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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Keep it simple

A grilled cheese is made of three ingredients: butter, white bread and American cheese. That's it. That's the way it is and always should be. Forget your aged cheddars and artisan rosemary loafs. A grilled cheese, like many of life's little delights, is a dish best served basic.

Yes, this plastic cheese is gross. But for some reason it just works in a grilled cheese. Grilled cheeses are its only reason for existence, and it's important we respect that.

Image by JeepersMedia via Flickr

Other items that fall into the 'keep it simple' category include:
  • Pizza. Enough with the broccoli for Christ's sake. And no slimy roasted zucchini either. Barbecue sauce? Get out. Get out of my house immediately. 
  • Eyebrows. Don't do too much to those guys, or else they'll turn on you and you'll never be able to get them back. If in doubt, just neglect them.
  • Jeans. A few small rips is OK, but avoid the ones with bleached-in crease marks and fake paint splatter everywhere. 
  • Email font. Are you one of those people who's changed their default email font to something "fun" like Bradley Hand in turquoise or Papyrus in a vibrant fuchsia? Yeah. We're all judging you.
Cheers, 
Margaret

Monday, June 29, 2015

Heat wave

Seattle is so hot right now you could try to fry an egg on the sidewalk. It won't work (trust me, I've tried many times), but it's hot enough to convince yourself that it just might work.

Image by Pockafwye via Flickr

Today Andy and I spent his last day of his holiday doing that most Seattley of pastimes: sitting in traffic. The AC in my dad's truck quit a while back, so we were roasting like Thanksgiving turkeys. As soon as we got back to K-town, we grabbed a couple River Rats and made a B-line for the lake. It was exactly what the doctor ordered.

In case you're wondering about the forecast for the coming weeks, I've enlisted my meteorologist pal Arthur to provide an exclusive weather report:




Yes, definitely no jackets needed.

I also recommend lots of ice water, sleeping outside, cold showers and listening to this chill track off Raffi's latest album.

What are you doing to beat the heat?

Stay cool,

Margaret

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Marry/Shag/Kill—Bartells, Walgreens, Rite Aid

Only 20 minutes to write this post. Gotta love a deadline.

Since I'm drawing a blank, I'll stick with an ol' classic: what I did today.

First, Andy, my mom and I went to see the movie 'The Wolfpack'. It's a documentary about a bunch of kids who weren't allowed to leave their NYC apartment for their entire childhood. They learned everything they know about the world by watching movies. The film is heartbreaking, but bizarrely funny and even uplifting at times. Mostly, it's fascinating. I highly recommend it.

Then, this evening, my sibs and I, together with our significant others, went out to dinner at Ray's in Ballard. We sat on the back patio and looked out over the Puget Sound. The gals sat at one table, the guys at another. We played the game where we all had to guess what our other-halves ordered. The winning pair was Char and William, who accurately guessed salmon tacos (Char) and steak (William).


On the ride home I asked Char, "Marry / Shag / Kill — Bartells, Walgreens and Rite Aid." She chose to marry Bartells, kill Rite Aid and you-know-what with Walgreens. I'd do the same.

Now it's time for bed. I'm still very full, so I'll have to sleep on my back.

Goodnight and good luck,

Margaret


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Child Psychology 101

When I was a kid sitting in the back of the car, I would envision myself leaning out the car window with a lawn mower—nay, a DR Field & Brush Mower—and cutting down all the shrubbery on the side of the road.

It. Was. Satisfying.

I told Andy this and he said he had a similar backseat OCD habit growing up. He would pretend he was hitting a tennis ball over every lamp post on the side of the highway. He quickly realized that lifting his pretend racket up every few seconds looked funny, so he allowed himself to use his jaw instead. Much more discrete. He would open his jaw, then shut it quickly to fling the tennis ball over. Open, shut. Open, shut. Open, shut. By the time his fam arrived in Germany, a 13-hour road trip, his jawbone would be aching like crazy.

Ram Williamson, age Ram

Oh, I also had this thing where I had to touch the person in front of me in line at the grocery store. Not obviously. Just a very, very light touch—maybe my coat accidentally brushed against theirs or a magazine I was holding happened to catch the edge of their purse. The people were never the wiser. Still, I felt weird about it. And I didn't like the fact that I felt so compelled to do it. The solution? I dared myself NOT to do it anymore. Worked like a charm. I'm nearly 20 years clean.

The moral of this post is that kids are weird. I took Child Psychology in Cyprus, but we never covered the fact that kids are just plan kooky. Also, as mother Nadinski says, everything's a phase.

That's all for tonight. Stay cool in this heat wave.

So long,
Margaret

Friday, June 26, 2015

Activity Awards

There's a shop in Edinburgh called 'Activity Awards'. It sells and engraves plaques and trophies for sports teams, etc. Andy and I always thought the name was funny because it's just so uncreative and generic sounding. 



Anyway, today we were up at 4:30 this morning and didn't stop doing activities until just a couple minutes ago. We took the train from Canada to Edmonds, complete with an official immigration visa initiation. We lunched in Edmonds, dinnered at Denny Beach and, finally, we pizzaed at Alki. 

It's safe to say we've won the Activity Award. That's it! We've done it! That shop can close now. The Activity Award belongs to us. 

The bowl at Alki this evening.

Photo credit: Ram Williamson


Now I'm tired. Sweet dreams!

Goodnight, 
Margaret

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Back away from my man, you Canadian whore!

Andy's five hours into an Air Transat flight from Glasgow to Vancouver. Aisle seat. Row to himself. Typing on a laptop.

Flight attendant approaches. Squats down next to him. 

"Are you enjoying your flight so far?"

"Uh, yes. It's been great. Thank you."

"Well, actually...one of the other flight attendants thinks you're cute. She wants to give you her number. Are you available?" She holds out a folded piece of paper. 

"Unfortunately not, but thank you."

I MEAN COME ON! Sure, the man's a hunk, but is there nowhere that he's safe? What's next, following him into a public toilet? Shouting at him through the car window at a red light? Writing "Call me" on his colonoscopy lab results? 

Image by Austrian Airlines via Wikimedia Commons

Truthfully, I'm happy for him. Someone honked at Francie and I the other day as they drove by us and we were beyond flattered. How wonderful to know that bowl cuts and pregnant bellies aren't off limits for driveby catcalls.

Still, pretty unprofessional, right? Is it? I don't know. Maybe I'm just touchy because I'm sunburnt and have a hangnail. 

Let me know what you think!

Marge

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Reunited and it feels so strange

Andy and I are in Vancouver at the Best Western Sands hotel.

We spent the afternoon walking through Stanley Park before heading to a neighborhood Italian bistro for a pork chop (Andy) and prawn spaghetti (me). Now we're sitting in bed watching Ninja Warrior, a show where normal-but-in-shape people attempt a large obstacle course full of hanging nets, balance beams and monkey bars. Safe to say it's the best show on TV. Totally picking up where Mad Men left off. 

Before this afternoon, Andy and I hadn't seen each other for 88 days. That's more than 12 weeks! The big reunion was wonderful, but above all else it was STRANGE. He seemed so familiar yet also so new. It was like meeting someone from a past life.

One major perk of our three months apart? We have things to say to each other! We have stories! Gossip! New thoughts and opinions! Andy gave me the update on all his friends and I told him where all my nieces and nephews are at in their various stages of potty training. 

Hold on. Why type when I can express my feelings in song?




Goodnight!
Margaret

P.S. Considering how many engagement photos I wade through on Facebook every day, I'm not going to apologize for this borderline gushy post.


P.S. Look, he's asleep!


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

What do I have to gain?





What do I have to gain from...



...forgetting to eat breakfast and then, at noon, scarfing three 'Nuts Over Chocolate' Luna bars in three minutes.



...lying in bed in agony, bladder about to burst, yet refusing get up and walk to the bathroom.



...staying up hours past the point when I should have gone to sleep, allowing myself to get a second, third, fourth and even fifth wind, before finally collapsing on my laptop.



...continuing to sit on the couch long after all the natural light has left the room, avoiding the three-step walk over to the light switch.


Image by capl@washjeff.edu


...continuing to pick my nose even though years of nonstop picking has stretched my nostrils into gaping, quarter-sized holes.



...WebMD-ing "throbbing vein behind knee".




Goodnight,
Margaret

Monday, June 22, 2015

People are complex

Today I found out that my sister, Anna Gorohoff, uses the 'Mail' application on her Macbook. You know, the thing that automatically opens when you accidentally click on an email address link.

This thing:


In all my years, I have never met anyone who actually uses that thing. I was SHOCKED. But to each her own. If you want to use the Mac Mail application, as Miley would say, only God can judge you. 

Let Anna's choice of email programs be a reminder to us all: people are complex. Just when you think you know everything there is to know about someone, they'll surprise you with a controversial opinion, unexpected anecdote or bizarre hobby that seems totally out of character. 

Examples:
  • My mom is a pretty good harmonica player
  • Bradley Cooper is fluent in French
  • I don't like watermelon
  • Elsie, my 1-year-old niece, totally gets 'Duck Duck Goose'
  • Ke$ha has an IQ of 140
  • Martin Luther King Jr. was a big Star Trek fan
  • My brother Max was a late whistler—didn't learn how to whistle until high school

Tomorrow afternoon I'm going to write, write, WRITE a whole bunch of blogs to schedule for the next six days. My long-distance spouse is coming to town and I don't want to be up at 11:55 furiously blogging about the most tedious and mundane topics imaginable. Like email applications, for example. 

Good luck to you all on your Tuesdays tomorrow. It may not be one of the best days of the week, but at least it's not a dreaded Sunday evening! 

Cheerio, 
Margaret

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Here's to you, Rich Kay!

Hey everyone on Facebook, I'll see your vintage dad snaps and raise you an entire blog post dedicated to Rich Kay himself.



Reasons why he's the coolest

  • Uses ellipses (...) to separate each sentence in an email. 
  • Can roller skate backwards .
  • An award-winning songwriter.
  • One of the only people in the world who banks with Key Bank.
  • Never lets a cold, day-old cup of coffee go to waste.
  • Knew the Dixie Chicks were going to be big years in advance.
  • Can dance 'the Roger Rabbit'.
  • Once got really into a children's chapter book series called 'Hank the Cowdog'.
  • An absolute whiz at Photoshop. 
  • Nicknames include Duckminister Abbey and Butch. 
  • A calming presence to animals and small children.
  • Nonjudgemental. 

Here's to you, Dad!

Margaret

P.S. My fave Rich Kay jam:


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Long day

Literally! The second longest of the year! (or is that the 22nd)

Despite all these hours of daylight, I can't bring myself to write a proper blog post. What can I say? No, really. What can I say? I have ZERO ideas. 

This is the best I can do:

Thought #1: 
I can't stand when people call Baskin-Robbins "31 flavors". Yes, it has 31 flavors, but that's NOT its name.

Thought #2: 
People in Seattle are obsessed with tasting, perusing, comparing, recommending and generally waffling on about LOCAL CRAFT BEERS. I knew it was a thing, but gee whiz, I underestimated the extent to which it's a thing. If I want to fit in, I'm going to have to get wise and reacquaint myself with the disgusting delicious taste of beer. 

Thought #3: 
People in Seattle are obsessed with cornhole, the game where you throw a bean bag into a hole in a piece of tilted wood. 

Thought #4: 
Have raspberries always been this good? They are UNBELIEVABLE. 

Image by Muffet via Wikimedia Commons


Goodnight,
Margaret

Friday, June 19, 2015

Unique up on it

Who: Nancy Padden aka Nadinksi Montbrosis aka Nina aka my mother
When: 1994
Where: "The old house", Kenmore, WA

It's late. It's pitch black outside. Nina can't sleep. She's never been big a big believer in the full eight hours. Even these days, I'll get up to pee at 3 a.m. and hear her upstairs, flipping through the pages of the New Yorker while she waits for the bathtub to fill. 

So, on that night back in 1994, it's not unusual for her to be up out of bed. She's milling about the house, getting herself a glass of water, loading the last few dishes into the dishwasher, when suddenly she spots something through the living room window. 

Small, white, round. Hunched in the tall, dewy grass. 

The rabbits. 

It's one of our rabbits—Rudolph or Frosty (aka the replacements). How did it get out of its cage? She needs to act fast, before it can hop away, down the ravine, never to be seen again. 

Carefully, she pulls open the sliding glass door. 

Quiet, Nina. Soft steps, Nina. Stay calm, Nina. 




She's only 5'1", but her feet are a size 10. They used to be an 8.5 but, under the weight of four pregnancies, her arches melted like butter and spread the surface area significantly. Despite the flippers and a natural impatience, she creeps up on the rabbit like a black panther stalking its prey. Slow. Steady. Controlled. One step in front of the other. 

The closer she gets, the more likely the rabbit will dart away. But luck's on her side. The rabbit never even flinches. 

Is she close enough? At what point does she pounce?

About ten minutes passes and finally, she thinks, it's time. Adrenaline bubbling in her veins, she leaps! She dives! She lands, arms out, scooping up and locking in the rabbit before it has time to react. Success!

But wait. This doesn't feel like Rudolph. It doesn't feel like Frosty either. It's not soft and furry, but hard, like plastic. 

Oh dear. 

It can't be. 

Is it? 

Yep.






THE VOLLEYBALL.



Goodnight,
Margaret

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Bye Bye Brandi

You're probably still reeling from the news.

Brandi Glanville—ex to Eddie Cibrian, enemy of Leann Rimes, enabler of Kim Richards, bestie of Kristen Taekman, mother of the late chihuahua Chica—has been FIRED from RHOBH!

That begs the question, who will be next season's villain? Also, you heard it here first, Brandi will be back on the show in a couple of years. She'll show her softer side on some other reality shows, then return to RHOBH a new woman. Mark. My. Words.


Whether you'll mourn or celebrate her absence, keep in mind that to everything (turn, turn, turn) there is a season (turn, turn, turn) and a time to every purpose under heaven. Cue the music!





Speaking of saying goodbye...

...a friend from college once dated a guy who broke up with her after three months by saying, very sincerely, "I'm going to have to let you go." What a line!

...Brian Williams (the LIAR) is (of course) not returning to NBC Nightly News.

....Blanket Jackson changed his name to Bigi because for some reason he wasn't keen on Blanket.

...Alexander Hamilton may soon be off the $10 bill and replaced with a WOMAN. Fingers crossed it's Judy Garland.

...After his performance in Tacoma today, professional philanderer Tiger Woods may soon be saying farewell to his golf career.



Gute Nacht,

Margaret

P.S. For the record, I'll miss Brandi.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Should I sleep outside tonight?

Before I answer that, let's get something out of the way up front. Kim Kardashian was on 'Wait Wait Don't Tell Me' over the weekend and I only found out about it today! I feel like the oldest lady on the block. Or the youngest. Or whatever age would mean I'm not up on the latest NPR/Kardashian news.

I just listened to it. She did OK. I felt proud of her. Overall, I think this was a good thing for NPR. A reminder that public radio can let its hair down and brush shoulders with us reality-TV-watching, toenail-biting, Triscuit-binging schmucks every once in a while.

On to more pressing matters—should I sleep outside tonight?

When I worked at summer camp in the south Puget Sound, I slept outside every night. It was so serene, falling asleep under the stars and waking up with the birds. I CRAVE that feeling. Thinking about it gives me an achy breaky heart.

The stars? Or a close-up of Andy's shoulders when he's wearing a black sweater? HEY-OH! Snap!

Image via Wikimedia Commons

A few summers ago, I was struck with a similar wave of nostalgia. Andy and I were in his hometown, Hampton-In-Arden. It was June 21st, which he kept referring to as "midsummer". I disagreed but didn't question him because I liked the way he kept going on about it. "What a lovely midsummer evening. Isn't there something so wonderful about midsummer. Midsummer is my favourite time of the year, tra la la, tweedley deedley doo!" 

In honor of midsummer and the warm weather—a scorching high of 65°F—we decided to sleep outside. We built a tent out of blankets in his mom's back garden. Just as we were dozing off into our midsummer night's dreams, we were jolted awake by a terrifying, high-pitched SHRIEEEEK! The shrillest, most spine-curdling screaming you've ever heard in your life.

As quick as you can say "Midsummer is my favourite time of the year, tra la la, tweedley deedley doo!" we were back in the house, the doors locked and the windows shut tight.

The next morning, his mom told us it was foxes doing mating calls. We Googled it, and she was right.



Maybe I'll sleep outside tomorrow and post a video blog from my sleeping bag. We don't have foxes, but we do have a few neighborhood cats, which is obviously even worse. Still, I think I'll take my chances.

Sweet dreams,
Margaret

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Earbuds be damned

There's a special place in hell for earbuds. They, together with liquid body wash, purses, gratuitous clothing labels and stick figure car decals, will some day sit on a bed of hot coals, demons whipping them with sticker bush branches for all of eternity.

Image by Juanibb via Wikimedia Commons

Sure, maybe they work for you. But in these perfect, petite ears? Not a chance. My dainty canals reject earbuds at every twist and turn. There's just no fitting those white plastic bulbs into these itty-bitty earholes. Did I mention I have the cutest, smallest ears ever? It's totally adorable. I'm the best.

Now, before you accuse me of whining about my #PetiteEarProblems, let it be known that this issue doesn't just affect only those of us with cute, small, super adorable ears. My dad has large, 67-year-old man ears and earbuds don't work for him either. Two words: EAR HAIR.

Rich Kay's course, grey ear hairs poke the earbuds right out. He's tried trimming, but the stubble gets to the buds eventually.

The solution? We both favor a retro, 1999-style athletic headphone that wraps around the back of the head. Still lightweight enough for running, but with 0% chance of slipping off, they're perfect.



Goodnight,
Margaret

P.S. Apparently ears are considered an "organ". I don't know how I feel about that. Would it make more sense to call them a limb? No, probably not. But organ? That doesn't seem right. Organs are squishy, meaty, bloody things that live in the stomach.

P.P.S. Oh, alright.

#Blessed

Monday, June 15, 2015

Woops

It's midnight and I have no blog.

I really should have a contingency plan for situations like this. A solid backup post, saved as a draft and ready to go live when an unexpected late night work situation takes me past the point of no return.

Instead, all I have is this half-written post from January 18th, 2015:


How I will spend my millions

I'm still holding out hope that I'll be filthy rich some day. However it happens, I'm sure it's going to take a lot of hard work and ingenuity, which I'm not excited about. But eventually my desire for the finer things will hopefully motivate me to, as Lisa Rinna would say, hustle hustle hustle!

So when I am taking daily cash baths like Scrooge McDuck, here's how I plan to spend by hard earned dough.

A top-of-the-line Dyson vacuum cleaner—NOT a maid.

Weekly massage appointments—NOT daily sessions with a personal trainer.

A commercial grade juicer—NOT a


And that's it! Just when things were getting juicy (HA!). 

But what was I going for with that juicer comment? Clearly, I didn't get around to completing the thought. Maybe it was going to be, A commercial grade juicer—NOT a live-in chef. 

Image by Food Thinkers via Flickr

I guess we'll never know for sure. 

Bye, 
Margaret

Sunday, June 14, 2015

My advice for Rachel Dolezal

Do nothing. Stay in hiding. Let those blonde roots grow long and take a luffa to your spray tan. Before you know it, the days will turn to weeks and the weeks to months. People will forget about you. When they do, move to a new city and start over.

After all, you're already a whiz a reinventing yourself and it worked for Don Draper (kind of).

That would be my advice to anyone caught up in a public controversy. Just wait it out. People have short attention spans. The best way to handle anything like this is to just. do. nothing.

Image via EWU.edu

But I'm fairly certain this lady likes attention. Why else would you (allegedly) lie about being the victim of multiple hate crimes? Yikes. Even if it's not an attention thing, she at least believes her opinion is important. The ego is strong with this one. So, I reckon she'll probably do a press conference tomorrow or the next day. And hot diggity dern if I'm not excited to hear what she has to say. I'd also love to see an interview with her hairstylist, who must have been in on the whole charade. 

So, for the record, I think Rachel Dolezal probably has major issues, good intentions and an inflated sense of self-importance. At least that's what I picked up from this interview. Also, between her weird parents and the various lawsuits, there's definitely more nuance to this story than what we've heard so far—the situation isn't black and white (BOOM! Mic drop). 

Meanwhile, the Duggars are breathing a synchronised sigh of relief. 

LYMI, 
Margaret

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Are all the good personalized plates taken?

On the drive here, Clare and I spotted a couple of personalized license plates.

There was "8 NO D9", which I get, but feel like I need more context to appreciate. Mr. Driver, what aren't you denying? The fact that it's very difficult to cram a complete thought into seven characters?

Also, there was "FORWORD", which I assume is because "FORWARD" was taken. Or maybe it's supposed to be two words—for word. Either way, why?

In case you're wondering, it costs $84.75 to get a personalized license plate in Washington State. You can check which ones are available here

Let's see....

GSYLAMA - available!

BOWLCUT - available!

CANDLES - available!

I8PIZZA - available!

I think that answers my question. All the good personalized license plates are NOT taken. 


Image by Ryser915 via Wikimedia Commons


The blogs are short this weekend because 1) I'm in Spokane 2) It's the weekend and 3) I owe you nothing (NEVER forget that). 

Love ya,
Margaret



Friday, June 12, 2015

Worst rule ever

Hotel hot tubs closing at 10 p.m.

Why? It's the most ridiculous rule ever. We're all adults here. We can handle it.

Sorry for the short blog.

Image by Aibohphobia via Flickr


Yours,
Margaret

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Spokane or bust

I'm going to Spokane this weekend.

Facts about Spokane:
  • It's the second biggest city in Washington.
  • It hosted the 1974 World Expo, and it has THIS bad boy to show for it:
Image by theslowlane via Flickr
  • Bing Crosby grew up there. 
  • Its motto is 'Near Nature. Near Perfect.'
  • It's mentioned in a disproportionally large number of songs ('Jolene' by Zac Brown Band, 'Swear Your Love'  by Kenny Loggins, 'Still a "G" Thang' by Snoop Dogg, 'My Dwarf is Getting Tired' by Ry Cooder....the list goes on!)
Also, this one, which I've been groovin' to for the past few minutes. I really like it. "Wine, wine, wine..."




Another thing about Spokane is that it's much better than people give it credit for.

TTFN,
Margaret

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Re: Soccer

Image via Wikimedia Commons


"Did you ever play on a soccer team?" my brother-in-law William asks my mom.

She answers, "You know, I distinctly remember being in the car, my dad was driving, and out the window we saw them. There they all were. Spread out across the field. And we said, 'WHAT is that!?' And it was soccer. We'd never seen it before in our lives."



In Edinburgh circa 2011, Andy asked me to play soccer (or "football" as it was called back then) with him and a group of girls he met in the park. I needed the cardio, so I agreed.

We met every Sunday for a few weeks. I was starting to feel pretty confident. I'd never played soccer before, but I could run fast and even stole the ball on a few occasions.

Then, something terrible happened. One night, after the game, Andy asked me, "So, why do you roll the ball in during your throw-ins?"

Uhhhh.

CRAP.

I'd been doing it wrong! I'd been doing it wrong all along! Instead of chucking the ball in a straight-arms, over-the-head heave, I'd been ROLLING IT UNDERHAND back onto the pitch.

How mortifying.

I never returned to Sunday soccer, and I still cringe when thinking about it.



YouTube is awash with amazing soccer videos. But this one is the best.





So long,
Margaret

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Lost wallet, lost marbles

Today was a Pu Pu platter of emotions.

The morning got off to a late start when I realized I lost my "wallet" (this business card holder Anna got me). Hunted for it everywhere. Accused Elsie, the 13-month-old, of snatching it. Called Ollie, the two-year-old, to ask if he'd seen it anywhere when he was here yesterday. Cried out of frustration (and hunger). Got consoled by Keeley, the four-year-old, who assured me "We'll find it downstairs!" Cried harder when Francie, the pregnant sistah, found it under the side table by the couch. Tears of relief (and hunger).

St. Anthony, patron saint of lost things, holding — guess who? — JESUS!
Image via Wikimedia Commons

That's more like it!


But from there, the day was a continued upswing. Coffee, bike ride, work, bowl cut, new shorts, walk around Green Lake, toast with almond butter and pickle...the perfect day. Ein perfekter Tag.

Speaking of lost wallets, one time, before all us kids were born, my mom left her wallet on top of the car and drove around town. It had all the rent money in it. She and my dad retraced her route and spotted it in the middle of the Aurora bridge. They stopped the car, ran out and grabbed it. All was well.

Now, unfortunately, that's all the blog I can give tonight.

Sweet dreams,
Margaret

Monday, June 8, 2015

Char and Francie


My sisters are named Francie and Char.


They are nice. 

I like then a lot.

Sometimes they are mean.


I sleep in their room sometimes.

I love them.


One of them eats a lot. 

When they get up they are sleepy.

Image caption: "I am huge"


They are in 5th grade. I am in 1st grade.


The end.



Goodnight, 
Margaret

Sunday, June 7, 2015

7 rules for summer

It's been a scorcher here in Seattle Kenmore this weekend. The sun has dried up every last bit of energy from my body. I'm ready to watch Silicon Valley and hit the hay.

So, without further ado, please enjoy the following generic blog post.





7 rules for summer

1. Always spring for the waffle cone if given the option. It's money well spent.

2. Refill the ice cub tray if there's less than two cubes left. That's just common courtesy.

3. Buy a thin, crew neck sweatshirt from a thrift shop. Wear it when the wind picks up.

4. Forget about socks and shoes. Wear sandals. Get a sandals tan.

5. Wait to eat dinner until after the sun goes down. Dine al fresco.

6. Walk around your neighborhood at night. Look at the stars.

7. Listen to DJ Polite. Do everything he says.




One more thing. Earlier today, my mom offhandedly mentioned that she used Herbal Essences shampoo back in her young adult years. I said, "Herbal Essences was invented back then? Who knew?" And she said, "Ohhhh yeah, we loved it. Actually that's what I used to give people as a wedding present—a bottle of Herbal Essence, a new towel and a bar of Irish Spring."


Goodnight,
Margaret

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Workin' for the man every night and day

A couple days ago, my new-to-America, Irish bro-in-law William was shocked and appalled to hear the Seattle Mariners were playing their 37th game in 38 days. He couldn't believe it.

But if he thinks that's crazy, then he should read this email that a banking analyst at Barclays just sent his summer interns. Trust me, it's worth a read.



Incoming Intern Class of 2015, 

Welcome to Power! I am sure you are all busy at training, but in the interest of helping your transition into the summer, and hopefully helping some of you secure Full-Time offers, I wanted to introduce you to the 10 Power Commandments. Respect them, love them, live them. You may have heard different stories about Barclays Power – go on WSO and you’ll see us called the “frattiest group”, “top Power group on the street”, or the group with the “best PE placement” – needless to say we are a unique group at Barclays. And with that come unique rules. 

For 9 weeks you will live and die by these: 

1. Our group dresses very conservatively. Given that it is summer, no socks is accepted and, in fact, encouraged. (Men: On your first day at the desk, it is customary to wear a bowtie and/or suspenders). 

2. Remember: this is a summer internship for a full-time offer. It won’t be easy. If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen. 

3. We expect you to be the last ones to leave every night…no matter what. That’s what good summer analysts do. (Also getting in earlier than me would be a power move – You should enjoy your casual 9:15AM PT arrival time this Friday, but I wouldn’t get used to it). 

4. During your first few weeks we ask that you direct all of your questions to Michael Lomio. Tell the other summers too, Michael is industry agnostic. If you ask me a question it will be noted. 

5. Never take your jacket off at work. This is investment banking, ladies and gentlemen. Other groups may be more liberal when it comes to summer dress code, unfortunately were not 

6. You will be assigned junior “mentors”. It is much appreciated if you would bring breakfast in for your respective “mentor.” Some people are more particular about this than others. 

7. I recommend bringing a pillow to the office (yoga mat works as well). It makes sleeping under your desk alot more comfortable, in the very likely scenario that you have to do that. 

8. You are expected to allocate at least half your seamless web order for group appetizers/snacks for the month of June. No questions asked. Once the 2nd years leave, you can enjoy your $25 allocations. 

9. Have a spare tie/scarf or two around. You never know when your associate will run out of napkins. 

10. When you need to leave your desk there will be a sign out sheet outside your cubes. Please fill it out including where you went and for how long. This is important come the end of your internship. 

I hope it is clear from the rules above that the internship really is a 9-week commitment at the desk. You are here with the sole goal to impress the group enough to receive a FT offer. During my summer in the group an intern asked our staffer for a weekend off for a family reunion – he was told he could go. He was also asked to hand in his blackberry and pack up his desk. 

Some of you have asked for training materials to study up on before you start. Love the enthusiasm. First, I would recommend reading the GS Elevator twitter feed for some social cues. It might be seen as a joke to some people, but around here I think many people find it insightful. Below is a link to a great read for any dress questions. 

Dress Rules: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-dress-the-part-on-wall-street-2013-8 

Second, I have attached a fairly simple LBO for Staples. Understand this will be a bit tough for some of you without a Finance / UG business degree, but we believe in you. There’s a reason each of you was picked for the group. We expect you to give this your best shot and send us a completed LBO model with a short write up by Friday end of day. None of you will have this 100% correct, that’s expected. We also still expect you to complete a significant portion of it. 

Welcome to the big leagues, boys and girls. Play time is over and it’s time to buckle up. Once you hit the desk, your lives will be your work for 9 weeks. Please respond promptly to acknowledge you’ve received this e-mail (anytime in the next half hour would be fine) and to confirm that you are onboard for the summer. We know you have access to e-mail, so there’s no way to avoid this. If I remember correctly, you are probably doing training with Sean Clovey from IT, or Market Mark from TTS. 

Other than that, I look forward to meeting you all, and I hope you’re excited to join the group! We sure are looking forward to having you here! 

Yours Truly,

Justin

P.S. There are a number of typos in place in the email above. These are on purpose. First person to email me back with at least 3 highlighted typos is off to a GREAT start!


Yeah. I know. It's so bad. It's cartoonishly douchey.

The email was leaked to the Wall Street Journal a couple days ago. The guy has since been fired.

Image by 드림포유 via Flickr

My question: who is the person who receives this email and responds well to it? Who is that poor soul who reads it and thinks, "Man, this is so inspiring. I'm going to work extra hard this summer"?

I actually feel kind of bad for the guy who wrote it. He's clearly just an ugly example of a certain corporate culture where this sort of thing is seen as OK and normal. I'm fairly certain this dude is just repeating the stuff that he was told when he was a lowly intern. That said, Hitler wasn't able to do the Holocaust on his own. He needed brainwashed, power-hungry middle managers like this guy to buy into his crazy ideas. So, I take it back. I don't feel bad for this guy.

Yikes, did I just make a Hitler comparison? I'm getting so lazy in my old age. Forgive me.

Peace be with you,
Margaret

P.S. I had a crack at the three typos, even though it's clear he just added that caveat to cover his arse for inevitable typos. 'On purpose' my ass!

  • "and hopefully helping some of you secure Full-Time offers" — Don't capitalize 'full-time' because it's not a proper noun.
  • "Tell the other summers too, Michael is industry agnostic." — Should be semicolon instead of a comma (in my opinion).
  • "This is investment banking, ladies and gentlemen. Other groups may be more liberal when it comes to summer dress code, unfortunately were not" — Two typos here. "Were" should be "we're" and it's missing a period at the end of the sentence.
  • "It makes sleeping under your desk alot more comfortable" — Should be 'a lot' not 'alot'. 
  • "When you need to leave your desk there will be a sign out sheet outside your cubes" — Should be 'sign-out sheet' with a hyphen. 
  • "He was also asked to hand in his blackberry and pack up his desk." — Blackberry should be capitalized.
  • "to confirm that you are onboard for the summer." It should be "on board" not "onboard". 


That's seven. What do I win??


SOURCE: Wall Street Journal

Friday, June 5, 2015

You're prob not going to read this

Nobody reads this blog on a Friday—not even me! I close my eyes while I type.




So, despite the fact that none of us are reading this, my eyes are shut tight and I'm pretty sure I'm asleep and dreaming, here goes tonight's blog....

Dear Planet Earth, 

Let's stop asking people "How's it going?" or "What's up?" unless we genuinely want and expect an answer. Note: 'how's it going?' is NOT a stand-in for 'hello'. 

This particularly applies to hiking, when you pass a group coming down the trail. Just say hello. Resist the urge to say 'how's it going?' Why? Because it's confusing. By the time the person says, "Good, thanks. How are you?" you're long out of earshot,  halfway up the mountain. 

My mom says, like all of life's irritations (see: shirt label size conspiracy), this 'how's it going?' thing is a new phenomenon. Her and her friends talk about it. "So, are you supposed to answer or not?" they ask each other. 

I tell her, no, you shouldn't answer. Not unless the person pauses and makes eye contact.

But the truth is, nobody should be put in this perplexing situation in the first place. 

Just say hello. 

Repeat it with me. 

Just say hello.

Thanks, 
Margaret Kay 
CEO of Madgespace

P.S. Brits, you're not off the hook. The same applies to your version of the don't-really-answer-this question — "You alright?" 

GOD, that's awful. It took me years to stop answering, "Yeah, why? Do I look sad? Injured? Sickly?"



Thursday, June 4, 2015

Facial isometrics

Want a beautiful, youthful-looking face?

Can't afford pricey plastic surgery?

No problem!

Facial isometrics is the answer! Do them with me.


WIDE MOUTH




TINY FACE




SILENT SCREAM




LIZARD




LIZARD


LIZARD



LIZARD



FEEL THE BURN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



But hey, don't just take my word for it. Take Clarisa Patterson's word for it. As I discovered tonight, she's YouTube's resident facial isometrics expert, and a true star. I hope this blog can be the catalyst that finally gets her the attention (and YouTube hits) she deserves. 

Gag on her eleganza.




Now, if you'll excuse me, I must ice and elevate my face.


Cheers dahlings,

Margaret

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Where are they now? Savage Garden edition

The dog across the street is neglected. His name is Radio (we think).

They (Annabelle's daughter and son-in-law) leave him tied up in the front yard all day and night.

I'm not a huge animal person, but COME ON! Take your damn dog for a walk! It's so sad. Don't they know, as Savage Garden once crooned, animals are supposed to be "careless and free"?

 CUE THE MUSIC——



——Hmmm. Apparently that song featured in a 1999 Juliette Lewis rom-com called 'The Other Sister'. That explains the music video.

Speaking of 'Savage Garden' — where are they now? Well, they broke up in 2001 and the vocalist, an Aussie named Darren Hayes, now has a bunch of solo albums. More importantly, he's currently studying at The Groundlings (LA improv school), has a podcast AND has three Twitter followers that I happen to follow:

Quite the ringing endorsement!


If you're not sure who Brendan Jordan is, he's that kid who became famous after this news clip went viral.

Well! That was so exhausting that I don't have time to Google what the other half of Savage Garden is up to. Sorry, whatever your name is. But I suppose you're used to this.

Love y'all,
Margaret


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Can we talk about UnREAL?

Caitlyn Jenner (choosing not to spell it with a 'K'— a bit of shade?) totally overshadowed yesterday's biggest story: the premier of Lifetime's new series 'UnREAL'.

We all agree that Caitlyn Jenner's Vanity Fair cover is the pregnant Demi Moore of our day. Totally iconic. Something Jaden Smith's grandkids will watch on some VH1 nostalgia fest—'I love the 2010s'—and be like, "Whaaaa? That was groundbreaking?" And we'll be like, "Yes. Yes, it was. It was a huge deal. It brought the transgender movement into the mainstream. Now, hop in your teleporter and go to school!"

That said, can we talk about UnREAL? Sweet merciful Jesus, it's amazing.


PLOT: 
A fictional look behind the scenes of a 'Bachelor'-style reality show called 'Everlasting'.

CHARACTERS: 
  • Quinn, the ruthless producer who will do anything to get the contestants to cry, throw their drink, act crazy, get sloppy drunk and be slutty. 
  • Rachel, the guilt-ridden filed producer who Quinn gets to do her bidding. Last season, she went crazy and almost ruined the season finale. Now she's back, but still not coping well with the show's clear lack of morals.
  • A bunch of other people—Cameraman Jay who Rachel used to date. Show creator Chet, with whom Quinn is having an affair. A bunch of contestants whose storylines will surely unfold, including a 'desperate MILF', a naive Bible-loving horseface from the south and a bulimic. 

WHY IT'S GOOD:
  • One of the show's co-creators, Sarah Gertrude Shapiro (why she's chosen to be a three-name person, I haven't the foggiest) actually worked as a field producer on 'The Bachelor'. So, even though the show seems way over-the-top, apparently, and according to Char Kay's best friend Reality Steve, it's pretty accurate. 
  • It's actually bad. 

ODDS OF GETTING CANCELLED: 
High


I recommend it if you currently enjoy or have previously enjoyed any of the following:

  • The Bachelor
  • The Bachelorette
  • Bachelor Pad
  • Bachelor in Paradise
  • Joe Millionaire
  • Temptation Island
  • Paradise Hotel
  • Real Housewives of Orange County
  • Real Housewives of Beverley Hills
  • Real Housewives of New York City
  • Real Housewives of Atlanta
  • Real Housewives of New Jersey
  • Real Housewives of Miami
  • Real Housewives of D.C.
  • Real Housewives of Vancouver
  • Real Housewives of Cheshire
  • Real Housewives of Melbourne
  • Princesses Long Island
  • Jerseylicious
  • I Wanna Marry Harry
  • Beauty and the Geek
  • Take Me Out
  • More To Love
  • Boy Meets Boy
  • Britney and Kevin: Chaotic
  • Dating in the Dark
  • Flavor of Love
  • Vanderpump Rules
  • Shahs of Sunset
  • Blow Out
  • Rock of Love with Bret Michaels
  • Rock of Love Bus with Brew Michaels
  • A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila 
  • A Shot at Love II with Tila Tequila
  • Tool Academy 
  • I Love New York
  • I Love New York 2
  • Millionaire Matchmaker

Goodnight, 
Margaret

P.S. Big thanks to Igor for tipping me off to the show's existence.

P.P.S. Today's my first day off Goldfish crackers. Pray that I'll stay strong!

Monday, June 1, 2015

The dos and don'ts of life

DON'T trim your nose hair bare. You'll get sick. It happened to Andy after I bought him an electric trimmer. Turns out, those nose hairs are there for a reason.

DON'T squirt lighter fluid onto charcoal without any eye protection. Bye bye, eyelashes.

DON'T sign up to be an altar girl just because they're having a pizza party for new recruits.

DON'T skip meals.

DON'T pierce your own ears. They'll be lopsided and it'll cause scar tissue.

DON'T put anything you really like in the dryer.

DON'T eat nothing but salad and bran cereal for months hoping that it will cure constipation. It will only make things worse. Imagine piles of twigs and leaves building up behind a river dam.

DON'T use Sun-In if you're a brunette.

DON'T eat chocolate-covered raisins out of a communal container whilst in a hot tub.



DO stay up late watching TV on a weeknight, even though you'll be tired the next day.

DO cry when you stub your toe.

DO read page-turners.

DO try to get out of the house at least once a day.

DO swirl the water with a spoon before you crack the eggs into the pan (when making poached eggs).

DO sleep with your head at the other end of the bed a few nights a month. Just to keep things spicy.

DO make a point to acknowledge and say 'thank you' to your waiter / bartender as you're leaving (Brits taught me this, and it's a good one).

DO give away all your purses and just put your debit card in your pocket.

DO the Puyallup




TTFN,
Margaret
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