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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Takin care of BIZ-NASS!

I remember, a while back, my sister Char telling me about the highly productive morning she was having. So productive, she told me, that without really realising it, she had been humming "Taking Care of Business" by Bachman–Turner Overdrive to herself the whole morning. Isn't the human mind a glorious thing?

Well, speaking of productivity, I was on FIRE this morning! Writing dope copy, making a dentist appointment like a seasoned adult and replying to emails so fast it would make your bloody head spin, mate.

This is what showed up for 'business woman' when I creative commons searched Google Images. But wait, is she wearing Laga Gaga horse hoof shoes? 

Being efficient just feels so good. So why can I be like that every day? Or even most days? For every day like today, I spend at least three eating mealy apples with peanut butter and scouring the Internet for any reality show I can get my hands on (if you've ever found yourself in the midst of a 'Princesses Long Island' marathon, then you'll know what I mean).

Side note about 'Princesses Long Island'. Did no one think for a second that maybe, just maybe they should add an "of" in the name? 'Princesses of Long Island? Wouldn't that have made a bit more sense?

Anyhoo. As all us biz-nass women do, I even scheduled in a bit of socialising! I walked down to Newhaven (a part of Edinburgh down by the shore) and met up with my friend Gemma for some grub. As I was walking, I realised what my dream job would be: writer for a funny TV show. I think my forte would be coming up with characters who remind the audience of people they've met in real life.

What's your dream job? And don't say "ice cream taste tester", because people always say that.

Email my heart,

P.S. I don't normally share stuff that everybody's already talking about. But just in case you haven't yet, watch the cutest video ever (and just so you know, he's saying "sprinkling").


P.P.S. Don't think I'm an idiot who doesn't know how to punctuate around quotations. Most of the time in British English, you're not supposed to put the comma inside the quotation mark unless you're writing an entire, complete quote. I've gotten suckered into doing it that way and, dare I say it, I actually agree with the Red Coats on this one.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Age appropriate footwear

Over the weekend I went to a shoe shop and bought a pair of high-top Converse.

I needed something in between my brown leather "work" shoes and my flipflops. Over the years, I've owned many a pair of high-top Converse. They're classic and comfy. An obvious choice.

When I was paying for my new kicks, the girl behind the counter complimented me on my bowl cut. I left the place feeling on top of the world.

Then came the self doubt.

I'm not just a carefree 27-year-old anymore. I'm a 28-year-old ADULT WOMAN. Are high-top clown shoes really appropriate at my age?

Also, Andy once made an offhanded comment about how I dress like a young Justin Bieber. Dang, that stung. The insults that contain an element of truth always hurt the most.

On the other hand, I have seen stylish older women sporting high top Converse sneakers before. They're usually a bit earthy and wear their natural grey/white hair with confidence. They're funky and free spirited, but still fashionable. Helen Mirren types.

Anyway, this is boring. Let's pinoop1 it.

I'll be back tomorrow with something better to write. I PROMISE!


 verb; pinoop or pinoop it; 3rd person present: pinoops; past tense: pinooped; past participle: pinooped; gerund or  present participle: pinooping
 To immediately stop the conversation, no questions asked.
       "Solange started to try and convince Beyonce to file the papers, but Beyonce pinooped it."
 Synonyms: shut it down, enough, zip it 
 Antonyms: discuss, divulge, do tell

Sunday, September 28, 2014

This American Life — So hot right now

The fact that 'This American Life' is the best radio show on the air is nothing new. We've all known it for years. We all love the fiasco episode. We all guiltily give five bucks to the show once a decade. We all have Ira's name in a heart tattooed on our biceps. OK, I get it. I GET IT. 'This American Life' is good and the fact that it's good doesn't merit an entire blog post.

But hear me out. At the moment, it's particularly good. Two recent episodes—Not So Simple Majority and The Secret Recordings of Carmen Segarra—are really, really top notch. Top notchier than usual.

If you're going for a run, driving to work or getting a beard weave like Denzel on America's Next Top Model, then I recommend popping these TAL episodes in the ol' Microsoft Zune.

Ira's senior photo, 1977 via Milford Mill High School via Wikimedia Commons

OK. I wish I could write more, but I've been procrastinating all weekend and have to do some actual work now. Andy is in France and I've had no one to stop me from watching Real Housewives of New Jersey until 3am every night. Yes, you read that right. Alert the presses, I've finally gotten around to watching RHONJ. And yes, it's every bit as wonderful as you've all told me.


P.S. I've spoken not a single word today. I haven't talked to anyone in person, on the phone or on Skype. I've remained utterly silent. It's always bizarre the few days a year that this happens.

P.P.S. I just said "hello" out loud.

P.P.P.S. Just did it again and filmed it.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Things NOT to do this autumn

Double double, toil and trouble — take heed of our autumnal warnings. 
What ever you do this autumn, DO NOT:
  • Buy a chunky sweater, shrink it and wear it anyway. Uniboob + can't lift your arms without your stomach showing = you not feeling good about yourself.
  • Try to make butternut squash soup in a rush. Those gourds are difficult to "peel" and you will cut yourself. 
  • Take the garbage out really fast whilst barefoot. You know it's getting too cold for that. Be sensible and slip some shoes on. 
  • Drink Starbucks hot chocolate through a straw. It could scald you.
  • Use a stencil to carve your pumpkin. Whatever you carve will not look nearly as good without one, and you might mess up and accidentally cut off one of the Jack-o-lantern's teeth, but you'll at least have your dignity. 
  • Put a piece of candy corn up your nose.
  • Use a leaf blower as a tea pot. 
  • Eat a bowl of crunchy leaves.
  • Legally change your name to 'Cornucopia'.
  • Throw a frozen turkey through your neighbour's window.
Good day, 


Friday, September 26, 2014

My thoughts on Top Chef: Duels

Oh look, Top Chef's on! Yay!

Wait a second...

Something's not right.

Top Chef Duels?

What in basil-infused mascarpone semifreddo hell? It's a GOD DAMN SPINOFF. Oh heck no.

HECK no.

Brief pause


OK, that was my initial reaction to Bravo's Top Chef spinoff show 'Top Chef: Duels'.

I don't usually like reality show spinoffs. They feature the B team of judges, the prizes aren't as good and nothing's very well thought out. They're meant to tide you over until the actual show starts back up again, but what they actually do is make you miss it even more. They always feel like a watered down knock-off.

Prime example: that absolute embarrassment 'Project Accessory'. Watching it made me long for the day I squirted glowstick fluid in my eye (true story - it was an accident - Poison Control was consulted).

However, you may have noticed that I like to begin my blog posts by making you think I'm headed in a certain direction, and then do a complete 180! HA. So clever.

The truth is, I actually LIKE 'Top Chef:Duels'!!!

Don't get me wrong, it's not quite as good as normal Top Chef. But it's pretty dern entertaining! I'm not totally offended by Aussie chef Curtis Stone filling in for Tom Colicchio as head judge. And the show's format—chef 1 sets a challenge, chef 2 sets a challenge, judges set a challenge—keeps things moving along at a nice pace.

The best part of the show, though, is that it doesn't take itself too seriously. It actually feels pretty loose, or dare I say, saucy, from time to time. Everyone seems to get that it's just a fake show (it's not the real Top Chef), so they all let their hair down a bit more.

Take the most recent episode. The judges and the guests were sitting around between dishes chatting and the lovely Gail Simmons happened to quote Justin Bieber. And earlier in the season Wolfgang Puck made some comment about how Gail only gains weight in her "chest". BAH!

These might seem like small things, but if you watch enough reality TV, you know how even slightly different editing styles can create a totally different vibe. I suspect 'Top Chef: Duels' has a more laid back production crew than the normal show. Leaving random clips in, like the Gail and Wolfgang one-liners, spices things up a bit.

That's all for now.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

2014 Ryder Cup: why YOU should tune in

Golf. Even the name is boring.


It sounds like a type of bird that builds nests in your drainage gutters and poops all over your driveway.

Or it could just be a word that refers to a long passage of time. "I haven't seen you in golfs!" "Bob has worked at the bank for nearly six golfs, building up a broad range of experience across a large cross section of client sectors."

They could have at least gone with 'golfball'. That would have sounded a bit more enticing, a bit more sporty. Why didn't they go with 'golfball'?

Still, even if you manage to get past the name, golf actually turns out to be pretty boring. Yeah, it does. Exactly as you suspected, it's slow, anticlimactic and the "athletes" don't ever say anything like "When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that's the result you gon' get!"

So why then am I urging you to watch the Ryder Cup this year? Because the Ryder Cup is an exception! It's also a gateway tournament. If, like I did for so long, you find golf painfully dull, then the Ryder Cup might be what changes your mind. Before you know it, you'll be shopping for argyle socks and crafting golf tee porcupines for people's Christmas presents.

Allow me to explain (scroll down).

Alex Goro and I at Ten Tiny Tees - Seaside, Oregon 

Reasons to watch the Ryder Cup this year:

✓ Mickelson is throwin' shade

The smack talk has already begun! When asked about the USA team's ability to play as a team, Phil Mickelson responded, "Well, not only are we able to play together, we also don't litigate against each other." ZING!

He's referring to a lawsuit between Rory McIlroy and his former management company, which still represents his former Ryder Cup partner Graeme McDowell (and Rory's major complaint is that they charged McDowell way less than they charged him. McDowell said his and Rory's relationship is "strained", blah blah blah).

✓  It's back where it all began

The first official Ryder Cup was held in 1927 in Massachusetts, but it was six years earlier at Gleneagles (host of this year's Ryder Cup) that the tournament was unofficially born.

✓ Golf's most eligible bachelor is back in form

Yep, Golf's weasel-faced boy genius has ditched his ball 'n chain and seems to be winning again because of it. While engaged to tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, Rory McIlroy was always tweeting annoying photos of them watching movies on the couch and he was NOT playing very good golf. They broke up, and he won two majors back to back.

But don't get too excited, ladies. Rory says that "golf is his girlfriend" for the foreseeable future.

✓ It's the 40th anniversary

OK, it's not a massive milestone. But it's better than saying the "27th" or "43rd" Ryder Cup in history. It's a nice, round number that we can all agree feels a bit more momentous than usual.

✓ Rickie Fowler's hair

Let's just say he's sporting the "Joe Nelson" circa Winter Olympics '06. Take a look.
(Joe is my cousin - I believe he shaved the letters 'U S A' into his hair for the bobsled event in Turin.)

✓ It's a chance for America to be international

My favourite thing about the Ryder Cup is the fact that it's one of the only times the US gets to join in on the international sports conversation and play for national pride.

Yes, there's the Olympics every four years. And this summer the World Cup reached a mainstream American audience for the first time. But for the most part, US sporting events exist in a red, white and blue vacuum. The Super Bowl, March Madness, the "World" Series — every team is ultimately still on Team USA.

Instead of pitting the country's best golfers against each other, like normal, the Ryder Cup pits them against the best golfers in Europe. It turns golf, decisively an individual sport, into a team sport. And it's just crazy enough to work!!


Maybe I convinced you. Maybe I didn't. One thing is for sure though: it's my bedtime.

Nighty night,

P.S. Tee-off is at 7:35am tomorrow (Scotland time)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Pizza now, pizza tomorrow, pizza forever

OK, here we go again.

Day 3. Just 362 to go.

Reality is really starting to set in.

But let's not dwell on that! Time is a wastin' and I have a half-watched Mindy Project to get back to.

Today's topic: food! More specifically, pizza. If you know me at all, then you know how much I love the stuff. I've also been known to argue that pizza isn't that bad for you. Because it isn't! It's basically just tomatoes, cheese and bread. What's so bad about that?

Top tip: I like to sprinkle rocket, aka arugula aka rucola aka peppery greens on my pizza after it comes out of the oven! 
Top tip: I like to put my foot on the oven handle when posing for a photo next to my homemade pizzas!
It just seems like pizza gets a disproportionally bad rap. It might not be kale or roasted pumpkin seeds or acai berry (yikes, my health food references are so dated), but it's not a Krispy Kreme donut either. Yet, we—SOCIETY—have made pizza the villain.

Why am I so defensive? Because I'm going to have pizza tonight for the second night in a row. I made it last night with Andy, and Char's hosting a belated birthday 'za party for me this evening.

In the interest of balance and fairness, I will say that there's another side to the pizzathusiast lifestyle. A dark side. A greasy underworld. I've witnessed it first hand.

The year: 2007
The city: Spokane
The pizza joint: Eatza Pizza on Division Street

All you can eat pizza for just $5 each? Sounds too good to be true, we thought, as we pulled into the parking lot. Foreshadowing alert: it was. 

Fivers in our pockets and pizza on our minds, my friends and I headed into the no-frills family restaurant with high hopes. It actually felt like walking into the inside of a pizza. The velvety red carpet, the mozzarella-white curtains, the oily leather cushions in the curved bell pepper booths. It was like a pizza-themed ride at a budget amusement park. I had the sudden urge to blot my face with a napkin.

We approached the large buffet table. It ran almost the length of the restaurant, yet only three small pizzas lay before us. Enough for a couple slices each, without being rude to the other patrons. As the evening went on, we realised that this was a huge part of Eatza Pizza's business model. It was indeed 'all you can eat', but only if you had the time to sit around and wait for them to make the pizza, one scrawny pie at a time.

Back in our booth, we dined. Spongey crust, bland cheese and ketchupy sauce, but all in all, it was OK. The pizza was OK. 

Then, a pajama-clad lady in a reclining wheelchair was rolled into the restaurant by her carer. I had watched shows about obesity on TLC, but she was the largest person I'd seen in real life. She instructed her chauffeur to wheel her to the buffet, where she picked up an entire pizza and ate it on the spot. It was incredibly sad. 

It was also disgusting. 

But I knew that, if I let myself love pizza the way I knew I could, that would be me some day. We're all just a few bad months away from eating ourselves into an enormous pizza-shaped grave. 

Yelp tells me
 that Eatza Pizza is now closed. That's probably for the best. But I will be 
forever grateful for what that place taught me about the highs and lows of pizza eating, and the value of moderation.

A sign and an empty lot — all that remains of Eatza Pizza on Google Street View.

So, there you have it. Pizza, like all controversial subjects, is much more complex than the mainstream media makes it out to be. That's why you have Madgespace—voted top alternative news source by people who read—to turn to for the real truth.

Love ya,
Margaret "Pizza" Kay

P.S. Pizza

P.P.S. Just one more thing

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Callin' it quits

No, I'm not talking about ending my year-28 challenge on Day 2 (give me some credit, guys). And I'm not talking about Kris and Bruce finally filing the papers.

As you've probably guessed, I'm talking about the Alaskan news anchor and owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, Charlo Greene, who quit live on air a couple nights ago. With simple, yet elegant, "F*ck it, I quit" and a shrug, she sashayed away toward a new career in pot-rights activism. If only we could all be so selfless.

Let's remind ourselves of her grand act of civil disobedience, and of how funny it is when people swear on local news (exhibit A).

But before we give Charlo too much credit, let's remember those who paved the way for her epic exit. Yes, let's honour those who came before.

Steven Slater

"The diva quitter"

My favourite of all the quitters is former JetBlue flight attendant and ultimate stunt queen Steven Slater. The plane was taxi-ing at the gate. A lady was prematurely trying to get her hand luggage down from the overhead compartment. As he tried to get her to sit down, a suitcase fell and knocked him on the head. That's when he lost it, grabbed two beers from the fridge, released the emergency slide and slid down in a blaze of glory.

Just brilliant. The fact that anyone in a post 9/11 world would have the balls to do this restores my faith in humanity.

What tickles me so much about this story is Steven's particular breaking point. It happened after a small, but sudden, bit of physical pain. That's what I can relate to the most. We've all had those days. You're just managing to keep it together when BAM, you stub your toe and that's it, you unleash your inner beast.

Joey DeFrancesco

"The triumphant quitter"

Want to make something mundane feel glorious? Add a marching band. There's nothing a marching band can't make triumphant. Former Renaissance Providence Hotel employee Joey DeFrancesco understood this. He also knew that his time as an overworked room-service-monger was over.

This video makes the list mainly because of the look on boss Jared's face when Joey hands him his notice letter. It also helps that Joey is a bit of a JamesFranco/JohnMayer-style hunk.

Marina Shifrin

"The ironic quitter"

As a digital content creator myself (HA!), I completely get Marina's reason for quitting. She was working for a company that made online videos, but all her boss cared about was views, views, views (not necessarily the quality of the content). So, she decided to give her two weeks' notice using a medium her colleagues were familiar with: a viral video. 

The irony is that Marina's video now has more than 18 million views, something her bosses could only dream of. 

Ryan (surname unknown)

"The first time quitter"

When I found this on YouTube, I felt compelled to share it here. Sure, it might not match the grandeur of the disgruntled employees showcased above. But Ryan's decision to "resign" sends a message to 16-year-olds everywhere. It shows them how 20 seconds of uncomfortable conversation can lead to a lifetime of freedom. 

Actually, you might be surprised just how many brilliant quitting videos I found online. Or, if you've ever had a bad job, then maybe you won't be surprised at all.

Here are some more quitting videos worth watching:

  • Boombox + partial striptease + Star Wars theme + Queen = I quit!
  • Vanilla Ice + dancing on the counter + I haven't really thought this out = I quit!
  • Radio DJ + 'Do It To It' by Cherish + $6/hour = I quit!
  • Star Wars credits + being creepy + naked dancing = I quit!
  • Warehouse intercom + bad sound quality + giggling cameraman = I quit!
  • Banana costume + violins + dancing = I quit!

I think I love all these people because we've all dreamt of quitting our jobs in the grandest, wittiest, most cutting ways possible. It's the stuff of movies (classic scene). It's a chance to stick it to the man and become an office legend at the same time. For decades, they'll talk about you around the watercooler. You'll be the best thing that ever happened to that place!

But then, we think rationally and settle on a typical "it's been a pleasure working here" notice letter. 

What makes these folks so great is that they completely throw caution to the wind. They know there could be bad consequences (e.g. no reference for the next job, never getting a job again, etc.), but they plough forward anyway. Mad respect. 

In other news:

Autumn — It's arrived. If you're American, you might know it better as 'Fall'.
Boardwalk Empire — Final season. So far, so good. Glad I stuck with the show. It's fantastic.
War — Another one has started in Iraq. Pretty terrible / déjà vu
Water bottle Ordered one on Amazon. Another year-28 goal: drink more water!
Tesco — Massively overstated its forecasted profits. Purposeful deceit or honest mistake?
Italy— I'm going there for Christmas!
Lentil curry w/ fresh naan bread  I broke character and made something that required more than three ingredients. The result? Delicious.


Monday, September 22, 2014

My year-28 challenge

Sticking with things is hard. And usually I'm against it. If you don't like doing something you should just stop doing it. Diets, jobs, marathon training, lenten vows (I'm sooooo "over" Lent, don't even get me started)—I'm always in favour of quitting halfway through those things. In fact, I actively encourage it.

HOWEVER, on this 28th anniversary of my birth, I'm setting myself a challenge: blog every day for a year. 

Google knew it was my birthday. That should scare me, but instead, I'm flattered. 

Why? A few reasons:

1. It will get me into the habit of writing quickly and squeezing in the time to write whenever I can. This is good if I ever want to write a book some day (more on that in future posts).

2. I want attention.

3. I just want to see if I can do it! Call it a quarter life crisis (I plan to live until I'm 112), but I'm in the mood to shake things up a bit. For me, committing to something is shaking things up. Both my rent and phone are on rolling monthly contracts and I can fit everything I own into a duffle bag. This blog challenge is the only thing keeping me from retreating to an underground bunker with a lifetime's supply of original goldfish crackers and the world's best head scratcher.

Wow, enough of this feelings talk. Let's move on to something a bit more mainstream: Facebook is a parasite. It's sucking the life out of me. I know it's old news, and we've all grown to hate it by now, but it bears repeating: Facebook is a parasite.

That damn newsfeed. The people I don't really even know, but despise nonetheless. The ads for articles about celeb photoshop fails (but then when you click on them, they aren't even that good). The political debates that end with polite agreements to disagree. The videos that play automatically and in a loop with no perceivable beginning or end. I HATE IT.

I hear ya, Nigel. I hear ya.

But, if I delete my Facebook, how would I share these delightful blog posts? And how would I scan through hundreds of photos of myself at 2:15am on a Tuesday? How would I manage to avoid doing meaningful, rewarding things like writing my Grandma a letter or working on stuff I get paid for? And don't forget birthdays! On today of all days, I should be grateful for all that Facebook gives me.

Alas, my Facebook page shall live to die another day.

That's all for now. Good luck me. See you back here tomorrow.


P.S. Remember, my goal is not to blog well every day for a year. It's just to blog. There are bound to be some real short, real boring posts thrown up at the last minute so I can get to back to watching the news. OK, I mean Real Housewives. Fine, I mean former New York housewife Alex McCord's recap videos about the Real Housewives.

Take those expectations and lower them to about grocery list level. "Bread, milk, cereal, toilet paper..." That's as much excitement and depth as many of the posts will contain. Still, if I know my audience, then I know that's better than nothing.

P.P.S. Remember my golden birthday? Where did that amazing turban go?! Darn, should have kept better track of that.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Referendum morning — some snaps

'Tis referendum day! I'm lucky to be in Edinburgh for such a momentous occasion. As an American, I don't get to vote (can't be trusted—I totally understand). But that's OK, because it's nice to take in the action from the sidelines. Reminds me of when I made the 7th grade basketball team and then was benched for the entire season after a ridiculous half court shot attempt in game one. I was relieved (was always more of a choir girl than a baller).

The city is buzzing with supporters from both camps, as well as journalists from around the world. I tried to tune in to the news this morning, but for some reason our BBC channels haven't been working for us (all pixelated...I want my TV license money back!).

So, I put my shoes back on, grabbed the camera and hit the mean streets of Edinburgh to take in the atmosphere first hand. Take that Gonzaga University journalism department! You said I'd never amount to anything, but look at me now. Only kidding, they didn't say that.
Outside a newsagent on Canongate.
Lothian Chambers polling place on George IV Bridge.
A 'Yes' truck on Queen's Drive. 
Chalk graffiti near the Chambers on the Royal Mile. 
'No' signs are smaller and sparser. However, 'No' still leads the polls by 6 points, and many believe that the quiet 'No' vote will be the deciding factor.
Referendum reminder outside Holyrood. In case anyone forgets, today's the day to vote.
Team Bible taking advantage of the additional foot traffic near George IV Bridge.
Remnants of a 'Yes' sticker on a Royal Mile bin. 
Ari Shapiro from NPR (yes, our NPR) stands near the Heart of Midlothian and interviews a dude about independence. 
Yes, yes, yes from one flat in Canongate. 
Catalan independence supporter outside Holyrood. 
Signs outside the Lothian Chambers polling place on George IV Bridge. 
Cypriot 'Yes' supporter on Holyrood Drive.
Message from The Scotsman on a post on George IV Bridge. 
High Street wellhead sharing in the joy of democracy at work. 
Pro-union support from a flat on George IV Bridge.
Lots of honking in the Grassmarket this morning, but the latest polls still predict a 'No'. 
Classic shenanigans from William Chambers. 
Joke shop on Victoria Street has all the referendum gear you're looking for, including a unicorn mask (Scotland's national animal)

Early results expected at 2am tomorrow morning.

UPDATE: and it's a 'No', as expected. Andy and I went back out right before the polls closed. Here are a few more snaps of the hopeful 'Yes' revellers before the results were in.

Candles outside St.Giles Cathedral in the design of both the Scottish and Catalan flags.
Some boisterous 'Yes' supporters make their way down the mile, chanting "We still love you, even if you're 'No', even if you're 'No', even if you're 'No'" in the tune of 'Yellow Submarine'. They just hugged those guys by the red car.
Scottish flags outside the Parliament.
'Yes' and 'No' supporters (but mainly 'Yes') gather outside the Scottish Parliament.  
Bicycle 'Yes' flare.
Group of 'Yes' supporters pose for photo.
People outside the Kilderkin pub on Canongate.
Things got a bit heated (but for the most part remained polite) outside the Lothian Chambers polling place just after polls closed at 10pm. 


P.S. Your move, Cascadia.

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.
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