Sunday, September 14, 2014

Reasons to be cheerful

Andy (my life partner) once started a blog called 'Reasons to be cheerful'. He's a busy man, and it went the way of the California Condor Dodo after only a few posts. Still, it was a good idea for a blog and it's worth paying tribute to it here.

Your fantastic bod
OK, you might wish you had one less stomach roll. Or maybe you can't stand how stretched out your nostrils are due to over-picking (guilty). But all in all, you're in good shape! You can walk, pick things up and lightly tickle your own arm while you watch TV. That ol' jigsaw puzzle of organs, bones and skin seems to be working relatively well.

Different types of weather
Sun is the best one, but other weathers definitely have their moments. And the brilliant part of weather is that it changes. It keeps us on our toes. Makes us vulnerable. Inspires us to relax, and accept. A sudden thunder storm and BOOM—those small stressful thoughts are gone in a flash. Instead, you stare out the window, counting the seconds until the next big bang. Same goes for those first flurries of snow. It's enough to make you stop in your tracks, look around and smile at complete strangers. And I normally can't stand strangers! Powerful stuff.

Margaret & Barbie - The Pear Tree pub during a sudden snow storm - Edinburgh, UK 2010

It literally grows on trees.

Words are practical and entertaining. Especially words in other languages. For example, the German word 'Treppenwitz' ('staircase joke') refers to that perfect comeback—witty and cutting—that you just didn't quite think of in time. It's that genius rebuttal that you never managed to spit out. The origin of the word actually comes from the French phrase l'esprit de l'escalier ('wit of the staircase').

Also, in Czech, 'no' means 'yes'. In other words, you can say "no" when offered another donut, and then act surprised when they bring it to you. "Well, I suppose I have to eat it now, ha ha ha. Gobble, gobble snarff."

Tim Gunn
I've watched enough Project Runway to declare on record that Tim Gunn is the best. He's the most kind-hearted salt-of-the-Earth fellow in the world, or at least in the world of reality TV. For those of you who may not know who he is (I'll refrain from passing judgment), Tim Gunn is a former faculty member of the Parsons School of Design in New York City and has been mentor to the contestants on Project Runway since the show's inception in 2004. The fact that he exists is proof that the world is a good place.

Did y'all see him tear up as the New Zealand guy's dress changed colour on the 'Rainway'? And he was still choked up about it later when the judges got a closer look at the garment! I mean, the guy has the heart of an angel!

Gummy Vitamins
I am still very skeptical about the health benefits of taking vitamins as supplements, but I've recently been reacquainted with the deliciousness that is gummy vitamins. Fun fact, my cousin Martha invented them!

Note: this brand that I have refers to them as calcium 'softies', which I don't love.
Vitamin D 'Softies' 

Sigh, like all potentially great Madgespace posts, this one is going to end prematurely. I make it halfway through a list and then I get bored. I also need to finish up some actual work, make a cup of tea and mentally prepare for the start of a new week.

Your pal,


P.S. Just so that I have it on record (this blog is as much a diary as it is an acclaimed publication, "the voice of a generation", etc.), here's what's currently on my mind:

  • Bed bugs—Did Andy bring them back from Spain? 
  • Scottish independence—Will it happen?
  • Houseboat—We want to live on one when we move to Seattle. 
  • Breath—Not the best following my veggie wrap. Should probably brush again. 
  • Toothpaste—Nearly out, must buy new tube ASAP.
  • 28—The age I almost am. Should have more "savings", but happy I have a bowl cut and a boyfriend. 
  • Tea—I want some. 
  • Posture—Need to work on my hunchback. Yoga is the answer! Yoga yoga yoga. Must do yoga.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

100,000 Views — Let's Party!

Madgespace has eclipsed 100,000 views! (over the course of seven years)

Any excuse to celebrate! (and talk about myself)

Woo hoo! (pretend this photo was taken this evening)

Press play on this bad boy, then read on:

How it all began

In October 2007, about a month after my 21st birthday, Madgespace was born. 

Let's take a look back at my very first blog post, shall we?  It was titled 'Jesus Died for Myspace in Heaven' (based on a t-shirt we spotted in a Spokane mall) and mainly focused on a video of Jesus freaks ('God botherers' if you're British) singing their own special version of 'Baby Got Back'. 

The video doesn't load anymore. But luckily, I remembered it! Found it here. Still hilarious. Still don't like jesus freaks. I stand by everything I said. 

I also talk about dressing up as a turtle for Halloween, an idea that I actually followed through on a few days later:

My Audience

Believe it or not, sometimes people outside my immediate family find their way to Madgespace. I attribute this mainly to the fact that I stole images off the Internet (with no attribution, of course) for the first five years of writing this thing. Google Images is like my own personal marketing agency. 

Anyhoo, by far the most popular search term that brings people here is:

...drumroll please...


Madgespace Quiz

How well do you know this blog? How well do you know me? Take this quiz to find out!

Did I have a parasite or were my symptoms psychosomatic? 

A) Yes! Sabertooth worms everywhere!
B) Definitely psychosomatic
C) We'll never know

In my opinion, what/who does Jillian, the Season 5 Bachelorette, look like? 

A) A Camel
B) Bob Saget
C) Mr. Peanut

Which of these unlikable pop stars am I a fan of? 

A) Ke$ha
B) Miley Cyrus
C) Lady Gaga

What did I win from a Special K cereal box? 

A) Year's supply of cereal
B) Handbag
C) Red dress

Answers: B, A, B, C


By far my favourite Madgespace moment was when I posted a snippet of an email my mom sent me. In it, she explained that she'd come into contact (I forget how/why - probably work related) with a person named 'Feline Grunder'. 

Obviously, this got air time on Madgespace because I love an unusual name! In elementary school my friends and I were obsessed with Miep Gies (the woman who discovered Ann Frank's diary). And I remember my friend Dana's Dad telling us that he'd met a man named Ferd Shneringerd. 

Anyway, Feline must have had a Google Alert set for her (his?) name and she (he?) COMMENTED ON THE POST. I think I panicked, deleted the comment and removed the paragraph from the post. Still, I've never felt so famous and controversial. 

Yikes, it's already 9:55pm. Gotta go. Thanks for reading, and here's to another 100,000!


P.S. Hello, Feline (if you're reading this)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

One small step for man, one giant leap for closet space

On this day, 45 years ago, Lance Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon. There hasn't been a comparable achievement since. Yeah, we've tried—the Internet, smartphones, segways—but nothing can match the moon landing.

What about 3D printing, you say? God damn it. STOP KIDDING YOURSELF.

Man walking on the moon was the coolest thing that's ever happened.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

On July 20th 1969, 600 million people gathered around their TVs and watched a guy bounce across THE MOON. That giant wheel of space cheese! That ancient rock that controls the ocean tides and makes Professor Lupin go berzerk every month. A man flew 250,000 miles up into the sky, parked on moon and got out. It simply doesn't get cooler than that. 

My own personal moon landing

To honour the 45th anniversary of such a historic event, I decided to learn how to fold a fitted sheet. Bottom sheets, with their ridiculous elastic edges, have been a point of contention in my life for as long as I've been doing laundry. The stupid cloth amoebas just ball up in the closet, getting wrinkled and taking up too much space.  

Yesterday, I couldn't take it any longer. It was time to act! 

I found a YouTube video that explained each step of the folding process. I had to watch it a few times and really force myself to pay attention because it was so boring. After a few goes, I'd done it. A perfectly folded fitted sheet.

The result! (I also used this as an opportunity to practice 'smizing')

Believe me, if I can do it, so can you. 

Now what?

When astronauts return to Earth, they often find it hard to adjust to daily life. How can you really take anything seriously after witnessing first-hand just how insignificant we are in the universe?

Now that I've mastered the art of folding a fitted sheet, I face a similar struggle. How should I spend the rest of my weekend?

I've signed up for a yoga class, so I'll go to that in a few hours. I'll check in on the golf to see if Rory McIlroy is still winning. At some point, I'll probably eat some peanut butter.

Over and out, 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The universe is on crack and everyone is terrifying

Today I left the office (still self-employed, just freelancing in an office this week) and emerged into a world of pure chaos. Or at least it felt that way.

Fellow city dwellers, you'll know what I mean.

It's that same feeling you get when you leave a movie theatre and pop out into the mid-day sun. Everything and everyone is moving so quickly. The brightness is jarring. The sound of cars, deafening. A horn honk makes you jump out of your skin. You make eye contact with people and it seems like they know youvery Truman Show.

Old pic, but it works.
So, today I leave the office and narrowly avoid a steaming pile of dog poop. This sets the tone for my walk home. A fire engine squeals past. A homeless woman hollers something indistinct but no doubt aggressive. The traffic lights are about to change so I must scurry across in the nick of time.

A man stops in front of me and signals for me to remove my headphones. "Do you know how to get to Sesame Street?" he asks in a French/Italian/Spanish/Something accent. I respond with a "heh heh" chuckle, but his blank expression doesn't change.  "Oh, an actual Sesame Street? In Edinburgh?" I ask. He nods without any sense of irony. ", I don't. Sorry."

And I run.

Must get home to my pajamas, my laptop, the Real Housewives, a bowl of pretzels, a door that locks and windows that shut.

Ah, that's better.

Now, save your pity. I am not mentally ill. This doesn't happen to me every day. It's just that sometimes, if I let my guard down, the outside world can be super unsettling. If I'm not in the right frame of mind (tired, been working all day, etc.) a series of innocent events can feel like the universe is conspiring against me.

Can you relate?


P.S. Having to say "namaste" is the WORST part of any yoga class.

P.P.S. I know I don't have to say it and that yoga is all about doing whatever's comfortable to you. But still.

P.P.P.S. My experience today made me think of this:

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Woman learns to export Skype video msgs. What happens next will blow your mind.

Hi Everybody (every body. every body. ew, what a weird word)!

It's been a while since I've blogged. Anyway, I think the title of this post speaks for itself.

 (not safe for anyone who isn't in my immediate family)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

My Drug of Choice

I've been thinking about getting another metal-spider-head-scratcher.

You know the ones. They're shaped like a daddy longlegs and made of some sort of copper.

Ever since a stranger sneaked up behind me at the mall and massaged my scalp with one, I was hooked. He was a salesman from one of those 'bizarre useless gadget of the year' kiosks. I should have been creeped out, but the power of the metal spider meant all was forgiven. Whatever or whoever was massaging my headthat could wait. In the meantime, I stood as still as possible and prayed it would never end.

I finally got one to call my own back in 2012 and enjoyed a few fantastic weeks with it. But that wasn't enough. Like an addict always searching for a more intense 'high', I needed it to be better, sharper, SCRATCHIER.

One morning, laughing like a maniac, I ripped the tiny plastic ends off each 'arm' of the bronze contraption. All that was left was raw, sharp metal.

My scalp was practically salivating. Time to try it out!

I pressed the altered scratcher onto my noggin and let 'er rip across my youthful scalp. OH THE PAIN. Chunks of skin, tufts of hair and blood everywhere (don't worry, I'm exaggerating)!

But now enough time has passed that I think I can be trusted with a metal-spider-head-scratcher once again.

Bear with me while I walk to the Camera Obscura gift shop to purchase one...

--- --- ---


Reunited and it feels so good. 


P.S. This new one that I got is silver. But the first one I encountered was brown/bronze/copper-ish. I don't want you to think I don't know the difference between silver coloured things and copper coloured things.
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