Tag: Drama

The Emotional Equivelent of “LA LA LA! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”

“Why the HELL didn’t I continue with French?!”
“Don’t swear.”
“Why the CUSS didn’t I continue with French?”
“Well, you can take classes.”
“Yes but if I don’t do well, and I haven’t studied it for three years, it will affect my GPA which will affect my application.  CUSS CUSS CUSS!”
– C. and J.

We all have them, but for about a month or so I’ve been going through a right awful funk.  And although I wish I could say I’ve been keeping it under wraps, I’m afraid it’s been spilling over a bit.  I’ve gotten noticeably sharp with people, even friends, short-tempered at work, and bitter about small things that have just seemed to mount on top of each other.  It culminated last night in a meeting for J.’s new fraternity for accountants when I was exhausted and stressed.  I tried to be funny but only succeeded in being rude, and collapsed in a sobbing pile of guilt when we got home. 

Unfortunately, I’m a bottler: I keep things locked up inside until the inevitable explosion that tends to leave a wake of destruction.  And even though we’ve all been told time and time again that this is not a healthy way to live, so many of us keep doing it because it has some obvious immediate benefits.

Liar.

My problems are petty and selfish, but that doesn’t make them irrelevant or mean they don’t affect my life. 

– I’m in a state of constant frustration that I spent four years getting an education, but work in a job that has nothing to do with what I studied (the European Studies field is not exactly conducive to jobs in the Western United States).

– I don’t really like living where we do.

Humph!

– Truthfully, I had this plan post-graduation, which involved me moving back to England.  I am an ENTJ, I frame my life in these little plans and get frustrated when they don’t come to fruition.  It wouldn’t matter if common sense, good counsel, or God changed my plans, I’d still get annoyed/angry if things didn’t work out the way that I had intended.  (Which I absolutely think happened in my decision to get married and stay in the States, and which I still think is probably the best decision I’ve made for myself.  It’s just not what I thought was in the cards a year and a half ago; that’s what makes my little control-freak, inner Napoleon jump up and down howling, “Zees was not le plan!”)

– I miss being in school and recently came to the conclusion, after much deliberation, that I wanted to pursue grad school.  And seeing as I can take classes for free, a perk of working for a university, why not?  Problem A) my major, which I loved and would not hesitate to choose again, did not really prepare me for any of the graduate degrees offered here.  My emphasis was in history and they have removed the MA in History degree (an idiotic move if ever there was one!).
Problem B) the next best degree, and one I am really interested in due to the interdisciplinary nature of the program, requires more classes in French.  Which, if I want to get into the program beginning this coming fall, I’d need to complete in record time.  A troublesome goal if one works full-time.  Oh!  And I’d need to take the GRE in about a month.

Mostly, I feel stuck.  I can’t progress (at least immediately) in the way I want my education to go, we aren’t leaving this area (at least immediately) for a small eternity, and I can’t pursue my own interests (at least immediately) due to duty to my family. 

And I’m the most impatient person I know!

There are treatments.  Obviously I need to take better care of myself.  I don’t work out anymore [again] and I’ve noticed that I haven’t been eating enough, which would put anyone in a strop.  I also don’t have any pursuits outside of work right now, and that’s soul-numbing.  I’m committed to grad school, but will I kill myself trying to make it happen all at once (or at least before the March application deadline)?  Maybe I should make it a goal for next year and work more slowly and steadily towards it instead of trying to rush it.

Weigh in, friends.  Had a minor life crisis recently?  Plans get disrupted?  Get impatient with goals that are attainable, but seem so far off?

Another Tale From The Front Desk

 “You can do a lot if you’re properly trained.”
– Queen Elizabeth II

All police officers and dispatchers are required to complete a certain amount of training hours per year to keep their certification, and it is one of my jobs to keep track of those hours and turn the total into the state every year.  So, as a good little secretary does, every few months or so I pull out all the training information I have on everyone and reconcile the spreadsheet and database we keep them in.  Then I give that info to Lt. Citrus who in turn sends it out to all the officers…

…five minutes after that email goes out, my inbox is flooded with angry missives and my phone lights up with the rabid snarls from officers accusing that I have “forgotten to log their hours,” “obviously didn’t get their many emails,” or passive aggressive suggestions that perhaps I “just misplaced them, dear.” 

After three days of checking, double checking, data entry, and getting yelled at, Small Dog is not inclined to be friendly towards officers who try to blame email for their problems.

I take a certain amount of dark pleasure in showing them my stack of training reports that I collect and my email archives (which I started saving for months for this very purpose) to show that I have logged all the hours they’ve given me, obviously have gotten all of their emails (their emails just don’t mention training hours as much as missing laundry), and have certainly not misplaced anything.  Dear.

It’s all for naught!  Three months from now I’ll go through the whole reconciling process again and then have to reconcile myself to the wrath of the officers!

Fabulous

“Oh…WOW…the eyebrows…”
“Nothing about those things are ok…”
-Hildegarde and C.

No, your friendly neighborhood Small Dog hasn’t shuffled off this mortal coil…she only wishes she had.

Ms. Small Dog...
Ms. Small Dog...

In my quest for all knowledge about U.S. Law Enforcement, and deep and abiding passion for all things criminal (the first part was sarcastic…the second not as much), I am being subjected to…I mean fortunately able to attend training with   Hennessy and Hildegarde.  None of us are particularly thrilled because Hildegarde has to be “trained” to use a database she’s been using for years, and Hennessy and I have to go to learn how to use the system to run background checks on people.  However, due to some things we learned this morning, Hennessy and I are worried that we aren’t going to legally be able to use this system to run the kind of background checks Chief and Sgt. M want us to.  In fact such a use of this system seems to bring snarling FBI agents down like locusts. 

However, in spite of my grumblings there are the odd perks of an all-day-three-day training meeting in the city.  The first is obviously that I get out of the office for nearly a week, the second is that with travel time tacked on I’m getting all sorts of overtime, third is getting to wear jeans on the clock, and the last is the comedic value of the instructors! 

I am not even close to joking.  Can you imagine this a bit more Queen-ed up?  That's our man!
I am not even close to joking. Can you imagine this a bit more Queen-ed up? That's our man!

Metro Marko, as he is apparently named (I overheard a conversation), and his wife are expecting their first kid any second now.  However, and I jest not, the first time I clapped eyes on him I could have sworn he was a drag queen.  It wasn’t the tightness of the clothes, the painstakingly coiffed hair, or even the facial features (though they are suspect).  This man has eyebrows more finely plucked than my own, which lent him a Spock a la Nathan Lane in The Birdcage air. 

And in continuing poor fashion choices news, our other instructor has the Jon and Kate + – ⅝ √ Ω ∞ 8 mom haircut.  She’s trying to grow it out so she’s managed to make the reverse mullet look even worse.  She screams everything, especially her jokes, and says the same thing several times in a row.  Much to the class’ amusement!

All in all, the true downside of this class has been discovering that I’m nearly a month late in registering my car.  Blast!

Mad Place Called Vertigo

“Intimacy is a four syllable word for, ‘Here’s my heart and soul, please grind them into hamburger, and enjoy.'”
-Meredith, Grey’s Anatomy

Some people are naturally good at relationships: they buy presents constantly, have cutesy nicknames for each other, and count and celebrate every single week/month/whatever of their duality.  They wander around in a fond fog until, 9 times out of 10, it crashes spectacularly around them.  Then they take some time, recover, and bounce right on to the next lover with varying degrees of trepidation but probably with that butterfly-in-stomach feeling still intact.

Small Dog fights.  Or flees.  Whatever.
Small Dog fights. Or flees. Whatever.

I am not one of these people.  I suck at relationships.  My communications skills are nil and I have an overdeveloped Fight or Flight response.  In fact I tended to avoid emotional commitment for most of my life and never dated anyone I actually liked enough to upset my equilibrium.  Fairy puts it’s kindly by saying I’m “emotionally stunted.” 

Unfortunately relationships don’t get easier with practice (sometimes I think I’m getting worse even after 10 months of practice with J.) and you can’t buy into all the mumbo-jumbo that magazines, prime-time television, and well-intentioned friends try to soothe you with: we’re all clueless.  Just as soon as you figure out the rules, the ground shifts under your feet.  Luckily I’ve gotten to the point where this sort of freefalling doesn’t scare me as much, mostly I’m left muttering under my breath, “Good grief, what now?” while I plummet.  My problem when this occurs isn’t so much that I’m falling, but that I can’t get my bearings until I hit the ground again, at which point I try to reorient while recovering from the impact. 

I can’t be alone here; I know my 203 VIPS at least have a few good stories on the romantic end, Venice is a newlywed learning to deal, and Tink just had a baby and is heading towards being a SAHM.  My London girls AbFab, Red, and Marie are all going through travel, romantic, and medical drama.  Anyone else feel like they’re constantly playing catchup with life?!

Angst du Jour

“Oh…the irony…”
-C.

For my high school graduation/18th birthday/going to college present, my dad bought me a laptop.  My dad, wonderful man that he is, is always on the lookout for a good deal which is not necessarily a bad thing, but he often forgets his own favorite favorite saying, “You get what you pay for.” 

It's a love/hate relationship.
It's a love/hate relationship.

My laptop itself was new but also an already outdated model that was too big and, as it later turned out, one of a line famous for a glitch that caused overheating.  Somehow (by hanging the side off the edges of desks, keeping my window open in winter so cold air could blow on it, and buying multiple power cords when one after another was melted through) I managed to make it last for four years without crashes or data loss.  However it was too much to hope that it could limp on any longer.  I got all my music, pictures, data, and important work off of it and retired the poor thing to my closet. 

My parents just got a new computer and decided to send me the old one, also a dinosaur but still very appreciated for its lack of battery incinerating habits.  Sadly a couple of days ago, without warning, it simply turned itself off for no readily apparent reason and has since refused to turn back on.

At the time my reaction was a near heart attack and much, “My music!  My photos!  My writings!  Angst, angst, angst!   Why me?”   You know, the usual wailing and gnashing of teeth routine.  I’ve since accepted it and made appointments to have it looked at and begun silent prayers to the computer gods to be merciful. 

PS – did you know there’s a patron saint of computers, program, users and the Internet?  Found him when Googling “computer problems.”  For some reason they picked a guy who died in the 7th century AD; I for one fail to see the connection.