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In case you are wondering, yes, I do know how to spell highlights.  I bought a rub on scrapbooking border kit once and was excited about adding a new border that said “Trip highlights.”  Until, after I had already added said border, I realized it was actually hightlights.  Fortunately my scrapbooking style is a cross between vintage, modern and “really, really bizarre”* and I was able to work with it.

 

*Especially when I am on cold medicine.  I am also susceptible to Beth’s suggestions which will lead to a lot of conversations like this:

 

DM:  What should I journal?

Beth:  Chicken!

DM:  I am not writing about chicken again.

 

Yes, I have journaled about chicken.  Crazy, isn’t it?  At least it is always fun.  And yes, I did just make a verb out of journal. 

 

Anyway, Keem and I went to Wisconsin Dells with my mother, sister and nephew last week.  It was fun and then it was not fun.  I’m limited in time so I’ll post some of the fun stuff for now.

 

Fun stuff

 

The Cave of the Mounds

  • Nice tour, except for the part aptly called “The Narrows” which led to the tour guide saying (after I nearly hyperventilated) “Typically people that are claustrophobic don’t go into caves.”  It’s not really the cave that I have a problem with, it was the near panic attack where I thought “Oh my God, I will never fit through this tiny little passageway and I will get stuck and they won’t be able to rescue me because this is a protected landmark and they’ll leave me here to die.”  None of which happened, of course, and I did get through fine.  It was a rough 30 seconds
  • Oh and also, the annoying children that kept saying “I have a question” and then they would tell the tour guide about their dog.  That’s not a question!
  • And their father who, very loudly, I might add, kept making comments about how this isn’t the best cave he’s ever been in and blah, blah, blah.  You know what?  I’ve never been in this cave and I’m enjoying it.  And yes, I’ve seen more exciting caves but shut up and let me have a good time?
  • They also have a place where you can “mine” for treasures.  You buy a bag of sand stuffed with rocks and minerals.  It’s very fun and much cheaper than the Dell’s Mining Company where Keem and I have managed to send $500 plus two years in a row
  • There was a beautiful butterfly garden and a cat that came out to visit us for awhile.  Very friendly and sweet and I wanted to take him home.  He wandered off towards the barn so we think he’s a farm cat

The Pea Buddies

  • Near Wisconsin Dells is the Ho-Chunk casino.  We’ve been there many times and it is an integral part of our vacation.  If you’re ever in the area and are looking for a nice hotel to stay at, I would recommend it.  It’s not cheap but the rooms are huge, the beds are soft and the decorations do not make you want to shoot yourself (The Ramada is also very nice)
  • Mom, Keem and I went to play while Josh and Kari went off to the Paint It place where they collaborated on a Fighter Jet statue.  Kari and Josh then met us for dinner at the buffet.  It’s a very nice buffet and they have excellent fried chicken which is one of my main requirements.  I love chicken, especially either fried or from a rotisserie oven
  • Josh kept following Keem around because she is his girlfriend and he adores her.  I was also followed but rejected in favor of Keem (This kid is the most diplomatic child ever.  I asked him once who was prettier, Keem or I and his response was “You’re both beautiful.”  He’s 5.  Can you imagine when he’s older?  Should be interesting)
  • Josh loves salad and especially loves peas (so do I).  He had a plate full of peas and he was squishing them, taking the pea skin off (I don’t know what else you would call it) and leaving the remaining pea parts on his plate.  He referred to them as his pea buddies
  • Mom asked him what he was going to do with the pea buddies, would he plant them?  Josh responded with “NO!  They’re dead.”  The “Duh Grandma” tone was prevalent in his voice
  • He had gone off to get dessert and the waitress cleared our plates.  Josh came back and asked “Where are my pea buddies?”  Kari explained. Josh said “I’m outta here” and went off to another booth to sulk (He may be the sweetest, most wonderful child in the universe but he is not perfect.  His parents are two of the most stubborn people ever and he inherited that trait)
  • Kari said, and I quote, “Josh, can you come over here so we can talk about your feelings?”  Over pea buddies.  I am beginning to see where the diplomacy comes from
  • The waitress was concerned and we told her what the problem was.  The expression on her face was classic, a combination of “WTF?” and “Oh, that’s so cute.”  We were laughing (but silently so he couldn’t see us)
  • There are pictures of the pea buddies and they have been saved, Kari is going to let them dry so she can scrapbook them (or buy some split pea soup mix and use those)
  • There is no doubt in my mind that this kid is related to me.  After all, on camping trips I used to pretend the coals in the fire place were villages that refused to worship me and I would destroy them.  I also did this when waiting for ice to thaw once.  Beth thinks I’m a little weird

The Cheese Factory

  • There is this gorgeous, gorgeous restaurant that Keem and I have passed each time we’ve been in the Dells.  We’ve never been and decided we would all go there for lunch.  We were especially excited because they had a Soda Fountain
  • We get there, we are seated, and the restaurant is cute and quaint and adorable.  The hostess brings us menus.  Before we arrived, Keem had mentioned she was in the mood for a burger.  So was I.  Unfortunately, there were no burgers.  Okay, not a problem, right?  Let’s take a look at sandwiches
  • I think it was the BLT with the word bacon in quotation marks that made us realize just maybe we wouldn’t be getting any meat.  They had “bacon”, “chicken” and some other faux-meats.  Huh.  I am beginning to suspect this just might be a vegetarian restaurant
  • While there were a few dishes that appealed, they were also very expensive.  It was decided that we would all get dessert instead.  Josh got a fun cupcake, Kim got the Cloud 9 dessert (chocolate cake surrounded by white chocolate mousse served on raspberry puree), Kari got the Princess cake (white cake with layers of lemon and raspberry), I ordered the Hazelnut torte (chocolate cake with hazelnut layers) and Mom got a chocolate milkshake.  I am here to tell you that these were some of the best desserts I’ve ever had in my life.  We each sampled all of the desserts and I loved them, even the ones with raspberries.  I hate raspberries and yet I would have gladly have sat down with an entire Princess cake and devoured it.  So, if you are in the Dells and happen to be a vegetarian (or they have a vegan menu), this is the restaurant for you.  If you’re in the Dells and happen to really, really love dessert, this is also the restaurant for you.  I still want to try the goat cheese crepes but maybe next year

Still to come – the fishing trip and how I traumatized my nephew, how my mom tried to drive me insane, the trip to the Mustard Museum (oh, how I love thee, Mustard Museum) and how I made my sister cry.  Stay tuned!  Maybe I’ll even post pictures!

Tomorrow Beth and I am off to South Dakota with her mother.  I am so very excited about this!  We will be stopping at Wall Drug so we can take them for $2 worth of creamer!

Adventures with the ENT

Remember how, back on August 3rd, I said I had an ear infection?  Yeah.  I still have an ear infection.  On the 10th, I got to go to see an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor and wow, let me tell you, that was fun.  Yes, that is sarcasm.

Let’s discuss the excitement of the day, shall we?  Warning, I may or may not have exaggerated a tad.

  • I wake up.  I have a headache.  My ear is throbbing and full of liquid and I can’t hear out of it.
  • What do I do for a living?  Oh, right, I listen to phone calls and monitor them for quality purposes.  Really kind of important that I can hear.
  • I call in sick and go back to bed.
  • I am convinced my doctor appointment is on one side of downtown Saint Paul (near where the old Science Museum used to be) but decide to take a cab instead of walking.
  • Turns out the appointment is near the new Science Museum.  Good thing I decided to take the cab.
  • I fill out the forms and sit in the waiting room.  There is some guy who keeps staring at me.  Why is he staring at me?  This is weird.  Stop it.
  • There is a guy next to me who keeps making these snorting noises.  It’s kind of gross.
  • Weird guy is still staring.  Would hitting him with my book be considered assault?  Probably.  I don’t do it.
  • I am called into the back and meet my nurse person.  She looks at my ear and asks me some questions.  All perfectly normal.
  • ENT guy comes in.  “Hi, Dana.  How are you?  Let me take a look at your ear.”
  • Yep.  I have an ear infection.  Actually, apparently I have an “angry eardrum” and it is very thick and there are air bubbles behind the ear drum.  Oh, wow.  That’s really kind of gross.
  • I get to have a hearing test.  My hearing is not so good in the left ear.  That’s a shock.  But he thinks it will clear up.  Here’s my problem with this test.  When you put earphones on my head and talk into my ear, I can hear you.  I may not be able to hear everything you say but I can actually hear you.  You’re talking in my ear!  I don’t think that’s a completely effective hearing test.  Where’s the hearing test that takes place in the crowded bar or at the movie theater when I’m trying to figure out what people are saying?  How come I can hear better if I’m facing someone or if there are subtitles?  Explain that!
  • Apparently I have residual anger towards people who do hearing tests.
  • Then it is back to see ENT guy.  “Here’s what we’re going to do, Dana.  I’m going to stick this really sharp thing into your ear and slice your ear drum.  Doesn’t that sound like fun?”  Uh, no.  But if it works, I will be thrilled to death.
  • He pours this numbing solution into my ear.  He warns me that it will burn.  I am almost ready to ask if he can just put me out so I don’t have to deal with it but too late, stuff is slithering through my ear.
  • Burn is not the word I would use for this.  I would say “Mother-effing lava.”
  • Then he slices the ear drum.  Now my ear is filled with lava and the pain.  The sharp, horrible pain that will not end.
  • The liquid decides not to drain.  Why would it?  It likes my ear.  No, apparently it is too thick.
  • Happy ENT guy says “Okay, Dana.  Now we get to have lots of fun!  I get my kicks from torturing innocent people.  Some days I dress up like a clown!  Let’s shove a tube into this slice I just made so your ear drum won’t close up.  Look, it’s a really tiny tube.  It’ll be just fine.”
  • Uh, no, it was not just fine.  It was awful.  I am not ashamed to say that I cried like a baby when he rammed that thing in there.  It, of course, didn’t want to fit so there was some shoving and more sharp pain and more tears and oh, my God, this is not right.
  • I have finally found something I hate more than going to the dentist.  I hate going to the dentist so much that if I had a choice between a Pap smear every day for the rest of my life or getting my teeth cleaned, I would pick the Pap smear.  Do you know how demoralizing it is to realize that getting your teeth cleaned is actually a walk in the park compared to this?
  • As I walk out of the waiting room, tears still drying on my cheeks, I see that weird guy is still there.  Still staring.  As I leave, he follows me.  Oh, great.  I’m going to get murdered.  Well, that’ll be perfect.
  • Weird guy actually doesn’t follow me out of the office.  Apparently he was called into the back and I’m just slightly paranoid.

So that’s it.  Basically I paid a complete stranger $20 to slice my ear drum open and shove a tube in it.  And the infection’s still there.  I’m afraid to see what he’ll do on Friday when I have to go back.

I also have formed a theory.  Maybe Vincent Van Gogh wasn’t insane.  Maybe he just had an ear infection and the pain was so much he decided to just cut the ear off because that would be easier.  It could have been a radical new surgery process.  I am tempted to try it but Beth and Kim say no.  They also vetoed my using a tweezers to yank the tube out of my ear as well.  Sigh.  They are so very pratical.

GASP!  Facebook Drama!  Film at 11!

I love Facebook.  I really do.  I love the little quizzes and the games and catching up with family and friends.  I also enjoy crafting my status messages/comments to be funny or wry or amusing.  I like making people laugh.

However, sometimes you need to be careful.  One of my family members, John Doe*, took a Facebook quiz to find out how likely he was to go to jail.  It was 39%.  The little quiz result also said something along the lines of “You must have done a more serious crime because they don’t toss you in there for smuggling a lollipop out of the candy store.  Concentrate on positive things like using a hammer, toothpick and a piece of string to escape.”

*I know he’s related to me but I didn’t know how.  Name changed to protect him (and me).

This amused me.  There’s nothing serious about this, right?  Facebook is a social networking site, not a Nobel Prize winning think tank.  Especially when you think of the extremely horrible grammar in many of these quizzes.

So I leave a cute little comment.  Or at least I thought it was cute.

Dana Marie Vittum:  Hmm.  This worries me.  I have a hardened criminal for a relative!  But hey, having MacGyvver-like skills is nothing to sneeze at.

This morning, I am reading my news feeds and see there’s a comment after mine.

Parent Smith:  I am the proud parent of that criminal – back off.  You have other family members that are much worse to worry about.  “Judge not lest ye be judged.”

Um.  The words “WTF” came to mind.  She honestly thought was serious?  Really?  Oh, no!

I leave another comment.

Dana Marie Vittum:  John, if I offended you or your parent, I apologize.  I meant this as a joke, not a judgment.  I certainly do not think a Facebook quiz is an accurate assessment of someone’s criminal behavior.

So I am, of course, obsessing over this.  Am I a horrible person?  Is John going to hate me forever?  I am talking to Co-workers Rykken, Christy and Jessica about this today.

Christy:  Who is he?
DM:  Um, I have no idea.  I know we’re related, I just don’t know how.  He’s probably a cousin.  Or maybe a nephew.

I look up the information.  Yep.  He’s a nephew.  His parent is a former in-law.  That might account for the mysterious comment about worrying about my other relatives.  There may be some bitterness involved.  But part of me is still feeling guilty.

Do you think I’m a horrible person?  Would you have thought my comment was serious?  Should I have ended my comment with “J/K” or “LOL” or an emoticon so I don’t end up being burned in effigy later?

Updated – she did apologize for over-reacting.  We are okay.  I am glad about that.

Next week I am on vacation.  Keem and I are journeying to the wilds of Wisconsin to spend time with my mother, Kari and Josh.  It will be fun and exciting.  I’m not sure if I mean that or if that’s sarcasm.  My mother makes me a little crazy.  Not Vincent Van Gogh crazy.  Yet.

Not too much going on in my life right now.  Just work and chiropractic appointments, pretty much.  Which is screwing up work because I’ve had to leave early two/three nights a week and have to make up time/miss meetings/get behind on my monitorings.  Ended up at work until 8 last night which, as you can imagine, did not make Keem very happy with me.

Although I did get to see my half sister Suzanne tonight.  I’m not sure when I saw her last, might have been my dad’s funeral in…um.  Let’s do math now.  Dad died 1 month before his 70th birthday so that would be in 1994.   That can’t be right.  I’m pretty sure that I’ve seen her one other time.  As Suzanne said tonight, our family is not that close which is a real shame.  Fortunately she’s on Facebook so I’ve been able to keep in touch with her and my nephew (who is turning 40 this year.  Gives you an idea of the age difference – Suzanne just turned 60 and she’s the oldest.  Kari just turned 40 and she’s the youngest.  Dad was busy).

It was good to catch up with her.  Kari, Keem and Mom were there as well.  It was a lot of fun and there was the adventure aspect.  I forgot to write Suzanne’s phone number down or the directions and, oh, yeah, forgot to tell Keem this so we could go home so I could get Suzanne’s phone number.  I ended up calling Eric and getting him to go into my Facebook account and get the phone number from an email.

Trust me on this.  Write stuff down.  Your roommate will not appreciate it when, after you tell her that she has to drive around to find the apartment building your sister is staying in, you give the following directions:

DM:  Turn right on something.  Was it Emerson?
Keem:  No.  It was Thompson.
DM:  Are you sure?
Keem:  Yes.  You said Thompson.
DM:  Oh.  Okay.  It’s the first apartment building.
Keem:  There’s two apartment complexes.  Which one is it?
DM:  Um.  It’s the olive in the garden.
Keem:  The what in the what?
DM:  The olive in the glen?  The oak in the something?  It’s the O in the G.
Keem:  Really?  The O in the G?  That’s amazing how descriptive that is.
DM:  Her friends are in Apartment 777 (no, not really).  And their name is Clampton.  With a C (again, no, not really).
Keem:  Well, that’s helpful.  So we’re supposed to wander around and ask people if they live in apartment 777 and have the last name Clampton?
DM:  Um.  Maybe.

Fortunately, that’s when Eric called and I was able to convince him to break into my Facebook account to get the phone number.

I would like to state for the record that we were at the right apartment complex.  It, however, was not called the Olive in the Garden.  It was The Oaks at Heatherglen.  Not quite the same thing, apparently.

And I think it describes our relationship well when I tell you that I looked in the mirror this morning, saw my pink streaks had pretty much faded to a strawberry blonde and thought “Hmm.  I wonder if I have time to get my nose pieced before I see Mom tomorrow night.”

In other words, I love her but I also love annoying the heck out of her.

And now, for an interesting Mom story.  One that just happened last night.  Mom drove up from Arizona to be here for Kari’s birthday (I would be jealous of this but quite frankly, I don’t like celebrating my birthday in March all that much so I can understand why mom would rather come up to Minnesota in the summer) which was yesterday.  My baby sister is now 40 years old.  Wow.  And yes, she’ll always be my baby sister, even when we’re in our seventies.

Things you should know – Mom has a Papillion dog named Lilly and she rescued a pure bred Siamese without a name.  He would respond to her when she would call Lilly and she was thinking of naming him Billy or Willy (which, actually, is a pretty popular name on my mother’s side of the family and it smacks highly of “No.”  Don’t name pets after family members).  I suggested she name him Philadelphia Chicken and she could call him Philly for short.   But Josh saw a picture of the cat and decided his name was Bo.

Anyway, Kari called me today and says “Well, you know Mom, she’s always full of surprises.”

My first thought is “Oh, God, did she pick up another hitchhiker (done it before, some homeless guy – long story) and bring him to Minnesota with her?”

Fortunately, that is not the case. No, Mom brought Bo and Lilly and arrives at home when Kari and Josh are out for lunch. Bo is zipping all over the house, he is full of energy and is apparently even bigger than Sebastian length-wise.

Josh looks in Kari’s room and says “There’s an animal under your bed.”

Kari says “Oh, no, there’s not, honey, it’s okay (because apparently he’s afraid of monsters (smart child)).” Eric decides to go take a look. Then, out of the corner of her eye, Kari sees a cat. She assumes it is Bo but the cat is smaller than Bo. She doesn’t think much of it until Bo comes walking out of the dining room. Wait. What’s going on here? Did she see Bo’s reflection in the stainless steel garbage can?

No. Apparently Mom decided, since Bo is so pretty, maybe Josh would like to have a kitten. So she went and found a female Siamese cat and introduced her to Bo.  Nature took its course, female cat became pregnant and so it turns out that my mother drove from Arizona to Minnesota with a Papillion (Lilly), a large Siamese cat (Bo), a smaller Siamese cat (name unknown) AND two Siamese kittens that were born on Friday. FRIDAY! They are 6 days old.

This is insane. This is my mother.  And people wonder why I’m so eccentric?

In Which I Mourn the Loss of a Great Cat

Wednesday night is girl’s night in the Keem-Dana household.  My sister Kari came over, bringing a tiny addition to our normal Wednesday activities, my nephew Josh.  Eric is in the Caribbean at his sister’s wedding so boy’s night was postponed.  I was a little worried over how Josh would react to watching two episodes of America’s Next Top Model but, other than a little grumbling, he started playing with Legos and worshipping Keem with every molecule of his body (she’s his girlfriend.  First she steals my cat and then she moves in on my nephew.  Can’t trust her with men at all.  Sheesh).

While we were watching ATNM, Kari broke the news.  My sister’s cat, Sebastian, has left the building.  He had been diagnosed with a malignant tumor on his jaw a few months back and Kari had been told he probably only had a few weeks left.  It was decided that as long as he was still comfortable and not in severe pain, they would make his last weeks enjoyable.  He was fed the finest soft foods and then he rallied.  He entered his 2nd childhood and became Mr. Playful and would frolic around quite like a kitten on crack. 

Unfortunately, on Monday, the tumor had become abcessed (or something.  Apparently there was pus involved.  I may have put my fingers in my ears and said “I can’t hear you!” at that time) and he was in severe pain.  The decision was made to let him go to the big kitty farm in the sky* so he could be at peace.

*Yes.  I do believe that beloved pets do go to Heaven and we get to spend eternity with them.  Also, when I want to annoy Keem (which is often), I tell her we should talk about the farm we’re going to have where we will raise cats.  This will be after we win the lottery, of course, and can rescue many, many cats and let them frolic around the farm.  There will possibly be puppies** as well.  Perhaps a cow for providing the kittens with milk.  Some attractive farm hands.  Okay, many attractive farm hands***.

**All cats and dogs are kittens and puppies to me.  Full grown German Shepherds are “Big puppies!”  I admit to usually being a 4 year old trapped in a 42 year old’s body.  Sometimes I’m 12.  But mainly 4. 

***Okay, sometimes I’m also a 42 year old with a great appreciation for the male form.

Good night, Sweet Sebastian.  Parting is such sweet sorrow.

lego-playing-cat

This is a picture of Kari and Sebastian putting together the Batman Lego set I got for Josh for his birthday.  Josh and Kari are obsessed with Legos and I should seriously look into buying stock in the company.  Keem and my affectionate nickname for Sebastian was demon cat and I have decided that Kalli is Sebastian’s demon spawn since she has many of his annoying habits (meowing loudly in the middle of the night, trying to eat Eddy’s head).  Apparently she got one of his good ones because Wednesday, she was sprawled on the floor next to Josh, watching him play.  So this picture makes me happy in a bittersweet way.  The Lego torch has been passed on. 

Sebastian was a great cat and while I miss him, I am happy for knowing him and knowing that he’s not in pain anymore.

In which I cross the line separating me from somewhat sane cat owner to Crazy Cat Lady

Kalli and Eddy have very specific dining habits.  I should say Eddy does.  I’d term what Kalli wants to be more like specific demands. 

Once we wake up, we are expected to drop everything and race to the living room to provide the monster cat with dry treats.  Then we are allowed to shower and get ready for work.  Once I am done showering, Kalli is hovering around the bathroom, plaintively explaining that the meager treats I gave her were not enough to let a tiny, starving kitten survive and I should really feed her more. 

This continues until I’m dressed and then Kalli makes a beeline to the kitchen, wanting her wet food.   Mew, mew, incessant mew.  Let me climb onto the counter and eat from the can because “Oh my God, you people never feed me!”  Wet food is taken away and placed on the other counter which she rarely climbs on.  If we do not distract Eddy and Kalli with the wet food as we’re leaving, they run out into the hallway and there is chaos.  Utter, complete, extremely chaotic chaos.

I go to my computer, check bloglines, look at a few comics, hit Bacefook and play some Wafia Mars while I wait for Keem to be ready to leave for work.  I also tell Kalli repeatedly to “Shut it!”  This is all normal.  Part of the every day routine.  Sane cat owner.

Until it’s time to leave and Eddy has not come into the kitchen.  Kalli is having a hissy fit, wanting her food right NOW! but Eddy is MIA.  Sometimes he gets a little distracted by whatever deep kitty thoughts he is thinking and doesn’t hear us.  So I go into Keem’s bedroom and he’s lying on her bed, on his pink floofy blanket.  “C’mon, baby, it’s time to eat.”  Nothing.  He stares at me blankly.  I tell Keem to call him, he will typically respond to her.  She does and there is still nothing.  He cannot be persuaded to move.

Finally, as Kalli’s cries reach crescendo pitch, I say “Maybe I should just bring him his breakfast.”  Keem agrees.

And this is where the line was crossed.  I served my cat breakfast in bed.  No one will ever take me seriously again.

Petsmart Charities Petwalk.

Hey, my Mom is walking to support homeless animals in Arizona on January 25th, 2009.  If you happen to have an extra buck or two and could donate, that would be awesome.  If not, think good bloggy mojo thoughts towards her that she is able to finish.

Oh.  And it’s on January 25th.  Apparently the Humane Society didn’t give her a lot of notice.

  • Kari and Josh came over this weekend so we could bake cookies.  Have you ever tried to bake cookies with a 5 year old?  Not an experience I would recommend  (Josh is just a tad stubborn (and when I say tad I mean really a lot)).
  • So cookies need lots of flour and stuff which, since we were making 8 recipes and tripling them, so that meant Kari got to buy a 25 pound bag of flour.  Which meant that I was elected to drag it out of her car.
  • And I was also in charge of mixing.  Keem has been asking for a Kitchen Maid for Christmas and it would have come in really handy.
  • So my arms are very sore. 
  • And then Kari broke out the Wii and let me tell you, I really, really want one.  We were doing the Outdoor Adventure game which meant kayakking and jump rope (which I suck at) and all sorts of other things.  I was pretty good at the whack a mole but mainly that was because I kept jumping around on the mat.
  • Kari also bought the Wii “My Life Coach” where this impossibly thin animated woman asks you all sorts of personal questions and then convinces you to work out.
  • She determined that I am overweight.  Let me tell you, I was sure shocked to hear that.
  • And then she decided to kill me by making me do 15 minutes of lunges and crunches and squats and all sorts of things. 
  • She’d say “You can do it” and I would gasp “I hate you.”
  • She’s say “Let’s keep our focus” and I would say “I am focused on killing you.”
  • I am not sure if it is possible to murder an animated character but I will find a way.
  • 15 minutes later, I was trying to breathe again while Kari told me she was proud of me.
  • We had gone swimming Saturday night and then Josh wanted to swim again on Sunday.  I was a bundle of aches and pains but sure, why not.  It would have been better if the hot tub was open but it is being repaired.
  • Kari left me in charge of Josh for a moment and the next thing she hears is him saying “you dropped me.”  And I replied, “Yeah, I dropped you.  After you punched me in the mouth.”
  • The explanation of Josh punching me is that I had come up on him from behind and hugged him.  Apparently that brings out the urban warrior in him and in one smooth motion, pow!  Right in the kisser.
  • Kari said I was lucky because the kid can punch pretty hard.  He was holding back.
  • I look at Kari and say “You just had to have a boy, didn’t you?”
  • Josh did apologize and said next time he will use his words.
  • When it was time for them to leave, guess who got to load the cart with the 300 pounds of cookies?  Yep.

So I am very sore and tired and really don’t want to be at work right now.  But, on an exciting note, Mom and Kari figured out that I really did want an iPod and I now have my pretty, pink iPod Nano at work, regaling me with music.  Now I am going to take about 40 ibuprofens and crawl under my desk for an hour or so.  Have a good day.

I have done it. 30 days hath November and I have posted in every single one of them. Yay!

Today Kari and Josh came over. We went swimming, we played a game called Snortna (which Keem and I decided would make a great drinking game because we were laughing ourselves hysterically halfway through it) and then topped the evening watching the oddest thing I have ever seen on television. It was a spoof of Star Wars acted by thumbs. Yes. You heard me correctly. Thumbs. The world is such an odd place.

I live in a whirlwind of excitement. Here’s why:

  • So we come home from work and Keem is refilling the treat bag (gallon size Glad bag that we pour a variety of crunchy treats into so it is mixed properly for Eddy (he’s spoiled. We admit it). Kalli is circling around Keem’s ankles, trying her best to convince us that she is starving and no one feeds her and she has to scramble for crumbs because we are so mean and cruel to her. And then she leaps! And grabs on to Keem’s shorts for dear life, her back claws digging into Keem’s leg. The next thing I know, Kalli is hanging straight down, her front paws holding on to Keem’s shirt. Keem is saying “Ow, ow, ow! Cat! Ow!” And I am in the kitchen, watching all of this. Do I run into the living room to save Keem? No. I am laughing hysterically and wishing I had my camera handy.
  • Kalli discovered how to get on top of the Entertainment Center last night. But she does not know how to get down and sits there and mews. So I rescued her. And about 15 minutes later, when I am in bed, sleeping like a normal person, I hear a crash. She has knocked over the shelf the VHS tapes are on (eventually we will get rid of them. It’s not like we have hooked up the VCR in this apartment) and is back on the Entertainment Center. Still hasn’t figured how to get down. I rescuse her again. Hmm. Perhaps I should move the small table she’s using to leap up onto the DVD rack and from there the Entertainment Center. That would be smart.
  • Keem just opened a box from Swiss Colony and is singing “I’ve got a box of mixed nuts, diddly dee” (to the tune of “I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts”, in case you were confused). Hee!
  • If you thought getting the Despair.com catalog was the highlight of my month, you would be wrong. Clearly it was the Mustard Museum newsletter. Featuring a picture of the owner dressed as Edward Splatterhands. Wish I which I could find on their website because it is seriously funny and would creep out James (the guy’s hands are dripping with mustard).

Who needs depressing poetry written at the height of my angsty years when you have all of this, right? My life is so full.

  • Oh, and also, when my mom asked me if I was still taking Meridia and if it worked, I said no, my prescription ran out and it worked when I remembered to take it. Her response? “Oh, Dana, you’re a big girl.” Um, yeah, that’s why I was taking a diet aid! I know that’s not how she meant it but still, work on the phrasing there, mother.

Former comments:

I don’t know this despair.com and I am afraid to look at the website at school!


Gravatar Mom’s have a special talent. They can tell you the sky is blue and it can make you cry but when anyone else says it you can be argumentative and haughty. It is NOT blue. It is periwinkle.

Our oldest, Monk, has a new very annoying thing. He is scared of the stairs leading from the kitchen into the dining room. Since the living room is on the other side of the dining room this is problematic. He stands at the top of the stairs and whines.

It is so annoying. If you go look at him (get up, stomp to the doorway, growl at him to COME) he will come right down.

So I feel you pain in all ways.

.


Last night I went to karaoke with Beth. It’s the first time I’ve seen her since my birthday because I was in no condition to go to karaoke the day after surgery and last week I was busy getting ready for an apartment inspection.*

*You want to get me to clean? Inspect our apartment and then threaten us with possible fees and/or eviction if my bedroom isn’t cleaned. Keem will freak and lay down the law. My bedroom is now shiny and new and I am not sleeping with a ton of boxes on the left side of the bed (sleeping single in a double bed, can’t toss and turn because I’ll hit myself in the head). There’s still a lot of boxes I need to go through, ones that I haven’t touched since I moved into my apartment building over 6 years ago but I did get rid of a lot of junk and brought a ton of books down to the laundry room (there are bookshelves where you can leave books you don’t want and this is awesome).

Also at karaoke was my kick ass niece Betsy. She is the daughter of my half brother, Bruce and she is incredibly awesome. If I knew Bruce’s phone number, I would call him to tell him what a great job he did with her. Betsy’s going to be graduating from college this year (so will Beth). I told her I’d have to get her a card and do the proud aunt thing and she told me there would be a family party sometime this summer that I could go to. Which I might take her up on. It would be weird because I haven’t seen that side of the family since my Dad’s funeral (well, except for Betsy) but also kind of fun.

Betsy was playing that bar trivia game, I think the network is NTN or something like that. After Liz and James arrived, I asked Annie (our bartender) for a playing thing (the network calls them playmakers but that just irritates me) and decided to take on Betsy.

Ha. She kicked my ass. At one point, after I got another answer wrong about something that I had never even heard of, I turned to her and told I hated her. She laughed. Apparently she doesn’t take my hatred seriously. I sighed and said I should have know, she was smarter than me, younger than me and prettier than me, of course I was getting whupped.

Then I got to witness the argument between her and James which was kind of awesome, if not weird. Both Betsy and James hate Ron Howard as a director but Betsy said Stephen Spielberg was worse. James took umbrage to this and I was then in the middle of a screaming match (okay, not really screaming but funny as hell) while they compared the merits of each director.

The night ended with Betsy and I each pitching in a quarter so we could buy the world’s smallest glow stick, just to make sure they weren’t really crack vials. She offered it to me. I may scrapbook it.

Beth and I hung out in my garage and talked until about 3:10 this morning. It was great catching up with her. We are going to have a scrapbooking weekend in April which will be loads of fun. Maybe I’ll be able to finish Evora. Maybe. Probably not.

I am blaming James and Betsy for my strange dream last night where I was the oldest of 3 children and our father who wasn’t really our father would beat us if we did anything wrong and my little brother didn’t believe me until he didn’t listen to me when I told him we had to be perfectly still when lying in the tiny bed that barely held the 3 of us and moved around and made noises and then our dad came downstairs and beat the heck out of us.

So then we went to this amusement park and these guys asked me to pretend to be a monster so I could play a trick on my fake father and I dressed up in a costume and they did these weird special effects and then I scared my fake father and made him promise to treat us all better and then the guys brought me out to see my family and it turned out they were Ron Howard, George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg & some Hispanic guy whose name I never caught & my father used to be a director as well & we were part of this strange movie that he was filming that was supposed to be like The Truman Show. Then I woke up. And said “WTF was that?”

And it was this and also the grogginess this morning that made me decide that 41 is not the new 21. I am freaking old. Old, tired, cranky and I want to go home.

As Co-Worker Julie said – “So it’s a normal day, then?” You’ll be pleased to know that I didn’t punch her.

Hope you all have a great weekend. Sunday I am going to go to the store that James hates with a fiery passion so I can buy new glasses (Starts with W, ends with Mart, my insurance is through them). Kari is going to go with me because I need a responsible adult to make sure I don’t pick out glasses shaped like stop signs. And then, oh joy, we are going to go to Chuck E. Cheese! I can’t believe my luck! Small screaming children! How awesome. Apparently she has promised Josh.

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