August 20, 2010

Facebook hazard #932

Posted in *cringe*, Darth Vaguer, Guilt, The Just a Little Sad, The Who, The Why, The WTF at 8:57 am by Dagny Taggart

When someone you’ve been friends with for something close to a decade posts a status that reveals views repugnant to you.

Frankly, I’m kinda pissed.  I’m not sure at whom, though.  At this person, for pretending to tolerance all these years?  Or at myself, for ignoring other personality characteristics that would, if acknowledged, allowed me to discern these views and fade the friendship appropriately.

Even worse, part of me suspects that I’m pissed because his views reflect poorly on me.  Nobody likes to say, “Oh, yeah, he’s kind of a {misogynist, racist, homophobe, bigot, ignorant asshole who has apparently forgotten how to use the rational parts of our brains that make us human), but he’s otherwise an okay guy, so I’m totally friends with him.  Well, maybe some people like to say that.  I don’t.

And right now, as I’m thinking of him, I’m thinking of a whole list of things about him that annoy me and make me want to not be his friend anymore.  And I wonder if this is the opening of my eyes to the way I’ve always thought about this person, and the whole friendship was a lie, or if it’s just the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Either way, back broken.  Now, to unfriend, block, or hide?

April 30, 2010


Posted in Guilt, Present, Project: Fail, The Just a Little Sad, The Process, The Why at 10:53 am by Dagny Taggart

I’ve had a couple of really vivid dreams lately.  Seems to happen more on the nights that I’m able to squeeze in more than 6 hours of sleep.  And the dreams… I remembered them, and wrote them down, and am examining them further to see what I might do with them.  If anything.

I’ve been bouncing around this office for a few years now.  It is a job, and it does the things that a job is supposed to do – pays the bills, etc.  It’s not a career, but it could be, and I’m trying to figure out what I need to do to make it a career, and whether I want to do those things.

And there are my hobbies, and wanting to get and stay in shape, and trying to address my food issues in some meaningful way that won’t have me back in the same headspace in 2 years, wondering why exactly it’s so hard to leave that jar of peanut butter ALONE.

There’s my family and friends, and trying to keep in touch with and spend time with people who have been there for me, people I’d like to keep in my life, and it’s just not as easy to do that as it was before.  Email and texting isn’t always enough. 

All of which to say, I just don’t have as much time anymore.  I can’t steal minutes from my workday, not if I actually want to go that extra mile and see what’s at the other end of it.  I can’t steal minutes from sleep or gym or pool or friends – I don’t have enough minutes for those things as it is. 

It’s just been really hard to be *here*.

April 27, 2010


Posted in Guilt, Nerdiness, The Happy, the pretty, The Round, The Why at 7:56 am by Dagny Taggart

Honestly, it really didn’t take that long.  Compared to birthdays past, it was a portrait of moderation in all things, including moderation.

When Thursday is one’s birthday, and Thursday is also one’s league night, one warns one’s teams that one might not play one’s best.  Which is why I’m not at all upset about losing the one match that I played.  Also, there was alcohol to enfuzz my memory.  And, there was cake. 

Cake!  For me!  With my name on it!  And singing!  It was a total surprise.

W took me home, and promised to help me retrieve my car the next day, which I mostly spent lazing about.  Mostly, that is, until I couldn’t take it any more, and went for a run in the lovely spring weather, because I fail at sloth.

It really is so much easier to keep going, once you start to see good progress.  Once things start to fit better, and you can see the lines just beginning to show around your abdominal area, and you can look at the stack of jeans in your closet and daydream, instead of wincing.

And so yes – I am recovered from the weekend of birthday celebration – but I feel like I’m also recovering from the past year or so of being just a little too indulgent, just a little too much of the time.  Recuperation is a process, but I honestly feel like I’m getting better after a long illness of sorts.

It will be *great* to be 100% healthy again.

April 9, 2010


Posted in *cringe*, 8-ball - pool not narcotics, Guilt, Project: Fail, The Just a Little Sad at 8:11 am by Dagny Taggart

Guess where I was last night!  Guess!  Guess!

If you said, “somewhere in Northern Virginia playing pool”, you’d be right.

I played (and won!) two matches pretty early on, then stayed to socialize and practice for a bit.  I got caught up in conversation with a guy who walked up and asked if we were playing in a league.  I replied in the affirmative, and then we started to talk about (1) pool, and (2) New Orleans, where he was from and where I’ll be going, soon.

The conversation was pleasant enough, but had been going on for kind of a while.  At one point, he thanked me for talking to him so much.  And at several points, I noted with envy that one of my teams was doing shots over by their table, that people I wanted to catch up with were gathering up their things.

So when the gentleman excused himself to use the restroom, I popped over to chat with my other team, towards the back of the bar.  And when he emerged, he looked around.  I think he saw me.  And then he left.

And yes, it was exactly what it looked like.  He gave me an opportunity to slip away, and I bolted.  Because we’d been talking for over an hour, ferpete’ssake.  But I still feel like I was less kind than I might have been – as though I should have said something, that it was nice to meet him, at least.  Ugh.

I don’t like feeling unkind.

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 11, 2010


Posted in *cringe*, Darth Vaguer, Guilt, Oubliette, The Angry, The Just a Little Sad, The Small and Petty, The WTF at 7:57 am by Dagny Taggart

That’s what it’s like.  Except that this whackamole game is rrrrrreeeeaaaalllllyyyyyyy slow.  Also, the whacking doesn’t push the mole back down right away.  It requires repeated whacking, for a much longer time than is convenient.


It’s that project that you flubbed three years ago – and every once in a while, it flashes into your memory with perfect clarity, nibbling away at your professional confidence and wreaking subtle havoc with second-guesses and paralyzing self-doubt.

It’s that time when you should have been forthright, but said that you’d call, and then you didn’t.  After the third date.  And now you run into the guy, or someone who knows him, and you get that sickening, hot flush of shame that makes you turn noticeably red for entire minutes to follow.

It’s that guy you cannot believe you dated.  The one that you can’t believe you introduced to your friends, the one who is still on the fringes of some aspect of your social life.  And everyone KNOWS you dated this person.  And whenever you’re reminded of that, you suspect they think less of you for it.

It’s a mole named Voldemort.  And you do your best not to name it.  You’ve taken it out and looked at it and tried to deal with it, and then you tried to shove it into the deepest recesses of your psyche when dealing with it didn’t make it disappear.  But in mole-like fashion, it quietly tunnels its way up to the surface, and peeks its head out, squeaking and sniffing, eating your garden along with your confidence, and no matter how many times you employ the mallet, the little rodent goes away only when it’s good and ready.  And you know that normal people could let this go.  Normal people would not be playing imaginary whackamole against themselves.  Normal people would just put the memory away, where it belonged, and it would stay there.

And you wonder if the only way to get rid of it for good, is to smash the game or leave the arcade altogether.

February 18, 2010

Three hour “friends”

Posted in *cringe*, Guilt, Nerdiness, The Aaaarrrghhhhh!, The Just a Little Sad, The Small and Petty, The Who, The WTF at 9:00 am by Dagny Taggart

Anyone else have these?

Generally, it’s someone you meet in a situation where you’re sort of… expected to be friends with her.  Either you meet her through work, and are expected to work with her on a regular basis, or maybe he’s a part of a group of friends, and because he has a close connection to one or two of the people in the group, the rest of you are going to be spending time with him regularly.

So, if you’re a naturally friendly person, you look for things you have in common, bring up topics of conversation to which you’ll both be amenable.  You do your best to find a basis for liking the person – and you succeed.

To a point.

Because once you’re past the four or five things you have in common, you realize that you’re exhausted, just from talking to this person.  Maybe she dominates the conversation, making it all about her.  Maybe he’s so busy cracking insipid jokes that he hasn’t noticed that nobody’s laughing.  Maybe he demands every last bit of attention you can muster, clinging to you like a codependent facehugger, or maybe she’s a catty gossip who invariably starts tearing down each of your friends with snide remarks – leaving you to wonder exactly what she says about you when you’re not around.

At any rate, you realize that this is not someone you could ever be close friends with.  Yet, you are expected to be friendly with them, to maintain a jovial attitude when around them – for the good of the team at work, or to keep the peace in a group of friends.  Maybe you even really like some aspects of this person, and are genuinely happy to talk to them, just… not for very long. 

These people are what my fabulous ex-roommate referred to as a “three-hour friend”.  For three hours, you can have a good time with this person.  But once those three hours are up, evasive maneuvers are required.

Personally, I’ve been debating the merits of this particular farce.  It definitely serves a purpose, and I think in work scenarios, especially, it behooves one to seek common ground and establish rapport when possible, and do one’s best to overlook personality conflicts as much as possible.  But in social situations, I wonder.  Yes, a party will go more smoothly if everyone pretends to like each other.  But is it possible to “lead someone on” as a friend?  If you’re warm and bubbly around someone for three hour increments, mightn’t they have a right to think of you as someone with actual friend potential?  Would it be better to keep your distance, to be a bit chilly, so that nobody gets confused, and possibly hurt, when invitations are declined and phone calls ignored, because you simply cannot spend one more minute with the person?

February 16, 2010

Things to give up.

Posted in *cringe*, Guilt, Nerdiness, Project: Fail at 11:37 am by Dagny Taggart

Today is Fat Tuesday.  Which means tomorrow marks the beginning of Lent.

Which means I could give something up, if I were so inclined.

Now, I know I turned in my cable box yesterday, but… I don’t think that counts.  Because I’m not giving up TV for G-d, I’m giving it up for me.  And my bank account.

So.  I need to give something else up.  And I was thinking that I might try giving up non-literary reading material. 

By non-literary, I mean anything that Penguin wouldn’t call a classic – so I’ll be able to read anything published under that imprint, as well as things I have good reason to believe WOULD fall under that imprint, and any nonfiction.  But I won’t be allowed to curl up with my beloved sci-fi or fantasy, I won’t be surreptitiously perusing chick lit during my commute. 

This would be a much easier thing, if I were still watching TV.  But without the TV, I suspect I will turn to books with even greater frequency. 

What are you giving up?  Or if you have another suggestion for me that doesn’t involve eliminating my literary guilty pleasures, please share…

February 12, 2010


Posted in Guilt, The Happy, The Who, The Why at 8:33 am by Dagny Taggart

I’m going to pick out a card today.  A Valentine’s Day card, probably.  Maybe I’ll go “shopping” to see if I have an appropriate Edward Monkton in my drawer, but I want this card to be a good card.

I got a reminder, yesterday, that as difficult and trying as my family can be and has been, I got pretty lucky.  And I try to tell them that, from time to time.  But maybe I don’t do that as often as I should.  Given that as often as I should approximates as often as I could, I don’t.

So today, I’m going to go pick out a card.  Or two.  Maybe even three.  And they won’t get there before Tuesday, but they’ll get there.  And it will be a start.

I have some catching up to do.

February 11, 2010

Oh, you mean THIS gate key

Posted in *cringe*, Guilt, I need a helmet, Nerdiness, Project: Fail at 1:45 pm by Dagny Taggart

“Give us the gate key.”

“I have no gate key.”

Fezzik, tear his arms off.”

“Oh, you mean THIS gate key.”

The above is apropos of absolutely nothing other than that my arms want to remove themselves from my body and then beat me.  With… themselves.  Which, if you think about it, means that they’d wind up feeling even worse.

In short, I did a LOT of shoveling this morning.

See, a friend had borrowed my trusty front-wheel-drive, heavy Avalon that’s too old to care whether you’re driving it through 5″ of slush or getting salt all over it, and returned said trusty vehicle to my parking lot just after the snow started on Tuesday.  Except…

Except that nobody could see the numbers on the parking spaces, and what with mountains of snow covering half of the spaces at the very end of the lot, my car wound up parked in someone else’s space.  Thankfully, it seems that my inadvertent lack of good-neighborliness didn’t inconvenience anyone, as there were no passive-aggressive notes or, indeed, cars parked on either side of mine.

Still, I felt bad.  So after shoveling the entirety of my un-parked-in space so I could move my car there, I cleaned the borders of the space I HAD been occupying.  It seemed the right thing to do – sort of a rental payment for the time I’d spent in someone else’s space, you know?

At least, it seemed like the right thing to do at the time.  Now. NOW, it seems like an idiotic venture guaranteed to keep my arms from any semblance of usefulness for at least 72 hours.  Maybe more.

They’re really unhappy with me.

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