February 5, 2009

TMI Thursday…

Posted in *cringe* at 10:41 am by Dagny Taggart

…here’s my first bite at this apple.  

At present, I’m fighting off a sinus infection.  I’ve gotten at least two of these per winter since I was seven or eight – the lovely consequence of atmospheric allergies.  In the winter, these are made even more severe by cold, dry air.

So when I was a junior in high school, I’d take over the counter remedies to help me get through the school day.  For the most part, I’d feel fine, if a little spacey.  My voice was a little gravelly, but functional, and it actually seemed to make some of my male classmates sit up and take notice that I’d dropped close to fifty pounds at that point.

One classmate in particular had also caught my attention.  And one day, somehow, we’d all wound up at the same lunch table together.  This never happened, not in the ironclad social hierarchy of my regional school district.  And yet, there we were – my group of friends, and “Cameron”, all at a different table than usual.  A centrally located table, one that everyone could see and many would walk by.

And there I was, with my new sultry voice, smiling and laughing and ignoring the stabbing pain that had been building in my sinuses for the past hour.  Next to my friend and his coat, covered with cat hair.

Cameron said something, and I began a laugh.  A laugh which, halfway through, turned into the Grand Pooh-Bah of All Sneezes.  There was no stopping it.  There was no time to grab napkins, no time to excuse myself from the table.  There was barely time to clap my hands over the lower portion of my face, which had two effects – one, to (thankfully) keep everyone else at the table from feeling the effects of my sneeze, and two, to make it impossible for me to remove my hands from my face without the aid of a sinkful of water and fifty yards of paper towels.

Cameron recoiled.  I stood up, backing away from the table with my hands still over my face, and made my way to the nearest lavatory.  My headache was gone, and so were my chances of getting a date with anyone at my school before graduation.

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February 4, 2009

Angry Driver

Posted in *cringe*, The Angry at 12:32 pm by Dagny Taggart

I couldn’t think of something gripping to write about today.  Which is ironic, since I spent the morning train ride perusing a book on plot construction.

Prior to the train ride, I drove to the metro.  Which is unusual, since my commute usually involves cursing WMATA’s 16 bus line, which seems incapable of spacing buses, so that they all clump up and show up at the same time, and then not again for another half hour or so.  Today, I was spared that fate.

But today, I was reminded why I’d rather sit in the wintry chill and wait 20 minutes for a bus that should have come around minute 3 or 6.  Today, I was nearly in a head-on collision in a parking garage, with a woman in an SUV who was on a cell phone.

Some of you may have heard that I went to court over a reckless driving ticket a few months ago.  I got a great lawyer, miracles happened, and I’m in good shape (email me if you need his name, I’m happy to share).  The point is, I got a reckless driving ticket. 

This would never have happened in the Land of Milk and Honey.  Not just because those state troopers have better things to do than set up speed traps at toll plazas, but because I was a better driver, there.  I was a better driver in Williamsburg, VA.  I would say that at least fifty percent of the time I’m on the road here?  I get angry.

Angry because it shouldn’t take 40 minutes to go 2 miles (I’m looking at you, Tyson’s Corner).  Angry because people insist on leaving one and a half car lengths in front of them at intersections, thereby either not triggering a light change or making it impossible for people to get into a turn lane because traffic is backed up too far.  Common sense and courtesy seem to have completely abandoned the roads of the DC metro area.

And before you start in on Jersey drivers, I would point out that while yes, common courtesy isn’t exactly one of the state’s hallmarks, common sense more or less has to be.  Because New Jersey has more people per square mile.  And therefore more crazy people per square mile.  And more angry people per square mile.  And therefore, there is a tacit agreement amongst all the drivers who are NOT in these categories, to try not to do things that would piss off any of the people who ARE in these categories.

For now, I’m trying to give myself extra time, meditate, have happy music at the ready, and remind myself that sometimes people have bad days.

But that’s not going to help me the next time an SUV comes at me with its lights off and driver clearly engaged in a riveting conversation about how she can’t wait to see HJNTIY otherwise occupied , headed straight into my front bumper.

Then again, neither will giving her the finger.  Though that certainly made me feel better emotionally.

February 3, 2009

Chronos

Posted in Guilt, The How, The OCD, The WTF at 11:15 am by Dagny Taggart

I want to know what time things are going to happen.   I want things scheduled.  

For a number of people close to me, this is either incomprehensible, impossible, or both.  I have friends who operate on a completely different time system than the rest of the population (and each other), to the point where events have been “scheduled” fifteen or thirty minutes early, to ensure an actual timely arrival for everyone.

I have a problem committing to things that aren’t definite.  Give me a time and a place and I will show up, ninety percent of the time.  Leave it vague, and my extreme (you really have NO idea) shyness and/or seasonal depression and/or PMS and/or tiredness and/or random crankiness will step into the ring and pin me down on my couch without so much as a by-your-leave.

(not that by-your-leaves happen with frequency in the wrestling world, or couches for that matter, so perhaps that wasn’t the best metaphor.  Whatever.)

Also, I have things that I do every week.  Some of which are scheduled, some of which just need to happen at some point during the week.   If I know what my fun!  surprise!  social! plans are at least a day or two in advance, I can be more efficient.  If I don’t, I start to stress about Getting Things Done.  And party people, I am a freaking savant when it comes to stressing myself out.  I can render myself a complete mess in under two minutes if I focus enough on what I’m not getting done.

But what I really like about things that are scheduled?  It’s a way of saying, “I want to see you, and am therefore willing to set aside a specific time to make sure that happens”.  It’s not taking each others’ time for granted.  It’s courtesy and appreciation and doing something more than just haphazardly shoving people into whatever schedule holes need filling.

It doesn’t have to be that way all the time.  Friends can recognize when someone just can’t schedule, and then it’s a kindness to say, “I know you’re busy, we’ll figure it out at some point.” 

But it’s also a kindness, and a compliment, to say, “I want to spend time with you enough to make definite plans for that to happen.”

I should say that to some people more often, in fact.  Is it too late for a resolution?

February 2, 2009

Blogger Poetry Reading 2009

Posted in The Happy, The How at 8:54 am by Dagny Taggart

Sonnets from the Portuguese, Number Twenty-Two

When our two souls stand up erect and strong,
Face to face, silent, drawing nigh and nigher,
Until the lengthening wings break into fire
At either curvèd point,—what bitter wrong
Can the earth do to us, that we should not long
Be here contented? Think! In mounting higher,
The angels would press on us and aspire
To drop some golden orb of perfect song
Into our deep, dear silence. Let us stay
Rather on earth, Belovèd,—where the unfit
Contrarious moods of men recoil away
And isolate pure spirits, and permit
A place to stand and love in for a day,
With darkness and the death-hour rounding it. 

– Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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