This has been quite the evening. It’s 5:48 AM and I should be going to bed but not yet. I don’t have to work tomorrow (today) and I have the apartment all to myself and I am loving the solitude (not that my roommates are loud or anything but it is nice to not have to worry about being quiet if I decide I want water or when I came home from karaoke).

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas/Holiday. I certainly did. Last night I got to spend the evening with Rob and Betty (Eric’s dad and his girlfriend). I always enjoy the time spent with them. They are a lot of fun. As you can imagine, Josh, as the only grandchild, was the center of attention. I wish you could have all seen him, he is so silly and funny and has such a great personality. The more time I spend around him, the more I start thinking “Hey, is this kid thing all that bad?” And then, thankfully, he gets really tired and cranky and there is this explosion of stubborness and I realize that I do not have the patience required for a child. I don’t know how all of you that have children do it. My hat is off to you. Well, it would be if I was wearing a hat.

When I was opening my presents over at Kari’s, before we went over to Rob and Betty’s, Kari asked Josh to hand me a present. Josh decided to rip the paper off of it. It was very cute, especially since we knew he wasn’t going to appreciate the clothing I received from Lane Bryant. He does the cutest thing now, when opening up a present, he will say “Oooh.” You know, like you do when you’re opening a present and it’s really exciting and just what you wanted. He has obviously picked this up from us. Then, when told that the present was for me and he should give it to me, he picked up the shredded wrapping paper and starts covering the box up with it. Okay, maybe you had to be there but dang it, I thought it was adorable.

Today, we went over to Eric’s mother’s house. I was asked the other day if I didn’t have any family of my own to spend time with and it was a little irritating. Kari, Eric and Josh are my family and I think it is very sweet of both of Eric’s parents to open up their homes to me for the holidays. His sisters are also very nice to me. As far as I’m concerned, they are my family.

It took a little doing and wrestling Eric away from the television (Vikings were playing. Big deal. The Vikings are not more important than karaoke) but I did get him to drive me up to the Chalet where I met Beth. Becky and her friend Linda were there as well. Becky is doing much better dealing with the break-up with Nate. I wrote her a quick Christmas card with her new mantras on them.

Becky’s Mantras
(Repeat After Me)

  1. I am beautiful.
  2. I am a good person (well, something like that. Not sure).
  3. I deserve a man with hair.
  4. Nate is not only bald but stupid.

She got a good laugh out of them. Which was my secret and not so evil plan.

Bryan was later than usual but we figured he was waiting for the football game to be over. Stupid football. Meanwhile, Angie and Steve, along with half of her family arrived. There was Cousin Greg and his girlfriend Amber and two other cousins that I was introduced but can’t remember their names. Also along was Rick, Angie’s brother. Rick was wearing a sweatshirt that said Guinness on it. He told the story of how his mother had bought it for him thinking it said Genius and didn’t realize until later that it was Guinness. How perfect is that?

Amy was there as well and she gave Angie her Christmas presents. There was a candle holder that she had bought and then personalized by using stickers about friendship. This was the coolest idea ever and I can’t wait to start doing it myself.

Angie is getting a lot of flack from some of her relatives because she is dating Steve. Not because the relatives don’t like Steve, he’s pretty damn likeable, but because he is Lutheran. Apparently it is better for Angie to be a lapsed Catholic than to go to church (and enjoy it) with Steve. Amy was told that Angie’s family is now going to start referring to her as Lutheran Amy instead of just Amy. I said something about how they could refer to us as Athiest Bryan, Agnostic Beth and Born Again Dana. This is one of the reasons that I don’t go to church, you would think that people would be happy that everyone has their own beliefs but no, there is too much judgemental crap that goes along with religion. Take the whole stupid war on Christmas. There is no war on Christmas. You get two groups of people that have to fight about everything – the PC Zealots and the Fundamentalist Fruitcakes. I know perfectly well that there are other religions and that not everyone believes the same as me. That’s fine. Do you see me running around telling everyone that they’re going to go to hell because they don’t have the same beliefs as me? No. Because I don’t think that way. I don’t think anyone has the right to tell others what to believe or not to believe.

Okay, completely off subject. Sorry. Holiday vant over.

We ended up pulling five or six tables together and were having a great time laughing and talking. Bryan finally arrived (did I mention that football is stupid?) and I gave him the Christmas card I had for him, Liz and Theo (their dog). He, in turn, handed me a present. I had a pretty good idea what it was, the DVD I have been begging him for quite some time, possibly 2 years. Beth has a picture of me opening the present. This DVD is phenomenal. There is a documentary of the making of a movie called Smoke Fire – here is a description from Bryan’s website – “In a world infested by ninjas and an evil genius with a robotic killing arm, one man stands tall. When John Smoker’s computer expert girlfriend is kidnapped and forced to create a device capable of catastrophic consequences, there’s no such thing as negotiation. SMOKE FIRE is a super explosive action thriller with non-stop action, complex characters and sweeping tales of beautiful romance.” It is quite possibly the funniest thing ever. There’s a bunch of movie previews on the DVD as well.

It was Andrew’s birthday and, when we got there, he was rather drunk and in his truck. Angie and Becky went to go check on him and found that he was doing somewhat better. He found his way in eventually and Becky had the idea that we (Angie, Beth, Becky and myself) should sing “I Touch Myself” for him. Amy dragged him out and we sung to him. When we got to the part “When I think of you, I touch myself” we substituted Andrew for you. His response? “I know.” Not a modest man, our Andrew. Which makes us love him just that much more.

Craig was there. He was filling in Becky on all of the things that she had missed last Sunday. He told her all about the crazy Woman with Annoying Voice and how I told Beth and Angie that there was no way I would ever sing Strokin’ and then ten minutes later I ended up singing it. He thought that was funny. Angie promised to sing Strokin’ when she got drunk enough and also alternated between Strokin’ and Vibratin.’ When she got to the part about the “sat’ified woman,” she decided to bring me into her song. So she changed the lyrics to “You can always tell when Dana’s man is sat’ified ’cause he starts calling her name. Huricane Dana.”

There was some strange guy who would come up and sit at the table next to us, right near the stage. When Jason was singing “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” this guy, who we began referring to as “Creepy Tall Guy,” would get up and start dancing in place for a little while and then sit back down. It was weird.

Now there’s nothing wrong with dancing, we’ve done it ourselves. But normally we stay at our own table to chair dance or dance with a group. We have even done interactive karaoke when Amy sings some song that I can’t remember the name of but we refer to as the “Wings” song. We do not go stand in front of the stage and do this sort of half shuffle with this scary grin on our faces.

Towards the end of the evening, Liz, James, Matt and Dean all came up. Stefanie and Lisa Jo were there as well and were singing something by Salt & Pepa’ – something about a mighty man? Creepy Tall Guy ended up sitting at the end of our table and would stand up and do his weird little shuffle dance again. This completely cracked up Stefanie and she would end up losing it while Lisa Jo would continue singing. Barry was there with Cassie. There was this guy that we’ve seen up there before named Aaron but for some reason I thought his name was Kenny. I’m not really sure why.

I asked Liz what I should sing and she requested Leavin’ On A Jet Plane. Creepy Tall Guy sat at the table near ours and stared at me the entire time. Can you say creepy? When I was done, he came up to me and started asking me if I knew the song that went “clouds in my coffee, clouds in my coffee.” This is, of course, You’re So Vain. I’ve sung it before. He wants to know if I’ll sing it. Sure. Anything to get you to go away. I go and sit down. He follows me. This guy towers over me when I’m standing so it is not good to have him standing over me, leaning down to talk to me. Plus, keep in mind that I have a hard enough time hearing people on a regular basis. He’s slurring and it is also busy in the Chalet so I can barely make out what he is saying. Plus he is breathing his beer scented breath all over me. Remember how I said I only liked the way beer smelled on Gil? Yeah, well Creepy Tall Guy did not make me change my mind about that at all.

CTG: You know. The song. Clouds in coffee, clouds with my coffee.
DM: Yes. It’s called You’re So Vain.
CTG: I think it’s by Carly Simon.
DM: I know. I’ve sung it before.
CTG: I think you’re probably around my age, right?
DM: Uh…
CTG: Mumble not many people mumble remember mumble end mumble VietNam war.
DM: Uh…
CTG: But I always mumble like to mumble learn mumble mumble mumble.
DM: Okay.

As you can imagine, I was praying for someone to save me from him. And someone did but I can’t remember who. I think it might have been Dean who waved at me from one of the other tables. He was sitting with Aaron who I thought was named Kenny. I called out “Hi, Dean!” Then Aaron waved at me and I said “Hi, Kenny!” Then Beth, bless her, pulled me out of the conversation with Creepy Tall Guy by saying “Did you just call him Kenny? It’s Aaron.” Oops.

Creepy Tall Guy wandered away. Thank goodness.

Let’s see. What else happened? Um, I watched a woman kiss Gil and did not kill her. They are friends but there was a bit of jealousy. Mainly because it wasn’t me doing the kissing.

DM: I wish I had her guts. I wish I could walk right up to him and kiss him.
Liz: Well, he’s standing under something vaguely mistletoe like. You could do it.
DM: Liz. It’s a Santa Claus ornament.
Liz: You could say you were confused.

Needless to say, I didn’t use that excuse. I wish I had. Why am I such a coward? I’ve liked this guy since freakin’ APRIL! Liz did say something to me about the whole situation.

Liz: I wouldn’t say it was hopeless. But I wouldn’t say it was hopeful either. Maybe in 5 years. He’s just sort of asexual.

But there was more kissing to be done. Since we are all in that weird, goofy mood that we get in late at night and surrounded by friends, it was amusing to watch Barry and James kiss. Twice. Well, actually, it was kind of hot. And yes, they were joking around.

The following is what happened after the bar closed. And I just want to state right now that we are all horrible, evil people and are probably going to go to hell but we were all playing off of each other and it was funny. To us. You might not think it was funny. And then I would hope you would realize that we didn’t mean to offend anyone. Don’t get offended! Please?

The bar closes. Most of the people leave. Creepy Tall Guy is wandering around. He puts his jacket on. We are convinced that he is going to leave. He does not. He gravitates over to me.

CTG: You didn’t sing.
DM: No. There wasn’t time.
CTG: That’s too bad.
DM: Yes (not really, I suck at the song).

Aaron sits next to me and is talking to Liz.

A: Well, Liz, as you know, as a Puerto Rican Jew…(background, I don’t believe Aaron is Jewish. James has this fascination with Jews and had decreed that orange is the favorite color of Jews. Therefore Aaron, Cassie and I are all Jewish because it’s Cassie and my favorite color and Aaron was wearing a shirt with orange on it)

Creepy Thin Guy sits down at the end of the table.

A: Who’s this guy?
CTG: I’m just a guy. I’m interested in learning more about your religion.
A: Okay.

He turns back to Liz. He’s going to ignore Creepy Thin Guy.

A: Liz, as a Puerto Rican Jew who has been fucked over…
Liz: I understand, Aaron.
CTG: Says something I can’t hear.

This is where the evening just gets weird.

A: Liz, it’s just so hard. You can’t understand. No one knows. No one understands what I’ve been through.
Liz: I know, Aaron.
A: But you can’t (this is said in kind of a wail).
Liz: I’m sorry, I can’t appreciate your pain because I don’t have this situation but I know you’ve been through a lot.
CTG: When did you come to this country?
A: What? What? Do you think I just came here from Cuba last week? I’m an American. I’ve lived in Saint Paul all my life.
CTG: I’m from Roseville. Don’tcha know (he is trying to do the really annoying accent that everyone outside of Minnesota seems to think we have)?
A: I saw Fargo. I don’t talk like that.
CTG: I know, I just…

Aaron turns to us.

A: Who is this guy?
CTG: I just want to learn more.
A: Liz, it’s just so awful. With my family and everything that happened and…I’m just so verklempt, Liz. I’m verklempt.

He gives this fake sob and turns to me. Burying his head in my chest, he laughs to himself. This, of course, sets me off and I cover my mouth while stroking his head.

DM: Don’t cry, Aaron. You’re making me cry. I’m sorry I called you Kenny.

By this time, everyone is aware of what is going on, we’re playing off of what Aaron says and running with it. It is Improv Theater. And yes, we are all evil. We are aware of it. Please forgive us.

Bryan: Aaron, if it makes you feel any better, someone in my family died in the camps as well.
A (raises his head): Don’t you say that! It’s not the same, it’s not!
Liz: Bryan! I can’t believe you brought that up.
Bryan: Hey! Falling from the guard tower still counts.
CTG: But it was all so long ago. It doesn’t matter anymore.

Uh, what?

A: You need to leave! You need to go.

Creepy Thin Guy doesn’t take the hint.

Liz: So, how are we doing the arrangements for leaving tonight? Stefanie, you’re leaving with James, right?
S: Yes.
Liz: Cassie, you’re giving Barry a ride home?
C: Yes.
Liz: Beth? Who are you walking out with?

Beth snuggles up to Dean in this “Oh, hello, my best friend in the world, you are so wonderful, save me from the creepy guy” way.

Dean: I guess I’m walking out with Beth. And Dana.
Liz: Good. I’ll be leaving with Bryan. You can’t be too careful.

Creepy Tall Guy doesn’t realize that we are worried that he is a stalker freak possible serial killer and continues talking to Aaron.

CTG: So tell me about your religion. You light candles and there’s 12 days, right?
A: It’s not the 12 days of Hannakkuh, you idiot.
CTG (turning to Dean): You celebrate Kwanzaa.
Dean: What? What did you ask me? Do I look Swahiliiiiiiii (imagine Xena the Warrior Princess giving her war cry) to you? Do I?
CTG: Uh…
Dean: Just because I’m black doesn’t mean I celebrate Kwanzaa.
Liz: You’re black (this is an old joke between them. Imagine she is saying this in total shock)?! I can’t believe you didn’t tell me.
Dean: Liz, I’m brown as all get out.

You would think by this time that Creepy Thin Guy would figure out that he’s not wanted. But no. He still continues on, saying something to Dean that I don’t catch but I’m sure it’s about Kwanzaa. Do not read the following if you will get offended! I have warned you!

Dean: No. I am not Swahiliiiiiiiiian.
CTG: Mumble Kwanzaa mumble.
Dean: F*ck Kwanzaa.
CTG: Mumble.
Dean: No. I want you to say it. F*ck Kwanzaa.
CTG: F*ck Kwanzaa.
DM: Can’t we all just get along?

I’m trying to keep from laughing and my eyes are watering from the smoke and the whole situation. Liz has come over and is sitting with him. We are consoling him. Liz asks him to come over by the door so she can talk to him. They leave together. I have covered my face in my hands and am pretending to cry because it will allow m to laugh.

Someone says something to Beth about this.

Beth: Dana’s a very sensitive person. She’s very empathic.
Dean: Like that chick from Star Trek.
CTG: Ohura.*

*I came very close to saying “It’s Uhura, you idiot” but that would have been completely out of character.

Dean: No. The other one.
CTG: From the new show?
Dean: No! The other one.

I completely lose it and walk up to the bar to grab a napkin and pay. Bobby is trying not to laugh as well. He tells me that he’s been scolded because he lets us stay so late. He’s supposed to kick us all out by 2:15. It’s now 2:30. Oops. The napkin is not helping. I go into the bathroom and scrub off all of the eyeliner and mascara. When I come back, Aaron and Liz have returned. CTG is still there! Does he not take a hint?

I don’t remember what he said at the end but Aaron looked at him and said “You need to leave! Get out! Go right now!”

CTG finally gets up and walks out the door. We wait a few moments. Finally, all at once, we disolve into laughter. Oh, the relief.

Aaron comes up to me and hugs me. He hugs Liz and Beth as well. We are all laughing hysterically. Liz and he are talking about what they were saying in the corner. She had said something to him and he had done the high pitched “Liz, you just don’t understand” when she said “No, Aaron, I need you to be serious.” He responded, in a normal voice, “Sure, Liz, what do you need?” They decide if they ever need to do Improv, they will win for sure.

Then Bryan tells us what CTG told Bobby. Apparently he lives in Fridley. And rode his bike to the Chalet. That just makes us all laugh harder. Except for Beth since that’s where her mom lives.

We end up all leaving and Beth drives me home while we laugh about the entire evening. It was one of the stranger evenings that we’ve had at karaoke. We are looking forward to next Friday, which is Matt’s birthday.

Keem and I are going to see the Chronicles of Narnia next Saturday with Katie. Then Keem and I will meet Beth at Perkins for the 2nd annual Sheepsheadian Fridleykins New Year. We will ring the New Year in playing Sheepshead and perhaps I will wear a creamer bowl on my head and call it my hat again this year.

And then Beth and I will return to the Chalet on Sunday.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannakuh, Happy Kwanzaa (unless you’re Dean), Happy Holidays! May you have a blessed and wonderful New Year! Any good New Year’s resolutions? I’m trying to come up with a good one. Any suggestions?

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