silly Girl 1:  That's not it.
Silly Girl 2:  Oh, there it is.
Silly Girl 1:  Yay!

They clap.  I admit to getting excited about small things (SQUIRRELS and BALLOONS! come to mind) but I have never Yay'd or clapped at a bathroom. 

Beth and I discuss the last time we paid a cover.  I'm thinking for me it has been at least 20 years and was on New Year's Eve.  Beth thinks the last time was when she went to a gay bar (Technically, I guess the gay bars we used to go to with our old roommates could be considered clubs but they were far less annoying).

DM:  I kind of wish we were at a gay bar.  The guys are much better looking.

Then the television screens start flashing an odd little message.  Possibly programmed by the DJ?  I don't know.

Greg wants to give Ricky a reach around.

DM:  Huh.  Maybe we are at a gay bar.

Then the message changed to:

Indy feels left out.

Why would Indiana Jones feel left out?  Oh, wait.  Is that the DJ's name?

DM (to Beth and Nick):  I want to break a pool cue over the DJ's head.  What do you think he'd do if I asked him to play some CCR?

Beth tries to convince me I should but I chickened out. 

New message:

Greg likes to play with his balls (pool balls that is).

Oh, wow.  That's so clever.  Ha.  Ha ha.  Ha.

The DJ is playing some of the most annoying music I have ever heard.  At one point, the refrain of "Shake your ass for me, girl.  Shake your ass for me" echoes through the room. 

Seriously?  This is considered music?

Then, wonders of wonders, the song "Without Me" starts playing by Eminem.

Beth and DM simultaneously:  I know this song!
DM:  I have never been so happy to hear Eminem in my life.

Three girls strut from the bathroom to the dance floor, holding hands.  I'm pretty sure two of them are the Silly Girls who couldn't find the bathroom earlier.  I am not sure if they realize how silly they look, walking in a line. 

Beth:  I feel like I'm 20 years too old to be here.  And I'm 29!

The song switches from Eminem to one of the worst songs ever recorded.  It is almost worse than Picture but not quite.  It's that stupid Milkshake song.

Sure enough, there's a new message on the TV.

Indy's milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.

Then there's the song about how some woman is a crazy b*tch but gosh darn it if the guy singing doesn't mind enjoying her in a romantic (term used loosely) manner.

Oh, and then it's time for a video!  Let's watch a bunch of women prance around in swimsuits and fawn all over fully dressed men.  That sends a good message, doesn't it?  The song is called Cyclone.  Let's never listen to it again.

Speaking of messages, here's another one from our industrious DJ Indy (who also needs a shot from a hot girl (I was so tempted to bring him one.  Although I wasn't so much hot as somewhat warm)):

Jen moves her body like a cyclone.

Beth:  Do you think she gets dizzy?  I think I'd throw up.

And then Indy follows up with:

And Indy likes to watch.

For the love of God, Indy, if that is in fact your real name, shut the heck up!

Then, wonders of wonders, I hear the opening chords for one of the best songs ever written.

Def Leppard.  "Pour Some Sugar on Me."

DM:  Yes!  I know this song!

Everyone in the immediate vicinity turns and looks at me.

DM:  Yeah, that was kind of loud, wasn't it?

The pounding of the music was seriously getting to both Beth and I.  We were both complaining of headaches.  I asked Beth for some Advil and swallowed some honking large pills.

Beth:  You took the Advil, right?  Not the Cold and Sinus?
DM:  What does the Cold and Sinus look like?

Apparently they look like the pills I just took.  Oops.  Fortunately the pills don't make you tired.

Shortly after that, Beth and I made our escape.  I really, really wanted to take pictures of the experience but I'm pretty sure if I was taking pictures of the random people around the place, someone would notice.  However, I will leave you with these two images.

Imagine, if you will, a blonde woman covered in gold lame.  Gold halter top, gold mini-skirt.

DM:  She's shiny.

Then there was the woman who was wearing what I believe is called a handkerchief skirt.  It was a fairly long skirt but it had slits everywhere that made it pointy AND flappy at the same time.  And the top she paired it with was a backless halter.  I am one who doesn't really care if my bra straps slip and are exposed but I would definitely not wear something that exposed the back of my bra. 

Not that I'm one to talk about fashion.  I flashed my sister-in-law.  Perhaps you could all talk about your past wardrobe malfunctions now to make me feel better. 

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Send chocolate. Now.

If yesterday's corrupted files weren't enough, today I spent 4 1/2 hours working on our internal library resource (I'm calling it Libby from now on.  Co-worker Rykken came up with the name when we decided it was haunted by an evil poltergeist).  About an hour later, the entire thing crashed because one of the Tech guys was working on changing some settings or access or God only knows.  And now everything that I added this morning is gone.  GONE!  G - O - N - E, baby.

I am, if you haven't guessed, a little frustrated.  Because now, when I try to go back and duplicate all my work from this morning, I can't save anything.  Libby keeps asking me for my username and password.  I don't HAVE one, you stupid, evil program.

Plus I have become the "go-to" person with questions about Quality or Libby and that's all well and good but people.  I have work to do.  I have an inbox stuffed to the gills for things to update in Libby.  I have 36 calls to monitor by the end of the week.  Stop asking me questions!  ARGH!

Okay.  I feel better.  Somewhat.  Plus, at least my library isn't filled with spiders.  Or smell like sewage.  Which would be kind of difficult for a virtual library to do but I am counting my blessings.

One of those blessings is going to be the lemon bar I'm going to stuff my face with in 2.3 seconds. 

Monday, June 02, 2008

The Wild and Crazy Weekend

I came in to work this morning to find that my computer profile decided to become corrupt over the weekend and suddenly I had lost all of my precious, precious computer related things. It was very sad. So, while Computer Guy Eric was working on my computer, I was sitting at Co-Worker Beau's desk, reading my favorite magazine (Woman's World) and then moving on to my new book (Remember Me (by Sophie Kinsella)) when Beau came in. He was a little surprised to see me but I explained that his chair was more comfortable than Co-Worker Rykken's chair.

Beau: What'd you do to your computer?
DM: I'm not sure. My profile is corrupt or something.
Beau: I always knew you were corrupt.

What? How could he say such a thing? Was it because my Sunday was spent jet boating with a much younger man, deep sea fishing? And I was steering the boat without a real driver's license? Could that be it? Must be.

Expect that the much younger man was 4 and the jet boat was in our imaginations.

Saturday, Beth's mom Laurie picked me up and we got to Beth's new house at about 2:30. Beth gave me the tour of her new house and it is terribly, terribly cute. Completely adorable. After Beth left for work, Laurie and I got started on the "fun cleaning," putting in shelf paper in the kitchen. I know this sounds easy but it really wasn't. Other than a lunch break (at Wong's, quite possibly the best chicken chow mein ever, well, outside of David Fongs (which I've only had once but have been craving for years)), we pretty much didn't stop (well, okay, I did take a break or two). It was interesting watching Laurie climb all over the counters and contort herself to get into the lower shelves. I wish I would have remembered to take pictures. I was in charge of cutting the shelf paper. Yeah, maybe not such a good idea because I am measuring challenged and also have a slight problem cutting (let alone walking) in a straight line. Eventually I got the hang of it. At about 9:30, Laurie and I finished the kitchen and thought about doing the linen closet. Common sense won over though and we left.

Sunday, people started arriving at around 11:00. First it was Beth's dad Terry, Laurie and one of Beth's employees, Jennifer. We started hauling boxes and it was soon established that I should not walk down the stairs because a) I am terrified of the stairs, b) it hurts (left knee has arthritis, right heel has foot spur) and c) walking down the stairs requires walking back up the stairs and that results in asthma outbreaks. Wow! I'm useful to have around on a move. But I was able to carry boxes to the top of the stairs at least.

A little while later, Liz and James showed up and so did Sarah, Nicole (another one of Beth's employees) and Nicole's 4 year old son Timmy. Then Scott, Laurie's boyfriend, Dave, Sandy (Scott's brother, sister-in-law) and their daughter (whose name I forgot) were there. Somehow I ended up being in charge of Timmy, distracting him so his mom could help move stuff and also keeping him out of the way.

Other than being told that Dana Marie Vittum was a silly name, Timmy and I got along fabulously. We sat in the chairs in the living room while people moved things around us, pretending we were fishing. Sarah walked by with the smart-ass comment "Fishing? Yeah? Well, keep her a way from fish hooks."

As we were fishing, Timmy protected me from an "ark" that had bit my leg clear off. But Timmy "ixed" it. Timmy has a slight problem pronouncing the first letter of words which led to me saying "Cat food?" and being told by Sarah that he meant harpoon. Yes. Because they sound so much alike.

Timmy also caught two dolphins for me, one a baby and to which I said "I will hug him and kiss him and call him George." The shark was put in a cage.

DM: Should we go jump the shark?
Timmy: Yes!
DM: Okay, let's go. Vroom.
Timmy: Vroom.
DM: Yes! We jumped the shark.
Beth: Laughter.

We also saved Beth's stuffed penguin from the sharks as well. Later, after the chairs were taken away and Timmy was following Beth around, I took him outside. We sat on the concrete outside of her apartment and were using our jet boat to travel to Colorado. I'm not sure what is in Colorado but Timmy suggested it.

DM: Should I drive?
Timmy: Yes.
DM: I don't have a driver's license.
Timmy: Oh. Here you go. I've made you one.

He hands me an imaginary license.

DM: Thank you.
Timmy: Now make me one.
DM: Okay.

I hand him an imaginary license.

Liz is climbing out of the truck.

DM: Liz! I have a driver's license.

The look Liz gets on her face is well, stunned. The best description? Deer caught in the headlights.

Liz: Really?
DM: Yes. Timmy gave it to me.
Liz: I was wondering about that. I was worried it was from the state.

Later, Timmy and I put on our imaginary pajamas (penguins for me, Power Rangers for him. I wouldn't normally choose penguin pajamas but who am I to argue with a small child?) and took a nap on the boat.

James: What are you doing?
DM: We're wearing our pajamas. Mine are penguins. Timmy's are Power Rangers.
James (To Timmy): You know I kick penguins (He pretended to kick the stuffed penguin earlier). Now I'll have to kick her.

DM: You're going to kick me? Gasp.
Timmy: Dump the arks on him!
DM: Okay.

Timmy hands me the shoe box he became fascinated with and asked his mom if he could take it home (it soon became the ark cage). I take the box and pretend to dump the sharks on James' head.

DM: Look. The sharks are biting his ears.
Timmy: They're biting his hair!

Later, at Beth's house, I took Timmy out to the back yard after he was wandering around talking to every one. This way, since the path through Beth's living room was ever shrinking, it would make sure that he did not get smooshed. In the back yard, he showed me his robot dog and how he was living in the box with the sharks.

Timmy almost (operative word almost) made me regret my choice to not have children. He was adorable and funny and seriously, seriously cute. I am sure he is not like this all the time. As he was leaving with his mother and after he had told me he would miss me and then came running back to hug me goodbye, I almost told Nicole that, if she ever needed a babysitter, she should call me. And then I came to my senses.

Keem wasn't able to participate in the move because she went home to LaCrosse for the weekend. She got back into town later in the afternoon and was sitting in the back yard with Beth and myself after everyone else went home (this was an amazingly quick move. But Beth had a huge amount of people helping her (and taking my share of the load. Although I was able to do more than when she moved into her apartment. Then I got to hold the door because I started up with the heat stroke again. I am a wimp)).

Beth: I bought a new wireless router. The guy said the difference was that it was stronger and then I could sit in the back yard and be online.

Keem: I could also sit out here with you on my laptop.
DM: I don't have a laptop.
Beth and Keem (this was back and forth and I don't remember who said what): We could get her a piece of cardboard. And draw a keyboard on it with qwerty. And then she could pretend she was typing.

DM: Uh, yeah, I think I'd read instead. Thanks.

For whatever reason, the top of my right foot decided to start cramping. Beth suggested I get up and walk around and I did. For awhile I was fascinated by the two squirrels that were chasing each other around one of her non-pine trees and then leaping to the pine tree. And there were also birds that I was watching. Eventually, though, I decided to head back to sit with Beth and Keem. It is then that I saw it.

I'm kind of allergic to pine. Because there's mold on pine. So you would think that when I saw the really cool pinecone that wasn't really a pinecone but looked like a pinecone thing on the tree that I would just say "Oh, cool" and walk away. Nope. Not this girl.

I pull the branch down to look at the above mentioned pineconey thing. A strange green substance, almost like smoke, comes drifting down towards my face.

DM: Cool!
Keem: That's pinecone pollen. The tree is germinating. That's how it does it.

Keem knows everything.

DM: Weird.
Beth and Keem: Do it again.
DM: Okay.

I do. More green smoke-like stuff drifts down on my face, I inhale it. You know, because I'm brilliant.

Keem: Um, Dana, I just thought about this. You're allergic to pine.
DM: Oh, crap.

By the time we left Beth's, I was starting to get a headache. By the time we got home, I was starting to wheeze. I popped two Benadryls and then was supposed to get in the shower but was reading my new book (my previous new book (Queen of Babble in the Big City by Meg Cabot)).

Keem: Dana! Stop reading and get in the shower!
DM: I am.

15 minutes later.

Keem: Dana!
DM: Okay.

I was still wheezing a little bit this morning but nothing major. At least I didn't break into hives or throw up or anything like that.

And my computer is fixed (well, obviously since I have sent this via email). Once my computer was fixed, I was able to start working (most relaxing Monday morning ever since it took until after 10 for it to be fixed. An hour and half of reading. Woo-hoo!).

Hope you all had a great weekend!