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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

My second vlog is my best one yet!!!!


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Rainbow of pantsuits

Gee whiz. You open your laptop to write a blog and before you know it you're knee deep in Borat clips on YouTube. Hours have passed. It's now dark outside. My leg is numb from this weird position I'm sitting in. Oh Internet, you little devil you. Come back here with my precious time.

Back to the matter at hand. I was listening to 'The Takeaway' on NPR today (yep - I'm smart) and it was all about Hillary Clinton's wardrobe.

As you'd expect, the whole segment was terrible. They interviewed a lady named Robin Givhan who is the Pulitzer-Prize-winning fashion editor for The Washington Post. She talked about how Hil first started to wear pantsuits back when she was first lady.

"You could almost hear the sigh of relief when she finally said, 'enough with these pink skirtsuits and headbands!'"

Did you almost hear the sigh? I didn't almost hear the sigh, but I'll take Robin's word for it.

Then she goes on to talk about how Hillary took things a step further during her senate run, choosing to wear only a black pantsuit as a sort of uniform.

"It gave her the same kind of freedom that a dark suit gives men, which is that it took the conversation of clothing off the table."

Well, it obviously didn't take the conversation of clothing off the table completely. You are, after all, currently discussing her clothing on national radio right now.

Robin continues:

"When she ran for president the first time and had that rainbow of pantsuits, I think to some degree she was again sort of struggling with this idea of power and femininity, and 'how much can I embrace being a woman and declare that as part of my campaign."

What the actual F.

I highly doubt Hillary Clinton was agonizing over which shade of pantsuit portrayed the right level of femininity.

My main problem with this—what made me want to scrape my ear drums out with a rusty spoon—was the way that they tried to frame the typical 'fluff piece on a female politician's clothing' into some sort of enlightening feminist thinkpiece. Come on, NPR. Just admit that you wanted to talk about Hilary's pantsuits because they're funny. Don't try to make it deeper than that.


Now that's more like it!  No, it's not a traditional costume from East Asia. It's the actual coat she wore over her actual dress to the actual 1993 Inaugural Ball.

Image by Henry Dunay via Wikimedia Commons

See ya,

P.S. I mean, I love Project Runway as much as the next guy, but there's a Pulitzer Prize for fashion writing? Really? OK, that's fine. Fashion is art. Fine! I get it. It's OK. Nevermind.

P.P.S. Did you know that Hillary Clinton watches 'Real Housewives of New York'? My source: Dorinda Medley (so take it with a grain of salt)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Hey peers, we're bad at socializing now.

I've noticed something. Us late-20-somethings, we're bad at socializing now. We were so good at it back in college! We were ice-breaker experts. Conversation flowed like Biggie's rhymes. First-time acquaintances became instant friends. Everyone was awesome. Every night ended in multiple Facebook friend requests.

Things are tougher nowadays. The chat is sluggish. People already have enough friends. It's been a long week. They're sleepy. They have to get up early the next day. Etcetera, etcetera.

In fact, I've determined that our declining social skills boil down to five reasons:

1. We're out of practice
This is the most obvious reason. We're simply out of practice. Busier schedules and longer commutes have resulted in far fewer social gatherings than the college years. We've lost our mojo.

2. We have fewer common touch-points
There used to be so much to talk about. "Did you see those guys who made the giant slip 'n slide out in the courtyard earlier?" "Yep!" "Did you hear that those two broke up?" "Yes, can you believe it?" "Did you go out last night?" "Yeah, we were at the 80s party."

That's the way it used to be! Conversations were like an improv show. We 'yes-anded' the night away. When you live within a one-mile radius of everyone at the gathering, you have more things in common. There's more to talk about. Thus, talking to people is easier.

3. We know 'work' is a lame topic, but it's 80% of our lives now
People don't want to talk about work, and I hate asking them about it. But after a few awkward pauses I'm forced to jump in with, "So how's work going?" We're all a bit depressed it's come to that, but also relieved that the pause is over.

(I've heard the same is true of people with kids not wanting to talk about kids all the time but resorting to it eventually because it's all they have.)

4. We just don't care as much
This is a huge problem. I'm guilty of this more than any of the other reasons in this list. I JUST DON'T CARE. I can't feign interest like I used to.

5. One bad apple spoils the whole bunch
One of the reasons social gatherings feel more difficult, even for us schmucks who still try to make an effort, is that the really terrible people—'conversational handbrakes' as Andy calls them—simply limit the possibilities for everyone. It's like what Top Chef Head Judge Tom Colicchio says about seasoning: if you combine a perfectly seasoned ingredient with a bland ingredient, the net result is bland. Even the finest raconteur can't save a party full of duds.


P.S. I'm the best!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Spotlight on the searchlight

Spotlights, or 'searchlights' as Google informs me is the more common terminology, have baffled me my whole life. You'll be driving around at night and there one is—a giant beam, gyrating across the night sky.

Where is it coming from? Probably a car dealership.

Is it effective? When people see one, do they stop everything, pull off the nearest exit and weave through the city streets until they find the source? Upon arriving at the car dealership, do they shuffle like zombies to the front entrance chanting 'must buy car, must buy car' and knock on the door of the dark office until the secretary arrives in the morning?

Thomas Edison with his searchlight cart.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

As the co-founder of a marketing agency, I naturally wonder about return on investment. Do searchlights bring in enough custom to cover the rental and electricity costs? Do dealerships measure this in anyway? Do they ask customers to fill in a brief survey on how they heard about the dealership: word of mouth, Google, newspaper ad, leaflet or searchlight?

Do you need a permit to operate a searchlight? That, I think I can answer. Please refer to Section B, Paragraph B of your Seattle Sign Regulation Handbook.

B. In addition to the signs described in subsection A of this section above, commercial or noncommercial messages may be displayed for a total of four (4) fourteen (14) consecutive day periods a calendar year; these additional four (4) periods are the maximum, whether the message is the same message or a different message. These messages may be displayed on banners, streamers, strings of pennants, fabric signs, festoons of lights, flags, wind-animated objects, rigid signs, balloons, searchlights, portable signs attached to vehicles, or devices of a carnival nature, and shall be allowed as temporary signs in all zones. 

Looks like you're free to use one, as long as it's only for 14 days at a time, a maximum of four times a year.

Lots to think about.

Sweet dreams,

P.S. Low fat yogurt can burn in Hell.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Man, who invited Buzzkill Bieber?

Andy and I were about to go to a concert (known to youths as a "gig") this evening when—BAM—I got a severe stomach ache. We were at the bus stop when it hit me. The thought of being far away from my home toilet was too much to bear. We went back to the apartment, I got in the bath and Andy gave the tickets away on Reddit.

We consoled ourselves by thinking of how much fun the lucky recipient—a broke college student—must be having. We remember the time when strangers gave us their extra tickets to Alcatraz. It was so kind. Now we've made good with the universe.


Universe. My mom hates the word. Not so much the word itself, but how people toss it around willy-nilly for their ambiguous spiritual statements. It's filler. "I'm sending positive thoughts into the universe" is the new "boy, some weather we're having."

She's tired of it. I can't say I blame her.

Switching gears, who is your celebrity look alike? I've been told Ally Hilfiger (star of MTV's "Rich Girls", Tommy Hilfiger's daughter and current Chronic Lyme Disease sufferer along with Yolanda and Avril) and Kimberly J. Brown, the girl from the Disney Channel original movie "Halloween Town".

I can see it. Except that girl has a butt chin and I don't.

Oh god, I just realized that I've blogged about this before. I've officially run out of things to say.

Happy almost Halloween,


P.S. Woops, almost forgot the reason why you clicked on this post! Here you go, behold the world's most uptight popstar:

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Things I don't understand

I picked my nose after dicing a jalepeno pepper and paid the price. Right now, as I type this, my right nostril is burning like charcoal and my eye is raining hot acid tears.

Perhaps Skeegles is punishing me for nose-picking. I've tried so hard to quit, particularly now that I live in an apartment with so much passing foot traffic outside the living room windows, but it's just so hardwired in me. I've been picking since I was a child! I picked in the womb!

OK, enough smalltalk. The 'meat' of this post is going to be a list of things I don't understand.

Things I don't understand:

  • How the Internet works
  • Why operas are considered good
  • Justin Bieber's popularity (I love 99% of pop music, but have never liked his songs)
  • Gaucho pants
  • Space
  • Fire
  • How glass is actually just hot sand
  • The stock market

Stocks! Shares! Bonds! Currency! Derivatives!
Sell! Buy! Buy! Sell!
Ding-a-ling-a-ling! Money money money!
Computer screens!
Hand gestures!


P.S. Skeegles is the name of the divine being, the universal lifeforce, the prime mover, the Creator, Yahweh, Lord, God—whatever you want to call it—in the religion my friends and I made up back in sixth grade. But as an avid Madgespace reader, you should know that by now.

P.P.S. What happens if you lie when someone asks you to 'swear on Skeegles'? If caught, you must shave off your eyebrows.

All aboard!

Today I peaked behind a curtain I wish I hadn't. I saw the train conductor perform an announcement over the loudspeaker—FROM THE TRAIN KITCHEN.

Naturally, I was appalled. I'd always assumed the trusty voice overhead was coming from the control room, from the man behind the wheel. But all this time it was one of his colleagues speaking into a plastic phone next to a crockpot of Ivar's clam chowder.

It gets worse. After the announcement, the guy walks by my table, grabs my empty pretzel bag and throws it away for me! First he uses a tiny train kitchen as communications HQ, then he fills in as train janitor! I was embarrassed and ashamed that someone in such a respected role—locomotive engineer—was cleaning up my trash.

He should be:
...Autographing a child's toy steam engine
...Ringing a bell and waving to fellow conductors in passing trains
...Getting a bronze statue of him erected in his hometown
...Shouting 'All aboard!' and then helping a lady in white gloves with a circle-shaped purse hop on the train at the last second

NOT going home with pretzel grease on his hands, uniform stinking of Ivar's clam chowder.

Image by Ben Schumin via Wikimedia Commons


P.S. The thoughts I expressed above occurred in my brain over a two-second timeframe. It's amazing how much the brain processes in so little time. Writing the thoughts down took at least 10 times longer than my brain spent creating then. And now that I've taken the time to write them down, I'm not sure it was worthwhile. Oh well.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Sock tales

Do you sleep with your socks on?

I don't, but sometimes I make myself just so I can have the satisfaction of kicking them off in the middle of the night.

If the thought of sleeping in socks makes your skin crawl, get this: my friend Igor doesn't just sleep in them, he tucks his pyjama bottoms into them. No exposed ankles allowed.

"The earliest known surviving pair of socks, created by naalbinding. Dating from 300-500, these were excavated from Oxyrhynchus on the Nile in Egypt. The split toes were designed for use with sandals." - Wikipedia

Image by David Jackson via Wikimedia Commons

Here's some real talk: forget the cool side of the pillow—how about no pillow at all? That's right. Andy and I have both soured on pillows over the past few years. We may start the night with our heads atop the suffocating feather sacks, but eventually they wind up at the foot of the bed or tucked under our arms like teddy bears. There's nothing quite like feeling your cheek against the cold, firm mattress. Try it sometime.


P.S. One of the biggest flaws of this blog is that it only contains the last thing that pops into my mind right before I go to bed. That's why so much of it revolves around sleep, tiredness and Real Housewives.

But I want to be better. As of tomorrow I will start taking notes on the many blog ideas I have throughout the day.

I'll write about the time I fell off a bridge into a creek during a family hike, how my dad jumped in to save me and how my mom, unaware of the circumstances, fell in shortly after his heroic jump.

I'll write about the time my mom, cousin Martha, cousin Joe and I applied to be on the Amazing Race 'Groups' edition. We filmed ourselves describing how much we would butt heads. A friend of a friend edited it in his high school video production class and then we sent the VHS off to Los Angeles in a padded manila envelope. We never heard back, but it was the reason I got a passport—you had to have one in order to apply.

I'll write about my true thoughts on weddings.

I'll mourn the Nordstorm Brass Plum of yesteryear.

I'll write about how getting a Master's in Theology turned me into an atheist.

I'll choose one housewife from each franchise to transfer to another housewife city and describe why I think they'd thrive in their new home.

I'll talk about my fascination with mass hysteria like the Salem Witch Trials and the Dancing Plague of 1518.

I'll post old snaps and video from my childhood.

I'll share my family's secret 'cream cheese dip' recipe.

I'll give away another festive hat.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Dogs, Driving & Potstickers

When people walk their dogs around Green Lake they stop and pause to let the precious pooches sniff other canines passing by. The owners don't talk; they just pause for several seconds as their animals give one another a big ol' sniff.

If you're a dog owner, this isn't interesting. If you aren't, it's a very funny thing to observe.

Speaking of dogs, Andy (haha) drove a car today! First time driving in America as an official resident. A few things:

  • We aren't sure why, but it's totally OK for him to drive a Car2Go with a British license. Seems wrong to me, but hey, I'm not questioning it. 
  • When people who are used to driving on the left side (Brits, Irish, Bhutanese, etc.) drive on the right side, they always want to hug the shoulder. For whatever reason, they feel like they're about to hit the cars on the left, so they constantly drift into the right lane / shoulder. Without a local barking at them from the passenger seat, they would hit a guardrail 80% of the time. 
  • Supervising Andy's US driving is the only time I'm able to nag him and get away with it. I'm LOVING IT. 

Speaking of loving things, I used to go ape for potstickers when I was in junior high. Got two bags of them from PCC for dinner tonight—not as good as I remember. 


P.S. Was anyone else already sick of Back To The Future Day by about 9:30am this morning? Jeez. Sometimes the Internet can really beat a dead horse. I'm not looking forward to what it makes of Beat a Dead Horse Day (April 15th 2018). 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

From the Archives, Edition 12

For this edition of 'From the Archives', please enjoy not one but TWO g-chats with my sister Anna from back in 2011.

10:44 AM me: neigh, what are your thoughts on skinny jeans with heels
  i am thinking about it
 Anna: i have done it
 me: ok
  i may do it tonight
10:45 AM my other jeans are too long
 Anna: it took a lot to get me to walk out the door in that, but all my friends said its hard to get used to looking at yourself like that but it looks good to others
 me: ok, good to know
 Anna: too long for heels?
 me: haha
  insanely long
  ive worn them like twice
 Anna: must hem
 me: they're from years ago
  i will
  project for the weekend
 Anna: indeed
 me: alright, going to eat dinner then it's off to the pub
 Anna: tootles
  have fun

12:57 PM me: it's going to cost a shite-load to get a frickin crown on my tooth!
 Anna: I thought everything was free overthere
12:58 PM me: The NHS only covers gold crowns
  and my tooth is visable
  so I will have to pay private costs
 Anna: yuck
  how much?
 me: Well, it seems to vary
  I can't get a straight answer from the internet so I am going to shop around and call my dentist to find out
12:59 PM but it's at least 100 pounds
  maybe more like 300
 Anna: barf
  i guess you have to do it though
 me: yeah, I don't know why they didn't just give me a crown today
  i guess they want to make sure the root canal worked
 Anna: they did that with me too when i had mine
1:00 PM temperary, and then go back in a few weeks for the crown
  is the pain gone?
 me: well, I didn't get a temporary
  just got a root canal, then a filling
 Anna: oh
 me: and then I guess they'll have to wittle it down and give me a crown
  or something
 Anna: hmmm
 me: who knows
 Anna: that might be right
  i can't remember
1:01 PM hate tooth problems
 me: i had to pay 67 for the root canal
  it's been such a pain- over three weeks of horrible toothache and this was the fourth time i've been to the dentist
  and i can never get any work done on dentist days
  oh well
 Anna: ick
 me: i just hope it worked
 Anna: you will have to write a lot to cover that
1:02 PM me: yep
  and i need to buy my flight
 Anna: pull an all nighter and just write like 20
 me: yeah, i need to
 Anna: i heard flights are pricey right now because of high oil prices
 me: yeah, they are
1:03 PM Anna: and gadafi
 me: the are up another 100 pounds from when I last checked
 Anna: atleast you have malta
 me: i am excited
 Anna: should be fun
  if you need to borrow $ let me know
 me: no, I'm ok
 Anna: barrow or borrow
  how do you spell that
 me: borrow
  barrow is wheelbarrow
 Anna: barrow is kenmore accent
1:04 PM me: gotta love the k-town accent
 Anna: heard you and C were getting pedis
 me: yeah, andy won a 20 pound voucher at this Edinburgh University event
  and they are 10 pounds each
 Anna: thats awesome
 me: going right before the flight
 Anna: fun
  such a treat
1:05 PM me: yeah, my nails are gross
 Anna: ditto
 me: how's alex's ski?
 Anna: broken
  how did you know
  he got new ones
 me: his brother's facebook status
 Anna: his friend who owns a ski shop gave him 50% off
  i see
1:06 PM   
  played rebecca black for dad
  he went into shock
1:08 PM me: haha
  has he never heard anything that bad?
 Anna: no
  he could not get over it
  we were all watching the UW basketball game
  and I would hear him singing it under his breath
  friday friday friday
1:09 PM and then he would complain about how horrible it was
 me: hahaha
  it is really captivating
  something about her smile
 Anna: i got to show it to F & Carly for the first time too
  they loved it
 me: it really gets stuck in your head
  I love when she explains that thursday was yesterday
  and saturday is tomrrow
 Anna: best part
 me: haha
1:10 PM Anna: so literal
 me: just when you think it could not get any simplier
 Anna: hilarious
  when are you going to try and come home?
 me: me: mid july through mid sept
  andy: mid july through mid august
 Anna: well- we are goine July 8-29 if you want to house sit for us
1:11 PM and by house sit i mean stay there
1:12 PM me: that would be fab
  are you getting excited yet?
  or does it seem far away?
 Anna: kinda
  it still seems far away
  but its not that far
1:14 PM me: no, it's not
  it's going to be amazing
1:15 PM Anna: i can't wait
 me: you do have to climb a mountain...
  but that will be rewarding
 Anna: its going to be hard
1:16 PM but
 me: you're in shape
 Anna: you never know with the elevation though
 me: don't watch Everest before you go
 Anna: no shite
  when is your 1/2 marathon
 me: end of May I think
  how was the one you ran?
1:17 PM Anna: good- more hills then i remember
  but i had a really good time
  good I guess
  i am so sore now
 me: what a great feeling to have it over and done with
 Anna: so nice
1:18 PM not to think about it anymore
1:20 PM me: going to make linguini! ta!


P.S. I made a conscious choice not to care about the Seahawks this year and it's really paid off! From what I've heard, they're bad now.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Canada Actually

Have you ever seen part of a tree branch—sawed on each side—resting perfectly between two telephone wires?

I'm not sure if it's a common phenomenon, but there are two examples of this in the Arrowhead neighborhood of Kenmore, Washington alone. And boy is it captivating. How do the tree-branch-chunks end up trapped between the wires? Why didn't the tree cutters remove it, along with the rest of the branch? How have the chunks not fallen down in a wind storm?

If you don't have a clue what I'm talking about, that's OK. I have a SECOND topic for tonight's blog post.

The other topic...POLITICS!

Stephen Harper's nine-year reign as Canadian prime minister is over. And the new guy, Liberal party leader Justin Trudeau, is a hunk! Look at him! Looks like he could star alongside Kate Hudson in a rom-com aimed at 30-somethings. I mean, his name is Justin. Canada's fate is now in the hands of a guy named Justin. I love it. The future is now.

Sorry, ladies - he's taken!

Image by Jean-Marc Carisse via Wikimedia Common

Also, his dad was once the Canadian prime minister back in the day, which makes this election pretty historic. However, it seems his family connections were only incidental in his victory. The main reason he won is that people are sick of Stephen Harper. Nine years is probably enough. (That said, Canada's longest reigning PM was in office for 21 years!)

In other political news, Joe Biden—this country's hunkiest politician—is expected to announce his bid for presidency any minute now.


P.S. It's always so embarrassing when you can't remember the Canadian leader's name and you're talking to a Canadian. Do yourself a favor and memorize it right now. Repeat it 10 times to yourself:

Justin Trudeau
Justin Trudeau
Justin Trudeau
Justin Trudeau
Justin Trudeau
Justin Trudeau
Justin Trudeau
Justin Trudeau
Justin Trudeau
Justin Trudeau

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