Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Addleman and addled man

Old man in wheelchair story #1

Yesterday, at BECU, Andy and I overheard an old man in a wheelchair chatting with a clerk about his business plan. His name was Addleman. Full name, potentially Addleman Addleman. We'd observed him entering it for both 'first name' and 'last name' in the self-service check-in before wheeling over to the waiting area.

Addleman was applying for a business bank account and explaining the nonprofit he was planning to start—a segregated community for sex offenders. How it would work is that sex offenders would no longer sit in prisons wasting tax payer's precious money (we foot the bill for their food, their healthcare, everything!), but instead they would be sent to live in a quarantined colony of other sex offenders, forced to create their own economy and societal structure with help from the nonprofit's donated funds.

"I don't expect it to be successful in my lifetime," Addlman told the clerk. Not a ringing endorsement, but you have to respect the honesty.



Old man in wheelchair story #2

This morning Andy caught a bus from 3rd Ave and James St. It was due at 12:28pm, so at half past when it hadn't arrived, he started to worry.

Suspecting he may have jotted down the times wrong, he walked over to the side of the bus stop to view the scheduled stops. An old man in a wheelchair was positioned in front of the timetable, forcing Andy to stand to the side and lean across to check the times.

"GET THE F--K AWAY FROM ME!" the man shouted.

"Sorry, I'm just trying to view the bus times," Andy said.

"OH, SORRY MAN! I'M JUST RURRRL PARANOID."

"Er, no problem"

Just then, the bus arrived. Both Andy and the man in the wheelchair got on. He apologized again. "SORRY ABOUT THAT MAN. YOU KNOW, JUST PARANOID!"

 Andy accepted his apology and all was forgiven.


In related news, isn't life interesting?

Goodnight,
Margaret

Monday, August 31, 2015

New-found appreciation for the straight man

Today Andy and I walked up the hill to Great Clips to get our ears lowered. No appointments. Just a couple of walk-ins looking for a budget cut.

Naturally, I was nervous. This bowl is my identity/personality substitute. What would I be without this iconic hairstyle that I hang my new hat from Target on? But alas, I needed a cut bad. I was willing to risk it.

Image via Wikimedia Commons
To my horror, the worst-case scenario happened. There to greet me, scissors in hand, was a STRAIGHT MAN. He didn't want to chat about 'my look', or what style I was going for. I tried to explain, but before I knew it he was hacking away, having barely bothered to spritz my hair with a spray bottle.

Despite my misgivings, the guy seemed to know what he was doing. After about 7 minutes, I had a solid, 7 out of 10 bowl cut and was—get this—just $20 lighter (including tip).

Let this be a reminder to us all that, for as much grief as we give them, straight men do have value in society. They can indeed be creative, many have fine motor skills, and I actually think a good amount are capable of multi-tasking.

So, on this Monday evening, let's raise a toast to the straight men in our lives who deserve more than being the butt of the joke in 'smug mom' commercials on TV. After all, Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, Jesus, David Beckham—all straight men!

Yours truly,

Nargaret

P.S. An extra thanks goes to Andy Williamson who typed this post out while I dictated it. I am under the weather and incapable of staring at a computer screen. Thanks, Andy.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Best laid plans

After a week in Seaside, Andy and I are back in our cozy apartment on Alki. He's assembling a shoe rack. I have a tea towel tied around my head like Rosie the Riveter (bowl cut has grown horribly long and is poking me in the eyes.)

I don't have any ideas for what to write tonight. I'm tired and my ear/nose/throat canals are unusually dry. Itchy dry. Uncomfortable.



So, instead of the usual highly entertaining post, I'm going to lay out my plans for the future. Here it goes.

Short term

  • Put the duvet cover on the duvet (ugh - the worst).
  • Get a haircut.
  • Take the Amazon boxes out to the recycling. 
  • Watch the latest America's Next Top Model. 


Medium term

  • Continue to blog 'every day' after my Year-28 Challenge ends, except give myself the weekends off. 
  • Buy a conehead Halloween costume, for old time's sake. 
  • Buy a rug. 
  • Buy a mini, indoor palm tree.
  • Get a response from an A-list celebrity on Twitter. 


Long term

  • Go to Japan. 
  • Raise a litter of children, one of whom trains as a massage therapist. 
  • Put sunscreen on Andy's bald head every summer until he dies. 

Monday tomorrow. Let's make it a productive one. Drink lots of coffee. Treat yourself to a chilled Kit-Kat in the afternoon. You know the drill. 

Love,
Margaret

P.S. Are you Team Miley or Team Nicki? I think it's obvious whose team I'm on. 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

From the Archives, Edition 11

An entry in the Seaside guestbook, written by my mom in 1985. That's before the Margaret years, if you can even imagine such a time. 



    *                      *                    *


4-15-85

Arrived this afternoon with my four munchkins! Wonderful travelers! (translation: they all slept) We celebrated with a chocolate/vanilla swirl soft ice cream cone at Astoria. 

Max Kay said, over and over again, from the moment we got here, "It's so strange without Grandma Martha here. It's so strange." 

It peaked right at bedtime, when he burst out crying. "It's just that it's my first time here without her. It's so strange."

He's homesick for Martha, his Seaside mama. They all love you so. Anna commented at every Pig 'n Pancake billboard along the route, "Now Grandma Martha just loves the Pig. She even might walk up there with me and we could have pancakes. I bet she has orange marmalade on hers."

Char and Francie are two years old now, the absolute sweetest gals in the town. They lay fast asleep now, together in the bottom bunk, all curled up, holding onto each other's pacifier. The very best of friends. 

It's great to be back. First time in years that I've been here without a crowd. The kids are great—I am enjoying them immensely. (They're all sleeeping! Aha!)

Nan

    *                      *                    *

Yours,
Margaret

Friday, August 28, 2015

When Time Hop gets ugly

There's this app called Time Hop that shows you what you were up to (your online activity) on this day a year, five years, eight years, ten years ago, etc. OF COURSE, you already know that. I'm not trying to be patronizing. The Madgespace audience covers a wide age demographic, and it's better to over-explain than leave my older constituents in the dark.

Anyway, Time Hop usually uncovers a super cute photo from back in the skinny, no-wrinkles days. It's a heartwarming walk down memory lane.

Today, however, things weren't so rosy.

Today, my sister Anna's Time Hop decided to take this unfortunate Facebook status out of mothballs:



So many questions. 

What in particular did Sara Bareilles do to move Anna in such a profound way? Was it a certain song? A music video? A TV interview?

To be fair to Anna, people used to treat their Facebook statuses a lot more like Twitter. Remember that? You could just update your status with any innane thought that popped into your head. For a while there, back in the early days, every status had to complete the sentence "I am..." It was wild. People's statuses would be like, "hating life right now because I have a test in the morning and haven't studied at all!!!!!!!111" or "pooping - lol."

Welp, that's me done blogging for the night. I promised myself I'd do a seven minute workout before bed. Bring on the wall-sits!

LYMI, 
Margaret

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Book chat

We went to a bookstore today. Andy's been reading a book called 'American Generalship — Character is Everything: The Art of Command' and he was in the market for something a little less dull. He ended up choosing a book on the history of salt.

Save the occasional classic novel (e.g. 'Jude the Obscure') Andy only reads nonfiction. My dad is a sucker for mysteries. My mom, sistahs and I love memoirs. Max seems to enjoy a blend of all three.

I've never read a self-help book, but today I had an idea for one I'd like to write. Along the lines of Brian Griffin's 'Wish it. Want it. Do it.'

Title: 
'Grow Up — How to stop whining and start winning' 

Introduction: 
It's commonly thought that those who go into psychology and/or write self-help books are the craziest people of all. I don't dispute that. Believe me, I'm right there with you. In the weeds. In fact, this probably isn't even allowed in the self-help section. I'm guessing you found it tucked away behind the clearance calendars. 

However, what I can offer are a few tricks that have helped me find peace in this bizarre experience we call life (Or have they helped me? Jury's still out). 

Middle bit:
TBD

Conclusion: 
Ignore 70% of the negative feelings you have. Most aren't valid. Remember to eat regularly. Spend time with toddlers and the elderly. Go to either a beach or a forest once a week. 


Image via Wikia.com


Don't you think people would appreciate the honesty and buy it?

Later,
Margaret

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Battle of the sand people

Anna witnessed a fight between the Seaside sand people. It's funny because, shortly before she recounted the tale, Andy had remarked to me, "Isn't it peculiar that there is a community of tramps who build sandcastles for money?" (NOTE: tramps is an acceptable term in Britain. News anchors say it.)

Anyway, what Anna saw is this: A guy starts destroying someone else's elaborate sand sculpture. He thrashes his arms across it and really tears through it. Then another guy comes over to defend the sculpture, using his body as a shield. Fists start flying, more people get involved, a crowd gathers—it was a real scene, she says.

Then, an old guy on the sidelines turns to her and says, "Well, I guess this is what happens when you drink all day."

"Yes, you're probably right," Anna says back.

In other Seaside news, Andy and I had a #datenight this evening. We did everything.
  • Got ice cream
  • Played in the arcade
  • Did the photo booth
  • Played crazy golf (Ten Tiny Tees)
  • Went on the Tilt-a-Whirl
And we did it all in less than an hour. 



Now it's time to stream the RHONY reunion using my phone as a hotspot. Goodbye data, it was nice knowin' ya. 

Your best friend, 

Margaret


Monday, August 24, 2015

Remember that crazy astronaut...

...who wore drove from Houston to Orlando—wearing an adult diaper so she wouldn't have to stop—with plans to kidnap her fellow astronaut's lover at gunpoint?

We were talking about adult diapers on the drive to Seaside today, so naturally the notorious astronaut love triangle of 2007 came up. Andy, Anna, Alex and I remembered the story vividly. Of all the kooky news headlines to have cropped up over the last decade, there's something about this one that stuck.

What makes it so fascinating? Well, the obvious clash of stereotypes. Disgruntled, pistol-yielding ex doesn't mesh with our idea of the studious, high-achieving astronaut. But the main reason I think it's so memorable is the one key detail. The diaper. The diaper takes the story to the next level. It gives our brains something specific to latch on to.

Details absolutely make or break nonfiction. Otherwise, what would make this different than all the other astronaut kidnapping stories? Yep. The diaper is key.

I mean, the bangs. She knew it was picture day and she didn't bother to comb them into a better position? RED FLAG.

Image via Wikimedia Commons


That's all. I'm in Seaside. Let's hope the salt water heals my cracked heels. Woah. Homophone alert.

Best,
M

P.S. She strikes me as the Mary Kay Letourneau of astronauts.

P.P.S. I have it on good authority that Mary Kay Letourneau is a complete narcissist who flirts with everyone she meets.


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Muscle beach

Andy has walked down to the beach and performed a 'driftwood workout' every day this week. It's his own strength-training creation—a Crossfit of sorts.

Two of the circuits involve finding a piece of driftwood and using it as a weight. There's arm curls for the biceps and shoulder presses for bulking up the ol' deltoids.

Because the workout is hard, he grunts (I watched once, so I know). When he's finished with a set, he tosses the driftwood aside like an ogre throwing a human baby. FEE FI FO FUM. GOTTA LIFT THE DRIFTWOOD UNTIL I'M DONE.



Suffice it to say, he looks ridiculous. We've talked about it, and he's well aware. The brilliant thing is, though, that he's probably only the 37th most ridiculous person on the beach. Alki was made for characters. Teenage girls singing Taylor Swift a cappella at full volume. New moms doing stroller aerobics.  Men playing out their mid-life crises in convertible Mazdas. Families in fringed surreys with a full-sized golden retriever in the front basket (I tried to take a photo, but my iPhone didn't have storage...aaarrrrrgh!).

So, Andy can do his driftwood antics without trepidation. He's American now. Better yet, he's a West Seattleite. He's but one of many weirdos that call this fine patch of sand home.

L8ter,

Margaret

P.S. Worked all day. Looked forward to getting an ice cream. Left it too late. Everywhere closed. Made it into Spuds fish n' chips at the last minute. Got a chocolate shake. Happy.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

FASHION

Coco Chanel famously said, "Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off."

Well, I tried, Coco. I tried. Unfortunately, this GIANT BRUISE on my leg won't come off. It will linger there, turning various shades of purple and green, for weeks.

This particular thigh bruise was the result of a serious collision with the bottom left corner of the bed frame. White hot pain. Eye-watering, face-flushing pain. It had me doubled over wincing 'grape-stomp-style' for at least ten minutes.

Flash forward to this evening. Andy and I are getting ready to go out on the town. I want to wear shorts because, if Project Runway has taught me anything, you either need to show skin on the top or the bottom. Cleavage or legs. Thems the rules, ladies.

Yet there's the bruise. Yellowy green, with purple rings, like a mini tattoo of Saturn. Now that's a cool tattoo idea. Go ahead and steal it from me. I know better than to follow through on my tattoo ideas (e.g. the 'cartoon starfish drinking a mug of coffee' of 2009).

The first photo that appears if you search "fashion" in Google Images w/ Creative Commons license. AMAZING.

Image by Slava Zaitsev via Wikimedia Commons

Until next time,

Margaret

Friday, August 21, 2015

Bus wanker

I ride the bus a lot. Having no car will do that to you.

For the most part, riding the bus is great. You get to zone out and swipe through Instagram as you cruise in the bus lane past bumper-to-bumper traffic. I also love pulling on the 'stop request' cord. In Edinburgh it's just a plastic button, so you can imagine how delighted I am to get to pull the cord again. So much more satisfying. Choo choo!

Image by Takeshita kenji via Wikimedia Commons


There are some things I don't love, however.
  • The migraine-inducing air conditioning on full blast. 
  • The waiting at bus stops.
  • The man swearing aggressively at the driver who gave him flack for being a quarter short. 
  • The lack of seat belts. Why aren't there seat belts?



 In high school my friends Dana, Connie and I would regularly take the bus to a thai food restaurant in Bellevue named Jasmine's. It was before anyone east of Lake City even knew about thai food—I swear. We would all order Pad Thai, then jasmine tea and fried ice cream for dessert. It was so grown up.

During one bus journey, a diet coke exploded in my shoulder bag. It had been jostling around in there when my compass—you know, those things you used to draw circles in geometry—pierced it. Stabbed it right through the aluminum! DC sprayed everywhere. I had to get up and ask the driver if he had any napkins. It was HIGHLY embarrassing. 

Another time, Char, Francie and I—ages 14 and 10—tried to take the bus to Bellevue but we got on the wrong one and wound up in Burien. Both start with "B", but other than that, we couldn't have gotten it more wrong. 

That's about it for bus stories! Other than the time a dear friend of mine got banned from all Northshore School District buses for threatening to kill our bus driver. That's the same driver that got told to "F--K OFF" by an otherwise gentle soul when she told him he couldn't bring his didgeridoo on board. 

Oh, and there was that one time in junior high that someone threw someone else's jeans out the bus window. Ninth graders be cray. 

Byeeeeee, 
Madgey


P.S. Here's Dana and I at Jasmine's (or just 'Jasmine' it looks like). Thanks for the photo, Dana!

My shoulder bag (aka 'satchel') also made it in the snap.

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