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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Black skinny jeans will come back to haunt us

I didn't want to have to be the one to tell you, but someone had to.

I wear them every day. I have three pairs. Still, I'm woman enough to admit that we will all look back on black skinny jeans and think we look sooooo dated and ridiculous.

Francie was actually the one who brought it up.

"So,  like 10 years from now are we going to look at pictures of us wearing black skinny jeans and think they look dated?" she asked me.

"Yes, but it will be in five years."



"OK. But will we think they're unflattering?"


"But they're so cute!"

"No they're not. They aren't actually flattering or cute."


"I know, I know. We just think they are. We can't see past it. That's the nature of these things."

You might be skeptical, but it wasn't that long ago that I thought a spaghetti strap tank top + bootcut jeans + black heels = BEST GOING OUT LOOK EVER!

Enjoy them while you can, 


P.S. If Mayweather wins on Saturday, he's going to post Suge Knight's $10-million bail. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Letters to the editor

I haven't written a decent blog in ages. Why? Because I've been BUSY! What's your excuse?


Today Andy had a letter to the editor published in the Scotsman newspaper. It's about the idea of a Tory/Labour coalition, something that I'd guess interests .03% of the people who read this. But it's still cool! Not only was it included in the letters section of the website, but it was also featured in the print version of the paper, given pride of place at the top of the opinion page.

I once wrote a letter to the editor of the Spokesman Review. It was a rant about how un-pedestrian-friendly Spokane drivers are. My journalism professor saw it and announced to the class that he was giving me extra credit for getting my thoughts published in a real live newspaper. I remember feeling a mixture of pride and embarrassment. I'd written it in haste and didn't like how pro-Seattle and complainy I came across.

Oh snap! I just came up with the best idea. Why don't I try to get as many letters published in as many different newspapers as I can? I could even turn it into a book. This just might be it—the brilliant book idea that I've been searching for!

But just like the 'cartoon starfish drinking a mug of coffee' idea for a tattoo on my right ribcage, I better sleep on it before I make any rash decisions. 

Yours truly, 

P.S. I decided against the tattoo after thinking about it for 8 months back in 2009/2010. Phew!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Things you want to do, but you shouldn't.

Things you want to do, but you shouldn't. 

Chew Bubblicious gum for two seconds and then EAT it because it's so good.

Keep watching New Girl even though it's not a good TV show.

Cut open a microwavable heat pack full of gel balls just so you can feel its insides.

Pick you spouse's blackheads in public. 

Buy a Luna Bar at the checkout stand just because it's there and you're there and it's "healthy."

Walk outside in your socks because the ground isn't wet (hint: it actually is). 

Try on your mom's size 2 jeans from Talbots.

Lick the butter off the inside of a microwave popcorn bag. 


Monday, April 27, 2015

From the Archives, Edition 7

A bit of background before I share this amazing letter from my sister Char (age 11) to Grandpa Padden.

My grandpa made a deal with all us grandkids: don't watch TV for a year and you'll get $250 (some of the first-responders / his favorites got $500 — the lucky ducks).

Now, if you were to set me that challenge today, I would laugh in your face. But back then, $250 was soooooo much money. If you consider inflation and the worldview of a child's not-yet-fully-developed brain, $250 was the equivalent of $250,000. It was more money than I ever thought I'd have in my life.

We all did it. And it wasn't just no TV, but also no movies (with the exception of those watched in a cinema). I distinctly remember my cousin Albee sitting behind the television set and listening to the Olympics during her year sans tube. Even that was considered a grey area and potential breach of the contract.

Anyway, that's the context of this letter. Read and enjoy.

There's a lot to love about this letter, but mostly this: "Maybe you could send it to me in an envelope or something like that."


Way to really spell it out for him, Char. Just in case he doesn't know how the mail works. 

I love this because I recognize the tactic as something I do all the time—to this day—in emails when I'm trying not to be too pushy. She even threw a smiley face in there! Long before emojis existed, people still used smiley faces to say, "I'm using a nice tone. Read this knowing that I'm using a nice tone" :)

Also, it's great that she only asks for $25 of the total $250. After all, she's a reasonable woman. She's willing to put him on a payment plan. 

Surfs up!



Sunday, April 26, 2015

Well, well, well...

What have we here?

If it isn't my old retainer, shoved into the back of a drawer in the downstairs bathroom and left for dead. Perhaps it's time I resurrect this bad boy and show the world just how hipster I can be.

Oh dear. It doesn't fit.

That's disappointing...but at least I have this CLEAN & CLEAR FACE WASH(!!!) to lift my spirits!

Yes, another blast-from-the-past uncovered by today's bathroom decluttering, a bottle of the world most tingly blackhead scrub!

YES! The smell.

YES! The chunky lather.

YES! The burn. The horrible wonderful burning.

I loved Clean & Clear Deep Action Cream Cleanser because it smelled like bandaids and stung like IcyHot. It felt medicinal. Not only would it suck the life out of your zits, but it would also cleanse your soul.

I fear that the contents of this particular bottle have long expired, chemicals festering for 14 years to form an even more toxic and corrosive concoction. One wash with the stuff could leave me faceless (and my face has always been my best feature). Still, it's tempting. Just to feel that deep clean again. Nothing else compares.

Sweet dreams,

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Are Italian sodas still a thing?

You bet they are! And there was something in the air today that made me crave one.

When the thought popped into my head, the first question I asked myself was: do Italian sodas even exist or are they something I dreamed about once? The second: where can I get my hands on one?

I was in Edmonds when the hankering struck. As luck would have it, Waterfront Coffee near the ferry terminal had Italian sodas on the menu. Yes! Turns out they weren't a figment of my imagination.

I chose raspberry flavor. Again, gut instinct. When asked whether I wanted cream and/or whipped cream, I said "Give me the works."

Gotta know your angles
The verdict: delicious, for about three sips. After that, disgusting.

Short blog post tonight because I'm treating myself to an early bedtime. I suggest you do the same. Life's too short to stay up late socializing.

Nighty night,


Friday, April 24, 2015

This is the worst song I've heard in a while

...and I promise I'm not being a music snob.

You see, I like this kind of music. Sampling a song from the 80s / Rapping with an island accent / Whiny Rihanna-style chorus. Basically, if it sounds like it would be played in a Cypriot nightclub, I usually like it. But not this. This song is a bridge too far. I mean, it's TERRIBLE.

In other news, MEINE AUGEN! Drove home from Barbie's birthday party tonight and I felt like I couldn't see a thing. Nighttime driving is so crazy with all the shadows and the different colored lights. I think it's time I go back for another eye test.

Is bad-at-night eyesight a thing?

Glasses, here I come!



Thursday, April 23, 2015

This counts as a blog post

I had a tantrum tonight. My mother had to draw me a bath.

The day had gone well, but all of a sudden it was 9:30pm and I still had to:

1. Buy Woolite
3. Wash my blouses
2. Finish vacuuming
3. Write a blog
4. Plan my outfit for this thing tomorrow

Then I made the mistake of trying on WORK PANTS. Black wide-leg, tight-arse trousers. GOD. It was bad. And I realized that I gave my long ones away during my pre-Seattle clothing cleanse. That left only the hemmed ones, which meant no heels. But guess what? I also gave away my flats! Curse this minimalist streak.

When I realized that I didn't have the time or energy to go to QFC and buy Woolite, I really lost it.

Waaaaah! Waaaaah! Waaaaah! Boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo.

The more I tried to pull myself together, the sadder the situation felt. I mean, why did I give away those black flats? WHY!?

Francie and my mom witnessed the whole thing. They were patient and sympathetic and generous with their wardrobes. Finally, my mom suggested a bath.

From an electrical point of view, I risked my life to take this photo.

This photo is creepy and corpse-like.

I'd forgotten that Nadinski heats her bathwater to just a hair under boiling. It took me ten minutes to fully ease into the tub. Once horizontal, I decided to fully submerge—neck, ears, hair, face—until I was completely below the waterline.

It was HEAVEN.

My bowlcut fanned out around me, tugging gently at my scalp as it swayed. Water sloshed across my face, tickled my closed eyelids and warmed the tip of my nose. Without having to tell myself to, I naturally took several deep breathes.

I'm not proud of my behavior, but I'm beyond pleased with myself for writing about it honestly in this blog post.

Namaste y'all,

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


My sister Anna has a superpower. She can grab a random handful of crackers and then, without thinking or counting, slice the exact amount of cheese she needs for a 1:1 cracker to cheese ratio. It doesn't just work with cheese, but also pickles.

We were talking about our superpowers while walking Greenlake tonight. I asked Francie if she has one.

"I'm pretty good at knowing random dates," she said.

Anna: "Oh, like, people's birthdays?"

Francie: "Well, no. Not necessarily. Just certain random dates."

Anna: "What do you mean?

Francie: "Hmmm..."

Anna:  "Like, Christmas?!"

Francie: "Aaah, I don't know! Just certain dates—nevermind!"

And we laughed. As far as superpowers go, it was weak. Nothing compared to automatically slicing the exact amount of cheese required. But Francie does have a better superpower—it's responding to emails really fast. On any family email thread, she's always the first to answer back. Good job, Fronk!

My superpower is probably the ability to recap a TV show episode in a minute or less. I've also never cut my fingernails or toenails, yet they remain the perfect length.

What's yours?


P.S. I made this on some Chinese app called MyIdol. I'm sure you've seen it making the rounds. The app is difficult to navigate, as it's all in Chinese, but I suggest sticking with it.

Do you think it looks like me?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Madgespace Tribune

My days, these days, are spent doing three things.

  • Working
  • Taking baths 
  • Watching TV

There's little time for anything else. However, I've managed to keep up with all the important news stories thanks to that annoying ticker on the right side of my Facebook feed. 

Here's a recap in case you missed them.

A 7-year-old newsie in Alabama in 1914. What were you doing when you were seven!?!

Image via trialsanderrors via Flickr

NEWS: Teenagers are suctioning shot glasses to their faces and taking snaps of their swollen lips for the #KylieJennerChallege.

MY THOUGHTS: All kids have to learn this lesson at some point in their lives. Suctioning a cup, Nalgene water bottle or pickle jar lid to your face will leave a massive red mark around your lips. In fact, in America today, a different kid suffers an accidental, self-inflicted face hickey every three seconds. This Kylie Jenner thing may actually end up raising awareness of the detriments of face-vacuuming so that bored teenagers don't have to discover them the hard way.

NEWS: New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has apologized for pulling a waitress' hair (aka "a bit of banter").

MY THOUGHTS: The punishment should fit the crime. He should be forced to grow a rat tail and have Keri Russell yank it a few times. Because she was in that movie Waitress (duh).

NEWS: Netflix is going to air a Full House spinoff called 'Fuller House'.

MY THOUGHTS: Jodie Sweeten is returning, which is all that matters. I'm predicting that 'The Sign' by Ace of Base will be playing in the background of one of her scenes (on the car stereo or in the supermarket) as a hilarious in-joke for all us Full House diehards. In fact, this will definitely happen. YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST.

That's all the news from Lake Woebegone.

Speaking of Lake Woebegone....woe is me; it's time I be gone to bed. AMAZING. I am AMAZING.

Nighty noodle,


P.S. I hate Garrison Kiellor.

P.P.S. I don't know. Maybe he's good. But I'll never be able to shake my pavlovian BORED TO SOBS reaction to Prairie Home Companion. As a child in the backseat of a black Suburban, I would pray for anything but that damn Garrison Kiellor. Car Talk, Wait Wait, All Thing Considered—anything but that pretentious, breathy, Midwestern voice waffling on about the dullest shite imaginable.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Reunited with the love of my life

One upside of coming back from vacation is getting to catch up on all the shows you missed while you were away. There's a whole heap of them ready and waiting to entertain me! Real Housewives of Atlanta finale, Mad Men, Better Call Saul, The Americans...the list goes on.

Actually, I almost forgot to blog. It doesn't happen often, but tonight I came close to failing my Year-28 challenge.

The whole day I've been looking forward to getting under the covers and putting in some serious TV time. Madgespace was far from my mind. I was watching Episode 2 of Season 2 of Silicon Valley when I thought, "CRAP! I still need to blog!"

Cuddling with my best friend.

Reasons why I love TV

  • Watching TV is one of the few times I truly relax.
  • It's tradition to pair TV with a delicious snack, such as pretzels + string cheese or tea + cookie.
  • TV these days is GOOD. Did you ever watch Boardwalk Empire? Every episode is like a big budget film. 
  • Each show has a Subreddit dedicated to it, providing hours of additional entertainment in the form of crazy theories, behind-the-scenes gossip and fan art. This is particularly good for "deep" shows like Mad Men, where fans explain the more complex themes of each episode that would otherwise go right over my head. That said, I spend most of my time on /r/BravoRealHousewives and /r/rupaulsdragrace.
  • Watching movies takes too long. Attention spans aren't what they used to be. 
  • It's PASSIVE. Zero effort required. 

Gotta go. Lots to watch before my eyelids decide to quit for the day.



Sunday, April 19, 2015

US: world #1 in WPC

Weirdos Per Capita.

Andy pointed it out during one of his visits here.

"Americans are just so much more comfortable being weird!"

And it's true. After a week in Seaside and a stroll along the Alki strip this afternoon, it's clearer than ever. Americans are weird.

Today I saw a guy, shirt off, jean shorts, spiky blond hair, gliding down the sidewalk with a boombox on his skateboard blaring '90s rap. Further down the road a 50-year-old man was waxing his motorcycle while listening to 'Backstreet's Back' on full blast.

In Seaside, I saw entire families dressed in matching sweatsuits with neon 'Seaside' lettering across their butts.

Dogs in strollers? Yep!

Gangster knee tattoos? Oh yeah!

Tai Chi on the side of a busy road? Of course!

Lounge chairs and BBQ-ing in the driveway? Cool!

Crocs with dresses / high heels with exercise shorts / barefoot in public? Yes! Yes! Yes!

This stuff just doesn't happen in Britain.

Maybe it would have been more accurate (and kinder) for Andy to say that Americans are comfortable being different. Unlike Brits, we don't mind standing out in a crowd. Or we aren't even aware that we're standing out. Or we realise that, in a country full of sore thumbs, there's actually no such thing as standing out. When everyone's weird, "weird" loses its meaning.

Alki today.

In these first few weeks back, I've also been struck by how friendly everyone is. That's something you hear Brits say often—"Americans are so friendly!" I never fully understood it until now. It's not just cheery baristas and overly helpful door greeters at The Gap. It's totally random strangers being totally randomly friendly, all the time.

Example. You're standing in a long line at Starbucks and your phone rings. It's your sister. You ask her if she wants a drink. Everyone she's with also wants something, so you say "hang on a second" and then type up the list of orders on your phone.

In the US, it would not be strange for the person behind you to say something like, "I bet you're sorry you asked!" after you hung up. You'd respond, "Geesh, I know!" and the two of you would share a chuckle.

In the UK, this wouldn't happen. Of course the person behind you would have eavesdropped on your conversation—it's impossible not to—but they wouldn't want you to know they had. Talking to you about the call would mean acknowledging that they listened in on it, and they simply wouldn't be comfortable with that.

The UK has many virtues (GOING TO THE DENTIST COSTS $12!!!!!), but they're lacking in weirdos. Even the weirdos they do have are generic weirdos. Here in Yankland, particularly on the west coast, weirdos grow on trees.

Speaking of trees, have I told you about the trees here?

Weird in Washington*

P.S. Pronounced Warshington

Saturday, April 18, 2015

It's a double bunny kind of day

What could be better than having one best friend? Having TWO best friends!

Just ask my nephew Ollie, who welcomed a new bunny to his wolfpack today. Congratulations, Ollie! Although it was a rather unexpected addition, congratulations all the same.

Bunny Sr. on the left, Bunny Jr. on the right.

Photo credit: Anna Gorohoff

I'm back from Seaside tomorrow. Gosh, it feels like I've been away forever. I feel like I live in Seaside now. I've gone from tourist to townie in just one week!


Friday, April 17, 2015

Running down a hill in a jacket I borrowed from my 95-year-old grandma


The Internet situation is limited here. Using our phones as hotspots, but we're low on data.

I'll be back to "normal" blogging next week.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Shirt labels these days...

Something's up with them.

My mom says they never used to be so fat and so long. Also, there didn't used to be so many.

"Now there's like five on every shirt," she says.

Anna has a sheer blouse with a giant label that's visible through the fabric. She fears cutting it would make the situation worse.

Francie agrees. "You could cut it, but the nubbin might look even weirder."

"And sometimes the nubbin itches more than the full label," my mom says. She reiterates to us that big labels are a new thing. "It didn't used to be like this!"

Maybe gratuitous shirt labels are due to new regulations? Must all retailers, by law, disclose a laundry list (n.p.i.) of washing instructions?

No, that can't be.

"What about label-less t-shirts?" Anna says. "That's also a thing now. So, it can't be due to any sort of law."

Image by jdbradway via Flickr

Whatever the reason, we all agree it needs to stop.



P.S. Kim Richards of RHOBH was arrested for being drunk/disorderly/kicking a cop. It was only a matter of time. Let's hope this will be a catalyst for her getting the help she needs! Of course, we're all wondering, what does Brandi think? Where was Brandi during all this? Did she call Brandi? Will Brandi defend her? Et cetera, et cetera.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Worm poop

Today I watched a worm poop.

In all my 28 years, I'd never seen, let alone considered, a worm going number-two.

Until today, that is.

I was gardening and I startled him. There he was, squirming through the dark soil when—SHAZAM—he's scooped up by my trowel, the blinding light of day burning his tiny retinas, his minuscule heart stopping mid-thump. Of course I startled him. And it's only natural to lose control of one's bowels when faced with a fright of that magnitude.

How do I know that I saw what I did?

Brown slime. Out one end.

To the naked eye, worm bottoms are indistinguishable from worm heads. But I can only assume that the brown slime end was the arse. Also, the other end looked embarrassed.


Everybody's favorite worm.

Image by Ape Lad via Flickr

Your vacationing friend,

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Heads up!

Vacation + Cabin + No Internet = Game night

Interactive game apps = The new board games

Heads Up = The game we played tonight

The video below = The extent of tonight's blog post



Monday, April 13, 2015

Slave to the shave

I'm on VACATION so I'll keep this short.

Conversation during Scrabble this evening:

Me: "Who do you think uses shaving cream more often, men or women?

(At the same time)
Mom: "Men."
Francie: "Women."

Anna: "Women definitely use more."

Mom: "Men shave their faces every day!!!!"

Anna: "Some women shave their legs every day."

Me: "What!?"

Mom: "Yep, she's right.

Me: "No..."

Mom: "It's true."

Anna: "Yep, a lot of women do. So many."

Me: "Oh my god!"

Our Scrabble board from this evening. "Draped" started out as "Raped" - ESCANDALO!

If you're one of those women, please comment on this blog post or on Facebook. I'd love to hear what inspires you, how many blades you go through a year and whether you remember what it's like to have hairy legs.

Also, let me know whether you:

A) Use shaving cream (if so, Skintimate?)
b) Work up a lather with bar soap
c) Shampoo
d) Conditioner
e) Liquid body wash
f) DRY
g) N/A - Electric razor
h) Other


Sunday, April 12, 2015


I'm scheduling this post in advance so I don't have to blog on my first night in Seaside.

For those of you who don't know, Seaside is a magical town on the Oregon coast with an arcade, bumper cars, the Tilt-A-Whirl, Old Tyme Photo, lots of caramel corn, shops with hilarious t-shirts, surreys with fringes on top and a gorgeous beach.

Man, salty ocean foam is cool.



Saturday, April 11, 2015

6 Saturday thoughts

1. It's possible to be fashionable but not stylish.

2. Gigi Hadid kind of looks like Julia Stiles (dat moon face)

3. Sleep is a gift. Cherish it.

4. Degree deodorant does not and never will work on these pits.

5. You can't judge a strip mall by its cover. There might just be an amazing foot massage place in there.

6. Nelly (rapper, bandaid on face) got arrested because he had METH in his van! METH.

Nelly promoting his 'Apple Bottom' fragrance. Sure, the name works for his women's jeans brand, but do you really want a perfume with the word "bottom" in it?

Image via Wikimedia Commons

OK, that last one wasn't so much a 'Saturday thought' as it was something I just read in the Dailymail. Still, I'm very shocked and saddened by the news.

Going to Seaside tomorrow. No Internet at the cabin. How will I blog? I don't know. Will I find a way? Yes.


P.S. Do you know Nelly's real name?

P.P.S. It's Cornell

Friday, April 10, 2015

From the Archives, Edition 6

Oh look, it's another 'From the Archives' post. How unfortunate for you.

Just remember: I owe you NOTHING.

Right now I'm in the fine city of Vancouver, Washington, and I'm only starting to emerge from a migraine haze. Tonight's not a good night for me to be staring at a computer screen. Instead, I'm serving up some g-chat realness with a conversation between Andy and myself from March 2012.

Something you should know before you read it: Andy and I have this thing (theng) where we replace the letter "i" with the letter "e". He thinks (thenks) that's how I talk, so it's a funny/stupid thing (theng) we do when we g-chat each other. I know that's gross, couple's language stuff, but I didn't want you to thing we are just bad spellers.

6:03 AM me: how goes it rammy

6:04 AM Andy: good thanks
  i was just putting up a lamp
 me: really??
  how does it look?
 Andy: great
  really great
 me: omg
 Andy: really really great
 me: take a pic!
 Andy: ok
 me: you=the best
 Andy: i'm going to say this to you now though
6:05 AM you aren't allowed to touch it
  i just about managed to get it so that the bulb was in the middle
  so it doesn't burn
  and it took ages
 me: ok
  we can get another bulb
  a smaller one
 Andy: so no manhandling/horseplay
 me: a skinnier one
 Andy: no, the bulb is fine now
  it only has to be 4cm away from the side
  so it's ok
6:06 AM me: you're just cranky because you had your arms over your head for too long
 Andy: nope
  i am happy
  because we have a brand new lamp
 me: does it make the room better?
 Andy: and it looks better than the glass bowl
 me: groovy
6:07 AM Andy: how goes your day little mog?
 me: good rampog
  pretty standard
  enjoying my lunch
 Andy: good
  how were my articles?
6:08 AM acceptable?
 me: yes
 Andy: you're welc mcmog
6:10 AM me: have you eaten the cookie
6:11 AM Andy: not yet
  saving it
  have you?
 me: in a bet
  i will eat it
 Andy: hahaha
  in the MOUTH
 Andy: i'll do et later

Aaaand, that's all. Hope that was a satisfying read for you.

Tomorrow I'm going to T.J. Max with my grandma, so I need to get a good night's sleep.

Sweet dreams,


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Take on the no-purse challenge

Where my girls at? Any ladies out there in the audience?

Yeah, you. I'm talking to you.

You with the hair and the Starbucks cup and the iPhone. Listen up.

I have a challenge for you and all the other gals of the world:


And, while we're at it, give up your wallet too.

Here's what you're going to do instead. Every day, before you leave the house, slip your driver's license and your debit card into the front pocket of your skinny jeans. That's it! It's as simple as that.

Now, I know you have questions, and I'm prepared to answer them.

  • What about my keys? Coat pocket. 
  • What about my chapstick? Other skinny jeans pocket. 
  • What about my phone? Coat pocket / hold it in your hand / center console of your car
  • What if I'm wearing a dress? Nope, you're not. You can't wear dresses when you're on the "Purse Cleanse". It's one of its few downfalls. 

I've been purseless for more than five years now and it's been life changing. I was sick of digging in that leathery trash pit for my keys and decided to put an end to it once and for all. I've never looked back.

Purse shop or prison? You tell me.

Image by j-No via Flickr

There's something so freeing about leaving the house with nothing hanging off your shoulder. With just your ID and your debit card tucked in your front pocket, every day feels like you're about to go clubbing. It's thrilling.

Do it for a month and I bet you won't even miss it. Tell your friends! Tweet it to your followers!** Instagram your uninhibited shoulders! Let's start a revolution!

**If you tweet about it, please use the hashtag #CurseThePurse



Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Things that need to stop

Please find below a list of things that we, society, need to put the kibosh on. 

Cartoon boogers in cold/flu medicine ad. 

Cartoon poop germs in toilet cleaner ads.

Leaf blowers. 

Male skinny jeans. 

Mini bluetooth headsets. 

Red Delicious apples. 

Cement medians between parking spaces. 


Using "Remainder" / "R" when doing long devision

Toe rings. 

Toe socks. 

Toe shoes. 

The Big Bang Theory (the show, not the theory).

The 12-hour clock ("military time", as we call it in North America, causes far less confusion).

Headlights with eyelashes. 

Stuffed animals in the rear window of the car. 

Celebs + Instagram + Photoshop.

Low fat yogurt. 

I don't even think toe rings are a thing anymore. But still.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

What would you add to my list?



Tuesday, April 7, 2015

What are YOU doing next February?

Doesn't matter. Whatever your plans are, cancel them.

We're going to the Seaside Jazz Festival!

My parents happened to be in Seaside, Oregon for the annual jazz festival this year and they've been raving about it ever since. Best thing to happen to Seaside since Bagels By the Sea moved into the old First Interstate Bank building.

Who would have guessed that Lewis' and Clark's old stomping grounds would become the New Orleans of the Pacific Northwest?

Of course, nothing about the jazz fest even remotely interested me until I saw these videos, recorded on Rich Kay's iPhone.

(Hey. Don't give into that short attention span. Watch BOTH videos in their entirety. I dare you.)


Almost as good as the best old lady dancing video on the Internet.

Seriously, if I had half the moves these Elks Club members have, I'd quit this content marketing racket and become a cruise ship entertainer (or something equally as glamorous).

Actually, I did take jazz dance lessons when I was 10. The best part was getting to order our outfits from the dance costumes catalogue. Now that's a lucrative industry. We spent so much on our star spangled leotards for the summer recital (set to Neil Diamond's 'Coming to America') that we had to wear basic black leggings and an XL brown shirt for the Christmas dance (set to 'Run Run Rudolph' by Chuck Berry).

And would you look at that—it still fits!


P.S. No leotards were harmed in the making of this blog post.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Look right down any crowded hall

I was thinking about Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield today and wondering what they're up to. They must be, what, 31 by now? They were 27 in the final book, 'Sweet Valley Confidential', so yeah...that makes them about 31.

Ignoring everything that was in Sweet Valley Confidential, I would guess Elizabeth's married to Todd and working as an HR manager for a major publishing company. Jessica? Well she just sent in her audition tape for the next season of The Bachelor. She works in social media and loves to Instagram her thigh gap.


Sweet Valley High played a major role in my childhood and teenage years. In our house, Sweet Valley books were part of the furniture. They were squished between couch cushions, stacked up on the back of the toilet and shoved inside the Suburban's back seat pockets.

There was always one close at hand. It didn't matter where you were with a certain book, you'd just pick up the nearest one, open to a random page and read. Chronology wasn't a concern.

Most people, including myself, liked Jessica more. She was fun! The only thing Elizabeth had going for her was being smart. That and Todd Wilkins, who, let's be honest, was a bore.

Sweet Valley went through many incarnations over the years. Sweet Valley Kids covered the elementary school years and Sweet Valley Twins took place in middle school. Then there was the Unicorn Club spinoff, which focused on Jessica and Lila's exclusive group, The Unicorns, and its snobby members.

Of course, Sweet Valley High was and remains the pinnacle of Francine Pascal's career. More specifically, Sweet Valley High: Senior Year. This particular series introduced new characters (former El Carro High students who transferred to SVH when their school burned down) and took the Padden cousins by storm. I think I read books #4 and #5 at least 30 times each.

Now here's the burning question: what is it about Sweet Valley that spoke to our souls?

Let's ruminate on that this week.

Yikes. It's 11:38pm and I've got to wrap this up.

Top 5 Children's / Teen Book Series of All time

1. Harry Potter
2. Sweet Valley High
3. Boxcar Children
4. Babysitter's club
5. Fear Street


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Real talk

Easter is a time of rebirth. It's a season of new life and fresh starts. To honor the occasion, I'm going to lay bare my soul and share with you my innermost thoughts. Well, my innermost thoughts from the past five minutes.

In college, working at the Ultimate Bagel, my friend Barbie and I used to play the game 'Deepest Darkest Secret of the Day'. As the name implies, it involved admitting our biggest secret of that day only—anything from "I'm wearing the same socks as yesterday" to "The fire alarm went off in the dorm, but I hid in the closet instead of going outside in the snow".

Today's post is a twist on that beloved bagel shop pastime. Instead of sharing with you my deepest darkest secret of the day, I'm typing out my deepest darkest thoughts from the past five minutes. 

Here goes it...

Iffy music taste

Is it wrong that I enjoy Maroon 5 and John Mayer as much as I do?

I feel like that really dates me. Kids these days probably don't even know who John Mayer is—or they at least don't sing his song "Neon" in their head every time they use a highlighter.

It could be worse. I could be a huge Jack Johnson fan—or what about TRAIN!?! Omg, Train. Almost forgot about Train.

Still, I'm honest enough to admit that I think Maroon 5 and John Mayer were two of the greatest contributors to pop music during the early 2000s. I can't help what I like!

The reason I feel weird about this is that both John Mayer and Adam Levine are very unlikable human beings.

Classic Mayer face.
Image by Patty Keigan via Wikimedia Commons

Ear zit

I have a zit in my left ear. It hurts, but I'm fascinated by it more than anything else. I can't stop touching it and thinking about how gross it is that I have pores in my ear—and that one of those pores is clogged! FASCINATING.

Mad Men

The new episode of Mad Men was good (first episode of the second half of Season 7). SPOILER ALERT: lots of moustaches, but no real 'holy cow!' moments. I was hoping I'd have a reason to shout "holy cow!" at least once, but the episode was fairly uneventful. It was good, but I was disappointed.

New phone

I synced my email with my new phone, but then un-synced it after a few hours. I wasn't ready. Too much too soon. 


P.S. I'll explain LYMI again, but this is the last time I'm going to do it. So, listen up. LYMI stands for "Love ya, mean it!" Take it, use it, spread it to your fellow man. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Life milestone: getting rear-ended

I got rear-ended today! Driving my Dad's truck, yielding at a yield sign, when—BAM.

"Call Me Maybe" was on the radio, which made the whole thing even more startling. You just don't expect to be rear-ended while listening to Carly Rae Jepsen.

Until today, I'd never been in a car accident when I was the one driving. I haven't even been pulled over by a cop before. So this was exciting. A major life milestone.

My first thought after being hit was: Oh my god. Who is it that's always in the wrong in a rear-end collision? I know it's always one of the people. Which person is it!?!

Then I remembered, with about 65% confidence, that it's always the person who does the rear-ending. I regained my composure and pulled over to the side of the road.


"Hiiiii" I said to the lady/man (wasn't sure at first). Her/his white Nisson Sentra looked like it was just about to sneeze, nose all scrunched up, ahh ahhh ahhh—but no final "achoo". A permanent state of sneezy nose tickle.

"You okay?" he/she asked. Still not 100% clear from the voice, but I was leaning toward woman.

"Yeah, I'm fine. You?"


"Welllll....since you rear-ended me, I think that means it's your fault?"

I held my breath.

"Yeah, that's right."

Ah, thank goodness. I had remembered correctly. Also, there was no damage to my Dad's truck. This was the best rear-ending I could have asked for. We exchanged insurance information just in case. She (definitely, after a closer look) drove away in her crumpled car and that was the end of that.


Whiplashed In Kenmore

Friday, April 3, 2015

Speak loudly and carry a pack of soothing cough drops

I'm hoarse.

Not to be an old lady, but why must they play the music so loud in bars? How are people supposed to have a decent conversation over ear-piercing guitar solos?

Five and a half years in the UK and my once-robust American vocal chords have shrivelled into shadows of their former selves. I became so accustomed to the meek, muted tones of British discourse that I fear I may never regain my old volume.

In Edinburgh I'd often work from the black chair in our bay window. I quickly learned how to tune out the bagpipes. But when American tourists would walk down the Mile, my ears couldn't ignore their familiar, flat, unapologetic, thunderous honking. MY PEOPLE. I'd be compelled to look up from my laptop and watch them walk by. Yoga pants + fleece + running shoes, without fail.

It took me about a year of being over there to adopt a UK-approved volume. It happened gradually. I didn't realise I was talking quieter until I came back to Kenmore for a visit and everyone in my family kept saying, "What?" "I can't hear you!" "Speak up!"

Now that I'm back for good, I can only hope that I'll eventually get my voice back. My true American voice. Monotone. Confident. Loud.

While I'm on the subject, I think it's unfair that Americans get all the flack for being loud. Yes, we're loud. Much louder than the English, Scottish and Irish. But we aren't the only country that errs on the side of screaming. What about Italians? Or Greeks? Spaniards? Porto Ricans? Those are just some of the countries where, according to anecdotal research and some quick Googling, people also talk loudly.

What's on its head? I don't know. I don't think we'll ever know.

I feel like I've meandered off topic because it's nearly midnight and I haven't yet fulfilled my bath quota for the day. I can't think straight.

The main thing I wanted to get across is that I'm hoarse. HOARSE. After catching up with high school friends all day, and having a lovely time, I'm ready for some herbal tea and hot soak in the tub.



P.S. Don't Google Image search "Vocal Chords". NSFW.

P.PS. Is there a better cough drop than original Ricola? If so, I don't want to know about it.

Image by philozopher via Flickr

Thursday, April 2, 2015


Today I found the journal my friends and I shared in junior high.

We would keep it for about a week before passing it on to the next person. Inside it are anecdotes from the halls of KJH, lots of talk about The Sims, a list of people we hate and regular updates on everyone's crushes.

I thought about sharing an excerpt here in a 'From the Archives' post, but it just didn't feel right. 'The Journ', as we called it, is sacred. Its hallowed pages contain rare, raw insight into the mind of a middle school girl. To share it here would be to betray my 14-year-old self. I just can't do it.

Plus, someone wrote and then highlighted in pink highlighter, "From now on, NO Arrowheadian boys can read this—we can't trust them!"

On the slim chance that an Arrowheadian boy reads my blog (Arrowheadian being our term for people who went to Arrowhead Elementary School), it seems I must honor The Journ's code of secrecy.

The good news is that I also found a poem I wrote around the same time. I read it and was AMAZED at how good it is.

Of course, it's actually terrible. But it's not that terrible. It's far less terrible that I would have expected. If I sat down to write a poem today, I sincerely doubt I'd be able to match it.

Let this be a lesson to us all: there are certain skills we never progress in beyond a junior high level. For most of us, poetry is among them.

Others include:

  • Choreographing group dances
  • Cursive (fun fact: Brits aren't familiar with the term "cursive". They call it "joined-up writing")
  • Summoning the dead via a Ouija board

TGIF tomorrow,

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Juice moustache

I can't write tonight because I've eaten too many Icebreakers Sours and can't concentrate on anything for longer than two seconds.

Instead, I'm giving you a photo-heavy post. THREE photos for the price of one blog post. Aren't you lucky.

SO delish. I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure Ice Breaker Sours are what Elvis OD-ed on. 

Do you ever look at clothes you wore as a kid and think, 'I wish I had that in grown-ass woman size?'
Also, check out that juice moustache. Or is it choc milk?

Francie and I at Arrowhead. 1989? 1990?

Even back then we had great calf definition. #PaddenCalves

Finally, I'd like to briefly mention how annoying it is when news media gets involved in April Fools Day. And how lame it is that they loooove themselves for being JUST SO SILLY!

I bet they say things like, "It's the one day we get to take off our journalist hats and really let loose!"

Ugh. It's like watching your high school teachers all dressed up and socializing with each other whilst chaperoning a school dance. So smugly pleased with themselves.

Today The Guardian did a piece on how Jeremy Clarkson was supporting some fossil fuel divestment campaign following his sacking from the BBC. Laugh it up, Guardian! LAUGH IT UP.


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