Tuesday, February 28, 2006


I hate them. I do not know their names but I hate them. Hate is a strong word. But let's just say it is a little after 5 AM, I have to be at work at 8 AM and have to make it through 8 hours of training (you know, sitting, listening, probably watching movies, and staying alert) and I'm going to be relying on a massive amount of caffeine today. You wonder who "them" are? They would be my upstairs neighbors. The people who NEVER sleep and may or may not be using meth to keep them this active 24 FRICKIN' hours a day!

I actually went to bed at 10:30 last night. Aren't you proud of me? I was being the responsible adult, trying to obtain my 8 hours of shut eye. I was able to fall asleep for a bit around 11, even with the moaning and "Yes! Yes! YES!" coming from upstairs as the woman found pleasure in what her significant other was doing to her. Her screams were not as annoying as the metallic clanging their bed makes against the wall and scrapping sound in has on the floor.

I awoke at 2:30 AM to more sounds of their passionate love making. Her screams of "Yes!" were replaced with just simple moaning and lots of "Ah! Ah! Uh! Ah!" I hate them.

I could handle the sounds of passion if that's all it was. But then, at about 3 AM, they decided it was time to, I don't know, REARRANGE their entire apartment. This involves lifting heavy furniture, dragging it around, and DROPPING it REPEATEDLY on the floor, complete with the THUD! that rattles everything in my apartment, let alone theirs. This has kept up past 5:30 AM now.

I complained once to the apartment management about the noise these people make and this stupid woman that I had never seen working in the office before scoffed at the notion. I normally do not mind these people because I am a night time person. However, I am upset today.

On the subject of being a night time person and living in an apartment. I try very hard to be respectful of those who live below, above, and next to me. I listen to music at night, quietly playing from my speakers on my computer. I keep it low. When I walk around, I walk on my tiptoes, keeping my weight from making each footstep heavy. I don't drop crap on the floor.

I really need to complain to a different person in the office. I'm very annoyed right now at these people. And for the love of God, DO YOU EVER SLEEP?

Monday, February 27, 2006

Felt Like You Haven't Been at Karaoke Lately? I Have a Solution: Pictures!

The bug to clean up my camera's memory card hit tonight and I thought I should share a few pictures from February karaoke (and a couple of random pictures).

February 5, 2006 Karaoke (aka after Super Bowl karaoke)

Drunk Man with Beads (he was rather amusing):
Bead GuyBead Guy dancing for Sara and Amy (4)Bead Guy dancing for Sara and Amy (3)Bead Guy dancing for Sara and Amy (2)Bead Guy dancing for Sara and Amy (1)Bead Guy dancing for Sara and Amy

Me singing:


February 12, 2006 Karaoke

DanaDana (1)Dana (2)
Craig gave all of us girls heart beads for Valentine's Day. It was sweet.

February 19, 2006 Karaoke


Dan Lange & Bryan singing together:
Dan Lange and BryanDan Lange and Bryan (1)

Angie singing to Amy:
Angie and Amy

February 26, 2006 Karaoke

James sang a Neil Diamond song last night (Brother Love's Traveling Show):
JamesJames (1)

DanaDana (1)Dana (2)

Taken during crazy scrapbooking night on Saturday with Dana:

Wine bottles ("I do actually have liquor in my apartment. Wow. If I wanted to get drunk, I could drink these and I have corkscrews!")
Wine Bottles 2

From a visit to my mom's today:

Smoke (3)Smoke (6)


Mac (the evil cat, apparently):
MacMac (1)

Chip (who needs a haircut):
Chip (1)Chip (2)

I have an odd work week ahead. I am in training on Tuesday and Wednesday and working early mornings those days. Posting may not be regular this week.

Oh, Dana, I realized one really great thing about Wednesday. We could go out and/or I could actually watch LOST on TV. Nice! You do know, I would rather go out than watch TV, right? I know it is LOST, but interactions with people will always rank higher than television for me.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Sweet as Chocolate

Diana posted about an incident at her household involving massage oil, a spill, and a suspect. It reminded me of a story and I shared it in her comments. I thought I might like to share it here.

This is Chip, aka Chocolate Chip, aka Chip Brooks Ever, aka Stomach on Legs, aka Annoying Goofball:


He looks sweet and innocent, doesn't he?

Actually, he usually is. Chip is one of the most kind-hearted animals I've ever known. He is extremely polite and always followed Taco around, knowing Taco was the big brother and ultimately knew everything. Chip is cautious around anything new; you can see the gears turning in his head as he analyzes what he's faced with.

This is also Chip. His coloring changed quite a bit as he grew up and now my mom refers to him as her, "Little Blonde Boy."


And I wish I had a picture of what I'm about to share.

My mom has dentures. My dad does too, but my mom got her dentures later in life and Chip was quite interested in them. She had them out while she was sleeping during the first year of having them. They were in a glass on the bedside table. She got ready in the morning, waiting to put them in until after her shower and once her hair was done.

Chip found them. And he was fascinated by them! She wandered into the hallway to find him happily chewing away at the teeth! There was Chip with a happy double grin.

The dentist, while fixing the problem, let my mom know this is a common thing to happen with dentures. Dogs are attracted to the smell of the mold used to hold the teeth in and will happily chomp away.

Lesson learned: If you get dentures, make sure the dog can't get near them!

In the Ghetto

In my life, I've lived in ten different dwellings. I used to joke that I would never live anywhere more than five years, although I do not believe that will be the case looking forward. Tonight I want to write about the place my family lived for a summer before we moved to Minnesota.

It was the early eighties and my dad was laid off from his job working construction. My parents decided it was time to sell the yellow house in Raymond and move into the city, finding an apartment in a part of Waterloo that was not where the rich and famous would set up residence. The apartment we stayed in was small and I don't remember much of the time we were there. In fact, I have only three memories of living there. They are vivid memories however.

It must have been the summer of 1984. I would have been five, eagerly awaiting my sixth birthday and the start of kindergarten. The first memory I have of that place was a bad dream I had. I must have recently seen Ghostbusters and it caused me to have a dream where ghosts were invading the neighborhood and if they touched you, you would become a ghost. What I remember most, besides the dream itself, was waking up over and over and each time I fell back asleep the dream would continue. I was disoriented in this new place and kept trying to remember how to get to my parents' room. I did finally make it to my mom's side and she let me sleep with them and the dream stopped. There were boxes everywhere. My parents didn't plan on living there long and not much was unpacked.

The second memory I have of this place was being outside (on a balcony maybe overlooking a courtyard?) with my dog. Our dog's name was Frog, a nickname given to great hockey players (according to my dad). Frog was a beautiful animal. He was mostly collie and smart and loving and I adored him. My second word (after money) was Bobby. My mom called Frog, "Buddy." He was so important to me I tried to say his name. Bob, a friend of my mom's, thought I must really have liked him. She didn't have the heart to tell him that I was calling for the dog!

Frog and I were outside and I know there were a few kids close to my age playing with us. They kept asking, "Why doesn't he have green skin?" and I remember being upset by this. It still bothers me if people make fun of the name; I loved that dog (I can also hold a grudge - true Scorpio here). The kids were nice enough and they invited me to this "hip, awesome place!" They promised "singing and dancing and fun times for all!"

What five year old could resist? I stopped by the apartment to ask permission to go with these kids. My mom looked a little puzzled but said, "Um, sure. If you really want to go." So I went.

When I arrived back at home, my mom asked about my afternoon. My response, "It was CHURCH!" I was not pleased. That may have been the last time I went into a Baptist church. I have nothing against Baptists or others who practice religion; it's just not my bag.

The final memory I have of living in that place was the day Frog was put to sleep. My dad left the apartment with him and came home, hours later, without him. I didn't understand it. For years, I would still cry at just the mention of Frog. Even now, I still tear up thinking about how special he was.

Both of my grandmothers had their words to say about our family putting Frog to sleep. Each should have kept their mouths shut.

My paternal grandmother, the one who is still alive, said to me at my young age something that did scar me. She said, "He had to be put to sleep because he was tired. You played with him too much." I do love my grandmother, but there are times when I am reminded of how bitchy she can be. I believed what she told me that day and for years, I felt like I killed him. She honestly made me believe that a toddler could wear out a healthy animal enough to make him terminally ill. It was years before my mom knew what she said to me that day and clarified that it was no one's fault.

My maternal grandmother said to my mom and I once while visiting her in Arizona, "[My dad] had no problems taking him to the vet. That dog was such a nuisance and your place was so small." My mom was furious and corrected her right then and there.

"[My dad] loved that dog. We all loved that dog. Space had nothing to do with it. He was sick and in pain and it was hard enough having to let him go. [My dad] drove around for four hours before he got enough courage to go to the vet. Never say anything like that again."

These stories, these memories, are just part of my past. I am trying to get better at telling stories on this site and not just day-to-day activities. What I really meant to touch upon when I started this post is that parents can hide things from children. When my parents were at the lowest point in their lives and broke and living in Section 8 housing without government help, I never knew we were in trouble. They hid all of their fears, they worked hard to change their situation, and I never felt like opportunities were out of reach. My parents were strong and they still are.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Adventures in Babysitting

We've got warming winter weather on the horizon* and I am thinking thoughts of hot summer days. To celebrate the warmth the thoughts bring, I made myself some pink lemonade (read as: I'm out of Coca-Cola and thirsty).

I spoke with my mother today and was reminded again of what an unusual child I must have been. She has a friend who is about my age. Her friend has a daughter who is turning 9 this week. She is a sweet little girl, full of smiles and polite. The girl likes to visit Mom's house because she can play with all the pets. Pepper likes this the most; Chip would rather cuddle than be chased by a youngster. Smoke is quite independent and unless tuna fish is involved, he could care less. Mac tolerates her just as he tolerates me (what can I say, I'm not a huge cat fan and he knows it. I am nice to him, but also find it amusing to watch his puzzled expressions as I make him do what my mom termed the "kitty-dance".)

With her birthday approaching, my mom asked her what she would like. She is interested in scrapbooking. What can I say other than it is taking over the world. My mom has seen my scrapbooks and thought this might be a fun project for the girl to explore her creative side. Then my mom checked the price tags of certain scrapbooking products. She thought, 'Okay, we could start small.' Then the girl came over and my mom realized she has about a thirty second attention span. This type of gift may wait a few years.

My mom said an interesting thing to me as she explained all of this over the phone. "I forget that kids are not like you were." I had the opposite of a short attention span. Activities would grab my interest and I'd spend a whole day working on some project or another. One of my favorite memories (and yes, I'm a nerd**, dork, geek, whatever you want to call me) of my childhood is spending a rainy Saturday afternoon/evening in the basement with my parents, organizing a pile of 300+ factoid cards my cousins gave me in a jumbled mess.

This should have made me an easy child to watch while my parents were out.

When my family first moved to Fridley, my parents did not know many our neighbors. They relied on sheer age when picking sitters for me and it was not the best process.

There was the sitter who thought my attention should be diverted to a stapler as she stole all the food from our refrigerator to give to her friends. The lesson I learned that day? When you staple your index and middle finger together, there will be a lot of blood and pain. To this day, I still make sure I hold staplers properly.

This sitter was not fired immediately. She was allowed to watch me a few more times until my parents noticed my toys missing. I had an extensive collection of Care Bear figurines and the collection was seriously compromised when she was near.

Let's move on to sitter number 2. This sitter was terrific at asking my mom for first cigarettes, second cigarette money, and finally just for money to purchase drugs. Her other skills involved watching television and eating potato chips while I was entertaining myself in my room.

One afternoon, I thought to myself, "If I had a hammer, I'd hammer all day long." And I did. I was about 5 or 6 at this point and I found my dad's hammer along with a box of nails. So I started pounding nails into the wall. I was practicing my hammering technique. You would think that an observant babysitter would have heard my pounding in the room above her head and might have actually checked to see what the noise was before I had managed to put more than 30 nails in the wall. You would think that. No, I only stopped because I ran out of nails. I was in the process of taking them back out of the wall (practicing the removing of nails is just as important as the actual art of putting them in the wall) when my parents arrived home from work.

The next season of sitters included a couple of great ones. First, my cousin Ellen stayed with our family for a couple of summers. She was terrific and would make up stories with my Barbie collection that rivaled any daytime television show. Ellen made up her own board games and found value in watching me and finding creative outlets.

I had another sitter, a high schooler named Kim, who watched me one or two summers. We would take walks to the convenience store each day (2 mile walk per day) and rode our bikes and just had fun. She loved the movie, Summer School, starring Mark Harmon and we'd watch that every afternoon while playing a Rummy game and putting the Monkees on the record player once the movie ended. Repetition that didn't cease.

I know that I've written about Ellen and Kim before, somewhere on this site. They were examples, good examples, for me for the time I started babysitting myself.

The first kid that I watched was Joel. He lived across the townhome complex (it was a large circle) from us and a few years younger. He had very bad asthma and the main reason he needed anyone around was in case he had an attack. Like the first time I ever sat for him.

I was the nice sitter. I let him stay up a half hour later since it was a Friday night and there would be no school the next day. We watched the television shows he wanted and we played video games. It was an easy job. His mother left a phone number for the party she was going to along with the instructions, "Just have fun. Joel rarely has any problems with his asthma, if he does, he knows how to work his machine and it usually happens around 2 AM."

After Joel went to bed, I sat in their living room, reading a book and listening to the music on television quietly. Midnight came and went. A "rare" asthma attack set in for Joel. And the "he knows how to work his machine," was a total lie. Luckily, the machine involved pouring water in a spot and turning it on. We got that working and he was able to calm down and go back to bed.

During this turmoil, I called the number his mother left. It was not a party. It was a gas station.

But hey! At 2:30, a car pulled up to the drive. She was back! Hurrah! Let us all celebrate. I gathered my bag (full of study books and such) and patiently waited at the bottom of the steps by the front door. She proceeded to make out with her date for another 45 minutes.

And then paid me $1 an hour.

My mother was furious!

Another single mother eventually got my number and hired me to watch her son (about 7 years old if I remember correctly) three nights a week. I was to arrive right after his favorite TV show was ending and make him dinner. She was good about arriving home on time and I had always got him to bed before she arrived. This was a struggle.

What I remember the most about this child was his hyperactivity. I was lucky enough to arrive right as Power Rangers ended and he would spend the next three hours fighting and kicking at imaginary monsters. He also put ketchup on everything that he ate. White bread tastes better with ketchup. Mac & Cheese? Oh yeah. Fish sticks? You guessed it.

I don't miss babysitting. I never had a horrible experience with it, just more annoyances. I did sit for a family with two young boys and I always had fun with them. I would bring over a couple of Disney movies and they loved having something new to watch. I'd grab a couple of Nintendo games and they'd have fun trying to figure out a new game. And their parents? They paid nice. A Sunday afternoon could net me $30. The mother would also order a pizza to be delivered right as I got there and would pay for dinner.

*It hit 29 degrees today! We're having a heat wave. Can you believe I'm joyous over freezing temperatures?
**Need further proof? Consider the fact that I am seriously considering purchasing Calculus textbooks so I can do math problems for fun.

Saturday, February 18, 2006


My horoscope today:

"You tend to enjoy solitude, dear Scorpio, and today you might find yourself feeling more reclusive than usual. You could be invited to go out with friends, but aren't likely to accept their invitations. You might even feel a little irritated by them. This is a great day to go for a workout, or to throw yourself into projects of your own. Physical activity will get rid of stress, and your concentration is high. Go to it!"

What made me laugh was the fact I was invited to a house party that would have started around midnight Friday night and chose to decline to go to karaoke with DM and see Angie at Wild Tymes. DM and I have also planned to work on our scrapbooks tonight! Now, I should just workout. Funny!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

A note from my mom...

I opened my email account to find a few emails from my mom. The first one I opened was titled, "Dream".

"I dreamt about Taco Bell last night. A total stranger was shoveling out my driveway. I went out and asked him why and he replied that he just wanted to be around Taco because he is so special. I looked over and Taco was standing on the sidewalk. He was old and almost blind but I knew he was looking at me, waiting for me to come and pick him up."

"Great dream."

Impulse Purchasing Again

Apple may have hit the ultimate jackpot with music/book/television junkies. Instead of spending my money on fruitful purchases (like Powerball tickets - hey, 300 million? Is that right?), I ended up surfing iTunes again.

Why do I do this? Oh, because I love music. Hee hee!

Tonight I was thinking about Neil Diamond. Now I hav 5 new songs (America, I'm a Believer, Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show, Holly Holy, and Forever in Blue Jeans).

My old boss mentioned the band, Scissor Sisters. So I bought one of their songs (why? I don't know.)

Then I ended up surfing albums. I bought two more Cowboy Mouth albums, an acoustic album of another artist, two comedy albums, an audio book, and a William Shatner album! Ahhhhhh! It is too easy to click!

On a different note, I had another great day at work. I was able to get much accomplished and met with 5 bankers for at least an hour each. I ran out of time and forgot to take my lunch break. Oops!

And I want to watch Conan O'Brien but I can't. You know why? Because of the Olympics. I forgot that the Olympics change late night television. Oh well, back to normal of not watching anything.

Monday, February 13, 2006


On my sidebar, I have a banner that randomly displays 10 images that I've loaded onto flickr. It changes every time the page reloads. Sometimes I find the 10 images that are placed there to be a little story, telling parts of my life in quick moments. A picture is worth 1,000 words, right? That disturbs me to think of how many words it would take to write about DM and I visiting Portugal. We took quite a few pictures.

The little stories told by the banner strike my interest. One of the reasons I love to take pictures and to scrapbook is because I love being able to remember little details and feel the happy feelings again. I like sharing the stories that pictures hold.

These are the pictures the banner showed during the last loading of my site:


Fireworks on New Year's Eve. I took this picture at my mom's house. She threw a party to celebrate the ending of 2003 and the beginning of 2004. This picture tells me the story of a night spent meeting new people.

Square near arches

A picture taken while DM and I walked the streets of Lisbon. This was our first walking tour while in the city. We were unable to enter the grounds behind the door (the red at the left of the picture). I remember us using the Rick Steve's guide to Portugal to guide us on this tour. It was a good day of a great vacation.

The Ocean

The ocean. This picture was taken the first day DM and I went to the ocean with Johnny. I want to be back, watching Papolia run around in the sand and seeing DM stand there declaring, "It's My Ocean, Dammit!" I know most of these pictures are from that same trip and yet I still feel better each time I see them.

St. Jerome Monastery outside

The monastery. Talk about beauty. I'm not religious in any way shape or form, however; I do enjoy seeing the monuments that are made for worship. The details in the carvings, the vastness of the grounds, and the memories that DM and I made while visiting this beautiful structure all move me.

Dana singing 2

DM! She was singing "Strokin'" at this point. At least I think so. I love that a couple of pictures from karaoke ended up on this story board. It shows how important my Sunday and Thursday nights are. We have fun each and every time we visit the Chalet. I think back to the summer of '04 when DM and I were going to karaoke every other Sunday. One night I just said to DM, "Let's make the Sundays we don't go the exception." And I know our lives have changed for the better because of it.

St. Jerome Monastery outside

The monastery again. If you can visit Portugal, Lisbon in particular, make sure to take the time to go to the monestary. It is worth the 8 Euros.

On the Train

The train station when we went to Evora. Who knew I could look back on us getting lost in this city, speaking very few words of Portuguese (bacon and rat bastard do not get you far in a foreign country), wandering uphill and being eaten alive by pesky little bugs and being able to laugh? It was worth it for the stories alone.

Chapel of Bones

The Chapel of Bones. The reason why we visited Evora in the first place. Can you believe that it was because my dentist said, "My friend said he saw a whole chapel made out of human bones in Portugal." Creepy, yet fascinating.

Pirate James

More karaoke. This is Rev. James. It is so cool that we have a Thursday and a Sunday night group to hang out with. I love karaoke. I don't like singing all that much, but I love going to the Chalet. It seems like we meet someone new at least once a week. Pretty cool.

Outside the Museum

The sky, as seen sitting outside the Gulbenkian museum in Lisbon. What another great experience in Portugal. Someday I will go back. So will DM. And Johnny will come to visit us. The trip of a lifetime does little to describe how wonderful it truly was.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

How One Can Help

I wrote the other day about a propsed "Puppy Mill" in Minnesota. My mom was able to find a way to sign a petition against it and I'd like to share it.

Here is the petition site: http://www.petitiononline.com/mn56345/petition.html

Here is the post about the mill. If you know anyone in Minnesota who can sign to help out, please let them know!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

My Mom, the Activist

My mom recently sent me an email asking me to contact my local representatives. I think she is right on the money with this one. If you live in Minnesota and want to help, contact your local representatives and ask for this practice to be prohibited.

Here is some of the information that my mom sent.

Puppy Mill to Open in Minnesota (from Homeward Bound Rescue):

"It saddens us to announce that Morrison County Commissioners approved a "dog kennel" (in other words, a puppymill) to open in Belle Prairie Township, Minnesota. Six hundred adult dogs will be forced to live in tiny cages for the sole purpose of breeding puppies. These pups will then be sold in pet stores (NOT Petco or Petsmart), on the web, or in classified sections of newspapers.

"Those who are "privileged" enough to even step one foot outdoors (rather than being in pole barns with rows and rows of cages) will be debarked to prevent "noise pollution." It sends shivers down our spines to think of how the dogs will get debarked. Will it be done surgically by a vet or will the "kennel" operators do what many puppymills do to save money - jam a metal pipe down the dogs' throats to break the vocal cords? The "kennel" operators claim they'll debark the dogs in a humane fashion but that is to be expected. After all, who would publicly admit they'll break the law?

"We've rescued over a hundred puppy mill survivors and every single one of them has had horrific health issues because they never received proper medical attention. Almost all puppy mill survivors need expensive dentals because most of their teeth are totally rotten, others have limited vision because their corneas were scratched by their matted fur, while others come in blind or deaf from untreated eye and ear infections. We've rescued some that had tumors the size of cantaloupes and baseballs.

"Puppymill dogs live their entire lives in wire cages, are bred every time possible, and forced to pump out puppies by the bundle. They rarely get handled, never get pet, never feel grass or sunlight, never are given things likes bones or toys...they never get anything. Their lives are truly miserable and this is why it is so appalling that anyone in their right mind would ever approve of such a thing to open, especially in Minnesota. Unfortunately, there are no laws that prevent someone from operating a large breeding kennel and no state regulations or oversite of breeding operations in MN...."

So what can be done?

Write letters and make phone calls! If enough people call/write there is a chance that this horrible mill will never open. The people to write to/call include our state representatives and senator (you can find out who represents you by going to www.leg.state.mn.us or call 651-296-2146). Commissioners must also be contacted. To read more information about the puppymill and to find contact information regarding these commissioners, please go to www.tricountyhumanesociety.org/updates/news20060120164349593.php. The Board of Animal Health can be reached at 651-201-6805. For information about puppymills, please go to www.hsus.org/pets/issues_affecting_our_pets/get_the_facts_on_puppy_mills/, www.stoppuppymills.org, www.prisonersofgreed.org, https://community.hsus.org/campaign/FED_2006_PAWS, https://community.hsus.org/campaign/FED_2006_PAWS/explanation, http://petplace.com/dogs/puppy-mills/page1.aspx, http://petplace.compuserve.com/articles/artShow.asp?artID=1017, www.idausa.org/campaigns.html (under CAMPAIGNS click on 'Puppy Mills'), www.consumeraffairs.com/pets/puppy_mills.html, and http://www.kimtownsend.com/csusda.htm (USDA's Kennel Size Requirements).

My mom also wrote a letter and I liked the format of it. If you want, use it to contact a senator or representative. Here is her letter:

Dear Senator,

I am writing to call your attention to the fact that permision has been given for a "dog kennel" (puppy mill) to operate in Belle Prairie Township in Morrison county, Minnesota. The sheer proposed size (600 ADULT dogs) of this facility makes it hard to believe that these animals will get anything close to normal care and attention.

I do realize that the Minnesota Senate (or House of Representatives) has to deal with many weighty issues on a daily basis, but I would be much more proud to live in a state incapable of tolerating this form of cruelty.

It is my hope that someone with a lot of internet knowledge will set up one of those pages that can be easily passed from dog lover to dog lover and make sending messages to all senators and representatives, county commissioners and city officials easy. There are many special interest blocs operating in our state. I believe one made up of animal lovers would be formidable.

Please consider supporting any movement to prohibit this kind of torture factory in our state!

Thank you,
[Her name]
[Her address]
[Her email]

Any voices calling for humane treatment of animals is a help.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

iPod Shuffle, again and again

My typical Monday evening usually involves me going stir crazy at home and I end up at Perkins listening to my iPod and talking with Jen, the world's greatest server. This has spawned into my writing about the songs that play on shuffle and how I react to them. I'm probably the only one to even find interest in this practice. I find it a way to relax, force myself to think about emotions. Read on if you want.

Song #1: Puttin' on the Ritz - Taco
A little ridiculous, but very methodical in rhythm. "Super duper!" The bridge of the song makes little sense and breaks into a dance suggestion before the fade. It is not really great music, but hey, the 80's had some interesting tunes.

Song #2: Who Will Save Your Soul - Jewel
It's hard to believe this song came out over 9 years ago. I was in high school and working for Target when this had so much radio play. The song itself is about the things we do wrong but my only association is that it played a lot while I was in high school. I like it, probably because it is a song that is easy to sing along with in the car. I feel like I should care more about it, but I don't.

Song #3: Eight Easy Steps - Alanis Morissette
I purchased the iTunes Originals of Alanis Morissette. Don't ask my why. I was in purchase mode and kept clicking. Do you understand how easy it is to spend $50 on music from your living room? This song is all about how to mess up your life in "Eight Easy Steps."

Song #4: Better - Cowboy Mouth
This is a fun song about a relationship on the fritz. It is all about a man singing that he is waiting for the relationship to get better but realizing the other person just wants out. It progresses to realization that the solution is to end the relationship.

Song #5: Nowhere Fast - Incubus
Another impulse iTunes purchase. I really should set myself an allowance. A few weeks ago I discovered I liked 3 songs by this band. That's what prompted me to purchase 2 of their albums. People who know me can verify that when something interests me I drown myself in it. Penguins, scrapbooking, music, heck even blogging are all examples of my addictive personality. This is why I can never try drugs. If I like the feeling I'll become an addict. Back tot he song - I have not listened to it enough to have a great idea of its meaning. There's a lot of heavy bass in it. That's what I can say.

Song #6: Take My Breath Away - Berlin
I just have to giggle. This song reminds me of DM because of the "Date with Pete" night. God, she's great. She knows which men I would be interested in and which I am NOT interested in. Thanks for keeping me safe Dana.

Song #7: Back 2 Good - Matchbox Twenty
"I was thinking if you were lonely, maybe we could leave here, no one would know, at least not to the point we would think so." Besides the fact I hate it when numbers or single letters of the alphabet are used to title songs, this song is not bad. It is depressing and about how to get out of depression by just hooking up with someone. We're all messed up, one way or anotehr. And we all try to find a way to get back to good. That's my take on the song tonight.

Song #8: Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Queen
This has come up on Shuffle before when I've been writing and thinking. I sang it again on Sunday. It is usually one the crowd likes. Sometimes people dance. This tends to disturb me, but if they're having fun, I suppose I should enjoy their dancing.

Song #9: Faith - George Michael
Funny, I sang this one Sunday night too. I don't think I did a great job with it, but it is fun to sing. "I know all the games you play because I play them too." I don't really relate to the lyrics. The number in the book for this song is 49-05. I've memorized it now. This is a little sick. I could probably list off at least 20 different numbers and songs without looking them up.

Song #10: To Love You More - Celine Dion
I can't stand Celine Dion. I only have this song for humor purposes. Back in the day, I was known in a small, select group for a mocking of this song. It would play on Musak at Perkins and I'd lip-sync and do an "interpretive" dance.

Song #11: Hindsight - Death Cab for Cutie
Another impulse purchase. No, I don't have a problem. I like a few of the songs on this album. Is that what an iTunes Originals is? An album? Well, I'm going to call iTunes Originals albums either way. This album came with a couple of videos too. That was cool. The video for "Title and Registration" depicts a very fake heart transplant. Kind of unique and a neat visualization of the song.

Song #12: Break Stuff - Limp Bizkit
Angry music. Great drive around town with the radio blaring and let it all out music. I've used this song to help release frustration a few times. Not so much in the last 18 months. Hmmm. What large change happened at the end of June 2004? Oh, that's right. I moved. "It's just one of those days ... my suggestion is to keep your distance ... if my day keeps going this way I just might have to break something tonight." Yeah, angry music.

Song #13: Fallin' - Alicia Keys
"Sometimes I love ya, sometimes you make me blue ... I keep fallin' in and out of love with you." We all still worked in St. Paul when this song came out. (We all implying the Sheepsheadians, the original crew.) It was 2002 I think. I remember I bought the CD to only have it stolen a short time later when my car was broken into. I am so happy our work moved locations. It is such a better environment now. It is like day and night differences. No worries about stabbings or shootings just outside the building, no urine in the elevators, and windows! We have windows. I'm the only true Sheepsheadian left at our call center, but it will always be "our" call center.

Song #14: Baby Got Back - Sir Mix-a-Lot
Why do people like this song? Why do I sing along when people pick it at karaoke? It is absolutely ridiculous. And it doesn't sound right if it is not Dean rappying it. But all the girls still shake our behinds, acting proud of our cushions. Silly, just silly.

Song #15: Now Comes the Night - Rob Thomas
The best reason for Rob Thomas's solo album. I don't know why, but I adore slow piano songs. This song is all about the end of life, the darkness that comes from death. And it is amazingly sweet. He sings that his love will not go alone, that love conquers all. Love survives, it can make death non-frightening. Support gets us through. I do like this sad song. The message is strong. "When the hour is upon us, and our beauty's surely gone, no you will not be forgotten, no you will not be alone."

Song #16: One Way or Another - Blondie
A song about stalking. I've sung it at karaoke, mainly because it doesn't take much talent. No offense to Blondie. It is just she isn't a huge vocal stretch. Most of the song is monotone and if you can read, you can sing it.

Song #17: When You Find the One - Melissa Etheridge
"I turned love inside out until I was perfectly pretending ... when you find the one, there's no questioning the silence, all is said and done, when you find the one ... with 'Hello' you will know when you find the one."

Song #18: Head Over Feet - Alanis Morissette
I do like this song. I'm listening to the iTunes Originals version. It is an acoustic version and still I remember being 17 and thinking this song defined love perfectly. It really doesn't, but it is a happy thought.

Song #19: You Can Leave Your Hat On - Tom Jones
Just fun. Silly fun. And another karaoke song.

Song #20: Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground - Willie Nelson & Mark McGrath
This song is one from the TV show, "King of the Hill." I bought this album for a BNL song and was happy to find a couple other good tracks. This is such a sweet sentiment song. "If you had not fallen, I would not have found you, angel flying too close to the ground."

Song #21: Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing - Chris Isaak
What a sexy song. "They did a bad, aad thing, I feel like cryin'."

Song #22: Kung Fu Fighting - Carl Douglas
I take back the statement, "'The Safety Dance' is the most ridiculous song of the 80's." There are way too many ridiculous songs of the 80's. This is one. What is it with the One-Hit Wonders.

Song #23: On the Road Again - Willie Nelson
This song was big when I was very young. I remember it playing in my dad's Jeep in Iowa. I always misheard it as a kid and thought the song was about the dangers of kids playing in the street. My parents, and my dad especially, were probably the culprits for the idea. It is a silly thought. Kids getting run over is not funny. Unless you have a sick, morbid sense of humor. What? Oh no, not me. Don't worry.

Song #24: Push - Matchbox Twenty
I do appreciate the songwriting talents of Rob Thomas. I really do. While some hear this song and think of physical abuse, I realize the song is deeper and more meaningful. It is about the way people can test each other, use each other, and push others away. "Don't just stand there, say nice things to me, I've been cheated ... you don't own me, I can't change."

Song #25: Walk Alone at Night - Medium
Another one of Bryan's songs. It is the last song on the album and I enjoy it. The lyrics are dark and the chords are deep. "But I can't break free ... Mark it with a stone, don't cry for me when I am gone, I can't break free, oh, put me in the ground, mark me with a stone, I can't break free, walk alone at night, walk alone at night, walk alone at night, walk alone at night."

Song #26: Blame it on Me - Barenaked Ladies
"Then you smile again but you're looking at me like there's something I'm supposed to say Forgive me, Father, but I've fallen in love And that's all I have for confession today Maybe if you asked me on any other given day I wouldn't have time for you or anything you say But it's all right now, you can blame it on me."

Song #27: It Don't Matter to the Sun - Garth Brooks (as Chris Gaines)
I always liked this song. "It don't matter to the world, if you walk out that door. This old world will keep turnin' round, turnin' round, like it did the day before. See to them it makes no difference, they just keep on keepin' time, it ain't gonna stop the world, but it will be the end of mine."

Song #28: Am I the Only One? - Barenaked Ladies
This song is about longing. Ed Robertson has said it started as a song about his girlfriend (now wife) and turned into a song about his brother who passed away. The lyrics are cleverly placed so that if one is not listening fully, it sounds a bit like the singer is being insulting. I love the phrase, "Am I the only one who loves when you leave [long pause] your hair down in front of your eyes?"

Song #29: On My Own - Les Miserables
My mom ended up getting tickets from a vendor at work to go see the Broadway production of Les Miserables (and I apologize for not using accent marks on here) and brought me. The show was fantastic and this was the song that touched me the most. It is a sad song and I still find it uplifting. The singer tells all about the love she can't have but how much she cares for him is powerful. "I love him, but everyday I'm learning, all my life I've only been pretending, without me, his world will go on turning, the world is full of happiness that I have never known."

Song #30: Lie to Me - Jonny Lang
You know, I'm not an overly large fan of blues. I realize that I enjoy any blues I hear, but I never seek the genre out. This song reminds me of being in the pool hall. It has the right beat to fit a smoky, dark pool room. The song is about how one will believe the lies if the lies make one feel a little better. "If I can't hold onto you, give me something I can hold on to ... Lie to me, go ahead lie to me, you know just what I'm talking about ... lie to me."

Song #31: Ireland - Garth Brooks
I have absolutely no clue why I like this song. It is about men preparing for battle and they all die. Seriously. And it is about the love of Ireland, the homeland. I'm not Irish. I have a minute speck of Irish heritage. But I love this song! "We are forty against hundreds, in someone else's bloody war, we know not why we're fighting or what we're dying for, they will storm us in the morning, when the sunlight turns the sky, death is waiting for its dance now, they have sentenced us to die. Ireland, I am coming home, I can see your rolling fields of green and fences made of stone, won't you take my hand, I am coming home, Ireland." It goes on to tell how the men attack early and all die. Yea. It is a happy song! (Okay, I'm joking.) And although it is Garth Brooks song, it is not what I'd consider country. There is no twang in here.

Song #32: Good Morning Little Schoolgirl - Jonny Lang
Another fun song. "Good morning little schoolgirl, can I go home with you, tell your momma and your daddy, I'm a little schoolboy too." Now, before people freak out, remember that Jonny Lang wrote and performed this song while he'd be schoolboy age. He was very young when he hit it big.

Song #33: You Shook Me All Night Long - AC/DC
This song always puts me in a good mood. I have no clue why. I remember it playing at school dances and we'd all sing at the top of our lungs. It was idiotic. And fun.

Song #34: Unwell - Matchbox Twenty
This is an acoustic version of the song that I'm listening to. This song meant much more to me when I first heard it. Living with Adam, trying to hold onto a friendship with him, was not the best thing I've ever done. I set my expectations for him as a friend too high. I know now the problems were not all caused by him. I'm as much to blame for sticking around and caring when I felt "not crazy, just a little unwell ... but soon enough you're gonna think of me and how I used to be." I am better now that I was then. That's a chapter of my life I can be thankful to be over.

Song #35: Come On Eileen - Dexy's Midnight Runners
Another silly 80's song. And another classic One-Hit Wonder group. I can't think of another song that truly inspires do-si-doeing in night clubs. Even I fell to its power when Adam and I would go to the Retro Room at the Gay 90's (a popular gay bar in downtown Minneapolis). You know, I don't like dancing or drinking all that much and I don't want to see Adam again, but I usually found something to enjoy about that club. None of the stories are that great to tell, yet I am glad I was able to observe a sub-culture of the Twin Cities and have a bit of fun in the process.

Song #36: Love Shack - The B-52's
We used to sing this at karaoke. This is one of those songs that everyone loves. Hmmm. DM - up for finding a guy to sing it with us again since Adam is no longer there and apparently Matt will read this but not contact us? (And yes, Matt - I mean you. I know you check this site. Contact me, dammit! I miss you.)

Song #37: Every Breath You Take - Sting & the Police
Another classic song about stalking. Does anyone else find the P. Diddy (or whatever the guy's name is now) version of this song weird? It was rather odd. Talk over a song about stalking with memories of a dead person. Yeah, it didn't even make sense. It is actually rather creepy.

Song #38: 867-5309 (Jenny) - Tommy Tutone
Another odd 80's song. I feel bad for anyone who has this phone number. It should be retired forever. Or be the number for escort services. "For a good time call."

Song #39: She Drives Me Crazy - Tom Jones
Heck, if "Your Little Secret" shows up soon the Shuffle will have played all the songs I sang last Sunday. Steve, Angie's beau, told me to sing it sexy. I'm not sure how to, but I'd imagine it wouldn't sound anything like what I did.

Song #40: Sentimental Guy - Ben Folds
I am realizing more and more, and this song started it, that I really like this musician. I also bought the iTunes Originals album. One of the songs features William Shatner. It is all piano music and I love it.

Song #41: I Would Do Anything for Love - Meatloaf
Sunday night, Bryan picked one of DM's songs. He had her sing, "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad." One of the things Bryan looks for in songs is length and how much of a break he can have. Meatloaf fits the bill.

Song #42: Let Me Hold it Open - Cowboy Mouth
"So if you wanna walk out the door, let me hold it open for you." I do find the lyrics of Cowboy Mouth's songs catchy, clever, and uplifting. Most of their songs are all about not letting others get you down. Don't take the crap.

Song #43: Lose Yourself - Eminem
A guy at work, a rather religious fellow actually, tried to get everyone to sing this one day. He emailed Steve and I the lyrics with a warning, "There is some strong language in here." I had to hold back a smile because this is not a typical song for this guy to associate with.

Song #44: Hang - Matchbox Twenty
Depressing song. I've written about it before.

Song #45: I'll Tumble 4 Ya - Boy George & the Culture Club
Hee hee! How crazy were the 80's? The music just makes me think it was an all out contest on who could out crazy the next.

Song #46: I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor
I love disco. I don't know why. I should have been in my early 20's during this era. I would have been a disco queen, even if I can't dance. I would have tried. Studio 54 would have been my goal.

Song #47: Bring Me to Life - Evanescence
Here's a fact. This song is WAY too high for me to sing at karaoke. It doesn't seem like it, but it is. And I don't know it that well.

Song #48: 11 AM - Incubus
Another song from my impulse purchasing. This song is about a man who didn't make a decision and lost out on happiness. "I never thought I could want someone so much and now you're not here."

Song #49: Swimming Past the 4th of July - Medium
My favorite song. Hands down. It is one of Bryan's songs. The best part of this truly magnificent song is the part where Bryan sings, "I'm thinking of becoming an alcoholic, but I don't think I could deal with the moments of clarity. I'm thinking about self-ordaining myself a priest, but I don't believe in God. I'm thinking of joining up with the military, but all my enemies live in my own country. I'm thinking of putting a bullet in my head, but I might as well become a priest or join the military." I love this song.

Song #50: Mr. Brightside - The Killers
I don't know why I'm picking this to be the last song to write about tonight, but I figured 50 is a good round number. I love this song. Some think of it as a song about a love having an affair, but I see it as a man singing about his imagination running wild. "It's all in my head, but..." It is about distrust.

If you made it this far, I thank you. Matt - leave a comment or email me or something! Dammit!


This song has recently made it to the top of my playlist. I love the instrumental accompaniment and the lyrics have affected me.

Ben Folds Five

There was a time
When I had nothing to explain
Oh, this mess I have made
But then things got complicated
My innocence has all but faded
Oh, this mess I have made
And I don't
Believe in God
So I can't be saved
All alone,
As I've learned to be
In this mess
I have made
All the untested virtue
The things I said I'd never do
Least of all to you
I know he's kind and true
I know that he is good to you
He'll never care for you more than I do
But I don't (no I don't)
Believe in love
So I can't be tamed (be saved)
All alone,
As I've learned to be
In this mess
I have made
The same mistakes
Over and over
There are rooms in this house
That I don't open anymore
Dusty books and pictures on the floor
That she will never see
She'll never see that part of me
I want to be for her what I
Could never be for you
No I don't (no I don't)
Believe in God
So I can't be saved
All alone,
As I've learned to be
In this mess
I have made

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Random Trains of Thought

One of the joys of being sick is what I like to refer to as "loss of transitions". When I become ill, my head gets cloudy and people find it hard to hold conversations with me. Yesterday was a somewhat prime example of this, although I was trying to get through the 2 hours I was at work without incident.

Besides forgetting how to recognize Steve (which he brought up when I called in today), I had some conversation with him about work. I think it had to do with a timeline for a banker to move on. All of a sudden he was talking about shorts. Now, I've spent enough time with DM that I can usually determine where random thoughts come from (it is just finding the associations). I usually do well in determining Steve's random thoughts (he's a little more aware of pointing out the associations to people). Yesterday, I just stopped in my tracks and gave him a puzzled stare. "What are you talking about?"

On the way home from work, I went to the new Synder's Drug Store by my apartment to buy crackers. Crackers and Coke are the solution to stomach pains. Yes. That is my theory. There was a guy there that I thought looked familiar. I actually recognized him a bit faster than I did Steve and it was from the back. I recognized his hairline. That's when I realized that Big Wayne from karaoke works at the store right by my place.

I went to Flickr to find a picture of Big Wayne and saw a picture on the "everybody's photos" stream that sparked recognition. This guy's photo stream of Lisbon is very nice. Check it out:

It snowed here a couple of days ago. Or nights ago. There was lots of snow. I liked it. But then I don't drive that far. It is quite pretty but now it is melting. Sad. Snow is so pretty until all the cars drive over it and it gets brown and yucky. I took pictures. I will load them soon.

I don't really have anything else that fits this random post. I'll post pictures of snow!

snow 011

snow 001
(Note, if you use a flash while it is snowing, you get to see all the little flakes.)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006