Friday, October 30, 2009

Google Mix Up

I google imaged "Liz Lemon" so that I could get a better understanding of her style in order that I might perfect my look for a Halloween costume. I haven't had a ton of time to prepare for a Halloween costume idea, so I decided to just go with something that would be easy for me. Since I already look a bit like Tina Fey and I already live a lifestyle similar to Liz Lemon, I figured I would just fall into the part on October 31. When i googled "Liz Lemon" a little surprise popped up. Apparently there is a woman named "Liz Lemon Swindle" that does those weird Mormon paintings. And, there's an entire website called "LDS-Art" that is designated to the sale and promotion of paintings in the genre of "Mormonism." Pre-tty interesting.

Liz Lemon Swindle

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Apparently this is the season to reinvent yourself, fashionistically speaking. People all around me are popping up with "new looks" and the notion of updating my wardrobe is rather tempting. And, judging by the people in my life, my "new look" has been a long desired achievement. Every time my dad and I watch one of those makeover tv shows, he never fails to drop the comment, "you know, you'd be good on one of these shows." This usually segways into a debate about how I am already a good dresser so I don't need to go on "one of those shows" because those shows are for bad dressers. But, I think I get it. It's time for something fresh like a Young MC song.

My direction is governed by the fact that my life as a student is about to cease (at least for a couple years) and I am going to be a grown up halfling. So, I'm moving away from the kitsch and the polyester that used to dominate my wardrobe and am heading for a more classy, toned down kitsch reminiscent of a woman in the 1950's that is trying to be a career woman and fighting for a position among the old boys' club. My model style has been inspired by the fashion of a one Zooey Deschanel. Her style is, to me, the embodiment of classy, toned down kitsch. I also considered growing my hair long and getting rid of the glasses so that I could look like her fraternal obviously being the less fortunate in physical characteristics.

This transition hasn't been easy. I have definitely relapsed on several purchasing occasions. The latest temptation came while I was looking for a studious-looking sweater vest. I was just starting to acclimate myself to the gray and muted color scheme when, BAM, this beauty popped up. I'm so tempted to get it, but I know it would go against everything I'm trying to make of myself. All of the wonderful things I'm trying to achieve.

Whether or not to buy this sweater vest will be the dilemma of the weekend. If J.Crew or Anthropologie don't bring something to the table soon, I will be forced to reassess my new look and perhaps make the new look the old look which in return would result in my dad calling TLC and putting me on "What Not to Wear" for my own good. Heaven help us all...but mostly me and my wardrobe prospects.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

My Current Motivational Jam

When I went up to Ft. Wayne last weekend, we sang "Just a Closer Walk with Thee" at church. I love this hymn. When I got back home I wanted to listen to it again, so I googled the song and up popped this video clip of Mahalia Jackson singing the hymn. I found it to be overwhelming. Jackson becomes so engrossed with the music and the message she is singing that she isn't even cognizant of her surroundings (note how she doesn't even make a move when her hair falls into her face. She never goes to fix it.). Nothing seems to distract her. And the thing is, I don't feel like she was singing the song to entertain. She appears to be motivated by another force outside of the pleasing the audience or glorifying herself. Her exit even seems to suggest that she wasn't making the performance about her. She wanted to leave the audience with whatever emotions or spiritual encouragement they were experiencing.

On another note, how amazing are the pianist and the organist accompanying Jackson?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What I'm Doing Now

I had every intention of posting two more blogs about what I did over my summer vacation, but my current state in life seems to be prohibiting me from finding any time to write these last installments. So, instead, I'm just going to jump ahead and discuss some things that are more current and are keeping me from posting more often. I mean, it's fall. Summer's over.

I've been back to school and occasionally jabbing more so than hitting the books. This is it. My last year of law school. I'm a bit disappointed by the fact I overuse "unbelievable" in colloquial speech because it is the only word that I can think of to even come close to the astonishment I'm feeling at the knowledge that I will be walking away with a J.D. in less than 8 months. Have you seen those things? The diplomas are huge! I don't know what I'm going to do with it when I get it. I'm not going to have room for that thing. Quite the ego trip. I'm also a bit frustrated since it took me until my third year to actually start getting the hang of this whole "law thing." But at least I got it.

From the beginning I knew that I wasn't given (literally, given...2 days before classes were to start) the opportunity to go to law school just for kicks. I was given the opportunity for a reason. It has been more than hard over the past two years to keep this in mind and truly believe that I had been placed in this environment and career for a reason. I can't even start to discuss all of the times I wanted to quit or doubted myself or felt out of place. Numerous times I wanted to run far away from Bloomington to escape everything in life. Social struggles, educational struggles, depression episode struggles all served as frequent and familiar blockades, but I sucked it up. I'm not much for talking well about myself, but I have to say that right now I couldn't be more proud of myself. I went for it, stuck it out, and I can walk away with the knowledge that I have successfully completed something that about 10% (or less) of the population accomplishes.

This semester has already shown to be quite rigorous. I am enrolled in 15 credit hours, working 12 hours a week at the Monroe County Public Defender's office, and working as a research assistant in the area of education law for a professor. Even though it's busy, I'm having a blast. I have been blessed with a wonderful network of friends at law school to make stupid law jokes with, to crack down and discuss more intellectual topics, to play board games with, to goof around in the halls with, to dance like there's no tomorrow with, to make absurd videos with, to be in a super synth band with, to just be great friends with. I've always struggled to find people that I can relate to, that have the patience to deal with me, and that I feel truly understand me; I will always be grateful to law school for introducing such awesome people into my life that I understand and that understand me.

In a few weeks I will be on tour, traveling from Louisville to DC, attending legal conferences in hopes of finding a job where I can use my knowledge to benefit and contribute to the lives of others. I've never been one to care much about myself. Some people say I care too much? (that's a joke) But honestly, I don't really care about my own well-being. I am more concerned with ensuring that everyone else around me is okay than spending time taking care of myself. Luckily, I've chosen, and been given, a career path that allows me to spend oodles of hours working on tasks that are important to the lives of others. I’ve been offered an interview with the Cook County (Chicago) Office of the Public Guardian while I will be attending Equal Justice Works Conference this month, for which I am very excited and a bit nervous. The position I will be interviewing for is that of an ad litem attorney, meaning I would be legally acting in the best interest for children in any proceedings they might have to face. This is something that I would love to do. In working at the Public Defender’s office I’ve gotten the chance to go over to court for juvenile and CINS (Children In Need of Services) cases, and have felt a desire to help in this area. A lot of kids are lost, and a lot have just been handed a bunch of crap. Most likely, the kids that end up in court as a juvenile face a future in “the system.” If I have an opportunity to help these kids break out of the system and see what they’re capable of, I definitely want to take it. I still have a desire to teach, as I truly feel that is my ultimate passion, but I don’t see any harm in taking some time to dedicate myself to youth in a different capacity.

Extracurricularly I have taken on the role of “Sunday School Teacher.” I’ve always been very resistant to becoming involved in church groups and organizations because of my prior experiences in church. But this summer, while I was struggling with a lot of issues that caused a lot of confusion and frustration in my spiritual life, I was sitting in church when the youth director got up and made a plea for individuals to volunteer to work with kids on Sunday mornings. As I was sitting there, an epiphanic voice popped inside my head. The voice seemed to have an outline of two points in its lesson; similar to my dad’s three points he always has over the pulpit and in his everyday conversations, but one less. First, it asked, “You have a passion for teaching, right? So, why can’t you spend some time teaching these kids about Christ?” Conviction, initiated. Second, it asked, “How much time do you spend advancing your own agenda? Worrying about your own life?...Don’t you think it might be a good idea to break out of that bubble and actually utilize that passion you have to invest in the lives of others?” I started to cry. I cry a lot these days. The youth director asked for volunteers to fill out a slip included in the program, but since I came in late I didn’t get one. I started to settle back into my complacency, thinking, “Well, I can’t submit my name because I don’t have any way to do so. I’ll just do it later.” But I couldn’t sit there with any peace of mind. I turned around and asked the woman behind me for her program. I filled out the form and turned it in. I’m helping out on Sunday mornings with first through third grade girls, and I couldn’t be more excited.

I’m looking around at different places to move and find employment once I graduate. On my list are Chicago (because it’s close to my nephew); Philadelphia; NYC; DC; and oddly enough, Minneapolis. I don’t know what happened, but I became really interested in Minneapolis, and really want to live there after I finish up school. Who knows where I’m supposed to be, but if it’s Minneapolis, I wouldn’t be offended.

Overall, I am very excited about this time of my life. I’m anxious to get up and move on to the next task in life. I don’t know where I’ll where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing, but I know that everything will be as it is supposed to be. I’m not worried because I know that the authority guiding me has got it all figured out. Thank goodness someone has what’s best for my life figured out, because heaven knows I’m clueless.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Matt Wallace

My friend, Matt Wallace, is this amazing character. Unlike any person that I've ever met. That's one great thing about law school. I've met some of the most interesting and quirky people that would only show up at a place like law school. It was Matt's birthday this past weekend, and my friend Pete decided that we should make a birthday video card dedicated to Matt. This idea goes back a couple of weeks when Pete decided to megamix Matt, and we soon realized that Matt was the perfect megamix archetype. It would be hard to ever megamix anyone else outside of Matt, so the only other possibility in making a video was to act as though we were Matt. So that's just what we did. The first video below is the original Matt Wallace megamix. The second is our birthday dedication to Matt Wallace. If you don't know Matt Wallace, the second video won't be all that funny to you because everything that we do is something that Matt Wallace is well known for. So yeah, just humor me.

What Does it Mean to be Matt Wallace? from Pete Giordano on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

What I Did Over My Summer Vacation, Part 2: Matrimonial Marathon

I've heard that with the onset of an economic recession comes an influx in the average number of weddings. My friends must have also heard this statistics, as the number of weddings that I was invited to this summer threatened to reach double digits. It seemed as though every weekend of the summer I was on my way to some wedding-oriented event. I baked cakes for 3 different weddings; a challenge that I enjoyed but am in no particular rush to take on any time soon. Luckily, I didn't have to take this task on alone, as my friend Jennie contributed much of her time and skills, not to mention coming in at crunch time with a cake for a wedding I was unable to attend.

I had many wedding responsibilities, including cake baker, DJ, emcee, and bridesmaid. While I was more than honored to be a bridesmaid in my best friend's wedding, there was one position I held that elated my entire being and fulfilled a life-long aspiration: I was the flower girl. This might not seem like a such a great feat or a momentous accomplishment to you, but for me, this was something I had wanted for as long as I can remember.

When I was young (I feel as though I can say "young" instead of "younger" now because I have pinpointed 5 gray hairs on my head), I wasn't the cutest of kids. I was pudgy. Very pudgy. I had bad hair. I was often disoriented. Many people told me I looked like Wednesday Adams. (I remember on one occassion as I got older, I was walking through church and a lady stopped and said, "I'm so glad you're losing that baby fat. I was really worried about you and your looks there for awhile." No joke.) On top of struggling in the adorable department, I was incredibly shy and introverted. I didn't have friends, mostly because I figured I didn't need them. I was a loner. And a homely one at that. To make matters worse, I had a younger cousin whose cuteness abundantly overflowed. She was, and still is, lovely. Blonde hair, skinny and petite, sharp dresser, graceful, bubbly personality. Young and old knew Cassie. Young and old loved Cassie. She had friends. She got the "Aww" from adults.

My brothers, cousins and I grew up as P.K.'s (pastor's kids...and in our case, grandkids as well) in a rather large church community. Lots of church families meant lots of church kids getting married, which led to a high demand for cute little girls to take on the duties of flower girl. For some reason, I always got passed up for this position by my cousin. It felt as though I had been passed up to take over the family business by my younger, more adorable cousin because I wasn't "flower girl material." I was a complete failure, and perhaps even a bit of a disgrace to the family.

One evening, my mom had a woman over from church to discuss this woman's wedding. The two sat at a table in the living room, flipping through magazines, discussing florists and caterers, and, in my mom's typical fashion, exploring the more practical options. This was my chance. This bride had no where to hide. She was trapped in my house. She had to be courteous. So, over I waddled, with an oreo in hand, and approached the young woman. "So, do you have a flower girl yet?" I asked. "Umm..." she responded, a little flustered. Her reaction was such that I could tell she had not chosen a flower girl yet, but she knew that if I were her flower girl, her wedding ceremony would be ruined as I would not be able to extract the desired "aww's" from the attendees and there would be no "wasn't that flower girl just darling!" talk at the reception, but rather the eyes of her guests would burn like fire and they'd turn to salt if I were to take that turn to head down the aisle. "Maggie, leave this poor woman alone," my mom said as she rescued the bride from complete wedding devastation. A sigh of relief came from the other side of the table.

"But mom, I just want to be a flower girl. I've never gotten to be a flower girl, and if this woman doesn't have one, well, I might as well do it."

In an act of compromisable desperation, my mom replied, "How about you think of someone that you know who you would like to be the flower girl for, call them up, and ask them if you can be their flower girl at their wedding."

"Fine," I said. I marched over to my mom's desk in the kitchen and pulled out her address book. I started flipping through the pages when I stopped in the "C's." CONNER. That was it. Of course. Why was I wasting time on this nobody bride in my living room when there was Amy Conner who was in potential need of a flower girl? Amy Conner was it. Never before has the world seen anyone as glowing, joyous, captivating as Amy Conner. Amy has always been one of those people that's larger than life. To be her flower girl would put all other flower girlships to shame. I walked back into the living room, tapped my mom on the shoulder, and cooly asked for the phone. My mom was a little taken aback, but turned over the portable phone. I hurriedly dialed the phone number for the Conner household. Ring. Ring.

"Hi, may I speak to Amy Conner please?"
Amy picks up the phone.
"Hi Amy, this is Maggie Paino. I was wondering if you have a flower girl for when you get married."
"Well, no, I don't."
"Could I be your flower girl?"
"Sure thing, Maggie."
"Okay, thank you."

I hung up, and walked the phone back into the living room. "Well, it looks like I can't be your flower girl anyway because I'm going to be Amy Conner's flower girl," I informed the out of luck bride.

As I mentioned, Amy has always been larger than life. This trait may have been why I, at the age of 6, overlooked the fact that Amy was around 14 years old when I put in the request to be her flower girl. I patiently waited, year after year, hoping. Seventeen years later, I received a phone call. "Maggie, I'm getting hitched. You still down to be my flower girl?" "Absolutely," I responded.

The day of the wedding, I shared my flower girl position with Amy's adorable goddaughter. We stood outside in the hallway with our baskets of flower petals. I reached into mine, allowing myself to fully capture the moment by immersing my hand amongst the soft petals when a little, scolding voice coming from my co-flower girl pulled me back into reality, saying "It's not time to touch the petals yet! You have to wait until we get out there!" "Uh, duh, I know that!" I responded. As we walked out into the sanctuary and took the turn to head down the aisle, I froze. This was it. My one chance at being a flower girl. I couldn't mess up now. I looked down at my counterpart, and she wasn't moving. I bent down and whispered, "It's our turn, are you ready?" She sort of shook her head no. We took the first step together, me showing her how to toss the flowers down the aisle. When we got down to the front, the groom looked at us and simply said, "Awesome."

Amy's wedding was truly the most beautiful wedding I have ever attended. I don't cry at weddings, but for some reason I couldn't help myself at Amy and Jonathon's. There was such a sweet spirit present at the wedding, and every attendee could sense that God was a part of the couple's relationship. On a more selfish note, I was blown away at how gracious both Amy and Jonathon were willing to allow me to barge in as a 20-something ugly duckling wanting to prove that I was flower girl material when they had a cute and adorable girl easily accessible. I'm so blessed to have people like Amy and Jonathon in my life!

On a closing note, I looked at the flower petal baskets for both me and my co-flower girl after the wedding and I definitely utilized my petals more efficiently than she did. Let's just say that if I wouldn't have been a flower girl, Amy would've had zero petals ushering her brideship down the aisle.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

What I Did Over My Summer Vacation, Part 1: Going to Graceland

Growing up, I never really liked Elvis Presley. I didn't get what the big deal was. Both of my parents overplayed the oldies radio station in Ft. Wayne while we rode in the car, which overplayed Elvis. By the time I reached high school I vowed that if an Elvis song came on the radio the channel would instantly be changed. There would be no Elvis in my life. No hunka hunka, no pelvic twists, no nothin'. But something shifted in me this summer. I had only applied for one job position with the legal department at the Indiana Department of Education. It was the end of May and finals had ended about a month ago. I still hadn't heard from the IDOE. I felt a bit lost. As much as I had psyched myself into not working for the summer, I knew that all of the feelings of confusion and displacement I had been feeling for the past two years while in law school would only intensify if I didn't work. I need purpose. I wasn't getting that from law school. I felt like I had made a mistake; I had missed what God wanted me to do. I needed to take a pilgrimage. I needed to be inspired. I needed to be reminded of who I was and am, and where my passions and desires lie. And something inside of me wouldn't let go of the conclusion that I needed to go to Graceland to figure it out.

While waiting out a magnificent summer storm in the School of Education's library, I struck up a gchat conversation with my best friend, Stacie. We were both bored. She was planning a wedding and her future in Guam with her new husband. I was planning my first day of work at a "grown up job" (as I got the position at the IDOE...this is a whole nother blog post) and my glum future of more "grown up jobs" as a new lawyer.

"We should go to Graceland," I said to her.
"That sounds fun. We'll have to look at our schedules and figure something out."
"What are you doing this weekend."
"Well, nothing actually."
"Then let's go."

Five hours later, Stacie was in Bloomington and we were packed and giddy as ever to get to Memphis. Every hour, on the hour, we played Elvis' "Viva Las Vegas" to keep in high spirits. There was definitely some Marc Cohn thrown into the ipod playlist, along with Johnny Cash, Paul Simon and gospel music. Stacie and I talked and laughed and thought. Just being with my best friend reminded me of who I was. The events and circumstances of my life over the past two years apparently created a murky obstruction between me and me, making me insecure of myself and my abilities, and forgetting how to enjoy just being me, without the worry of my status academically, occupationally, or relationally.

The trip in general seemed to be driven by fate, but one of the most memorable experiences of the trip, outside of Graceland, was orchestrated by a higher power than coincidence. On our first gas stop, we pulled off of the ramp and into a BP surrounded by backwoods. As we pulled in, I noticed the guy (I would say gentleman, but something tells me that he would've been offended by such a polite address) at the pump kiosk next to us as he raised his eyebrows at Stacie and me, and raised my nausea and gag reflux. "Here we go," I thought to myself. We got out of the car to stretch and fill the tank when we were startled by the staccato honk of a car horn. I thought it was my car, as odd as that sounds, because there has been some sort of fuse short that causes my car alarm to randomly go off. At the sound of the horn, I involuntarily moved for my keys and the automatic lock button, when I was surprised to find that the honking had stopped, and a woman sitting in the driver's seat of the car while the aformentioned guy pumped gasoline into her minivan, rested a cigarette between her fingers and dangled it out the window in a way that made me nervous we might all blow up if she flipped the ash while she exhaled, looked at me and in a conciliating manner said, "Woap. Just my titties." I looked at Stacie. Before we could respond, the eyebrow-raising, gas pumping guy interjected his opinion into the matter. "Thank God for Boobies!" to which the double-D horn honking boob woman interjected a little anectdotal nugget of wisdom to all of us at BP. "They either catch food or catch the horn." I had nothing. Sometimes, I can be witty, but this situation was beyond me. All I knew to do was laugh, and that's just what I did. I laughed to the point that I had to dash to the bathroom. When I came back out to the car, Stacie was finishing up at the pump and we were rearranging our stuff in the car as we prepared to switch drivers, when, from around the corner (the same corner where all of the action took place with the horn honking knockers) a teenage girl appeared holding a pink, helium-inflated balloon on a ribbon. I like to think of her as an angel. "Do you want this balloon?" she asked of us. We didn't really know what to say. We didn't need the balloon, but it was just such a sweet, albeit odd, gesture. "You don't want it?" Stacie responded in that way that Stacie does, which is a combination of shock that you would want to give away something cool like a balloon, and shock that borders disgust that you're actually offering something as ridiculous as a balloon to strangers. "We don't have room for it." "Um, sure, okay," we said. We were a bit perplexed at how they didn't have the room for the balloon, seeing as there were three of them in a minivan with no luggage, but we were happy to skootch up our seats and sacrifice what little leg room we had in the two-door VW Beetle to make room for the balloon. After the perplexity wore off, we looked at the balloon and noticed a graphic on it. "Lambert's Cafe, Home of Throwed Rolls." A few miles later, we saw a billboard also advertising Lambert's throwed rolls. This was not just coincidence. This was a sign. We decided that on the way back to Indiana, regardless of how far out of the way it might be, we were going to stop at Lambert's Cafe. It was like nothing I'd ever seen. Cracker Barrell, on crack. And, it became the home to one of the greatest memories I have in my friendship with Stacie. While sitting waiting for our absurdly large entrees to arrive, Stacie and I decided to record ourselves requesting rolls and instead of catching the roll, we would be caught off guard by the throwed roll and get hit in the head by it, maybe even knocking my glasses off of my face. I've never thought anything was as funny as this. We kept it up the entire drive home, recording ourselves getting hit with a roll while driving the car, while pumping gas, and even while reading a book in bed. (see videos below)

There were other memorable moments, such as witnessing roadkill armadillo for the first time, driving past the pyramid in Memphis and being thoroughly creeped out by the weird statue of Rameses at the entrance to the pyramid and being even more creeped out by a black cat darting out in front of our car at exactly midnight, getting spray-on Elvis tatoos, being offended when our waiter said he could tell we weren't locals (probably because of our Elvis tatoos), witnessing the Peabody Ducks march to the fountain, counting well over 75 people wearing plaid shorts while at a baseball game, the music on Beale Street, A.Schwab's, and Stacie reading off street signs and telling me that we were coming up on "Schmain St.", which turned out to be "S. Main St." But all paled in comparison to Graceland.

I showed up to Graceland as an excited tourist ready for tacky. I left Graceland in awe. You start the tour in the mansion, which was even more delciously tacky than I could have ever asked for. The den, the pool room, the jungle room. All unbelievable in their decorum. I was snapping pictures left and right, and acting in a way that I'm sure I was more than obnoxious to those around me. But then, we headed outside of the mansion, to the garage where we watched a clip of an interview Elvis gave when he came back from serving in the army. Something started to shift in me. I started to realize, for the first time, that Elvis wasn't just a novelty. He was a real person. Before I could fully develop an admiration, I was scooted off to the record hall, where all of Elvis' awards (sans his international awards) are housed. I was completely paralyzed as I took the turn around the corner and saw the hallway that seemed to stretch for eternity, with nothing but gold and platinum records covering the walls, and shelves of grammies and awards. It's hard to put into words what exactly someone has, but Elvis had that. Back and forth throughout the tour, I was confronted and reminded in a back and forth rotation of how down to earth and normal Elvis was and how outstanding and unique he was. Characteristics that seem to conflict with one another but somehow both existed within the capacity of this one man. That's what made Elvis so special. That's what drew people to him. That was that "something." It was fascinating. He transcended all boundaries. One moment I won't forget on the tour was while we were in the racquetball room. A room full of all generations, literally from all around the world, jammed in this room with four 30 foot high walls covered with international awards and displays of some of Elvis' most memorable stage outfits, practically in silence, outside of Elvis' music reverburating off the walls, all mesmerized by one man. A father leaned down to his little daughter and pointed at a television screen, excitedly saying, "I got to watch this concert live on television when I was about your age."

I have tried to find the right words to express how I feel about Elvis today. Adoration, respectful, captivated, attracted. These are a few words that come to mind when I try to explain what I thought after leaving Graceland. But it just doesn't seem to fully convey my sentiments. I suppose the only thing that I can really say to communicate my opinions on Elvis is that at the end of the tour when we reached his grave, I became so overwhelmed by his presence that I choked up and started crying. Going to Graceland and vicariously experiencing a sliver of Elvis' life impacted mine in a rather surreal way. I never thought of Elvis being in that elite group of individuals that I aspire to, like Benjamin Franklin, my grandparents, and Gilda Radner, but he's there now.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Don't Worry, She Still Can't See

It's been awhile (to be read in the musical stylings of "Staind"). This is not a real post, but just a reappearance to prove that I'm not dead. I've been working at the Indiana Department of Education for the summer, which has kept me incredibly busy. I also helped teach an undergraduate summer course for the first half of the summer, which opened up to a research assistanceship with the same professor that started mid-summer and will last for the school year, which opened up to another job of surfing youtube for entertaining video clips related to education for the professor to use for her course (sick job!). This summer has also been a marathon of weddings. It's a recession. What else is there to do but get married? So, when I'm not in my cubicle working on education stuff, I'm researching education issues and proofreading and citing for my professor, and when I'm not working for my professor, I'm attending (or a part of) a wedding.

With all of these weddings floating around, it's hard not to consider what will be done at your own wedding, the good and the bad at each wedding, etc. (see a very old post about my wedding plans. I mapped them out during the first wave of friend weddings a couple years back.) Lord knows I'm not getting married any time soon, but if and when I ever do get married I definitely plan on pulling off something like this. I had a smile on my face the entire time I was watching it. Now that's how you're supposed to be at a wedding. I'm putting this idea in the vault.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


So, I have this thing where I really like to make fun of the Zune (Microsoft's mp3 player). My friend sent me a link informing me that Microsoft plans on releasing a new Zune this June. Zune in June. Pretty clever. My friend and I had a hey day with the comments following the post about the new zune. These zune fans just cannot be contained! It's also very interesting to see how emphatic the European market is about the Zune. I had no idea.

"Bucko said: MS YOU WILL NEVER BEAT APPLE IF YOU DON'T RELEASE in Europe FFS I want a Zune." (FFS = For Fuck's Sake)

"Ricardo Gil said: Let's hope they remember the European market this time."

"Techbeck said: sweet...been holding off on buying anew MP3 player for this." (Really?!?)

"Airlink said: Micro SDHC card slots can take up to a 32 GB card, but those are rare as hen's teeth just yet." (who are these people? I have never even heard of the idiomatic metaphor "rare as hen's teeth.")

I don't think I could express my feelings as eloquently as J4m3z420 put in his/her comment:

"O. If only a Zune in June would come so soon!
I would take it to the moon while I ride a big spoon.
The month of June for the Zune would be nice to have at noon!"

Saturday, May 9, 2009

old mix cd's

I was on a mini road trip when The Verve Pipe's hit song "Freshmen" came on the radio. I couldn't believe that I had almost forgotten that song! It was such a major part of who I was in 6th grade. I remember sitting around in the summer listening to that song over and over and just thinking, "Yeah, I get this. I totally understand what you're going through man. I have NO idea what made us think that we were wise and that we'd never compromise. Gosh, we just had a lot of problems." Mind you, I was exiting 6th grade and was totally feeling the pain that this guy was singing about, when really the only problem I had was trying to hide the fact that I had gotten my period before a majority of the girls in my grade. Something which was a huge embarrassment to me because it compromised my status as a tomboy.

After rocking out and screaming the lyrics on 4-65 I was reminded that I had put "Freshmen" on a mix cd I made in middle school/high school, and then I was reminded that I made some killer mix cd' least I thought they were killer, and after listening to them again I still feel like they're killer. Most of the mixes are songs that I remember listening to and thinking, "Yeah, I get this," just like I did with "Freshmen," and looking back it was just such a ridiculous thing to think. I just laugh everytime I think about past Maggie sentimentalling out to killer 90's songs. So, here are some of the playlists of the mix cd's I made in middle school/high school. I always thought that I should work for "NOW that's what I call music" as a compilation expert/cd track arranger for mix cd's.

Alternative Mix (don't know why I called this mix that)
1. The Why Store, "Lack of Water" (a Ft. Wayne band that was amazing)
2. 3 Doors Down, "Be Like That" (this song still gets to me)
3. Tammany Hall, "Wait for You" (I remember hearing this on an HBO commercial & getting chills)
4. Sponge, "Don't Ask Why" (Used to rock out to this on the way to school)
5. Soul Asylum, "Misery" (So bad it's good)
6. Pete Yorn, "For Nancy" (I was young)
7. Pearl Jam, "Better Man" (I freakin' love Pearl Jam)
8. Lynard Skynyrd, "Tuesday's Gone" (I think I put this on because of "Happy Gilmore")
9. Jane's Addiction, "Jane Says" (nuff said)
10. Dave Matthews Band, "Typical Situation" (Every mix has to have one bad song. This one isn't too bad, actually, regardless of the band)
11. Candlebox, "Far Behind" (Stac and I would jam to this song)
12. Bush, "Glycerine" (chills when I listen to this song)
13. Bad Religion, "Sorrow" (again, I was a young mainstream punk)
14. The Avalanches, "Since I Left You" (I listened to this song whenever a guy I liked started dating another girl instead of me. That happened a lot.)
15. Alien Ant Farm, "Movies" (I fell victim to TRL)
16. Garbage, "When I Grow Up" (This was a definite, "I get this")

All Time Best 80's (this was just a party cd, rather than an "I get this" cd)
1. The Pretenders, "Back on the Chain Gang"
2. The Outfielders, "Use your Love"
3. Rick Springfield, "Jesse's Girl"
4. The Police, "Roxanne"
5. Prince, "Little Red Corvette"
6. Nina, "99 Red Balloons"
7. Modern English, "Melt with You"
8. Michael Jackson, "Off the Wall"
9. Men at Work, "Land Down Under"
10. Madonna, "Material Girl"
11. General Public, "Tenderness"
12. Eddie Money, "Take Me Home Tonight"
13. Dream Factory, "Life in a Northern Town"
14. Bruce Springsteen, "Dancin' in the Dark"
15. Bryan Adams, "Summer of '69"
16. Billy Joel, "We Didn't Start the Fire"
17. A-Ha, "Take on Me"
18. Loverboy, "Workin' for the Weekend"

Coffeehouse Mix (all songs I heard while working at the coffeehouse)
1. Led Zepellin, "Fool in the Rain"
2. Dandy Warhols, "Bohemian Like You"
3. Sheryl Crow, "Leaving Las Vegas" (another, "I get this" song)
4. Paul Simon, "50 Ways to Lose Your Lover"
5. Three Dog Night, "Never Been to Spain"
6. Primitive Radio Gods, "Standing Outside a Broken Telephone Booth with Money in my Hands" (This song changed my life. A MAJOR "I get this" song for me.)
7. The Rolling Stones, "You Can't Always Get What You Want"
8. Jeffery Gaines, "In Your Eyes" (the one bad song on the album. Really bad cover. I guess I just like the melody & the lyrics of this song so much to disregard bad music.)
9. Blood, Sweat & Tears, "When I Die" (I decided to have this played at my funeral after they played it at a funeral on "Ally McBeal")
10. The Verve Pipe, "Freshmen" (not to be repetitive, but this song. Dude.)
11. Eagle Eye Cherry, "Save Tonight" (I loved this music video.)
12. Bob Dylan, "Like a Rolling Stone"
13. Counting Crows, "Mr. Potter's Lullaby"
14. Ellis Paul, "This World Ain't Slowin' Down"
15. Ben Folds Five, "Brick" ("I Get This" song)

College Collection (I made this one to get ready for life in the dorms. This is actually incredibly embarrassing.)
1. Eric Clapton, "Lay Down Sally"
2. Ryan Adams, "Wonderwall"
3. Ryan Adams, "Young Boy"
4. Ben Lee, "No Room to Bleed"
5. The Wallflowers, "Closer to You"
6. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, "You're So Bad"
7. The Chemical Brothers, "Golden Path"
8. The Rolling Stones, "Beast of Burden"
9. Dave Matthews Band, "Grace is Gone" (I know it's another DMB, but it was my jam.)
10. Nickel Creek, "Say" (pretty folksy of me)
11. Damien Rice, "Volcano" (WTF?)
12. Edwinn Starr, "Girl Like You" (I always wanted someone to have a slo-mo experience where I walked in and this song was playing. Preferably the dude I would marry. This song is so good.)
13. The White Stripes, "Seven Nation Army"
14. Neil Young, "My My, Hey Hey" (good college song)
15. Parker School of Industry, "Something Pretty" (again, I was coming out of my mainstream punk stage)
16. John Lennon, "Jealous Guy"
17. Gary Jules, "Mad World" (killer cover)
18. Butterfly Boucher, "I Can't Make Me"

Good 90's (I was really into decade mixes)
1. Wilson Phillips, "Hold On"
2. Backstreet Boys, "We've Got it Goin' On"
3. The Proclaimers, "500 Miles"
4. Salt 'n' Pepa, "Let's Talk about Sex"
5. Crash Test Dummies, "Mmm, Mmm, Mmm, Mmm"
6. Blind Melon, "No Rain" (This was my theme song for life. The ultimate "I get this" song)
7. Boys II Men, "End of the Road"
8. Paula Abdual, "Promise of a New Day"
9. Annie Lennox, "Walking on Broken Glass"
10. Mighty Mighty Bosstones, "Impression that I Get" (I used to play this song on my sax in band so I would look cool.)
11. Nirvana, "Smells Like Teen Spirit"
12. Michael Jackson, "Black or White"
13. Kriss Kross, "Jump"
14. Mariah Carey, "Emotions"
15. Whitney Houston, "I Will Always Love You"
16. Dave Matthews Band, "Ants Go Marching" (Damn, what IS it with all this DMB, past Maggie?)
17. Tag Team, "Whomp, There it is"
18. PM Dawn, "Patient Eyes"
19. Lisa Loeb, "You Say" (Another anthem for life. "I get this.")

Love Songs on Magic (This was named after Magic 95.1 radio station, which turned into "Love Songs on Magic" with Delilah after 8pm.)
1. Tracy Chapman, "Fast Car"
2. The Police, "I'll be Watching You"
3. Smashing Pumpkins, "Tonight"
4. Sheryl Crow,"Strong Enough to be My Man" (story of my life...not really, but past Maggie totally thought that, and present Maggie still listens to for girl power. "I get this.")
5. Wings, "Silly Love Songs"
6. Norah Jones, "Don't Know Why"
7. Wycleaf Jean w/ Mary J. Blige, "911" (I was also really ghetto)
8. Joan Armastrading, "Weakness in Me" (stole from "10 Things I Hate About You")
9. INOQ, "Love You Down"
10. India Arie, "I Am Ready for Love"
11. Goo Goo Dolls, "Iris" (I get this)
12. Etta James, "At Last" (overplayed, but still good)
13. Des'ree, "Kissing You" (Chills just thinking about "Romeo & Juliet")
14. Deanna Carter, "Strawberry Wine"
15. Boys II Men, "I'll Make Love to You"
16. Aaliyah, "Missing You"
17. Force MD, "Tender Love"

Maggie's Mellow Music (I've always been really into alliteration)
1. ELO, "Mr. Blue Sky" (my obsession started at a young age)
2. Van Morrison, "Everyone"
3. The Verve, "Bittersweet Symphony"
4. Lou Reed, "Take a Walk on the Wild Side"
5. The Proclaimers, "It's Over and Done With"
6. The Band, "The Weight"
7. The Rolling Stones, "2000 Man"
8. Love, "Alone Again Or"
9. Pete Townsend, "Let My Love Open the Door"
10. The Beatles, "A Day in the Life"
11. American Dreams Soundtrack, "Another American Folk Song" (From one of my favorite television shows. Made me cry.)
12. Talking Heads, "Days Go By"
13. Steely Dan, "Peg" (probably the best song of all time. Glad I found it so early in my life.)
14. Joe Walsh, "Life's Been Good"
15. Dave Grohl, "Ewok Song"

Mix de Mags (full on junior high mix because I thought Spanish was funny & clever)
1. Ja Rule, "Between Me & You"
2. Aerosmith, "Livin' on the Edge"
3. R. Kelley, "I Wish"
4. Whitney Houston, "I'm Your Baby Tonight"
5. Subline, "Santeria"
6. Warren G, "I Want it All" (Warren G was my rapper alter ego)
7. Spice Girls, "Holler"
8. U2, "Beautiful Day"
9. TQ, "Daily"
10. TQ, "Better Days"
11. Michael Jackson, "Man in the Mirror"
12. Janet Jackson, "If"
13. Blink 182, "Dammit"

Really Weird Mix
1. Missy Elliot, "Gossip Folks"
2. Young MC, "Me, Myself, & I"
3. Ready for the World, "Oh Sheila"
4. Mo Thugs, "Ghetto Cowboys"
5. TQ, "Summertime"
6. Sinead O'Connor, "Nothing Compares to You" (I get this)
7. Wyclef Jean, "Cluck Cluck"
8. Craig David, "Fill Me In"
9. NSync, "Dirty Pop"
10. Janet Jackson, "Never Fall in Love with You Again"
11. Philly's Most Wanted, "Cross the Border"
12. Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"

Rock...Rock Steady (Ghetto Maggie Mix)
1. Cash Money Millionaires, "Cash, Money, Cars, Clothes"
2. Chaka Demus & Pliers, "Murder She Wrote"
3. Alicia Keys, "How Come You Don't Call Me Anymore"
4. ??, "We Ready" (After all these years I still don't know who sang this)
5. B Rich, "Whoa Now" (classic Maggie song. This was from when I used to watch 106th & Park everyday after school)
6. Coo Coo Cal, "In My Projects"
7. Young MC, "Busta Move"
8. Fabolous, "Holla Back Youngin"
9. Ja Rule w/ Bobbi Brown, "Thug Lovin'"
10. Mr. Cheeks, "Lights, Camera, Action"
11. Philly's Most Wanted, "Please Don't Mind"
12. Redman, "Smash Something"
13. Trick Daddy, "Thug Holiday" (I get this)
14. Wyclef Jean, "Perfect Gentlemen"
15. Clipse, "When the Last Time"
16. Wyclef Jean, "Gone 'til November" (Oh yes, I totally get this)
17. Field Mob, "Sick of Being Lonely"
18. Foxy Brown, "Oh Yeah"
19. Mary J. Blige, "Real Love" (My jam)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

New Idea

The other day I finished an exam and met a friend for celebratory ice cream at the local sundae shop. We walked and talked and thought about foods and snacks and kitchen appliances. Then, we had an idea. The idea was born in the midst of the age old conversation about having a microwave that makes something instantly cold, and a discussion about novelty kitchen items.

Our mindshape? The New Wave Microwave.

Blenders, food processors, hand mixers, toasters, bagel slicers, rice cookers, vegetable peelers, can openers, measuring cups, etc. are all included in the recent movement of revamping appliances into kitschy and fashionable kitchen gadgets to appeal to the foodie, gastrosexual, hipster and young Hollywood mom crowds. But why has no one tapped into the resource of the microwave? They still look the same as they have for as long as I've been in the market for microwaves, and essentially still take on the same form as they did at their inception. A shapeless, chunky box with plain buttons, a standard beeping timer, and a digital clock/timer combo where the "popcorn" setting never works. Why not put some spice into that cooker?

The new wave microwave would be just what your left over lasagna needs to make your tastebuds dance one more time...and make you dance while it's getting warmed up! The new wave microwave would have a very interesting geometric shape that would still be conducive to your countertop space. It would be covered in that typical "new wave" spacey look with that dirty teal color and that bubblegum medicine pink serving as accent colors. When you push the buttons, they would sound like a "Speak and Spell" or an SK-1 Casio keyboard. But the best part of the microwave begins when you start cookin'. When you push that "start" button the new wave microwave starts pumpin' the jams while your meat is being pumped with electrical waves are pumped into your pecan crusted chicken breast. For 1 minute 35 seconds, you can rock out to the musical stylings of New Order, Flock of Seagulls, The Thompson Twins, The Fixx, The Psychadelic Furs, and all your favorite new wave bands. While the music's playing, your meal is spinning on a record turntable inside the new wave microwave. And, you know that light that comes on inside the microwave? Well, that light will actually be a black light that will reveal all of the grease graffitti, or a sort of strobe light/disco ball that will provide for a more dance floor friendly lighting alternative. And why should your food have all the fun? The new wave microwave will also include a fog machine that shoots out of the side vents so that it sets the right tone for you to boogie down.

I think this will be a revolutionary move in kitchens across the globe. No more standing around waiting for your food, or leaving the room to try and get something done while your meal is heating up only to be interrupted by that obnoxious beep, pulling you away from the project you just began. The New Wave Mircrowave. Look for it.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Extra Note

Probably the best comment I received yesterday was from my friend Jenn Jameson, in reference to the Indian video featured in the previous post:

"It makes me think of United Colors of Benneton!"

Monday, April 27, 2009

finals procrastination with the hep of the youtubes

I feel like this is turning into a video sharing spot lately, but since it's finals season I have a lot of time to dilly dally on the internets. These are videos that have kept me entertained while I study the intricacies of the relationship between state and local governments. Enjoy as much as I did!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

No Breakfast in Heaven?

Okay, I've decided I don't want to go to Heaven anymore. This song changed everything for me. Also, I'm very confused about their breakfast choices. Beef stew? Lipton tea? Pork chops?

A few points of interest:
1. It seems like they start out okay in regards to traditional breakfast meal items, but by the, what, 19th verse?, they start searching.

2. Why have all of the instruments that you hear in the track set up in, what appears to be the stage setting for "Happy Days" when you're just going to use a track? I guess they just wanted to be more honest with their audience, rather than have people sitting & acting like they're playing. But wait...that "back up singer" is doing just that. She doesn't even try to sing into the microphone, and there are parts of the song where she just quits entirely. No singing. Just staring.

3. My favorite parts, which make me laugh out loud, are when he goes, "No more oat-meal" very staccato, and when he starts the cereal verse and sings, "No more Captain Crunch."

4. Also, is that a magic eye quilt back there?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hoppy Easter

My childhood Easters were usually spent complaining about the fact that I had to wear a dress (a big, poofy dress) and being bummed because I was robbed of the big egg in the hunt. I'm glad those days are over, because it's way more fun to reflect on the actual celebration of the resurrection of Christ. More and more, as I dig deeper into my personal relationship with Christ, I've been reminded of His humanity. I think this point gets bypassed a lot of times when considering Christ's role here on earth. Sure, He was God, but He was also a man which means that He experienced emotional elation and depression, physical pain, developed relationships and held memorable happenings. Two of the most compelling elements of the "Easter message" scriptures, in my opinion, are those parts that show Christ's humanity because they provide so much more context for us in regards to what Jesus experienced, and reveals more about Christ's exhaultedness.

The first gripping part for me is to look at Jesus, see that He knows that He can save himself but He refuses to do so because He wants to do God's will. Personally, I don't think that Jesus, after becoming a man and experiencing all of the human elements (physical pain, emotions), was completely ecstatic and settled in what He had to do, and I think that Jesus' prayer in Gethsemane is rather telling of this. I feel like it's pretty evident that Jesus' outcry to His father seemed kind of like, "Okay, I know that you have the power to cure this, which would mean I wouldn't necessarily have to do it. It would save me a lot of pain and hardship, so, maybe you should just take care of it? But, I do know that if that's not how you want it to be, then I can't change it. I'll do what you want me to do. And if that means that the series of events to follow unfold in a way that you don't allow for me to avoid this fate, then so be it." Then Jesus just had to sit tight and watch things unfold and pray that humanity would catch one of the cues being thrown their way. This, to me, would be so incredibly hard to do. To just sit back and let everyone around you make their own decision, while you sit there and know who you are and what you can do for them. But that's what He had to do. He just had to be quiet and let everyone make their own decision about His fate. Then, Jesus' cry while on the cross, which is paralleled with Psalm 22, reveals his sentiment of complete desertion. Everyone has turned on him, and in experiencing this, He doesn't even see God, His father. "Why have you forsaken me?" Why can't I see that you are going to save me from all of this? Where are you in my struggle? But even in all of this loneliness and hopelessness, Jesus never quits it. He sticks to it because He knows that God's plan will be fulfilled (and fulfilled through Jesus himself--so thank goodness He didn't quit it).

The other happening, in regards to Jesus' magnificence divinity being revealed through his humanity is while Jesus was hanging on the cross and the two thieves were yelling out at and to him. Okay, so, by this time Jesus had been physically abused to a point that had to have been untolerably painful and brutal, and had experienced so much hatred and mockery from everyone surrounding him. If I were him, I would've been like, "F you guys." He saw firsthand how awful humanity could be. I would have been so debased in my cause if I were in the same position. I mean, here He is, dying for these people, who have done nothing but turned their back on Him, and physically and verbally abused him, making a fool of him. The thoughts going through my head would've been something along the lines of, "why on earth am I doing all of this for these people? They don't deserve this. If they didn't get it before, they're never going to get it." He even gets ripped into by a criminal (not to mention, people would rather He be dead than a maniacal murderer). "If you are the Christ, why don't you save yourself?" asked one criminal in a mocking tone. And then, bam. "But the other criminal rebuked him. 'Don't you fear God,' he said, 'since you are under teh same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong." Gosh, that really hits me. It's almost like, when you're at your last end, you can't take it anymore, you think that your pursuit is a hopeless endeavor, and then there's a ray of light. Someone gets it. It almost seems like Jesus was like, "Yes. I got through to one person. To me, that's enough. My actions haven't been in vain. There is hope." which is why I think that Jesus answered the criminal by telling him that he would be with Jesus in paradise. I picture Jesus so overwhelmed with emotion by the actions of this individual. I also like to think that it was an interaction motivated by God the Father. As a way of comforting His son and letting Him know that all of the pain is worth it.

So that's what I've been thinking about this Easter. Perhaps I'm taking the story and shaping it to apply to my life in a way that I can relate to my personal situation in order to better understand Christ's predicament; but I don't see any fault in that. I think it's being ignorant to think that Jesus was completely sure of what He was doing throughout the immediate series of events leading to his death (and resurrection). And I think that's one of the things I like most about Jesus. He wasn't completely sure at times, but He never faltered. He kept with it because He wanted to do God's will, and even though He might not have been fully secure and confident He never lost faith; He never lost hope; and He never stopped believing. Thank goodness for that; and thank goodness that He knew that He is life.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Music Likes

Sunday night I was supposed to work on a paper for a professor who leaves such debasing comments as "increasingly reckless and unresponsive" and "Is English your first language?" Instead of making progress on a paper I knew would be torn to shreds, I decided to occupy my time with Mr. Big. "To Be With You" has got to be one of my all-time favorite songs, and as I soon learned, I share this love with the Japanese people. Here are some wonderful videos of Japanese renditions of "To Be With You."

This video is amazing. Just check out the part where he misses the cue. And the part where he does the instrumental breakdown with the tongue trill. So good!

Interesting cover...with a melodica!!

Really odd game show. The guy is singing while he's wearing an apron? And his girlfriend is getting teary-eyed? And there's a rack of clothes on the side of the set? So do they just grab something and tell these people to put on some random article and sing a song?

Another music thing I've really been into is Electric Light Orchestra. AMAZING. Just blowing my mind. There's this song, "Yours Truly, 2095" that is so great. It's a part of this concept album they did, which is another thing I'm really into. It's just such a good idea! Any time storytelling is involved, I'm there. Just check out some of the lyrics to this song:

I drive the very latest hovercar
I dont know where you are
But I miss you so much till then
I met someone who looks a lot like you
She does the things you do
But she is an ibm.

She is the latest in technology
Almost mythology
But she has a heart stone
She has an i.q. of 1001
She has a jumpsuit on
And shes also a telephone.

Although her memory banks overflow
No one would ever know
For all she says: is that what you want?
Maybe one day Ill feel her cold embrace
And kiss her interface
til then, Ill leave her alone.

Here's a killer anime video with a few of the songs from the concept album. My mind was blown!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Good Song

This song really gets to me. I have a version by Pedro the Lion that I've been listening to. It makes me cry, and it's a good prayer.

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee, Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle-shield, sword for my fight,
Be Thou my dignity, Thou my delight.
Thou my soul's shelter, Thou my high tower.
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise,
Thou mine inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heav'ns Son!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my vision, O ruler of all.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Documentary about the Future

Here's a fantasy documentary on computers written by Douglas Adams. It's pretty trippy. Especially when they fast forward to 2005. Man, that was a crazy year.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring Break '09

My first choice for spring break activity is to travel. This year I couldn't find a travel partner, so I went with my second choice for spring break activity, which is to head up to Ft. Wayne, hang out with the family, and watch loads and loads of television. I don't have tv at my home and rarely have the chance to visit a friend that has a working boob tube. I started the break watching wedding shows with my mom and gawking at the spoiled brides disappointed with their $20,000 gowns, and the bridezillas asking their guests for money to cover the rehearsal dinner. Who knew weddings could be so entertaining?

From there, I made the trip over to my dad's, where I caught up on the news and watched a "Golden Girls" marathon. I think that I went shopping at the Salvation Army that the wardrobe department for the show must have donated the clothes after the Gals went off the air because I could've sworn that I was wearing the same sweater that Sophia wore in one of the episodes. I then flipped over to a show where the hosts (and I) criticize the wardrobes of others. I sat there in my granny sweater, gasping in total digust at the outfits of others. My dad then suggested that I be on that show because I would "be good."

Although it was great to catch some "Parental Control," "Wheel of Fortune" and "AFV," the gem of spring break had to be what my dad and I came across on the Discovery Channel. I don't remember the name of the show, but I do remember that the topic was on the little-known sport of freestyle canoeing. I fell in love. It made me reconsider my choice of wanting to live in a city as I watched the freedom these individuals had to just create their own sport out of a boat and paddle. I yearned for such a mundane existence that would force me to create something out of what I have available. I mean, that is the only way that anyone would come up with something like freestyle canoeing. The other great point of appreciation is that the participants do not take their artform lightly. In the partner canoeing, the men and women wear formal tops. One of the contestants dressed up like a pirate for his routine. (I looked him up on youtube, and in the year prior to the pirate routine he did "Phantom of the Opera." See video below)

The American Canoe Association defines freestyle canoeing as "the art and science of quiet water paddling." My personal favorite comment on one of the videos describes the couples' routine as such: "I can see why they are world champions, for a moment I forgot it was a canoe and it became a dolphin but with wings, then the winged dolphin canoe beast wasn't flying or swimming, it was floating as if weightless and suspended in a plane between sky and water."

Some of you might think that this is just as ridiculous as rhythmic gymnastics or synchronized swimming (both pretty awesome). For those of you who doubt the wonderment of freestyle canoeing, let me pose this question to you, asked of the readers of the "freestyle canoeing pamphlet": "What could be better than a canoe, water and the ability to maneuver gracefully?"

I think it's time we all shift from the "extreme" sports world and enter into a new era of "graceful" sports. We need to participate in activities where the chances of your bone snapping and puncturing through your skin are slim to nil, and the biggest worry you have is "boat bobble."

Monday, March 9, 2009


I think I'm going to get a tattoo. Here is my idea. I want to get a teapot, a classic, quirky tea pot, that says "whistle!!!" out the spout. While sitting in a tattoo parlor, waiting for my friend Pete to get tatted, we came up with an idea of having the tea pot I want, but then, on the other side of "whistle!!!" there would be Tupac, looking like he's whistling. That way, you don't know if it's Tupac or the Teapot that's whistling. Then, you start asking which one is doing the whistling and it becomes a tongue twister. Tupac? Tea pot? Just try saying it.

Here is the MS Paint conception of the tattoo. I did the tea pot and Pete did Tupac. I'm not as good at MS Paint as Pete, so he did the tough part.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Eating Habits

I have never liked eating in front of people because I always feel like a savage barbarian. I especially refuse to eat chicken wings or ribs or anything on a bone. It's not a good look for anyone. On an impulse, while eating my lunch, I decided that I would record myself eating just so I could see how bad it really was. To my surprise, it wasn't as painfully grotesque as I expected.

After watching this video, I learned of a few things that I should probably work on:

1. Smaller bites. That first bite I took was absurdly large. It was continental. Thank goodness for those chunky cheeks...serves as padding to the fact that I have a massive wad of bread, lettuce, tomato & cheese shoved in there.
2. Take my time. I'm not competing for the fastest masticated sandwich award. Might as well slow down and enjoy the ride.
3. Watch that tongue swipe/teeth clean check move. It looks really gross and very Uncle-esque.

While I still have some progress to make, I do think I did some things right:

1. I kept my mouth closed.
2. I used the full range of my jaw extension. If you notice, my jaw goes up & down and in a circle. You can also tell that I maneuver that sandwich around in my mouth so that both sides of teeth get a chance at it. Or at least that I rotate sides in chewing. My jaw sort of goes in this left angle, right angle pattern. I think that's good.

Overall, I think that this was a positive experience for me. I'm not too ashamed of eating in front of others now that I realize it could be worse.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Birthday Present

My friend D.J. made this video for my birthday party. It's amazing. Check it out:

Cribs: College Life--Big P.T. & Magsta P

Monday, February 16, 2009

Break down

I am adamantly opposed to the facebook "25 things" lists, mostly because of the whole "tagging" of friends thing. So, instead of creating a list on facebook, I decided to use my personal blog as the spot to carry out such an ego-centric task. I feel better about myself knowing that I'm not "mentioning" anyone in my "note" so that they will be compelled to read about me & then pressured into making their own list; that I'm not taking anyone down with me in my efforts to be full of myself. Here goes:

1. I'm ridiculously clumsy. Most of my injuries are a result of this clumsiness (most likely due to the fact that I'm zoned out for most of my life & my mind is wandering other places). I have lots of bruises all of the time. The 2 major injuries of my life were the result of 1) a mishap on a teeter totter & 2) slamming my hand in the car door after I forgot my registration form for poms camp in kindergarten.
2. I’ve been to 8 countries so far: Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, Germany, Czech Republic, England, & Dominican Republic. My favorite city was London; the best time I've had abroad was while in Prague.
3. If I made it to the Olympics, I would want to compete in speed skating. Or speed walking. I'm a really fast walker.
4. I have unproportionally small feet for my body.
5. My favorite smelly marker is the sky blue one.
6. While in London, I got in a heated argument with my bosses over the use of the letter “z.” I think it was probably the most passionate and most eloquent I've ever been in defending one of my opinions.
7. Growing up, I didn't have posters of NKOTB or Hammer. I had political campaign signs hanging on my walls that my mom, brother & I stole the night of an election after the polls closed.
8. My most embarrassing moment was in 4th grade. My (now) friend Jeff Smith knew that I had a crush on my (now) friend Ryan Lough. While we were standing in line to go to science class, Jeff drew attention to my new shorts (really big, past the knee, blue plaid flannel shorts with a drawstring) and elbowed Ryan Lough as he said to me, “Hey Maggie, I like your shorts.”
9. While growing up, I wanted to have braces, glasses and be pigeon-toed.
10. In 6th grade, after not going number 2 for over a month (which was normal occurrence, or non-occurrence, for me), my parents took me to the doctor to see what was wrong with me. He said that I was severely constipated and had a bowel movement the size of Atlanta in my colon.
11. I hate the words spore, polyp, moist and yeast; my favorite word is serendipity.
12. My personality type is INFJ. I have extreme social anxiety and love any chance to be someone other than me. I'm a pisces and there is a tie between a manatee & a panda bear for my spirit animal.
13. As a kid, I used to draw floor plans for fun, and in high school I loved doing punnet squares in high school bio.
14. I won one of those contests like the McDonald's monopoly game when I was a kid. It was for "Mars" candy bars and you had to collect candy wrappers so that you had all of the letters to spell "MARS." I got a cool poster with alien candies in outer space. It was then replaced with a political campaign poster.
15. I am currently in law school, but I plan on being a high school history or English teacher in an urban school district.
16. I love the smell of gasoline & rubber cement. I think my parents were worried I was going to be a drug addict. I also used to walk around the house acting like I was smoking a cigarette & had lots of social obligations weighing me down, like a classy lady in the 1940's.
17. I have a thing where I recite "The 12 Days of Christmas" in my head when I’m nervous/anxious. I usually start at "4 calling birds," and repeat that over and over, but sometimes I start from the beginning (12 drummers drumming) and repeat that rhythm up until 5 golden rings.
18. I almost drown twice as a kid. Three if you count the time I got stuck in the toilet. I think it had something to do with the fact that I am always in lala land. Or that I never learn my lesson.
19. I'm a Jesus lover.
20. Only my right armpit sweats, and usually when I'm really cold. I have a theory that it's a sort of reverse attempt at homeostasis. I'm always freezing, so that poor right arm works in doubletime to try to psyche my body into thinking it's hot.
21. The 3 things that make me laugh more than anything are farts, people falling and people getting hit unexpectedly. Needless to say, I'm a huge fan of "America's Funniest Home Videos."
22. My celebrity crushes are Andrew McCarthy; Ethan Embry; Beck; Johnny Carson; Colin Firth; Ira Glass; Wes Anderson; and Franklin Pierce, solely for his hair.
23. My brothers used to blame me every time food went missing. They nicknamed me “Chewy”/Chebacca because one time all of the chewy chips ahoys were gone. My mom also blamed me when her slim fast bars went missing.
24. I was a card-carrying member of the Libertarian party before I went to law school. Then I realized it made no sense & a libertarian society was unattainable. So, I became extremely liberal; perhaps even Socialist? That might be a stretch.
25. At one point in my life I had a Dogbert stuffed animal. I've never been so ashamed of any other action I've taken in my life than I am of the fact that I owned a Dilbert-affiliated accessory.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

2 Books I'm Going to Get

I'm really into these 2 books. I think I'm going to use my $25 gift certificate for to swing for these 2 pieces of literature:

NYTimes article

"I Saw You..."

"Important Artifacts"

Turns out, I want to read all of the books listed for both of these authors. Sound right up my alley!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Double Breakthrough!

Yesterday I posted about the major breakthrough that occurred on IECW, with the comment from Marian Salzman. Today, I have more great news. It seems that Ms. Salzman's cohort couldn't resist IECW either! Robert Pondiscio has now posted his own comment on our blog. Not only does he make a remark directed at our blog, but he also uses our blog to communicate electronically with Ms. Salzman! I thought my mind had reached the ceiling on blowings, but it turns out I was wrong. When I discovered Pondiscio's comment in the middle of class, I almost had to leave the room. I sent Pete, my fellow IECW contributor, an email where the sole text was "OMG OMG OMG!!!" I then ran out into the streets shouting, "WE DID IT!! WE'VE MADE IT!!"

To check it out, go here:

Double Boosh!

Monday, February 9, 2009


For those of you who follow my other blog project, Interpersonal Electronic Communications Weekly, I have some exciting news. A week ago we posted on the the quintessential electronic communications guide, The Ultimate On-Line Homework Helper by Robert Pondiscio and Marian Salzman, and to our total elation, Ms. Salzman posted a comment on our post! When I informed Pete (my collaborator on IECW), over text message, his response of "you've got to be shitting me" dripped of shock and disbelief. I couldn't believe it myself. I sat there and re-read the comment over and over, spending more time trying to understand what it all meant than I do pondering the meaning of life. To Pete and I, it meant that we hit the big time. Pressure's on to produce in the blogosphere. I'm still a little stunned, but I can honestly say that I have never been so flattered in my life.

To check it out, go here:


Friday, February 6, 2009


This is pretty rough (needs some editing & refining), but I wrote it early this morning and decided it had been a long time since I had actually done anything in this writing genre/serious stuff (about a year) and I should just get it out there so people don't think I'm strictly potty talk. Also, I hate the word potty. Words I hate: potty, polyp, moist, panties, yeast, cunt.

I went to dream last night and noticed that your scent had disappeared from my pillow. Or was it that I just don’t recognize it anymore? I dug my head deeper and deeper in search of you until I became suffocated by anxiety and my eyes were pressed so intensely against the pillow that the darkness turned into a tv blizzard and I was at once blinded by the extreme and illuminated whiteness that struck me and jolted me through the atmosphere as though I was a phoenix exploding. I squinted through the snowflakes and saw an outline of a figure vaguely familiar painted across the sky. The amber sun, barely visible as it quickly sunk into the horizon, cast a glow on the sky in the tint of your skin and the whispy clouds filled in your scalp, as only they could mimic the sloppiness of your draping hair grazing the hidden blueness of your eyes. I reached up as I caught your chilly breeze and the wind grabbed my hand as we dodged the streetcars but just as I was falling, I fell. You let go. All I wanted was to dive into the snow and tread the igloo mounds built up in a fortress that was blocking me from enveloping you. Let down the drawbridge so I can cross this icy moat. Come on; be with me. But as you stood in the threshold of the gate, you looked out as though I was a stranger to your heart and said, disbelieving, “Precipitation is for lovers.” I said, “I’ll be your umbrella.” You approached with trepidation, as though you wanted it but didn’t know how or why, never knowing that I didn’t hold the answer to those questions because I too was mystified by such quandaries and was never good at riddles. With one breath, I melt. With one look, I melt. With one word, I melt. But the chill of the day glossed over and left me in a crystallized form while you ice-skated on the surface of my emotions. “Why couldn’t I just be like one of the others?” I exclaimed to the other rebel bunnies as we stood against the brick wall, smoking icicle cigarettes on the playground, exhaling subzero steam and wondering whether it is worthwhile waiting as the numbness in my fingers began to tingle through my bones and made it’s way, intravenously, to my heart and I prayed for a fresh coat of snow to hastily fall and cover up all of the imperfections that formed as a result of my unruly passion as I defended my desire to live a life full of cuddly hug sound effects as though you and I were Eskimos in a pit of teddy bears and I realized why it is that the only way to get to you is to chisel a sculpture out of nature’s glass or dig my ice pick deeper and deeper into you until the hot spring bursts through the fissure and ruptures my expectations and I decide that you don’t want me to be blasted by the shock so I sheepishly hide away in the cliffs of solitude with my mittens dangling out of my pockets because everything seems so swollen and I can’t find a tissue.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bathroom Etiquette, 3

Sometimes it's hard to tell whether a restroom is occupied. Sometimes it's not. When it's evident that the stall is occupied, let it go; not your bladder but the door handle.

My friend and I were talking about my bathroom experience (discussed in "bathroom etiquette 1"), which segwayed into a discussion of one of his personal pet peeves.

"I hate it when you're in the single-stall bathroom and a person pushes on the door, which is clearly locked, and then when they can't open the door they knock."

I personally never knock on a bathroom door, unless I happen to be at a crazy drunken orgy of a party and I don't know what to expect in any room, so I end up closing my eyes and walking into the room backwards. There are ways around knocking that don't disturb the user in a way that might stunt progress. I for one hate it when someone knocks on the bathroom door. I never know what to do. I don't want to yell because I feel weird. I don't really know what I'm supposed to say. If you say, "Just a minute!" it comes off pushy, and for some reason I feel like the person knocking always assumes that you're pooping. If you say "I'm going to the bathroom," it just seems redundant. They should've realized that you were using the bathroom when they noticed that the door was locked. The additional knock post locked-door push is just superfluous. If you don't say anything in response to the knock, then they try the door again. I feel like the chances of a bathroom being locked and vacant are slim enough that knocks should not be necessary. Be patient, wait your turn, and don't rush others because you most likely wouldn't like to be rushed.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bathroom Etiquette, 2

On an average day, by 11am I have voluntarily provided myself with more laxatives than a 73 year-old, cardholder of AARP intakes in a week. Today was no different. I trekked 20 minutes through half a foot of snow to get to school. I gnawed on my fibrous energy bar before class. I guzzled 2 big glasses of tea. I snacked on a crispy apple. Then it hit. I walked through the stacks of books and made my way to the second floor restroom of the library. I have this safety routine where, if I notice that one of the two stalls is spoken for, I turn right back around & sit at the desk that's nearby the bathroom door unassumingly reading up on tort reform, waiting for the partially occupied public restroom to be all mine. But this time, I didn't turn back around. I noticed that there was someone already in the handicapped stall, but for some reason I thought it was okay to take the risk. I stepped into the vacant stall in the 2-stall bathroom, and waited. I have taken the risk before and it has always seemed to pay off, but apparently fate decided it was time to put a wrench in my streak. I guess this is better than putting a streak in my underwear.

I sat and I sat. We both sat in silence. It was a stand off. My inference that the other individual was going to be in and out had proven false, but I refused to cave. She had her chance before I got there. So I waited. The rustle of the toilet paper roll echoed against the grey tiles. "Phew!" She was budging. I heard a whisper from the next stall, "Oh, there it is." Darn. She wasn't going anywhere. I crossed my fingers hoping that it wasn't this month's "Reader's Digest" that she had just found. I continued to sit, anticipating the chance to take a load off. I thought to myself, "Gosh, Maggie, quit being so stubborn. Just do it & go." Then, the toilet next door flushed and caught me off guard. A feeling of elation came over me, until I came to the realization that there was no post-flush clamor and the door didn't open. I slumped back down, only to be jolted by yet another flush next door, once again with no post-flush clamor. I had reached my boiling point. Since the gal on the other side of the separator wasn't going to buck up, I guess I had to. Who knows how long this was going to go on. I understood she was providing herself (and me) with courtesy flushes so that she could go without being heard, and I would have a chance to slip mine in under the muffle of the water pressure, but I just couldn't work under that pressure, so I got up and left. Luckily, the third floor bathroom of the library was awaiting my arrivals with open stalls.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bathroom Etiquette


A week ago I went to a well known Mexican restaurant in town, where it is well known that I cannot think about the cheese drizzled on their enchiladas without experiencing some form of nausea or gag reflux. It was about negative 3 degrees outside, I was sitting on the inside of the booth with no easy access, and somewhere between the 80 chimichangas piled up each arm my waiter managed to keep my diet pop bottomless. When I was finally given access out of the booth, I had to go. I ran through the restaurant, banking corners, when I finally made it to the bathroom nook of the restaurant. From my angle of attack, I could only see one of the doors to the restrooms. I looked up and thought that I saw "MEN" in wooden blocks above the door frame, so I sharply turned the corner and approached a door where the door handle flashed a "vacant" sign. I quickly turned the nob, took one frantic step across the threshold, looked up and to my right to map out which direction I was headed, but instead of seeing a "vacant" bathroom I was promised I found an upright man to the right of the toilet with his face toward the wall. I stood there so shocked that I could've peed my pants and not know it. My initial thought was, "What is this man doing in the women's bathroom?" Since he had decided to occupy the women's restroom I would invconvenience all of the other men in response to the actions of one of their kind. I turned to enter the bathroom across the hall, which also promised to be "vacant", and was relieved to see that it was just going to be me in this uni-stall bathroom. As I sat there releasing enough diet coke to fill a 10-gallon hat, I looked around at where I was. It was then that I realized that I had walked into the men's restroom. I don't think this was entirely my fault. I think the biggest contributor to my bathroom blunder was the fact that the gender specificator was not at eye level, and the fact that I was coming from an angle made it easy for the "WO" to get cut out of sight. And I didn't see my friend in her ever-fashionable triangle skirt posted anywhere near the bathrooms. After justifying my actions through the erroneous notification schemes of Casa Brava restaurant, I was struck with another puzzle. Why on earth was there a man in a "vacant" bathroom? Not just a dude hanging out, but a dude doing his business. Was this some guy courtesty thing I didn't know about? Was this arrangement of one guy on the urinal, one guy on the toilet the equivalent to the ever-elusive napkin & tampon machine? Not only that, there was no divider between the stall and the urinal. They were side by side and alone with one another in a big one person bathroom. Scenarios started playing out in my mind. "What happens if one guy has to "sit down" on the toilet and the other one is standing at the urinal? Then what happens when the urinal guy is done? He can't lock the door behind him, so that leaves a pooper susceptible to a random walk-in." I was perplexed. This arrangement was working on a plane that I just couldn't comprehend. One where there was no thought out plan of execution. I felt like I discovered Tutankhamun's mummy, and now in writing this post I feel like I've leaked the story of Watergate to the press.

(Follow up: I've done some research and apparently this type of behavior is normal amongst older, middle aged men, but all of the males that I asked said that they would not have used the vacant toilet, albeit for either excretory purpose, and would always lock the door behind them so that the bathroom is "occupied".)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

New Blog

My colleague, and fellow blogger, Peter Giordano and I have decided to start a new blog focusing on electronic communication methods, and how to develop the right set of skills to accurately portray the message you are trying to convey. How many times have you been in a situation where you're trying to convey sarcasm over instant message and the result is a loss of friendship? Ever wonder how to write a professional email to your professor or boss concerning the fact that you will not be turning in a paper or report at the deadline they assigned, and make them be okay with that? Well, this is the blog for you. We will be discussing how to electronically convey communication on many different subjects, offer professional tips, and answer any questions you might have on a particular subject in our "Q & A" segments. Here is the link to the blog:

Interpersonal Electronic Communications Weekly

I hope you enjoy my newest project!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Name Dropping

Normally I don't like to name drop, or tell people that I know special people or I have done special things. For example, I don't tell people that I was in an L.S. Ayres commercial as a child where I had to sit in a pit of teddy bears and was directed to kiss one of the bears, to which I responded (at the ripe age of 5) that I wasn't that type of girl. I don't tell people that I was 10 feet away from Johnny Rotten at a bar while in London having my farewell drinks with my bosses & co-worker. I don't tell people that the 1980 Miss America, Cheryl Prewitt, proclaimed that I (again, at the ripe age of 5...must've been my best year in regards to looks) had "pageant legs." I don't tell people that I won an air guitar contest while in London, and walked away with an mp3 player and the disgarded sweat of random, drunken Brits wiped on me in the midst of a congratulatory & strangerly embrace. But, I will tell people this: my professor has been nominated as the head of the Office of Legal Counsel for President-Elect Obama.

Last semester I took a seminar on Separation of Powers law. The issue of separation of powers is one that has always fascinated me, as I am constantly amazed at the strength of checks and balances, and how much, without the average American's knowledge, such a procedural system impacts our everyday lives, especially when the system is abused. This system is the source of and catalyst for any issue where the government should be, or shouldn't be, concerned. The past 8 years has served as an example of what happens when an administration renders it unnecessary to follow constitutional protocol, and, as if that weren't dangerous enough, creates its own justification for its actions hidden in the guise of constitutional assignment and public duty. Astonishingly enough as it is, this administration has been able to trick many into subscribing to their contrived overhaul of government providing for a much stronger executive in exchange for their own place and powers within government, whether it be due to a voluntary snub of statutory responsibility or a result of the deadly combination of a dumb-downed lobbyist-driven Congress, a conservative court an incompetent media, and an apathetic electorate.

That being said, I am more than ecstatic to know that Dawn Johnsen has been chosen to be in charge of directing the president when it comes to the legality of executive action. In spending 2 hours a week, for 16 weeks, discussing the development of executive power over the history of our country, the involvement of the Supreme Court and Congress in regards to their stance on, and exercising of, checks and balances, and the current overbreadth of executive authority in our country, I can comfortably say that Professor Johnsen knows her stuff and she's not afraid to use it. Not in the despotic, comic book villain-esque manner, but more in the pragmatic, think outside the box in order to solve problems without violating the box and without harming civil liberties. In casually conversing with Johnsen, she's sweet, cordial, pleasant. But you can notice there's something else there. A passion for what she does. The ability to attack.

As I said, I have no doubt that Johnsen will be great, and the perfect legal reference for Obama. A sigh of relief after being perched on the ledge and tetering back and forth between injustice and legitimacy. I just wish I would've put forth a little more effort on my seminar paper now.

Here are some links to articles written about and by Dawn Johnsen: