Friday, September 30, 2011

He feels pretty! Oh so pretty!

Well, it looks like I've created a bit of a face warp series these past couple of days, so today will be my 3rd and final part of the series (because I don't think I can take much more of seeing my face disfigured!). If you haven't had the horror pleasure of seeing the past two post in the series, take a peek now!

Part 1: The Joys of Making Babies...via the Internet

Part 2: And now for something completely heinous

In my comments yesterday, Mandy_Fish pointed out that Branded really got off easy:
"This site is sexist! You look twisted and deformed in every version, while Branden remains hot!
(Don't show this to him. You'll never hear the end of it.)"
Besides the fact that his Ape man was pure nasty, I do think I got the worst of it! Branden did see Mandy's comment (because he checks my site for comments and stats about as often as I do!) but he came up with a suitable 'punishment' for himself.

The terrible photos of us that were used in the face mutilator transformer were actually taken last winter when we came across a makeover site one night. At first, we just had a little fun trying on different hair styles on my head and seeing how I'd look with shorter hair...but then we decided it would be much more fun to turn Branden into a beauty queen! Branden has agreed (and came up with the idea) to share his beauty makeovers as the finale to this 3 part horror series. And again, I don't feel too bad for putting you all through this since you can see much worse in your local Wal-Mart.

For Branden's first look, we decided to go with a sexy Playboy Bunny look. I think the hair suits him!

Blondes may have more fun but to mix things up, we went for a more brunette, sexy secretary look. I really think the glasses set off the whole look.

And finally, being a hopeless romantic, Branden decided to pay tribute to the Royal Wedding with his very own Kate Middleton bride look!

Isn't he a stunner!?! (I think that necklace would catch in his chest hair though)

Ok readers, I am done damaging your eyes for the week! Your comments have been wonderful (any comment that allows me to reply with "triangular birth canal' is pure brilliance!). Since I have provided you with all the links to the face mutilator sites, I would love to see what your results are! Feel free to "steal" this whole series or just one post for your own blog...just show a little love and link up where you got it from! I have had fantastic page views and great comments from this so I'm sure your readers would love it as well.  :)

I will be back for another Music Monday, so have a fabulous weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

And now for something completely heinous...

Yesterday's blog was way too scary, terrifying, embarrassing, birth control instilling, fun, that I had no idea how I was going to follow it. What's more entertaining than trying to figure out what heinous creatures you will spawn your kids will look like?? But late last night it came to me...what will Branden and I look like when we are old? So after some searching for an aging face generator, I found something even better!

Lo and behold, I give you the Face Transformer

This may be more terrifying than the faces of my children but here's the fun I had at this site:

Original photo (I realize it's a really bad photo of me but this is the only passport style photo I currently have on my computer)

Now, what I will look like old:

AHHHHHHH!!! Please Lord, if I'm going to look like that, take me when I'm 50! And what is up with the end of my nose!?! I wear sunscreen on my face every day and this is how I'm repaid!!!

Well, this site has other options, so this is what I would look like if I was African:

I will never complain about having a big nose again...

Would it be any better if I were Asian??

Ummm, that would be a NO!

Maybe this whole being a girl thing isn't working...what if I were a man??


Ok, forget being a human, what if I were just an ape?

Oh heavens! I don't even think they would cast me in Planet of the Apes with a face like that!

I need a pick me up, so now it's time to put Branden through the ringer!

Original photo (again, this is a really really bad photo and we had to get his hair back away from his face.)

So Branden old:

Wow, apparently he's going to become an old Australian sheep farmer!

Just for curiosity sakes, what does this site think he looks like as a baby??

Alien head baby with a beard!!! Oh holy crap! He looked nothing like that as a baby! (his beard was a little smaller)

What if Branden were African??

Oddly, he's a bit more similar...his mouth has just tried crawling up his face a bit!

Asian Branden??

He just looks sinister! Yikes!

What if we transform Branden into a woman??

Oh my goodness! It's a cross between Rosie O'Donnell and a Wal-Mart checker! I would say that he is the ugliest woman I have ever seen...but sadly that's a lie (thanks to People of Wal-Mart)

Would he be able to be cast in the next Planet of the Apes??

Oh goodness! MAKE IT STOP!!!

Have fun playing around with your face...I'm off to go gouge my eyes out!

Note: This is part 2 of a 3 part face distortion series. Click HERE for part 1 and HERE for part 3

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Joys of Making Babies...via the Internet

Question for you readers today:

What do you get when you take this

And mix it with this?

According to you get this

Ummmm.....??? I always did want to have black babies but considering I'm virtually clear and Branden only tans well, I thought adoption was my only shot. seems to disagree though. 

Maybe we should try again.

Me + Branden =

AHHHHHHH!!!!!! I think that's an elf child who's face was once folded down the center! Branden says it looks like a Klingon but I wouldn't know about that nerdy stuff...(Ok, so it does look like a Klingon!)

Ok, try again but this time put the skin color setting to "light" instead of "auto-detect" which apparently isn't as accurate as it claims.

My face + Husband's face + "light skin tone" =

A ginger!?! There are no red heads in either of our direct families...and I'm pretty sure that little girl has two different colored eyes.

One more time but let's go with a boy and see if we can fix the ginger issue.

Mine + His + "light skin tone" + make mine a boy please + fingers crossed no red hair because red haired boys oddly creep me out =

A ginger baby boy...

I give up!

Please feel free to visit the site and show me your atrocities babies!

Note: This is part 1 in a 3 part series of face distortion. Click HERE for part 2 and HERE for part 3

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

No Signs of Intelligent Life before 11am

I think I have mentioned this before, but I am not a morning person. If mornings started at noon then I probably would be a morning person but as that is not so, mornings to me are horrid things created to disrupt the most peaceful part of my day. My mom is not a morning person either and neither is my sis. Mornings at my house growing up were sluggish, and grunting was the closest form of communication we could muster. Without having to use the tired muscles on our drooping faces, we would grunt out our "good morning", "do you want cereal?" and "I'm going back to bed". Usually I take about a good hour of having my eyes open to become physically awake. Heaven forbid I have to do something as soon as I wake up because my brain is even lazier than I am and is probably only awake as much as a house cat. 

The other day, I posted this as my status on my personal Facebook account and my mom's comment is still cracking me up (and terrifying me since this is my genetic future!)

Dear Sleep,
I don't think you realize how much you mean to me. My world falls apart if I can't have at least 9 hour of you at night. I don't know what I did to offend you, but you can't just come in and out through the night like a cat. I just washed the sheets and flipped the mattress, it's all cozy for you. Please come back tonight or else I'll have to leave you for coffee.

Mom's comment:

woke at 7:07-late for walk with Megan. Get home-stand at front door pressing "unlock" on car remote. Beep behind jolts me into reality. Try to make coffee-forgot the coffee. Wish I could go back to bed-brain must still be there sleeping. Can't even blame it on the grandkids.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Trololo Monday

I had every intention of sharing a song that gives me goosebumps every time I hear it, but sleeping with a sock in my hair really took a lot of seriousness out of my day. I feel there may be some of you who find this a bit odd but there is method in some of my madness. This weekend I was introduced to the most time sucking, wonderfully addicting and fabulously fun thing EVER (besides Branden).

Where has this been all of my internet life!?! Needless to say, I have spent hours already searching through craft ideas, furniture ideas, fashions and jewelry and then marking them so I don't forget them (great for a person like me with the memory of a goldfish). I have discovered so many amazing things and ideas, like labeling a spray bottle "monster spray", decorate it to be all cute, fill it with water and then use to ward off monsters for your scared kid (this is currently working for me with the giant spiders right now, although I have a few drops of lemon essential oil in mine which is supposed to repel them). I know, I know, I don't have kids and we aren't planning on having any for at least another 4 or 5 years but I don't have the mental capacity to hold on to this little nugget of info so Pintrest can just save it for me! Also, there are lots of fun home ideas and having a home is another thing that we won't have for a long, long time, but I can dream and save ideas while I wait. There are also fun beauty tips, which is where the sock in my hair comes into play...despite sounding very anti-beauty...which it is in away.

Anyhoo, as my mind was exploding with the magnificent array of things on Pintrest, I saw a couple of people with photos of their lovely long hair with gorgeous big curls in it and saying that they did it with a sock bun. Luckily there was a youtube video link and hey presto! I decided to give it a whirl, but sadly I think I need to work on my technique a bit more because my hair did the usual and laughed at my efforts to make it anything but ruler strait.

*shakes fist at boring hair* Why can't you be more like Branden's hair?? It's all nice and curly! Tonight you had better cooperate or I may have to sell you to the gypsies!

So how on earth am I going to turn this into a song for today?? Basically it boils down to me being a simple girl who is easily amused, which is why I scrapped my serious song for one of my favorite song moments!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fun with Dick and Jane

Since the job market has been practically dead for Branden and I'm sitting around feeling useless with a big bold "Permitted to remain in Ireland on conditions that the holder does not enter employment and does not engage in any business or profession" stamped into my passport, the past 6 months of living here have been nothing short of a miracle (with little bouts of panic and stress headaches along the way).

Unlike the newer version of Fun with Dick and Jane (I've never seen the older one), Branden and I aren't about to start robbing anyone, but we did get a bit excited when the University sent Branden an email about a clinical trial that paid 190 euros for anyone who completed the process. It is a dental trial, so I did have visions of possible complications like our tongues becoming the size of cucumbers or our lips falling off, but since it was money to make that didn't go against my visa I was willing to take the risk!

This morning was the initial check in and the first thing we had to do was read over a few pages detailing what we would do, how we would be paid, etc, etc. The paperwork specified that I can't give any specific details but basically it's just a toothpaste trial for a well known brand name so my mind was put at ease. We saw two dentists who checked our teeth for various things, including the full normal check up that you would get at any other dentist office. Sadly, Branden didn't qualify but his teeth checked out well. I did qualify and had a great check out as well. All this and we got paid 30 euros each! How many people get paid to have their teeth checked!?!

My next appointment is next week, and I will get paid another 30 euros and then I have only 2 other appointments over the next few months, each time getting paid 30 euros except my last check up, I get paid 100 euros. Plus I won't be have to buy toothpaste until after December so I'm quite happy with my little form of contributing to funds and don't have to worry about my lips falling off!

I did have a bit of a funny thing happen while we were at the clinic. Ok, funny to all of you but terrifying for me. I was in the waiting room, facing a little room at the end of the hall where Branden was having his final check and where I was soon to follow. The door was open but you couldn't see anyone. As I was randomly staring in that direction, I noticed a fairly large spider run across the floor from the open door to the wall. Having another encounter with a giant spider last night, I was really on edge and bordering on having a full blown 3 year old tantrum since I'm at my wit's end with these things.

Shivers ran up my spine, I lifted my feet off the floor, picked up my purse and thought about informing someone that they need to go and kill that beast before I set foot in that room. I then started scanning the booth I was sitting in, making sure nothing was near me and envisioning a a horde of spiders living in the booth and waiting to all run out and swarm me. My mind flooded with fear and thoughts.

"How am I supposed to go in that room? There is no way I can walk into that door without looking at the area it skittered to, but what if it's visible? Would the dentist kill it??? Do dentists take the hippocratic oath and does the oath pertain to all creatures?? If someone catches it, there is no way they can walk past me with that thing alive! What if it crawls in my purse when I set it on the floor by my chair???"

Cold sweat beaded on my skin as I sat terrified and mesmerized at that doorway. Branden came out and I quickly told him what I saw. Since he was done, I left my purse with him and walked as if to my death into that room of terror. I glanced at the place I knew the spider had gone and saw some boxes by a bookcase and a desk...lots of hiding places. On the other side of the small room, I nervously got into the dental chair. The dentist put the chair in the lying down position and I felt my very long hair slide off the headrest and down towards the floor...

"Oh goodness! Is my hair long enough to reach the floor? I can't tell but what if it is? Could the spider make it all the way across the room to my hair without the dentist or his assistant seeing it? What if it CRAWLS UP MY HAIR!?! Just a few minutes, it will be done in just a few minutes. You will be fine Maggie, no spider will crawl up your hair." The dentist leaned forward into my chair as he looked into my mouth. "My hair is tugging! Is it the weight of the spider?? Is he in my hair? Maggie, you are being ridiculous, it's just the dentist against your hair. But what if it's the spider!?! It was a big one, it would be heavy, IT COULD BE IN MY HAIR!!"

The dentist finished and I got the heck out of that room. I collected my money at the front desk and told Branden about my hair as we were walking out....he found it laughable.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Other Side of My Gene Pool...

So far, I have shared stories about my Granny but I also have my Grandma and Grandpa (dad's parents). They are a riot, have been married for over 60 years, bicker like seagulls, and are some of the most loving people that I am privileged to have in my bloodlines. I am the baby of the grandkids on both sides of my family, but on dad's side us cousins are much more spread out in age. My oldest cousin (married in) went to high school and was good friends with my mom-in-law, so my sis and I were spoiled as the babies of the grandkids by our grandparents.

My family would spend the night at Grandma and Grandpa's house every Christmas Eve for over 20 years solid. Even when my parents moved 2 doors down from their house, I still walked over on Christmas Eve and spend the night when I was 22. When we were very young, Grandma used to have so much fun making my sis and me a big bubble bath in her Jacuzzi tub and then turning us into albinos by coating us in her fancy Red Door body powder. She loved taking us 'browsing' (which meant we were going to come back with lots of new clothes) and making us her famous beef stew for dinner. 

Grandpa was the prankster. He liked to put us in the bucket of his backhoe, lift us up really high and then start to tip the bucket as if he was going to dump us. We'd scream like crazy (even though we knew we were safe) and he'd put us down. He even used to put me on his lap, show me how to control the digger, and let me dig up tree stumps and rocks. One of his favorite 'toys' is his fart machine that he hides in his couch and operates via remote control. If you even bring it up to him, he will laugh himself to tears just talking about the people he's used it on. It's so bad, he has to go into another room to use it on people because he laughs just thinking about pushing the buttons. 

I ran across this old memory from my original blog. It's a great story that I almost forgot about! You will need a bit of background info first:

My sis is Katie and her husband is Jared. They lived in California at this time and my Grandparents live in Washington. My parents live just 2 doors down from Grandma and Grandpa (as I mentioned above) and my dad's name is Rob. My grandparents have never got used to cell phones and were always calling the wrong people or accidentally calling when they didn't want to, so I would get long voicemails of them just chatting away, unaware that they had called someone. Grandma is Nell, and heaven forbid she calls you "Dear" as it's never said in a good way but is her start to scolding you (I have only been called "Dear" once, when after a year of hiding it, my Grandma finally discovered that I had my tongue pierced). Oh and one more thing, my dad will rarely have 1 glass of something alcoholic (usually Lambrusco...*barf*) as he is not a drinker and mostly hates the taste of alcohol.

So, onto the story! My sis got a call from my Grandpa one day:
Katie: "Hello"
Grandpa: "Let me speak to your husband"
K: *hands the phone to Jared and tells him grandpa wants to talk to him*
Jared: *puzzled* Hello?
G: I flipped my lawn mower and need you to come over.
J: *thinking he's teasing* Um, ok, but it's gonna take me a while.
G: Well just be here in about 15 minutes or so, that's fine.
J: It's gonna take me longer than 15 minutes and I'm on my way to class.
G: Class? What are you taking classes for?
J: I've been taking classes for a while.
G: This doesn't sound like Rob. Are you drunk? Here, I'm gonna hand the phone to Nell, I can't understand you.
Nell: Hello?
J: Hi, it's Jared.
N: Jared? What are you doing at Rob's house?
J: I'm not.
N: Is Rob with you then?
J: No, I'm in San Diego on my way to class.
N: *yelling at grandpa* Dear! you called Katie, it's Jared. It's not Rob...

Even all these years later, I think Grandpa is still confused!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

They're Breeding!

We've all heard about fears of a future robot take-over, but I've always wondered how they would breed...I suppose this is a start...a very, very creepy start...

I will say, it is a very clean birth and I found 'unplugging' the umbilical cord and delivering the pancake placenta quite humorous, but there is just something very disturbing about it. Either way, that little white robot made by Honda is going to be programming himself to jump for joy since now he can become a dad!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Saved by the Landlady

Yesterday Branden and I were in our room when we heard our landlady show up with what sounded like some people to look at the last vacant room we have in the house. We hesitated on if we should go out and introduce ourselves or not, but then I heard the landlady's baby start to cry, so I popped my shoes on and headed out the door.

I don't even think the landlady said 'hi' to me or stopped saying whatever she was saying to the potential new tenant, she just handed me the baby and I took her into the living room to calm her down. The landlady did finally finish what she was saying and popped out to her car to get a bottle since the baby was still fussing. As she was out, I finally noticed who she was showing the house to...and discovered that they had noticed me!

There was a younger guy who was a student and was going to be the one renting the room but his dad was with him (and his dad seemed like the very forward type since he'd been the only one I'd head talking so far). Once the landlady popped out to get the bottle, loud dad's attention was no longer on the house his son would potentially be living in.

Loud Dad: "So, are you good with babies?"

Me (oblivious): "I'm fairly good. Since I'm the youngest of my family, I've grown up with older cousins who got married and had kids when I was young, so I've always been around babies."

Loud Dad: "...Well, that's good!"

Thankfully the landlady got back in, passed me the bottle and then continued her schpeel about the house. She started telling them about who lives in the house and what they do (not yet mentioning Branden or myself) and started asking me who she was missing. Loud Dad saw this as yet another opportunity.

Loud Dad: "So, what do you do or study?"

Me (at this point I'm realizing that Loud Dad is too keen and things are finally clicking that he's not excited about the house but at the thought that this house comes with a potential wife for his son...likes babies, probably a smart student...) "...I actually..."

Landlady (very abruptly, almost as if she realized the situation long before I did): "Her husband is a PhD student!"

Loud Dad: "Oh! I'm sorry! Ok..."

Instantly I became invisible, like my wedding ring must have been during this brief encounter, and they all moved on to see the house. I fed the baby her bottle, got her to smile big for me and when the house tour was finally over, they didn't even say goodbye.

When I came back in our room after the landlady left, I laughed and told Branden that I haven't been in that scenario for a long time! I explained what had happened and we chatted a bit about how many times each of us had parents trying to set us up with their sons or daughters...and really, if I'm honest, I haven't missed it!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Music & Ramblings

I should address quickly a question that was brought up a few times from my post about Granny the Axe Murderer. What happened when the carpet layers pulled back the carpet? Sadly, I can't remember! I think Granny left when they arrived so she didn't have to see their reactions but I will try to remember to check with mom next time I Skype her.

I should apologize for not being as attentive to all of my blog friends in the past week. Branden got a cold early last week so I spent a lot of time watching old Disney movies and keeping him snuggled up so that he would rest and get over it quicker. Thankfully he's feeling much better today since he is starting his Latin course this morning. And another big thank goodness is that I haven't caught it!! He's past the contagious point so I am in the clear which is a first! Every time he gets sick, he always passes it on to me and I get it 10x's worse! He gets a cold and it turns into me getting a cold AND a sinus infection! I am so relieved that I've dodged the bullet this time!

My littlest baby nephew just had his 1st birthday party. His birthday isn't until the 23rd but they are in the process of moving across the country today so the celebration had to be before they left. I've seen a few photos and I just can't believe how big he is! Thinking "where has time gone?" was also not helped when I received an email notification that my 10 year class reunion is in preliminary plans and being held next summer...isn't Facebook the equivalent of going to a virtual class reunion, expect with the added bonus that you can choose who you wish to catch up with?? I doubt I will be back in the States for the reunion. I also don't know if 10 years is really enough time for some classmates to get together and show how grown up and out of high school they really are. Maybe I'll get excited for the 20th, because at least then we'd look a little different!

This is becoming a bit of a ramble so to add to it, I miss having a bathtub! We did have one in Scotland but I used to say it was made for Chinese midgets as it was the tiniest tub I had ever seen. Our bathroom in Cork only has a shower, and it's a nice shower, but I call it the bank deposit tube because I feel like I'm entering into those clear plastic suction tubes at the drive up bank lane. If any women out there reading this have a tiny corner shower like me, could you please share how in the world you manage to shave your legs in that thing??? I have tried sitting on the toilet lid, on the floor, wedging myself up in it and trying to bring my leg close enough to my face so I can see it (being practically blind doesn't help!) and standing with one leg in while stretching over to rinse the razor in the sink....goodness I miss my midget tub.

So for my music today, I'm going to rub salt in my tub lusting wound and share a Melody Gardot song. She has an incredible voice, her music is dead sexy and she gets to do a music video in a massive tub! She can even fit a man in a suit in it with her...who doesn't have that fantasy!?! Ok, so I would probably be screaming at Branden if he just ruined a dry clean only suit, but hey, it sounds hot!

Enjoy your tubs for me and enjoy today's music!

*Disclaimer: I am not to be held responsible for any children made from listening to this song or all of the other songs on Melody Gardot's fabulous album!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Granny the Axe Murderer

My Granny is an avid quilter and she's even had one of her quilt's pictured in a magazine. In her quilting room, she has a special fabric cutter that looks like a pizza cutter and it's very, very sharp!

One day, Granny managed to drop it on the top of her foot! She noticed some bleeding so she went to the bathroom to get a band aid. When she got to the bathroom she noticed that it was bleeding much worse than she thought so she went to the kitchen go get a hand towel. This meant she had to trudge to the other side of her house with her massively bloody foot. She got the towel and by then she said her slipper was soaked with blood. For some reason there were a couple more trips up and down the hallway and one of them was to get a phone to call my mom.

My aunt luckily showed up while my poor panicked mom rushed over. Mom said that when she arrived there were actual puddles of blood in the hallway and that it looked like someone had been murdered. They took Granny to the emergency room and had her fixed right up. She was fine but she had managed to hit a big blood vessel. 
While Granny, my mom, and my aunt were all at the hospital, my cousin Jennie showed up at Granny's house for a pre-arranged visit. She rang the doorbell several times but didn't get an answer. The front door had even been left cracked open in all the chaos but luckily Jennie just left and didn't try to go in. What would you think if you went through your Grandmother's open door to find no Granny and pools of blood through the hall??? Eventually Jennie did meet up with them when they got back and came up with the best solution for getting the blood out of the cream colored carpets. Peroxide! They bought tons of the big bottles and managed to get it all out! You couldn't even tell there had been any blood at all!
A few years after this incident, Granny finally decided it was time to get new carpets. I laughed and told her that she had better warn the carpet people because there's no way the peroxide could have gotten the blood out of the carpet pads and the floor is probably stained too! I could just see the carpet installers pull back the carpet to find blood stain trails and wonder how my grandpa really died! Granny thought it was pretty funny but was glad I thought of it so she could warn them ahead of time...although I would have been tempted to not say anything at all, sit back, sharpen some knives, and see what they did when they discovered the stains...

This is our wedding quilt that Granny made us (photo'd on our bed we had back in the States, decorated by Branden's mom for when we came back from our honeymoon). She makes a quilt for every grandchild when they get married. Since Branden is a Biblical/Church History scholar, she chose our quilt pattern from a quilt book "Patterns from the Bible." Our pattern is "Crown of Thorns" and we love our quilt! We made a point to bring it with us when we first moved to Scotland so it's been a bit of a 'comfort blanket' since it reminds us of home and family.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Skinny Dipping Story

Well thank you everyone for your well wishing comments about my cousins visit. We had a great time! They even were able to stay in one of the vacant rooms in our house which was really handy. Due to getting no sleep the night before because of a door slamming all night in one of the vacant rooms, trekking all around Cork to make sure that I showed my cousin as much as I could, and then a late night of catching up, Branden and I were exhausted yesterday. We took a nap, rented Thor on iTunes, and generally spent the day as slugs. Luckily we caught up on our sleep as we were awakened by the doorbell this morning at 10:30. 

I shared a condensed version of this story on Bodacious Boomer's blog and figured I should give the full version to everyone. Enjoy and I'll be hopefully getting around to everyone's blogs sometime today and seeing how you all have been!

Published on the original Padded Cell Confessions in October of 2005:

Two summers ago, my two girlfriends (Gabi & Alicia) and I took a road trip to Vegas. This was our second road trip together; the first was the previous summer. On our first road trip we attempted to go skinny dipping but with our twisted dumb luck we didn't get to. Gabi was determined that our Vegas trip would be a great time to fulfill our failed attempt. The first day of driving brought us to Lake Shasta, CA at about 11:00 p.m. We saw this as our golden opportunity and pulled onto a lake access road. We found a secluded boat launch and started shedding our clothing.

Gabi was first to go in. As she was entering the water there was a click noise, bright flash, and giggle from Alicia as she held one of our many disposable cameras! Gabi was not too happy and I forced Alicia to put the camera away before I was about to step foot in the water! She put it away and both of us entered the lake. It was really cold, the bottom was really mucky, and it took a long time to get in deep...which is not good when you're trying to skinny dip! Needless to say, we didn't stay in too long. 

Gabi was the first out and I came out second, discretely covering myself. When I uncovered to grab my towel, it happened, flash, giggle! Gabi got me full on and like 5 feet away! I could have killed her! But this is where it actually gets ironically crazy; cuz if the story stopped here it wouldn't be a true Maggie moment. The next morning we ate breakfast at a little kid park. My purse was stolen from the bench as we played on the jungle gym! It was a huge mess but we managed to have a good road trip anyway...lots of stories from this one!

When we developed all of our cameras after the trip, we noticed some specific pictures missing. The skinny dipping camera pics were nowhere to be found, nor the other pics we took on the same camera. Then it struck us like rocks in a snowball fight...the camera was in my purse that was stolen! If the guy who took it wanted to use the rest of the film and got it developed...Oh My! I could have my own website and not even know it! My mom said at least he didn't know who I was or where I lived...Ummm, he had my drivers license so yeah he knows everything...including that I lied about my weight! 

Moral of the Story: Don't lie about your weight on your driver's don't know who might see your naked road trip pics!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Music Monday to Help You Get Your Groove On

It's been an oddly emotional morning so I'm going to make this short, sweet and full of a great song to pick me up today! I wasn't around Blogland much over the weekend and I'm not going to really be around today but I have a great reason not to be! My cousin, her wonderful husband, and her mother-in-law will be visiting us today!! This is hugely exciting because since living abroad, we have seen a couple of friends over here but never yet family. There is something just so overly exciting about having a family member see the world I live in now and the life I'm in now; it's just a fantastic feeling to share my experience in the place I live! They will be coming this afternoon and will be staying the night in Cork before leaving for Dublin in the morning so I'm going to be having a blast with them and won't be able to visit all of you today.

Branden has a two day 'conference' at his University so he's going to be busy these next two days but luckily has hour and a half lunches and is home in the evening. As he was looking through the lineup of his next couple of days, we had this little nugget of conversation come up:

Branden: Oh good! They will have a Thesaurus Linguae Hibernicae class at my Palaeography conference tomorrow!

Me (looking obviously clueless): If you don't have anything simple to say, then don't say anything at all!

Well, my cousins just messaged me that they should be here in about an hour so here's my song to get me ready and hope you have some fun getting your groove on!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where Were You?

Ten years ago, I was a high school senior living in Washington State. The phone rang early, waking me up. I can't remember who answered the phone, mom or my sis, but I could hear them gasp and rush to turn the TV on. Knowing that something was up, I groggily crawled out of bed and made my way out to the living room. The phone call was from dad who was at work and had heard 'the news'. Us three girls stared at the television screen with our mouths gaping, watching a smoking skyscraper.

"Is this a movie?", "Where is this?", "This can't be real!" were some of the words that found their way out of our open lips. As the news reporter's words reached our confused ears, we started to piece together that this was happening in America, it was real and it was a plane that had hit the building.

As if our shock and disbelief was great enough, we watched in horror as our eyes spotted the second plane. Our hearts wrenched as we watched it hit the second tower and we tried to erase it all with our words, "this can't be happening, this can't be real"....

The rest of the day was a spin. It felt horrible getting ready for school as the towers and those people burned. It seemed to heartless to go about the day as if nothing had happened but thankfully all of my classes at school that day kept the news on and allowed us to have much needed discussions.

This memory is entombed in my mind and I wanted to share it with you to encourage you to bring up the details of that day in your life. By sharing where you were and what you were doing, it means we won't forget. And this is a day we can't afford to cost too many lives.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Creepy Crawlies

I have a crippling fear of spiders. Just the sight of one of these nasty 8 legged monstrosities is enough to put me into full blown panic mode which includes finding the furthest yet highest point to climb upon and then screaming like a banshee, "KILL IT, KILL IT, KILL IT!!!".

This is a story from my past blog life and was from when I worked at the little locksmith shop:

I went to go get on my computer this morning and there was a spider (a really ugly one with a human flesh eating look about him) on my keyboard! I'm beyond mortified of spiders and my boss wasn't in the office, so I was all by myself with a hungry spider! I did the only thing a scared little girl would do...I climbed up on a stool and armed myself with paper towels, air freshener spray and a broom. But then I heard a noise; I looked out the window...could it be? Was it a bird...a, it was the UPS MAN! Luckily we had ordered some things so I knew he was coming here. 

He comes walking in and finds me perched with my weapons of mass destruction and I shakily ask him if he's afraid of spiders. He started cracking up and told me not really but he was guessing I was. I gave him a paper towel from my stool, and he killed it and threw it in the garbage...I would have been happier if he would have flushed it because now I'm going to have images of Franken Spider resurrecting from my garbage can. Oh well! It's dead, I'm still on my stool, but I'm so thankful for my brave UPS hero! I told him he saved my life as he walked, laughing, out my door!

Now Branden is usually pretty good at killing spiders for me, but even he has a hard time with the big ones. Since moving from America, just 2 years ago, I have managed to live in 2 different countries and not once see a spider big enough to send me into 'I'm going to die mode'. Branden did see, on two different occasions in Edinburgh, 2 gnarly giant spiders which he originally thought came off of our bananas because they were so big! He didn't tell me about the first encounter because it was in our tiny flat and he didn't want to freak me out. He finally did tell me when he had his second big spider encounter which happened to be in our bedroom when we were in bed, but luckily I managed to not actually see it.

We have since discovered that theses monster spiders are called Huntsman Spiders and are as big as they are because they eat other spiders. I have been told to be grateful for this demon arachnid but I would much rather deal with the little spiders they are eating than their big hairy selves!

One week ago today (it's literally taken me all week to recover so I could write this), I had my first encounter with a Huntsman Spider. Branden and I were out in our kitchen making dinner, one of our housemates was with us, chatting about random stuff and all of a sudden Branden had a panicked look on his face. He started to shout at me "Mags! Holy Cow! Mags, Mags, Mags!!!" I knew it could only be one thing so I instantly fled for my distant high ground (the dining room chair). As I sprinted for my life I glanced down to see that there had been a spider THE SIZE OF MY FREAKIN PALM right at my BARE FEET!!!! I began my screams for death to be unleashed on this beast and Branden hesitated, not wanting to go near the creature. Our housemate, who is a biologist, refused to inflict the ever so deserved death sentence on the spider so he proceeded to chase it around with a cereal box, trying to catch it so he could release it. Not able to watch that thing move it's 8 long and terrifying legs as it was chased around the kitchen, I searched for further higher ground, and made a sprint to my bed, slamming the door behind me.  

Eventually the beast was caught and put in our neighbor's garden. I didn't leave my bed for a good couple of hours, and I made Branden search every corner of our room before I could even think about closing my eyes and attempting to sleep. The next day, I didn't even go into the kitchen until late in the evening because I was so paranoid. I'm still shook up about it and won't clean our room unless Branden is in it with me, in case I run into anything. 

What crippling fears do you have?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wow, I'm Speechless! (despite the following long post)

Two awards in a week!?! It's not often you find me speechless, but I couldn't believe my eyes as I read yesterday that I have been granted another award by the hysterical Paige Kellerman! This was particularly touching since I had only found Paige's fabulous blog just last week and as I read her uniquely hilarious comedic writing style, I had the though of, "Holy killer writing skills Batman, this girl could type circles around me!" If you haven't read her blog yet, then you must head over NOW and laugh till you pee your cave panties! Thank you very much Paige for the award and I look forward to insecurely crying laughing over all of your great posts!

This now means that I have been blessed with 2 awards from 2 great blogs and now I get to spread the love. You can see both of the awards posted on the right and if you click on them, they will take you to the fabulous bloggers from which they came from.

With the award from Stephanie, it looks as though I am supposed to write 3 random facts about myself in order to fully accept the award and then pass it on. So with no further ado, my acceptance facts:

1. I comb my eyelashes. Applying mascara has been dubbed by my family as 'my ritual' and I spend about 15 mins in this daily sacred art of mine. I was blessed with nice long lashes from my dad (as well as my light blue eyes) so I feel the need to make sure they look perfect and well displayed! It doesn't matter if a mascara advertises to be 'clump free', long lashes tangle in the goop of anything (and I have tried almost all of them!). Refusing to have spider eyes, I invested the best $5 of my life at Sephora and bought what's probably supposed to be an eyebrow comb, but I use it for my lashes. Your eyelash comb must be metal (the plastic ones break) and no matter how clumpy your mascara may make you, it's no match for your blessed comb. So far I haven't met another self created eyelash comber but I have inspired a few. Once you start, you will never be able to stop! (except you guys...although a bit of dark eye make up can be hot sometimes!).

2. I have been in a pageant. It was NOT a beauty pageant. In my senior year of high school, I went through the full blown process to become festival royalty for my small town's Irrigation Festival (don't knock it, it's the longest running festival in the state of Washington!). After months of dance practice, etiquette tips, speech practice, a judges tea, and a pageant later, I was dubbed Princess Maggie for the Irrigation Festival's 107th year. It was a fun process, I did a speech on geoduck 'hunting' and reigned under our Queen Jennifer and alongside Princess Cortney and Princess Jennifer. We put in over 400hours of community service over the next 12 months, which included riding on our fabulous float in 17 parades, selling festival merchandise, visiting nursing homes and participating in a Cancer walk. This is where I got my scholarship that I ended up never using but I gained 3 royal sisters and lots of new friends. I also ended up being part 'royalty mom' to 2 royal courts a few years ago and had a blast with those girls!

3. I have a rubber band around my eyeball. You would think that I would be able to remember how old I was when I had my first and only surgery experience but this is me we are talking about, so I'll wing it...I think I was about 22. I noticed my sight had been blurry but I chalked it up to my contacts being weird and made a mental note to compare it when I put my glasses on to make sure it was not my actual eyesight....first mistake! Mental notes for me are about as useful as using a fish for deodorant. About a week later, I FINALLY remembered and mentioned it to my locksmith boss at the time. He told me to call my optometrist that moment and get it checked since he had a friend that had retina problems and lost his eyesight in one of his eyes because of it. I am pretty blind already. I have had glasses since the 2nd grade and my eyes get so progressively bad every year that when the next year's new prescriptions came along I would always be amazed at the ability to see individual leaves on trees again! Anyhoo, I called my optometrist, he had me come in ASAP and lo and behold, my retina was detaching and had torn in 2 places. (At this point most people say, "Owwie! That must have hurt!" but no, I couldn't feel a thing) I was sent for emergency surgery because my optometrist told me that if my retina did detach then it would be very difficult to restore it and most likely I would be blind in that eye. So this all leads to my 'rubber band', which is actually called a scleral buckle, but it's basically a rubber band around my eye that elongates my eye, pinning my retina back in place. Elongating my eye basically took my already bad prescription in that eye and multiplied it by 2 so my eyes are extremely different in terms of sight which doesn't matter much since I can't see clearly a few inches from my face.

Ok, enough about me! I am going to split these awards up and grant them to some wonderful bloggers that I have come to know and love. I would have normally granted these awards to the wonderful women who gave them to me, but since they already got them, I'll pass them on to others who from my knowledge haven't received these awards yet.

First the winners of the:

1. Bodacious Boomer: She paints dog's faces, posts the most disturbingly funny news stories and photos, and calls me Kiddo (which I love!). She is also a great responder to your comments which causes even more laughs!

2. The Crazy Life of a Writing Mom: Elisa is not your typical mom blog which is why I adore her and get so excited every time I see she has a new post! Her kids are the most creative and imaginative kids I have ever read about and I hope my kids are like them! I would have given her the Liebster award but since Paige already did, I thought I'd give her this one!

3. Vive le Nerd: Joshua has a nice biting sarcasm which is great in his writing but also fabulous when tweeting. He also has written some short stories and poetry which are incredible! Reading his blog is my version of not being able to look away from a car accident...I know I shouldn't understand his nerdy world but sadly, I DO! (although I blame it all on Branden!).

4. A Few French Fries Short of a Happy Meal: Miss Sassy Pants is spew your tequila on the computer screen funny! She's from my home State and I love reading about her crazy family (owning chickens in Seattle), her recent ride alongs with the cops in her University town, and the hysterical things she does while under the influence of...'college tap water".

5. Good Times With Rebecca and Barkley: Peanut is 7 and I think she is the cutest little blogger on the planet! She is Stephanie's daughter and I'm so glad Stephanie let her have this little online outlet because she is creative and funny! Her Wonderful World of Cats is a favorite in my house, as Branden and I have watched it at least half a dozen times!

6. Tony Van Helsing's Mystery Theatre: Tony only posts about once a week but it's a day Branden and I look forward to! His recent post on "The Night We Blinded Lemmy" left me with tears streaming down my face as I struggled to read it to Branden! We agreed that it was the best 'celebrity encounter' story we had ever heard!

Ok, now on to the:
(which means "favorite")

Not only is she eerily my older counterpart, having similar (but much worse) eye problems, she lived abroad (grew up in France) and she is very accident prone (she also had a 'getting stuck in the car window' story but hers was much worse) but it's also her BIRTHDAY!!

Crazy World: Melynda is a great writer, she has a wonderful sense humor, plenty of comedic scenarios in her life and she also can have you welling up with tears as she throws a few touching tales in here and there. She is such a strong woman and has overcome some things that I don't think I could ever handle and I am completely impressed by her.

Please go visit these wonderful blogs and enjoy all the fun and laugher that they contain! I love the people in my Blogland!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tip for Caveman Convos

This came from yet another one of our bedtime conversations. We were discussing gender roles among cave peoples.

Tip of the Day: When given the answer to the question "How do you know that cavewomen weren't out hunting with the cavemen??" listening to your husband is key. "Cave panties" are completely different than "cave paintings"!

The poor man thought he gave an intellectual answer and couldn't figure out why I was cracking up...I figured out he didn't say "panties' a bit later and we both had a laugh!

Monday, September 5, 2011

My First Music Monday and My First Blog Award!

I woke up to a wonderful surprise this morning! Stephanie at Connecting with Stephanie has blessed me with my first ever award! If you haven't been to her blog then I absolutely insist that you go and visit because she is a funny and inspiring woman that truly connects with her readers. She is also a single mom to 'Peanut' who has her own blog at Good Times With Rebecca and Barkley. This is another must read and my particular favorite post is her most recent video made on The Wonderful World of Cats! Branden and I have watched this about half a dozen times and it cracks us up but also impresses the socks off of us! For a 7 year old, she has a wonderful imagination and Branden says she is a much better video presenter than I am! (and when you see the video, you will all agree with him!). Getting to see how creative and confident Peanut is has been the icing on the cake for getting to see an even more honest and beautiful side of Stephanie. She is a terrific mother, an enchanting woman and an amazing writer. I'm so honored that she is the first person to award me. Thank you Stephanie!

If you remember back to Wednesday, I mentioned that I would be starting a new theme on Mondays called Maggie's Music Monday. So what better to do than to make it all about Branden! As I have said a few times on my blog, and for those who are newer, I am not a mom. Branden has 3 girls. They are beautiful, have 'voices like angels' and take up very little space. I can't relate to them very well but I love seeing them with Branden because I know wonderful things will happen when they are together. Their names are Doris, Shanaynay and Hanalei.

This is Doris on the left and Shanaynay on the right. Shanaynay is Branden's first girl and she is a 1993 Gibson Les Paul Studio electric guitar and was one of the first made in Nashville. She spent the majority of her time with Branden, rocking on stage with his band Zeo Doxa (which you will get a full run down on a later Monday). Doris is his second girl and she is a 1958 Gibson LG-1 acoustic. She did a bit of globe trotting in her earlier days, which included trips to Japan and Egypt, but she sat in a closet for about 30 years so she's in mint condition. Hanalei is the baby, which is evident by her size since she is an Ukelele. We bought her on our honeymoon in Hawaii and she is 2009 Kamoa tenor sized Ukelele.

Transporting Branden's precious girls was no easy feat! Hanalei wasn't so bad except that we got very odd looks through the airport as we carried around what looked like a miniature guitar case. When we first moved to Scotland, we really had to pick and choose what to bring and what to leave behind. Since we were limited to two 50lb check in bags a piece, 1 overhead item and 1 personal item, I had to limit Branden to just Hanalei on our first trip. Knowing we were going back for Christmas in a few months, he figured he could manage with just her for the time being.

On our second trip of transporting stuff to Scotland, taking Doris and Shanaynay was a bit of a nightmare. Both of these guitars are actually very valuable so there wasn't a snowball's chance in hell that we were going to let them be checked in! It took a lot of convincing and me breaking down into tears at the counter for us to finally convince the airline to let us carry them on. Except our first trip, every time we have flown from the States to Europe we always go from Seattle to Amsterdam and then from Amsterdam to Edinburgh (or now, Dublin). This is much faster and avoids stopping off on the East Coast and also the horrific Heathrow Airport. However, this trip back with the two girls saw us caught up in a massive winter storm that gave us the only options of being stuck in Amsterdam for a few days until a blizzard passed or flying into London and figuring out any way we could to get all the way up to Scotland. Wanting to get back to Edinburgh, we chose the second option, which meant trekking those girls through crowded London tubes and finally a train that took 3 hours more than normal due to ice on the tracks to get home. But they made it and they were safe!

We left them in Edinburgh with our wonderful neighbors when we went back to the States for 3 months at the beginning of this year, and then it was another journey on trains and a ferry to get them into Ireland.  I tell Branden that he better not change his plans and have us move back to America because I don't even want to think about flying them back!

This is a video of Branden and his younger brother Adam playing together. They almost have a telepathic connection when it comes to playing. It's almost magical to watch them play as they just come up with amazing tunes off the top of their heads without ever speaking a word to each other as they blend seamlessly. Adam's guitar in the video is an early 2000s Gibson acoustic, so I find the flow of sound of the 'grandmother' and 'granddaughter' guitars incredible.

If I'm not mistaken, they 'invented' this tune that same day and only played it a few times before performing.

I hope you enjoyed my first Music Monday and hearing about our wild and crazy adventures! At some point, we will be looking into adding a banjo and mandolin to our cherished brood but until then, we are very thankful for the 3 girls we have now.

Friday, September 2, 2011

How Star Wars Restored My Confidence

When Branden and I first started dating, I became very self conscious. He was only just 21 at the time (I was 24), was already getting ready to graduate with a Bachelor's degree, was set to start his Master's program in the Autumn, and knew he would go on to achieve his PhD and become a University Professor in Ireland as the finale to his massive intellectual conquest. I on the other hand, had my small town high school diploma, petitioned against the school in my junior year as they were going to enforce all seniors to take all 6 classes despite the fact that some of them (like myself) didn't need to, won my petition, took 3 classes my first semester and only 2 my second semester, was granted a scholarship and never used it, and had no plans whatsoever on going to college and having a career. My biggest goal was just to eventually get married, be a support for my husband, and be a stay at home mom for my kids. I'm do apologize to all those who burned their bras for seemingly ingrates like me, but that was all I wanted, and I knew and felt how much I was looked down on for this.

With Branden having all of his academic goals and being around all the smart college girls, I was a bit afraid that he would eventually come to the realization that I was definitely not anywhere near his 'standard' of woman. But then he did something that gave me hope...

We were chatting on Facebook (while I was at work), and when I had to go we set to talk on the phone that night. He told me that he couldn't call me until late, probably about 10ish, because he made plans with his roommate to play Star Wars (He was/is a hot academic so I let some nerdy things slide!). Later that night when he called me, I asked him how his night went. Now in my mind, playing Star Wars meant they were playing a video game, but somehow it came up and I discovered that my nerdy academic was a bit more like me than I had realized. Yes, he had played a Star Wars video game with his roommate, but then afterwards they ran around their apartment shooting each other with their imaginary Star Wars blaster guns, complete with *beeow* *beeow* noises. Apparently they even did this randomly around campus.

What a relief! I felt more secure about the fort Chrissy and I built under my dining room table just months earlier and how I found more joy in stupid and silly things than in the discovery of a new planet! I still had some nervousness about our differences, but when I finally talked to Branden about it I was put completely at ease. He actually wanted a wife who would want to be a stay at home mom and wasn't caught up in a career so that she could be flexible enough to go through the big move to another country.  He also saw how out of touch with reality some professors could be and how socially awkward they can become when they just surround themselves with people like them, so he really wanted a more down to earth wife to keep him grounded.

I really had nothing to worry about and even though my conversation with him was the most obvious of reassurances, playing Star Wars with his roommate was the best proof I could have ever had!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Surveillance Camera Humiliation

When I was a kid (a younger kid than I am currently) my sister and I went to Costco with my mom. On our way out my sister was pushing the cart to the car, (running I might add) while I was standing on the front enjoying the ride and mom was following behind us. In the cart was a box with 2 gallons of milk in it, a large jug of juice, and some other random groceries. I decided I wanted off and put my food down. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS! It jammed under the front of the cart causing the whole thing to nose dive on top of me. Because it happened so quickly, my sister didn't have time to let go and was dangling at the top, feet kicking. Of course the groceries all fell on top of me, and my ever so helpful mother was unable to stand from laughter, so she sat in the parking lot trying not to pee her pants. Luckily I was fine, my sis got back on solid ground and mom somehow managed to not wet herself. We laughed over how great it would be to get ahold of the surveillance camera footage for that parking lot!

Little did I know this concept of being a surveillance camera freak show would haunt me later in life.

Back when I still had a license, drove and owned a car, I went to the movies with some friends. At the time I only had a two seater car, so my friend had to drive us in her old Oldsmobile. I didn't have any cash on me so I made her drive me through the ATM on our way there. I was sitting in the back seat behind the driver so she just pulled forward a bit extra so I could use my window. It was an older Oldsmobile and the back windows had that "child safety" feature where the windows only roll down half way. The ATM was kind of high so I had to actually stick out of the window to reach it. As I was waist up out of the window and looking quite silly, one of my friends said that the surveillance video was going to be interesting! We had a laugh, I got my cash and proceeded back through the window...except I got stuck! Now I am a 'well endowed' woman, so when it came to my 'chesticular' area going back through the window, my boobs just laughed at me! I don't know how I got them so easily out the window but there was no way they were going back in! The entire car and myself were all cracking up but I was starting to panic thinking that if we had to call the fire department they might have to cut my girls off! I tried moving sideways, flattening myself, backwards, and it was starting to get painful. We came to the conclusion that these weren't very good 'safety' windows! Finally after about 5 minutes of struggling like a fat retriever stuck in a doggie door I popped back through the window. Once some of the laughter and my whimpering died down, there was much discussion about how the surveillance video was probably going to be the highlight of the bank Christmas party!

*The inspiration for sharing these stories today came from another one of my husband and my conversations last night while laying in bed. I was wondering out loud what to blog about today and he started laughing as he said, "How about the time you got stuck in the window at the ATM?". I didn't actually know Branden when this situation happened but apparently the notorious tale 'stuck' with him   ;)