August 11, 2010
You must really think I’m stupid, WMATA.
You must also think that my dry cleaners could REALLY use some more business. I suspect they are most grateful.
Because here’s the thing. I walk to the Metro every day, and this summer, the parking lot has been taking a lot longer to get full. And while this might be the result of increased “green” commuting to the metro station, it’s probably also because there are slightly fewer people riding in the summer, especially on Mondays and Fridays. People take vacations in the summer, and it is the one thing that makes summertime commuting bearable, because it increases the personal space zone by roughly 1/2″ all the way around.
Or it used to, before you surreptitiously started running fewer trains.
Maybe you thought we wouldn’t notice, those of us living along the Orange Line. Maybe you thought we’d stand on the platform waiting 8 minutes for a train that we wouldn’t be able to fit on, and think that this was normal for a line that’s supposed to have trains every 3-4 minutes during rush hour – trains with 8 cars! And yes, I know there’s a budget shortfall, and I get that reducing service is one way to compensate for such things. But.
BUT, you didn’t decide to do that. NO. You raised fares, and raised them substantially. And you said you were doing this so that there would NOT be a reduction in service.
So how is it that I’m waiting 8 minutes just to get to the front of the line to board the train, then another 6 minutes for the next train, where the car I get on has minimal or no air conditioning (this, by the way, has already happened THREE times this week, and it’s only Wednesday morning). I get on just a few stops from the end, and the trains are very nearly full by the time they get to me.
This is ridiculous. At this point, I’m beginning to understand why a working-class individual would be swayed by the likes of Mussolini. What I don’t understand is how this level of mismanagement could exist in such a public organization for this length of time.
If Congress can investigate steroid use in baseball, they can certainly take the time to investigate the clusterf*ck that is WMATA management. I’m writing my representatives right now.
July 13, 2010
When I was in high school, I had an absurdly massive crush on this guy we’ll call Joe. Joe encouraged the crush, but never acted on it – impressive, since he was definitely a “bad boy” and I was ridiculously naive. Also, Joe started dating a girl whom I promptly began to hate. Haaaate. Really dislike. Solely on the basis of her relationship with him, because there wasn’t much else I could see to dislike. She was petite, with dark curly hair and big brown eyes – in a word, gorgeous. They had the same friends, the same taste in music. And all I had was a stupid crush.
One night, shortly after they’d broken up, she and I sat on my back porch and became really good friends. I was her maid of honor years later, when she married an entirely different sort of person, the sort who did NOT wind up pumping gas in size 40 coveralls. I’m lucky, because I’d said some pretty horrible things about her, when I thought I hated her. All superficial stuff, all just desperately trying to find a flaw so that I could hang onto some hope that Joe would break up with her and finally be free to see what he was missing with me.
I read *entirely* too much Sweet Valley High at that age. Which, I’ll explicitly state for emphasis, was FIFTEEN. Not mid-thirties. And I certainly never pretended to friendship where none existed.
I know I shouldn’t stoop. I really shouldn’t. But now that I’ve taken the gloves off, I’ll have to bend over to put them down at some point – I do hate just throwing things on the floor.
June 23, 2010
“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.
June 21, 2010
Don’t ever think about me again. Don’t ever think about anything that might lead you to think about me again.
Don’t come here and read what I write.
Don’t talk to people I know, and mention my name in an artfully casual manner, just to see what they might have to say.
While we’re at it, don’t say my name at all.
There has been a strong correlation between how much better my life has gotten, with less of you in it. Statisticians be damned, I’m going to go with causation on that one – so stay the fuck away.
You will never, ever, have the foggiest notion of what is actually going on in my life, if I can help it. So don’t ever start rumors about me in any capacity, because you will be wrong and I will hear about it, and it will just make me want to tell people the truth about you.
Truths like how you propositioned me while you knew I was in a serious, committed relationship – and while you were living with your then-girlfriend.
Truths like how you think that people are things you can barter – something you tried to do TWICE, though you thought I only knew about the first time.
Truths like how you’re willing to stab anyone in the back if you think it will get you laid.
Truths like how you’re willing to lie for the sole purpose of making others feel bad.
Truths like how you’re a shitty excuse for a person, and how absolutely nobody deserves to have you inflicted on them.
So, please stop reading. Close your browser, go elsewhere, and just leave me alone. Because I am a good person, and don’t deserve this bullshit.
And, kindly fuck off and die.
June 3, 2010
Am rapidly approaching the point at which I say, “when.”
Excuse me while I go lose my shit.
May 17, 2010
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.
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.”
May 7, 2010
Last night, I played twice. I won one, I lost one.
I was annoyed at my coaches both times. But the one I’m still mad about, was the one where my coach essentially told me that I was going to lose, so I should use the game as a learning experience, and experiment with different types of shots/English that I don’t normally take. I missed my very next shot, and lost.
Now, I’m not an idiot, or illogical, most of the time. And I knew I was going to lose – the girl I was playing was on a completely different level (we can discuss her ranking/sandbagging/completely snotty attitude later).
But there’s something about someone else saying out loud – someone who was supposed to be on my team – that completely demoralized me. And afterward, I told him I thought that was a jerky thing to do – and it was implied that I was overreacting, that I was taking it the wrong way.
I don’t know. I think that in general, unless you have something to say that will get me closer to winning the game at hand, maybe you can just shut the hell up. Telling me that I’m going to lose under the guise of “taking the pressure off” doesn’t survive a cost-benefit analysis.
April 28, 2010
though, I’ve seen Tina Fey in action via hulu and youtube, and I think she’s mostly hilarious.
ButI have to say (and she’s just a famous example of this), I have a few issues with her recent comments about Michelle McGee.
Getting a tattoo, or eleventy billion, says absolutely NOTHING about someone’s ethics or moral values. Nothing. You can get a sense for that person’s aesthetic, and maybe make an educated guess about his or her tolerance for pain, but that’s about it. I wonder how many of the Patriot Guard Riders have full sleeves – heck, full “suits” of tattoos? I wonder how many people might see one of them on the street, and dismiss them as “trash” or “low-class” on the basis of their appearance?
I know that at least one of Ms. McGee’s tattoos suggest she may be a white supremacist, and that’s not something I can stomach, really – but attacking her on the basis that she looks like “a dirtbag’s binder from 7th grade metal shop” is ad hominem, and weak, and going for the cheap shot when other issues are so much more important. And frankly, I expected better from someone who has demonstrated intelligence and wit, in the past. And frankly, I expected at least as much bile directed towards the man who actually broke his vows. And who, it might be noted, has quite a few tattoos of his own. As does Brad Pitt. Funny, I don’t remember those being a major part of the discussion when he left Jennifer Aniston for Angelina Jolie – but the tattoos of the latter most definitely marked her for suspicion in the eyes of the press.
For the record, I have tattoos. Three of them, not typically visible in the workplace (or, given my daily wardrobe choices, most other times). That’s my choice, and other than suggesting a desire to express myself that is at war with a desire to conform to typical upper-middle class aesthetic mores, it doesn’t say jack shit about my character.
I can be a woman with ink, and still be a good person. And anyone who says differently is, quite frankly, an asshole. Which, I guess, makes Tina Fey kind of an asshole. Which is sad, because when she’s not being an asshole, she’s actually kind of funny.
March 23, 2010
Growing up in a relatively feminist era is not without its drawbacks. I say this because I was lucky enough to grow up with a mother who, in her determined and steady way, worked her way through barrier after barrier – as the daughter of Eastern European immigrants, then a college and graduate school student, then as a woman in the world of business, and then as a female professor, complete with PhD, in the realm of academia. For as long as I can remember, nobody has ever questioned Dr. Taggart’s qualifications, or wondered if she was capable of making decisions for herself, or thought that she “didn’t really mean” something once she’d said it.
And because she never once acted as though this was any kind of spectacular achievement, because she never once implied that her career was anything out of the ordinary, I always thought of it as a consequence of the force of her personality. I never really considered how many people she’d had to ignore, or to dismiss as ignorant, when they suggested that a woman might not be capable of deciding what she wants in the next ten minutes, let alone achieving great things outside of the home.
And so, when I was told that “no” meant “try again more forcefully, later”, I thought perhaps it was a consequence of me not being forceful enough. That I must have sent some kind of mixed signal.
Because it was nearly unfathomable, to me, that someone might actually believe that no meant something other than no. That someone might be so incredibly self-absorbed that he could convince himself that “no” could mean exactly what he wanted it to, even though a plain language reading of the word indicated the opposite.
And so I put it out there now. There are, in fact, people who think that “no” sometimes means “yes”. And who are willing to take the chance that they are imposing themselves on someone who does not want them, who has in fact said no, and who will afterward be unhappy with the fact that her/his wishes were not respected. They genuinely believe that this is how the world works – that women don’t mean it when they say they don’t want something – and if they do, it’s just because they don’t know better.
How do we fix that?
*Real Genius. Of course.
March 15, 2010
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.