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I am still working the same job and I love it.  I’ve always been a huge fan of customer service and being able to be a Quality Monitor is very important for me.

My roommate Keem is looking for a house and that’s fun!  I love living in the apartment but it would be nice if there was a house in our future.  One thing we know that we want is a nice yard so we can sit outside and enjoy the weather (which is shocking for me because I’m not much for the outdoors).  I want to take the kitties for walks or, at the very least, set up an screened area where they can go outside.  I think they’d enjoy it.

I am still incredibly single and I’m still okay with it.  Yes, someday I would like to be romantically involved with someone but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.  And that’s all right.

I go to the gym now and have a personal trainer.  I am convinced he’s trying to kill me but I find that, once I drag my ass to the gym, I actually enjoy working out.  Except for cardio.  I HATE CARDIO!  It is evil and wrong.  If God wanted me to bounce on an elliptical, he would have, well, he would have done something.  Brian, the PT, keeps threatening me with the stairmaster.  I’ve told him that will never happen but if he comes up with an escalatormaster, I’m all for it.

Beth and I are still besties and I just spent the weekend at her place.  Kim is still the best roommate ever.  Life is pretty dang good.

So what’s up with you?

Yes, I am alive.  I just got back from an excellent vacation in South Dakota with Beth and her mom.  I will be posting pictures soon and an actual post but here is something to tide over those of you who need your Dana fix (Sheryl, I adore you, btw!):

Random Dana things:

  • If you decide to stay until 1:30 for no reason whatsoever (okay, there was a reason, I was trying to figure out what the heck Kanye West did to Taylor Swift and if I cared or not.  Turns out, Kanye West is kind of a jerk but Taylor Swift’s hair still makes me crazy so no, I don’t really care), you will be tired the next day
  • When you are tired, you tend to think/write/say weird things
  • Such as, when you’re monitoring one of the reps and are trying to tell them what a great job they did on their call, you will write “When doing a transfer, it is important to keep the werewolves separated.”
  • Uh, what?  This is quite possibly the weirdest thing I have ever thought/written/said during a “Dana is extremely tired” phase.  I think this tops telling the stock owner he could sell his shares over the phone, in writing or placing them in the overhead compartment (jet lag.  I meant online) or telling another stock owner she could sell her shares by bringing them to the invisible fence (the thing that still gets me about this is that she never questioned that.  There may be a woman wandering around trying to find an invisible fence!  This was also jet lag)
  • When I told my co-workers Beau and Rykken about this, there was that pause.  The pause that usually comes before them realizing that I am, quite possibly, insane.  Although they may already know that
  • I did, of course, change the sentence to read something normal but told the rep because I thought she would appreciate it (she did)
  • In case you are wondering, the separation of the werewolves is because I just finished three books by Marlene Perez (The Dead Is series) and recommend them to anyone that likes a good Young Adult book and is fond of vampires, werewolves and the occasional banshee but also appreciates good writing
  • The books have been described as Veronica Mars meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Can you say awesome?  I knew you could!
  • Okay, my roommate is yelling at me, apparently I should be taking a shower.  More later, my lovelies!

Those of you that have been reading my blog for awhile are aware that I found out I was diabetic in 2007, shortly after I turned 40 and my body decided to fall apart (why do I always want to type apartment there?).  Knowing me, I am sure none of you will be surprised to know that, after a short period of being the model patient (taking my pills, monitoring my blood sugar, eating healthy), I pretty much said “Screw it.”  Why?  I hate needles.  The Metformin I was taking made me sick to my stomach.  I discovered that, no matter how much I love a good salad, my body did not care for them and would react in ways that were not fun.  Plus, the minute I start thinking I’m on a diet, I am convinced I am starving and will binge like crazy.

So, where was I?  Oh, yes, good behavior fell at the wayside.  Anyway, I haven’t been back to see Deb (my doctor) in awhile but recently got a letter from my clinic saying my Happy Pills (Effexor) now had a generic version and I could save tons of money.  I called and asked for a prescription.  However, Deb had her nurse call me and say I needed to come in for a discussion on my depression to see if this would be right for me.

Yeah, she’s tricky.  We did discuss my depression but we also talked about the whole diabetes thing.  She told me that was the real reason she had me come in.  She brought up insulin again and I gave all the reasons why I didn’t want to take insulin (okay, there’s one.  I hate needles) and she said I should try this one called Levemir.  Only one injection a day, non-invasive, etc.  She could easily prescribe me another oral medication but it may just make me as sick to my stomach as Metformin. 

Fine, I say.  I’ll try it, I say.  She sends this really sweet nurse in to draw my blood (I have evil veins that like to roll.  The other nurses won’t go near me) and show me how to give myself the injection.

May I just tell you that it is the easiest thing I have ever done?  There’s this tiny little needle that is even thinner than my cross stitch needles.  There is no pain involved and honestly?  It’s actually kind of fun giving myself the injection.  I never expected to enjoy it.

Also, my blood sugar has dropped over 50-60 points and is staying there.  I have some more energy.  I’m not as hungry all the time (and when I am, I have learned to embrace yogurt.  Or Baked Lays.  And carrots.  Apparently I LOVE carrots).  I am actually exercising. 

Things are pretty good right now.  Except for the evil plague that has captured me and is holding me hostage (some sort of cold.  Started out as a sore throat, mutated into sore throat and stuffy nose and is now heading for my lungs), I feel the best that I have felt in years.

I hope you are all doing well.  How is your summer going for you?

I bring you this Literary Meme, provided to us by Ms. Stinkypaw.  She hails from Canada and can read books in French (which is terribly exciting, don’t you think?)!  As always, I don’t expect anyone to do this but if you do, please leave a comment.  I love to know what other books people are reading.

 What author do you own the most books by?
Nora Roberts.  She is my favorite author.  There are very few authors who can do descriptions, dialogue and character development (I am only good at dialogue, unfortunately) and she does it every time.  I’ve been reading her for years and really like her later books, once she broke away from Silhouette.  Her books are still considered romantic but they’re also suspenseful and I love that!  After that, I’d say Dean Koontz but he’s usually hit or miss (example – Tick Tock?  Awesome.  Your Heart Belongs to Me?  Lame).

2. What book do you own the most copies of?
The Stand by Stephen King.  It’s one of my favorite books.  If I see it at a garage sale, I always end up buying it.  I think I have 5.  For those of you that have seen Conspiracy Theory, think of it as being my Catcher in the Rye.  Except I’m not sure how the black helicopters are going to find me since I don’t buy it at book stores.  But they’re tricky, those black helicopter pilots.

3. Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?
Yes, sort of but that’s not something I completely obsess over.  I do love my grammar and will try to not end sentences in prepositions but sometimes you can’t help it.

4. What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
Oh, that’s easy.  Roarke from the Eve Dallas books.  He’s her husband and he was a former criminal that reformed when he fell in love with a homicide cop.  However, he’s still got that dangerous side and can be considered a bad boy.

5. What book have you read the most times in your life?
Probably Kane and Able by Jeffrey Archer.  I am pretty sure I read it over 12 times.  The Prodigal Daughter by Jeffrey Archer about 10 times.  These are great books.  I also love to reread Nora Roberts books and just reread the Begariad Series by David Eddings.  I love rereading books; it lets you revisit old friends.

 6. What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
I really don’t know.  This may sound like I’m bragging (I’m not) but in 4th grade, I was reading at a 12th grade level and there was talk of moving me to the 5th grade (however, I was doing horrible in math so no skipping grades for me).  I think I was really into Shakespeare and mythology at that time.  I still adore Shakespeare but prefer to read the translated versions – Old English is HARD!  And above all, I’d rather watch it performed.  It’s like opera; I don’t care that the words are in another language as long as I’m watching it.

 7. What is the worst book you’ve read?
I’d like to say it was Twilight but since I lost the copy lent to me, I can’t honestly say that’s so.  I tried reading it because I felt I couldn’t irrationally hate a book if I haven’t read it (but yet I can irrationally hate Ryan Seacrest and Taylor Swift (and her hair)) but honestly, did not get far.  If I hadn’t lost it, I might still be choking through it right now.

 The worst book I ever read was called Soap Opera by Eileen Fulton.  I don’t know why I thought it would be good (maybe because I enjoyed Soap?) but decided to give it a shot.  It was horrible.  The main character spent most of her time bemoaning the fact that she slept with her fiancé before they got married.  After all, that made her a slut, you know.  Oh, and then he went insane and started stalking her so they never got married.  Good Lord.  I have this curse where I have to finish reading a book once I started it but let me tell you, I was really displeased with it (Twilight doesn’t count because I lost the book). 

8. What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?

You know, I started this list of books that I’ve read this year and I suck at keeping it up.  I would have to say one of my favorites was InkHeart by Cornelia Funke.  I loved it.  If you have ever dreamt about being able to enter your favorite book, you’ll enjoy it as well.  I also really liked the movie and it was exciting to know she created the main character based on Brendan Fraser.  I adore him.

 Speaking of being able to enter your favorite books, you may enjoy Jasper Fforde Thursday Next books.  They are hilarious.  I’m also rereading the Hitchhiker Guide to the Universe series again by Douglas Adams.   I like the funny!

9. If you could force everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?
I’m not a tagger, sorry.  Keem is constantly calling me a book pusher because I get excited about books and then tell her she should read them.  Also, I really think what I like is not going to be the same thing that someone else likes.  Now, if you want recommendations, I’m happy to give them.  Give me a genre and I’m sure I’ve got a book for you.  And this does include paranormal romance, by the way.

10. Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for literature?
Again, what I like is not the same as what everyone else likes.  Nobel Prize literature books are typically too dark and depressing for me.  I love to read but it is for amusement mainly.  It’s kind of like movies – I’m not a drama person, I prefer comedies and action (best movies are ones that make me laugh and things blow up in them).  Beth will typically make me watch dramas with her and I’ll enjoy them but they’re not something I seek out on my own.

11. What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
This is hard.  I know most people don’t like the movie versions of their favorite books but I’m usually able to suspend disbelief and accept the changes (example – Harry Potter Goblet of Fire.  Much as I love Quidditch, I knew it wasn’t possible to have the giant Quidditch match they had, the movie would be three times as long).  I loved InkHeart the movie even though there were changes to it.  I loved Ella Enchanted (but I saw the movie first before I read the book). 

Uh, let’s go with the Eve Dallas books.  I know there was talk they were going to be made into a movie at one point.  I want to see who they get to play Roarke.

12. What book would you least like to see made into a movie?
How about Soap Opera?  Since it was the dumbest book in the world, it would probably be the worst movie ever.  Although that Sally Field/Kevin Kline soap movie was pretty funny.  Not that I can remember the name.

13. Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.
Not a clue.  Well, let’s rephrase that, I have a clue but I’m not sharing.  Let’s just say that it involved my crush on Snape and Oliver Wood from the Harry Potter books.

14. What is the most lowbrow book you’ve read as an adult?

Stinkypaw said it best – “I read for my pleasure, not to please others.”  I don’t care if you don’t like my choice in literature.  I read what makes me happy.  I love books about vampires.  I love young adult books.  I like fantasy novels.  I love chick lit (but only if it is well written).  I love Shakespeare.  I love Douglas Adams and Neil Gaiman and Stephen King.

15. What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?

What Came Before He Shot Her – Elizabeth George.  Remember when I said that once I’ve started a book, I have to finish it?  This was horrible.  It’s described as the anatomy of a murder and involves these three kids who are abandoned by their grandmother (mom’s in an insane asylum) and dumped with their aunt who really tries to help them but is completely overwhelmed.  It was the most depressing book I have ever read.  I would not recommend it to anyone – not because it was a bad book but it made me so sad and horrified and appalled.  I wanted to gather up these children and save them.  And unfortunately, I could not.

Other than that, I would say The Shining by Stephen King.  It took me 3 years to read this book.  I would start it, get freaked out and stop reading it.  I’d return a couple of months later; get freaked out again and stop reading it. 

16. What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you’ve seen?
I’m not sure what this is supposed to mean.  I think you either love Shakespeare or don’t.  Either way, it’s not a big deal.  The community college I went to would put on Shakespeare plays during the summer and I adored going to them when I was younger.  It was awesome.  Although I much prefer the comedies.

17. Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
Why do I need to have a preference?  This strikes me as book snobbery because I know this is referring to “The Classics” and what I consider a classic is not the same as everyone else.  For example, I loved Jane Eyre but hated Wuthering Heights.  I’ve never read any Voltaire that I remember and I certainly have no desire to read War and Peace.

18. Roth or Updike?
Wow.  How absolutely descriptive.  Again with the book snobbery.  I know Updike is John Updike but who is Roth?  Phillip Roth?  I believe I read a short story by him once and didn’t care for it.  Also, just for the record, I don’t like Ernest Hemingway either.

19. David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?

I love David Sedaris.  Beth purchased the audio books and listening to him read his stories makes me laugh hysterically.  I also found Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim in my laundry room and found that reading Six to Eight Black Men and Nuit of the Living Dead is just as funny as listening to him read it (but for some reason I always call it “Louie of the Living Dead.”).  Dave Eggers?  Who is that?

20. Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?

Shakespeare is my favorite.  Milton irritates me.  Chaucer is impossible to read but if you have the translations from Old English, it is pretty funny.

21. Austen or Eliot?

Okay, again, book snob that created this meme, I understand you’re referring to Jane Austen but which Eliot?  I’m assuming you mean George Eliot.  Honestly?  Haven’t really read either.  I would assume I like Jane Austen.

22. What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
Wow.  I wasn’t aware that I had any gaps in my reading but since you think so, I must throw myself off of the nearest bridge.  Good freakin’ Lord.   If anything, it would probably be that I taught myself how to read and so I pronounce things incorrectly.  And it’s not so much embarrassing as funny, thanks so much.

As for gaps, well, you may think I’m missing out because I don’t like Hemingway but have you ever read anything by Carol Goodman?  The Lake of Dead Languages was fascinating. 

23. What is your favorite novel?
How much time do you have?  The aforementioned Kane and Able and The Prodigal Daughter by Jeffrey Archer.  Most of Nora Roberts’s novels.  A few things by Meg Cabot.  David Eddings – The Belgariad, The Mallorean and the Elenium series.  Oh and the Tamuli series as well.  Douglas Adams – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe.  Dave Barry – Big Trouble.  Charlotte Bronte – Jane Eyre.  Jasper Fforde – The Eyre Affair (and other Thursday Next books).  Mil Millington – Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About (but I also liked A Certain Chemistry).  I also enjoy movie novelisations and transcripts of television shows.  I’ve also been known to read the back of cereal boxes and upside down newspapers when my mom wouldn’t let me read at the table.  In other words, I love to read.  So very much.

24. Play?
Shakespeare – The Tempest.  Oscar Wilde – The Importance of Being Earnest.  Goldsmith – She Stoops to Conquer. 

Favorite Play I’ve Been In?  I’m torn between You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (I played Snoopy and believe me when I tell you I was awesome), Stout-Hearted Men (the man-hating Miss Hatchett, again, I was awesome) and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (was in it twice, fairly small parts.  Not the best soloist, this girl).

25. Poem?
I like some poetry, not all.  I was in Speech one year in High School and was the Extemperaneous Poetry person (which means that I got to draw a poem out of a hat and then get a half hour to interpret it.  Then I would read it and was scored on how well I read it.  Yeah, makes no sense to me either but it was close enough to being on stage to make sure I did pretty well. 

These are some of my favorites from the poetry book they had us read from:

 Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost
This Is Just to Say by William Carlos Williams
I Am Not Yours by Sara Teasdale

They are short but all three are beautiful.  Plus, they don’t really rhyme.  I am not a fan of the rhyming poem. 

26. Essay?
See question on David Sedaris for answer.

 27. Short story?
Hands down, it is Word Processor of the Gods by Stephen King but I love short stories.  I really love Regency Christmas short romantic stories (again, don’t know why, I guess it is just how I roll).

28. Work of non-fiction?
Mythology.  Technically it is in the Non-Fiction section of the library/bookstore.  I think my favorite biography was the one about Meat Loaf but I also enjoyed The Rock’s as well. 

29. Who is your favorite writer?
Nora Roberts.  But I love a lot of different authors.

30. Who is the most overrated writer alive today?
Dan Brown.  The research is good, the idea of the plots are intriguing but I’m sorry, two page chapters that keep ending in cliff hangers?  Really?  Not very convincing.  Or James Patterson.

31. What is your desert island book?
Uh, the complete works of Shakespeare?  If I only get one book, I’m not going.  I don’t know how the people on Lost handle it.

32. And … what are you reading right now?
I am re-reading “An Ice Cold Grave” by Charlaine Harris (better know for the Southern Vampire novels that True Blood are based on).  I am also reading a book Beth’s mom picked up for me – it was free since Harlequin is celebrating their 60th anniversary.  Fortunately it is one of the Intrigue novels (their mystery series) but it is sort of annoying.  It’s called Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch and I have no idea what’s going on.  Well, okay, there was a skeleton found in a well but the Ranch is being sold and there’s all this tension between the heroine and the hero and she’s also ticked off at her folks but the author hasn’t bothered to let us know why.  That is irritating.  I’m only on page 60 so I hope it’ll get better.

Hello!  Welcome to the heck that is my life.  It is 3 in the morning and I am up because my stupid back hurts.  Not that big of a deal since I went to bed at 8 PM (No clue.  Probably because I am old).

Anyway, gleefully stole this from NPW but am feeling a bit old now trying to remember the answers to this.

Firsts! You know how this goes. Feel free to leave some of your own firsts in the comments so that I don’t have to feel like the sole loser in the Game of Life.

1. Who was your FIRST prom date?
Never went to prom.

2. Do you still talk to your FIRST love?
That implies I had a first love.  I don’t think I’ve ever been in love.  Other than major crushes and I don’t think they really count.

4. What was your FIRST job?
If we don’t count baby-sitting, working as a janitor for my future high school – some “Oh, you’re poor, let us help you earn money” government thing when I was 14.

5. What was your FIRST car?
Yeah, still don’t have a car.  You need a driver’s license for that.  My imaginary car is an El Camino.

6. Who was the FIRST person to text you today?
I don’t have a phone but one of my Bacefook Mafia Wars friends IM’d me because I was complaining about my back.

7. Who is the FIRST person you thought of this morning?
My chiropractor and wishing I didn’t have to wait almost two weeks before going back to see him.

8. Who was your FIRST grade teacher?
No clue.  I do remember that she once told me not to worry about struggling with math because it was hard for girls.  Thanks, bitch, for making sure it took me until my first year of college to recognize that 8+5=13.  Appreciate it.

9. Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane?
Mexico.  On the trip from hell.

10. Who was your FIRST best friend & do you still talk?
Linda P.  No.

11. Where was your FIRST sleepover?
I remember going to this one girl’s house and watching “What’s Up, Doc?”  I can’t remember who it was but once I hit 4th grade and got glasses, she denied it.

12. Who was the FIRST person you talked to today?
I am assuming the cats don’t count so no one.

13. Whose wedding were you in the FIRST time?
Never technically been in a wedding.  I was my sister’s personal attendant.

14. What was the FIRST thing you did this morning?
Cursed a lot while trying to get out of bed.  Then I played Mafia Wars.

15. What was the FIRST concert you ever went to?
Either Helen Reddy or Tony Orlando and Dawn.  I would like to state for the record that these were concerts my parents brought me to – my first concert of choice was Night Ranger.

16. What was the FIRST vinyl record you ever bought?
Oh, good Lord.  I have no clue.  I do remember listening to a song that was about tears on my pillow and crying about something or another.  I remember searching through the racks of the small records (33rds?  Is that what they were called?  Can’t remember) looking for something cool at Musicland.

17. What was the FIRST cassette you ever bought?
Again, do not remember.

18. What was the FIRST CD you ever bought?
This I know since CD’s were such a new technology.  That was Lightning Seeds Cloud Cuckooland.  Love that CD even though it was spur of the moment and I had never heard of the band before.

19. What was the FIRST mp3 you ever downloaded?
Do not remember this as well.

20. Who was the FIRST famous person you ever met?
LaVyrle Spencer.  She’s a romance writer from Stillwater, MN.  I loved her books and was completely dumbfounded when I met her.  Couldn’t string together two words.  She hugged me.

21. FIRST tattoo?
Red rose growing through a heart on my shoulder.  Completely faded now – reds do not work well on my skin.

22. FIRST piercing?
Ears, when I was 18.  Completely traumatic.

23. FIRST foreign country you went to?
Canada.

24. FIRST movie you remember seeing?
I remember seeing one about Hercules.  There also was the movie about the Munsters in England.  And Sleeping Beauty (best Disney villain ever).  Maybe Grease?  Did I mention I was old and don’t remember things well?

25. When was your FIRST detention?
Sixth grade.  I was constantly late for school even though I lived two blocks away.

26. What was the FIRST state you lived in?
Minnesota.

27. Who was your FIRST roommate?
LeeAnn W. after my mother kicked me out of the house at 18 (I deserved it).  I moved in with her and her parents.

28. Where did you purchase your FIRST home?
Please.  I don’t even own a car.  What chances are that I’ll buy a house?

29. Where was your FIRST child born?
Can’t have kids.  Can I get a big alleluia over that?  Woo-hoo!

30. Who was your FIRST kiss?
According to my mom, Bryan somebody or another when I was 4.  I don’t think I’ll count that.  According to me, I was 15 and on a church trip somewhere.  I had a huge crush on one of the guys who was our counselor or something – can’t remember.  Anyway, one of our pastors said he wouldn’t talk to me until I kissed this guy.  The entire bus starts chanting “Kiss him.”  I did.  It was sweet and embarrassing and clumsy.  Two weeks later I lost my virginity in a laundry room (not the same guy).

31. What was the name of your FIRST elementary school?
Wildwood Elementary

A month or so ago, Keem talked me into joining Bacefook (I believe Liz coined this fake name for a popular website (flip the B and F)).  I’ve been enjoying it and have connected with a few old high school friends and have become addicted to this weird game called Mafia Wars that I cannot even begin to describe to you.  Anyway, Bacefook allows you to have a status update which is similar to Twitter (short, brief statements about what is going on) and Blogging (but less in depth).

It’s fun.  By joining the website, I can find out what Liz has had for breakfast (tabouli.  Or spaghetti.  Or foods that I have never heard of (tabouli falls into this category) or that Miss Melissa is rocking out to Blondie.  I have also discovered that my brother-in-law really, really hates the Green Bay Packers and is going to get his buttocks kicked very hard because Keem is from Wisconsin. 

Anyway, my morning’s status was that I really did not want to go to work but also, I have been thinking about things.  Which means, of course, that there are bullet points.  YAY!  We love bullet points (Well, I do.  I’m not sure how you all feel about them)!

  • I’m tired and haven’t been sleeping well lately.  It’s kind of irritating.  Plus both my arms hurt now.  It was bad enough that apparently I was pitching left-handed games in my sleep but now my right arm is at it as well.  The Dana, she is saying Grr right now.
  • In our commute this morning, our 15 minute commute, it snowed, sleeted and rained.  Sometimes all at once.  I know I live in Minnesota and I should expect this but really, I would like very much for it to be Spring, thank you.
  • We are having a hush-hush tour at NABABNA next week.  So hush-hush that no one knows who it is.  It has, however, meant major cleaning of our desks.  And the putting away of all of my Despair.com stuff because apparently, no one needs to know that my sense of humor is sarcastic and off-putting (it was actually my idea to put it away.)
  • While I was putting the desk toppers in my overhead compartment, 3 of them decide to slide out and land on the floor.  One of them has a huge crack in the glass now. 
  • I find it amusing that the one that broke is “Bitterness.”  It is cracked like my dreams.  My sweet, sweet dreams.

bitterness2

  • I had the oddest dream on Sunday.  Long story short – I dreamt that I was dating Hugh Hefner and Stan Lee. 
  • I know.  Stan Lee I get.  Marvel Comics.  Awesome upon awesome.  But Hugh Hefner?  What the heck is that?
  • The only good thing about it is the really annoying one from The Girls Next Door (and I only know about these people because of Last Comic Standing) – I don’t remember her name but she was really irrated that Hugh chose me over her because, after all, I am a fat chick.  And then she laughed her annoying laugh that sounds like a donkey on crack.  And then I punched her.
  • Beth, who is one of the greatest friends ever, recently made 44 CDs for me.  44.  That is so amazing, I can’t believe it.  Anyway, last night, I’m loading one of them to iTunes – Creedence Clearwater Revival.  iTunes doesn’t recognize the songs because there isn’t just one album that they’re from so I have to play the song and try to remember the name (thank God for Google and people who love to put lyrics online!) of the song.  While I’m doing this, Kalli started racing back and forth around the apartment, playing frantically with toys and leaping at things.  I have decided that she likes CCR and was expressing her joy at listening to the music. 
  • Beth and I were talking about how we don’t seem to have all that exciting of lives anymore.  It used to be that we’d go to karaoke on Sundays and something odd or funny would happen (such as drunk people dancing with ketchup bottles).  Now there is just karaoke on Thursday nights and, while it is fun, not that much happens.
  • I told Beth that apparently all I do now is talk about being sick and my cats.  Sigh.  I AM a crazy cat lady, aren’t I?  I’m just short 28 cats.
  • I am excited about the possibility of warm weather approaching though.  Keem and I are making plans to take lots and lots of pictures.  That will give me something to write about.
  • While I’m not into basketball, March Madness has effected me in two different ways – one is Go Fug Yourself and the 2nd Annual March Madness they are hosting.  It is hilarious.  You would not believe how much fun really bad clothes are. 
  • The other one is Co-Worker Jessica was puzzling over the March Madness for 90’s Movies and I overheard her trying to decide on a couple of movies.  I decided we could no longer be friends when she chose Tommy Boy over 10 Things I hate About You.  And she’s never seen My Cousin Vinny.  How is that possible?  How?
  • I may have to do the movies one here, if I can figure out how to make the brackets work properly.
  • I was realizing the last Encyclopedia of Dee Em was about Halloween.  I need a good topic for I.  Insanity?  Ice Cream (mmm.  Ice cream).  Igloos?  I need suggestions.
  • What’s been on your minds, everyone?

First of all, thank you for your birthday wishes and your reminders that it is really important that I take my pills.  I appreciate that.

Second, that was the shortest depression I have ever had (the longest lasted 6 months) and it snapped yesterday.   I do not know the exact time but I do know that I was in a much better mood.

Yesterday I played on the computer, watched TV (trying to get caught up on about 11 back episodes of Heroes.  I have a vague idea of what is going on, thanks to Beth), took a nap and cuddled with kitties.  It was awesome.  For the most part.  There were two things that weren’t 100% spectacular.

Number 1 – When Keem came home, I was able to tell her how Kalli is proving herself to be a little sister to Eddy.  Gosh, did it bring back memories of growing up with Kari.  Kari’s nickname was Brat.  It suited her very well.  In fact, if you would have told me 27 years ago that Kari would become one of my best friends, I would have laughed in your face. 

Kalli did the following yesterday:

  • Are you in the cat bed, Eddy?  I want to be in the cat bed.  Let me sit on top of your head until you move. 
  • Are you on the Papasan chair, Eddy?  It’s mine!  MINE!  Let me chew on your ears until you move.
  • Oh!  Hey, Eddy got treats.  I have treats as well but I want his treats.  I am just going to crawl underneath him and push him out of the way.
  • Are you lying there comfortably on the floor, not bothering anyone?  Well, I want that spot of the floor.  Get out!

And so on.  It is somewhat aggravating.  Eddy is incredibly patient, however.  I want to tell him that in a year or so, he and Kalli will be best friends but I know he’d give me the same look that I gave my mom.  The look that says “Seriously?  Woman, are you on crack?”*

*Although, in the 80’s we didn’t know about crack.  Instead I think I gave her the look that said “Dude, what are you smoking?”

Number 2 – after I woke up from my nap (because the stupid apartment right above us is being remodeled.  Apparently I can sleep through a fire alarm but not jackhammers), I noticed something else that was aggravating.  I had a stuffy nose and a sore throat.  This is wrong.  Apparently, on my birthday, God decided I needed the plague.  This did make me decide to unload and load the dishwasher and also vaccum.  For whatever reason, when I get sick, I decide the germs are out to get me and I must destroy them all.

Later that night, Kari came over for girl’s night (every Wednesday) and we watched Chopped on The Food Network (Like Iron Chef but with more drama) and then, to our surprise and excitement, America’s Next Top Model started last week.  We were very happy because honestly, there is nothing funnier than skinny women being forced to live in a house together.  The drama is unbelievable.  And watching one of the prettiest girls ever sobbing because her hair got cut short and she only feels pretty if she covers it up?  Oh, my God, you just want to smack her.  There is one girl we are rooting for, I can’t remember her name but she is a burn victim and wants to be a role model for other burn victims to show them that you can be beautiful even if you are scarred.  I think it is going to be tough for her because not everyone will see things that way, especially in the fashion industry.  But my God, is she beautiful.  She stood there in her bathing suit, proud of herself and it made me happy to see someone take on the fashion industry.  It makes up for the crap about some designer saying Heidi Klum is fat.  Gosh, I wish I was fat like Heidi Klum.

Kari stopped at Culver’s and picked up a Turtle Cake.  It was fantastic.  Eric and Josh called and sang Happy Birthday to me.  My Mom called later that night and also sang Happy Birthday to me. 

So, even though I had to have a nervous breakdown to get the time off (we have a PTO freeze right now), it was worth it.  Now if I could just get rid of this damn plague.

In one week, I will be 42 (March 11th, in case you are wondering). I realized this today when looking at the calendar to figure out what day it was (I have 3 calendars scattered around my cubicle and I still can’t figure it out half the time. Yesterday I decided it was September 1st). I announced this to my co-workers without the panic that usually accompanies my realizing I’m going to be a year older.

For many years, a former friend of mine would say “Hey, Dana, it’s March 1st. You’re going to be (insert age here). What have you done with your life?” Then he would list off all of his accomplisments and compare them to mine. I, of course, was not as awesome and wonderful as he was since I didn’t have children or own a home or ever done anything worth mentioning.

It got to the point that March 1st would roll around and I would plunge into a dark depression. And then it became February 1st and then January 1st and you get the picture. Plus the depression would take forever to break.

A lot of things worked to help me get over this:

  1. I started working at NABABNA and met Beth and Keem and their families.  It feels like I have one big extended family. 
  2. My sister and I are close and I spend every Wednesday night with her.  My family has been a great support system.
  3. I stopped hanging out with people who seemed to only care about themselves and what I could do for them.
  4. I haven’t seen former friend in years.  I rarely think of him.  While I’ll always be grateful to him for convincing me to start working at NABABNA, it is nice to be away from someone who once told me my only purpose in life was to be someone people could make fun of since that would make them feel better about their lives.  Um, yeah, former friend?  Bite me.
  5. My doctor, after a few tries, found an anti-depressant that helps.  While I know I’ll be taking Effexor for the rest of my life, I’m okay with that.  I have been around me when I forget my meds and believe me, I am not much fun.  I’m either plunged into the depths of despair and thinking about killing myself or very manic and doing really dumb things like gambling away my rent money.
  6. I started blogging and met all sorts of awesome people IRL and through the internet.
  7.  I read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe.

For years, if you ask me what the meaning of life is, I will respond with 42.  I can’t help it.  It’s just ingrained in me.  It’s the same thing that makes me growl at the thought of vampires that sparkle (I don’t get this, actually, I read maybe one or two chapters of Twilight and all it did is make me really miss Angel and Spike) or still be disgruntled over the fact that Data died in the last Star Trek: TNG movie (which I haven’t seen yet but I read the transcript).  Once I find something I love, it sticks with me.

So the idea that I’m going to be 42?  It’s like the coolest thing ever.   There’s no depression.  There’s no twinge that maybe I could have done something better in the past that would have led me elsewhere.  I have an absolutely fantastic life and I have all of you to thank for it.

Kalli is fine – she has been spayed and declawed (we didn’t want to get her declawed but it is a requirement of our lease unfortunately (please don’t hate us, Liz)).  She is apparently being affectionate and quiet (this was a shock to hear) and we can pick her up tonight.  Eddy misses her, last night he was wandering around the apartment looking for her.  We look forward to spoiling her like crazy and taking many pictures of her with a cone on her head.

Liz (who I discovered a month or two ago and who has made me chortle over her online dating stories and also makes me want to be a better person because of all of the animal rescuing she does (Not enough to give up meat but I will admit to feeling vaguely guilty every time she talks about being a vegetarian (or vegan.  I get them confused))) recently posted interview questions that were asked of her.  And also asked if anyone would like to be interviewed.

Hmm.  Talk about myself?  Open my soul and spew out the inner-most workings of my mind (which is odd and bizarre but you knew that)?  Let me think about that.  Uh, yeah!  I mean, I do have a category specifically entitled “It is all about me” just because, gosh darnit, this is the one little corner of my universe where everything I say does matter.  

This is the email Liz sent me (after I left a comment saying “Where the heck are my questions, woman?  Where?):

It would probably have helped if I had not inserted an extra letter into your email address.  I wonder why it didn’t bounce back.  Maybe there’s a very confused “greenduckiesgirlS” somewhere, wondering why I’m asking her questions.  Hee.
 
Okay, here they are.  Kind of silly, but…I know you’ll make the best of them.

1.  For the last year or so, my life has seemed like one long round of “Mystery Date”–I keep opening the door to find “The Dud.”  What board game has your life resembled lately?

Um.  I have no clue.  I think the best I can come up with is the non-existant cross-over version of Life crossed with the Buffy the Vampire Slayer game (which, yes, I do own but no one will play with me).  Not that I routinely go around kicking vampire ass but I do have to deal with a lot of stressful situations at work and I can pretend they are vampires.  It keeps me from pulling out my hair.

Yesterday I was looking at Post Secret and saw one from someone who said he routinely pretended he was on the Star Trek bridge and that helped him get through his day.  Whatever works for you, right?  I love my job but sometimes I want to scream.  A lot.  This was the post card.  Isn’t it awesome?

sulu
 
2.  I’m going to pinch a bit of this question from one of Stefanie’s to me:  What one glorious day would you most like to re-live?  And, as a corollary, is there one day you wouldn’t mind removing completely from your memory banks?

There really are a lot of great days that I can remember but I think one of the best was when Beth and I were in Portugal, the day that we took the train to Evora.  I mean, yeah, we got lost twice but it was such a spectacular day all around.  Plus, I got to touch a Roman temple.  How cool is that?

Bad days?  Probably the day I met the former friend I mentioned in the previous post.  I honestly think if I would never have met him, my life would have not taken that long, drawn out bump where I was trapped in an abusive (verbally) relationship without realizing it.  It’s amazing how you can see so clearly when it is someone else but if it’s you, you don’t have a clue.  If that doesn’t count, maybe the day I decided to move to Madison.  That was not a good choice either.

3.      Okay, the bad news is you’re stranded on a desert island.  The good news is, there’s a completely gorgeous man on the island, and he is crazy about you!  You happen to be in possession of one of your favorite books, so you can read when you’re not busy canoodling with Castaway Boy, and (magically!) there’s also an endless supply of ONE of your favorite foods, which you’ll be eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  So–what’s the book, what’s the food, and what’s your pet name for the guy?  Oh, and you’re allowed one (magical!) phone call (which won’t get you off the island)–who do you call?

Ooh.  Gorgeous guy, huh?  I could go for that.  The book is hard to decide because I do love to read so very, very much but I think I would have to go with The Princess Bride by William Goldman.  That book makes me laugh and cry and laugh some more, plus I have the added bonus of being able to run the movie through my mind so it would be a good choice.  Unless you’ll let me slide with the Complete Works of William Shakespeare?  No?  Okay.

Food is tough.  As much as I love steak (sorry), I would have to say I think I would get sick of it after awhile.  I’m going to go with boiled dinner because there’s so many aspects to it – you’ve got your ham (sorry again), your potatoes, carrots and cabbage.  So you can change it up.  I never eat boiled dinner without butter and pepper so I am assuming they’re part of the magic.  Either that or bread, cheese and butter.  I could eat a loaf of bread and butter in one sitting (I don’t (not anymore, at least)).

Pet name for my gorgeous man?  I am fond of Dude.  I call everyone Dude.  Honestly, I’m not one for lovey-dovey nicknames.  Maybe I’ll add an extra “E” or two to his name, depending on what it is.  Like Kim became Keem but Beth is definitely not a Beeth.  Although I imagine he’ll be referred to as the Dread Pirate Roberts at least once.  I am hoping the magic forces that are providing me with food and a phone call will also supply a black mask.

As for a phone call, I am going to say that I will call Keem and my sister and Beth will just happen to be there at the time.

4.  Congratulations!  We can each banish one annoying person from public view permanently.  (They won’t die, or anything…I’m not hypothetically making us murderers.  They’ll just become invisible to cameras and reporters.)  I’m picking Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher.  Who do you choose?

Hmm.  Oh, the choices.  Well, there’s Tom Cruise whom I have hated for years (some people say this is irrational and I really can’t blame him for Goose dying in Top Gun but I disagree), I wouldn’t mind if he disappeared.  If we could get rid of all the Kardassians, I’d be okay with that.  They just annoy me with their vapidness and I can’t figure out why they’re famous.  But if we had to pick the one person I would rejoice over his disappearance, it would need to be Ryan Seacrest.  I dislike him immensely.  In fact, I tend to tell him this loudly whenever he is on the TV.  Not that he can hear me but still, it makes me feel better (ticks Keem off to no end though).

If you would have asked me this last month, it would have been George W. Bush.  But I think he’s going to disappear from view all on his own.  Thankfully.

5.  You’ve mentioned that it’s been several years since your last relationship.  I, too, went several years without dating (before I insanely plunged into the world of online dating a while back).  I don’t remember making a conscious decision not to date–it just sort of happened.  How did it work with you?  Was there a eureka moment where you just said “this madness must stop?”

Long story short?  It’s probably closer to ten years since my last “relationship.”  It started out fairly simply, I had an ex-boyfriend call me up and want to come over.  I knew what he wanted but decided it wasn’t worth shaving my legs for.  So, when he started putting on the moves, I said no.  It was liberating, actually.  You see, for years I had such a low self-esteem problem that whenever a guy showed any interest in me, I felt it was my duty to sleep with him.  This led to a lot of degrading experiences.  And when I would actually get involved with someone for more than one night, I tried to change myself into what I thought they wanted.  So instead of being the funny, sarcastic woman they first met, I turned into this clinging, paranoid whiner.  I hated that.  

It was tough at first but I realized I didn’t need a man to make me happy.  Especially since none of the guys I ever dated made me happy (well, one did but that ended badly) and I didn’t make them happy (although they didn’t deserve me) so what was the point?  As time went on, the more I thought about it, the less interested I became in the whole male-female dynamic.  I’m pretty happy being single and I don’t have to shave my legs so bonus.  

I don’t know if I’ll ever decide I want to start dating again.  I think I’m fairly selfish and don’t want to adapt to the whole dating thing again.  However, I think I could be very happy with an android boyfriend.  I think Gene Roddenberry ruined me for real men when he created Data.
 
6.  My favorite song to sing at karaoke is the Patsy Cline version of “Crazy.”  I love Patsy Cline–my parents met her backstage at the Grand Ole Opry a few months before I was conceived (I have a picture) and I think some of her spirit lingered in my mother and came out in me.  (Okay, I don’t REALLY think that–but it’s a fun thought.  I CAN sing the hell out of her songs, though.)  What’s your favorite karaoke song, and is there a fun back-story?

I really like singing Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “I Feel Lucky.”  I don’t really have a back story for it but I like to imagine having that kind of day.  Win the lottery, have two guys fighting over you.  Although I suppose that might mean I’d have to date the winner.  But hey, he could be an android, right?

Happy New Year.   I like to take the time to review the previous year and see what has changed or stayed the same.  Much has stayed the same but there are some changes.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
Turned 41.  Finally managed to blog for the entire month of November.  It almost killed me but I did it.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Apparently I made one but I have no idea what it was.  Oops. This year I am resolving to not run through my vacation time before September and to be organized at work so that if I do get sick at the end of the month, I can take time off without panicking.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth or adopt?
No.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My Aunt Rita.

5. What countries did you visit?
I went to this strange land where they really like cheese and the colors green and gold.  I think it is called WySconSanLand

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Money.  A job that doesn’t make me want to pull my hair out (which, I love my job but it is incredibly stressful.  As Co-Worker Rykken said the other day, we went from being underworked to overworked.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
November 4th, 2008.  Change has come!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Not dying from the plague.  Going to the chiropractor and finally being almost completely pain free.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Losing weight.  Same as last year.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had a really fun surgery on my lady bits.

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

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Beth and Keem.  John McCain at his concession speech.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Sarah Palin.  John McCain before his concession speech.  Norm Coleman.  God, I hate politics.  Oh, and that Madoff jerk.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Probably books.  Medical bills.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Um.  Don’t know.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
I have no idea.

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

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Exercising.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Getting sick. I hate being sick. And yes, this is the same answer as last year.  Oh wait, it’s been the same answer for 3 years now.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
It’s after Christmas.  I stayed home because I was sick.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
Yes.  With a small gray ball of fur named Kalli.

22. How many one-night stands?
I haven’t had one of those in at least 10 years.

23. What was your favorite TV program?
The Big Bang Theory, Worst Week, Psych and Burn Notice

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Other than Norm Coleman, no.  Oh, wait, I hated him last year as well.

25. What was the best book you read?
I read too much to have a best book. 

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Lenka – Love “The Show.”

27. What did you want and get?
An iPod Nano! 

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

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
Wall-E (according to Christy.  I might have liked other movies but don’t remember.  Oh, wait, Beth made me watch The Departed and I really liked that but got really angry over the fact that it made me find Leonardo DeCaprio attractive.  That is just wrong!)

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Went to Duluth, hung out with Beth.  The day after my birthday I had surgery.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
My life is pretty decent.  It would be better if I had more money.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Heh.  I have no fashion concept.

33. What kept you sane?
Beth. Keem. Effexor.  Blogging and reading blogs.  Sheryl from Paper Napkin with her grateful list.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Jason Statham.  Yum.  Ryan Reynolds in Blade III.  Yum again.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
The 2008 presidential election.  Do not get me started on this.  And waiting to find out if I have to put up with Norm Coleman again. 

36. Who did you miss?
Always miss my grandmother.  My mom who lives in Arizona.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
I’m kind of anti-social.  Can’t think of an answer.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
Uh.  That blogging 30 days in a row makes me crazy and it probably isn’t worth it?

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
“I’m just a little bit caught in the middle.  Life is a maze, and love is a riddle.  I don’t know where to go, can’t do it alone.  I’ve tried but I don’t know why.”  Lenka – The Show.  I love that song.

Best picture of the year?  This one.  It is now on my background on my work computer.

squirrel-and-coffee1

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