Please Stop Talking

I think the universe was screwing with me earlier today.

we went to Walgreens to pick up my meds. We always use the drive-thru, especially when we’re on our way somewhere like we were today. But it was closed (?!?!).

So now I have to go into the store.

You cannot make me. I’m staying in my box.

I realize I’ve forgotten my phone at home. Rather than add more delay to our trip, Dave leaves me to grab the stuff by myself while he goes home to get my phone. So into the Walgreens I go, and without even having any backup.


there’s a line. A LONG and slow moving line.


I’m stuck listening to the two people in front of me in line, who clearly don’t know each other, but are having an animated and loud conversation about the best way to kill rats. They’re really getting into it. Then the guy gets called up to the counter.


without skipping a beat the woman turns to the closest person to her (that would be me) and continues the conversation as if I’d been a part of it from the beginning. If you know me, you know there are several problems with this. First, I hate talking to people. I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone feels this need to hold vigorous and ongoing conversations at all times, even with strangers.  Second, I’m not really sure why she clearly assumed that I had any experience, knowledge, or interest in the topic of rat control (This really got me questioning my choice of clothing for the day – I mean, what kind of vibe was I giving off here? Oh well, guess this dress is going in the trash…) ( BTW, my phone autocorrected vibe to wine… I think my phone knows me far too well.)


But it can’t get worse, right?

Just when I think the fact that she’s even talking to me at all is bad enough, she really went for the gold. She started talking about how she’d seen this rat around that was pregnant and she was really hoping that she caught it before it had those babies… and lo and behold, there it was in the trap!! And do you know what? Even after she finished drowning it, she could still see its stomach moving and she was like, “oh well, I guess the babies are still alive in there, at least for now. But I’m sure that won’t last long now that mom’s dead.”


Stop stop stop stop STOP!!!

How is this conversation happening to me? How am I stuck standing here with this stranger who’s gleefully talking to me about her little rodent snuff film, and clearly expecting me to be like “oh yeah, that’s awesome!” I mean I get it, wild rats carry diseases and you can’t just have them traipsing around your house. But Jesus woman, could you tone it down a little??

I manage to plaster on what I hope was a neutral face and make some kind of positive-ish non-committal sound, while SCREAMING INSIDE. (Clearly I succeeded because she seemed completely undeterred and continued to chat away about her rat infanticide reign of terror. Or maybe she was just that damned clueless.) Either way, I was SO FREAKING RELIEVED when they called her up to the counter.


without breaking stride, she picks up the conversation right where she left off with the guy from before who is standing at the register next to her.

And then…

 she had to repeat it AGAIN when the lady comes back with her prescriptions. And at this point, the babies have gone from ‘moving’ to a full on in-utero foxtrot while she mercilessly cackled from above.

Please. Stop. Talking.

Sneaky peeky…

I’m a rock on the edge!

To get you through HUMP DAY, I’m making good on my promise to include little sneek peeks of the book.

Hopefully this will encourage you to continuing following the blog in hopes of more teasers in the future. AND hopefully get you excited to read all of Wait, What Were We Talking About? later this year!! (Though it’s just as likely you’ll read this snippet and be like “Meh, glad you posted this bit so I don’t to waste my money buying the whole book.”… It’s a chance I have to take. Yup, that’s me –  livin’ dangerously.)




A couple of notes for you, since you’re not getting the benefit of all the intro info in the book itself:

  • I use annotations, versus putting stuff in parenthesis (like I do in the blog). You can follow the numbers to the corresponding thoughts at the bottom (just click the number in the body text to be brought to the correct annotation). As I say in the book, I highly recommend you read the annotations as you go. But hey, whatever floats your boat.
  • For any youth or sensitive folks out there – I try to keep the language here in the blog clean-ish, but I have no such restraint in the book. If foul language bothers you, you should probably just skip the rest of this because it has not been censored.



All materials contained herein are the sole property of the author. Any use of these materials without the author’s consent is prohibited.

Cleanliness Is Next To Deadliness

I set off a fire alarm with a shower.
This happened in the Middle East. In Saudi Arabia no less.[1] But let me start at the beginning…
Working in the world of academic medicine as an administrator can be challenging.[2]  But I’m fortunate to work with a group of leaders dedicated to giving their staff every possible opportunity, and one such chance came when my Director asked me to be part of the consulting team being sent to Saudi. I was surprised, elated, and quite honored. I was also pretty nervous.[3]
A month before we left, I received a generic organizational email.
           … observe all laws about dress and behavior as police may detain or assault travelers suspected of breaking them. Carry a card apologizing in Arabic for any unintentional offence….[4]
           … a female US national was arrested for sitting in a coffee shop with a male colleague and detained in prison for several hours, strip searched, and forced to sign a confession.[5]
           … Islamic court rulings, for Muslims and non-Muslims, are frequently influenced by gender, and penalties are often harsh, including capital and corporal punishment.[6]
My fellow female teammate and I found this understandably… ominous. We got in touch with our international team and they were still like, “Nah, it’s FINE. You’ll be FINE. We’ve been there lot of times. Pay no mind to the horribly terrifying sounding official information you received.”
I was not convinced.[7]

[1] Just two lines in and this story just keeps getting better, right? It’s like – it isn’t enough that this even HAPPENED, but I chose to do it in another country. And not just any old easy-going European country, no! When I decide to do an incredibly unfathomable thing, I go all out. It’s tough being an overachiever, but I do my best.

[2] In a fair fight, this statement would totally make the list of “Top Ten Understatements in the World.” My peeps know I’m right.2a

          2a ‘My peeps’? Seriously, who do I think I am, Snoop Dog?2b

          2b Though, I’m pretty sure insinuating that Snoop Dog would ever say something as stupid as ‘my peeps’ is a complete insult to Snoop Dog. Sorry, Snoop, my bad.

[3] Actually… a little bit terrified. I mean we don’t exactly get a happy, safe image of Saudi here in America, especially for women. But our team assured us it was perfectly safe. Still, I managed to imagine pretty much every nightmare scenario possible in those first few days after being asked.4a

          3a Although, as I was to learn – not EVERY nightmare scenario. There are somethings that are just too unbelievable to ever be imagined.

[4] Wait, assault??? Does that say assault???


[6] Hold the fucking phone… Corporal punishment… CAPITAL PUNISHMENT – like as in DEATH?!?!?! In what world is this considered “perfectly safe”? What fucking dictionary are you using to define your words, folks, because it’s a totally different one from the one I, or any other FUCKING SANE PERSON, are using!

[7] Moreover, my fucked-up anxious brain was sure as HELL not convinced. It was all like, “What the hell, woman? Why do I need to intervene here to tell you this is a terrible-stupid-crazy idea? Pull your head out of your ass!”7a

          7a (1:00 am) … “have you come to your senses yet?”7b

          7b (2:00 am) … “How about now? No… here, let me you play you this little video I made for you! There you are, beautiful sand dunes behind you, warm sun on your head… oh wait, that’s your head on the ground – no longer connected to your body… isn’t it just GREAT??? Moron…”7c

          7c (2:17 am) … “Don’t make me pull out the big guns – I will sing the Macarena directly into your brain on volume 12 out of 10 if you don’t give up on this idea right now!” 7d

          7d (2:59 am) … “HEY MACARENA!!!!!” 7e


          7F (3.45 am)… “Hey, remember that time when you got really drunk and totally tried to sexy dance to the Macarena in front of all those people? I bet you they haven’t forgotten it…”7g

          7g (3:50 am) … “Ready to give in yet?”

Interested in more? Be on the lookout for  – Wait, What Were We Talking About? –  out later this year!

Rollin’ in Saudi
Rockin’ my abaya

Because I Am A Geek

I was so excited (ridiculously, stupid, total SPAZ excited) this week when tuning into my favorite podcast, Terrifyingly Beautiful.

I will often comment on their Facebook page, and a few weeks ago I made some comments about how credit cards, and shopping in general, freak me out. And this week’s podcast topic? SHOPPING! While I wasn’t mentioned by name (by the way, WTF Kevin & David??), I was at least credited as “a listener” in the topic/discussion (which I guess is better than them saying my name and getting it wrong – like calling my Stephanie, which happens all the time. Or Susan.*)

(*Not that I am dissing any Susans out there. It’s a perfectly lovely name! This is TOTALLY related to my husband’s first job. I used to pick him up at work, and the owner’s mom worked the front desk. She would call back – “Dave, Susan’s here!” no matter HOW MANY TIMES I told her my name is Tiffani. Then one day, after like a year of this, one of his co-workers walked by and said, “Hey Tiffani,” and she was like “I thought your name was Susan! Why didn’t you tell me?”… … “It’s a mystery, ma’am.”)

But anyway… the credit card thing. Lemme share with you what I shared with them.

Credit card readers – what the hell? I have one of those chip cards and every freaking place seems to work differently. If I swipe, I need to insert; if I insert, I need to swipe. I’m so convinced the cashiers are thinking, “My GOD, can’t you even work a credit card? Are you stupid or something?” that now I get so stressed that I can’t read any of the stuff that’s written on or near the card reader, so then when I swipe instead of insert and it turns out there’s a HUGE sticker on the thing that says “No Swipe,” I feel EXTRA stupid and awkward so now I’m even MORE neurotic the next time I go to pay for something… It’s a horrible, horrible cycle. Also, it’s ridiculous. I shouldn’t be this damn traumatized by trying to buy a cup of coffee. Grrrr.

I am not amused


And a bonus tidbit about shopping from my fun and paranoid mind!

Items with no price marked – if I see an item I want to buy but the price isn’t marked, I have to immediately decide – am I willing to buy it no matter WHAT it costs? Because otherwise I can’t buy it, because I WILL NOT ask how much it is. I just know if I ask how much it costs, and then decide not to buy it that it makes me look like I can’t afford it … or maybe I shouldn’t even be in the store… or maybe I’m just a cheap bitch making their lives harder because they have to restock this item I have now dragged all the way up to the front of the store…

I even feel acutely uncomfortable when I’m standing in line and the person in front of me at the register is like “How much was that? Never mind, I don’t want it,” sometimes on item after item – not because they’re holding up the line, but because I am embarrassed for them. Ironically these people clearly don’t GIVE A SHIT, but I’m so neurotic about this that I’m freaked out enough for both of us. (There is NO logical to any of this, I know. Ain’t nobody got time to put this much thought into some customer they don’t even know. But welcome to my brain.)

BTW – Where’s my commission?

I feel I should point out that I’m receiving nothing in compensation for my (repeated) mention of Terrifyingly Beautiful – I just really like it and think everyone should give it a listen.

(Though, come to think of it… as many times as have already mentioned them in this blog or on Facebook – I TOTALLY deserve something. Where’s my recompense, Kevin & David??? Show a girl some love. And by love I mean cash. Or Paypal payment. I’m flexible…)

Away we go…

Thanks for Joining Me!

Hello blog, my old friend. This is my third foray into the blog world (though to be fair, my one blog had a very specific focus and “end” date, which I fulfilled, so I don’t think that one should count as against me in some way. Just saying.)  But I’m back, and this time I think, (I hope) it’s to stay!

Why Have We Gathered Here Together?

If you’ve been following me on Facebook (The Tangent Girl Volumes) or Twitter/Instagram (@tangentgrrl)… (and if not, why not?? Go. Go follow or like or whatever – do the thing!)… then you already know I’ve decided to finally make a go at the whole writing thing. I’ve wanted to do it my whole life, and whether it’s because I’m turning forty, or because I spent the better part of the last year staring into the Abyss (and worse, it started staring back), I finally just decided to get off my ass and do it. I may (likely) fall flat on my face, but I’m determined to have fun anyway. I hope you have fun too.

What’s In a Name?

I haven’t explained the whole “Tangent Girl” thing yet, and I figure – it’s time, already!

Asking me a question, or having me tell a story (well – having any kind of conversation with me actually) is a bit… time consuming. Seriously – my psychiatrist makes fun of me for it, it’s so bad.

Despite being an introvert who’s acutely uncomfortable talking with people, I can’t be concise to save my life (though, maybe it’s because I’m an anxious introvert – I cannot stop myself from providing every piece of available information even vaguely related because I’m convinced if I don’t you’ll think what I’m saying is stupid  – or think that I’m stupid… Or worse, you’ll think I’ve said something wrong, or WORSER that I’m wrong. There isn’t anything in the world I’m more afraid of than people thinking I’m wrong. Except actually being wrong. And spiders.) #myanthem

Also, I get easily distracted during conversations and often veer so far off track because I remember something related that – “oh hold on, I totally need to tell you about this”, I cannot for the life of me remember what the hell I was actually saying before heading off into the trees. (I’ve been told this is because I am hypomanic, but I call BS on that – I am far too lazy to be any kind of manic. And if it turns out that my shrink is right and I am manic, but this verbal vortex down the rabbit hole is the only way it manifests, I’ll be seriously pissed off. Where are my bouts of boundless energy and productivity?!?! I got robbed.)

Give Credit Where Credit is Due. (otherwise known as “Just in Case So You Don’t Sue Me”)

I want to thank a couple of folks for inspiring me to do this – –  and AS ALWAYS my husband, Dave, for supporting me and making me actually follow through with it.

The Bloggess

Terrifyingly Beautiful

I highly recommend going and checking out their blogs, books and podcasts (in case you care what I think)

I almost forgot!!!

Meet BETTY! Betty is my totally awesome Emotional Support Fox.

…A least she WOULD be if the State of Maryland didn’t suck…

To learn more, stay tuned for my upcoming book, “Wait, What Were We Talking About” coming out hopefully later this year!

And thanks to Nathan Anderson for the awesome photo of my darling foxy girl.