Mighty Girl
My face.

contact: maggie at mightygirl dot net

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9.30.05 ULP

Originally uploaded by MaggieMason.

So, if you have a common name, Google image search turns up some uncomfortable results.

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While weíre in Texas with Bryanís family, we have dinner at the hotel where weíre staying. On my way to the bathroom, I realize the hotel is also hosting a high school homecoming dance. The hallway is jammed with boys in ill-fitting suits and extravagantly rouged girls, all fiddling with their itchy wrist corsages.

In the womenís room, a the girls are jockeying for a bit of the mirror, applying lipstick and fussing with their severe updos. When they notice me, they give embarrassed smiles and scoot aside so I can wash my hands. Just then, two girls enter and stop inside the door. One is in a tasteful chocolate dress with cream piping, cut in a fifties silhouette. The other is wearing a Barbie-pink gown, festooned with glitter, and transparent from her feet up to her knees. She is very slim, just leaving behind her gawkiness, and she begins to hike her skirt up in front of the mirror. Her friend objects:

-Youíre doing it right here?
-Youíre just going to do it right here?
-Yeah? Why not?

She reaches up her skirt, wriggles, yanks free an enormous, elastic, tan girdle. She lets out a heavy sigh and pats her flat tummy.

-Why were you even wearing that thing?
-Because my mom told me I looked fat.
-She said, ĎHere. Your stomach is sticking out. Put this on.í
-What a bitch.
-I know.

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9.27.05 ID
Bryan: I donít know where my keys are.
Me: I have mine.
Bryan: Thatís not going to keep me from thinking about mine.
Me: But it will keep me from worrying about being locked out.
Bryan: Itís all about you.
Me: All the good stuff, anyway.

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9.27.05 FALL
An excerpt from my Writerís Almanac a few days ago:

Today is the first day of autumn. In the next few weeks, the shortening of daylight hours will tell the trees around us that winter is coming and they'll begin shutting down their food-making process, preparing to live on the sugar they've stored for the winter. All the green chlorophyll in their leaves will be withdrawn into the trees' branches and the leaves will turn red and yellow and orange and brown.

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-So I the only vaccination I have left is Hep B, but thereís yeast in it, which Iím allergic to. So I have to get a note from my allergist saying they can give it to me.
-How do you get Hep B?
-Thatís the thing, itís like, body fluid exchange. I donít plan on engaging in a lot of that.
-But apparently you can get it by, like, sharing someoneís toothbrush or razor. Though I also donít plan to approach random strangers and ask them for their toothbrush.
-True, and itís not likely someone is going to come up and spit in your mouth.
-You never know.
-That might be a local custom.
- Right. Youíre in some remote little town, surrounded by a group of angry villagers who are offended that you wonít engage in the local custom of spitting in each othersí mouths as a friendly greeting.
-But I didnít get my shots!
-Theyíre all screaming, ďSpit in my mouth! Spit in my mouth!
-Youíre cursing the guidebook authors.
-ďSpit in my mouth! The gods will be angry!Ē

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9.16.05 COMFORTS
one egg

do not think me twisted
when, despite the world's galactic
ricochet of violence, i prefer, these days,
the retreat of breakfast.

over strong, creamed coffee i have time to contemplate
the blessedly innocuous catastrophes:
burnt toast. a shortage of butter.
how to make the meal for two using only one egg.

believe me,
i know how lucky i am.

-Maya Stein (who has a blog)

(via Andrea>

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9.15.05 LOVELY
A few things you would like, if you were me:
  • Dancing with old men at weddings
  • Sourdough toast
  • Watching jellyfish swim
  • Children who whisper when theyíre talking to small babies
  • The feeling of breath on the neck
  • Red winged blackbirds
  • Sotto voce
  • Slicing fresh ginger
  • When little kids jump, how they sometimes do this thing with their arms. They spread them like wings, like they're about to take off.
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From the May 2005 issue of O Magazine, ďBrain to Brain: How to Get Anyone to Agree with You.Ē

Howard Gardener, a Harvard cognitive psychologist and author says, ďOne interesting fact is that totalitarian leaders almost invariably have not traveled. Hitler didnít travel. Stalin didnít travel. Saddam Hussein never traveled. I think they didnít want to have their orthodoxy challenged.Ē

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9.13.05 UP A NOTCH
R: Colonel or Lieutenant?
C: Like, this is the rank you want, or you like the sound of the word, or what?
M: Choose!
C: Lieutenant.
M: Passion or Intimacy?
A: Oh. Thatís rough.
R: Passion.
C: Can you really have passion without intimacy?
C: Geez. All right. Passion. Mom or Dad?
M: What?
C: Mom or Dad! CHOOSE.

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Three of my favorite secrets from those currently available on Postsecret:
  • I dance in vacant elevators.
  • I donít eat Twinkies, but when Iím in the bakery aisle at the store, I like to smash them in their packaging.
  • Never liked your poetry.
Send your secret to:

13345 Copper Ridge Rd
Germantown, Maryland
USA 20874-3454

(via Fussy)

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9.9.05 SHARING
Ryan: Have you ever had someone offer you an ear bud?
Me: No, but I know it happens all the time.
Ryan: That happened to me the other day, this girl on the bus.
Me: She was totally hitting on you.
Jeff: This is how you hit on someone?
Bryan: Here. This was in my ear.
Jeff: I found this in my pants.
Bryan: Want a gummy bear? Itís warm.

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9.8.05 HABIT
I am sitting on the cushy table at the gynecologistís office. I know the table is cushy because there is nothing between me and the table. That is, nothing but a thin sheet of paper that crinkles when I shift. I have another such sheet draped awkwardly across my lap.

It feels odd sitting like this, in my long-sleeved shirt, my earrings, my lip gloss, and my paper lap throw. Of course, Iíve been here before, and I like my nurse practitioner. Her demeanor suggests that the gals do this kind of thing all the time, sit around with no pants on making chitchat about how the writing is coming, and whether this breakfast place is preferable to that.

She has her back to me for a few moments, checking my chart, and then she turns to me suddenly with a surprised face.

Are you humming?
Were you just humming? Just now?
Ö I guess I was.
Is that a nervous thing?
No. I talk when Iím nervous.
Do you hum a lot?
All the time, I guess. I donít usually realize Iím doing it.
Huh. Thatís kind of nice.

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9.6.05 KATRINA
Through this whole disaster, Iíve only been able think in slow motion when my mind turns to all the suffering. Reports kept saying, ďItís worse than anyone knows, itís worse than anyone knows.Ē But none of them were explaining how, what that meant.

Today, watching Oprah Winfrey, I saw a police officer break down. He said that inside the Superdome, people were raping babies. The police, out-armed and outnumbered by street gangs inside, were powerless to stop them. Children couldnít go into the bathrooms because predators were waiting there, raping them, even killing them. There was gunfire inside the shelter. With no electricity and no windows, it was dark inside, save for a few small skylights hundreds of feet up. I finally understand.

To our survivors, I am so sorry. We should have been there sooner. Once the storm passed, we should have protected you from further harm. We owe deep gratitude to those nearby who did what they could without adequate resources.

Americans pride ourselves on taking care of our own. Until now, it has felt as though our capacity to do that in times of crisis was limitless. It has been difficult to accept our vulnerability, and to admit that we need help, just like any other country visited by grave disaster. Thank you to all of the countries who have offered that help, especially those of you who have put aside political differences to do so.

Thank you Canada, Cuba, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Dominica, Russia, France, Japan, China, El Salvador, Israel, Paraguay, the U.K., the United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands, Honduras, Germany, Venezuela, Jamaica, Australia, Switzerland, Greece, Hungary, Columbia, The Dominican Republic, Mexico, South Korea, New Zealand, Guatemala, Belgium, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Italy, Guyana, Indonesia, Austria, Lithuania, Spain, Norway, and the Bahamas. We're humbled by your compassion.

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You guys, that completely worked. Are you as floored as I am? Mighty Goods is currently shaking it all over eBay and Amazon in the Business Week Poll, shaking it like a Chihuahua in the Arctic Circle, shaking it like Charo on speed! And itís all thanks to you. If you were here right now, Iíd be forcing tequila shots on you. Thanks so much. (Extra-action thanks to the hilarious Matthew Baldwin, who is nominated in the humor category, and who gave Mighty Goods a hefty plug. Also to Peggy Cusack who told the entire convention staff, and my husband who told everyone else we know. You are sweeties.)

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