Mighty Girl
My face.

contact: maggie at mightygirl dot net

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I read:
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
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8.31.05 GO TEAM, GO
Holy crap! Business Week has nominated Mighty Goods in the Shopping category of its Best of Web. As if that isn't enough of a score, eBay and Amazon are among the other nominees. Ulp.

As you might have guessed, the Goliaths are kicking ass, but I think that’s mostly because they have staffs in the hundreds, all of whom change out of pajamas and wash the Cheet-o powder from their faces before they go to work.

However only 500 people have voted, and I think there may be close to 502 of you, possibly even 503. So please help me take 'em, dear readers. You can do that by going to Business Week, looking for the "Play" header, clicking on shopping and voting for Mighty Goods. Easy as pie.

Thanks for your help. You guys rock.

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Three pleasant things on Flickr:

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Bryan: So, you’re never going to read the new Harry Potter book, right?
Me: No.
Bryan: So I can tell you about it?
Me: Mmmm. Is this the part where you try to get me to discuss Harry Potter?
Bryan: Yes.
Me: Please don’t make me discuss Harry Potter with you. Please?
Bryan: Aw, come on.
Me: Seriously, baby. It’s the anti-aphrodisiac.
Bryan: It’s just a really interesting book.
Me: Remember how I don’t want to talk about this?
Bryan: She seems to be writing for her audience as it grows up. There are these really amazing scenes where…
Maggie: No! Not sexy! I know you’d like to have sex again one day, and I love you so. Please don’t make me talk about this.
Bryan: OK. (Hangs head.)

Me: Oh, I’m a bitch. (sigh) Tell me all about Harry Potter.
Bryan: OK! So Harry find this book of spells…

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Kayla is demonstrating a point by playing air drums at the table. She’s rocking out, twirling imaginary sticks, tossing them in the air. After a few confidence-building throws, she takes things up a notch, rocketing a single imaginary drumstick way up into the rafters.

Our eyes follow it up, and up, and up. The imaginary drumstick is so high that Kayla leans back in her chair to catch it, stretches one arm far into the space behind her, and scowls in concentration. Her husband, alarmed at the ill-advised tilt of her chair, nudges Kayla forward to the safety of the table’s edge. Her face falls; her arm goes limp. “Damn!” she says, “I just missed it.”

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The Brooklyn tea shop is playing an eclectic mix of ‘80s music. We’ve been there working for an hour or so when “Fame!” comes on, and the cashier turns it up.


Bryan: Do you know who sings this?
Me: No.
Bryan: Maggie! She asked you to do one thing.

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A young nun was recently reprimanded for dancing indecorously with a missionary during Catholic World Youth Day. According to the article, a local newspaper "showed pictures of a dancing Johanne Vertommen being held up in the air by the missionary, and then clinging to him with her legs wrapped around his body."

Refreshing, no? I think we can safely call this progress.

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The French have vending machines full of books.
(Thanks, Kayla.)

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Originally uploaded by MaggieMason.

First in Skeneatales, NY for The Morning News retreat; then visiting Jen, Jeff and sweet little Arlo in Rhode Island. Now I'm in Brooklyn, but we'll be off to D.C. tomorrow for Adaptive Path's User Experience Week. Then I'm going to sleep for two years.

Keep an eye on my Flickr stream if you want to see photos. I have a new camera. It's so good I have to restrain myself from licking it in public.

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8.16.05 STALKRS
-I have a Flickr stalker.
-How would you spell that?

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When Heather comes to visit, I suggest that we stop by Good Vibrations, a local highbrow sex shop, for a quintessential San Francisco experience.

We amble through the Mission, passing forty-two taquerias along the way, and finally arrive at our destination. I’ve been to Good Vibrations a dozen times -- for bachelorette supplies and the like -- and have never known one of the employees to approach me unbidden; they’re incredibly discreet.

Heather draws immediate attention. She’s approximately 6’4” in heels, and is wearing a skirt that clearly shows her legs stretching up to her armpits. Also, her mouth is so agape that her jaw is getting rug burn. Every few feet she gives a Southern-drawl stage whisper, “What is this?” and then withdraws in horror when I explain.

We look around for a few minutes, select a set of superior pink vibrators, and are snickering over the flavored body oils when a butch-lesbian store employee approaches.

BLSE: Do you mind if I ask you two something?
Me: (Looking around to see who she’s talking to.) Us? Oh! No, not at all.
BLSE: OK. Why did you both decide on the same vibrator?

Heather and I look at each other questioningly, and then guiltily, like perhaps we’re planning to do a kinky, synchronized stage show involving hot-pink vibrators, knock-knock jokes, and dancehall costumes.

Me: Um.
Heather: Um.
Me: I don’t know. I guess we just… liked the same one. Why do you ask?
BLSE: It just seems like women who come in together always leave with the same vibrator.
Me: Huh.

The truth is I insisted that Heather could not leave town without a vibrator, as I knew she’d never owned one, and I didn’t see any clean, well-lit, sex-toy shops last time I was in Salt Lake City. Heather protested that she didn’t need one. I pointed out that it was not a question of need, but a quality-of-life issue. She reiterated that she wasn’t that interested. I shoved the vibrator into hands and switched through each one of its seven pulsating channels.

She took one.

And now the clerk wants to know why. Why did Heather select that particular one? The one that I shoved into her hands, the one that I told her she could not leave the store without. Heather looks at me expectantly. I give a nervous high-pitched squeak and begin to study my shoes.

Heather: Uh… I’m from Utah.
Heather: (nervous laugh) I’m a good little Mormon girl. I don’t know anything about any of this stuff.

(Mormon ancestors everywhere bang their heads against coffin lids. From 735 miles away, Heather’s mother hears her daughter, who has publicly and venomously sworn off the Mormon Church for years, and speeddials a church Elder. A few days later, he will meet Heather at the airport with a Book of Mormon and a plate of Rice Krispy treats.)

BLSE: Oh. I see. Well, do you use any kind of lubrication during sex?

Heather’s eyes are locked on this woman. She is trying hard to look serious, and calm, and knowledgeable. I know she doesn’t want to answer, and yet she does answer. Heather very obviously wants her answer to be the right one, the best possible answer regarding vaginal lubrication, so that perhaps this kind and helpful woman will go away.

BLSE: I see. Well, there are all kinds of things that affect lubrication, time of the month, arousal levels, energy levels. Do you ever find…?

Awkward conversation ensues that reveals far too much about both my and Heather’s sex lives. This woman is coaxing us into saying things we would blush to tell our husbands. Suffice it to say that we spend the longest five minutes of our lives discussing the intricacies of vaginal lubrication with a complete stranger. Both of us are doing everything we can to indicate our discomfort, but the conversation lunges forward.

BLSE:… Also, do you ever experience pain during sex?

Heather clears her throat. I move away, feigning fascination with a colorful butt-plug display. The BLSE doesn’t budge, she is clearly engaged in a mild flirtation with Heather, whose eyes are darting wildly around the room.

Heather: Uh… well. I’m a recovering Mormon. I mean, I, I…Uh… I… (deep sigh)

For the first time in recorded history, Heather Armstrong -- the woman who has told the Internet about the cabbage she stuffed in her bra to relieve lactation pains, the months she went without sex after giving birth, the times she has had to remove her own feces from her rectum with her hands -- is officially speechless. I swoop back in.

Me: OK. I think we’re fine now.
BLSE: Well, it’s just that…
Me: We’re good. We’re good. Thank you!
BLSE: I mean, I was just saying…
Me: OK!! Thanks for your help! I think we’re fine on our own! Thanks, though.
BLSE: (clearly annoyed)I didn’t mean to be pushy or anything.
Heather and me: Oh, nonononononononono. It’s fine. Fine! Thanks! Thank you!

Heather and I retreat to the far side of the room and take several deep breaths. Once we’ve regained our composure, we step up to the counter and purchase our Doublemint Twins vibrators. Then we step out into the street.

We are grinning, silent. I turn to Heather, “I can’t believe you told her you were Mormon.”

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8.3.05 BLOGHER
At Blogher, I did what I do at every other conference. I skipped every session my friends weren’t presenting and used the down time to seal shiny-new friendships with liquor. These are the women I met whose labor stories have convinced me to stop having sex immediately:

Mrs. Kennedy of Fussy
Melissa of Suburban Bliss
Jen of Jen and Tonic
Alice of Finslippy
Tracey of Sweetney
Amanda of Mandajuice

I’ve never met a wittier, more engaging group of women. It was like stepping into a sitcom, and when you add Heather to that mix everyone is shooting tequila out their noses in no time. (That burns by the way. Ow.)

Bryan and I have been talking about baby timing for a while now, and my biggest concern -- aside from the possibility of ending up with stitches in unmentionable places -- was that we be completely settled somewhere first. I want to have a strong support group that can talk me down when I’d rather scratch out my own eyes than watch another episode of Boobah.

The connection these girls have with each other made me realize that I can have that kind of support system wherever I go. They have each other’s backs, and though I’m just beginning to get to know them, I hope that one day they’ll have mine too. (Photos)

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