getting your goat

this past week i walked into the middle of a conversation among two of my friends. they had been talking about people they work with and the stress of the summer, and how people can lose their tempers. the main topic though, was about how certain people enjoy aggravating other people and in essence. . . they enjoy ‘getting people’s goats.’

they talked about how certain people are particularly good at getting each of their goats. they gave examples and such, they turned to me and one said that they had seen me angry, but they thought it would be pretty tough to get my goat.

however, after having listened to this conversation for a while, i’d had sort of lost the actual meaning of the phrase. i understood it to mean- annoy someone, but i wanted to also understand what they thought it meant. . .and it seemed like, to them, it also included a pretty good temper tantrum.

i’ve worked for people who have lost their temper. as i see it, there is usually an annoyance that builds up, and the actual temper tantrum is over a detail that isn’t the end of the world, but gets blown out of proportion. i remember losing my temper at basketball camp once. my friend/ roommate had done just one too many things to upset me and i blew up at her, then stormed off. . . in the cafeteria. when it comes to childhood/ teenagers and temper tantrums, there’s no better place then the cafeteria- and ‘storming off’ is imperative. i don’t remember what it was all about, i don’t remember what i said, or what i was angry over. . . but i do remember feeling stupid afterwards. i’m pretty sure i haven’t lost my temper, at least in public, since. yes, i get angry, and very very upset, and i’ve even left a room in order to not blow up or say damaging things. . . but i’m pretty sure that i generally keep my cool. guess i’ll hear from anyone if they feel otherwise. . . anyway. . . i do view other people’s tantrums in a rather darkly comedic sense. maybe not at first, and when their anger is directed at me. . . but with some time, it’s just kind of funny.

one of my mentors/ professors lost her temper regularly around me and the other students. when her anger was at another student in the room, it was just a really uncomfortable situation. . . and when her anger was directed at you directly, it was kind of scary. we had finished an evening of tech, and back in the scene shop i was giving notes to my crew when she loudly approached me. she was wild eyed, yelling, and tugging on her hair. she would approach, yell. . . retreat a bit, and then come straight at me again, saying over and over something about a ‘faculty note’ and when one is given i needed to take it. i had no idea what she was talking about. i was stunned and said nothing. when she finally walked off in a huff, i turned to my crew, finished giving my notes to them and excused them for the night. i might have apologized for the situation since i remember them all looking like ‘dad had just slapped mom across the dinner table.’ i then walked into the electrics storage room, kicked a couple of shelves, cried, and called my parents. as it turns out, she was upset about a note that i was never given. in the end, i had written a letter- since i don’t speak well when i’m upset. . . asking her what it was all about and apologizing that she felt i was undermining her authority and the integrity of the show, when in reality i was working my ass off. we sat in her office and discussed it. she apologized and explained that it had been a miscommunication between her and another staff member. i always thought it would’ve been nicer for her to have apologized to me in front of my crew, since she seemed it was necessary to wrongly berate me in front of them. but we don’t always get what we want. . .

(does that mean she got her own goat?)

on another occasion, this time in undergrad. . . i was working with a designer as his painter. we’d both put some long hours into his show. we were arriving at the scene shop to continue painting the set. the entire ride over he was talking about this color he had mixed earlier. it had taken him hours to mix this ‘perfect blue’ for one area of the set. he seemed really proud, and i had built up in my mind that this blue must be just spectacular. he then made a comment about being worried that the paint class kids might think it was there to use and may have tampered with it. we walked in and started to prepare. he pulled out all the cans he had set aside and then had trouble finding his blue. he got more and more angry, and the exploded when he found the can mixed in - not with the show colors- but with the class colors. he had made a full can of the color, and there was only about 2 inches left at the bottom of the can. he really lost it. he started tearing through the canvases that the classes were working on, in search of the people who had used it. he was yelling, cursing up a storm, and then canvases, paint can lids, and paint cans started ricocheting off the cement block walls. i picked up the paint can that only had a little left. i took a close look at a sample of it and then started mixing colors. (i’m actually kinda good at mixing colors, or at least i always thought i was) i figured out the mixture and then made a whole new batch. the designer was still busy searching and raving. about ten minutes in i brought his can and my can over to him for his approval. . . this impossible mixture that had taken him hours, took me minutes, minutes that he wasted making a mess and being noisy. my paint was a perfect match according to his design eye, and we were able to pick up where we left off.

either way, i don’t get the reaction. or at least, i don’t seem to share the need to explode in such a way. i tend to deal in sarcasm, glares, and silence. . . probably not any less childish. . . but less silly looking. . . and less to mock or mimic behind closed doors later.

anyway, back to the goats.

after listening to their stories, i had kind of lost the meaning of, ‘get your goat.’ this became a fun place to be since each time they said it, and they said it A LOT, i envisioned each person having an actual goat, and someone else just taking it.

“ah man, that time he really got my goat.”

“i know how to get your goat, i’m pretty good at it.”

“i wish she didn’t get my goat so often.”

i just started laughing, and then had to explain. . . then i thought, in the spirit of schadenfreude (taking pleasure in some one else’s pain- or in this case, anger. . . thank you dr. john coffee. . . and avenue q) wouldn’t it be fantastic if we each carried a few tiny plastic goats, like charms. and each time someone really upset you, instead of blowing up, you just kind of shook it off, laughed to yourself, and then handed that person one of the goats. the idea kind of grew from that into a contest where whomever had the most goats by then end of the summer would be the winner! of being a dick! and having talent in goat getting.

since i had temporarily lost the meaning and we had discussed it, i then needed to find out the etymology. what is with this ‘goat getting.’

so, of course i googled it. (i also have a book that deals with such things, but the reason in the book is the same reason that is denied on some website. . . so here you go)

: : I know "get your goat" means to annoy someone, but does anyone know the derivation of this phrase?
: There is one theory, espoused by H.L. Mencken among others, that ties the phrase to the world of horse racing. It used to be common practice, goes this theory, to stable goats with race horses, trainers believing that the mere presence of the goats would help keep the excitable thoroughbreds calm. If an unscrupulous gambler were to arrange for the removal of a certain goat from a certain horse's stall the day before a race, the horse might be so flustered by the absence of its hircine pal that it would lose the race. The gambler would thus have "gotten the horse's goat."
: Unfortunately, the first occurrence of the phrase in print, according to the Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, was in 1908. Since goats are no longer (if they ever were) housed with race horses, the practice must have arisen near the beginning of the 20th century -- and been abandoned shortly thereafter -- for that theory to be true.
: A more likely origin of the phrase lies in an earlier (1904) citation in the Random House dictionary, for "goat" as prison slang for "anger." I think this may be the key. After all, goats do, with much provocation, get angry. To bring out the "goat" in someone may take some doing, but will eventually have dramatic results.
thanks. . . goat meaning

i think i would take a lot of provocation. and i don’t know where my breaking point is. . . or IF it is. but i’m really into this goat charm idea. . . just sounds like fun. . . and the idea that handing someone a plastic toy goat. . . someone who has been working to ‘get your goat’- but not in such the literal sense. . . may turn the tables on them, and get their goat.

yeah. . . i like that A LOT!

oh but wait! after they receive your goat, and if it does upset them, does that just mean they have to hand the goat back? oh, this could get confusing. . . but still fun!

ok gotta go.


canton movie sign

canton movie sign
Originally uploaded by ekissam.

well. . . i got home for the holidays. and we even had a white christmas. . . which doesn't exist out here in santa fe! though truly, it wasn't as cold as it should've been in ny either.
while toodling around we passed by a local movie theatre that read as followed on the sign.
you know. . . they really should post the reply as well. . . so as not to keep us all in suspense. mom. . . you'll have to let me know if it's posted.

hope everyone had a fantastic holiday and happy new year!


Originally uploaded by ekissam.

while home mom and i made a day trip out of a drive to lake placid. my real intentions. . . were to get to this book store, where one can receive their change in 2 dollar bills. . . . yep. . . my existance is a little lacking in the excitement department. . . but i got a 2 dollar bill. . . and i bet you don't. HA!


Originally uploaded by ekissam.

today i was working with a handful of people in the los alamos library/ gallery. we were setting up a showing of props and pictures to kick off our 50th year celebration. suddenly.. . . i noticed a bizarre shadow on the wall. . . . WHAT COULD IT BE?


Originally uploaded by ekissam.

in other news today. r2 made it to santa fe safely, and was spending time checking out the pad, ant traps and all. . . for those of you unfamiliar, my parents got me this moving, talking, responding r2 unit for christmas. . . it was an amazing surprise. and well, finally gave me something i though i have always deserved. . . a sidekick.

i think he'll be coming to work for a couple of days. . . separation anxiety and all. . .


Originally uploaded by ekissam.

why. . . it's me, in a turandot headpiece. this particular piece was worn by the emperor. . . as his crown i guess. . . but it's freaking cool looking. you kinda want it to operate like a puppet. and it kinda reminds me of mooshu. . . or however you spell it. . . the dragon from mulan.