May 5, 2010


Posted in I need a helmet, The Gnomes, The Ouch, The Round at 8:06 am by Dagny Taggart

-roared the anguished Humbug, who suddenly realized that that was exactly what he’d eaten twenty-three bowls of.

It’s Wednesday!  And we know what happens on Wednesday – I voluntarily submit myself to Trainer for a good pummelling.  Today was no different.

Except, well… normally, he has me do X number of reps for each exercise, and that number is announced before I start, and he counts them down for me.  And he’ll tell me when I’m halfway done, as a sort of encouraging measure.

Also, when he has me run on the treadmill without turning it on, for three minutes?  He’ll tell me when I’m halfway done with that too – which would be more encouraging if time didn’t slow down to half-speed whenever he has me do that.  Anyway.

So, normally, that’s what we do.  And last week, he increased the weight I was using for a number of the exercises, and that was cool.  Painful, but cool.  This week?


40 reps on the leg extension?  Sure.  Oh, you’ve got ten more in you, let’s see ’em.

40 reps on the leg curl?  Oh, you’ve got ten more in you.  Let’s see ’em.

35 reps on the tricep pulldown?  30 on the assisted dip machine?  Let’s see another ten on each.

I have never felt so cheated in my life.  Okay, that’s a lie.  But I certainly thought it was the truth at several points in time this morning.

Which doesn’t explain why – when he had me doing this squat to jump to squat to jump back thing, and he told me to do 50 reps, and then tried to tell me I was done at 40 – why, exactly, I told him that I still had ten more to do.

Because that’s just like asking for another bowl of Subtraction Stew, when you know exactly what it is you’ve eaten twenty-three bowls of already.

February 23, 2010

“And Timing, as they say, is everything.”

Posted in But I am... le sick, I need a helmet, Nerdiness, The Aaaarrrghhhhh!, The Gnomes, The Small and Petty, The WTF at 9:40 am by Dagny Taggart

~ The Hour of the Octopus, Joel Rosenberg*

(1)  I decide to give up cable television, retaining only my internet connection.

(1)(a)  I have an absurdly easy time doing this at the cable retail location, and return home to find the things working that should be, and not working that shouldn’t.

(1)(b)  I am subsequently billed for all of my previous services, instead of just the one that I’ve decided to keep.

(1)(c)  I plot revenge.

(2)  My television decides to be cranky, making an odd, high-pitched noise when I turn it on, and refusing to keep the screen functional for more than a second or two before blinking off.  Note that the television is still ON at this point, it’s just a blank screen emitting that flourescent-bulb whine.

(3)  I mention this to my parents, who inform me that they have an exact replica of my television, save that their copy works!  And since they’re giving it away, I’m welcome to it – so long as I let them know, since they were thinking about donating it soonish.

(4)  I remember to email them 5 days after this offer is made.

(5)  They reply, informing me that the television is now gone and I really should have gotten back to them sooner.

(6)  I decide to accept that there must be some logic in their thought process, and that a call to my cell phone prior to actually giving it away would have been entirely too taxing for them, and that this is, in fact, all my fault.

(7)  I also wonder if said cable company has messed with my non-functioning unit in an effort to get me to see that unless I have a television that works, one that is fully supplied with all of the cable it could ever want to keep it happy and healthy, I will be cranky and miserable.

(8)  I decide that my workout DVDs will play just as well on my laptop, and extend my longest digit in something of a salute, in the general direction of said cable company, which will be getting a phone call later to confirm my decision and ask for my refund.

(9)  I also decide that if I ever go back to the land of small-screen pop culture, I’ll see about Fios or satellite.

*For my fellow fantasy lit nerds, if you haven’t read this guy yet, DO.  He’s not George R. R. Martin or anything, but he’s good, and original, and limits his recaps of previous works to a paragraph or two here or there, instead of letting it take up close to 55% of subsequent books (I’m looking at you, Mssrs. Jordan and Goodkind).  This book isn’t connected to his other big series, but is dryly amusing in its own right.

January 29, 2010

Gossip Girl

Posted in 8-ball - pool not narcotics, The Gnomes, The Small and Petty, The Who, The Why, The WTF at 9:30 am by Dagny Taggart

So I was at the pool hall last night, losing one, then winning one, largely minding my own business (which requires a fair amount of minding, these days), and then it happened, again.

There’s another female player who started playing in the same leagues as me a couple seasons ago.  She and I have something (someone) in common, someone that I don’t talk to anymore, but to whom I am civil when the occasion requires.  And though we’ve been playing in the same leagues (twice a week) for at least 6-7 months, now, we have yet to exchange a word.  Which is too bad, because she’s got some killer outfits, and I’d love to know where she shops.

Yet each time I’ve seen her looking at me, it’s involved a stony glare.  Like I … did something to her, kicked her puppy, or maybe made an inappropriate, public accusation about her mom. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not necessarily upset about an Alexis Carrington reputation… I’d just like to know what it is I’m supposed to have done.  It seems like it must be terribly exciting.

Then again, perhaps I’m better off in ignorant bliss.  We wouldn’t want me getting any ideas…


January 25, 2010

Group Outings

Posted in Advice I have no business giving, I need a helmet, Project: Fail, The Aaaarrrghhhhh!, The Gnomes, The Round, The Small and Petty at 10:53 am by Dagny Taggart

I am whole, and replete with a sense of accomplishment.

I did not master the art of the parallel stop, but I did make it down several blue trails, (mostly) unscathed.  Well, a little scathed.

My posterior may or may not be an excellent candidate for a true-color map of the Marianas Trench.

I was one of a group of 7, consisting of two couples and three single gents.  It was a motley crew, as some of the guys worked together, some were high school buddies, and the two contingents hadn’t met before.

Having so many different personalities in a smallish space made me wonder how each person was perceiving the others in the group – not just trying to figure out how I felt about my fellow travelers, but how each of them felt about each other person.

And then I decided that I should probably focus on staying upright and not stabbing anyone with my ski poles (Seriously, parents.  I don’t care how precocious you think your kids are – a two year old does NOT need to be on a relatively difficult blue slope when he/she cannot control their side-to-side movement with any regularity, nor maintain an awareness of persons coming towards them from above).

But it would be pretty cool to be able to listen in on people’s thoughts from time to time, just to figure out how we all work.

January 5, 2010

Status report

Posted in *cringe*, I need a helmet, Project: Fail, The Gnomes, The Round, The WTF at 11:44 am by Dagny Taggart

Things were off to such a good start, they really were.  Vegetables were (and still are) creeping their way back into my kitchen, into my diet.  Boxes were being sorted, broken down, and recycled.  Time was spent caring for myself.  Thank-you notes were unearthed, addresses found.  A renewed vigor introduced itself into my work. 

Steps were being taken.

They were being taken on the treadmill, as well.  Having fallen back into an elliptical rut, due significantly to my asthma’s tendency to flare up more urgently with more impact, I’d decided that I was going to get back to the tried and true, to the exercise whose efficacy is exponentially greater than the elliptical, if pain gradients are anything to go by. 

And so, I did it.  Ten full kilometers, six and one-quarter miles, at a reasonable pace.  I’d slow down whenever I needed a drink, but completed the run in just over 45 minutes, and felt, as the belt slowed to a stop, that I might have been able to run a little farther, actually.

But I was running short on time, and I was bored, and I thought perhaps some stretching was in order.  So I gathered my towel and water bottle, made sure my iPod was securely tucked away, and turned to step off the machine…


went my ankle, and the pain I subsequently tried to ignore worsened until curses sprang from my lips as I tried to carry groceries up the stairs.

How is it possible that I can run for the better part of an hour without incident, and yet an injury-free 6-inch step down is beyond my capabilities?


December 21, 2009


Posted in *cringe*, Advice I have no business giving, Darth Vaguer, Grief, Project: Fail, The Gnomes, The Happy, The Just a Little Sad, The Small and Petty, The Who, The Why, The WTF at 3:59 pm by Dagny Taggart

I give up.  I don’t know if it’s exhaustion from completing 19 of the recipes on my list, combined with present wrapping and last-minute shopping, plus a side of car-clearing.  It might just be that I’m tired.

Or, it could be that I’ve been filled with a sense of holiday spirit – a feeling that I’m trying to make other people’s lives better, that I’m trying to increase the overall amount of happiness in the world.

Likely, it’s a bit of both.

But I just want to give everyone a big hug and start with a fresh slate.

That’s all I want for Christmas this year, for everyone.  Can we have a fresh slate, please?

December 18, 2009

Under Pressure

Posted in 8-ball - pool not narcotics, The Gnomes, The Happy, The Round at 12:37 pm by Dagny Taggart

At least I got it done.  Sort of.

Last one to play, absolutely needed to win, and I won.  Well, my opponent lost, more than I won, but it wasn’t a mere technicality.  But me?  I am not so much the closer.  I don’t bat fourth.  And I certainly wasn’t expecting to play last, to be the deciding factor for my team.

I used to say that I’d rather be lucky than good – but that both would be nice.  Well, I was a little more lucky than good last night, and I think I’d distinctly prefer the ratio weighted the other way.

Today, I’m baking.  The baklava is in the oven, the syrup is made, pans are greased, and all of the things that needed the Cuisinart have been prepped.  From now on, it’s just a matter of putting it all together!

Except for the part where I stop by the store to pick up another jar of peanut butter because there is apparently whipped peanut butter out there, which I didn’t even know to look for, and they haven’t really labeled those jars very clearly.  So!  A new supply of peanut butter, a hop to the gym for my break, and the rest of the day will be spent with my B*tch-a$$ in the kitchen, making mini bourbon caramel apple and mini pecan pies.

Enjoy the glorious snow we’re about to receive – may inappropriate snowpeople and sneak attacks with stockpiled fluffy ammo be in your future!

October 7, 2009

Oh, so THAT’s how we’re going to be

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

I woke up, showered, dressed, and packed my things.  I turned off my climate control, made sure the lights were off, and locked my door.  I was in pretty good shape, having apparently missed the morning rain, and made it to the Metro in a timely fashion.  I thought I was doing pretty well.

What I am certain of, is that I left the house this morning with a muffin and a banana, and I got to work with no banana.  The banana was sitting towards the top of my bag when I packed it, the better to avoid smushy spots.  And now it is gone.

Maybe someone was annoyed because I’d gotten a seat.  And maybe they were even more annoyed that I was taking full advantage of my seat by leaning my head back against the wall and closing my eyes.  Maybe someone was just hungry, and thought I looked like I could do without those 85 potassium-filled calories.   Maybe Monday’s pole-leaner was exacting his revenge by sabotaging my healthy heating plan.

But my banana is gone, and with it, a little bit of my faith in my fellow Metro commuters.

September 23, 2009

And I am slightly less intelligent for having done that.

Posted in *cringe*, Project: Fail, The Gnomes, the pretty, The Process, The Round at 7:50 am by Dagny Taggart

No, really.  My brain is sluggish and stupid today – moreso than usual, and I honestly think it’s because I spent over two hours in the gym last night.

I was lucky enough to be the beneficiary of some fitness expertise, and I took advantage of it with a fairly intense leg workout.  I’d had a small snack before heading off to the gym, and had a full water bottle with me.  I was ready – or so I thought.

When I left the gym at nearly 11:00 pm, I knew I had to hightail it home and shower, then hop into bed.  But my body was SCREAMING for food, and I was incapable of formulating a plan.  Thankfully, scooping protein into a glass of milk and fork-stirring was within my capabilities, as was showering and then grabbing a bowl of healthy cereal. 

Significantly less successful were my attempts to compose coherent replies to the day’s personal correspondence.  Tidying up afterward wasn’t happening, either – that was going to be a job for this morning, after my hand had stubbornly hit snooze on my alarm a time or two more than usual.

Apparently, my legs have decided that if my brain is going to make them lift and stretch and hurt, they’re going to exact revenge on my brain by robbing it of whatever nutrients it uses for higher function.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

September 3, 2009


Posted in *cringe*, Nerdiness, The Gnomes, The Happy at 7:16 am by Dagny Taggart


What you do not see here, is the rest of your wind-buffeted author against a Nevada skyline backdrop.  The photo, in its entirety, was taken with my camera.  It was supposed to be taken with me facing into the wind, so that my hair would be blown behind me.  That, at least, was my plan.  The photographer had other ideas, and as mendicants can’t be choosicants, I took what I could get.

When I saw the results, I was… peeved.  I was hoping for a good recent photo of myself, the sort I might send along to Dr. and Mr. Taggart, whose lamentations of infrequent visits are touching (albeit frustrating when they forget that I AM supposed to visit and make plans to go out of town.  Ahem).

And then I realized that had I faced into the wind as originally planned, the dry Las Vegas winds would have fused my contacts to my eyeballs and caused a Grimace Of Unusual Freakishness (G.O.U.F., for those of you keeping score at home) anyway.

I contemplated meddling with it in iPhoto – the strands across my face aren’t so VERY much in the way, but the Seussian coif might be “fixed”. 

But this photograph, in which a rueful smile curves my lips, is entirely too me, to be fiddled with.  And I’m starting to like it that way.

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