Tuesday, November 16, 2010

She's Back


With a whole new set of abandonment issues from Blogger's inexplicable deletion of version 1.0.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I'm working on it

I don't know who or what murdered my blog in the night, but I'm going to fix it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I'm sick of my PC at work asking me if I want helpful tips, but I can't bring myself to check the "No, do not ask me again" box, because there has got to be a kinder way to tell the computer that while I appreciate him for doing his job, I'm not interested in any of his advice now or ever.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I like to go to dollar stores every now and then just to check out what's in there. I don't like the thought of dropping 11 dollars on olive oil when there could be a Dollar Tree somewhere distributing the same bottle, and I grossly overpay just because I didn't know or didn't remember. I like to know what's what. So a periodic revisit is the only way I can stay on top of the value of the American dollar. It's kind of like how my basis of U.S. capital knowledge relies so heavily on how frequently my friends and I quiz each other about them. Which usually relies solely on how frequently we take long hikes with nothing to talk about. Which is why hikers always win final Jeopardy. Always. And why I can never remember the capital of North Dakota in February.

So yesterday I'm taking inventory at Dollar Tree: great kitchen supplies, sub-par wrapping paper, mystery paper-grab bags that still call to me like the sirens of Titan, etc., and I don't see anything I need more than I want to wait in a line with no conveyor belt, so I leave and go to a real store.

At the real store, I fall right into the dollar-goggle trap and can't shed the idea that everything for sale is a dollar. Product quality goes up; price mentality remains at Washington. Wait a second. The only thing that saved me from buying everything in sight was being so stoked to have solved the economic crisis in a mere Monday evening. I checked my Supermarket Sweep mentality and came up with this equation: more dollar-store exposure = more real-store purchases = better economy. Dollar stores on every street corner! I call it the Dollar Tree stimulus package. I'm working on the name.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


I understand, handwriting is an "art," and piles upon piles of notebooks filled with writing is not only cool: it's psychotic. And psychosis is cool to the power of a Bukowski novel, and dissing it is definitely not cool. So call me uncool, but give me a sans-serif typeface over my own handwriting any day.

In the past six months, I've demonstrated acceptable handwriting maybe twice. One of those times was a to-do list that I've been featuring on my monitor for three weeks. All the letters on the list turned out uniform, sheep-like, and at my mercy. Not at all common. I usually get at least one to two rogue letters per sentence who feel entitled to make themselves a couple times larger than their brothers. Reproducing the neatness of the to-do list has actually become more stressful than the list ever was in the first place, but I can't throw it out because it's too pretty, and I can't live with the inferiority complex "change oil in car" plagues me with on a daily basis.

So I just want the world to know that while I respect the Moleskin, I use an iPhone app for my to-do lists now. And I hope we can all just accept one another for it.

*I also reserve the right to keep any small, Hemingway-endorsed notepads with me at any time to make my purse the hip-sexy storage I want it to seem.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"It was cool, but I don't wanna do it again"

I've kept this for over six years after seeing it in the Jacksonville Journal Courier back home, right in the middle of a great tornado season. And the story still gives me goosebumps.
Text: Bob Mulquin sips a beer while looking at his tornado-damaged shed recently in rural Franklin. Mr. Mulquin was hanging out in the shed with his cat, Tank, March 12 when the tornado hit. When one of the windows blew out, "Me and him (Tank) decided we were in trouble." He said he was picked up and thrown over the lawn mower, then thrown back across the room.

He grabbed onto a bench, but the shed had moved off its foundation and was pushing the bench. Then, "I got whacked with an aerosol can. Don't ever leave aerosol cans in front of a window. They were humming. I never knew an aerosol can could hit you that hard." Mr. Mulquin was knocked out and woke up with Tank tucked under his arm and his wife yelling out the door to see if he was OK.

"I woke up and smoked a cigarette," he said. One of the shed's walls had buckled, and the door rested on his truck's bumper. An adjacent silo was blown away. Mr. Mulquin was worried that he was going to lose his beloved shed—which is at least 67 years old—when he moved the truck, but it survived. "It was cool," he said, "but I don't wanna do it again."

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Zo

I'll always appreciate my niece Zoe for the way she single-handedly has eradicated most memories of me as a child by carrying just enough of a resemblance to my photos to pass off as my own.

-Who's that loud-looking child with the patchy hair?
-I don't know, some orphan with a rash. Hey, here's a cute picture of me with flowers in my hair!

But I'll always love Zoe for crawling into my heart like a little tick refusing to leave. And I accept. She'll out-eat any adult at the dessert table, she's always brushing the hair out of her eyes, the only thing I see her do more than laugh is lie, and she calls all her stuffed animals by the same name. Except for the one that was named Kari on the tag. That one she calls Maggie.

Zoe's been working her way up the rankings as my favorite niece/nephew (we really need a gender-neutral term for this unit already) for the last five years. But five years to the day and she's done it. Happy birthday, Zoe. On the seventh. Sorry. Tuesdays and Thursdays are very easy to confuse.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I frequent the Chicago Manual of Style fairly often at work. I guess now is when I make some kind of “Bible” reference.

… I refuse.

Today, under section 5.191 for those of you following along (ok, ok I love the “work Bible” references! But I hate myself for loving it if that counts for anything.), I came across this quote that they actually were hilarious enough to include in their official, peer-reviewed guidance on "Beginning a Sentence with a Conjunction." It comes from Charles Allen Lloyd, “Next to the groundless notion that it is incorrect to end an English sentence with a preposition, perhaps the most wide-spread of the many false beliefs about the use of our language is the equally groundless notion that it is incorrect to begin one with ‘but’ or ‘and.’ As in the case of the superstition about the prepositional ending, no textbook supports it, but apparently about half of our teachers of English go out of their way to handicap their pupils by inculcating it. One cannot help wondering whether those who teach such a monstrous doctrine ever read any English themselves.”

Well ok then.

I just love the keywords, “groundless notion,” “handicap,” and “monstrous” because, Charles, you are berating me and not only do I deserve it, but I want your approval now more than ever. Take notes teacher roommates. The abuse cycle is the only way to educate.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Uncool, Staples

Agreeing with my peers against any independent thought generated by my own brain to gain their approval and respect is a character flaw I'll get around to mending one of these days. But not yet.

So when Jane shared with me that she wished people would stop wishing away the season we're in to hop on the autumn bus, I was completely on board. (Watch as I brand this opinion with a "we" and make you love me forever.) I think my true identity might even agree with that. If she exists. So when I saw a "back to school sale" sign this week, well we were just sick about it. (There it is.)

Don't get me wrong, office supplies really do it for me. But it's August 5. And that's just cruel. It reminded me of how much I hate this commercial. The kids' dark circles under their eyes, the heartless Uncle Joey-like father my nightmares inform me is going to be my husband some day, the fact that Staples and I share a birthyear, and then the abuse of office supply packaging when he just dumps single pencils into the cart. Stop it! I hate to do this to you, but misery loves company:

Saturday, July 17, 2010


I just got back from a run that was probably too long and too hot, but worth it in the end when on the sidewalk during my last stretch, I saw a gummy worm that my brain simultaneously told me was both a green and red gummy worm, and also slithering across the cement toward my feet. And for three and a half seconds, I was just as mentally handicapped as any schizophrenic Sunday dinner-guest. Or any member of the cast of Felicity. Either way, it was awesome. And I giggled the rest of the way home.

On an unrelated, or quite possibly more related than any of us could know, note, I saw the movie Inception last night and, my word, I recommend it with my entire heart and all three levels of my subconscious.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pride Sockets

I got my wisdom teeth out last week. In the beginning, the entire experience was even better than the first, which I only recently stopped raving about.
  • I got the nausea, pain medication, and strict liquid diet that made my sister's well-maintained high school eating disorder look like an Asian hot dog eating contest.
  • An ex-lover of mine dropped off a TV, a Netflix account, and one more denial to my offer for marriage. But are you sure you're sure? Either way my entertainment was set, and the amount of Jell-O I planned to put away would have turned Bill Cosby's urine lime-flavored.
Internally I started to scoff at every story I had heard thus far about the "nightmare" of adult wisdom teeth recovery. This is the best! Again! I started getting cocky about my graceful recovery. I was too busy praising my doctor (and myself) when he called for what a good team we make, that I didn't listen to any advice he had to give. Plus, at one point Jane told me I was a champion, which carried my kid sister ego all the way through a couple of straws and up to last night when I woke up with a pain shooting down my right jaw.

So I'm trying to clear the air publicly to fight off whatever pounding I feel beneath my gums right now. It could be a blood clot. But I think it's the sting of pride.

I blame no one for this but myself,* and I swear on every pudding cup in my fridge I will have more sympathy for the next wisdom tooth patient who shares their "horror story," just as long as I wake up in the morning the champion Jane thought I was on Thursday.

*Except for the "dental hygienist" soliciting her advice at a party I prematurely attended night of my surgery. No, Popsicles aren't fine, and you're bad at your job. I respect you, but I also blame you a little.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Is this for a grade?

A few weeks ago, I was one of the best communicators I knew. It wasn’t because I had finally realized how to have a fluid conversation that wasn’t in the written form quite yet, and my word it certainly wasn’t because I had mastered the wink by any means, but it was because I finally had some answers to the “what’s new with you?” question.

I’ve had problems with this question for quite some time. It reminds me of Mrs. Ash’s “journal time” in the fourth grade, where our prompt was to write a letter to our teacher telling her about our week, and being as creative as we’d like. My first prompt consisted of a story about me starring me and began with truth but somehow ended in my brutal death. Some kids got a whole page written back to them from Mrs. Ash. I got a giant red question mark. I learned at an early age that to respond to this “tell me about your week/life/what is new with you” confrontation, we must not lie (I’d never), we must not be too self-indulgent (Maggie who?), and we can get close, but we must not die at the end (dead giveaway). (There is also the off-chance that some people are just filling silence with stock questions, and teachers just want a quiet hour in the middle of the day, but the optimist in me refuses both.)

A couple of weeks ago, my current-events storm for this question was the most perfect:

-I had been robbed. (“Well our house was broken into and all my property and sense of security was stolen, but let’s not talk about me, I want to hear about you.”)

-I saw two moose on a hike. (Always a crowd pleaser.)

-I had some of the best homeless attention of my life. (“I didn’t know angels could walk.” Oh bearded man (or woman), you shouldn’t have.)

But lately, the most I have to come up with is that Jane made some great waffles yesterday morning and shared, and I’m getting my bottom wisdom teeth out next Thursday. But everyone always crams advice down my throat with this last one, and I’ve already been through the process once. I know how to cope. A season of Heroes and Vicodine.

So here’s to hoping something goes terribly wrong with my wisdom teeth operation (yes, operation) and I finally have something to say to people again that isn’t old news, me news, or false news because if I’m going to cut anything, it’s going to be the truth. And it’s going to be obvious. You’ve been warned.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Your URL Is Showing

I’ve recently come across this Web site that allows the user to enter text or a URL/blog into its search bar, and it will generate this word cloud of most used words in that site. I figured my blog cloud would be filled with words like, grocery store, homeless people, twins, and probably I. Instead, the biggest, most used words were Christmas, Maggie (when do I use the third person? Gross.), ago (why?), Jane (but not Kristine?), comments, receptionist, and chocolate. Nightmare! I was right on the self-centered thing, but dead wrong on everything else.

I don’t even know myself.

And Kristine, I love you. Kristine. Kristine. Kristine. That should do it.

Speaking of word clouds, some days I worry that I'll never find a man who loves me this much:


But now I know exactly how to design that Old Man Winter tattoo I've been dreaming about.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Yesterday, sometime between 9 a.m., and 4 p.m. (or as I see it: Sometime between oatmeal o’clcok and pre-dinner grapefruit o’clock), our house was broken into. Viotlated. Robbed. Smashed. Wrecked. BLED ON. Panty raided.

My roommates’ laptop, laptop, and camera were stolen, and my laptop and tv had been taken. My underwear was strewn all across my floor, and at first I was flattered. But then after some heavy detective reasoning, and after finding an ugly earring on my floor, I deduced that the little pilferer in my room had been a tiny female. And then I just felt judged.

But then I felt flattered again when I heard Kristine describe my untouched and unscathed bike as being worth $2,000. I didn’t correct her. It is a beautiful bike…

My only fear from this experience is that I have become so critical of our thieves for being so sloppy (an earring?? Blood on my bed?? Come on, O.J.!) that I’ve given far too much thought on how to do it right. And no good can come of that.

But just for the record, I’d at least have a trademark. And that trademark would be stealing all the pencils in the house. And all those pencils would be kept in an unlocked safe in my house to confuse future burglars. And none of this would be disclosed on a public blog.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Touched by an Angel

To say I'm a poor driver is an understatement. To suggest my license poses a threat to humanity is a little more like it.

It's been about four months since my last fender-bender, so this quarter's run-in was due and came this morning around 9:00 a.m. I told my brother Gentzy about the wreck as soon as I got in to work. Without missing a beat he said, "Consistency is good. Predictability is comforting."

After slamming into the back of the Honda on State Street (100 percent my fault), three things shot out of my purse:

1. Lip gloss
2. Mascara
3. My cell phone

Great. Now I'm 16. I didn't even know that stuff was in there. (Lie.)

After hiding my teen-bop contraband, I cautiously got out of the car, waiting for the verbal spanking of a lifetime. I saw the driver turn around in his seat and check on a little person in the back.

Great. Now I'm a baby-killer.

The man got out of his car, waring a jean shirt, classic Levi's, hair down to his waist and a giant, "don't worry be happy" smile. This angel, brought to me on a cloud of denim and patchouli, not only assured me several times that no harm had been done, but patiently waited for me to find my policy number while his gorgeous, biracial (great. Now I'm racist) three-year-old bounced in and out of the car, no car seat to be seen.

We exchanged information, and as I drove away, I saw him raise an arm out of the corner of my eye.

Great. The middle finger.

Nope. A giant, nice-to-meet you wave. And then he floated away. Back to God.

As for his policy number? Well Gentzy and I have our suspicions of it actually being the date of the Apocalypse, slipped to me as a warning. But you'll have to wait for 2012: The Squeakual to find out for sure.

Friday, April 30, 2010


Because I bill my time at work, and each hour is accounted for, I’ve begun to look at my life a little bit differently. At work, my job (and thus worth) is broken into percentages of projects. Which is great for the time sheet. But abusive to my social life.

Like being gunshy to commit 40% of my free time Monday to a luau, or trying to finally figure out which twin I love more by the higher percentage of appearances I make on their blogs.

I didn’t really realize I was doing this until yesterday at work when I dropped one of my almonds into my heater at work. Before my life was ruled by pie charts, I would have said “see ya almond” and maybe thrown another one in there just to keep it company. But because I remembered I had ten almonds, and because that almond was now 10% of my bag, which is a considerable slice on the pie chart, I had to retrieve and devour it and probably lose 50% of my friends if she saw.

In a completely unrelated note, I’m 100% positive re-reading Harry Potter is once again making me a better person. I’ll leave you with this nugget of brilliance from J.K. Rowling:

“There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them." —pg 179

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What a Web

I got into this (Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast). But then quickly got out of it because I could hear the sound the speaker's mouth made every time she opened it to speak. And that sound makes me feel weird. And I think it's avoidable. Plus most of the stuff they talk about, a majority probably had learned in history class. So catch 22*, moving on.

But in the podcast on the Pazzi family (sucker for a mafia tale), they used the word nepotism, which I actually hadn't learned in history class. Or any class. So I looked it up. Nepotism: favoritism shown or patronage granted to relatives. I think I should have known that. Thanks, Illinois educational system**.

When I got home that night, my friend Brandon was over and I asked him why he's never taken a job with his cousin. He said because that would be nepotism. Of course it would be.

Oh word Gods, you are just hysterical sometimes.

Nepotism: Pay it forward.

* I give this term three years before no one actually knows what it means anymore and it becomes a wild card. This is me doing my part.
**49/50. Thanks, Mississippi.

Monday, March 22, 2010

It Happens

I think the same censor that is supposed to exist in my mind to keep me from excitedly talking*
about subjects on which I'm completely uneducated** was removed at the same time as the censor that is supposed to stop me from doing the Martha Washington every time I see water.

It gets ugly. Really ugly.

Phoenix was fun, though.

*Preaching, instructing, suggesting, etc.
**Health care bill, how to get a job, general life advice

Photo by Jane Metcalf

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Not Since Roe v. Wade

My roommates and I moved into a new house.

We love it.

There's only about two things gross about the house: a smashed/dead fly stuck to our blinds* in the kitchen, and a used Tasmanian devil band-aid on the basement** stairs. The band-aid was left when the bona fide pervert who delivered our washer and dryer tumbled down the stairs with the dryer crushing him from behind. He only left us with three things: an overall sense of insecurity, a beautiful mental image he illustrated me of how he and I would die together once we were married, and that band-aid.

Anyway, there's a pretty steep wager about which will last longer: the fly or the taz. band-aid, and to be honest my money has got to be on the band-aid because that might have been the closest thing to an engagement ring I'll ever get and to believe it is going to be swept away in a matter of months, well that's just both unromantic and pessimistic, and I am anything but either.

*Of our bay window
**Finished basement

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Some News

Good news: I did not hit a Jaguar in the grocery store parking lot.

Bad news: I did hit a Suburban in the grocery store parking lot.

Best news: It's beginning to seem that people are about as likely to take the time to get a quote on a scratched bumper as they are to burn you a cd or email you that picture they took. And to that I say, cheers.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Can I Get an Amen?

So I missed this, but sincerely planned on participating because it was a great idea, and because I won Livi's Valentine's Day giveaway last year, but to not let a list go to waste, here is a list of things that make me happy*.

Running. I've always had a thing for abusive relationships.

Homeless people. Unfortunately not in the 'I want to help them' kind of way, but in a, 'I like when they tell me I'm pretty' kind of way. Although either result in me handing out cash so I feel that my intent here is irrelevant.

My heater under my desk at work. Sometimes I turn it on full blast and put it on my lap like a puppy.

Twins. Call me a sucker for symmetry. (Important note: not a fetish thing...it's not!).

Good grammar. Ahhhh syntax.

Fine cheeses. as a footnote to this entry, I also enjoy both giving and receiving compliments on at the checkout on cheese selection. If a customer is going to pay over 10 dollars for something the size of a small toy car, it should be congratulated. Unless of course that "something" comes in a zip lock bag, and the "chekcout" is on a street corner**. Cocaine never calls for celebration. This message brought ot you by your older, judgmental sister, Maggie.

And last but not least, well-harnessed efficiency. Now there's an art.

Franz out.

*A six minute YouTube video is a prison sentence.

**Verifying that cocaine is actually bought and sold in zip lock bags and on street corners would have required at least a couple of awkward phone conversations at best, so we're just going to have to take what I'm pretty sure about marijuana, and marry it with clips I might have seen on movies.

Thanks, Livi!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

S is for Chick*

Today I went to the DMV to secure my spot among the mighty fine league of Utah drivers.  When I first moved here I thought my Idaho plates gave me an excuse for being such a poor driver.  Then I realized it gave Utah an excuse to resent me even more.  Plus it was bad PR for Idaho.  And I felt bad about that.  I encountered my first problem with the bearded woman at the desk after asking for new plates.

Do you have a title?
-What's that.
Ok... do you have registration?
-Is this it?
That's an advertisment
-Is this it?
That's a police warning... Do you have a full name?
-Margaret Augusta Franz
...data entry... Would you like Centennial or Life Elevated plates?
-Life elevated please! Never skied a day in my life.

I think it was the Augusta that got her in the end.  Here's to hoping that Utah fellowship brings me better luck and more love on the road.

* Title of the blog comes from my friend Chris Jones who said this the first time he saw my Toyota S.