Mighty Girl
My face.

contact: maggie at mightygirl dot net

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Bryan Mason
Heather Armstrong
Matthew Baldwin
Sarah Brown
Heather Champ
Matt Haughey
Eden Kennedy
Jason Kottke
Merlin Mann's 5ives
Obscure Store and Reading Room
Post Secret
Andrea Scher
Melissa Summers
Evany Thomas

7.31.03 WHAT DO YOU DO?
The ever-talented Sarah Hepola on my life.

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The man in front of the beer display has his arms folded in front of him, genie style, forearms parallel with the floor. He mumbles something, and then gives a hard blink and a quick nod at the beer. It's an eerily familiar "I Dream of Jeannie" imitation. At first I think he must be joking around with a friend, but when I look behind me I realize we're the only two in the aisle. That guy really wants some beer.

In other news, did you know they make fat-free half-and-half now? How does it still count as half-and-half if there's no fat in it? I mean, the whole point of half-and-half is to reduce your yummy heavy-cream intake (by half) without losing the yummy heavy cream entirely. If you take away the cream, what the hell is the other half? I have been thinking about this since yesterday.

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So Bryan used to be an actor, which means that every once in awhile I find myself doing odd things, like spending the day being a reader for a regional theater company. A reader sits in a chair and reads the lines between the lines that the real actor needs to say.

Real actor: I have always been mad for you, Bernadette.
Reader: And-I-you-Johnny.
Real actor: Marry me!
Reader: I-couldn't-possibly. You-know-how-daddy-feels.

And so on. Today I watched many talented actors audition for many roles. I learned that when the stage direction says to express frustration, one should not necessarily hurl oneself prone on the floor and wham at the stage with one's fists. If one does that, it is unlikely one will receive a callback.

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My favorite part of a Vogue article by Katrina Heron, former editor-in-chief of Wired magazine. She quit her hectic job to be a better mom and find a more varied life:

"The joys of a carefree life eluded me. I'd sit down with a book and not be able to read it. I was distracted, all peripheral vision. I felt I should be accomplishing something.

Thank God for kids, who really do teach us to delight in slow pleasures. We would dawdle over breakfast, talking about how much we liked raisins."

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7.25.03 ON MESSAGE
The back of this girl's car is elaborate. She has a few bobble-head dolls in the back window: a puma, a devil, a girl on a surfboard, a Barbie doll. The bumper is covered with stickers: "I live with FEAR every day., Princess, Bitch, Kill 'em all!, Girls gone wild!, I don't live with insanity, I embrace it!" Above, the dolls nod-nod-nod, as if they couldn't agree more, as though they were about to say so themselves.

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7.22.03 LITTLE HELP?
I am in desperate need of eight full, red skirts for our bridesmaids and groomspeople. I want something like this, but in a rich blue-red. Also, I'd like to keep them under $70 or so. I've had people suggest David's Bridal, but I'm not so into the shiny fabric in combination with the shirts I picked. Any alternate ideas for me? Email: maggeh at yahoo dot com. Thank you, thank you.

Update: Wow! Thanks for the help. The consensus seems to be that I should have the skirts made and/or dyed. I've been told that it's difficult to dye fabric to a true red, but I'll do a little more research. I think it may just be easier to find a seamstress. Thanks to everyone that wrote to me.

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7.21.03 LOOK, MA!
A well-dressed man proceeds down Market Street with one hand in his pocket and the other bent at the elbow, wrist and palm up. Tottering on his forearm is an obedient Chihuahua with the perpetually frightened look of his breed. The dog is baffled, not at all comfortable with the arrangement, and glances nervously at the ground as his front paws dance around on his perch. The man does not look at his pet or passersby, but removes his other hand from his pocket that he may check the time.

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7.18.03 DUM DUM DA DUM
Last night we decided to honeymoon in Asia. This is why. The $699 All Asia Pass includes roundtrip airfare right out of San Francisco and twenty-one days of free travel between seventeen cities. SARS be damned, I'd be on a plane right now if I didn't have some cake tastings and dress fittings to tend.

Meanwhile, Bridesmaid dresses are getting less offensive (and more expensive) all the time.

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7.17.03 COVETOUS
I've been craving art lately, our walls are big and bare. I went window shopping/daydreaming online, and found a few pieces by local artists whose work I'd like to see more regularly. Every morning when I make myself a cup of tea, for example.

Nate VanDyke's "Beth".

Tiffany Larsen was the art director of my college newspaper. She's in Seattle now, but she's still a Bay Area artist to me. I adore "Anchor."

Catherine Ryan's "Grandparents on the Couch".

(You'll have to scroll partway down the page to see some of these.) Diane Feissel's self-portrait funny faces, which would look fantastic hung triptych style. Her angel (again with the scrolling, last one on the page), her girl in the window, and pair of feet (eighth and thirteenth ones down, respectively).

Kirstie Tweed's photos are amazing, most especially "Diner Waitress," which you can find by going to her site and clicking on Orange Girl. It's in the top row, second over from the left. Many thanks to Andrea Scher for the tip. Speaking of which:

I love Andrea's #1 and #10 paintings, which you can find by going to Superhero Designs and clicking on Paintings, Enter, hitting the blue button, then clicking View Work. (Whew!)

Camille Porter's line drawings are so much fun. I especially like the last two in the top row, the girlfriends and the yearning girl. (Click on Line Drawings, then click to enlarge.)

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Laura and I pass City Lights bookstore, which is hosting an apparently popular event.

Me: Who's reading?
Laura: I think it's Sam Shepard.
Me: What do you think, should I press my face to the window and do the blowfish thing?
Laura: Totally.
Me: Like, "Shep! What's up Sheppppp!"
Laura: "Sammehh!" (Mimes banging on the window.)
Me: We should.
Laura: We totally should.
(We keep walking.)

Hours later we stop into Tosca for a couple of chocolate brandies. Sam Shepard is sitting in the booth next to ours. An hour or so later, he sits down at the bar facing us. Laura and I chat for a while longer, and then get up to leave. As we pass the bar, Mr. Shepard takes note.

Laura: Dude, Sam Shepard just checked us out.
Me: Yes, he did. Sam Shepard just gave us the up and down.
Laura: Ha!
Me: Awesome.
Laura: Damn.
Me: We should have bought him a drink.
Laura: I know! Why didn't we?
Me: I don't know. It would have been weird.
Laura: True. Damn.

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Lance's new site gives his take on San Francisco's real summer:

"Thing is, in December? It's totally lovely here. In December it's 70 degrees, the skies are blue, the dogs are running around like chickens, the chickens are running around like chickens and all is right with the world of dogs and chickens. Me, I moved here in December, 1999 from Boston and in Boston in December the chickens are frozen solid and they hurt when people throw them at you..."

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Every month, Martha Stewart publishes her daily schedule in the front of her magazine. Last month, she noted that she'd be "dusting all taxidermy." (All taxidermy?) Curiously, her court date was missing.

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Jen posted a movie of us storming the castle. I'm in the middle.

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While in Tuscany, Jeff successfully taught baby Evan to say "poop." Evan learned other stuff too:

Bryan: I taught the boy not to touch cigarette butts when we were out walking yesterday, and now he's shaking his finger at them and saying, "Dirty! Dirty! No! No!"
Janice: Yeah. He does the same thing to the bidet.

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Hey, I missed it! Mighty Girl turned three last week. I feel accomplished.

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7.09.03 HEAVENLY
You finished that project two days early, and you climb in your big blue jeep to drive home on County Road 120. The house is spotless, and there's leftover pizza in the fridge. You kick off your shoes and take your pizza out back to check the garden. The seeds you planted have just started to send up shoots, and when you look down at the dirt pushing up between your toes, you remember that you painted your toenails red last night. You go inside for a bath, get dressed up, and head out dancing. You wake up sore the next morning.

Please go read Leslie Harpold's, "Possible Scenarios for Heaven". She's got a pretty brain, that girl.

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My girlfriend is looking for a book about marriage, and we find it in the bookstore's relationship section. It's nestled amongst several other titles that make us uncomfortable to be seen browsing:

Me: I Hate You, Don't Leave Me!
L: The Stop Walking on Eggshells Workbook: Practical Strategies for Living With Someone Who Has Borderline Personality Disorder.
Me: How awesome would it be to buy Why Men Don't Listen for the plane ride, and then just bust it out after we've buckled up?
L: That's perfect. He looks over and you're reading The Angry Heart and, like, wiping a single tear from your cheek.
Me: It's almost worth the twenty bucks just to see the look on his face.

Later, in a Barnes and Noble in Delaware, I hone in on the perfect shock-inducing travel reading in the wedding section, There Goes the Bride: Making up your mind, calling it off, and moving on. I find this endlessly amusing. Bryan does not concur.

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I've abandoned you, my pals. Over the last month, life has kept me incredibly busy, but I've had little access to the Internet. Now--for the first time in years--I have no record of my foibles and triumphs, which bites. And so, to recap, in the last month we:
  • Flew North Carolina for Rosecrans and Rachel's fabulous wedding.
  • Took a beautiful road trip up to New York.
  • Flew to Milan, Italy for the Adaptive Path workshop.
  • Vacationed in Tuscany for a week with a group of lovely people.
  • Flew back to New York so that I could meet with book agents and publishers (!) and visit our East Coast friends.
  • Drove to Connecticut for Josh and Kayla's fabulous wedding.
  • Flew home to San Francisco.
We're jet setters, baby. I'll post the juicy details as we go along. Thanks, as always, for checking back in with me and for your emails while we were on the road. I missed you guys.

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A 54-year-old woman who works four jobs, recently won $76 million in the lottery. She didn't tell her bosses at first, because she'd just requested more hours and felt obligated to work them for awhile.

A gardener found $1,700 under a bush while he was working and actually turned it in to the police. It belonged to a woman who had been saving a dollar a day for a trip to Universal Studios with her son, and had also been holding on to her father's savings from his Social Security so he could afford a car.

A Bellevue couple chopped up twenty-six trees on a public trail in an attempt to improve the view from their "hillside home." They were caught in the act, and now they'll be paying the city $150,000, publicly apologizing, and doing some community service time.

( All via Romenesko's Obscure Store and Reading Room.)

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