Monday, February 26, 2007


It was snowing as I was driving home from work tonight. I will admit that I am something of a snow wimp even with the new tires on my car. I was driving at 40mph in a 45mph zone which on a snowy night isnt really all *that* slow, imho. There was a car tailgating me and I tried to ignore it but after a while, I realized that it was only inches from my rear bumper which kind of made me nervous and ok...a little pissed off. So I slowed down a bit hoping the guy would get the hint and back off. He didnt but because I slowed down, we both ended up getting caught at a red light we might have otherwise made. As soon as the light turned green and before I had a chance to move my foot onto the gas pedal, the guy started honking at me. The road opened up to two lanes in my direction by the next light. I caught a glimpse of him flipping me off as his Audi raced by. I flipped him off back but he couldnt see me because he was already past me.

I got to thinking about the level of entitlement that guy obviously was feeling. Entitled to the road. A feeling I admit to having myself sometimes. I know how really annoying other drivers can be. But still, why would he and to a lesser extent, me, have such feelings?

I was reminded of a recent episode at my work. I work for a large company in tech support. My team is currently very short handed and I am swamped. It would take me at least two weeks to get to the current cases waiting for my attention if I didnt get new ones every day. People have to wait for *weeks* to get some pretty annoying things fixed. Sometimes it takes days to get to anything less than a dire emergency.

But last week the CEO of the company had a problem. A problem so minor that if it were happening to my computer, I might just ignore it. Basically it has to do with the recent changes to Daylight Saving Time (It's been moved from April to the middle of March). But, minor as it is, it is a problem happening to the CEO. So, the next thing I know, my boss has me put the issue at the top of list -- highest priority! And the next thing I know, half of the IT department is holding meetings about this and running around like chickens with their heads cut off.

I cant exactly blame them for the reaction. I mean, the guy does have power over us all and could fire any one of us at any time. It got me thinking though about an article I read years ago written by some guy at the medical school at Cornell about a condition he called Acquired Situational Narcissism. The article was about how when a person becomes famous, people start treating them like they are VERY IMPORTANT and eventually, they develop symptoms of narcissism. I guess the idea is that because everyone around them is treating them like they are VERY IMPORTANT, they start to believe that they are better than everyone else.

I am not saying that the CEO at my company is like that. I have no idea if he is. I have never met him. But it got me thinking. Is this why so many rich white guys seem to act so entitled all the time? Maybe when they are driving at night on a snowy road behind a ten year old Volkswagen? Is this why guys like those executives at Enron can lie and steal and ruin other people's lives and still not get it that doing that is wrong? Would *I* start acting like a jerk if I were in their place? I like to think not, of course, but I dont really know.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Jennifer Granholm's BadAss Twin

I rented Stargate SG1 on DVD and watched a couple of episodes over the weekend. Truthfully, I dont think it is all that great of a show but it is kind of fun in an "A-Team" or "MacGyver" sort of way. But this show has one thing about it that I just LOVE: It stars a Jennifer Granholm look-a-like! No, REALLY! Check out the two photos below. One is Michigan's governor, Jennifer Granholm and the other is Amanda Tapping, the actress on SG1.

So far the very best part of the show has been imagining that it is Jennifer Granholm in all the action on the TV show and I confess to sitting in my living room yelling "Go Jenny G! Shoot the aliens! They're Republicans, I know it!" ;)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Lately, I have to admit that I have been pretty cranky. Part of it is seasonal depression I am sure but I dont think that is all of it. I hate to admit it but I think that a big part of it is that I am taking classes this semester. And I just hate school.

It is funny because I dont mind learning. I think I hate all the hoops one has to jump through. The more hoops a class has, the more I hate it. I dont mind the ones where you go to lecture and then take a test. I have found that the online classes arent quite as bad although even there a lot depends on who is teaching the class.

The one good thing about it all is that when I find myself taking classes with lots of hoops, I am always reminded of why I dropped out of college in the first place. It takes a lot of energy for me to force myself to participate. I sometimes get so frustrated that I end up in tears. Not frustrated because the work is hard or because I dont understand the material but because it is just so hard for me to do yet another bullshit assignment. It reminds me that I didnt just quit before because I was lazy. I always forgive myself for dropping out at times like this while at the same time being a little angry at myself for not suffering then so I wouldnt have to suffer now ;)

Oh well. I guess I will put up with it because I want to be done and I am soooo close that I can taste it. It is just in the mean time, I am becoming a wreck. It isnt the first time either. I cant tell you how many times I have gotten completely freaked out by the end of a semester. It is like anxiety mixed with a sense of dread.

Anyways, I am feeling this way about school at the moment (except that I am enjoying my Saturday fitness class). I am feeling this way about work a little bit too and now I feel like I am spending every waking hour doing stuff I dont like. Getting up and getting out of the door in the morning has become a huge chore. Ugh. Even though I know it is a short term situation, it doesnt make me feel better now.

Friday, February 09, 2007


Ugh. I am rather annoyed right now. This morning someone, who was almost certainly driving too fast, knocked the driver's side mirror off of my car. Naturally, they didnt stop or leave a note or anything like that. I heard it happen but because I have all that stupid plastic on my bedroom window with the blinds closed in between the plastic and the window, I wasnt able to quickly look to see who it was. Not that I probably could have anyways since it sounded like they were going pretty fast. It upsets me though because I know that for someone to drive close enough to my car to knock off the driver's side mirror, they had to be mere inches away from hitting the more expensive to replace parts on the car like the back part and the side part. I just hope that my mirror scratched the HECK out of their car but since the mirror was made of mostly plastic, that is probably too much to hope for. Maybe they will at least feel guilty all day about it.

The thing is that people drive really fast down my street. Part of my morning routine is to lie in bed and listen to NPR and the people scraping the bottoms of their cars on the street as they go over the railroad tracks. It happens a lot -- enough so that there are huge gouges in the road on either side of the railroad tracks.

It isnt even necessarily people who live on my street either although to be honest I wouldnt be surprised if I found "M. Andretti" on a mailbox down the street. No, a good number of these speed demons seem to be gunning around the light at Michigan and Prospect by turning left onto N. Grove and then right onto Locust and then left again at Prospect.

I think the main reason for all of this is that the street is just so wide. Wide streets encourage speeding. I also imagine that the N. Grove/Locust shortcut doesnt bother enough people to have any money spent trying to do something about it. The city certainly has more pressing problems on its hands (like public housing projects catching on fire and the cops shooting people in residential neighborhoods and not having any money)

I am not worried about my pets because the dog has been trained not to go into the street and the cat doesnt like leaving the yard. But I am worried about all the kids who regularly hang out in the street. There is a boys/girls club RIGHT THERE and the kids often walk home from there and they often walk in the street, especially if they are teenagers because well, everyone knows...teenagers are TOO COOL for the street. Anyways in warmer months those teenagers sometimes walk in the street wearing dark clothes. One of these days, one of the speed demons is going to squish one of those kids!

I also worry about my car. I think I am going to have to spend some time/money this summer on fencing or a new gate so that I can create a place in my back yard for parking. My neighbor parks her car in the back and I think she has the right idea.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

There is Always Someone Worse Off

Ok, I gotta admit it. The main reason I like news stories such as the recent story about the astronaut who put on some diapers and then drove 1000 miles to get all crazy around a romantic rival is that I get to sit up here far away it all and say "Well, at least I am not *that* crazy"

I have had my bouts of craziness of course and at least a couple of times, I have had the crazies bad enough that I can empathize with My breakup with my first real boyfriend when I was 21 was the worst time. I dont even have words to describe that feeling of being out of control. I think that I was in so much pain that the pain became all that mattered.

I remember one incident where I went over to my boyfriend's apartment and found him in bed with the woman who later became his next girlfriend. I was soooooo angry. I ran out of the apartment and on the way out, I kicked the window and broke it. I mean, it was serious scary violent stuff. But the truth is that I didnt intend to break the window when I kicked it. I actually just wanted to make a loud noise so he would know how angry I was, which would be scary enough and inappropriate in and of itself but is less than broken glass. The thing is that I was so out of control at that moment that I didnt have any common sense. It simply didnt occur to me that kicking a window would cause it to break. I know that sounds unbelievable. But honestly that was how I was thinking. (and on a side note, now that I am not angry with that former boyfriend anymore for dumping me, I am grateful to him because he never called the cops about that incident or used it to embarrass me. He even forgave me the debt of the money to replace the window)

Later on when I realized how creepy my behavior was and when I started feeling some similar feelings at the end of another relationship, I did spend a few years and several thousand of dollars in therapy which turned my life around and gave me the skills to deal with things better. Oh, I have found myself slipping into crazy thought patterns since the therapy but only for short times and never with any out of control behavior.

So that is the thing I guess. I can empathize with Ms Diaper Astronaut. I know what it is like to be crazy in that way. But I also know that I would never have put on diapers so I could drive 1000 miles without stopping for bathroom breaks to meet up with someone in an airport in order to pepper spray them. I dont know why I find it comforting that there are people in the world who are worse than I am but in this case, I do.

I think it is a fear thing. For years I worried that I might lose control again and now I feel confident that I wont. Stories like this one remind me of that and give me a glimpse into what life might have like for me if I hadnt of gotten my shit together.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Weather Outside is Frightful

It was ten degrees below zero this morning. And ok, I have a hard time getting out of my warm bed *every* monday but today it was nearly impossible. I did it though. Still, it is snot freezing weather out there. BRRRR

Otherwise, I have spent the last few days pretty much at home. I have had some interesting discussions about how gay employees at public institutions such as the UofM (this area's largest employer) are going to lose their benefits because a bunch of jerks voted to amend the state constitution to define marriage as being between only a man and a woman. Does anyone remember the people supporting this amendment specifically saying that no one's benefits would be taken away? What a bunch of liars.

I have watched a bunch of episodes of The Sopranos. I think one of the reasons I like that show is that the characters are so complex. Most of them are total dirtbags but often there is something sympathetic about them too. I like how the writers can make me start to think, 'that guy isnt soooo bad' only to have the character turn around and do something really horrible. Oh yeah, that guy IS so bad!

So that has pretty much been my life for the last week or so.