October 30, 2009

Oh, the irony.

Posted in Guilt, Project: Fail, The Aaaarrrghhhhh!, The Just a Little Sad, The Why, The WTF at 7:16 am by Dagny Taggart

I called Sibling Extraoridinare yesterday, hoping to wish Things One and Two a happy Birthday, but they were at day care whilst Sibling Extraordinaire (S.E., for pete’s sake) prepared her house for their birthday party, which is this Saturday.  Their birthday party, to which she has invited both sets of grandparents, our cousin (who has two little ones of her own), and a number of friends S.E. has made through various parenting groups.  And me.

I told her shortly after she proposed the idea, a couple of months ago, that I wouldn’t be coming up for the party.  First of all, it’s not like the twins are going to have significant memories of their second birthday party – so it’s not like they’ll be affronted if I don’t show.  Second, um.  Let’s take a look at that guest list (which I originally thought included other family members of whom I am not so fond).

I would be the sole unmarried and childless person in attendance over the age of 7. 

Anyway, S.E. told me that she was really hurt by the fact that I wasn’t coming.  That it made her view me in a different light.

S.E. also told me that my godparents, who have been fixtures at our Thanksgiving table for as long as I can remember, have decided not to come this year, and that Dr. Taggart is really upset by this.  And S.E. said that she’d gently tried to point out that perhaps my godparents really wanted to spend the holiday with their daughter and granddaughter, who are hosting the day for the daughter’s in-laws, this year.  And S.E. said that she thought this was a reasonable thing to want.

So it’s a reasonable thing for my godparents to want to spend Thanksgiving with their daughter and granddaughter, but it’s not a reasonable thing for me to want to spend Halloween with friends, rather than drive seven hours total to be at a children’s birthday party where I would be the only non-parent adult in attendance?  At least, it’s unreasonable enough for that decision to change the way someone sees me for the negative?

Good to know, I suppose.

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October 29, 2009

Shirts

Posted in *cringe*, the pretty, The Round at 8:06 am by Dagny Taggart

I need some.

I have sufficient quantities of cute/witty tshirts for pool and the like.  I have a reasonable amount of shirts for work.  What I don’t have, is shirts I like for going out.

Because shirts for going out need to be cute, but not over the top.  I need to be able to wear it to a variety of locations, from semi-nice restaurants to lounges to the ever-present possibility of pool on a weekend night.  And I don’t want to look schlubby, or overdressed, or like I’m desperately trying to recapture my undergrad days through bellybutton exposure.

But I HATE tunic tops.  Loathe them!  And I’m getting bored with tops in solids – I’d like a couple things in prints, but nothing so memorable that I couldn’t wear it more than once.  I want to look cute!  But not teenybopper cute!  I’m soboredicouldcry by Limited and Express, but have not the budget for more than $50 or so per shirt.

Also, given that I am a BOUS (Blogger of Unusual Stature), I’d prefer the tops to not be of the sort that are supposed to end right at the waist – because even if those are technically supposed to conceal the midriff, they will not, so much, on me. 

Anyone have any ideas?  Where do you shop that isn’t a massive chain?  How do you avoid the dreaded Dolman sleeve?  Where can I find some clooooootheeessssss?

October 28, 2009

Fortuitous

Posted in *cringe*, Project: Fail at 6:59 am by Dagny Taggart

I woke up this morning, certain that I’d forgotten something.  What was it?  Aaaaaggghhh.

5:15 crept by, then 5:30… and I couldn’t remember.  And if I couldn’t remember, I pondered resentfully, I could at LEAST be getting more than 4 hours of sleep.

And then it hit me.  Those yellow pieces of paper on my refrigerator, the ones symbolizing the ticket I’d gotten for a broken headlight¹ months before.  The headlight I’d had repaired, but the ticket I’d not yet paid.  It was after the court date, it was nearly November and the date was in October, it had to be.

Ah, but wait!  There, on the piece of paper, was the court date.  It said the 28th!  And today… is the 28th!  I’m not in contempt after all!

Whew.  Just… whew.

Yeah.  So I’ll be taking a wee detour this morning, it seems.  But at least it won’t be a contemptuous one.

 

¹Oh, yeah.  So, my headlights were BOTH functioning when I departed my point of origin that night – I remember seeing them both shining on the garage door.  Which means it had to have stopped working between there and the speed trap I passed through, where the officer decided a busted headlight was worth pulling me over for.  Probably when I stopped to get gas.  Since then, I’m super paranoid about it – always checking to see if I can see two pools of light on the road ahead of me, which is probably impairing the quality of my driving.

October 27, 2009

Maternal advice

Posted in *cringe*, Darth Vaguer, Guilt, Project: Fail, The Aaaarrrghhhhh!, The Just a Little Sad, The WTF at 8:24 am by Dagny Taggart

My mom told me to just throw out my life and go get a new one, yesterday.

I’ve just given up on expecting her to think before she speaks, really.

(1)  Oh, so you think it’s encouraging to treat my life as something I could just toss aside?  When I’ve only complained about one tiny little aspect of it?

(2)  And you think I’ve done such a bad job of making a life (stable, gainful employment?  check.  Reasonably good health?  check.  Pleasant living environment in a good neighborhood for a reasonable sum?  check.  A hobby and some friends?  check.) that I should just throw it all out and start over?

Look, lady.  This is why I don’t come home more often.  Because you and I both know what you’re talking about, and it’s none of your business.  This is why I don’t come home more often, in case you were wondering.

October 26, 2009

Runaway imagination

Posted in *cringe*, Darth Vaguer, Past, Present, Project: Fail, The OCD at 8:33 am by Dagny Taggart

When I think of someone who is always prepared, I think of the consummate soccer mom – or my friend who works in child care.  These people have little snack-size Ziplocs filled with an assortment of bandages and antibiotic ointments, doses of analgesics, a Tide pen, a mini sewing kit, sunscreen, aloe, an assortment of Philips-head screwdrivers, and homemade granola bars.

And they have it all in one perfectly medium-sized satchel.

I am not one of these people, just in case that wasn’t clear.

What I do have in common with these people, is the ability to imagine what could happen.  What worst could happen.  Except, I don’t imagine in terms of bodily harm – I’m more focused on the emotional, for myself and those I care about.

So what do I keep in my virtual satchel?  A few extra appropriately congratulatory reactions, several invisible pieces of duct tape (for when saying nothing is by far the best response), and an extra bottle of fortitude for when I’m tempted to forgive but really shouldn’t.  Oh – and some tattoo concealer for those ego bruises.

I may not be able to predict how people are going to behave, but I can do my best to react in a predictably prepared (and mature) fashion.

October 22, 2009

I’ve been…

Posted in *cringe*, Nerdiness, The WTF at 12:19 pm by Dagny Taggart

…attending a conference all day today.   I know you’re all jealous.

But to the woman who didn’t seem to understand that my colleagues and I had planned to sit next to each other, and thus sat down in the seat we were “saving” for a latecomer despite the availability of several other solo seats in the vicinity, I say…

Really?

People are weird.

October 21, 2009

Heavy Lifting

Posted in Nerdiness, nutella, Project: Fail, The OCD, The Round, The WTF at 8:33 am by Dagny Taggart

Phew.  Now that I’ve gotten THAT off my chest, let me confess something simultaneously lighter, and not.

I am a cardio junkie. 

I’ve been going to the gym for years – I used the gym as a way to quit smoking, before I lost my mind and went to law school.  And I’ve never been afraid of using weights – mostly the machines, but I’ve played around with the dumbbells and preset barbells over on that one wall, over there.  And I thought I was in pretty good shape – a good 35-40 minutes of intense cardio followed by 20-25 minutes with weights and I was good for the day.  I’d do this maybe 5 days a week.

Well, it stopped working.  So I did the Shred, and that helped a lot – it was really different, and I definitely lost a couple of pounds, and that was a great thing, right before I went to the Bahamas.  And then I was in the Bahamas at an all-inclusive resort drinking rum with a splash of Hi-C out of a 20 oz cup, and then I was in Vegas wondering how long I’d have to drink out of the chocolate fountain before security hauled me away.

It was time for a change, and it was suggested that I think about *real* lifting.  The kind involving the equipment in the MIDDLE of that room, or along the other wall.  The kind that takes a heck of a lot longer than 20-25 minutes, the kind that you can’t do well, really, if you’ve spent 40 minutes running on the treadmill at peak pace beforehand, and the kind that won’t let you run for more than 15 minutes or so afterward, before your legs detach themselves from your body and throw their letter of resignation down on your hapless torso.

I’ve been doing that kind of lifting.  And I’ve learned what happens when you overload the leg press machine and then have to fold yourself into a pretzel to get out of it, shamefacedly remove the weights, crawl back in, and push it back up.  (1)  Nobody laughs loudly enough for you to hear, and (2) you become very determined to not use that machine unless the room is completely empty or football is on TV (I do legs on Saturday afternoons, now – college games provide excellent cover).

But what I really discovered, is that I am a cardio junkie.  I miss it.  I will leave my gym barely able to walk, nauseated by my recent efforts, and dehydrated despite having downed 36 ounces of water, and I still feel like I haven’t done enough, and I’ll continue to feel like that until the next time I can manage a cardio workout that lasts the better part of an hour. 

Runner’s high – more addictive than nicotine.  Who knew?

October 20, 2009

Other people’s choices

Posted in Advice I have no business giving, Darth Vaguer, Project: Fail, The Aaaarrrghhhhh!, The Angry, The Just a Little Sad, The Small and Petty, The WTF at 10:52 am by Dagny Taggart

“If you set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.” – Margaret Thatcher

If you look around… I mean, really, really LOOK, you see it everywhere.  And I, for one, have never been so grateful for my penchant to sit back and observe, because I feel like I’ve just been handed a HUGE life lesson – one that, while mildly uncomfortable, could have been accompanied by far worse consequences if I’d learned it the way I do everything else.¹

I was officially gobsmacked this Saturday – and that’s not a word I use lightly (or ever before, to my knowledge), but there’s no other word that so accurately depicts my involuntary reaction to what transpired.  I believed that things were one way, and was working towards improving a situation based on those assumptions – assumptions that had been bolstered by the assurances of the parties involved.

The thing about parties involved?  They can… prevaricate.  Obfuscate.  Evade.  Until they slip up, and are found out, which leads us back to the gobsmackedness. 

In other news, your author can be incredibly naive, but has decided she’d rather be naive than cynical, and the actions of others are not a particularly good reason to start suspecting everyone.

In other, other news, I am also a lot more judgemental than I thought.  Because when examining the choices of parties involved, I found myself thinking poorly of them not just for the prevarication, obfuscation, and evasion – but also for the impetus behind those actions.  Really?  That’s the thing you’re willing to trade your integrity for?  And if it was worth all of that… wouldn’t you want to stand up for it, to advocate?

I have been extremely conflict-avoidant for a good portion of my life – when one grows up in a household where dissidence is verboten, one learns to lie at an early age – to give the answers most likely to please, rather than speak one’s true thoughts.  Having seen where that leads as an adult, I can say that I’d rather be yelled at or ostracized for my point of view, than be a coward about who I am.

¹The hard way, of course.

October 19, 2009

Cleaning shrimp

Posted in Darth Vaguer, The Happy, The Round at 10:10 am by Dagny Taggart

iIt’s not something I do without good reason, because it is a vile and disgusting task, and I am not a fan.  But when you want colossal shrimp, and you don’t want them from a bag of frozen-ness, you go to the store, you talk to the fishmonger guy, and you head home with a plastic container filled with enormous, yet very much in possession of both shells and intestine, shrimp¹. 

This marks an interesting change for me.  A couple of years ago, I would have been fine with picking up a bag o’ shrimp from my nearby grocery store, with store-bought bread crumbs and maybe even sauce from a packet.  But I braved I-66 in the rain, toasted and food-processed my own breadcrumbs, and painstakingly stirred the beurre blanc into being from 5 distinctly non-powdered ingredients.

All for a very, very good reason.  So all in all, this weekend was a win.  Not only did I grow up enough to take some pride in my culinary crafting and final product, but I was lucky enough to have an additional, very good reason for doing so.

¹I have the actual recipe from the restaurant, which is considerably more complicated than the one presented there, and does NOT involve (shudder) any suggestion of hot sauce.

October 16, 2009

Arithmetic

Posted in nutella, The Funny, The WTF at 11:21 am by Dagny Taggart

I am working from home, and someone just sent me a link to a recipe for homemade nutella.  Which, um.  Is just hysterical.  And, will not get me fired because I am going to wait until after I have signed off to run to the store for hazelnuts and scharffen berger.

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