15 June, 2006

Magnetic Where?

Someone just asked me a favour, which I'm more than happy to do. I love to do favours for people.

But this favour involves going to a specific place. Again, happy to do it. But this specific place was described to me as "South of X, East of Y." Yeah. That'll get me there.

My parents give directions like this to me all the time. They've known me for 36 years, and yet they'll describe new places in Ft. Wayne to me as being "East of the Colisseum" or "Southwest of the Courthouse." It both irritates me and makes me kind of sad. Because while I respect people who have a built-in compass rose, I am neither a boy scout nor a druid and couldn't tell you compass orientation of general locales if I were tied to the mossy face of an oak.

I have great respect for people who know direction this way and don't need to navigate by landmark. When Tim and I watched the A&E miniseries Longitude* I was in total awe of the gentlemen who discovered a way to slice the globe into bite-size chunks for easier seafaring. But at the same time it was like watching a movie about folks who could lactate out their buttcheeks. While it's obviously a useful skill in certain situations, I find it slightly offputting and hope to never be in the position to need to do it myself. But I admire those who can.

So if you want me to end up someplace on time and in one piece it's best to tell me that it's "just past the Walgreens on the corner." Then again--you might have to be even more specific.

*This was the first movie I saw Michael Gambon in. He was good in this movie. I have no idea what happened to him between Longitude and Goblet of Fire, but it must have been dreadful. Cause goodness knows his version of Dumbledore was a shipwreck.


At 7:43 AM, June 15, 2006, Blogger newscoma said...

I can't get or follow directions to save my life. Around here, it's always "past the tree and Joe Such and Such's house, then you will see a labrador retriever named Buddy in the yard that has the car on blocks right before you turn where there is an old tree that I used to climb as a child."
Like this post. With you.

At 8:59 AM, June 15, 2006, Blogger Michael said...

I still think Tom Baker should have been the new Dumbledore....

At 10:57 AM, June 15, 2006, Anonymous Shauna said...

I'm totally inept with anything regarding orientation or measurement. The only exception was when I lived in Florida, and I knew that East was toward the ocean.

At 11:10 AM, June 15, 2006, Blogger Short and Fat said...

You should have taken the sex change. Men are better at that sort of thing.

At 12:26 PM, June 15, 2006, Blogger Rachel said...

I am similarly afflicted. I could not tell you what is 5 feet east of my behind. I navigate solely by landmarks, and cannot find my way around walking if I've only driven the area, and vice versa. I once spent 2 hours wandering around downtown Atlanta in the summer heat and dress shoes as a result. (Yes, I had a map, and stopped for directions) When I think about how to get somewhere, it's like a video of the trip plays in my mind, but if there are holes in the "footage," I can't do it. I like to tell people a magnet was waved over my brain, and broke my navigation system.

At 1:21 PM, June 15, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

lactate out their buttcheeks??
Okay, that's just too bizarre.

At 1:26 PM, June 15, 2006, Blogger Kat Coble said...

Michael, had we discussed that before? Because I swear I ran around forever shouting that it should be Baker.

Either we discussed it before or you and I are sharing a Dr. Who Hivemind.

S&F, I'll stick with having my husband do the directions.

NC, I actually prefer those kinds of directions because that means that I can generally get there. Without Sacajawea I have no prayer of finding things the old fashioned way.

Anon--lactating out buttcheeks is no more bizarre to me than people who can look around and know exactly where they are on the globe. It freaks me out. I prefer a small degree of obliviousness.

And just incase you all are sitting in judgment of me, nc, Shauna & Rachel, I bet most of us can find our home town on a map and Ireland on a globe so we're not the troglodytes they're forever mocking on The Tonight Show. We're just not self-orientation champions.

At 3:10 PM, June 15, 2006, Blogger SistaSmiff said...

Katherine....dahhhling...did you ever do time in Jolly Old England? You spell like them. Those pretty spellings of "Labour" and "realised."


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