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Friday, July 31, 2015

Cool, hipster or lazy?

I went hard on the tofu today. A big container of Steph's Tofu from PCC for lunch followed by a Vietnamese tofu bowl for dinner. It wasn't planned, but it happened. My stomach...bloat city.

Anyway, today's blog topic: this blog! How meta. (GAWD, I bet you knew I was going to say that. How meta? More like how predictable!)

Specifically, I'd like to respond to a common question I get: Margaret, why don't you make your blog look nice, buy a domain and get a proper URL? 

To which I respond, it's complicated.

Basically, there's something alluring about things that are slightly unpolished. It's why film photos still look so cool next to digital. It's why Reddit, compared to Buzzfeed, is a breath of fresh air. An extreme example is this email newsletter Andy gets every week. It's not fancy. It's not designed on MailChimp. It's actually not even a newsletter; it's just an email. All it has are about ten links to interesting articles, videos and images that have cropped up on the Internet over the previous seven days. It's so simple and so unrefined, that it feels...nice, accessible, unpretentious, personal, never overwhelming.

Everybody can have a blog—a really snazzy, professional, beautiful blog. My marketing career has taken me deep into the cringeworthy world of "blogger outreach" and I've seen my fair share of bright 'n shiny blogs. They're modern and colorful with brilliant custom graphics (like a background made to look like notebook paper!). They've long dropped their unseemly URL suffixes. No .blogspot.coms or .wordpress.coms to be seen. They're gorgeous! GAW-GEOUS!

But I don't go in for all that because I have a hunch that people—you—like a bit of rough. You like this outdated, no frills design. You LOVE it. It gives the illusion that the writing is good. And the free URL makes it feel kind of underground.

I explained all this to my brother Max last week.

"That's a very hipster argument," he says.

"Yeah, it is," I say.

"Yep."

<long pause>

"Or maybe I'm just lazy."

AND THE PENNY DROPS. That's a bingo. Lazy. The true reason, at least 80% of it, is that I'm lazy.

No comment.

Thanks for sticking with me through that. Stay tuned for tomorrow's post: I love Cracklin' Oat Bran so much, so why do I never buy it?

Love,
Margaret

P.S. I just realized what makes something "hipster". It's when the spectrum of unpretentiousness comes full circle. It's when unpretentious goes so far that it becomes pretentious. Kind of like how, in politics, if you go to the left enough, you wind up on the right.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

By the light of the silvery moon

I just got back from a moonlit swim in Green Lake with Nadinksi (mother), Char (sister) and Maria (cousin). It was wild and sooooo earthy of us. It felt like something I'd read in someone's memoir—someone really interesting with this crazy, fun, slightly-on-the-edge life.

Doing elementary backstroke (my fave) and staring up at the stars, I tell ya, it was magical.

I even did two cannonballs off the diving board and water only went up my nose once.



Hold on. What's that? Oh, it's another controversial, Margaret-poops-on-everything opinion making its way from my brain to this blog. Buckle up.

ENOUGH WITH THE DAMN BLUE ANGELS.

They're airplanes that go really fast and do tricks. What am I missing? Why does Seattle worship them? At best, they're a 5 out of 10 on the entertainment scale. Totally average. Not to mention they're loud and the I-90 bridge has to close every time they take their circus act to the skies.

Also, they happen every year! Every summer. Multiple times a summer. I imagine they were awesome the first time, pretty good the second time...but now, on the 467th summer in a row, how can I be expected to feign interest?

To end on a positive note, I'm still loving my night shirt. So lightweight and airy. An absolute pleasure to sleep in!

Goodnight,

Margaret

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

MH370 - Found?

Some Boeing 777 airplane parts washed up on an island in the Indian Ocean today. They think it might be MH370.

Wow.

You may have long forgotten the missing plane, but I haven't. I've Googled 'MH370' hoping for news almost every day since the 24-hour news coverage stopped. I've read all the conspiracies, including but not limited to Courtney Love's brilliant insight, and I've even held out hope that the plane landed on some remote island, the passengers living off coconuts, monkey meat and old cans of Dharma peanut butter.

But sadly, if confirmed, these washed-up plane parts will extinguish any smoldering optimism I have left.

:(

Image by Laurent ERRERA via Wikimedia Commons

ON A LIGHTER NOTE, Taylor Armstrong is returning to Real Housewives of Beverly Hills next season, which is good excuse for me to share my favorite Housewives gif of all time.



Rumor has it that Taylor questions Yolanda's so-called chronic lyme disease and Lisa R. gets really mad about it. The gossip sites are already framing the feud as Lips v. Lips. LOLZ.

Bye,
Margaret

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Move over Tom of Maine...

...there's a new natural deodorant in town!

It's called Lāfes and—stick with me here—it actually works. Char got it in her Amazon Fresh order and, being the disgusting little sister that I am, I borrowed it for a couple weeks while I was "in between deodorants".



Of course I was skeptical. I've been a long-time Tom's of Maine hater. As much as I wanted to jump on the all natural, non anti-perspirant bandwagon, walking around with Italian bistro pits wasn't a sacrifice I was willing to make.

But Lāfes works! And here's the crazy thing: for me right now in this current moment, it works way better than Mitchum, Degree and Dove.

I don't expect it to last. I'll become immune eventually and need to switch brands. Pretty soon I'll be immune to them all and resort to some homemade baking soda lemon juice concoction. Once that wears off, I'll retreat to the woods to live among the wild llama, my furry brethren.

Well, that got weird. I've gotta go. I have a RHONY to watch. Loving Bethenny this season.

Peace,

Margaret

P.S. "That got weird" is the new "AWK-ward" and I hate it just as much. Sorry for using it.

Sweet escape

I never really understood the appeal of soap operas. Sure, I went through a 'Passions' phase in the early 2000s (who didn't), but for the most part I just didn't get why such terribly-acted, overdramatic, unrealistic shows were so popular

Then tonight, as I was sitting on the couch watching The Bachelorette finale, hosted by the melting beeswax candle that is Chris Harrison, it dawned on me: reality TV is this generation's soap operas. The Bachelorette is a soap opera. It's essentially the same as General Hospital or Days of Our Lives—only better because actual emotions and reputations are at stake! Now I get it. Whether it's scripted upfront or heavily manipulated through editing, these genres offer us the same precious gift: dramatic narrative.

Nobody was ever watching soaps because they're good. They watched them because they're incredibly basic. They follow a formula. They're easy to consume and easy to forget. They're shallow and surface-level whist pretending to be deep. It's the fakeness we love. It's pantomime. It's a break from the mundanity of our daily lives. It's an escape.





All this led me to another sudden epiphany: reality TV is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, inventions of the past twenty years. What? Is that overboard? OK, at least admit that it's a defining invention of our era. I seriously can't believe it didn't used to exist. We are so lucky to be living in a time where aspiring actors sacrifice their dreams and dignity for the sake of our entertainment.

Unfortunately that's all I can write tonight. The Bachelorette lasted about four hours and it's now just three minutes to midnight. I need to get in bed and rub my Digiorno-filled belly (they were out of Freschettas -- boourns).

Best,

Marge

Sunday, July 26, 2015

5 reasons I'm annoying

I've never been this social in my life. In the past two weeks I've seen more people and attended more gatherings than I have in the past two years. Is that an exaggeration? Yes. But only just.

As you know, I'm an introvert masquerading as an extrovert. So, naturally I have mixed feelings about my newfound social calendar. On the one hand, changing out of my night shirt, leaving the house and talking to people is exhausting. On the other hand, it's fun and fulfilling. Plus, I feel like I've reached a stage in my life where every moment counts. There should be no wasted days. I'm almost 29!

Anyway, I promised you a list and a list you shall get.


5 reasons I'm annoying


1. I take waaaay too many items to the self-checkout at the grocery store. People line up behind me with a single carton of milk and there I am spending several minutes trying to look up the code for green onions, the first of 40 items in my basket.

2. Self pity. I feel sorry for myself at least three times a day and, if given an audience, I will vocalize my feelings.

3. I get mad when people won't let me use their highly personal / embarrassing stories as material for this blog. I have no dignity; so why should you?

4. I use emdashes—the large dashes bookending this interjection—way too much. Can't help it. I'm addicted to them!

5. I talk about Andy too much. Ugh, how annoying. It's annoying that I even added this to the list, but I couldn't think of a fifth reason. Also, it's true.




What else is new? I've started smearing Vaseline under my eyes every night. I'm signing a lease on an apartment in West Seattle tomorrow. My 'To Do' list is miles long. I continually waver between extreme confidence and extreme self-doubt. I'm sorry I ever underestimated Jason Derulo.


Ciao,
Margaret

P.S. I want to kick the song 'Honey I'm Good' in it's Cotton-Eye Joe face.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Rain dance

It rained today. Not just drizzle. RAIN. The first rain Seattle's had in a long, long while.
People walked out of their houses to stand it in. Strangers on the street stopped to talk about it. It made the pavement smell like hot, wet dust.

It was GLORIOUS.








My mom and I went to a movie AND drank venti peppermint teas during it. That's a rainy day activity if I've ever heard one. We saw 'Inside Out' because of the great reviews. It was cute and clever. But let's be honest, it is still for children. We got a bit antsy.

Anyway, is anybody still watching UnREAL? Because I am. And things are really heating up (or "hotting up" if you're British). Something that I enjoy about the show is how tired and rundown they make the main girl look. She lives on set and pretty much never sleeps, so of course she's not going to look her best. It's refreshing to see this reflected in the (lack of) hair style/makeup.

Can that really be tonight's post? That's it? The weather and then a few sentences on a reality TV show almost nobody watches? Yep! It's Friday. I'm giving myself the rest of the night off.

Cheers,
Margaret


Ch ch ch changes

I left for Edinburgh in 2009. Now it's 2015 and I'm back. For the most part, Seattle is how I left it. However, there are a few new things that have cropped up in the past six years. I'm not sure I like them. I'm not sure I like them one bit.

  • Christian coffee shops — What's the deal? I'm seeing a lot of these. Some come right out with it ('His Word Found Here' in Ballard) and others are sneakier.
  • Cards Against Humanity I'm so old that in my day they used to call this game 'Apples to Apples'.
  • 'Bender & Molly' in the mornings  Say whaaaa? What happened to Jackie and Bender? Molly, that girl from the Bachelor, is Bender's new co-host? Crazy. I've also heard that Jackie and Bender were actually married and then divorced but still did their show together for a while. If that's true, it makes sense that it wasn't sustainable. Anyone have the T on this? 

What's the shelf-life of a game like this? Is it past its sell-by date? It's no Cranium, that's what I say.

Image by tom_bullock via Wikimedia Commons


Meanwhile, as these radical changes to Seattle culture continue to throw me for a loop, I hear this song by 5 Seconds of Summer on the radio today:



WHAT is going on. Just when I thought the world was passing me by, I hear those familiar nasal tones over the airwaves. The early-2000s pop-punk male vocal sound! Is it making a comeback? They don't totally recreate it, but they're certainly playing homage to it. Takes me right back to high school, driving around Kenmore, loitering at the Safeway, watching Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County in standard definition.

I recently read a fascinating article on what inspired the Blink182-style vocals of that era. A linguist weighs in. It's actually very interesting. I recommend you read it.

That's all for now. I've been out celebrating Amazon's 20th birthday. Macklemore was there. NBD.

Cheerio,
Margaret

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tennis elbow

Well, my brother Max and I did the impossible.

We followed through on plans to play tennis.

I said it couldn't be done, but I proved myself wrong. Today we actually got in a car, drove to a tennis court, physically held onto tennis rackets with our real-life hands and hit a blindingly bright, delicious-smelling green ball over a net.

It was fun, but dang if I didn't catch me some tennis elbow. Gots me the tennis elbow real bad.



Serena 

game face

On an unrelated note, I'm going to end tonight's post with some advice. Get ready. Here it goes.

Moods fluctuate. That's OK. It's absolutely fine to feel sad or bored or grumpy for no real reason at all. What's not ok? Acting on those moods.

Being in a 'bad mood' is not an excuse for bad behavior. If you find yourself in a funk, just ride it out. Know that it will pass. In the meantime, distract yourself. Drink a glass of water. Take a nap. Make a paper airplane. Whatever! Just don't think that being in a bad mood earns you additional rights.

Also, try not to cough or sneeze when eating carrots. Half-chewed carrot shards will get stuck in your nasal/throat passage. It's very uncomfortable.

Your wise pal,
Margaret


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Sweatpants

Well, it's been about 15 minutes since I clicked 'New Post', and still no ideas. Usually something comes to me by this point, but not tonight. Instead I'm just staring at the screen and thinking about how nice it will feel when I finally close my eyes and fall fast into a deep, dreamless sleep.

You see, I'm tired. I stayed up late the past few nights watching Housewives and it's finally caught up with me. Sleep deprivation. The worst. I did it to myself, I did, and that's why it really hurts.

Here's something to ponder: from 7th grade through 12th grade—ages 13 to 18—I wore sweatpants and a sweatshirt to school every day.

OK, maybe it was four days a week. But still.

Also, in junior high, I often took things a step further and wore actual pajama bottoms. Fuzzy PJ bottoms in cow print, polka dots or plaid. I remember our assistant principal, Mrs. Riley, tried to enforce a ban. When I caught wind of this, I organized a protest, encouraging everyone to wear PJ bottoms to school one day. Civil disobedience at its finest.

She never said anything to us about it. We didn't get in trouble. She probably thought, "F it, I really don't care" and moved on to more pressing matters.

Other facts about sweatpants:

  • Andy only wears them in the house. If he's taking out the garbage, he changes back into jeans.
  • Sometimes it's more comfortable to wear them with the pockets inside out. 
  • It was common knowledge among Inglemoor High School students that Fred Meyer had the best sweatpants.
  • They really are, without a doubt, very unflattering. 
  • There's nothing more depressing than when you try on a friend's pair of sweatpants and they're too small. Tight sweatpants is an oxymoron. It's a non sequitur. Or at least it should be. When sweatpants fit snug around the butt, elastic jutting into the muffin top, it's extremely damaging to the self esteem. 
Annual Arrowheadian sleepover. Sweatpants all around.


Goodnight! Yes! Finally! Sleep! I can't wait.

Margaret

P.S. I'd like to thank my parents for never commenting on my decision to dress like a slob for five straight years. I'm sure it was tempting, but if there was ever a time to be hands-off, it was then. The teenage years. Plus, if they'd even so much as hinted that I wear jeans, I would have read them the riot act. I'd probably still be wearing sweatpants daily just to prove a point.

So, that's something to file away for the future. You can't tell a teenager what to wear. They're too sensitive and too headstrong. Plus, it's none of your business. They're basically young adults and they should dress however they want, even if it is embarrassing and unflattering.

Monday, July 20, 2015

But what does it all mean?

My sister Anna sings 'I See the Moon' to her three-year-old, Ollie, every night before bed. Just recently he's started singing along with her. Yesterday, as she began the second verse ("I had a heart forever true, but it left me and went to you..."), she noticed his voice breaking. She looked down and there he was—half singing, half sucking his thumb—with big tears rolling down his cheeks.

"Ollie, what's wrong?" she asks.

"Uhhh....my eye hurts!" he says, then bursts into full on sobs.

Flash forward to today and the same thing happens again. It's the melody. The lyrics. The sentiment. It's all too much!

People don't think kids are capable of deep thoughts, but they're actually more likely to have an existential crisis than us grown-ups. It's worse for kids, too. They experience feelings, but they can't explain why they feel that way. 99% of the time they're the most happy-go-lucky, live-in-the-present people in the world. Then, 1% of the time, the overwhelming reality of life suddenly hits them like a ton of legos.

Ollie's lullaby tears aren't surprising. When Anna was the same age, she would sob whenever 'Everytime You Go Away' came on the radio. My mom reckons it's because she took the lyrics literally ("you take a piece of me with you" — like, literally, an arm or a finger or an ear). Maybe the same is true of Ollie ("I had a heart forever true, but it left me and went to you...").

I don't know. I think it's possible that, on some level, he just gets it.

"Everytime you go away, you take a piece of me with you" - Paul Young

Tomorrow I might blog about how much I like this Donald Trump stuff. I'm pretty sure he is a secret genius. His strategy: say the wrong thing all the time. Just when people think you've outdone yourself, outdo yourself again. And it's working! His approval rating is soaring. Maybe it's a reverse psychology thing? I can't explain it. He must be smarter than all of us.

See ya,
Margaret

Sunday, July 19, 2015

From the Archives, Edition 8

It was so hot in Kenmore today that my iPhone took the day off. I left it in the car for a bit, it got hot, and when I tried to use it, the screen said, "Nope. Too hot. Try again later", or something to that effect.

Anyway, because of the heat and my lack of Sunday evening creativity, I decided it's the perfect time for a 'From the Archives' post!

In today's edition, I'm presenting several old emails from 2002 and 2003. They're some of the oldest emails I have on record.


Nov 8, 2002



Nov 21, 2002





Jan 17, 2003




What can we learn from all that? Not much. Not much at all. One thing I took away from it, however, is that American Idol used to be really, really exciting. The concert I reviewed so eloquently for Anna was the American Idol Season One tour. The Kelly Clarkson one. Remember what a phenomenon that show was when it first came out? HUGE deal.

Just a reminder of what 2002 looked like. Ryan Seacrest had a co-host.


What's Brian Dunkleman up to now? Doing standup in LA, apparently. Back in 2009 he pitched a show called 'American Dunkleman', but it never got picked up.


Until next time,
Margaret


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Get off the fence

"We should really come here and play tennis sometime."

That, I reckon, is the number one thing people say that they never end up following through on. I'm as guilty of this as anyone.

But let's end it now, America. The buck stops here.

Grab your rackets, go to that cute park and play some damn tennis!

Image by Vladsinger via Wikimedia Commons

Also, if you're on the fence about any of the following, here's the nudge you need:

  • Build/get a fire pit — YES, do it.
  • Quit your job — YES, do it. Try securing another job first though.
  • Get bangs (fringe) — NO. Now's not the right time. Wait until autumn when the weather changes. Too hot for bangs right now. 
  • Clean out your wallet — It can wait. 
  • Go camping — YES, do it. Don't overthink it. Don't overpack.
  • Wash your sheets — It can wait. 
  • Buy a kayak — YES, do it. 
  • Move to a new city — YES, do it.
  • Tell whoever you're mad at that you're mad at them — NO. Just don't be mad. Life's too short. 

In other news, I bought a "night shirt" (basically a long, cotton smock) from The Gap. It's very old fashioned. Very ma-in-her-kerchief-and-I-in-my-cap. Like something Laura Ingalls Wilder would wear. I LOVE it. 

Goodnight,
Margaret

17 July 2015 blog



I wish I could write a long, hilarious blog post full of delightful sentence fragments and sentences beginning with "and" and "but" (typical Madgespace). But I can't. Instead, I have an 'almost live' video for you, the diehards, to watch. It's about my drive home to Kenmore from Fremont. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

What globalization taught us about Goldfish crackers

When Andy ate his first Goldfish cracker he nibbled on it for a while and then said, "Hmm. Tastes like celery."

I was like, "What? Celery!? You're insane."

Then I looked at the ingredients and there it was: celery salt.

Sometimes it takes a foreigner to point out the stuff you've been missing all your life. When I first met Andy, he was in favor of the monarchy, for Christ's sake! I explained to him that having a Queen, ceremonial as she may be, is a joke in this day and age. He thought about it, engaged with that new idea for a few minutes, and then updated his opinion on the matter.

One time he pointed out to me that I say "I feel like" at the end of my sentences. For example, "You really don't see as many frappuccinos these days I feel like". Now that he's pointed it out, I notice everyone doing it. It's a Pacific Northwest thing I feel like.

Is it time we start allowing babies in bars? 

Anyway, all this is to say that mingling with outsiders—dirty foreigners like Andy—is a good thing. We can learn a lot from one another if we look beyond our borders. Brits can teach us good pub etiquette, particularly when it comes to buying 'rounds'. We can teach them that you don't have to spend ten minutes building up to a goodbye and then ten more minutes actually saying goodbye.

You know what the Japanese can teach us? How to install a bloody earthquake alert system in Seattle!!

I don't know what Donald Trump is on about. We don't need less immigration, we need more. Much, much more.

Wow, I didn't expect it to get political there in the end. Did you see that coming? You just never know where Madgespace will take you, particularly when you're writing stream of consciousness, which is about 89% of this blog.

Tally-ho you knobheads,
Margaret


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Furniture talk

As you know, each week we choose a theme and bring you different kinds of stories on that theme. Today's post: home furnishings. News, anecdotes and opinions on various topics relating to home furnishings—when home decor goes right, when it goes wrong and what happens when the owner of a Persian rug shop asks you to be his butler.

I'm Margaret Kay. Stay with us. 

  • Will futons make a comeback? It's fair to say they are HIGHLY uncomfortable. 
  • Andy and I once bought a lampshade (actually, you know about it already) from a company called Smarty Lamps. Years later they followed me on Twitter. How did they know? 
  • My advice for all the young 20-somethings out there starting out on their own: invest in an air mattress. You'll feel so prepared and hospitable when you have guests. 
  • Back in 2010, Andy got a job as a butler in a Persian rug shop. What business does a butler have in a rug shop, you ask? Why, to fetch the owner a cup of tea whenever he rings his desk bell. Andy reconsidered and quit before his first day. 
  • One time Barbie and I bought a faux bearskin rug at Costco. We were poor college students and it was like $70, but we just had to have it. Turned out to be a wonderful investment. We loved that thing like a child. 
  • There used to be a furniture store in Seattle just off the Mercer exist called 'Far Fetched'. But on the sign, the "c" was a moon, so I always thought it was called 'Far Fet Hed'.


This blog post was produced today by Margaret Kay, with Grandma Martha, Andy Williamson and Barbie Solbakken. Our senior producer is Fart Fet Hed. Booter Fitzpatrick is our production manager. Bethenny is our office manager. Production help from Smarty Lamps. 

Madgespace is distributed by Blogger. Management oversight by our boss, Persian rug shop owner in Edinburgh.



I don't know about you guys, but I'm glad that's over. ROUGH blog post tonight. Sehr rough.

But alas, tomorrow's a new day.

Sleep well!

Goodnight,
Margaret

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

OK, let's talk about that F-ing earthquake

There we all were, sitting in our backyards, sipping iced coffees and enjoying the breezy sunshine of a Pacific Northwest summer when BAM—that damn New Yorker article popped up in our Facebook feeds.

The big one. It's due. Nay, it's over-due. The consequences? Catastrophic. We will all die? Probably. Those of us that don't will be so brutally maimed that we'll look like Sid's creepy toy collection.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Up to this point, we've managed to keep the looming deathquake shoved deep in the recesses of our brains. A tsunami in Oregon? Nah. That stuff only happens in faraway lands with palm trees! A skyscraper-crumbling earthquake? Is there even such a thing? Certainly not in Seattle, home of intelligent, good-looking liberals.

But the gig is up. That article has outed us. All the gorgeous hikes, Amazon jobs, Chaco tans and craft breweries in the world can't save us from the mega-quake's devastating wrath.

We almost deserve it, too. Pacific Northwest people. We're obsessed with this place. We gush about the amazing views and the sunsets and the warm-but-not-humid summers. We're braggers. What we forget is that it comes at a price. The cost? Certain death.

So, now that everything's out in the open, what should we do?

I'm asking! What should we do? 

Maybe I'll buy an earthquake kit. Maybe I'll study the evacuation route at Seaside. I'll definitely vote for any initiative promoting more earthquake preparedness funding.

Also, I'll forget about all this in a week. So will you. Back into the recesses this silly earthquake will go.

Now that's reassuring.

Yours,
Margaret

Monday, July 13, 2015

When's the last time you cleaned your fridge?

Only 18 days until I move out of Kenmore and into an apartment in West Seattle. You know what that means. In less than three weeks, I'll have a refrigerator all to myself! Mine, mine, mine! Mine to clean. Mine to organize. Mine to gaze into longingly. I can't wait!

When it comes to refrigerators, I go full Yolanda. Clean as a whistle and organized within an inch of its egg tray. Actually, I blame MTV Cribs. I remember watching it as a young teenager in a household of seven and dreaming of having a fridge like Tony Hawk or Linda Hogan when I grew up. Full of pop and Capri-suns and pre-sliced cheese.

Here's my fridge ethos:
  • Take all individually-packed items out of their communal package (e.g. take pop out of the cardboard box)
  • Only one ketchup at a time. Stick to four mustards max: French's, sweet hot, dijon, stoneground.
  • When in doubt, throw it out! (credit: Stephanie Janicki)
Image by Tweek via Wikimedia Commons

This evening I threw out an entire QFC bag's worth of rotten food. Mouldy hummus. Lasagna from two weeks ago. Black beans that smelled like cat urine. It's nobody's fault; it's just the natural consequence of living in a household of more than two people. You simply can't control the fridge situation.

These precious years of pre-kids adulthood are my only chance to enjoy a clean, tidy fridge before the situation spirals yet again. Here's to making the most of them starting August 1st!

Love,
Margaret

P.S. I couldn't find a good place for this sentence, but it seemed a shame to throw it out: 'I like my refrigerators like I like my men—tall, orderly and complicit in my weight gain.'

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Don't think about these things too much

Let's face it, things are a bit dull at the moment. When the top headline is about how JK Rowling hit back at a Twitter troll for 'body-shaming' Serena Williams, you know it's a slow news day.

Where's Rachel Dolezal when you need her?

Anyway, the lack of enticing news stories forced me to get creative with tonight's blog (and I reserve the right to be resentful about it). Instead of forcing you to come to terms with cold hard truths, I'm giving you permission to ignore some of life's most uncomfortable realities.

Here it goes. Don't think about the following things too much:

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Kissing
  • Sleeping
  • Your impending death 

Slurrrrp!

Image by jefras via Wikimedia Commons


Monday tomorrow! Ruh-oh! Back to the grind! Do you have a coping strategy? Might I suggest a 3pm Kit-Kat break? Buy it at lunch, put it in the fridge and then wait patiently until the clock strikes three. When it's Kit-Kat time, put your headphones in, listen to the Lark Ascending and daydream as you take tiny, squirrel-like nibbles. Repeat with as many Kit-Kats as necessary or until 4pm.

Love,
Margaret

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Robin McGraw makes me nervous

That's Dr. Phil's wife, in case you've forgotten.

This evening Anna, Alex, Francie and I watched a rousing game of Celebrity Family Feud. It was the McGraws vs. the Marshalls (Penny Marshall aka Laverne from 'Laverne & Shirley').

There was a lot to discuss, of course. From the creationist, misogynistic host to Jay McGraw's playboy playmate wife, the four of us could have stayed up chatting until the wee hours. However, it was Robin who commanded most of our attention.

Image by Angela George via Wikimedia Commons

She's one of the most bizarre looking people of all time, but that's old news. What I didn't realize is how manic and over-the-top she is. The whole time she was doing this crazy gung-ho act, high-fiving everyone and contorting her face as if in deep thought before giving her answers. It was cringe-city.

I tried to capture her madness on video, but this was the best I clip I could get:


That's it for now. Limited Internet.

Now, tell me, how did YOU spend your Saturday night?

Your pal,

Margaret

P.S. It's that time of the year again. Cracked-skin-on-bottom-of-big-toe season. I'm praying for us all.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Down with education!

My sister Francie is anti-education.

OK, that's not fair. But she did bring up a great point yesterday: everything aimed at kids now gets the 'educational' label and it's exhausting! She was reading a flyer for a summer 'preschool' program aimed at two-year-olds (which, let's call a spade a spade, is just daycare) and each week had a different educational theme. Only on the final week—"camp" week—was the there any hint of actual fun.

Sure, kids need to learn. But they, like all of us, deserve a break once in a while. They can handle a bit of entertainment for entertainment's sake. I mean, imagine being forced to watch only the History channel or National Geographic and never any Bravo or E! shows. Only Civil War or marine mammal abuse documentaries, no Real Housewives or Kardashians. You, like Tilikum himself, would go crazy!

So let the kids have fun! Let them climb trees. Let them build crappy sandcastles and don't butt in to discuss better sand-packing techniques. Let them jump in a disgusting McDonalds ball-pit and risk coming out covered in another kid's poop like what happened to my cousin Ellen back in the day.

And let them figure things out on their own. If they have a question, they'll ask it. Trust me.


Image by Karl E. Jorgensen via Wikimedia Commons

When they're older, take them to Wild Waves or the Puyallup Fair or an IMAX movie.

Adios,
Margaret

P.S. If you do go to Wild Waves, maybe avoid the wave pool. That thing scares me.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Shark!

Not much changes here in Seaside. There's the prom and the turnaround. There's Old Tyme Photo. There's the Pig n' Pancake. There's the same ol' lampposts. Same arcade. Same pedophile handing out salt water taffy. Same bumper cars and Tilt a' Whirl that my mom says look exactly like they did when she was a kid.

Even the mixer here at the cabin looks like it was manufactured in 1950.



But you know what's new?

THIS.

OMG, THIS:

 

I'm speechless. Caught somewhere between 'kids these days' and 'I must try it'.

And with that, I must go take a bath. The water pressure here is amazing. I reckon it's because we're so close to the ocean. Plumbers/engineers in the audience, let me know if I'm onto something.

Sweet dreams,
Margaret

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

It's a sign

We're walking along the Seaside prom when I suddenly have a hankering for a grilled cheese (basic, just how I like 'em). My mom suggests Dairy Queen. She went to one with my grandma recently and noticed that they had them on the menu.

So, the three of us—my mom, my dad and I—set course for the DQ.

The girl behind the counter is new on the job, but she's already over it. We suspect she was out late last night. Yawning a bunch. Mascara dust under the eyes. General slowness. But hey, I'll throw her a bone. There's no air conditioning in the Seaside DQ. The place doesn't just smell like a hamburger, it feels like you're living inside of a hamburger. It's a beef sauna. A sweat lodge made of Grade F hamburger meat.

Adding insult to injury, she can't figure out how to ring us up for a side grilled cheese (i.e. one on its own, not part of a kid's meal). She calls over her coworker who is equally clueless. Then another employee tries. But nope, the side grilled cheese button is nowhere to be found. As the line grows behind us, employee #3 shouts toward the back, "JEREMYYY! HEY JEREMY—where's the cheese sandwich!?" Jeremy to the rescue. It's under 'Bakes', dummies.

We pay. We wait.

The chef comes out from the kitchen and walks up to our table. This can't be good. No bread, she says. How about she uses a hamburger bun instead? Is that OK? Of course it's not OK, but of course I say it is. I'm not willing to give up the dream.

Cheese-bun arrives. Dry. No butter. Tastes horrible.

I reevaluate life and decide it's a sign. I didn't need the calories and I wasn't even hungry. It was Lewis and Clark's (patron saints of Seaside) way of encouraging me to eat healthier.

The end.

Speaking of signs, look at these two signs I came across recently.

Well, I can imagine! It is a giant hole in the ground filled with urine and feces (faeces if you're British). 

Photo taken in a biffy at the base of a hiking trail. 



Dear City of Vancouver, don't tell me what I am or am not expecting. In fact, I WAS expecting to get hit by a cyclist, or a flying beach umbrella or a drunk driver or a falling piano. I walk around always assuming that death is nigh.


Goodnight,
Margaret

P.S. This was a weird post, but I'm in Seaside using my phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot and I don't have the data to rethink it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

This is a pretty surreal commercial

Watch it:




Why do I find it so unsettling? I'm not 100% sure. Here are some theories:

1. The eclectic casting.

2. I had no idea that Arnold Palmer is still alive. For some reason I'd grouped him with old dead athletes from black-and-white-TV-times like Babe Ruth or Joe DiMaggio.

3. It's trying to be funny, but it's not trying hard enough.

4. I have trouble believing that Xarelto is pronounced Zeralto.


Unfortunately for your life, that's it for the blog tonight. I'm off on a spur-of-the-moment trip to Seaside tomorrow and I best be gettin my laundry on. Those sweaters aren't going to Woolite themselves!

Tschuss!

Margaret

Monday, July 6, 2015

Two controversial opinions for the price of FREE

Controversial opinion #1: Russell Wilson is crazy, and not in a good way.

Russell Wilson - so thirsty to be best man at God's wedding. He's not good at hiding the desperation.

Image by Mike Morris via Wikimedia Commons

I'm sure you saw that he said some stuff about his relationship with Ciara, most notably that they're doing it Jesus-style (translation: not doing it at all). That, I don't care about. None of my business. Plus, we all already knew that her goodies stay in the jar. Here's the bit that gives me the heebie-jeebies:

"She's a special girl. I met her I don't know how long ago...five, six months ago. And the funny thing is, I told somebody that's the girl I want to be with before I ever met her. Before I met her, I was like, 'I'm probably going to end up with Ciara.' True story."

OK, big ego much? And then there's this:

"I'll never forget: She was on tour, she was traveling, and I was looking at her in the mirror. I was sitting in the dressing room and she was getting ready to go, about 15 minutes before she went on stage and she was sitting there, and God spoke to me and said, 'I need you to lead her.' And I was like, 'Really? Right now?'

He goes, 'I want you and need you to lead her.'"

Whaaaaa? The self-importance continues:

"For me, I knew that God had brought me into her life to bless her and for her to bless me and to bless so many people with the impact that she has, that I have. We're not gonna be perfect, by any means. Life's not perfect. Nobody's perfect, but he's anointed both of us, and I know that he's calling for us to do something miraculous, something special."

Quick! Get Chris Harrison on the phone! I need a rose to pin on this guy's nose.

Full disclosure: I think RW is a great quarterback, really warmhearted guy and does a lot of wonderful work for charity. He also happens to be a nutjob. And that's OK. It's OK for someone to not fit nicely into a box. People are complex and RW is no exception.

Since this interview, there's been some inevitable backlash and then an even more inevitable backlash against the backlash. I'm here to say that the original backlash is warranted. He cray.

Controversial opinion #2: Prince George's style is whack.

Somebody needs to tell Kate and Wills that this dress-your-kid-up-like-a-collectable-doll thing is gross. Enough with the embroidered blouses, Peter Pan collars, knee socks and buckled brogues! Just stop it. You're embarrassing him.

I genuinely feel for the kid. Unlike other famous British youngsters like Klay Rooney and Cruz Beckham, George is going to look back at childhood photos and have no concept of what the styles were in the 2010s. He's going to be like, "Funny! In 2015, pleated navy shorteralls were totally a thing!"

Also, what impact will his ridiculous fashion have on history? Hundred of years from now, historians will assume that all toddlers dressed like they were going on a weekend yachting trip.


Hope you could handle that. It might not have been easy to read, but to that I say: grow up!

With love,

Grassy


Sunday, July 5, 2015

DESICCATED

Dry skin. Dry lips. Dry mouth. Dry hair. So dry inside my nose that it bleeds.

Dry, crunchy brown grass outside everyone's houses.

Peeling shoulders. Cracked heels. Flaky cuticles. Itchy ankles.

Always thirsty.

Weeks of hot weather has dried Seattle right up. There's nothing we can do except suck on ice cubes, sit in baby pools, take cold showers and roll cans of chilled San Pellegrino across the backs of our necks.

What the inside of my nose looks like.

Image by Max Wolfe via Wikimedia Commons


I remember sprinkling coconut on oatmeal in Edinburgh back in 2009. The packaging read: "Flaked, desiccated coconut". It was the first time I'd come across the verb "desiccate"—I'm sure you remember where you were when this happened to you—and I asked Andy what it meant. He said it means to dry something up.

From that point on, I spotted the word desiccate in tons of places. There's a name for when that happens: the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon. Read all about it and other cognitive biases if you want to start being smart instead of dumb.

Aaaaanyway, I'm off track. Does this have anything to do with the fact that I've sleep deprived? Yes, yes, a million times yes.

TLDR: I have dry skin.

Goodnight,
Margaret

P.S. Check out this kid at the Edmonds 4th of July Parade. WOW, I forgot. I forgot how American Americans can be. The parade also featured a fleet of vintage army jeeps—everyone stood up and clapped.


I pledge allegiance!


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Tuckered out

Day three of babysitting—8:07pm—and I feel like I've been hit by an excavator. Note the word choice. I'm a construction machinery expert now. What you generically call a "digger" I know to be an excavator. What you so naively call a bulldozer is actually a font-end loader. That thing you call a fork lift? Well, that is indeed a fork lift, so good job. You got one right.

The thing is, being in charge of two kids is exhausting. And these two kids are easy! They're sweet, snuggly, independent players that do pretty much everything I ask them to do. So how will I feel after taking care of my future kids all day? With half of Andy's genes, there's no doubt they'll be big time troublemakers.

Of course, the upside is that we've been having lots, and I mean LOTS, of fun. The best thing about toddlers is the jokes. The unintentional ones, of course (their intentional jokes are terrible).

Two hilarious Ollie moments from the drive to Edmonds:

1. We're playing the "Guess what animal I am?" game. I oink, he says pig. He moos, I say cow. I hiss, he says snake. Then he hisses, so I guess snake. But he tells me no, I'm not snake. So I guess, lizard? He says no. Hmm. Bee? No. OK then, just tell me. What animal are you? A deer, he says.

2. We turn the radio on and the song 'Earned It' by The Weeknd is on. You know the one. It goes, "Cause girl you're perfect. You're always worth it. And you deserve it. The way you work it." Anyway, that song comes on and Ollie pipes up with, "This is Baby Margot's favorite song!" Keep in mind Margot is 16 months old and has probably met her twice in his life. I say, "Oh really? It is?" and he says, "Yeah."

When life give you a floor, make it a place to take naps!

And with that, I must go bake a flag cake. Happy Birthday, America.

Love,
Margaret

Friday, July 3, 2015

I rarely laugh

I rarely laugh. I guffaw quite a bit though. And I politely chuckle A LOT.

Still, genuine, full-blown laughter is increasingly rare. So rare, in fact, that afterward I find myself sighing and saying, "Ahh, that was a good laugh..."

What's wrong with me?

Why can't I be like my niblings (again, I promise that's the official term) who laugh hysterically at their dumb, made-up jokes (e.g. mailbox elbow, graham cracker leaf)? Why can't I be like Andy who walks through life in a permanent state of laughter? Why can't I be like that giggling buffoon Anderson Cooper? Or that maniacal hyena Tom Cruise? Why can't I be like Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin in the photo below?

Dat Boris Yeltsin standup. Always a knee-slapper. Watch here.

Image by White House Photographic Office via Wikimedia Commons

The last time I remember laughing—really laughing—was when I saw Borat in the theater sophomore year of college. I suppose there were also the few times Andy decided it'd be a good idea to tickle me, something he now knows to never do again1. But that's about it.

I suspect it's because I'm uptight. I need to take a deep breath, relax my shoulders, let my bowl cut down and be open to all the potential laughs out there in the universe2. I need to stray away from things that I find amusing or interesting or ironic and move in the direction of untimely farting, footballs hitting crotches and rakes to the face.

To kick things off, I will present to you one of my favorite YouTube videos of all time:





ROTFLMAO,

Margaret

P.S. Speaking of Anderson Cooper, remember when he was the host on that AMAZING reality game show 'The Mole'? His career will never be able to top that.


Tickling is torture and I can't be held responsible my actions whilst being tickled. I WILL kick you in the face.

My mom went to Mirval (that fancy spa that Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick went to in an attempt to save their relationship) and when she came back she said she noticed that people use the word "universe" a lot. "That's a new thing," she said. "The way people say universe all the time—that's new."

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Newsflash

Busy making the most of your life? Doing activities? Enjoying the sunshine? Well, pin a rose on your nose. While you've been gallivanting around town, I've been scouring the Internet for the week's top news stories.


→  If you have blue eyes, then you're probably an alcoholic. Sorry! Don't shoot the messenger. If you have a problem with this hypothesis, then take it up with those yahoos over at University of Vermont.

Image by 8thstar via Wikimedia Commons


→  Scott Disick, husband to Kourtney Kardashian, was spotted canoodling* with some 25-year-old stylist in France. Uh oh. Let's just say, I called it 

*Note: canoodle doesn't mean chat.


→  The 'Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp' trailer came out today. Everybody's very excited and rightfully so.



→  Matt Damon has a ponytail now. Bless him.



And with that, I'm going to bed. Day two of babysitting starts bright and early tomorrow.


Cheerio,
Margaret



Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Auntiellama

I'm babysitting my niece Greta and nephew Ollie for four days starting TOMORROW!

Despite being fully qualified—I've been a certified babysitter since age 12—I haven't watched any of my niblings (yep, that's the correct terminology) for such a long stint before. Am I nervous? NO! Do I have what it takes? YES! Am I the world's best aunt? IN THE TOP TEN, AT LEAST.

As Fraulein Maria would say, I have confidence in me!

A captain with seven children—what's so fearsome about that?

Something else boosting my confidence is my new sweatshirt. Behold its sequinned beauty.

Some boy modelling my new sweatshirt. 

Carole from RHONY inspired me to order it. She wore one that said "you had me at merlot" a few episodes back, then tweeted about the company that makes them. Sure, it was an impulse buy, but I regret nothing. Plus, maybe some big whig will see me walking around Kenmore wearing it, go to my blog and then offer me a million-dollar sponsorship deal.

Bye for now,
Margaret

P.S. Migraine-free since May 23rd. To what do I owe this incredible headache hiatus? Not sure. Maybe it's the gummy vitamins!
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