April 6, 2010

Way Harsh, Tai.

Posted in *cringe*, I need a helmet, Nerdiness, Project: Fail, The WTF at 1:09 pm by Dagny Taggart

My iPhone is broken.  Fortunately, not so very broken that I can’t use it, but broken in a cracked-and-no-longer-aesthetically-pleasing way.  I suppose I’ll keep at it for a while longer, until whatever goo resides behind the glass decides to start leaking into my ear.

It’s more than mildly annoying, in part because my commute has been greatly enhanced by the Stanza application, which has enabled me to download a number of books, which I then read on my phone.  It’s like a tiny Kindle, but I like it better, because it is small enough to hold in one hand and turn pages and such while packed like a herring on public transportation.  And I have discovered a number of excellent classics available online, which is a good thing, because it’s really easy to forget that there are real, excellent, amazing bits of literature out there when you can read Laurell K. Hamilton with complete discretion, on your tiny little iPhone screen.

I’ve been easing myself back into things with Jane Austen.  To go from works seemingly wholly devoted to cataloguing an astonishing amount of adult activity between decidedly anti-Puritan numbers and combinations of semi- and non-human entities to the thoroughly Victorian deliberate obliviousness to lust has been quite refreshing, and undoubtedly good for my brain.  But it has had one disturbing consequence.

Somehow, in my undergraduate pursuit of British Victorian novels, I neglected to read Emma (look – once you’ve read two J. Austen novels, you start to suspect she hasn’t got anything new to say, and they just wouldn’t stop assigning Dickens, and that takes a LONG time to slog through!).  Anyway, so I downloaded Emma and read it.  And realized that it was the template for this movie.

And I wonder why nobody really said anything about that at the time.  10 Things I Hate About You is so obviously (albeit loosely) based on The Taming of the Shrew.  And Carrie was so prescient a telling of my 7th grade dance.  But I don’t remember anyone ever talking about Cher and Emma essentially being the same person.

Why is that, do you suppose?

*Title edited for spelling.

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March 30, 2010

Things that used to suck

Posted in *cringe*, I need a helmet, Nerdiness, Project: Fail, The Just a Little Sad, The Small and Petty, The Who, The Why, The WTF at 3:12 pm by Dagny Taggart

When someone you thought might be a cool person, someone you might be able to be friends with, makes it perfectly clear that she is not at all interested in being friends with you.

Not that this is something that anyone WANTS to experience – but at least I’ve gotten to the point where, unless I can think of something I’ve done to offend the person, I can let it go instead of taking it personally and stewing.

Well, at least, instead of taking it personally and stewing about it for any longer than it takes to write this post.  Annnndddd…. done!

March 26, 2010

My head is a scary place

Posted in *cringe*, 8-ball - pool not narcotics, Project: Fail, The Small and Petty, The Who, The Why at 8:08 am by Dagny Taggart

So, about two years ago, I joined my second 8-ball team.  I was invited to join – scouted, even, because it was an all-female team and they needed a player with a relatively low handicap.  So I started to play a second night, which everyone thought would help my game a lot.

Except… it didn’t.  My record for that season was abysmal – I became, essentially, cannon fodder – whenever the other team put up a really high handicap player that would be a risky match for our high handicap players, I’d play, because I was probably going to lose anyway, and that left our skilled players to play matches they’d win.

The captain at the time – we’ll call her Regina, was pretty obviously disappointed.  She’d relied on two other teammates’ reports of my abilities, and seemed to think that they’d exaggerated.  A lot.  And she is, apparently, the kind of person who doesn’t see much reason to spend time on someone who can’t offer what she wants in return.

I took it personally – which didn’t help my game any, at least not on the nights I played with that team.  So when she moved away, I breathed a huge sigh of relief, glad that I’d be able to relax and enjoy my nights with that team.

Regina came back for a visit last night – when I heard she’d be there, I was on edge.  I wondered whether she’d still sit there, silently (but obviously) judging my skills and finding them lacking all over again.  Fortunately, I won my match, extra nerves notwithstanding.  I even made a couple of killer shots in order to do so.  And Regina was very complimentary.

But what struck me, was that I’d convinced myself that she was someone I wouldn’t be friends with, that she didn’t like me at all.  And that I didn’t like her very much.  And then, when she showed up, she came over to give me a hug, and seemed genuinely happy to see me, warm and friendly.  She asked questions about my life that showed she’d cared enough to remember.

It’s so easy to demonize someone – my brain is apparently quite capable of tunnel vision in the negative.  Which is kind of scary, when you realize how easy it therefore is to spend entirely too much time thinking negative thoughts, when we could all just relax and focus on what we can enjoy about each other.

March 25, 2010

Biannual Tango

Posted in But I am... le sick, I need a helmet, Project: Fail, The Aaaarrrghhhhh!, The Just a Little Sad, The Ouch at 8:39 am by Dagny Taggart

Longer ago than I care to admit, I had some minor surgery to remove some cancerous cells.

Seriously.  Compared to what other people go through when THEY have cancer, this was nothing.  In fact, the doctors all seemed to avoid saying that I had cancer, likely because the category in which I fell indicated that it was barely over the cusp of becoming cancer.

So, I had biopsies, then an outpatient procedure, and then a truckload of monitoring for a year or two after.  And then I had a year, maybe two, of apparent normalcy.

The problem is, abnormal cells don’t walk around with large signs announcing their presence to doctors.  They can hide, sometimes.  And so, the biannual tango began.

It starts with a regular visit.  And the usual tests are run.  And then two weeks later, I get phone call, and the results come back “abnormal”.  And so I go back, and get biopsied.  And then I wait a few more weeks.  And then they tell me that it’s not great, but it’s not the end of the world, and if I could just come back in 6 months, they’ll check me again.  Dip, turn.

And then I go.  And the usual tests are run.  And then two weeks later I get a phone call, and the results come back “abnormal”.  And so I go back, and I get biopsied.  And then I wait a few more weeks.  And then they tell me that it’s still not great, but it’s not the end of the world, and if I could just come back in 6 months, they’ll check me again.

6 7 8 and 1…

I have no idea what I would do with all of my spare time, if it all just went away.  Maybe some dancing lessons.

March 24, 2010

Smile, and the rest will follow

Posted in I need a helmet, Project: Fail, The Ouch, The Round at 6:46 am by Dagny Taggart

You know how they say that if you smile, the rest of your outlook, and subsequently your day, will become positive as a result?

Well, my body, fresh from a session of training, is NOT smiling.  My body is, to put it bluntly, 97% mush.  The other 3%, located in the general vicinity of the bottom of my left calf, is screaming bloody murder and spasming in a comically randomized fashion.

Thus, 97% of my brain is mush, but for the 3% that (a) registers the pain in my calf, and (b) maintains basic bodily functions such as breathing, and fantasizing about caffeine and sleep.  And chopping down the tree whose virtues I have extolled several times thus far, as I have discovered that it is a maple tree and guess who developed a new allergy to maple this season?

Except that as soon as I think about moving my arms like that, my calf spasms again, as if to say “Learn your lesson, you silly girl!”  And then my brain twitches, as if to say, “Meh.  I am too tired and mushy to learn.”

So, yeah.  There’s not going to be a whole heck of a lot of smiling positivity today.  I think the best we can hope for is ploddingly neutral.  Who’s with me?!?

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 17, 2010

Speaking of exercise…

Posted in I need a helmet, Project: Fail, The Ouch, The Round at 8:24 am by Dagny Taggart

I was personally trained this morning.  And the thing about personal training, is that I love it because it makes me do things that I would not think of doing, because I grew up in an era of Bowflex and NordicTrac commercials, where exercise was associated with machines.

Also, it makes me do things that I don’t want to do.  And because I am paying someone to make me do them, I try harder and push myself more, because I have been *assigned* a certain number of reps and he is standing there counting them off, and I’m NOT going to be the wimpy client who whines and tries to cheat.

I really recommend this for anyone who *loves* to-do lists.  Because once he’s started to count down those last ten reps, I get more enthusiastic about the exercise, especially if it’s one I don’t like (see:  most things involving push-ups, especially push-ups with one hand on a medicine ball; see also:  squat-thrusts in their various forms).  Because if it’s one you don’t like, you’re only 10! 9! 8! 7! etc. reps away from not having to do it again at least until the next week, possibly longer if he decides that next week will involve the little wheely abdominal torture device.

Now, the real question – can I do the personal training in the morning AND go for a run in the balmy, 64-degree, light-until-7:20 evening?

What are you doing to get/stay in shape?

March 16, 2010

Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.

Posted in Darth Vaguer, Oubliette, Past, Project: Fail, The Small and Petty, The Who, The WTF at 7:45 am by Dagny Taggart

The Swiss-engineered, Vulcanized Hammer of Logic has seemingly quashed Voldemole.

THWACK.

Take that!

March 15, 2010

Joey, have you ever been in… in a Turkish prison?

Posted in Oubliette, Project: Fail, The Aaaarrrghhhhh!, The Angry, The Small and Petty, The Who, The Why, The WTF at 8:23 am by Dagny Taggart

Mr. Graves, you will be missed.

Some friends of mine throw a party about this time every year.  It’s St. Patrick’s Day themed, though it rarely falls on the 17th, as my friends are the practical sort who would rather give themselves a Sunday of recovery, rather than quibble about dates.  These are friends I’ve known for well over a decade, and the group that shows up has a fair amount of history with one another.

Including me, and the sociopath who tried to apologize.

You see, I’ve known this guy for, again, roughly 14 years.  One of my earliest, and most vivid memories of him, involves an evening when he asked me to help at a rush event, then proceeded to make reprehensible statements of a sexual nature about my best friend and roommate – who was underage at the time, incidentally. 

Oh – and when I relayed that story both to the girl in question, as well as to some of my other female friends who socialized with that group, he acted as though I were in the wrong, for talking about a conversation that had happened at a rush event.  As though I were a disappointment for not agreeing to keep his behavior under wraps.

He was apologizing for a completely different incident, though.  One where he, despite knowing full well that I was not amenable to any such pairing, told a mutual friend of ours that I was interested in dating him, and that he should ask me out.  Because I’d been pretty clear about my lack of interest, it was obvious to me that this guy enjoyed putting people into awkward situations, and didn’t particularly care about the consequences for anyone but himself.

So when he pulled me aside and offered a glib apology, I smiled and congratulated him on his lovely family, and didn’t accept a word of his contrition.

Because I am not some vapid, simpering idiot, or neglected preschooler, to be so easily manipulated with a practiced smile and diplomatic pablum. 

I hope he ends up in a Turkish prison.

March 10, 2010

Things I have accomplished so far today

Posted in *cringe*, Nerdiness, Project: Fail, The OCD, The Small and Petty, The Why, The WTF at 7:39 am by Dagny Taggart

1)  Dragged myself out of bed by 5:00 am.

2)  Worked out.

3)  Severely damaged my wallet by signing up for a series of personal training sessions.

4)  Made myself a nutritious lunch.

5)  Did a little online window-shopping.

6)  Decided not to post any of the super-thinky and potentially depressing things I was contemplating yesterday.  You’re welcome.

7)  Consumed 1.5 sugar-free Red Bulls.

8 ) Realized that I am SO going to crash in my mid-morning meeting.

9)  Rationalized the inclusion of a Diet Mountain Dew in today’s plan based on #8.

10)  Remained unable to think through whether the upcoming Daylight Savings Change will mean that the sun rises earlier, or sets later.

11)  Wondered what it means that I am more concerned about being able to run outside after work, than I am about the aforementioned mid-morning meeting.

12)  Scanned job listings.

What do you hope to accomplish today?

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