Monthly Archives: January 2012

“you’re dead, dude. get over it.”

When it comes to suffering sickness, I have few needs:  my couch, freedom from the shackles of pants, and copious amounts of television.

Happily (or as happy as one can be in such circumstances) all of these things were available after coming home from Alt and commencing with the neverending Cold.  Meanwhile, The David was away for work for a week, which meant that I was all sickly, pitiful and alone – but also free to watch whatever I wanted on the television machine.  And I’d just had a timely recommendation from a lady friend

Oh, the perfect chicken soup for my soul:  The Vampire Diaries.

44 episodes are available on Netflix streaming right this very minute.  And if you want to know if I watched them all in the past 8 days, the answer is yes.  Yes, I did.

Let me give you some snippets of why this totally trashy show from the CW is just so riveting…

Elena is the central character.  She is incarnate good-girl, with long straight hair.

Elena starts dating the new guy at school, Stefan, and learns that he’s a vampire.  There is some balking at this unexpected affliction, but she lurves him and it is all systems go for teenage-dream.

Stefan has a brother, the smoldering hot Damon, also vampire.

Damon drinks people blood and kills the local townies.  Stefan does not.  Arguments about vampire morality.

Behold!  The town is governed by a committee of vampire killers!  They are riled up about all the blood-drained dead people, but don’t know who the vampires are.  In fact, they invite Damon to join their committee.

Elena looks EXACTLY like this vampire, Katherine (very long curly hair), who was responsible for Damon and Stefan’s undeadness in Civil War times.  Both brothers were in love with her.  So there’s a fancy triangle with the two brothers and Elena/Katherine.

And Elena’s best friend has newly discovered that she’s a witch!

There are also werewolves, ghosts, and gay dads.  No zombies.  As of yet.

That’s just a teeny tip of a big iceburg, but I don’t want to reveal too much, just in case you’re tempted to indulge.

My cold is on the way out, The David is back home again, and I’m up to date on episodes.  Now that I’m free from the viewing frenzy, I’ve gained enough perspective to somewhat sheepishly concede the level of drivel that is this show. Which has nothing to do with what I’ll be doing this Thursday night…

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Filed under Big screen, little screen

someone else’s sadness

A friend’s father died last week and I can’t stop thinking about it.

I haven’t suffered this particular life event, so I can only imagine how horribly sad she must feel.  But I am filled with the imaginings of, all things being equal, something we all have to go through.

So I think and then force myself to stop thinking about my own fears.  And I think about my friend, wishing there was more I could do… that I could just magic away the sadness.

But all I really know to do is to just say that I’m here.

What do you do to comfort someone’s sadness?

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Filed under Girl land

Little Facts

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1.  My great-great-grandfather Giuseppi fell off a donkey cart and died.

2.  Grandpa Joe, on my other side of the family, tried to raise chinchillas in the basement and they went rampant.

3.  My nephew calls me Uncle Buggles.

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window seat

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the best pastry you can’t pronounce

Of all the things I thought I’d learn about from Alt Summit, a fancy pastry was definitely not one of them.

But on the last day, I got to go on a foodie tour of Salt Lake City  with 7 other ladies from the summit, led by Lindsey Johnson.

The first place we went to was Les Madeleines, a bakery that’s best known for something called kouing-aman, which was featured on The Food Network.  Romina Rasmussen, the totally adorable pastry chef, came out to speak to us about her obscure and wonderful little bundle of awesome.

Romina Rasmussen, maker of the kouing aman

And more importantly, she gave us each one to sample.

It’s crispy, almost crunchy on the outside.  Pulling the bun apart with your fingers, the inside is flakey and airy, like a croissant, but then the center is gooey and carmelly.  It’s an gorgeous triumvirate of textures, with a flavor that’s both sweet and a bit salty.
I immediately wanted to scarf about three more of them.  (Which was not on offer.)

You can special order these overnight directly from Les Madeleines, but there do seem to be a few other places in the country that make them.

Starter Baker – sells to various cafes and bakeries in the Bay Area

Bouchon Bakery – in Los Angeles

Dominique Ansel – in New York

If you want to ask around in your neck of the woods, you should be saying something like “cooing” or “queen uh-MON.”  You may also see it spelled kouign amann. It’s not a French word, but Breton, so kind of like something viking-leprechauns would say.

Romina says it takes her about 9 hours to make them, so maybe you could just make some yourself.  And then send me some.

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Filed under Foodery

the highs and lows of altitude

Altitude Design Summit popped my blogging conference cherry.

It was a lot like the sort of thing you go to for work:  hotel conference rooms, name tags on a lanyard, and boozy night time entertainment.  And if you work with 500 creative and artisticly motivated women, then this would be that conference.

Days were filled with sessions intended to smarten up your blogginess.  Like design do’s and don’ts, building an ad network, and kickstarting your next project.  Elaborately planned parties in the evenings.

So here’s what I thought…

The Room Mate
I roomed with a stranger.  She posted on her blog that she was looking for a room mate.  I said that it could be me if she wanted.  Despite feeling a little nervous, it all worked out surprisingly well.  We weren’t all bff and up in each other’s business, but we did spend a fair amount of time together.  For me, it was the perfect balance of striking out independently versus hanging out in a safety net.
All told, I’m really glad about meeting Margot.

The Networking
So much exchanging of business cards, each one cuter and cleverer and fancier than the next/mine.  Now I’ve just got to follow through on all that goodness.  It’s rather a big project.
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The Fashion
Somehow, I didn’t cross paths much with the fashion bloggers.  But you could tell which ones were they from a mile away.  Way tall and thin.  Top knots and capes.  Super bright lipstick.  Heeled booties.  This shirt (I met three different girls wearing it.)

The rest of the bloggers weren’t exactly wearing potato sacks.

The Presents
Wow.  What a surprise.  The sponsors gave us so much stuff, all beautifully packaged and aesthetically pleasing.  Notebooks, journals, and cards.  A funny black toothbrush.  Pencils.  A scarf and a hat.  Hand crafted jewelry.  A home design book.  Chocolates.  Method hand soap.  A coffee mug.  Tote bags.  Swatches of fabric.  A monkey.
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The Parties
First up, The White Party.  A fancy ballroom populated with varying shades of white, ivory, cream, blush, silver and gold.  Someone else was wearing the same dress as me.  I wanted to shun her, but she was awesome.
Next, The Mini-Parties.  8 different themed party rooms, each with swanky decorations and libations.  A photo booth.
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The Celebrities
Mighty Girl.  SF Girl by Bay.  Not Martha.  Lisa Congdon.  Dooce.  Making it Lovely.  Oh Happy Day.  Say Yes to Hoboken.  Jessica Quirk.
I saw them all.  With my eyeballs.  It was both thrilling and freakish.  Because 99% of the people I know would have no empathy whatsoever if I tried to tell them that I started having palpitations and sweaty palms when Maggie Mason and Victoria Smith sat next to me in a session.  But it’s true.  They did.

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The Sessions
Had a strong inspirational bent.  A lot of “don’t be afraid to ask for what you want” and “do one thing and make it perfect.”
Makes me feel all cheery and rah-rah at the time, but leaves me wondering what exactly I learned after the fact.
The Lessons
I need to make my name be the same across the interwebs.  I can never remember if my Twitter, Pinterest or Flickr handle is Maggieyay or Maggiemight or margaretedith.
WordPress.com versus WordPress.org.  Have a think there, shnookums.
Commit to content.  Commit to content.  Commit to content.
The People
I would self diagnose as an extrovert, but something about a bazillion cordial strangers made me feel a little angsty.  Every time I turned around, someone else was introducing herself and:  commence ChitChat!
Some times it felt stilted and and awkward.  Other times it came really easily and I’d find myself having a grand old time yukking it up with someone I didn’t know.
Looking back on it, I think this is what they call making friends.
smilebooth photo

with Regan of reganbakerdesign.com and Rebekah of orangeturquoise.com

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Filed under About a blog, Up to Stuff

I’m not a very clever robot

In honor of my little bloglet’s 4 year anniversary, I thought I’d shed a little insight on what the heck my blog is called.

At the time of my first post on January 18, 2008, I was working in email based customor support.  Maybe one day I will talk more about what that was like and how it made me feel about human kind, but for now, let’s just say it didn’t leave me with a lot of warm fuzzies.

Here’s a particularly influential example.

Customer:  Will I get my order on Wednesday?
Me:  You should expect your order to ship no later than 6 business days after the date of order.
Customer:  Are you just a very clever robot?

Even though I didn’t tell him that no, I’m not a very clever robot, I decided it was important to be clear with the rest of the universe.  Ya’ll.  I know what it must seem like, but I’m not a very clever robot.

Which I know must be especially confusing because sometimes I do just beep.  R2D2 beeps and he’s a robot.  So comparisons may be drawn.  But some days, saying “hello” seems so banal.  I can be so much more expressive with a beep or two.  Which I know will make no sense if you’re just reading about it.  But I assure you, conversations with Maggie can be had using only beeps.

Anyway.

Despite what you might think, I’m not a very clever robot.  Sometimes I just beep.

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