Wednesday, June 23, 2004

How I wish to be a kid again...

Don't get me wrong. There are definite things to being an adult that are great, but I wish there were some of those childhood innocence ideals that could be held onto forever. One of those is the first day of summer.

Remember the last day of school every year? How relaxed and full of possibility it was? I remember sitting in class, watching the clock tick down, waiting for that moment when the bell would ring and the halls would fill of students rushing out to start their summer adventures.

Summer was always a time of sleeping late, playing games, and exploring. In one of the neighborhoods we lived in there was a weekly puppet show. This is one of those things that can only be enjoyed through the eyes of a child. The kids around and I would make up games, running through the woods nearby, never fearful of other people but each monster we made up was real. You could believe the summer would last forever because it did. To a child, three months is a lifetime. It wasn't the nice weather, it was the idea of having no responsibilities, no place to go. All you had to worry about was getting home in time for supper.

I miss the feeling of that last day of school, the true start of summer. I enjoyed going to school and those responsibilities but nothing beat that feeling of possibility.

Was it the nice weather that made summer great? I don't think so. Nice weather still comes each year (although I like spring and fall more than summer), it just never falls in line with that last day of school anymore.

I posted a song the other night that reminded me of a boy I knew in high school. Thinking about him got me thinking about the last day of school. Even in high school, when summer meant hours of working to afford all those late nights out playing pool, going to the drive-in, and driving for hours on end, the last day of school still filled my heart with happiness. Maybe it was the fact it was him or maybe it was the fact it was the last day of school on my last summer before adulthood, or maybe it was a little bit of both, but I was ready to have fun and go against my strict logic.

As we were leaving school that fine, sunny day, he turned to me and asked simply, "Can I drive?" Now, this may not seem like a lot, but it really was. As I mentioned, I have strict logic reasoning. He didn't have a license and had never driven a stick before and I loved my car. But the sun made his eyes sparkle and of course, I caved in. I started my last summer of being a kid laughing and smiling and just enjoying his company. I still remember that mischievous smile of his and it lifts me up. We are lucky as human beings to experience things and make memories that we can carry for life. The feeling that day will stick with me forever.


At 11:43 AM, CarpeDM said...

You are definitely an impressionist, Beth. I do remember what it was like to be truly free. I miss it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Song of the Night - Summer Obsession

Alright, I admit it. Years ago I had a thing for a certain guy and ever summer the feelings come back. I haven't talked to him in over 4 years and I still think of him every time summer comes creeping up. This song has nothing to do with summer, but it reminds me of him (he exposed me to it by singing it sweetly and full of emotion) and summer reminds me of him, so here it is:

You Move Me
Performed by Garth Brooks

This is how it seems to me
Life is only therapy
Real expensive
And no guarantee
So I lie here on the couch
With my heart hanging out
Frozen solid with fear
Like a rock in the ground

But you move me
You give me courage
I didn't know I had
You move me
I can't go with you
And stay where I am
So you move me

This is how love was to me
I could look and not see
Going through the emotions
Not knowing what they mean
And it scared me so much
That I just wouldn't budge
I might have stayed there forever
If not for your touch

Oh but you move me
Out of myself and into the fire
You move me
Now I'm burning with love
And with hope and desire
How you move me

You go whistling in the dark
Making light of it
And I follow with my heart
Laughing all the way

Oh 'cause you move me
You get me dancing and you make me sing
You move me
Now I'm taking delight
In every little thing
How you move me

It's a sweet song from the Garth Brooks album, Sevens. I used to listen to it over and over as I tried to fall asleep each night. Unrequited love aside (drunk girl from karaoke, "I don't know what that is,"), it's a soft, happy song about how the presence of one person, or the thought of one person, can set your heart free. I don't regret my feelings for this individual, I do regret never really telling him. I'm glad I knew him and will carry those feelings in my heart for the rest of my life.

I have gotten over wanting to see him again. Time changes everyone, I'm a different person now and I'm sure he is too. I sometimes wonder how his life is going, but I don't need to be a part of it any longer. I wish him happiness and I hope that he is spreading joy to those lives he is touching.

** Side note, I don't like the spell check on this program. If there are any apostrophes that are replaced with weird symbols, that's the spell check. It keeps changing them into very odd looking characters.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Why do apples fall off trees?

So they can become applesauce!

Dana hates, I mean, HATES, Laffy Taffy. The jokes are terrible because they're made up by little kids. Little kids without the influence of society and logic. Since Dana claims to not use logic, I don't know why she can't enjoy these jokes.

There was a time when Dana went to Vegas for her sister's wedding. Work was pretty boring without Dana around and so each day I would email her another joke from Laffy Taffy so that when she came back she'd know how much I missed her. She was oh so appreciative when she returned.

Since I'm on the subject of jokes, I have to share one that is just classic.

Out in the country is a small farm. There is a horse and chicken that are really great friends. The horse and the chicken hang out together all day long in the fields of this farm. One day they go for a walk. As they were walking along, the horse falls into a pit of quicksand. Yes, quicksand. The horse starts to sink and cries out to his friend the chicken. "Help me, I need you to pull me out!"

The chicken is afraid for his friend and he runs back to the farm as quickly as his little legs can carry him. When he gets back to the farm, he looks around and sees the farmer's BMW parked nearby. He hops in the driver's seat and drives the car to the quicksand (yes, his little legs were able to reach the pedals). When he gets back to the horse, he throws a rope that he tied to the bumper and backs the car up, pulling the horse to safety.

The horse looks at his friend the chicken and tells him, "Thank you, thank you! You saved my life. You are my best friend in the entire world!"

The horse and chicken return to the barn and have a great party. They celebrate life and friendship. The horse passes out and wakes up later to hear screaming. His friend the chicken is missing.

Worried about his best friend, the horse gallops out to the sounds. He finds that the chicken had wandered around in the dark and fell into the pit of quicksand. The chicken is telling him, "Please, help me! Help!"

The farmer went to town that night so the horse couldn't go get the BMW. He decides to straddle the pit of quicksand and lean down. "Grab onto my member," he tells the chicken, "and I'll pull you to safety."

The chicken grabs hold and the horse pulls his friend to safety. The chicken is grateful and tells the horse, "Thank you. Thank you! You are my best friend in the entire world."

And the morale of this story...

"If you're hung like a horse, you don't need a BMW to pick up chicks."


At 8:36 AM, CarpeDM said...

I cannot believe you are torturing me with more Laffy Taffy jokes. That is just wrong.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Homicidal Barbie - the newest playtoy!

Why does everyone look at me funny when I use Barbie as a reference whenever something evil happens in their lives?

When I was a young girl, I did not have any sisters or any female cousins close to my age. I did have a couple of female cousins who had outgrown playing with Barbies however, that gave me their old playtoys. Between birthdays, Christmas, and the hand-me-downs, I had one of the larger collections of Barbies that people actually played with in the neighborhood. Each summer, my older cousin, Ellen, would come to watch me. We would play Barbies at least three times a week, after Ellen had watched her favorite soap opera. Now, I’ve heard that most girls growing up had fun combing Barbie’s hair and putting her into cool outfits so she could go on her date with Ken. Nice, normal right? I don’t think so. With the influence of Ellen’s soap operas, Barbie had the personality of a psychopath.

We had a running list of the things that happened in Barbie’s life. You know, day-to-day stuff such as taking out the garbage (Ken), cleaning house (or making Skipper do that), planting flowers (oh, how decomposing flesh was a great fertilizer), and, well, you get my point. There was a rule in the land of Barbie. If someone was getting married and the bride or groom did not show up, the one left at the altar had to marry someone who showed up to the wedding. The dolls had many marriages and divorces. (Divorce comes naturally when you are forced to marry someone you really dislike.) When Barbie got married, she didn’t change her name, she just added to it. Now, not all of the female Barbie’s had the same name. We were more creative than that. Let’s see, there was Kristie, Jen, Sue, Hair (she was the Barbie with really long hair), Legs (you know, the style of Barbie that had the hard plastic legs, not the bendy kind so it was okay to put that one in jeans), and of course, Barbie. Those are all I remember right now. There were other Barbie’s of course, and I seem to remember they were named for the outfits they wore, but they were minor characters.

Ken was a sissy. That’s all there is to it. Since the Ken dolls were not that great to play with when I was a child (I don’t know if they’ve gotten any better), I had inherited some Dukes of Hazards dolls from Ellen’s brother, Brad. The Dukes of Hazards dolls were slightly larger than Ken, so of course Ken clothing did not fit them. They dressed rather unconventionally. Luke and Bo wore togas to classy functions many times. Old pieces of bed linen were also good to wrap up the men like mummies and sometimes they took to wearing Barbie’s skirts with elastic waistbands.

Looking back, I see how I had a demented childhood where women were powerful and able to kill, maim, cheat, steal, lie, and do whatever they wanted. At least the men were able to express their sexuality!

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

An update to my obsession

I've written before about the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. I thought I was obsessed. I just needed to share the fact that I have not gone too far.

The other day I was looking for a certain piece of artwork from one of the books and came across the official fan site for these books. Being curious on how crazy people were, I looked at the merchandise for sale. Now, I admit, I love these books. I'm anxiously awaiting the final chapter in the story to see if Roland makes it to the tower. I have never, I repeat, NEVER, thought about owning Dark Tower underwear.

Nothing says sexy like a pair of Stephen King thong underwear. And the best part of this insane idea is the fact Roland sayings are available on the underwear. Does this seem appropriate? "First comes smiles. Then lies. Then gunfire." What!?! Why??? Needless to say, I'm not going to purchase these. Just thought I should share this fact.

Another song to check out

I just got my Matchbox Twenty concert in the mail. Yea! It's great. I've watched it four times already. (This is better than having actual network t.v. playing.)

One of the songs from Matchbox Twenty's third album is called, "Soul," and I love it. It's a wonderful song. I just wanted to share the lyrics here:

Hang out my window over your head
Stare at your feelings to see where they end
You're waiting here for someone else to break you from the inside
You've been so composed
But we all know there's

Always something tearing you apart
It's always so much longer than you counted on
And it hits you so much harder than you thought
But you don't worry
You don't worry
Cuz you got soul

You're so heavy you're so misunderstood
I spent all my wishes wishing times were good when I still could
Wait around here for someone else to take me past the good side
At it for so long you don't show there's

Always something tearing you apart
It's always so much longer than you counted on
It hits you so much harder than you ever thought it would
You don't worry
You don't worry
Darling you got so much soul
Darling you got so much soul

There's always something tearing you apart
It's always so much longer than you counted on
It hits you so much harder than you ever thought it would
But you don't worry
But you don't worry
But you don't worry
But you don't worry
But you don't worry
But you don't worry
Cuz you got soul

Matchbox Twenty is one of those bands that surprised me. When their first album came out, I pondered purchasing it because I only knew two of their songs. I've bought so many albums for a couple of songs and been disappointed. I put in the first album and LOVED it. It's wonderful. Then came the second album. Bands tend to disappoint with the second album. Not this time. Wow! When I heard about the third album, I thought it couldn't get any better. It did.

The third album by Matchbox Twenty is called, "More Than You Think You Are." In listening to the album, you can tell the influence 70's rock had on this band. They capture the feeling of a great era of music. If you're someone who wrote off Matchbox Twenty because you didn't like, "Push," give this album a try. It's a different feel and the songwriters hit those emotions you never could quite vocalize.

The Twin Cities People Store and other late night commercials

I don't watch a lot of television, but what I do watch tends to be at 2 or 3 in the morning. This enables me to memorize all the different late night commercials jingles. Why, I don't know. Is this useful in life? No, it's not.

One of the commercials that I hate is for the Twin Cities People Store. Unless you're from the Twin Cities, you have never understood how stupid this commercial is. It's for a dating service. Basically there are black and white pictures of people in ballerina dresses and holding mops. I think it goes, "Too busy with chores? And all those dance lessons! Meet people the old-fashioned way, dial the Twin Cities People Store. It's an easy way to meet nice people." That's the gist of it. What bothers me about this is the fact that when I think of meeting people the old-fashioned way, I don't think of dialing a phone and listen to "nice people describe themselves." Is this old-fashioned in any way shape or form? Ugh!

In my book (which doesn't exist but maybe someday), the worst commercial ever was for Quizno's Subs. It involved these singing things (they looked like hairless rats but I guess they're supposed to be bread - I'll get to that) with horrible voices singing about how bringing in a coupon would get you a dollar off of a sub. These rat-things would sing (I think I mean scream) "EAT QUIZNO'S SUBS! ANY COUPON WORKS" and something about a hair-cut. The first time I saw this commercial, I sat up and said (probably loudly), "What was that?!?!?!?!?!?!?" This commercial did not last long. Most sane people thought using hairless rats to promote food was not a good plan. What's even worse is the fact these are supposed to be loaves of bread. Great! Now I'm hungry because food is screaming at me to "EAT ME!" It's like promoting cannibalism. I think I would be freaked out if a cow mooed at me, "I'm tasty." (Well, I might freak out after I've sold the cow to a circus because that's just cool. A talking cow!)

You know the Mattress Giant commercial? The words never change but if you pay attention you'll notice the pictures change. My life is so sad.

All of my friends can actually sing the lyrics to the National American University commercial. You know the one, "One day, one night, Saturday is alright...." It's sad.

In realizing that I don't watch a lot of t.v., I'm afraid for America. I watch maybe four hours of t.v. a week and this is what I remember. Let's try to make this world a better place. Pick up a book once in awhile.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Obsession, yes, that's what it is

Alright, I held out for years. I love to read but I tend to stick to one author. I do occassionaly pick up works by authors other than Stephen King (The Da Vinci Code was good - if you want to try Dan Brown, read Angels and Demons first. It's better and you can catch the formula for The Da Vinci Code quickly. If you're looking for a light read with funny situations, I do recommend Mil Millington. He's hilarious!) but I'm obsessed with Stephen King's works, especially The Dark Tower series. (Like to the fact I'm thinking of taking a day off of work on September 21st just to read the last book of the series.)

Maybe my obsession for a good story began as a kid, the only story I remember clearly being read to me by my mother is Eyes of the Dragon. Great story. Absolutely wonderful. My reading material in middle school consisted of such wonderful stories as It and The Talisman. I held off from The Dark Tower. I resisted it's pull. Maybe because I was chicken and worried that the story would never be finished and I'd be stuck in limbo. I'm not so sure that's the case. I did read The Gunslinger pretty early in my life, but the story didn't grab me at that time. I think it's because I didn't like the main character. He was cold-hearted and dangerous.

So, last year I heard Stephen King was going to finish the series. It was time. I picked up the first book and plugged through it (which, by the way, is the shortest of all the books and took me the longest to read). The second book, The Drawing of the Three, called to me. I picked it up and fell in love. Completely. Ever since, I couldn't get enough. (To the point that I've started watching old Westerns just to see gunslingers.)

All of this is just to bring me to why I started this post. Last I had heard, the sixth book would come out sometime in August. I, being the obsessed person I am, went online on June 1st just to see which day in August. To my surprise, the release date had been pushed forward and I found that I only had to wait a week. Excitement came over me!

On June 7th, 2004, just three days ago, the sixth book of the series came out. It is called Song of Susannah. In my obsession, I went to Wal-Mart on Monday night to be there at midnight. The books weren't out yet so I patiently waited (inside screaming, "GIVE ME THE BOOK!") while a very nice worker went into the back and got me a copy of the book. I made it quickly to the check-out and back to my car. I had enough sense to not read and drive at least.

Now here's where there is my first problem. (I'm calling it a problem, others would just call me insane.) When I was handed the book, I became immediately disappointed. Why, you ask? Because it's only 413 pages long! I was expecting something around the 900 pages mark.

I have other things to do (with moving in two and a half weeks I should be packing) but no, I get home and decide it is time to start reading. I read half the book the first night and finished it the next.

Still on the edge of my seat waiting for book seven and the end to Roland's quest, I have some issues with the last couple of books. I know that Stephen King likes to leave these stories with cliffhangers and that does not worry me. What worries me is that this series, his epic story, may turn out to be a joke. Here's the problems I am having with the last few books:


1. Stephen King wrote himself into the story. I hate when authors do that. It's like they're trying to say they're God and that they control the story. Yes, Mr. King does try to steer clear of this a little by stating he's just the writer telling the story that needs to be told (like a scribe or something), but he's still influencing it and showing that in the work. It's annoying.

2. He keeps trying to freak me out by almost killing the cute little billy-bumbler Oy in the story. Oy is like a dog but also like a raccoon. He can talk (a little) and it seems he can cry. Don't kill him. He's cute. You can't kill the cute little furry creature. That's just my opinion.

3. It's too short! (I think I said that above, didn't I? You would think that a story over 3,000 pages wouldn't be too short, but it is.)

4. Roland has gone through life being cold-hearted. He's finally made friends and understands that friends make up life. I know that some of them might die and that's part of the story, but if Roland ends up sacrifing them, he's never been redeemed. Book three was Redemption. You can't go back. (Again, my opinion.)

Okay, so maybe I don't have that many problems with the story and you could say that my getting so involved shows how much the story means to me. I'm just hoping that the end result doesn't make a mockery of the trials to get there. It's a great story, keep it that way. I'm not saying it has to have a happy ending, just an ending that fits the work before it.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Oh, I like Paul Simon, who's that guy I don't like?

I love Dana. Not in that way. I do love her as one of my best friends in the entire world. She's great. She's said so herself (as in, "I'm great, I just don't remember it"). A night out with Dana is worth more than a year of comedy clubs, a decade of warm fuzzies, and a lifetime of penguins. (Did I mention, I'm kind of random?)

Before I go too much further, I need to explain the title of this post. This is one of the reasons I love Dana.

I like music right? I think most people in the world would say they do. I know that everyone has different tastes and that's perfectly fine. Sometimes though, Dana scares me. I had gone CD shopping one late Tuesday night (just to check out the late-night record shop) and yea! I found Paul Simon's greatest hits. I, of course, am overjoyed. My friends, Dana included, have enjoyed listening to other Paul Simon albums many a nights of playing Sheepshead.

The next day, I go to work as usual. Sharing my excitement, I show Dana my new CD. She scoffs and gives me this look like she's thinking, "Oh my God, why did she buy that crap?" I stare at her in this puzzled fashion and feel a little hurt that she never mentioned not liking Paul Simon's music before. I decide to let it go.

After work, Dana and I were to go hang out with Matt. As we're getting to my car (Dana does not drive), I let her know her choices of music for the evening. I have Eminem or Paul Simon. I know that she hates Eminem and this she confirms by stating (imagine a heavy sigh first), "I'll put up with Paul Simon." So we get Matt and are driving (for the life of me I cannot remember where). The music is playing and Dana says, "Well, I like this Paul Simon song." (I think it was Graceland.) 'O.K.' I think to myself. The next song comes on and she repeats herself. After about 7 songs, Dana turns to me and says, "Oh, I like Paul Simon! Who's that guy I don't like?"

Here's the funny part. When she asks me "Who's that guy I don't like?" I respond, "Bob Dylan." This was correct. Matt is now in the backseat of my car, scratching his head and looking for Rod Sterling. (For those wondering how I figured out the guy she doesn't like, you have to know Dana and follow associations. Paul Simon and Bob Dylan were both folk singers from the same era. Their last names could be boy's first names. There is a connection.)

On a regular basis, Dana asks me why we are friends. She's adventurous and impulsive, I'm logical and follow the rules. She works days, I live at night. At first glance, you would say the only things we have in common are: we're female, we both breathe air. But then, life is not made up of appearances. (If it were, many people with mullets would be in prison.) Dana and I met through our jobs at a bank (to remain nameless - this is not a place to slam a corporation). We both worked together on the helpdesk and at one time had similar schedules. We still work together (only 3 hours a week) in positions that include the helpdesk and functions similar to assistant managers. Does that make us friends? No, it doesn't. I work with many people (some for even more than 3 hours a week) and I wouldn't call them my friends. I would call most of them co-workers. So that doesn't answer the question.

Dana and I are both avid scrapbookers (so is Keem, but she'll get her own post). We can watch movies, cut paper, laugh at pictures, drool over new cropping toys, and spend entire evenings working on creative projects to store our photos. Does this make us friends? It's an interest we both have and we have a good time doing it, but no. I don't think this is what makes us friends. I know other people who I definitely would not call friends who love to scrapbook. I can walk into any scrapbooking store and see other people with the same interests I have and not call them my friends. So, that doesn't answer the question.

When it comes to music, Dana and I are pretty close to being on the same page. (Or should I say Page?) We do both like Barenaked Ladies and Matchbox Twenty. There are other bands we both enjoy, but then we both have some differences in our music choices. So because we can laugh and sing to the same songs, does that make us friends? I think not. I've been to a few concerts and I wouldn't call the entire crowd my friends. It just doesn't happen.

Are we friends because we both love watching movies? No. Lots of people watch movies and even if the movies we like are the same, it doesn't make people friends.

I think this entire random string boils down to my definition of friendship. Friendship is one of the most challenging and exciting things about life. Many people out there will tell you family is the most important thing, but I don't believe it. I do believe family is important, I love my family dearly, but I think friendship is better. I never hear anyone saying that they want to spend the rest of their life with their family. They want to make their own family. How do you make a family? You surround yourself with friends. I think you can make members of your family into your friends. What is special is when your friends have become a member of your family. Friends can be those family members you want around.

Friends can make you laugh. They can make you cry. They can be a shoulder when times are tough, or they can be a sun shining in the happy times. What is most important in friendship is knowing they are there for you, just as you are there for them. Dana is one of those people who I know, deep down in my heart, will always be a friend. I will always want to hang out with her and laugh all night. I will always want to get into deep discussions about politics, religion, or even minor things such as music or books with her. If there is a problem in her life, I will want to help her deal with it. She deserves the world and I want to help her in her journey to get it.

Dana and I are friends because I know she will always be true to herself and those around her. She doesn't hide who she is. She is willing to try new things, have fun, and chalk up the bad to learning experiences. Dana has a kind soul, she loves life, and she spreads joy. In knowing her, I call her my friend. Friendship is a combination of so many factors, and when they come together, it is the best thing. With Dana, friendship comes together. She makes those around her smile. She can be eccentric, she can have her silly days, but when all is said and done, she is true and one of the greatest people in the world. I'm lucky to know her and (dare I say it) blessed to call her my friend.


At 10:43 PM, CarpeDM said...

Damn it! You made me cry. I was going along, just fine, laughing at the whole Paul Simon thing and then boom - tears! Thank you for all of the wonderful things you said about me. Gosh, I'm great. Oh, c'mon, you so knew that was coming.

Love you much! Ciao!

Sheepshead - Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Game

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...
What am I saying, it was the best of times. I know that Dana is planning on explaining the rules of Sheepshead to the world through her blogspot - "" - but I really wanted to comment on one of her posts. This required me to sign up for a blogspot and now I'm thinking it might be a little bit of fun.
I'm not going to explain Sheepshead in detail here, I'm just going to talk about how this game has brought a group of people together and created many nights of craziness. The official Sheepsheadians are Dana, Kim (a.k.a. Keem), Adam, Matt, and I. We are the ones who play the game and love it. For over 3 years, our group has gotten together at certain all night restaurants to play for hours. There have been numerous occasions where we've been at the restaurant long enough to order twice! We have formed a strong friendship in our group and it is one that I know will last a lifetime. In posts to come, I'll be talking about our adventures and the random, crazy things we do and sometimes hear.


At 6:54 AM, CarpeDM said...

Yay! A blog for Beth! I'm so excited. I will have to check back often.