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Friday, December 25, 2009

Expat Xmas!


Char and I fidgeted around for about two hours until FINALLY, at 7:30, we allowed ourselves to get out of bed. PRESENTS!

It was a good haul this year. So many thoughtful gifts- and a few bizarre ones too!

It's not too weird being away from home for the holiday. It helped to have multiple K-town traditions transported over here for our yuletide pleasure. Christmas roll sent by mail and kept fresh by the frigid Scottish temperatures. The Berenstain Bears' Christmas Tree book, read aloud by yours truly last night before beddyby. Muppets' Christmas Carrol- a true classic!

I haven't showered in days! Luckily, Char got me some "dry shampoo" in my stocking. I guess "they" use it all the time over here. GROSS. You just spray it on your greasy mop whenever showering seems too tedious (which is pretty much always). Joke present or not, I fear it may become a regular part of my hygiene routine (which is already embarrassingly minimal).

Now all we have to do is sit back, watch a horrendous version of the movie "Heidi" on TV and eat more cinnamon roll? Then we're going to walk to Char's work to use the printer to print off my boarding pass (I'm going to England in two days).

Ok, time to refill the ol' hot water bottle.


Merry Christmas,


Monday, December 7, 2009

Homie Don't Play That

A few weeks ago my dear pal Andy challenged me to a breath-holding competition. Actually, maybe he just asked me how long I could hold my breath for. It might not have even been a challenge. Either way, I immediately REFUSED. Simply put, I don't play those games.

Why? Holding my breath for longer than my body wants me to is not in any way enjoyable. What do people get out of such an absurd activity? Weren't TV and the Internet invented so we never had to suffer through such pointless recreation? Even without modern entertainment, I would gladly choose boredom over self-imposed lung agony. Holding your breath kills brain cells too.

Games I don't play:

1. Holding my breath for a competition or even just a personal challenge

2. Pinching people on St. Patrick's Day. (This is fine in theory, except that pinching is the cruelest possible form of human torture imaginable. The pain seems minimal and temporary initially but it grows exponentially. YOWCH, the lingering sting of a pinch makes me SO angry. So, green or no green, have no fear. I don't play those games because the world doesn't need any more violence and suffering).

3. The mystery shoulder tap. (UGH. COME ON. When someone sneakily taps you on the shoulder but is not there when you turn to look at them it is not funny AND a complete waste of a head turn. I am not an owl- turning my head isn't all peaches and gravy for me. It takes a fair bit of energy! There's always the risk of twisting it too fast so that bizarre/horrendous/hot discomfort shoots up your neck. It's like--CONGRATULATIONS, you've tricked me. I feel like a fool. A fool with a sore neck).

4. "Chicken Fights" in a swimming pool. (You know, when two girls get on two boys' shoulders and swat at each other until someone falls off. My refusal to play this game is threefold. First, plopping my scantily-clad arse onto some guy's shoulders so that both him and I can secretly wish I was 30 pounds lighter doesn't sound good for the ego. Secondly, clawing at a fellow female for the amusement of the enemy gender is just wrong. AND third, what if I fall off, my swimsuit gunders slide down accidentally, I hit my head on the side of the pool, my head cracks open, I lose a lot of blood, and I die?!?! Not my idea of a good time).

5. No Food/Drink Rules. (I ate an orange on the fifth floor of the library the other day. Sue me. What if I had low blood sugar? I could be a hypoglycemic or a diabetic for God sakes. Or what, pray tell, if I am just HUNGRY. I am 23 years old, I promise not to make a mess. I won't bring some stinky curry dish into the library and slurp it up loudly. Can't I be trusted to eat an orange, or a little chunk of dark chocolate, or a few Scottish oat cakes?).

Games I do play:

1. Don't move for anyone game. (This one is particularly fun when walking down the Royal Mile).
2. Would You Rather
3. The Cliff Game
4. Let's go around in a circle and say what we like best about each other and what we like LEAST. HAHA!
5. Safety/Doorknob
7. TapTap Place Back
8. The License Plate Game
9. Slugbug
10. Prank Calls
11. Dance-offs
12. Make Your Ugliest Face
13. Wearing My Seat Belt
14. Thumb Wars
15. Returning My Shopping Cart

Did this post make sense? I don't really think so but I think it might not matter.



Monday, November 30, 2009

Brrrrrr! It's blog in here...


I have to live with the guilt, and that should be good enough for you. Let's just look beyond this with hope and enthusiasm for a bloggerific future.

Well, it's officially cold here in Edinburgh. Actually, it has been cold for weeks now but only recently have people stopped fighting it. The usually fashionable inhabitants of this magical town have swapped their TopShop trenches for long, tubular, down jackets that look like giant vinyl oven mitts with head and arm holes. Hail, freezing rain, and pathetic wet snow (maybe?) pelt the cobblestones with incredible, wind-powered velocity.

In Seattle, on the day after a storm, the streets are littered with fallen branches and capsized garbage cans. Here in Edinburgh it's deformed umbrellas and collapsed postcard stands.

OK, now that I've gotten past the awkward haven't-blogged-in-ages elephant in the room with a little small talk about the weather (Always a good "ice breaker." HAHAHA), let's get down to the real juicy biznass.

My weekend:

MARY came from Paris for a Thanksgiving feast! She brought along some real French baguettes, for which I am very very thankful. Also on the menu...WHEAT THINS. My favorite cousin (Yes, you read that right. It's a rolling application process though, so all you cousins out there still have a chance to fill the position) found the delicious, American, crackers at a shop in France and bought them along in true Padden Fam fashion. Char and William made a pumpkin pie. It was square, but it was the best p-pie I've ever tasted. Hands down. So good. Ha- I am emailing her right now and telling her to make another one.

Mary and I made rice krispie treats for the gang. They called them "rice krispie cakes", which was cute. We didn't correct them. We just smiled and nodded sweetly while exchanging knowing glances with each other.

Char, Mary and I climbed up the Sir Walter Scott monument for some fantastic, foggy, Edinburgh views. Check out the picture of me on the stairs- one of the best pics I've ever taken!!

On the Sunday that Mary had to leave we enjoyed a quick romp around the Edinburgh Castle. It was SO WINDY and FREEZING. But fun.

Twas a grand weekend. Loverboy really had it right when they concluded that "everybody's working for the weekend." Truer words have never been spoken. Now that it's over and another daunting week stretches out before me, knowledge of the absolute, certain existence of an upcoming Saturday/Sunday combo is what gets me through. Huzzah!

Wow, it's been a while and I forgot how exhausting this is. Allow me to leave you with that brief blog and a promise to update more frequently as the goose gets fatter and the old man's hat more penny-filled.

Beannachd leat,


Thursday, October 29, 2009

I sure know how to pick 'em- blog topics, that is! And blog titles too, apparently.

For the past two days I've been groovin' to "Pick Up the Pieces" by Average White Band. It truly is one of the greatest diddies of all time. Listen to it. I dare you not to snap your fingers.

Freddy Nietzsche once said "all truly great thoughts are conceived by walking" and I am inclined to agree. The mind, like the legs trotting beneath it, often wanders to places of unexpected amusement. Want proof? Well, I was listening to the aforementioned "Pick Up the Pieces" on one of my many, daily saunters through Edinburgh when a series of groovy thoughts came upon me.

1. "Pick-up" games of basketball (or any sport for that matter) are so cool and under appreciated. For all those nay-saying, Internet haters who claim we've become detached, self-imposed isolationists; go watch a pick-up game of basketball in the park. It's beautiful.

2. Of all the mean tricks that prey on innocent children, 52-card "pick-up" is one of the cruelest. As a youngest child, I was always the victim of this evil game and never the administrator. This upset me back then and upsets me currently.

3. "Pick-up" lines are often joked about, but rarely used. For the most part, people just make normal small talk. Actually, mocking lame pick-up lines has become a pick-up line itself- so much so that I think it's a very dull, predictable, topic adored by unfunny people. What happened to the creativity of yesteryear such as this:

4. At the bagel shop people would call in orders for "pick-up", but in Edinburgh people would call that "take-away." Which is better? I think "pick-up" is more upbeat. U-S-A. U-S-A. U-S-A!!!

5. Pickup trucks are the best vehicles. They are! Stop thinking about gas for one second and agree with me. Not convinced? Watch an episode of "Friday Night Lights" and get back to me.

Blogness monster,


P.S. Googling "quotes about" then whatever it is you need a quote about has always ended successfully for me.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

You can't help but love...

John Stamos
Egg McMuffins




"Don't Stop Believin"/"Sweet Caroline"/"Livin on a Prayer"/"Sweet Child of Mine"
Keeping Up with the Kardashians

Picking Your Nose

Starbucks's Christmas Decor
Judge Judy

Doing the "Robot"

Fabric Stores


The Salem Witch Trials



Thursday, October 22, 2009

Re: Revenge

My Mom once told me, "The only way you'll truly feel better is to get revenge."
I must add, she uttered this brilliant assertion while placing a serrated kitchen knife in my small, 11-year-old hand.

The neighbor told me I couldn't climb "his" tree. Something about liability. I was devestated.

"Go slash his tires," she said.

I didn't do it, but would she have stopped me if I had? One might guess her behavior was just some radical parenting tactic- that she was encouraging bad behavior to test my moral decision-making skills.
Not the case.
She actually thought I should slash the neighbor's tires and relish the sweet, toothsome, taste of revenge.

Though revenge can, and usually does, make a situation worse, at times it is appropriate. Perhaps it is not appropriate in the ethical sense, but simply because it's the only possible source of solace in a particular moment. Such moments are so muddled with emotion that a minor outburst of retaliation is suitable.

Haha. Awww, I want it to be Christmas.



Friday, October 16, 2009

I am the fox-wisperer


Last night Margot, Laura (Edinburgh friends) and I spontaneously traversed a Scottish hillside seeking adventure and exercise. Just three lively post-grad gals looking to reconnect with nature, ya know? HA. It was also a good opportunity to showcase our hiking-chic look.

Once we reached the top we sat down to enjoy the beaUtiful, twinkly, Edinburgh skyline. Instinctively, I led them in a guided meditation to find their spirit animals. That's just what you do when it's nighttime and you're outdoors and you have exhausted every possible would-you-rather question. Camp was a spirit-animal menagerie this Summer, thanks to Jenny's earthy hypnosis skills. Thus, I felt qualified to assist Margot and Laura in their hunt for their creaturely companion.

In the end, Laura discovered hers to be a short-haired, shiny, chestnut brown mare. Margot's was a fox. Mine, for anyone who cares, is a mountain goat.

Here's where the story becomes blog-worthy.

On the walk back down the ridge, a FOX leaped into the path from behind a bush! AHHHHH!!!

It was black. It had ears. It snarled its teeth at us.

We froze, screamed and desperately tried to move our trembling legs back up the hillside.

Eventually, we made it home in one piece (well, three pieces I suppose), but the nerves have been forever rattled. FOXES. ARE. SCARY.



P.S. I forgot to include the thesis point in all this-- I CAN CONJURE UP FOXES WITH MY MIND.

(From a different night, obviously. But that's Laura on MY right- YOUR left. And Margot's on MY left- YOUR right.)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A-Team: Engaged!

My big sis, Anna, and her long-time steady, Alex, got engaged yesterday!!

They are the best. I am SO thrilled for both of them.

Alex- you're going to be my brother-in-law!

Here's a pic of the ring (so lovely):



Thursday, October 8, 2009

A tale of two tales...

I saw an anorexic today. I was at the gym on the treadmill when she passed in front of me on her way to the weight room (such irony in that last phrase). Most people with eating disorders simply fall into the "weird about food" category, but it's not often that you actually see an anorexic in the flesh (in the bone??). It's SAD. She feverishly did a set crunches and in the blur of limbs I couldn't tell her legs from her arms!
Oh- I have ANOTHER reason why we should all hate cigarettes. Get this- I was walking home from the grocery store, eating my granola-bar-lunch, dodging people and j-walking to stay on schedule when the most heinous experience of my life occurred. The ASH from a middle-aged woman's cigarette blew onto my granola bar and I ATE IT!!!! She was waiting for the bus and just as I walked by a gust of Edinburgh wind carried the hot piece of charred tobacco up and onto my cranberry oat bar. It all happened so fast. GAG.

Miss y'all,


Monday, October 5, 2009

Loony Moon

I could not sleep last night. Finally, at 3 AM I gave up, got out of bed and ate a chunk of Scottish shortbread.

At first there was no clear explanation for my insomnia. I had enjoyed an active day of running, walking, eating, tv-watching...the yuge. Sleep should have been easy.

This morning, however, I had an inkling that Mother Nature had something to do with it. AND YES, duh, I was right! Last night was a FULL MOON. Sign, sealed, googled, I'm yours.

Time for a nap,


Monday, September 28, 2009

Great Scot!

Ok, time to take a well-earned break from Aquinass's "Summa Theologiae" to blog for you wonderful people.

After my first week in Edinburgh I can safely say, in the words of Fedde Le Grand- I love this city!

(...And for those of you that didn't catch that reference, I was alluding to the stupendous techno song "Put Your Hands Up For Detroit", where they're actually saying "A lovely city" or "Our lovely city" but everyone who's anyone just sings "I love this city...")

Funny things about Edinburgh (first installment):

1.Every homeless person has a dog. Haven't spotted a dogless one yet.

2. It's haunted and everyone knows it--accepts it as part of the scenery. People are much more likely to complain about the weather than the ghosts (who are everywhere...you can FEEL their presence and I swear I can SMELL them...oooooooohhhhhweeeeeee).

3. "Hill-walking" is a hobby.

4. My flat was built in 1690

5. Oatmeal= Porridge (more or less)
Steamed milk= Hot milk
washing-up= doing the dishes? (still not sure about this one)
trainers= tennis shoes

Things I've googled today:
"emotional after period"
"define: telos"
"calories in a poached egg"
"goat's milk"
"word count"
"watch Mad Men"

SIGHHH. When am I going to de-facebook-friend all of last season's bachelors from "The Bachelorette" who I hastily friend-requested after the "Men Tell All" episode. Now they are monopolizing my news feed. It's tiresome.

Yikes...everything I have written until this point in the post was from LAST WEEK and I just never got around to publishing it. I've said it before, but it's worth repeating- Cyprus ruined me. Once the Mediterranean culture settles in your bones it never really leaves.

OH MY LORD. I just googled image searched "Aquinas" and look what popped up! Poor guy. Do we really know he looked like that? Who decides what pre-camera people are supposed to look like? Or is there a preserved sketch from way back when? Is that hair fo real????



Saturday, June 27, 2009

Remembering Brian

My friend Brian Bradshaw died in Afghanistan on Thursday.

Brian was such a uniquely authentic person. He brought himself 100 percent to everything he did. I worked with him at summer camp for 4 years. His humor and sense of adventure was contagious.

Despite his busy schedule, he always made an enormous effort to show up at camp gatherings, or volunteer a few sessions or facebook chat with his friends. His sarcasm and in-your-face energy never stopped him from letting his friends know he cared about them. I've always thought of him as a protector- someone I would want with me if I was stranded on a dessert island needing to survive. It kills me to think of how scary it must have been for him over there.

My heart breaks for his family.

In a few days everyone from camp is gathering for staff training and I look forward to sharing our stories about Brian. We'll make sure to keep him in our thoughts throughout the summer and spread his message of love to the campers.

I'll miss you Brian!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hiatus: Over (for now)

Holler, friends! 

It's been a while since I've done a legit post. For old time's sake, let's start things off with a list.

Top 5 activities to improve your mood (btw, wtf is up with this shirt? I think that's a llama but it seems irrelevant to the rest of the shirt...):

1. Take a shower: The steam goes up the nose, clears the sinuses and lifts the brain up just a bit. After a shower, I always look SO MUCH BETTER. Even if I didn't look "dirty" before, the memory of my pre-shower self suddenly becomes caked in filth. My face looks like I could be in a clean&clear&undercontrol commercial. My hair smells like cupcakes. 

2. Listen to music: This could mean downloading your favorite new song from iTunes (treat yourself!), pillaging through your playlist for an oldie but a goodie, or perhaps just letting the shuffle take over. Once a worthy track hits your ears, snap those fingas and DANCE!

3. Exercise: No new news here. Whether it's walking, running, jump roping, galloping, or doing high-kicks in your room as discretely as possible while trying not to make grunting noises, exercise is a mood enhancer. Endorphins are the new meth. 

4. Take a nap: Maybe you're in a bad mood because you're sleepy. I often have to FORCE myself to take a nap, but it's well worth it. Even if you're still in a bad mood when you wake up, you at least cut out an hour or so of bad-mood time. 

5. Buy someone a present: If you can't seem to make yourself happy, switch your focus on someone else. Scrounge up some change and buy a treat for a friend. Surprise them. 

Next on the agenda: "The most dramatic rose ceremony in Bachelorette history!!!!"
Have you ever noticed that ABC can ceaselessly reuse this line in their promos by simply replacing either the words "dramatic" or "rose-ceremony"?

For example, they might say: "Next week, stay tuned for the most grotesque rose ceremony in Bachelorette history!!!"

Or, they might say: "Next week, stay tuned for the most dramatic one-on-one date in Bachelorette history!!!"

Jillian is the new Bachelorette and she's a mess. I wish I could be trendy and say she's a "hot mess", but she's not even hot and I'm actually over the phrase "hot mess". 
"Jilly" has a wardrobe that I'd give my right femur for, but I wouldn't wish her camel face on my worst frenemy. She was so endearing as third runner up on last seasons "The Bachelor", so what's changed? Who knows. Maybe she just seemed great compared to Molly and Melissa AND JASON (UGH). Anyway, she gets hammered in almost every episode (don't THINK we can't tell!) and talks like she has gum under her upper lip. 
Ab Nelson (cousin) has had us over every Monday night to eat hummus and watch the Canadian camel-face drink, cry, receive spin-hugs and bequeath camel-kisses to the masses. Her friends are huge Bachelor/Bachelorette fans and it's truly my favorite night of the week. 

That's all for now, folks. I've got my last two days at the PUD, then back to K-town for two nights, then off to camp for staff training! THENNNN, Edinburgh! Still filling out a shize-load of paper work, but it will all be worth it. Can't wait!

Live long and prosper, 


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Here it is again...


Remember, this is just a bare-bones recording to see if it works. 

Love ya, 


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

First Podcast! I have a lot to learn!

This is a test!

shiza- doesn't work. i think i need to figure a few more things out.....working on it!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Don't Fence Me In

Is this a blog of personal reflections? Is it a pop-culture blog? Is it philosophical? Is it funny? Is it interesting? Is it just confused?

Perhaps at times it is all of these things, but I am OK with that. Cohesiveness has its place (scrapbooking, powerpoint presentations, runway shows, "real"/professional blogs...etc.), and it ain't here. 

So don't put Madgespace in a box. It is, in its very essence, a hodge podge. 

See, now that made me think of Modge Podge, the crafting goo. A professional blogger may let that thought pass and move onto a meaningful subject, but not me.

Modge Podge adheres photographs onto objects and makes them glossy. My family went through about a year-long obsession with the stuff. 

It's actually "Mod Podge", but for some reason we always refered to it as Modge Podge. Proper pronunciation is not a Padden/Kay family strong suit. We say "pin" when we mean "pen" and we overemphasize the "oh" sound in words like bowling, swollen and gorgonzola. My college friends call it the "Kenmore accent."

Anyway, Modge Podge dominated the birthday present scene for a good while in our house. Cut up some photos, schlop them onto the side of an old picture frame, candle holder, or slab of wood from the garage, smear on a heavy coat of Modge Podge and viola- you've got yourself a homemade, heartfelt, gift. 

Next topic: Flossing and Life-Span

I just found out that people who floss daily live longer lives than non-flossers. Ever since my parasitic crisis, I've been determined to be a HEALTHY person. I want to live a long time and have soft, radiant skin, strong bones and a lot of great grandchildren. When I'm 80 I want to wake up in the morning with joyful energy. If flossing is one step toward that future, then hand over the floss!

Ihre Gesundheit, 


Monday, April 13, 2009

Blogging vs. the Real World

If you think this is ridiculous...

Then check out this...

Easter was magnificent. I slept in, ate a lot of mangoes, hung out with the fam and jump roped in the family room while watching a "Rob&Big" marathon on TV. What more could ya ask for?

OMG- So, earlier tonight at the airport I was going through security and they had to pull aside my carry on bag for further investigation. Instantly I KNEW it was because I had a half-full tub of almond butter in there that probably counted as a "liquid" or perhaps a "gel." They ended up letting me keep it (thank god), BUT, in his search for the delicious contraband, the man unzipped the small, top pouch where all my dirty gunders from the weekend were stuffed! 

As if it wasn't humiliating enough, he had the nerve to chuckle and say "Those are all clean, right?" 

Ha. Ha. Ha. 

I managed to choke out a fake laugh and say, "oh yeah, of course" despite being mortified! I mean, is there not some sort of FAA rule prohibiting such invasive questions? Aren't security personal supposed to be serious and humorless?

Ok, move over Octo-Mom! The hot story everyone's talkin' about is now the rescue of a US navy captain from Somali pirates. 

The pirates, combined with the mother/daughter Peep costumes, gave me an blog idea: 

costumes vs. the real thing




King Tut:




I graduate in about 3 weeks. I am about to be a COLLEGE GRADUATE. In the words of Ab Nelson, how very bizarre. 



P.S. I turned in a stool sample to the lab today. I am not confident in the "product" that I "produced," and I fear it will return negative.

P.P.S. Speaking of The Real World, for anyone who watched this season (Brooklyn), how great is it that Ryan and Baya are dating? SO GREAT! Too bad he's back in Iraq. He and Chet are the sole reason this season was watchable. 

Sunday, April 5, 2009


The first day of real, warm, sunshine always makes me realize how miserable I've been all winter. During the last 5 months, anytime that I thought I was happy I was just kidding myself. I was faking it. Because this, my friends, is true happiness. FIFTY FIVE degrees, Manito Park, windows down in the mini-van, blue skies....BLISS.

Not only does the sun make me a happier person, but it makes me a more productive person too. Yesterday I clipped my fingernails- who does that???? Certainly not the winter version of myself. I even removed the nasty remnants of dark purple nail polish. With half of a bent bobbypin I scraped out the rotted gunk from under each nail. Who knows what kind of dirt, bacteria, parasite eggs, and boogers had been festering there all winter.

Then, after all that work, I still had the energy to throw in a load of laundry! 

If this weather keeps up, I might just start my own catering business, or complete a 1000 piece puzzle, or vacuum. 

Good day to ya, 

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ayo Technology

Today I used Twitter to read about what John Mayer, Martha Foley, Juliana DaPandi (yes, she will always be DaPandi to me!!! Sorry Mr. Rancic), Anna Kay, Jody Norwood, Rob Dyrdek, Taylor Swift and many others are up to. 

Mayer's on a cruise. Martha's just finished her homework. Anna walked Oggie. Jody went on a 6-mile run in her new running shoes. Rob Dyrdek was hanging out with the cast of his upcoming movie. Taylor Swift went to her brother's induction into his high school's honor society. 

Pretty amazing that I learned all that from one lil' website. 

Next, I looked at some pictures a guy named Ahmed put up on Facebook. He worked at the hostel we stayed at in Cairo. 

Also on Facebook I viewed every picture that Barbie and I were tagged in together since Freshman year. Memory Lane!

This morning I Skyped with Char and Francie and Bobby with our webcams. They were in Scotland and Ireland, I was in Spookaloo. I could see them, they could see me. I showed F & B the box that my new anti-parasite herbs came in. They had a good laugh. 

Pretty soon (when I win the lottery) I am going to purchase a digital audio recorder so I can post interviews with various people on my blog. THAT will be groovy. 


Then why do I get these urges to unplug my life and move into the forest? I dream about a quaint log cabin, next to a river and surrounded by humongous evergreens. Ohhhh the peacefulness!! The rushing sound of the river, a good book, candles, salmon cooked on a campfire, pungent pine needles everywhere! Maybe Walden was onto something. 

I think I will do it at some point in my life. Except I will probably take my laptop and allow myself to use it one day a week. Or whenever I want to, but just not excessively. It would be a GREAT thing to blog about. Haaaaaha. 

SlĂ inte, 

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