Monday, December 14, 2009

I'll Have a Blue Collar Christmas

Yesterday morning at work, my boss asked if I would take the day to deliver the rest of our firm's Christmas gifts to clients around the area. I thought I'd tell him I'd first have to tie up some loose ends, finish some work and make a couple of calls. But instead I did an internal double fist pump and skipped out the door.

I pictured the rest of the day waltzing in and out of Salt Lake's finest lobbies, being greeted by sweet receptionists I only dream of resembling, while they shower me with chocolate, gratitude and compliments on my yellow coat. What I neglected to realize, however, was that most of our "clients" are inventors, and most of their "offices" are factories. The receptionists weren't exactly "sweet" and I think my yellow coat hurt their eyes. They typically ranged from warehouse wives dressed entirely in gray sweats to teen-aged daughters (or more wives) of foremen. My gifts didn't phase them. But I still tried.

"I brought you a gift!"
--blank stare
"It's for Christmas!"
--blank stare
"Christmas is a holiday season celebrating happiness"
--blank stare
"Happiness is.... Ok, well I'll go move my car so your trucks can get in."
"Thank you."

There it is.

It went on like this for the most part of the day. I got pretty good at handling their indifference, and by the end of the day I began to love my industrial sisters throughout the valley. No chocolate, no receptionist voice, strictly business. It makes sense for them really. If you take time to smile, someone could lose an arm! This sentiment carried me all the way down the road, through a red light and into the heart of Layton City's police chief as he asked me if I was from around there. "No of course not, I went to college, see my vibrantly-colored coat? But I love these people." As Officer Terry left my car with a company christmas gift, and I left Layton City with a verbal warning, I thought I might even have seen a twinkle in his eye, but then again, it was happy hour in Layton City, so I guess I'll never know for sure...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I like winning things. I also like falling into categories of people I abhor (i.e. monopolizing and applying generic, innate human qualities to one's own personal personality traits. I'm Maggie, I like free stuff and being happy.)

Nonetheless, I've been in the business of winning things for most of my life. I usually shoot for things I know I can win. Like a compliment from a homeless person. Or a 'drawing' that turns out to be a 'sign-up'. A win's a win.

When I was 11, I entered my name into a box for free glamour shots 23 times (the number of times time would allow it took for my mom to finish her grocery shopping.) I was 11 and this was before I knew pre-pubescent photo documentation was a bad idea. So I 'won' a free glamour shot, along with all the other gals who signed up*.

I still pine to win things and enter into every blog give away I can get my paws on. It hasn't been working so I'm doing a little karma experiment. I'm giving away a 5x7 photo of this: my glamour shot of 11-year-old winner Maggie.

(Don't worry it's not the original. That still remains in a drawer locked away for my husband's work desk as the only photo I will ever allow him to show his friends/co-workers of me. If that doesn't work out, Dad, it's all yours). All you have to do is leave a comment with your email address, or email me directly at I'll draw the winner in a week. Or two. Or however many it takes for a member of the Wright family to enter. Or Bradshaw family. Or Franz family (I won't hold my breath).

You can only enter once... Wes... Rachel... everyone...

*I'd like to think that my mom 'won' Mother of the Year when she dropped me off at the Holiday Inn with my best friend, Carmen, two overweight waitresses and a photographer in a room with no beds and a box of feathered boas.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloween, Where are You?

I don't especially appreciate being made a fool by anyone or anything, especially a calendar and its annual tricks it plays on me. I try to outsmart time by preping myself well in advance for changes of years, ages and holidays.

This year, in the spirit of unintentional self-sabotage, I went into overdrive and began missing timely landmarks altogether. By the time my 23rd birthday came, I had been telling people and myself I was 23 for so long to get used to the idea, I thought I had turned 24. I'm still trying to get over that one. I'm 23, I'm 23, I'm 24. Oops.

Since my character requires me to continually make the same mistakes over, I have been telling myself it is Christmas season for so long to be sure I not miss it when it actually comes, I keep forgetting to acknowledge Halloween at all. (Put the light sabers on clearance already!)

But since my dad's character requires him to solve all my (and the world's) problems before I even tell him about them*, he sent me this photo from his phone of his and my mom's afternoon walk today (bless them):

If my mom's purple shirt, black sleeves, and orange cardi don't put me in the spirit of All Hallow's Eve**, then nothing will. But don't worry Dad, it does. Happy Halloween.

... it's 2010, it's 2010, it's 2010.

*See also complexes for which I will find myself single at 40.

**Thanks for teaching me about this, Hocus Pocus

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hold the Phone

Wednesday just got a little better.  

Found out that it is (was...) this girl's birthday today (yesterday):

Happy Birthday Rachel Cook! (Am I too late?)

1.May we never meet in person (...again.... because I think that happened once) lest you find out how boring I actually am. 
2.May you teach me some day how to glow like that in all of my pictures.
3.May people who read this think we have a creepy online relationship.
4.May your fears about number three be eased because I'll just tell my mom it's not true
5.Most importantly, may this year be as glowy and poised as the last seem to have been!

Thanks for reading, Rachel, and happy birthday!

I like Your 'Socks'

I'm sort of having a love affair with each day of the week for totally different reasons, and no, I don't think they know about each other. But more on that later.

Wednesdays particularly weaken my knees because instead of going for a run on my lunch break, I go to the oasis of groceries: Smith's Marketplace. I love it here at this time of day because there are two groups of shoppers and two groups only: those who are on their lunch break, and those who are on their life-at-the-retirement-home break. Or as I like to call them: cadavers on Rascals.

The dynamic causes a ferocious climate around the store due to agendas. Group A would like to get out as soon as possible to move on with life, and group B (for obvious reasons) would not. And can not.

I'm indifferent because my main objective at Smith's is just to eat as many grapes as I can before they are weighed and paid for at the counter. But I feel as though I will be forced to choose sooner or later, and I'm afraid I'll have to turn my back on my fellow lunch-breakers. Because the last thing a lunch-breaker said to me was, "excuse me" so she could better be heard when barking, "hurry up, Buddy!" to Cute Corpse counting his dollar bills at check-out; and the last thing one of the cadavers said to me was, "I like your socks!" And I love it when old people refer to things like tights as things like socks. It's just endearing.

Sorry lunch-breakers. I respect you for your efficiency, but I'll probably be hanging in the incontinence section deliberating patterned tights and the ethics of eating candy out of the bulk bins for the next hour.

**Illustration/photograph by an ex-lover of mine. You don't mind, do you sweetheart?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Dear John(ny)

I was four years old when my parents told me they were expecting their next and last baby. I remember being so repulsed by the whole idea that I swore off completely all the making out I had been doing with my three-year-old neighbor, Michael. Lest I find myself wrapped up in the same kind of "trouble."*

It wasn't a good start for Johnny. Before he was even born he had already robbed me of both my befitting role as youngest, and my pre-mature sex life. Thus the resentment roller coaster was born. On October 12, 1990 (1991?).

Resentment waned and morphed into amusement when he picked up the endearing habit of putting socks into his pants as a tail and growling at strangers in the grocery store. In third grade I wrote a poem about it and entered it into the young author's competition. When I lost, it was time for my muse to become the object of my resentment again. (Had I kept my rightful role of youngest, we'd know that blaming others for my personal rejection is just an unavoidable character flaw obtained from my birth order.)

Resentment probably flared back up again at 15 when he started dating a girl named Maggie born on June 16 (hey that's me!), but then burned back off again when he managed to be the only teenager in this decade to get arressted for stealing music by taking a CD from Best Buy in the greatest age of online music piracy. Since, my winning approval has been sealed by similarly cute little stunts I just can't help but h-e-a-r-t.

It's been a significant stretch since I've last resented the little compact disc, birth order bandit, and perhaps I'm adult enough to say Johnny, two thumbs up.  Welcome to adulthood.  If you weren't already there.  Again, I'm not sure.

*I think finding out you're pregnant at four and 40 are probably equally as horrifying... And insulting to nature.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Let's Stay Together

I find it appropriate that my love for my new Costco membership also comes in bulk and can't be found at Wal-mart.  

They even use my preferred type of photograph: B&W, heavily pixilated.  You know me so well...

This is the beginning of something that matters.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Friend, Best

Wesley David Joseph.

3 First names
2 Much fun
1 New job.

My friend Wes just got a job at AIG*. We're all really proud of him. He pix texted me later to show me his new grown up name badge. In last-name-first fashion It read: Wesley, Joseph. But that's ok. When you have a different first name for 42% of the week, it's hard to keep track of which one is supposed to go last.

You may have three first names, Wesley David, but you're one step closer to moving out of your parents' house.


**Wes, they should have lots of great liturature and advice for you on corporate bailouts and the new stimulus package!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

It's Cool

It's cool when someone holds the door open for you on the elevator.

It's even cooler when someone asks for your floor, and then pushes the button for you.

It's the coolest when someone remembers your floor from sharing the elvator maybe once or twice with you and pushes the button accordingly. 'Five, right?' Magic.

Floor Two Lady, you are the coolest. I don't even care that you don't take the stairs like you probably should.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

For a Limited Time Only

Today at lunch I saw a homeless gal exhibiting a sign that read:

"Need help, this month ONLY"

Maybe it was the endorphins from my run, or maybe my fatal fondness for both homeless culture and Billly Mays, but whatever the case I found this extremely irrisistable.

I didn't have any cash on me and had Kryptonite not been playing*, I would have found it difficult not to unstrap my ipod and throw it to her; not because I believe she would/could reform herself, but because I love a limited time offer, because I have a weak spot for the homeless and homeless-inspired fashion, and because yeah, September can be kind of hard!

Homeless gal, A+ in advertising. Looking good in those Addidas pants, too.

*Three Doors Down, I hate myself so much for loving you and your appropriately titled hit, but you truly are the inhaler to my asthmatic runs.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Did I Do That?

I like social experiments just as much as the next person, (probably the reason for my twin-fetish season), so this "broken-toy experiment" caught my eye this morning during my daily perusal of the news.*

Researchers put a toddler (usually two) into a room and gave him a toy, warning him to be very careful with it. The toy is engineered to break as soon as the child picks it up, causing the little guy to think he disobediently destroyed the object. Mean. But scientifically invaluable. What would usually follow is "surprise [in the child], a mild discomfort, a sheepish look, and attempts to repair the toy." Breakthrough! The test suggests that in the second year, humans have already developed a basic springboard of morals to prepare themselves for a life of breaking things, discomfort, sheep and trying to fix problems with the effectiveness of chubby, underdeveloped fingers and limited dexterity.

I think the parallels between researcher and cell phone distributors needn't be drawn here. And the sheepish look we all get on our faces when we realize we can't Ctrl+Z a text mis-fire, (no, no, it was about you, not to you.) And cue mild discomfort.

*A 30 second look at, giving me the pseudo-confidence I need to face the day full of political questions and mini current events quizzes. "Did you see that angry guy with the turban in the news today?" "Yeah, he looked angry."

**Shauna, these asterisks are for you.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hot Box of Jokes

It turns out the single 20-somethings are so competitively average, that desperation drives us to resort to the obvious, extreme, and sometimes dangerous.

Last night a group of us co-ed average 20s crammed into an old elevator after a party. There were mirrors, weight capacity warnings, and it was hot so the air was ripe with typical single-20s humor. 

Problems arose, though, when no jokes were really hitting a home run. Maybe it was the heat. Maybe too many 20s were talking at once. Or maybe t

he 1500 weight capacity was just too obvious to make a fat joke about the skinny guy, but someone got desperate and pushed the emergency stop button.

We halted. Waited. It didn’t start again. No one would admit to the execution of the push, but we were all guilty of joking about it. In theory, we all pushed the button that night. We pushed it when it stopped and we kept pushing it when 

we continued to make procreation (guilty) and irrational fear jokes about our predicament. Just for a little attention, and maybe to push ahead of our own banality. In fact I probably push that button on a daily basis. 

I’m just glad, though, that I got to experience a quasi-disaster and assess the awesome roles** of hero, fixer, and comic relief as we had to work togeth

er to pry the box down to safety and jump to our escape.

So I am convinced, now more than ever, that if I am to die in my twenties it will surely be the punch line to a joke. I just hope it’s a better one than the emergency stop.

**A big thanks to Jane for asking me what the probability was of us dying in that elevator. All of the sudden I was the statistician of the tragedy. I only apologize for being the worst disaster-movie-professor-called-to-the-scene-to-assess-damage ever when I said two percent with reassuring confidence. It actually turns out that's a lot. We have about a two percent chance of dying while skydiving, riding a motorcycle, or hiking Mt. Timp. Not standing still in an elevator for five extra minutes. Sorry Jane. You were the cute girl by the way. So was your doppelganger. 

Friday, July 17, 2009

I Want that Flow

There have been times in my life when I have wished I were more... exotic.

In third grade, Nina: hip, bossy, glorious and black, just had a way with people that I don't think I will ever be able to harness. She would often come up to one of the girls, sass coming out of her ears, and ask, "You got a boyfriend?" If the answer was yes* she would continue, "Well drop the zero and get with the hero." I never knew what that meant. I don't think Nina ever knew what that meant. But if I'd had a boyfriend, he'd be gone yesterday.

This morning the same yearning came listening to Obama tell the NAACP that underprivileged teens may face more challenges than the wealthy population, but it was no reason to "get bad grades! Cut class! [or] Drop out of school!" I was all of the sudden transported to a dilapidated porch swing, fanning myself from the heat of life, struggling to get by, abandoning my dreams of becoming a rapper/baller to pursue America's dream for me of becoming a teacher, and loving me for it.

I decided that whether it be Nina Making single ladies out of us all, or Obama making me a scientist/doctor/teacher, I want in. Most of the time. Or at the very least I want Nina's approval of my boyfriend, and Obama to tell me I've got flow.

*Amendment to previous wish: There have been times in my life when I have wished I were more... exotic and had a boyfriend.

Friday, July 3, 2009

6 Cakes

Our neighbors, we'll call them... Bob and Janet*... have enchanted me from day one. Not only do they spend 40% of their time here, smoking,

but 40% in the backyard enjoying life, and 20% doing heaven knows what inside that house I sometimes dream about touring, but usually never want to see for fear it will ruin the fantasy I have imagined for them in there. I hope that some day I can enjoy life as much as the two of them and only need a cigarette, a dog, and American Idol to be happy.

Yesterday I made cupcakes for them for being so fantastic, and for six cupcakes, Tom gave me:

1 Big hug
2 Trips from the front of the house to bring in our trash cans
3 offers to give us his old microwave (which he is getting rid of because apparently its popcorn capabilities have recently diminished)
4 minutes of his time, anytime, to come over and make popcorn on his new microwave
5 Invitations to his Fourth of July barbecue
and 6 ''you're awesome''s.

(Tom repeats himself a lot when he's drunk)... (Tom is always drunk).

I may be more in love with our neighbors at this point than I will ever be capable of loving a family of my own. And I think the common man would agree if he had been called awesome six times in under six minutes for six sub-par cupcakes left on his door step.

*I just realized that's the only time I used the psuedonym for my all-American neighbors, but it just doesn't seem right to not use their real and befitting names.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Havasupai: The Outcome

There are a lot of things that I won't do again because they almost killed me the first time, but Havasupai is not one of them.

In fact, there are a lot of things that drunk Indians, rabies-ridden guard dogs, and ten miles of feces might keep me from, but not the Shangri-la where I spent my weekend. I felt like Pocahontas off the drugs and with more logical camping gear.

On the way down, I wasn't too convinced. My Tomogatchi kept me about as alive as our "protective Havasupai native rangers" might have: by falling asleep within the first five minutes of the hike only to remain completely unconscious for the hardest part of the trek, dozing in his own defecation like the undignified bastard he turned out to be.

I didn't need him though; the few days spent in Supai were so marvelous, I would pass up the following trips just to go back:

1. New Zealand (actual country, or glorified movie set? I'm dying to find out... just like everyone else)
2. Time travel
3. The moon
4. Kolob
5. The Swiss Family Robinson tree house
6. My own wedding

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Havasupai: the Prediction

My roommates, some scattered friends and I are headed to this paradise to hike this weekend. It's ten miles down, ten up, over three days. Here are my predictions:

Things that will surely kill me:
1. Packing in 15 minutes while talking (undoubtedly loudly) on the phone. (See also, things that will surely lose friends and influence roommates to move)
2. Eating half my trail mix while packing my lunch just now.
3. Prioritizing survival just beneath proving a skinwalkers' ability to show up on film.
4. My inability to ration.
5. Draining my Camel Pak for funzies within the first hour because the nostalgia of drinking out of a super soaker it provides is just too blissful to resist.

Things that will surely save my life:
1. Carb loading since Saturday, just in case.
2. The Tamagotchi my friend Rachel sent me for my 23rd birthday circa 1999 from a garage sale. (Original box, original Wal-Mart price tag for $14.00, original dream come true after years of settling for Nano babies and Giga pets). When he eats, I eat, and If I die, he dies.

So my chances of survival are about two to five. Which is also 40%. Which is also the amount of americans born in the 80s who own or have owned a Tamagatchi. Which is also me as of a week ago, so I'm pretty confident about the whole thing. Wish me luck!

I Always Knew I Liked You

‘If you tell a funny story at the dinner table in front of 10 people, nine will laugh, and one will say: that’s not true. I’ve always hated that person’

--David Sedaris

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Here's to You, Roomates

All of my roommates are gone for various reasons this weekend, leaving me alone with my own thoughts. Here is what I've come up with.

1. NO ONE did romance like the early 90s
2. NO ONE did the loose braid/wispy bang combo like Meg Ryan.

Thank you 90s. Thank you Sleepless in Seattle. And thank you roommates, for leaving me alone, but not so alone with your fantastic collections of 90s romance DVDs. You were missed, but your legends lived on in our living room.

Oh and happy birthday. In advanced, thanks for not letting me wear a braid and over-sized blazer to work this week. You girls are the best.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

House Centipede in my House

Came home to this little monster waiting for us in our apartment tonight. It was a little more horrifying than owning a hamster and a little less horrifying than the time I woke up with a millipede carcass draped in between my ring and middle finger (but very much the same kind of horrifying.)

At first we were intrigued, then it moved. We (my roommates and I) screamed like ethnic mourners and killed it with an oblong bike lock: something that may have been more logically used on a human intruder. It took several blows. And a lot of emotion.

Just when I think I'm a rational, self-respecting adult, nature gives me 100 wriggling, screaming reasons why I am anything but.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I Hate Myself for Loving You

I may judge a man for the things he likes, but I will loathe myself for the things I love.

For instance, I sort of hate myself for how much I love Titanic. I also hate myself for not loving Flight of the Conchords. It's probably so I can beat everyone else to the punch of hating me (because I'll always forgive myself, but I know that people like my brother may never find it in his heart to forgive this kind of crime).

But most of all, I hate myself for loving, so much, the ironic, hilarious statement T's. Tonight I went to the laundromat and saw a large man, daughter in tow, with a shirt on that said "STOP SNITCH'N!" across a stop sign, and I had to laugh because, sir you are YELLING at me and we've never met.

But this isn't the first time I've appreciated and adored these shirts. And I hate that.

I hate that you are a grown man wearing a shirt that says, "Sister for sale..." and that I love it.

I hate that I wonder how many times a week you wear that "Warn a Brother" shirt because I know it's more than one and I hope it's more than five.

I hate that I want to know what you were thinking when you bought your shirt. If you laughed, or if (and I hope) you looked at it and thought, 'yeah... people do need to stop snitch'n, and I need to let them know that... one to five times a week.'

But most of all I hate that I don't hate it, not a little bit, not even at all.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


A couple of weeks ago, I was walking past a crowd of popular homeless people when one stopped and proposed to me. I pretended like I didn't care, and he pretended like he was actually asking for a dollar, you know, that old game of cat and mouse, but ever since then there has been this tension on the corner of 1st and 3rd. You know, I walk past and see him... looking at me... looking at him.

I know what you're thinking, me... a lawyer, with him... a peasant??? But if there is anything this pseudo relationship has taught me is that romanticism is alive, and if you don't believe me, believe the coast of Somalia who has resurrected not only treasure and adventure but PIRACY. Just leave it to this guy, (who is suing pirates) to take the days of yore and pervert it with 21st century disgrace like lawsuits and "emotional trauma." It's pirates. The only emotion that should be felt is sheer elation to have been chosen at all.

I just think that more people should adopt old this romanticism into their lives. Maybe fall in love with a homeless man... or pirate your next lawsuit... I don't know for sure, but it might just make everyone a little bit happier.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Road Trip

There is probably a lesson to be learned with every experience in life right? A road trip certainly is not exempt from this force-fed life maxim. Here are a few gems I got from driving from California back to Salt Lake:

1. Turns out I don't know all the lyrics to Aretha's "I Will Survive." I did not see that one coming.

2. Not knowing lyrics does not stop me from being so desperate for a match that I'm not only a couple seconds behind the song, but also shouting nonsense from the top of my lungs.

3. 6 bran muffins is a lot.

4. 1 hour > 10 hours, when that hour wasn't accounted for in the itinerary. Thanks Mountain Standard time.

5. Nothing makes me think deeper about life than a GPS on a road trip. The parallels are almost limitless


Thursday, April 23, 2009

My Stimulus Package

My parents did a pretty good job of convincing us when we were kids that we didn't have money for luxuries, so don't ask. It was a pretty good strategy, except when the lack of money never showed fruition and thus, 'poverty' is left to be deduced and determined by the child according to what the family doesn't have, and when your aunt owns a health food store, that's most things in the kitchen that the rest of the world has no trouble affording/consuming. Thus a list of 'luxuries' was conceptualized in my head: (Most of this list came from the comparison of my house, to my one childhood-stock friend Carmen's house, whose mother was single and working but bought kid food, so must have been rich.)

-White bread- rich people food
-PAM- rich people convenience (this led to what I like to refer to as the PAM upset of '04 in college when I started buying groceries myself for the first time and saw PAM for a dollar something and bought four of them because I figured they were on sale for what could only be at least 95% off.
-Automatic transmissions- rich people transportation
Hamburger Helper- Rich people don't have time to cook... and Carmen's mom loved HH...

And then I began thinking... I, or my parents, have had the answer to the "recession" (which I still think a ploy set by the national HR union) this whole time!

It's not about giving new home owners a healthy tax break, and it's not about paying teachers more... sorry all my roommates... it's about tricking the nation into thinking things like Ford Focuses and Crystal Light are the finer things in life. When they get to the checkout and see the cheap price, we just have to tell them it's 95% off. Aren't you a lucky shopper!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

True or False??

-Routines or "schedules" are just a set-up for causing your own worst day.

In the spirit of the kind of dinner conversationalist I am: let me answer my own question with my own story.

I always have a beverage at 11 a.m. at work. It's a little routine I've formed. Today, I forgot my drink, and my morale suddenly took a devastating turn ranging somewhere in between waking up 3 minutes before your alarm and the Trail of Tears.

I imagine my co-worker's conversation to go something like this:

"What's wrong with the receptionist?"

"Don't know, she's usually on a Splenda high and really likable at this hour."

"Well give her some chocolate, she's starting to lose us business."

Now I have to figure the best way to schedule in a time to de-schedule my schedule.
*My Friend Shauna said I should have more pictures on my blog. Is this what you were talking about Shauna?

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I think winkers are sexy, confident, and collected. And being winked at is just about as good as getting proposed to... and almost as intimate. (I've never experienced this first had but I frequent Temple Square in Salt Lake City on my lunch break and thus have become very familiar with the process.) Oh... you're winking at me? You chose me out of this room full of humans to make such a personal connection with and to share a secret and a joke? I DO.

So as an ultimate goal to up my sex appeal I've been trying to transform myself into a winker lately. The cool thing I've learned about being a winker is that they are no respecter of persons. You can practice anywhere on anything... which can't be said about most intimate interactions. So I took this gig to work.

Except it was here that I learned trying to transform into a winker overnight is like trying to transform yourself into a habitual swearer overnight. You just end up mixing your words around and looking like an idiot. Son of a damn! Or you do this:

My married, sweet co-worker mentioned that he was overly warm in our office, and asked if I shared his discomfort. I didn't and told him... but then I felt bad for making him feel like the overweight "always warmer than the average worker" guy, so I tried to compensate by telling him that maybe it was because he was wearing pants, and I was wearing a skirt.

"Ya know, good ventilation."

I guess some part of me thought this was a good time to practice my wink (which by the way was still really slow and mechanical), when really what I should have been considering were the implications of my up-my-skirt reference alone was grounds for at least some form of sexual harassment fines. The wink could do nothing but lead to either some kind of soft lay-off or a restraining order.

So it may actually be the winking that is a result of the sexy, calm, and collectedness, instead of the other way around. But maybe now I can start winning friends and influencing people with my new habitual swearing I'm thinking about picking up.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Put the Chocolate Down and No One Gets Hurt!

My biggest fear when I took my job as a receptionist... okay legal assistant... ok I'm a lawyer... was that I would turn into one of those awful front-desk ladies with two divorces and a chocolate fetish... and just in case the boss needed help with gift ideas for secretary's day... she reminds him with clever stickers bordering the form letters calendar at the office:

"If it ain't chocolate, it ain't breakfast!"
"Chocolate: Here today... gone today"
Or, my favorite,
"Forget love! I'd rather fall in chocolate!" Well guess what. That's exactly what's going to happen. Because of that sticker.

Well I ran into an interesting situation last week. We had a large basket full of chocolate poker chips as a part of a promotional for the firm. The chocolate was about as tempting to me as chili in July but other people didn't seem to mind and the goodies went FAST. Although to break the ice when co-workers come up for more chocolate, they'll inevitably make a chocolate joke about the diminishing pile... to which I always find myself playing along, "I know, it's like they're CALLING to me!" "... oh is it choc. o'clock again already?" "I'll be with you in a second... I just have to take this chocolate." They LOVE it.

So in a couple of days I had inadvertently become the self-proclaimed choco-crazed receptionist I hate, short of only a few stickers and probably a couple of bra sizes. But I still hadn't eaten any chocolate. I realized then that I've been resenting the wrong person this whole time. It's not the crazy lady in the office who loves chocolate... she doesn't even LIKE chocolate; it's the crazy PEOPLE in the office who LOVE a chocolate joke. It probably started with a basket of candy after a trade show, and ended with a new sticker for the 'receptionist' at every holiday because "she LOVES chocolate," and I'm sure THAT all began with a poor receptionist at some sticker making factory whose boss thinks she, and every other society-created, chocoholic receptionist nation-wide only need an hourly wage and some cocoa reinforcement to keep her a happy and productive worker... or better yet... human being.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


The law firm I work for has been out of town at a business expo/trade show for the last few days. While there, I realized something horrifying about myself. On a horror scale it was a little more horrifying than when I found out (about a couple of months ago) that college degrees don't automatically qualify every American for an income of at least $40,000 a year; and a little less horrifying than the time I came home on break and realized that my brother's and my tooth brushes were the same color. The horror that has come to my attention is that I have not progressed in maturity or personality since pre-pubescence trick-or-treating and here's why.

The similarities between trick-or-treating and trade show swag grabbing are unparalleled. It starts with the child (me) visiting the home (booth next door), with the one sole purpose of scoring free anything.

"what do you do?"
"I'm a receptionist"
"Oh great, hey we have really good credit programs for low-income households"
"Thanks, can I have a tiny Snickers?"
"Sure, here's my card"

But as we know getting free things like Snickers doesn't satisfy that bug inside of all of us to get free stuff, it just wakes it up. So I move on, and get a little more swag savy the longer I'm there.

"Who are you with?"
"I'm a legal assistant with an IP firm, these stress releivers are free right? Thanks, see you around."

Business card: averted. Eye contact: avoided.

The next thing I know I'm an "IP Attorney" hula hooping my self-respect away in a contest in the middle of an aisle with professional businessmen trying to make their way around my over-zealous swivels. All for a tacky wind chime branded with "Corporate Alliance: Because Business is about Relationships."

So, just when I think I have grown up and reached adulthood, life takes me to a business expo to show me that I'm no better than an awkward stage nine-year-old on Halloween. Except I tell more lies.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Was This a Good Idea?

I recently spent a few days at home for a friend’s wedding. Other than providing me with an over-abundance of confidence that is sure to backfire on me in the next 24 hours, home imparted an insight into my childish behavior masked by the adult utilities of a better vocabulary and my Mac. Let me explain.

My sister and I were sitting on her couch when we needed something so commissioned my equi-motivated five-year-old nephew to run up and get it for us (why else do people have children?). He wanted to go get it about as bad as we did, until we made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. We used every child’s kryptonite by challenging his self-proclaimed speed. “Owen, show Maggie how fast you are, she doesn’t believe it. We’ll time you.” What a sucker. Or so I thought, until I realized I’ve been falling for the exact same thing the past few months.

The first night I got home my grandpa was in the hospital because of a broken hip, but due to psychosis and morphine, he was incoherent and had to be watched 24/7 so he didn’t yank out his catheter, or other vital/painful tubes. Now I’m not one to jump at a chance to serve a man who isn’t capable of praising/recognizing my god-like charity. And I’m definitely not one to eagerly be on my grandpa’s catheter duty. Until I heard this, “Maggie, this could make a great blog.”

“That’s true,” I thought, “There are probably at least three, maybe four people who would want to read about that,” and by 3 a.m. I was fighting just to get out of there without seeing my grandpa naked.

This isn’t the only time this has happened either. My brother called me the other day with a proposal: “I served a mission with this guy. He’s 30, he’s a total tool, womanizer, douche bag, etc. I want you to go out with him though. I think it could be a really good blog.” Still waiting for that call.

Give a ride to my dad’s life-long charity-case former prisoner? Absolutely.

So not only is my ego more inflamed than a five-year-old’s whose speed has been questioned, but has turned me to the three most demeaning and inappropriate professions in America: Prostitution, cab driver, and CNA. And the worst of these is CNA.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Not a Walker, Not Yet a Shirtless Jogger

Living near a park, I have come to find that there are two types of female runners in the world. Those who wear clothing when they run, and those who wear their sports bras. I won't ever be one of the just-bra girls, but who knows, maybe they are the ones confident enough to tell bosses to give them raises or men to marry them. Maybe I'm missing out. But I think I'll take my chances.

The other day I saw a girl running in a sports bra, but she didn't have a great body. It wasn't terrible, but it was pale and nonathletic, and my first response when I saw her was concern! It took me a while to figure out she was running for recreation, and then I realized something else about these shirtless joggers: there is a flawless math equation for determining the attractiveness of a woman by using the amount of time it takes an onlooker to realize that the girl is running by choice, and not out of danger.

It goes something a little like this: seconds it takes for recognition to set in + number of running indicator accessories (i.e. iPod, running shoes, numbered marathon tag, etc.)= attractiveness of lady.

So this pale girl I saw yesterday probably took me about 2 seconds to realize she wasn't in danger. She had on running shoes and an iPod, so she was probably a 4 on this average-girl scale of averageness. The scale starts somewhere at a 1, which isn't terrible but ends somewhere around 10, which does of course get a reaction somewhat close to "Someone call the police! This girl has just been raped, has barely escaped with her bra, and is running for her life!" And it's this response that has kept me from ever picking up this drafty habit. Until then, I'll keep envying zeros, offering rides to fives and up and in the mean time jog with my shirt on.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Recently I've found a little help draining my debit card (or as I like to call it: my gift card to the world--makes it not so embarrassing when it declines at the register). My two spending comrades ended up being Blockbuster and a scam artist from Craigslist. I guess I had somehow tried to rent a movie on and ended up becoming a member for six months (at 20 dollars a month) without realizing it. And on Craigslist, I was trying to get a job and signed up for a "free" credit report per request of my "future employer," to make sure I was honest (oh an ironic artist), Well the Craigslist scam ended up taking about 20 dollars a month from my debit card for about 2 months without me realizing it.

I started to think about both these crooks and realized that Blockbuster was far more maddening than the con artist (I mean he is an artist). They both stole the same cash from me, but Blockbuster didn't even need to be creative about it. And maybe with the Craigslist guy, I helped someone go to college. Then I realized that there are a lot of "deeds" that are condemned just because society has deemed them to be, but there are far worse things out there. Like blockbuster. Or my inability to be anorexic. Let me explain.

Recently anorexia has become a societal worry among stars, teenagers, etc. And the poor crowd is getting such a bad rep. Well the only thing that distinguishes me from an anorexic is sheer will power. Every day I wake up with the promise to myself of a full-fledged eating disorder. About the time I shower I'm already making excuses to my friends and their inevitable worries about my emaciation. About the time I head down to the kitchen is when I let myself down. This if far more abusive than any star/teenager ever thought about being.

It's like these corporate guys who are embezzling funds from their corporation. What? A million dollars over 4 years? Put him in tights and he's Robin Hood... put him in a business suit and he's in jail. All I'm saying is maybe we should give a little more credit to those who are actually working for their crime--unlike Blockbuster. Because the last time I checked, conning, embezzling, and starving ALL take time, dedication, and conviction and those are all things that I for one, applaud.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Go For the Bronze

Last year when I ran a marathon (ok half... ok I still haven't gotten over those glory days) I was listening to the post-marathon conversations at the park where we finished. One guy had been asked his time, but had to admit to this crowd of runners that he started passing out around mile 20 and had to be shuttled back to the park. Yes, he had run 7 miles farther than I had. Yes he had a bigger goal than I had... but he still seemed less accomplished.

This lesson has been echoed in my current job:...{text deleted... only available for a limited time... call it the early bird special}... I started to realize: success isn't measured by what you've achieved really... it's more about how low you've set your standards.

I've tried to apply this new life maxim to my dating life and have thus been spending more and more time at the West-end Wal-Mart... a little farther away but worth the low prices and high self-esteem. Let me explain. This particular Wal-Mart caters to those with fewer limbs, teeth, and coherent English phrases than most. In other words: I'm the West-End Walt-Mart goddess. I walk in with a full set of teeth and I'm getting stares and words of affection in all different languages. One guy told me I had nice shoes... to which I had to reply, "Thanks, you have a really nice tube in your neck," but didn't because I think leaving a compliment with nothing but a smile always leaves 'em wanting a little more.

So with these low expectations and even lower dreams, I know I'll be the most confident, athletic, successful girl of my (uncommonly low) dreams. And if you don't believe me, maybe you'll believe three very wise black men. Or two very stupid white girls who taught me that going for the gold gets you nothing but broken knee caps or a warrent for your arrest.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Kick Me!

I've only been in Utah a week and so far my experience has depended heavily on impressions I've been making (due to interviewing, meeting new people, etc.). Thus, I have taken a more careful notice of the way other people have been impressing me.

Case one: A girl at church had curled her hair in typical Utah fashion and was dressed nice, etc. All credibility was lost as soon as she turned around to reveal one thick, straight piece of hair that had missed her curling iron. And here I thought your hair curled naturally in orderly little curls like that!

Case two: I was driving on the freeway behind a car who had his blinker on for 7.2 miles. (I know the exact mileage because of my trusty GPS*) He may have been a smart man, who knows, but I wouldn't hire him after flashing 7.2 miles of his own unrecognized carelessness.

Case three: I was driving past a group of elementary school kids today and while none of them had signs on their backs, it just reminded me of those horrid 'kick me,' 'I'm a loser' or 'I'm HIV positive' signs that kids paste to some poor child's shirt, and I realized: there's nothing worse/more humiliating than that. Not even being yelled and cursed at 37 times (caution OBSCENE amounts of swearing in this link) by a mega superstar during the production of Terminator...Christian Bale.

So when trying to make a good impression on a potential friend, job, or lover, my experience/recommendation is this: Before you check your make-up, mind, or heart, check your back. Because it's not what's on the outside or the inside, but what's behind you that really counts.

*There is no chance I will love any of my future children more than my GPS... Caveat: maybe when they're babies and toddlers, or adults, but definitely not during the 'awkward' phases.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Forgive Me

If you know me in real life, here are a list of lies that I probably will or have told about that.

Lie: I have a job
Truth: I've had interviews, a couple emails, and a potential Craigslist identity theft scare. I have no job.
Truth 2: I'll probably still tell you I have a job... even if I'm sure you have read this.

Lie: I just booked a flight to Utah
Truth: I booked a flight to Utah Jan. 19th. Got antsy, booked one for Jan 13th. Got nervous, moved it back to Jan 19th, Got nervous when the "doctor"* told me I had a herniated disc, canceled the flight. Booked a flight February 11th, after my surgery. Got antsy, canceled surgery, booked a flight for Jan. 29th.

Lie: I need surgery on my back
Truth: The surgery was just to get rid of my pain...which is partially legitimate but void because the decision on surgery was also based on another attempt to postpone my real life experience. Also known as unemployment, also known as bills.

Lie: Turns out I don't need surgery on my back
Truth: This lie was more like restitution for the previous lie. Again, the no surgery was really based on my restless desire to live with fun, symmetrical friends again.

Lie: Of course I don't care what my friends think of my life!
Lie 2: I've really got things figured out.
Truth: Read this post again.

Again... my apologies. If you're really angry you can email me at my new work address. I'll get it to you as soon as the tech guy, Sean, gets back from his vacation in Palm Springs... it could be a while. Sean loves Palm Springs! Ugh, tech guys.

*I don't think there's anything quite as condescending as quotation marks. Old Man Winter used them all the time. Bless that man's soul.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Colder than a Convict

When your father is a saint, sometimes it's cool because karma has a way of spilling out onto his demon seed for doing nothing at all. And I mean nothing. But then again, sometimes you end up giving rides home from Springfield to ex-cons.

Today my dad and I went 30 minutes from home to return a kitchen aid to a store in Springfield. Well on the way over we got a call from Tracy, the four-time prisoner of the state penitentiary** who used to go to our church. Tracy has been using my dad's altruistic heart for 11 years for help. This afternoon Tracy asked my dad if he could come to Springfield to give him a ride to Jacksonville to see some "friends." Well we just happened to be in the area heading that way. Lucky us.

We picked him up from work where he is a waiter (no not a dishwasher. I asked.) My dad says due to his anti-social personality disorder, he makes a great waiter. Which is weird because I would say because of his anti-social personality disorder, he would make a great murderer, but I guess I'm just a glass half empty kind of girl.

Anyway, as I'm in the passenger seat, listening to Tracy's stories, I got a rude awakening. He was telling us about the flaggers who stand outside Wal-Mart for $7.25 an hour. Yeah, I've seen them. Looks like the kind of job that would be fitting for Tracy. Go on. I assumed he was going to tell us he filled out an application, but what he did was get that guy some hot chocolate on the coldest day of the year. The guy told him no one had ever done that for him before. Well, after I had successfully judged everyone inside and outside the car (my dad for being too nice, Tracy for being a criminal (ok that one was actually deserved), the flaggers for looking like criminals, etc.), I realized that I was sitting in the car with a saint and a crook, but still managed to be the most insensitive person in the vehicle.

So alright, I'm more cold-hearted than a sociopath on parole, but what I'm hoping is that Karma is a little bit like my GPS. All it knows is that Tracy was in Springfield. The car I was in picked him up, and then the car I was in dropped Tracy off in Jacksonville. Good deed: attained. I also hope that the Jacksonville Police Department is a little less like my GPS. Accomplice in major drug deal: averted.

*Being the optimistic person he is, my dad said he hoped I wasn't too bothered and that maybe I could get a blog out of the experience. I said maybe but I didn't pay attention very well. He said that I could just make up what I don't remember because it's what I "usually do, right?" Great, now I'm cold-hearted and the saint thinks I'm a liar.

**For purpose of this blog, I asked my dad how many times Tracy has been to jail. He said 'four times. Wait, jail or prison? He's been to the county jail a number of times. He's been to prison four.' Well. I wouldn't want to be inaccurate.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Torture Me

I have this herniated disc in my back. I usually tell people it's from running a half marathon in June (and I usually leave off the half), but it's probably just because I ate something wrong and twisted. Whatever the case, I've been seeing the chiropractor for a few weeks now to try and correct it before surgery.

I've never been to a chiropractor before, but I've only heard success stories so I was optimistic. However, today it dawned on me why the success rate is so high.

I've been seeing similarities for a while between the chiropractor's office, and torture scenes I've seen on movies. I go in to a room, get electroshock treatment, and then go to another room to see the doctor who asks me lots of questions I don't have the answers to:
"how did you do this?"
"A marathon"
"You can't herniate a disc from running"
"I don't know then."
"More electroshock."

Except that all of these "torture" devices feel really good. It's not that they are torturing me, but they are torturing me in reverse. It's genius. I think they're ahead of the Chinese on this one. And it must be great for business.

When I first came in they asked me my pain level. I said 9. They said on a scale of 1 to 10. Oh. 9.5 then. My leg doesn't feel any better now, but it's like every time they torture me in reverse and ask me what level of pain I'm in they are saying, "we are doing all this nice stuff for you and you don't feel just a little better? Not even a little?" So these days I say my pain is a two and hop up on the massage table. I think they're catching on though because today I got the best treatment of my life: the hydrotable. It was like being water boarded by an angel.

They may threaten me with love, candy and big spine-cracking bear hugs from the doctor... but I'm holding out with the "I feel better" because I know they've got the big guns in the back: Dr. oh so sexy (and single) VanFleet, the surgeon I see on Friday; and I feel like if I'm really insistent that my back/leg still hurts, I might just get that doctor/torture love affair I've been dreaming of since the explosion of popular "sexy doctor" shows on tv.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Greatest Sacrifice

Some might say that giving birth and raising a child is the most selfless thing a woman can do in this life. But I think something is getting overlooked here. A friend of mine from London (who is Australian) came to visit me in "Chicago" where I'm from for a few days. I understand that childbirth might be hard, but hostesses are certainly not getting enough credit for being a top competitor on the selfless scale.

You think you are losing sleep because of your newborn? Well try pretending like you're not the kind of American who sleeps until ten. How's that for a disrupted schedule?

Not to mention my social life. Maybe it's hard for new mothers to be able to spend time with their husbands but I have texts to answer! Very important texts from men who don't call or come around so I depend on these texts to provide me with false hope and potential emotionally abusive relationships (fingers crossed). And the life I am in charge of doesn't nap. I had to send the Aussie to find Velveeta cheese in the Super Wal-Mart buying me a guaranteed 15 minutes to squeeze in a few texts (God bless over-sized American warehouse shopping and foreign-to-Europeans synthetic cheese).

Don't get me wrong, I love my guest as much as any postpartum depressed mother "loves" her newborn, but I would like some credit for my selfless sacrifices. Sure diapers are expensive but so is driving back and forth to the airport.

So go ahead, mothers of the world, soak up all the martyrdom while "giving life," I'll just be over here, the silent American ambassador, making peace with the world by driving to Chicago for the third time this week.