August 11, 2010


Posted in But I am... le tired, The Aaaarrrghhhhh!, The Angry, The OCD, The WTF at 8:37 am by Dagny Taggart

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.

August 9, 2010


Posted in *cringe*, But I am... le tired, Nerdiness, The OCD, The Small and Petty at 10:50 am by Dagny Taggart

Yes, I am evil, and a total judgmental bitch.

But if you use the word “loose” where “lose” would be more appropriate, or if you claim to “pour” over a book, I will judge you and think less of you.  Unless you’re actually causing liquid to leave a vessel at a greater elevation than the tome in question, in which case I apologize.

Also, my power came back on, Saturday morning.  They *finally* disconnected the supermarket’s generator late last night, so I’ve gotten almost no sleep, and am therefore being even more harsh about this than I would normally.

But it’s kind of true.

August 5, 2010


Posted in *cringe*, Nerdiness, The OCD, The Small and Petty, The WTF at 8:41 am by Dagny Taggart

My workday beauty regimen is pretty basic – undereye concealer (thanks, DC-area-allergy embiggened dark circles!), the lightest dusting of blush, some powder (to soak up all that lovely humidity!) and mascara.  Following the mascara, I wipe the edge of my upper eyelid with a Q-tip, as I’ve invariably managed to get mascara on it as well as my lashes.

This morning, on the metro, it was standing room only (as it has been for much of the summer, because they are running fewer trains on the Orange Line and we are thus packed like sardines in insufficiently air-conditioned cars).  A petite girl stood next to me, clearly in the part of the car where petite persons should not stand*, as there was nothing for her to grab onto when the train lurched or shuddered.

And then she put on her mascara, as the train lurched and shuddered merrily along.

I couldn’t decide if I was more concerned, disgusted, offended, or impressed.  And I seriously considered saying something, because putting makeup on, on the metro, is inappropriate to the point of being rude, in my opinion.  Not to mention, it would have been totally gross if she’d poked herself in the  eye with the mascara wand.

Am I alone in this?

*I would just like to point out that this part of the train isn’t exactly comfortable for taller people either, as our arms are above our heads for the entire trip.  More poles, please!

April 16, 2010


Posted in But I am... le sick, I need a helmet, The Aaaarrrghhhhh!, The OCD, The Small and Petty, The Where, The WTF at 6:42 am by Dagny Taggart

When I moved into my condo, everything seemed perfect.  Granted, there was a lot of new stuff, and new-carpet smell and new-carpet lint and just generally getting used to things, but it was all pretty cool, and the home inspector had even checked out my condenser, etc. up on the roof.

Which he was able to do, because there is a roof access panel just outside my unit.  He did all of that, pronounced it fine, and then I went ahead and got a home warranty anyway.

A few months ago, the access panel had changed.  It now sports a sign and a padlock, and the sign directs anyone needing access to the roof to call the property management company to have someone come out there.

A few weeks ago, the smell of death started entering my little abode.  I walked in, and WOW did it smell… chemical-y.  I thought it might be my brand-new tv, offgassing.  But, no, because I took the tv out and no change.  And then I did this fun thing where I would go outside for a while, and then run inside and sniff things to see if they could be the source of the smell.  And then go back outside… etc., etc.

W says it smells like mothballs.  To me, it reminds me vaguely of turpentine with notes of lighter fluid.  I haven’t been feeling entirely well, and it seriously smells.

Oh!  And then, it got cold.  And I turned on the heat, as opposed to the fan/AC, because it was cold.  And the smell started to go away.

So, I called to schedule an appointment for my central AC, through the home warranty people, who scheduled it for a few days later.  And then I called the condo management company, so they could unlock the padlock.

And not only did they not call me back, but they then tried to tell me that I would have to reschedule my AC appointment for Monday, because that particular property manager is in training until then, and won’t be able to come out and unlock the padlock.  Because apparently, there is no one else covering his accounts for the three days that he’s in training.  Perhaps these are magic keys, usable only by the Anointed Property Manager?

But no, because when I raised the point that the fumes were actually making me ill, and that I was pretty sure that not opening the access panel in a close-to-emergent situation kind of meant that they weren’t actually managing the property and therefore weren’t actually doing the thing they were hired to do, they decided to graciously allow me to go to their office and pick up the keys and unlock the access panel myself.  FANtastic.

I’m going to go breathe some more.  Hopefully, sometime soon, it will involve air that smells of humidity and pollen, and nothing else.

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?

March 9, 2010

Amazon thinks I’m insane.

Posted in Nerdiness, Project: Fail, The OCD, The Small and Petty, The WTF at 8:55 am by Dagny Taggart

Specifically, that I suffer from Multiple Personality Disorder.

The problem with Amazon Prime membership, you see, is that the money it saves you (and it really has saved me money and time and aggravation) is that you start ordering a LOT of things through Amazon, because “free” 2-day shipping just makes it so much easier than slogging to an actual store or combing through fifteen different websites and then waiting over a week for your order to come in.

And the stuff you order?  Is probably not always for you.  In my case, roughly 80% of what I order is intended for other people.  Which might explain why Amazon thinks I am a computer-programming, food-cooking, project-managing, published-writer-aspiring, science-fiction-reading, power-tool-using, mountain-climbing mother of two with a staggering interest in building blocks, alpaca farming, and self-help books on organization.

Amazon thinks it knows me.  But Amazon is WRONG*.  And you know how I can prove it?

Not once, in that entire list of recommendations, did anything even remotely resembling a reference to Nutella come up.

*Seriously, though.  Amazon’s recommendations might be a whole lot more effective as a marketing tool if they considered the likely ratio of gift purchases, especially those for which gift packaging is requested.  For a smart company, this is pretty dumb.

February 25, 2010

Boys don’t make passes…

Posted in I need a helmet, Nerdiness, The OCD, The Why at 9:29 am by Dagny Taggart

I’m wearing my glasses today.  I’ve been wearing them for the past couple of days, as my right eyelid has been suspiciously puffy and any attempt to put on mascara made my eyelashes itch.  While those of us with allergies are familiar with this phenomenon, and it’s generally nothing to worry about, I thought it might be a good time to just let that part of my body “reset” itself.

And so, I’m wearing glasses.

The thing that makes wearing glasses both fun and migraine-inducing, for me, is that my vision is *atrocious* without them.  I have a high differential between my prescriptions – my left eye is legally blind, whereas my right eye is only about halfway there.  Throw in some astigmatism, and you’ve got a recipe for serious headaches.  Especially when you factor in that wearing lenses large enough to cover my peripheral version would mean wearing glasses weighing several pounds.  So, I wear glasses that do not cover my peripheral vision, and am thus treated to a small area of visibility surrounded by visual quicksand – a blurry mess into which all objects sort of melt.

The nice thing about this, however, is that I can treat myself to a different world so much more readily.  You’re forced to focus on the big picture when you’re so nearsighted that the best you can do is a fuzzy outline, even if the object in question is a building 15 yards away.  And when you’re a slightly neurotic, OCD-tendencied type A-minus personality, being relieved of the burden of details is actually a lovely treat. 

I’d do it more often, if it weren’t for the migraines.

February 22, 2010

You know what I’d like?

Posted in But I am... le sick, I need a helmet, Project: Fail, The OCD, The Round, The Small and Petty at 11:18 am by Dagny Taggart

I’d like to go more than 4 months without getting food poisoning.  Although at least yesterday’s was more of a very strong *dislike* reaction to breakfast sausage, rather than a full-blown course of agony.  But still.  I can have sushi, soft-boiled eggs, ceviche, and all manner of so-called “risky” foods, but the stuff that gets me is lamb (cross-contaminated with salmonella, thanks!) or not-previously-frozen breakfast sausage.

I’d like to be able to get my mail from various sources without it being violently jammed into my mailbox by a postal worker for whom my condo is close to the end of the route.  I understand that he or she is tired, and I understand that it must be very annoying to carry tons of junk mail all day, and I understand that it might be more time-consuming to wrap each person’s mail into a bundle with the magazines on the outside and smaller pieces on the inside, but I also kind of thought that me getting my mail at least implied getting it intact, and not crumpled into unrecognizable balls of paper.

I’d like to get a full night’s sleep, for real.  One from which I awaken feeling refreshed and ready to start the day, rather than even more tired – as though I’d spent the night sleep-fighting a monster comprised of jersey sheets and synthetic down.

I’d also like a hedgehog.  For a pet.  Because how could you NOT?

February 15, 2010


Posted in Nerdiness, Project: Fail, The OCD, The Round, The Why at 12:36 pm by Dagny Taggart

I’m giving up cable tv today.

I know.  I know!  Cable TV includes THE FOOD NETWORK.

But, well… I think it will be a good thing.  I have more fun things that I could be spending that money on, for one.  And for another, it will be interesting to see what I do with that time, you know?

Are there any non-tv people out there?  When did you give it up?  Was it hard?

February 10, 2010

On the plus side…

Posted in Nerdiness, The Aaaarrrghhhhh!, The OCD at 10:49 am by Dagny Taggart

I’m working from home, which means I don’t have to go out in that.

Also on the plus side, my tree’s smaller branches have been blown free of snow, giving them a slightly higher chance of making it through the storm.

On the minus side, that doesn’t seem to have helped the several that are currently held aloft only by their brethren, twigs askew.

Also on the minus side, my parking spaces are on the side with the evergreens.  The ones that are totally weighed down by snow, that could quite easily put a dent in my car.

On the plus side, I’m a little too fond of warm and dry to be in a position to see any of that right now.

On the minus side, I’m about to go STARK RAVING MAAAAAAD from all the whiteness.

S.E. went to college in the Snow Belt.  It was grey and snowing from October to April, and in one or two cases, even on graduation day.  Whee, lake effect!  And when she came home for spring break her freshman year, she told us a story of a freshman who had lost it.  Who, studying for midterms, ran outside in the middle of the night, in his boxers and a t-shirt.  Into the 3′ drifts of snow.


On the minus side, I know how he felt.

On the plus side, perhaps this marks the beginning of an era of newfound appreciation for insect life.

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