Thursday, December 20, 2007

Brain, too full.

The past couple weeks, ok, months at work have been tough. But here's the thing. My job is not stressful. I mean, it's a job, and I am expected to do well, keep my numbers up, etc., but the person putting on the pressure is me. Let me explain: at work, we have quotas (called "fair share") of how many cases we are expected to do. If you are "green," you are ahead or at the point you need to be. If you are "yellow," the bosses start to look at you askance and wonder what you're up to. If you're "red," you're fired. Just kidding, not really. But as long as your numbers are good, management doesn't really care what you do, when you work, or how you work. There is no micro-managing, and we are not expected to work long hours or stress out about cases. As long as the numbers are good, they leave you alone. Which is refreshing.

Anyhoo, staying green is not that difficult (cue Kermit jokes here). It means you have to write 3 cases a week, I usually average 5. But the past few months...maybe it's all the new attorneys we've been hiring, but the cases have been very difficult lately, and I'm slowing down. None of the higher-ups have said anything, I doubt they've noticed, but I have noticed. Which means the stress begins. Because, as the old saying goes, my harshest critic is myself.

Out of the 70 attorneys on my team last year, I had the most cases, which made me the so-called, "top producer." I ended up setting the bar pretty high for myself. FYI, when I say year, I am referring to the fiscal year, so the new year began October 1. Confused? Yeah, me too. But since I am no where near where I was last year, I've been putting all this pressure on myself to work faster and better. Which means I am stressing myself out.

Why is it always we give ourselves the hardest time? Why do we beat ourselves up over things that probably don't matter that much on a macro level? Is it ambition? Or arrogance, in that we think the world revolves around us? Or does this just stem from a life-time of striving for over-achievement, like how I freaked out over that C+ I got on a chemistry final my sophomore year of high school and OMG NOW I WILL NEVER GET INTO COLLEGE NO MATTER HOW MANY AP CLASSES I TAKE. So, really, it's probably our parents' faults. As is everything, right?

Anyway, these are pretty heavy thoughts. Basically, things have just been slightly more stressful than usual at work, and with preparing for the holidays, it just gets compounded. Stay tuned for the return of happy-go-lucky Maggie after the New Year. And now, to make up for the relative seriousness of this post, here are some Mom quotes.

Regarding the giant Santa head Mom affixed to the wreath on the front of the house:

Mom: "What do you think??"
Me: "Honestly? I think it's kinda creepy."
Mom:" Damn you, Margaret. It's not creepy, it's vintage!"

Monday, December 10, 2007

Wedding Pictures, Finally.

My Uncle Tom (father's brother) spent 20 years as a wedding photographer. He was on-hand at Bill and Amanda's wedding in October snapping his own photos, and in my opinion, they are nicer than the photographer they hired. So without further ado, here are the (belated) wedding pics!

Bill and Amanda

Bill walking Grandma down the aisle.

The bridesmaids and bridesman, Amanda's brother, David.

Exchanging vows as the Maid of Honor (Katie) and the Best Man (Adam) look on.

Joining of the Clans, the Bride and Groom's hands are wrapped in both their tartans by the families.

Mom and her Uncle Bill. He was a WWII flying ace with Chuck Yeagar and Bud Anderson. That's Amanda's mother in the background.

No, that's not a Scottish Santa's my Dad!

The newly married Mr. and Mrs. Riley.

How cute are they?

End of the receiving line.

My grand entrance at the reception!

Cutting the cake.

All in all, a very enjoyable wedding!

Things that irritate me, Volume MCMXLVXIII

People who take the elevator only one floor. Unless you are old, in a wheelchair, or visibly limping...come on people. It's ONE FLIGHT. Now you have made everyone else in the elevator 20 seconds late.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Holiday Mash-up

So tonight I came home from work, plugged in the Christmas tree, and lit the menorah. Happy first night of Hanukkah, everyone! In case you wanted some details on the Festival of Lights, check out the wikipedia link. Although it doesn't explain why Hanukkah has three spellings. Hanukah. Chanukah. Yay, Hebrew!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I'll knock you off your broom...

Hee! Colleges have started their own Quidditch teams!

There was even an element of surprise: Streakers with nothing but broomsticks scampered out of a dorm, around the field and back to the dorm, sending the crowd wild. Who could ask for anything more on a crisp autumn afternoon?

And as the sun set and the temperature plummeted, Middlebury's Mollywobbles defeated Vassar for the championship. A bit of a rout, really. Vassar never scored.

The Mollywobbles! I love it.

Also, if this kid was a dude, I would totally marry him:

"Of all the things I've done in my four years at Middlebury, this is by far the best," says Ellie Molyneux, 21, a psychology major from Worthington, Mass., who played for the Bad Ass Muggle Flyers. "I won a Jell-O wrestling contest one year, but this is far better."

Sunday, November 25, 2007

There are just some movies that I have seen a thousand times. And yet, whenever they are on television, I have to watch them again. And some of them are not very good. Some of them are, in fact, very very bad. Here is a sampling:

Bring It On: Look, I saw it in the theatre, I own the DVD, and yet whenever it's on I HAVE to watch. And I don't even like Kirsten Dunst. But something about this movie....the montages! The dance routines! The slang! Must watch. No choice.

The League of Extraordinary Gentleman: I know this is a bad movie. It's actually painful at times. And Stuart Townsend has got to be the gayest straight man I have ever seen. But come on, it's Sean Connery! And Captain Nemo is kinda badass. Yeah, I have no justification for this one.

50 First Dates: You know, I think I also have the DVD of this one, but for some reason Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler just make me so happy. I guess the Wedding Singer is another one that I can't turn off. They are just so precious together! And I think that she makes him act, you know, like an actual normal person instead of someone who is missing a brain.

Lord of the Rings: There was a period when TNT was running these over and over. And I always had to watch. And with commercials, each movie is like 5 hours long. I think eventually one time I realized how dumb it was to be watching it on television, so I just popped in the DVD and finished it out without commercials. I do like things to be efficient.

ETA: How could I forget about The American President??? Aaron Sorkin is a genius. A cokehead to be sure, but a genius. Love this movie!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Hodge Podge

The good news is that I am back from Texas. The bad news is that it is 40 degrees colder here. Which isn't really that bad, since I would actually rather have it be 45 degrees than 85 degrees. I mean, Thanksgiving was in 10 days while I was in Texas, and it was summer weather. Weird and unnatural, says I.

In my post, I mentioned a bar called Howl At The Moon. If you're ever in San Antonio, I highly recommend it. It has a stage in the middle with two pianos shoved together. A full band and several pianists entertain the crowd the entire night, playing songs by request and performing little musical bits with the audience. Singing rude songs to bachlorette parties seems to be the norm. The crowd was also really well-behaved. The bar did great crowd control, so we weren't all shoved together and there were a ton of tables and chairs. But we had a great time, the drinks were cheap, and I got to hang out with Cheryl and two of her friends, Janie and Chris, who were awesome.

Now that I am back, I have been playing catch-up at work. These trips require a ton of paperwork, including the writing of a travel memo which I still haven't done (oops?), and the filing of numerous documents like my expense report. Which just got approved! *happy dance* So now I can pay off the $1400 I put on my government card to pay for my trip. Don't worry, that includes the airfare and hotel and stuff. I'm not THAT bad a person that I would rip off the VA, and by proxy, veterans. Or am I?? *shifty eyes*

Thanksgiving is now only a week away, and I fell way unprepared for the holidays. Even though I began my holiday shopping in August. But there is always so much to get done, and I just heard that my Grandmother is feeling poorly again, so now there is that to worry about. But I am going to try to not let it get me down, and to just enjoy what remains of the fall. I'm seeing Grandma on Saturday, and I'll get the whole scoop from her then. Keep your fingers crossed!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Shut it, Texas, I am totally going to mess with you.

So here I am, in San Antonio, Texas. I've been here since Sunday for work, sent here to help a judge conduct hearings for veterans who live in the area. So far, Texas seems a lot like the western towns of Northern Virginia (Manassas, Herndon, etc.), just a lot browner and a lot scrubbier. Basically, there is a small downtown area surrounded by miles and miles and miles of urban sprawl. And scrubby trees. And dirt.

While I was sent here presumably to work, since more than half of our veterans either cancelled or just failed to appear for their hearings, we basically got done around 1:00 every afternoon. Which means I got to nap, watch movies on my portable DVD player, walk around downtown, and do nothing all week. Every evening I would meet my judge for dinner and we would walk down to the Riverwalk and eat at the really nice restaurants there. Because, hello, per diem. So, thanks for the paid vacation, federal goverment! Although now when I go back to work and I have to write up my travel memo (basically describing what we did and how many hearings were held), it's not going to look very good.

But the best thing about Travelboard trips is that I can request to go places near people I know. Like in May, when I went to Seattle and got to see Jennifer, I asked to come to San Antonio because Cheryl has moved to Texas and we are hanging out this weekend together! Which is awesome since I haven't seen her in like 3 months. I'm not sure what we'll do, since there isn't a heck of a lot around here, but we will definitely have to take one of those boat tours of the Riverwalk and maybe walk around the Alamo. Which is plop in the middle of the city surrounded by hotels. It's kind of depressing actually. I've also heard tell of a club called Polysters (isn't there one of those in DC?), and and some place called Howl at the Moon.

Did I mention my hotel is next to a gay club? Ru Paul is going to be there this weekend! I guess red states aren't all bad...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Halloween is almost upon us....mwahahahaha! As one of my favorite holidays (behind Christmas and Arbor Day) draws near, let the Halloween mayhem begins!

Check out these these Extreme Pumpkins!


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The hell?

My tolerance for wacky shit is pretty high. I mean, I own Reefer Madness. But this? Totally perplexes me. It has Anthony Stewart Head so = awesome. But it also has Paris Hilton so = evil. And Sarah Brightman and Paul Sorvino...and weirdness. I think this might be the strangest, wacked out, most acid-dropping movie trailer I have ever seen. Feast your eyes on...Repo! The Genetic Opera.

So. Creepy.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

So I have basically spent the last 30 minutes trying to upload pictures of Bill and Amanda's wedding, but since the jackholes at Best Buy screwed up my computer, I have no picture editing software and I can't get them any bigger than thumbnails. Dammit. So you'll just have to keep waiting.

In other news, Andi's wedding this past weekend was super awesome with the most gorgeous weather, which resulted in a most gorgeous sunburn of yours truly. But no worries! Because Andi and Jeff are hitched and are just about the cutest couple of all time.

Selvi's parents graciously let me stay at their house for the weekend and we even got to play bridge on Sunday morning. The following exchange took place, which I shall try to do justice:

Selvi: *thinking of which card to play*
Selvi's Mom (in a blatant example of illegal table talk): "There is no more trump. All 13 have been played."
Selvi's Dad: *plays trump card*
Me: Aren't you a doctor, Mrs. S?
Selvi: Yeah, of mathematics.

Hmm...I guess you kind of had to be there. Bridge humor is not for everyone I guess.

In other news, being out of town every weekend is really starting to take its toll. Me = tired.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Leaving...on a jet plane....

So in a few short hours, I'm heading off to Michigan for the wedding of the millenium...or at least the first of three that I have this month. Yes, the legendary wedding of Bill and Amanda is in two short days. My mom and my brother have been steadily freaking out, and having my mom and my dad together is always awkward, so I can't really say that I'm looking forward to it...but I have been feeling increasingly optimistic as we get closer. Stay tuned for updates and pictures, and pictures of my camping trip last weekend.

But so you won't miss's a little something to tide you over...according to the Washington Post Express, "Pamela Anderson and Rick Salomon were granted a marriage license late Saturday in Las Vegas." For those of you who are not immediately familiar with Rick Salomon, he was the douchebag who was married to Shannen Doherty and made the sex-tape with Paris Hilton. So now he is going to be married to Pamela Anderson, also of sex-tape fame.

My response to this news is appropriately filed under the ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME??? file. I mean, I don't really care what these two people are up to, but come on. How trashy can you get?? There is definitely a hierarchy of trashiness, and on a scale of Sienna Miller (only vaguely euro-trashy) to Britney Spears (totally trashy), I think Pam and Rick have now blasted the scale out of the water. I mean, when you and your future spouse can REDEFINE what it means to be trashy, you know you have come far in the world.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Roughing It

This weekend, Doug, Carly and I are hitting the road and going camping! That's'll be "Maggie: The Great Outdoors Edition." And I mean, it won't be too bad, we're staying at a KOA which is like the Marriot of campsites, and we rented a cabin with actual beds. I don't sleep on the ground, ok?

But it's still roughing it, dammit! We have to walk OUTSIDE to get to the bathroom. My Grandma's cabin in Minnesota had an outhouse, y'all. I am not an amateur. So stay tuned for the exciting results. And if you don't hear anything, send one of those hot Canadian guys in the red coats with the goofy hats to find us.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Cupcakes rule, y'all.

If you don't believe me, go to Buzz or Cake Love sometime.

Monday, September 17, 2007


I mean, it's really sad and all that he is dead, but now I will never know how the books end!!


Monday, August 27, 2007

Wedding Shower Pictures

The happy brother and my friend Amanda. Mom and I traveled to Michigan for their wedding shower last weekend. Don't they look (disgustingly) in love? Don't mind me I'm just jealous....of Amanda's kickass kelly green dress. Seriously, how cute is that dress? Although she had to add a jacket later in the day as the high temperature that Saturday was 70 degrees.

The shower was held at Bill's best friend's (Adam and Danita) home. There was a large white tent erected in the backyard, and the food was delicious and vegetarian so Amanda would be able to eat it all. Believe it or not, the flower arrangement in the middle of food table was made by Amanda's brother (and my soon-to-be brother-in-law), David. Who knew that flower arranging was part of an engineering degree at Virginia Tech?

After all the food was consumed, we made left quite a mess! But we all dragged our chairs over to the other half of the backyard for the best part of any shower, the loot!

The crowd eagerly watches each gift being unwrapped....

That must be a really interesting gift card....

And Bill is really excited about those towels!

And then, finally, the children in attendance took over the shower. Note to self--do not allow children at my wedding shower. But Bridget and Julia are mighty cute!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A donkey? Really?

Tonight Chris, Kent, Doug, and I went to a little club in Arlington called The Comedy Spot. Tickets cost 10 bucks and it was inside a mall, so our expectations were not very high. It was late-night adult improv show and it ended up being quite funny. Some of the gags went over better then others, but on the whole it was very good and we will definitely go back. But the best part, nay, the part that will live on in INFAMY, occurred during a game where the audience had to supple an action that one of the contestants would have to reenact. Allow me to transcribe what happened.

Host: Someone give me an action.
Random Dude in the Audience: Oral sex!
Host: Ok, now whom is she giving oral sex too?
Kent: A DONKEY!!!!

Allow me to provide some background. Earlier that night, I had tried to get Kent to yell out masturbation in response to a similar question. He refused on the grounds that he was too shy. Ten seconds later he was shouting out that a woman should perform fellatio on a donkey. And he didn't just shout it out either, it was like he had lived and waited his entire life for the moment when he could answer this question, and the words burst forth from him like a seismic reaction. Needless to say, the crowd was horrified, but it ended up making for a very funny sketch, and we only had to pretend we didn't know Kent for another hour or so.

Friday, August 10, 2007


Part of me finds this whole LOL Cats thing to be ridiculous. I mean, pictures of cats with poor grammer. Wha? And the other part of me thinks it's just about the funniest thing ever. I suppose the most enjoyable aspect of it is how it has spilled into other areas. For example:

LOL Presidents

LOL Doctor Who

LOL Tribbles

Where will the madness end??!!

This seems to have all started on the livejournal community, of which I am not a member, but I need finally break down and join Facebook. I honestly don't see how people have time to have myspace pages, livejournal blogs, blogspot blogs, and be on Facebook. Maybe my problem is I prefer interaction of the face-to-face nature.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Prophecy 2007: who knew HP fans were such freaks?

This past weekend, Selvi and I attended Prophecy 2007, a Harry Potter convention held in Toronto. We had a great time and I managed to give myself whiplash. Don't ask.

The majority of the weekend was spent running from conference room to conference room seeing presentations and participating in discussions related to all things Harry Potter. There was a roundtable discussion of Snape (I still think he is a magnificent bastard and a horrible person, but apparently much of fandom has a major hard-on for him), presentations on the themes and progression of the entire series, and a discussion on the symbolism in Deathly Hallows. Not only were these sessions informative, but they really increased the understanding I have for the books, and I think I appreciate them even more, especially from a literary standpoint.

I have come to the conclusion that I am a canon purist. Meaning, if it's not in the books, I don't really get it. I think that Harry Potter fandom overall is huge, but the people who come to these conventions tend to be the more rabid fans, who take it all to the next level. I have never really been one for fanfiction, but I was surprised by the number of people who are all about the fanfiction. I have tried to read a couple fanfics before, but if it's not JK writing it, it just seems wrong. But I think it's awesome that people love the characters so much that it inspires them to write their own adventures for them. But don't get me started on slash fanfiction; I don't begrudge anyone their tastes in fanfic, but reading slash is like seeing your parents have sex. It takes people you know really well and puts them in a context you never imagined. It's definitely not for me.

The weekend wasn't all intellectual, however. On Thursday night, Selvi and I went to a wizard rock concert, where we saw Harry and the Potters and Draco and the Malfoys ('re....EVIL!), and went to a screening of Prisoner of Azkaban. The crowd at the movie had a lot of slashers, and all I will say is, I will never look at Sirius and Lupin the same way. On Friday night there was a midnight live podcast featuring the folks from Pottercast and Mugglecast (OMG y'all Andrew is the best!!!11!!!), and on Saturday night we attended the Decade of Enchantment Ball where we got gussied up and shook our ass to the excellent DJ for 4 straight hours. Hence the whiplash.

We had time for some sightseeing; on Saturday afternoon Selvi and I had lunch at the top of the CN Tower (the tallest freestanding structure in the world) in their revolving restaurant. It was a gorgeous day and we had the best view of the city. Then we walked back to the hotel down Toronto's main drag and did some shopping. Canadians are very nice, and their city is very clean, but Jesus CHRIST, their signage sucks. It's like they get enjoyment out of confusing tourists and watch us wander around like the people in Roller Coaster Tycoon.

So here are some top Prophecy moments:

-discussing how awesome Molly Weasely is to rebut the catty neo-nazi "feminists" who look down on her as being "just a mother."

-seeing the dancing Snapes at the Decade of Enchantment Ball, siriusly, there were like 5 of them dancing at once, it was awesome.

-reading Selvi's HILARIOUS fanfic about Draco's new pet.

-discussing symbolism in Deathly Hallows, JKR is a genius.

-meeting a rad girl named Jessica in line for the podcast who didn't mind that I called her a whore after knowing her for 5 minutes (in all fairness, we were playing hearts and she stuck me with the queen of spades).

-cutting to the front of the line to get to the top of the CN Tower; "we have lunch reservations," "right this way!"

-Slytherin winning the House Cup, they take a lot of shit in the book, so it was nice to see them win something for once. Plus, they deserved it.

-Selvi teaching me how to swing dance.

-seeing so many people waling around the hotel in wizarding robes; it was like stepping into the twilight zone. If the twilight zone was made of AWESOME.

Prophecy Quote of the weekend:

Me: Maybe it's a magical force that nobody understands, like gravity!
Selvi: Maggie, we know how gravity works.
Me: Oh.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Egyptian Plagues for a New Millenium

The other day at work, I was working on a case where the veteran was seeking an increased rating for his boils. No, seriously. His boils. Anyway, it got me thinking about the Plagues of Egypt, you know, when the Pharoah (voiced by Ralph Fiennes) wouldn't let the Jews out of slavery, so Moses (voiced by Val Kilmer), was the servant of God and watched as he sent these horrible plagues to Egypt. Frogs, locusts, boils, water turning to blood, it was allllll good. So, I was thinking, what would the good plagues of Egypt be? Here is what I have come up with so far...

1. Plague of Rainbows

2. Plague of Puppies

3. Plague of Chocolate

4. Mani/Pedi plague (tm Caroline)

5. Plague of garden gnomes (tm Chris)

6. Water runs as Blackthorne cider

7. First-born sons find lollipops under pillows

8. Down comforter plague

9. Coupons for free pizza plague

10. The yet-to-be-determined plague; leave suggestions in the comments area!

Currently Watching: The Thirst, a vampire movie with my friend Patrick from college!

Currently Reading: The Maytrees

Friday, June 22, 2007

give me heart attack

Sometimes, the inner fangirl in me comes out to squee. Usually this is precipitated by mention of Jensen, Zachary, the Doctor, or any other adorable Sci-Fi boy. But occasionally, you need a real man. So I give you the first photograph from the set of the Indiana Jones 4:

I knew that I was looking forward to this movie. I have faith that it will be good (I really don't think Spielberg and Ford would sign on to a dud or make the film with a lame script), and I was really bummed when I heard that Sean Connery decided not to appear, but I don't think I was prepared for how pscyhed seeing this photo would make me. Like everyone my age, Indiana Jones holds an extremely high position in the film character hierarchy, and when I clicked the link and the photo opened, I think I actually gasped. Because! It's Indiana Jones! And a new movie! Next year! And Harrison Ford looks really great! And IT'S INDIANA FREAKIN JONES, PEOPLE!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

it's a good day

The laptop has returned! Hallelujah and praise JEEESUS. If you believe in that stuff.

Bestbuy finally got off their ass and got me my computer back. It has a new hard drive, a new motherboard, and a new screen. So it's basically a new computer. But! If it breaks down again it will fall under the "no lemon policy" of my warranty, since it will have needed 4 repairs. So bring, Bestbuy! I will so get you if you mess with me again.

In other news....I am going to see The Daily Show with Jon Stewart! Carly and I went to Riverdance at Wolftrap this past weekend and we talked about at some point going to New York and trying to score tickets to The Daily Show. So on a whim, I went to the comedy central site just to see what the availability was. Turns out there were only 4 days with tickets available. 4 days through June of 2008. And they just so happened to be in December and on one of my off-mondays. So I am wringing my hands trying to figure out if we should go and Carly is all, "eff this, we are going" and reserved tickets. This is why I love Carly.

So Jon Stewart plus laptop returning = good day!

Friday, June 08, 2007

See, Al Gore? I paid attention during the movie.

In an effort to reduce my carbon footprint and save some money, this morning I started taking the bus to the metro. This also has several other benefits: I use less gas, have less chance of my car getting hit by someone, can sleep in 20 minutes later, and cut my commute by 15 minutes. AND the metro buses take the SmartTrip card!

So why have I driven to the metro for so long? I pride myself on being independent and the idea of being restrained in what time I can leave work or arrive home due to the bus schedule was very unappealing to me. Yeah, I got over that. The bus is awesome, especially since they have copies of The Washington Post Express on it. And I also get a big thrill out walking up to the Pentagon to get to the metro station. Yeah, I know I'm a dork. Whatever. I can probably make one tank of gas last two weeks now. Woot!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Yes, it has been more than a month since I updated. Why? BECAUSE BEST BUY HAS KIDNAPPED MY COMPUTER.

They've had it for two weeks, it came back, had no operating system, and has been sent out again for another 2-3 weeks because, as they told me, "it didn't get fixed right the first time." Which was actually the third time since it has been in the shop three times since January. That means out of the past 6 months, I have actually had my computer in my possession only about 2/3 of the time.


I am never buying anything from them every again. Not even a CD. Or batteries. Nada. And I am telling everyone I know never to buy anything from them.

So in the past month of me being computer-less, I have missed updating about my trip to Seattle (rockin!), the opening of my condo pool (rockin!), getting chastized at work (less rockin), and how I think my car got keyed yesterday (very less rockin). I will try to make up for it by updating here at work. Shhhh! Don't tell my judge!

Currently Reading: the Rachel Morgan supernatural detective series by Kim Harrison

Currently Watching: BBC Miniseries North and South. Richard Armitage is my new obsession. Check out this pic. Colin Firth, watch out!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Gayest Post EVER.

My tv almost had a gay explosion last night. I mean, it’s not my fault that overall tv is pretty gay, but it’s getting to the point where I think I should just slap a rainbow sticker on my DVR and let it out to march in a gay-rights parade, because, DAMN. I watch some gay tv. Best example? The Style Network show Dress My Nest, hosted by Thom Filicia, the interior decorating guru from Queer Eye, had as his special guest on the show Jay Manuel. The incredibly orange and incredibly gay photo shoot director from Top Model. ANYWAY, the power of the gay was overwhelming and it was awesome. Also, Jay is really tall. Like almost 6 feet I think. But I guess since we only see him next to Amazonian model women he seems shorter.

In other gay news, last Saturday Caroline, Cheryl, Wendy, Moe, and I piled into the car and went to Politics and Prose to meet Tim Gunn. That’s right, Tim Gunn. From Project Runway. The classiest, most charming, smartest, guy on reality tv ever. And he is just the same in real life as he is on the show. Except he was actually wearing jeans! With a crisp buttoned down shirt and blazer, of course. Also, opposite of Mr. Jay, he was very wee. He cannot be taller than 5’6 or 5’7. But I think it only adds to his charm. I got a copy of is book, got it signed, and we commiserated about the lack of style in DC. “It’s the civil servant uniform,” he sighed. Word, Tim Gunn.

My So-Called Life coming out on DVD? Holy crap y’all. That show shaped my teenage existence. If any girl who watched that show tells you she did not have a crush on Jordan Catalano, she is a lying wench. But in retrospect, I am totally rooting for Brian. Jordan is actually kind of a loser, and you know he ended up as a mechanic or something with 10 babies and a wife who hates him. Not that there is anything wrong with being a mechanic. Also, I dare you to watch the Christmas episode where Ricky is homeless and not cry. I DARE YOU.

Currently NOT Watching: the 40 hours of sweeps television I have on my DVR. I really need to get on that.

Currently Listening To: Anything by The Beatles, but especially Revolver.

Dad: I found a dead bird in my yard and a dead bird in your grandmother’s yard.
Me: Maybe’s it’s a cat.
Dad: Maybe it’s bird-flu.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Week, She Sucketh.

Yeah, so last week? Sucked. Out loud. One of my top 10 worst weeks ever. I would say that it ranks up there with those weeks during law school where I thought I would never get a job. What occurred last week? Well, I’ll tell you.

First of all, my grandmother is not doing too well. She was diagnosed with colon cancer back in December and underwent surgery. The doctors think that they removed all of her tumor, and she was started on chemo (in pill form). For the first month or so, she did really well, but as the chemo built up in her system, she has become sick. As in throwing up all the time sick. Which I know everyone knows that is a side-effect of chemo, but when you are 87 years old being constantly nauseous and throwing up takes its toll. In addition, she became very weak and anemic, so her doctors now think she has internal bleeding. Which was the initial symptom of her cancer. So yeah, my grandmother is having some major health issues which has been a big source of stress for me since she and I are very close as she only lives 20 minutes from me.

On top of that, as everyone knows, on Monday were the VA Tech shootings (which I refuse to call the VA Tech Massacre as the media seems to delight in doing). I admit that the depth of my response to what happened shocked me. I was fortunate in that I did not know anyone who was injured or killed. But there are many factors that play into my shock and despair at what happened: my living in Virginia my entire life and attending a Virginia college, the large number or friends and family I have living in the Roanoke/Blacksburg area, the huge number of people I know that attended/ are attending VA Tech, and the three friends I have that were directly affected and themselves lost friends in last Monday’s tragedy. It’s difficult for people who aren’t living around here or know someone who was affected by the shootings to understand. Example: while talking to my brother on the phone this weekend (following a fight with my mother, see below), he questioned why I was “acting weird and freaking out.” I tried to explain everything that had happened during the week and when I arrived at VA Tech as a cause of my behavior, his response was, “VA Tech is over.” I am not relating this andicdote to accuse my brother of insensitivity (although he came this close to going to school there so I was surprised at his remark), but just to point out how living in Michigan and being separated from everyone here made it difficult for him to understand the impact of the events on campus. People grieve in different ways, and tragedies and loss affect us in different ways. For me, the events that occurred more than 6 hours away hit particularly close to home.

On Tuesday, following the news of my grandmother’s decline in health and the incidents at Tech, I pulled a muscle in my back. This may sound small, but as anyone who has ever pulled a muscle in your back knows, you spend the next week in pain. A lot of pain. And anyone who says pain is not stressful is a fool or has that weird disease like that girl on House last month whose nerve endings didn’t work so she didn’t know what pain was.

Finally, last week resulted in two (count ‘em, two) huge fights with me Mom. We are talking high school level fights. Where she basically made it clear to me that at that moment, she did not respect my request that she not share personal information concerning me and my family with strangers or that she take the time from cutting the freaking grass to listen as I discussed my sadness over the events earlier in the week. My problem with this, besides the obvious insensitivity it shows, is that I spend approximately 20% of discussions I have with my mom listening to her bitch about her job, how much she hates it, and how everyone there is mean to her. The one time, THE ONE TIME, I am emotionally freaked out and go to her for some sympathy, for a shoulder to cry on, I am dismissed out of hand and told to, I repeat, “get over it.” Her attitude was both surprising and disappointing. And I realize that my mother is a kind of strange person who always feels a need to fix things, who doesn’t understand that sometimes all I need is a friendly ear, blah blah excuses. But you know what? I am over it. I am over apologizing for other people’s faults and taking the high road. Because this time, I wanted her to listen. And she made it clear that was not something she could provide. And I don’t really care why. I am going to get mad at her and I am NOT going to feel guilty about it.

So there you go. The week from hell. But the weekend had some bright points, and so far this week has been better.

Monday, April 16, 2007


Goodness, I am sleepy. Mondays are always rough anyway, but 7 hours of sleep just isn’t cutting it for me. Some of you are probably like, “but Maggie, I only sleep 3 hours of sleep once a week and I’m fine.” Well, my response to that is twofold, 1) screw you, and 2) everyone is different and clearly I need more than 7 hours of sleep a night. So Operation Go To Gym is now revised to Operation Go To Gym and Get More Than 7 Hours Of Sleep Per Night. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Friday, March 30, 2007

I got your mean right here

Today I had lunch with my friend JR. We have been friends since our freshman year of college at William and Mary. Those were the days. He was as depressed as my fashion sense. I mean, I used to wear men's jeans from Wa-Mart, people. But that is not the point. The point is that he and I always have a great time together because we think the same way. We are both out-spoken liberals, mock each other's relative dorkiness, and enjoy ragging on European culture. Why DO their toilets use so much water?

During lunch, JR told me about a blog he had read where someone described liberals as "mean." This made for some interesting discussion. And by interesting, I mean that neither of us really disagreed with this assessment. Yes, liberals can be mean. But there is a reason. To explain further, I will turn things over to JR and reproduce his response to the blogger that he wrote in her comments.

"yes, we are unhappy.

we are unhappy for a myriad of reasons. we are unhappy because we do not want to blind ourselves to the individual stories of the millions of suffering people in the world, to do that would accept their lot as fate, and to accept their lot as fate is to deny the possibility of change, progress, and growth. It is the American liberal's belief that we as a society have to provide some sort of capacity to let people prove that possibility. Contenting yourself with not thinking about other people or society as a whole may make you a happier person, but it makes morally corrupt.

we are unhappy because the president lied and lied and lied in order to line his friends' pockets.

we are unhappy because the dissonance between the goals of the american promise and the reality of everyday life in america is so great, that it is absurd. absurd not as in "silly", absurd as in "mind-blowingly beyond the capabilities of comprehension or common sense." You may think that billions of dollars of debt to pay for a military-industrial complex that will eventually fail due to unsustainability may make sense, but generally taxes PAID fund governments, not trillion dollar credit card please, go on and on and on about how being liberal was a fancy of your youth. good. i'm glad that at some point you cared about something other than yourself.

too bad that part of you got lost when you entered williams sonoma."

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

It's a wedding! Run for your life!

Alright it’s official. My brother is engaged to Amanda, one of my good high school friends. Yay? No, really, yay! Having a friend and your brother marry brings with it many benefits. 1) You already know the chick; 2) she already knows your family so we can cut down on that awkward, “so what do you do, Amanda? A minister? How nice!” conversation; 3) visiting and talking with both of them is fun. There are some downsides, but I am trying to work through those without being dumb, so we’ll skip it.

The impending nuptials (October 6, mark your calendar!) means that the family has entered wedding-mode. Anyone who has had a wedding in their immediate family knows what this means. Where conversations once focused on what happened that day during work or some interesting sight glimpsed from the metro train window, they now turn to matters such as which hotel are we staying at, which shoes would best match my bridesmaid dress without making my legs look stumpy, should we book the 35 seater limo coach van thingy for the ceremony ( I am totally serious about that one), and which one of the 500 dresses my mom has looked at would work best for the mother of the groom. And I’m not saying this is a bad thing, it’s just…weird. In my experience when one thing consumes your life (such as a hellish roommate re: junior year college, or the bar exam), when you are done with that thing often a big gaping hole left in your possible conversations. My point is that once my brother is done and married, the family will then want to continue talking about weddings, and that leaves me.

Yes, the worst thing about having a sibling get married is that it forces you to confront your own single-ness. My mother actually said to me, “you should start saving money for your wedding.” Uh, what? Ok, so I haven’t actually had in date in like forever and she is telling me to start saving for a wedding? Jesus. I think society put enough pressure on women to partner off, and now my mother starts. Although, to be fair, most girls get this kind of pressure way before I have. Hi, Selvi! And it’s not even real pressure, it’s my mom just having one of her stream of consciousness talking spells.

Maybe I am really the one putting pressure on myself because everyone I know seems to be either married, getting married, or has been dating someone for years. Weddings are always bittersweet because they bring you face-to-face with your singledom. I don’t think it’s unusual to feel very happy for someone else for having fallen in love with someone, and feel regretful that you yourself have not. Yet. Because I am, if nothing else, an optimist. So I will help plan and produce the Great Wedding of 07 and I will have fun doing it. And I will not feel sorry for myself. At least not a lot.

Mom Quote of the Day:

Mom: So Bill said he is going to get baptized in Amanda’s church and go to services. But he’s not going to participate a lot like your typical minister’s wife would.
Me: Wow. He’s going to go to church? Yikes.
Mom: I know. But I guess it’s not too big a deal. I mean, it can’t hurt him that much, right?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Suck it, daylight savings

Let me get this straight. Moving daylight savings up three weeks was supposed to save us energy, right? Because we would have to use fewer lights at night or something. The problem is, at least for me, by the time I get to work now the sun hasn’t even come up, so I am using more lights in the morning. And for the past two weeks I have been getting at least one email per day from our IT guys about making sure the Daylight Savings patches for the computers work and all your calendars are updated and blah blah blah is it really that hard to remember to move yourself forward an hour? Have Americans really become so dumb? I suppose the answer is yes. I mean, look at the success of Two and a Half Men. As much as I love Ducky, that show blows.

In an unrelated topic, I have decided it is time to get serious about getting healthy. Bad knees run in my family, and I have noticed that mine have begun to noticeably creak as I go up stairs. They don’t hurt yet, but I figure it is only a matter of time. Also, with all this talk of heart disease and other weight-related issues, I figure it’s time to get my act together. Now, I’m not talking about going on Adkins or cutting myself down to 500 calories a day or anything. I just want to be healthier. Which means more fruits and veggies, less fatty foods, and going the gym at least 4 times a week. I have been aided thus far by Chris and Kent moving in across the street from me and providing me with a keyless entry code for their building so I can get in and use the facilities whenever I want. Mwahahahaha! Mooching has never been so healthy.

Currently Reading: “The Crimes that Haunt Us,” a really interesting book by the former head of the FBI profiling unit looking back at some of the most notorious unsolved/mysterious crimes. Jack the Ripper, Lizzie Borden, the Zodiac Killer, Jon Benet Ramsey…really a good read!

Currently Listening To: “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” just named the top rock album of all time, and I have had When I’m 64 in my head for the past week. Damn you, McCartney!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Oscar 2007 Fashion Roundup

This year's Oscars were long (almost 4 hours, sweet jebus), but due to Ellen, the little asides and fun skits were pretty much hilarious across the board. If I was having my picture taken with Clint Eastwood, of course I would have Steven Spielberg take it. Hopefully he knows how to avoid red eye. And overall, I was satisfied with the fashion, but not overwhelmed. Basically the theme of this year's Oscar fashion was: almost but not quite. It seemed like an overwhelming majority of ladies had great dresses, and then there was one little detail that pushed it into tacky or, dare I say, ridiculous. Take Nicole Kidman for example:

The dress by itself is gorgeous. Long, slinky, the perfect shade of fire engine red. And then...the bow. I mean seriously. Nicole doesn't have a tiny head, and this bow looks like it is going to attack and swallow it. If only she had ditched the bow that ate Cleveland, I would have said she looked flawless. And it's not like Nicole would ever go to Cleveland. Bitch, please.

Another example of the "step too far"disease, was Anne Hathaway.

I loved her little skit with Meryl and Emily Blunt (whom I think is fab but secretly HATE because she is dating Michael Freaking Buble and he is mine dammit), and I think from the neck up she looks gorgeous and from the waist down ditto, but I don't get the bow. It's like someone spilled ink all over her dress maybe? Or she was holding a big plate of chocolate cake and someone walked by her and the plate got shoved into her dress. In any event, it doesn't work.

And the award for "so close and yet so far" goes to Beyonce.

Her gown is the palest of greens, and the cut of it is so flattering and classy and pretty. And hello, everyone knows she is smokin. And then there is this huge metal sparkly sash. Like someone put a collar on her and was leading her around the red carpet. Which, you know, might have happened. How would I know. The point is, she was sooooo close, and blew it.

I guess in the end, all of these things: the ginourmous bow, the sash, the sleeves on Naomi's dress, or the mirrors on Mrs. Murphy, all come down to matters of taste. I for one, do not get them.

But enough negativity! Time for the two ladies who I think blew everyone away. First, my perennial favorite, Kate Winslet.

Her gown was deceptively simple, with the beatiful shape, but when you look closer the criss-cross bodice and single strap add just enough interest to be surprising. And her hair, makeup, and jewelry are gorgeous. Seriously, how can you not love her??!!

And, in my opinion, the best dressed award goes to Helen Mirren. Look, it's easy to look amazing when you have a perfect body, are 32 years old, and can pick out any old pretty dress. But Dame Helen Mirren is a lady of a certain age, and although she has an amazing rack, time and gravity create certain challenges.

But look at her here! The dress is beaded on the bodice, but the skirt floats so beautifully. It has sleeves which are a must when you hit above 40 (just ask me mom, she never wear something wituout sleeves) and yeah, her boobs look great. She was just overall foxy, and had a very deserving win with The Queen, which was a really enjoyable and moving film. In short, Helen hit the perfect pitch with this dress and blows all those skinny american bitches away.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

OMG so slippery!

The good news? My laptop is back so now I can actually post on my blog! Woo! The bad news? Washington DC has been hot by a blizzard. Seriously, it has been snowing for 3 hours and we have over 2 inches already. I was scheduled to work overtime today, and when I looked out my window at 10:00, it was snowing pretty heavily, but nothing was sticking to the roads. So I got ready to go and had some toast (yum!) When I looked out the window again, there was some snow on the roads, but I figured it wasn't so bad. Yeah, I was wrong.

I went one block and slipped and slid all over the road. So I figured driving downtown wasn't such a hot idea. So I turned around and the figured I would hit the grocery store since 1) I was already out, and 2) I was out of milk and I cannot survive without my kraft mac and cheese. So in the half mile I had to drive to the store I slid on the roads twice and crashed into the curb once. Luckily, there was no car on that part of the curb, cuz that would have sucked. On the way home I had an average speed of about 2 miles per hour coming home and STILL managed to get stuck in the parking lot. I had tried to pull into a space, decided it was too narrow, and after I had backed up and tried to go forward, the wheels just spun in the snow. So I sat there, in the middle of the parking lot, spinning my wheels in about 1 inch of snow. And then I got going and found another parking spot. The point is that I am not going out for the next two days. Unless I get cabin fever. Or want to work overtime tomorrow. Or need something else at the store.

Currently watching: Beakman's World. I loved this show when I was a kid, and I don't care what Cheryl says, it totally holds up.

Currently Reading: Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Things That I Hate

1) Gateway

You have probably noticed the lack of updates lately. Or maybe not since only about 3 people read this blog. In an event, the reason for the lack of updating is because once again I am having computer troubles. Some of you are aware of my power cord issues, specifically, that I have gone through three of them in as many months. Finally, after having my computer once again run down and not reboot because of the whole “no power from the power cord” thing, I came to the conclusion that it’s probably not the power cord and is more likely a problem with the computer itself. So I took it to the evil people at Best Buy (also known as the Geek Squad) and they promptly shipped it off to Gateway for repairs. The dude who worked at the counter told me it was probably a short circuit on the motherboard. I just hope that they don’t have to wipe the memory (AGAIN) since it is such a pain in the butt getting all my music back into Itunes from my Ipod. Stupid computers.

2) La-Z-Boy

The next drama to present itself is the arm chair. When I originally ordered it from the store in AUGUST 2006 I asked for the dark stain on the arms and legs. Of course they deliver it with the light wood stain. After too many phone calls to count and multiple bouts of speaking to the manager, they order new arms and switch them out. One small problem: they forgot to order the legs. So then I had mismatched wood on the chair. Finally, finally, on Saturday the new legs arrived and the technician put them on. So after a six month ordeal, my chair is finally how I always envisioned it. While I like La-z-boy’s furniture, seriously, do not shop there. At least not at the Alexandria Kingstowne store.

3) Being sick

I was just telling my Dad (who it seems is chronically sick), that I have been fortunate to not have been ill in about two years. So of course I immediately wake up with a horrible sore throat. I then endured 7 days of what was probably the worst cold of my adult life. And the weird thing was that it kept mutating! After three days of a severe sore throat and constant post-nasal drip (which makes you do that weird compulsive swallowing thing at night), I then got the cough and the phlegm in the lungs. And then came the head cold with the congestion and the sinus pain. But thankfully by Saturday afternoon the thing had run its course and I started to feel better, just in time for my birthday! Which I will post about tomorrow. I’m trying to limit my at-work blogging, for obvious reasons.

Currently Reading: Dance of Death by Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston

Currently Watching: The Beatles Anthology. It almost makes me wish I was a child of the 60s. Almost.

Friday, January 19, 2007

They made her stronger, faster...

I have tried to update this blog many times in the past few days, but it appears that blogger has decided to explode. So, pardon my delay. Although apologizing for this reminds me of when I had a diary when I was like 10 years old and I would start every entry with, “sorry it’s been so long since I wrote, I’ve been so busy” which brings up several questions. 1) whom am I apologizing to? Myself? 2) Why do I lie to myself, I wasn’t busy, I was just lazy.

Anyhoo, things have been pretty hectic. Here’s the good news, while my grandmother was officially diagnosed with colon cancer, she came through her surgery really well. She was out three hours early (which I am told is a good sign), and while she had to stay in the hospital longer than was initially estimated, she was sent home on Wednesday night and is recovering well. I know she is really relieved to be back in her house, her own bed, and her own bathroom. Never underestimate the importance of being in your own bathroom. Sometimes, when I am away from home, the thing I miss most is my own bathroom. If that makes me weird, then screw you assface.

I’ve also been going out a lot more lately. I am trying to make a conscious effort to see my friends more often, which means I go out more after work. And while I haven’t really been seeing my family any less, there is a certain amount of accompanying guilt. Although, my step-sister almost never visits them and she lives in the area, so I don’t know why I should feel bad. Also, since Bill switched jobs and got really serious with Amanda we hardly ever hear from him. While nobody ever says it out loud, I get the feeling from my Dad like he expects to come over a lot because he doesn’t think I have anything else going on. That is, I’m not married and don’t have a boyfriend, so what else do I have to do. Which, hello, I have a full-time job, other relatives to see (i.e. my mom) and lots of friends I enjoy going out with. But maybe it’s all in my head…

Riding the “going out more” thread of thought some more, I had perhaps the funnest Saturday night ever last week. My friend Carly and friends of ours that I have met through her, did a whole posh night in DC thing and it was awesome. First, we went to see Stomp at the Warner Theatre, which was like an urban Riverdance; if janitors were dancers kind of thing which just kicked ass all over. And then swept up the said ass and put it in the trash can. Then, we went across the street and had dinner at Chef Geoff’s (one of the best restaurants in DC) because it was the last night of Restaurant Week, and the only time we could afford to eat there.

Finally, one of the Carly’s friend had reserved the VIP room at Fur, a dance club, for his birthday and got us all on the VIP list, so we got to chill in this awesome room above the dance floor. And had our own personal bouncer. And could be reminded of how bad white people are at dancing from our vantage point. Seriously, you would think people out in actual club would have some moves. Apparently not. So, for one night, we got to live as the yuppies with money get to live. And it was good. Also, we all looked totally hot.

Currently Reading: Brimstone by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
Currently Listening To: Everytime We Touch by Cascada. I know it’s cheesy, but it got stuck in my head!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Guilt All Over My Face

Last night my Dad, Grandmother, and Aunt came over for dinner. One of the best things about having my own place is that I can invite people over and not have to worry about having enough room or what my roommate's (read: Mom's) plans are. We had a really great time last night, joking around and sharing stories about my dad's home improvement mishaps. I think my favorite was him describing the "dance of death." It involved electrocution and a hedge trimmer. That is all I will say. This morning my Aunt emailed me and asked me if I was feeling alright because she and my grandmother had been up all night sick from the pizza I got from Pizza Hut for them. And no, for once my tummy was fine. Then my Dad called me to ask if I was sick since he had gotten sick too.

HAS THE WORLD TILTED OFF ITS AXIS?? I am never the one who doesn't get sick! I'm always the one who gets sick! Has my stomach finally learned to resist food poisoning?? Is the beginning of a new culinary world for Maggie? Y'all this is really exciting.

Except now I feel bad for feeding my family evil poisonous pizza. And I feel doubly bad for not having gotten sick. But, still. I didn't get sick!!

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Approximately three weeks ago I had a little fender bender. Basically, the lady in front of me was turning right, and then changed her mind and slammed on her brakes. Since I was checking traffic to see if it was safe for me to turn right as well, I bumped her bumper. We exchanged information, but there was no damage to my car and no injuries. Yesterday I get a fax from the lady's husband with an estimate of the damage to their bumper (not high enough to be covered by my deductible, so I have to pay for it out of pocket). Which ok, fine. No big deal, right? But with my astounding capacity for overthinking I found myself lying awake last night thinking about it and worrying about it, even though I can afford to pay for it with no real problem. I guess the whole thing is just kind of embarrassing. I think of myself as a good driver and so I find instances like this to just be hard to deal with and I beat myself up about it. Why can't I just let this stuff go?

Grandma update: On January 11, my grandmother is having surgery to remove part of her bowel, presumably this includes the part with the mass. I don't think the biopsy results have come back, but it sounds like the mass is large enough that they want to go ahead and take it out. She will be in the hospital for 4 days, but her heart and lungs are strong, and she doesn't seem too worried about it. Thanks to everyone who has sent me (and her) your well wishes!

Also, Happy New Years to everyone! As many of you know, I am not the biggest fan of new year's eve celebrations, but this year I had a really grat time, thanks to my friend Chris who took me to the International Club of DC's Global Gala party at the Adams Morgan Mariott downtown. We had a hotel room and 9 different themed rooms to party in. I played some Texas Hold 'Em in the Las Vegas room (and played very well thx) and danced a lot in the New York room, listened to an Irish band in Dublin and snagged some yummy chocolated in Vienna. It was probably one of my most fun NYE's ever, and I think it must be because I actually went out to a big function that wasn't so much focused on New Year's as it was on having a great time. Our next stop: Atlantic City on January 28 where Chris gets free rooms from the hotels so he will come and gamble. Can a girl have a gay sugar daddy? Because I sure do.

Currently Reading: "Soul Music" by Terry Pratchett
Currently Watching: Law and Order SVU

Mom Quote of the Day
Me: You want to go to a movie on Friday night?
Mom: Hmm. I'm not sure. I'm putting forward a motion for a continuing resolution. I'll get back to you with my decision.
Me: We aren't balancing the budget here you know.