July 27, 2010

A word I never use

Posted in Advice I have no business giving, The Happy, the pretty at 8:32 am by Dagny Taggart


I may have left you with the impression that my spa experience was made significantly less enjoyable by the “rain shower” treatment, which was the first one I did.

And thankfully it was the first, because it made me appreciate the second so much more.  It was a Milk and Honey soak, and if there is anything more appropriate for me, I’m not sure I want to know what it is.  It’s possible that this experience was only sweetened by the previous… treatment, and it was relatively simple.

The technician simply ran me a bath and poured some lovely goo into it.  But the tub was constant flow, with an accessible panel of buttons that let me control the whirlpool jets.  The controls kept it within half a degree of 103º F.  Once I’d entered the room and drawn the curtain, the technician dimmed the lights, and made sure I was aware of the handful of Hershey kisses next to the tub.

Soft, nondescript music played.  And even though the tub was just a few inches shy of perfect length, I relaxed, thoroughly and perfectly, for the next 15 minutes.  I’d have been happy to stay there forever, but they have rules about dehydration and sous-viding the clientele, I’d imagine.

Still – I’ve always looked at baths as a time to open a good book and sip some wine, but I think my next will involve a few tea lights and something soothing and instrumental on the iHome.  Because tranquil is a very good word, and I should start using it more often.

July 20, 2010

I am a grown woman. I will not wear booties.

Posted in *cringe*, Advice I have no business giving, The Small and Petty at 8:24 am by Dagny Taggart

Not going to happen!

I will wear boots.  I will wear shoes.  I will wear low boots, or high shoes*.  I will not wear something that could be confused, verbally, with something recently worn by my niece and nephew. 

Seriously, people.  Shouldn’t we insist that marketers treat us like adults, and come up with better names for adult footwear than “booties”?

Don’t even get me started on how they’ve managed to convince a significant segment of the female population that gladiator sandals, and variations on that theme, are even the tiniest bit attractive.  Ugh.

*Though honestly, I probably wouldn’t wear any of the things currently described as booties, because I don’t see any reason to make my legs look stumpy or my feet look like hooves (lessons I learned in the eighth grade or so, the last time these things were allegedly the epitome of fashion).

July 7, 2010

Putting Out

Posted in Advice I have no business giving, But I am... le tired, Darth Vaguer, The Aaaarrrghhhhh!, The Small and Petty, The Who, The Why, The WTF at 9:21 am by Dagny Taggart

You know what would make me happy?  If people took more responsibility for what they put out there.

So if you want me to think you are capable, hardworking, intelligent, and worth my best effort, you should probably do things that are in line with those qualities.  And not, say, continually engage in undermine-y, petty behavior.  Yes, you are successfully telling me that you don’t like me.  But you’re also telling me that you’re not adult or professional enough to work around that, even if I’m the best person to work on a particular task.  And when you get all wide-eyed later, and say that you never suggested any such thing, bless my heart, I’m going to call you on it, and recount the ways in which you very much suggested all of those things.

And if you want me to think that you’re a pretty good human person, who is generally respectful of others and worth establishing a friendship with, you should probably do things that support that thesis.  For example, you could respect my boundaries, and not try to foist your agenda on me when that agenda clearly conflicts with my boundaries.  And when I call you out on it, you could admit to egocentricity and lack of consideration, at the very least.

And I, in turn, should take responsibility for giving the impression that I might be okay with a little foisting, (which I sometimes do by dint of being confrontation-abhorrent).  And, remember that for next time, and be less confrontation-abhorrent.

July 6, 2010


Posted in *cringe*, Advice I have no business giving, But I am... le tired, I need a helmet, Nerdiness at 12:04 pm by Dagny Taggart

Sibling Extraordinaire and I were chatting earlier today, and she pointed out that everyone uses the word “nauseous” wrong.  Also, I have no idea if I’ve spelled it right.  But we didn’t talk about my spelling issues.

Apparently, everyone uses nauseous to describe their own lack of intestinal fortitude, when “to be nauseated”, in its various appropriate tenses, is the correct word to use, here.  Nauseous is the word one uses to describe something that makes one be nauseated.


Your wretched grammar is nauseous.  I now require ginger ale.

All of which comes to mind primarily because I woke up at 4:30 this morning, having gone to bed at midnight.  And I made myself snooze until 5:00, and then got up and went to the gym.  Right now, I am so tired I am nauseated.  and possibly nauseous, given that my dark circles probably aren’t doing my appearance any favors.

June 24, 2010


Posted in Advice I have no business giving, Darth Vaguer, The Process, The Why at 11:59 am by Dagny Taggart

“Out of the frying pan and into the fire,” shouted the count, burning himself badly.

If you’re not happy with your situation, you have three main options.  You can do absolutely nothing and continue on the Path of Unhappy.  You can do something about your situation to make it better.  Or, you can remove yourself from that situation entirely.

But you cannot do any two of these things simultaneously, and have an real hope of success.  For example, if you quit your job, you cannot also hope to have some positive influence on the way the job is, after you’ve left.  You cannot do nothing, and hope to make changes happen.  And since removing yourself is, by definition, doing something, you can’t do nothing and remove at the same time.

So my advice is to think about it for as long as you need, but then pick one, and stick with it.

June 17, 2010

My way

Posted in Advice I have no business giving, I need a helmet, The Aaaarrrghhhhh!, The Why, The WTF at 6:45 am by Dagny Taggart

“Finish him.  Finish him!  YOUR way.”

“Oh, my way.  Thank you Vizzini.  But… which way is my way?”

“Pick up one of these rocks, and get behind that boulder.  In a few moments the man in black will come running around the bend.  The minute his HEAD is in view, HIT IT WITH THE ROCK!”

“Oh.  My way is not very sportsmanlike.”

I know.  You come here, you see a post entitled “My Way”, and you expect Sinatra from the Jersey girl.  However, since that song can apparently get you killed in certain parts of the globe, I thought I’d go with a different reference.

Pretty much all I want is to be left to my own devices, even if someone else thinks that they aren’t the most efficient methods in the universe, unless my own devices are somehow to the detriment of another person.  Because odds are, I have reasons for doing things the way I do – good ones, in my estimation.  And to be told that those reasons aren’t important isn’t likely to do much besides piss me off.

So.  I’m going to do things my way.  My track record is decidedly one of positive progress, and I’m pretty sure I’m not hurting anyone, so unless either of those things changes, kindly keep your comments to yourself.

ETA:  Oh, dear.  I didn’t mean YOUR comments.  Not the ones HERE.  I meant the OTHER you, the one behind you and slightly to the left.  *sigh*.

April 21, 2010

A Weekend Night, Part II

Posted in *cringe*, Advice I have no business giving, Nerdiness, The Just a Little Sad, The Small and Petty, The Who, The Why, The WTF at 10:47 am by Dagny Taggart

Have you ever started out an evening resigned to fending off someone else’s attempts to insert drama, and wound up just wanting to give them a great big hug?

As mentioned, I met my friend’s wife, Amy.  And initially, we didn’t have all that much to talk about – and I thought that maybe we wouldn’t get along at all.  But then she broke out her flask, and the conversation was more forthcoming.

Conversation, for example, about her husband.  Whom she accused of being extremely critical of her, and of being antisocial around everyone but her.  Which was a bit weird, at least from the perspective of someone who’s known him for over a year.  And thus, I thought she might just be in constant need of that combination of sympathy/praise/attention that drama is uniquely suited to provide, and resigned myself to supplying her with as many piscis laudatius as she seemed to require.

 It was afterward, when we got to the show, and suddenly, she was pulling me into the “pit” area, right in front of the stage.  And it was just the two of us, because everyone else had sort of congregated elsewhere.   And again, she seemed intent on telling me why I should be on her side – she asked to borrow my skirt (?!?) and then suggested that it might be too small.  When I obligingly replied that if anything, it would likely be too big, she suggested I repeat that in front of her husband.  Because he was always saying how big she was, you see.

And then we went up to the restroom, and she said that I wasn’t at all what she had expected.  And I said that I’d take that as a compliment, even though I didn’t know what she meant.  And she said, “Oh, it’s definitely a compliment.  Nothing’s too good for my love.”

Which, um.  Ooooookay.  Not sure *what* she meant by any of that exactly, but I *am* kind of sure that I’m not crazy about the implications of what she might have meant. 

And it would have been SO easy to take offense (even if it was just internally).  But when I stopped to think about it for a second, I realized that she was pretty drunk.  And also, probably pretty sad, if she actually believed even half the things she’d said over the course of the evening.

And so really, I just wanted to give her a hug and tell her everything was okay.

March 18, 2010

Um. Ugh.

Posted in *cringe*, Advice I have no business giving, Darth Vaguer, Guilt, Project: Fail, The Just a Little Sad, The Who, The Why at 8:21 am by Dagny Taggart

In any of our interpersonal relationships, communication can be an issue.  I, for example, am absolutely terrible at keeping up with some friends – this can be a consequence of geography, or time, or not having as much in common any more.  And certain people are very tolerant of this, which is probably one reason why I’m majoretting for her, for example.

Other people are less tolerant of this, and every once in a while will blow up at me as a result – S.E. being a prime example of this (though as Things One and Two keep her rather busy these days, she’s been a bit less inclined towards those types of rants).  But I understand the view that if you’re not making an effort to keep in touch with someone, you’re sending them the message that they’re not particularly important to you.

So, I’ve tried to be better about it.

This illustrates a larger issue, I think – and that is, how to remind your people that you care about them with sufficient frequency?  Obviously, some people are just high-maintenance – but sometimes, letting someone know you care about them means that you do things a little differently than you might, otherwise.

So maybe (say, if you’re me) you let people know you care about them by making them cookies.  Or emailing them links to things you think might be funny.  Or by deliberately avoiding the topic of politics like the plague, because you’d rather have a great time than give them an ulcer.

And when someone speaks up about something that bothers them, it’s probably worthwhile to listen and see if it’s something that you’re willing to change.  It’s not necessarily about whether you’re wrong for doing things the way you have been.  Rather, it’s more likely about someone telling you what their priorities are, and what kind of thoughtfulness and consideration is most clearly understandable by them as a sign that you care.

And so, as hard as it is to hear that you’ve hurt someone despite your best efforts to do the exact opposite, and as easy as it may be to be affronted at the perceived lack of appreciation for the things you *have* been doing, it might be best to pay attention to the person who’s opening up to you about the things that are really important to them.

March 12, 2010

Note to self (Herding Cats)

Posted in *cringe*, Advice I have no business giving, The Aaaarrrghhhhh!, The Small and Petty, The WTF at 8:23 am by Dagny Taggart


Should you ever decide to have a relatively formal wedding, one that involves attendants, do your best to not have anyone be an attendant who is concurrently planning her own wedding.  Because if you do, you run the risk of subjecting your other bridesmaids and maid of honor to a bridezilla, even if you yourself are actually remaining cool, calm, collected… and considerate.

Apparently, Self, when someone is in the throes of planning HER day, which is not the same day as your wedding day, she may feel entitled to decide that certain aspects of your wedding day are going to be all about her, despite the fact that nobody other than the bridesmaids notices what the bridesmaids are wearing, save that they are usually dressed similarly and are therefore identifiable by the bride, the groomsmen, the wedding planner, and anyone else who may need special attention at the wedding, because that is essentially what one agrees to do, when one agrees to be an attendant.

So, Self, keep that in mind.  Also, should it be unavoidable, you might want to think about making it absolutely clear that these disputes are to be resolved entirely among the members of the bridal party who (1) are wearing the damn dresses in the first place, and who (2) ARE NOT YOU.  Because the bride, who is ostensibly planning most of the other aspects of the event, does not need to be refereeing squabbles amongst her attendants, even if one of them IS planning her own wedding.

In short, Self, make sure that you ask people who are more likely to be concerned with making things easier for you, than having things the way they want them.

Also, Self, make sure you have put someone in charge who is less prone to murderous fits of pique than yourself.  Unless, of course, that person is coordinating the activities from a safely distant location.

March 2, 2010

The trouble with life experience

Posted in Advice I have no business giving, Darth Vaguer, Present, The Just a Little Sad, The Small and Petty, The Who, The Why, The WTF at 9:05 am by Dagny Taggart

is that it makes me so MAD at myself.

Let’s say that I had two friends, both of whom I’d gone shopping with at various points in time.  One friend, who knew that I was generous with lending wardrobe items, would tell me things were worth buying when they were maybe not the best choice I could have made.  Granted, I would leave the store feeling good about having found cute things to wear, but the friend would leave knowing that the clothes I’d purchased were much more flattering on her, and that even though I owned them, she’d have the benefit of borrowing from time to time.

And let’s say that the other friend would never let me walk out of a store with something that wasn’t right for me.  Ever.  But that friend would be really open about why things weren’t right.  She’d point out that I didn’t fill it out, or that I filled it out too much.  She might even point out that I’d put on a few extra pounds in some places, or that when I wore orange I looked consumptive, or that my lack of sleep was clearly aging me.  And when I left the store, I didn’t feel great about myself.

Now clearly, neither of these friends are people I need to be shopping with.  But if I had to choose one to tell off, one to be furious with, one with whom I’d no longer be friends, who would it be?

Years ago, I might have said that the second person was the one to go.  That it was obvious that those comments would hurt someone’s feelings, that things could be said more gently, that it was really hard to believe that someone wouldn’t say things like that unless they intended to hurt my feelings.

All of which might be true, to a degree – at least to the extent that the person may have understood that hurt feelings would be a necessary consequence of her words, but either didn’t know how to say things differently, or thought that the knowledge outweighed the hurt.

But now, I feel like it’s the first person who’s got to go.  I just don’t have time or patience for people who are willing to lay their integrity on the altar of “things people want to hear” – especially if they’re doing it with personal gain in mind.  And yes, they may actually choose their words more carefully, and they may be genuinely concerned about not hurting someone’s feelings, but … true friends aren’t afraid to risk hurt feelings, if it means helping you be a better version of you – whether it’s finding an outfit that accentuates your best features, or a career that showcases your strengths, or just keeping you from achieving your dreams as quickly as possible, in general.

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