Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Common Sense Takes a Holiday

The following are three stories about where impulse may produce scary results. Two of the stories are about me, the third is about my great-grandmother and may explain where I get it from.

Chinese Anyone?

My first job, other than babysitting, was at a Chinese restaurant. I worked there from age 14 to 16 and looking back, I realize it was illegal for me to work there in the first place. The restaurant served liquor and I was too young to serve it. Oops. Oh well.

One afternoon, I was fifteen here, three boys came in and ordered a table full of entrees. The boys were all about 17 or 18 and they liked to, what is affectionately termed, "Dine and Dash". As they walked past the register, I realized they were not going to pay. Not thinking at all, I followed them outside. Two of them took off running and I kept up with one of the boys. I followed him all the way to his house.

Luckily, the boys were not prone to violence. Here was me, a fifteen year old girl, walking with a 17 or 18 year old boy for about a mile and a half. My manager was back at the restaurant, having a heart attack. He was afraid I was going to be killed or something. He called the police and a squad car found me as I was walking back to the restaurant. I gave the policeman the location of the boy's house and they went and collected the cash from his mother. My manager never let me walk to work again after that day. Even though I could cut through my backyard and walk two buildings over, I was not allowed to walk to work. So I was told to drive around the block for each of my shifts.

Say Merry Christmas to me and I'll cut your face

Our call center for NABABNA used to be located in downtown Saint Paul. We were used to walking in pairs through the skyway. It was not a pleasant experience outside the call center, but that's life.

Once, my car was broken into. The person took a fire extinguisher off the wall and busted out a window. The worst part was the fact it was January and really cold outside and now I had no back window.

I came into work on a Saturday afternoon one day and pushed the button for the elevator. The doors opened up and there was a man standing alone in the shaft, urinating. My response was, "I guess I'll take the stairs." What I refrained from saying was, "If you're that small, don't whip it out in public." But I didn't feel like dying that day.

NABABNA has call centers open all year long. That means each year, people take turns working the various holidays. I volunteered to work Christmas that year (good excuse to avoid family). I entered the elevator and got off on the skyway level. As the doors opened, there were 6-17 year old girls standing there. The girls were dressed in the traditional gang banger outfits and talking smack. These were not your run-of-the-mill nun wannabes. These girls meant business.

Since it was my floor, I tried to exit the elevator to be bumped and pushed by these girls. I tried to be polite, saying, "Excuse me." The one girl turned to me with attitude and said, "Excuuuuuse you!"

It made me angry. I don't know why. I could have just let it go, but I didn't. I turned back to the group of girls who were probably looking for a fight, and said, "Listen bitch! There's this thing called manners. If you want to get on the elevator, it's a good idea to let the people on the elevator off first so you actually fit!"

The girl looked at me and her back-up started crowding around. I think I was blessed when I heard from behind me the wonderful security guard, backing me up. She kicked the girls out of the building and luckily, I was not cut up or beat up by teenagers on Christmas.


My great-grandmother on my mom's side was named Lillie Mae. She and my great-grandfather owned a gas station in Ohio in the late 1800's, early 1900's. One night, Lillie was in the shop by herself, closing up.

Three men pulled up in a vehicle and started to fill up their tank. They entered the store and decided to hold up Lillie.

They demanded to have the cash given to them. Lillie had put the bills in her overalls right before they showed up and lied to the men, telling them that her husband had already come to take the money.

The men saw it was worthless and left. They had guns, but this didn't stop Lillie. She chased after them, demanding they pay for the gas they just put into their tank!

I get it from somewhere, I guess.


At 11:45 AM, The Lioness said...

Good genes, purty genes!


Another random search that found my site:

necrophelia illegal

This is quite disturbing. I'm pretty sure it was from the zombies post. I'm sure the person wasn't looking for me.


Before you tell me to go to the doctor...

I hate doctors. I think they're a waste of money. This belief comes from my family and so I avoid doctors, only going when absolutely necessary.

For example, if I have the flu, a doctor will tell me to rest, take some Nyquil (or whatever over-the-counter medication), and drink plenty of fluids. Do I need to pay him my $30 co-pay for that? I think not.

When I got a sinus infection, I went to the doctor immediately. To get rid of an infection, one needs antibiotics and so I went. He prescribed me these pills and I was on my way. That's okay.

Why am I bringing this up?

Because I seem to have come down with the bug that's going around and I feel like crap. It came on rather quickly too.

My eyes are watery and blood-shot. I fell asleep last night at 1:30 AM (which is extremely unusual for me). I woke up before noon today on my own. My throat hurts and I have a cough. Without being too descriptive, the cough is not just the simple, garden variety, polite cough you hear from high society members. No, it's the whole flemmy thing. And it's gross. I took my temperature and I have a slight fever (Dana, do not freak out here, it's only 99.8 - not 103.1 like the other time). Since my body usually doesn't reside at the standard 98.6 most people are used to, the fever is a little more significant, but still nothing to get too alarmed over.

So I figure I need plenty of rest, take some Nyquil (or Advil cold and sinus so I don't sleep for three days solid), and drink plenty of fluids. I'm going to run to the store and buy fruit juice. I'm not going to just drink Coke all day.

I think I need to call in to work. Crap!


At 6:30 PM, CarpeDM said...

I am so sorry that you are sick. I will not nag or worry excessively.

Why, why do you keep bringing up the 103 temp? It only makes me feel guilty for talking you into coming to work. Do you like to make me feel guilty?

Anyway, guilt aside, I am hoping you feel better soon. I sent you a surprise but I am not telling you what it is. Hahaha.

At 11:45 AM, The Lioness said...

Being sick is the pits, hope you feel better soon.

Monday, November 29, 2004


Here's yet another post about my new car and the experience of changing all my information.

I just have to say, I love my insurance company. I have car insurance through AIG and my employer has a discount for me and I called to get a new quote. My insurance did go up because it's a new vehicle, but it only went up $17 for each six months! That's so cool! I'm just happy about it.

Knocking Knees

Tonight was Sunday and of course, karaoke was involved. What else would Dana and I do on Sunday evenings? Twiddle our thumbs?

A couple of weeks ago, hope was renewed when THE BOY gave me a wink and a smile as he was leaving. I tried very hard to not have this little gesture lift my spirits too high and failed miserably, of course.

THE BOY and his friend, Pete, have been coming up to the Chalet every other week and so last week, I was not too disappointed that they made no appearance.

I figured they would show up tonight and so I did absolutely nothing to my appearance. In fact, I went to my dad's beforehand for a belated Thanksgiving dinner, complete with the most awesome turkey ever. My dad has a recipe for a garlic injected turkey. The turkey is moist and potent. And makes me smell like garlic. (If anyone wants the recipe, I'd be happy to post it here.)

Smelling like garlic, I decided to wear no makeup, I wore a turtleneck sweater and barely even ran a brush through my hair. It was an experiment, but I wanted to see what type of reaction I got with no effort.

Usually, THE BOY and Pete show up around 11:00. Dana and I get there around 9:30 each Sunday night. Much to my surprise, they walked in the door about 20 minutes after we did tonight. They walked over to the table next to ours and seeing the extra chairs, Pete asked if they could join us. Of course we said, "Yes." Actually, mine (while I'm staring at THE BOY and not Pete) probably sounded more like, "Yes! I'd love for you to sit by me where I can stare at you for hours on end. Please???" At least my mouth only said, "Yes."

Pete took the chair next to Dana and THE BOY sat down next to me. This is about the time my brain shut off. I was putty.

Our table sat and talked for two and a half hours, listening to singers and singing ourselves. I got compliments from THE BOY after my songs and I gave them back. He's so attractive and nice. We shared customer service stories and the appropriate laughter was given at the punchlines.

I shared the fact I had a new car, mainly because I'm excited, but also because he is a part-time mechanic and cars seemed like a good subject.

He likes football and I shared my realization on Thanksgiving, thoroughly making an idiot out of my self. He laughed at my lack of football knowledge (as I said, I learned something on Thanksgiving and what I learned was that there are players in American football that are not actually supposed to throw or catch the ball).

I act like a moron around men I'm attracted to. I don't understand why. I just don't. But it happens. It's like a switch turns to "off" in my head and I start conversations I think will be intelligent and find the endings lacking. But he smiled and went with it.

For some reason, he didn't run away when I showed the picture still on my digital camera of the petrified fish head (see post below). He laughed at the Thanksgiving story. He showed interest in my explanation of Sheepshead, commenting about the "Sheeps" part of it. He was amused and slightly scared at the "Dana, I'm still not going to give you an enema" statement I made. Why did I say it? Because my brain shut off. That's why.

Was there anything else? Oh yeah. There's more to come here.

As the night progressed, he kept getting closer in his chair. Our knees were bumping and he was leaning in. I swear there were points where our faces were only about 6 inches from each other. I restrained myself (fear of humiliation helps sometimes) from lunging at him.

During the whole enema conversation, he said, "You've got a sick side, don't you? You seem so sweet and innocent, but here's this." I went on to explain that I won't give a friend an enema because of the whole sweet and innocent thing. I must seem like a psychotic.

Even with my loss of conversational skills, it was a good evening. There was lots of laughing, smiling, and happy feelings.

Oh yeah. I guess I should mention the date for next Saturday night.

That's right folks, Beth, the woman who hasn't been on a true date since the blind date when I was 17, has plans to meet up with THE BOY and Pete next Saturday night. Dana is also coming and so it maybe isn't a true date, but it's plans to meet someone I'm attracted to outside of the Chalet for another evening. We're going to play darts and billiards. I told them I'm not good at either of these bar sports. Maybe I should have said, "I'm not terrible, but I'm no expert." That might be a little closer to the truth.

So, I am excited beyond belief because I'm going out with an attractive man on Saturday night after work!!!


At 12:21 PM, The Lioness said...

Fuck me blind but this is brilliant news!!!!! I can't believe it, babe, well done whatever it was that you did! Bloody hell, can't wait for the Sat update! And if you're going to play pool, think cleavage - v effective I'm told by a girlfriend.

At 2:49 PM, Matt said...

I so second Lioness and her feelings on this! I have to agree with her, fuck me blind this is brillant news! Oh and to let you know Lioness, yes the clevage does work, and it works wonders......
I am so happy for you Little Sister, I really am. Can't wait to hear what is going to happen....let us know all about it. I will talk to you later, maybe some cards tonight, I am not sure. I will let you know
Matt-Big Brother

At 3:23 PM, The Lioness said...

Er, actually I came back to apologise for language, Beth being a bit more refrained in her cursing - I just got so carried away by the news! So really Beth, it's ALL YOUR FAULT!!!

At 3:28 PM, brooksba said...


Don't worry about it. I don't typically use the language in writing, but I am my mother's daughter in real life. I don't take any offense.

I've been trying to comment on your site and it won't let me. I don't know why. =( I wanted to ask about the All Blacks game. Maybe I'm ignorant, but I'm wondering what sport they were playing. Was it rugby? The score seemed too high for soccer.

Also, I liked your most recent post, the pictures of the Bushes and Beavis and Butthead. I thought it was funny.

And yes, I'm still thrilled even though I have a splitting headache.

At 3:56 PM, Rev said...

Happy to hear about The Boy.

Yes, it's rugby.

At 5:39 PM, CarpeDM said...

What is the difference between rugby and soccer? I've always wondered.

You should all be jealous of me. I got a contact high sitting across the table from THE BOY and Beth. The "I'm interested in you" vibes were in the air.

At 8:50 PM, The Lioness said...

"What is the difference between rugby and soccer?" *COUGHS UP BIG FURBALL* HOW DARE YOU!!! And thus ends a beautiful friendship.

I'm thoroughly disgusted. RUGBY is gorgeous, honest, full-powered; soccer is for sissies, 22 men chasing a ball w their dainty feet, BLARGH! - alas, I live in Soccerland. That's how the national ego exists - or not. DM, shame on you woman! You're Queen of the Universe for pity's sake, don't do this to me again! And Beth, if a soccer match ever has that result, you can rest assured one of the teams collapsed dead on the field and the other one just kept on playing, will never happen. Sadly, that much I know. Osmosis and all that.

And yes DM, am very much envious of vibe-watching, I wish I could have been there and taken ethological mating notes! *Enter lek now*

At 8:52 PM, The Lioness said...

Oh and it's not 8.50 pm is it. It's bloody 2.50 am is what it is! But at least I'm catching up on you lot.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Maybe the most frightening part of Thanksgiving

My grandfather is a pack-rat. He is also getting older and finding a need to give away his possessions.

My dad was presented with this item after dinner on Thursday. My grandpa found it in the garage.

It may be the scariest thing I've ever seen.

What is it, you ask? Great question. It's a fish head. That's right folks, fish head, fish head, roly poly fish head. Eat them up, yum!

This was actually a 10 pound, 1 ounce walleye my dad caught when he was 10. This was 45 years ago.

As my grandpa told the story, my dad had been playing on the dock (sittin' on the dock of the bay) and then walked back up to the cabin with a stringer and this fish on it. My grandpa told the story for 45 years, saying that my dad must have found someone's stringer of fish and took it.

Anyone who knows my dad, knows that he would not steal someone's fish. My dad is the guy that I have heard swear ONCE in my entire life, he's never done a single drug, and he's never thought about being a rebel. He's a pretty great guy and a good role model (which is good since I have my mom, the woman who could make an ex-marine truck driver blush). I heard him swear two years ago. He said "Hell." But he also said, "That guy was afraid if he didn't confess his sins he would spend eternity in Hell." He used the word as it's supposed to be used. I guess it doesn't really count then.

Back to the fish story. My dad was sitting on the dock and looked at the water as something came up to eat a bug on the surface. He watched it go back down and as he saw it come back up, he grabbed a net and scooped up the fish, no fishing pole or line necessary. That's how he caught a 10 pound walleye that my grandpa kept the head for 45 years.

Now the fish head belongs to my dad. I will probably inherit it in 40 years and I can pass it onto my children that I will have some day. I have an odd family, to say the least.

Posted by Hello


At 5:36 PM, CarpeDM said...

Blech. It's even scarier blown up. Maybe your grandfather is secretly my mom's dad? It would explain a lot where my mother is concerned. Although she has never tried to pass off a walleye head, there have been some odd purchases made.

I give you the chainsaw sculpture of a bear that she thought would be a good gift for Kari as an example.

At 8:53 PM, The Lioness said...

I think it's cool!

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Searches and Surprises

People are strange and somehow, they find me. I have been keeping a list of the random search strings that people use and end up finding my blog. I have four that I need to share.

Yushchenko ailment conspiracy theory - now, this is interesting since the posts with these words are three different, unrelated posts. I can't remember which post I used the word theory in, that's probably a pretty common one.

kumiko akimoto - This is a post I did about what my Japanese name would be. From what the search engine turned up, I guess it's also the name of a Japanese porn star. How wonderful.

school AND boys AND girls AND "pink socks" - I'm not finding the links for these, but what an odd combination. I'm sure I've used all the words here many times and for it to be so specific to "pink socks". It's beyond me.

And my favorite, from a search today:

"took a picture of my boobs" - Yes, the person searching used the quotation marks and I did actually type those exact words once. It was about how Matt waited too long taking my picture when we were playing pool and I stood up and the focal point of the picture was no longer my face. Oops.


At 2:58 PM, Matt said...

I am glad that my mistake was able to help satisfy someone's curiosity out there about boobs. That makes me feel as if I did a good deed. However I do not think that it has earned any points towards me getting into heaven after the comments that were made at Perkins that other night. Oh well. I will talk to you later little sister, take care.
Big Brother
P.S. Enjoy your dinner of garlic turkey......

At 6:42 PM, Firebear said...

It must be frustrating to be a pervert and have to stumble through blogs looking for a picture of someones boobs! Its a good thing none of your regulars are like that!
BTW can I get a copy of that photo?

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Giving Thanks

In the spirit of goodwill and family, I agreed to Thanksgiving dinner at my grandparents home and spending time with my grandmother, grandfather, dad, aunt, cousin, and three second cousins.

I am thankful that Thanksgiving comes but once a year.

When I arrived, I was welcomed by Sam(antha) (second cousin), my grandfather (Dale), my dad, and Diane (my aunt also know as Toni for some reason from her high school days). They admired my car and we headed inside to where the food was close to being served.

I spent 5 1/2 hours with my family before I leave, before I NEEDED to leave for the sake of not shooting my mouth off and thus destroying any hope of family members speaking to me again.

Here are a few of the conversations and events of the day:

My sixteen-year old gansta-wanna-be second cousin, Aaron, needs a boot to the head. I haven't seen him in 5 years and my first thought was, EAT SOMETHING! He's skinnier than a rail but hides the Holocaust victim figure with baggy clothing. He was wearing a pink shirt that came down to his knees and the waist band of his pants started where the shirt left off.

During dinner, I watched as Aaron ate two things. He ate a piece of bread and a piece of turkey. He put ketchup on both. This is DIS-GUST-ING! That's my opinion though. Now I understand why the waitress at Perkin's tried to give me ketchup for my turkey and dressing meal. Some people need it I guess.

His adventures shared with the table all seemed to involve his friend, Chris, who works at Papa John's. I know that Chris works at Papa John's because Aaron made sure to tell us this fact 5 times in two minutes.

Aaron explained that he likes only going to school for two hours a day. Diane pointed out that it's not really school, it's a "program" for special juvenile delinquents such as Aaron. Here's the conversation I had with Aaron about this:

A: Well, I like this situation more.
B: Why are you in an alternative learning environment?
A: Because I skipped a lot.
B: Why?
A: Because I didn't like school.
B: What was wrong with it?
A: People were always telling me what to do.
B: And that's different from life, HOW?
A: I don't need THE MAN keeping me down.
B: Do people still actually say, "THE MAN?"
A: Hey, I'm rebelling.
B: From what?
A: I don't want to be a nerd.
B: You do realize the world is run by nerds, right?
A: Yeah.
B: So you're either going to work for a nerd or be unemployed.
A: But I live at grandma's (Diane's house).
B: Are you going to live there for the rest of your life?
A: I might get a job at Papa John's, they've got good pizza.
B: [Blinking in utter disbelief.] What is actually wrong with your life that you need to give up all ambition at age 16?
A: [Silence.]
Sam (his sister): Aaron, you're going to be in high school forever.
A: They only let you go until you're 21.
B: Wait a minute, you've actually researched this enough to know how long a school will try before they abandon all hope?
A: I read it in a brochure.
S: You read something?

I've got to hand it to the 11 year old. She's good at driving him insane.

Later, Aaron described himself as a "wigger." I came extremely close to slapping him. His mother did nothing. I was at least proud of my dad and Diane for not actually knowing what this term meant.

Traci (my cousin and the mother and Diane's daughter) expressed her beliefs today. She believes in NASCAR, reality TV, and that it's okay to "diss" minority groups but not elderly people.

Alex and Sam (they're fraternal twins) said grace before the meal. I will admit, I'm not religious. Neither are my grandparents, my aunt, or my father. I remember being forced to say grace as a child and it always consisted of, "Bless this food." That's it.

Here's the speech Sam gave and then Alex added to:

"Lord, thank you for this meal we are about to receive. Bless the people at this table and make sure everyone gets home safely. Please save all of us at this table."
And Alex added:
"And bless our troops, bring them home safely and victorious."

I wanted to add, "And also bless those who we're fighting against since we're all actually human beings and maybe hating a group of people blindly is not a good idea." But again, I kept my mouth shut.

We ate dry turkey and my grandmother's fruit salad. Now, I do like the salad and I was pleased to see it instead of the other dish she tends to make. I don't know which culture started the tradition of Jell-O and marshmallows, but it's kind of strange. One year she made lime Jell-O and put carrots in it. It jiggled and crunched. No one really took seconds.

Traci brought up the Escalade vehicle. Then she commented, "Last week I was surprised to see white people driving it. White, old people."

To which my grandmother replied, "Excuse me?"

"Oh, sorry, just white people. I'm sorry about the old comment."


My dad gave the family the quiz I shared last week. My aunt Diane also got it correct. My dad, her, and I were all proud of being considered psychopaths and then we had our own conversations. We also discussed the Donner party (traveler's trapped in the mountains over the winter with no food who ended up resorting to cannibalism). In relaying the story to my mom, she said, "You know, the last time I heard about the Donner party, your aunt and your dad were in the room."

My grandfather shared a story (which I've come to realize his stories make absolutely no sense at all) to Traci. He said, "When your uncle Terry got shot in the lung, he went to Mr. Six." Then he asked, "Do you know who Mr. Six married?"

My dad and I both replied, "Ms. Seven?"

We were wrong. But we were also trying to figure out when my dad got shot in the lung. (My dad is Terry.) As it turns out, it wasn't my dad, it was my grandfather's brother, Jimmy. The odd thing is, Uncle Jimmy was not Traci's uncle. He was Diane and my dad's uncle.

Then we were shown pictures of the Golden Grandchild and his family. For some random reason, my cousin Matt is revered above all else because he knocked up his girlfriend twice before they got married. And he delivered pizzas for a long time. If I had to pick, I'd pick his brother, Chris, as the Golden Grandchild. Chris graduated college, moved out on his own, and acts like a responsible adult. But then, Chris has a medical problem and so my grandmother thinks he's fat because the medication causes problems with his body.

Funny story about Matt. When his girlfriend was pregnant, he finally told any member of the family when she was 8 months pregnant. The child arrived early and so the entire family had two weeks to prepare. My grandfather called saying it was a shocker to learn the news so late and I wanted to freak them out. I told my grandfather my baby was sleeping upstairs. I'm an evil person sometimes.

I finally decided it was time to go when my grandmother announced that blacks and Hispanics shouldn't be allowed to drive. My response was, "I have to go to my mom's. Bye."

Oh, and Alex, who lives in Iowa, seems to have a Tennessee accent. And she doesn't seem to care about proper grammar either. I heard a lot of, "I gots" and "Me and so-and-so"s.

My dad said something pretty good later in the evening when I stopped by his house to pick something up. He said (and he told my grandfather this when discussing my grandmother's 35+ year silent treatment to her sister), "Family is family. Whatever happens, get over it. If you think you're better than they are, be the better person and apologize." This is why I keep my mouth shut around my family. If I didn't, they'd probably ban me from their little circle, even if I only choose to visit it twice a year.


At 11:36 AM, CarpeDM said...

Oh, good Lord. I'm glad you only do this twice a year. This is crazy. Your message last night makes so much sense now (not that I hadn't figured it was an ordeal but this clears up why that sound of desperation was in your voice), I listened to it this morning.

I don't understand about the whole Golden Grandchild thing. If Chris isn't the Golden Grandchild because he's fat (did I seriously read that correctly?), why aren't you the Golden Grandchild? You are finishing college, moved out on your own and just bought a new car (shiny, pretty car). I'm not going to mention the mature adult thing because I'm pretty sure you've been a mature adult since you were 2. Why aren't you Golden? Silly grandparents.

At 12:34 PM, The Lioness said...

Good grief, this was more than a bit scary and i got more than a bit lost but - you poor thing! I would never have been able to keep my big mouth shut, I envy your self-control! What's a wigger?

My favourite pearls: "S: You read something?"; "For some random reason, my cousin Matt is revered above all else because he knocked up his girlfriend twice before they got married"

At 12:36 PM, The Lioness said...

Oh, you know what you and DM NEED to do??? An audio blog! Pretty please??? PLEASE!!! I can't bcs it's not international yet but you can and u should! I need to hear your voices, how cool that would be! It's supposed to be really easy. Go on!

At 9:01 PM, CarpeDM said...

I have it set up but I've been chicken to do it. Maybe at karaoke we will record a post/song especially for you. I could get everyone to say hi.

That would be fun.

At 2:37 PM, brooksba said...


I haven't set up Audio blogger at all and maybe I'll try it soon. I hate the sound of my voice though.

The word my idiot cousin used is pretty derogatory. I don't like the word or where it came into the language from.


I'm not the Golden Grandchild because of a few reasons:
1. My mom
2. My parent's divorce
3. My dogs
4. I'm not married with 2.5 kids
5. I don't bend over backwards to please my grandparents
6. Did I mention my mom?

That's my dad's side of the family for you. The cool ones are the ones you'd consider psychopaths.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Blind Sided From a Million Miles Away

As I drove to work (in my new car!) today, my mom called me. I was surprised to hear the phone ring at that time of day and I answered it and my mom gave me just enough information to cause concern in my head (heart).

I don't know the entire story but I know that there is an uproar in Ukraine right now over the election results (hey, haven't most Americans heard that one before???). Viktor Yanukovych was announced as the next prime minister for the country. Viktor Yushchenko was announced as being defeated.

From what I can gather, Yanukovych's win makes some thing conspiracy theory because of his promises to help Russia (the Kremlin).

There have been reports of demonstrating in the streets of Kiev (Kyiv - pick your spelling) and possible rioting to come.

I don't know much about the politics of either side. I'm not overly concerned about that (although I probably should be). What has me thinking of this topic and blogging about the situation in Ukraine is a man I fell in love with in June of 1998.

I've written about Andriy before (yes, he's referred to as Alex in the post). Even though life throws some wicked curve balls at you, I still treasure my time with him in my heart and I do miss him. Not every day, but most I think of him for a moment or two. I wonder how his life is going, is he happy? I hold no desires to marry him or live with him forever, but I do wish him happiness.

And any news about Ukraine always panics me.

What is adding to my concerns is the fact that Andriy is actually a lawyer who helps write laws for parliament. He works on political campaigns and has told me that he was involved in the push to have Viktor Yushchenko elected. Andriy helped (and even though the translation is a little off, I think he had a large part in this) to form a political party called Youth Ukraine (translation off a little here). He was trying to start a movement of younger people to get involved in politics.

When he stayed here, Andriy explained to me about some of the political campaigns he worked on. There was worry about returning and losing. Not just the worry I, as an American, would understand fully. If the candidate I backed lost, my life would probably still go on as usual. For him, there was fear for his life in returning if his candidate lost. There were a couple of campaigns that if lost, his family would be in danger.

It's a concept I don't truly understand and naturally it causes me to worry. Is this campaign the same?

Is Andriy safe? That's the thought in my head tonight and I may never know.

I emailed him tonight, hoping to receive an answer soon. If I find out anything, I'm sure I'll share it.

To me, this event is not just a news bit. If there is anything I can say I learned from my time with Andriy, it's that it's not just a blurb. Events happening around the world are affecting the individuals living there. Those individuals have hopes, dreams, friends, family, desires, pain, memories, and cares just like I do. I wish the news reported the wonderful things too.

Two links that I checked out:

CBC News - this one mentions the city Andriy lives in but he also works in Kiev
BBC News - much better for world news than any American news sites

From the CBC News link:

'Civil conflict' looming, candidate warns

On Tuesday, Yushchenko warned that the country was on the "threshold of civil conflict" because of dissatisfaction with the results.

"We have two choices: either the answer will be given by the parliament, or the streets will give an answer," Yushchenko told lawmakers gathered for an emergency session of parliament.

This worries me. Thanks for listening.


At 8:35 AM, CarpeDM said...

I will be praying that he'll be okay. That the country will be okay.

At 8:46 AM, Matt said...

You know that I do not pray, I have given up on that about four years ago, but I will be thinking good thoughts onlly, and I hope that in some cosmic way that sends enough of a wave to create some form of peacefulness for him and his country. I am also sending some your way. I do hope that everything is ok, and it would be nice for him to e-mail if he is able to. I will talk to you later, take care.
Big Brother,

At 4:35 PM, The Lioness said...

I hope he's alright. Ukranians are tough cookies. Hang on to that.

My pledge

One of the things that Sheepsheadians do at Fridleykins is to listen to conversations, snippets that drift to our table while we're playing cards.

We usually only hear the parts that a speaker so dramatically emphases and it makes us smile. I don't know what people must have thought from this gem, but this is the pledge I made after Matt relayed a story from work:

"I know that we're friends through thick and thin and I'd do almost anything for each of you. Here's my promise right now. I will NEVER give any of you an enema or ask you to give me an enema. I'm sorry, but that's where I draw the line."


At 8:49 AM, CarpeDM said...

Well, don't forget, you did promise to drive me to the hospital if I needed an enema.

Yeah, I'm making the pledge as well.

At 9:23 AM, The Lioness said...


At 7:49 PM, Firebear said...

Wow! and I didn't even see you in the booth next to us!

For those wondering

This is just a short post (hopefully - Beth, you shouldn't write that until you are actually done).

I mentioned before a situation with a friend of mine where I didn't feel valued. I guess I just felt left out. I miss my friend very much and sometimes I just worry too much.

Tonight he called me. He made a point to call even when he should have been going to bed. He wanted to tell me something.

He told me, "You're too good of a friend to do this to." He told me he misses me too. He did explain that our lives are on different paths and it is harder to have the time we used to have. And he wants to make a point of not letting a friendship slip away.

And I'm happier than I could imagine. Just knowing that he wants my friendship makes it all worthwhile.

I know it's not a good explanation, but if anyone was wondering, I'm feeling pretty darn great about my friendship with him right now.


At 8:39 AM, CarpeDM said...

This is just a short comment..


At 7:52 PM, Firebear said...

Makes perfect sense to me

Impulse shopping

Hello, my name is Beth and I'm an impulse shopper.

It runs in my veins. Like many mental behaviors (i.e. alcoholism, depression, tendencies to genetic ailments), impulse shopping is something I was destined to inherit from my mother.

Case in point #1:

In 1987, my mom went to just look at cars to see if she wanted to replace her Pinto (yes, I said Pinto). We came home with a Chevrolet Nova. I later inherited this car.

Case in point #2:

This past summer, I went to Best Buy to look at computer equipment. I came home with a new computer system.

Case in point #3:

When I was 20, I went to look at used cars and came home with Foxy.

Jump forward to tonight.

Granted, I know my tendencies towards this habit so I had planned on being prepared, but I did it. I went to look at cars tonight and after looking at 1 car, I came home with a brand spanking new Toyota Corolla.

It's so pretty.

Before going to the dealership, I took Foxy to the convenience store and cleaned him out really well. I gathered my things from him and vacuumed him out. He was shining. I drove him to pick up my dad and then we took the long way to the dealership (mainly to avoid the highway, but a part of me was trying to hold onto Foxy as long as I could).

We paced the lot a little and finally got a salesman to help us out. I did actually test drive a different vehicle than the one I bought, but I got the upgraded model in a different color. That's really the only differences.

They took the car I was ready to purchase into the shop to clean it up for me (remove plastic and such) and I was allowed to grab the remaining items left in Foxy.

My dad and I went outside to the cool Minnesota evening and I said goodbye to the first car I ever purchased on my own. As I took the jumper cables from the trunk and then hopped into the driver's seat to snatch up a mirror I had in the car, I said a private goodbye to Foxy.

It was when I shut the door for the last time that I started to cry. This is so dumb to be saying, but I do love that car. I taught Andriy how to drive a manual transmission on that car. I taught Dana how to drive a manual transmission on that car. I spent hours upon hours in that car, listening to music, singing Janis Joplin at the top of my lungs. I watched as the odometer switched to 100,000 miles in that car. My first love (the high school boy) sang to me in that car. I stood outside Bugs one night with friends having them show me all the car stuff they could on that car. And I'll miss it.

My dad is such a wonderful man. He knew I was excited at the prospect of a new vehicle, but he still acknowledged my sadness at letting go of a car that meant so much to me. I can't believe I am this emotional over a machine, but I am.

I was a little insulted at how quickly the salesman dismissed Foxy's qualities. I understand he wanted to get me into a new car and get the commission, but Foxy was a good car. A great car.

And I replaced him tonight. He's going off to that happy highway in the sky. But life moves on. Let's focus on the positive.

My new car (which I may or may not name Silver Fox aka Foxy II as in Snowball II - but I think it needs a better name than that. Maybe Silver Bullet? I need ideas!), is a 2005 Toyota Corolla something something. It has letters behind it and I know it's not just the base model. They upgraded me pretty well.

Cool stuff:

The car has a six-disc CD player. The discs actually go in the dash and I don't have the change music from the trunk. This is neat.

The car registers if someone is in the passenger seat. If I get into an accident without a passenger, the passenger side air bag doesn't go off. That's pretty sweet.

There are two types of keys for the car. The black keys will open the doors, start the car, and open the trunk. The grey key (the valet key) will only open the doors and start the car. I can lock the trunk with the black key and then give a valet the grey key and they can't get into the trunk at all. Not that I use valet parking or keep valuables in the trunk, but it's still cool.

The back windows go ALL the way down. This is neat.

There are little cubbies everywhere. I like it.

So, with mixed emotions (happiness over the new car, mourning over Foxy), I have a new car!


At 8:38 AM, CarpeDM said...

I will never forget my first heart-felt comment about your new car. I will miss Foxy as well. So, while I was charmed by the prettiness of your new car, my heart still yearned for the car I secretly loved (well, at least I talked dirty to him. Maybe it wasn't love). But then you rolled down the back window all the way and the only thing I could say was "F*CK YEAH!"

I am so from the 80's.

Monday, November 22, 2004


At this point, I have half-decided to give up on sleeping tonight/this morning. It is 8:30 AM and I cannot sleep. I tried to fall asleep for 4 hours to no avail.

I'm planning on purchasing a new vehicle today. Since this means trading Foxy in, I decided to try and find the lien release/title for the car I own. I tore my apartment to shambles and I have yet to find the little piece of paper that proves I am the owner of the car.

I found a really great filing system that has:
-Credit card bills from 7 years ago
-My first performance review for a company I worked at 9 years ago
-A report I wrote in 6th grade
-Email correspondence from Andriy

Oh, and one file folder had a random picture of David Duchovny my friend mailed to me my first year of college.

Did I find the lien release? No! And now I'm so struck with worry, I can't sleep. This is driving me insane.

I also cannot concentrate on school at all because of this whole thing and I am worthless for the group project where I have to pick imaginary people to form a team of techies.

I think I'm going to try and bang my head against a wall until I pass out now.


At 11:40 AM, The Lioness said...

One word for you: coke. There may even be more to it but - COKE. I'm a fellow addict, I know. COKE. V bad for sleeping patterns. Helps my insomnia none. You do sound sleep-deprived. You have all my empathy. Now - WHERE IS TEH KARAOKE UPDATE??? How am I to know whether DaBoy showed up??? ARGH! Have pity on the European contingent!

At 1:20 PM, CarpeDM said...

Oh, Beth, I'm sorry. I hope you find it. I am amused by your filing system.

Lioness, I've got the karaoke update. Hopefully I'll be able to finish it during my lunch.

Must. Stop. Checking. Other. Blogs.

At 2:31 PM, brooksba said...

Hi Lioness,I'm sure Dana is writing an update (since she said she is), but as for THE BOY, he wasn't there. That happens about every other week and I'm kind of used to it now.

Dana will share the fun parts of karaoke. =)

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Quotes and Authors

Alright, about 9 days ago, I posted some quotes I found. When I did the original post, I did not include who said the phrases in efforts to see if the words matter or who says the words matter.

Thank you Dana and Matt for responding with some thoughts and as promised, here is the complete list, along with the authors.

Side note, I'm not stating I agree with all of these quotes.

You know, a long time ago being crazy meant something. Nowadays everybody's crazy.
-Charles Manson (This quote was really thrown into the mix as funny. I figured Matt would enjoy it and I think he did.)

Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.
-John F. Kennedy

Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty.
-Ronald Reagan

America did not invent human rights. In a very real sense human rights invented America.
-Jimmy Carter (Dana, this is a good quote. I liked it because I thought about how we, as Americans, should remember there is a world of humans out there, and I hope the world thinks the same.)

You can tell a lot about a fellow's character by his way of eating jellybeans.
-Ronald Reagan (Just thought it was cute!)

The white, the Hispanic, the black, the Arab, the Jew, the woman, the Native American, the small farmer, the businessperson, the environmentalist, the peace activist, the young, the old, the lesbian, the gay and the disabled make up the American quilt.
-Jesse Jackson (I really liked this one and both Dana and Matt commented that they thought this one was meaningful.)

The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one.
-Adolf Hitler (Okay, yes I put a quote or two (or three) by Hitler on here. The thing is, Hitler was a powerful man and was able to control people to help with his actions. I find it important to not just ignore what he said, but learn from what he used to gain power and watch for it to make sure the actions are never repeated. Intelligence and charisma are qualities that many leaders have but intent is something to be considered.)

Delay is preferable to error.
-Thomas Jefferson (I like Thomas Jefferson but I 1/2 agree with this quote. Delay is not preferable to error but I would phrase it as, Planning and Informed Decisions are preferable to error.)

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
-Abraham Lincoln

How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.
-Adolf Hitler (Nothing like the obvious, huh?)

Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
-Jesse Jackson (I loved this quote. That's just me.)

A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.
-Thomas Jefferson (I just liked this one because it shows that democracy is not what everyone thinks, there are still differences in opinion and for this form of government to work, the people still need a voice, no matter who was elected. The elected person is still a public servant.)

No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.
-Abraham Lincoln (This can never be proved. No one knows who the world's greatest con man was because to be the greatest, the con would never be found out. Although, in the context of which drew me to this quote, be careful who you lie to. Sometimes the receiver has a better memory than the liar and it may be caught, even if it is a year or two down the road.)

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
-Thomas Jefferson (Use your voice. It's that simple.)

Words build bridges into unexplored regions.
-Adolf Hitler (This quote was used again to see if the author or the words were important. Both Dana and Matt commented on this quote and I do agree with it, no matter who said it. Communication is one of the things that moves people to action and discovery.)

I hope the quotes prompted thoughts about what your beliefs are, what you think, and helped those who read them make up their minds without prejudices. I do think the words are important and I think that just because I don't like a person (Hitler), it doesn't mean I should just ignore what happened or what was said.

Finally, does anyone know what movie this is from? (I do, it's just another quiz.)

"I was Time magazine's Man of the Year."

"So was Hitler."

"But not twice."

If you would like to see more quotes, please let me know. I have many and I could do this again, easily.


At 5:54 PM, Rev said...

"Democracy consists of choosing your dictators, after they've told you what you think it is you want to hear." - Alan Corenk

More democracy quotes found here: http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/democracy/

At 1:24 PM, CarpeDM said...

I liked it. It still ticks me off that Hitler spoke about words. He was a book burner! So, in essence, he's saying that words will build bridges but only the words he wants to be heard.

I should have figured that it was Manson who said the first one.

Okay, okay, I get it

I'll admit, I got a little lazy this week. School has been just so boring that found myself drifting off, putting things off, and then I start thinking about Foxy and what I'm going to do on Monday.

First off, I did take the link down Lioness. I had kept it up, not because money was still needed, but because I thought people should still read the post. It is something that I wish more people knew about to help prevent anything like it again.

Rev, I'm getting the post ready now about the quotes. I figured since Matt and Dana were the only ones commenting and I ended up talking to them about the quotes IRL, I wasn't sure if anyone else wanted to know the actual speakers. But they are the next post.

Once I get that done, it's off to study, do a ton of laundry, and go to my dad's before karaoke. Hoping, hoping hard, that THE BOY shows up and maybe something fun happens tonight. Who knows?


At 8:51 AM, CarpeDM said...

Oh, yes, there was something fun. There was an M&M signer. Which I will be posting on.

At 11:37 AM, The Lioness said...

Oh. I suppose it makes sense. I was simply worrying over people rushing to keep donating and forgot I had updated both posts. Silly self-cow. You are absolutely right, it should be read. Sorry. Insomnia and all. WHERE is karaoke update with DA BOY story???

Friday, November 19, 2004

Save me, please!!!

I need a break from studying. This is so idiotic. We go to a school ONLINE!!!

More gems from the text:

A mouse is a pointing device.

Clicking is pressing one of the buttons on a pointing device.

Did I mention that we go to school online?!? Come on, they have to have known this when they gave us this text. Couldn't we just skip this?

Another gem:

A screen displays a video image.

Printers produce output on paper.

Shoot me, please. I can't believe I have to write a paper on this subject.

On a side note, I am really starting to enjoy My Prerogative sung by Britney Spears. I know, I know, it's Britney Spears. But, there's something about this song. I don't know. The word raw comes to mind. But that's not right. Oh well. I like the song and that's just plain strange.


At 8:19 AM, The Lioness said...

Oh thank you for aonfessing that, I LIKE IT TOO! I know, bizarre! And I'll tell you more: I generally find her songs VERY amusing and can listen to them with no sacrifice. Iaiks. I KNOW.

At 12:24 PM, The Lioness said...

Alright, had an idea. Get loads of images of hardrvives, printers, mousepads etc and have THEM explain what they do. E.g.: "Hi, I'm a printer. I PRINT documents. I'm a bit neuro-impaired so sometimes I get stuck. I come in colours too". And so on. I CANNOT believe you have to do that. That's BEYOND inane. Good luck, you poor thing.

At 4:45 PM, Matt said...

I am amused by the inequities of the smart minded people that felt compelled to treat online students like stupid people. In other words, what the hell????? Who are the creators of this particular little university? Who are the people that need to be hurt for making my little sister go through this? I have an idea for a paer, draw a figure of a stick man holding up his hand and have him flip the professor off, maybe then they would get the point of how frustrating it is to have to do something that idiotic. Just a thought, see you later!
Big Brother

At 9:31 AM, Rev said...

Posted over a week ago, entitled Quotes: "The authors (speakers) will be added in one week."

What up?

At 11:00 AM, The Lioness said...

I wrote a post re Samuel thanking you all and saying we have enough money for now. I suppose you didn0t get round to reading it but your link should be taken down now lest (iaiks!) people think they should still donate. (i'm really sorry for the "lest" but in this sentence what else could I have written? Still trobbing though. Iaiks.)

Thursday, November 18, 2004

It made me smile

Here's a bit of an email discussion between my former manager and myself the past two days:

Me: Just an FYI a banker on our team wanted to share with you. While Twizzlers make mouths happy, they don't really go well with hot chocolate.

Him: That is a good fact to know. Is it all Twizzlers or just a particular flavor? I'm sure I'll remember the next time I'm eating Twizzlers to not drink hot chocolate and in turn, not crave Twizzlers when I'm drinking hot chocolate.

Me: For clarification, the Twizzlers in this particular experiment were original, strawberry flavored. The chocolate Twizzlers may go with hot chocolate and would be an interesting experiment.

Does it bother anyone else that company resources (email) were used for this conversation? And add also the fact that we were getting PAID to have this conversation?

Odd customer story:

We have passwords for some people. One guy's password is John Wayne. Every time he calls and gets a female banker, he says, "The password is John Wayne. That's the Duke, little lady." And he does the whole accent thing. Unique, that's the word for it.


At 8:26 AM, CarpeDM said...

Oh, that's so cute. That's the Duke, little lady. I love it.

You know what's not a good choice? Nutter Butters and chocolate milk.


I just crawled, yes, crawled from my kitchen back to my desk chair.

Why, you may ask, is Beth transporting herself around her apartment like an infant?

I am insane and don't learn some simple facts early enough to avoid MASSIVE pain.

To stir things up today, I decided to wear my old tennis shoes to work. That's right, I do actually have a pair of Nikes that were so neatly tucked into my shoe rack and I decided to wear them.

There was a time, long ago, when wearing these shoes felt natural and I could run for hours in them. That time is not today.

I have been wearing big, clunky shoes/boots for almost 5 years now. After today, I seriously ponder if my feet will detach themselves and run off into the night.

Can I just say, "Oooowwwwieeeee"?


At 8:23 AM, CarpeDM said...

Oh, ouch. Poor Beth.

Calling all techies (aka housekeeping a blog)

For some random reason, I decided to redo some of my template tonight.

Well, actually, there was some prompting about how I linked to someone's site and I felt bad. (I hope the new link is better Lioness.)

I really ought to be studying, but it's so BORING and I figured html was a much more fascinating thing to focus on. That's an odd statement.

So I moved the categories (recurring themes) and other links up the sidebar. They are now right below my profile and above the previous posts section. I figured out how to get rid of the bullet points (yes!) but I'm still confused as how to get rid of the excess space between each link but have it on a new line. I'm pleading for some help to do this.

My constant links have been divided and I added a few. I added DM's other two blogs because I don't read them unless they're on that list. I know me.

I grouped the sites into four categories. The first is the blogs of those I know in real life. The second is the other blogs I have or am a contributor. This will hopefully remind me to work on those more often. (Especially Moron Mouth.) The third is the blogs I have to check out daily. Finally, I have a fourth category which is more to remind me to check these blogs out daily. As I find neat links, I may add them to this category and eventually move them into the "Discovered and Admired" category.

I moved the previous posts (now called Recent Ramblings) and archives (From the Beginning) down the page. I put some "Best of" posts in this box. These are the posts I enjoyed writing the most. Most of them are really long (cause that seems to be my style - who knew?).

I put my counter at the very bottom.

Now I also have another question for the techies out there. How do you do a footer? There is all this information in the template about footers and I want to add something but I don't understand it. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance!

Also, Dana - could you show me those cool things like blogrolling, the creative commons license, and the technorati profile? Also, how do I get random blogs? Just wondering. Or anyone else know what all of these are? I like cool new things for the blog!

What are other cool things? How do people add the "recommending" or "listening to" or the "reading" links? Those are neat.

Now off to study!


At 7:45 AM, CarpeDM said...

I'd be happy to help you with the blogrolling, etc. It's relatively simple. I like the changes that you've made.

At 8:46 AM, The Lioness said...

V cool site! It looks smashing, fab, bril, lovely!!! It really really does, so much easier to find everything! Kol hakavod!

For technoraty go to www.technorati.com and click on appropriate link for creating your own profile (it will also tell you who links to you).

For Creative Commons click on the icon and follow instructions. (If you find any cool trick in some blog that you'd like to have in your own as well clicking on the icon will take you to where you need to go to get it)

Re footer, look for this in your template: <> < /p > Should be close to bottom.

I've added the extra spaces so it won't work as a tag here but basically you need to have the start of the tag which is given by: <> (without spaces) THEN HERE WHATEVER YOU WANT TO HAVE WRITTEN AS A FOOTER and then < / p > (without spaces) so you signal the end of the tag. The "p" woeks for text but the formatting is pretty much the same for other instructions. I can do it with <> < /b > and you'll see bold (I hope this works in comments). If you have any trouble email me what you want to insert there and I'll do it for you.

(I really hadn't noticed you were one of the URL infidels, sorry abt that, didn't mean to make BETH feel bad! Now *I* feel horrible for giving you grief. BAD LIONESS!)

At 8:47 AM, The Lioness said...

Oh, a full stop! I HAVE MY OWN FULL STOP!!! Thanks!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


Is there any doubt left in my mind that this class I'm taking is a little, um, uncomplicated?

From week 2's readings:

Computer hardware: physical equipment making up a computer.

Oh man, I can't believe I'm paying for this.

I can sum up my teacher's first week lecture in three words: computers are good. It was three pages originally.

I wonder if this is a trick. Like many classes, they start with the easy stuff. My brain tends to tell me that it's basic, don't worry, the rest of the class will be like that.

Maybe there is a hidden hard chapter and I'll be completely lost if I don't do the basics. But it's so BORING!

Here's another gem from the reading:

Primary storage: stores data within the computer.

Oh my God! I never knew! I thought it was a toaster. Maybe I shouldn't put bread inside the CPU anymore.

Alright, enough study break, back to work!


At 7:47 AM, CarpeDM said...

"Primary storage: stores data within the computer.

Oh my God! I never knew! I thought it was a toaster. Maybe I shouldn't put bread inside the CPU anymore."

You're killing me here. This was funny.

At 11:22 AM, The Lioness said...

"Oh my God! I never knew! I thought it was a toaster. Maybe I shouldn't put bread inside the CPU anymore."

:DDDDDDDDDDDDD Had the same effect on me!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Is this wrong?

I know, I know. Enough with the lyrics, right?

I'm sorry, but I have another post of song lyrics. This song has been in my head lately and is starting to creep up the favorites list.

It's a little more risky than some of the other lyrics I've posted, but hey, it's fun. Maybe it means nothing, but I like it. Just in the way I've gotten into a certain pop singer's song because it feels powerful, yet completely unlike me.


Performed by Cowboy Mouth

Did you get what you wanted
When you told me goodbye
Did you get what you thought you needed
To make a grown man cry

Now there’s a hungry look inside your eyes
And there’s a shiver I felt between your thighs
I’ve been good and kind and sweet and nice
For way too long

I’m gonna be bad
And it’s gonna feel good
I’m going do everything
Your mother said we
Never should

I’m gonna be bad
I wanna do wrong
You’re going to be every broken heart
Inside my every song

Was it really as easy
As you made it seem
I never heard you raise your voice you
You never heard me scream

But when you tuck
Yourself in bed at night
And read a book
alone by candlelight
Do you wonder what
I just might
Be getting in to

I’m gonna be bad
It’s gonna feel good
I’m gonna do everything
Your mother said we never should

I’m going to be bad
And I wanna be cruel
And I’m going to try everything the taught me
Down at Catholic school (laughing)

Cause if you wanna see the brand new me
Well, just look at the brand new you

I’m going to be bad
Every time I think about you
Every time I think about you
Every time I think about you

I’m gonna be bad

Whistle to fade


At 7:46 AM, CarpeDM said...

I like this song, especially because I can hear him singing it in my head and the sexy little growling thing that he does over certain words. Yep. Good song.

At 11:23 AM, The Lioness said...

Never heard it, buaaahhhh! (*sing-song* But I found a typo, na na na na na!)

Monday, November 15, 2004

Take a Piece of My Heart, Baby

Motivation kicked in today. Wait, I should say fear finally took over the forefront of my thoughts and I decided to finally do something about it.

Want to know the one topic that plunges me instantly into the deepest pit of despair? Want to know what can make me say to my dad (whom I love and respect), "FINE! I'll just get NOTHING done!"? And then I apologize saying, "I know, I'm sorry. I'm not pleasant right now. Deal."

What can do this to a happy go lucky optimist?

My car.

I have almost no knowledge of cars. Sure, I know there is no such thing as blinker fluid and I'm still debating if turning the stereo up actually makes the bad sounds go away or just disguises the sounds as a sweet symphony of rock 'n roll. I'm thinking it is actually the latter.

Because I am afraid to drive more than 10 miles on a freeway and this is now cutting into my social life (or lack thereof), my mind said, "IT IS TIME." The internal voice is commands me and scoffs at my checkbook's protests.

First off, I should explain the vehicle's symptoms that drove me to find a cure for it's ailment(s). My little, compact blue Geo Prizm has a "cough". It is tired and generally feels worthless. Social Anxiety Disorder? I wish Paxil would help my little car. Probably won't, since it is in fact a car, not a human being.

By the way, I named my car the Blue Fox. That's not in honor of a certain bar in the Twin Cities but just a fun name. And the car is blue, so it fits. (A little bit of the name is homage to The X-Files and Fox Mulder, but not much.)

Since I can't add my car as a dependent on my health insurance plan, it does probably get neglected. This is my fault. Sure, it gets frequent meals (it sure loves that high-priced cocktails once a week, guzzling it down as if the gods gave it to the car directly, screaming, "I've been so hungry, so very hungry!") The Blue Fox gets oil changes just as I need new shoes or new blue jeans. When Foxy was feeling sad and blue, I bought Foxy a bright, shiny MP3 player to feel special.

I give my car pep talks. I do. I tell it on cold days, "You can do it! You want to run!" And Foxy always responds to my gentle pleas and confidence in the car. Vroom! Foxy tells me stories.

Lately, Foxy's stories have a different beat. No longer upbeat and happy, Foxy has seemed down and depressed. As Foxy gets going, he (okay, the car's a boy now, it's easier to write) starts to make a low grumbling, telling me something is wrong.

I do listen. I ask Foxy what is wrong and he keeps telling me the same thing, over and over. "I'm sick, I'm sick." When I notice the words haven't changed, my attention drifts away, actually, I divert my attention purposefully to keep the problem smaller in my mind. I turn up the radio. And yet, Foxy still tells me the sad story over and over.

I bought Foxy when I was 19. He's the first car I bought myself. I overpaid for him, but I still love him. He allowed The Sheepsheadians to play sweet songs and dance in the parking ramp at work. He was with me when I drove to Duluth, to Iowa, and to Wisconsin.

And now, he is tired and when he gets to 55 miles an hour, he starts to complain. If I have to switch highways, he mopes through the exits and lacks the energy to get up to speed.

So I decided it was time for a check-up. Some have told me, in a kind way, that it may just be a problem with the exhaust system. That was my wish. I wanted a common cold, something easily cured with $200.

I was afraid it was something with the fuel injectors. That would be costly.

Today, I went to Precision Tune, asking if they could see my sweet Foxy. "Do you have any openings today?" I asked. The evil little man didn't care for my Foxy and shunned him. He told me, "We can't do a check-up but we can charge you to replace some spark plugs." Evil little bastard. Doesn't he understand how much Foxy means to me? Can't he see how much love I have for this friend?

Obviously not.

I then took Foxy to the local gas station/service center, Amoco. The man there was nicer, he acknowledged Foxy. He said it sounded like an exhaust problem or a fuel problem. He checked the appointments and couldn't get Foxy in today, but he offered kind words and suggestions.

But still, my little Foxy wasn't feeling well. So I did what any insane car owner would do. I went to the dealership where I bought Foxy, where they raped my checkbook, and hi-fived each other when the innocent, green eyed teenager came in to buy a car 5 1/2 years ago.

I still remember the day I bought Foxy. It was Memorial Day and I went with my dad to the Chevrolet dealership because "The Bethmobile" (my friend coined the phrase as we left a Batman movie in Wisconsin - man, that car did over 100 miles an hour on a deserted Wisconsin road a long time ago) no longer liked humid days. Since Minnesota is a humid place in the summer, I traded "The Bethmobile", my first automotive love, for Foxy. When I sat behind the wheel of Foxy, he reminded me of "The Bethmobile" so much. This may be because "The Bethmobile" was a light blue, '87 Chevy Nova. Foxy is a '96 Geo Prizm, the same partnership between Chevrolet and Toyota. Foxy offered automatic windows and door locks, as well as air conditioning. Otherwise, they both had the same manual transmission, that powerful, alluring factor to any vehicle.*

I found myself back on the lot of Friendly Chevrolet in Fridley, Minnesota. It used to be called Viking Chevrolet. Viking was a more apt term for the dealership. Friendly brings thoughts of kindness and fairness to one's mind. Viking makes one think of pilaging and plundering. This is much more accurate.

I was told to ask for Dennis. I found this nice, talkative service manager. My first thought about Dennis was of Jon Voight and a light socket. It took all my strength to not say, "Dude! Your hair is spiky!" He's a nice enough man and he treated me fairly, which is a first for Friendly/Viking Chevrolet. He took Foxy into the shop and I was given a personality-free rental car. [Side note, this is the point where I really regretted writing this on blogger and not in Word and the computer lost the server and all of my latter written works for this post - ARGH!] I drove the rental off the lot, worried about Foxy, wondering if he would be curable and how much of a dent his cure would put on my checkbook. Would we drive off into the sunset together another day?

To bide time and have a ton of fun, I met Keem and Dana for dinner at Bennigan's, an Irish-themed restaurant here in the Cities. The food was good and the company was wonderful. Yet, I kept thinking of Foxy in the back of my mind. I wondered how he was doing at the dealership. Was he being poked and prodded? How did this make him feel? (Yes, that's a joke - I don't actually think the car has feelings.)

After dinner, I returned home to sit and wait patiently for the phone to ring with the prognosis. Would it be just a virus, something that could be cured with money? Or would the news scare me more than the not knowing?

Finally, the phone rang and I grabbed it, anticipating an easy solution and cringing against the hidden cause of Foxy's illness. Dennis, the nice service manager, told me about the different problems Foxy had gone in to figure out.

The door handle and lock on the passenger side would cost about $150 to fix. (Someone tried to break into the car a couple of years ago and I hadn't had this fixed yet, I asked for an estimate.)

The brake light that kept flashing on the dash, another cause for concern, was being caused by a shorted out switch and Dennis said this would be something that wasn't necessary but easily fixable if I didn't want to see the light anymore. This would cost about $100.

It was the news about the cause of Foxy's lack luster attitude that hit me the hardest. I had been wishing, praying, and hoping that it was a common cold, one cured with love and a check.

No such luck. Foxy cannot be cured by simply turning a screw that's loose. Foxy has cancer. Well, the car equivalent of cancer at least.

When I was fretting over the problems with Foxy, I never, I repeat, I never considered the engine to be the source of the problem. As it turns out, Foxy needs a new heart or the equivalent of by-pass surgery. Kemo won't even do it.

In technical terms, Foxy has a problem with his engine bearings and the crankshaft is about to fall out of the car. I was assured this was nothing to do with maintenance, but just the life of the car. I was given a timeframe of Foxy to survive without the surgery. Dennis kindly told me that Foxy may run for a few more days or a few more months. No one can be sure, but Foxy's lifeforce will end without rebuilding the entire engine.

The kicker: this would cost $4,500 to $5,500. My checkbook screamed, I mean SCREAMED at me to rethink making Foxy better.

I told Dennis I needed to think and I hung up the phone. I called my dad. Then I called my mom. Then I called Matt. I held back the tears and hitching sobs as long as possible without much success. The dam finally broke.

Matt went with me to pick up Foxy. We drove him back to my apartment and he sits outside in the lot, saddened by the news.

After much creative banking and a wonderful mother doing me a favor, I think I can scrounge up enough cash for a sizeable downpayment on a replacement for Foxy. Next Monday, I will be car shopping, hoping to not end up screwed over in a horrible loan with a lemon vehicle.

I am mournful at the prospect of sending Foxy to that happy lot in the sky. No more nights of driving, looking at the sky, and listening to happy tunes together. No longer will Foxy drive me off into the sunset. The only thing left is the fade to black.

I really cannot afford a new car, I am not looking forward to the prospect. Yes, I will love the new car, I know I will, but it will never replace Foxy in my heart. I will have Foxy stories stored in my memory.


*Say all you want about automatic transmissions, but give this girl the power and control of a stick shift any day. There is something uplifting and powerful about being able to move the car back and forth between gears. I love it!


At 7:56 AM, CarpeDM said...

Oh, God. Beth, I am so sorry.

You know, you should never doubt your power as a writer. I am crying as well. I am going to miss Foxy. And you're right, no matter how much I'm sure we'll love the new car, it will be hard to replace a true champion.

I'll be thinking of you today.

At 9:00 AM, rod said...

you've got me missing all my old cars that have gone on before.
I, too, have some magic stories like yours. Maybe I'll have to post about "the green bean".

At 12:25 PM, keem said...

I'm so sorry. I was so hoping that it was just going to be the exhaust. It will be sad to see Foxy go. A new car will be exciting though, even if it's a bit painful. :*(

With a Wink and a Smile

What the ---?!?

I am just getting home from karaoke tonight. The evening was a ton of fun and my head is spinning.

You spin me 'round 'round.

I picked up Dana and headed up to the Chalet. Michael was there and of course joined us. I made him a CD so he could experience a few songs that I happen to have an affliction. I'm hoping he enjoys the Cowboy Mouth, the Barenaked Ladies, and the Bree Sharp tracks. I wanted to give him a taste of the music and hope he goes out and supports these awesome artists.

My big brother made an appearance at the Chalet tonight and we enjoyed his time. It's always great to get together with friends. I love it.

Before I forget (I'm a little random right now with the spinning), the overheard conversation from Perkin's on Friday night:

Three girls talking about their jobs as check-out clerks.
Girl: So this woman comes up to me and puts down a box of Monastat. I asked her how she was doing and the woman replied, "Itchy."

I lost it. That's got to be the funniest thing I've overheard in years!

Back to karaoke. Thought we were straying far, weren't we? No such luck.

So we sang some songs. Dana tried a couple of new songs tonight and I enjoyed her singing ABBA. I stuck to some safer songs and am surprised at how much my knees knocked together while I sang Funkytown. I've sung this before and yet tonight, I was shaking when I was done.

Why? Good question.

Answer: Because THE BOY came in right before I got up to sing and sat at the table near us. He made eye contact again and his friend waved at us. When I got up to sing, he looked me straight in the eyes and held my gaze. He gave a smile and I melted.

The two stayed for a bit, drinking tequila (to-kill-ya) and beer. Then they decided to end the evening early (yeah, early - 1:00 AM - who knew?) and gathered up their coats to battle the chilly Minnesota in November night. His friend stood up and shook both Dana and my hands. He said, "See ya." Then he stood next to THE BOY and THE BOY looked at me. He was standing behind Dana and she was looking the other way. He held my gaze for about twenty seconds and I could see the gears working in his head, almost trying to find the perfect thing to say. It was an odd moment, not unpleasing, but strange.

Then he reached out his hand and took mine to shake it. Still looking in my eyes, he said, "It was great to see you." He accentuated the great and also added a wink and a smile.

Then he left.

I did actually respond before he left, I did say, "It was great to see you too." I added a smile.

Oh yeah, his friend kept doing the elbow nudge as if to say, "Talk to her, you know you want to."

I'm so confused!

For something I thought was over before it began, this small moment brought these thoughts back to the seemingly calm surface of my mind.

On a musically inclined moment, I realized today that I can buy songs on iTunes. I'm going to be broke by the end of the week, but I can purchase CD's without leaving the house!

I bought a ton already.

Favorites so far:

Me and Bobby McGee and Take a Piece of My Heart - Janis Joplin.
I love these! I keep listening to them over and over.

Another new CD, but not one I downloaded. My dad gave me, "David Sedaris Live at Carnegie Hall" today. For those not familiar, David Sedaris reads parts of his stories. He's wonderful. I recommend him to everyone.

Back to karaoke for a moment. I put NO effort into my appearance tonight for karaoke. I wore blue jeans again and my favorite boots (the brown and black ones). The shirt I wore is the 70's style flowery pattern that I swear my mom had as a skirt when I was a kid. I did nothing with my hair except wash it and brush it after it dried. I wore no makeup. When I fixed myself up for Halloween, it was if an invisible shield hide me from sight.

Morale: Don't care what you look like. It goes farther. At least in my case. Who knew?

I guess I should have known since every time I dressed up for clubbing no one ever commented to me directly. A certain person told me that others told him about my outfits, but no one ever tells me. I say, forget dressing up then. Go with what is comfortable (and an amazing bra helps).


At 12:21 PM, The Lioness said...

I have a new post bcs of this!!!! But it will have to wait.


Hugs and kisses galore, may they induce others!

At 5:56 PM, Firebear said...


At 7:49 AM, CarpeDM said...

This was very interesting. I remember being there & just feeling the romantic tension.

Okay, actually, no, I didn't. I was watching Michael (was it Michael? I think it was) & noticing how THE BOY completely moved around me to get to his objective - you - & didn't say anything to me at all.

I think it was because he wanted to make sure there was more of that impact. It was you that it was great to see. It's very sweet. I think he might be a little shy.

Sunday, November 14, 2004


Tonight at work, I got to thinking about people who have moved on from our call center. Dana and Keem are now in a different area of NABABNA. Matt is working for the clinic now. Scott left to go to a branch awhile ago and now doesn't work for NABABNA anymore. Of the original circle, I am left at the call center with Adam and we are in different departments so I rarely see him.

I thought about those I didn't know where they went. We have a resource to look up an employee's name and see which department they are in. Sometimes, I look up those old friends to see if they've been promoted or if they're still doing the same old, same old greater thing they left the call center for.

And then sometimes I'm surprised.

A few months ago, I looked up a guy that I worked with every single Saturday night and laughed with and talked with and took breaks with and just enjoyed as a co-worker. He was a guy I could rely on to get the job done and I considered him a real friend. When I looked him up, trying to get his email address and send a hello, I no longer found his name in the database. He now is classified as, "He no longer works for NABABNA." I have no idea if he left on his own or if other circumstances were the cause of his different employment status, but I know he's gone from the company. It makes me sad.

Tonight, I wondered about another person, just because I was thinking of old breaks with the person in the above paragraph and this guy. I looked up his name and it is no longer in the database.

For those who know whom I'm speaking of, that's right, the pretty-to-look-at, player, funny, and just dang sexy boy no longer works for NABABNA.

After a night of a bad party and booze (which I don't touch because of that evening), my friendship with this boy drifted apart and that's okay, but I still liked his company and I enjoyed having him as a friend. And now he's no longer at NABABNA and I'll probably never talk to him again (not like I had major plans to talk to him).

I'm not really sad but I'm reflecting on old times and happy moments at my job. I wonder how many others I'll meet and know and drift away from as my time with NABABNA progresses. Who else will be a name from the past?

We have about 150 employees at our call center and if I look back to who was on the night/overnight shift from when I started I think there's only a handful left. It's only been 4 1/2 years and the number of names on the list of "no longer works for NABABNA" is almost full. Of the overnight shift (which I wasn't part of but knew most of those employees and they all started about the same time I did), there are three people left. Two are still in the same position that they started in and I'm their team lead. The other is Adam and he's in a different department.

From my training class, I am the only one left and I've been the only one for about 4 years.

I can think of four other people that I know worked for the call center before I started there that are still in their original positions. Three of the helpdesk people were there before I started. 1/2 of the management staff is newer than I am to the call center.

So at 26, am I considered an old-timer? I just wonder if I've become too comfortable in my job and too afraid to move on. Who knows? Only time will tell what happens and I'm just remembering some old, fun faces. That's all.

And I had to share that the boy who was fun to make out with but not relationship material is no longer at NABABNA. I found it interesting.


At 7:46 AM, CarpeDM said...

Yeah, he was real pretty. I know I kind of miss him.

In a "God, he's hot" sort of way. Other than that, I don't really think of him that much.

Which, in itself, is kind of sad.