The Great Time War

I want to defeat time.

Even though I know I can’t help but improve myself in a linear fashion, I get really frustrated sometimes by the rearview mirror.

Hind sight is 20/20 they say. Which isn’t entirely true. Sometimes even having gained information and insight about a particular situation you would still choose the same course of action. Not because you don’t see how the outcome will be bad, but because you lack the strength to be a better person and choose the more difficult choice. It’s hard to face yourself and knowingly choose discomfort.

Sometimes though, hindsight would change things. For example, as I mentioned before, I’m a teacher. There are moments where I realize there is something, be it a strategy or a new skill, that I could have taught my students to exponentially increase their chances of success. Looking back and realizing I could have done better by them really tends to lay on the guilt. On the one hand, what can I do? I can’t change the fact that I’m a person who is learning along with them. But on the other hand, the nature of the job of teaching is a really sticky one, because you quite literally affect the futures of many people. My ineptitude in teaching a certain academic or life skill could lead to someone dropping out of school somewhere down the line and having a crappy life thereafter. (Not that all dropouts become unsuccessful. A few end up doing well.)

So I’m often bombarded by this rivalry with time. Can I beat myself and be better faster so that I can wreak the least havoc possible on this Earth? Can I make as few mistakes as possible by making calculations and budgeting time for specific personal and professional growth goals?

The thing is, I know the answer is no, but I’ve always been a very stubborn person. I’m still going to try my best to at least lose as little as possible.

On my good days I go through life shouting “Zettai ni makenai! (I definitely won’t lose!).” But on my bad days the reality of losing catches up to me and I want to throw in the towel. Shameful, I know. I guess I have to learn to be a little more satisfied with turning hindsight into foresight, rather than grumbling about the battles I’ve lost.

In the end, I’m destined to lose the war. But I want to go out with a kick butt war cry, not a defeated whimper. I guess I better get my ish together then, huh?

~LDA

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Language Exchange

I’ve been pretty sappy lately.  Let’s talk about an experience that was mildly funny and educational.  I recently did a language exchange over the phone with a Japanese girl.  It was a very interesting experience.  It’s strange to think that these days we can so easily communicate with someone across the planet.

Entire countries and cultures are at our fingertips at the literal click of a button.  We are able to learn so many things about the world that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to do unless we traveled a couple thousand miles.  I think we often forget how cool that is and forget to make use of it.  There is so much to be learned from each other in all areas, from philosophy to language to neuroscience.  There are so many possibilities for advancement that the human race has just by simply exchanging information with people who are different from them.  We don’t have to wait for some letter or manuscript to travel over deserts, across oceans, or through jungles to talk to each other from long distance anymore.  We can open up a dialogue with someone from across the world with just a few swipes of a mouse across a computer screen.  I for one would like to take advantage of that massive power.

The other day I wanted to explore the world through the lens of a different language and learn some things about culture along the way.

As you guys know, I’m in the process of learning Japanese.  There are virtually no Japanese speakers in my area, (trust me I’ve looked, the Asian people in Japanese restaurants are deceiving), and this would be a great obstacle to my ability to practice speaking Japanese.  But luckily there’s this amazing thing called the interwebs that has been allowing me to practice my Japanese with native Japanese speakers.  I’d been practicing writing to Japanese speakers for over a year, but I wanted to take it to the next level by actually speaking the language with my mouth instead of my fingertips.  There’s such a big difference in those specific levels of fluency and I didn’t wanted to let the gap widen any more than it already had.

There’s this uber useful app called HelloTalk that is basically the language exchange equivalent of Facebook.  It used to be that you could just message people with text, but they revamped their platform and it now has been set up in a way where you have a wall that you can pose questions to the world at large on, post about what you did that day in the language you’re learning, share pictures and videos about your culture to help people who are trying to learn about your language & culture, and send out video chats or phone calls.  It’s amazingly versatile and well formatted (unlike that last mess of a sentence).  You search for people with similar language proficiency levels as you so that you can both benefit exchanging languages with each other.  It is the bomb dot com and I’m so glad someone recommended it to me because I would otherwise have been stuck in a rut in my language studies a long time ago.  By the way this is so not a sponsored article.  I really just love this app that much.  There’s only so much textbooking and self-study you can do.

Anyway, I bet you guys are like, hurry up and get to the part where you spoke to a Japanese girl.

Okay, okay.  Sheesh.

So someone had posted on their wall that they were looking for someone to practice speaking English with on the regular basis because her formal English classes were over for the summer and she didn’t want to lose what she learned.  Because HelloTalk is amazing and allows you to make free international calls once you become a member for a very small fee of $9.49/year, I was like “Yeah, I’m down.  Hit me up if you want to talk!”

(Actually, I didn’t really speak like that.  I generally avoid using slang unless specifically asked for it, because it confuses non-native English speakers.  But you get the drift.)

Here’s the thing with language exchange, at least with what I’ve experience thus far on the Japanese side of the equation.  Finding someone to chat with long-term is hard to find.  A lot of time people will start excitedly talking to you using what little basic English they know, then fall off the map a few days later because they’ve run out of things to say.  This is very frustrating.  HelloTalk mitigates this problem by allowing you to read every person’s self-proclaimed language ability level and letting you see how many language corrections, transliterations, posts, etc. that they’ve made on HelloTalk.  In other words, it doesn’t tell you how long someone has been on the site, buuuut by virtue of letting you view their activity you can get a good sense of who’s really serious about doing language exchange and who’s just dallying about, perhaps trying to get an international girlfriend with the horrible pickup lines they learned from the internet.

“A Toyota is what I feel like.  You know why?  Because I could not stop from speeding over to you.”

Anyway, the point of me saying all this is that I was super glad that there is a function on the app that lets you make a language proposal to the world at large instead of forcing you to weed people out one by one.  A lot of the people on the app are too shy to speak or videochat, so it’s nice to be able to get in touch with the people who aren’t.

We set up a date and time to talk and got in contact with each other.  It was such a fun and informational experience.  There were a bunch of things we taught each other about our respective languages that it might have taken ages to get to had we just been messaging each other.

For example, I used the term “oyaji” for parents because it’s the only term I could remember and she told me to be careful using that word, because it was a term usually only boys use.  Apparently I sounded like a teenage Japanese boy.

I was also using the phrase “ii desu” to communicate “That’s fine.  It’s okay.”  But that can come off as annoying, especially after a couple times so she advised me to use the phrase, “Daijoubu.”  Which literally means “It’s okay,” whereas “ii desu” literally means “It’s good.”  It’s not even that I didn’t know the word daijoubu, I just didn’t think about the possibly condescending connotation ii desu might carry.  I‘m so glad she let me know a better way of getting my point across. It probably would have taken me a long time to realize that and caused many an awkward situation talking to other people.

Now don’t get me wrong.  It wasn’t a perfectly magical experience where we connected as friends and understood everything each other was saying.  Sometimes a full minute would pass between questions just because I was trying to translate my English sentences into Japanese.  (Tip: Don’t try to translate your native language into the language you’re learning.  I know it’s tempting but in the end, chances are the grammar of the language you’re learning is very different, so you’re probably actually getting in your own way.)

One of the things I re-realized while engaging in this experience is how much I still have to learn.  Nothing like a living, breathing person on the other line, waiting for you to remember how to say something as simple as “I went on a cruise to the Bahamas this summer,” to make you realize your language ability is still laughably low.  But I think the most important thing I learned from this experience is being okay with that fact.  So I’m not perfect at this language yet, so what?  I probably never will be.  The process of language learning is an ongoing one.  I will always be learning new vocabulary and new ways to express things in Japanese.  Heck, I’m still doing that in English!  That’s what language is, a living organism that changes with the people who use it.  There will always be a better way I could have communicated something to another person.  That doesn’t really matter.  What matters is whether or not I successfully got my point across to the other person.  That is the point of language after all.  To communicate.  You might as well have fun while making mistakes because you’re going to make them no matter what.  That’s not a bad thing, it’s a learning thing.  I’ve learned to take myself  a lot less seriously.

That being said, there are some tips I would recommend doing to make your potential language exchange experience a more productive one.  The first thing is I realized I should have had a notebook handy.   I learned so much in just a 50 minute conversation and yet the majority of it vanished from memory the moment we hung up just because I hadn’t written it down.  Even though I repeated the new terms I learned a couple times!  Note-take, note-take, note-take!  It might seem lame because you are literally writing down simple things a person is saying to you, but you have to remember to make it a useful study experience.  As you become more fluent, you’ll take less notes and you’ll feel less lame.  You’ll get to the point where you only learned a thing or two new because you’re fluent enough to get wrapped up in the fun of the conversation and that’ll be great.  But what would really be more lame is if you ended up like me, forgetting about 80% of what you learned.  

The second thing I would recommend you doing during language exchange, (which will also seem lame), is to have a list of interesting topics that you’re able to talk about ready.  For the most part my experience went alright, but our conversation floundered a little.  If you’re a person who is not such a great conversationalist such as myself, don’t be ashamed to keep a list of interesting questions/topics handy just to keep the flow of conversation going.  You definitely want your language partner to be interested enough to actually do language exchange with you again!

Long-term language exchange partners have such great value because you don’t have to go through the basic introductory small talk again, (which you memorized since the first couple of weeks of learning the language but actually prove nothing of your language skill).  Another great thing about a long term language exchange partner is that they already know what you do and do not understand in their language, so your exchange can be a lot more useful as you cut to the good stuff.

I definitely recommend doing online language exchange to anyone learning a new language.  It’s kind of necessary if you really want to become fluent.  And I also would highly recommend you doing it through HelloTalk.  This app rocks.

I’ll probably be telling you more about my language exchange adventures in the future, so until then.

 

~LDA

 

Slipping Betweens Extremes

These days I slip between extremes. I go from swiping at the dark thoughts that buzz around my cranium like hungry mosquitoes, to letting them perch on finger to have a drink. I am at once dismayed at the absence of relationships and happy that there is something to be missing in the first place.  To be honest I’ve been pretty skeptical of the integrity of my future relationships since the time I was young, so I’m surprised there is something to long for.  When memories hit I usually can’t tell if I want to cry or laugh.

These usually sound the same these days so it’s becoming hard to tell the difference. And I find that I’m so tired that I don’t much care that I can’t distinguish. All I know is that something from the soul is working its way out of my body and chosen to take the form of creepy weep/giggles. I can’t do much to prevent it from crawling its way out and honestly don’t mind. I’ve learned that stifling monsters just prolongs the process of metamorphosis, and then you have even greater demons you’re confronting instead of beautiful butterflies. Not fun. So out it comes.

I know I’m being dramatic, but happiness and pain often feel the same nowadays, since the one always seems to closely follow the other.  I’m not depressed, but my emotions are fuzzy.

Like sometimes all I can remember is the time you sat watching me eat ice cream because you didn’t feel like eating sweets and I was too much of a prick to actually ask whether you wanted to go for ice cream even though we hadn’t seen each other in months.  My thoughts are like that last sentence: dense, complicated and drawn out.

And every time my left knee aches I remember the time I smacked it against the computer desk as you smirk-glared at me from the hallway. You were probably satisfied I was in pain because I’d forgotten to print my concert ticket and we were already late.  We were almost all the way out of my development before you thought to ask, and you probably only thought to ask because you knew as annoyingly clever as I can be, forgetting to bring the concert ticket to the show we’d been eagerly awaiting for months is totally something I would do.  What can I say?  It was my first concert. I was still green and I’m glad I spent that time with you. Even though the fond memory is torturing me right now.

Oh no. Here they come. The if only’s.

If only I hadn’t screwed up so badly by simply being the person I was.  I wonder what our souls will look like in ten years and how far apart.

“What a waste to be so alone. 🎶”

~LDA

Little Surprises

Sometimes, I leave money in random places just so I can be happy when I unexpectedly find it.

It’s like little surprise gifts from myself.

I’ll be finally cleaning a portion of my dresser or opening a cabinet for a cup of water and there it is just lying there, five or ten bucks.  It’s silly but it’s the nicest feeling.

If you haven’t ever tried this, you should.  It can cheer you up on a day when no one else will.  Or better yet, leave a little compliment for yourself folded into a pocket or book you plan to read.  Sometimes a little encouragement from yourself is all you need.  

 

~LDA

My Quiet Life of Desperation

Sometimes I question whether I’m missing some piece of mental machinery every human is supposed to have.  Some essential brain cog of empathy or social deftness that would enable me to understand other people’s actions, or more importantly, my own.

 

It’s like this.  I’m confronted with a situation any ordinary person would see as easy to deal with and my mind runs a million miles a minute trying to put the pieces of this great social puzzle together in order to come up with the appropriate response.  My heart’s tearing me one way, telling me to run, run as fast I can, and my mind’s gently coaxing me in the opposite direction saying I should stay and fight the panic.

 

“We can do this,” my brain whispers.  “It’s just a couple variables plugged into some great social algorithm we have yet to discover.  Just crack the code, crack the code…”

 

I want to choose to fight, but more often than not it’s flight that I choose after a couple of feeble jabs.

 

It’s not that I’m some big social pariah or even that one could tell I’m having a hard time dealing with the occasional social situation, but it’s clear as day to me of course.  I’ll feel like I’m in an episode of Spongebob Squarepants where the driver’s ed. teacher, Mrs. Puff, tries to teach Spongebob to drive through a simple obstacle course.  There’s always someone in my brain screaming “Floor it! FLOOR it!”  

 

It’s frustrating.

 

Luckily my socio-emotional car wrecks don’t end in any physical casualties that heal by the very next t.v. episode.  But I still have to deal with emotional wreckage.

 

No.

I’m being dramatic. 

 

Wreckage is too strong a word for it.  It’s not as if I slap people and insult their mothers every time I feel socially gangly and awkward. 

 

I might just give a one word response to an essay-like question or offer a cold one-handed wave rather than a warm two-armed hug.  Just little things.  But these little things can make a big difference when it comes to relationships, and I feel at a loss when I have to deal with the after-effects with no sane explanation for my actions.

 

I mean, what do I say?

 

“Sorry, I was having a mini-emotional breakdown, but I’m better now.  We still good?”

 

Maybe I’m still just being dramatic and even the average ‘Normal Guy’ has these breaks in reason, but I wouldn’t know.  I’ve never considered myself “normal.” 

 

~LDA

So Apparently I’m a Naked Mole Rat

I stand here,

toothbrush dangling from fingertips,

staring at myself in the mirror.

I stand here for five minutes straight, with my face wet from rinsing, trying to convince myself that I think I’m beautiful. Just the way I am. Right now. In this moment. Water soaked mustache and all.

Oh, I’m sorry. Did that throw you off? I’m a girl, so I’m not supposed to have a mustache, right?

Wrong.

I do. And so do most women though we might try to hide it. Don’t get me wrong. My stache isn’t long enough to cuaf into curly points or anything, but it’s there. A little dark layer of peach fuzz who especially likes to come out to play when my face is wet. It’s not too noticeable otherwise  (unless you’re mere inches from my face), but when it is, it IS, if ya’ know what I mean. It kinda slaps you in the face and demands to be looked at. Almost as if someone’s pressed zoom on a camera and the focus just happened to land smack dab in the middle of my upper lip.

Quite frankly, it’s distracting. Or at least I think so. I imagine someone leaning in to kiss me and then recoiling in sudden disgust. AWKWARD.

“Naw, naw. You’re fine,” I tell myself. “This is your natural face. It’s just the media that’s got you convinced you need to change. If a guy can’t handle you and all your ‘ugly’ he can’t handle you anyway.”

But then I stand there making kissy faces for another five minutes, trying to get the positive concept of myself that’s in my heart become true in my brain. I still haven’t succeeded. Somewhere along the line, us women got convinced that any and all hair is the bane of our existence and now we’re plagued with the constant removal of it.

Remove some hair here, cut a patch there, rip off all those babies over there. Never mind the unnecessary pain it causes you!

It’s pretty ridiculous.

I made the societal compromise of removing my leg and armpit hair a long time ago because even as a little girl who was just developing into a woman, I was told which changes in my body were acceptable and which were not. At the ripe old age of thirteen I mowed down those leg hairs with zeal for the sheer convenience of not being pointed and laughed at. Even though I couldn’t for the life of me see the need, I swallowed the idea that my body was unacceptable as it was like Nair flavored Tic Tacs.

“So I look ugly and gross like this,” I thought. “That’s okay. I can change it at least.” So I did. And I continue to every couple days.

But up to this point, I’ve been able to stand by one little shred of self respect for my natural body by leaving my shadow of a mustache alone. A declaration of “this is where I draw the line.”

So why is it that just because I’m faced with the prospect of another human being coming close to my face, the self esteem brownie points just shiver off of me with ease? Is my resolve really that shallow? I mean, sheesh! Isn’t my body mine? Why should I have to cower in fear as someone judges my body? Almost as if it’s some offering I have to beg to be accepted.

“Oh, please, master! Tell me you’re not repulsed by the piece of humanity that is my body hair!”

I mean, really?

I realize body hair, especially facial hair, is sort of seen as the mark of a developing male, but where and when in the medical textbooks did we erase the part where female hair production increases during puberty as well?

Female facial hair. It’s a thing, men.

Why do you insist on asking us to play this little charade where we pretend we’re naturally hairless, and “oh, I just woke up this way”?

We’re human. Grow up.

When the facade of what you think a woman should look like begins to affect us so badly that most of us women feel like we’re basically forced to spend countless hours (not to mention dollar bills) on hair removal, I think there’s a problem.

Why should I have to pretend I’m some kind of wig wearing naked mole rat with eyebrows that just happened to be on fleek?

I’m not a naked mole rat, guys. I’m a female human.

And guess what? I’m also beautiful just the way I am and I’m going to keep telling myself that until all the brainwashing fades away and it sinks in.

~LDA

Prying Eyes and Warrior Cries

Super Smash Bros. Brawl, guys. 

It’s a great game.

SO great a game that it sometimes finds itself worming its way into my daily life in silly and awkward ways. 

For those of you who have never played the game, it’s basically a fighting game created for all characters Nintendo to battle against each other in.

For those of you who have played the game, (or any Zelda games) you know that there is a character named Link who makes these wickedly overexaggerated fighting grunts that sound something like “Hya-aa!” when he does moves like this.

These battle cries sound completely cool in the context of a fighting video game. 

Not so much in regular daily life. 

I’m weird, okay?  And sometimes I let my imagination get mixed in with reality a little too much which ends up having me get caught doing ridiculous things quite often.  One of the ridiculous things I like to do when no one is looking is (or listening) is utter a Link-sounding battle cry when I’m doing mundane things. 

Let’s say I’m lifting a heavy box or something.  In order to make the experience a more fun one, I’ll go “Hya-aa!” as I stumble across the room.  I mean, if you’re gonna be forced to physically exert yourself, you might as well sound like a warrior doing it, right?

Scrubbing at a plate with a particularly stubborn piece of food stuck on it?  “Hya-aa!”

In the kitchen chopping an onion with tears pouring down my face?  “Hya-aa!”

Kicking open a door because my hands are full?  “Hya-aa!” 

I find it makes the boring things of life a lot more exciting and entertaining.

It was this last thing that I was doing (opening the door with no hands) when I found myself in a laughable predicament:

So the first thing you have to understand is I’m a low-profile germophobe. I don’t like touching hotel tv remotes, letting people borrow things that go near my face (like my phone or earbuds), using restaurant utensils, or touching doorknobs.  Also, I cringe inside when someone reaches out to shake my hand because it’s one of the dirtiest and most bacteria infested parts of our bodies.  Who decided we should greet each other that way? (I mean seriously, why can’t we just take a hint from other countries and bow in introductory settings instead?!  ToT)

Anyway, now that I think about.  You guys didn’t really need that little insight into my twisted, tormented mind.  Kicking open bathroom doors is something most average people do, right?  Because the immediate location of a bathroom reminds us how dirty our grimy little grabbing appendages really are.  At least for a second.

So picture this.

I’ve just finished washing my hands in the single stall bathroom at my workplace.  I’m desperately trying to keep my hands in the heavenly stage of antibacterial clean by manipulating water faucets with paper towels and leaning as far away as possible from the toilet area because it has just released thousands of microscopic toilet water droplets into the air.  I’ve finished wiping my hands dry, but committed the deadly sin of throwing it away before using it to push the door open.

So what’s my only option?

To kick the door open, of course.

And what a better time to utter Link battle cry than when kicking a door open? 

So, I did.

“Hyaa-ah!” I whisper shout, with eyes squinted shut and everything.

And of course, with my luck, there was someone standing on the other side of it.  Even though there isn’t like 90% of the time.

 

A surprised wide eyed look when I realize someone has seen me.

A questioning look from the person looking on.

My awkward chuckle.  “Oh…he-he…hey.”

 

Luckily, the woman who caught me laughed it off.  Also luckily, it wasn’t my boss.  Haha.  Can you imagine how exponentially more embarrassing that would have been?

You’d think that after being caught in the act that I’d limit dorky warrior cries to home, but I still do it in public when no one is watching sometimes.  What can I say?

Once a derp, always a derp. 

I’m even doing it as I press the button to publish this post.  ;P

~LDA

 

 

 

I Think, Therefore I Am: Jaw Troubles

There’s this really weird thing that happens to me every couple months or so where I suddenly don’t know where to place my jaw.

 

I know.  It sounds absurd, but I’ll wake up one day suddenly feeling that my jaw is out of place.  Not so much in the sense that’s it’s been dislocated or anything drastic like that.  Only that I don’t know where to put it.  It seems as though there isn’t a position that seems natural anymore.

 

I’m suddenly asking myself, “How do I usually hold my jaw?  Do I usually have the teeth on either jaw touching each other, or do I usually have my jaw in a loose position?”  And usually as a result of all this clenching and unclenching, I feel exponentially worse, my jaw have tightened into an unnatural position.

 

It’s the most confounding thing to wake up one day and find that you don’t know yourself.  I mean, it’s something that we humans pride ourselves on, right?  “I may not have a clue as to what’s going on in the world or if any of it has any meaning, but if there’s one thing I do know, it’s that I know myself.”

 

“I think, therefore I am,” right?  It’s that one thing that the average everyman can agree with those lunatic philosophers on.  That we may not agree with all the rational nonsense that follows that premise, but we can agree that the one thing we know without a shadow of a doubt is that #1:  I exist and #2: I’m therefore the chief consultant as to all the nitty gritty details of that existence.

 

Because, well.  I’m me.  And who could know more about me than me?

 

Who could possibly know me better?

 

I’m the person most concerned with me despite what I might choose to believe about love and the nature of that loaded L-word.  There’s no one on the planet who could possibly be more obsessed about my existence and the well-being of it than the wonderful, talented, consequential, worth paying attention to, special in every way, moi.

 

And yet, there are days when we wake up, and we suddenly don’t know how our jaw is supposed to go, or if it ever went, or where it went for that matter. 

 

How can I, the one and only specialist on me, claim to know the stuff I’m made of when some days I don’t even know how to use my body.  How can I when I find myself wondering if there was ever even a set way that I held myself to begin with?

 

If I can’t even figure out how to gain control of my body, how can I ever hope to gain control of my mind, never mind my spirit, the very essence of who I am? 

 

I don’t want to act like I can speak for the rest of you, but sometimes I wake up and wonder how on Earth I got to where I am and if that even happens to be where I intended to go in  the first place.  I have these short and long term goals set for myself.  I take note of them in journals and write them on my walls in the form of handy little sticky notes.  And even whileI find myself satisfactorily check marking and taking them down from my walls, I always ultimately end up in the same place. 

 

“Wait, why am I doing this again?  This is what I intended to do and where I intended to go, right?  Have I accidentally turned down a side street and completely lost track of the main road?”

 

I always find myself questioning who I am and whether or not this is the stuff I want to choose to make myself out of.  Will I be satisfied in the end?  Will I be able to sigh a contented last breath and know that I took my freedom to think seriously?  Will I be able to look back and see footprints burnt into asphalt from the sheer decisiveness of each step that was taken?  Will the direction of those steps reflect my inner most thoughts and convictions back at me?  Will I recognize myself and the distinctive angle of my jaw?

 

I guess all I’m trying to say is, I DON’T KNOW.

 

And I like to tell myself that this is a good thing, even though it’s pretty contrary to any linear and straightforward form of logic.  Because I don’t believe in straight lines.  When I was child a visual arts student once told me, “There are no such thing as straight lines.  Only dozens and dozens of hesitant strokes that trick you into thinking they’re straight.”  And at the time that I heard this, something resembling an unanticipated breath of relief escaped my body.  Like I had been trying to conform myself to something I knew I never had been and could never become, and now I was free.

 

I didn’t know why at the time, but I believe that this revelation was one of the many beginnings of the unbelievably sketchy circle that is my life.  I believe that I discovered the secret that it’s okay not to know, or maybe even better.  If you’re constantly willing to admit that you don’t know, won’t that just keep you in check and make sure that you keep verifying whether what you think you really knew you actually know?

 

But who knows.  Maybe that’s just another thing I like to tell myself.

 

After all, I simply don’t know.

 

~LDA

 

 

Psychotic Breaks Are Sexy

So I rear ended a guy the other day.

In reality it was his fault, because he stopped ridiculously short.  But we all know how the insurance companies see it. If you’re the rear ending party, you’re automatically at fault and now you have to deal with the repercussions of some prick practically setting you up.

These are the thoughts that should have been going through my head at the time of the accident.

LadyDerpsALot that I am…of course they weren’t.

Instead of thinking “Frickety frick!” when he got out of his car, I found myself thinking

“Hey, he’s pretty cute…”

I know, I know.

“Like, really? That’s what you’re thinking about, Lady?!”

I’m ashamed. Really, I am.

I’m not usually this shallow. Honest. I realize that I should have been freaking out or doing something else similarly productive, but instead I was busy admiring how clean cut he was. How for some reason I didn’t expect him to be young. Those are the turns my mind chose to take in such a high stress situation.

I’m pretty amused, really. It was so uncharacteristic of me. I’m not going to straight-up lie and say my eye isn’t caught by good looks, but I’m usually so oblivious to the people around me that I don’t really notice. A handsome guy will only catch my attention for a few seconds at most.  Sure, I’ll drink my fill for a few seconds, but that’s pretty much it.  It’s inner quality that I’m truly a sucker for, which I guess is why I don’t usually pay attention to looks.

But for some reason, this guy’s beauty did not escape me.

Instead of chocking up strategies, I was purring out melodies.

I choose to blame it on the high stress situation. (;p) Something with my adrenaline must have turned we wonky.

If I ever get called in by a boss to be let go, or you know, stabbed to death by a guy on a psychotic break, I guess we know how I’ll react then. If it’s anything like this high stress scenario,

I’ll probably be thinking about how chiseled his chin is or something.

 

Sincerely,

~LDA

Bare Butts and Toilet Stalls

Before I dive into the logistics of the anecdote I’m about to address, let me give you the down low of what happened prior. It’ll enhance the experience and help you blush in informed embarrassment along with me.

So don your Lady caps.

Forget about the identity you have been building up for yourself since you’ve been born.  Forget all that sweat, heartache and tears.

You are now me.

You’re me and you’ve just screwed up big time.

Twice.

You’re in college and the class prior you flipped a figurative bird to the world by showing up an entire two hours late to the only class you had for the day. As if that isn’t bad enough, you did it quite unapologetically. You’re too tired to care about impressions, so you swag on in with your insolent self.

There are only about twenty people in your class by the way. So your belated entrance is well noted.

But you plop down into your seat while flickering a gaze over each of their stupidly dumbfounded faces anyway, as if everything is hunky dory. In fact, your composure is so nonchalantly apathetic that someone watching only you might have thought you’d just strolled in two minutes early rather than two hours late. 

The class moves on without comment and it ends uneventfully enough, but you can tell the professor is silently stewing.

How dare you be so brazenly uncaring.

The next class—today, in fact, you waltz in five minutes early with perky countenance hoping to erase the indiscretions of the previous class. You’ve got a presentation to give so you need to remove any possibility of your prior behavior affecting your grade.

Wipe the slate clean so to speak.

The prof doesn’t really seem to be holding latent feelings of malice against you, but she isn’t exactly Bear in the Big Blue House either. She crosses her legs in the corner and calls you up with a slightly warm quality of voice.

“Slightly positive undertones,” you note mentally.

You may have a chance yet.

You parade up to the front of the class, feathers puffing with anticipated success.

You get off to a moderately adequate start.   Everything’s going fine.   And then, all of a sudden, you fail miserably.

You’ve forgotten an entire segment of the presentation.

There’s no compensating for it.

You fumble to make an on the spot modification, but like I said,

you fail miserably.

At the end of class, you trudge out with tail between your legs and head metaphorically hung. You just want to get out of there. There’s no salvaging your grade. Or your dignity for that matter. All you want is to run home crying to Netflix and a bucket of homemade popcorn.

But first, a slight detour.

You head for restroom.

And this, my friend, is your third mistake.

Let me tell you…

There ‘aint nothing more awkward than peeing next to your professor. I mean, really.

Out of all the bathrooms and all the stalls in the entire university, to end up dropping your pants next to the one superior you just made a fool out of yourself in front of, is just one of the most unconventional forms of divine retributions there is.  It’s entirely too deliciously ironic.  You’re standing there trying your best not to acknowledge the fact that you can see her foot beside yours on the other side of the barrier, but all you can see are her pale toes scrunched up in their surfer flip flops.  Undoubtedly in response to hovering over the toilet seat in a squat, just as you are.

Your over active imagination can’t help but imagine what a pair you must make from an aerial view. Teacher and student. Sage and apprentice. Oblivious and embarrassed. Side by side. Both reduced to facing the reality of your pathetically practical existence by assuming deuce droppingposition in close proximity.

Letting loose a stream of piss, the only thing between your bare butts a flimsy plastic wall, is a surprisingly effective invasion of privacy. And, of course.

OF COURSE.

You happen to be having a Nile River kind of pee. You know.  One of those infinite pees where just when you think you’re finishing up, another wave comes blasting through?

“Sorry, thighs. You won’t be receiving relief from your excruciating position any time soon,” says bladder. “I’ve decided to expel every ounce of moisture in this body in this single moment in time.”

You want more than anything to get away from this secretly compromising situation, but your bladder has other ideas.

Now, I know this may be TMI, but you all know what I’m talking about, okay.

Don’t act like you haven’t the slightest clue what I’m saying and I’m just some weirdo going on for an entire paragraph about the process of urination.

Granted, I am a weirdo,

but I’m not speaking about anything you haven’t admittedly experienced before.  We’ve all had our bladders bursting at one time or another. It’s practically a rite of passage for homo-sapiens or something.

Anyway, I just thought I’d share that lovely anecdote of mine with you. It was such a surprisingly traumatic experience that I just had to vent about it. I ended up having to ask her a question about an upcoming assignment on the way out of the bathroom too, by the way.

Delightfully awkward for me, but hey. I’ve just kind of accepted these kinds of occurrences in my derpy daily life.

How about you?

What kind of professor and/or bathroom mishaps have you had that left you cringing?

~LDA