August 19, 2010

It’s a good thing I can’t find my lamp.

Posted in *cringe*, ED is an asshole, Project: Fail, The Just a Little Sad, The Round at 11:06 am by Dagny Taggart

Because sometimes, for absolutely no reason at all, even after you’ve been complimented, and you’re still sore from killer workouts, and you ate a superhealthy dinner the night before…

Sometimes, you get on the scale, and you see what, to most people (including some part of yourself that you cling to like a life preserver), are perfectly reasonable and healthy numbers.  You see those numbers, and you wish you could just figure out how to go back.

So it’s a good thing you can’t find your lamp, because wishes should sometimes really not be granted.

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August 12, 2010

Great Aspirations

Posted in Project: Fail, The Happy, The How, the pretty, The Round at 11:58 am by Dagny Taggart

I’m working on something about child-free zones, etc.  But I don’t have time for that now, because work wants me to work, condo wants to be cleaned, friends want to be visited, and pool wants to be played.  And, also, dinner wants to be cooked.

So I’ve been having much success with Trainer, who finally got around to measuring my body fat %.  According to my Evil Scale of Doom, I’d lost only 8 pounds, but about 4% body fat since I’d last measured.  According to Trainer’s (theoretically) more accurate apparatus, it’s closer to 6% since I started working with him (I did not disclose my previous measurement).  All of which makes me feel great.

Though, this percentage?  Does not look like I thought it would.  At least, it doesn’t to me.  I can still see things I’d rather not, still don’t fit into things I could wear 6 years ago.  But the facts are there.  I am in the “athletic” range for my height and age, and this is what I look like now.

It’s not an easy thing for everyone, accepting what they look like even when they’ve done everything they’re supposed to, even when the numbers say they should be thrilled.

So, yeah.  I’m not going to worry about it, and I’ve been enjoying making myself healthier, fresh-food dinners, and working out really hard, and pushing myself farther than I thought I could go.  I’ve been enjoying letting go of my expectations, too.  Aspirations will always be welcome here, but expectations are another animal altogether, I think.

July 19, 2010

Zen? Zen. Zen what? Zen we take care of ourselves.

Posted in *cringe*, I need a helmet, Nerdiness, Project: Fail, The Happy, The Just a Little Sad, the pretty, The Round, The Why at 8:42 am by Dagny Taggart

You might think that a hyperindulgent weekend would result in one feeling terrible on Monday.  You might think that six women in a condo 500 feet from tax-free outlet stores and .5 miles from a cocoa-centric spa would result in excessive purchases of clothing that would refuse to button the following week.

You might be wrong.

I’d been apprehensive about the weekend – I tend to feel gargantuan around most of my female friends anyway, as I am 3.5″ taller than the next tallest (who, it might be noted, wears clothes 3 full sizes smaller than mine), and they are all athletic and gorgeous.  Not to mention smart and funny.  Lovely and intimidating.

Also, I’d never been to a spa before.  I signed up for one of the packages, thinking that the people who put these things together probably know a thing or two about producing enjoyable spa experiences.  And we’ll talk more about the “rain shower” another time.  But the massage?  The massage induced the most blissfully languid epiphany:

I want to take care of myself.

I’ve had this body for kind of a while now, and I’ve hated it since I was six.  For a while, I hated it passively, making it sit around on couches while I fed it all manner of junk food.  Then I hated it slightly more actively, engaging in mild exercise while swearing off almost all foods, save a bizarre ritualized assortment of things I consumed only when alone.  Then I hated it more damagingly, partaking of “tiny little flaming sticks of death” on a regular basis.  And then I hated it a litte more responsibly, working out 4-5 times a week and eating more healthfully than I ever had before (though that’s not saying much).  But I’ve never not hated it. 

At least, not until somewhere in the middle of that massage, when it occurred to me that I didn’t.  For at least 3 minutes, I not only didn’t hate it, but I loved it, and wanted to take care of it, rather than beat it into submission. 

And this morning, I slept for an extra 45 minutes and neglected to put sugar in my tea.  I also cringed at a few photographs from the weekend.

Baby steps.

June 23, 2010

I do not suppose you could, ah, speed things up?

Posted in 8-ball - pool not narcotics, Project: Fail, The Aaaarrrghhhhh!, The Angry, The Why, The WTF at 9:35 am by Dagny Taggart

“Look, if you’re in such a hurry, you could lower a rope or a tree branch, or find something useful to do.”

“I could do that.  I got some rope up here, but I do not think you would accept my help, since I am only waiting around to kill you.”

“That does put a damper on our relationship.”

It’s safe now.  The explosion has passed, thanks to the powers of catharsis and excellent musical suggestions from my friendly neighborhood gas pump.  So, thanks for that.

I spent 23-24 hours in a pool hall last weekend, attempting to win a free trip to Vegas for me and my team.  We’d almost locked it up the first day, but couldn’t quite close, and had to come back the second.  After some hard-fought battles, we made it to the final round, where we ran into a team that wound up having some issues.

We were up 2 matches after the first 2 matches – so we had three more chances to win the last match we needed to get to go.  I lost – which wasn’t entirely unexpected, and was a strategic move (playing me enabled my team to put up some higher skill level players).  And then something became readily apparent.

The other team’s players were sandbaggers.  All but one of them were blatantly under-ranked.  And the last one?  The one who won the last match to enable his team to come back and win the round?  Nobody who legitimately holds the rank next to his name on the scoresheet can play as well as he did.  And the referees saw.

And so, we mentioned it to the local league authority.  Who then talked to the team, and couldn’t get a straight answer out of any of them about, well, anything.  They claimed that some of them weren’t legally able to travel, so they couldn’t field a full team in Vegas.  And then they said never mind, they’d rent a van and drive there, if they couldn’t get on a plane.  And then, they admitted that their last player could probably be ranked at least two levels higher than what the scoresheet said.

Except, that if you go up two or more levels in this kind of tournament, your team gets disqualified.

Basically, every member of that team was playing dirty pool.  And so now, we’re waiting to hear whether the national HQ for the league is going to disqualify them and give us the slot for Vegas, or, well… not.

I hate waiting.

May 24, 2010

Sweet Gum Tree

Posted in *cringe*, I need a helmet, Project: Fail, The Aaaarrrghhhhh!, The Ouch, The Where at 8:21 am by Dagny Taggart

This.  This is why Dr. Taggart *really* warned me about going to school in “The South”.  Of course, it didn’t happen until I’d been out of school for a while and had decided to make my stay more permanent.

See, where I’m from, we don’t have anything called a “sweet gum” tree.  Our trees?  Would cringe in embarrassment at such a moniker.  They are called things like Oak.  And Elm.  And Beech.  And Birch, who is forever trying to prove how manly it is.  Maple gets a pass for having a “fancy”, two-syllable name, but only because of its delicious, delicious syrup.

And to a point, they still drop pollen and annoying little propeller things or wormy-looking flower things everywhere.  But they do not drop little balls of evil (called gumballs, though they are not sugary or tasty or anything you’d ever want to put in your mouth)  all over everything:

Little balls of evil that coat the walkways and grassy areas of your condo complex.  So that when you’re carrying something heavy to the trash area, in the dark, you might step on them.  And they might roll.  And you might falls, possibly partially under the heavy THING you were carrying, ONTO MORE STUPID GUMBALL THINGS.

And then you might wind up with several deep bruises, roughly the size and shape of the stupid little gumball things.  Except, of course, that one spot on your hip, where you fell on several of them that had gotten stuck together, so you have a 3-4 gumball-sized bruise.

It might have seemed like Dr. Taggart was talking about cultural differences and the inability to find really good Italian or rye bread, or the extent to which I’d miss a salt bagel with Taylor ham and cheese, but I now understand that this is what she meant.

Beware the sweetgum tree, and all of its Yankee-attacking booby-trapping-ness.

Ow.

May 18, 2010

On the plus side…

Posted in 8-ball - pool not narcotics, I need a helmet, Project: Fail at 8:11 am by Dagny Taggart

I won my first match with my new Monday night league, and one of my Thursday teams made it to the finals, so at least I’ve got that going for me.

However, I forgot the middle part of my sandwich this morning.  I’m staring at a ziplock baggie holding two slices of whole wheat bread, with nothing in between.

Which simply means that instead of sitting at my desk all day, I shall brave the drizzle and find myself some tasty sandwich middle.

Baby steps.

May 17, 2010

Keep Out

Posted in Darth Vaguer, Present, Project: Fail, The Angry, The Just a Little Sad, The Why, The WTF at 8:56 am by Dagny Taggart

It’s already terrible, awful, no-good and very bad.  And I can’t get into it, but I can assure you that no physical harm has occurred, and that big-picture things are mostly okay.

But it’s already terrible, awful, no-good and very bad.  Not even the memory of miniature mufalettas can counter the stress-induced knot that’s taken up residence somewhere in my abdomen, so I leave you with the following, which made me smile this weekend:

“Harry:  You take someone to the airport, it’s clearly the beginning of a relationship.  That’s why I have never taken someone to the airport at the beginning of a relationship.

Sally:  Why?

Harry:  Because eventually things move on and you don’t take someone to the airport, and I never wanted anyone to say to me, how come you never take me to the airport anymore?

Sally:  It’s amazing.  You look like a normal person, but actually you are the angel of death.”

April 30, 2010

Meh

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 20, 2010

A Weekend Night

Posted in *cringe*, Project: Fail, The Aaaarrrghhhhh!, The Small and Petty, The Who, The WTF at 8:42 am by Dagny Taggart

This past weekend, I went to see a truly entertaining phenomenon known as The Legwarmers.  I highly recommend it, the next time they’re in town.  SO MUCH  FUN!

I went with a group, some of whom were kind enough to pick me up at my place so that I didn’t have to worry about transportation to and fro.   I spent some time assessing various combinations of current wardrobe components to put together a mildly era-appropriate but still flattering outfit, and hopped in the car when my friends arrived.

One of my friends was driving.  His wife was in the front seat, and his good friend was in the back.  Brief introductions occurred, and the gentleman in the back (we’ll call him Will) was a youngish guy who apparently grew up in a rougher part of the Boston area.  He and my friend’s wife (we’ll call her Amy – more about her in Part II) were exchanging tales of neighborhood woe, as she works with disadvantaged youth in a rougher part of another city.

Relatively early on in their conversation, Will described the area where he grew up, and used a common derogatory term for Polish people as he discussed the primary demographic there.  I deliberately did not react, but had visions of watching Dr. Taggart beat him severely, about the head and shoulders.

As we all sat down to eat, Will and I struck up a conversation about a variety of things – hockey, hometowns, Harleys, etc.  The conversation was definitely flowing, and I got the impression that Will thought I was pretty great.  W couldn’t make it that night, and it seemed as though Will hadn’t heard that I wasn’t a ready target for more flirtatious attention.

Over the course of the evening, my friends and I teased each other, and Will noted that I had a fairly thick skin.  To which I responded (as I sometimes do, when that observation is made), that as a naturally blond, half-Polish lawyer from New Jersey, my life was someone’s stand-up routine – I’d been forced to develop some kind of defense system pretty early on.

And then I watched as poor Will recalled with chagrin his poor choice of words earlier in the evening.  And listened as he tried to cover it by saying, “Oh, right – yeah, I think I mentioned earlier that I grew up in a very Polish neighborhood.”

And I smiled as I met his eyes and said, “Yes, I remember you mentioning that.”

April 9, 2010

Unkind

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.

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