March 31, 2009

When you’re here, I sleep lengthwise…

Posted in Project: Fail, Uncategorized at 9:53 am by Dagny Taggart

And when you’re gone, I hit the snooze button.

While I was in law school, I got into the habit of a pretty crazy schedule.  I lived in the vicinity of the East Falls Church metro, had a membership at Gold’s, a paid internship at the FDA (which was still in Rockville), and 17 credits of classes.  I’d get up at 4:20 am, have a large mug of green tea, head to the gym for a workout, shower and change, park at school, metro to the internship (at my desk at 7:15), metro back for classes from 3 to 9:30, and then head home, study myself to sleep, and start all over.

I managed to sustain this pattern for a long time post-graduation.  Up really early, getting all of my mandatory activities done by the end of the workday, leaving my evenings free for frolicking (or, you know, an earlyish bedtime).  And during the period(s) of time where a significant other might have slept next to me, I was hyper-vigilant about getting out of bed and shutting off the alarm after the first beep.  I loved that I could rely on myself to get up at a certain time, because it made the rest of my day go much more smoothly.

But recently, in the past year or two?  I have become a SNOOZER.

I am adamantly ANTI-SNOOZE, so this is a problem.  Adding insult to injury, my cell phone/alarm clock will only let me snooze in useless 5 minute increments.  And yet, my willpower is gone, UNLESS someone else might be awakened by the repetitive beeping.

When you’re here, I get up when I’m supposed to.  And when you’re gone, I become the kind of person who hits the snooze button 35 times.

Are there any reformed snoozers out there?  How do I independently break myself of this vile habit?

March 30, 2009


Posted in Darth Vaguer, Grief, Guilt, The Just a Little Sad, The WTF at 10:00 am by Dagny Taggart

Ninety-nine percent of the time, I am the teasee.  We’ve covered that I’m blond, half Polish, and from New Jersey.  We’ve probably also touched on the fact that not only am I the younger sibling, but I’m very nearly the youngest of all of my cousins.  And, I had asthma.  And, I had glasses.  And, I had braces.  And, for a significant chunk of time, I carried around 60 pounds or so of extra weight.  Oh, OH!  And, I’m roughly 5-6 inches taller than your average woman.  We haven’t even gotten into my personality quirks.

So there was teasing.  Lots of teasing.

After a while, you learn how to suck it up and deal.  How to not let the ones who are genuinely assholes get to you, or at least not let them see it if they do.  How to remind yourself that the ones who aren’t assholes, are just being affectionate, showing that they like you for your quirks as much as anything else, and laugh with them.

I think I’ve come across someone who either hasn’t learned the second half of that, yet.  Or at least, seems to have determined that I belong in the former category.

It’s an interesting way to find out how close you really are(n’t) to someone.

March 27, 2009


Posted in *cringe* at 7:54 am by Dagny Taggart

I do a certain number of annoying, or stupid, or both, things during the day.  Some of these only happen once, so I try to get them out of the way as quickly as possible.

The best example of this is a seriously froggy/Phyllis-Diller-esque first sentence.  Allergies make my throat all sore and cloggy overnight, so I sound Rather Peculiar, until I get my vocal cords going.  I sometimes talk to myself as I’m getting ready, to speed the process along.  If I forget, I’ll be answering a call at work or saying hello to my boss and just as the dreaded:


escapes my mouth, I’m kicking myself for not having properly prepared.

I bump into at least one thing per day.  It seems to help if I do this before I leave the house, because then I am generally more aware for the rest of the day, thanks to the giant bruise taking up residence (usually mid-thigh, where doorknobs and table corners take aim).  If not, I have experienced all manner of embarrasing moments, including public faceplants, walking into glass doors, and giant trips that make it seem as though I was mid-(failing)-audition for the Joffrey.

Unfortunately, there seems to be no way to escape the dreaded Idiotic Utterance.  Forcing something out prematurely doesn’t work, probably because those things have been Thought About, and a Stupid Thing is what happens when I speak, generally several hours before actual thought begins.  This is also my least favorite thing, as there can be several hours between the Utterance and Realization.

Like, oh, if, for example, one realized one had been repeatedly, and mechanically (due, perhaps, to a series of 11-hour days and lack of sleep), calling someone by the wrong (but closely related to the actual) name during a morning meeting.  Someone that one had worked with for over a year, say.  And one realized it at, oh, three in the afternoon, when another meeting attendee emailed one to point out the error.

Sigh.  At least I don’t smell like urine.

March 26, 2009

TMI Thursday: Revenge

Posted in *cringe* at 7:50 am by Dagny Taggart

It’s that time!

Please understand that I wasn’t even thinking of revenge at this point.  Sometimes, you just get to a point where you accept that someone is a horrible person, and is going to be horrible to you.  I had gotten to that point, and accepted my fate.  I was firmly ensconced in the Borough of Resignation, and vengeance wasn’t even a blip on the radar.

I don’t know my cousin’s wife very well, and she doesn’t know me.  She seems to think of me as an intellectual snob who’s had a lot handed to her, which might even be true, to a degree.  That said, I’ve never been rude to her, and I’ve never been cruel.  And she’s never really made any attempt to get to know me, at all.  So it was with repeated surprise and hurt that I faced Patty’s constant attempts to mock and belittle me in front of my family.  At every function, every opportunity.  I don’t know where, or why, she bothered to find the time.

As I zested and juiced dozens of limes in preparation for the pitchers of mojitos Sibling wanted to serve at our annual family reunion, I grumbled about the ache in my arm and how much easier it would have been to just use bottled juice.  I whinged about the muddling process, and when it came time to squeeze even MORE limes for YET ANOTHER pitcher, I nearly lost my head.  It didn’t help that I’d seen Patty down at least two drinks and start on a third before I’d even had one – and I was sure I’d need it if she lobbed even one more barb in my direction.

But miraculously, Patty disappeared from the barbeque for a period of time, leaving me free to enjoy the company of the rest of my family for a while, despite the strange noises we assumed were coming from a neighbor’s dog.  When she returned, she walked into the house looking a trifle pale.  Because, you see, she’d had a bit too much to drink.  And, you see, she’d thrown up in the storm drain.  In front of my sister’s house.  During a family reunion, to which she’d brought their two sons.

Needless to say, she’s been considerably subdued, since.  Revenge is apparently a drink best served cold.

March 25, 2009

My apologies

Posted in Advice I have no business giving, Nerdiness, The OCD, The WTF at 11:43 am by Dagny Taggart

For what probably seemed like an inappropriate way to return.  The conversation came into my head whilst giggling with Sibling, whose understanding of the inner workings of my brain is unparallelled.  I probably should have taken that into account before thinking to myself, “Well, Sibling laughed for five minutes over that vignette!  I’m sure everyone else will find it amusing, too!”

Yeah.  SO.  A reader with a better sense of humor than I had the grace and good sense to email me the link to this, which is, I must say, both beautiful and heartbreaking all at once.  If the end was a little less senseless (oh, the humanity!), it would have been perfect.  So, thanks!

And now for today’s question:

Why is it that the people nominally responsible for running our country’s legislature are incapable of choosing a staff that actually does research on issues before taking a position?  I’ve seen quite a few letters/position papers signed by members of Congress.  These letters betray a lack of familiarity with the workings of our government with alarming frequency, forcing me to figure out how to tell said members of Congress that they are imbeciles without, in fact, using the word “imbecile” or any of its iterations.  I am also assured that “blithering idiots” is impermissible.

And yes, I realize that these things are generally written by staff, and the Member just signs the darn thing, but then the Member is an idiot for having hired staffers who draft comments on various governmental actions without understanding the issues.

What I would do, if I wanted to work on the Hill?  I’d take a look at some of the publicly available ones (interviews, press releases, letters – some of these are usually available on the Member’s website), research the issue, draft a memo explaining why the document makes the (preferably relatively junior) Member look like an idiot, and include that with my resume.  In my cover letter, I’d explain that I’ve attached an example of why my work would be invaluable to the Member and his constituents.

You know, just in case anyone knows anyone who (1) doesn’t have actual connections* on the Hill, and (2) is more interested in working for someone progressive than someone Establishment**.


*Because Members with actual connections are generally interested in retaining the usefulness of those connections, and are therefore more likely to hire on the basis of connections, of course.
**And by progressive, I don’t refer to a particular party or lack thereof – I mean, someone who is interested in New Ways of Getting Things Done.

March 24, 2009

A conversation with a hypothetical

Posted in Nerdiness, The Gnomes at 12:14 pm by Dagny Taggart

DT:  Um, hi.  So…. we need to talk.

Hypothetical-Male-With-Whom-I’ve-Had-Relations (HMWWIHR):  Um, well… okay.  What’s on your mind?

DT:  Well, here goes:  I’m pregnant.

HMWWIHR:  But… We were careful!  And I know there was that time it broke, but… I thought you said you were on the pill?

DT:  Well, yeah.  About that.  The Cadbury eggs, you see.

HMWWIHR:  Pardon?!?!!!

DT:  You can’t very well expect me to knowingly enter a CVS to pick up my prescription when there are CADBURY EGGS inside, can you?  I’d be completely undone!!!  

HMWWIHR:  I’m hallucinating.  That’s what this is.  You’re saying that you didn’t pick up or take your pill because of the proximity to Cadbury EGGS?!?!!

DT:  Precisely.  I knew you’d understand!

HMWWIHR:  Your devotion to your diet is… insane.

DT:  Thanks.  I just try to stay away from temptation.  They put them right in front of the store!  What was I supposed to do?

HMWWIHR: … . One of us should be committed.  Either me, for believing that this is actually happening, or you, for a list of reasons that might take weeks to enumerate.


Note to my wee handful of devoted readers:  I am not, nor have I ever been, with child.  I am not advocating skipping medication because of its proximity to delicious, delicious Cadbury eggs.  Rather, I would advocate getting such medications delivered directly to your home, so that the decadent confections never come between you and your contraception.
P.S.  If anyone reading this is possibly a parent of mine, of course I’m not with child – there’s only one Immaculate Conception, right???  🙂 

March 19, 2009

Depending on whom you ask…

Posted in The Funny, The Happy at 6:16 am by Dagny Taggart

What I’ve been up to is either incredibly fascinating and vital, or so draining I’ve resorted to causing myself pain in order to stay awake during the 3 pm stretch.

Actually, that’s a lie.  Because I could give you both of the above answers, so it does not depend on whom you ask, at least not entirely.

All of this to say that the number of unread in my feedreader has surpassed the absurd, and it would be nice to be able to spend more quality time in this place, in your places, enjoying the warmer weather outside and in my apartment, but that’s not in the cards until 6 pm tomorrow.

Hope everyone is having a lovely week.  Mine was considerably enhanced when I got home last night and found a giant box outside my door.  It was a belated Christmas present (there’s something so happy about belated Christmas presents that show up in a distinctly non-gifty month).


Freudian Slippers

Freudian Slippers

The best part?  My toes go inside the tongue.  So it can wiggle.

I needed that.

Sorry for the incoherent blather – hope everyone has a great day!

March 17, 2009


Posted in Nerdiness, The Happy, the pretty at 8:11 am by Dagny Taggart

I wasn’t allowed to watch much tv when I was little.  Which was fine by me, as I was adept at losing myself in a book at a very young age. 

One of the few shows I do remember (in addition to the Smurfs and the Snorks), is Jabberjaw.  That silly little shark, always so affronted that he wasn’t getting any respect.  “A woo woo woo!  No respect, no respect.  Nah nah nah.”

Yeah.  It wasn’t a mystery cartoon, that’s for sure.  Okay, so maybe it kind of was – I seem to recall some apprehending of villians or some such, but there was never any question why respect for the shark was lacking.

Perhaps he should have tried the suit I’m wearing now.  Because I bothered to get up early enough to blow dry my hair, throw on a suit (which fits well, thanks to my recent re-obsession with the gym), and apply just a touch of makeup, and it’s working for me.  People are getting out of my way, and that’s just how I like it.

The moral of the story?  Wear suits more often.  And, in the immortal words of Will Smith,

“I make this look good.”

March 16, 2009

Because I haven’t whinged sufficiently, of late.

Posted in The Gnomes, The Why, The WTF at 9:36 am by Dagny Taggart

Ordinarily, I’d love the notion of having living quarters elevated above everyone else, even if it were only slightly.  My darling 650-square-foot abode as a turret of sorts?  Certainly, and thank you!

And I really do appreciate efforts made to keep various aspects of that abode functioning properly.  Even though the contractors took up a dozen valuable parking spaces, forcing me to regularly park in the “guest lot” hinterlands, I toted my loads of laundry the extra yardage without complaint, as I am a fan of hot showers and clean dishes, neither of which are possible without hot water.

Back when it was balmy and lovely, I didn’t care that my radiator wasn’t functioning – I don’t think I gave it a thought.  Our maintenance personnel regulate them so that we’re not stifled on warmer days, so the elderly residents don’t have to strain themselves to bend to the floor and turn the knobs to “closed”.

But this weekend, when it was rainy and in the forties, I did notice that my radiators weren’t working.  I noticed, because my apartment was FIFTY-SEVEN DEGREES.  Which is PARTICULARLY cold after that nice steamy shower the management was so kind to provide.  Perhaps I should save this for Thursday, but never before have I *had* to shave my legs thrice in one day.

My radiators weren’t working, you see, because my unit is slightly higher than my neighbors’.  So when air gets into the system, it goes into MY radiators, which then stop working.  Until they are “bled”, which just sounds entirely too disgusting to contemplate.  If leeches are involved, I really don’t want to know.

I’m looking forward to summertime.

In other news, posting may be light this week.  I’ll try, I really will, but the funny thing about the current administration is that they actually pay attention to whether agencies other than DoD and DHS are helping the country.  And to be honest, I’ll take that over posting time any day – it’s nice to feel useful.

March 13, 2009

Pick one!

Posted in Nerdiness, nutella, The Why, The WTF at 9:13 am by Dagny Taggart

Powers That Be:

It has occurred to me that I woke up this morning with aggravated allergies, due in some part to the pollen production inspired by last weekend’s gorgeous weather and greenery-friendly temperatures.  As usual, it takes my sinuses a week or so to calm down once they’ve been aggravated, so this is not surprising.

What is NOT okay, however, is waking up with an allergy-induced sinus headache and seeing SNOW falling outside my window.  I don’t care if it wasn’t sticking.  You need to pick one.  I can either breathe easily and freeze, or sniffle in warm sunshine.  But you don’t get to just stick me in the sucky quadrant of your little Punnet Square without good reason.

Therefore, I expect some seriously nice weather posthaste.  Should you fail to comply, I’ll simply have a chat with a certain abstract concept – a chat that may or may not involve her favorite snack.  Don’t mess with me – I know people, and I know how to bribe them, too.



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