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Sunday, May 31, 2015

If I start writing now...

Tonight, I'll let Charlie Brown speak for me.


  

'The Passion of Creation'
Image by Leonid Pasternak via Wikimedia Commons

In other news, North West is going to be a BIG SISTAH! Any guesses on names? Here's what I'm thinking:

South - 60% chance
Wild - 20% chance
Due - 10% chance
Go - 2%
Out - 2%
Mello - 2%
Narro - 2%
Shallo - 2%

Sweet dreams,
Margaret



Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Crying Indian

"So, back in the day, did people really just litter?" I ask my mom.

"Yeah, I guess so," she says.

"Really? That's crazy. Like, did you know anyone who would just throw their garbage out the car door?"

"I'm sure I did."

"Did you do it?"

Long pause.

"Probably!"

Later she asks my dad the same question and he says he never littered. He had to pick garbage up along the roadside near the farm in Wenatchee growing up. It annoyed him and he vowed to never become one of those lousy litterbugs.

'The International Tidyman' (my what pointy legs you have)
Image via Wikimedia Commons


They both remember a TV public service announcement that was enough to scare any no-good garbage-hurler straight. Here it is in all its heartbreaking glory.




We all agreed that the PSA takes on an extra layer of sadness in that this guy—a genuine Native American named 'Iron Eyes Cody'—was forced to make his living off anti-littering commercials. Instead of living off the land, he was pimping out his own sorrow just to earn a buck!

But, guess what? That's wrong. He wasn't a genuine Native American. Iron Eyes Cody was actually 100% Italian and just decided to based his entire Hollywood career on portraying American Indians.

You could've fooled me, Iron Eyes! If that's even your real name. I suspect it isn't.

That's all,

Margaret

P.S. For the record, I doubt Nadinski littered.

P.P.S. Remember this?

 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Five Friday thoughts

I need to read more. Apparently reading makes you a better writer. I'm skeptical, but it's worth a try. 

Thus, I'm giving myself the night off. After I write this sentence, I'm going to type the first five thoughts that enter my mind. 


1. My mom wants to enjoy emojis, but says they're too tiny. She can't see them. "People send me them, and they're like a speck."

2. Why does J. Lo never age?

3. There's a muscle in each butt cheek that feels amazing when you flex it, punch it or dig your knuckle into it. Stand in second position, straighten your legs, lock your knees and then flex your bottom. Find the indent on the outside edge of your butt cheek. Give it a firm tap with the heel of your palm. See? Amazing. It must be some sort of pressure point.

4. Current internal debate: go all the way upstairs and make myself a snack or eat tomorrow's dose of gummy vitamins several hours too early? The struggle is real. 

5.  Jessica Alba = so much smarter than any of us gave her credit for. 


What a disgusting image. What's wrong with the masseur's arms? Only just noticed his dry skin.

Image via Brandon Beardsley via Pinterest


Nighty noodle, 
Margaret

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Scum of the skies

There's a man in Edmonds, Washington who has dedicated his life to boycotting Alaska Airlines. For years now, he's had signs up in his windows, on his car and erected in his front yard.

Note: the photo below is outdated. The sign now has a spotlight.

Image via KomoNews
Curious cat that I am, I decided to Google "Boycott Alaska Airlines Scu..."—I didn't even have to finish typing. Clearly I'm not the first to have investigated this man's mission. Google autofilled my query and before I knew it I was on the homepage of alaskaairlinesscumoftheskies.com.

You know how they say that dogs look like their owners? Well, the same is true of websites. Kind of. I don't know what the Edmonds man looks like, but aesthetically, the website screams 'ramblings of an angry mad man'. Giant block of words, tiny font, double spaces after each period, second-person narrative and footer text that reads 'One Pissed Off Customer'.  I loved it instantly. 

I also just love it when people go big or go home. When they commit to something so intensely because it's too late and they've invested too much to bow out now. I do it a lot in debates with Andy. Even if I realize that he's right halfway through, I double down on my argument for dignity's sake. 

Today my auntie Barb told me that her phone rang during a recent pilates class. Everyone looked around at each other. They all pointed to a woman whose phone had gone off before, but she swore hers was on vibrate. Even the teacher piped up to say, whoever's phone it was, just go turn it off. The whole time Barb kept quiet. She'd decided not to confess and she had no choice but to stick with it. With every passing second, it became increasingly impossible to fess up. 

I completely understood her position and admitted that I would have done the same. 

Back to Alaska Airlines man. I wanted to love his story. I wanted to grab my pitchfork and riot by his side. But his tale let me down. There are big chunks missing and the whole thing reads a bit homophobic. 

I don't know. Maybe it's just bad copywriting. Perhaps he used up all his energy on 'Scum of the Skies', which is brilliant. 

Whatever the case, I'm disappointed—and now a bit worried that, if he's any bit the Googler I am, there might be a 'Boycott Madgespace' sign up in his lawn tomorrow. I flatter myself.

Love ya,
Margaret

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Attention span training

I've been doing this weird thing lately—forcing myself to watch scenes from old films, retro TV show clips and dated music videos through to the very end. I've also been reading lengthy New York Times articles and resisting every last urge to click on Facebook when it gets boring halfway through.

Let's call it attention span training.

What have I learned? Everything from the past is slow. Even action films. But it's rewarding to stick with them. It feels like you've accomplished something. Comparable to going on a run or cleaning out the fridge.

For example, try watching this entire music video. It's hard work, but the payoff is some truly hilarious goings-on.
 


Andy once had a student who decided to watch the film version of a text he was studying for school—probably Death of a Salesman or 1984 or something like that. When Andy asked him what he thought of it, the boy said, "Once you got past the first five minutes, it was actually pretty good."

We thought this was funny. "Once you get past the first five minutes." Even I can recall a time when people afforded a film at least a solid 12 minutes before hitting eject on the ol' VCR.

It's also just nice to enjoy media that's not designed for today's audiences. Take this clip of Colonel Sanders on an old show called 'What's My Line?'. The panel doesn't know what he does! This is from before the time that people knew about Colonel Sanders. Truly fascinating. Also, it's clearly a giant marketing campaign for Kentucky Fried Chicken and FAKE FAKE FAKE, but thems was the times.



GOD, that was boring.

Nighty night,
Margaret

P.S.

Image by Post Memes via Flickr

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Where my INFJs at?

I did a personality test today. Cast your mind back to my dark days of employment and you'll recall I'm not usually a fan of them. It annoys me to be reduced to one of four colors when I'm as complex as the color wheel, as vibrant as the rainbow!

But there's a bit more to the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator model than the Color Code Personality Profile. In this one, there are 16 possible personality types and it's based on your preference of introversion vs. extroversion, sensing vs. intuition, thinking vs. feeling and judging vs. perceiving.

What do those words even mean? Your guess is as good as mine. All I know is that I took the test and I'm an INFJ, also known as 'The Advocate'.

We are rare. We make up only 1–2% of the population. We're introverts masquerading as extroverts. We're creative, passionate, insightful and convincing. But hot damn if we aren't over sensitive. Criticize us and we flip out. SO DON'T DO IT.

Sounds about right.

What's alarming is the company I'm in. My INFJ compatriots include:
  • Ayatollah Khomeini 
  • Osama Bin Laden
  • Chiang Kai-shek
  • Robert Mugabe
  • Adolf Hilter

Well, great. As they say, you can't choose your family.

But we do have David Schwimmer, so we can't all be bad. 

Image by BioPredator via deviantart.com

Also, the other thing to keep in mind is that it's all a load of BULL ROAR.

HA! I'm still not convinced. And you know I'm right. Even though it's fun to take the test and analyze yourself, the reality is that people are complex. There aren't just 16 of us, but 7 billion! This one may be better than the colors but, much like me and my faux extroversion, it's just old school clickbait masquerading as science. 

Still, I recommend taking the test for the entertainment value alone. You'll find some of the results are pretty spot-on. For example, it said that INFJs make good bloggers. I swear!



Also, it said that there are just enough Andys in the world (ESTPs) to keep things spicy, but not so many that it would cause a systemic risk to humankind. Phew!



TAKE THE TEST


Goodnight, 
Margaret

Monday, May 25, 2015

Ram it

Don't you love it when you discover a hilarious video on YouTube completely on your own? A few years ago I was looking for songs with the word 'ram' in them (my spouse's nickname is Ram) and came across this gem.

Things to consider when watching:
  • This was an actual NFL team. They're now the St. Louis Rams, apparently. #AmericanFootball
  • The guys rapping in the video are the athletes themselves.
  • Imagine this happening today. Can you picture Beast Mode rapping to a song called 'Hawk It'?
  • The song is really good.
  • This should be mandatory for all NFL teams.

Also, after Googling the song I now realize that I'm not the only one whose been fascinated by its existence. Turns out, there are tons of articles about how amazing it is. Still, I'm proud that I came across it organically.



In other news, I went camping and now I'm back. It was great. Here's a brief, chronological summary:

Lake.
Foil dinners.
Campfire.
Tent. 
Hike. 
Game.
Town. 
Campfire. 
Tent.
Deer.
Taco Time. 

Back to the grind tomorrow! Nighty night. 

Love, 
Margaret

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sixth Grade Essays: Part 4, Ambitions

I saved the most cringeworthy essay for last. Just remember, I was 12 and experimenting with the English language. Back then I wanted so badly to be descriptive, but my vocabulary held me back. When it doubt, I guessed.

Today's essay: Ambitions

Highlights: "leaking proudness"


Back to regularly scheduled programming tomorrow. 

LYMI, 
Margaret

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Sixth Grade Essays: Part 3, Poem

I'm only three parts into this mini series and I'm already breaking the rules. Instead of sharing a sixth grade essay, tonight I'm sharing a sixth grade poem. Close enough!

Highlights: "Fears...hatred" HA! Very David Brent.




Cheers,
Margaret


Friday, May 22, 2015

Sixth Grade Essays: Part 2, Likes and Dislikes

It's officially Memorial Day Weekend. I'm camping! Luckily, I thought ahead and scheduled this fascinating piece of nonfiction from my 12-year-old self.

Today's essay: Likes and Dislikes

Highlights: The part about being captured into a book's legend (because it makes no sense). Oh, and the smugness. Of course, the smugness.



In related news, I like asparagus now. At least I tell myself I do. 

TGIF, 
Margaret



Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sixth Grade Essays: Birth Story

I found an old scrapbook with all my essays from sixth grade. What a perfect excuse to roll out a new, Madgespace mini series. We'll call it...'Sixth Grade Essays' because it's accurate and 'From The Archives' is already taken.

Today's essay: Birth Story

Highlights: the general smugness (you'll notice that's a theme in these essays).

Enjoy!



Thank goodness I'm so well-adjusted!

Yours,
Horseradish

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Tracy Chapman = on the radio lots

In case you haven't noticed, we're in the midst of a Tracy Chapman renaissance. Yes, that woman with a male voice who sings 'Fast Car' — all of a sudden, she's back!

I'm not quite sure what's going on, but I've been in America for just two months now and I've already heard more Tracy Chapman than all of the 90s combined (which was quite a lot...before things soured between Anna and Columbia House). Every time I turn on the radio her baritone melodies reverberate back through the speakers. At first I thought it was a fluke, but it's happened so much that I know something's up.

Image by Wishbook via Flickr


Was one of her songs played during the credits of a season finale or something? Like, Grey's Anatomy maybe? What else could explain it?

What I do know is that I can't help but sing along to "but you can say baby...baby can I hold you toniiiiiight. Maybe if I told you the right words...ooooooh at the right time....you'd me mine." Tune and a half.

Hey, I've cracked it! Just now. I was Googling "Tracy Chapman" and discovered that she performed on Letterman a month ago. That explains it. That explains the resurgence. I answered by own question. This blog is therapy.


 
(Watch for a boring rendition of 'Stand By Me')

In related news, I was listening to Warm 106.9 today and they have a station advertisement that goes like this:

Warm 106.9, for when you're wearing yoga pants as...pants! We don't judge! Warm 106.9, today's music variety. 

Well, they certainly know their audience. I was indeed wearing yoga pants as pants at the time. Ugh.

Your pal,
Marge

P.S. This blog post is officially in the running for 'Worst Post Title Ever'. Other nominees include:

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Bachelorette — SHIZE, I'm watching it

Let's just pause for a second to remember these facts:

  • Benicio Del Toro has a baby with Kimberly Stewart (Rod Stewart's daughter / Paris Hilton's bff).
  • Hally Berry once did a hit and run.
  • Angelina Jolie kissed her brother on the lips on a red carpet and wore a vial of Billy Bob's blood around her neck.  
  •  Oprah's real name is Orpah.
  • When Sean Penn was married to Madonna, he hit her over the head with a baseball bat. 
  • Jerry Springer was once the Mayor of Cincinnati.

Moving on...

I wasn't planning on watching The Bachelorette. It's been years since I partook in Chris Harrison's little matchmaking scheme, and I wasn't ready to jump back into the rose ceremonies, the teary confessionals, the steamy overnight dates, the skeptical father-in-laws-to-be...SIGH.

But then I heard some baristas at Starbucks talking about it. And my sistahs were planning a viewing party tonight. I didn't want to be the only girl in Kenmore who wasn't in the loop. Plus, Mad Men's over, Mindy Project's cancelled...

So, I'm WATCHING IT!

And I'm living for this drunk guy who they clearly paid to be obnoxious on night one. It happens every season. Oh boy, I think I might be enjoying this (she thinks, as she pops another bite-sized Reese's peanut butter cup in her mouth).



So long,
Margaret

P.S. "Partook"?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Steal This Business Idea: Edition 1

Welcome one and all to the first ever edition of 'Steal This Business Idea'.

This week, we'll be talking about bicycle helmets. They'll save your life, but they're a bloody nuisance to fit on your noggin.

All those straps. The sticky, oh-no-I'm-going-to-pinch-my-neck buckle. The adjustable interior lining. The extra foam padding. The plastic, ear-loop sliders. It's a FECKing spiderweb of annoyance!

Last weekend, my mom and dad stayed in a cabin in Leavenworth. It had a brand new, high-tech washer and dryer. Unlike our ye old washer here in Kenmore, where you set the load to 'small', 'medium' or 'large', this robot washing machine entered "sense" mode and detected the size by itself!

You see where I'm going with this...

Someone (who? YOU!) invent a high-tech bike helmet that senses your head size. You put it on, press a button and then voila, it tightens to suit your skull.

Do it! Invent it! If you don't, then Apple will and iHelmets will be flying off the shelves faster than you could say "fecking spiderweb of annoyance".

Andy and some long-haired mistress on the Golden Gate Bridge. 

See ya,
Margaret

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Live blogging the Mad Men finale

OK, I can't really count it as "live blogging" because A) I'm watching it on my laptop hours after it aired and B) a blog, as a medium, doesn't allow for real-time publishing.

But it made for a catchy title, didn't it? And I'm still going to jot down my thoughts as the episode goes along, complete with timestamps to make it feel like you're right here in my bed watching it with me. Ew, get out!



Here we go...

0 min

The episode title is 'Person To Person' — hmmm....a song by Average White Band. Will they play it? Just looked it up and it was released in 1974. Are we in 1974 yet in Mad Men land? I bet we are.

First prediction: the song 'Person To Person' will play at some point during the episode, but not during the closing credits.

1 min, 41 sec

Don is wearing goggles and driving a car really fast on sand. Looks like Tatooine. Then he has a conversation with two guys about how the car shakes when it gets up to 130mph. But I didn't really understand the conversation and I had to "rewind" it and watch it again.

Still not really sure what was said.

2 min, 50 sec

Poor Don Draper's secretary. At least they gave her a nice send off, with that cute pig latin joke. By the way, what was her name again?

6 min 

Peggy and Stan in a boardroom. Don D. in a bedroom with the girl from the car warehouse place from earlier (I think).

Both scenarios are making me uneasy.

6 min, 36 sec

Noooooooooooooooo, Joan! Don't snort that cocaine! Just say no! Just say no! That's not supposed to become popular until the 80s—what's happening!?!?

9 min, 55 sec

We really haven't seen much of Harry Crane this season, have we? We'll, he's rockin' a nice coat for Pete's leaving lunch.

Pete and Peg's goodbye chat = very sweet considering they had a kid together and never talk about it and it's incredibly awkward.

11:54

Sally being wise beyond her years is starting to pay off. Henry Francis is a good man and she's right, it will be best if they stay at home with him when Betty kicks the bucket.

Also, this is getting really tedious, so I'm going to take a break and check back in at 30 min, unless something unbelievable happens before then.

17:47

Alright that didn't last long. I had to get this prediction in here before it left my mind: Joan + Peggy = new ad agency ran by women!? It would be the Cascadia Content of it's time!

Also, that phone call between Betty and Don? All three of us were fighting back the tears.

23:54

I'm glad Bobby and Gene both got a line in the finale. Farewell you two, troubled souls.

27:26

Yoga and Tai Chi were invented back then? Who knew? Don will never not look like a square in these hippy places.

Yikes! I need to speed things up a bit or I'm not going to make my 12am deadline! Goodbye for a while.

28:50

That old lady shoving Don!!!!!!!! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So amazing. OK, goodbye for real now.

46:14

Peggy and Stan - YES! Great acting by Peg. They make a good pair.

50:28

Uh oh, I'm not going to be able to publish this in time. I'm going to hit publish now so that it has today's timestamp, but then I'll keep watching and provide my final thoughts when it's over.

By the way, this was one of the WORST ideas I've ever had. It has totally removed me from the finale experience and I shall never do it again!

Goodbye,
Margaret

56:17

Ah, I get it. He went back to McCann and made that Coke ad. Right? Hmmm. I think that's what happened. Is that suppose to make me feel good or depressed? Well, joke's on you, Matthew Weiner, because I don't feel anything other than tired and full from all these Pirate's Booty white cheddar cheese puffs I've been eating.

Well, that's that! Great show. Glad it's over because no show really needs to last longer than seven seasons, except all the Real Housewives franchises, of course.


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Summer playlist

Rules for the playlist: there are no rules!

Summer playlist mood board: 



Summer playlist:

  • We Can't Stop - Miley Cyrus
  • Let Her Go - Mac Demarco
  • I Wish You Would - Taylor Swift
  • Bring It All To Me - Blaque feat. JC
  • Say My Name - Destiny's Child
  • Gimme Shelter - Rolling Stones
  • Heartbeat Song - Kelly Clarkson
  • Seaside Song - Rich Kay
  • Chicago - Sufjan Stevens
  • Stars Are Blind - Paris Hilton
  • I Wanna Be A Cowboy Sweetheart - Suzy Bogguss
  • Take Me As I Am - Wyclef Jean
  • The Long Way Around - Dixie Chicks
  • Street Life - The Crusaders
  • Candy - Mandy Moore
  • Stop Me - Mark Ronson feat. Daniel Merriweather
  • Heartbreaker - Mariah Carey
  • Help Yourself - Tom Jones
  • If I Never See Your Face Again - Maroon 5 feat. Rihanna
  • This Is How We Do It - Montell Jordan
  • Wagon Wheel - Old Crow Medicine Show
  • Wildest Dreams - Taylor Swift
  • Dock Of The Bay - Otis Redding
  • Goodbye Weekend - Mac Demarco
  • Kenmore Jam (Wish It Was Summer) - D.J. Polite feat. Mogsquisha
  • Satisfy My Soul - Paul Carrack
  • Remix To Ignition - R Kelly
  • Silver Lining - Rilo Kiley
  • King Of The Road - Roger Miller


Note: the three best artists on this playlist, Taylor Swift, Rich Kay and DJ Polite, have respectfully refused to allow their music on Spotify, so unfortunately they've been left off the Spotify playlist.

Also, the playlist is made up of songs that I already had in my iTunes. I know I said that there were no rules, but that actually was a rule.

Goodnight,
Margaret

P.S. I like the two Robert Galbraith books—Cuckoo's Calling and The Silkworm. Have you read them?

P.S. That gets met thinking—what would your opposite-gender pen name be? Mine would be MornĂ© Morkel, even though that's already the name of a South African cricketer, I think I could get away with it in the US.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Best one

Best one








See ya,
Margaret

Manchild culture — let's end it

Over the last few years, Andy and I have observed a troubling trend. Increasingly, the media we encounter assumes we want to be treated like children. Note: said media doesn't just treat us like children, but it thinks we want to be treated that way, which is much worse.

Take, for example, the Britney Spears song I wrote about the other day. Britney singing about drinking shots and clubbing and wiping the floor with all the boys (not men, but BOYS) just feels inauthentic when I know she probably spends most her time at home, watching TV with her two actual boys. Why must she lie?

And now, this—a Hilary Duff music video where she and her friends swipe through Tinder and talk about boys being cute. What in the world? The whole thing seems very...young. It's basically a giant Tinder ad, but that's no excuse. The outfits and the bowling and the backup dancers—the whole video screams Christian high school youth retreat.




The worst offender of all is Buzzfeed. The listicle capital of the Internet is predicted to reach 'peak manchild' in 2016. Oh look, they actually did a post on '23 Signs You're Probably Dating a Manchild'. How meta.





So. Who's to blame?

Japan?

The music industry?

Video games?

That TV show called the Big Bang Theory?

The glorification of nostalgia?

Ourselves, for getting older?

Maybe it's the economy's fault.  Maybe the crash of '08 set us back and stunted our growth.

What do you think? I want to hear from YOU!

Your bowl-headed friend,
Margaret

P.S. And by 'manchild', I also mean 'womanchild'.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

"You haven't even touched the water, FRANCIE!"

Not going to write tonight. Instead, watch this poor-quality, iPhone footage of poor-quality VHS camcorder footage of the sistahs and I jumping in a freezing cold pool in Wenatchee.



Witness:

Anna - being a typical button-pushing big sister.

Char - flaunting her model hair.

Francie - serving FACE FACE and more FACE after her icy plunge.

Me - wanting to join in the fun, but not wanting to be cold.



And because I don't want Max to feel left out, check out his cinematography and voiceover skills in this one:



 


Goodnight,
Margaret

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Eating Goldfish crackers has become a chore


We interrupt this broadcast of Real Housewives of Atlanta Season 7 Reunion Part 3 to bring you another nightly instalment of Madgespace.

I heard we're not supposed to say, "Oh my god, I'm soooo OCD about [fill in the blank]" because it diminishes the seriousness of obsessive compulsive disorder. WELL, not to sound like an old person justifying their casual racism, but can we say anything anymore?!?!?!

Fine. Out of respect, I won't use OCD to refer to my undiagnosed obsessive idiosyncrasies from this point forward.

What I will say is that I can't eat Goldfish crackers like a normal person.

I have to lick off the salt slowly until the fish is soft and damp. Then, I must bite the edge carefully with my teeth so that it breaks exactly in half at its seam. It's arduous. And it only works on some of them. Others aren't filled with enough air. Their sides are fused together and it's impossible to separate them.

The reason I know it's not too serious a medical condition is:

1. I could always just cut Goldfish crackers out of my diet (but could I really?)

2. After about 12 crackers, I get fed up with my little game, grab a handful and gobble them all up like Cookie Monster.

Some weird, long-haired girl eating Goldfish crackers.

Gotta get some ZZZZs. Going to the migraine doctor tomorrow. I'm hopeful! Maybe I should mention the Goldfish thing while I'm in there. On second thought, maybe I shouldn't.

To all a goodnight,

Margaret

Monday, May 11, 2015

Britney's new song

Have you heard Britney's latest single 'Pretty Girls'?

Image by Glenn Francis via Wikimedia Commons

It came on in the car today and I couldn't wipe the smile off my face. And no, not because it's the feel-good song of the summer we've all been waiting for (although it actually probably is). But because it's a hilarious caricature of a pop song, performed by a 33-year-old-going-on-14 mother of two.

I'm fairly certain Ja'mie King wrote the lyrics.

All around the world, pretty girls 
Wipe the floor with all the boys 
Pour the drinks, bring the noise 
We're just so pretty! 
All around the world, pretty girls 
Jump the line, to the front 
Do what we like, get what we want 
We're just so pretty!

Britney's nasal croaking is in full force, but they had the nerve to autotune it! I mean, go ahead and autotune some hack like Xtina, but don't get in the way of Britney's natural gift.



A few times, in Edinburgh, I came across things in pop culture that I just didn't understand. My friend Igor would explain, "It's for teenagers, Margaret. It's for teenagers!" (please read that in a Spanish accent - emphasis on the second syllable - teenAGERS) 

Ah, no wonder I don't understand. I no longer belong to the target market for Top40 music. Britney, four years my elder, certainly doesn't belong either, but it behooves her to fake it. What's the alternative for her? Release an 'adult contemporary' album? I don't see that working. It makes you think, in terms of career longevity, 12-year-old Celine Dion was smart to start off singing songs for the middle-aged. Maybe it was RenĂ©'s influence.

That's it.

TTFN,
Margaret

P.S. Just gave it another listen. I like it now.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Time keeps on slippin' slippin'

I just looked at the clock and it's a quarter to midnight. What am I supposed to do now? I can't think of a blog topic and write one between now and then. Also, I'm in the midst of an emotional Mad Men episode and my head's all mixed up. What am I supposed to do?

The answer is just type, type, type, type, type, type until it looks like there's an OK amount of words on the screen.

The week ahead won't be as busy and I can get back to blogging about important things like celebrities watering their lawns despite the massive Cali drought, my ingrown toenail that flares up on occasion and how crying in the car to ballads is fun.

Just ten minutes until midnight now. No one is stirring, not even a cow. (That rhymes)

Luckily, this page is looking far less bare and I think I'll make it in time.

Did you know that all bodies of water are affected by the tides? Not just oceans. Big bodies of water, small puddles of water. All water. All liquids, really. Even a glass of diet coke has tides. I wrote about this in a post a while back, but I fear it didn't get the attention it deserved. It's an incredible thing to think about.

In the great green room
There was a telephone
And a red balloon
And a picture of
The cow jumping over the moon
And there were three little bears sitting on chairs
And two little kittens
And a pair of mittens
And a little toy house
And a young mouse
And a comb and a brush and a bowl full of mush
And a quiet old lady who was whispering “hush”
Goodnight room
Goodnight moon
Goodnight cow jumping over the moon
Goodnight light
And the red balloon
Goodnight bears
Goodnight chairs
Goodnight kittens
And goodnight mittens
Goodnight clocks
And goodnight socks
Goodnight little house
And goodnight mouse
Goodnight comb
And goodnight brush
Goodnight nobody
Goodnight mush
And goodnight to the old lady whispering “hush”
Goodnight stars
Goodnight air
Goodnight noises everywhere

Old lady whispering "hush" = both creepy and comforting at the same time


Goodnight blog,

Margaret

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Band names

What are the names of bands you've been in?

OK, so maybe you've never technically been in a band. But most people can name at least one pretend band they dreamed up with their friends back in the day. Here are mine:

  • The Masseuses — Me and my cousin Maria
  • Sapphire — A Spice Girls-inspired girl group with my 5th-grade besties Dana, Connie, Mackenzie (and maybe Erika?)
  • Krankenschwester  — Me and Anna

They're all pretty good names. Krankenschwester is the word for "nurse" in German, but it literally translates to "sick sister", which Anna and I thought was cool and fitting. It would've had to have been a metal band.

#Calves
My dad's been in a lot of bands. I'm pretty sure he was in a band called 'Vanilla Hemorrhoid' at some point. And 'The Weekly Reader'. And 'The Red Herring'. And 'Flannel Asparagus'. And 'The Turquoise Boys'.

It's funny how band names have trends, like when everyone was putting numbers at the end of theirs. Blink 182, Sum 41, Maroon 5, Stroke 9. Oh indeed, I haven't forgotten about Stroke 9. Francie had the CD.

What are some of the worst band names out there? I remember thinking 'Dixie Chicks' was awful when I first heard it. One time this duo named '2 Shoes' made it to the top ten of UK X-Factor. TWO SHOES? But there were two of them, so it should've at least been '4 Shoes'. Terrible.

It's years later and Andy still brings up 2 Shoes all the time. And we laugh. Oh, do we laugh!

Here they are. Gag on their eleganza.
 

Goodnight,
Margaret

P.S. I'm not sure about my use of "it would've had to have been". What an ugly combination of words! Is it even grammatically correct? I tried several alternatives and that's what I kept coming back to.

P.P.S. Oh yeah, the Donner Party thing. Really, I would have just gobbled up the first person to die, then the next, then the next. I would have felt grossed out, but not guilty. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!

Friday, May 8, 2015

The ugly truth about fruit

A year or so ago my dad ruined fruit for me forever. Now I'm going to do the same for you.

He told me that there's no such thing as buying a piece of fruit from the store and waiting a few days to let it 'ripen'. Ripening happens on the vine. Ripening happens when a piece of fruit soaks up a bunch of nutrients from the tree.

When you buy unripe fruit and put it on your counter to get soft, that's ROTTING, not ripening.

He mentioned this to me a while back and I haven't been able to forget it. The man changed fruit for me forever.

I eat berries. Those are picked ripe. But I fear I may never taste a nectarine again. In fact, I have trouble mustering up an appetite for most fruits now. I often have to ask myself 'did I eat any fruit this week?' and then Google the symptoms of scurvy.


To be honest, I don't miss pears. #Mealy 

Speaking of olden-days diseases, what do you reckon you would have died of on the Oregon Trail? I asked myself this question the other day and this is what I concluded:

Dysentery - Definitely not. My bowels tend to swing the other way.

Snake bite - No, I don't think so. I'm far too paranoid and vigilant to let a snake sneak up on me.

Exhaustion - I'm not even convinced this is possible. Die of exhaustion? Sounds like something Lohan would make up.

Cholera - Same answer as dysentery. If you know my health history, then you know I'm not a cholera type of girl.

Drowning after attempting to ford the river - Ding ding ding! You've got a winner! This is definitely how I would have died on the Oregon trail. Rather than doing the smart thing and paying an Indian guide to take me across, or even "caulking the wagon and floating it", I would have been impatient, thrown caution to the wind and just gone for it.

Image via LPArchive.org

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post topic: who would I have eaten first if my family had been in the Donner Party?

TGIF,
Margaret

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Working like dogs

UGH. I hate, hate to have to do this. '

But I can't really blog tonight. 

Francie, Anna, Char and I are working on our BIZNASS! We're burning the midnight oil. It's horrible. When we're filthy rich, we'll look back on this evening and laugh.





Tired,
Margaret

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Election Day!

....in the UK.

The voting booths open at 7am tomorrow morning, and the latest polls are predicting a hung parliament. I haven't been following this election as closely as I would have liked, but from what I've gathered, voters are split on who to choose because everyone's terrible. All the usual options—Labour, Tory, LibDem—are led by baffoons.

There's the reigning PM David Cameron (posh-babyfaced-baffoon), Labour leader Ed Milliband (nasal-claymation baffoon) and LibDem leader Nick Clegg (yellow-skinned-weakling baffooon).

The only party with any razzle-dazzle are the Scottish National Party. They've pretty much wiped out Labour to become Scotland's ruling party. Their leader, Nicola Sturgeon, is smart and seems to be the only one capable of speaking in a way that even remotely resembles authentic, passionate debate.

Nicky S.
Image by The Scottish Government via Wikimedia Commons


Now, we're all the way over here in America. Why should you care about the UK elections? Honestly, there isn't a good reason. It's not going to impact your life in any way. But here's why I think the three paragraphs above were worth reading:

1. You can mention the elections to someone and sound smart.

2. You'll remember to see who wins and then you'll know the name of the UK's head of state (I thought it was Tony Blair when I first moved to Scotland, and then it turned out to be some guy named Gordon Brown. I felt so out of touch!).

3. You can use it as an opportunity to study the differences between a parliamentary system and a presidential system.


GOODNIGHT OMG I'M SO TIRED OMG BYE GOODNIGHT,

Margaret

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Mmmm....tasty lake water

My brother-in-laws are big on not letting their kids drink the bathwater. And I can see why. Bathwater, especially toddler bathwater, is nasty. It's full of Johnson's Baby Shampoo, food remnants, sand, pee and, let's be honest, probably small particles of poop.

Of all the battles for the bro-in-laws to pick, I'd say it's a pretty good one. My sisters aren't as strict when it comes to bathwater-drinking, but they see the logic behind the rule.

We were talking about all this today and my mom agreed that drinking bathwater is gross. She said, "It's not like drinking lake water, which, you know, some people are really against."

Oh yeah, Nina drinks lake water. When she's swimming in Lake Washington and gets thirsty, she helps herself to a big gulp.

Anna and I told her that, believe it or not, most people would find drinking lake water disgusting too. She responded with, "It hasn't hurt me yet!"

She also says that she grew up in a family where the idea of 'individual toothbrushes' was unheard of. Every night she'd grab from a collection of crusty, communal brushes and the concept of everyone having their own never occurred to her until years later.


Slurrrrrp!
If it's good enough for ducks, it's good enough for Nina.

So, there you go. Moral of the story: germs are a conspiracy made up by the toiletries industry. OK, that may be a stretch. But I think it's fair to say that a few sips of bathwater, gulping up Lake Washington and sharing toothbrushes won't kill us.

Your migraine-infested friend,
Margaret

Monday, May 4, 2015

Let's wave goodbye to Microsoft Word

Word. What is it good for?

ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

Microsoft Word is the BAIN—the absolute BAIN—of my existence.

This evening I spent forever helping my dad input copy into an ancient Word template for his work newsletter. It's full of text boxes and grainy logos and bizarre fonts. Getting the sucker to align properly is a bloody nightmare. I mean, what part of text wrap don't you understand?! Not to mention the .doc / .docx compatibility issues. My GOD.

Sure, we've always known that Word isn't the right tool for newsletters. But even just for normal documents, it sucks. Why? Because you have to remember to hit command+S every three seconds. Because it will randomly crash and then ask you whether you want to send a report to Microsoft, which you refuse to do out of spite. Because, unlike Google Docs, you have to email documents to yourself if you ever plan to access them on another computer.


That's all for tonight. It's not often that I rant, but when I do, it's about things that matter. 

Enjoy your evening and remember to floss. 

Love,
Margaret

Sunday, May 3, 2015

An open letter to Woolite

Ugh. I need to clean up my computer desktop. There are Word icons as far as the eye can see. Time to drag some in the trash and hear that satisfying crumpling sound. Hmmm...it can wait until tomorrow.



So what's going on with that new royal baby? Why do they wait so long to announce the name? It's obnoxious. Just tell us already. I mean, not like I care or anything...



I can't write tonight. My eyeball hurts and I need to relax for an hour before bed.



Plus, I have nothing to say. I thought of a million ideas over the course of the day, but as usual, I've forgotten them all. So, my only option is to write an open letter to Woolite. That's my only option.



Dear Woolite, 

Thank you so much for making me feel like a proper adult. And for allowing me to wash my delicates without fear of shrinking, fading, pilling, fiber damage or shape loss. 

When I sniff the armpit of my favorite blouse and it smells like onions, I know that you'll be waiting for me on the shelf above the washing machine. Just as Jesus turned water to wine, the way you transform BO into BA (beautiful aroma) is nothing short of a miracle. 

I'd be remiss not to mention your retro logo. What can I say? It's cute! And the pink turtleneck sweater that you feature on your bottle transports me to JC Penney at Bellevue Square in the early '90s—the cluttered clothing racks that I would crawl under and pretend were houses. Oh Woolite, you're always bringing a smile to my face. 

Again, thank you. Thank you for reminding me that, even when I'm feeling down, I can always think of you and remember that I own at least one clothing item worthy of your care. 

Love and gratitude, 

Margaret



Saturday, May 2, 2015

Just say NO (but say YES sometimes)

"Would either of you be interested in giving me a shoulder massage in exchange for $10?

"No," Char and my mom answer in unison.

It was the response I expected.

"Rich will give you one," my mom suggests. "Ask him. He'll say yes."

"Do you ever take advantage of the fact that he's so nice?" I ask.

"Oh yeah," she says. "In the early days I used to call up my sisters and say, 'you won't believe it—he'll do anything I say!'"

This got us talking. Apparently my aunt Mona* remembers exactly when my mom stopped doing things for her when they were growing up. Everybody has a limit—eventually.

I too remember when I finally said no to my siblings. I was 10 years old and we were downstairs at the 'new' house. It was the first time I'd ever lived anywhere with stairs, and when one of them asked me to get them a glass of water, I really didn't want to hike up all those steps to the kitchen.

So, I said no. What a revelation! I'd been their slave for years and all along the solution was a simple, two-letter word. NO!


Well, this is odd. What's up with his eyes? Levar Burton, is that you?
Image via Wikimedia Commons

There's a fine line between being nice and being a sucker. My dad, of course, said yes to the shoulder massage without hesitation—but that's because he's nice! And it's good to be nice. The world is a better place because nice people give other people shoulder massages. Or they agree to get people glasses of water when asked. But it's possible for both parties to take it too far.

What's the lesson here?

  • Super-nice people of the world: curb your instinct to say 'yes' to everybody. You'll get burnt out and resentful.
  • Less-nice people of the world: curb your instinct to bleed super-nice people of their innate goodness and use it to your advantage. 

It's all about balance. Everything in moderation (even moderation!!! HA HA HA HA).

Cheerio,
Margaret

P.S. Corn-on-the-cob tonight and popcorn. You know what that means. Girl's gotta floss!

* In a previous edition of this blog post, I referred to my aunt Barb when I meant my aunt Mo. Madgespace regrets the error!

Friday, May 1, 2015

33 years later movie review: Tootsie

Anna and I watched the 1982 Sydney Pollack film 'Tootsie' this evening.

It stars Dustin Hoffman, a talented-but-difficult actor who can't get a gig to save his life. With no director in New York willing to hire him, he creates a drag character named 'Dorothy Michaels' and auditions for the part of a female hospital administrator serving tough-ol'-bird realness in a famous soap opera. And he gets it!

But wait a second, one of his castmates, Julie, happens to be a beautiful actress and it's love at first sight. How will he ever get her to fall for him when he's dressed as an old lady?

Plot. Established.



I'll cut to the chase: this movie is good. It also stars a young(er) Bill Murray in one of the more understated roles I've seen him in. And Dustin Hoffman is fantastic.

On the other hand, '80s film soundtracks be cray. It took Anna and I a good 20 minutes to get used to the ridiculous instrumental elevator tunes that played between every scene. Also, old movies loved to feature a theme song that repeatedly swells up at sentimental moments throughout the film. In this case it was that song "Something's telling me it might be you, all of my life...."

Oh, and there are lots of creepy moments. In one scene, Dustin Hoffman (as Dorothy Michaels) ends up having to sleep in the same bed as Julie. They're at her dad's country home and there isn't an extra bed. They have a heart-to-heart, she gets emotional and he gently pets her head like she's a labrador. He's wearing a wig with curlers in it.

Difficult to explain.

Anyway, the best scene is when Hoffman reveals that he's actually a man live on the soap opera. It's a brilliant bit of television (as portrayed in film).

TGIF,
Margaret

P.S. Floyd Mayweather isn't actually going to post Suge Knight's bail if he wins the fight tomorrow. I suppose the Internet can occasionally get things wrong. Madgespace regrets the error.

P.P.S. I found this picture while searching for 'Tootsie' in Google. Wow.

Image by theimpulsebuy via Flickr

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